COMMENTATORS: Josh Matthews & Madison Rayne
The investigation into Who Shot Bravo begins this week on Impact Wrestling with Tommy Dreamer taking point as lead investigator. Also on the show Deonna Purrazzo gets her championship rematch against Su Yung, Moose makes his intentions clear, and Rich Swann teams with Eddie Edwards to face Eric Young and Sami Callihan in the main event.
- IMPACT WORLD CHAMPION: Rich Swann
- IMPACT KNOCKOUTS CHAMPION: Su Yung
- IMPACT X-DIVISION CHAMPION: Rohit Raju
- IMPACT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The North (“All Ego” Ethan Page & “The Walking Weapon” Josh Alexander)
- Su Yung [c] vs. Deonna Purrazzo for the IMPACT KNOCKOUTS CHAMPIONSHIP (*3/4)
- Trey Miguel vs. Chris Bey (**1/2)
- Doc Gallows vs. Ethan Page (*1/2)
- Cody Deaner vs. Johnny Swinger (*1/4)
- Rich Swann & Eddie Edwards vs. Eric Young & Sami Callihan (***)
-OPENING VIDEO: Recap of the John E. Bravo/Rosemary courtship, Bravo terrorizing his Wedding Party (and causing resentment among his, uh, friends?), the wedding from last week that ends in Bravo being shot. I watched this segment last week and I’m still not 100% it actually happened.
–Tommy Dreamer meets with Scott D’Amore; D’Amore says that John E. Bravo is in critical condition. D’Amore asks why Dreamer is dressed like he is, Dreamer says he’s launching an investigation and puts on a Sherlock hat.
- OH BOY.
“The Undead Bride” Su Yung [c] vs. “The Virtuosa” Deonna Purrazzo [w/ Kimber Lee] for the IMPACT KNOCKOUTS CHAMPIONSHIP
Yung made her shocking return at Bound For Glory two weeks ago, taking the place of Purrazzo’s scheduled opponent and winning the Knockouts Championship. Purrazzo tried to sue to get her title back but was offered a rematch instead of being stuck for years in court and agreed to the terms.
Purrazzo catches Yung with a pump kick, both escape each other’s finisher. Yung throws Purrazzo around the ring, Purrazzo blocks the Mandible Claw and sends her crashing arm-first to the canvas. Arm-focused offense follows, including an elbow stomp. Yung goes upside down in the corner and sends Purrazzo into the buckles with a headscissors. That ruled. Both charge, both run into strikes, and a double clothesline takes them to the mat. Yung rolls through a sunset flip attempt and locks in the Mandible Claw, Lee slides a chair in the ring which causes her to break concentration for some reason. Yung and Purrazzo tug of war over the chair, Yung sends it into her midsection and the ref considers that a disqualification for some reason so the match is over.
Deonna Purrazzo defeated Su Yung [c] via DQ; Yung retains the IMPACT KNOCKOUTS CHAMPIONSHIP (4:30)
- Didn’t last long enough to really get going on but I liked it well enough. Looks like they’re building to a bigger blowoff match, probably at Turning Point. The ref calling for the DQ was lame though, that felt more like an accident than malicious use. LAME. (*3/4)
Yung hits Lee with the chair and kicks it in Purrazzo’s face. Purrazzo rolls away from danger, Yung swings the chair wildly like Leatherface at the end of the Texas Chain Saw Massacre (oh sorry, spoilers).
–Rhino helps an obviously injured Heath sit down. Heath plays it off when Scott D’Amore enters with the Impact contract. D’Amore tells Heath all he needs to do is sign and he starts next week, Heath says he wants to sign and discuss it later. D’Amore once again asks Heath if he’s okay as he didn’t look good at Bound For Glory. D’Amore says the contract is ready for Heath…when he’s healthy again. Heath and Rhino angrily leave, and in comes Barrister RD Evans. Evans says the rematch Deonna Purrazzo got earlier was not the one she is entitled to, D’Amore tells Evans Purrazzo will get a rematch at Turning Point…in an Anything Goes match. Evans doesn’t seem all that excited to tell his client, D’Amore sarcastically asks if he has a card as he’d like to use his services.
- Smart progression of the Heath storyline to account for his injury, I have no problems there. They can pick it back up once he’s healthy again. And as expected Yung/Purrazzo will be happening at Turning Point which should be a banger.
–Rich Swann catches up with his tag team partner tonight Eddie Edwards. Swann says he’s pumped tonight, Edwards has his back and he’s happy for him. Tonight they take care of business, and they do a little sing-along out of FRIENDSHIP.
Trey Miguel vs. “The Ultimate Finesser” Chris Bey
Chain wrestling to start, both jockeying for wrist control. Miguel chops Bey and follows up with a springboard armdrag that Bey counters with a cartwheel. Bey with a headscissors, Miguel cartwheels out. Both men try an armdrag, fall to the mat, and kip up in stereo. Bey sends Miguel into the corner with a dropkick. Miguel with a rolling snapmare, Bey dodges the kick but not the standing moonsault, Miguel covers for two. Bey rolls through a sunset flip, Miguel catches him with a dropkick. Bey drops Miguel throat-first across the top rope and sweeps the legs 619-style followed by a slingshot elbow for a two-count. Miguel catches a kick, Bey rakes the eyes and sends him to the mat with a clothesline. Bey stands on Miguel’s spine to show off the GUNS, Miguel backflips over Bey and connects with a dropkick to the back of the skull. Miguel hits a reverse 619 and a Colorful Combination for the 1…2…Bey kicks out. Bey blocks a sunset bomb and connects with a flying cutter for the 1…2…3.
Chris Bey defeated Trey Miguel via pinfall (6:24)
- Two of the best in the X-Division doing X-Division things. Fun match. Bey is about to compete for New Japan in the Super J Cup and it’s a well-deserved spot. (**1/2)
LOCKER ROOM TALK
Madison Rayne welcomes the audience alongside her sidekick Johnny Swinger. Swinger doesn’t seem fazed about being a murder suspect. Rayne welcomes the first guest: former Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace. Swinger tries to hug her, she shoves him away and Swinger commends her for working snug. Her second guest: Tenille Dashwood, accompanied by Kaleb with a K. Swinger is upset that Kaleb is here to turn this into a “sausage party”. Rayne asks Grace about her lack of success in finding a partner for the Knockouts Tag Team Title tournament; Grace is confident that she can find one before it starts. Rayne floats the idea of Dashwood & Grace teaming together, Grace seems reluctantly on board, Dashwood…asks Rayne to be her partner. A flattered Rayne thinks they can make it work, Kaleb tells Grace to skidaddle so he can take some pictures. Grace throws Kaleb’s phone away as she leaves, Dashwood hands Kaleb another phone. Swinger tries to get in the photos too, but is denied.
- Only one solution for Jordynne Grace: win the Knockouts Tag Team Championship by herself.
–Tommy Dreamer interrogates one of the referees. The ref asks why he would have shot Bravo, we cut to B-roll of Bravo reversing the decision of a match because of his “poor” officiating. Ref leaves and in comes Johnny Swinger. Cody Deaner walks in as well; both have a MIZZATCH against each other! Dreamer shoos them off and tells them to come back after as they’re both still suspects.
- OH BOOOOOY.
-X-Division Champion Rohit Raju is in the ring. Raju brags about beating FIVE of the best professional wrestlers at Bound For Glory, and is here for another “Defeat Rohit Challenge”. Out comes TJP in street clothes nursing a coffee. TJP grabs a mic and says he’s here to answer Raju’s offer of opportunity; Raju says he lost at Bound For Glory so his opportunity is done. Raju offers him a different opportunity: get out of his ring. TJP says all the people Raju have beaten have one thing in common: they aren’t him. Raju rages on TJP for constantly trying to steal his spotlight when he’s had to crawl and scratch to where he is while TJP has been a pet project. TJP says he’s been wrestling longer than Raju has been watching and puts over his various accomplishments, then asks Raju what makes him think he can beat him when the world couldn’t. Raju calls TJP a pathetic has-been, talking in past-tense while Raju talks in the present. TJP drops the mic, Raju tells him to leave, TJP throws hot tea in Raju’s chest. Brawl breaks out. TJP tosses Raju to the floor and stands tall, the likely next challenger to the X-Division Championship.
- Good segment/way to build the next X-Division Title match. Both men made good points in their takedowns of one another, and I really like how desperate Raju comes off. It took him forever to get to where he is and he’s going to crawl and scratch his way to stay there.
–Gia Miller interviews Chris Sabin backstage. Sabin challenges any member of XXXL to take him one-on-one, stemming from the team’s attack on Alex Shelley last week.
-After a commercial Rohit Raju complains to Scott D’Amore. TJP interrupts, D’Amore tells them to calm down. Raju says TJP already had his shot, TJP asks for one more shot since he didn’t get pinned at Bound For Glory. D’Amore makes the match official: Raju vs. TJP for the X-Division Title; if Raju wins cleanly then TJP will not receive another shot while he’s champion. Next week? Turning Point? I didn’t catch when.
“The Big LG” Doc Gallows [w/ “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson] vs. “All Ego” Ethan Page [w/ “The Walking Weapon” Josh Alexander]
They lock up, Gallows tosses Page to the mat with ease. Page tags Gallows with a series of rights and charges right into a shoulderblock, forcing Page to regroup on the floor and complain to Alexander. Page calms himself down and hypes himself up before reentering the ring. Gallows sends him into the corner, teeing off with jabs. Gallows with a back elbow, Page bails once again and shakes the guardrail out of frustration, much to Gallows’ amusement. Page back in the ring, Gallows with a right hand, Page back to the floor. Gallows mocks him for his “Karate Man” gimmick he apparently does on social media. Uhhh ok. I try not to follow pro wrestlers on Twitter so that reference doesn’t land for me. Page brings Gallows to the mat and connects with a series of rights in the full mount position, Alexander gets involved a bit behind the ref’s back. Page with a DDT for the 1…2…kickout. Gallows escapes a chinlock, Page catches him with a dropkick for the 1…2…kickout. Gallows gets some momentum going with a pair of clotheslines and corner splash into a shoulderblock. Alexander grabs Gallows’ leg, Anderson tries to help but gets sent into the post, Gallows levels Page with a superkick that knocks him right the f*ck out for the 1…2…3.
Doc Gallows defeated Ethan Page via pinfall (6:18)
- Ethan Page rocked here, especially that sell of the superkick at the end. Match was fine, I have just a deep dislike of The Good Brothers that I can’t explain so it took a lot for me to not just fast forward this one. I like The North just enough to deal with Gallows & Anderson, I guess. Also if you turn Matthews saying “The Big LG Doc Gallows” IN FULL into a drinking game you can send yourself to the hospital which is fun. (*1/2)
Alexander immediately attacks Gallows, Anderson chases them off. Both teams stare each other down as the Good Brothers’ music plays.
–Gia Miller interviews Swoggle, who has a copy of his autobiography for shilling purposes. Swoggle says he’s been viewed as a joke his entire career but now it’s time to change that be and be viewed as a professional wrestler. Brian Myers takes offense to this, calling Swoggle a sideshow freak. Swoggle tells Myers what he’s been doing week after week to Tommy Dreamer is not like him, Myers shoves him to the ground after making fun of his book.
- If there’s any company that can turn Swoggle into a legit title contender it’s Impact Wrestling and I am ALL FOR IT. Gimme that Swoggle World Title run.
Cody Deaner [w/ Cousin Jake] vs. Johnny Swinger
Deaner drops Swinger with a shoulderblock, counters a hip toss with a clothesline after they both show off their guns. Deaner stomps a mudhole in the corner and takes a swig of beer. Swinger rebounds, choking Deaner with his bandana. Swinger with count-along rights, Deaner counters with an inverted atomic drop followed by a regular atomic drop. Deaner lays in with jabs and a rolling clothesline. Deaner puts his hat on, turns it backwards for the Deaner DDT but Swinger escapes the ring. Swinger puts on the fanny pack and brings a chair in the ring. Cousin Jake pulls the chair out of his hand, ref gets distracted, Swinger nails Deaner with the fanny pack for the 1…2…3.
Johnny Swinger defeated Cody Deaner via pinfall (3:00)
- Swinger outsmarts the young boy to get the victory. Respect. Match wasn’t good but it wasn’t meant to be, the Wrestle House folk are just here to do weird segments and sometimes those segments pretend to be wrestling matches. I get it. (*1/4)
Moose makes his way out, clips of his Bound For Glory “fight” against EC3 intercut. Moose says he and the TNA Heavyweight Championship haven’t been taken seriously these past few months. Moose went to hell and back at Bound For Glory, and damn-well “killed” the greatest TNA Heavyweight Champion in history to control his narrative. Moose lays the title down and goes over his accomplishments over the past few years: wins over Rob Van Dam, Rhino, Ken Shamrock, Tommy Dreamer, & EC3. However no one talks about that, all they talk about the IMPACT World Champion Rich Swann. He congratulates Swann for carrying the “second” most important championship in the country and takes it to the Impact-Tron to show everyone what pain looks like: his attack on Willie Mack last week in the parking lot. Moose tells Swann to ask Mack what pain REALLY feels like if he ever wakes up. You’ve been warned.
Willie Mack runs out and attacks Moose, apparently having woken up. Moose shoves Mack into the cameraman, distracting him and allowing Moose to level him with a forearm. Moose removes the suit jacket, pummels Mack with rights and chokes him with the camera cable.
- Good promo work from Moose, kinda love that his SRS BUSINESS character continues carrying the TNA Heavyweight Championship around. We might be headed for a “unification match” in the future, possibly at Hard to Kill in January.
–Chris Bey visits with Rich Swann, congratulating him on becoming the World Champion. Bey tells Swann to go to the office and tell them he’s ready to defend the title against him. Swann says he sees a lot of himself in Bey but he can’t finesse him; it takes a little more to get a championship opportunity. Eddie Edwards comes in and grabs Swann for the tag team match, leaving Bey talking to himself on the couch.
- Rich Swann is certainly not short challengers for his World Championship. I appreciated Bey shooting his shot, coming off the high of his win over Trey Miguel earlier, and honestly I do hope he “earns” a shot. That’d be a cool match.
–Inspector Tommy Dreamer has narrowed down his list of “Who Shot John E. Bravo” to the ten people sitting in front of him. Father James Mitchell calls this abject nonsense because he’s a complete angel; everyone laughs and Mitchell joins in. Taya Valkyrie says she’s been on her best behavior, Dreamer says that makes her a prime suspect. Dreamer says they won’t have an answer tonight but the investigation will continue because one of them is the culprit. Cue snapshots of each suspect.
- This is so bad but it’s a trainwreck I can’t look away from. Absolutely no way Impact gets away with this if their parent company didn’t also own AXS TV.
-Matthews and Rayne preview next week’s show: Raju/TJP for the X-Division Title (if TJP loses, he never gets another shot while Raju is champ), Chris Sabin vs. Acey Romero, Rayne returns to the ring to team with Tenille Dashwood against Havok and Navaeh.
-Matthews and Rayne preview Turning Point, the next Impact Plus special. Matches announced: Yung vs. Purrazzo in a No DQ match for the Knockouts Championship & Willie Mack vs. Moose.
Rich Swann & Eddie Edwards vs. “The World Class Maniac” Eric Young & Sami Callihan
Callihan works over Swann at the start, digging at the champ’s eyes. Swann cartwheels over Callihan and connects with a dropkick. Young and Callihan to the floor, Edwards takes out Young with a tope suicida and Swann hits Callihan with a cannonball heading into commercial.
Back to the show Edwards tags in, inverted atomic to Callihan and a clothesline from Swann, Edwards grabs a crab and Swann legdrops Callihan in the back of the head for a two-count. Young hits Edwards from behind, distracting him long enough for Callihan to hit a clothesline and turn the tide. Young tags in, cinching in a chinlock after a series of clubbing blows. Edwards sent to the corner, Callihan tags in and rakes the…shoulder? Right on. Quick tag to Young, Rude Awakening neckbreaker for the 1…2…Edwards kicks out. Young catches a charging Edwards with a back elbow, covers for a two-count. Callihan tags in, Edwards hits a Blue Thunder Bomb, Young quickly tags in and clears Swann off the apron to prevent a tag. Edwards catches Young with a kick trying to climb the ropes. Young dazes Edwards with rights, Edwards regroups and hits a middle-buckle superplex. Edwards kicks Callihan away, Swann gets the hot tag. Clotheslines to Callihan, superkick to Young, hurricanrana off the buckles to Callihan, sending him into his partner for the 1…2…Young breaks the pin. Edwards pulls Swann out of a double suplex, Callihan drops him with a boot, Swann hits a double back handspring cutter on Callihan and Young but is too dazed to make a cover. Edwards tags in, Young hits a neckbreaker, Swann drops Young with a Trouble in Paradise. Callihan levels Swann with a lariat, he and Young go for piledrivers but they’re both countered, Swann with a Sharpshooter and Edwards with a single crab. Callihan goes to tap, Young stops him, Young sends Swann to the floor. Young gets to sent to the floor with a slingshot, Edwards hits Callihan with a backpack stunner for the 1…2…Callihan kicks out, Edwards immediately transitions into a single-leg crab. Swann holds Young at bay until Ken Shamrock attacks the champ from behind, sending him into the steps. Edwards gets distracted, Callihan rolls him up for the 1…2…Edwards kicks out. Callihan with a low-blow and piledriver for the 1…2…3.
Eric Young & Sami Callihan defeated Rich Swann & Eddie Edwards via pinfall (10:54 shown)
- Fun main event, Callihan and Young harnessing their crazy enough to pull off the victory (with a little help from Shamrock). Interested to see what they do with Eric Young now that he’s no longer champ; feels like they told the one story they had with him already so he’s kinda just there. (***)
Young and Callihan celebrate to end the episode.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Good main event and Impact did a good job building to the next episode as well as Turning Point. The “Who Shot Bravo?” stuff is objectively terrible but Impact HAS to know this and is just running with it because why the f*ck not they can’t get cancelled. Rest of the show was a little iffy match quality-wise but not enough to make it a slog to get through.
- MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Rich Swann & Eddie Edwards vs. Eric Young & Sami Callihan
- MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Ethan Page’s wide-eyed sell of Luke Gallows’ Superkick. Ethan Page rules.