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MCMAHON’S IMPACT WRESTLING REPORT
Feb. 22, 2018
Taped from Orlando, Fla. (Universal Studios)
Aired on Pop TV
Announcers: Josh Mathews & Sonjay Dutt
Immediately following tonight’s Impact Wrestling, tune in to the PWTorch Livecast. Mike McMahon and Andrew Soucek will discuss tonight’s show with callers. Listen at www.pwtorchlivecast.com and call the show at 515-605-9345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
— The Impact Global signature aired.
— Shots were shown of ECIII (with Tyrus) and Johnny Impact arriving at the Impact Zone.
— A highlight package of last week’s show aired.
— The Impact opening credits rolled.
— In-arena: LAX made their ring entrance. The Cult of Lee came out next, mocking LAX’s entrance.
(1) LAX (Santana & Ortiz) vs. THE CULT OF LEE (Trevor Lee & Caleb Konley) — non-title match
The match began with LAX doing a double-dive on Lee and Konley on the outside. The teams brawled on the outside to begin the match after the dive. The match finally went into the ring and LAX was in control early. Lee tripped up Santana from the outside. Konley suplexed Ortiz and Lee followed up with a big kick to Ortiz’s head. Lee chopped Ortiz in the corner and followed up with shoulders. Konley distracted the referee, which allowed Lee to choke Ortiz in the corner. Mathews said that the referee was doing a great job, despite missing obvious cheating going on behind him.
Back from the break, Ortiz landed a double dropkick on Lee and Konley. Santana tagged in and he began to clean house. Santana hit an enziguri on Lee and LAX hit a flying cutter for a two count, after Konley broke up the pin — Konley shoved Santana into Ortiz. LAX went for the Street Sweeper but Konley shoved Santana off the top rope. At the same time, Lee jackknife pinned Ortiz and pulled the tights for the win.
WINNERS: Trevor Lee & Caleb Konley in 15:00.
McMahon: I’ve never been a fan of champions wrestling in non-title matches. You don’t see that in boxing or MMA, unless an opponent misses weight or something. There’s never a booked non-title match. Here it was a creative tool to set up Lee and Konley as title contenders, but there has to be a better way to do that, even though LAX took the pin through heels cheating. The whole concept of the champions wrestling in a non-title match is where it gets lost for me. The match itself was really good, but that should have been their first title match. Give Lee and Konley a reason to be No. 1 contenders. Give them a win over another team so they can earn No. 1 contender status without beating the champions, even if they were cheating.
The problem with the strategy is that it’s a huge tell. If you’ve followed Impact the last few weeks, you know that they’re gearing up for an LAX vs. Cult of Lee title match at some point. So, as soon you as hear from Mathews that it’s a non-title match, it gives the finish away. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that took me out of it a little bit.
I got a bit of a chuckle out of Josh Mathews telling us that the referee was “doing a great job” while on the screen, he was distracted and Trevor Lee (the non-legal man) was choking Ortiz in the corner.
(2) BRIAN CAGE vs. HUNTER LAW
Cage was immediately on the attack. He scooped up Law and did curls with him before tossing him aside. Cage pressed Law over his head and turned it into a powerslam. Cage came off the rope with a huge lariat and then the Drill Claw for the win.
WINNER: Brian Cage in 1:00.
McMahon: Another impressive showing for Cage. The announce team marveled at his muscles, and they put him over the right way as well, getting across how destructive he was. As my Livecast co-host Andrew Soucek pointed out last week, they’ve also kept Cage’s aerial attack non-existent for now, which means he has another gear to go to in future matches.
— Backstage: Eddie Edwards and Bobby Lashley were discussing their match against OVE later tonight. Edwards said Lashley didn’t have to like him, but they needed to go get it done tonight.
(3) MATT SYDAL vs. PETEY WILLIAMS — Impact Grand Championship match (from Destiny World Wrestling)
This match is being contested at Destiny World Wrestling in Toronto. Dutt talked about a few of his matches with the promotion. Sydal controlled Williams on the mat early in the match, but Williams came back at about the 1:00 mark with a hurricanrana. Williams hit a dropkick on Sydal, who was on the ropes, but Sydal kicked out at two. Mathews and Dutt put over that the Grand Championship is now contested for in traditional matches, and the round system is gone. Williams chopped Sydal, who came back with a standing moonsault for a two count. Williams and Sydal traded kicks. Williams hit a code breaker and then tied up Sydal in a sharpshooter. Sydal missed a shooting star press and Williams hit a pop-up powerbomb. Sydal countered a Canadian Destroyer into a pin for the victory.
WINNER: Matt Sydal retained the Impact Grand Championship in 6:00.
After the match, Sydal cut a promo. He read a proclamation on a scroll from his spiritual guide. Sydal said that his destiny on March 8 was to become X Division Champion, and he challenged Ishimori.
McMahon: From a production standpoint, this match looked good despite it taking place at an indie show. The lighting was good and the ring didn’t have ropes sagging down to the mat. The presentation was different as well, with the hard cam positioned in the corner. Honestly, it was a production element I kind of liked. Impact should use that angle more in the Impact Zone. I think that would solve the problem of it sometimes appearing that the hard camera is too close to the four-sided ring. It’s different.
— Backstage: Jimmy Jacobs cut a promo with Kongo Kong. Jacobs said that Joseph Park and Abyss should now have the message. Jacobs said that tonight is the night that Abyss walks down the ramp and faces his monster, Kongo Kong.
— Jimmy Jacobs and Kongo Kong came to the ring. Jacobs said that he’s not a bad guy. He said that he asked Joseph Park politely to bring Abyss to face Kongo Kong, but he didn’t do it and Joseph Park forced their hand. Jacobs called out Abyss, because he said he was sick of talking to Park.
An older woman walked out from backstage. Jacobs said that the lady was Grandma Jenny. Jacobs helped Grandma Jenny into the ring and she called Jacobs and Kong “sissies.” Grandma Jenny said that Joseph Park was a son to her, and Jacobs needed to stop going after him, “or else.”
Jacobs said that Grandma Jenny has more guts than her grandson. Jacobs called Grandma Jenny an “old hag” and she slapped him. Jacobs motioned Kong towards Grandma Jenny, and as he began walking towards her, Joseph Park walked out from the back. Park said he told Grandma Jenny not to come. Park asked Jacobs who the hell he thought he was? Park said that Abyss was dead, and he was never coming back. Park said after all the blood, he promised his family that Abyss was going to stay buried in his gut forever. Jacobs said Chandler was only the beginning, and he would hate it if something happened to Grandma Jenny.
Park grabbed Jacobs by the neck but he was immediately attacked by Kongo Kong. Grandma Jenny looked on in horror as Kong attacked Park. Dutt said that it would be best for Abyss to come and end this. Kong continued to attack Park.
— Backstage: Matt Sydal was on the phone with his spiritual guide and said that he would be X Division Champion on March 8.
McMahon: Funny moment, but you could kind of see that Sydal had his text screen open, while apparently on the phone.
— The GWN Flashback of the Week aired, which was Moose’s debut.
(4) ALBERTO EL PATRON vs MOOSE — taped from Future Stars Wrestling in Las Vegas
Mathews said that this match was a No DQ match, per the request of the wrestlers. El Patron spit water into Moose’s face. Moose hit a running boot on the outside. Moose and El Patron brawled through the crowd. El Patron battered Moose with a rubber trash can. On the top rope, El Patron threw multiple head butts at Moose and then hit the double stomp for the win.
WINNER: Alberto El Patron in 7:00
McMahon: The antler lights hanging from the ceiling were a nice touch. … Also, it might be a new regime, but they apparently haven’t learned their lesson as El Patron continues to get a main-event worthy push. Dutt said the winner of this match could find himself as No. 1 contender, so I’m sure El Patron will get a title match here at some point. They just never learn with this guy …
— The Pluto TV Rewind of the Week was Brian Urlacher pressing Johnny Fairplay out of the ring.
— A video package aired on the Rosemary vs. Hania feud.
— McKenzie Mitchell interviewed ECIII and Tyrus backstage.
(5) OVE vs. EDDIE EDWARDS & BOBBY LASHLEY
Edwards chopped Dave Crist in the corner. Mathews and Dutt talked about tonight’s No. 1 contender match. … Jake Crist kept driving his shoulder into Eddie Edwards, who was getting the heat for the babyface team in this match. OVE double-teamed Edwards and hit a superkick for a two count, after Lashley broke up the pin. Lashley tagged in and powerslamed Jake Crist for a two count. Lashley clotheslined Dave Crist and then threw Jake to the outside. Edwards tagged back in and dove on both members of OVE on the outside. Edwards then hit the Boston Knee Party on Jake for the win.
WINNER: Bobby Lashley & Eddie Edwards in 9:00
— A video aired on Eli Drake vs. Austin Aries from last week.
— Johnny Impact and ECIII were warming up backstage.
(6) JOHNNY IMPACT vs. ETHAN CARTER III — No. 1 contender match for the Impact World Title
ECIII and Impact wrestled on the mat for most of the opening few minutes.
Back from the break, ECIII hit a huge DDT on Impact but he popped back up and dropped ECIII with a superkick. Impact countered a clothesline into a standing Spanish Fly for a two count. Impact went to the corner for Starship Pain but Tyrus went over to the corner. ECIII ended up cutting off Impact on the top as Tyrus pulled off the distraction. ECIII and Impact threw punches on the top rope. ECIII hit a Super TK3 off the top rope for a two count. ECIII went for a cover with his feet on the ropes but Impact kicked out. Impact went to the top rope but Tyrus pushed him off. ECIII hit a One Percenter in the middle but Impact again kicked out at two. ECIII and Tyrus argued at ringside and ECIII shoved him. Tyrus shoved ECIII to the ground and then walked out. Back in the ring, ECIII tried for a One Percenter but Impact countered into a neckbreaker. Impact went to the top and hit Starship Pain for the win.
WINNER: Johnny Impact in 18:00 to retain his No. 1 contender status
After the match, Austin Aries came out on stage and looked at Johnny Impact. Aries walked to the ring and stared down Impact while holding the World Title. They shook hands as the show went off the air.
McMahon: This show had a little bit of everything. If you’re a sports entertainment fan, you enjoyed the Abyss segment. If you enjoy more pure wrestling, you probably liked the main event and the tag team match. There was a lot of good wrestling on this show and while I didn’t feel like this was as good as last week’s episode, it still up there. Overall, a very entertaining two hours of wrestling.