Impact Wrestling – December 28, 2019 (Best Of 2019 Part 1)

Impact Wrestling
Date: December 28, 2019
Hosts: Josh Matthews, Scott D’Amore

It’s the Best Of 2019 and that means we could be in for an interesting night. There have been some good things going on this year and hopefully we can see where things are going to be heading in the future. Impact has had a solid year and now they can showcase it a little bit. Let’s get to it.

Josh and Scott welcome us to the show, which is week #1 of 2.

From Homecoming:

Eddie Edwards vs. Moose

Falls Count Anywhere. Eddie jumps him during the entrances, as he should because he’s not the kind of guy who would wait for a bell here. Moose catches the suicide dive though and Eddie gets TOSSED into the steps. Back to back powerbombs on the floor and apron give Moose two and it’s time to load up the steps, plus a piece of barricade between the ring and the regular barricade.

Another powerbomb is countered and Eddie takes it back to the floor, this time heading into the crowd. The fans want them to come OVER HERE, though I’d settle for a camera staying on them. What looked like a beer can to Moose’s head makes him walk even more but Moose whips him into some steps to the upper deck. Eddie of course hits a dive off the balcony but would rather chop Moose than cover him.

Back to ringside with Eddie getting knocked off the apron, sending him face first into the barricade. A bunch of chairs are thrown in and Moose posts Eddie to keep him down. Eddie is busted open (as he should be) and Moose bites at the cut (as he shouldn’t be). For some reason Moose goes up, allowing Eddie to pelt a chair at his head. The chairs are piled up and a top rope superplex drops both guys onto them for the huge crash.

Back up and they chop it out with Moose taking off the glove for good measure. Moose charges but gets backdropped onto the aforementioned piece of barricade. Eddie takes him back inside and grabs a kendo stick for the real beating. Cue Alisha Edwards to take the stick away…and beat on Moose instead. The big stick shot from Eddie sets up the DDT for the pin at 13:13.

Rating: B-. This was pretty close to the violent fight that it should have been and hopefully it wraps up the feud once and for all. There’s no reason to keep things going and Eddie winning is a pretty definitive finish. Alisha accepting Eddie’s violence and helping with the beatdown was a nice touch, especially since there was no Raven to get involved here.

Happy Holidays from Impact Wrestling.

Some wrestlers talk about their favorite Christmas memory.

From Bound For Glory.

X-Division Title: Daga vs. Jake Crist vs. Tessa Blanchard vs. Acey Romero vs. Ace Austin

Crist is defending in a ladder match and the debuting Acey weighs about 400lbs. Jake gets stared at to start until Ace and Daga superkick Romero into the corner. Tessa unloads on Crist and hits the suicide dive to the floor to take him out. She does it two more times, only to have Ace dive onto both of them. Romero dropkicks Daga, who corkscrew dives over Romero to take everyone down on the floor.

Tessa and Daga fight over the ladder so Romero dives onto it to…well really just hurt himself. The ladder is brought in and it’s a Codebreaker into a Backstabber to put Crist on the floor. Romero comes back in (WAY too soon) and gets dropped with a cutter. Worry not though as he’s right back up and bringing in another ladder. Crist hits Romero in the head with a chair and a kick manages to knock him down. Austin suplexes Crist off the ladder so Daga makes his own save and beats up Austin for a bonus.

Tessa is back in with a springboard dropkick to knock Austin outside but Romero Samoan drops her off the ladder. Daga teeter totters the ladder into Romero’s face and then bridges it between the ring and the barricade. Let’s throw in a table for a bonus (and a spot on a Bingo card) but before it gets used, Romero hits a Tower of Doom onto almost everyone else.

A powerbomb sends Austin hard into the ladder and Romero teases to climb, but pulls out another one to climb two at once. Crist breaks that up with a super cutter, leaving us with Tessa and Daga for the double climb. Austin shoves both of them down but gets Death Valley Driven by Daga. That’s not it as Daga hits a running Canadian Destroyer to Crist on the bridged ladder.

Romero goes up but Tessa shoves the ladder over to DESTROY the table, with the ladder crashing over the top as well. Tessa is all alone but here’s the rest of OVE to make the save but Tessa hurricanrana Madman Fulton into the ladder. Jake is knocked through another table but Austin hits Tessa with his baton and steals the title at 17:24.

Rating: B. This was a lot of fun as they didn’t waste time setting up spots and flew from one thing to another. The selling wasn’t around but when you just ignore it for most of the match, it kind of starts to work in a weird way. That being said, they have to give Tessa the win at some point because you can only tease it so many times before the fans stop caring. They cared here, but I’m not sure how much longer that can happen. Romero did well here, though you can hear Fallah Bahh crying from here.

Wrestlers discuss Christmas traditions.

We’re also doing some awards this week, with Taya Valkyrie being named Knockout of the Year. Who else was it going to be? Other than maybe Tessa? Anyway, Taya and her dog are rather pleased.

Wrestlers talk about Christmas carols.

From Homecoming.

Tag Team Titles: LAX vs. Lucha Bros

LAX is defending and there’s no Konnan in sight. Fenix and Santana start things off in a feeling out process. A very fast armdrag sends Santana into the ropes for a kick to the back from Pentagon and it’s a double superkick on Santana with Fenix hitting a crazy hard suicide dive on Ortiz. Santana gets back up and sends Fenix outside for a kick to Pentagon’s head, followed by the backsplash from Ortiz.

Pentagon goes outside as well and Santana hits a top rope Asai moonsault to take him right back down. Back in and a Lionsault/legdrop combination gets two on Pentagon as they’ve certainly started fast. Fenix saves his brother from a double suplex and the champs are sat outside on the ramp. Pentagon throws a charging Fenix onto both of them before hitting his own no hands flip dive onto the pile.

Back in and a Codebreaker/top rope double stomp combination gets two on Ortiz. Santana comes back in and hits a reverse powerbomb into a top rope splash but Pentagon runs in for the crazy save with a step up Canadian Destroyer (GEEZ) to put everyone down. Ortiz and Pentagon slap it out and it’s a series of running kicks to put all four down again.

The Bros get back up first with the spike Fear Factor to Santana, though Ortiz is a bit late with the save and Santana has to kick out on his own. The Street Sweeper hits Pentagon with Fenix diving in with a dropkick for the save. A rolling cutter into a Codebreaker into a superkick finishes Fenix out of nowhere to retain the titles at 10:48.

Rating: B+. It’s the most entertaining thing on the card so far but this didn’t hit the heights they should have reached. It needed another five to ten minutes as I was expecting this to be nearly twice as long. What we got was good, but it wasn’t built up, making the match feel like it was designed to be a classic instead of just being a classic. Very good, but it could have been a lot more.

Wrestlers talk about their favorite gifts.

Willie Mack is named Star to Watch in 2020.

From Cali Combat on August 23.

Willie Mack vs. Trey Miguel

They circle each other to start and we get a handshake, resulting in Mack being pulled into a headlock. Willie reverses into a Samoan drop into a standing moonsault as the audio and video are a little out of sync. Trey blocks a running chop in the corner and hits a springboard hurricanrana to send Willie into the other corner.

Mack is right back up with a reverse Cannonball in the corner. The Stunner is blocked so Trey grabs a jumping neckbreaker for two instead. They slug it out from their knees with Mack getting the better of it, only to get caught in the corner for a Cheeky Nandos kick. Trey goes up top but dives into a Stunner for the pin at 5:24.

Rating: C+. This was just a way to showcase Mack as he (mostly) hit the cool finisher for the pin. I’m not sure how far he can go, but the talent and charisma are going to be enough to drive him pretty far up the ladder. Trey held up his end here too and it was a rather nice little match.

Wrestlers on what they want for Christmas.

From Bound For Glory.

Michael Elgin vs. Naomichi Marufuji

Or Marufugi according to the name graphic. Come on with that stuff people. Neither can hit a chop to start so Marufuji misses some chops and kicks to get us to an early standoff. Elgin misses a charge in the corner and gets chopped a bit but he catches a charging Marufuji in a suplex. A missile dropkick sends Marufuji flying for two and the fans aren’t pleased with Elgin being in control. They chop it out with Marufuji knocking him to the floor and hits the big flip dive.

Back in and a running stomp to the head gives Marufuji two but he has to flip out of a German suplex attempt. Elgin sends him into the ropes and snaps off the German suplex this time, setting up a Falcon Arrow for two. They trade kicks to the head and it’s a double knockdown with Marufuji in the better shape of the two. A sunset bomb to the floor is blocked so Marufuji superkicks Elgin in the back of the head instead.

Sliced Bread on the floor gets a nine so it’s a top rope stomp to the back of the head for two (counting in wrestling is weird). There’s a dragon suplex to drop Marufuji and a discus lariat takes his head off. Splash Mountain gets two and the shock is strong. Another Sliced Bread drops Elgin again but Marufuji can’t get him up for a tiger bomb.

Instead it’s time to slug it out again with Marufuji picking up the intensity of the strikes to take over. That’s fine with Elgin, who blocks a kick and powerbombs him down for two. The buckle bomb into the Elgin Bomb gets two and Elgin is STUNNED in a great visual. The Burning Hammer finally puts Marufuji away at 18:04.

Rating: B. Yeah that’s what you should have been expecting here as they beat the fire out of each other for the better part of twenty minutes. Elgin is just such a powerhouse and I’ve liked Marufuji from the times I’ve seen him before. It isn’t the style of wrestling I like most of the time but for a one off, this was very entertaining.

The Moment of the Year is Sami Callihan winning the World Title on the AXS TV.

From Impact, October 29.

Impact Wrestling World Title: Sami Callihan vs. Brian Cage

Cage is defending in a cage….match. Callihan (with Melissa written on his vest) kicks the cage door into his head to start but Cage is right back with a powerbomb into the cage wall. Sami finally escapes and gets inside where he locks the cage, thinking that Brian can’t climb the wall. That stupid plan falls apart in about three seconds so Callihan gets in a baseball bat shot to take over.

Cage is busted open and Callihan bites at the forehead, followed by some bat shots to the ribs. Another running bat shot just wakes Brian up and a missed charge sends Sami into the steel. Back from a break with both of them down again until they start exchanging some strikes to the face. A spit slap annoys Cage even more but Callihan drops him with a clothesline for two anyway.

The Cactus Special gets one though as Cage is livid again. A powerbomb into a buckle bomb looks to set up the Drill Claw but Sami reverses into a small package for two. Sami hits a series of hard knees and kicks to the head, setting up rolling piledrivers….for two more. Yeah we’ve reached the ridiculous point, especially if Sami wins here. Cage is back up with a discus lariat for two of his own but Callihan crotches him on top. The super Cactus Special gives Callihan the pin and the title at 14:06.

Rating: B-. They went one near fall too many here and it took me out of the match a bit, but they did a good job of making Callihan look like the monster to finally stop Cage. He seems to be Cage’s Kryptonite and that is a good role for Callihan to play. You had to give him a World Title reign at some point and they pulled the trigger at the right time. It was a good enough match too and they have had a good story to get here.

Overall Rating: B+. This is the kind of show that works like a charm most of the time and Impact had the matches this year to make it work. They’ll be doing something similar next week and it was nice to have this kind of talent getting the attention it deserves. I liked this one quite a bit and it was entertaining throughout, which is the point of a show like this.

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