MCMAHON’S IMPACT REDEMPTION PPV REPORT: Aries vs. Fenix vs. Pentagon Jr., LAX vs. Drake & Steiner, Sydal vs. Williams, more

BY MIKE MCMAHON, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR


MCMAHON’S IMPACT REDEMPTION PPV REPORT
APRIL 22, 2018
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
ORLANDO, FLA.
AIRED LIVE ON PPV

Announcers: Josh Mathews & Don Callis

Immediately following tonight’s Redemption PPV, tune in at pwtorchlivecast.com to hear Mike McMahon and Andrew Soucek on the PW Torch Livecast Redemption post-show.

— A video package kicked off the show.

— The live feed began with a shot of the Impact Zone and the new stage setup. There’s a big crowd for this show — way more than a typical TV crowd — and it looks like the fans are seated all the way around the Impact Zone, not just opposite the hard camera.

(1) DRAGO vs. AEROSTAR

Drago landed a kick to Aerostar’s chest. Aerostar landed a kick from then apron and then hit a twisting corkscrew off the top rope. In the ring, Drago hit a hangman DDT for a two count. Drago hit a topé on the outside. Back in the ring, Aerostar missed a splash and Drago landed a kick to the face. Drago hit a sliding kick for a two count. Drago hit a huge powerbomb and instead of going for the cover, went for a second powerbomb. Drago delayed before picking up Aerostar and he was able to flip through it and land on his feet. Aerostar hit a cutter. Aerostar hit a flying Codebreaker for the win.

WINNER: Aerostar in 12:00.

(McMahon’s Analysis: This was a good opener, but it wasn’t as fast-paced as I expected. That’s not to say it wasn’t fast-paced — these guys are from Lucha Underground, after all — but they also had periods where they slowed the pace down let the spots breathe, which was good. Callis and Mathews analyzing where Drago went wrong — not going for as many covers as he should have — was well done.)

— Mathews and Callis reset the show from the announcer’s table at the stage.

— Josh Mathews interviewed Matt Sydal from earlier today. Sydal said he had learned a lot, but he didn’t need Josh Mathews anymore. He’s learned enough. Mathews agreed and said all of the answers were inside.

(McMahon’s Analysis: That felt like a mea culpa of sorts. But Josh Mathews is back to announcer, I guess, after letting Sydal go off on his own about one month after he was revealed as his mentor and spiritual guide. For those who aren’t a fan of Mathews’ commentary, this is awfully bad news.)

— A video played on LAX vs. Eli Drake & Scott Steiner.

— Santana and Ortiz were in the LAX clubhouse. They were messing around by themselves, talking about how Konnan was late. Santana got a phone call. Santana said it was “King” and “they got Konnan.” Ortiz told Santana to get it together because they had a match.

(2) LAX [c] vs. ELI DRAKE & SCOTT STEINER — Impact Tag Team Championship match

The teams jawed back and forth after ring walks. The crowd was really hot for LAX at the opening bell. Santana and Drake began the match with a lockup. Steiner tagged in with Ortiz. Steiner whipped Ortiz over the top rope as Drake pulled the rope down. Drake attacked Ortiz on the outside as the referee was distracted with Steiner and Santana on the inside. Steiner threw Ortiz to the outside and then dropped Santana with inverted DDT. Steiner double-clotheslined LAX and tagged in Drake. The match began to break down as Steiner hit belly-to-belly suplexes on both members of LAX. Steiner hit Santana with a Frankensteiner off the top rope. Drake leaped to the top rope and tried for a superplex on Santana but Ortiz broke it up. Santana dove off the top rope to the outside on Steiner. Back in the ring, Drake hit Ortiz with the Gravy Train for the win.

WINNER: Eli Drake & Scott Steiner became new Impact Tag Team Champions in 8:00.

(McMahon’s Analysis: This match was WAY better than it had any business being. My only real complaint here was starting the match with a lockup. They teased that they were going to brawl on ring walks, and then the match began with a lockup? It just didn’t feel like it added up. Thankfully, the match picked up pretty quickly with some kicks and aggressiveness. Steiner looked really good, considering he’s in his mid-50’s. The Frankensteiner off the top rope was ridiculous. This is an example of Impact’s taping schedule being a positive. They can do a short-term thing with Drake and Steiner as tag champions, have it play out on TV for a month (or maybe a little more) and it only took 3 days to tape.)

(3) TREVOR LEE vs. DEZMOND XAVIER vs. TAIJI ISHIMORI vs. EL HIJO DEL FANTASMA vs. DJ Z vs. BRIAN CAGE — Luca Rules

DJ Z and Dezmond Xavier begin the match. Xavier hit a huge dropkick on DJ Z. Mathews wondered if DJ Z, coming off his prolonged injury, was ready for someone like Xavier. DJ Z flipped to the outside and took out Ishimori. Xavier tossed Lee to the outside and Fantasma entered the match. Lee choked out DJ Z on the mat while the referee tried to subdue Brian Cage. Trevor Lee kept needling Cage while he was the legal man. The crowd chanted, “Cage is gonna kill you!” and then Cage was tagged in. Cage threw Lee into the corner and hit him with a dozen clotheslines. Cage threw Xavier about 12 feet into the air. Cage German Suplexed Fantasma. Ishimori got caught by Cage and he hit a springboard moonsault for a two count. Cage ate two superkicks from Xavier and DJ Z and rolled to the outside. Ishimori took out Cage on the outside with a moonsault. DJ Z DDT’ed Lee off the apron to the outside. Ishimori nearly pinned DJ Z after a Death Valley Driver. Cage was back in the ring and clotheslined Ishimori and DJ Z. Xavier and Fantasma tried to double-team Cage but he caught both of them and threw them over his head. Cage connected to Lee’s chin with a knee. Fantasma hit Xavier with a topé  to the outside. Fantasma nearly pinned Xavier but DJ Z made the save. DJ Z hit Lee with a jawbreaker. Cage nearly decapitated Lee with a clothesline. Cage hit the Drill Claw on Xavier for the win.

WINNER: Brian Cage in 13:00.

McMahon’s Analysis: Initially, I thought that Cage should have just steamrolled his way through these guys, but I take it back. That match was awesome. Putting Cage in against the smaller high-flying guys allowed him to showcase that part of his skillset. Xavier and DJ Z were great in this match, as was Cage. 

— Allie was interviewed backstage by McKenzie Mitchell.

(4) TAYA VALKYRIE vs. KIERA HOGAN

Taya hit a big clothesline to begin the match. During the match, Tessa Blanchard joined the commentary team. Taya landed kicks on Hogan on the mat. Taya smothered Hogan in the corner. Tessa Blanchard said that Impact needs her. Taya hit Hogan with a kick to the head. Taya KO’ed Hogan with a huge knee to the head for a two count. Josh Mathews and Tessa Blanchard began to go at it on commentary. Taya countered a fisherman’s suplex. Taya hit the Road to Valhalla for the win.

WINNER: Taya Valkyrie in 8:00.

McMahon’s Analysis: Another good match, albeit maybe a tad too long. Valkyrie could have looked more dominant against someone like Hogan, given her placement on the roster. The addition of Blanchard on the roster is a good sign for the division. All of a sudden, the Impact women’s division is pretty strong, with Taya, Rosemary, Su Yung, Tessa Blanchard.

— McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Petey Williams backstage. Steiner interrupted the interview and made fun of Canada and Petey Williams’ wife.

— A video package aired on Matt Sydal vs. Petey Williams.

(5) MATT SYDAL [c] vs. PETEY WILLIAMS — X Division Championship

Sydal began to loosen up Williams’ legs with kicks and wrestling holds. Mathews and Callis mentioned that the match had a much slower pace than they expected at the start of the match. Sydal hit a spinning side kick. Sydal missed a dive off the top. Williams locked Sydal in a sharpshooter but Sydal got to the rope to break the hold. Williams rolled Sydal back into the ring and Sydal ate jabs. Sydal came back with a counter knee. Williams landed a boot to the face. Sydal flipped Williams off the top with a hurricanrana. Sydal tried for a Shooting Star Press but Williams got his knees up. Williams shot up and hit Sydal with a Canadian Destroyer, but Sydal rolled to the outside. Williams set up Sydal for a Canadian Destroyer off the top rope but Sydal held onto the turnbuckle. Sydal went upstairs and tried for another Shooting Star Press but Williams rolled out. Sydal ended up yanking Williams to the match and folding him up for the pin.

WINNER: Matt Sydal retained in 12:00.

McMahon’s Analysis: This match was good, but it wasn’t as good as some of the earlier matches on the show. There was nothing wrong with it, but it wasn’t the typical show-stealing match the X Division usually provides on a pay-per-view. Keeping the belt on Sydal is the right decision, and it will be interesting to see what they do with him now that they moved Mathews away from him.

— Eddie Edwards, Moose and Tommy Dreamer were interviewed backstage.

— A video package aired on OVE and the feud with Eddie Edwards.

(6) SAMI CALLIHAN & OVE vs. EDDIE EDWARDS, MOOSE & TOMMY DREAMER

Jake Crist tried a topé but he was caught as the opening bell rang and powerbombed onto the apron. All six men began brawling on the outside with weapons right away. Edwards drove a trash can lid into Dave Crist. Edwards threw a chair at Callihan’s face. Moose tried to dive over the top onto Callihan, who was on a ladder on the outside, but Callihan moved. Edwards and Dreamer each locked submissions onto the Crist brothers but Callihan broke it up with kendo sticks. OVE began to pick apart Dreamer. OVE set up tables on the outside of the ring, side by side. Moose picked up Jake Crist on his shoulders and Edwards hit a top-rope Boston Knee Party. With everyone on the outside, Moose went to the top rope and tried to dive on Dave Crist through the table but Jake Crist caught him with a cutter. Back in the ring, Callihan and Edwards were brawling. Callihan hit the Get Out of Here for a two count. Callihan went to the outside and put a box over Edwards’ face He was about to smash Edwards’ face with a baseball bat again, but Dreamer came back into the ring with a barbed-wire bat. Dreamer hit a DDT on Callihan. Dreamer was about to cut open Callihan with the barbed wire but Callihan hit Dreamer with a low blow and got the win.

WINNER: OVE in 13:00.

After the match, Edwards attacked Callihan and grabbed the barbed wire bat, slicing Callihan open. Callihan is bleeding like a stuck pig. Edwards duct taped Callihan to the rope by the arms. Callihan spit in Edwards’ face. Edwards kicked Callihan in the groin. Edwards wiped Callihan’s blood on his own face and then began beating Callihan with a kendo stick. The referee tried to intervene but Edwards attacked the referee with the kendo stick. Dreamer tried to calm down Edwards but Edwards shoved Dreamer to the ground and two-handed Callihan in the head with the kendo stick.

Alisha Edwards ran into the ring to try to stop Eddie and as she grabbed him, he turned around and nailed her in the head with the kendo stick. Edwards was beside himself, screaming “I didn’t mean to!” as Dreamer tried to check on Alisha. The referee untied Callihan as medics checked on Alisha.

— The show cut to a Fenix interview from earlier today.

McMahon’s Analysis: Wow, that’s really good storytelling. The match had all your typical violent hardcore spots, but the post-match beatdown and Edwards hitting Alisha felt different. It wasn’t your typical “injured wrestler” angle. The story of Edwards, so crazed with revenge, that he ends up hurting his own wife, is good storytelling. There’s a lot of places they can go with this now. Sami Callihan sold the angle incredibly well, dangling motionless as he was taped to the ropes, blood dripping from his face and puddling up on the mat below him. Some will be critical of the hardcore style, and that’s fine, but this match was a lot more about the story than it was random, senseless hardcore spots. Well done.

— McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Austin Aries.

— Braxton Sutter introduced Su Yung.

(7) ALLIE [c] vs. SU YUNG (w/ Braxton Sutter) — Impact Knockouts Championship

Sutter distracted Allie at the bell and Su Yung attacked with forearms to begin the match. Allie tried for a splash in the corner but Sutter pulled Yung to the outside. Allie went to the top rope to go for a dive on Su Yung, but Sutter tripped Allie and she fell on the turnbuckle. Yung hit a flip dive to the outside. Yung put on a bloody glove she pulled out of her trunks. Allie hit a Codebreaker. Allie hit a charge in the corner. Yung came back with an uppercut. Allie and Yung traded forearms in the corner. Allie hit a forearm in the corner. Allie hit a superkick but Sutter distracted the referee when Allie went for the pin. Allie slapped Sutter, knocking him off the apron. Yung, however, had time to get up and tried to hit Allie with the Panic Switch, but Allie countered into a rollup for the win.

WINNER: Allie retains the Knockouts Title in 7:00.

After the match, Yung was pacing in the ring. Sutter grabbed a mic and said he could fix things, because he knew this was really bad. Sutter got down on one knee and asked Su Yung to marry him. Yung grabbed Sutter’s face and then spit mist in his face before locking Sutter in the mandible claw.

McMahon’s Analysis: Well, this was confusing booking. First, having Allie counter Su Yung’s finisher, in her second match, doesn’t to much to make Su Yung feel like a monster heel in the company. Then on top of that, did she turn babyface after spitting the mist in Sutter’s face? Mathews wondered what would happen if she used the mandible claw on Allie, so maybe it wasn’t a turn? Just a confusing match, for the most part.

— A video package aired on the main event.

(8) AUSTIN ARIES [c] vs. PENTAGON JR. vs. FENIX — Impact World Title match

There was a lot of action to begin the match. Fenix broke up a Last Chancery about three minutes into the bout. Mathews said that the Last Chancery was almost useless in a three-way match, because someone will always be able to break it up. Aries hit Fenix with an elbow off the top for a two count. Aries went for a Last Chancery on Pentagon but Fenix broke it up. Fenix tossed Aries to the outside, but he landed on Pentagon and hit a hurricanrana on him. Fenix hit a topé on both men to the outside. Later, Aries was on the floor and Pentagon had control over Fenix. Callis and Mathews speculated that Fenix had injured ribs. Fenix hit Pentagon with a muscle buster for a two count. Pentagon nearly won the match with the same move he won with at Wrestlecon, the Pentagon Driver, but Aries broke up the pin. Fenix tried to dive on Pentagon, but he ate a superkick. Aries thre Pentagon into the crowd. Aries threw both brothers into the ring. Aries went to the top rope and went for the 450 on both opponents, who were side by side. Aries tried to pin Fenix but he somehow kicked out. Fenix and Aries each hit super kicks on Aries. With Aries out, Pentagon kicked Fenix after the brothers briefly tried to decide who would go for the pin. Pentagon hit a double package piledriver on both men. Pentagon hit a Pentagon Driver on Aries for the win. Mathews said that Aries arm broke.

WINNER: Pentagon Jr. wins the Impact World Title in 16:00.

After the match, Pentagon celebrated. Fenix came back in the ring as Aries was still down on the outside. Fenix and Pentagon came face-to-face in the ring and hugged. Fenix raised Pentagon’s hand.

McMahon’s Analysis: That was a really fun main event, to cap off a really fun show. I don’t think there’s any doubt, this PPV blew Bound for Glory out of the water. Almost every single match delivered, and the main event was well put together. Almost every match told a logical and good story. The action was very good. Everything was solid.

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