New year, new stakes, new Champions, IMPACT 2018 is currently turning the last pages of the Ottawa taping chapter with some interesting challenges. And the current Orlando taping session is already full of promises (read on SteelChairMag Twitter page what Scott D’Amore and Don Callis had to say about IMPACT in 2018). Do we have action on the menu today? Absolutely, with a 6-Men Tag Team X-Division match, Knockouts Champion Laurel Van Ness squaring off with KC Spinelli, EC3’s open challenge, Global Champion Eli Drake and Dan Lambert. Let’s get ready for action so, your French Enygma Steph way, of course…
Dan Lambert kicks off IMPACT
Lashley and Dan Lambert headed out to the ring, Lambert talked about James Storm losing his “Career vs. Career” match. He then introduced the newest member of American Top Team, KM, a guy that could do what nobody, including Lashley, could do, put down Storm (the look on Lashley’s face proved he was not happy of the compliment). KM came to receive the ATT tee-shirt and a hug from Lambert.
He explained he was told he had to prove himself and he felt he’s done just that by taking out Storm and Moose. Speaking of him, out came Moose, taking down KM until Lashley jumped on him and swung away. Eddie Edwards ran in and hit a double dropkick to clear the ring of both Lashley and KM. Moose and Eddie then turned their attention to Lambert, but Lashley pulled him out of the ring.
EC3 Open Challenge
Before welcoming his mystery opponent, EC3 took the mic to gloat about still being the Grand Champion and ask who’s better than EC3. Not M. “I have no killer instinct” Matt Sydal who failed every time he had a chance. EC3 then asked for a ref and called for anyone from anyone in the world to come at him. The Canadian Destroyer Petey Williams answered the call and made his way to the ring.
EC3 vs. Petey Williams
EC3 attacked from behind as Williams was walking down the ramp in front of “his” crowd. Williams quickly fought back with a hurricanrana, charged EC3 in the corner but got caught and set on the top turnbuckle. He hit another hurricanrana and a low dropkick to the back. Williams then put EC3 in the Tree of Woe and stood on him, his foot striking right where a man can be hurt. EC3 rallied and hit a knee to the midsection.
Williams replied with a side Russian leg sweep and a flatliner. Williams went for the Canadian Destroyer but EC3 countered it into a TK3. EC3 went for the one-percenter but was thrown out of the ring. Williams jumped over the top rope to the floor. But here came Matt Sydal who ran in from the crowd and attacked EC3. Sad move as the match was good and should have lasted a little longer. EC3 got the win via disqualification, but Sydal is determined to take the Grand Championship belt off Carter’s shoulders.
– Backstage, Allie told McKenzie Mitchell she was ready to play Laurel Van Ness’ game as she started it with a sneak attack a few weeks ago. While Eli Drake and Chris Adonis were entering the building, Alberto El Patron was throwing things around in frustration. Matt Sydal explained he sent a message to EC3 tonight with his attack. He talked about how good an old fashion wrestling match could be, 60-minute time limit with no rounds or judges. If EC3 can beat him this way, then he’ll accept the loss with a handshake.
Laurel Van Ness vs. KC Spinelli
Laurel started the match throwing Spinelli into the corner, then put her on the second rope and slammed her knee into Spinelli midsection. She then did a curb stomp down to the bottom turnbuckle. She reminded Spinelli not to touch her fur coat and slapped her. Spinelli rallied, dropping her face first on the mat, slapping Laurel in the face and then hit a clothesline. Laurel then strangled Spinelli’s eyes (French version of the eye rake), hit a kick to the head and slammed her face first.
Laurel reached the second rope but got kicked down to the mat by Spinelli who connected with a high elevation northern lights suplex and a butterfly suplex. Spinelli tried to roll Laurel up but held the ropes, what the referee noticed. LVN and Spinelli then neutralized each other with a double kick. Spinelli missed a charge in the corner, Laurel connected with some clotheslines and a dropkick. Laurel hit a side Russian leg sweep and The Unprettier for the win. As Laurel was celebrating, Allie rushed to the ring and attacked Laurel who escaped very quickly.
Eli Drake’s Championship Address
Global Champion Eli Drake and Chris Adonis aid he couldn’t wait to come back to LA as he didn’t understand how “these dummies in the crowd” could handle the Ottawa sub-zero weather. He explained he’s still the Champion because last week Alberto El Patron thought he could swim with the big fish. (I agree with the crowd who couldn’t stop saying “You suck”). He told Alberto that all he can do was to keep trying to be the champion as he’s not going to take the title away from Drake.
Alberto came to the ring and told Drake to shut his mouth. Alberto said Drake doesn’t have the “testicular fortitude” to come against the real deal, Alberto El Patron wanted a match right now but here came Johnny Impact. He offered a match in Detroit, as everyone was going there, so they’ll party. Alberto charged Johnny, Drake and Adonis joined him in. and starts attacking. Johnny got back to the ring to take flight with a corkscrew senton, sending everybody on the floor. Seems like a Triple threat title match is going to take place in Detroit.
– Backstage Dan Lambert continued to cheer on KM in front of an annoyed Lashley. Chandler Park was excited about his first match win last week. But Jimmy Jacobs appeared to tell Joseph he’s not what he used to be. Joseph Park said Abyss isn’t coming back. Jacobs said it’s probably better as IMPACT can only have one monster. And out came Kongo Kong…
– At LAX Lair, Sami Callihan and oVe were destroying the place, throwing beer bottles everywhere. oVe grabbed their flags and Callihan welcomed LAX to Ohio. Later LAX showed up to find their place in tatters, apparently, oVe also took their money. A stunned Konnan said they will take the old school way, with a barbed wire match next week.
Trevor Lee, Caleb Konley & Hakim Zane vs. Sonjay Dutt, Dezmond Xavier & Garza Jr.
High flying, quick-paced match, as always when X-Division is involved. Last match of Sonjay Dutt for quite a while as he underwent surgery this week for a torn Achilles tendon and he will be out of the rings for several months. Garza started the match throwing some huge headbutts on Zane (Garza was still wrestling with one arm only). Xavier was tagged in and destroyed newcomer Zane. Back from break, Lee was distracting the referee Zane and Konley were attacking Sonjay Dutt. Konley tagged in and continued to work on Dutt.
Konley tagged in Lee, he hit a short-arm clothesline and instantly started taunting. He continued with kicks to the chest over and over. Konley continued to keep Dutt on the wrong corner. Zane too, with chops. Dutt was finally able to tag in Garza Jr. who immediately ripped his pants off (Yes…) and unloaded tons of clotheslines. He tagged in Xavier who hit a marvel of a corkscrew senton splash on Zane for the victory. As the team was celebrating, X-Division Champion Taiji Ishimori stood off with Xavier in the middle of the ring and the two shook hands. Josh Mathews confirmed next week it will be Xavier vs. Ishimori for the X-Division Championship.
Lashley & KM vs. Moose & Eddie Edwards
Edwards started the match but quickly gave the crowd what they were expecting, Moose. He hit some chops on KM. Nice teamwork from Edwards and Moose who worked great together. Edwards back in went for a chop but missed once, but not twice. Lashley came into the ring to body slam Edwards, then told KM to stay on him. Before the break, Lashley was the legal man, after he was not anymore. Edwards and Moose hit a double elbow to KM, then both connected with running splashes. Moose put Edwards on his back and they did a devilish double splash on KM. Edwards and Moose were in control while KM was trying to stay alive. Luckily Lashley sneakily attacked Edwards who landed hard on the apron. Lashley brought him back to the ring and was tagged in. He continued to attack Edwards with kicks and a load of shoulder tackles.
Lashley then tagged in KM who hit a splash on Edwards. “You want to see something impressive?!” KM yelled at Edwards. No, as Edwards blocked a suplex attempt. Edwards connected with a suplex of his own. Edwards tried to tag in Moose but Lashley ran over and knocked him down. He dragged Edwards across the ring until they both knocked each other down. KM and Moose got the hot tag. Moose unloaded elbows and a running dropkick. Lashley broke the count. KM, Lashley and Moose on the floor, Edwards connected with a suicide dive and took down KM. Edwards went for the win but Lambert distracted him, allowing KM to hit The Project Ciampa/ Lung Blower for the 3-count.
Not bad but not great. The match between Carter and Williams was deserving more and better. I’m sick of Dan Lambert, and I’m happy Lashley too. The X-Division bout was a pleasure to watch as always. Don’t miss next week episode as finally, for the first time ever on National Television, we’ll be able to witness a Barbed Wire Massacre match between LAX and OVE we’ve heard about for weeks and weeks. If you agree with me, of course, I see you next Friday…
All pics, videos, and screenshots courtesy of Impact Wrestling. Photomontage by @frenchnygma exclusively for @steelchairmag.