VENUE: Skyway Studios (Nashville, TN)
COMMENTATORS: Matt Striker & D’Lo Brown
Impact Wrestling begins the march to Victory Road as Christian Cage comes face to face with #1 contender Ace Austin for the first time. Impact also dedicates a fair bit of time to this Saturday’s NWA Empowerrr as Deonna Purrazzo gets physical with Mickie James and Melina, and in the main event Rich Swann & Willie Mack face off against The Good Brothers in non-title action.
- IMPACT WORLD CHAMPION: Christian Cage
- IMPACT KNOCKOUTS CHAMPION: “The Virtuosa” Deonna Purrazzo
- IMPACT X-DIVISION CHAMPION: “The Walking Weapon” Josh Alexander
- IMPACT WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Good Brothers (“Big LG” Doc Gallows & “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson)
- IMPACT KNOCKOUTS TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Decay (“The Demon Assassin” Rosemary & Havok)
- Chris Sabin vs. Sami Callihan (**3/4)
- David Finlay vs. Chris Bey (***)
- Taylor Wilde vs. The Influence (**)
- Rich Swann & Willie Mack vs. The Good Brothers (**)
-PREVIOUSLY ON IMPACT WRESTLING: Ace Austin becomes the new #1 contender at Emergence, Christian Cage successfully defends the World Title against Brian Myers in the main event. Cage vs. Austin set for next month’s Victory Road special.
-Striker welcomes the home audience and drops an NWA Empowerrr plug right away.
Chris Sabin vs. Sami Callihan
Callihan attacked Sabin after they won a tag team match on last week’s show, neither man became #1 contender at Emergence. Sabin and Callihan attack each other before the bell, things settle, and the match begins for real, Callihan drilling Sabin with a Death Valley Driver. Sabin belts Callihan with a penalty kick followed by a cannonball off the apron he almost overshot. Callihan connects with a palm strike followed by a…post bomb I guess you would call it. Sabin lays into Callihan with strikes, Callihan with the double thumb to the eye to stop the momentum. Back in the ring Callihan slaps Sabin in the back and kicks him off the buckles. Callihan stares Sabin down and connects with a JYD-style crawling headbutt into an Indian Deathlock-style submission. Sabin fights Callihan off the buckles and damn near flies across the ring with a missile dropkick, following up with a Yakuza Kick and tornado DDT for the 1…2…Callihan kicks out. Both men trade strikes and knock each other to the canvas, crowd takes the bait and begins a “THIS IS AWESOME” chant. Sabin and Callihan trade forearms and headbutts as they return to a vertical base, Sabin connects with a superkick, Callihan ducks a rolling elbow and a Curb Stomp followed by a spike piledriver for the 1…2…SABIN GETS THE SHOULDER UP. Callihan goes for the Package Piledriver, Sabin counters with a victory roll for the 1…2…CALLIHAN KICKS OUT. Sabin connects with an enzuigiri followed by a CRADLE SHOCK for the 1…2…3!
Chris Sabin defeated Sami Callihan via pinfall (7:51)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Good way to open the show. Love seeing the Cradle Shock, flashes me back to the old FSN days. (**3/4)
Moose immediately tosses Sabin out of the ring and nails Callihan with a Spear, wanting to revenge for Callihan costing him the #1 contender’s match at Emergence. Moose continues the assault, introducing a chair and a metal baseball bat into the squared circle. Before things get too out of hand Eddie Edwards makes the save with his trusty kendo stick (I know he has a name for it, but sue me I forgot it). Edwards and Callihan appear to kinda sorta be turning into friends. Weird.
–Gia Miller asks Taylor Wilde about tonight’s 3-on-1 handicap match against The Influence. Wilde throws some shade and is ready to get wild(e).
-NWA gets some airtime to hype this weekend’s two big PPV shows (Empowerrr on Saturday, the 73rd anniversary on Sunday). Preorder now! Or don’t. Whatever.
-Gia Miller stops Eddie Edwards for some words about earlier. Before he can answer Sami Callihan interrupts and starts rambling until Edwards shushes him. He says Callihan helped him once and he helped back so they’re even, saying they are done. I believe him.
IN-RING SEGMENT: EMPOWERRR HYPE
Mickie James comes out to hype NWA Empowerrr in two nights, ready to make some HERstory. James thanks the Impact Zone for the support and takes it to the big screen for a video hyping Deonna Purrazzo vs. Melina for the Knockouts Championship.
Before James can say anything else she’s interrupted by Deonna Purrazzo and Matthew Rehwoldt. Purrazzo says she’s excited to celebrate women’s wrestling at Empowerrr but thinks James is being dishonest by trying to pretend her match with Melina is going to be competitive. Purrazzo accuses James of “conveniently” leaving out Purrazzo beating Melina at Emergence from the video package, James says she didn’t beat Melina, Rehwoldt did. James says the difference between Emergence and Empowerrr is that Purrazzo will not have Rehwoldt at her side. James calls Melina a hellcat who has no problem taking the championship from Purrazzo; Purrazzo attacks James, Trey Miguel interferes to take Rehwoldt out of the equation. Purrazzo continues laying into James, Melina finally making the save and standing tall heading into Saturday.
- JON’S THOUGHTS: I’m much more interested in a possible Purrazzo/James match, but I’m sure we’ll get that next month at Bound For Glory. Good build for Saturday’s PPV, which I’m on the fence about getting; on one hand Empowerrr is propping up women’s wrestling which is great and the card looks alright, but on the other it’s the NWA and they’ve been a dumpster fire since going behind the Fire TV paywall. We’ll see how it goes. At the very least I know Purrazzo will kill it like she always does.
-HOW TO BE A PROFESSIONAL, CHAPTER 31: Brian Myers wants to show Sam Beale how to cut the sleeves off a shirt to look cool. Beale thought they were going to talk about what happened at Emergence (Myers lost to Christian Cage). Cut to Beale cutting the shirt, Beale mentions that you can just buy shirts without sleeves, Myers snaps at him. Jump cut to Beale wearing a Big Stevie Cool tiny shirt, Myers gives him a sleeve to wear as a bandana; Myers announces it’s time for an open casting call, ducking any talk about the World Championship.
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Brian Myers refusing to acknowledge failing at Emergence was pretty great. Best one of these segments I’ve seen. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Sam Beale actually wrestle yet.
David Finlay vs. “The Ultimate Finesser” Chris Bey
Bey is now a full-on Bullet Club member with his own custom “Finesse Club” shirt, available now on ShopImpact. Finlay’s partner Juice Robinson was “mysteriously attacked” and is not by his side this week, fingers pointed at Bey as the culprit.
Finlay on the offense to start, Bey selling a corner chop by flailing around Curt Hennig-style. Respect. Bey dodges Finlay in the corner, Finlay responds with a dropkick when Bey tries to do some finessing. Finlay slides Bey back in, Bey grabs the tights and sends him throat-first into the middle rope, going on the offensive as the show goes to commercial.
Finlay tries to mount a comeback as the show returns, Bey puts a stop to it with a swinging neckbreaker for the 1…2…not yet. Finlay escapes a chinlock, Bey changes gears into a cravat, turning it into a suplex of sorts which pops Striker and Brown on commentary. Bey goes for the kill shot, Finlay stops it with a Greco-Roman shove to the floor followed by a slingshot splash. Bey tries an apron 619, Finlay ducks and connects with an apron slam followed by a corner clothesline and flying European uppercut for the 1…2…Bey kicks out. Bey counters a uranage with an armdrag and connects with a series of kicks, Finlay dodges a Fameasser and this time hits a uranage backbreaker for the 1…2…Bey kicks out. Bey surprises Finlay with a cradle for the 1…2…Finlay kicks out. Bey floats out of a suplex, Finlay connects with a twisting belly-to-back suplex for the 1…2…Bey kicks out again. Finlay catches a pump kick, Bey flips out of his grasp, dodges him in the corner, and rolls him up with the feet on the ropes for the 1…2…3!
Chris Bey defeated David Finlay via pinfall (8:17 shown)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Watching Chris Bey work is a goddamn pleasure, love seeing him move around the ring effortlessly. Match was real good, honestly I didn’t know who was going to win, it was that even. Kinda weird Finlay & Bey wore similar colors, almost felt like they were a tag team. (***)
–Rich Swann and Willie Mack did not win at Emergence but did not get pinned either and challenge The Good Brothers for tonight; the match is on but it’s non-title.
-Bound For Glory 2021 happens October 23rd in Las Vegas. WHERE in Las Vegas? WHO KNOWS!
-Gia Miller asks if Josh Alexander has anyone in mind for his next X-Division Championship. Alexander issues an open challenge for next week, wanting any ex-X Division Champions to take a crack at him.
IN-RING SEGMENT: CHRISTIAN CAGE IN THE IMPACT ZONE
Christian Cage opens the second hour, clips of his Emergence win over Brian Myers playing during his entrance. Christian says when you’re the World Champion there’s a target on your back at all times, and a new contender has emerged in the form of Ace Austin. Christian teases something important but then shrugs it off, saying everyone already knows Ace isn’t beating him. Way too much dead air.
Anthem rep Tommy Dreamer interrupts the dead air awkward promo, Christian has the same question as everyone else: what the hell is going on with his hair? Dreamer brushes it off and puts over Christian Cage as having found the fountain of youth despite a 7-year sabbatical. As a friend and peer, Dreamer thanks Christian for being the best, all the years he’s put into the business, and for representing Impact Wrestling as a World Champion. Dreamer, however, has one last thing: he’d love a chance to wrestle Christian ONE MORE TIME no matter where or what the stipulation is and vows to earn the opportunity.
Ace Austin and Madman Fulton interrupt the love fest, wearing Nashville’s entire eyeliner supply all at once. Austin introduces himself to Christian and vows to become the youngest Impact World Champion next month Victory Road. Austin says Christian’s schedule will get lighter and his bag will get ten pounds lighter when he meets the “Inevitable”. Christian says Austin might think he’s the guy but he’ll never be the MAN while he’s here. Christian mocks Austin’s height, Austin and Fulton take the bait and attack but get cleared from the ring by Christian and Dreamer.
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Lots of weird energy during this segment, especially Christian’s opening spiel that led to way more dead air than should be on a TV program. I’m excited for Christian vs. Ace to happen but now that the build is going to include Tommy Dreamer for some reason that makes me…less interested in how they get there. I know Dreamer has ties with Christian and stuff but, man, come on.
–Eric Young vows to cleanse everyone in the holy waters of change, flanked by his Violent By Design cronies Joe Doering, Deaner, and Rhino. Right on.
–Ace Austin demands that Scott D’Amore give him a match with Tommy Dreamer next week. D’Amore agrees but to get something he has to give something: if Dreamer wins next week then Austin’s title match at Victory Road becomes a three way. NOOOOOO DOOOOOON’T.
Taylor Wilde vs. The Influence (Tenille Dashwood, Madison Rayne, & Kaleb with a K)
Wilde has lost to both Dashwood and Rayne in singles match thanks to random Influence interference so she’s decided to take ALL THREE ON at the same time, she’s hardcore.
Wilde wastes no time, taking out all three members of the Influence with a top rope splash to the floor. Wilde rolls Kaleb in and connects with a penalty kick for a two-count. Kaleb rolls out, Dashwood and Rayne attack Wilde from behind. Wilde connects with forearms, Kaleb grabs her foot and The Influence go back on the offensive with ease. Wilde regains offense, stomping on Rayne & Dashwood in the corner, Kaleb tries to attack from behind but gets drilled with a tornado DDT. Influence lay in the corner, Wilde wrecks all three with a pop-up triple stomp, covering Kaleb for the 1…2…Dashwood shoves her off. Wilde rolls Dashwood out, Rayne breaks it up with a Spotlight kick and Dashwood covers (it’s all about her after all) for the 1…2…3.
The Influence defeated Taylor Wilde via pinfall (3:17)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Well duh, it was a DAMNED NUMBERS GAME and all. Not bad though, The Influence are working well as a unit and I appreciate Impact realizing that odds sometimes cannot be overcome. (**)
The Influence’s post-match attack is stopped by Jordynne Grace and Rachael Ellering.
-Gia Miller’s interview with Brandi Lauren quickly turns into a horror show as Su Yung and Kimber Lee abscond with her body as horror music plays and the set goes red. WELL OKAY THEN.
-Steve Maclin beat Petey Williams at Emergence; Williams saves TJP from Maclin on BTI earlier.
-Gia Miller interviews TJP, who’s fuming about how his match ended. He already has a tag team partner and it’s Fallah Bahh NOT Petey Williams. Williams interrupts and digs at TJP about how Bahh seems to have forgotten about him in favor of No Way. Williams wants a thanks for preventing Maclin from caving his head in with a chair, TJP did not ask for the help, Williams says you’re welcome anyway and offer to stay out of his way if TJP does the same. TJP agrees.
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Aren’t they doing this already with Eddie Edwards and Sami Callihan? I did like Williams not so subtly digging at TJP about Bahh finding a new (more fun) tag team partner, that made me laugh.
-IMPACT PLUS FLASHBACK MOMENT: Christian Cage beats Monty Brown to retain the NWA World Heavyweight Championship at Destination X 2006. GOD I MISS THE ALPHA MALE.
–Matt Cardona lashes out at Rohit Raju and Shera, saying he should be done with them by now. Chelsea Green tells Cardona he’s never alone in Impact and suggests they team to face Raju and Shera next week. Cardona asks if she’s sure, Green says she’s ALWAYZ READY. Ugh these f*cking adorable assholes.
-Gia Miller interviews Tasha Steelz and Savannah Evans. Evans blames Fallah Bahh for their team losing at Emergence, apparently costing them a Knockouts Tag Team Title opportunity, Fallah Bahh and No Way interrupt and Bahh asks how they can make it up to them. Bahh and No Way offer to beat Crazzy Steve & Black Taurus next week to get their title shot back, Steelz doesn’t seem convinced that they can get the job done.
Rich Swann & Willie Mack vs. The Good Brothers (“Big LG” Doc Gallows & “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson)
Good Brothers retained their Tag Team Championship in a triple threat match at Emergence; Swann and Mack were involved in the match but didn’t take the pin so they’re here to challenge them team to team. If they win I assume they’ll get a title shot, this is pro wrestling after all.
Anderson in control to start, laying into Swann with rights in the corner and wrenching in a side headlock. Anderson counters a backdrop with a double ax, Swann counters a sidewalk slam with a rana and grabs an armbar. Mack tags in, he and Swann hit a back elbow followed by a legdrop/splash combo for a two-count. Gallows tags in and hurts his arm missing a corner splash, Mack making it worst by wrenching in a twisting wristlock. Swann tags in, Gallows overpowers him and connects with a headbutt followed by a massive uppercut. Anderson tags in, Swann backs him into the corner and makes the tag to Mack for a pair of short jabs. Swann and Mack squash Anderson in the corner, Swann follows up with a slingshot senton. Anderson backs Mack into the GB corner, Gallows tags in and stomps Mack to the canvas. Gallows waits for Mack to get to his feet then immediately drops him with a kick to the side of the head for the 1…2…not yet. Anderson tags in, Mack drops him with a pop-up elbow strike. Swann gets the tag and takes it to both Good Brothers, dropping Gallows with a series of rapid-fire strikes and kicks. Anderson runs in, Swann hits a neckbreaker followed by a rolling frog splash for the 1…2…Anderson kicks out. Swann’s offensive flurry gets shut down with a spinebuster, Anderson covers for the 1…2…Swann kicks out. Gallows clears Mack off the apron and brawls with him on the floor, Anderson goes for the Gun Stun but Swann counters with a surprise roll-up for the 1…2…3!
Rich Swann & Willie Mack defeated The Good Brothers via pinfall (6:37)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Not bad but given how it ended it feels like they were saving some for the actual title match to come. Swann & Mack ending The Good Brothers’ reign would be perfectly fine with me. (**)
Good Brothers immediately attack Swann, Mack prevents a Magic Killer and goes to work but the DAMNED NUMBERS GAME and all that. Anderson introduces a chair, Gallows wedges it in the buckles and The Good Brothers throw Swann right through it, the chair wrapping around his head. Good Brothers hit Mack with a Magic Killer then toss him out to the floor; that isn’t the end of the attack though as Swann gets put through a chair and Mack gets slammed through a table. Good Brothers stand tall to end the show.
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Well that escalated quickly. I guess The Good Brothers don’t like to lose.
Bey vs. Finlay and Sabin vs. Callihan were fun, but for the most part this week’s Impact Wrestling felt kinda…bland. Lots of talking segments that didn’t really land with me, and Impact threatening to add Tommy Dreamer into the Christian Cage/Austin Ace match at Victory Road is killing my buzz heading into the special next month. I really hope Ace gets the win and that doesn’t happen, they don’t need the “star power” or whatever to sell the match, they friggin’ had Brian Myers headline the last special come on. Also I think Su Yung and Kimber Lee killed somebody? Anyone going to check on that?
- FAVORITE MATCH: David Finlay vs. Chris Bey
- FAVORITE MOMENT: Brian Myers ducking any and all questions about his loss at Emergence while trying to show Sam Beale how to cut sleeves off t-shirts. These segments haven’t been my favorite part of the show really but I like that the loss at Emergence is sowing seeds of doubt in Beale’s mind about his mentor.