Date: December 6, 2018
Location: Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Don Callis
We’re a month away from Homecoming and the card is already starting to take shape. That means there’s plenty of time to build things a bit higher, including the main event which doesn’t exactly have the strongest setup so far. The most interesting story around here is the Tag Team Title situation, with Konnan playing a great wild card role. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of the most recent stories, which is one of the best ways to open any show. Quick, easy and gets you up to date going into the night. Unfortunately it also serves as a reminder that Tommy Dreamer was in last week’s main event.
Ultimate X Qualifying Match: Jake Crist vs. Willie Mack
Mack is Chocolate Thunder for a pretty good nickname. Dave Crist and Sami Callihan are at ringside while Mack is alone. Mack hits an early dropkick as the announcers compare him to Refrigerator William Perry. Crist raises a boot in the corner and flips up to the top in one move (cool) for a top rope dropkick. That just earns him a fall away slam to send him outside, but he catches Mack with a superkick to take over again.
The chinlock doesn’t last long but adding in the second version makes it a longer form. A knee to the face gives Jake two and it’s off to the third chinlock. Mack fights up, likely out of boredom from all the chinlocks, and hits a few clotheslines. Crist charges into a pop up right hand and a Codebreaker (becoming WAY too popular of a move) gives Mack two.
A super sunset powerbomb gets two on Crist but he’s right back up with two spinning kicks to the face. That’s not enough though as a snap German suplex gives Crist two so Mack throws him down with an exploder suplex of his own. A quick distraction from Dave lets Sami crotch Mack on top though and it’s a super cutter to give Jake the pin at 8:35.
Rating: C. The ending looked very cool and it’s amazing how much more entertaining the Crist Brothers are when they’re not standing behind Sami and nodding. I’m rather surprised that Mack took a fall this early, even if it’s with some interference included. The match was fun though and the right choice for the opener as the Crists have a lot of cool offense that can get a crowd going.
Tessa Blanchard says Taya Valkyrie is nothing but Johnny Impact’s wife. That doesn’t matter tonight though, because Tessa has Mr. Impact Wrestling for her partner. That would be Moose, who promises to do the same thing to Johnny that he did to Eddie Edwards.
Allie vs. Heather Monroe
The Dark Allie look suits her very, very well. Heather slugs away at her to start and even hits a few running shots in the corner. Allie is right back with a Backstabber for two and she throws Heather into the corner for some hard stomping. The slow walking around the ring in between her offense works so well as it looks like she’s in another world. A missed charge in the corner lets Heather hit a running enziguri but Allie slaps herself in the face. That means a running superkick for two more and the Codebreaker finishes Heather at 3:36.
Rating: D+. The wrestling wasn’t great here, though Heather got in some more offense than you would have expected. What matters and works more here though is the character shift for Allie, who is nailing this new evil version. I’ve heard a lot of great things from her indy days but this is much better than I was expecting.
Post match Allie puts on Su Yung’s bloody glove and gets the Mandible Claw on Heather. Kiera Hogan comes out to try and talk some sense into Allie but gets her code broken instead. Allie and Su leave together.
Mack isn’t happy about the loss and talks about revenge to Rich Swann. Rich tells him to let it go because it’s not worth what comes with it. Swann will take care of Dave Crist next week.
Desi Hit Squad vs. Damien Hyde/Manny London
Raj shoves London into the corner to start as I try to stay awake during the Squad’s match. Hyde comes in and gets punched in the jaw for his efforts, followed by a neckbreaker. It’s off to Raju for a middle rope knee to the head and the rapid fire stomping in the corner doesn’t make things any more interesting. Everything breaks down and the jumping knee into the Samoan drop finishes London at 3:24.
Rating: D-. Does Impact owe the Hit Squad money or something? It’s the only explanation I can think of for why they keep them on the show. The rest of the tag division is actually pretty awesome at the moment but the Squad….is awful. I don’t know of any other way to put it and I don’t want to see them anymore.
Matt Sydal continues his babbling to Ethan Page for a pep talk.
Katarina introduces a friend to deal with Jordynne Grace: Ruby Raze, a woman of a similar build to Grace.
We look back at Chris Sabin cashing in Option C to become World Champion. What a waste of time that was.
Eli Drake leaves the bosses’ office and says that last week’s letter was an invitation to a Monster’s Ball match against Abyss at Homecoming. He doesn’t like the idea but he’ll take care of Abyss if he has to.
Scarlett Bordeaux comes to visit the Rascalz in their That 70s Show circle.
Ultimate X Qualifying Match: Ethan Page vs. Matt Sydal
Matt talks to him a lot to start before getting caught in a headlock. That lets Ethan point to his third eye and we hit a crisscross before they stop and chat some more. A headscissors doesn’t get Page very far as Sydal points to his head again and escapes. Some chops in the corner have Page in trouble until he sends Sydal to the apron.
Matt is fine enough to slip out of a powerslam attempt and hit a standing legdrop for two. A jumping kick to the face lets Sydal start in on the leg, followed by a running kick to the face in the corner. Sydal dives off the middle rope but gets caught in a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Some shots in the corner set up a big boot to drop Sydal again.
A tilt-a-whirl faceplant sends Sydal to the apron, allowing Page to grab a cutter onto said apron as we take a break. Back with a chop off and more pointing to the head, followed by Sydal getting two off a hurricanrana. They both head to the corner with Page shoving him off, setting up a Swanton for two. That sets off a rollup exchange with Page grabbing the pin at 15:21.
Rating: C. I liked the match well enough but I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen someone whose in-ring work is so different from their character. Sydal is completely fine in the ring and can have a good match with anyone, but this third eye stuff is beyond annoying. It’s not entertaining and hopefully it leads to Page doing anything else. Page and Sydal are fine together. Just get rid of the third eye thing for both of them.
Post match Page offers respect to Sydal and everything is cool.
Video on Tessa Blanchard vs. Taya Valkyrie.
We go to Eddie Edwards’ mental hospital where he gets frustrated by a chess game with Raven. Why is Raven here you ask? Apparently he checks himself in once a month, but that’s not cool with Eddie because he shouldn’t be here. Raven recounts his feuds with Tommy Dreamer and Sandman and then picks an orderly’s pocket to give Eddie a keycard, granting him access to the whole building. Ok then.
We get a face to face meeting in the back between LAX and the Lucha Bros. It’s clearly not personal but Konnan seems to be panicking anyway.
Johnny Impact and Taya are ready for the main event tonight and their matches at Homecoming.
Video on Impact vs. Cage.
Moose/Tessa Blanchard vs. Johnny Impact/Taya Valkyrie
Taya has a far different entrance where she almost dances to the ring. Yeah I’m missing the old version. The guys start things off with Moose yelling at Tessa for no apparent reason, allowing Johnny to roll him up for an early two. A dropkick sends Moose crawling over for a tag off to Tessa so Taya comes in as well.
Taya stomps her down in the corner and Johnny hits the Flying Chuck on an invading Moose to send him outside. The villains are sent into the barricade but they knock Taya and Johnny into it as well to send us to a break. Back with Tessa choking Taya on the ropes and getting two off a running kick to the back of the neck. Moose knocks Johnny into the barricade again, leaving Tessa to put on a hammerlock with some hair pulling included.
Back up and Tessa misses a charge into the post (must be a modern wrestling heel), allowing the hot tag to Johnny. That means running knees to take Moose down but Starship Pain doesn’t work. A pop up powerbomb sets up a running backsplash for two on Johnny but Moose misses his own charge.
Johnny’s superkick into the Moonlight Drive gets two and it’s back to the women. Taya scores with the running knees in the corner but Tessa scores with a cutter. The Buzzsaw DDT is countered into a release German suplex for two with Moose pulling the referee out. That’s fine with Taya, who hits a curb stomp to set up the STF to make Tessa tap at 15:08.
Rating: C+. Perfectly fine main event here and I like them having Moose in there as someone who would actually want to fight Johnny instead of someone who would be conflicted. If nothing else we might get a Johnny vs. Cage match to fill in a little bit of the gap between now and Homecoming.
Post match Moose loads up the spear on Taya but Johnny takes the bullet for her. Killer Kross runs out to take a chair away from Tessa. Cage runs in to clean house but Kross walks away from the showdown. Johnny and Cage stare each other down to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. This wasn’t much of a buildup show as the best match on the Homecoming card only got the one backstage segment. The problem, as usual, is that a lot of stuff doesn’t feel personal around here. The stuff that does works, but the majority of the title pictures don’t have much life to them. That’s been an issue around here for years and it’s not getting any better. It’s likely to be a good pay per view, but nothing that has any staying power.
Jake Crist b. Willie Mack – Super cutter
Allie b. Heather Monroe – Codebreaker
Desi Hit Squad b. Damien Hyde/Manny London – Jumping knee/Samoan drop combination to London
Ethan Page b. Matt Sydal – Rollup
Johnny Impact/Taya Valkyrie b. Tessa Blanchard/Moose – STF to Blanchard
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