VENUE: The Factory (Dallas, TX)
COMMENTATORS: Tom Hannifan & D’Lo Brown
VIEWING METHOD: DVR
Impact Wrestling this week features a double title match as Deonna Purrazzo puts her AAA Reina de Reinas Championship on the line against Rok-C and her ROH Women’s World Championship. But that’s not the only Ring Of Honor we’ll be seeing on tonight’s show.
- IMPACT WORLD CHAMPION: Moose
- IMPACT KNOCKOUTS WORLD CHAMPION: Mickie James
- IMPACT X-DIVISION CHAMPION: Trey Miguel
- IMPACT DIGITAL MEDIA CHAMPION: Jordynne Grace
- IMPACT WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Good Brothers (“Big LG” Doc Gallows & “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson
- IMPACT KNOCKOUTS WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The IInspiration (Cassie Lee & Jessie McKay)
- Laredo Kid vs. Chris Bey (***1/2)
- Mike Bailey vs. Jake Something (***)
- Masha Slamovich vs. Vert Vixen (SQUASH)
- Moose [c] vs. Zicky Dice for the IMPACT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
- Rok-C [ROH] vs. Deonna Purrazzo [AAA] for the ROH WOMEN’S WORLD & AAA REINA DE REINAS CHAMPIONSHIPS (***3/4)
-OPENING VIDEO: Highlights from this past Saturday’s Hard to Kill PPV.
W. Morrissey storms his way into the arena, grabbing people and asking if they’ve seen Moose. Unsatisfied with their answer he heads to the ring, yelling at Moose to get out there RIGHT NOW. Morrissey says it figures Moose doesn’t want to come out here as he had him beat at Hard to Kill for a ten-count. Morrissey tells Moose for once in life have the BALLS to face somebody man-to-man. When the champ doesn’t respond Morrissey says that he will not stop until he gets his World Title match and demands Moose give him the shot TONIGHT.
Moose appears…via big screen. He says there’s going to be a World Championship match tonight but it’s not going to be Morrissey; he’s going to pick someone who’s never had the opportunity before, telling Morrissey to get in the back of the line. Morrissey says he has a feeling Moose won’t make it to his World Title match tonight.
Morrissey is stopped backstage by Scott D’Amore, who says he has authorized Moose’s World Title match tonight. Morrissey protests, D’Amore tells him he’s not going to interfere. Morrissey starts to respond but D’Amore is interrupted by someone on his headset.
Show cuts back to ringside where Matt Taven, Maria Kanellis, and Vincent have shown up at the announce table. Taven demands the headset from Brown, who reluctantly hands it over, then gets in Hannifan’s face to try and take his. Brown comes to the aid of his new broadcast partner and is quickly overwhelmed by the ROH contingent, including Mike Bennett who attacks from the crowd. Bennett and Vincent lay Brown across a table and PCO launches off the apron with a cannonball…BUT THE TABLE DOESN’T BREAK so they do it again, this time splintering the wood. Taven asks “Tom New Name” to say something then leaves with the ROH group, teasing that they will be back.
- JON’S THOUGHTS: I dug that a lot. Morrissey continues doing the best work of his career and I loved how that segment bled into the ROH Invasion and massacre of D’Lo Brown. Props to Brown for being willing to take two bumps to finally break the table.
-After a replay of the fate that befell D’Lo Brown moments ago, Hannifan soldiers on the best he can by hyping the company’s 20th anniversary, their movie sponsor The King’s Daughter, and tonight’s scheduled card.
-A highlight reel plays of ROH Women’s World Champ “The Prodigy” Rok-C.
-X-Division Champion Trey Miguel joins Hannifan on commentary to both help him and do a little scouting for potential future challengers to his title.
Laredo Kid vs. “The Ultimate Finesser” Chris Bey
Bey comes into this one 1-0 against Kid, having defeated him last month thanks to help from the Bullet Club. The two were also part of the fatal four way during the countdown show for Hard to Kill, won by “Speedball” Mike Bailey.
Bey attacks early, Kid wrestles control and lights him up in the corner. Bey reverses a corner whip, Kid dodges the charge and connects with an enzuigiri followed by a springboard crossbody. Bey sweeps the legs, Kid dodges a double stomp and clothesline, sending Bey to the floor and following up with a springboard crossbody. Kid tries to throw Bey into the ring, Bey counters with a mini-619 followed by a springboard moonsault, standing tall as the show goes to commercial.
Bey is still in control as the show returns, continuing to wear Kid down as Miguel has a hard time focusing on commentary after what happened to D’Lo. Kid dodges Bey in the corner and connects with a pair of double knees, Bey escapes to the apron and drops the back of Kid’s neck across the back rope, following up with a slingshot elbowdrop for the 1…2…Kid kicks out. Miguel mentions Mike Bailey as a potential X-Division challenger. YES. GIVE ME WHAT I WANT. Bey stares Miguel down as he lights Kid up with a chop on the floor. Kid and Bey trade shots on the apron, Kid connecting with a suplex across the top rope and sending him ricocheting to the apron and floor. Kid rolls in Bey, escapes back to the floor, Kid makes him pay with a tope suicida. Back in the ring Kid connects with a bottom rope moonsault followed by a middle rope moonsault and covers for the 1…2…Bey kicks out. Bey catches Kid with a shoulder to the apron and sends him crashing into the buckles, following up with a spinebuster and BRAINBUSTER for the 1…2…Kid kicks out! Bey picks Kid up, Kid counters with a roll-up for the 1…2…Bey kicks out. Kid drives Bey into the corner and connects with an open hand slap followed by a forearm shiver. Kid props Bey on the buckles, Bey sends him crashing to the canvas but Kid quickly recovers with an enzuigiri and a TOP ROPE SPANISH FLY for the 1…2…3..
Laredo Kid defeated Chris Bey via pinfall (8:32 shown)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Dug the match, dug the commentary. Tom Hannifan is the best hire Impact has made in FOREVER, feels like he’s been there forever and has integrated himself well. Miguel was good on commentary as well, making sure to put both competitors over as well as himself and he had good chemistry with Hannifan. That ending Spanish Fly from Laredo Kid was AWESOME, almost looked more like a flipping belly-to-belly which somehow made it even better. (***1/2)
Kid celebrates the win, making sure to point at the X-Division Championship so Trey Miguel knows he’s gunning for him.
–Heath, Rhino, Eddie Edwards, Rich Swann, & Willie Mack are fuming backstage about the ROH attack on Hard to Kill and the attack tonight on D’Lo. Heath is pissed at them for stealing their hard-fought moment at the PPV, Edwards says they should split up and comb the building to attack them before they do anything else. Mack asks if Edwards is okay going by himself, Edwards has Kenny so he’ll be fine.
HOW TO BE A PROFESSIONAL CHAPTER 71: MAKING A COMEBACK
The returning Brian Myers roasts VSK and Zicky Dice for disappointing him while he was away, telling them that they need to prove themselves or be cut. Dice asks if becoming World Champion would be proving himself, revealing that he’s Moose’s mystery challenger tonight. Dice says Moose sees something in him, VSK says “yeah, a night off” which is pretty great. Dice decides to prepare by carb-loading a giant ass pizza from Serious Pizza in Dallas, TX. Myers and VSK take a couple slices and laughingly wish them luck. I miss being able to eat pizza, stupid diabetes.
“Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Jake Something
Ace Austin and Madman Fulton join Hannifan on commentary. Something defeated Fulton and Bailey pinned Austin to win the fatal four way during Saturday’s Hard to Kill pre-show so they’ve got an ax to grind with both participants.
Bailey tries a shoulderblock, Something blocks back and knocks Bailey to the canvas but he kips back up. Bailey connects with a dropkick, Something brushes it off and levels him with a clothesline. Austin mocks Bailey for not wearing shoes which to be honest I didn’t notice at Hard to Kill. Weird. Bailey sends Something to the floor, Bailey teases flight but does a backflip and bow instead. Something pulls Bailey out of the ring and powerbombs him on the apron, rolling Bailey back in for the 1…2…not yet. Something measures Bailey and just LEVELS the motherf*cker with a forearm shiver for the 1…2…Bailey kicks out. Something dodges a corner kick and bodyblocks Bailey to the canvas. Bailey rolls to the floor, Something tries to take flight but Bailey dodges and connects with a springboard moonsault. Bailey stares Austin and Fulton down momentarily then attempts a flying rana in the ring. Something blocks it, Bailey blocks a powerbomb attempt and kicks him down to size, following by a standing twisting splash for the 1…2…Something kicks out. Something catches a kick and flips him to the canvas, then grabs him and SUPPOSEDLY picks him up as he stands for a Michinoku driver and the 1…2…not yet. There was a VERY OBVIOUS cut during that move that should not have been done by the production team. Bailey ducks a clothesline and connects with a multiple-spin kick followed by ULTIMA WEAPON (shooting star knees) for the 1…2…3.
Mike Bailey defeated Jake Something via pinfall (4:14)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: That awkward post-production splice of two different Michinoku Driver attempts was painful to look at. If a move doesn’t happen as intended just roll with it y’all, that was goofy. Outside of that questionable decision though this match was a lot of fun, Bailey and Something worked really well together despite the size difference between the two. I can’t f*cking wait till Impact decides to pull the trigger on Miguel/Bailey. That’s going to be insane. (***)
-Backstage The Good Brothers try to blame Violent by Design for the loss at Hard to Kill, Eric Young reminds Karl Anderson it was him who got pinned. Young wants to keep the business arrangement going though, teasing what kind of monster team Doc Gallows and Joe Doering can be. Their meeting is interrupted by calls for help; they investigate and see Heath and Rhino trying to recover from an unseen attack. Good Brothers & VBD tease helping but instead take advantage and hurt them further. I f*cking love that, none of this pretend unity vs. the ROH invasion.
–Gia Miller sits down with Matt Cardona and Chelsea Green to get their comments coming out of Hard to Kill. Cardona says it’s on him that he lost in his bid for the World Championship and all he can do now is to stay always ready. Green stands up for her man, saying he always undersells himself and should have won the match (the ref was pulled out of the ring during his pinfall attempt). Green says she should’ve also won her Ultimate X match and had the X but it slipped through her fingers. The woman who won, Tasha Steelz, chases Miller out of the interview area. Steelz says it’s a good thing that Green lost as it would’ve created a power imbalance in her relationship, calling Cardona a loser. Green challenges Steelz and shoves her down, telling her to think about it.
Masha Slamovich vs. Vert Vixen
Slamovich drops Vixen immediately and goes to work, grabbing the hair and throwing her all around the ring. Vixen tries to get some offense going with a forearm to the back but Slamovich brushes it off and levels her with a clothesline, finishing up with a powerslam driver (I forget the actual name of it) for the 1…2…3.
Masha Slamovich defeated Vert Vixen via pinfall (1:05)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: HELL YEAH F*CK EM UP MASHA. (SQUASH)
As Slamovich leaves Josh Alexander makes his way to the ring, the two sharing a nod of respect as they cross paths. Alexander says that he’s been hearing from people that he needs to keep his emotions in check so he can get his rightful rematch for the World Championship. Alexander goes through his various opponents and says he has never lost focus and says the image of what Moose did to him at Bound For Glory is burned into his mind forever; Alexander also remember what it’s like to hold that World Championship and considers himself the uncrowned champion until Moose beats him for real. Alexander calms himself down and says that Moose has no problem handing title matches to anyone who asks, but all he’s doing is avoiding the one real challenge in the company. Alexander tells Moose if he intends on wrestling in this ring tonight he will only do so if he goes through him. Alexander says if he doesn’t get his World Championship match he’s going to have to think about if Impact is the best place for him to be.
Before that statement gets a chance to really sink in Alexander is interrupted by CHARLIE HAAS of all people, what the f*ck?!? Haas introduces himself to anyone who may not know as this is the first time he’s been in an Impact ring, then puts Alexander over as being one hell of a wrestler. Haas says people don’t understand how much work he and Alexander have put into their craft, learning moves and the counters to said moves. Haas says he has a lot left in the tank and challenges Alexander to a match, calling him the pinnacle and standard of Impact. Alexander says it would be an honor to step foot in the ring with him, but he’s had obstacle after obstacle put in his way and needs his World Championship back first. Alexander says if he doesn’t get the title back Haas is going to be just another obstacle. Haas sucker punches Alexander a brawl breaks out, security coming out to break it up.
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Charlie Haas has been wrestling in the TX area for a bit but the last time I saw him it seemed like he was on the losing end to his personal demons and it was rough. I didn’t expect him to end up on a nationally televised wrestling show again so to see him here, and in WAY BETTER shape, was a nice surprise. I’m interested in seeing what he’s got left in the tank; Alexander is a good opponent for him. Speaking of Alexander I really do hope they’re moving him back towards the World Championship or at least another shot at it. His matches with Suzuki and JONAH have rocked and all but the man only got like two minutes to really bask in the glory and he deserves more than that.
-Knockouts Champ Mickie James welcomes ROH Women’s World Champ Rok-C to the company. Rok-C is glad to see James as she’s been hiding since her fellow ROH mates have been causing all sorts of chaos. She tries to apologize but James won’t hear it because she knows that it doesn’t involve her. James warns Rok-C that her opponent tonight, Deonna Purrazzo, is one of the toughest women she’s ever been in the ring with and Rok-C should be ready for anything and everything.
Moose [c] vs. “Outlandish” Zicky Dice [w/ “The Most Professional Wrestler” Brian Myers & VsK] for the IMPACT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Myers joins Hannifan on commentary. He’s not very confident in his student’s chances against the World Champ, who is wrestling this one in street clothes since it’s not even worth gearing up for. Dice charges in with a Superman punch, Moose brushes it off and throws him to the canvas for the 1…2…3.
Moose [c] defeated Zicky Dice via pinfall to retain the IMPACT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (0:17)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Should’ve main-evented Wrestle Kingdom this year. All three nights. (SQUASH)
W. Morrissey rushes the ring to get at Moose, but Moose escapes harm. Dice stupidly gets involved and gets dropped for his troubles, Myers enjoying himself on commentary. Morrissey poses with the World Championship and dares a limping (?) Moose to come get it. VSK runs in, Morrissey chokeslams him, but the distraction is enough for Moose to grab his title and again escape unscathed. Morrissey isn’t done yet though, following Moose to the parking lot, but he quickly drives away.
Scott D’Amore joins Hannifan at the announce table. No update on D’Lo Brown, D’Amore says he called Baltimore and while Gresham and Rok-C are official ROH representatives, Taven & his group are renegades and acting on their own accord.
–Raj Singh complains about being continually disrespected in Impact and asks for someone to be sent out to be added to his slap schedule. His challenge is answered by JONAH.
JONAH vs. Raj Singh
Singh tries to stick and move, connecting with rapid-fire strikes and forearms. JONAH blocks a whip and counters with a fireman’s carry throw across the ring followed by a senton and a top rope splash for the 1…2…3.
JONAH defeated Raj Singh via pinfall (1:25)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: I wonder what JONAH is going to be up to next in Impact; he was referred to as an NJPW wrestler on commentary so maybe this is his goodbye squash. Raj Singh spent A LOT of time on the shelf and I think is getting his sea legs back but I also don’t remember him being particularly good in the first place so this is a good spot for him. (SQUASH)
During the replay Hannifan mentions that his friend Stu Bennett (aka NXT’s Wade Barrett) told him all about JONAH. Nice little reference there.
–The Influence (Tenille Dashwood, Kaleb with a K, & Madison Rayne) continue throwing shade at The IInspiration for staying home and being lazy. Rayne tells them to come up with a strategy to beat them come January 27th. They’re interrupted by Decay (Rosemary & Havok); their schedule is wide-open and they challenge The Influence for next week. They’re interrupted by a backstage person who calls for a medic, an injured Eddie Edwards clutching his eye. Well that’s what y’all get for splitting up. Has no one watched a horror movie before?
–Gia Miller asks ROH World Champion Jonathan Gresham about the renegade ROH group. Gresham has no information on what they’re doing and doesn’t represent what he’s doing in Impact. Gresham says before ROH’s hiatus there was a war going on for the future of the company, and the pure wrestlers won. He’s interrupted by Steve Maclin, who doesn’t buy Gresham saying he has nothing to do with Taven & gang. Maclin questions Gresham’s honor, Gresham says they’re going to meet next week in a Pure rules match for ROH World Championship.
-Hannifan is joined at the desk by the voice of ROH, Ian Riccaboni. Riccaboni apologizes on behalf of ROH for the renegade group, but is unsure what they’re capable of. ROH announcer Bobby Cruise handles the introductions for the main event.
Rok-C [ROH] vs. “The Virtuosa” Deonna Purrazzo [AAA] [w/ Matthew Rehwoldt] for the ROH WOMEN’S WORLD & AAA REINA DE REINAS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Rehwoldt joins Hannifan and Riccaboni to make it a three-man booth. Hannifan hypes that Mickie James will be entering the WWE Royal Rumble later in the month as Knockouts Champ…but then the audio suddenly cuts out so whatever he followed up with I missed. Rok-C won the World Title at 19 and is undefeated in ROH apparently, which is cool. Glad ROH finally figured out their Women’s division.
Rok-C drops Purrazzo with a shoulderblock and cartwheels into a curtsy to throw some shade. Purrazzo goes after the arm, Rok-C successfully rolls through to break contact and they reset. Purrazzo blocks an O’Connor and brings Purrazzo to the canvas with a Crossface but Purrazzo gets to the bottom rope and bails to the floor to regroup as the show goes to commercial.
Rok-C ducks a pump kick and connects with a series of armdrags and ROK-KNEES into the cover for a two-count. Rok-C tries to take flight, Purrazzo shoves her off the ropes and to the floor. That’s what you get for trying to show off! Purrazzo was apparently part of ROH’s women’s division in 2017, including winning athlete of the year. News to me but that’s cool! Purrazzo goes to work on Rok-C’s left arm, stretching it under the rope and kicking at it to weaken things. Purrazzo steps on Rok-C’s wrist, stomping the arm and covering for the 1…2…not yet. Rok-C stuns Purrazzo with a series of forearms, Purrazzo ducks a clothesline and they lock knuckles. Purrazzo flips Rok-C over her back and traps the arm between her legs, dropping down to snap it for the 1…2…Rok-C kicks out once more. Purrazzo traps Rok-C in a straitjacket, Rok-C escapes and dodges Purrazzo who goes shoulder-first into the post. Rok-C connects with a Thesz press from the middle buckle, laying into her with forearms. Rok-C tilt-a-whirls into a Side Russian legsweep for the 1…2…Purrazzo kicks out and Rok-C immediately tries for the Rok Lock but her arm is too weakened and she lets go due to the pain. Purrazzo connects with a kneelift into a Side Russian legsweep into a Fujiwara Armbar, Rok-C shifts her weight for the 1…2…Purrazzo kicks out. Rok-C catches Purrazzo with a kick and connects with a Code Rok for the 1…2…Purrazzo kicks out and Rok-C can’t believe it! Rok-C tries again, Purrazzo counters into a Fujiwara Armbar, Rok-C counters out into the Rok Lock! Purrazzo fights through the pain and goes for the ropes, Rok-C rolls her back to the center but PURRAZZO COUNTERS INTO THE FUJIWARA ARMBAR! Purrazzo cinches in even tighter, arching back. The ref goes to call for the bell but Rok-C stops him, refusing to give up. Purrazzo traps BOTH ARMS IN THE VENUS DE MILO AND ROK-C SUBMITS!
Deonna Purrazzo [c] defeated Rok-C [c] via submission to win the ROH WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPION and retain the AAA REINA DE REINAS CHAMPIONSHIP (10:08 shown)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Helluva match with a tremendous closing stretch. This is the first Rok-C match I’ve ever seen and now I wanna go back and see her ROH work, she’s f*cking tremendous. Purrazzo becoming a double champ again is great and she deserves the recognition. At this rate she’s going to run out of goals to accomplish. (***3/4)
Maria Kanellis slides into the ring, Riccaboni protesting that he does not approve of this (a little TOO much protesting). Purrazzo tries to brush her off, in run PCO, Mike Bennett, Matt Taven, & Vincent. Rehwoldt tries to help but gets beaten down by the ROH guys, only for Rich Swann & Willie Mack to come in and try to make the save. Unfortunately THE DAMNED NUMBERS GAME isn’t in their favor and the ROH renegade group stands tall.
- JON’S THOUGHTS: ROH renegades continue their reign of terror. I wonder who Kanellis is going to find to try and get the Women’s World Title off Purrazzo…or maybe The Virtuosa joins them? She did escape the beatdown pretty easily, hmmm.
Hard to Kill was so damn good I wanted to give the weekly TV a shot like I did with NXT but unlike with NXT I was not disappointed in the slightest. Great matches on the show, especially the main event, and the ROH partnership has been fascinating so far. They’re definitely a much better partner than AEW was last year, but to be fair ROH is on hiatus till April so they kind of have to be. Definitely worth checking out, Impact starting 2022 off hot. Also Charlie Haas?!? CHARLIE HAAS? That’s so random.
- FAVORITE MATCH: Rok-C vs. Deonna Purrazzo
- FAVORITE MOMENT: The Good Brothers & VBD ignoring the ROH invasion and picking the bones of Heath & Rhino because they could.