Date: December 22, 2020
Hosts: Scott D’Amore, Josh Matthews
It’s time for a special show as we kick off the first of two weeks of Best Of 2020 editions. Impact hasn’t taken any breaks this year and it would be cool to see what kind of things they can throw out here. They have quite the few options to pick from and it should be cool to see what they choose. Let’s get to it.
As usual with clip shows, I’ll be posting the full versions of the matches, even if the clipped versions are shown.
Josh and Scott welcome us to the show and go straight to the hype for Hard To Kill. Scott has to go answer a phone call so Scott sends us to our first match, from Hard To Kill.
X-Division Title: Trey Miguel vs. Ace Austin
Austin is defending and Trey takes him down at the bell, meaning it’s an early chase around the ring. Back in and Trey hits a spear before kicking Austin outside again. A 619 on the apron hits Austin in the head and there’s a middle rope moonsault to get in another knockdown. Ace gets in a few shots of his own and busts out a Space Flying Tiger Drop to take over.
Trey isn’t about to stand for that and hits him in the ear, only to get shoved off the steps and onto the barricade. Back in again and Ace elbows the ribs but stops to check on his ear. A low superkick gives Ace two and some belly to back slams (think Cena’s ProtoBomb without the spin) set up…an escaped third attempt so Miguel kicks him down into the corner. The Bang-A-Rama gets two and we hit the half crab, with Ace throwing in a finger cut with a card between the fingers.
Trey finally comes back with some clotheslines and a kick to the head, setting up a reverse suplex into a dragon sleeper. That’s broken up and a bottom rope springboard Downward Spiral gets two on the champ. Ace gets up a knee in the corner though and Trey charges into a springboard spinning kick to the face. That doesn’t seem to bother Trey, who hits a 619 in the corner, only to get crotched on top. The Fold retains the title at 12:24.
Rating: C. Kind of an abrupt finish but Ace getting pushed like this is a very good thing. He’s one of my favorite guys in the entire promotion right now and I could go for more of his horrible mind games. This one might not even be done and that’s not the worst idea. Good enough match here, and some more fire from Trey could make it even better.
Rohit Raju yells at Chris Bey about costing him the X-Division Title shot last week, with Bey saying it was all part of his plan to become champion. Now Bey has to go answer a call of his own.
Ace Austin has been named X-Division Wrestler of the Year and says it wasn’t like there was any doubt. Maybe he should return to the X-Division since he’s the best of all time.
Brian Myers says his return is the most important moment of 2020 because he made the company relevant.
Josh and Scott plug the Slammiversary DVD and talk about all of the returns/debuts which changed wrestling. That really was their high point of the year.
Long recap of Slammiversary with various wrestlers talking about how important the night was.
Josh and Scott hype up the tag division, which has been on a big deal here for years and is on fire again.
From Turning Point.
Tag Team Titles; Good Brothers vs. The North
The North is defending. Alexander and Anderson trade wrist control to start but it’s quickly off to Gallows to take Alexander into the corner for the chops. Anderson is already back in but misses a charge into the corner, allowing Page to come in. Gallows hammers away on him as well and a slam gets two. The armbar goes on to put Page in trouble but Alexander gets in a cheap shot from the floor.
Page takes over on Anderson and stomps away so the champs can take over. Back in and Page runs Anderson over and it’s time for the alternating stomps in the corner. An assisted spinning powerbomb gets two on Anderson and he gets choked on the ropes so the North can pose. The chinlock goes on (took them long enough) as commentary goes over how many teams there are around here. Granted one of them is Reno Scum so you have to cut yourself off somewhere.
Anderson fights up without much effort and brings in Gallows to clean house. The North rapid fires strikes to Gallows’ face and the double Neutralizer gets two. Anderson is back in for the belly to back neckbreaker for two but the Magic Killer is broken up. A running kick to the face gets two on Alexander and there’s the spinebuster to Page. The Gun Stun hits Alexander and it’s the Magic Killer to Page for the pin and the titles at 12:52.
Rating: C+. You had to give the Good Brothers the titles at some point as they are treated like the biggest stars on the roster most of the time so why have them not holding the titles? I can get not wanting to wait until Hard To Kill either and this is a good way to get you more interested in seeing these specials. The North winning the titles at Bound For Glory was a surprise but they lost them here less than a month later so it was hardly a bad thing. The titles wound up where they should be so this is the right call.
Josh and Scott talk about the great tag teams throughout the company’s history and how great things have been this year. Speaking of this year, the North are the Tag Team of the Year.
Ethan Page breaks the news to Josh Alexander on the phone and apologizes for everything but they are the best tag team for the second year in a row. We cut to Josh, who says this is great news and hangs up. He thinks maybe things can be fixed with them and calls back, but the Karate Man answers and Alexander hangs up.
Rich Swann is playing the guitar and talks about how he likes drinking egg nog.
We talk about the Knockouts Tag Team Title Tournament and how important women’s wrestling has been. There is even going to be a surprise at Hard To Kill when the new champions are crowned. It has been a big year for women’s wrestling so let’s go to Emergence Night Two.
Knockouts Title: Jordynne Grace vs. Deonna Purrazzo
Purrazzo is defending in a thirty minute Iron Man match. They lock up to start and Purrazzo even goes to the mat without it being broken. Grace goes to the wristlock and powers Purrazzo down by the arm. Purrazzo reverses into one of her own and is taken down in a hurry. A headlock takeover works a bit better for the champ but it’s reverses into a headscissors. Purrazzo nips up and gives graceful bow before getting shouldered down. A faceplant sets up a half crab on the champ, sending her over to the rope as we take a break.
Back with no falls and Grace sending her hard into the corner. There’s no clock but Josh says we have a little over twenty minutes left. Some hard whips to the corner have Purrazzo in trouble but they head outside where she gets in a pump kick for a breather. The clock shows eighteen minutes left as Purrazzo finally starts in on the arm. The arm gets draped over the top rope and it’s off to a standing armbar. Grace gets her foot in the ropes for the break and we hit fifteen minutes to go. Purrazzo hits a short arm clothesline and we take a break.
Back with Purrazzo cranking on the arm even more, which is so interesting that we got to a full screen replay of Grace’s arm being stomped on the steps during the commercial. Purrazzo takes her down by the arm with nine minutes left and the cranking continues with eight minutes left. Grace comes back with some forearms and puts her on top for a running palm strike into a superplex. They pull themselves up so Grace can win the slugout, setting up back to back backsplashes or two.
The rear naked choke goes on and Purrazzo is out for the first fall with….a need for a clock but Josh says about 4:30 to go. Back up and Purrazzo gets a Downward Spiral into a Koji Clutch but Grace makes the rope again. We have two minutes left and they strike it out until Purrazzo has to elbow out of the Grace Driver.
Grace runs over the referee and now the Grace Driver connects for no count. That means a check on the ref so Purrazzo gets in a belt shot to tie it up at about a minute left. Purrazzo covers for two and grabs the armbar, which is broken up with a rollup. A bridging German suplex gives Purrazzo two and the Fujiwara armbar makes Grace tap with two seconds left.
Rating: B-. It was good enough but this felt like they were going off of a textbook of how to have an Iron Man match instead of doing anything interesting or unique. It isn’t bad by any means (the production value was, with the clock being up for about five seconds at a time and not even a scoreboard) but they were treating this like some kind of an epic and it was just a match that got more time than most.
Taya Valkyrie is impressed by Deonna Purrazzo but doesn’t know how impressive it is when Purrazzo hasn’t beaten her. Let’s say they fix that at Hard To Kill.
Josh and Scott agree that Purrazzo has had a great year. So great that she is now Knockout Of The Year.
Purrazzo talks about what a year it has been and lists off some of her accomplishments. The division has been awesome and no one has been at her level. 2021 will be the Age of the Virtuosa.
We talk about Sami Callihan a bit, including all of the chaos that he and Ken Shamrock have caused. This includes attacking Eddie Edwards, which includes Sami costing Eddie and Alisha a mixed tag at Final Resolution. Sami and Eddie face off on January 5.
Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz talk about how awesome Christmas is and are ready to keep it lit.
More awards will be announced on Twitter, but for now, BUY MICRO BRAWLERS!
We look at Moose’s quest to get the TNA World Title back from EC3, who stole it to control a narrative.
From Bound For Glory.
TNA World Title: Moose vs. EC3
Moose is defending (I think?) and they’re in a warehouse. There’s no EC3 to start but he pops up with his hood over his head for dramatic effect. We’re in cinematic mode as they slug it out with Moose hitting a Rock Bottom. EC3 is right back with an exploder suplex and some stomping in the corner but Moose kicks him low. Moose asks if he can see the picture and sends him into the corner as the music changes. More right hands have EC3 busted open and Moose grabs a chair from the floor.
Back in and EC3 sweeps the legs to hammer away as the music changes again. They head outside with EC3 talking about meaning and purpose before throwing him into the barricade. Back in and EC3 talks about how Moose has let people take things from him. The title means everything and Moose needs to become who he is supposed to be. EC3 loads up the One Percenter on the title (with a quick highlight reel of the move playing) but Moose shoves him off and hits No Jackhammer Needed.
Moose hits him with the title, asks if this is what EC3 wants, hits him with it again, hits him with it a third time, waits for the package on their feud to play, and hammers away even more. EC3 is done so Moose picks him up and asks if this is what he wants. EC3: “YES!” The people around the ring start the MOOSE chant and EC3 tells him to control his narrative. Moose says thank you and hits one more belt shot. That’s enough for Moose to leave and EC3’s followers carry him out at we’ll say 9:50.
Rating: C-. I’m sure there’s some kind of a deeper meaning here and that’s all well and good, but the Control Your Narrative thing seems to be the kind of thing that makes sense to EC3 and not much else. The action was fine but I really don’t need to see a cinematic match again, especially when it isn’t quite the most thrilling feud in the first place. It was fine, but hopefully this is it between them, assuming EC3 is even sticking around.
We look back at last week with Moose talking trash about Rich Swann, which drew out Willie Mack for a challenge to an I Quit match at Genesis. A brawl ensued, followed by Moose talking about indy wrestlers working as security to make a name off of him.
The Super X Cup is coming at Genesis on January 9. So we have a big show on January 5, Genesis on January 9 and Hard To Kill on January 16. They aren’t wasting time.
Johnny Swinger says…..I wish I could understand.
Larry D. is in jail when Acey Romero comes in to see him. Larry freaks out because he has been framed but Tommy Dreamer needs more evidence. Someone sprayed the fragrance that turned him into Lawrence D. when the lights went out. Acey thinks a blind man can hear better than anyone else so he has an idea.
Josh recaps the John E. Bravo insanity and throws us to a long recap of the proposal, wedding, attempted murder and investigation.
We get another paid advertisement from AEW with Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone, with Khan talking about his business interests in Nashville. Khan has heard that Impact Wrestling is hard ti kill and talks about how he could stop Kenny Omega from wrestling on their pay per view. That is not going to be the case though as Omega can wrestle there if he wants to. Heck if Impact Wrestling wants to send some wrestlers to AEW, go right ahead. We run down the Dynamite card and Khan says that $7 billion could buy a lot of ammunition to use on a company that is hard to kill.
Eddie Edwards talks about putting up their first Christmas tree at the beginning of November. That’s the fake one, but then at Thanksgiving, it is the real one because you’re not a real Christmas person if you don’t have a real tree.
We look at Eric Young returning, going nuts again, winning the World Title, losing it at Bound For Glory, bringing in Joe Doering as his monster, and then brainwashing Cody Deaner. Still Eric Young.
Willie Mack puts up his Charlie Brown Christmas tree every year and puts some trinkets around it for people and things he cares about.
We talk about the Don Callis/Kenny Omega situation, with Callis helping Omega win the AEW World Title. Omega has since shown up at Impact Wrestling and is ready to main event Hard To Kill. He might even have his eye on some Impact Wrestling titles.
Don Callis and Kenny Omega talk about their holiday memories. Callis’ favorite was when Omega was a kid and they didn’t have much money. While all of the other kids wanted trucks or some nonsense like that, Omega wanted to run the wrestling industry. Now Omega is getting to do just that and it’s like every day is Christmas. Callis thinks he would have had a whole stable if more kids were like Omega. You can’t imitate Omega though, even if everyone tries.
We wrap it up with the Wrestler of the Year which is…..Deonna Purrazzo. That’s kind of a surprise but it’s also something that fits at the same time.
Purrazzo talks about how great of a year it has been and how she knows that she is the best. Now she has the trophies to affirm it.
Josh and Scott talk how awesome Purrazzo is to wrap things up.
Overall Rating: C+. These are always hard to rate and it’s not like we saw much of these rather good matches or moments. Impact had a year that was all over the place, but that is rather understandable given how insane everything was. Hopefully things get better next year, but it’s not like the company is starting from complete rock bottom. This was a good reminder of what they can do, and they showcased themselves as well as can be expected over the course of the year.
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