Date: January 26, 2021
Location: Skyway Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: D’Lo Brown, Matt Striker
We’re on the way to both Rebellion and No Surrender, meaning things are going to slowly start taking shape. That is not a bad thing either, as Impact is a lot better when they have a focus. Odds are we’re coming up on Moose vs. Rich Swann for the World Title, which should be something good. Let’s get to it.
The opening recap looks at Matt Hardy and Private Party invading last week and becoming #1 contenders to the Tag Team Titles.
Here’s Rich Swann for a chat. Swann talks about everything that he did to get back here and now he has a target on his back. For now though he has something to take care of so he would like Tommy Dreamer to come out here right now. Swann talks about No Surrender being on February 13, which happens to be Dreamer’s 50th birthday. He watched Dreamer back in the land of extreme and now wants to repay the favor by giving Dreamer a shot at the title.
Cue Sami Callihan to say this is Dreamer trying to get himself over as usual. Swann lost to Kenny Omega and embarrassed the company. Sami is the heart and soul of the company and deserves a title shot. Cue Chris Bey to say that February 13 is his birthday as well so he should get a title shot. Now it’s Moose coming out everyone is scared to challenge for his title so he’s here to interject. Swann has never beaten him and Moose knows he remembers when Moose nearly decapitated Willie Mack.
Yeah Swann remembers, but Moose said the title shot was on his time. The No Surrender match is already set so now it’s on Swann’s time. Cue Willie Mack to Stun Bey and go after Moose, with Striker not exactly being excited about the whole thing. The villains bail and the six man seems imminent for later. Sami makes the lights go out and here’s Ken Shamrock to jump Swann, Mack and Dreamer with the rest of the villains joining him in the beatdown.
Post break, Swann and company are ready for a match tonight, with Dreamer promising to “UFC Shamrock’s a**.” They go to see Scott D’Amore, who says they look terrible. The match is on but D’Amore thinks they need a fourth. Now Impact’s resident mathematician Scott Steiner isn’t available, but D’Amore has an idea. There is someone in his office and the trio looks very pleased.
Here’s what’s coming tonight and at No Surrender.
Matt Cardona/Josh Alexander vs. Ace Austin/Madman Fulton
Fallout from an interview gone bad last week. Alexander goes for Fulton’s ankle to start and gets kicked into the corner for his efforts. Austin comes in and gets planted down in a hurry before it’s off to Cardona (with the bright lime green trunks). A clothesline puts Austin on the floor and Alexander backdrops Cardona onto the two of them for a big crash. We take a break and come back with Alexander getting caught in a side slam/middle rope legdrop combination. Austin drives a knee into the back and pulls Alexander into the corner as we’re firmly in the tag formula.
A claw legsweep gives Fulton two but Alexander manages to kick him into Austin, allowing the hot tag to Cardona. That means the middle rope dropkick to rock Austin but it’s too early for the Reboot. Instead Cardona settles for two off a slingshot splash but Fulton makes the save and drags Austin to the corner. Everything breaks down and Alexander slugs away on Fulton to knock the monster to his knees. Cardona charges at Austin, who launches him into a Rough Ryder (going to need a new name) to finish Fulton at 10:18.
Rating: C. This took some time to get going and I’m still not big on a lot of what Cardona does in the ring, but he looked smooth here. Maybe he can get somewhere on his own and if that is case, great for him for proving himself right after all the years in WWE. It’s also nice to see more of Austin, who I would like to see move up the ladder around here. The same is true of Alexander, even if he is still playing second fiddle in a tag team.
Flashback Moment of the Week: Matt Hardy debuts at Genesis 2011 against Rob Van Dam. It’s only his entrance and this only lasts about a minute.
Rohit Raju is all fired up to win the X-Division Title back but he needs someone (off camera) to help him. Whoever it is seems to agree.
It’s time for the weekly visit from Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone. They care about each other, just like Khan cares about the wrestling fans. He sees Impact as his own fantasy wrestling league. Last week he was in the zone with Matt Hardy, Jerry Lynn and Matt Hardy and now Private Party might win the Impact Wrestling Tag Team Titles. They would have to beat the Good Brothers, who happen to be on Dynamite tomorrow night! Schiavone runs down the Dynamite card and Khan talks about Beach Break.
Brian Myers runs into Matt Cardona in the back and doesn’t seem impressed. Myers leaves and Cardona says that was a bad move.
Eddie Edwards vs. Brian Myers
Eddie, who is rather banged up from Barbed Wire Massacre, sends him over to the ropes to start and we get a clean break. The referee yells at Myers over a possible hair pull so Eddie snaps off a belly to belly to the floor. There’s a suicide dive to take Myers down as it’s all Eddie so far. Back in and Myers rolls right back to the floor, where he gets in a shot to Eddie’s bad arm.
Myers stomps away in the corner and trips Eddie down but he comes back with some clotheslines. As Striker says that whoever is in D’Amore’s office will be the next Lex Luger at the Great American Mall (I believe he means Mall of America, as again Striker isn’t as smart as he tries to sound), Eddie hits a Backpack Stunner. Myers grabs a Downward Spiral and loads up his clothesline, only to charge into a thumb to the eye. Eddie drives him down with the thumb in the eye and gets DQ’ed at 6:14.
Rating: C. I haven’t been big on Myers since he started getting pushed but this worked out well enough. Granted that might be due to Eddie Edwards being in there, but at least we didn’t have to see Myers win another match with a clothesline. Eddie going more heelish could be interesting, assuming they actually pull the full trigger this time around.
Fire and Flava want their celebration to be awesome and hope they sold enough tickets. Johnny Swinger walks by with a group of women, saying the palace is this way. Kiera Hogan says she has the worst idea.
Matt Hardy praises Private Party for their win last week but they did it because of him. They are ready to win the Tag Team Titles at No Surrender but are also going to win the battle royal to get the AEW Tag Team Title shot at Revolution. He’ll even throw in a bonus by not taking as much off the top of their checks! It’s time to go be winners.
Tenille Dashwood vs. Rosemary
Dashwood has Kaleb With A K with her while Rosemary, with far less face paint than usual, has Crazzy Steve. Rosemary runs her over to start but Kaleb gets up for a distraction, allowing Dashwood to unload with the camera bag for two. Dashwood grabs a neckbreaker over the apron to send Rosemary outside, where she punches Kaleb in the face.
That earns her a trip back inside, where Rosemary grabs the Upside Down. With that broken up, Dashwood runs her over for two more. The seated full nelson goes on but Rosemary fights up and runs her over with a clothesline. There’s a fall away slam to send Dashwood flying but the spear only hits corner. Not that it matters as As Above, So Below finishes Dashwood at 4:55.
Rating: C-. I’m not sure what the problem here was but Rosemary looked rather different here, seeming a bit slower and without the same spark in her eyes. She hasn’t looked the same since returning from her knee injury, but that has been a long time now. This didn’t work so well for her, and hopefully that isn’t the new norm.
XXXL is glad to be back when Rosemary and Crazzy Steve come up. Larry lays out Steve so Rosemary barks at both of them.
We go to Swinger’s Palace, where John E. Bravo is dealing Blackjack to Fallah Bahh, who loses quite a bit. Fire and Flava come in and want them to go the party, including the Swingerellas, who can serve drinks. Fallah Bahh can’t come because he has no money, which makes Swinger (in an extreme closeup) laugh at him. The sad Bahh is left alone.
Deonna Purrazzo brags to Kimber Lee and Susan about retaining the Knockouts Title. Lee and Susan brag about beating Jazz and Jordynne Grace, who pop in to issue the challenge. Grace calls Susan Susie, who does not like the old name. The match is on for next week.
And now it’s Fire and Flava Fest, with Alisha as emcee and promising to praise her homies. The only guests here are a referee, John E. Bravo, Johnny Swinger and the Swingerellas. Alisha introduces Fire and Flava, with Kiera Hogan (the Fire) loudly bragging about their win. Tasha Steelz (that would be the Flava) talks about how they promised they would be here and it’s time to star the party. The six guests aren’t exactly making that much noise, with the referee saying this is a dumpster fire. Hogan: “YOUR OUTFIT IS A DUMPSTER FIRE!”
It’s time for the Swingerellas to hand out the food, which means some boxed sandwiches. Bravo complains about the bread so it’s time for the booze, which Alisha spits out after one sip. Hold on though as there is a Marshmallow Man at ringside, which Steelz knows is Fallah Bahh. Actually it’s Nevaeh, who decks Steelz. Havok pops up and clotheslines Hogan but can’t quite put her through the table. Catering is destroyed and Alisha declares Havok and Nevaeh the winners. Of what isn’t clear, but they win.
James Storm and Chris Sabin have a drink and agree that while they might not be the Motor City Machine Guns or Beer Money, they’re something. Now they need the Tag Team Titles. Storm likes the idea so let’s have some shots.
Fire and Flava aren’t thrilled with what happened so here’s the referee, who complains that he got nothing of what he was promised and wants a refund. That’s not happening…..and we spent two weeks to set up a FYRE FEST JOKE??? It was old a year and a half ago when AEW did it and now we had a ten minute segment to set it up in 2021????
Joe Doering vs. Cousin Jake
The rest of Violent By Design is at ringside. Jake goes right at Doering to start and gets knocked out of the corner. A slam sets up a rebound elbow drop to keep Jake in trouble but Doering misses a crossbody. Jake tries a dive over the top but Doering kind of knocks him away. Back in and Jake hits a running shoulder to the ribs in the corner but walks into the crossbody. A bit clothesline finishes Jake at 3:13.
Rating: D+. Doering is a huge guy but he feels like the latest giant monster who is going to cause trouble for a bit. I don’t particularly need to see the trope again, but maybe Doering can learn to do something other than sneer and make things better. It just feels like something that has been done so many times before and it isn’t thrilling here.
Post match the beatdown is on and they load up the Pillmanizing (with Striker saying the word with WAY too much enthusiasm and explaining who it is named after) but Young says hang on. They leave Jake with a Violent By Design shirt and walk away.
Here’s what’s coming next week.
Moose/Chris Bey/Ken Shamrock/Sami Callihan vs. Rich Swann/Willie Mack/Tommy Dreamer/???
The mystery partner is…..Trey Miguel, who has not been around in about two months. Striker: “For me, on a personal level, this is exciting.” Bey tags himself in to take Moose’s place, because he wants to face Dreamer. That doesn’t last long so it’s off to Swann for a rolling splash/elbow combination to keep Bey down. We take a break and come back with Bey still in trouble but he manages to get Swann over for the tag off to Sami.
The package piledriver is broken up and Swann snaps off a headscissors. Mack comes in to run Sami over and hit a standing moonsault. A dropkick takes out Mack’s knee though and Shamrock comes in to take over. Sami’s shoulder to the ribs makes Mack’s eyes bug out and the villains take turns beating him up. Mack punches Bey in the jaw to escape the corner but another dropkick takes his knee out again. Sami grabs a standing leglock and Moose powerbombs Bey onto Mack for two.
Since Bey can’t keep anything going tonight, Mack nails him with a pip up right hand, allowing the hot tag off to Miguel. The pace picks up in a hurry, including an atomic drop into something like a jumping Stunner/Codebreaker on Sami. Shamrock suplexes Miguel hard though and everything breaks down. Sami powerbombs Miguel but walks into a cutter from Dreamer. Moose spears Mack but gets missile dropkicked by Miguel. A hard suplex puts Miguel down again but he snaps off a hurricanrana to pin Sami at 12:18.
Rating: C+. This was a pretty standard main event formula match and it worked out well. The main point was the return of Trey Miguel though and that was quite the success. He has an energy to him that you aren’t going to see in most people around here and I’m glad to have him back. Now just let him win something for a change, because otherwise it’s the same problem all over again.
Post match Shamrock and Callihan are left alone, so Shamrock ankle locks the referee to end the show.
Overall Rating: D+. The ending helped, but this was a flat show otherwise with almost nothing important or energetic throughout the show. The lack of AEW praise for the most part helped, but man they aren’t doing themselves any favors. Tommy Dreamer gets a World Title shot? The Edgeheads Explode? Eric Young gets another low level goon? A freaking Fyre Fest joke? I need a lot more than that to make two hours work and as fun as Miguel is, he isn’t enough to fix all that.
Matt Cardona/Josh Alexander b. Ace Austin/Madman Fulton – Pop up Rough Ryder to Fulton
Brian Myers b. Eddie Edwards via DQ when Edwards poked him in the eye
Rosemary b. Tenille Dashwood – As Above So Below
Joe Doering b. Cousin Jake – Running clothesline
Trey Miguel/Tommy Dreamer/Rich Swann/Willie Mack b. Moose/Sami Callihan/Ken Shamrock/Chris Bey – Hurricanrana to Callihan
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with 30 different cheap wrestling books at: