By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling on Pursuit (simulcast on Twitch TV)
Taped January 11-12, 2019 from the Frontón México Entertainment Center in Mexico City, Mexico
A recap aired of last week’s Impact Wrestling episode…
Josh Mathews, who was joined by Don Callis on commentary, welcomed viewers to the Fronton Mexico Entertainment Center for this week’s Impact Wrestling episode…
1. X Division Champion Rich Swann vs. El Hijo Del Vikingo in a non-title match. Josh noted that Vikingo is only 22 years old. Vikingo used the ropes to win the opening chain wrestling sequence. Swann went for a huracanrana but Vikingo landed on his feet. Swann repeated the same counter. Swann and Vikingo then had the traditional cruiserweight stalemate in the next sequence of moves. Vikingo reversed a whip by rebounding off the ropes. Vikingo hit Swann with a spinning roundhouse. Vikingo then hit Swann with a nice slingshot huracanrana.
Vikingo caught Swann with a Tope Con Hilo on the outside. Josh said that there’s a possibility that Swann is distracted from his dealings with Sami Callihan. Swann was in the crowd as he used the steel railing to hit Vikingo with a flip dive. Swann slowed the action down with a body stretch and half crab. Vikingo got to the ropes for the break. Swann locked Vikingo in a unique variation of the Stretch Muffler (there’s a tribute to Sami Callihan). Callis noted that Swann must be catching Vikingo off guard with his slow submission style. Vikingo countered and hit Swann with a roll-through Fisherman Buster for a nearfall.
Vikingo kicked Swann in the sternum with a double kick. Swann recovered and caught Vikingo off the top rope with a standing Frankensteiner. Mathews noted that this is a great wrestling match and how we probably won’t get a “wrestling” match between Kross and Johnny later on. Vikingo hit Swann with a Five-second Ride and got a two count. Callis noted that Vikingo gave a lackadaisical pin attempt which may have cost him the win. Swann went for a small package for a two count. Swann hit Vikingo with a cross kick and Michinoku Driver. Swann hit Vikingo with a second rope 450 for the victory.
Rich Swann defeated El Hijo Del Vikingo via pinfall in 9:14.
Sami Callihan and the Crist Brothers interrupted Rich Swann’s celebration… [c]
John’s Thoughts: Great opening match on Impact as usual, and these matches are typically anchored by Rich Swann. I’m not to familiar with some of these “new generation” AAA wrestlers, but Vikingo looked very impressive here. There’s somebody that people might consider signing. Maybe Paul Levesque could sign Vikingo to become the third War Raider given Ray Rowe’s love for Viking culture.
Callihan congratulated Swann on becoming X Division Champion and for turning his life around. Callihan said it was time for the people in TV world to find out the truth between Swann and Callihan. Callihan said outside of Impact, he and Swann are really close like brothers. Callihan said it was time for Swann to “póntelo” (put it on) and join the OVE family. Swann tried to walk away but Sami and Jake blocked Rich’s way. Callihan brought up how he saved Rich Swann and got him an Impact Wrestling contract. Callihan said if it wasn’t for Callihan’s help, Rich wouldn’t have been able to support his aunt Dora as well as Swann’s sick cousin Israel.
Callihan said they aren’t really Swann’s real family because where were they when Swann was 18 years old and homeless. Callihan said OVE is Swann’s real family and that Swann needs to put on the shirt to join the family. Swann held the shirt and mic. Swann said the shirt may be the right size, but OVE may not be the right fit. Swann shoved the mic and shirt back at Sami and then rolled away. Callihan noted that Swann said now. Callihan yelled “Think about it, Richie!” several times…
Mathews and Callis checked in from the announce table. Josh hyped a future Team Impact vs. Team AAA match on a future episode of Impact. Josh noted that it’s Fallah Bahh, Eddie Edwards, Eli Drake, and Sami Callihan vs. Psycho Clown, Vikingo, Aerostar, and Puma King…
Josh sent it over to Impact’s newest “Broadcast colleague”, Melissa Santos (Lucha Underground’s ring announcer and Brian Cage’s fiancé). Santos interviewed Killer Kross and Moose. Kross talked about how he feels homicidal. Kross said Johnny’s legacy dies tonight. Kross said he noticed that Johnny gets weaker every time they face each other. He said he’s going to choke Johnny out. Melissa asked Kross about his thoughts on Cage. Moose cut in and said he found out from his sources that Cage is having problems getting into the country via customs and immigration. Kross yelled “Johnny! Johnny BOY! Bring a neckbrace! TICK TOCK!!!”. Moose put his hand on his head telling Melissa “Call me”… [c]
An ad aired for Impact Wrestling’s “Brace for Impact” Twitch show…
Melissa Santos interviewed Jordynne Grace and Kiera Hogan. Grace talked about training with Kiera and how they’re ready for whatever Allie and Su Yung can both throw, and spit, at them. Kiera cut a melodramatic promo about Allie being a shell of Kiera’s former best friend. Kiera said she’s ready for their mind games. Melissa tried to ask about Rosemary. Suddenly some filters flashed on the screen. On the Televisions behind Melissa it said, “The Darkness will take you too, this is not your fight. -R”…
2. Taya Valkyrie vs. Keyra in a non-title match. Josh noted that Keyra has earned a full-time contract with AAA since we last saw her on Impact. Keyra blindsided Taya early on. Josh noted that Keyra comes from the shady part of Mexico and is also a Rudo (which is Spanish for “heel”). Taya countered Keyra’s onslaught with a double stomp to the back. Don Callis said Taya has an advantage compared to a lot of Knockouts due to her being used to the high altitude in Mexico. Keyra put Taya in the corner and hit Taya with a shotgun dropkick to the head. Taya hit Keyra with a hammerlock German Suplex. Taya then hit Keyra with her signature running meteora in the corner.
Keyra tripped Taya off the top rope and hit Taya with a backstabber in the Tree of Woe. Taya used her strong base to reverse Keyra with a Northern Lights Suplex. Keyra sidestepped Taya and slapped Taya on the top rope. Keyra did something derogatory that the camera didn’t catch. Taya countered Keyra with a sitout power bomb. Taya hit Keyra with a curb stomp. Taya made Keyra tap out via her submission finisher.
Taya Valkyrie defeated Keyra via submission in 5:35.
Josh Mathews joined Taya in the ring for a post-match interview. Josh asked Taya how she feels about being back in Mexico City. Taya spoke in Spanish. I believe she was talking about being excited that the Wera Loca was back in Mexico. Taya talked about how the Mexican people made Taya who she is today, with a championship on her shoulder. Taya then brought up how Killer Kross ruined her championship celebration with her husband. Taya said Johnny will get his revenge tonight. Taya then mocked Tessa for getting herself suspended. Taya then joked “when they let you come back”, that Taya will be waiting to defend her title. Taya said this extends to every knockout in the locker room. Taya then said “Welcome to the Era of the Wera”… [c]
John’s Thoughts: A good match. Taya got a good audience tonight that seemingly remembers her time in AAA. That said, Taya still doesn’t come off as the most genuine of babyfaces. It won’t be hard, all Impact has to do is produce a documentary vignette for Taya to tell the viewers about her story.
Melissa Santos caught up to Rich Swann backstage. Santos wondered if Sami’s claims about past history was true. Rich said it’s true, but there’s a whole lot more to the story that people don’t know about…
Josh Mathews moved over to the Global Wrestling Network Flashback Match of the Week. It was a young Jack Evans (there’s a free agent Impact should be looking at to sign) vs. the late Hector Garza. Time to fast forward. They aired about eight minutes of the match…
It was time for this week’s Rascalz ode to That ’70s Show. Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz mocked Trey Miguel for losing to Rich Swann after Trey made fun of them for losing to Lucha Brothers. They continued to make lame jokes with Zachary doing his best Michael Kelso impersonation. They hyped their tag team match against Desi Hit Squad later on… [c]
An ad aired of Impact Wrestling’s tapings in Las Vegas at the Sam’s Town Casino February 15-17…
A Scarlett Bordeaux training video aired. Since it’s Scarlett, she was wearing barely any clothes and emphasizing the T&A aspects of her body. We got the return of her man-servant Bobo who assisted her in her workout. Scarlett wanted some food, so Bobo gave her a banana which Scarlett shoved down her throat in a suggestive way. A graphic flashed on the screen saying that Scarlett Bordeaux’s in-ring debut will happen “In 3 Weeks”…
John’s Thoughts: Okay, as much as her talent search was a waste of time, I do like that Impact is making her in-ring debut a special event. Not to mention, Bobo’s back!
Gama Singh was in the ring cutting his usual boring ass promo to introduce the Desi Hit Squad. Josh said Gama must be public enemy number one for almost canceling the Scarlett Bordeaux strip show. Callis said Gama’s a fence builder and nobody likes a fence builder.
3. “The Desi Hit Squad” Rohit Raju and Raj Singh vs. “The Rascalz” Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz. Trey Miguel headed to the back to prepare for his match. Raj and Dez started off the match. Raj dominated Dez with his power strikes. Dez used his agility to sidestep Raj. Dez hit Raj with some CQC and a dropkick. Wentz got the blind tag in. Dez set Raj up for a Bronco Buster from Wentz. Raj dodged a standing moonsault to get the tag to Rohit. Rohit hit Wentz with a forearm while also mocking the Raszalz pose. Wentz hit Raj with a corkscrew crossbody press.
Raj caught Wentz during a handstand to allow Rohit to hit Wentz with a dropkick. The DHS cut the ring in half on Wentz with quick tags. Raj got a cheap shot on Dez to anger Dez. This allowed Rohit to get a double stomp in on Wentz while Raj was the legal man. Wentz took down Raj with a high knee. Dezmond made the hot tag. Dez used a dropkick to bounce off the back of Raj. The Rascalz then kicked down Rohit Raju. Wentz hit both opponents with a dive to the outside off the back of Dezmond. DHS hit Dezmond with a tandem wheelbarrow DDT. Wentz pulled Dezmond down so they can use kicks to knock down Raj. The Rascalz then hit Raj with their push moonsault finisher for the win.
The Rascalz defeated The Desi Hit Squad via pinfall in 6:51.
Josh quickly sent it over to Melissa Santos who interviewed Johnny Impact. Melissa asked Johnny for his thoughts on his main event match. Johnny tried to force tears out. He said seeing Taya come back made him think that Taya is a badass and tough woman. Johnny said it also reminded Johnny about how much he wants to get his hands on Killer Kross for putting Taya in a hospital (despite Taya essentially just falling on a mosh pit). Johnny said people will talk about Kross through his skill and MMA ability. Johnny said what people should think about Kross is how Kross is a piece of human garbage. Melissa asked Johnny about Cage. Johnny said he’s not here to talk about Cage because he’s focused on Kross. Melissa said that Johnny has to contend with Moose in the main event too. Johnny said he prefers Moose at ringside so Moose can’t sneak attack Johnny from behind. Johnny said it was time to take human garbage to the “Slamtown dump”… [c]
John’s Thoughts: That was an awkward promo. Part of what hurt it is Taya’s injury not seeming at all realistic. Tessa Blanchard has done way worse to Taya than what Killer Kross did to her. Johnny going into awkward acting mode didn’t help either.
The show cut over to the latest LAX clubhouse scene. Ortiz talked about how he was excited to hear back from “Peaches” (The stripper from Homicide’s strip club). Konnan brought up what Ortiz yelled at Lucha Brothers last week. Konnan said it’s stuff like that which can end a good friendship. Konnan said he may be tripping. Konnan said he’s setting up a trios match with Lucha Brothers vs. LAX where they will team up with Taurus and Daga… [c]
4. “All Ego” Ethan Page vs. Trey Miguel. The match was joined already in progress. Trey caught Page with a headscissors. Ethan caught Trey outside with a roundhouse. Trey came back with a Tiger Feint Kick. Trey then hit Page with an Asai Moonsault. Page caught Trey flying and then hit him with a side slam and backdrop slam. Page used a Power Irish Whip to set up for a nearfall on Trey. Page gave Trey a snake eyes on the top rope. Trey fought out of a headlock and then used a Matrix dodge to hit a Pele Kick on Page. Page came back with a lariat. Trey used a scorpion kick to set up for a neckbreaker on Page.
Trey caught Page with a 619 and split leg moonsault. Page flipped out of the corner and hit Trey with a high angle suplex. Trey trapped Page on the top rope and hit him with another 619. Trey hit Page with Cross Rhodes for the victory.
Trey Miguel defeated Ethan Page via pinfall in 6:46.
John’s Thoughts: An okay match but nothing special. Page got a win last week, but the win was more about Eddie Edwards than anything. It looks like he might be put in that “jobber to the stars” role now. We’ll see. It’s also interesting seeing Impact utilizing Trey Miguel in singles matches when out of the three Rascalz, Dezmond Xavier has been the most impressive in terms of singles ability.
Johnny Impact and Killer Kross were shown in two different places backstage shadow boxing in preparation for their match later in the show… [c]
A replay aired of Eli Drake’s post-match promo last week where he called out Eddie Edwards for being unsuccessful after becoming a Tommy Dreamer tribute…
Eli Drake found Eddie Edwards backstage. Drake talked about the Impact vs. AAA for the world cup. Drake said the old Eddie is what Impact needs to win. Eddie said he doesn’t like what Drake is doing. Drake said he set up a preparation match next week. Drake set up Eddie Edwards and Eli Drake vs. The Rascalz…
Josh Mathews noted that the Rascalz went 2-0 on this episode. Josh then advertise Lucha Bros and Taurus vs. LAX and Daga. He also advertised Kiera Hogan and Jordynne Grace vs. Su Yung and Dark Allie. The last match advertised is Psycho Clown vs. Fallah Bahh…
5. Johnny Impact vs. Killer Kross (w/Moose) for the Impact World Championship. Josh wondered if this was going to be a wrestling match or a brawl. Johnny got a lot of cheers from the fans. Kross started off the match with low kicks. Johnny responded to a shoulder block with a kip up into a forearm. Kross got into full mount on Johnny. Kross rained down forearms onto the head of Johnny. Kross blocked a Moonlight Drive but Johnny countered into a leg drop. Kross dodged an Impact elbow and hit Johnny with a high knee. Johnny reversed a power bomb with a huracanrana. Johnny used his signature parkour dodges in the corner. Johnny kicked Moose several times to keep him at bay but that allowed Kross to take advantage. [c]
Johnny was hanging from the bottom rope. Kross hit Johnny with a running elbow. Kross hit Johnny with a low roundhouse to the chest. Callis noted that Kross has calluses on his hands which add some stiffness to Kross’s strikes. Kross blocked a tornado DDT with a back throw. Kross locked in a cobra clutch on Johnny but Johnny got the hand in the way to block the full hold. Johnny and Kross traded strong style punches with Johnny coming out on top. Johnny gained the upper hand with kicks topped off with the Flying Chuck. Kross throat punched Johnny and then hit a few strikes on Johnny in the corner. After a suplex, Kross hit Johnny with a running lariat for a two count.
Kross went for the Kross Jacket but John made sure to get his hands locked. Kross converted the hold into a knee bar. Moose pulled back the rope, but the referee saw it and got Moose to stop. Johnny got to the bottom rope for the break. Johnny trapped Kross in the ropes and hit Kross with the sliding German Suplex. Kross blocked a Starship Pain attempt with a rollup. Johnny came back with a knee. Kross blocked another Starship Pain with a clubbing blow. Johnny caught Kross with a slingshot spear. Kross got his foot on the bottom rope. Johnny crashed and burned on a Starship Pain attempt. This allowed Kross to get the Kross Jacket in. Brian Cage entered the ring and attacked both men with a lariat for the DQ.
Johnny Impact vs. Killer Kross ended in an apparent no contest in 11:15.
Cage hit Moose with an F5. Kross hit Cage with a Doomsday Saito, which Cage no-sold and returned with a Tornado Claw. Johnny tried to give Cage a kick, but Cage responded with a lariat. Moose and Kross tried to double team Cage but Johnny got involved to even the odds. The babyface duo of Johnny and Cage sent the heels packing. Johnny and Cage then faced off in the ring. The child referee handed Johnny the title which Johnny used to pie face Cage. Johnny’s theme played to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: A solid main event that could have gone a few more gears if given more time. This wasn’t as compelling as Johnny and Kross’s match a few weeks ago with the no-DQ stipulation. The story here was Cage’s telegraphed “surprise” which made sense. It’s cool to see Impact try to continue to heat up Cage after Cage’s first successful stint with the fans in Nashville. Because of Johnny’s cheesy fake crying, I’m assuming they’re dropping the angle of Kross trying to turn Johnny to the dark side? I hope they don’t turn Cage because Cage is finally clicking.
Overall, another good week of Impact Wrestling. Impact figured out that showing “GWN Match of the Week” matches was driving away twitch viewers, so since last week they decided to fill in the commercials with Josh Mathews and Don Callis providing post-match commentary. I still pretty much ignored it, but it’s better than vintage TNA footage.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and Will Pruett preview the WWE Royal Rumble and NXT Takeover: Phoenix events.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Allysin Kay discussing Friday's NWA Hard Times PPV on FITE.TV, Melina dropping an unexpected f-bomb on NWA Powerrr, the WWE Mae Young Classic experience, her time as Sienna in Impact Wrestling, working in Japan, the Tessa Blanchard controversy, and more...