Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Date: April 22, 2018
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Don Callis
It’s the first pay per view in nearly six months (Not counting the nothing One Night Only shows because….well who does really?) and the main event as changed about ten days ago due to Alberto El Patron having high levels of Alberto El Patron. Now it’s Austin Aries defending the World Title against Pentagon Jr. and Fenix in a rematch from Impact Wrestling vs. Lucha Underground. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is what you would expect: wrestlers wanting to be redeemed, which means winning matches in their feuds.
There’s a new set (an elevated video screen with vertical rectangular metal structures on both sides) and it looks….I guess better. There will be new belts tonight as well.
Drago vs. Aerostar
Not a bad idea to start with what should be the most entertaining match on the card. Drago goes for the arm to start as we hit the token technical stuff. That goes nowhere so it’s an early standoff with Drago going with a superkick, earning himself an enziguri. A corkscrews moonsault sends Drago outside, which of course means a big suicide dive. You knew that was coming.
Back in and Drago nails another superkick to send him outside, meaning it’s time for Drago to hit his own suicide dive. They head inside again for more kicks (more than I would have expected here) but Drago gets sidestepped to the floor. One heck of a corkscrew dive drops Drago on the floor for two, only to have Drago hit a hanging DDT for the same. This time it’s Aerostar getting the better of a strike off as the lack of psychology is starting to show here.
Aerostar sends him outside again for a suicide dive and the fans sing about the match being lucha. That’s good for two back inside and Drago is right back up with a kick to the ribs. Kind of basic so he goes with a dropkick to the side of the head for two of his own. La majistral gets Drago two more but Aerostar is right back up with a rolling cutter. With that not working, Aerostar is right back up with a springboard Codebreaker for the pin at 11:35.
Rating: C+. Good choice for an opener here, even though Aerostar seemed a little banged up at the end. They went with the right idea here to go with the entertaining stuff instead of starting with something a little more flat. These two could have a good match in their sleep and that’s all this needed to be in an opener.
Josh Matthews tells Matt Sydal that he’s taught him everything he can and now Matt is free. They’re cool with this but I’m hoping Josh gets a better fit for a client soon.
Callis makes fun of Josh.
We recap the Tag Team Title match. Eli Drake won the Feast or Fired Tag Team Title briefcase but Chris Adonis walked out on the company. Therefore, Scott Steiner was brought in to be Drake’s partner because NO ONE ELSE was available.
Santana and Ortiz are in the clubhouse with Santana getting a phone call saying someone named King has taken out Konnan.
Tag Team Titles: Eli Drake/Scott Steiner vs. LAX
LAX is defending but there’s no Konnan. Ortiz starts with Drake and takes him into the corner, meaning we get some early double teaming to put the champs in control. Steiner, covered in tattoos, comes in for some knees to the face and suplexes before handing it right back off to Drake. A double back elbow drops Ortiz again and the villains are in control. Ortiz grabs a DDT for a break and it’s off to Santana as things speed up. A cutter into a double dropkick has Drake in trouble as Santana is rolling.
Scott catches him on top though and snaps off the Frankensteiner (to a rather limited reaction) but Ortiz is back up with a superkick for the save. Santana starts speeding things up again and Ortiz breaks up a superplex. Instead he pulls Drake down for the Street Sweeper but Santana dives onto Steiner instead. The Gravy Train pins Ortiz for the titles at 8:01.
Rating: D. Well of course that happened. I’m going to go on a hopeful limb and suggest that this reign is done by the end of the next tapings but odder things have happened. I’m also sure that Steiner doing a hurricanrana is enough to prove that HE STILL HAS IT while others will point out how this spot could go to someone who needs the rub, but why let that get in the way?
Trevor Lee vs. Taiji Ishimori vs. El Hijo De Fantasma vs. Dezmond Xavier vs. DJZ vs. Brian Cage
One fall to a finish and lucha rules. DJZ headlocks Xavier to start but Xavier hits a dropkick for a breather. Hang on though as DJZ has to hit the horn for some noise. Xavier goes after Ishimori with a flip dive so Trevor comes in, only to be tossed as well. Fantasma is in next and hurricanranas Dezmond into the corner. DJZ tags himself in and hits a springboard missile dropkick as the fast tags continues.
Fantasma hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on DJZ but Lee is in with a clothesline to put him down. The fans want Cage, possibly because they know the match is over as soon as he comes in. Lee makes the mistake of forearming Cage in the face and the fans tell him that he f***** up. A belly to back suplex gets two on DJZ but he rolls over and makes the hot tag off to Cage so pain can begin.
Cage starts throwing people around and moonsaults Lee for two. Xavier and DJZ superkick the heck out of him though and Cage is down on the floor with Ishimori moonsaulting onto him for good measure. The DDT from DJZ plants Cage again and DJZ has to save Dezmond from the Thrill of the Hunt.
Ishimori’s spinning kick to the head gets two on DJZ but Cage is back in. Just to show off, it’s a fall away slam to Fantasma and a Samoan drop to Ishimori at the same time. Lee comes back in with a crossbody for two, leaving Fantasma to suicide dive Dezmond. Cage is back in with Weapon X on Ishimori, followed by the Drill Claw to end Dezmond at 12:58.
Rating: C. Total spot fest here with the right ending as Cage needs a win like this. They’re placing him into a good spot and if that means he’s going to be a top name, I can live with that very easily. It’s not like the rest of the division has much left to do so let these guys be cannon fodder. That’s all well and good and the Drill Claw still looks awesome.
Allie is ready to get her hands on Su Yung and prove that she’s not a paper champion. She’s proven herself time and time again and is ready to go it again here. Tonight, she fights for her redemption.
Taya Valkyrie vs. Kiera Hogan
Taya runs her over to start but gets sent outside for a walk around the ring as Tessa Blanchard joins commentary. She’s officially a Knockout and the announcers seem very happy. Back in and Taya shoves her way out of the corner and slowly kicks away while shouting trash talk.
Taya chokes a lot as Tessa talks about how she’s the real wrestling royalty around here because she has the real wrestling pedigree. A hard knee to the face knocks Kiera silly for two but she gets in a jawbreaker for a breather. We go split screen so we can look at Tessa talking as Kiera gets two off a double stomp to the back. Taya folds her in half with a Saito suplex for two more and Kiera is rocked again. The Road to Valhalla is good for the pin on Hogan at 8:15.
Rating: C. I liked this a little more than I was expecting to but the focus being on Blanchard made this feel a lot more like an Impact match than anything else. Tessa is a good addition to the roster though, which needs all the help it can get at the moment. Not too bad, even with the stupid split screen involved.
Petey Williams is talking about his odds of winning the X-Division Title when Scott Steiner comes in to talk numbers. See, the best years of his career were when Petey looked like him, because it made his wife want to make love. Scott: “How is your wife anyway?” They’re going to Cracker Barrel after the show.
We recap Matt Sydal vs. Petey Williams. Sydal has become enlightened and won the X-Division and (now defunct) Grand Championship. Petey on the other hand pulled down a briefcase and was champion ten years ago, but does have a cool finisher. That’s all there is to this one and that’s not much to go on.
X-Division Title: Petey Williams vs. Matt Sydal
Sydal is defending. Feeling out process to start with an exchange of holds and near falls on the mat as the announcers discuss the history of the shooting star press. Sydal takes him down again though and avoids an early Destroyer attempt, followed by a standing moonsault for two.
Petey is back up and can’t hit the Codebreaker but can hit a Russian legsweep for two. Something like a TKO puts Sydal down but he sends Petey into the corner. It’s WAY too early for the shooting star though and Petey slaps on the required Sharpshooter. Petey gets kneed in the face and a top rope hurricanrana gets two.
Sydal’s shooting star hits knees and the comeback is on. The Canadian Destroyer connects this time but Sydal rolls to the floor. Back in and a super Canadian Destroyer is blocked (because death would ensue) but another shooting star is broken up, only to have Sydal grab a pumphandle rollup to retain at 12:01.
Rating: C+. This was about as good as it was going to get because Williams has nothing more than the Canadian Destroyer. Really, other than that slingshot of his, there’s nothing else to offer. I’m not sure how many times I can make myself care about this story again, but a fresh story might be nice. Sydal winning was the right call though so I have few complaints.
Tommy Dreamer quotes Martin Luther King Jr. to talk about how violence is for everyone and we’re in a new era of wrestling.
We recap OVE vs. Moose/Eddie Edwards/Tommy Dreamer. Sami Callihan crushed Eddie’s face with a baseball bat and bragged about it so Edwards went after the trio. Realizing that wasn’t going to work, Eddie got some friends and we’re getting a six man hardcore match to settle things.
Tommy Dreamer/Moose/Eddie Edwards vs. OVE
Anything goes and the good guys are in street clothes. OVE wastes no time with an early cheap shot attempt, only to get taken down with a hard shot. Eddie dives onto Callihan and it’s time for the wild brawl early on. A trashcan lid to Callihan’s head has Sami in even more trouble as Moose beats on Jake. There goes the ECW chant because it’s still not allowed to die. Dave gets caught in the Tree of Woe but Sami superkicks Tommy down for the save.
Eddie gets sent back first into a chair for two as control changes. It’s time to go after Eddie’s face with Callihan ripping away. The announcers rip on Dayton, Ohio for a bit as Moose and Dreamer are laid out on the floor. Back in and Callihan has a pair of chairs laid on the mat for the All Seeing Eye onto the steel. Moose runs in for the save and it’s time for some high rising dropkicks.
Jake gets a trashcan put on top of him for a running delayed dropkick in the corner. This time it’s Dave making a save but Jake pulls out the duct tape. That earns him a toss through a table at ringside so Dave pours out the thumbtacks. That’s fine with Eddie as Moose lifts Dave up for a powerbomb and the Boston Knee Party from the top drives him down into the tacks.
Dave is placed on a table and Moose tries a splash, only to have Jake dive in with some hands to the head (supposed to be a cutter) and everyone is down. Back in and Sami grabs the Get Out Of Here (double underhook shoulderbreaker) for two of his own and it’s baseball bat time. Cue Dreamer with the barbed wire bat for a shot to Sami’s ribs. The DDT plants Sami but a low blow and small package end Dreamer at 13:05.
Rating: B-. This one depends on your taste for hardcore matches but at least the right guy took the fall. Dreamer was the perfect choice to take the fall as there’s no reason for Eddie or Moose to get pinned. You can have Eddie vs. Sami in the big blowoff later anyway, so this was the right call. Somewhat above average hardcore match but nothing that hasn’t been done better.
Post match Eddie uses the barbed wire to bust Sami open and duct tapes him to the ropes. Eddie rubs Sami’s blood all over himself and loads up the bat but Dreamer steps in. That goes nowhere as Eddie wrecks everyone with a kendo stick. Cue Eddie’s wife Alisha and Eddie hits her with the stick by mistake for the big horrible moment. We hit the Owen Hart voices as Alisha is tended to.
Fenix is ready for the World Title.
Austin Aries, still billed as the Grand Champion and carrying all his belts, felt what Pentagon and Fenix were all about in New Orleans. He knows what they are and they’re not the World Champion. Aries is the new standard bearer of professional wrestling but tonight he could lose the title without losing the fall. He can beat anyone one on one and tonight he’ll beat them two on one.
We recap Allie vs. Su Yung. Allie won the Knockouts Title back and became a bit more serious so Braxton Sutter proposed to her again. Allie said no so Sutter brought in Su Yung, an evil demonic bride, to torment her. Tonight the title is on the line.
Knockouts Title: Su Yung vs. Allie
Yung is challenging and Sutter does her introduction. Su drives her up against the ropes to start but Allie gets in a few shots of her own. Sutter grabs the leg though and Allie gets tied in the Tree of Woe for some kicks to the ribs. A neck snap across the top rope puts Allie on the floor, followed by a flip dive to crush her again.
Back in and Allie scores with a Codebreaker for a breather. That’s enough to get her fired up and Allie hits a running forearm to a seated Yung. The Best Superkick Ever connects but Sutter gets on the apron for a distraction, earning himself a right hand. Yung loads up the Panic Switch but Allie reverses into a sunset flip to retain at 7:17.
Rating: C. This was an Impact match and I can’t say I’m surprised. Allie retaining the title is a good call but I’m not sure where she goes from here. She just beat Yung clean and even beat up Sutter in the process. I’m not sure how that necessitates a rematch so it’s off to Rosemary in theory, which is similar to what we just saw. Not bad, but nothing that needed to be on pay per view.
Post match Su is livid so Sutter proposes to her. Su seems to continue it but takes him down with a Mandible Claw.
The announcers recap the show.
Slammiversary is in Toronto on July 22.
We recap the main event, which again focuses on Alberto walking out. With him gone, Aries needed a challenger so we get a rematch from the WrestleCon show, which is really about all they could do.
Impact Wrestling World Title: Austin Aries vs. Pentagon Jr. vs. Fenix
Aries is defending. We hit the trash talk to start (well duh) and it’s Aries starting fast with a bunch of chops all around. Remembering that they’re brothers, Fenix and Pentagon send him outside but Pentagon is right back up with a Sling Blade. Aries is back in and getting kicked in the face soon thereafter, followed by a jumping cutter to Pentagon.
A smart Aries steals the near fall and grabs the Last Chancery, only to have Fenix springboard in with a missile dropkick for the save. Pentagon heads outside and it’s Fenix chopping the heck out of Aries. For a change of pace, Aries chops the head out of Fenix. Aries gets two off a forearm as it sounds like one of the announcers is opening a can. Pentagon comes back in and gets bulldogged for two, followed by the Last Chancery with Fenix making another fast save.
That sends Pentagon outside so Fenix throws Aries at him, earning his brother a hurricanrana. Fenix isn’t about to be shown up though and busts out a corkscrew plancha to the floor to drop them both again. Back in again and Fenix drops a Swanton for two on Pentagon, who pops up to German suplex both guys. He can’t quite break Aries’ arm though as Fenix makes a save. Now why wouldn’t he want the World Champion taken out?
Pentagon beaks up Aries’ running corner dropkick and Backstabs his brother for two. This time it’s Fenix getting back up with a superkick to Aries but Pentagon’s Fear Factor (package piledriver) gets two with Aries making another save. Pentagon is fine enough to block a suicide dive so Aries sends him into the crowd instead.
Back in (again) and the 450 hits both challengers, including Pentagon taking some hard knees. That’s enough for the two of them and it’s time for the brother double teaming, including a double superkick. Pentagon lays Fenix out though and snaps Aries’ arm. The Fear Factor gives Pentagon the pin on Aries and the title at 16:15.
Rating: B. Good match here and that’s all you can ask for in a big time main event. The surprise title change isn’t shocking enough to be too far and you can probably pencil in Pentagon dropping it no later than Slammiversary. That being said, it’s really cool to see Pentagon getting some more exposure like this as he’s been a gem to watch down in Lucha Underground. Strong main event here.
The brothers embrace to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. That’s your run of the mill Impact pay per view: completely watchable with nothing too terrible and a solid main event. The problem is the same as well though: there’s nothing worth going out of your way to see and it’s just not a stand out show. Impact has definitely shifted more towards finding the safe middle ground and I’ll take that over the train wreck that we usually get. I liked the show enough and wasn’t bored so I’ll take what I can get. Not great, but certainly good.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. Thank you for reading!