Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over twelve years now and have reviewed over 6,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. 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?
Impact Wrestling vs. Lucha Underground
Date: April 6, 2018
Location: Sugar Mill, New Orleans, Louisiana
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Matt Striker
Now this is something that caught my eye as soon as it popped onto the schedule. Lucha Underground doesn’t get a lot of play outside of its own universe so having it come somewhere else could be interesting. On top of that, given how many of its wrestlers wrestle for Impact as well, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Just please be more like Lucha Underground and less like Impact. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is a pretty standard collection of highlights of both shows. Nothing wrong with that.
After we hear Josh’s warmup and talking about how many people are there (it’s not that many more than the Impact Zone and you would expect him to be used to the huge crowds from his time in WWE), he and Striker welcome us. Striker: “Are you annoyed yet?” Oh sweet goodness it’s going to be a long night.
Melissa Santos and McKenzie Mitchell come out to handle the intros with the LUCHA chants almost drowning them out. Santos drops an F bomb because this is live and Lucha Underground is a little different than your regular wrestling promotion.
Matanza vs. Moose vs. Matt Sydal vs. Caleb Konley vs. Jack Evans vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Non-title (Sydal is X-Division Champion, which you would think would be PERFECT for a title match on this show.) and one fall to a finish. Chavo is out first and that means we hit the EDDIE chant. I’ll give them credit for the Matanza outfit: I never would have believed that he and Jeff Cobb were the same person. It’s that good of a costume change. Some people go after Matanza to start while the others are tossed out by Moose.
Of course it’s time for the early monster showdown and Moose TOWERS over Matanza. A shoulder puts Moose down but he nips up and dropkicks Matanza outside. Chavo and Konley get together to put Moose down but Evans comes back in for some lucha level snarling. Evans sends the two of them to the floor and does the crane kick pose at Sydal. A spinwheel kick takes Evans out of the air but Chavo is back in to run Sydal over.
Instead of, you know, calling the match, the announcers try to come up with Twitter hashtags for the show with Striker promising to block us. Konley kicks Chavo to the floor but Matanza is back in to run him over. Cue Moose for another power showdown with a second dropkick putting Matanza to the floor again.
Chavo takes Moose down as well and we hit the parade of dives. Jack tells the referee that he’s not the boss and caps the whole thing off with a springboard corkscrew dive. Back in and Moose spears Sydal down for two as it’s time to clean house. Konley takes him down with a hurricanrana and spinning backfist, only to get suplexed by Matanza. The Wrath of the Gods gives Matanza the pin on Konley at 6:40.
Rating: C-. This was too short for all the people involved and they didn’t do enough of Moose vs. Matanza, which should have been the draw of the match. The other four didn’t get much going due to the time and that made this better suited as a four way instead of six. With that many people in a match, you need a little more time.
Post match Chavo grabs the mic to announce that Lucha Underground is back on June 13.
Trailer for Season 4.
Video on Austin Aries vs. Alberto El Patron at Redemption. Oh how things would change.
We get a graphic for Trevor Lee vs. Famous B., which isn’t taking place either here. Leave it to TNA to screw something like this up.
Knockouts Title: Allie vs. Taya Valkyrie
Taya, who wrestles in both promotions, is challenging. Josh manages to praise Gail Kim during Allie’s entrance so check your Bingo cards. With that out of the way, Striker pesters Josh about not knowing how to be annoying. My goodness Josh Matthews is the more professional announcer in this team. Allie grabs a waistlock to start and let’s talk about Gail Kim some more!
Taya shoves her off and talks trash, ticking Allie off so bad that she bounces off of Taya when trying a shoulder. Striker talks about how different characters mean wrestlers bringing different things to the fight as Allie can’t do anything against Taya’s power. A charge into the corner sends Allie face first into the buckle, allowing Taya to add running knees to the back.
Taya’s chop annoys Allie as Striker explains why wrestlers chop instead of punch. See, why can’t he do stuff like that more often? It’s off to a dragon sleeper to keep Allie in trouble but Taya insists that she was NOT pulling the hair. Taya rubs the face and that’s enough to annoy Allie all over again.
Allie runs her over in the corner and a dropkick knocks Taya into the corner for two. A sloppy release German suplex drops Allie on her head and there are some running knees in the corner for two of her own. The Road to Valhalla is broken up and Allie gets two off a DDT. Frustration is setting in so Allie hits a Codebreaker for the pin to retain at 9:15.
Rating: C. Not bad here and there’s something to these two if they’re given some more time. Taya has real talent and she’s going to be Knockouts Champion one day. For now though, Allie is a heck of a face champion. I guess you can call this the first Impact win if you really stretch and that’s a big pillar of this company so that’s a tie.
GWN Network ad.
Scott Steiner/Teddy Hart vs. OVE
Sure why not. Steiner is in a Wolfpac shirt and….aside from some weekly PPV era shows, I don’t think Hart has ever worked for either company. That would be another thing/person that you’re just supposed to know because commentary isn’t saying a thing about him. Is “he’s a member of the Hart Family and does some amazing athletic moves” be too much to ask for?
With Steiner waiting in the ring, Hart springboard moonsaults onto OVE. So it’s going to that kind of a show. Hart powerbombs Jake onto his knees (Striker: “What I would not give to see that done to you.”) and there’s a DDT to Dave. An electric chair into….something is mostly botched and you can hear the cringing. Steiner comes in but walks right back out again, leaving the announcers unsure what happened. Teddy gets taken into the corner and we’re in a quick chinlock.
Steiner walks into the ring, takes two steps, and goes outside again without the referee telling him to leave. With Teddy still in trouble, Striker thinks OHIO VERSUS EVERYTHING might have an “us against the world” mentality. Again: this guy is billed as smart. Jake hammers him down in the corner and Dave gets in some kicks to the head. Something like a Bank Statement has, I kid you not, Striker suggesting that Dave is shooting on Teddy, even explaining what shooting means.
Teddy gets a Code Red out of the corner and the hot tag brings in Steiner. The spinning belly to belly gets two as Matt tries to put Steiner over as some master of movement and psychology. A Downward Spiral plants Jake and it’s another suplex into the Steiner Recliner for the tap from Dave at 7:24.
Rating: D. That’s actually better than I was expecting here but Steiner was pretty much nothing here. It’s also a rather bad idea to have OVE, who are supposed to be a big deal, lose to this first time team with an old man and a nutjob who has barely ever wrestled for the company. To be fair this wasn’t a major pay per view or anything and it’s not like they gave Steiner the Tag Team Titles.
King Cuerno/Drago/Aerostar vs. Andrew Everett/Dezmond Xavier/DJZ
Now this is more like it. Striker explains the Lucha Underground characters and Josh sounds stunned. Drago and Everett start things off with a handshake and it’s time to go in a hurry. Everett misses a springboard before hurricanranaing Drago to the floor. It’s off to DJZ vs. Aerostar, the latter of whom front flips around the ring. A top rope corkscrew crossbody puts DJZ down again but he’s right back up with a middle rope slow motion back elbow.
Dezmond and Cuerno come in and the fans seem rather pleased. Cuerno poses at him and they take turns missing until Dezmond can pose right back. A good looking dropkick gives Xavier two and it’s time to strike it out in the corner. We get a little miscommunication but Xavier elbows him in the face for a quick save. Xavier scores with a neckbreaker and it’s Aerostar and Drago coming in at the same time.
DJZ crossbodies both of them down and hits the big flip dive over the top. Dezmond does his own cartwheel dive but Cuerno breaks up Everett’s dive. It’s Drago’s turn now with a flip dive onto DJZ and Dezmond, followed by Aerostar’s step up dive of his own. Everett breaks up Cuerno’s suicide dive though and the fans aren’t happy.
Another dive from Everett drops the pile and it’s finally time to head back inside. Drago superkicks away but Everett takes him down and gets two off a top rope moonsault with Aerostar making the save. The fans rightfully like that sequence and Aerostar rolling into a cutter on DJZ for two makes them even happier. The 619 around the post gives Dezmond two on Aerostar but Cuerno grabs an Indian Deathlock to make Everett tap at 10:18.
Rating: B. Take six guys and let them fly around for about ten minutes to have a lot of fun. That’s all you can want from a match like this but it was necessary after the previous match. All six guys got a chance to shine and this was what I wanted to see on this show. Good match here and I was digging it by the end.
Gail Kim video. SHE DOESN’T WORK HERE ANYMORE! Though she does have a GWN collection.
Trevor Lee vs. Famous B.
B. is a loudmouthed manager but he’s here in a suit. It turns out that B. has hired someone to wrestle this match instead.
Trevor Lee vs. Marty Martinez
Marty is, uh, insane. The announcers get in an argument over which sports metaphor to compare this to. Marty sends him outside and hits a scary looking dive over the top, nearly landing on his head. Famous B. gets popped in the face and the distraction lets Lee kick Marty down. The announcers debate gumbo and we get a Lash Leroux reference. Back in and Lee sends Marty into the buckle a few times but Marty decides to show him how it’s really done but ramming his own head in.
Trevor opts for a powerbomb for two instead and we’re off to a chinlock. Striker tries a Russian accent for some stupid reason so Josh ignores him and tries to say that these two are very similar. Really? These two? I mean, I still don’t get the cultish part of Lee but that’s just me. Marty gets a quick DDT and tries a moonsault but a Caleb Konley distraction lets Lee roll away. A rollup with trunks puts Marty away at 5:05.
Rating: D+. They were going for an “our weird guy vs. your weird guy” here but I’ve still never seen much that makes me think Lee is weird. I’ve never gotten the cult thing as he’s more just a country guy who wrestles a decent match. Marty impresses me more and more every time I see him as he feels like a maniac most of the time. You don’t get that too often and he sells it very well.
Tag Team Titles: LAX vs. Killshot/The Mack
LAX, with the returning Diamante in their corner, is defending and it wouldn’t be a WrestleCon show without Shane Strickland (Killshot) appearing. Ortiz and Killshot get things going with Killshot getting the better of it very early on. An arm trap northern lights suplex gives Ortiz two and he sends Strickland into a chop in the corner.
Santana comes in and gets kicked down by Killshot and it’s off to the Mack, who seems to have the fans’ interest. A hurricanrana puts Mack down and Striker starts singing with a Mexican accent for whatever reason. Mack does Jack Gallagher’s headstand in the corner but jiggles a bit for a bad visual. Killshot is back in for a chinlock but Santana fights up and backflips into a cutter on Mack. A falling splash gives Ortiz two and it’s off to Santana for a running kick to knock Killshot off the apron.
Ortiz isn’t about to be outdone and dropkicks Mack in the ribs, only to have Killshot come in to clean house. Santana kicks Killshot down and it’s a fourway knockdown. It’s Mack up first with a running boot in the corner as Josh wonders how the rest of the Impact Wrestling teams would react to Lucha Underground wrestlers holding the titles. He can ask one team and I can ask the other and we’ll compare notes. Killshot takes Ortiz up top in a fireman’s carry but throws him down into a Pounce (PERIOD!) from Mack.
It’s Santana back up though and slugging away at both challengers, only to get kneed in the head by Killshot. A powerbomb/top rope double stomp combination only gets two and the fans are WAY into this. LAX starts the double teaming and a Lionsault gets two on Mack with Santana being annoyed at the kickout. The Street Sweeper to Killshot is enough to retain the titles at 13:15.
Rating: B-. For a team without a bunch of experience together, Killshot and Mack were good challengers here and looked like a threat at times. LAX is a very polished team though and that’s the right way to go. The match was fun though and really, what more can you hope for in a stand alone show like this? LAX still needs better challengers though and it’s starting to show.
We get probably the fifth GWN network.
Eli Drake vs. Brian Cage
Cage is in both promotions as well. Before the match, Drake talks about how everyone is saying his name and he knows everyone here is a virgin. Drake is sick of hearing the fans cheer for Lucha Underground and boo Impact Wrestling because that’s cool. Well when is the last time Impact Wrestling took a midseason break and took that long to finish anything?
Cage comes out so Drake offers an alliance and the attempted cheap shot is casually blocked as we start fast. Cage throws him around and snaps off an overhead belly to belly. A superkick makes Drake yell a lot but then he collapses on a delay. Drake plants him with a DDT to take over as Striker wants to know if he can start arguing with Matthews. A jumping neckbreaker sets up a chinlock to slow Cage down some more.
Back up and Cage snaps off the hard clotheslines, meaning it’s time for the comeback. There’s a release German suplex and Josh says we have an announcement on the main event coming up in a few minutes. DUN DUN (Alberto is) DONE! Drake runs the ropes for a superplex but walks into a discus lariat to give Cage two. The Gravy Train is countered and Cage hits something like the Axhole for the pin at 7:11.
Rating: C. Cage’s rise to the top of the promotion continues with a clean win over a former World Champion. You don’t see that too often and it’s a good sign to see them pushing someone new like this. Cage is a fresh name in the promotion and the look alone gets your attention. I could go for more of both of these guys and that’s not something I can say very often around here.
Jeremiah Crane vs. Eddie Edwards
Crane is of course Sami Callihan and this is an I Quit match. For once we have a story here as Callihan crushed Eddie’s face with a baseball bat, sending Eddie completely over the edge in an effort to get revenge for the attack. Eddie wastes no time in suicide diving onto Crane before the bell. The announcers are referring to Crane as Sami Callihan, which is a little better than insulting our intelligence by suggesting anything else.
Eddie gets dropped back first onto the apron but it’s way too early for a quit. A spit chop keeps Eddie in trouble so he chokes Crane with a cable. They take turns accidentally chopping the post so Eddie goes to the back to find a pair of chairs. As usual, Striker gets annoying as he tries to say Eddie should have expected the baseball bat to the face. Two more chairs are stacked on top of Crane but Eddie throws him back inside instead.
Striker says more people are watching Impact Wrestling now because everyone loves a car crash. I’m too busy chuckling at that but thankfully it’s just Crane posing after knocking Eddie off the apron. Crane goes for the eye so Eddie hits a fisherman’s buster to put Crane on the floor again. They head back inside with Eddie having eight chairs to pick from. One of them is wedged into the corner and another is pelted off Crane’s head. Well Eddie is certainly versatile with his violence.
Crane gets smart with a low blow and a double underhook shoulderbreaker but a charge sends him into the chair. The yes or no question is received by swearing and the fans are very pleased so far. A bunch of chairs are pelted off of Crane’s head and the Boston Knee Party rocks him again. Eddie piles up a stack of chairs but Crane can’t quite powerbomb him through the pile.
Instead he settles for a Death Valley Driver to put Eddie through an open chair but there’s not even a question from the referee. Crane wraps the chair around Eddie’s neck and pulls back but Eddie won’t give up to “Solomon Crowe.” Nice touch. Now it’s time to drag in a piece of barricade but Eddie saves himself from going into the steel. Instead he powerbombs Crane onto the barricade in the corner for a big knockout.
Eddie still won’t let the referee ask if Crane quits though, instead grabbing some chairs. He loads up the chair on Crane’s chest just like Crane did to him but cue OVE for a distraction. Crane HITS HIM IN THE FACE WITH THE BASEBALL BAT and Eddie is done. Instead of letting the match end though, Crane loads up the said chair spot that started the whole thing. Cue Don Callis to warn Crane and throw in the towel to save Eddie at 20:10.
Rating: B. It was too early in the feud for an I Quit match but Crane is starting to become a solid villain. Now if only they can avoid having him talk, like, ever again, things can get even better. Eddie snapping and going crazy is a good character development for him as there’s only so much he can do with his pretty basic character. The wrestling is already there so this should help him some.
Moose runs in to save Eddie.
Video on the Redemption main event of Aries vs. El Patron.
The announcers praise each other and announce that Fenix will face Pentagon Jr. at Redemption. Cool indeed.
So about that announcement on the main event earlier? Alberto El Patron has no showed the event so the tag match has been turned into a triple threat match. The announcers don’t acknowledge Alberto’s absence, probably due to not knowing all of the details at the moment.
Austin Aries vs. Fenix vs. Pentagon Jr.
Non-title and Fenix and Pentagon are brothers. The fans start an F DEL RIO chant, which amuses me greatly. The guy is a multiple time World Champion and has been in the promotion for a long time but screw that. He’s still the same WWE guy he always was in our eyes. As usual: Impact puts up a good front but not many people care what they do. Aries goes after Pentagon and gets superkicked down.
The announcers starts talking about what MIGHT have happened with Alberto while saying they have no idea and were just given a note. Aries is sent outside and the lucha begins, this time with Fenix kicking Pentagon in the head to take over. The crazy rope bounce into the armdrag sends Pentagon outside but Aries is back in with a missile dropkick to Fenix. Pentagon is back in and takes Aries down for two on each so it’s time to yell at a referee. He also throws in a CERO MIEDO to keep the crowd on his side in a smart move.
Aries tries to get a bit too fancy and gets kicked in the ribs to cut him down again. Fenix is back in with a rolling cutter to send Pentagon to the floor, only to get chopped by Aries. There’s a suicide dive to drop Pentagon so Fenix is right back in there with a corkscrew dive to take them both down. Pentagon stays on the floor so Fenix can German suplex Aries for two. Back in and a powerbomb gives Pentagon two on Fenix but Aries breaks up the package piledriver. Aries’ 450 gets two on Pentagon so it’s off to the Last Chancery with Fenix making a save this time.
Another Last Chancery has Fenix in trouble so Pentagon makes a third save in a few minutes. A Codebreaker rocks Aries and Fenix throws Pentagon at him n the corner for good measure. There’s no cover (much to Striker’s annoyance) and it’s time to chop it out. A double superkick sends Aries’ teeth somewhere into southern Alabama, leaving Pentagon to backdrop Fenix into a powerbomb for two, followed by a pumphandle driver for the pin at 10:25.
Rating: B-. That last double superkick alone looked (and sounded) great, capping off a pretty fun main event, especially when you consider that it was thrown together with very little time. The interesting thing to me here was that Aries seemed to be trying to keep up with Pentagon and Fenix. It’s so strange to see him being outpaced but lucha isn’t the easiest style to do in the world, especially without the experience. I also like that this actually lead somewhere, which is just another benefit of Alberto being gone. Good main event here and I was surprised by the winner, which is always nice.
Lucha Underground and Redemption (with Alberto included) commercials take us out.
Overall Rating: C+. I liked this one and that’s a nice thing to be able to say. While there’s nothing that really blew me away and nothing that stands out as great, the night was full of good to pretty good matches, which is better than I was hoping for. It’s nothing I’ll ever want to see again, but that’s not really what they were trying to do. This was supposed to be something fun to get the name out there a little more and they pulled that off. The I Quit match was good and the lucha stuff is always worth a look, plus you get to laugh at Impact for having more drama, as is always the case. All in all, not too shabby.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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