7/26 Moore’s Impact Wrestling TV Review: Brian Cage vs. Matt Sydal for the X Division Championship, Slammiversary fallout, Petey Williams vs. Taiji Ishimori, Johnny Impact vs. Trevor Lee, Sami Callihan reacts to his new hairstyle

By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)

Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped July 23-24 2018 in Toronto, Ontario at The Rebel Complex Center

The cold open for this week’s Impact was a highlight video from the Slammiversary PPV (well done highlight package). The Impact theme aired…

Austin Aries made his entrance to the Impact arena. Small production note, the audio quality wasn’t great in the arena and via the mic of Aries. Austin Aries received 70-30 boos-cheers. Aries said “Thank you… but I know my name” to the people who were cheering him. Aries said this past Sunday night, Impact Wrestling delivered what a lot of people are calling the PPV of the year. Aries said this past Sunday is also being called the best PPV in this company’s history. Aries talked about how each match progressively set the bar higher match after match. Aries said when it came to the main event people were thinking “how does Austin Aries and a man called Moose go out there and top THAT…”.

John’s Thoughts: If you check out my Impact Slammiversary Hit List, that’s exactly what I thought.

Aries said he and Moose delivered because that’s what Aries does, deliver. Aries said they brought what a “professional wrestling match” should be. Aries said despite being 6 foot 4, 270 pounds, and with heart and determination. Aries said he still beat Moose and is still world champion. Aries asked what it means to him to be champion. Aries said it means that there is nobody better. Aries said a lot of people say they’re the best, but when you’re sitting in a bubble with someone handling you a script and in your comfort zone when in-ring, then you can’t call yourself the best.

Aries said when you are bouncing from promotion to promotion winning championships, outside of the bubble, and outside of the comfort zone, then you call yourself the best. Aries said this, the title, represents the best. Aries said if you want to call yourself the best, you have to step in the ring with the best. Aries then announced an unofficial open challenge to “anyone out there”. While Aries was cutting his promo, Eddie Edwards snuck behind Austin Aries with a kendo stick and his mouth open. Edwards hit Aries a few times once Aries noticed the crowd making him aware to the presence of Eddie. Eddie hit Aries with a DDT, put the stick in his mouth, and then held up the world title. The crowd wasn’t sure how to react so there was a mild mix of boos and cheers. Edwards slowly backtracked up the ramp.

John’s Thoughts: Great promo from Aries, though he was leaning a bit babyface by the end of it. It was a great babyface promo and Aries remained heel, I think, with him being a bit arrogant at times. I don’t know. I hope they aren’t turning Aries face fresh off him just turning heel? It was confusing at the end because the crowd clearly didn’t know how to react to dorky murder dude Eddie Edwards. At least I’m way more confident that Aries and Edwards can have a five-star classic in the ring than I was with Moose; and Moose and Aries had an amazing match.

Don Callis and Josh Mathews checked in from ringside (Cool. It’s great seeing them do live commentary on the weekly show for once). Josh Mathews wondered if Edwards found a new obsession. Callis said Edwards needs to find a “positive obsession” that’s not trying to end a career or murder a person. Josh Mathews announced that Anthony Carelli (a.k.a. Santino Marella) was “in the house”. Mathews also announced the debut of Scarlett Bordeaux. Don Callis said it was time to freshen up so he started to wash himself using his water bottle…

The “Oh Canada” national anthem played as local hero Petey Williams made his entrance. His opponent was “Bone Soldier” Taiji Ishimori… [c]

1. Petey Williams vs. “Bone Soldier” Taiji Ishimori. The crowd was fully behind the local favorite Petey. Josh Mathews told people to hashtag “ImpactOnPop” (remember the dark days when Josh Mathews was required to advertise Dixie Carter’s twitter page on every show? Dark times. Dark times). Ishimori and Williams had a chain wrestling match to start off. Petey hit Ishimori with one of his signature huracanranas. Ishimori went for a pin which Williams reversed into a submission. Williams hit Ishimori with a slingshot codebreaker. Petey put Ishimori in the Tree of Woe and led the crowd in the Canadian National Anthem.

Ishimori did some parkour dodges to avoid Williams and hit him with a seated senton. Don Callis talked about how Ishimori has gained an edge as a member of Bullet Club. Petey Williams powered up from a headlock. Ishimori converted the move to a crossface. Williams escaped the corner and gave Ishimori a roundhouse. Williams got a pin attempt after a side Russian Legsweep. Williams planted Ishimori with a flatliner. Petey called for the Canadian Destroyer but Ishimori saw it coming. Ishimori caught Williams with a Neuralizer Kick. Ishimori used a shotgun dropkick to set up and hit a running meteora on Williams in the corner. Ishimori called for his 450 finisher. Petey rolled away and called for his finisher. Ishimori reversed and hit his double knee driver on Williams for a nearfall.

Callis noted that Williams telegraphs and goes to the well too often sometimes when calling the Destroyer. Petey went for the Destroyer again but Ishimori reversed into a pin attempt. Ishimori caught Williams with a tiger knee. Ishimori hit Williams with an Impaler DDT into his knee for the victory.

Taiji Ishimori defeated Petey Williams via pinfall in 7:25.

Ishimori flashed a Turkish Wolf to the crowd. Ishimori gave Williams a handshake and hug. While Ishimori’s theme was playing, Gama Singh ordered the Desi Hit Squad guys to storm the ring and beat down Ishimori and Williams. Gursinder hit Williams with a Paydirt. He hit Ishimori with an Angle Slam. Both men tossed Ishimori into the steel steps. Gama Singh hit Williams with a high knee and Gursinder hit Williams with Sky High. They put the boots to Williams as their theme played…

John’s Thoughts: Nice television return for Ishimori, who looks to have developed an edge since joining Bullet Club along with an improved look. We still don’t know if he has chosen to join the Tongan Firing Squad due to Tama Tonga recruiting him? He was acting babyface here though. The post-match attack by Desi Hit Squad was well done and the best they’ve looked in Impact so far. Gama Singh is still the weak link of the group and with Rohit Raju lacking on-air credibility (despite looking very impressive technically), the Desi Hit Squad might as well be the Indian Cult of Lee. That said, the attack worked due to the Hit Squad showing a mean streak while beating up two guys with star power.

Backstage interviewer Alicia with no last name, interviewed Anthony Carelli. She threw in a plug to Impact’s twitch where she and Anthony host an Impact themed talk show. Carelli was excited to have Impact having a show in his home town. Alicia asked Carelli if he misses wrestling. Carelli said he does miss it but he’s not medically cleared to wrestle. Carelli said he’s living vicariously through his Battle Arts Academy students. He introduced one of his “top students” named Dustin Cameron who was having an Impact tryout. Austin Aries interrupted and Carelli introduced himself with a handshake. Aries responded, “a pleasure to meet ME”. Aries complained about getting beaten by Eddie Edwards a few moments ago. Aries tried to shoo away Carelli.

Carelli said he’s disappointed because he was a fan of Aries but not so much now after seeing Aries run his mouth. Aries said unlike a lot of over the hill and irrelevant people that Carelli has dealt with, Aries doesn’t slap like a bitch. Aries said if Carelli wants to find out he can meet Aries in the ring. Carelli repeated his earlier point about not being medically cleared. Aries said he understands that Carelli has a sore neck which means he’s too old and run down to face Aries. Aries then asked Carelli if he can wrestle the kid, Dustin. Carelli was apprehensive but Dustin cut in and said he’ll take on Aries. Aries was happy at the future match and walked away. Dustin Cameron then started to act all giddy because he got a championship match. Cameron walked away. Carelli told Alicia that he’s happy that Cameron payed his membership fee in advance…

Josh Mathews advertised the Slammiversary rematch of Brian Cage vs. Matt Sydal for the X Division Championship. Josh also did his contractually obligated Swedish Dicks plug… [c]

John’s Thought: Phewwww… I was afraid that Aries was going to turn babyface at one point but he was his usual douchey expert heel self here. It’s odd seeing Carelli without the put-on accent. He does still have some of his comedy timing with that funny membership fee line in the end. I wouldn’t mind seeing a Santino vs. Grado one time match (Just as long as Santino doesn’t overstay his welcome like Hornswoggle did last year when he had that feud with Rockstar Spud about drug addiction).

Josh Mathews recapped Eddie Edwards beating down Austin Aries and Aries’ subsequent confrontation with Anthony Carelli. Rebel made her entrance to the Impact Zone, most likely to lose. I’m assuming she’s going to lose since her opponent is Tessa Blanchard…

2. Tessa Blanchard vs. Rebel. Tessa and Rebel yapped at each other to start. Rebel rolled up Tessa early on after the splits. Tessa gave Rebel a stiff stomp in the corner and draped her on the ropes for a pinpoint dropkick. Rebel escaped the Hammerlock DDT with a rollup. Rebel hit some slow kicks on Tessa. Rebel hit Tessa with a split front suplex. Rebel was celebrating with the crowd on the top rope in preparation for her split legdrop. Tessa hit a loud kick on Rebel to stagger her. Tessa hit Rebel with a draping DDT. Tessa shoved away child referee Riley so she can hit Rebel with her Hammerlock DDT finisher for the win.

Tessa Blanchard defeated Rebel via pinfall in 2:36

John’s Thoughts: Rebel looked better than usual here, but I question Impact’s decision to have her be the designated enhancement wrestler of the Knockouts division. I say that because she still struggles a bit making her opponents look good due to herself still looking green at times. I would have preferred a Brandi Lauren or Amber Nova in that spot. At least it looks like they’re starting from scratch with Tessa and hopefully they can get her back to diamond status.

Josh Mathews hyped up the debut of Scarlett Bordeaux who was shown walking through a seedy looking hallway where the red-blooded males were just eye-ogling her…

A New York Bound for Glory ad aired…

The wait is over! Scarlett Bordeaux is now visible in person. Scarlett did a seductive dance to the entrance ramp where Alicia was waiting to interview her. Scarlett was wearing a lingerie top. Don Callis couldn’t contain himself and he said he strapped himself to the chair so he wouldn’t storm the ramp right now. In the line of the night, Don Callis randomly said “she’s so smart” in reference to Scarlett. Alicia welcomed Scarlett to Impact but she wanted Alicia to address her as “The Smokeshow” Scarlett Bordeaux. Scarlett went into Beauty Pageant Queen mode in talking about how she wants to be a part of this societal and pro wrestling women’s revolution. She said she wants to be an inspiration to girls everywhere and fight for women’s rights. She said she wanted to be the greatest women’s activist of all time. Don Callis said “yep”. She struck a pose for the horny males in the crowd.

John’s Thoughts: Ain’t nothing wrong with some pro wrestling fanservice. I’m with Callis, “my gawd!…damn”.

Alicia asked if she meant someone like Susan B. Anthony. Scarlett said “ewww”, more like Marilyn Monroe or Cardi B. Scarlett’s tone changed when she said people say they want to empower women, yet they tell them to cover up. Scarlett said she’s refusing and will not be “hot shamed”. Callis was shocked at the concept of hot shaming. Alicia asked what Hot Shaming meant. Scarlett said Alicia shouldn’t be expected to know what that is. Alicia tried to talk but Scarlett retorted “Shut up 5! A 10 is talking…”. Scarlett took the mic and told Alicia to sit in the audience where she belongs. Scarlett said the smoke show is here. Scarlett licked the microphone like it was a popsicle? Yeah, like a popsicle. This caused Callis to pop, emotionally, on commentary. Scarlett’s music played as she did her seductive dance away…

John’s Thoughts: My word. I can’t tell if that was a good debut or I’m just as distracted as Don Callis is. In all seriousness though, that was some solid mic work. Imagine, if she can actually wrestle well, this would be the best thing ever. Anyway, back to reality, Scarlett did appear on WWE Raw two years ago as “Sasha Banks’s biggest fan” where she got squashed by Nia Jax. I wonder if there’s some truth to that because I saw a little bit of heel Sasha in her here. There are a lot of strong heels in the Knockouts division but only two active babyfaces in Kiera Hogan and Allie if we are to think Rosemary and Madison Rayne are kayfabe “dead”. Maybe they turn Taya for some balance?

Matt Sydal was shown being emotional over losing the X Division Championship. He said he did his best and gave everything he had. He said he lost the championship and a material piece of him that represents him left. He said it didn’t in fact leave him because it lives in his third eye. Sydal said the people are mistaken about thinking that Sydal had a bad night because he grew from the experience. Sydal said that is how things happen in a natural world. Sydal said nature seeks a state of homeostasis (equilibrium). Sydal said in his rematch with Cage he will return things to the harmonious state. Namaste…

John’s Thoughts: Two weeks ago, I said Sydal cut the best promo career. This surpassed that because he improves exponentially every week. He still feels he has to mention “Third Eye” and “Namaste” in every promo now though to where it feels forced. Sydal is getting really Miz-like on the microphone and reminding me of that time Miz feuded with MVP and the world discovered how great Miz was on the microphone in taking a babyface mission statement into a heel persona.

Johnny Impact was shown hanging out with some random guys making cornball motorcycle noises. Yes, really… [c]

It was time for a Pentagon Jr. promo where he was holding a handful of hair. Pentagon said (via subtitle) that Callihan was boasting all over the place after taking his mask and left him in a pool of “sangre”. Pentagon said at Slammiversary, Sami took Penta to the limit where they both gladly suffered. Penta said he has the ultimate prize, the hair which he holds in his hands. Pentagon said besides having that he continues to have “Cero Miedo”…

John’s Thoughts: I still don’t like the excessive use of screen filters, but I like that they are giving Pentagon more time than ever to cut weekly promos. They finally are starting to understand why he’s so popular. Why didn’t they do this while he was champion? Anyway, I like that he gets to speak but maybe they should produce his promos like WWE used to do with Bray Wyatt. Pentagon is very similar to Bray Wyatt in also being able to speak through body language. I would also remove the audio filter so we can hear his words. English is a Latin-based language and as North Americans we do understand Spanish more than other foreign languages.

Impact’s designated enhancement wrestler tag team Cult of Lee made their entrance. Josh Mathews used this to plug Impact’s twitch show in conjunction with AML wrestling which is in Trevor Lee’s neck of the woods of North Carolina. Johnny Impact made his entrance. You know who’s going to win this one…

3. Johnny Impact vs. Trevor Lee (w/Caleb Konley). Josh Mathews announced that Impact will return August 12-13 to the Rebel Complex. Johnny cornered Trevor in the corner. Lee cornered Lee after a collar and elbow. Josh Mathews advertised that Boone the Bounty Hunter is now on Netflix. Johnny had a single leg takedown and did a few of his high-flying moves around Trevor Lee. Caleb Konley tripped Johnny so Johnny wouldn’t hit his signature running stiff knee. Lee flapjacked Johnny for a nearfall. Lee put the boots to Caleb Konley in the corner. Josh Mathews also advertised his and Sonjay Dutt’s Twitch show.

Johnny did a few of his signature dodges. Lee dropkicked and got a nearfall on Johnny. Konley got some cheap shots on Johnny while Lee distracted the referee. Johnny escaped Lee and hit Lee with a high angle slingshot crossbody. Johnny and Trevor traded punches in the middle of the ring with Johnny winning the battle of momentum. Johnny hit Trevor with a dropkick and superman forearm. Johnny hit Trevor with the Flying Chuck for a two and three quarters count. Johnny counted down for the Impact Elbow but Caleb Konley ran interference which allowed Lee to bring down Johnny and hit Johnny with a standing double chest stomp.

Johnny Impact escaped two deadlift German Suplex attempts. Johnny set up Lee for Starship Pain but Lee rolled away. Johnny hit Lee and Konley with an Impact Elbow to the outside. Johnny Impact hit Starship Pain on Trevor Lee to pick up the win.

Johnny Impact defeated Trevor Lee via pinfall in 8:54.

Josh Mathews plugged Boone the Bounty Hunter and Survivor. Josh also mentioned that Johnny got married recently (to Taya Valkyrie, they did acknowledge during Taya’s entrance during the last Florida tapings). Johnny said he’s excited to be here at the Impact Zone hearing people chant things like “welcome back”. Johnny wanted them to hear them chant “this is awesome” and “Impact Wrestling” but the crowd didn’t pick up on that. John said that’s why people in the back do this. Johnny said his goal is to get the Impact World Championship but he has some unfinished business to take care of first. He said he didn’t leave by choice, but he had to leave because of Kongo Kong. Johnny said while he was at home he heard Kongo Kong and Jimmy Jacobs talk all kinds of trash about putting Johnny on the shelf. Johnny said Jacobs time is done (one random fan in the crowd told Johnny “so is yours” with perfect timing). Johnny said he was going to take Kongo Kong to Slam Town in the Impact Zone…

Brian Cage was shown backstage figuring out how to put his new championship belt on… [c]

John’s Thoughts: Lee got some offense in, but this was still an underdog babyface squash match in favor of Johnny. Still hoping that Lee leaves this company to have a Drew Galloway like career renaissance at other promotions and maybe he can return to Impact as a bigger star (even though he does have a lot of outside cred with places like PWG). As for Johnny, good to see him back. He’s still very awkward on the promos and I think they let him speak a bit longer than he should (Lucha Underground used to even heavily edit his dragged-out promos). A lot of people want to see him turn heel, but that will only lead to him being a cornball mid-card heel. I think he had his most babyface success when he dropped the cornball and went serious like when he feuded with Prince Puma or Ron Killings.

A replay from earlier on this year was shown where Kongo Kong threw Johnny Impact at some stairs like a lawn dart. It looked like Johnny also used a corn syrup blood capsule during that segment…

A music video package aired of Su Yung’s Impact highlights so far…

Alicia interviewed Allie. Allie talked about how she came up short to one of the most talented people in pro wrestling, Tessa Blanchard. Allie said what she can’t let go is what Su Yung did to Madison Rayne. Allie said Madison Rayne was stuffed in a casket and Allie should have been there to save her because she was distracted by Tessa. Allie said what happened to herself, Rosemary, and Madison Rayne won’t happen to anyone else. She said she was making a promise here and now. She said she is going to stop Su even if she has to go at it alone. Kiera Hogan walked in and said Allie won’t do this alone because if Allie wants to go at Su then Kiera will have her back. Allie said Su’s time has come…

It was time for the Global Wrestling Network Flashback Match of the Week. It was the Young Bucks, Matt and Nick Jackson, vs. the Motor City Machine Guns. Am I watching an Honor Club flashback? No, this was from TNA No Surrender (one of the many porny or BDSM sounding PPV names of TNA past). I fast forwarded through eight minutes. Alex Shelly and Chris Sabin won…

The show cut to this week’s Grado, Katarina, and Joe Hendry segment where Grado was excited to receive a Joe Hendry shirt as a gift. Katarina was eyeing and hanging close to Joe. Eli Drake came in baring gifts too. He said this was to make up for a bad first impression. Drake said this trio reminds him of the Three Musketeers. Drake left. Grado loved getting two gifts in one day. He opened and revealed a Joe Hendry with Katarina picture. Grado wasn’t happy at this. Katarina got defensive. Joe Hendry said this is obviously a sick joke. He said it was time to throw it in the bin right now. Katarina joined Joe to throw it in the bin (the trash). Grado was left alone where he wondered “where was me?” in the picture…

Fallah Bahh and KM were chatting backstage. KM said he is being honest when he sees himself as a no good dirty son of a bitch. Bahh responded with a scared “Bahh!!!”. KM said that Bahh needs a mean streak. Bahh said “Bahh?”. KM responded with “Fallah” (which I guess means Yes in Bahh-glish). KM took Bahh on a walk to find his mean streak. He stole sunglasses from one guy and blew his nose in someone else’s handkerchief. KM also stole someone’s gum to help improve Bahh’s breath. KM asked Bahh if he was starting to feel the mean streak. KM put someone’s smartphone in Bahh’s underpants. KM asked a guy who his name was, the guy said his name but KM said the guy’s name was garbage. KM threw the guy at a trash can. Bahh agreed and the two said we were going to see Bahh’s mean streak next week…

John’s Thoughts: Great comedy stuff from KM and it reminded me of some of the old vignettes they did when he made his debut. Both the Bahh and Grado storylines have unexpected slow burn builds. Not only are these comedy storylines but they are more intricate than you would expect.

The show cut to an ominous and evil looking Killer Kross interview. Kross said he describes himself as an artist. He said he answers to absolutely no one or no governing body. Kross said he answers to the call of his own impulses. He said people call him Killer Kross. He said he believes in a universal arbitration of suffering. He said the question around here is why he is annihilating everyone. Kross was shown doing serious gym training. Kross said his goals in Impact is the same as everyone else in impact, to ruin the lives of everyone and hurt as many people as possible…

The show cut to an OGz Clubhouse Cinematic. Except it wasn’t a cinematic since they used a single zoom camera setup and their “clubhouse” looked like they were sitting in a storage closet. Kingston said he’s not satisfied. He said he’s depressed and angry because he expected more out of Konnan and the young boys. He said the kids wanted to battle and they thought they won a war. King said you can win many battles but you have to win the war. Kingston laughed off LAX’s win. Kingston said he gave the world what he promised them. He said he crucified Konnan by putting a slug in the back of the head of Konnan (metaphorically?). Kingston said it was Konnan’s fault. He said you reap what you sow. Kingston said the OGz only reap. Konnan said the tag belts are their property because they tagged it with spray-paint. Kingston said you don’t hear Konnan, Santana, and Ortiz’s name floating around in the street. You hear the OGz. Homicide and Hernandez agreed. Kingston said LAX 5150 is dead and it was time for OGz 730. Shawn Hernandez ended the segment with some random whistling… [c]

The show cut to an OVE camcorder video. They recorded this video in the bathroom for some reason and it didn’t look like the OVE trio had the camera, but someone was and it was the OVE brand camera. Sami was going crazy in the mirror over his new bald look. Jake Crist tried to console Sami telling him he looks good, like a pirate. Dave Crist said there are two positives to this. One, Callihan doesn’t look like an A-hole. Two, Jason Voorhees looked amazing. Sami Callihan also had his arm in a sling from Pentagon’s sacrifice arm breaker.

Sami said he had to walk away to take a leak. Jake Crist said “I have to take a leak too, because I’m the mini draw!” (I don’t know why, but that cracked me up!!!). Jake and Sami took a piss with a random civilian in the middle. Dave Crist said they should be beating up people instead of pissing. Sami got paranoid and thought the civilian was staring at his bald head which was under a cap. Sami went on to urinate on the random man. Yep, that’s what he did. Jake Crist choked the random man while Dave Crist recommended that they make an example out of this random man. Sami told the man to tell Sami that he’s pretty. The man yelled “pretty”. Jake said, “oh so pretty”. OVE then started to use buzz cutters to shave the man’s head (we didn’t really see this part because they just lifted up what may have been hair extensions) …

Josh Mathews recapped some of the unpredictable things that happened on this episode of Impact. Josh Mathews asked if Sami is allowed to shave anyone’s hair. Don Callis said that Sami Callihan is a wild card and that everyone should be on notice, including the announce team. The crowd did an “Impact Wrestling” chant…

John’s Thoughts: That segment was a bit weird and we don’t know who the OVE camera man is (it was usually Sami or Dave); but I thought that it did a good job moving along the story arc of OVE by making it clear that Sami Callihan is paranoid and going psychotic over losing his hair. The best part of the promo is we haven’t heard from Dave or Jake Crist for a long time in saying things that aren’t cult chants. They were better this time. They were still dorky, that’s who they are, but it worked better to play into their roles as Sami’s minions. Jake’s line about being the “mini draw” cracked me up (and there is some truth there because of the OVE duo, Jake Crist has been the most impressive). Remember when these guys showed up and Konnan was ripping them on the microphone because they were brutal on the mic?

Matt Sydal made his entrance. Josh Mathews wondered if Matt Sydal hit his finisher on Cage without catching his legs on the ropes, if he would be able to defeat Brian Cage. Don Callis said we will never know…

John’s Thoughts: Good point brought up by Josh which also protects Matt Sydal…

4. Brian Cage vs. Matt Sydal for the X Division Championship. The crowd did the terminator theme clap. Sydal pointed at his “third eye”. Sydal went for a knee but instead hit an axe kick. Cage tried to reverse a Crucifix Driver with a 5-second ride, but Sydal reversed into an inside cradle. Cage escaped and hit Sydal with a European Uppercut. Sydal went for his signature diving meteora but Cage caught Sydal and threw Sydal like Cage was Steph Curry shooting a jumpshot. Josh Mathews cut the match over to a preview of Swedish Dicks. [c]

Cage gave Sydal a corner lariat back from the break. Sydal sent Cage outside with a cutting rolling sobat. This time Sydal planted Cage with the diving meteora into the steel entrance ramp. Sydal used some of his precision roudhouse kicks to put Cage into the Muta Lock. Cage escaped the Muta Lock by using his free right hand. Cage slugged Sydal with a few punches to force Sydal to go after Cage’s leg. Sydal pantomimed his “third eye” and then hit Cage with a basement yakuza kick. Cage showed off his agility with a quick huracanrana. Cage hit a Pumphandle Samoan Drop on Sydal for a nearfall.

Sydal reversed Cage with a shortarm leg drop. Cage put Sydal on the top rope but Sydal hit Cage with a knee and flying crossbody for a nearfall. Sydal tried to chop the tree with low kicks. Sydal went for a feint kick but Cage reversed Sydal and hit him with a deadlift German. Cage hit Sydal with a 619 (or 559 since he’s not from San Diego?). Cage asked the crowd “who’s getting their [stuff] in huh?” which is a PG version of one of his catchphrases. Sydal reversed Cage into a snaprana. Cage hit Sydal with an F5 and only got a two count. Cage called for the Drill Claw. Sydal reversed with a tiger knee, high kick and went for a backbreaker. Cage reversed with a Tornado Claw. Cage hit Sydal with a sick looking Drill claw (Sitout Pile Driver) for the victory.

Brian Cage defeated Matt Sydal via pinfall in 8:40 of TV Time to retain the Impact X Division Championship.

Josh Mathews reminded viewers that Cage hasn’t been pinned or submitted before wishing the viewers a good night…

John’s Thoughts: A really good X Division title defense for Cage. I both praise and criticize Cage for how much he sells to smaller opponents and this is one of those praise moments since Sydal is a credible opponent (I usually criticize when he sells to enhancement types). Cage is great at wrestling at the level of cruiserweight competition and hopefully he has more competitive matches with the division to stand out better. I would have to argue that I liked the Slammiversary match better mostly due to this match getting cut short for PopTV’s obligatory Swedish Dicks ad. The Slammiversary match would sadly be more known for the botch at the end but credit to Josh and Don for covering that up well on this episode.

Speaking of such, where does Cage go from here? He literally beat the entire X Division by himself at the Redemption PPV. Maybe now’s the time to work on his character because the crowd was starting to lose him by the end of that last match. People compare this to Goldberg’s push, but Goldberg still had storylines and a unique ring entrance. Cage just shows up like he’s a random Lucha Underground invader. I personally would like to see a longer singles feud between Cage and Fantasma because I know they can deliver due to chemistry, but Fantasma’s been MIA lately. Anyway, good show again. The crowd wasn’t as hot as recent shows and Slammiversary, but this crowd looks like Madison Square Garden compared to the dead and ass atmosphere of Universal Studios Impact Zone. Though I prefer the more sports-like and grounded presentation of Impact when Dave Lagana and Matt Conway were writing the show, I am finally able to recommend this show to people again with the added benefit of not sounding like a pervert when I tell people (especially female wrestling fans) that there’s a wrestling company called TNA.



The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Court Bauer, who discusses MLW Saturday Night SuperFight, his mindset just days before the company's first pay-per-view, the $19.99 price point, future PPV possibilities, the free pre-show, former WWE and Lucha Underground creative force Chris DeJoseph joining the MLW staff, and more...


Readers Comments (2)

  1. A new set of tapings brings new shitty theme music for Eddie Edwards. That was awful.

    • He had debuted this theme two weeks ago. It’s supposed to make him seem more “extreme!!!”. But yes, it’s complete Buttrock

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