The SmarK Rant for Impact Wrestling – 12.15.20
Okey doke, last week’s Impact did pretty damn good for the blog. I doubt that will continue but whatever, let’s give it another shot.
Taped from Nashville, TN
Your hosts are Josh Matthews & Madison Rayne
Tenille Dashwood v. Alisha
Apparently the ladies are frenemies and they take it to the mat and slug it out to start, but Alisha gets a flatiner and a senton for two. Alisha misses a charge and Tenille takes her down with a dropkick for two and follows with a double underhook slam for two. Tenille goes to a full nelson on the mat, but Alisha fights out with a sideslam for two. The presence of Eddie Edwards at ringside makes me wonder – what the hell happened to Davey Richards? Is he even still around the business? Also Eddie looks to have gained 100 pounds since his ROH days, but then it’s been a long time since I’ve seen him. Alisha makes a comeback with forearms but Tenille escapes a bulldog. Alisha gets a second one for two as Kaleb (with a K) pulls Tenille out of the ring to save, but Alisha hits Kaleb with a dive. Back in, Tenille hits a big boot for the pin at 5:13. I don’t know much about Alisha but she didn’t look particularly competent out there. *1/2
Sami Callihan hacks the system to interrupt afterwards and I guess issues a challenge to Eddie for whatever the next PPV show is. (Later we get clarification that it’s actually for the January 5 episode of the show, which wasn’t really made clear here.)
Meanwhile, the Bus is HERE!
Meanwhile, the Motor City Machine Guns lay out their plan for getting back to the tag team titles, because there’s only room for one Machine Gun in Impact!
Meanwhile, Kenny and Don send Karl Anderson off to get some revenge for that promo, but Karl runs into Rich Swann and the MCMG backstage and Rich accuses him of just doing what Kenny tells him.
Moose joins us, still the TNA World champion for whatever that means. He announces that Willie Mack is hurt, because he hurt him, but all anyone is talking about is Rich Swann. He also suggests calling Willie and asking what pain feels like. Well I know that Patrick Swayze said “Pain don’t hurt” in Roadhouse, but I don’t know if that applies to all situations. So Willie Mack interrupts and he wants an I Quit match at “Genesis”. Apparently that’s another Impact Plus show, a week before the real PPV. So Willie decides to attack, but security holds them back and Moose beats up the security geeks. We needed Mean Gene here to tell them THIS ISN’T THE TIME OR THE PLACE, GENTLEMEN!
Meanwhile, Moose is tired of wrestlers looking for opportunities going and putting their hands on him. He’s referring to the security guards, by the way.
Meanwhile, Chris Bey stops by to annoy Rohit Raju, who gets a rematch for the X title at the PPV.
THE FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR ALL ELITE WRESTLING!
Tony and Tony stop by to remind us that your local city council meeting follows Impact here on cable access TV. Tony Schiavone: “Lesson #1 is where to find AXS. If you ask your smart TV to put it on AXS, it says ‘Dude, why?’” These make reviewing the show worthwhile.
Meanwhile, Eric Young knows a lot about sickness and how you’ve got to remove it to get rid of it. So apparently he’s going to baptize Cody Deaner.
Manik v. Chris Bey
Although the mysterious Manik won the X title at Final Resolution, this is non-title. And based on the Midnight Rider precedent, if anyone can unmask him as TJP, then Rohit Raju gets his belt back. Manik takes Bey down with a headscissors and spins him into a torture rack and samoan drop out of that. Bey charges and hits the floor, and Manik follows with a dive as we take a break. Back with Manik slugging away in the corner, but Bey hits him with boots and goes up with a flying elbow to the back for two. Bey slugs away in the corner and hits a running boot for two before going to a chinlock, but Manik hits a spinkick on him. Bey drops a leg for two and goes to a chinlock, but Manik escapes with a backdrop driver. Bey rolls him up for two and dropkicks him to the floor, but Manik disappears under the ring and then comes in from the other side with a crossbody. Manik with a GTS, but Bey goes low and takes the ref while Rohit tries to come in and go for the mask. The ref catches him, so Rohit turns on Bey and gives him the win by DQ at 10:00. So now, as Josh uses his old WWE speak, “Chris Bey is in the conversation for a future X Division championship match”. That was a stupid finish, but the match was OK. **1/2
Meanwhile, we flash back to Sting returning at Final Resolution 2006 because Impact has to have THEIR Sting return moment to showcase as well.
Meanwhile, The North seem like they’re on the verge of breaking up, but Ethan Page assures Josh Alexander that “we” have his back. And then Brian Myers offers Josh his help, which doesn’t help.
Meanwhile, on the bus, Kenny and Don make fun of “Rich the Bitch” and can’t believe Karl Anderson is taking this crap from him. Don: “Don’t worry, he knows we’re working him.” But Kenny is still pretty wound up about Swann.
Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz v. Taya Valkyrie & Rosemary
This is the semi-finals of the Knockouts tag title tournament, and Taya beats on Tasha in the corner and gets a spinebuster for two. Rosemary comes in with a throw on Steelz and then hits Hogan with a spinning sideslam for two, but she gets caught in the corner and worked over by Keira and Tasha. That goes on for a pretty long while with not much of note until Rosemary spears Tasha and makes the hot tag to Taya. Taya spears Hogan for two and powerbombs her for two, but Purazzo and Kimber Lee come out and take out Rosemary to distract Taya. And Kiera finishes her with a neckbreaker at 7:32. Bad finish, dull match. *
Meanwhile, Eric Young continues his interrogation of Cody Deaner, who is chained to a desk for some reason, and explains about a parasite attached to his body. OK then.
Meanwhile, Tasha and Kiera celebrate their trip to the finals, but argue over missing money until Johnny Swinger stops by to annoy them out of the room. And then he finds the giant wad of money in the “kayfabe compartment” of their fanny pack.
Brian Myers v. Josh Alexander
Myers works the arm, but Ethan Page comes out to cheer on Alexander and Myers lays him out on the floor. Back in, Myers trips up Alexander and slugs away on the mat, then drops a knee on the back for two. Josh comes back with a boot out of the corner, but Myers hits a backdrop suplex and tries his clothesline, but Ethan Page changes into THE KARATE MAN after his blow to the head earlier, and comes in for the DQ at 3:20. This show is pretty fucking weird, yo.
Meanwhile, we’re still going with this Cody Deaner shit, as Young baptizes him in the waters of change and frees him. I have no idea what I’m watching, I’m not gonna lie.
Meanwhile, Tommy Dreamer gives a peptalk to Rhino and Cousin Jake, telling them to be men and team up to take out Eric Young and Joe Doring.
Karl Anderson v. Chris Sabin
We take a break and join the match in progress with Karl working the arm, but Sabin takes him down with an armdrag and Karl retreats. Kenny and Don are watching the match in the bus, through the miracle of editing and some kind of time machine since this show was taped weeks ago. Anderson beats on Sabin in the corner and goes to a chinlock, and then gives him the boot laces before sending him to the corner. They slug it out in the corner and Anderson wins that and then puts the boots to him, but Sabin takes him down with a headscissors and they head to the floor. Karl cuts him off again and trips him up on the apron, and we take a break. Back with Anderson continuing the beating in the ring for two and he chokes away on the apron and goes to an armbar. Sabin fights up and they collide for a double down, but Sabin is up first and makes the comeback. High cross gets two and he follows with a big boot in the corner, and into a tornado DDT for two. They slug it out and trade clotheslines for another double down, but Sabin makes another comeback with an enzuigiri, only to walk into a spinebuster from Anderson for two. Sabin with a backslide for two, but Anderson rolls him up with a handful of tights for the pin at 15:24. Perfectly cromulent wrestling here. ***
Meanwhile, Rich Swann is pretty disappointed in Karl cheating, but Doc Gallows returns and lays him out, along with Kenny and Don, as the Bullet Club reunite and issue the challenge to Rich Swann and the Guns for Hard to Kill.
Next week: The show goes on holidays and we get two weeks of 2020 recaps.
This episode was ALL OVER the damn place, trying to build up stuff for three different shows at once and not being particularly convincing at any of them, and there was way too much talking and wackiness for me. But still, it was a pleasant enough two hours of wrestling, even if the novelty of Kenny Omega on the show is going to wear off sooner rather than later. I’ve got a few weeks now to think about whether I want to continue on, but we’ll see. I feel like this show is not for me but I’m open to convincing.