Impact Wrestling – December 8, 2020

Impact Wrestling
Date: December 8, 2020
Location: Skyway Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Madison Rayne, Josh Matthews

I’m actually looking at this show live for the first time in a long time as AEW World Champion Kenny Omega is here. Why AEW would want to do something with Impact Wrestling is beyond me but it could be interesting to see where they go with whatever they have planned. Let’s get to it.

The opening video looks at Kenny Omega winning the AEW World Title on Dynamite with Don Callis on commentary. Callis helped cost Moxley the title and then said you would hear more about it Tuesday on Impact. That’s still some pretty tame interference and it’s hardly the big screwjob that commentary was treating it as being.

Josh Alexander vs. Chris Sabin

Ethan Page and Alex Shelley are here too. Feeling out process to start with Sabin taking him down, only to have Alexander pull Sabin to the mat by the arm. A stomp and some knees to the ribs have Sabin in trouble and there’s a backbreaker to make it worse. We hit the seated abdominal stretch and then a chinlock as commentary ignores everything going on here to talk about Omega and AEW.

Sabin manages to slip out and kick him in the head to send Alexander outside. The suicide dive connects but Sabin’s hurricanrana is countered into a powerbomb onto the knee for two. A ripcord forearm drops Sabin again but he grabs a jackknife cover for the surprise pin at 9:45.

Rating: C. The Tag division, or at least the top of it, is quite good around here and Alexander is someone who can do a lot of good things during the show. Sabin is way past his prime but he can still go in the ring. If this sets up another big showdown somewhere down the road, I certainly wouldn’t be complaining.

Commentary talks about Omega and Callis like it’s the most important story in the world, even though it has almost nothing to do with anyone involved with this show.

Chris Bey comes up to a rather intense Moose and asks about their tag match tonight. Moose says they’ll talk after Bey’s World Title shot on Saturday. Bey isn’t sure what to think about him.

Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone have a paid advertisement telling us to watch AEW tomorrow. Khan doesn’t like how Omega won the belt and thinks Don Callis can be on the show tomorrow night. There are some great tag teams around here and maybe Khan will just buy the whole promotion. Khan: “You worked for Impact Wrestling back in the day right?” Schiavone: “Yeah for one night. Then I quit the business for 18 years.”

Brian Myers vs. TJP

They start fast with TJP taking him down and then grabbing a headlock for some spot calling. Myers puts him on top but TJP is right back down. They head outside with Myers sending him into the barricade as we take a break. Back with TJP hitting a tornado DDT but having to bail out of the Mamba splash.

Myers hits a Downward Spiral but misses a clothesline (his signature move according to Matthews, as he promises that this is what you will see every week) and gets pulled into the kneebar. A rope is grabbed so TJP snaps off a belly to back suplex. Myers avoids a charge though and hits a running clothesline for the pin at 11:47.

Rating: D+. Yeah it’s the former Curt Hawkins getting a nearly twelve minute match on the biggest show Impact could have had in years. Why does this surprise any of you? I’m still not sure what the point is in having Myers featured so prominently unless he’s helping out backstage, but with the reputation that he received in WWE, this isn’t doing him much good.

The Deaners are ready to face Eric Young and Joe Doering, but Cody says he has to do this on his own. Eventually he relents and lets Jake come to the ring with him, but it’s all serious tonight.

Rohit Raju laughs at TJP for losing and brags about how great of a year he has had. The final Defeat Rohit Challenge of 2020 at Final Resolution is open to anyone (except TJP of course) and TJP wishes him luck.

Eric Young vs. Cody Deaner

Young pounds away to start and yells at Cody a bit. Cody’s shots to the ribs don’t work as Young chokes on the ropes and sends him outside. Back in and Cody gets in a few more right hands, only to miss the top rope headbutt. The piledriver finishes Cody at 3:44.

Rating: D+. Yeah what were you expecting here? Young and Doering are being treated as the new monsters around here and it was Young against a Deaner. How else was this going to be anything but a complete squash? It’s still one of the least interesting teams in the company but they make sense in this spot.

Post match the beatdown stays on but Rhino runs in with a pipe for the save.

John E. Bravo wants Tommy Dreamer to arrest Larry D. for attempted murder. Dreamer goes over to Larry and tells him what’s going on, but Larry has an idea: a match with Dreamer at Final Resolution. If Larry wins, he goes free, but if he loses, he’ll go to jail peacefully. Dreamer says it’s on, as Larry asks how he can win his freedom from attempted murder in a wrestling match. Dreamer: “I can do anything I want.”

Post break Tommy Dreamer comes in to see Scott D’Amore, who isn’t happy with Dreamer making matches but he can’t be too upset now. Dreamer is worried about Kenny Omega and Don Callis because he’s been there before. He’s worried about what happens to the locker room but D’Amore isn’t worried.

Knockouts Tag Team Titles Tournament First Round: Taya Valkyrie/Rosemary vs. Deonna Purrazzo/Kimber Lee

Purrazzo and Rosemary fight over the arm to start with Rosemary scaring her into the corner so it’s off to Taya. Lee knocks her into the corner as well and it’s a double suplex to give Purrazzo two. Taya fights up and brings in Rosemary to clean house, only to have Purrazzo catch her in a Downward Spiral.

Lee’s flipping neckbreaker sends Rosemary’s back into the knee for two. Purrazzo kicks Rosemary in the face as everything breaks down. Taya and Lee do the splits and slug it out on the mat until Purrazzo kicks Lee by mistake. Purrazzo and Taya fight to the floor, leaving Rosemary to hit the Wing Clipper on Lee to advance at 6:59.

Rating: D. Not much to see here and given how the other first round matches have gone, I can’t say I’m surprised by how the ending went. Taya and Rosemary are a better team and it’s not like Purrazzo needs to be in the Tag Team Title scene when she’s already Knockouts Champion. Boring match, as the show continues to drag.

Here are your updated brackets:

Havok/Nevaeh

Jordynne Grace/Jazz

Kiera Hogan/Tasha Steelz

Taya Valkyrie/Rosemary

Alisha doesn’t have time for Tenille and Kaleb With A K because she’s worried about Sami Callihan hurting Eddie Edwards. Tenille isn’t happy that they have to do this later.

Purrazzo and Lee come up to yell at Scott D’Amore over everything Purrazzo has to do. D’Amore mocks them a bit and makes Purrazzo vs. Rosemary for the Knockouts Title at Final Resolution.

Here’s Sami Callihan for a chat. He says he’s the highest rated name in Impact Wrestling because of everything he does around here and has carried this place on his back. The company needs him more than he needs it and that’s why he gets away with everything. He’s the one who put this company on the map when he crushed Eddie Edwards’ face with a baseball bat so let’s look at that footage.

Now he’s here holding things down while Ken Shamrock takes a needed vacation. While he’s doing that, he wanted to hurt Eddie again to pop the ratings, so let’s see that as well. Instead here’s Alisha, with Sami threatening to break her neck. Cue Eddie from behind to jump Sami, who takes a beating and runs away.

Post break Alisha tells Eddie that he needs to help her with her problem but he’s too fired up.

Rich Swann/Willie Mack vs. Moose/Chris Bey

Swann and Bey trade flips to start with Swann rolling over into a dropkick. We take a very early break and come back with Moose throwing Mack down and then throwing Bey onto him for two. Moose continues the pounding with raw power and hands it off to Bey for two more. It’s back to Moose, who yells at Bey on the way out.

Mack manages a pair of Stunners and makes the hot tag off to Swann, who is quickly powerbombed by Moose. Instead of covering, Moose heads outside with Mack, leaving Swann to beat on Bey. Moose comes back in and gets superkicked down, with Swann hurricanranaing Bey onto him for two. Mack misses the Six Star Frog Splash though, allowing Moose to spear him down. Moose elbows him in the head over and over until Swann breaks it up but Bey pins Mack at 11:48.

Rating: C. Moose continues to look like a monster and I can’t imagine anything else headlining Hard To Kill but Moose getting his World Title shot against Swann. Bey needed a win after last week’s loss to Mack so this went as well as it could have. I’m a bit surprised that Bey didn’t pin Swann, but it’s nice to avoid the cliché like that.

Josh and Madison hype up the interview with Omega and Callis one more time.

Post break Swann, who took the fastest shower in recorded history, isn’t allowed to go to the parking lot because Kenny Omega has the parking lot blocked off. Josh gets to go by for the interview though and Swann is ticked.

Josh goes onto the bus with Omega and Callis, who cuts things off for a special moment: the ceremonial changing of the name plate on the title. Josh asks Callis about the interference last week, including wanting to know how long this has been in the works. Omega offers Josh the Moxley name plate because they were close before (Callis: “He’s a Stamford Stooge.”).

Callis talks about Omega’s uncle, the Golden Sheik, training him in Canada 27 years ago. The Sheik became Callis’ manager and then introduced him to his ten year old nephew Kenny. Since then, Callis has helped Omega throughout the years. Why else would Callis get back into the wrestling industry five years ago? Was it just to do a podcast? Was it just to do commentary in New Japan? It was all part of a plan to make Omega the biggest star in the world, down to the point where Tony Khan invited Callis into his home to set up Callis’ spot on commentary.

Callis is the one who booked Omega vs. Chris Jericho in the Tokyo Dome in the match which gave birth to All Elite Wrestling. Now you have a Hall of Famer in his mid 30s as the World Champion because they make history. Josh tries to ask if the title win was tainted but Omega says he’ll be taking over the interviewer role.

What would happen if someone who Josh couldn’t stand put their hands on Josh’s father? Would that make you pick up whatever you could to attack that person? What did Moxley expect would happen when he laid his hand on the invisible hand behind Omega’s push? Omega didn’t taint anything because he has dominated the wrestling world for years. Look at the top 20 AEW matches in history. He’s in about 17 of them. Mexico, England, Zimbabwe. No matter where you look, Omega is the king.

Look at this bus, where they like to live in style. So why impact Wrestling? As a child, Omega collected comic books but he had to quit because no matter how many comics he got, he could never get the rarest of them all. Now he has a new hobby: having the Action Comics #1 of wrestling with the title. Sure he had the X-Men and Spider-Man #1 in his collection, but maybe he can add some Impact Titles to his collection. There is going to be a big announcement on Dynamite and they need to get the Lex Express ready to go. Omega does his goodbye and good night to end the show.

So that’s the big interview and the reveal is that….Callis, who is the biggest Omega fan not named Meltzer in the world, has helped him get where he is today because Omega’s uncle trained Callis and he wanted to repay the favor? I’ve heard far worse explanations and while I’ve never cared about Callis in the slightest, this could be interesting. It seems that we are going to be getting something with Omega going after other titles and I’m assuming he’ll do that better than Austin Aries a few years ago. It’s too early to know where this is going yet, but this is enough to keep me intrigued for now.

Overall Rating: D+. I can’t get on them too much for having a lame show with this much hype as it’s all taped in advance, but they did not exactly put their best foot forward. This show was mainly focused on Omega being the most important thing in the world, which didn’t exactly make the Impact regulars look like they mattered in the slightest. Granted when you have Brian Myers, Eric Young, Tommy Dreamer and Rhino in featured roles, how good can things be? Bad show, but the Omega deal is all that matters.

Results

Chris Sabin b. Josh Alexander – Jackknife rollup

Brian Myers b. TJP – Running clothesline

Eric Young b. Cody Deaner – Piledriver

Rosemary/Taya Valkyrie b. Kimber Lee/Deonna Purrazzo – Wing Clipper to Lee

Chris Bey/Moose b. Willie Mack/Rich Swann – Elbows to Moose’s head

 

 

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