December 15th, 2020
Skyway Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentary by: Josh Matthews and Madison Rayne
This week’s show starts with Kaleb With A K wearing a pink suit with shorts. He introduces Tenille Dashwood calling her “The Influence”.
Tenille Dashwood w/ Kaleb With A K vs Alisha Edwards w/ Eddie Edwards
Tenille points to the IMPACT sign to distract Alisha and immediately hits her with a Forearm, taking her down to the mat. Alisha comes back with a Lou Thesz press followed by a Senton to the back of Dashwood for a two count. Dashwood catches Alisha in the corner and slams her to the mat to pick up a near fall. As Tenille has Alisha in the ropes Kaleb With A K takes photos with his phone. Tenille continues to dominate for a large portion of the match by applying a Full Nelson followed by a Backbreaker. Alisha fights back with a Roundhouse Kick followed by a series of Clotheslines and Forearms before connecting with the Bulldog. Alisha goes for a pinfall but Tenille kicks out before Kaleb pulls her out to the outside. Alisha jumps off the top rope to take out Kaleb With A K. Back in the ring Tenille hits Alisha with the Spotlight Kick to pick up the win.
Tenille Dashwood defeats Alisha Edwards via Pinfall in 5 mins 13 secs
After the match, Sami Callihan appears on the screen and says that it’s time to put their rivalry to an end. He tells Edwards to take a few weeks off and enjoy Christmas with his family because it might be his last. Edwards is left in the ring screaming that he wants to fight now.
Davie’s thoughts: I didn’t think this was a great match to kick off the show. Alisha Edwards isn’t a very smooth in-ring performer and unfortunately, a lot of this match looked rather amateur. I feel that Tenille Dashwood is a much better performer than the matches and storylines she has been given so far in IMPACT. I really hope her character can start to be a bit more serious and we can see her move up into a more prominent position in the Knockouts Division. The Sami Callihan promo was short and sweet and effectively set up a match for the new year. Callihan and Edwards have so much history that you really don’t need to do much more than this to set up the match.
Josh Matthews reveals to us that Kenny Omega’s bus is here and that Kenny and Don Callis are at the arena.
Chris Sabin Challenges Karl Anderson
Alex Shelley says that they’ve completed step one of their route back to the Tag Team Championship by defeating XXXL. He says that Step 2 was defeating The North but after Sabin beat Josh Alexander last week and Ethan Page lost on Saturday there may not even be a North to beat. Shelley says that they are contractually owed a rematch for the Tag Team Championship but they are aware that DOC Gallows is currently injured. Sabin, therefore, challenges Karl Anderson to a match tonight.
Omega’s Tour Bus
We then see Karl Anderson, Kenny Omega, and Don Callis on the tour bus. Kenny tells Anderson that he should be angry that the Motor City Machine Guns stole his name and asks if “Gunner” is going to let Chris Sabin talk about him like that and tells him to “go get him!”
He’s “Champ” To You
Karl Anderson bursts back into the building from the parking lot, passing the security guard. He bumps into Rich Swann and asks him if he’s seen the Motor City Machine Guns. Swann tells him to calm down and asked if he’s just looking for them because Kenny told him to. Anderson says that Kenny is his friend and he doesn’t take orders but tells Swann to call Kenny “Champ”. The Motor City Machine Guns show up and say they heard that Anderson was looking for them. Anderson tells Sabin that he’s going to knock him out and that he will see him in the ring.
“I Quit” Match Set For Genesis
Moose enters the ring in a suit and tells us that Willie Mack will not be medically cleared to compete in an IMPACT Wrestling ring for a few weeks. He says that he was the one that hurt Mack and questions why after everything he has done the last few weeks it is still Rich Swann people are talking about. Moose says that he respects Rich Swann and thinks he is a great competitor but he should call up his friend Willie Mack and ask him what pain feels like.
Willie Mack then comes out but security holds him back. Moose asks Mack if he really wants to make him angry. Mack says that he’s not angry at Moose, but he’s really angry that the referee called off the match. He says that no referee will tell him when he’s done and challenges Moose to an “I Quit” Match at Genesis. Mack then comes into the ring and the two brawl as security pulls them apart. Moose manages to jump Mack and drops him to the mat. As security pulls Moose off, part of his suit gets ripped. Moose then attacks the member of security before leaving the ring.
Gia Miller then asks Moose what happened out there. Moose says that he is tired of all these independent wrestlers who are looking for opportunities, putting their hands on superstars. Moose warns the security/independent wrestlers that they should never put their hands on him and if they ever do it again they will get hurt.
Davie’s thoughts: I enjoyed this segment between Moose and Willie Mack. I feel that Moose has really stepped up his promo game in the last year and has a certain star quality about him. He has a nice menacing edge to his promo, which works for me. I still feel that Mack needs a lot of work on his promo. His charisma shines through in his matches but he always seems very understated with his promo. “I Quit” matches seem to be the hot thing to do in the last couple of months, but it does make sense for the story, and I feel that both Mack and Moose could put on an entertaining match.
Chris Bey Wants Rohit In His Corner
Chris Bey enters Rohit Raju’s dressing room and congratulates him for losing at Final Resolution. Rohit says that he isn’t the only one to lose his match but at least he gets a rematch, unlike Bey. Chris Bey tells Rohit that if he pulls off Manik’s mask and proves that it is TJP, management will have to give the X Division Championship back to him. Bey tells Rohit that he is about to go out there to face Manik and suggests that he comes with him.
Paid Advertisement From AEW
Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone deliver another paid advertisement from AEW. Schiavone says that it’s great to be on Cable AXS TV and if we stay tuned after the show we will get to see a city council meeting. Tony Khan says that it’s nice to be on IMPACT’S program and help fund them with these paid commercials. Khan says that he likes seeing Omega on IMPACT TV and is not going to slap an injunction on him. He thinks that he is one of the two best wrestlers in the world along with Jon Moxley. Khan says that Callis came to Dynamite to teach him a lesson but he didn’t teach him anything. He says that he got one of the best ratings of the year and is getting free advertisement on IMPACT every time Omega shows up. Schiavone then says that he doesn’t even know where to find AXS and says that when he searches for AXS his TV says “Dude why?”. They both then go on to promote all of tomorrow night’s matches on Dynamite. Schiavone says that he asked Daniels and Kazarian, “remember when IMPACT had fans when it was called TNA?” and they said, “no we don’t”. Khan then invites Callis back to Dynamite tomorrow and says that he will teach him some lessons about the wrestling business.
Davie’s thoughts: Just like last week, this was a very entertaining segment. The “shots” at IMPACT this week were a lot less subtle and more on the nose. Both Khan and Schiavone are excellent in their delivery and I expect to see more of these on IMPACT moving forwards. I’m hoping that we will soon get a rebuttal from Scott D’Amore as a paid advertisement on Dynamite.
Eric Young and Cody Deaner Vignette
This is the first of three Eric Young and Cody Deaner vignettes of the evening. The film is set in the same prison we have seen Eric Young in his previous vignettes. Young is talking more about “sickness” and “disease” and says that he lost his mother to the disease. Young says that you can’t talk down, reason, or buy sickness but it has to be removed and it has to be destroyed. He then says that he sees what the true sickness was and the camera pans to reveal Cody Deaner sat at an interview table with his hands in handcuffs. Young says that he is going to baptize Deaner in the holy water of change.
Chris Bey w/ Rohit Raju vs Manik
As soon as the bell rings, Chris Bey immediately jumps Manik in the corner. Bey runs chest first into the corner allowing Manik to capitalize with a Headscissors followed by a Torture Rack. Manik then sends Bey to the outside following up with a Plancha. After the commercial break, Bey drapes Manik across the second rope and leaps off the turnbuckle with an Elbow Drop to pick up a two count. Manik makes a very brief comeback but Bey comes right back, nailing him with a Spinning Elbow to the back of the head. Bey goes for the Art Of Finesse Cutter but Manik scouts it. Manik then crawls under the ring, leaving Chris Bey and Rohit confused. Manik comes out the other side of the ring, climbs to the top rope, and hits Crossbody. Manik follows up with the Benadryller as he stares at Rohit on the outside. Bey hits Manik with an undetected low blow. Rohit comes into the ring and tries to remove the mask of Manik but the referee catches him. Bey then starts to yell at Rohit asking him “what are you doing?” Rohit then attacks Bey from behind causing the referee to call the disqualification.
Chris Bey defeats Manic via Disqualification in 6 mins 51 secs (Plus commercials)
After the match, Chris Bey has a smile on his face as he is pretending to sell the “attack” from Rohit. Clearly, this was the plan all along to get the win.
Davie’s thoughts: On paper, this should have been an excellent match, however, I felt that it never really got going (the commercial break didn’t help that). The DQ finish came across as quite clunky but at least I can see the direction the story is going in with them most likely setting up a Triple Threat match at Genesis or Hard To Kill.
IMPACT Plus Flashback Moment of the Week
This week’s IMPACT Plus Flashback Moment of the week is from Final Resolution 2006 where we saw the return of Sting, teaming with Christian Cage to take on Monty Brown and Jeff Jarrett.
We Will Always Have Your Back
Ethan Page finds Josh Alexander backstage and apologizes for losing them the Number One Contenders shot by losing the match at Final Resolution. Josh Alexander says that Ethan Page is his best friend and his brother but says that they can’t be a team right now until Ethan Page sorts himself out and finds help. Page then says “we will always have your back”, emphasizing the word “we”.
Brian Myers then approaches Josh Alexander and suggests being his tag team partner. He says that he won a Tag Team Championship in front of 82,000 people and has won the IMPACT Tag Team Championship before. Alexander replies by saying that he “would rather kick his ass”.
Back in Kenny Omega’s bus, Karl Anderson is upset by the disrespect from Rich Swann. Omega says that Anderson is the G1 2012 finalist and calls Swann “Rich The Bitch”. They tell Anderson to go out there and take his name back, so Karl leaves. Omega then says that he is actually quite “p**sed off” by Rich Swann and that he won’t let him get away with it.
Knockouts Tag Team Tournament Semi-Final
Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz vs Taya Valkyrie & Rosemary
Tasha Steelz and Taya Valkyrie start the match and Taya immediately takes Tasha down with a Crossbody. She taunts Kiera before Slamming Steelz for a two count. Rosemary gets tagged in and gets Irish Whipped into Tasha before delivering an Exploder Suplex. Kiera Hogan gets tagged in but immediately gets hit with a Sidewalk Slam. As the referee is distracted, Tasha Steels delivers a Roundhouse Kick to Rosemary, allowing Kiera to get the advantage. Tasha and Kiera then isolate Rosemary in their corner, making quick tags as they beat her down. Kiera delivers a Basement Dropkick to pick up a two count. Tasha gets tagged back in but Rosemary is able to make a comeback and applies the Tarantula. As Rosemary is crawling to her corner to make the tag, Kiera pulls Taya off the apron. Tasha jumps off the top rope but misses Rosemary, rolls through but gets hit by the Spear allowing Rosemary to tag Taya in. Taya hits Kiera Hogan with the Blue Thunder Bomb. Deonna Purrazzo and Kimber Lee then come out and attack Rosemary on the outside. Kiera tries to capitalize with a School Boy but Taya is able to kick out. Purrazzo then delivers a Flatliner to Rosemary on the stage. As Taya is distracted, Kiera hits her with the Cradle Neckbreaker for the win.
Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz defeat Rosemary & Taya Valkyrie via Pinfall in 7 mins 38 secs
Davie’s thoughts: I thought this was an average match and again both teams are capable of better. I enjoyed the work from Kiera and Tasha, isolating Rosemary in their corner and I feel that Taya has shifted quite effectively into a babyface role. However, the end seemed a bit overbooked with the attack from Deonna Purrazzo and Kimber Lee. I really don’t know how the referee didn’t see or hear any of this as it was happening right by him the whole time.
Eric Young and Cody Deaner Part 2
We’re back at the prison and Eric Young tells us that as a child he always liked happy stories. He says that they would help us be better but they were all lies. Lies that hid us from the truth. Young tells us that professional wrestling is sick. He is now talking to Cody Deaner and tells him that Deaner gave everything for his love of pro wrestling and he is waiting for it to give back to him. He tells Deaner that a disease can not give back. A sickness cannot give and it cannot provide. It can only take from you. The parasite latched onto you and you could never see it. We then see Joe Doering walk out of a prison cell.
Johnny Swinger Upgrades His Fanny Pack
Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz are backstage celebrating their win and singing “We’re going to win the titles”. Kiera then asks Tasha where the arm wrestling money is and Tasha assures her that she doesn’t know and tells Kiera to check the fanny pack as she will find nothing. Johnny Swinger then enters with a six-pack of beer and is ready to celebrate with them. Once again Kiera and Tasha ask whose Uncle this is. Kiera and Tasha take his beer and walk out but leaving the fanny pack behind. Johnny Swinger takes the fanny pack as he thinks he is due an upgrade. As he is checking it he finds a “Kayfabe Compartment” and inside is the stolen money.
Josh Alexander vs Brian Myers
Very early on in the match, Ethan Page comes out to cheer on Josh Alexander. Brian Myers sends Page headfirst into the ring post, taking him out. Alexander tries to take advantage of a distracted Myers, but Myers is able to take him down. Alexander comes back with a Big Boot and attempts to hit the Tiger Driver 98 but Myers fights out. Myers sets up for his Clothesline but Ethan Page comes in dressed as The Karate Man.
Brian Myers defeats Josh Alexander via Disqualification in 3 mins 31 secs
After the match “The Karate Man” takes out Myers with a series of Karate Style kicks. Josh Alexander stares at Ethan Page, frustrated that he cost him the match.
Davie’s thoughts: I was actually quite enjoying this match until the disqualification. Both were displaying some good technical wrestling and hard-hitting shots. Unfortunately, it was all a set up for another disqualification. I know that TV is there to drive forward stories towards your Pay Per Views but so far every match has had either a disqualification or distraction finish and it has really taken away from the quality of wrestling. I am intrigued by the Josh Alexander/Ethan Page story but can we please get a substantial wrestling match on a wrestling show?!
Eric Young and Cody Deaner Part 3
Eric Young says that all he is offering is the truth. Nothing more. He tells Deaner that he thought your smiles were real. That all the laughs and cheers Deaner got from the crowds were real, but he’s wrong. Young tells Deaner that he has a disease. The crowds weren’t laughing with Deaner they were laughing at him. Cody Deaner repeats everything that Young says. Young says that Deaner’s purest form is in the holy water of change. He tells him that he is no longer sick and that he is awakened. We then see Cody dripping with water like he’s been baptized. Young tells him that he is free. Cody looks at his hands and sees that they are no longer handcuffed. Young tells Deaner that this world doesn’t belong to them. It belongs to us.
Davie’s thoughts: I thought these vignettes were shot really well and that both Eric Young and Cody Deaner performed their roles really well, but I can’t say that I’m too invested in the story. These promos feel very Bray Wyatt-esque, where a lot of words are said and they sound impressive but actually lack substance. I think Deaner is a good performer and I would be interested to see him in this new heel role but personally, I hope it is more of a way to elevate Cousin Jake as a babyface singles star.
Tommy Dreamer Gives Advice
Acey Romero approaches Tommy Dreamer and says that he knows that Larry D is in jail but he’s known him since they were kids and knows that he was set up. Dreamer suggests that Romero goes and proves it.
Rhino is giving a pep talk to Cousin Jake. Tommy Dreamer approaches them and asks if they’re afraid of Eric Young and Joe Doering. Rhino says that they aren’t afraid of anybody. Dreamer suggests that they go and do something about it by ending them.
“Machine Gun” Karl Anderson vs Chris Sabin w/ Alex Shelley
The match starts with some classic mat wrestling until Sabin tries to up the pace. Sabin hits a Dropkick to the knee and follows up with a cradle but Anderson is able to escape. In Picture In Picture we see Kenny Omega and Don Callis watching on from their bus. Anderson launches Sabin hard into the corner and then starts to Rake the eyes. Anderson attacks the eyes a further two times, each time getting a warning from the referee. Sabin has a burst of momentum but Anderson immediately comes back by Sweeping his legs and sending him crashing face-first into the apron. After the commercial break, Anderson is continuing to grind down on Sabin. Sabin tries to make a comeback and both start running the ropes but inadvertently collide heads. This allows Sabin to get the advantage as he follows up with a series of Clotheslines followed by a Crossbody off the top rope. Sabin gets Anderson on his shoulders but he’s able to slip out. Anderson attempts the Gun Stun but Sabin shoves him off and delivers a Tornado DDT for a near fall. The two start trading blows until both deliver two Clotheslines to each other at the same time. Anderson catches Sabin with a Spinebuster for a two count. Anderson goes for the Gun Stun again but Sabin counters it into a Backslide for a two. Anderson then rolls up Sabin with the School Boy and grabs the tights to secure the win.
Karl Anderson defeats Chris Sabin via Pinfall in 12 mins 15 secs (Plus commercials)
After the match, Rich Swann comes out to confront Karl Anderson and tells him that he doesn’t need to win that way. We see Kenny Omega and Don Callis on their bus and Kenny says that it’s time for the champ to go out there. Backstage Rich Swann and Karl Anderson are arguing and Anderson punches Swann knocking him to the floor. Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley come for the save but DOC Gallows and Kenny Omega attack them. Kenny then stands above Rich Swann and shows him the AEW Championship, saying that “this is what a real-world title looks like”. He tells Swann that “this may be your house, you may be a champion but as long as you’re a wrestler, you’re in my house and you’re just living in it.” Kenny then says that it’s time to reform the Bullet Club. Don Callis says that as EVP he is going to make it official and at Hard To Kill it will be Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers vs Rich Swann and The Motor City Machine Guns. Omega then does his classic “Goodbye and Goodnight. Bang!” as IMPACT goes off the air.
Davie’s thoughts: I thought the match was by far the best match on the show. It started quite slow but I did enjoy the beat down from Anderson. In the latter part of the match as the pace picked up it got really entertaining and I got into it. In this case, I didn’t mind the cheating to win as it served the post-match well.
The final angle saved the show for me. I thought some of Kenny’s lines to Swann were excellent and continued this “Elitism” idea that Kenny and AEW are better than any champion of any company in the world. This was also the first time we have seen Kenny and Don out of the bus and actually interact with IMPACT talent. This made the “invasion” seem more real than the previous pre-recorded segments and definitely has upped my excitement level. I also think it’s a smart idea to start with the Six-Man Tag at the next Pay Per View as I think it will be enough to get a lot of people interested. You can then build to the Kenny Omega vs Rich Swann match at a later event.
Overall, I felt that this was a very weak show and a missed opportunity from IMPACT Wrestling. On paper, all these matches looked excellent and could have really showcased the talent IMPACT has to a potential new audience. Unfortunately, every match had some sort of distraction finish or DQ and was overbooked. I felt like I was watching Raw from Monday once again. I feel you also need to grab people’s attention from the opening segment and I can’t say that Alisha Edwards is the person who’s going to do that. I watched the show on Twitch tonight and during commercial breaks, Melissa Santos read comments from people in the chat room. When Melissa combatting internet trolls during the commercials is the most entertaining part of the show, you know you have a problem. Luckily, the closing angle will probably be enough to get some buzz out of tonight but I get a feeling a lot of AEW fans are now just going to wait to watch the clips on Wednesday rather than tune into IMPACT.
3 DQ Finishes Out Of 10