A new chapter doesn't start until you turn the page.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 29, 2018
Posted on Twitter this Monday, this short video confirms what I was telling you this week, we’re opening with tonight’s episode a new Chapter of the history of IMPACT Wrestling. New faces, new challenges are welcomed, as long as action is still on the menu. And it is. In the “turning the last pages” process, KM and Lashley will square off, LAX will share their thoughts on The Barbed Wire Massacre III, EC3 and Alberto El Patron will team up against Johnny Impact and Moose. In the “new chapter” process, Matt Sydal is putting the IMPACT Grand Championship on the line against Fallah Bahh, Chris Adonis will share with us some Eli Drake’s Facts of Life, while Kiera Hogan will make her debut against the Knockouts Champion Laurel Van Ness. And when it comes to open new chapters and turning pages, your French Enygma Steph is always ready… Let’s get ready for action so!
After a recap of last week’s Genesis and a new opener for the show, the 4-sided ring was ready to welcome the brand new IMPACT Grand Champion.
IMPACT Grand Championship Match: Matt Sydal vs. Fallah Bahh
New Champion, new rules, as quoted Jeremy Borash, which means no more judges and round. While Sydal was making his way to the ring, he explained in a pre-recorded backstage segment he said that now everything was falling into place for him. He found a spiritual adviser that has been guiding him and helped him find his way to the title. “Matt Sydal is now in full control,” he announced before a final Namasté. Sydal attacked right in the match with kicks and punches and a headbutt. But Bahh didn’t move and replied with a headbutt. Sydal went for a sunset flip but was blocked by Bahh. He slipped out of it as he felt the 400-plus pounds guy could flatten him. Sydal continued with a hurricanrana, a low dropkick and kicks to the chest. But Bahh hit a massive clothesline (I think I saw half of Sydal’s teeth flying out of his jaw).
Sydal continued to try and worked the legs of Bahh to keep him grounded. But Bahh got up, missed a leg drop, allowing Sydal to connect with a standing moonsault and a Meteora (double knees from the top rope). The running kick was countered by a running crossbody from Bahh, Sydal was flattened. Sydal tried to head up but Bahh trapped him in a Samoan drop. Bahh continued with his roll on Sydal’s entire body (horror movie moment). Bahh headed up to the second rope for his splash but Sydal kicked him off to the floor. When Bahh was back in the ring, Sydal went up top, Bahh followed. Sydal went for a float-over powerbomb, missed. Bahh went for his banzai splash, missed. Sydal finally hit the shooting star press for the win. Impressive first title defence for Sydal.
– Backstage, as Eli Drake and Chris Adonis were heading to the arena and a mysterious was making his way to the Impact Zone, Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley were talking. Konley was nervous because Lee wasn’t the X-Division Champion anymore. The master of The Cult of Lee told him not to stress as he’s a thinker and said he has a lot in store for the both of them, not just himself (I think I will rename The Cult of Lee The Gang of the Hawaiian shirts…)
KM vs. Lashley
After what happened last week at Genesis, this match was meant to happen to definitely close the ATT chapter. KM and Lashley traded strikes until Lashley came to work KM over in the corner. Lashley followed with mounted corner strikes and a clothesline. KM countered a suplex but was caught in a flatliner. Lashley went for the spear, but KM sidestepped him and Lashley hit the post.
Post break KM was still in control with a slam and an elbow drop. KM kept Lashley grounded with a side headlock, Lashley fought back but was dumped to the floor. KM followed and tossed Lashley into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Lashley rallied with a clothesline a running cross body. Lashley followed with a powerslam and a suplex follows. KM countered a spear from Lashley into a full nelson slam. Lashley then countered the pump handle slam to hit the spear and get the pin.
– Outside, Joseph Park was on the phone with Grandma Jenny and asked how Chandler was doing after his match against Kongo Kong 2 weeks ago. But Jimmy Jacobs and Kongo Kong showed up and hung up the phone. Jacobs said he wanted the monster Abyss to come out (why did he ask Joseph Park for that? That’s a huge question…) next week because Jacobs is a princess and princesses always get what they want.
– Backstage, Lashley said for months he had to decide from MMA or wrestling. Now he was decided to focus on both. To the point of now seeing and listening to Eddie Edwards…
Non-Title Match: Knockouts Champion Laurel Van Ness vs. Kiera Hogan
Kiera Hogan was making her debut with IMPACT Wrestling. But Laurel, in hot mess mode, attacked and worked her arm right off the bat. She continued with slaps, choked Hogan on the second rope, hit some kicks and elbows in the corner. LVN continued with a splash and made Hogan taste every level of turnbuckles.
Hogan finally dodged a charge from Laurel and was able to hit some punches and a kick to her face. But the Champion stopped her as she was heading to the top rope, throwing her down the mat. Laurel hit a Curb stomp, went for the Unprettier, but Allie came down to distract LVN and give Hogan the win. Allie got her revenge after what happened last week at Genesis, Laurel was yelling in the ring and Hogan earned a title match next week.
– Backstage, as the mysterious man was getting closer and closer to the stage, Alberto El Patron told McKenzie Mitchell he’s the real champion. He was teaming with EC3 tonight and Carter told him to follow his lead as the main event runs through him. Both men shook hands with some hesitation.
LAX and oVe, the war is not over
“We’re LAX. We are still as serious as a late period, we are the blue pill of wrestling that’s why we stay hard,” only Konnan is able to do a promo like that in a ring. He called oVe some very bad names, claimed Sami Callihan had a sex change operation but the doctor had to stop halfway through (this man is unique). He said LAX was still ready to fight anywhere if needed. Out came oVe who got to the ring. After tapping the mic many times on his head, Sami Callihan said oVe hates everyone, including LAX. But they paid respect to LAX for all the matches they went through with. Callihan stated it has to stop because someone could be going six feet under. oVe will come for the titles when they want in 2018 but they have now bigger fish to fry. Konnan was about to answer when Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley jumped on LAX from behind and attacked them with a pipe and a kendo stick. They bailed to the back, the flags and bandanas in hands.
– Backstage, Moose told McKenzie new year means new all-star team as he was going to team up with Johnny Impact tonight. He kindly joked about Johnny’s numerous names. We then saw a post-apocalyptic vignette on the Machine that is about to come to IMPACT (Brian Cage of course).
EC3 & Alberto El Patron vs. Alberto El Patron & Johnny Impact
Impact and EC3 started the match with some back and forth until Moose was tagged in. He hit a dropkick and tagged back Impact. They worked over EC3, nice teamwork from the 2. El Patron distracted Moose, allowing EC3 to attack and tag out. El Patron took control, keeping the action to the ground. El Patron and EC3 worked quick tags, isolating Moose. El Patron trapped Moose into the ropes with a juji gatame. EC3 continued to ground the action. He then sent Moose to the floor so El Patron could attack.
Back in the ring, El Patron hit a DDT but Moose was not ready to relinquish. EC3 went for a suplex but Moose rallied and hit a suplex of his own. He was finally able to tag in Johnny. He sent El Patron to the floor, hit the Spanish fly on EC3 but missed the Starship Pain. EC3 tried to rally with a corner splash but missed. Johnny hit The Starship Pain on El Patron but EC3 broke up the count. Post break, El Patron was working over Johnny but Impact fought back and sent him to the floor. EC3 pulled Moose to the floor to stop the tag and tagged himself in. Carter hit the TK3 on Johnny but Moose broke the count. Johnny tried against to tag out, but EC3 stopped him.
EC3 went for a suplex off the second rope, but Johnny was able to reverse the move and landed right on EC3. He was finally able to tag in Moose, connected with a headbutt and two running dropkicks in the corner on Alberto. Johnny hit a swinging neckbreaker on EC3 but Alberto stopped him and hit a backbreaker on Moose, sending him into the ring post. Johnny dropped Alberto from behind and went for the Countdown to Impact, but rolled through. Johnny charged back but E Patron set him in the Tree of Woe to hit a double stomp right in his chest. But Moose was the legal man, he flattened El Patron with a huge lariat and picked up the win.
Eli Drake’s Facts of Life, when the party is over…
Adonis grabbed the mic to begin the celebration of everything Eli did. He beat both Alberto and Johnny to retain his title at Genesis. Adonis claimed Drake is the greatest Champion who has ever lived as we saw some clips of his big wins. Adonis added Drake is also a great dresser, even in the Thanksgiving turkey suit, and the greatest friend who has ever lived. Drake continued that there’s nobody that can touch him in the world, fact. But suddenly, the mysterious man made his way to the ring, it was Austin Aries now heading out on stage, banana in hand.
Aries replied to a crowd on dire “I missed you guys too.” Aries said Drake was wrong about being the greatest man who has ever lived because Drake was looking at that guy. Aries added Drake and Adonis had a bunch of facts tonight, but he had some too and listed off all of his title achievements in IMPACT Wrestling. Aries issued a challenge, anytime, any place, that if Drake really wanted to call himself the greatest, so he had to beat the greatest. Drake grabbed the mic to recall he’s the champ and the last time he checked Aries, he was behind an announce table talking about big matches. Drake refused Aries’ challenge and tried to head out of the ring.
But Adonis hit Aries in the back of the head with the IMPACT Championship from behind while Drake called for a referee to answer Aries’ challenge. Drake failed to make the pin and started to yell at the referee instead of attacking Aries. Drake charged in the corner but missed. Aries got rid of Adonis and hit the shotgun dropkick and the brainbuster suplex to become the new IMPACT World Championship. Austin Aries really knows how to end a party…
This episode was all about transitioning, turning the pages, opening a new chapter. It was time. I really appreciate the fact the wrestlers are now uncategorized. No more X-Division, Heavyweight or Tag Team Division wrestlers, but a whole roster able to fit every mould. That’s what Scott D’Amore and Don Callis were aiming to create and what Aries and Trevor Lee are now embodying (read our exclusive interview with Callis and D’Amore here). Like they told me, change is good and exciting. I think it too. So if you agree with me, of course, I see you next week…
All pics, videos, and screenshots courtesy of Impact Wrestling