We have a new year, a new episode of iMPACT Wrestling and, a NEW owner of this company. It is official everybody, Anthem Sports has purchased iMPACT Wrestling. More to come on this as it would appear we are seeing the return of Dutch Mantel and Jeff Jarrett as backstage consultants, and hopefully a change of direction as far as profit revenue is concerned. So, let’s see how this goes!

We open up with a riveting Eddie Edwards promo. I am sorry I love the guy in the ring but he is very, very bland on the mic. He is someone that really needs to have a mouthpiece so that he can work the crowd better. Now, in fairness to Eddie, he has gotten better at hitting the cheap pops, and the crowd really likes him so he gets a lot of leeway. He cuts a fiery promo about, well the same thing he talks about every week. That he is the champion, he has a target on his back, and that he has to be the best to keep that belt. He teased a surprise, but he is cut off by Lashley, who is also sort of bland on the mic. However, it is still heel, asshole Lashley and so he is just fun to listen to. Lashley tells Eddie that this year will be the year of Lashley. He tells Eddie that he will be handing out ass whoopings and that the first one he is going to hand out is to Eddie. He demands a rematch. This brings out face EC3, worst EC3. I just noticed that EC3 has Randy Orton syndrome, in that, he is unable to wear pants. For some reason if he is just in his trunks he looks fine, However, in a zipup and trunks he looks a lot more naked. Weird I know. Anyways, EC3 makes ha-ha. Also, he calls Eddie out for being white bread, that is the kettle calling the pot…white I guess. Anyways EC3 wants another title shot and spoiler, he got one.

Match 1: Moose (C) vs. The Miracle Mike Bennett for the iMPACT Grand Championship

Recap: Round one sees…holy shit did Michael Bennett gain like 20 pounds of muscle over the break? Headlocks, shoulder blocks and punches in the first round. Round one goes to Michael Bennett. Early in the second round we see Moose hit a one-armed powerbomb. Following this up we see another powerbomb, into a senton, ultimately into a moonsault onto Bennett for a 2. Moose is caught into a cutter for a long 2. Bennett does a rainmaker style punch to the face and then tries for a fireman’s carry but he is countered and Moose hits a nice discus lariat as time expires. Round 2 goes to Moose. Third round stands and Moose is ready to attack. He runs Bennett into the corner and then hits the double choke slam for a long 2 of his own. Moose steps up the ropes and goes for the moonsault but he can connect. Bennett takes the advantage and hits a piledriver but can put Moose away. To follow up this move we see both men slow it down…in a 9 minute match. Punchy, punchy back and forth. We see Moose and Bennett go back and forth seeing Moose lay out Bennett with a huge clothesline and neither man can get up before time expired. We go to the scorecard and your winner by decision Moose. I think I do not like this format anymore. Reason being that I think this is another match that was ruined by the stipulation. It was good, but could have been great without the stip. It took the heat away from the wrestlers and gave it to the judges.

Your Winner and STILL iMPACT Grand Champion: Moose

Backstage we see Swoggle touching Vanguard 1. Jeff taunts Swoggle, for some reason, and Matt acts crazy.

Match 2: Rockstar Spud vs. Swoggle

Recap: LMAO, SQUASH! Spud makes fun of Swoggle and shoves him down. He turns around and is speared, German suplexed, and then is hit with the Celtic Cross for the 1…2…3 loss to Swoggle. Spud then has the quote of the year. He says, “I lost to a 1 year old boy, and now to someone that looks like a 1 year old boy”. He then says, “I Quit!”.

Your Winner: Swoggle

Bennett finds Moose backstage and demands an anything goes match for the One Night Only PPV. Moose accepts. Also we see E-LI Drake backstage, who looks like he gave Bennett the 20 pounds of muscle Bennett found, as we get ready for the Facts of Life segment with the Hardys.

Eli cuts a promo on EC3, but then digresses and brings out the Hardys. I still love this odd-ass entrance. Also, Matt and Jeff are wearing the same set of jammies. E-li breaks down last month’s Total Nonstop Deletion. He tells them that it was also perfect but it was missing E-LI Drake. Matt tells him that he invited anyone from space or time. E-li tells them that he needs personal invitations. Jeff asks him if he needs to fall in love. Matt asks if he needs to be held. Jeff tells him that the Hardy violent hospitality is eternal. E-li tells Hardy that he keeps talking like that he will end up in the Hardy hospital. We go back and forth and this leads to a PPV match between the Broken Hardys and E-LI Drake and a mystery partner. Good back and forth between these guys. I really enjoyed it from start to finish.

Match 3 The Helms Dynasty vs. Decay

Recap: New music for Decay…boooooooo, however, it is still very good. They are still creepy and awesome and I wouldn’t want them any other way. Would you think in 2017 that we would be talking about Crazzy Steve as a good part of iMPACT? We see Decay take it right to Lee and Everett. We finally get to a tag match and we see Steve taking a lot of punishment. Steve looks for the hot tag but he can’t get to Abyss. Everett and Lee work the tags and keep him away from the corner. Deadlift suplex attempt by Lee is thwarted by Steve as he flips through, Cannonballs into Everett and gets the hot tag to Abyss. Abyss lays out a “fighting” Lee and then tries for a double chokeslam on the Helms Dynasty. They break it up and this brings in Helms. Shane goes for the chokeslam on Abyss but, of course, he can’t hit it and AByss shoves him off leading to Rosemary spitting the green mist into his face. Everett tries a springboard but he is caught and he is choke slammed of the top by Abyss causing the 1…2…3!  Good, simple match. After the match DDC comes in and breaks a beer bottle over Decay and run Rosemary off. So, it is official, Decay are now faces.

Your Winners; Decay

Are the serious??? Are we still having this Allie/Maria thing going? Are we serious thinking that a women would just stick around after breaking up with Maria, what five time now. Now she has shown that she is a good wrestler so she has no reason to try and appease Maria. This story needs to die, it really does. Anyways, we get Sienna vs. Allie. We really needed a promo to set this up, I mean we really did.

Match 4: Allie vs. Sienna

Recap: Sienna takes out Allie early. Then Allie remembers that she can work. She then gets cocky and thinks she can slam Sienna. Sienna blocks that shit and hits a fallaway slam. Sienna lost her advantage because of a lame looking leg drop attempt. Hogan she is not. Sienna tries to bully Allie, to the extent that she spat right in her face. Allie couldn’t take it any longer and slapped her hard across the face in retaliation. Finish sees Allie finally bodyslam Sienna, but because Braxton is grabbed by Van Ness on the outside, Allie summons her inner WWE superstar and gets distracted allowing Sienna to bull rush her for the 1…2…3!

Your Winner: Sienna

It’s time for YOUR MAAAAIIIIINNNNN EVENT!

Match 5: Bobby Lashley vs. EC3 vs. Eddie Edwards (C) for the iMPACT Heavyweight Championship

Recap: Lashley takes both man out, however, EC3 and Eddie send him outside. They decide instead of fighting one another they should take out Lashley together. Chop fest outside on Lashley. Back inside we see Lashley finally taken out of the match off of a flapjack and a basement dropkick to the head. We don’t get to see EC3 and Eddie go at it because after the break we see Lashley taking both men out. Body slam on EC3 and a stalling vertical suplex on Eddie. Lashley then goes over to the turnbuckle and removes the pad. He then suplexes EC3 and removes the middle turnbuckle pad. Lashley tries to send Eddie into the exposed turnbuckle but he slides out and enziguris Lashley, who turns around and eats another one by EC3. Punchy, choppy offense between EC3 and Eddie, leading to a double chop to Lashley. We get more CHOPS…from Eddie. We finally see a move by EC3 with a Bret’s rope dropkick onto Eddie. Lashley stop a super-plex and causes a Tower of Doom spot. Lashley takes out Eddie. TKO by EC3 but can’t put Lashley away. EC3 is taken out with the exposed turnbuckle. LAshley spears EC3 on the outside, allowing Eddie to hit the suicide dive. Lashley dodges a diving nothing by Eddie off the top and hits the spear on Eddie. Eddie rolls out and Lashley decides to hit Eddie with the belt. However, Davey Richards saunters to the ring and steals the belt allowing Eddie to hit the Boston Knee Party for the 1…2…3! Match wasn’t bad, it just was a little too long just to be long. Also, the crowd, while active, was so dull through a lot of the false finishes. Anyways an OK end to an Ok night.

Your Winner and STILL iMPACT Heavyweight Champion: Eddie Edwards

Show overall: Another solid, if not boring show for iMPACT. I did not, not enjoy the show. It is just missing something. I don’t get hyped up for the matches that should be important and I just can’t put my finger onto what it is. I think it goes back to the main event. I just don’t like EC3 and I find Eddie as champion a bit dull. I know he is an excellent wrestler and I know he can hold his own as a professional wrestler, but I just don’t buy him as a champion. I hope for things to pick up but I am not so sure that Anthem bought this company to better it, as much as, they bought it to provide programming for their service, as well as, it’s 15 years of tape. We will see, and I hope they will try and give it a breathe of life that it so desperately needs. So…

Until Next Time,

Monty the Yank

www.twitter.com/montytheyank

montytheyank@wrestleworld.co.uk

Monty and Brian Show Podcast on Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/user-202647252