2/15 Moore’s Impact Wrestling TV Review: The “Uncaged” themed episode, Johnny Impact vs. Brian Cage vs. Killer Kross vs. Moose for the Impact World Championship, Taya Valkyrie vs. Tessa Blanchard in a street fight for the Impact Knockouts Championship, Team Impact vs. Team AAA for the Impact World Cup

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

Impact Wrestling started off with a hype video narrated by Josh Mathews which hyped up the Impact Wrestling “Uncaged” card. The Impact Wrestling theme aired…

Josh Mathews and Don Callis were on commentary…

Inside of the ring there was a black table with the words “Wera Loca vs. [picture of a diamond]”. Tessa Blanchard made her entrance wearing denim jeans and a casual tank top to match the “Street Fight” theme. Don Callis noted that Tessa was wearing a Four Horsemen shirt that was actually worn by Tully who wore it in a street fight before. Tessa held out the Four Horsemen hand sign before the match. Callis wondered if Tully gave Tessa some tricks to use in this match. Taya made her entrance also in more casual gear than usual. She wore a “Los Perros Del Mal” t-shirt which I’m assuming is in honor of her late mentor and stablemate Perro Aguayo Jr. who was the leader of the Perros Del Mal stable in AAA. Taya also had Ultimate Warrior like (?) warpaint on her face…

1. Tessa Blanchard vs. Taya Valkyrie in a street fight for the Impact Knockouts Championship. Tessa tried to hit Taya with a steel chair during Taya’s entrance but missed wildly. As with every match last week, of course the referee would ring the bell during a blind attack. Taya managed to get the ground and pound on Taya at the top of the ramp. Callis said he thinks this is Tessa’s first street fight and he knows that this isn’t Taya’s first.

Tessa gained the advantage when the action made its way to the ring. Taya countered Tessa with a German Suplex. Taya gave Tessa a few kicks to the spine for a nearfall. Taya threw Tessa outside. Taya went for a suicide dive, but Tessa hit Taya with what looked like an unprotected chairshot to the head to block the Tope, but I think Taya might have gotten an elbow up. Tessa mocked Taya’s “long live the Wera Loca” catchphrase in Taya’s face. Tessa threw a chair at Taya’s head and then followed up with a darting dropkick to Taya’s head against the guard railing.

Taya countered and hit Tessa in the shoulder blade with a giant baking pan. Tessa backdropped Taya into the crowd. Taya hit Tessa with a cup of beer. Tess countered with a roundhouse to Taya who tried to jump from the railing. Tessa threatened to hit a fan with a steel chair (nice touch!). Tessa wrapped the chair around Taya’s neck and then rammed the chair into the ringpost. Josh noted that Moose did that to Taya’s husband once.

Tessa strangled Taya with an electrical cable. Tessa ripped off Taya’s shirt (luckily, she was wearing a sports bra underneath). A few fans cheered this at first until they figured out that Tessa was disrespecting the dead. Tessa spat on the Perro Aguayo shirt several times, threw it on the ground, and stomped on it. This drew boos from the crowd. Josh Mathews finally brought up the history behind Perros Del Mal and Perro Aguayo. Tessa brought in more chairs in the ring which allowed Taya to recover.

Taya rallied against Tessa. Taya hit Tessa with her signature corner meteora. Taya put a baking sheet on Tessa’s leg and hit a steel chair into it. Taya went for the Road to Valhalla, but Tessa countered into a STO. Tessa stomped a chair into Taya’s shoulder. Tessa spent more time tossing in more chairs in the ring. Tessa tried to go high risk, but Taya tossed a chair at Tessa. Taya hit Tessa with a Super Samoan Drop but Callis noted that it hurt Taya worse because Taya fell on a chair. [c]

John’s Thoughts: Strong stuff so far. I really didn’t want to see a commercial break here. Good things for both women, but it would have been good of Impact to have ran video packages that told people why Taya is currently a walking tribute to the late Perro Aguayo, at least I think she is?

Taya and Tessa traded forearms with Taya doing the Ultimate Warrior rope grab. Taya and Tessa then set up chairs, so they can do their strong style chest slaps while sitting down, unique spot. Taya grabbed her chair and booted it into the head of Tessa. Tessa countered Taya and speared her at the Wera Loca table. Sadly, as is the case with a lot of hardcore matches, the table didn’t break (I am the table!). The crowd chanted “Otra!” (again/another!). Tessa got up and yelled “Screw You Wera!”. Tessa repeated the spot, and again the table couldn’t break. In fact, it pushed both women back.

Tessa dragged out a table from under the ring, that hopefully would break. The Mexican fans chanted “we want tables”. Tessa put Taya’s head on the table and went high risk. Taya recovered and pushed Tessa to ringside. Taya hit Tessa with a crossbody. Taya hit Tessa with a knee. Tessa fell on the table, but the table’s legs fell aside because Tessa didn’t lock the legs earlier (I noticed that earlier and knew something like this would happen). Thankfully the rope propped up the table. Taya hit Tessa with a double stomp and this table was a table that broke. Taya won via pinall.

Taya Valkyrie defeated Tessa Blanchard via pinfall in 14:29.

Taya Valkyrie got a huge reaction from the Mexican crowd. Taya pointed to the air to honor Perro Aguayo, I assume… [c]

John’s Thoughts: A really good match that Impact could have sold as the main event of the show (but I understand that it would be tough in selling the show due to Taya’s lack of characterization to U.S. viewers). This was well worked by both women. Taya has done a ton of these matches in Lucha Underground and AAA, which Josh noted so she’s used to this. Tessa is not only good at the wrestling, but also at the little things like disrespecting the dead by spitting on the Perro Aguayo shirt or threatening to hit a fan with a steel chair. Good match from the women and we ended up getting two good (and fairly safe) hardcore matches in pro wrestling this week with this one and the Noam Dar vs. Tony Nese one. Given how there’s four men in the main event to muck things up, it would be tough for the main event to top this match.

Josh Mathews and Don Callis checked in from the announce table in Mexico. Josh said the previous match was violent. Callis said he thought it was more so disturbing…

Josh Mathews sent things over to the Global Wrestling Network Flashback Match of the Week. This was “Team Impact” EC3, Eddie Edwards, and James storm vs. “Team AAA” El Hijo Del Fantasma, Pagano, and El Texano Jr. in a trios match from Bound for Glory 2017. If I remember correctly, this was that match where Pagano really looked like he didn’t want to be there because he was so out of it. I fast forwarded through about six minutes and James Storm won after hitting Pagano with a Last Call…

Melissa Santos interviewed Team Impact 2019 which consisted of Fallah Bahh, Sami Callihan, Eli Drake, and Eddie Edwards. Sami took the mic from Melissa Santos and started his promo with Eli Drake’s “let me talk to ya” catchphrase. Sami said he was appointing himself as team captain because he’s Impact’s 2018 Wrestler of the Year. Fallah Bahh interrupted by leaning on Callihan’s shoulder and saying “Bahh” as he usually does. Callihan told Bahh to stop it because he can’t understand what Bahh is saying. Callihan started to bicker with Bahh and Edwards. Drake calmed things down and said that there was a cup and money on the line.

Callihan said he’s doing this solely for the money because he’s a maniac for hire. Callihan said he had to head somewhere else now to take care of business. Drake took control of the promo and went into Dwayne Johnson mode. Drake said Bahh can roll his keester over the AAA guys. Drake called Sami a violent troll that can help the team. Drake said there was a little time left for Eddie Edwards to drop the denim jeans and “kenny” act because the old Eddie Edwards is what’s going to help Impact win. Drake said AAA can’t Lucha like Impact can Lucha and that is just a fact of life… [c]

Josh Mathews ran through some upcoming Impact Twitch “One Night Only” collaborations with Rockstar Pro (Sami Callihan’s promotion) and OVW (currently Al Snow’s promotion)…

2. Willie Mack vs. “All Ego” Ethan Page. The ring announcer said Mack’s nickname was “El Chocolate Caliente” which translates to “The hot chocolate”. Josh noted that Mack is a fun-loving kind of guy. Callis noted that Mack is a high flyer that defies gravity despite being 280 plus pounds. Hey, in a different move, the match started off normally without a blindside attack! The crowd chanted “Willie” to start. Page dominated Mack with right hands. Mack taunted Page and stopped him in his tracks by doing some leg exercises from a handstand on the top rope.

Mack hit Page with the Flying Jalapeño. Mack then put Page in the corner and landed a titty twister on him (yep, he did that on him). Callis noted that is a pain that everyone at home can relate to. Page countered and hit Mack with a running suplex. Page went into the ground and pound on Mack. Callis reiterated that Page is a black belt at Tae Kwon Do (Which Callis hilariously pronounces as “Tie Cuando” with Kwon Do as one word). Mack regained control after a suplex. Page blocked Mack’s offense with several boots. Page hit Mack with a top rope enzuigiri.

Mack eluded Page and hit Page with a forearm and running boot in the corner. Mack hit Page with his signature imploding cannonball. Mack hit Page with a Samoan Drop, kip up, and standing moonsault for a nearfall. Page blocked Mack’s Stone Cold Stunner. Page hit Mack with a brainbuster for a two count. Mack blocked a Page uranage several times. Mack hit Page with the Stone Cold Stunner for the victory (If I remember correctly, Steve Austin did give Mack his blessing because in LU Mack became a Steve Austin tribute).

Willie Mack defeated Ethan Page via pinfall in 6:01.

John’s Thoughts: A good enhancement win for Mack who could use some in-ring cred after losing a lot of matches early in his Impact run. Sometime down the road, Impact has a PPV main event on their hands if they ever decide to go with Willie Mack vs. Brian Cage because Cage and Mack tour the indie scene with that really good match. Anyway, good match. Sadly, for Ethan Page, it looks like that with Matt Sydal leaving the company he’s down on the card with Rohit Raju as Impact’s designated enhancement wrestler. At least the silver lining behind that is that the “Third Eye crap” (to quote Rich Swann) is dead and buried.

After the match, the show cut to Kevin Kross cutting a promo in an undisclosed location. Kross started his promo by saying “Hello John, you’re going to need a miracle to get out of this one tonight”. Kross said that the upcoming match seems like a three-on-one handicap match against Johnny. Kross also reiterated the point that Rafael Morffi did last week that all three of Johnny’s opponents technically beat Johnny. Kross said that Johnny better focus because when the mind wanders it makes you more susceptible to being assaulted. Kross said he will advance, attack, and annihilate. Kross ended the promo with his catchphrase “everybody pays the toll”.

After Kross’s the promo, the camera didn’t cut off. Instead it showed Willie Mack entering presumably a locker room or bathroom. Jake and Dave Crist were shown creeping around like creepers as they quietly followed Mack into the room… [c]

John’s Thoughts: More good and rhetorical stuff from Killer Kross. In Impact’s case, Thank God for those suffocating Lucha Underground contracts because it gave them the gift of this guy? I like how his promos are different than your usual wrestling promos in terms of content and production. It makes him stand out. I also liked the seamless transition of the camera over to what I assume is Willie Mack getting mugged by the Crist Brothers.

Melissa Santos interviewed Team AAA which consisted of Aerostar, Puma King, Psycho Clown, and El Hijo Del Vikingo. Vikingo had some sort of AAA championship with him (I don’t follow AAA too much these days. I do know that Fenix beat Jeff Jarrett for their world championship at least). Melissa Santos interviewed them in Spanish and Impact provided viewers with subtitles (Thank God! Other wrestling companies should take note of this especially WWE and New Japan). Psycho Clown took control of the interview and talked about how AAA is coming for Impact wrestling. Psycho said that Impact is very prestigious. Psycho said they are going for the cup and AAA will be at it’s best at their home turf because “we are clowns” (I guess that’s his catchphrase?).

A strange kitty noise came out of Puma King’s mouth as he took control of the interview. He said AAA was fighting for pride, AAA, the Mexican Flag, and the cup. Psycho ended the promo by saying “Arriba Mexico! Arriba Lucha Libre! Y Arriba AAA!”. Puma King made his strange cat noise at the camera to end the segment…

John’s Thoughts: Well, at least Psycho Clown is excited for this match because sadly this the most random of random pointless matches. This was no long standing feud. They put this thing together a few weeks ago. To quote McKenzie Mitchell and her description for matches like this, this is a “relatively random” match.

Sami Callihan made his entrance to give some exposition on his history with Rich Swann. He said he was here to talk directly to “Richard Swann”. Callihan noted that he and Swann are like brothers and family. Callihan said there are two sides to every story and what Swann said in his interview a few weeks ago is “fake news”. Callihan noted that Swann keeps turning down his OVE shirt every week. Callihan yelled at the crowd to “Callate!” (shut up) and let him speak. Callihan then told Swann to accept his last offer to join “Ohio vs. Everything” if they were truly friends. Rich Swann made his entrance wearing his street clothes and acting more seriously.

John’s Thoughts: Quick side note, it was cool to see Rich Swann look serious and not dance his way to the ring for once (even though it’s good at hyping up crowds). I think that was the first time I’ve seen him truly look like a professional champion.

Callihan said that Rich can do this the easy way or the hard way. Callihan threw the shirt at the second rope for Rich to pick up. Rich quickly picked it up and tossed it back at Callihan. Callihan said Rich would wish he never did that. Callihan ended his “no-contact” stint with Swann and hit Swann with the microphone several times. Mathews said Callihan is a sadistic SOB. Callis compared “Ohio vs. Everything” to a bike gang cult. Swann eluded Callihan’s pile driver and sent Callihan into retreat after landing a few spinning strikes on Callihan.

Rich Swann caught Sami outside with a Golden Triangle Phoenix Splash. Swann had the upper hand over Callihan for a bit but Callihan regained control after a thumb to Swann’s eye. Sami Callihan gave Rich Swann a pile driver on the stage. The referee brigade ran out to check on Swann and send Callihan to the back. Callihan didn’t listen and tossed Rich Swann into a table at the lower levels. Callihan then entered the ring presumably to wait for his World Cup match… [c]

John’s Thoughts: Great stuff from Callihan and Swann here. It’s cool to see Callihan in a meaningful program after a few forgettable programs. It was also different and cool to see Rich Swann take things more seriously for once instead of dancing all of the time. What I really liked was the attention to detail as to the absence of Willie Mack. They showed that Jake and Dave Crist prevented Mack from saving his buddy Rich. Impact needs more attention to detail like this across the board. Lack of attention to detail and illogical moments is one of the factors that drove people away (which things like the Undead Realm emphasize).

There was an actual trophy at ringside. The trophy had tassels attached to it in the colors of the Mexican and USA flags…

John’s Thoughts: By the way, is it really a “World Cup” when the only countries represented are Mexico and the U.S.? Can’t they call it the “North American Cup”. Impact did a better job with the “World Cup” concept back in 2017 under Jeff Jarrett where that creative team had a tournament, many countries represented, and promos which gave it a sports-like feel. Those promos also characterized the foreign wrestlers. Aside from Aerostar, the other three AAA wrestlers are just three random and somewhat goofy guys (though Vikingo is really good in the ring).

Fallah Bahh made his entrance first to a strong ovation from the Mexican crowd. Callihan tried to psych up Bahh to act more seriously but Bahh just yelled “Bahh” at Callihan to scare Callihan off. Eli Drake made his entrance and Josh noted that Drake calls himself “the last of a dying breed”. Drake went to ringside to try to keep the peace between Bahh and Callihan.

Team AAA came out all together with a generic AAA video wall. Aerostar was firing his aerosol flamethrower all over the place (as I noted before, Aerostar once accidentally set the ring on fire at a taping I was at). Josh recapped how we’ve seen Aerostar and Vikingo on Impact several times before. Josh said that Puma King just returned from the Japanese DDT Promotion (The comedy promotion where Kota Ibushi and Kenny Omega used to wrestle blow up dolls. This was also the promotion where Joey Ryan’s penis thing was born). Josh Mathews said that Psycho Clown was the face of AAA…

3. “Team Impact” Sami Callihan, Fallah Bahh, Eli Drake, and Eddie Edwards vs. “Team AAA” Aerostar, Psycho Clown, Puma King, and El Hijo Del Vikingo in an elimination match for a random trophy. Josh said that AAA came out united while Impact lacks the unity. Callis noted that the reason that Eddie Edwards is crazy is because Callihan once almost took away Edwards’ eye. Psycho and Callihan started off the match. Callihan hit Psycho with a few lariats while Psycho came back with a crossbody and corner lariats. Psycho hit Callihan with a power slam for a two counts.

John’s Thoughts: Last time I was following AAA, I remember them trying to force feed Psycho Clown down everybody throats and it wasn’t working so well because his matches were a bit clumsy and the clown thing is just goofy. He was also a bit out of shape. Looking at him now, he looks to be in better shape and looks better in the ring. Good for him.

Aerostar tagged in and hit Callihan with a pop up dropkick. Josh Mathews said he thinks that Callihan won wrestler of the year because everybody from Ohio voted for Callihan. Aerostar hit Callihan with a nice corkscrew lariat from the top rope. Aerostar hit a tightrope codebreaker on Callihan. Callihan gave Aerostar a wheelbarrow snake eyes which allowed him to tag Drake in. Drake hit Aerostar with an inverse power slam. Aerostar tagged in Vikingo. Vikingo reversed Drake’s powerslam with a DDT. Eddie Edwards tagged in. Vikingo hit Edwards with a huracanrana.

Edwards took down Vikingo with an axe handle strike. Vikingo came back with a corkscrew roundhouse. Puma King tagged in and hit a few high flying moves on Edwards. King hit Edwards with a delayed vertical suplex. Edwards caught King with an Enzuigiri and backpack stunner. Edwards tagged in Fallah Bahh. Bahh stopped King in his tracks and did the Dikembe Mutombo “no no no” finger wag. Bahh did some lucha libre dodges which Callis noted was impressive. Bahh hit King with a belly-to-belly. Josh said there was a Puma and a Panda in the ring. Bahh hit King with the Steamroller.

Callihan tagged in and Bahh tried to encourage Sami to play the KM role in hitting King with the body steamroller move. Callihan told Bahh “no no no”. Callihan locked King in a leg trap headlock. The AAA guys ran in to break things up. AAA and Impact stood face-to-face to initiate the traditional indie punch brawl between teams. AAA cleared Impact from the ring. Callihan and Drake clubbed AAA in the back of their heads while they were prematurely celebrating. Callihan missed a baseball slide. Psycho hit Callihan and Bahh with a flip dive.

King hit the pile of people on the outside with a crossbody. Aerostar hit the pile of humanity with a springboard crossbody. Bahh teased a dive to the outside but instead put the brakes on and then hit a more tame crossbody from the ring apron on the pile of people outside. Vikingo hit a cool looking tightrope 054 (imploding 450) on the pile of wrestlers. Drake joined the party and hit Vikingo with a power slam on top of the pile of wrestlers. The crowd chanted “Este Lucha!” (this is Wrestling). Eddie Edwards prevented Eli Drake from using “Kenny. Puma King took advantage by rolling up Eli Drake for the elimination. [c]

Callihan slammed Puma King to the ground. He tagged in Bahh and he yelled Bahh “get in there Fatty!”. Bahh lifted Callihan and body slammed Callihan on King. King blocked a Samoan Drop and hit Bahh with a superkick. Josh pointed out that Bahh wrestles barefoot. Vikingo tagged in and took out Edwards and Callihan with a shotgun dropkick. Vikingo hit Bahh with a huracanrana into the second turnbuckle. Vikingo caught Callihan with a long distance slingshot codebreaker. Vikingo tripped Edwards and hit Edwards with a corner meteora.

Vikingo celebrated but Fallah Bahh shadowed him from behind. When Vikingo turned around he received the Dikembe Mutombo finger wag from Bahh. Vikingo tried to chop down the tree with low kicks. He managed to stagger Bahh in the corner. Bahh used his weight to block a whip. Viking hit a few tiger feint kicks on Bahh. Bahh caught a flying Vikingo and hit him with a power slam for the elimination.

John’s Thoughts: Good run for Vikingo. Any wrestling promotion, including Impact Wrestling, should try to sign this guy to an exclusive contract. He’s not on Lucha Underground so you don’t have to worry about any legal mess.

Aerostar hit Bahh with a missile dropkick but couldn’t get Bahh off his feet. Aerostar went for a few more and still couldn’t get him down. Bahh took down Aerostar with a crossbody. Aerostar avoided a Banzai Drop and rolled up Bahh with a crucifix pin for the elimination. Bahh has been eliminated.

Callihan quickly entered the ring to pummel Aerostar and Aerostar’s glowing battery-powered face. Callihan tagged in Eddie Edwards and the two started to attack each other. Edwards gave Callihan a knife edge chop. Aerostar took advantage of this by hitting Edwards with a rebound cutter. Edwards dodged a slingshot move from Aerostar. Edwards hit Aerostar with the Boston Knee Party for the elimination.

Puma did the Spiderman catch on the ropes. King hit Callihan with a side slam for a two count. Callihan caught King in the corner with a power bomb and high knee. Callihan hit Puma King with the pile driver for the pinfall elimination.

Josh said it was two vs. one in favor of Impact. Psycho Clown fended off the Impact guys with strikes. Callihan hit Psycho with a chest chop. Edwards hit Psycho with a Boston Knee Party. Sami shoved Edwards out of the way and tried to steal the victory. Psycho Clown kicked out. Callis said that the extra few seconds allowed Psycho clown to recover. Psycho Clown rolled up Callihan for the elimination. Callihan has been eliminated.

Callis said that it was a battle between two psychos. Psycho Clown hit Eddie Edwards with a nice looking suicide dive near the ringpost. Eddie reversed Psycho Clown and hit Psycho with a Tiger Driver for a two count. Psycho hit Eddie with a kick combination and then hit him with Sliced Bread #2. Eddie kicked out at two. Edwards took down Psycho with a few lariats. Eli Drake walked out and stole “Kenny”. Drake reasoned that Edwards prevented Drake from using it so Eddie shouldn’t be able to either (makes sense). Edwards and Psycho rolled each other up to no avail. Eli Drake hit Eddie Edwards with the kendo stick while the referee couldn’t see it. Psycho Clown hit Edwards with the lungblower and rolled up Edwards with La Magistral for the rollup victory.

Team AAA defeated Team Impact in 23:52 to win the Impact “World Cup”.

The four AAA wrestlers posed around the trophy that nobody cares about…

Brian Cage was shown in the Audio and Visual equipment doing bicep curls with the equipment briefcases… [c]

John’s Thoughts: While the build to this match has been utterly lame and random, the match ended up being really good. This match showcased a few wrestlers and even had some fun storylines like the Bahh-Callihan interaction and the Drake and Edwards banter. Vikingo and Aerostar are two wrestlers who really stood out on the AAA side. Puma King was kinda just there to do a few comedy spots. Psycho Clown really impressed me in comparison to some of the work I saw him do a few years ago. He’s in good shape and looked good in the ring. The finish was smart allowed both companies to win politically. AAA gets to put over their franchise babyface while Impact has the out with Eli Drake’s pride costing Team Impact the match.

A video package aired for the returning tag team of Reno Scum, the team of Luster the Legend and Adam Thornstowe. The video package said that Reno Scum would be returning in two weeks…

John’s Thoughts: Really fun to see the Northern California tag team of Reno Scum return to Impact (Reno is considered by people here to be the NorCal of Nevada and those two mostly wrestle in my neck of the woods anyway). I never really got into the “oi oi oi” thing, but I’ve seen a lot of their work locally because they’re regulars for the San Francisco All Pro Wrestling promotion. Those two have impressed me over the past few years of watching them work. Thornstowe has been injured on and off the last few years which is why I’m assuming they’ve haven’t gotten back to Impact. A good pickup for Impact’s tag team division.

A highlight video package aired recapping the past LAX and Lucha Brothers interactions which ended in Pentagon Jr. and Fenix becoming the new Impact Wrestling tag team champions…

The show cut to the latest LAX clubhouse scene (they no longer shoot cinematics for LAX). Santana and Ortiz looked frustrated while Konnan was yelling at them. Konnan said there was no way Penta and Fenix were losing because they carried their anger to the ring while Ortiz was cocky in running his mouth with a “cute line” to set up the match. Konnan said he was going to request another match between the teams. Konnan said win, lose, or draw this will be the last time we see LAX vs. Lucha Brothers because LAX is Konnan’s “FAMILY!!!” and they’re all he has left. Konnan and LAX fist bumped to close the segment…

John’s Thoughts: More good promo work from Konnan and I like that he’s playing the mentor role similar to what he was doing in Lucha Underground as the coach for Ricochet. The funny thing is, just like when he was coaching Puma, it’s easy to suspect that Konnan’s going to turn on his students at a drop of a hat, but he ends up playing the concerned father figure really well with an unexpected sincerity behind it.

Dark Allie and Su Yung were shown backstage in a continuation of last week’s scene where Rosemary magically used chalk to write something on a table (again, Impact is no longer using cinematics). Allie has a voice filter this week for some reason. Allie said Rosemary was trying to play mind games with them. The cheap screen filters flash on the screen to end the segment…[c]

Josh Mathews hyped The Lucha Brothers vs. Rob Van Dam and Sabu in what was being billed as an “Extreme Dream Match” at their United We Stand twitch special…

Scarlett Bordeaux was shown waking up from sleeping with her bra exposed. Scarlett reiterated last week’s hype for her debut in Las Vegas (they didn’t necessarily say when she’s debuting because the next few shows are in Vegas)…

The main event entrances took place. Kross and Moose shook hands before the match. Cage wore his pre-match Terminator gear again and now has the Terminator theme as an intro to his theme. Johnny Impact was billed as from “El Slam Town”… [c]

4. Johnny Impact vs. Brian Cage vs. Killer Kross vs. Moose for the Impact Wrestling World Championship. The Mexican fans sounded like they picked Cage as their fan-favorite. Josh said it was like Johnny was facing Optimus Prime, Megatron, and Venom. Johnny used educated feet to fend off his three giant opponents. Johnny hit Moose on the outside with a corkscrew plancha. Cage sent Kross outside with a dropkick. Cage hit everybody with a rope clearing flip dive while also landing on his feet. Cage slapped away Johnny’s roundhouse. Cage no-sold an initial kick by Johnny but Johnny took down Cage with a leg lariat.

Moose and Kross ended Johnny’s momentum and then put the boots to them. Kross and Moose hit Johnny with a Shield Bomb. Moose tried to get the pin on Johnny but Kross broke it off and told Moose “what are you doing?”. Moose agreed that he was wrong and the two reformed their alliance by putting the boots to Cage in the corner. Kross and Moose hit Cage with a Shield Bomb. Moose tried to surprise Kross with a rollup to no success. Moose tried to weasel his way out. Kross baited Moose in with a handshake and hug. The hug was so Kross could hit Moose with a vertical suplex. Johnny hit Kross with a few kicks leading to a Moonlight Drive.

Johnny hit Cage with a modified Reality Check and capoeira kick. Moose kicked Johnny in the balls. Callis said the referee probably going to give the wrestlers a bit more leeway in this match (All promotions make this rule confusing. Are four ways no-DQ? Triple Threats are no-DQ most of the time, right?). Moose gained control and hit Kross and Cage with dropkicks. Moose hit Johnny with the Go to Hell. Cage broke up the pin and started the Terminator clap. Cage grabbed Moose while Moose grabbed Kross for a centipede German Suplex with Cage being the one unfazed.

Cage hit Johnny with a clean version of the move he tried to hit Johnny with at Homecoming, the deadlift second rope vertical suplex. Kross broke up the pin attempt. Kross hit Cage with a Doomsday Saito which Cage no-sold, but the move left him staggering a bit. Kross wrapped Cage in the Kross Jacket. Moose broke up the submission. All four men landed strikes on each other. Cage hit Moose with a Tornado Claw. Johnny hit Cage with a springboard spear. Johnny was the last man standing with a kip up. Moose was the second up as he caught Johnny on the top rope with a right hand. Cage and Moose went to the top and Kross recovered to hit the three men with a Tower of Doom spot.

Kross went for a pin on Johnny but when Johnny kicked out Kross turned it into a Cross Armbreaker. Moose locked Johnny in a figure four at the same time. Cage lifted Kross off with a Dragon Sleeper. Kross countered Cage with a Northern Lights. Johnny and Cage kicked out of their respective pin predicaments. An “Este Lucha” (this is wrestling) chant ensued. Kross and Moose teamed up for a bit taking down their opponents. Moose tried to backstab Kross but Kross hit Moose with a Doomsday Saito. Johnny landed a Flying Chuck on Kross.

Moose countered a Frankensteiner with a power bomb and running senton. Cage broke up the subsequent pin attempt. Moose missed the game changer (he never hits that damn move and missed it twice in this match). Cage hit Moose with a high knee and then planted the larger Cage with the Drill Claw. Kross broke up the pin and hit Cage with a Doomsday Saito which Cage no-sold into the Tornado Claw. Johnny Impact “hit” Moose with Starship Pain (it was one of Johnny’s bad Starship Pains where he kinda just touched Moose with his fingers). Cage hit Kross right after with the Drill Claw. Johnny and Cage both got successful pinfalls but the referee paid attention to only Johnny’s pinfall on Moose because Johnny executed the finisher first.

Johnny Impact defeated Moose, Killer Kross, and Cage via pinfall in 10:33 to retain the Impact World Championship.

Callis recapped that Cage was the most dominant at the end of the match and even had a pinfall over Kross, but somehow Johnny escapes with the title. Johnny celebrated with the title for a bit before being confronted by Cage who was frustrated by getting screwed again. Johnny headed up the ramp while posing with the title. Cage acknowledged that the crowd was chanting for him as Cage stood tall on the turnbuckle to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: Tough luck for Johnny on the Starship Pain because he’s been hitting those mostly cleanly in recent years. It happens. Aside from that botch, this was a highly entertaining main event. It fit the trend of the rest of this show. All four men got to shine in a positive way. The best part is that Impact (the company) are doing a good job making Brian Cage out to be sympathetic. At the same time, they’re walking a fine line with Johnny because Cage getting screwed over all the time isn’t Johnny’s fault. I really hope they don’t turn Cage heel from this because this story is really acclimating him to the fans since the poor guy’s doing everything right but coincidences keep screwing him over. It’s an interesting way to make jacked-up Cage more relatable to the common man.

Overall, Impact delivered with a PPV-worthy show. Dare I say it, this was top-to-bottom a better overall show than Impact Homecoming. If you switch out the Page vs. Mack match (which was fine but nothing special) with last week’s LAX vs. Lucha Bros match then this show would have blown Homecoming out of the water (but LAX vs. Lucha Bros deserved to be a main event, so I understand why they edited things this way). The “World Cup” build sucked, but it led to a fun elimination match. Let’s not forget, Tessa Blanchard and Taya Valkyrie had a hard worked match to start off this show too. Even more positive credit, this gave me a bit of nostalgia since it had the feeling of a really good Lucha Underground episode (minus the cinematics) because a majority of the wrestlers featured on this episode are Lucha Underground contracted wrestlers. This show gets a positive recommendation. Jason Powell should be around in the next few days with his Hit List and Members’ Exclusive audio review.

Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom with Jason Powell and guest Mick Karch discussing the AWA Appreciation event on February 23, Paul Heyman’s role in helping Mick land a longtime hosting position, his friendship with Nick Bockwinkel, Billy Robinson slapping a fan on live television, and much more.



The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Colt Cabana on his role in ROH, the state of the independent wrestling scene, the future of his podcast, the ROH Global Wars tour, the new ROH television format, Starrcast III, and much more...


Readers Comments (3)

  1. I thought this was a really awesome show as well. Major props to whoever laid out the transition from the Kross interview, to the likely attack on Mack, and then into the Sami/Rich segment. They basically hit everything out of the park this week, and look to have some good potential programs moving forward.

  2. Yet again even a good comment is littered with a negatively slanted remark.

  3. Jeezuz Taya has big tits ! those things were swaying back and forth all night

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