From The Impact Zone – February 22nd 2018

Chapter 1, page 4. Six matches announced for tonight’s episode. “The Machine” Brian Cage returns to the Impact Zone while Moose will take revenge on Alberto El Patron. Eddie Edwards will team up with Lashley to also seek revenge but on oVe. LAX is determined to get rid of The Cult of Lee. Kongo Kong and Jimmy Jacobs are expecting the Monster inside Joseph Park to come out and start to play with them. Matt Sydal is putting his IMPACT Grand Championship on the line against The Canadian Destroyer himself, Petey Williams. And EC3 and Johnny Impact will square off to determine who really deserves the #1 contendership for the IMPACT World Championship. No more talk, too much action to watch and review, your French Enygma Steph way, of course…

IMPACT Tag Team Champions LAX (Santana & Ortiz w/ Konnan) vs. Trevor Lee & Caleb Konley 

Lee and Konley made their entrance mocking LAX, waving gang signs and wearing bandanas. But Ortiz and Santana were ready and jumped off the ring onto The Cult of Lee as they were about to reach the apron. The brawl started outside, with the crowd yelling LAX. Lee was sent into the barricade by Ortiz, while Santana hit a nasty back rake on Konley. Ortiz and Lee finally got into the ring but Konley and Santana were quickly tagged in. Nice double team moves from LAX, with a nice assisted standing moonsault.

Lee got involved and took care of Santana, before hitting a running forearm on Ortiz. A tagged in Konley continued with a side suplex. Lee hit his signature punt kick to Santana while Ortiz tried to rally with chops. Konley connected with a sweep kick and a running cannonball. Lee continued to work on Ortiz, then assisted by Konley when in the corner. Santana finally made the tag and attacked both Lee and Konley. LAX connected with the wheelbarrow cutter on Lee but Konley broke the pin. LAX went for a street sweeper but Konley shoved Santana off the top rope. Lee grabbed Ortiz by the tights to get the pin. I may not be a fan of this storyline but the quality of the matches it offered is great.

Brian Cage vs. Hunter Law

I could make a copy/paste of what I wrote last week, as the Rampage continued. Law tried a dropkick and taunted Cage. A very bad idea as The Machine unloaded a powerslam, a discus lariat and his Drill Claw (or Steiner Screwdriver or reverse piledriver) to get rid of his opponent. Cage is synonymous with carnage, in the Impact Zone, it’s damn true…

– Backstage, Eddie Edwards was talking with Lashley. He told him if they didn’t have to like each other, they could still take care of business out in the ring.

From Destiny World Wrestling in Toronto – IMPACT Grand Champion Matt Sydal vs. Petey Williams

What a shame to have only highlights of a match that could only be great! For what we saw, it was awesome. Williams hit a nice tilt-a-whirl headscissors and a running dropkick on Sydal. Then Sydal was in control, hitting a standing moonsault. Williams went for the Canadian Destroyer but Sydal countered it into a German suplex. Williams hit a marvel of a codebreaker from the apron, went for the Canadian Destroyer again but rolled Sydal into the Sharpshooter. Sydal grabbed the bottom rope. Sydal countered a suplex and pushed Williams into the corner. Williams reached the second rope, for a possible Tornado DDT, but Sydal unloaded a Frankensteiner out of nowhere. He went for the Shooting Star Press, Williams rolled through and hit a powerbomb. He went for the Canadian Destroyer again but Sydal hit a kind of reverse piledriver for the win. Even some highlights are making this match a 5-Star one…

After the match, Sydal read a scroll from his spiritual guide. He challenged Taiji Ishimori for the X-Division at Crossroads on March 8. He would later call his spiritual guide to tell him he read what he wrote. Namasté Matt!

Where is Abyss?

Jimmy Jacobs and Kongo Kong wants Abyss to come out, so the real monster can destroy the Monster. They headed to the ring and Jacobs told he’s not a bad guy, he just wanted Abyss and Joseph Park to come out. Grandma Jenny came to the ring and told Jacobs to stop harassing the man she considered as a son.

Jacobs stated she’s got more guts than Abyss because she showed up. He called her an old hag and got slapped. He asked Kongo to attack her but Joseph Park ran to the ring. Jacobs said he just wanted Abyss, but Joseph replied he promised himself and his family that Abyss would never return. (Joseph Park is Abyss ?!!).  Jacobs confirmed Chandler Park was just a beginning and he didn’t want something to happen to Grandma. Park attacked Kongo who replied nastily. He looked at a terrified Grandma Jenni in the corner. Jacobs yelled to her he wants Abyss, or else.

From Future Stars of Wrestling in Las Vegas – No Disqualification Match:  Alberto El Patron vs. Moose

El Patron spat on Moose’s face and sent his opponent to the floor to throw him into a barricade.  Moose replied with a kick in the face. The action continued outside, with El Patron hitting a back body drop on Moose into the first row and then sending him through a door. El Patron grabbed a trash can and tossed it at Moose. Back to the ring, Alberto hit Moose with the trash can from the top rope. Moose tried to rally but Alberto hit a low blow. After some back and forth, they reached the second rope, Alberto unloaded headbutts, Moose fell in the Tree of Woe position. El Patron hit a double stomp and got the win.

– Backstage, EC3 told McKenzie Mitchell he and Tyrus were like the Avengers. He imagined himself as a mix of Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor. And Tyrus as Hulk…

oVe (Dave and Jake Crist w/ Sami Callihan) vs. Lashley & Eddie Edwards

They brawled to the floor right in the match. Lashley and Edwards took control. Lashley hit the delayed suplex on Dave. Jake rushed in but Lashley tossed him to the floor. Edwards was tagged in and worked over Dave in the corner. They traded chops, Jake was tagged in and worked Edwards on the corner. Edwards replied with chops, but Sami interfered and Jake was in control again. Dave tagged back in and oVe continued to isolate Edwards before sending him to the floor and slamming him to the apron. 

Dave brought Edwards in the ring with a suplex. Dave grounded the action, oVe worked quick tags and double team moves. Lashley made the save, allowing Edwards to fight back and tag out. Lashley ran wild and cleaned the oVe house. Dave rallied and connected with kicks, Lashley got even wilder. He tagged in Edwards who hit the suicide dive on Jake to the floor. Back in the ring, Sami interfered again and distracted Edwards. Lashley took him out. Edwards got the win with a running knee strike. Lashley and Edwards had great matches in one-on-one, they can also steal the show as a team. 

#1 Contender for IMPACT World Championship Match: EC3 (w/ Tyrus) vs. Johnny Impact

Johnny Impact was still the #1 contender as the match began. Back and forth action to start, no wrestler really had the momentum until EC3 missed a second rope elbow drop. Johnny took control but EC3 knocked him to the floor and hit a running knee lift. Back from break, Carter was still in control. He kept Johnny grounded in the ring, hit a DDT and a leg lariat. Johnny rallied and unloaded strikes and clotheslines. He connected with a leg lariat and a nice standing Shooting Star Press. EC3 rolled up when Johnny went for the Starship Pain into a roll up for 2 and hit a single armed powerbomb. Johnny countered a TKO attempt and connected with a Spanish fly. Johnny went for the Starship Pain again but Tyrus distracted him.

Carter followed Johnny to the top. They traded strikes and EC3 hit the TKO off the ropes. Johnny countered the One Percenter and went for a springboard but Tyrus interfered again. He yanked him down and Carter cradled him with the ropes. EC3 hit the Flatliner, but Impact fired up with a flurry of strikes. The sliding snap German suplex followed. Impact headed up top but Tyrus tripped him up again. EC3 hit the One Percenter again. EC3 started to argue with Tyrus, Carter shoved him, Tyrus shoved him back. Tyrus left the Impact Zone, leaving Carter facing his own fate. Johnny hit the Moonlight Drive and the Starship Pain for the win.

So Johnny is still the #1 contender, which led IMPACT World Champion Austin Aries to head out to the ring with the title and a banana. Aries faced off with Johnny, they shook hands. The match will take place in 2 weeks, at Crossroads.

A very good episode, just a regret for the highlights of Sydal vs. Williams, we deserved the whole match. Characters are being set up, feuds and matches are taking shape. In two weeks, at Crossroads, a special event, we’ll know if Johnny Impact is able to become the Champion, after failing so many times before. The war between LAX and The Cult of Lee will also reach new heights. But before Crossroads, we’ll have another episode to watch and review, with one huge match between Eddie Edwards and Sami Callihan. IMPACT has never been so interesting and fuelled by action. It will never be too late to take the Nygma train and enter the Impact Zone. And if you agree with me, of course, I see you next week… 

All pics, videos, and screenshots courtesy of Impact Wrestling. Photomontage by @frenchnygma exclusively for @steelchairmag.