Date: December 29, 2020
Hosts: Scott D’Amore, Josh Matthews
It’s the second half of the Best Of 2020 and that means we get to find out the Match Of The Year. That could go to a few different things but there is one main option that should get the honor. I’m not sure what else to expect from this one, as last week was the best of everything else. Let’s get to it.
As usual, I’ll be posting the full version of any matches shown on the broadcast.
In Memory of Jon “Brodie Lee” Huber. As it should be.
The announcers hype up Hard To Kill to get things going.
We start fast with the Moment of the Year: Slammiversary. The whole thing.
Willie Mack’s New Year’s Resolution: just keep going.
From Impact, April 21:
X-Division Title: Willie Mack vs. Ace Austin
Mack is challenging and Austin takes his time adjusting his gear to start. The stall continues with Austin bailing to the floor a few times, followed by a right hand to send him outside again. We get started properly with Austin grabbing a rollup and bailing again, only to have Mack follow him this time. Austin gets sent into the barricade but avoids the reverse Cannonball back inside.
That means Mack gets tied up in the Tree of Woe for some stomping to the ribs but Mack reverses a high crossbody into a Samoan drop. The standing moonsault connects and Mack pounds away even more as the aggression is starting to come out. Austin knees him in the face for two as things slow down a bit. Trouble in Paradise sends Mack into the corner but a springboard hurricanrana is countered with a sitout powerbomb.
One heck of a forearm puts Austin down as Josh and Madison bicker again, as only a married couple can. Now the reverse Cannonball connects but the Stunner is countered. The Fold gives Austin two and it’s his turn to be ticked off. Another Fold is countered into a pop up cutter for another near fall and Josh can’t believe it.
Mack goes up for the Six Star but Austin goes to the corner….so it’s a Coast to Coast to show off even more. Now the Six Star misses so Ace goes up and crotches Mack for trying to pull him down. Mack hits something like a Stunner on the top (that didn’t really work) to send Austin flying, setting up the Six Star for the pin and the title at 13:30.
Rating: B-. I like both of these guys so this was a fun one. They needed to switch the title as Mack has been built up for so long now that he had to win something eventually. Austin is going to be fine and it wouldn’t shock me to see him move towards the World Title scene. He was a great X Division Champion and it should be a bright future for him.
Tasha Steelz and Kiera Hogan want the Knockouts Tag Team Titles.
Deonna Purrazzo accepts Taya Valkyrie’s challenge for a Knockouts Title shot at Hard To Kill. She will reveal her new masterpiece and seal Taya’s fate.
Rich Swann, with a guitar, wants to bring Impact to the highest level.
Here’s what’s coming next week.
Video on the year that was for Rich Swann, mainly focusing on his injury at Slammiversary and rise to the World Title.
Jordynne Grace is going to stop replying to people on Twitter so often.
From Impact, July 21.
Tag Team Titles: The North vs. Motor City Machine Guns
The Guns are challenging. Page and Shelley start thinks off with Shelley cranking on the arm. That’s reversed into a headlock and it’s an early standoff. Sabin comes in but his shoulders bounce off of Alexander. An Octopus hold doesn’t work much better so Sabin goes with the armdrags to take over. It’s already back to Page to pound Shelley but everything breaks down and the champs are sent outside as we take a break.
Back with Shelley striking away at Page in the corner but an Alexander distraction lets Page get in a shot to the face. Alexander holds Shelley so Page can stomp away as the champs take over. Shelley’s elbow to the head just earn him a half nelson backbreaker with Sabin coming in for a save. The handoff suplex puts Shelley down again but Alexander misses a moonsault. There’s the hot tag to Sabin and the pace picks up in a hurry.
The champs are sent into each other and Sabin’s tornado DDT gets two on Page. Sabin dives onto Alexander on the floor and Shelley’s standing Sliced Bread gets another two. Shelley’s spinning Downward Spiral sets up a Gargano Escape on Page, with Sabin grabbing a Texas Cloverleaf on Alexander at the same time.
They’re both broken up at the same time and it’s Sabin slugging it out with Alexander. Everything breaks down again and it’s a cutter into a wheelbarrow suplex to plant Sabin for two more. Shelley is sent outside and Sabin gets kicked in the head, but the Northern Assault is countered into a small package to give the Guns the titles back at 14:14.
Rating: B. This really was the kind of a main event that would have been better off with a crowd there to spice it up. They had a good match, though it didn’t quite hit the level that they were shooting for. The North losing after such a long reign is fine, but having the title match so soon after the Guns’ return didn’t exactly let the title change get the build that it needed.
We look at everyone being amazed that Kenny Omega is here.
Johnny Swinger wishes Bill Watts in Tulsa a Happy New Year.
Acey Romero comes up to Crazzy Steve, who might have heard or smelled something at the wedding because he can’t see. He heard something, but it was on the groom’s side. Go ask Johnny Swinger.
We look back at Wrestle House.
We look at Manik winning the X-Division Title at Final Resolution.
Brian Myers doesn’t make New Year’s Resolution. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but he’s right.
We look at Ken Shamrock being inducted into the Impact Wrestling Hall of Fame, featuring a speech from the Rock, as well as Shamrock’s speech.
Here’s your Match of the Year.
Impact Wrestling World Title: Eddie Edwards vs. Ace Austin vs. Trey vs. ???
The title is vacant coming in, there are elimination rules, Madman Fulton is here with Ace and the mystery challenger is…..Rich Swann. That’s quite the surprise. Hold on though as we have another person here as a fifth entrant.
Impact Wrestling World Title: Eddie Edwards vs. Ace Austin vs. Trey vs. Rich Swann vs. Eric Young
Young says he won the World Title at Slammiversary (no he didn’t) so he’s going to do it again here. It’s a brawl to start with Swann flipping over Young and hitting a dropkick. Young is knocked outside so Swann and Trey trade flips, leaving Eddie to take them both down. Fulton chokeslams Eddie onto the apron to put him down….and that’s an ejection. Fulton won’t leave so it’s a threat of Ace being eliminated, which is enough to make him go.
Trey spears Ace down and hammers away before sending Ace inside for a super hurricanrana from Swann. Eddie chops at Young and Swann in the corner but Ace slips out of a backpack Stunner out of the corner. Ace kicks people in the head but gets knocked down. It’s Eddie with a Blue Thunder Bomb to Swann, followed by Young knocking Eddie down as well. Trey kicks Young (now bleeding) down and calls out Austin.
The fight is on with Trey slugging away and kicking Young down as well. Swann is sent outside, leaving Eddie to chop Trey, whose dive at Swann is countered with a planting on the floor. Back in and Austin gutwrench suplexes Young but loses a slugout to Eddie. There’s a tiger driver to Austin but Trey comes off the top with a Meteora to Edwards because only Trey gets to eliminate Austin. Young is back up with a quick piledriver to get rid of Trey at 9:36 but can’t pin anyone else.
A lot of shouting makes me remember why Young gets on my nerves in a hurry and his wheelbarrow neckb….well more like a belly to back suplex gets two on Swann. Young takes Swann up but Swann reverses into a super bulldog to put them both down, with Swann breathing very, very loudly. Everyone winds up on the corner and it’s Eddie and Austin falling off the top and through the timekeeper’s table in a huge crash. That leaves Young to call Swann the letdown of the two surprises, allowing Swann to get a rollup to eliminate Young at 15:36, thank goodness.
Young isn’t done and goes after Swann’s bad knee with a chop block and several Pillmanizing stomps, plus a bunch of chair shots. Swann continues and rolls Austin up a few times before slugging away on one leg. Austin kicks the leg out though and hits the Fold to get rid of Swann at 18:55.
So we’re down to Austin vs. Edwards with Eddie pulling himself back in for a slugout. Eddie gets the better of things and even counters the Fold attempt with an overhead belly to belly. Ace misses a kick in the corner and the Boston Knee Party gives Eddie two. Austin hits the Fold for the same but Eddie hits another Boston Knee Party. The Diehard Flosion (Eddie’s old move) gives Edwards the pin and the title at 24:16.
Rating: C+. It was a good, long match (as it should have been), though seeing Young back is hardly the most thrilling thing. Eddie winning the title feels like a safe pick and there’s nothing wrong with that after everything that has been going on around here as of late. Swann was a nice surprise and Austin came close, but it was probably the right call to end with the most established name who was on the roster coming into the match. Good enough, but nothing great, mainly due to so many people being involved.
Eddie thanks everyone for voting for the match and thanks the wrestlers for everything they do. Let’s keep it rolling into 2021.
The announcers wrap it up.
Overall Rating: B-. You can only get so much out of a show like this and Impact didn’t have the best year. The build to Slammiversary was rather good but the rest of the year left a lot to be desired. I’m sure the Kenny Omega/AEW stuff is going to help in 2021, but they have some more issues to get over besides having a big guest star in the main event scene. This show worked out well though, as there is enough to get through a two hour Best Of episode.
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