WrestleMania Weekend: Impact Vs Lucha Underground Review

TNA_vs_LUCHA_238©_Janice_Mersiovsky-150x200_c IMPACT Wrestling vs. Lucha Underground Photos Wrestlecon IMPACT vs. Lucha

Here come the chops. Credit: Impact

I don’t know how many times I’ve claimed to be done with TNA/GFW/Impact. It feels like it’s a regular occurrence. However, they keep finding ways to drag me back in. Their latest plan to get me to care again involved teaming up with Lucha Underground for their WrestleMania Weekend show. At a time of year when a lot of companies wheel out the same faces, it was something a bit different. You could officially declare me interested.

The Monster Mantanza Cueto defeated Caleb Konley, Chavo Guerrero Jr, Jack Evans, Moose and Matt Sydal

If you’re giving me a Lucha themed show and you start with a trios match that trios match better be crazy. What it better not include is a section involving a 47-year-old Chave Guerrero going through the motions. I know people love the Guerreros, but his day his long gone.

We got a touch of the crazy from Evans and Sydal alongside some fun face-offs between Moose and Cueto (Jeff Cobb under an uncomfortable looking mask). Sadly, neither of those things were enough to make up for the lack of flips. WHERE’S MY FLIPS?

Verdict: Two Stars

Allie defeated Taya Valkyrie to retain the Impact Knockout’s Title

Allie is what Bailey should be. A likeable babyface who works well from underneath. I’m still not over the fact they’ve mucked up Bailey, guys.

This was built around Allie getting her big comeback. Valkyrie controlled the majority of it, using her power to bully the Impact champion. She has an excellent vicious streak which was sadly let down by the fact that everything was done at a half pace. I enjoyed what she was doing, I just wanted her to have a bit more urgency while she did it.

When Allie finally had her comeback, the only let down was that the fans weren’t behind her like they could have been. As a general rule, they were pro-LU and anti-Impact which didn’t help during a moment like this. Still, both women did their jobs well making it an enjoyable match.

Verdict: Two And Three Quarter Stars

Teddy Hart and Scott Steiner defeated oVe (Jake and Dave Crist)

I’d already had my Teddy Hart quota over the course of the weekend and on the second go around it wasn’t as fun anymore. He’s like someone has loaded up WWE 2K18 and created a character with all the cool moves. There is no denying it’s impressive, but if a Project Ciampa has the same impact as a punch, the Project Ciampa quickly loses its shine.

Amazingly, he did do some selling here as oVe took control and worked over Teddy. Sadly, it was ruined by how horribly dull it was. Still, he bumped a little bit, so I guess we have to give him credit for that.

It all led to am awful Scott Steiner hot tag. He made Chavo look like Will Ospreay as he lumbered around the ring hitting shitty suplexes.

This was crap, there’s no other way to put it.

Verdict: One Star

Aero Star, Drago and King Cuerno defeated Andrew Everett, Desmond Xavier and DJZ

FLIPS! Damn, I wish this had opened the show. All the complaints I had about the opener were made up for here. It was all about the flips while King Cuerno ended up with a bleeding nip, hey that rhymes.

Xavier and Z had great weekends and kept that up. They are ridiculously smooth and a pleasure to watch. Then the Lucha boys all came out and did the kind of beautiful Lucha crap that I love. It doesn’t matter how many times I watch those sequences, they always make me smile. Flip my perfect boys, flip.

There wasn’t any storytelling here or even that much in the way of psychology. However, they did a load of awesome shit. So let’s not complain too much.

Verdict: Three And Three Quarter Stars

Trevor Lee defeated Marty The Moth

This was going to be Lee vs Famous B, but B called in Moth as a replacement. They went on to have a completely unmemorable performance. The only spot that lingered in my mind was Marty stopping Lee from driving his head into the turnbuckle only to continue headbutting it himself. That was amusing for all of five seconds.

Trevor Lee is a weird case. I’ve seen him be fantastic and I’m pretty sure that you can go through past reviews and read me describe him as one of the most underrated wrestlers on the planet. However, he also has performances like this in him. Matches that are just there. If you want to be great, you can’t do that.

Verdict: Two Stars

LAX (Ortiz and Santana) defeated Killshot and The Mack

Killshot is Shane Strickland in a mask. He and Mack made an enjoyable team. Mack can move for a big guy and, at one point, he did a handstand in the corner combined with a little wriggle. It was all kinds of hot. They even pulled out a couple of innovative double team moves including a Powerbomb/Double Stomp combo that looked great.

And after me talking about Lee being an underrated wrestler, I think it’s safe to say you could level the same claim at LAX. They’re a fantastic team and work together brilliantly. There was a slight botch towards the end when they weren’t entirely on the same page, but they quickly recovered and finished off the Lucha team.

This was the best match on the show so far. We got a little bit of everything as they had a fun back and forth contest. It’s the first thing that you should go out of your way to see.

Verdict: Three And Three Quarter Stars

Brian Cage defeated Eli Drake

 

This one caught me off-guard. On paper, you’ve got two limited workers going face to face. It had every chance to come crashing off the rails. In reality, they went out and worked to their strengths to put on a solid TV match.

There’s not much more to say about it. I won’t be encouraging you to rush to Twitch and watch it. However, both men can come out of this pleased with what they achieved.

Verdict: Two And A Half Stars

Jeremiah Crane defeated Eddie Edwards in an I Quit match

I’m sure you’re all aware of the build-up to this one. It started with that daft baseball bat spot from Crane/Sami Callihan which nearly blinded Edwards. For what it’s worth, while it was stupid as hell, I have no problem with Callihan using it to get heel heat/sell merch. It’s wrestling and as long as Eddie’s cool with it why shouldn’t he milk it?

That doesn’t mean I wanted to watch this. Crane does nothing for me and while Edwards is a great worker, the I Quit formula was too big a hurdle for him to overcome. It leads to plodding action as the ref continually has to get involved to shove his microphone in people’s faces. No-one wants to watch that. I want to watch it even less when I have to listen to Matt Striker and Josh Matthew’s bicker over the top of it.

Then we got a finish that apparently saw Crane going too far in a match that has no rules specifically so wrestlers can go too far. After an oVe interference, Crane was set up to do it all over again when Don Callis (who is the co-executive vice president of Impact) came down and threw in the towel. While I get wanting to protect Edwards by not having him quit, why book an I Quit in the first place if that’s an issue? I’m a Callis fan, but that doesn’t mean I want him as a regular TV character and I’m worried that’s where this is heading.

Verdict: One And A Half Stars

Pentagon Dark defeated Austin Aries and Rey Fenix

Alberto El Patron no-showing was the best thing to happen to this main event. No-one really wants to see that horrible prick. If they do, they just haven’t been told why they don’t want to yet.

With him removed, we got three talented wrestlers doing their thing. Rey Fenix is a genuine marvel. The way he bounces around the ring is outstanding. Throw in Pentagon Dark and you’re on to a winner. Whether they’re teaming up or chopping the crap out of each other, The Lucha Bros have sublime chemistry. Having worked over Aries with some fun double teams, they eventually fell out and went to work on each other. I could watch them do that all day.

This was also my first time seeing Aries do his thing post-WWE and he hasn’t lost a step. He’s the kind of wrestler who excels in this environment as he becomes the glue that holds everything together. The guys a fantastic pro-wrestler and while he’s working for companies that I don’t follow, it’s nice to have him back on the indies.

In the end, Pentagon would get the win with the Pentagon Driver and finish off a tremendous main event. With a bit more time and some story support, these three could have stolen any show going over this weekend. As it stood, we have to put off with them just taking this one.

Verdict: Three And Three Quarter Stars

Overall Show

Impact vs Lucha Underground was a fun show, if not necessarily a great one. I’m not going to tune into Impact anytime soon, but they’ve got a PPV coming up and I’ll give it a go. It’s free on Twitch so if you’ve got the time I reckon this is worth checking out.

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