VENUE: Skyway Studios (Nashville, TN)
COMMENTATORS: Matt Striker & D’Lo Brown
Impact Wrestling’s main event this week has Victory Road implications as Tommy Dreamer attempts to get himself inserted into the World Title match by beating Ace Austin. Also on the show Josh Alexander defends the X-Division Title against a returning former champion, Matt Cardona & Chelsea Green team up against Rohit Raju & Shera, and Brian Myers begins recruiting another protege. One of the options? Very OUTLANDISH.
- 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)
- Taylor Wilde, Jordynne Grace, & Rachael Ellering vs. The Influence (**)
- Crazzy Steve & Black Taurus vs. No Way & Fallah Bahh (**1/4)
- Josh Alexander [c] vs. ??? for the IMPACT X-DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP (***)
- Matt Cardona & Chelsea Green vs. Rohit Raju & Shera (**)
- Tommy Dreamer vs. Ace Austin (**)
-PREVIOUSLY ON IMPACT: Tommy Dreamer thanks Christian Cage for representing Impact like a true champion and wants an opportunity for one more match against his longtime friend. Ace Austin interrupts, Christian & Dreamer fight him and Madman Fulton off. Austin asks Scott D’Amore for a match against Dreamer; D’Amore agrees but if Dreamer wins then he becomes part of the World Title match at Victory Road.
Taylor Wilde, Jordynne Grace, & Rachael Ellering vs. The Influence (Tenille Dashwood, Madison Rayne, & Kaleb with a K)
Grace and Ellering saved Wilde from a post-match attack on last week’s show, leading to this opening contest. Grace & Ellering’s matching gear looks SO GOOD; not as good as Kaleb’s neckbrace with a bow tie, but that’s hard to beat.
Ellering wrestles Kaleb to the ground, Kaleb bails to the apron to force a break. Ellering brings Kaleb back to the canvas and maintains control of the wrist, Kaleb breaks free by using the hair but misses an elbowdrop and Ellering follows up with a standing gutwrench throw. Grace tags in and they hit a double suplex for a two-count. Grace picks Kaleb up and WRECKS Kaleb lariats to the front and back, Kaleb charges and gets dropped onto the middle rope, Grace following up with a big boot. Ref gets distracted, Rayne shoves Grace off the top turnbuckle and The Influence goes on the offensive. Grace breaks Rayne’s chinlock, Dashwood runs in and throws Grace into the Influence corner before she can make a tag. Kaleb tags in, Grace fights out of the corner but gets caught when she lunges for the tag. Grace counters a fireman’s carry, Kaleb rolls through and they lock eyes; this hesitation gives Grace the space she needs and Wilde gets the hot tag. Wilde takes it to the Influence, including a rana on Kaleb. Wilde dodges a corner splash and comes flying off the middle buckle with a tornado DDT for the 1…2…Kaleb kicks out, Dashwood lunges in as well just to make sure. Rayne & Dashwood try to keep Kaleb grounded but get taken out by Grace & Ellering, allowing Wilde to hit Kaleb with a German suplex for the 1…2…3!
Taylor Wilde, Jordynne Grace, & Rachael Ellering defeated The Influence via pinfall (5:03)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Entertaining enough. The Influence are VERY good together. (**)
-LAST WEEKEND: Deonna Purrazzo successfully defends the Knockouts Championship against Melina at NWA Empowerrr. Mickie James defeats Kylie Rae in her big return then suffers a post-match attack by The Virtuosa the next night at NWA 73.
–Gia Miller interviews Deonna Purrazzo & Matthew Rehwoldt. Rehwoldt says Trey Miguel has his attention, Purrazzo says there’s a lesson to be learned: don’t cross the King and Queen. Fair.
–Tommy Dreamer discusses tonight’s match with Ace Austin and its World Title shot implications. He casually mentions that he did win the ECW Championship in a match featuring Christian Cage, who interrupts and says that Dreamer pinned the other guy to win. Dreamer tells Christian he’s one of his closest friends but he’d love to be the face of Impact Wrestling. Christian hopes Dreamer wins as it’d be an honor to get in the ring with him, especially at the stage of his career. Dreamer asks Christian to not get involved tonight no matter what happens as he wants no excuses when he gets added to the Victory Road triple threat and gets his first pinfall victory on his friend.
–Tasha Steelz attacks Rosemary during Fallah Bahh & No Way’s conga line entrance, disguised as a member of the party. Havok gives chase and gets WRECKED with a forearm from Savannah Evans. Black Taurus scares them off initially, Rosemary collects Havok and gives chase backstage to their attackers.
Decay (Crazzy Steve & Black Taurus) vs. No Way & Fallah Bahh
No Way & Fallah Bahh offered to face Decay this week as a make good to Steelz & Evans for losing the eight-man tag team match, hoping to somehow get them a Knockouts Tag Team Title shot in the process. They seemed VERY confused by the attack before the match, completely BAFFLED that this could happen. Screen your conga line better, my dudes.
Steve works Bahh over with body shots and tries to bite his hands repeatedly so Bahh fights him off with a headbutt. No Way & Taurus tag in, latter hits the former with a sling blade followed by a corner kick in the corner and an armbreaker. Bahh gets the blind tag and splashes Taurus as he tries to take No Way down with a sunset flip. Nice. Bahh splashes Taurus in the corner, Bahh connects with a belly-to-belly suplex and No Way covers for the 1…2..not yet. Bahh connects with a hip splash, No Way tags back in and stomps Taurus down in the corner. No Way rains fists down on Taurus as the crowd boos, angering No Way even more. Taurus ducks a clothesline and connects with a headbutt, No Way responds with a right hand, and both men go down with a double clothesline. No Way & Black Taurus would have a KICKASS singles match, I hope it happens. Bahh tags in BUT SO DOES CRAZZY STEVE. Steve dazes Bahh with a pair of clotheslines, Bahh shoves Steve in the corner but misses a splash and Steve rolls him up for the 1…2…No Way makes the save. Taurus takes out No Way, Steve finally gets his bite in and finishes Bahh off with a leaping DDT from the middle buckle for the 1…2…3!
Decay defeated No Way & Fallah Bahh via pinfall (6:44)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Good match, GREAT crowd work from both teams. Crowd was HOT for Decay and I really liked Bahh not knowing how to handle it because he’s normally cheered. No Way got to show a little more of his vicious side too which was nice. (**1/4)
-IMPACT PLUS FLASHBACK: Christian Cage’s second NWA World Heavyweight Championship win, beating Sting at Final Resolution 2007 thanks to all sorts of shenanigans (Tomko, Father James Mitchell, a chain-wielding Abyss).
–Gia Miller asks W. Morrissey about Sami Callihan sticking his nose in his business with Eddie Edwards. Morrissey has a sliver of respect for them because they can at least admit they hate each other unlike all the “happy friends” backstage. Morrissey is interrupted by Moose, who agrees with Morrissey about the fact there are no friends in pro wrestling and how he would stab him in the back just as Morrissey would do the same. However they share common enemies in Callihan & Edwards; Moose isn’t looking for a friend, he’s looking for an alliance. Before Morrissey can respond the show goes to commercial. WILL THEY OR WON’T THEY?!?
–Steve Maclin doesn’t know what he has to do to get through to Petey Williams as Emergence wasn’t enough apparently. Maclin says Williams calls himself the Canadian Destroyer but he knows NOTHING about destruction; Maclin says he’s capable of MAYHEM and DESTRUCTION and next week it’ll be mayhem for all as he battles Williams once again. Right on.
Moose makes his way to the ring, the crowd chanting along to his theme song which he completely no-sells. Moose says what pisses him off is that everyone in this era of pro wrestling wants to be a hero, including Eddie Edwards (crowd starts chanting his name, of course). Moose brings up his long history with Edwards and reminds him he’s not the same guy as he was back then and calls Edwards out so he can show him that in this story the hero doesn’t save the day.
Eddie Edwards answers the call, Kenny in hand. Moose catches the kendo stick shot, Edwards sweeps the legs and rains down rights. Moose connects with a big boot, Edwards lights him up with shots from Kenny until W. Morrissey runs out and makes it a 2-on-1. Moose & Morrissey finish Edwards off with an assisted powerbomb, Callihan nowhere in sight as Edwards demanded he no longer get involved in his business.
–Gia MIller asks No Way & Fallah Bahh about Tasha Steelz & Savannah Evans’ sneak attack. They plead their innocence, with No Way saying there’s no way he can police who’s in the conga line (hmmmm). TJP interrupts and teases tension between himself, Bahh, and Bahh’s new partner, but invites them to Swinger’s Palace next week. Bahh reminds TJP of his gambling problem, TJP mentions he’s got a sure thing and exits. Bahh follows behind, No Way turns it into a conga line because OF COURSE HE DOES.
-VIGNETTE: Eric Young interrogates Rhino in an abandoned prison, telling the Man Beast he sees a pattern in his repeated failures. The sickness has gotten back in Rhino’s veins but first he must suffer. Young, Deaner, and Joe Doering leave him chained up, saying he must be left alone to suffer. Wrestlers and their prisons, man.
“The Walking Weapon” Josh Alexander [c] vs. Jake Crist for the IMPACT X-DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
Alexander put out an Open Challenge to any former X-Division Champion on last week’s show and this week it’s being answered by Jake Crist, who hasn’t been seen in Impact Wrestling (and maybe the wrestling industry altogether) in a few years. His brother Dave was outed as being a real creep during last year’s Speaking Out movement and Jake got caught in that crossfire, so it looks like he’s back to reclaim what he can of his career. Did not expect to see him back so this is a genuine surprise.
Alexander easily throws Crist to the canvas and grabs a front facelock, Crist makes it to the ropes and they reset. Alexander catches a leapfrog and turns it into a powerslam and follows up with a running chop in the corner. Crist meets Alexander on the buckles and connects with a superplex, holding on for a swinging inverted neckbreaker and the 1…2…Alexander kicks out, Crist immediately slaps on a rear chinlock. Alexander escapes, Crist drops him with a boot and covers for the 1…2…Alexander kicks out, Crist once again grabs a chinlock. Alexander goes for a suplex, Crist escapes and counters with a headbutt right to the kidneys. NOICE. Crist goes after Alexander’s eyes and locks in a front chancery, Alexander fights out and trades blows with Crist, sending him flying with a backdrop. Alexander connects with a big boot followed by another as Crist tries to get to his feet. Crist deadweights the C4 attempt, Alexander turns it into a pair of German suplexes. Crist gets to the ropes to prevent the third, Alexander rolls him around into the third German and the C4 for the 1…2…3!
Josh Alexander [c] defeated Jake Crist via pinfall to retain the IMPACT X-DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP (5:36)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Great match in a short timeframe, Alexander is SO F*CKING GOOD man. Crist looked good in his big return as well and I hope he gets to stick around. His Johnny Cash-ish gimmick is odd but I’ll roll with it. (***)
Post-match Gia Miller asks Alexander why put the title up against an unknown opponent. Alexander says he HAS to for his title, legacy, and the Impact brand. Chris Sabin interrupts, starting by saying Alexander is one of the greatest wrestlers he’s ever seen; however he’s only a ONE-time X-Division Champion while Sabin is an EIGHT-time former champion. Sabin says if Alexander wants to prove himself as the greatest champion of all-time he needs to beat him and throws out a challenge at Victory Road. If Alexander wins he continues to build his legacy, if Sabin wins he becomes the first-ever nine-time X-Division Champion. Alexander shakes his hand accepting the challenge.
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Alexander vs. Sabin ought to be great, looking forward to it. Sabin mentioning how many times he’s been X-Division Champion was pretty funny; I get where he’s coming from and it makes sense but to me it just sounded like trying to turn losing the title over and over into a brag.
HOW TO BE A PROFESSIONAL, CHAPTER 32: MAKING ALLIANCES
Sam Beale introduces clips of various nerds vying to become the latest protege of The Most Professional Wrestler.
Brian Myers is unimpressed with the goofs that have signed up to be mentored by him…which includes former NWA TV Champion “Outlandish” Zicky Dice what the F*CK?!? Myers tells Beale this is a good learning opportunity about working with what they got. Myers cuts various people for dumb reasons, including one’s favorite wrestler being Mojo Rawley. Only three remain: Dice, Manny Lemons, and Gustavo. Myers lets Lemon stay, Gustavo speaks Spanish so Myers cuts him (RUDE). Down to Dice & Lemons. Myers wants to cut Dice for not knowing who he is, but Beale stops him so they aren’t stuck with just Manny Lemons. He’ll see them next week. Beale tells them if they play their cards right he’ll show them how to cut their shirt.
- JON’S THOUGHTS: I was waiting for a company to finally put Zicky Dice on their TV, what took everybody so damn long? They hate pop-punk or something?
“Alwayz Ready” Matt Cardona & Chelsea Green vs. “The Desi Hitman” Rohit Raju & “The Indian Lion” Shera
Green came to Cardona’s aid during a Raju/Shera attack and offered to be her husband’s partner for this week’s match.
Cardona uses speed to be on the offensive early but gets POUNCED out of his boots by Shera to turn the tide. Raju tags in and takes too long trash talking, angering Cardona who tries to slam him straight through the canvas. Cardona & Green make quick tags as they work over Raju’s left arm, leading to a pump kick/Russian Legsweep combo for a two-count. Raju sends Green crashing into the canvas and walks over her back. Green takes Raju down with a drop toehold and steps all over the Desi Hitman. Green SLAPS the sh*t out of Raju, Cardona connects with a right as well, Shera runs in and wants to fight Cardona but Green wants him to look at her. Shera moves her out of the way, Green slaps him and Cardona hits Radio Silence, Raju sends Cardona shoulder-first into the post, Raju belts Green with a jumping knee strike for the 1…2…3!
Rohit Raju & Shera defeated Matt Cardona & Chelsea Green via pinfall (3:34)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Green’s sell on that knee strike f*cking ruled. Match was okay, not much to it but didn’t need to be. Shera being a douchebag misogynist by not even considering Green to be an actual wrestler was a nice touch. (**)
–Su Yung and Demon Kimber Lee have a new member of the family: DEMON BRANDI LAUREN. Hey sure why the f*ck not.
As The Good Brothers (“Big LG” Doc Gallows & “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson) make their way to the ring, a replay of last week’s post-match attack on Rich Swann & Willie Mack plays for the home audience. Gallows says it doesn’t matter that Swann & Mack snuck a roll-up win in a non-title match; normally in pro wrestling that means they’ve earned a Tag Team Title shot but Mack is currently laying in a hospital bed after being put through a table. Rich Swann attacks the Good Brothers with a chair and has to be held back by security and referees. Swann & Mack do have a title shot coming, just a question of when.
-After a commercial Scott D’Amore calms Rich Swann down by informing him that he will face Karl Anderson next week in a BUNKHOUSE BRAWL. These motherf*ckers better brawl in street fight gear.
“The Innovator of Violence” Tommy Dreamer vs. “Inevitable” Ace Austin [w/ Madman Fulton]
If Dreamer beats Austin, he’ll get added to the upcoming World Title match at Victory Road. Much love for the legacy of Tommy Dreamer but I’m pulling for Ace here. I do appreciate Dreamer taking the pandemic seriously, making his entrance in a (polka dot) mask.
Austin tries a snapmare, Dreamer blocks it so Austin shoves him to the canvas instead. Dreamer drops Austin with a shoulder tackle and follows up with a series of jabs, Austin stops the Bionic Elbow with a kick. Austin jabs back, Dreamer ducks a clothesline and finally hits the Bionic Elbow followed by a clothesline that sends them both to the floor. Dreamer slaps Austin in the chest, who crumples to the floor groaning. Fulton blocks a guardrail whip, Austin distracts the ref and Fulton drops Dreamer jewels-first across the rail. VINTAGE DREAMER. Austin rolls Dreamer in and stomps him down in the corner followed by a slingshot sitout slam for the 1…2…not yet. Dreamer trips Austin on the buckles and connects with a hanging neckbreaker but is too out of it to go for the pin after. Dreamer goes on the offensive, biting Austin in the corner and connecting with a powerslam for the 1…2…Austin kicks out. Austin escapes a DDT and rocks Dreamer with a knee strike. Austin catches a kick, Dreamer surprises with an enzuigiri and a “HE’S HARDCORE” chant breaks out in the Impact Zone. Austin catches Dreamer with a kick followed by a springboard Fameasser for the 1…2…Dreamer kicks out! Austin goes for the Fold, Dreamer counters with a cutter for the 1…2…Fulton puts Austin’s foot under the rope to break the count. Dreamer sends Fulton into the post and takes him out with a DDT, Austin catches Dreamer with the Fold as Dreamer gets back in the ring for the 1…2..3! PHEW!
Ace Austin defeated Tommy Dreamer via pinfall (7:44)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Seemed like they were going to throw Dreamer into that Victory Road match but instead Austin got the win and gave himself more momentum heading into his World Title shot. Best possible result of this and I am RELIEVED. I want to see Christian and Ace on their own and it looks like I’ll get my wish. Should be a good one. Dreamer got his out thanks to Fulton’s shenanigans, but maybe he should’ve had Christian come watch his back after all huh. (**)
Solid show this week, with Josh Alexander having yet another good match to carry the in-ring load and Ace Austin beating Tommy Dreamer to keep his Victory Road title match a one-on-one affair. I’m very happy about the latter. Also popped for the surprise debut of ZICKY F’N DICE, glad to see him back. Next week’s show looks to be more stacked wrestling-wise but this one did a good job maintaining things. I do hope Scott D’Amore takes the Su Yung demon problem seriously before she overruns his company though.
- FAVORITE MATCH: Josh Alexander vs. Jake Crist
- FAVORITE MOMENT: Zicky Dice makes his surprise Impact debut. The level that I’ve missed seeing him could be classified as…OUTLANDISH.