Impact Wrestling: Redemption 2018

I cannot stress enough to you that there is nothing I want less than to be interested in Impact Wrestling. One of my favorite things to is to make fun of Kyle on our weekly shows regarding his interest in the promotion. “The check is in the mail,” is commonly something you’ll hear me joke about when we mention this promotion. However, the new title belts being announced (which are GORGEOUS, by the way) and the overall excitement about the potential of this card made me so excited, I purchased the PPV this past Sunday.

But then Redemption 2018 came around

You’ll see in the words below just how much I absolutely enjoyed watching this show. The title of this PPV was “Redemption” and it honestly could not be more fitting. Impact Wrestling has completely changed it’s standing to some of the most die hard wrestling fans.

With nearly 200 votes, Impact Wrestling: Redemption 2018 was deemed an “A” according to the internet wrestling community

Seriously, look on Twitter and see the reactions for yourself! I ran a poll on our Twitter account immediately following the show and the responses were overwhelmingly positive. With nearly 200 votes, Impact Wrestling: Redemption 2018 was deemed an “A” according to the internet wrestling community. And if there is anything you should know about the IWC it’s that we often complain when things are not very good.

Enough of the blab, let’s review some wrestling!

I use a 5 star system similar to another wrestling critic you may be very familiar with. I grade the matches based on in-ring storytelling, technical wrestling ability, and other things that impress me in the build-up and result of the match. 

Aerostar vs Drago

After much difficulty getting my printer to work so I could complete some homework while watching this PPV, I finally log into FITE TV and am delighted to see this match which was one of the main reasons I purchased the PPV.

Aerostar vs Drago put on an absolutely phenomenal match and what was the perfect beginning to this event. The luchadors did that crazy lucha-libre style wrestling that we’ve all grown to love. Despite a few botches and mishaps on the loose corner turnbuckle (a reoccurring theme for the night) Aerostar was able to hit a rolling cutter and a mid rope apron to in-ring codebreaker.

RATING: 3/5

LAX (C) vs Eli Drake and Scott Steiner

You have a 66 2/3 chance to properly guess the result of this match, but once you add Scott Steiner to the match, your odds drastic go down.

Yup. Scott Steiner has returned to Impact Wrestling and honestly, it was pretty enjoyable. Sure, Steiner is in his upper 50’s now and he isn’t in quite the “roided out” state he once was, but the guy looked pretty decent. I mean, he hit a Frankensteiner at his age.

Naturally, Impact gave us that one weird decision that the company is known for and Eli Drake and Scott Steiner walk away with the Impact Tag Belts. 2018 is delightfully weird.

RATING: 2/5

Brian Cage vs Ishimori vs Dezmond Xavier vs El Hijo del Fantasma vs DJZ vs Trevor Lee

I have not seen much of Brian Cage, Dezmond Xavier, or Trevor Lee despite hearing a lot about these guys from Twitter and Kyle. I left this match incredibly impressed by all of these gentlemen.

Brian Cage has the pure strength and talent that Brock Lesnar once possessed and wowed us with when he had his initial run with WWE. Dezmond Xavier, DJZ, and Trevor Lee all impressed as well. This was a Lucha Rules match, which was confusing, but it controlled the chaos and made the match very watchable.

Brian Cage wins, because of course he did. However, the match was a lot of fun. Watch this match.

RATING: 4/5

Taya Valkyrie vs Kiera Hogan

There isn’t a lot to say about this match. It was very clunky and honestly, not very enjoyable to watch, in my opinion.

However, the commentary segment with our special guest, Tessa Blanchard, was absolutely worth the 8 minute dud of a match. Tessa Blanchard has joined Impact NOT WWE. This is a good situation for both her and Impact Wrestling and I cannot wait to see how this goes!

RATING: 1/5

Matt Sydal (C) vs Petey Williams

I don’t know much about either of these guys and honestly, I still don’t. I did find the wrestling to be very technical and enjoyable. There was definitely a story told in the ring with Petey Williams trying everything he can to land his Candian Destroyer finisher.

However, he was eventually outlasted and beat by Matt Sydal who would retain his title. Good match.

RATING: 3/5

House of Hardcore Match: OVE vs Tommy Dreamer, Moose, & Eddie Edwards

I am always a huge sucker for gimmick matches. The more potentially violent the match, the more likely I am to sit there and absolutely enjoy it.

This was 100% a match made for guys like me. The pace of this match was very, very quick. Tommy Dreamer looked really good and did all of his vintage stuff. No one in this match looked bad.

The important thing, however, was the aftermath. After losing to his nemesis AGAIN, Eddie Edwards absolutely snaps. He starts to beat Callahan down and bloodies him up. He began to strike EVERYONE near him.

The most shocking moment? He was so in the moment that he struck a girl (his wife?) which completely shook him out of his spell of violence. Great storytelling, brilliant way to move the story and develop character for Eddie Edwards.

RATING: 4/5

Allie (c) vs Su Yung

I tweeted a vide of Su Yung’s entrance because her character is exactly what I love about non-WWE promotions. Yes, it’s weird. Sure, it may not be appropriate for all audiences. It is, however, a complete expression of her individuality and her character.

This match also did something else for me. It made me realize that WWE may not have the best women’s division in professional wrestling. I think that claim belongs to Impact.

Allie is a very, very talented wrestler. She is completely deserving of wearing the championship. Su Yung is also serviceable and talented in the ring. I thoroughly enjoyed this match and looked forward to more of Allie as the champ.

Does she face Tessa Blanchard next? Let’s hope so.

RATING: 3/5

Austin Aries (c) vs Fenix Jr vs Pentagon

Oh. My. Goodness.

This match was absolutely phenomenal. Austin Aries looked great, he hit a 450 splash on both Fenix and Pentagon at one point that resulted in a kickout. Every competitor in this match was booked correctly and looked amazingly strong. Triple Threat matches do not always accomplish that.

One of the best spots of the match was Pentagon completely his finisher to Aries with Fenix on his back. He then hit Austin Aries with his finisher again, pinned the champ, and claimed the belt as his own.

A Luchador is the world champ in Impact.

This speaks VOLUMES to me for this company, honestly. To me, it says that they are willing to make new stars even with lesser known guys instead of continuing to put the top belt on guys that left WWE and signed with Impact.

This is great news for the company and better news for us as fans. Honestly, just seeing this match alone would have made me a fan of both Pentagon and Impact wrestling.

RATING: 4.5/5

Final Word:

My words do not do enough to explain to you the absolute quality of this event. It was brilliant and a lot of fun. I am beyond thrilled to experience the redemption of Impact Wrestling and look forward to adding this to my weekly rotation of wrestling products.

2018 is amazing guys. Impact joins NJPW, WWE, NXT, and ROH as much watch products for me. I also have heard Progress and PWG are putting on amazing shows.

OVERALL RATING: 4/5

About The Author:

Anthony is one of the co-hosts of the Smark to Death podcast. He has very strong opinions about wrestling and favors NJPW to all other products at this moment. Since Joey recently released his top 10, Anthony has provided his list of his top 10 wrestlers – Marty Scurll, Johnny Gargano, Kenny Omega, Daniel Bryan, Okada, Young Bucks, Jay White, Flip Gordon, Braun Strowman, and Naito. 

Follow Smark to Death on Twitter – @smarktodeath, on Instagram – @smarktodeathpodcast, like the page on Facebook, and join the Facebook group! 

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