Impact Wrestling – February 25, 2020

Impact Wrestling
Date: February 25, 2020
Location: Sam’s Town Live, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Don Callis, Josh Matthews

Sacrifice has come and gone with no title changes because no title was on the line in the main event. My guess is that’s so they could avoid any kind of spoilers on the taping cycle and while that makes sense, it didn’t make the stakes seem that high on Saturday. We should be building towards Rebellion now so let’s get to it.

We open with a clip of World Champion Tessa Blanchard defeating X-Division Champion Ace Austin at Sacrifice. Now Ace wants a title match so managed granted it, but for his title and not hers. Makes sense.

Opening sequence.

Rob Van Dam vs. Daga

Katie Forbes is at ringside and the fans are behind hometown boy RVD. Daga kicks him to the floor to start and nails a suicide dive, only to get slammed down. Back in and Rob crotches him on the ropes for the kick to the face as Katie is on a Twitter blocking spree. Rolling Thunder is loaded up but Rob rolls outside to kiss Katie instead.

That’s enough of a delay for Daga to hit a dropkick into a rollup for two, followed by another dropkick for a bonus. Katie walks out on the match and Van Dam is rather confused. A running enziguri puts Van Dam on the floor for the dive…and that’s enough for Van Dam as he’ll take the countout at 8:52. Like any good face, Daga is rather annoyed at the result and begrudgingly accepts the win.

Rating: C-. It was starting to get somewhere but at the same time, there is only so much that Rob can do in the ring at the moment. He’s gotten older and is nowhere near as explosive, but points to them for coming up with a way to hide the fact that he just isn’t as athletic anymore. There is going to be a rematch here, perhaps in a cage where Van Dam can’t run, but this didn’t exactly make me interested in seeing it.

Post match Van Dam asks Katie what happened. Katie left because the fans are haters, but Rob says they did buy tickets. Joey Ryan comes up to say he was reading what Katie was tweeting and knows how she’s feeling. Joey: “I’ve got the super penis, you’ve got the super a**, Rob you’re a superstar.” After that amazing gem, Joey says he’s their guy if they ever need to talk. Rob: “O……k?”

Jordynne Grace issues an open challenge to anyone in the locker room. Madison Rayne comes up but doesn’t want to hear anything from Grace until she has won the title five times. Guidance is offered and Madison promises to find a suitable opponent tonight.

Rohit Raju vs. Zachary Wentz

The rest of the Desi Hit Squad/the Rascalz are here. This is fallout from Raju costing the Rascalz the Tag Team Titles at Sacrifice because they didn’t get a title shot. They fight over a headlock to start until Wentz takes him down with a front facelock. Back up and a slugout actually goes to Raju, who takes him down with a running knee to the head.

A suplex gets two and we take a break. Back with Wentz kicking away, including an enziguri, followed by a Stunner over the middle rope. Raju grabs a Downward Spiral for two more but Wentz is right back with a cutter driver. A brawl on the floor distracts Wentz though, allowing Raju to avoid a Swanton and hit a top rope double stomp for the pin at 10:17.

Rating: C. Just another match between members of teams here and that’s not enough to make me care about them that much. The Rascalz are a fun act but then you have the Hit Squad, who are as generic of a group of heels as you can get. The match was technically fine, but trying to get me interested in a Hit Squad match is like trying to get me interested in a farmhouse in Gary, Indiana.

Post match the Realityislost/ICU video pops up and the Squad notices it.

Ace Austin doesn’t understand why Tessa gets a title shot first. Don’t worry though because he’ll win tonight and become #1 contender. Tessa may be undeniable but he is inevitable.

OVE, minus Sami Callihan, say they’re not done.

Knockouts Title: Jordynne Grace vs. Miranda Alize

Alize is challenging and has Madison Rayne in her corner. A charge at Grace doesn’t go well as the champ pulls her down, only to get caught in a headscissors. Alize gets two off a forearm as Madison says Alize can’t beat Grace without covering her. I love it when wrestlers try to sound smart but miss the point entirely. Back up and the Grace Driver is blocked and Alize gets two off a cutter. Not that it matters as the second Grace Driver attempt retains the title at 4:05.

Rating: C-. Alize was fine here but it looks like we’re coming up on Grace vs. Rayne for the title. That’s fine for a first title program for Grace as Rayne will give her a good match before coming up short. Grace is the kind of champion where it’s going to take a special effort to get the title off of her and that might take some time. Decent enough match for its time.

The North isn’t sweating TJP and Fallah Bahh next week. The two of them want to be like the North because they are tag team wrestling around here.

Chris Bey is coming.

Jessika Havok is looking for someone but Rosemary finds her. Rosemary isn’t happy with Havok joining up with James Mitchell again so next week, Havok can face Su Yung in a no DQ match.

From Dayton, Ohio at a Pro Wrestling Revolver event.

Michael Elgin vs. Eddie Edwards

Match #4 in a best of five series with Elgin up 2-1. Elgin grabs a headlock to start and then shoulders him down but Eddie snaps off a belly to belly. That’s fine with Elgin, who hits a slingshot elbow to the jaw to put Eddie down again. Elgin chops him down and hits a sliding elbow, followed by some slams to show off the power. It takes a bit too long to go to the top though and Eddie brings him down with a superplex.

The Backpack Stunner is broken up so Eddie settles for a German suplex. Elgin blasts him with a clothesline though and we take a break. Back with Eddie flipping out of another German suplex and hitting the low superkick to put them both down. Eddie’s tiger bomb gets two but he misses the moonsault. Some rollups give Eddie two but he has to avoid a sliding elbow, allowing him to roll Elgin up again, this time for the pin at 16:14.

Rating: B-. A lot of the interest has fallen away from these matches but that’s going to happen with the amount of times they’ve had it out there. The fifth match will at least have some stakes to it, but it’s kind of telling that they moved it to another show so the fans wouldn’t get burned out on it. That being said, there are far worse things they can do and the matches have been solid. Just wrap it up soon.

Flashback Moment of the Week: Jeff Hardy wins the World Title from Mr. Anderson at Against All Odds 2011. The graphic says 2010, as Impact does the most Impact thing ever by not even being able to celebrate their own history without making a mistake.

Scott D’Amore and Petey Williams are happy at the thought of the TNA show on April 3. Moose comes up to say TNA is dead so let it be dead. Why celebrate people like Suicide and Chris Sabin? Petey: “We were all actual champions.” Violence is implied.

Johnny Swinger annoys Willie Mack again but here’s Disco Inferno to say he’ll team with Swinger instead.

Video on Gut Check. Thank goodness this isn’t a full on in-arena segment again. Some of these names are from OVW.

X-Division Title: Tessa Blanchard vs. Ace Austin

Ace is defending and only his title is on the line. Tessa starts fast with some running dropkicks, including one in the corner for two. A rollup gets the same but Ace grabs a backbreaker as we take a break. Back with Ace hitting a spinning elbow to the face for two and it’s off to a bow and arrow hold. Tessa fights out of the corner and snaps off a headscissors to the floor, followed by the big dive.

Back in and Ace grabs a gutbuster to cut Tessa off again and we hit the reverse chinlock. That’s broken up in a hurry so Ace kicks her in the back a few times instead. Now it’s something like a dragon sleeper but Tessa is up in a hurry to start slugging away. A running hurricanrana sets up a tornado DDT but here’s Taya Valkyrie to jump Tessa for the DQ at 10:48.

Rating: C. So that’s all you can ask for with the ending as Tessa has already proven she can beat Ace so there’s no need to have her win the X-Division Title here. Taya is someone with history against Tessa so it’s not out of the question to have that be the next title challenger. Given that either Edwards or Elgin is facing Tessa at Rebellion, this is going to be a one off against a challenger that beat Tessa before but she has since surpassed. It’s Ultimate Warrior defending against Rick Rude in 1990 and that’s….probably me putting way too much thought into this.

Taya beats Tessa up to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. This show felt pretty flat and while it set up stuff for the future, there wasn’t much of a fire to the whole thing. There also wasn’t a great or even very good match on the show, leaving is just kind of there instead of anything noteworthy. Not a terrible show or anything close, but nothing you need to see here.

Results

Daga b. Rob Van Dam via countout

Rohit Raju b. Zachary Wentz – Top rope double stomp

Jordynne Grace b. Miranda Alize – Grace Driver

Eddie Edwards b. Michael Elgin – Rollup

Tessa Blanchard b. Ace Austin via DQ when Taya Valkyrie interfered

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