COMMENTATORS: Matt Striker & D’Lo Brown
This week on Impact Wrestling we get the first two matches announced for the next Impact Plus show, an 8-man tag team main event, a Fire ‘n Flava Festival that goes about as well as you’d expect, and…yeah. Sorry lost my train of thought there.
- IMPACT WORLD CHAMPION: Rich Swann
- IMPACT KNOCKOUTS CHAMPION: “The Virtuosa” Deonna Purrazzo
- IMPACT X-DIVISION CHAMPION: TJP
- IMPACT WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Good Brothers (“Big LG” Doc Gallows & “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson)
- IMPACT KNOCKOUTS CHAMPIONS: Fire ‘n Flava (KIera Hogan & Tasha Steelz)
- Josh Alexander & Matt Cardona vs. Ace Austin & Madman Fulton
- Eddie Edwards vs. Brian Myers
- Rosemary vs. Tenille Dashwood
- Cousin Jake vs. Joe Doering
- Rich Swann, Willie Mack, Tommy Dreamer, & ??? vs. Moose, Chris Bey, Sami Callihan, & Ken Shamrock
-PREVIOUSLY ON IMPACT: AEW’s Private Party defeated Chris Sabin & James Storm to become the #1 contenders to the Impact World Tag Team Championship, thanks to the help of AEW official Jerry Lynn.
–Rich Swann opened the show and called Tommy Dreamer to the ring. He said that February 13th was not only the date of No Surrender (the next Impact Plus special) but Dreamer’s 50th birthday and offered him a gift: a shot at the World Championship. Sami Callihan interrupted, understandably mad at being overlooked. Chris Bey interrupted next, wanting another shot at Swann, then finally Moose came out and reminded Swann that he promised him a shot. Swann told Moose that the match with Dreamer is happening next month and that Moose tried to get his shot on his time, but he’s really on Swann’s time. Naturally a brawl broke out amongst the group, with Willie Mack coming out to lend a hand and even the odds…until Callihan “hacked” the studio and Ken Shamrock joined the fray.
- Rich Swann vs. Tommy Dreamer is a match that has NEVER crossed my mind as being something that would happen, so that alone got my interest piqued for No Surrender. If anyone is going to get a good match out of Dreamer it’s going to be Swann. Rest of the segment felt very WWE-like, obviously setting up a multi-person match for the main event which was…fine, I guess. The only challenger I really care about ultimately is Moose, but Impact is just going to make me wait for it.
-After a commercial break Rich Swann, Willie Mack, and Tommy Dreamer caught up with Scott D’Amore wanting to fight the folks who attacked them a few moments ago. D’Amore noticed they were a man short and said he had a good MYSTERY PARTNER for them tonight. Swann and company seemed VERY excited at the prospect.
–Good Brothers vs. Private Party for the Impact World Tag Team Championship was casually announced for No Surrender by Striker & Brown as they ran down tonight’s card.
Josh Alexander & Matt Cardona defeated Ace Austin & Madman Fulton when Cardona pinned Fulton following a Ruff Ryder (6:25 shown)
- Alexander stressed that this team-up with Cardona was only happening once. Man I hope so, I want a Josh Alexander singles run.
- Despite this being just a “one-time” thing Alexander & Cardona worked well together at the start, with Alexander backdropping Cardona onto Austin & Fulton heading into the commercial. Cardona got the hot tag shine in this one and got the win after Austin accidentally lifting him up in the perfect position to hit his finish on Fulton. I’m still calling it the Ruff Ryder but it probably has some Cardona-like name that I probably used at Hard to Kill but didn’t bother going back to see. Consistency is overrated.
- I liked the match overall, as I said Alexander & Cardona made a pretty good team considered it was their first (AND ONLY) time teaming together. Not a fan of Austin & Fulton taking the loss here, but I do kinda like that Fulton is the one that takes the pins for his team. Normally the smaller guy is the one who gets fed to opponents but they’ve got an opposite day thing going here.
-IMPACT PLUS FLASHBACK: Matt Hardy makes his TNA debut as Rob Van Dam’s surprise opponent (Genesis 2011)
- The tease was that JEFF Hardy was going to be RVD’s opponent, rekindling their WWE rivalry but it was the ol’ bait and switch. God I hated the Hogan/Bischoff Era. Also this wasn’t Hardy at his best mentally or physically so this was a weird thing to highlight. I get why they did it but…oof.
–Rohit Raju spoke to an unseen person, asking if he had his back in his non-title match with TJP next week. Apparently he does. The “person” didn’t seem to move so I’m really hoping it’s a mirror or something ridiculous. Raju is looking to beat TJP so he can have an ACTUAL title match.
–Tony Khan & Tony Schiavone delivered another “paid” advertisement for tomorrow’s AEW Dynamite episode, which will feature The Good Brothers in 8-man tag team action. Khan was very pleased with the fact Private Party are number one contenders to the Impact World Tag Team Championship, not mentioning his sort-of involvement in the main event outside of being “in the zone”. This was the best segment of the night, for better or worse. These AEW things tend to be.
–Brian Myers ran into Josh Alexander and Matt Cardona backstage. Cardona tried to be buddy buddy but Myers went full ego on him, making fun of Alexander for choosing to team with his “Jannetty” instead of him, and having to leave so he could beat another former World Champion. Cardona ended the segment calling Myers “Bad Mood Brian” which might be a reference they use on their action figure podcast but I wouldn’t know. I’m only wrestling blog-sad when it comes to my fandom, not wrestling figure-sad.
Brian Myers defeated Eddie Edwards via DQ (6:11)
- Edwards appeared to snap at the end of the match, jabbing Myers in the eye and tearing open a head wound Myers had, busting him open and forcing the ref to call for the DQ.
- Before that finish though I was into the match. I think Brian Myers is doing great stuff and even an autopilot Eddie Edwards is more or less good. Looks like Impact is reverting Edwards back to his crazy “hardcore” state again, which is fine I guess. I mean what else is there left to do with him, he’s done EVERYTHING possible in Impact at this point. Dude probably has a job for life if he wants it though, he’s been their AJ Styles for awhile now.
–Fire ‘n Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz) discuss their upcoming Festival later tonight, with Steelz not feeling too hype about what they have planned. Johnny Swinger and his random ladies walk by, which gives Hogan the WORST idea.
–”Big Money” Matt Hardy and Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen) discussed both No Surrender and the tag team battle royal next week on Dynamite, Hardy desperate to have them win both so he can make even more money with his managerial cut.
Rosemary [w/ Crazzy Steve] defeated Tenille Dashwood [w/ Kaleb with a K] via pinfall with As Above So Below (4:55)
- Dashwood tried to get the victory early by hitting Rosemary with Kaleb’s camera bag behind the ref’s back but could not put the Demon Assassin down.
- Striker was absolutely UNBEARABLE during this match, whining about social media and other nonsense and just coming off real smug. Drove me absolutely nuts.
- Whoever is designing Kaleb’s wardrobe should get a raise, his outfits are GREAT at making me want to punch him right in the face.
- Apparently Rosemary’s finisher is called As Above So Below. Or maybe Striker just made that up. Either way I like it.
–Acey Romero welcomed back his tag partner Larry D, fresh from jail. Larry D vowed revenge on Rosemary for putting a spell on him and making him shoot John E. Bravo. Rosemary and Crazzy Steve popped in, Larry D slapped Steve and XXXL walked off, saying they don’t hit girls.
- OH MY GOD IMPACT JUST LET THIS GODDAMN THING DIE ALREADY I’M BEGGING YOU PLEASE STOP.
–Johnny Swinger hung out in “Swinger’s Palace” with his ladies as John E. Bravo cleaned out Fallah Bahh at the poker table. Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz rolled in and invited everyone to the Festival, except Bahh. Swinger was dressed like a caveman because…reasons, I guess.
–Deonna Purrazzo bragged about beating Taya Valkyrie at Hard to Kill while Kimber Lee bragged about her and Susan’s win over Jordynne Grace & Jazz last week. Grace & Jazz confronted them and Susan angrily challenged Grace to a singles match for next week, which she happily accepted.
THE FIRE ‘N FLAVA FESTIVAL
Alisha Edwards MCed the event, introducing Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz to the ring. Johnny Swinger tried to get some hugs but was spurned, the old pervert. If you’ve read anything about the Fyre Festival you know how this went: the catering was just bread and cheese, the booze sucked, and there were no celebrities. The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man showed up at ringside and was angrily confronted by Hogan, but it turned out to be Neveah in disguise. Havok then hit the ring and attacked Steelz, and the duo sent the Knockouts Tag Team Champs running.
- Absolutely dreadful. Hogan, Steelz, & Swinger are funny but even they couldn’t save this absolute dumpster fire (fyre?) of a segment. It was a dated joke that dragged on for far too long and was kind of embarrassing by the end. It was supposed to be played for laughs but it did NOT land whatsoever.
–Chris Sabin and James Storm drank at the Skyway Studios bar. They are not done with The Good Brothers or Private Party and are remaining a team for now, I guess. Right on.
–Brandon Tolle tried to get a refund from Fire ‘n Flava because of how bad their Festival was, and got spurned. K.
Joe Doering [w/ Eric Young & Deaner] defeated Cousin Jake via pinfall after a lariat (3:14)
- Much shorter than I would’ve liked but Impact needed the time for their bad comedy, I guess. What we did get was fun though, Jake is one of the best big men in the game and Doering does a lot with a little.
- After the match Young surprisingly stopped an attack on Jake, then dropped a Violent By Design towel on him, seemingly an offer to join their group. I hope he doesn’t join, we still haven’t gotten a proper Jake/Deaner match yet.
–Trey Miguel made his surprise return to Impact Wrestling as part of Rich Swann’s team for the main event, sporting a new look and music. He’s wearing similar gear to Masato Yoshino, in that it looks like it’s supposed to be singlet but it’s not actually worn as such. Why even do it then?
Rich Swann, Willie Mack, Tommy Dreamer, & Trey Miguel defeated Moose, “The Ultimate Finesser” Chris Bey, “The Draw” Sami Callihan, & “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” Ken Shamrock when Miguel pinned Callihan following a hurricanrana (8:00 or so shown)
- Swann and company wore Impact jackets to the ring as a united front…and it appeared that Miguel struggled mightily to unzip it.
- Moose tried to battle Swann right away but Bey finessed his way into the match…by blind tagging himself in. Moose would get some revenge later, using Bey as a weapon as the heels beat the heck out of Willie Mack. Shoutout to Bey as well for his EXCELLENT overselling of both a pop-up forearm and a Stunner by Mack. Best part of the whole match.
- Miguel was making his big return so he got all the shine here with an explosive hot tag and a brand new aggressive attitude/attack. No more Rascalz stuff here, he was SRS BSNESS through and through and I really dug it. Callihan tried to hit a Package Piledriver but Miguel countered with a rana roll-up to get the pin. A perfectly fine TV main event, cool to see Miguel get that level of attention.
Show concluded with Shamrock attacking a ref and a pair of other officials coming out trying to stop it.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Not a fan of this week’s episode. The segments verged from fine to AWFUL while the wrestling didn’t really captivate me much. None of it was bad, it was just sorta…there. I did like seeing Trey Miguel return though and the main event ended up being pretty fun but as a whole the show just didn’t work for me. Enough pieces to keep me watching but begrudgingly.
- MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Rich Swann, Willie Mack, Tommy Dreamer, & Trey Miguel vs. Moose, Chris Bey, Sami Callihan, & Ken Shamrock
- MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Chris Bey’s sell of the pop-up forearm, the shaking legs and flop to the canvas being PERFECT.