From The Impact Zone – June 7th, 2018

It’s official, The Road to Slammiversary XVI is opened. I started pretty well with a press conference that settled some Championship matches, as Austin Aries will square off against Moose, Su Yung against Madison Rayne, and Taiji Ishimori and Johnny Impact will be back. But this road is meant to last 6 weeks, which means nothing is settled into stone. This week, many people are announced to be in action, Brian Cage, Tag Team Champions Z&E, Aerostar, Drago, LAX. But the centrepiece of the show in this “Murder in the Woods” Unsanctioned match between Eddie Edwards and Sami Callihan. This storyline needed an outstanding exclamation point and a hardcore one, after all…  No more words, let’s get ready for some action, your French Enygma Steph way, of course…

Impact World Tag Team Championship: Z&E (c) vs. Drago and Aerostar 

What to expect from 2 teams of high-flyers… excepted a quick-paced high-flying match… Drago and DJZ started the match off. Drago looked to ground the action, but DJZ escaped and grounded the action, frustrating Drago. A tagged-in Aerostar attacked with a backbreaker. They picked up the pace and Everett hit a hurricanrana. Aerostar cut him off and tagged in Drago. Drago grounded things again, tagged in back Aerostar for double team work. Things ran wild with a flurry of double team moves from both sides.

After the break, Aerostar was tagged in, Everett too. And Everett took control with a springboard kick and a running shooting star press. Drago fired back with a knee strike and a powerbomb. DJZ cut him off and DJZ hit a sunset bomb off the ropes and took out Aerostar. But Aerostar flew back in with a missile dropkick and a Meteora double knees drop. Time for dives and jumps to the floor. Everett grabbed the Gold with a marvel of a moonsault to the floor. Aerostar grabbed the Silver medal with a step up high cross to the floor. Back in the ring, Aerostar hit a ropewalk hurricanrana on Everett. DJZ sent Drago to the floor but Aerostar cut him off with a slingshot DDT. Aerostar then went for a moonsault but Everett lifted his feet. A ZDT from DJ Z and a 630 from Everett, and the Champions were still Champions. When X-Division style meets Tag Team Division, I want this kind of matches ever and ever…

– Backstage, Sonjay Dutt sent Petey Williams home because he was thinking he was the mysterious attacker. Meanwhile, in LAX Lair, Diamanté was back and she seemed not very happy to find Eddie Kingston there…

LAX (with King) vs. Cult of Lee

Will Santana and Ortiz lose the rematch, after losing the first match two weeks ago? They were focused and stomped away on their opponents to get things started. Konley tried to fight both of them off, but Ortiz lifted Konley up and Santana hits a double stomp from the top rope. Lee in but LAX kept dominating. Konley tried again but ate a dropkick. Lee attacked Santana to allow Konley to stomp Ortiz out on the floor.

Konley connected with a back leg sweep as Lee was tagged in. Santana tried to fight Lee off but Konley unloaded the running forearms. Lee landed a clothesline from the apron. But Santana rallied with a rolling cutter on Lee, both men were down. Ortiz in attacked with chops, a back body drop, and a cannonball to Lee out on the floor. Ortiz went for a cover, Konley tried to interfere but Santana kicked him in the head. Konley tried a back-fist on Ortiz, Lee hit a suplex, but Ortiz dumped Lee. LAX hit their assisted cutter on Konley for the win. The losing streak was over. But was it thanks to The King or Diamanté?

Eli Drake’s Facts of Life

It’s been a while since the last Impact’s Top 5 Dummies. So here we go. #5 was for the Impact fans, they always are on the list… #4 was for Impact Undisputed World Champion Austin Aries. #3, the Impact Management (Don Callis at the announce table merely appreciated…). #2 for the fans again (Eli loves to be booed) but his #1 Dummy was Moose, as Drake was able to grab his briefcase. 

Here came Moose to tell Drake we all knew he has the cheesiest lines in Impact, but he also reminded him he lost the Tag Team titles and his World title match against Pentagon Junior. Moose claimed Drake was not just a dummy, but also a loser. Drake replied he didn’t need gold as he is Gold. He attacked Moose and Moose attacked Drake. A low blow (Nut Cracker moment) and a Gravy Train stopped the Big Man. Drake threw the podium in the ring on Moose and taunted him. The two will meet next week in the Impact Zone.

Rohit Raju vs. Brian Cage

Ok, 44 seconds and a Drill Claw later, Matt Sydal came to the ring to try to make Cage aware of the need of a third-eye. Sydal spoke, Cage listened politely, but one F-5 later, Sydal was rushing down the ramp. The two will meet next week and the X-Division Championship will be on the line. Namasté Matt, may your third eye be very wide open… 

– Eddie Edwards was in a car and asked a cameraman to come with him as he drove out to the woods. He asked the cameraman to film everything, even if Callihan died. They headed into the woods. Meanwhile, Impact World Champion Austin Aries reminded Josh Mathews how many matches Ric Flair won with a low blow (Impact Wrestling is Nut Cracker’s land?!). When he was asked who will win the #1 contender match next week, Aries replied he’ll go for Drake because Moose was not strong enough mentally… 

– Backstage, McKenzie Mitchell was talking with Tessa Blanchard who said she’s a winner and is someone who makes things happen. Kiera Hogan showed up, tried to talk but instead was ambushed by Blanchard. The two will square off next week, again… 

“Murder in the Woods” Unsanctioned Fight: Eddie Edwards vs. Sami Callihan 

I would have called this match “Till death tear us apart…” Edwards was absolutely different, he wanted to make Sami Callihan die… Jake Crist was involved, Dave Crist was involved. But Jake was slammed into a tree and choked with a branch. Edwards took Jake’s match, grabbed a piece of wood and Eddie started yelling at Sami. Dave Crist appeared and ended recording, but he ends up being dropped in the trunk door. And Eddie yelled again until Sami appeared. And it was ugly… 

We don’t hurt trees this way… Callihan speared Edwards into one, strangled his eyes before trying to impale him against another with an animal’s skull. Callihan got launched into a tree a few times and finally stayed down. Edwards then got a sharp edge off the skull and stabbed Callihan’s forehead, busting him open. Edwards was totally out of his mind as he wanted Sami to die. As he was about to finish Callihan, Alisha Edwards and Tommy Dreamer showed up and trying to stop Eddie and calm him down. But he smacked Tommy Dreamer in the midsection and continued to chase Callihan in the woods like a mad wolf. 

What to say. A great opener, LAX back in track, Cage indestructible, things seem to be on track. The Sami/Eddie segment, because we can’t call that a match, was made for 3 reasons, remind people Impact Wrestling is the master of this cinematically-orchestrated matches outside the Zone, show a completely different side of Eddie Edwards (his eyes were saying even more than his screams), and mostly open the gates for a feud between Edwards and Dreamer. Well done, even if I’m not completely convinced. With 3 matches already announced for next week, I hope I’ll have more things to tell you (I’m sorry for being quick this week, but the Nygma has a very complex life…) And because you agree with me, of course, I see you next week… And never forget to stay #eNYGMAtic… 

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