As told in the predictions, Redemption was all about confirming that the new regime, the new talents, the new Creative were on the good road. And also prove this Impact Wrestling – Lucha Underground partnership can be as fruitful as ground-breaking for each company. Did Austin Aries retain the Impact World Championship? Who did Scott Steiner beat up tonight? What was the House of Hardcore match looked like?
No pre-show matches, just a pre-show introduction, so your French Enygma Steph is bringing you straight into Redemption glorious details…
What a great way to start this PPV but to reveal the brand new belts the Champions were going to wear tonight. Austin Aries confessed it would look great in his collection, Matt Sydal said it was the real deal and found it perfect, Santana and Ortiz of LAX were pretty overwhelmed by emotions. You may notice there’s no brand-new Impact Grand Championship… No Sonjay Dutt at the announce table tonight, but Executive Vice-President Don Callis, alongside Josh Matthews. And also a brand-new stage!
Drago vs. AeroStar
Good choice for an opener to show up what Lucha Libre is about and also promote the upcoming premiere of Season 4 of Lucha Underground. Drago took control at first, working the arm, but AeroStar escaped quickly. The joy of the Lucha Libre matches is the momentum can change with a simple quick-paced high-flying move. AeroStar stroke first with a corkscrew moonsault but Drago powdered. AeroStar then wiped him out with a plancha. Both men connected with kicks and superkicks that drove the crowd even more nuts than she already was. Beautiful twisting tope from Drago off the top rope. But AeroStar had more than one trick in his bag, and the springboard coffin drop wiped out Drago. Drago connected with a back breaker and the draping DDT, but AeroStar didn’t relinquish. AeroStar dropkicked Drago to the floor and hit a suicide dive, but Drago refused to relinquish too. Drago was really on the good way but AeroStar got the best of him with a springboard turned into a code breaker for the win. It may have missed the Temple’s aspect of Lucha Libre but it was a good opener.
Impact Tag Team Championship Match: LAX (Santana & Ortiz) (c) vs. Eli Drake & Scott Steiner
Konnan was kidnapped. Just before the match, in LAX Lair, Santana and Ortiz received a phonecall from “King” announcing the bad news. Even if Santana and Ortiz were really at their best in this match, Konnan could have probably been what could have changed the fate of the match. Because Steiner and Drake were sweating confidence as soon as they headed to the ring. Santana and Ortiz played their A-Game, with all these striking double-teams moves they’re mastering so well. But Steiner was really in great shape and he and Drake were really on the same vibe. To the point of working a double-team elbow drop. Steiner shocked the whole crowd when he reached the top rope to hit a Frankensteiner, a move he hasn’t done for years according to commentary. Drake had the last word on this match when he strangled the eyes of Ortiz and hit The Gravy Train for the win. “We’re in 2018 and Scott Steiner is Impact Tag Team Champion”. Josh Mathews couldn’t believe it, like many in the crowd. At 55, The Genetic Freak found the partner he deserved to earn Gold again. Santana and Ortiz also gave it all and it was really nice to watch.
Taiji Ishimori vs. Dezmond Xavier vs. El Hijo del Fantasma vs. Brian Cage vs. DJZ vs. Trevor Lee
Five opponents in front of Brian Cage. There was bo doubt in everyone’s mind Brian Cage would win the match. But the 5 guys made him wait 13 minutes. This was 2 men in at a time and Lucha tag rules. Like in the Drago vs. AeroStar bout, it was quick-paced and high-flying. It was nice to see Dezmond Xavier and DJZ back in the ring. Everyone has his moment, Fantasma with a nice head scissors on Lee, Ishimori with a striking springboard senton and his Golden moonsault, DJZ connected with a Super Hurricanrana and the ZDT. Xavier unleashed the back handspring Pele kick, something we truly missed over the last 2 months. All 5 understood Cage was the target so they did everything to pull him off the match. But when The Machine returned, it was hell in the ring. Fantasma ate a fall away slam combo platter, Lee a knee strike, DJZ a lariat, Ishimori the Weapon X (Gory special reverse STO). The Drill Claw was for Dezmond Xavier and the pin for Cage. Good match but who’s going to stop The Machine? That is the question…
Taya Valkyrie vs. Kiera Hogan
It was the last-minute match of the night as it was announced earlier in the day. And it was not an easy bout for Taya Valkyrie as Kiera Hogan made a real strong impression. Valkyrie was in control but Hogan fought back every time she could. To the point of escaping an attempt of The Road to Valhalla. But the next one was the good one and Taya Valkyrie earned the win. Good one again, if Taya has already proved she’s one of the fiercest Knockouts of the roster, Hogan is showing she can do it, more and more with each match. Meanwhile, the announce table was pretty busy talking about Impact’s future sensation as…
Tessa Blanchard joined the commentary team during the Knockouts match. She confirmed we’ll have the chance to see her wrestling on Thursday’s night. Executive Vice President Don Callis implied that she signed a deal with the company last week. Tessa confirmed she’d be appearing on Impact going forward, then talked about being the daughter of Four Horsemen, Tully Blanchard. She said she’s travelled the world and believes Impact needs her. She made a statement Taya Valkyrie should remember very quickly, “I am Wrestling Royalty.” Two of the greatest Intergender female wrestlers in the business are now on Impact…
Impact X-Division Championship Match: Matt Sydal (c) vs. Petey Williams
Nice to see Matt Sydal on his own as Josh Mathews remained at commentary all match long. This match had everything to be a real dream match. And it began really well with nice back and forth and then Petey hitting a hurricanrana and already teasing the Destroyer. Williams really one step ahead of Sydal for the most of the match, with a mix of high-flying and submission moves. Sydal replied to his assaults with all these kicks and moonsaults he masters. Beautiful apron code breaker from Petey that made both men fall to the floor. Sydal went for the Shooting Star Press but ate the knees of Petey who hit the Canadian Destroyer. But Sydal rolled to the floor. Petey pulled Sydal up with him, teased a high-flying Canadian Destroyer but Sydal backdropped him into the ring. The Shooting Star Press missed, but Sydal hit a pump handle slam turned into a cradle to retain. It was not a dream bout but it was a very good match. All the drama around “Enlightened” Matt was missing but, in a way, it made this match better.
House of Hardcore Match: Ohio Versus Everything (Dave Crist, Jake Crist, & Sami Callihan) vs. Tommy Dreamer, Moose, & Eddie Edwards
Do you love tables, ladders, chairs, kendo sticks, trash cans and lids, thumbtacks? So the House of Hardcore match was made for you. Revenge smelled like hardcore and for all the blood that was spilt in the ring, revenge was a hard pill to swallow. Edwards was wild on weapons, mostly on Callihan. Dreamer attacked the Crist brothers with a kendo stick while Edwards hit Callihan with a chair shot. Sami replied with a suplex onto an open chair, but Moose made the save. Callihan then laid on a ladder in which Moose crashed. oVe took control and worked on Edwards with tables, trashcans and chairs. Moose save Edwards again. Dave choked out Edwards with some tape, while Dreamer hit The Dreamer driver on Sami onto a table on the floor. Dave pulled out thumbtacks (nice tribute to Abyss), but Moose sent him right into them with the doomsday Boston knee party. While Sami was slamming Dreamer into a table and laid the table on him, Moose flew onto Dave on the table but Jake hit him with a cutter out of mid-air. Sami and Edwards brawled now, Sami attacked the eye. He put a box on Edwards’s eye and grabbed his bat but Dreamer attacked with a barbed wire bat. Sami gave the win to his team thanks to a low blow and roll-up on Dreamer. The end of the match was already bittersweet, but Edwards decided to make Callihan suffer even more thanks to the barbed wire bat and a kendo stick. But when his wife Alisha came to stop him, he hit her with the stick in his rage. Revenge made Edwards snap, but the wrong person paid the price…
Impact Knockouts Championship Match: Allie (c) vs. Su Yung
Braxton Sutter was at ringside with Su Yung. But it seemed like Allie was definitely cured of Sutter. The new Allie, the fierce and striking Lady, was the one in the ring and, even in front of an opponent like Su Yung, she was stunning. Despite many distractions from Sutter, Allie was able to counter every attack from Yung. Even if Yung’s repertoire is more stacked than Allie’s, her code breaker and superkick were impressive. Allie was able to fight off the Panic Switch into a cradle to retain. But Su Yung was honestly brilliant in the match. Mostly when she spat mists in the face of Sutter when he proposed to her and then laid him out with a mandible claw. We haven’t seen the best of Su Yung yet…
Impact Wrestling’s next PPV will be Slammiversary XVI and it will take place on Sunday, July 22, live from The Rebel Complex in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 23, 2018
Impact World Championship Match: Austin Aries (c) vs. Pentagon Junior vs. Fénix
Austin Aries had everything to lose in this match. If at WrestleCon Impact Wrestling vs. Lucha Underground, he lost the match without even being pinned, with the title on the line the risk waw higher for him to lose it. Mostly in front of the Brothers of Lucha, as Pentagon Junior and Fenix are real-life brothers, even if they’re not always best friends in the ring. Aries may have come to the ring with his 6 titles, the Luchadores were not impressed. Aries attacked right off the bat but was quickly stopped by a sling blade by Pentagon. The match itself is a festival of amazing moves, so amazing it became hard to describe. Aries proved he is also a born Luchador. But what to do in front of two brothers? Aries went for the brainbuster but ate the same superkicks from the brothers he ate at WrestleCon. Pentagon took out Fenix, hit a Gory special package piledriver on both, broke Aries’ arm and hit The Pentagon Driver to become the new Impact World Champion. The brothers embraced after the match and the crowd celebrated with its new Champ. If it wasn’t impossible, I wasn’t sure Impact Wrestling would do this move. The match was amazing but like for Drago and AeroStar, the energy of The Temple was missing. We can expect Aries to seek revenge, Fénix too. Which can mean more matches between the 3 guys… Which is not a problem at all…
Some of you might think, why this title? “Devil’s a Gambler” is the title of a band of friends’ CD. But it sums up pretty well what happened in the PPV. I said it was a “do-or-die” one. Redemption did it. It was honestly a great effort from the company with some interesting twists, maybe the best PPV Impact has produced for a few years. They were at the same time able to confirm the trend of the last 3 months and add some new elements to it. Is Pentagon Junior now a member of Impact roster? I don’t know, but giving him the World Championship may suggest it. Great job from Eli Drake and Scott Steiner who really are made to be a team. With Tessa Blanchard and Taya Valkyrie now in the roster, Impact could take an interesting Intergender turn I’m looking forward to seeing. And if you had any doubt on the fact Brian Cage is Impact’s next Big Thing, you don’t have any reason to have some now.
I won’t go the point of calling it a merger, but the Impact Wrestling-Lucha Underground partnership is going way further than a simple exchange of talents. This partnership may be the platform for Impact to move even further forward, thanks to the talents and Lucha Libre, and for Lucha Underground to gain some audience (Season 4 Premiere is June 13) because its talents are promoted on a bigger television platform. I can’t wait to see where the next set of tapings is going to bring us. The next four days should be pretty interesting. I’ll tell you the essential info coming from them, but I’ll keep the action for our weekly meetings. Because I’ll be there at the end of the week, as usual. And of course, never forget to stay #eNYGMAtic…
Redemption Full Results:
* AeroStar defeated Drago
* Impact Tag Team Championships Match: Eli Drake & Scott Steiner defeated Champions LAX (c)
* Brian Cage defeated Taiji Ishimori, Dezmond Xavier, El Hijo del Fantasma, DJZ and Trevor Lee
* Taya Valkyrie defeated Kiera Hogan
* X-Division Championship Match: Matt Sydal (c) defeated Petey Williams
* House of Hardcore Match: Ohio Versus Everything (Dave Crist, Jake Crist & Sami Callihan) defeated Tommy Dreamer, Moose, & Eddie Edwards
* Impact Knockouts Championship Match: Allie (c) defeated Su Yung
* Impact World Championship Match: Pentagon Jr. defeated Austin Aries (c) and Fénix
All pics, screenshots and videos courtesy of Impact Wrestling. Photomontage by @frenchnygma exclusively for @steelchairmag.