8/23 Moore’s Impact Wrestling TV Review: Pentagon Jr. vs. Sami Callihan in a Mexican Death Match, Brian Cage speaks for the first time, Kiera Hogan vs. Alisha Edwards, KM and Fallah Bahh vs. The Desi Hit Squad

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

Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped August 12, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario at The Rebel Complex 

The Impact Wrestling intro teaser recapped several segments from last week including Sami Callihan vs. Fenix, Austin Aries and Killer Kross’s segment, Johnny Impact vs. Jimmy Jacobs, and the LAX vs. OGz parking lot brawl. The Impact opening theme aired…

Josh Mathews and Don Callis were on commentary. Eddie Edwards made his way to the ring carrying his kendo stick and wearing a Rocky shirt. Edwards said he’s an honest man and can admit he got his ass kicked. He said he knows that he got his ass kicked the last two weeks. Eddie reenacted the scene of him getting beat up and picking himself up. Eddie said people call him all sorts of things like crazy, unhinged, or stupid. He said he may be some, all, or none of those things. Eddie Edwards recapped getting hit in the face with a baseball bat and all the events that led to his current character. Eddie said he loves the man he’s become.

Eddie said he’s a man with nothing to lose. Eddie passionately talked about how he loves swinging the kendo stick and crashing it on the skulls of Austin Aries and Killer Kross. Edwards called out Aries and Kross and they accepted the challenge by walking out. Eddie groveled on the ground with the stick in his mouth. Aries said they would make this easy. Aries said he’s the greatest pro wrestler walking the planet. Aries said Edwards is crazy, stupid, and dangerous. Aries said he found someone more dangerous and crazy, Kross. Aries and Kross entered the ring.

Edwards tossed the stick in the air as a distraction to clock Aries in the head with the microphone. Edwards managed to get the upper hand over Kross. For some reason, even though Edwards had Kross dominated he decided to walk around the ring with his mouth open. Edwards took so long that it allowed Austin Aries to chop block him. Aries followed up with a title belt shot. Aries locked in a figure four while Kross had Edwards in the Kross Jacket. The referee brigade ran out. Eddie’s shoe slipped off and Aries fended off the referees by throwing Eddie’s shoe at them. Aries was about to hit a chair around the neck of Edwards with another chair, but Moose’s theme stopped him in his tracks. Moose made his entrance and Aries and Kross went into retreat mode. Don Callis noted that Moose has been gone since Slammiversary due to getting concussed by an Austin Aries kick. Don and Josh debated whether this was Moose getting revenge or saving a friend. Moose helped Eddie to his feet…

John’s Thoughts: Here’s what I’m seeing. Edwards may have cut the best promo of his career. He’s discovered a newfound confidence on the microphone and going all in on this Crazy character. I think his psychology is suffering a bit because crowds don’t know how to fully react to him and he’s dumb at points. He dominated Kross and Aries but decided to walk around the ring with his mouth open for some reason. Speaking of Kross, I’m not a huge fan of him just being a generic bodyguard after that exceptional build that Impact gave him. I also don’t like that they have him dominated two weeks in a row.

Josh Mathews and Don Callis checked in from the commentary table. Edwards hyped up some upcoming segments including Rich Swann and Brian Cage in separate talking segments. Don Callis joked about not knowing that Cage can speak…

The show cut to an OVE camcorder promo. Sami Callihan was trying to console Dave Crist (for getting his head shaved) while Jake Crist mimicked Sami’s body movements like a body double. Sami blamed all of OVE’s problems on Pentagon Jr. Sami said he and Penta will go at it tonight for one more time in a Mexican Death Match with The Crist Brothers and Fenix banned from ringside. Sami glared at Jake awkwardly for Jake’s mimic act but then went back to yelling about how everything is Pentagon Jr’s fault… [c]

Eddie Edwards and Moose were backstage with Moose holding Eddie’s shoe. Moose talked about how the bros are back. Alisha Edwards walked in and called Moose “Moosie”. Eddie bragged about the band being together. Alisha said not to think that because she has a match coming up. Eddie Edwards and Moose walked away with Edwards talking about how he doesn’t need shoes…

Zachary Wentz made his entrance and Josh Mathews called Zachary “an internet darling”. Matt Sydal cut a promo at the Gorilla Position where he talked about helping Zachery open his third eye.

1. Matt Sydal vs. Zachary Wentz. Sydal started the match like he usually does by yelling that he’s trying to help his opponent open the third eye. Sydal dominated the early chain wrestling sequence. Wentz hit Sydal with a corkscrew crossbody and followed up with a plancha to the outside on Sydal. Josh Mathews noted that Zachary Wentz is the tag team partner of Dezmond Xavier (who randomly disappears from Impact Wrestling for long stretches of time).

Sydal grounded Wentz and gave him a PK to the back. Sydal worked on Wentz with a series of kicks and stopped Sydal from running with an axe kick. Josh Mathews gave Sydal credit for employing more of a ground-based style. Sydal reversed a huracanrana with a power bomb. Wentz got Sydal with a high knee and hit Sydal with a standing moonsault for a nearfall. Wentz surprised Sydal with a slingshot codebreaker which Josh Mathews noted a lot of Impact wrestlers are using. Sydal got his own high knee on Wentz and then defeated Wentz with a swinging backbreaker on Wentz for the win.

Matt Sydal defeated Zachary Wentz via pinfall in 4:12.

John’s Thoughts: I am not a huge fan of Sydal winning a meaningless match. I was hoping that Sydal’s losing streak in big matches was going to lead to a character evolution but now it looks like he’s in a holding pattern until creative figures out were to put him.

Eli Drake was on his phone as Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley walked up to him acting like dorks. Drake’s facials sold Lee and Konley acting like dorks. Drake said he wasn’t Lee and Konley’s friend and he only used them last week to stand in the corner. Drake tried to shoo Lee and Konley off. Drake said Lee and Konley can’t beat anybody including “these guys” (two random wrestlers in the hallway). Lee and Konley continued to act like dorks on purpose…

Josh Mathews hyped Brian Cage speaking for the first time (if you only watch Impact Wrestling)… [c]

An ad aired of Impact Wrestling taping shows in Mexico on September 13-14…

The show cut to a Brian Cage vignette. Cage talked about joining Impact Wrestling because he thought this company was going somewhere. Cage said he wants to be the guy who stands out. He said he wants to prove he’s better than everyone else. Cage said Bobby Lashley wasn’t Brian Cage, he was the past. Cage talked about how people can’t do the things he can. Cage said one goal he has is to take over the X Division because when you think of Impact you think of the X Division. Cage said he was starting a new era, the Weapon X Division. Cage then hyped up Fenix and then said that he can do all the things Fenix can do. Cage said Cage was like Bo Jackson and Lebron James rolled into one and the next evolution of pro wrestling…

John’s Thoughts: Cage is a well-spoken dude and I’m glad they finally allowed him to say something. While I wasn’t a huge fan of this promo, to me it felt like a huge exposition dump and they should have trimmed it down a bit, at least Cage got a chance to acclimate himself to the Impact audience a bit. If they can get these trimmed a bit, I wouldn’t mind if they had him cut simple hype promos before his matches.

Josh Mathews did his weekly ad for the Chris Jericho Cruise…

This week’s Impact Wrestling Flashback Moment of the Week saw Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian putting the boots to James Storm until AJ Styles returned from his exile. This was the first-time viewers saw AJ with longer hair and a beard and he was acting more emo. Styles ended up giving James Storm a lariat…

Fallah Bahh had a grocery store tote bag with his face taped on the bag. It was a gift for KM. KM asked Bahh if this was going to help them as a team? KM acted nervous but Bahh responded with a confident “bahh”… [c]

A Sami Callihan vs. Pentagon Jr. feud recap video package aired…

Gama Singh was already in the ring and he did his usual bland intro for the Desi Hit Squad. Fallah Bahh came out first for his team followed by KM who wore matching gear with Bahh complete with the Sumo thong. KM came out wearing boots but Bahh made KM take off the boots and wrestle barefoot…

2. KM and Fallah Bahh vs. “The Desi Hit Squad” Rohit Raju and Gursinder Singh (w/Gama Singh). Josh Mathews reminded viewers that the change in KM was due to Scarlett Bordeaux. Bahh no-sold Rohit Raju’s offense. Josh Mathews did his weekly Swedish Dicks plug and Don Callis responded with his weekly double entendre. Don Callis said the Swedish Dicks were stars and that the Swedish Dicks were huge.

Bahh smashed Raju’s head in with a leg drop. Gursinder tagged in and ate a crossbody from Bahh. KM tagged in and took some tandem offense from the DHS. Don Callis talked about how everything hurts when you wrestle barefoot. Raju and Singh continued to use tandem offense on KM. KM grounded the Desis with a double lariat. Fallah Bahh tagged in for the hot tag. Bahh took down both opponents with a series of axe handle strikes. Bahh blocked a sunset flip and hit Gursinder with a Rikishi Sit. Bahh was about to steamroll Gursinder but Raju prevented it with a sleeper.

Bahh no sold the sleeper and splashed Gursinder with Raju on his back. After Raju fell, KM and Fallah Bahh did stereo steamrollers. KM gave Gursinder an Irish Whip which caused Rohit Raju to accidently give Gurinder the high knee meant for KM. KM hit Raju with a Backstabber Power Bomb.. Bahh hit Rohit Raju with the rump shaker for the victory.

KM and Fallah Bahh defeated The Desi Hit Squad via pinfall in 5:29.

Mathews and Callis talked about how the Fallah Way might be a recipe for success. The cameras showed KM’s boots still on the ramp. Josh then hyped up the upcoming segments on the show… [c]

John’s Thoughts: Bahh and KM continue to put in good work with their Rocket Raccoon and Groot buddy cop gimmick. It also looks like Impact may be starting to give up on the Desi Hit Squad in their current iteration because they shifted the focus on to Bahh and KM. Raju continues to impress and Gursinder is stuck in a tough spot in a dull tag team that involves dull promos from Gama. They might as well be the Indian Cult of Lee.

Katarina talked about how Grado was looking like the laughing stock of this company and that’s not what she “signed up for” when she started to date Grado. Joe Hendry took control of the conversation and tried to inspire Grado by talking about how Grado came in last place in the egg and spoon race one year and improved enough to get second to last the next through hard work. Hendry said slow and steady wins the race, not the egg and spoon race but the race of life. Grado felt better and Hendry said it was macaroni time. The trio walked off.

Instead of leaving the area, Grado decided to walk back after seeing some random smoke. It was Scarlett Bordeaux and Bobo. Scarlett said that Grado must be a supermodel. Grado said no, he’s a wrestler. Scarlett said that she would have Grado with his woman problems, but Grado would have to do something for Scarlett and Bobo. Grado was then shown doing a stripper dance around a stripper pole for the entertainment of Scarlett and Bobo. Bobo was excited eating his popcorn. Scarlett said that this was a “bad Grado”. Grado kept repeating “bad boy” while working the pole. Grado started dancing with his junk and fanny pack around Scarlett. Scarlett said a bad Grado needs to be punished as she slapped him on the butt…

John’s Thoughts: I know we usually see Impact do odes to Lucha Underground, but was this an Ode to Lucha Underground head writer Chris DeJoseph (a.k.a. Big Dick Johnson)? Anyway, what a strange segment in a very confusing way. Everyone played their role right, but why did this happen? After the very hot debuts of Killer Kross and Scarlett Bordeaux, they’ve definitely been downplayed the past two weeks.

3. Kiera Hogan (w/Allie) vs. Alisha Edwards. Kiera and Alisha started off with chain wrestling. Kiera and Alisha looked really sloppy and traded quick rollups. Alisha gave Kiera a boot and flying lariat. Alisha dominated Kiera with a series of forearms. Kiera hit Alisha with a jawbreaker. Kiera came back with a series of corner moves in the corner. Kiera hit a few kicks on Alisha. Alisha hit Kiera with a STO like move. Alisha missed wildly with crossbody. Kiera hit Alisha with a running X Factor for a nearfall. Alisha gave Kiera an impressive leg trap backpack Stunner.

Josh and Don then elaborated over how Alisha and Eddie no longer live together. Don said he thinks it’s a good thing she unloaded him. After some rough struggling, Kiera escaped a Boston Crab attempt. Kiera then hit Alisha with the Paige Turner for the victory.

Kiera Hogan defeated Alisha Edwards via pinfall in 6:10.

Don Callis wondered why Allie was even out here. Allie grabbed a mic and Don said, “oh no”. Allie said she was proud of Kiera for a good match. Allie said she didn’t want to take away Kiera’s moment, but she has to get something off her chest. Kiera yelled “SAY IT!!!”. Allie talked about how Su Yung took away Madison Rayne, Allie’s BFF Rosemary, and forced Allie into the darkness which changed Allie. Allie said it showed Allie her purpose, to put an end to Su Yung. Allie said every time she tries to do that Tessa Blanchard always shows up. Allie then proposed a Triple Threat Match next week. Josh Mathews assumed this was for the Knockouts title even though Allie didn’t mention it…

John’s Thoughts: That was a pretty sloppy match. We’ve seen Kiera have pretty good matches when against good opponents, but Kiera is a bit green herself. Alisha is really green and needs to clean up her moves a whole lot. To her credit, that backpack stunner looked really good, but not much else. This Allie and Kiera relationship thing seems very strange too. Are they setting up Kiera to get “buried” by Su Yung like Madison and Rosemary? Anyway, the highlight of the match was Don Callis and his snarky commentary.

The show cut to some random pool party where a random guy interviewed Johnny Impact. It was really tough to hear what they were talking about because they were talking over some loud background music. Johnny said he likes to party. Johnny said things about Kongo Kong and Jimmy Jacobs. I think Johnny threw in a Boone the Bounty Hunter movie plug in there? Kongo Kong randomly shows up and punches Johnny. Johnny beat up Kong with a belt and then tossed him into a pool. Johnny ended the segment with his John Morrison pose… [c]

John’s Thoughts: The f— was that?!?

A Su Yung, Allie, and Tessa Blanchard highlight package aired…

Alicia [Atout] was strolling outside and was interviewing Rich Swann. Rich Swann’s hair has grown back! Alicia asked Swann why he signed a “long-term deal” with Impact Wrestling. Swann said Impact is one of the hottest companies now and he wants to be a part of it. Swann said his goal is to get the X Division championship. Swann talked about the greats like AJ Styles, Amazing Red, Alex Shelly, and Chris Sabin have held that belt. Swann said he’s looking forward to working with people like Sonjay Dutt or Petey Williams who helped build that division. Alicia asked Swann about facing Petey Williams at the Redefined show next week. Rich Swann talked about how he wanted to make a footprint in the division like those guys and get his name in lights. Alicia hugged Rich and wished him well…

The show cut to a Pentagon Jr. promo where he hyped up his Mexican Death Match against Sami Callihan. Pentagon said he’s the Rey (King) of the Mexican Death Match. Pentagon said it was all about honor, respect, pride, and dignity. Pentagon said Sami will learn to respect him. “Por que Yo Soy Pentagon Jr, El Cero Miedo”…

Alicia tried to interview Aries, but Aries cut her off before she could ask a question to cut a promo. Aries said he thought he put some sense into Moose’s brain when he concussed him at Slammiversary. Aries said he already crushed Moose’s dreams, but “we” will end Moose’s career. Aries proposed a match between Edwards and Moose vs. Aries and Kross. Kross gradually yelled “One week”…

Eli Drake led Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley to the ring and then quickly marched to the commentary table…

4. “The Cult of Lee” Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley vs. Brandon Tidwell and Mr. Atlantis. Drake said he doesn’t have a relationship with the Cult of Lee. He said he just had them stand in his corner one time. Tidwell and Konley started off the match. Lee took down Tidwell with a Northern Lariat. Lee and Konley isolated Tidwell by himself. Josh Mathews hyped the One Night Only show titled “Night of the Dummies”. Lee hit the Eli Drake elbow on Tidwell. Konley tried to hit Tidwell with a Gravy Train but Tidwell rolled him up for the win.

Brandon Tidwell and Mr. Atlantis defeated The Cult of Lee via pinfall in 0:51.

The enhancement wrestlers had no theme music as they celebrated their win. Lee and Konley were livid and continued to act like a couple of nerds…

John’s Thoughts: Story of Trevor Lee’s Impact life…

Impact cut to this week’s LAX cinematic. Konnan, Santana, and Ortiz were having a street side party with the rest of the hood (not quite sure where this hood is). Santana talked about everything being good. Santana and Ortiz handed the tag titles to a little boy that was with them. The cinematic camera also showed Homicide, Hernandez, and Kingston driving around in a car. Konnan bragged about beating up King with a slap jack. Konnan said he has a surprise for everyone with him and the surprise is in his car across the street.

Kingston did the throat slash sign when he saw LAX and their friends crossing the street to signal to run them over. Everyone managed to get away except the poor little boy. Ortiz yelled “Richie!!!”. Everyone went to check on Richie. The camera then went to the first-person view of Richie who saw everyone over him and then his vision faded away. Richie died. I guess???

John’s Thoughts: Santana didn’t “Press X to Jason” enough. This was so bad it was funny. Impact’s resorting to child murder now? By the way, what would have happened if Konnan didn’t conveniently have to cross the street for his mystery gift.

Josh Mathews went into somber Michael Cole mode as creepy ambiance music played in the background when they showed the commentary team. Josh and Don were talking in a somber tone and talked about how the LAX vs. OGz feud have gone beyond wrestling and human decency. Josh Mathews then ran through the ReDefined card to help move on from the death of Richie…

John’s Thoughts: Wait? What! They saw attempted and confirmed murder on their screen! When Lucha Underground does this, the commentary team aren’t aware of the cinematics. Hell, when the “LAPD” found out that Dario Cueto murdered a guy, Dario Cueto had to go to jail for an extended sentence. The on-air (and real life) booker of the Impact show kinda just shrugs off attempted and confirmed murder? Alright.

Sami Callihan made his entrance first. Pentagon Jr. came out next. Josh Mathews said that Pentagon Jr is a “Former Lucha Underground Champion” (but he’s the current on-air Lucha Underground Champion, he defended the title successfully last night against Cage in LU’s also-taped show).

5. Sami Callihan vs. Pentagon Jr. in a Mexican Death Match. Chairs were brought to the ring. Both men had a sword duel with the chairs. They then traded superkicks. Pentagon hit Sami with a Sling Blade to gain the upper hand. Pentagon slowly unzipped Sami’s chest protector and hit him with his signature chest slap which Sami no-sold. Sami didn’t no-sell a second chop. Josh Mathews recapped how this match started out in the Los Angeles PCW promotion where Sami stole one of Pentagon’s masks. Pentagon set up a few chairs and gave Sami an enzuigiri. Sami recovered and gave Pentagon a power bomb through tables that Pentagon set up.

The crowd chanted OVE Sucks. Pentagon blocked a suplex into a table on the outside. Pentagon did his Cero Miedo thing and punched Sami off the apron. Pentagon took out Callihan and himself with a Tope Con Hilo through the table outside. [c]

Pentagon shook some of the piñatas. Pentagon then beat up Sami Callihan with a piñata. Pentagon found a staple gun in one of the piñatas. Sami yelled wait, so he could spit on Pentagon. Sami then became a masochist and asked for Pentagon to stick staples in him. Pentagon obliged and even stapled the dick of Sami. Pentagon stapled the hat to Sami’s head and ripped it off. Sami gave Pentagon a lungblower for a two count. Pentagon found an electric razor in the second Piñata. Sami gave Pentagon a claw to the balls to block Pentagon from shaving his short beard. Sami took time doing his thumb thing which allowed Pentagon to hit Sami with a roundhouse.

Sami tossed a trash can at Pentagon. Sami found his bat in the piñata shaped like a guitar. Sami banged on the trash can over Pentagon. Pentagon escaped and hit Sami a few times with the trash can. Pentagon hit Sami with a running Death Valley Driver. Pentagon found an emoji piñata and found Legos for the classic PWG PG-thumbtack spot. Sami escaped a Fear Factor and gave Pentagon a Fear Factor. Pentagon kicked out at two. Pentagon yelled that Sami’s mother was a “puta” and he punted Sami in the gonads. Pentagon hit Sami with the Fear Factor on the Legos for a nearfall. Pentagon set up a table.

The crowd chanted “we want fire”. I don’t think they were getting fire. Sami recovered and hit Pentagon on the top rope with several piñatas. Pentagon teased the Super Canadian Destroyer from the top rope, but Sami countered into a Super Pile Driver through the table for the win.

Sami Callihan defeated Pentagon Jr. via pinfall in 13:14.

Josh Mathews compared the match finish to a pile driver that Mick Foley would do. Sami celebrated on the top rope with his thumbs up to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: This was an interesting match. I went into it expecting both men to try to exceed their show stealing bloody brawl. I did not expect a PWG Sports Entertainment Lego and piñata match. That said, this was fun. I feel like I should hate it, but Pentagon and Sami made this a fun match. It’s a little bit of levity amongst all the bloody hardcore matches we usually have to watch (last night’s Pentagon vs. Cage match made me disgusted in a bad way due to deplorable chair shots to the head so I needed to watch a fun match like this). I’m super okay with them not raising the bar here because you shouldn’t give away PPV matches on TV. That was always a problem old TNA had. It was also cool to see Sami Callihan pick up a win because he loses more often then you would think

This was a strange episode of Impact Wrestling, but I wouldn’t say it was horrible. Now that Impact has built up credibility for themselves, odd episodes are more forgivable when they are surrounded by good booking and storytelling. So much of this episode was weird though. We got stripper Grado, Kongo Kong in a pool, child murder, piñatas, child murder, jobbers winning, child murder, Moose just returning to no fanfare and more strange things. Some of the strange was funny and I’m more willing to not crap all over this episode since I’m a little more hopeful in this creative team to right the ship as soon as next week, which is their themed show. This creative team has done a stellar job with theme shows (watch them make this one crap somehow but it’s tough to do that when you have Fenix vs. Cage and Rich Swann vs. Petey Williams on the card). Jason Powell will be by later today with his Impact Wrestling Hit List and the members exclusive audio review of this show.




The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ricky Starks on his NWA run, doing enhancement work for WWE, leaving NOLA due to Hurricane Katrina, the January 24 NWA Hard Times PPV on FITE.TV, his relationship with Nick Aldis, and much more...


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