Impact Wrestling – March 8, 2018: They Really Are Good At This
Date: March 8, 2018
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Sonjay Dutt
It’s a big show tonight with Crossroads. The name doesn’t really mean anything but it’s a stacked card with Austin Aries defending the World Title against Johnny Impact as the main event. Last week’s show saw Sami Callihan crush Eddie Edwards’ face with a baseball bat so you can almost guarantee some fallout there. Let’s get to it.
In the studio, Dutt and Matthews run down the card and talk about how important tonight is.
We recap LAX vs. the Cult of Lee, which boils down to “LAX needs challengers and the Cult of Lee is all we have”.
Tag Team Titles: LAX vs. Cult of Lee
LAX is defending and jumps the Cult before the bell. They slug it out on the floor with Caleb Konley throwing Ortiz into the steps to take over. We finally settle down to Santana and Konley in the ring with a Lionsault/legdrop combination crushing Caleb as we take a break. Back with Santana hitting a running kick to the face to put Lee down. The hot tag brings in Ortiz for some running ax handles and a backdrop.
The champs start their double teaming, followed by the barrage of flip dives. Back in and some hard forearms into a superkick rock LAX, followed by a Samoan Driver for two on Santana. Ortiz hits a quick suplex into a Stunner but Lee breaks up the Street Sweeper. Konnan offers a quick distraction though and now the Street Sweeper puts Konley away at 13:00.
Rating: C+. This wasn’t interesting coming in but the action more than made up for it. The problem of course is where do the champs go from here, but odds are it’s going to be a long series of rematches with the Cult. Hopefully they’re like this though as it was a lot of fun and better than I ever would have expected.
Bobby Lashley doesn’t have a partner tonight but is ready to face OVE on his own tonight.
Classic clip: Monty Brown vs. Christian.
We recap Taiji Ishimori vs. Matt Sydal in a title for title match. Grand Champion Sydal has been following the advice of his spirit guide and won the title as a result. Now the guide has told him to go win the X-Division Title as well.
X-Division Title/Grand Championship: Taiji Ishimori vs. Matt Sydal
Title for title. I didn’t hear a bell ring but it’s a feeling out process to start with Sydal taking him up against the ropes and saying PEACE twice in a row. Ishimori spins out of a wristlock as the announcers make fun of internet reports. Sydal takes him up top but gets shoved down, followed by a jumping Codebreaker as we take a break.
Back with Ishimori holding a chinlock but getting slammed head first into the mat for the break. A half crab keeps Ishimori down and a reverse Muta Lock makes things even worse. Ishimori fights up and hits a running kick to the chest, followed by a Vader Bomb double stomp (I still don’t get how that doesn’t crack a rib) for two. A modified TKO (Sydal’s back was against the back of Ishimori’s head) gets two more but Sydal snaps off a middle rope hurricanrana to get things to even.
Sydal is sent outside and Ishimori gets a running start down the ramp for a hurricanrana. Back in and they exchange near falls until Sydal’s jumping knee t the face drops Ishimori. The shooting star misses and Ishimori’s Tombstone gutbuster puts him down. The 450 hits knees though and Sydal hits the shooting star for the pin at 16:25.
Rating: B. Heck of a match here with both guys hitting each other with everything they had. The clean ending is kind of surprising but hopefully this leads to the end of the Grand Championship. This show just doesn’t need that many titles floating around, especially when the Grand Championship is just a standard midcard title anymore.
Allie is ready to win the Knockouts Title back because she’s grown as a Knockout. She’ll dedicate the win to Gail Kim. WELL OF COURSE SHE WILL!
We recap Allie vs. Laurel Van Ness. Laurel is all crazy and such but Allie is growing up and immune to her mind games.
Knockouts Title: Laurel Van Ness vs. Allie
Laurel is defending and Allie jumps her in the aisle to start. They head inside with Laurel hammering away and pounding Allie in the face on the mat. Laurel misses a dive off the top though and walks into a Codebreaker for a double knockdown. Allie suplexes her into the corner and takes Laurel outside where the champ is sat in a chair.
A running elbow drops Laurel but she grabs an Unprettier onto the floor to knock Allie silly. That’s only good for nine so Laurel stomps away back inside and a curb stomp sends Allie face first into the buckle. Laurel grabs the belt but walks into a Death Valley Driver. A superkick is enough to give Allie the title back at 8:40.
Rating: C. This didn’t have time to really go anywhere but Allie getting the title back should have happened about a year ago. It’s nice to have her FINALLY get to do something positive instead of being a glorified joke. Good enough match here too, but it’s really just a way to get the title off of Laurel before she leaves the promotion.
Post break, Gail congratulates Allie. Good, now go away.
Austin Aries is sore from carrying the world on his back. Tonight, he’s ready to defeat Johnny Impact because he doesn’t take nights off.
We recap OVE vs. Lashley. OVE decided to go after a big prize like Lashley but Eddie Edwards came to Lashley’s aide. Then Sami Callihan crushed Eddie’s face with a baseball bat, making this a handicap match.
Lashley vs. OVE
Lashley clotheslines them down on the ramp and then suplexes both of them inside. Some kicks to the ribs take Lashley down though and we take an early break. Back with Lashley still in trouble but here’s Brian Cage to tag himself in and start cleaning house. Dave is sent to the floor so Sami comes in with the baseball bat. That earns him a spear though and Cage Drill Claws Jake for the pin at 9:56.
Rating: D. This was more of an angle than a match and really, that’s fine. It’s not like there was a ton of motivation from OVE in the first place so having them lost (in dominant fashion) to Cage was a good idea. Not a good match or anything, but it’s fun to see Cage destroy people as he’s exceptionally good at doing so.
Post match Cage won’t shake Lashley’s hand.
Johnny Impact has more names than Aries has titles but he doesn’t call himself the greatest man that ever lived. He’s not that insecure and only wants the Impact World Title. Tonight is his night.
Feast or Fired is back next week.
Impact Wrestling World Title: Austin Aries vs. Johnny Impact
Johnny is challenging. Feeling out process to start with Aries rolling into the corner for a standoff. Aries jumps over him in the corner and snaps off an armdrag into an armbar. That’s broken up so Aries settles for a basement dropkick instead. Back from a break with Johnny hitting a jumping fall away slam and grabbing a cobra clutch with a body scissors. Johnny lets go but Aries breaks up a springboard by knocking the legs out.
Aries follows him to the floor with an ax handle and a middle rope elbow to the back gets two. The sliding German suplex gets Johnny out of trouble and a double springboard Flying Chuck gives him a near fall of his own. A leg lariat and the standing shooting star give Johnny two more but Aries is right back with the Last Chancery.
Johnny gets a foot on the ropes for the break and manages to catch Aries on top with a Spanish Fly. That’s not enough for the Countdown to Impact as Aries blasts him in the face and pulls Johnny to the apron. A Death Valley Driver on the apron knocks Johnny silly, followed by the brainbuster to retain the title at 18:11.
Rating: B+. These two know how to have a big match against each other and that’s what we got here. I could have used a story between them but that’s just not the way Impact does big time matches like this. Aries winning is another big deal for him and whenever he loses, the new champion is going to look like a big deal, which is very important for a reign like this.
Alberto El Patron comes out to applaud Aries to end the show. Well where would we be without Alberto getting a title shot?
Overall Rating: A-. Heck of a show here, as is usually the case with these specials. They don’t try to be anything more than a bunch of very good matches and that’s what we got here. The problem of course is going back to the storytelling episodes, which are rarely the strongest things in the world. Impact knows how to do something like this very well though and they did it again here.
LAX b. Cult of Lee – Street Sweeper to Konley
Matt Sydal b. Taiji Ishimori – Shooting star press
Allie b. Laurel Van Ness – Superkick
Austin Aries b. Johnny Impact – Brainbuster
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