We open with a video package hyping tonight’s Aries/Drake rematch, then we’re off to the arena for our opening match…
Sami Callihan vs Bobby Lashley
Well, this ought to be physical. I guess Lashley found a way out of the trunk, huh? He does NOT looks happy with Sami as he rushes the ring, ducks a swing of a baseball hat by Callihan, and lays Sami out with a clothesline. The Crists pull Lashley out to the floor, so he beats them up and rams them into the steps while Sami gets out to the apron and punts Lashley in the face. Lashley crawls back in, so Sami dumps him back out to the floor, then goes out and gives him a tornado DDT on the concrete. Yeah, I just noticed there’s no mats out there. Isn’t that a little irresponsible in 2018? Back in the ring, Sami goes for a suplex but Lashley reverses. Jake Crist grabs Lashley’s foot from the floor, allowing Sami to dump him over the top and back onto the floor. Sami blows a blob of snot onto his hand and then lets it slowly drip onto the floor, then rams Lashley into the barricade. Sami knocks over a ringside official, then runs all the way around the ring for no reason and walks right into a spear from Lashley as we go to commercial.
We’re back, and they’re trading blows in the middle of the ring. Lashley comes out on top, hits a crossbody, then plants Sami in the middle of the ring with a spinebuster. Lashley goes for a spear, but Sami counters to a front guillotine choke. Lashley gets out and hits a powerslam for 2, then climbs up to do the ten punches in the corner, Sami sits out under him, tucks his head under the top turnbuckle, then superkicks him in the face and hits a sitout powerbomb for 2. Sami hits a running bicycle kick and Lashley no sells, another kick and another no sell, then Lashley just muscles Sami up and hits a wild Dominator before turning Sami inside out with the spear. He makes a cover, but the Crists break the count at 2 and put the boots to Lashley.
Winner: Bobby Lashley by DQ
Great match, and Sami looked like a million bucks for controlling this one the way he did. Eddie Edwards runs in and cleans house on the Crists, then throws Jake to Lashley, who press slams him on top of Sami on the floor. Eddie and Lashley have an uneasy staredown and then dare oVe to come back.
Eli Drake and Chris Adonis are backstage with McKenzie Mitchell, and Eli says this isn’t a rematch, it’s a first match because Eli still considers himself the recognized champion. He hopes Aries enjoys carrying that belt around, because he might have been all over the world picking up titles, but he’s never looked at a guy like Eli Drake, and nobody can stop this because he can’t stop being Eli Drake and being the champ.
Promo for the debut of Brian Cage, which happens tonight!
We go to the LAX clubhouse so Konnan can call Trevor Lee a country caveman and Caleb Konley a fruitloop that hangs out with him. He calls them crackers, toss the salad boys, and fruit roll ups, then tells Homicide that he did such a good job expanding operations in Tijuana that he is sending him to expand into Mexico City.
The Global Wrestling Network takes us back in time to when Allie and Braxton ruined Laurel Van Ness’ wedding, then Allie finds a note from her “secret admirer” as she arrives at the arena telling her to meet her at 22.
Austin Aries is backstage talking about all the title defenses he’s had lately of his other titles, but tonight is his first Impact World Title defense. Nobody expected him to come in and win the title first night out, but Eli made the match, so Aries seized the opportunity. He’s been here through the good and bad times, and he can make a difference here, but he needs to be the Impact World Champion to do that. If Eli wants to talk about facts of life, he hopes Eli prepared himself, because whether it takes 60 seconds or 60 minutes, he is walking out with the title.
Moose is backstage doing a promo with McKenzie when Alberto runs in and they start trading blows.
Hania The Huntress vs Rosemary
They go at it right off the bell, and Rosemary unloads on Hania in the corner, then misses a charge. Hania fires in some forearms and chokes Rosemary, but then Rosemary comes out of the corner with a forearm, then misses another charge. Hania with more forearms and a leg lariat for 2. Hania with another flurry of kicks for 2. Hania charges the corner and runs into Rosemary’s elbow, and then Rosemary gets the hanging headscissors and goes up top for a missile dropkick, but Hania moves out of the way. Hania with a wheelbarrow facebuster, then she howls, stalks Rosemary, and goes for the Deathdrop, but Rosemary gets out, so Hania hits her with an ax kick. Hania goes to the top rope for a crossbody, but Rosemary rolls through and catches the fall.
Hania jumps Rosemary after the match and tosses her to the floor, then rams her into the steps. She goes for a deathdrop on the steps, but Rosemary bits her arm to get out, goes for a Red Wedding on the steps, but Hania runs while Rosemary yells after her that she better get her shots.
Matt Sydal is backstage giving Johnny Impact yoga lessons, and Impact says he’s not sure his body is supposed to do this, but Sydal says his spiritual advisor tells him you have to believe to accomplish, or something. He also says namaste.
EC3 is backstage and welcomes somebody back, then the camera pans off screen and it’s Tyrus! Hey, remember when Tyrus was his bodyguard years ago?
Back to Allie, who gets to station 22 and gets a creepy card, then Laurel Van Ness pops out of a shipping container behind her. Allie bashes her in the head with a box of Valentine’s chocolates and then beats her ass, shuts the lid, starts to storm away, comes back to kick the container, then goes back to storming away.
Ethan Carter III & Tyrus vs Johnny Impact & Matt Sydal
Tyrus gets a welcome back chant as EC3 and Sydal go face to face, then Sydal tags Impact in without making contact. EC3 takes Impact down with a shoulderblock, but Impact gets a series of armdrags, then hangs EC3 on the top rope and Sydal comes in with a top rope stomp to EC3’s abs. Sydal with a flurry of kicks to EC3’s legs, then Impact comes in to hit a double dropkick, but Tyrus takes them both out with a double clothesline. Impact does a flippy thing over Tyrus and tags Sydal in to unload with a flurry of kicks on Tyrus, followed by a standing shooting star press. Sydal comes off the second rope, but Tyrus headbutts him on the way down and hits a heart punch, which Josh asserts is illegal in 49 states (except, obviously, for Florida). EC3 with a delayed vertical suplex on Sydal, and Sydal is in big trouble in the wrong part of town. Tyrus with a big double arm overhead suplex on Sydal, followed by a corner avalanche. Tyrus misses a Vader Bomb and Sydal is able to tag Impact in to clean house. Impact hits a rolling neckbreaker on EC3 for 2, then Sydal goes to the top for the Sydal Press, but changes his mind and leaps onto Tyrus on the floor, but Tyrus catches him and rams him into the apron. Back in the ring, EC3 misses a Stinger Splash on Impact, then Impact goes for a Tidal Krush, but Tyrus trips him up. EC3 rolls him up with his feet on the ropes for the win.
Winners: Ethan Carter III & Tyrus
This was a bit disjointed, but okay.
Austin Aries is backstage, and he’s…STRETCHING! He’s got some of his other belts with him.
We see Jimmy Jacobs and Kongo Kong arriving at the Law Offices of Park, Park & Park (Wait, didn’t Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian come here years ago and find out the place was abandoned?), and Jacobs says it’s only a matter of time before the Monster shows, just a matter of how much time…and how much damage. He tells Kong to burn it down, and Kong sets about trashing the place, including a portrait of a fat old lady I assume is somehow related to the Park clan.
“The Weapon” Brian Cage vs John Cruz
Cage backs Cruz into the corner, unloads with a series of forearms, then launches him across the ring with a hiptoss. Cage with a powerbomb, hauls him up, tosses him into the corner with a buckle bomb, then kills him with a roaring lariat. He deadlifts Cruz off the mat, lifts him up in a vertical suplex, and drops him into a Steiner Screwdriver for the win.
Winner: Brian Cage
He only got about two minutes, but he definitely got his shit in! Seriously, really strong debut for Cage, I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with him. The guy is an unbelievable talent, and if you’re not familiar with him, you’re in for a treat.
Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley are backstage and decide to go looking for LAX, but instead they find Fallah Bahh stuffing his face. Instead, they find those two masked guys from the India tapings and beat them up thinking they’re really LAX, but they take the masks off and it’s…not LAX. They leave to go find LAX.
Eli Drake and Chris Adonis are backstage, and they’re…WALKING!
X Division Title Match: Taiji Ishimori vs El Hijo Del Phantasma
They do a bunch of flippy dippy, then Phantasma hits a big boot and hangs Ishimori up on the top rope. Phantasma with a modified trailer hitch, Ishimori gets out, and Phantasma hits a side backbreaker as we go to commercial.
We’re back, and Ishimori is mounting a comeback, driving Phantasma to the floor and hitting a somersault dive. Phantasma comes back with a dive of his own, but Ishimori is right up, springboard moonsaults off the apron, runs up the ramp, and runs all the way back with a flying headscissors on the floor, then goes up top for a moonsault to the floor. Back into the ring where Phantasma goes for a Tombstone, Ishimori counters to the Tombstone lungblower, then goes to the top and hits the 450 splash for the win.
Winner: Taiji Ishimori
Wow, this was indytastic. We run down next week’s card, and then…IT’S MAIN EVENT TIME!
Impact World Title Match: Austin Aries vs Eli Drake
Aries comes out with four different championship belts. He takes Eli to the mat and goes right into the Last Chancery, but Drake scoots to the floor. He comes back in and unloads with heavy right hands, then mocks the fans for cheering for Aries. Aries leapfrogs Drake and hits a series of armdrags, Drake gets a headscissors, and has obviously never seen an Austin Aries match before since Aries does his escape dropkick. Drake with more heavy shots, but Aries fires back as we go to commercial.
We’re back as Aries hits a big pumping elbow, then a series of forearms and a charging elbow in the corner. Aries off the second rope with a rolling elbow to Eli’s back for 2, then he takes the elbowpad off and goes for a roaring elbow, but Drake catches him coming in with a big boot. Eli chokes Aries on the middle rope, then goes to the apron and hits a guillotine legdrop for 2. Neckbreaker for another 2, then Eli catapults Aries into the bottom rope and covers for 2. Aries rolls out of the way of a springboard moonsault, then they trade blows. Aries gets the better of that, gets backdropped to the apron, then gives Eli a neckbreaker over the middle rope. Aries to the top and hits a missile dropkick for 2. Aries with an O’Connor roll for 2, he goes to the top, but Eli runs up and superplexes Aries, holds on, and hits a Snowplow for 2. Aries dodges a corner charge, Aries hits the corner dropkick and dumps Drake to the floor, goes for the heat seeking missile, Drake moves, and Aries wipes out Adonis instead. Drake picks Aries up and dumps him back first on the ring apron, then they go back in and Drake goes for the Gravy Train, but Aries slips out and gets the Last Chancery. Aries releases to knock Adonis off the apron, and Drake rolls him up for 2. Aries quickly hits the brainbuster, and that’s all she wrote.
Winner: Austin Aries
Great main event! Say what you will about Aries, but he’s always been one of the best in the ring. I’m looking forward to seeing him back in Impact.
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