Date: October 18, 2018
Location: Melrose Ballroom, New York City, New York
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Don Callis
It’s a big show this week as we’re officially past Bound For Glory, meaning the long road towards Homecoming begins. That can wait in a few weeks though as we’re now looking at the fallout from the biggest show of the year. Johnny Impact FINALLY won the World Title from Austin Aries, who seems to be done with the promotion for the time being. Let’s get to it.
Of course we open with a long recap of Bound For Glory. It’s not like it could have been anything else.
The ring is still tiny. I know it’s due to the venue but egads.
Here’s new World Champion Johnny Impact to open things up. After saying wrestling is unpredictable and being cut off by a YOU DESERVE IT chant, he talks about how he wanted to do this for his entire life because he’s it’s like nothing else. He grew up watching it when he was a kid at the Great Western Forum and he’s always been someone who does things a little differently. People told him that making a movie with his own money was crazy but now it’s streaming on Netflix. Even if it’s in a bin at Dollar General, he’s proud of it.
He’s been told he just has the look of a wrestler but now he has the title on his shoulder. This business is what we make it and he’s not going to hide behind goons and tweet passive aggressively because he’s a coward. If someone deserves a title shot they can get it, so here’s Fenix to interrupt. Fenix says he’s won titles around the world but never here. It’s an incredible opportunity to fight for that title and he wants a show next week. Johnny: “Well it’s not like I can say no.” The match is on for next week.
Next week: the show moves to 10pm. That doesn’t sound good.
The announcers talk about Bound For Glory.
Tommy Dreamer talks about great football players who became great wrestlers. Moose wants to join the list but he doesn’t want to put in the work. Tonight, Tommy is going to beat something into him and doesn’t mind giving him a concussion. Not the best thing in the world to say at the moment.
Outside, Moose hits on McKenzie Mitchell and is ready to beat up Dreamer. Killer Kross asks if Dreamer feels in control and says they both accept his challenge.
Katarina vs. Taya Valkyrie
Katarina gets aggressive to start and stomps away in the corner as Callis talks about the ring skirt costing Taya the title “last night”. Some knees to the back set up a backbreaker for two as it’s all Katarina to start. A missed charge lets Taya forearm away and a pair of running knees, including one against the ropes, gets two. The Road To Valhalla finishes Katarina at 3:50.
Rating: D+. Nothing to see here but Taya will pretty clearly get a rematch with Tessa Blanchard for the title. Katarina has already cooled off since returning, though I’m sure they can find something for her to do. Just getting away from Grado is already doing her some good and finding a new star to manage will help a lot.
Post match, Taya says she doesn’t respect Tessa Blanchard for having to retain the title like that.
Matt Sydal and Ethan Page sit in the dark and talk about opening third eyes. Sydal has made Page in tune with himself and tonight, Page can show Trevor Lee how to suffer.
Gama Singh attacks Rohit Raju, who has one more test to pass: facing Gama Singh himself next week. I really can’t stand these people much longer.
Trevor Lee vs. Ethan Page
Sydal is here with Page. There’s something funny about Josh Matthews managing Sydal being banished from all history. Lee chokes him in the corner to start and then chokes differently to mix things up. Page comes back with some right hands and points at his forehead because that’s his gimmick.
Some stomping in the corner (a common move around here) doesn’t do much as Trevor sends him outside for the running kick from the apron. A Sydal distraction (with another offer to join) allows Page to hit a hanging double arm DDT for two as the fans aren’t sure who to cheer for here. Lee hits a jumping knee to the face and gets two off a middle rope moonsault. Page elbows him in the face, sends him into the corner and elbows him again, followed by a Rock Bottom for the pin at 6:22.
Rating: C-. Page looked good here and clearly has enough talent to make it in this company. However, Lee still does nothing for me at all. Now that being said, I’ve heard he’s WAY better outside of Impact and he wouldn’t be the first person to be in that situation. Maybe he just needs a refreshing, but at the moment he’s just the guy who can give you a watchable match.
Rich Swann, with Willie Mack, is ready to win the X-Division Title tonight. Mack had a good time on Sunday, but Swann has to do it on his own tonight. That’s cool with Swann.
Video on the Allie/Kiera Hogan/Rosemary/Su Yung/WHAT THE HECK EVER THAT WAS segment from Sunday.
Kiera talks to Allie, who insists she’s fine but clearly isn’t.
Classic Moment of the Week: Daniel Bryan beats Randy Orton for the World Title. They called it Eric Young beating Magnus but it was Bryan over Orton.
Petey Williams asks Scarlett Bordeaux when she’s going to announce him as her new client. She flirts on him for a bit, but says the talent search is ongoing, and open to fans too. Petey seems confused, but Petey confuses me more often than not.
Killer Kross vs. Tommy Dreamer
Moose is here with Kross of course. Kross misses an early knee drop and Dreamer knocks him out to the floor. Dreamer, wearing his Dusty Rhodes shirt and Dusty Rhodes pants, gets to do the Dusty Rhodes Bionic Elbow and gets choked down for all that gimmick infringement. Back in and a hard whip into the corner keeps Dreamer’s back in trouble and a t-bone suplex gets two.
The cravate goes on but Dreamer gets up top to catch him with a right hand. There’s a superplex as the fans chant ECW. Dreamer loses a slugout but escapes a German suplex and hits a cutter. Moose tries to come in but takes a cutter of his own. The Doomsday Saito is broken up with a bite to Kross’ head but the second attempt drops Dreamer on his head. Kross does it again and that’s a referee stoppage at 7:02.
Rating: D+. This was the not great Dreamer match that you would have expected. I’m still not sure why he keeps getting on TV shows as it’s not like he’s interesting on his own, but nostalgia is a powerful weapon. I had the same reaction to this one that I have to every Dreamer match and that’s not the best feeling in the world.
Post match Dreamer gets beaten up even more.
We see part of Abyss’ Hall of Fame induction speech, which sounds rather good. The fact that he’s the first Impact Original to go in is rather telling.
Eli Drake isn’t happy with Abyss putting him through a table because it’s an unsafe work environment. Those are words that I never need to hear in wrestling again. Oh and he’s suing the company. Well a lot of people have over the years so he might as well join the team.
LAX is celebrating their win when King comes in. According to the bosses, he and the OGz get to keep a piece of New York but they have to stay on their own sides. Konnan says get on your own side then and get out of here.
We look back at the opening sequence.
More announcers talking and recapping the show so far.
Allie vs. Alisha Edwards
Alisha rolls her up to start before they trade some armdrags for two each. Allie gets a little more aggressive and takes Alisha down for two of her own but gets sent throat first into the middle rope. A choke has Allie in more trouble but she slips out…and goes nuts. She slaps herself in the face and glares down at Alisha, setting up a Codebreaker for the pin at 4:11.
Rating: C-. This was much more storytelling than wrestling and there’s nothing wrong with that. Allie can only be the Bayley style character for so long as she’s a very well rounded performer and the kind of person who could be a fixture in the division with a different character. Alisha is getting better as well so the future is starting to pick up for the Knockouts.
Post match Allie stays on Alisha until Kiera pulls her off. Fans: “PSYCHO BUNNY!”
Jordynne Grace is coming.
X-Division Title: Rich Swann vs. Brian Cage
Cage is defending. Swann starts with the dancing and gets shoved down for his efforts. Cage shrugs off a dropkick but Swann flips out of a German suplex attempt. A hurricanrana doesn’t work either as Cage throws him down and hits some Roman Reigns clotheslines in the corner. It’s too early for the Drill Claw though and Cage misses a charge to the floor.
For some reason Swann follows him and gets powerbombed into the post. An apron superplex brings Swann back in and we take a break. Back with Swann being sent chest first into the buckle and then kicked in the face. Cage throws him down again as Josh and Don plug a Titanic marathon on Sunday. An F5 is escaped and Swann tries a front flip seated senton but gets caught in the air.
Instead it’s a DDT to drop Cage but he avoids the Phoenix splash. They trade kicks to the face with Swann getting the better of it, including more kicks to the head for two. Swann tries one kick too many though and gets caught in a pumphandle faceplant. An Angle Slam gets two on Swann but he pulls Cage out of the air with a cutter. A Lethal Injection sets up a middle rope 450 for two but the Phoenix splash misses. Cage powerbombs him, buckle bombs him, and Weapon X’s him for the pin to retain at 14:43.
Rating: B. Easily the best match on the show here and that’s a good sign considering how much potential both of these guys have. Cage is the create-a-wrestler come to life and Swann is a ball of charisma. This was a really fun match and the kind of thing that the show needed after a lot of storyline heavy stuff earlier in the night.
Post match here’s Sami Callihan to show a loop of him pinning Cage on Sunday. A fight breaks out but the Crist Brothers run in for the save. Cage clears the ring to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. This wasn’t a great show but you don’t have to do much on the first night after Bound For Glory. Instead of having a big time show, they went with a cool down show with some stuff that advanced stories and made you want to come back for more. That’s a different path from what WWE would do and that’s not a bad idea. It was a very easy show to watch and that’s often something you need after so many weeks of heavier shows. It works for NXT and it worked fine enough here. Not a great show, but the right choice for this week.
Taya Valkyrie b. Katarina – Road To Valhalla
Ethan Page b. Trevor Lee – Rock Bottom
Killer Kross b. Tommy Dreamer via referee stoppage
Allie b. Alisha Edwards – Codebreaker
Brian Cage b. Rich Swann – Weapon X
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