By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Austin Aries vs. Johnny Impact for the Impact World Championship: Since the point of reference to this match is the build to Aries vs. Moose at Slammiversary, the build to this world title bout has been mediocre by comparison. Moose shined in the documentary setting and the biting words of Aries made Moose sympathetic. This build has been both rushed and underwhelming. Johnny didn’t even win a number one contenders match to get here. Right before announcing that he was “awarded” a title shot, he beat up Jimmy Jacobs once and threw Kongo Kong in a pool. I’m already putting in way more analysis than I should.
I really want to choose Aries to win this match because it’s way too soon to put the belt on Johnny, but the lack of any more upcoming pay-per-views has me picking Johnny Impact to win. I’ll go with Johnny and fingers crossed that the company finds a way to use Johnny’s title reign to fix his flaws as a character. Again, I hope Aries retains, but “Survivor” tells me Johnny wins. There is a 35% chance in my opinion that Aries retains. That’s if my long term prediction holds true that Brian Cage will cash in his “Option C” on the inventor of Option C. I just hope that comes true because Johnny is just not ready to be the company centerpiece and Austin Aries has been an MVP as world champion.
Prediction: Johnny Impact defeats Austin Aries via pinfall to become the new Impact World Champion. – 75%
Hope: Aries retains if they are thinking of having Brian Cage cash in his “Option C” at the impact tapings – 35%
The Latin American XChange vs. The OGz in a Concrete Jungle Match: Impact has been through many ups and downs over the past two years and the “safety blanket” of Impact, where you can count on an adequate to good match every time, has been LAX and their cinematic universe. Impact’s cinematic universe has sucked due to poor production and acting. The build to this match, while stumbling with attempted child murder and mafia cosplay, has been amazing due to the eloquent promo exchanges between Konnan and Eddie Kingston. The in-ring shouldn’t be half bad too. Santana and Ortiz are one of the top tag teams in the world. Homicide is extremely reliable as a bump taker.
Hernandez really surprised me recently where despite being out of shape (which for some reason Matt Striker wouldn’t stop reminding the viewers on commentary), Hernandez put on a really credible world title match against Pentagon Jr. in Lucha Underground. Even if Hernandez isn’t in shape, I really commend the guy for putting in a lot of effort. The booking says LAX wins here. If the OGz were younger, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them win because the LAX have lost almost every single encounter leading up to this. To keep things feel good, I’m going to predict that our good ol’ homeboy “Richie” shows up to either run Kingston over with a tricycle or bang him over the head with a slap jack because Richie is freakin’ hardcore.
Prediction: LAX defeats the OGz with help from good ol’ Richie
Tessa Blanchard vs. Taya Valkyrie for the Knockouts Championship: Talk about forced. The setup of this match was worse than the main event setup. Johnny was apparently rewarded for throwing Kongo Kong in a pool so he at least did something? Taya hasn’t been on TV since April and is suddenly a babyface for no apparent reason. Taya said Tessa is a bully and entitled, but what makes that odd is Taya is also a bully and an entitled self-dubbed “Queen”. Tessa has been wrestling filler matches the past few weeks because Taya isn’t able to make non-US television dates. As random and as empty as this feud has been, this should be a slobberknocker to use a JR term. Even though there is no hardcore match designation, both women work very stiff. I’m afraid we might get some bloody faces and broken teeth here (which reminds me of Taya Valkyrie vs. Faby Apache a few years ago when AAA made Taya their top female star). Tessa better win here. If Taya wins, all it does is make the main event inconsequential because of “Survivor”.
Prediction: Tessa Blanchard defeats Taya Valkyrie via pinfall to retain the Impact Knockouts Championship.
OVE vs. Pentagon Jr, Fenix, and Brian Cage: I’ll give Impact some credit here. At least they put a ton of time into building this feud. The build hasn’t been bad either. The oddest this here is why relegate all of your most talented wrestlers in a match with no stakes? Why stick four Lucha Underground wrestlers in one match? Why put the X Division on ice? I feel bad for OVE. These guys lose a lot, and they’re probably going to lose here unless they want to set up Cage vs. Jericho or something. I’ll go with the Lucha Underground trio going over. Sami’s teflon. He’ll get his heat back the next day at the tapings.
Pentagon Jr, Fenix, and Brian Cage defeat OVE via pinfall after Cage pins Sami.
Eddie Edwards vs. Moose: Moose “Money” has to go over right. He was the dumbest and lamest babyface in the history of babyfaces. So you would think that Moose is in rebuild mode and should pick up some steam, right? Hopefully Moose doesn’t start rubbing his crotch during another match.
Prediction: Moose defeats Eddie Edwards via pinfall.
Rich Swann and Willie Mack vs. Matt Sydal and Ethan Page: I really like the potential that a Swann and Mack team has. That team just oozes charisma, confidence, and agility. Sydal and Page are great in their own right but Sydal’s third eye gimmick sucks. Josh Mathews pointed out on commentary how this whole gimmick was botched at the get go. This is another “hope” where I hope they don’t give Page the win to stretch this feud out. Just have Sydal take the loss. Mack and Swann can be established from this and we might get Mack picking up the win by hitting Sydal with the Stone Cold Stunner.
Prediction: Rich Swann and Willie Mack defeat Matt Sydal and Ethan Page via pinfall.
Eli Drake vs. a New Yorker: First thing I thought of was Tommy Dreamer, because every TNA surprise was Tommy Dreamer. I did also guess Bully Ray, but why bring in Bully for a random comedy one-off. The running prediction for this one is Chris Jericho. What has be a bit baffled is why are people so excited to see WWE guy Chris Jericho do a guest appearance in Impact? Another guess I saw on twitter is Big Cass. Oh no! Please don’t be Enzo Amore! Hell naw! F that S! I’ll stick with Jericho because Eli Drake might get some rub from it and hopefully the one-off leads to a face turn for Drake.
Prediction: Chris Jericho shows up to beat Drake
Allie vs. Su Yung in the Undead Realm: This has some sort of train wreck allure to it. Su Yung is going to lose again. She always loses. She’ll probably lose here because Kiera Hogan’s “soul” is on the line. By the way, if Madison Rayne is currently stuck in “hell”, are we saying that Ring of Honor is “Hell” by that logic? Maybe this isn’t even a match. I can’t wait. This is either going to be hilarious or nausea inducing.
Prediction: Somehow, Kiera Hogan lives!
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Chris Harrington.