1/14 Impact Wrestling TV Results: Moore’s review of Joey Ryan vs. Jonny Swinger, TJP and Daga vs. Dez and Wentz vs. Rohit Raju and Mahabali Shera vs. Reno Scum, Hard To Kill fallout

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

Impact Wrestling TV
Taped January 12, 2020 in Dallas, Texas at The Bomb Factory

Aired January 14, 2020 on AXS TV

[Hour One] Josh Mathews and Don Callis checked in from Skyway Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. Callis talked about how he could feel like he was living in a monumental moment in history when he and Josh sat at ringside when Tessa Blanchard made history by becoming Impact World Champion. The camera showed Tessa entering the studio and Josh Mathews advertised a sitdown interview with Tessa for later in the show. Josh also advertised Moose vs. Fallah Bahh vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Ace Austin from a taped House of Hardcore show. Josh then sent things over to one of the dark matches taped before the Impact Hard to Kill show…

John’s Thoughts: It looks like this is going to be the norm now. Impact is taking the approach that NXT used to take when they were a WWE Network show by essentially mixing recaps with stock footage. Not a bad technique. I personally like the reset as it sets the table for some fresh starts. It also allows the show to splice in some more promos.

1. “The Rascalz” Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz vs. “The Desi Hit Squad” Rohit Raju and Mahabali Shera vs. “Reno Scum” Luster the Legend and Adam Thornstowe vs. TJ Perkins and Daga in a Lucha Style Match. Perkins and Raju started off the match. After Raju was tossed out, TJP fought off both Rascalz with his signature offense. The Rascalz swarmed TJP with a plethora of kick variations. Shera clotheslined both Rascalz. Reno Scum double teamed Shera. Shera rolled outside after taking a double stomp from Thornstowe to the back of his neck.

Daga was easily tossed outside. Scum hit their German Double Stomp combo on Dezmond. Wentz broke up the pin. Reno Scum sent the Rascalz outside. Reno Scum taunted the crowd with their Oi chant. Daga escaped a Razor’s Edge from Luster. Daga hit Luster with an enzuigiri. The DHS then attacked Daga. Rohit hit Daga with a Shining Wizard. Shera body Slammed Rohit on Daga. The Rascalz double teamed DHS with a lot of moves. TJP caught both Rascalz with a crossbody. TJP hit Shera with a wrecking ball kick.

The wrestlers had a flip dive sequence to the growing pile of people at ringside. Daga hit Rohit with a kick stomp combo. he then deadlifted Rohit into a gutwrench bomb. Wentz broke up the subsequent pin. Wentz hit Daga with a swanton and Dezmond followed up on Daga with a Spiral Tap. Rohit hit Dezmond with a knee into Shera’s ripcord Sky High for the victory.

The Desi Hit Squad defeated The Rascalz, Reno Scum, and TJ Perkins and Daga via pinfall in 6:58.

Rohit pointed at the camera and said “This is for you Gama”…

John’s Thoughts: Nothing too special in terms of how meaningful this match is. I wonder if they knew Daga was going to be working two matches at Hard to Kill (maybe that’s why his match against RVD was a quick enhancement win?). Anyway, fun, flip-divey match to hype up the crowd. While Impact makes it hard to take Desi Hit Squad seriously, at least they do a decent job protecting Shera. That and their double team finisher actually looked pretty decent.

Moose was cutting a promo outside. Moose said he proved that the four letters of “gore” is irrevelant. Moose said he proved that he’s a walking legend. Moose said he also proved that he’s the greatest multi-sport athlete of all time. Moose hyped up the House of Hardcore match by talking about how he’s better than each of his opponents…[c]

Josh Mathews and Don Callis checked in from the studio and hyped up the historic nature of Tessa’s title win again. Josh advertised Johnny Swinger vs. Joey Ryan for later in the show. Josh sent things over to highlights of the Ace Austin vs. Trey Miguel match at Impact Hard to Kill…

Don Callis said that Ace Austin has been a “quietly dominant” as champion. They sent the camera over to Ace Austin who was presumably talking to his agent. He mentioned that he was cast for a role in “Wife Swappers 2” (which I’m assuming is the sequel to the porno he was shooting on one of the other PPV fallout shows). Ace assumed the camera man wants Ace’s comments on his match appearing later. Ace simply took out his card and said “Aces Up”…

Footage aired of Rich Swann getting injured at an Impact Plus show last week following a Dave Crist diving senton. Josh talked about how this led to Willie Mack wrestling a handicap match at Hard to Kill. They aired highlights from The North vs. Willie Mack at Hard to Kill (Including that sick Doomsday Canadian Destroyer)…

They cut to Willie Mack and Rich Swann chatting right past the Gorilla Position after Mack’s match this past Sunday. Mack was hanging his head and he explained that he let Swann down. Mack was in a self depricating rant before Swann told him to calm down. Swann said Mack shouldn’t see himself as a failure after what Mack just went through. Swann said Mack was already at a disadvantage due to the numbers game. Swann said he captivated the wrestling fans and PPV viewers into thinking that he was going to single handedly win the tag team titles. Swann said Mack is one of the best in the entire industry and that makes Swann proud to have Mack as a tag partner. Swann said once this leg is healed there ain’t no stopping Mack and Swann on the road to the Tag Team Championships. Swann called Mack in for a hug and Mack cried on Swann’s shoulders…

Katie Forbes was shown barely wearing anything, lighting candles bedside…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Great stuff from Swann here. Not only is Swann sticking away from his ode to Lionel Richie as the dancing guy, but he’s cutting good serious babyface promos. As I pointed out during the Hard to Kill build, Impact wanted to position Tessa Blanchard as their top babyface star, but Rich Swann kinda stole her thunder by having more of an organic rise to fame. I was down on the Mack and Swann were put back in the tag division but they actually took my (and probably a lot of people’s) doubt and turned it into their most compelling storyline because the storyline is that Mack may be anchoring Swann from reaching his full potential. Looking forward to the next step in this story and Mack has elevated himself to a meaningful position on the roster as well.

They cut to an Eddie Edwards promo. He talked about winning back his Call Your Shot trophy at Hard to Kill (well, He never really lost it. Elgin just physically stole it for a few days and returned it Sunday). Eddie was pretty much straightforward as he hyped the four way match later in the show. Eddie said the trophy will lead him to the championship…

They cut to the closing moments of the Eddie Edwards vs. Michael Elgin match from Sunday…

John’s Thoughts: Yeah, this episode really does feel like bits and pieces of NXT. Which isn’t a bad thing, especially when they don’t have any canon taping footage. Right now, I’m assuming the four way match is the main event and this is exactly what NXT did last week by having the wrestlers cut promos hyping the match throughout the show. This wouldn’t be a bad technique to do on the regular. The only downside here, is they’re hyping a match with no real storyline implications. When Impact airs their canned footage from outside of the tapings, those matches come off as non-canon.

Josh and Don sent things over to a Michael Elgin selfie promo which was filmed after Hard to Kill and in Japan. Elgin talked about how he’s lived in Japan for five years and coming back there made him realize how much he missed it. He said he loved ths food, culture, wrestling, and people. Elgin said being in Impact made the transition easy from a wrestling aspect because Impact treats wrestling like a sport with athletes fighting for championships. Elgin said he feels right at home in Impact. Elgin addressed losing to Nakajima in 2016.

Elgin said one of his goals after that match was to get retribution against Nakajima. Elgin talked about recently winning a match at Noah in under 8 seconds. Elgin said he’s coming after both the Impact and GHC World Championships. Elgin brought up how people used to talk about Eddie Edwards when he was GHC Champion back in 2017, but now people are talking about Elgin…

They cut to footage from the RVD vs. Brian Cage match from Sunday, which became RVD vs. Daga…

RVD was shown ripping (and eating) rose petals joking about how everyone loses to RVD. This is one of those heavily cut up RVD promos. RVD talked about how every day is a party for RVD. RVD said today’s celebration is pretty special since RVD put a stop to the Machine. RVD called Cage a muscle headed muchacho. Katie Forbes walked in and did her stripper thing in front of RVD. They had to censor her nipple popping out. RVD and Katie shared champagne. RVD said you can’t be made at him for having this live. RVD said he’s still crushing it in the ring and he’s making the most money in the locker room. RVD said he has a smoking hot girl, who has a smoking hot girl of herself. RVD revealed that Katie’s girlfriend was named “Jennifer”.

Katie said she feels a bit overdressed and it was time to get more comfortable. Katie and Jennifer left. RVD said the marks are living vicariously through RVD. RVD said modern pro wrestling is a tribute to RVD with people doing all his moves. RVD was now covered in lipstick after an edit. RVD said people think that RVD was at his best during ECW. Jennifer and Katie came back, topless, with whipped cream on their nipples (uhm, what am I recapping again?). Jennifer asked, “what is ECW?”. RVD pointed out “They weren’t even born yet! WINNING!”. Katie stopped RVD’s promo to tell him to take off his “Robe Van Dam”. Jennifer told Rob to whip out his “Rob Van D[bleep]”. They cut to a “technical difficulties” graphic. After showing the Deaners dancing a bit, they cut back to RVD’s three way, showing Katie and Jennifer under the covers while RVD was chugging a bottle of champagne…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Impact heavily editing RVD’s incoherent promos into solid promos is one of the most clever things this company has done. Great usage of the “accentuate the strengths, hide the weaknesses” trope. While that was a solid promo content wise, I fell like it went a bit too long. Almost like they could have cut that up into two weeks of RVD promos?

Josh and Don sent things over to the closing moments of the Madman Fulton vs. Ken Shamrock match which Josh said was a result of Shamrock having a trouble with OVE throughout 2019 (I think he meant to say Tessa?)…

Shamrock was interviewed after the match. Shamrock said that Fulton’s size and strength advantage put Shamrock at a bit of a disadvantage due to Shamrock’s wheelhouse being size and strength. Shamrock said he had to resort to quickness and intelligence. Shamrock said his key to victory was outthinking and out maneuvering Fulton. Shamrock said he thinks Fulton can have a great future as a fighter if he focuses and breaks away from Sami Callihan. Shamrock said Fulton being a rage monster doesn’t give Fulton wins, but it gives Sami a tool he can use. Shamrock said the best thing in Fulton’s career might be to break away from OVE…

John’s Thoughts: Maybe they go nowhere with that, but Shamrock’s closing words there are a good impetus for a character reboot of the Sawyer Fulton character. If they do reboot him, hopefully he doesn’t go back to the goofy singlet he was wearing when he teamed up with Angelo Dawkins in NXT as “Shoot Nation”.

The Impact Flashback Match of the Week was Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Jarrett from TNA Genesis…[c]

[Hour Two] Joey Ryan took a was sucking on a lolipop and he put it in the mouth of one of the fans at ringside…

John’s Thoughts: I can never understand why wrestling fans like sucking on Joey Ryan’s crotch sucker. This is another one of those things he does at every indie show.

2. Joey Ryan vs. Johnny Swinger. Joey Ryan started off the match the same way he usually does, with the oil. Josh was over the top on commentary. Joey said “touch my dick”. Josh noted the referee touched Joey’s dick earlier in the week. Swinger started off wtih some chain wrestling. Joey tried to drag Swinger’s hand to his peen. This lasted a few sequences. Swinger teased touching the dick at one point but then gave Joey a punch. Swinger sold knee pain after giving Joey an atomic drop.

Callis said the science behind that is that while Joey Ryan’s penis has superpowers, his balls are like metal ball bearings, which is why the atomic drop hurt Swinger. Swinger dominated Joey for a bit. Josh and Don weren’t taking things seriously on commentary, so much that Josh called this “XPlosion Josh and Don”. Swinger tried to headbutt Joey’s dick, but then sold it, of course. Joey planted Swinger with a dropkick. The referee caught Swinger trying to get a pin with his feet on the ropes.

Swinger went for his finisher, but Joey managed to get Swinger’s hand on his dick and then hit Swinger with the penis plex. Swinger dragged the referee with him for a penis ref bump (I’m not even going to give that my usual all caps). Swinger went for a low blow, but Ryan no sold it. Swinger sold it. Joey put a green crotch lolipop in Swinger’s mouth. Joey hit Swinger with the sweet tooth music for the win.

Joey Ryan defeated Johnny Swinger via pinfall in 6:39.

John’s Thoughts: Same match different day. It’s like Abyss and nail boards, or Jimmy Havoc and a staple gun. You’ve seen it once, you’ve seen them all. I only have a minor gripe about this because I know Joey Ryan can do a lot more, comedy or semi-serious (again I always go to Joey Ryan vs. Ricky Reyes in an LAPD match as an example of this. No penis there). While I’m tired of this overexposed act, some crowds still pop for him I guess. It’s not like DJ Zema Ion continuing to ba ba ba baugh to this day even though crowds don’t care about it.

The commentators cut to a recap of the Knockouts triple threat from Sunday…

Josh Mathews noted that Sports Illustrated had three Impact Knockouts on their “Best Women Wrestlers of 2019” list. Josh said two of them were Tessa Blanchard and Taya Valkyrie (The third was Jordynne Grace which I had to look up). Josh used that to segue to the Sami Callihan vs. Tessa Blanchard recap…[c]

An ad aired hyping up the Impact Wrestling Mexico tapings this week…

3. Moose vs. Fallah Bahh vs. Ace Austin vs. Eddie Edwards for the Impact X Division Championship. I had no idea that this was a championship match before Josh Mathews pointed it out. Josh noted that Ace Austin has a 25% chance of retaining his title. Moose stood tall early on after hitting Bahh with a springboard crossbody. Eddie and Moose had a strike exchange which ended with Eddie giving Moose a release suplex. Austin gave Edwards a disaster kick. Moose tossed Austin to ringside. Callis noted that Austin landed awkwardly on his arm.

Bahh then no sold Moose’s punches. Both men then had a Strong Style chop exchange in the center of the ring. Moose won the exchange with an eye poke. They then took each other out with double clothesline. Josh Mathews pointed out the new Eddie Edwards haircut, which is now a slick down mohawk (as opposed to the dreadlocks). Eddie trapped all three opponents in the corner and gave all three his Kobashi chops. Edwards backdropped Austin outside on Moose (which almost ended terribly, luckily Moose caught him). Eddie opened the ropes up so Bahh could hit Ace and Moose with a suicide dive. Eddie Edwards followed up with a high crossbody on all three opponents.[c]

Eddie ended up hitting Austin with a backpack stunner. Bahh took down both Ace and Eddie with a lariat. Bahh was hitting Ace and Eddie with corner splashes before Moose blindsided Bahh. Moose ended up hitting Austin with his high dropkick. Josh Mathews noted that Moose played for the New England Patriots, who lost two weeks ago (to the Titans). Moose hit Bahh with a superplex. Ace hit Moose with a senton. Ace went for pins on all three opponents. All three ending in kickouts. Moose turned a Fold attempt into a flapjack on Austin. Bahh no sold a Moose pump kick into a lariat. [c]

John’s Thoughts: So I praised Impact earlier for the wrestlers hyping this main event up, but why didn’t any of them talk about wanting to become X Division Champion? Hell, I think even Eddie Edwards was more focused on going towards the world championship.

Moose took down Eddie with a lariat. Eventually Bahh and Ace Austin were left on the top rope. Ace Austin hit Bahh with a Super Fold for the win.

Ace Austin defeated Fallah Bahh, Moose, and Eddie Edwards via pinfall.

They cut to Tessa Blanchard’s post match celebration after Hard to Kill (I did point out that the show ended awkwardly right after Tessa won). Tessa’s mother and siblings celebrated in the ring with Tessa. Josh Mathews noted that Tessa “ignored the noise” to win the championship. The babyface locker room was at the top of the ramp, and they gave Tessa an ovation. Impact officials were there too like D’Lo Brown, Scott D’Amore, and others. Gail Kim gave Tessa a hug.

They cut to the extended footage backstage. Tessa couldn’t stop from crying while Scott D’Amore was giving her praise. D’Amore said Tessa is going to inspire a new generation of men and women. They then cut to this week’s show with Tessa waiting for her interview at the Nashville Studio…[c]

Josh Mathews started his sit-down interview with Tessa Blanchard. Josh asked Tessa if Tessa ever thought about getting to this point as world champion. Tessa talked about OVE always having something up their sleeve leading up to this. Tessa said Sami ended up seeing a different side of Tessa that Sami didn’t expect which led to Tessa becoming the world champion. Josh wondered if Tessa feels vanquished of The Crist Brothers and Madman Fulton. Tessa said she totally expects Sami and OVE to retaliate. Tessa said she is setting goals that women haven’t accomplished before. Tessa said she’s looking forward to her next goal and she understands that as world champion she’ll end up being hunted. Tessa said she is the face of the company now.

Josh asked Tessa how it feels to have that target on her back now. Tessa said because this wasn’t supposed to happen in the first place so it feels right. Josh talked about how Tessa probably became the best third generation wrestler on Sunday (Josh noted that she surpassed Randy Orton on commentary. Not sure how he quantifies that). Josh wondered if Tessa sees herself as a wrestler, not a male or female wrestler. Tessa was agreeing with Josh before she was distracted by Sami Callihan appearing on the TV behind them.

Sami said this is a “test of the emergency broadcast system” (a nod to the catchphrase he used as Solomon Crowe in NXT). Sami talked about how everyone in the studio is kissing each other’s asses. Sami said he can’t stop hearing about ” making history”. Sami said he’s the only history maker. Sami said he debuted two years ago, reached inside of Impact’s dead carcass, and pumped blood into its cold heart with his bare hands. Sami said he put the company on his back and took his rightful spot as champion. Sami said that Impact management and Tessa got what they wanted with Tessa as champion. Sami said Tessa may be the champion they want, but Sami is the champion everybody needs. Sami said she’s coming after Tessa with all he’s got.

Tessa said she’ll challenge Sami, any place any time. Sami said he’s not hard to find. The camera panned back to show he was in the Nashville Studio’s production room. Tessa rushed over wearing high heels. When Tessa entered the room, Sami was gone (she probably should have taken off her heels. I kid I kid). Sami was on the TV and said “did you think I make it that easy?”. Sami said Tessa won’t know when or where this fight will happen (I think that’s what he said, because the show quickly cut to the next show about Queen)…

John’s Thoughts: “Ignore the noise” is a good way to phrase what has been happening on Social Media in the last few days regarding Tessa. What I mean by that is you can also take that from the perspective of the fan where it is exactly what Josh calls it “noise”. So much noise that it’s honestly really tough to ignore when they are trying to keep things encapsulated to a storyline. That said, I think the sit-down was fine. Tessa’s portion wasn’t anything special. The best part was Sami Callihan who got to look a bit more menacing than he has in a while. Even so, his ethos is that of a babyface, because he’s been oddly built up as an honorable man leading up to Hard to Kill. Let’s see where they go from here, but it’s going to be interesting to see how Impact either tries to circumvent or brush under the rug all of the noise regarding Tessa from women all over the wrestling industry.

Overall, this is a skippable show. I’m used to reviewing NXT Takeover Fallout shows like this but in NXT they were only one hour. Two hours, watching or reviewing, is a bit much, but I understand that this is a necessity due to the lack of first run taping footage. The best parts from these show are the supplementary promo packages. I do hope we see more straightforward sports-like material from Impact going forward, Kinda what Michael Elgin mentioned earlier. This show is actually really solid when you take the jarring Undead Realm out. We’ve already seen a slight improvement with straightforward Eddie.



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