From The Impact Zone – April 5th, 2018

The Road to Redemption is officially opened, as we’re just two weeks away from the PPV on April 22. Two title matches are already set. But things can change tonight. Eli Drake and Moose will face off in a Case vs. Case match. Taiji Ishimori will square off with Johnny Impact in a battle of high-flyers. Allie is expecting answers from Su Yung after her attack two weeks ago. We’ll see what’s next for Brian Cage and Lashley. And we’ll also have an All Access Pass on the upcoming match between Austin Aries and Alberto El Patron. Let’s get ready for some action so, your French Enygma Steph way, of course…

Lashley vs. Brian Cage, the rematch

Lashley made his way to the ring to say every time the next big thing comes along they always set their eyes on him. But Lashley reminded he is the top of the food chain. Cage’s win last week was a fluke victory, so Lashley wanted one more match. And if Cage could pass the test, then he’ll be somebody. 

Here came The Machine. As Cage was posing on the apron, Lashley attacked him from behind, sent him to the floor and stomps away. Lashley tossed Cage in the ring to officially start the match. Lashley stomped away on Cage in the corner, connected with a shoulder tackle and a vertical suplex. He went for a spear, but Cage jumped over him and slammed Lashley. He nearly hit the referee with the discus lariat, but Lashley replied with a low blow as the referee was shoved aside. Lashley hit a side suplex before sending Cage out to the floor. Back in the ring, Cage rallied with an electric chair sit out, a German suplex, a Death Valley Driver and multiple corner clotheslines.

 Back out on the floor now, Cage slammed Lashley on the ramp and tossed him into the steps. Lashley reached the apron, Cage the second rope to connect with a deadlift suplex. Cage went up to the second rope again but Lashley followed and nailed a superplex. Cage went for the Drill Claw but Lashley countered it into a release German suplex. But Cage was already on his feet, went for the discus lariat but missed. Lashley hit his signature Spear but only earned a 2-count. Cage hit a Jumping knee to Lashley’s jaw and sealed Lashley’s fate with the Drill Claw. Goodbye to The Boss, welcome to The Machine!

Allie vs. Su Yung, face to face…

Allie headed to the ring, grabbed the mic and told everyone she was really, really mad. She called out Su Yung as she jumped on her 2 weeks ago from behind like a coward. A very nasty Allie told Yung to get her ass out now. What she did a kendo stick in hand. While Yung was posing on the apron, Allie knocked her off and sent her to the floor (didn’t I say the same the match before?).

Allie stomped away and threw Yung in the corner. She went for a superkick, Yung blocked and kicked her in the midsection and the face. Back from break, Allie fired back, but Yung hit a side slam. Yung laid boots to her and hit a draping pedigree. She grabbed the kendo stick, but Allie fought off with a superkick and some clotheslines. She continued with a flatliner to the buckles and a dropkick. Allie even suplexed her to the corner (I love this new Allie…). But here came Braxton Sutter to distract the Champion. Missed as Allie hit the code breaker. She went for a superkick, but Sutter grabbed her leg while Yung grabbed the kendo stick and wildly attacked Allie. Allie won the match by DQ as Yung shoved the referee. 

-As Rosemary challenged Taya Valkyrie to a Demon’s Dance match (no rules, no DQ) next week, Josh Mathews told McKenzie Mitchell he was really broken up about Sydal losing the Grand Championship as the title is more important than his wife. Mathews announced next week he’s going to go one-on-one with Petey Williams to show how “tough enough” he is.

KM vs. Richard Justice

Not sure we could call that a match as KM made fat jokes, claimed Justice was an embarrassment to the pro wrestling industry. Justice told KM to knock it off but KM unloaded more ugly jokes.

KM finally attacked Justice, but out came Fallah Bahh with a Banzai drop on KM. Cult of Lee came out now, Lee and Konley attacked Bahh. But here came Tyrus who hit a headbutt on Lee, tossed KM out and threw Konley down on both Lee and KM. Tyrus grabbed the mic and did his own joked on KM more known as Sienna’s valet than a wrestler. Tyrus said the crowd not to bully or body shame.

– Backstage, Eli Drake confirmed to McKenzie Mitchell he would make Moose look like the Dummy he is and walk out the match with both cases.

Johnny Impact vs. Taiji Ishimori

Handshake to start the match. Back and forth counters to begin. Johnny took control and hit a spinning leg drop. Ishimori replied with head scissors and a dropkick, Impact powdered to the floor. Back in the ring, Ishimori unloaded strikes, but Johnny replied with an enzuigiri. Ishimori hit a springboard seated senton and a hurricanrana that sent Johnny to the floor. Ishimori hit the golden triangle moonsault and wiped out Johnny on the floor. 

Back in the ring, Ishimori hit some running knees and the double stomp. They traded strikes until Impact countered the high cross and hit the running shooting star press. Ishimori battled back up top.  Ishimori went for a sunset flip powerbomb, missed, and then connected with a step-up hurricanrana. Ishimori continued with a superkick, went for his 450 splash, but Johnny moved.  He connected with a corner kick and a running knee, before hitting the Starship Pain for the win. Could have been longer and better…

As Johnny was celebrating, here came Kongo Kong with Jimmy Jacobs. Johnny tried to strike first, but Kongo caught him and hit a big headbutt and another that sent Johnny into the steps. But he replied with a kick and a corkscrew flip over the top rope that crushed Kongo Kong. Jacobs and Kong backed up the ramp.

My banana is better than yours… act 3 

A 10-minute video package on how Aries became Champion, El Patron lost his Championship, how they work out, eat… But also on how serious the match is for both of them. Aries said he took the responsibility seriously to bring Impact up another level. Alberto explained how in Mexico you get one shot and he’s going to take that mentality with him when he faces Aries. Alberto said he also had something to prove to himself after getting stripped of the title. Aries mentioned the mind games they played over the last few weeks. Alberto claimed Aries couldn’t be a real Champion until he defeated Alberto.

– While backstage, Moose told McKenzie he’s never lost a one-on-one match against EC3 and 2018 is his year, LAX in their lair talked about Moose or Drake possibly having the tag team opportunity. Konnan added it doesn’t matter because they’ve run through the whole tag division of teams they’ve beat.

Case vs. Case – Winner Takes All Match: Eli Drake vs. Moose

Drake tried to go power for power against Moose, didn’t work at first. He finally hit a shoulder tackle, but Moose fired back with a dropkick. Moose then hit a dropkick on Drake that powdered to the floor and followed. He unloaded headbutts and chops. Drake countered Moose when he tried to send him into the post. But Moose ate the ring post. 

Back from break, Drake was in control, hitting a leg drop. Moose replied with chops but missed a charge. Drake connected with a powerslam and an elbow drop, followed by a second rope elbow drop. Drake then grounded the action. Moose tried to fire back, but Drake hit a neck breaker and rights. Moose fired up and hit a headbutt, some corner splashes, a buckle bomb and a hesitation dropkick. Drake avoided the Game Changer but the referee was down.

oVe suddenly rushed to the ring to attack Moose (a friend of Edwards). Drake bailed out of the ring, Edwards arrived, attacked Callihan from behind and chased him off. Moose tossed Dave out of the ring and hit a pop-up powerbomb on Jake. Eli Drake grabbed Sami’s bat, hit Moose, woke up the referee, but 2-count. A thunderous gravy train finished Moose. Eli Drake picked up the win and the 2 title opportunities, Tag Team and World Championships.

This episode was obviously a build-up one, Redemption card seems to take shape thanks to all the interferences that happened during the matches. It was not the best episode, but the action was there. We still have 2 episodes of Impact before Redemption, and I tend to think nothing is written in stone yet. It seems like we said goodbye tonight to Bobby Lashley, but it’s sad we didn’t have the chance to see him bow out after all that he’s done for Impact Wrestling. We had some action this week, nice thing, we will have some more next week, as you can see below. But the upcoming PPV has to confirm Impact has found the good pace, and prove the fans they made the good choice coming back to them. And if 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.