By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped January 17-18, 2020 in Mexico City, Mexico at Fronton Mexico
Aired January 28, 2020 on AXS TV
[Hour One] They aired the “viewer discretion advised” again this week, this time with an AXS logo. The highlight video of last week’s Impact Wrestling show aired followed by the Impact Wrestling intro theme…
Josh Mathews and Don Callis were on commentary…
1. Josh Alexander (w/All Ego Ethan Page) vs. El Hijo Del Vikingo. Vikingo had a AAA Trios Championship with him. Alexander made fun of Vikingo early on in the match for being shorter than him. Alexander then used his size to toy around with Vikingo. Alexander planted Vikingo with a spinebuster. Vikingo did a cool rebound move and nailed Alexander with a spin kick. Alexander no sold it. Vikingo dropped Alexander with a aerial donkey kick. Alexander dodged Vikingo’s suicide dive, but Vikingo rolled through to avoid injury. Alexander turned Vikingo inside out with a lariat.
Alexander got a two count once the action went back in the ring. Alexander went back to using his power advantage to toy around with the smaller Vikingo. Vikingo walked the top rope into a armdrag. Vikingo then locked Alexander in a crossarmbreaker. Alexander no-sold the submission and then hit Vikingo with a power bomb. Alexander hit Vikingo with a delayed vertical suplex. The crowd was cheering on Vikingo while Alexander overpowered him. Vikingo showed his fighting spirit by slapping Alexander.
Vikingo slipped outside and hit Alexander with a gamengiri. Vikingo then hit Alexander with a slingshot shotgun dropkick. Vikingo hit Alexander outside wtih a Tiger Drop. In probably what will end up the sickest move of the night, Vikingo jumped and balanced off two stories of audience barricades and performed an Asai Moonsault from the upper crowd barricade, clearing nearly 10 feet or so. Vikingo took out Ethan Page with a corkscrew Asai Moonsault. Josh noted Vikingo was selling the knee. Alexander caught a flying Vikingo. Vikingo escaped the hold.
Vikingo came back with a back kick. Vikingo hit Alexander with a shotgun dropkick and planted Alexander in the corner. Vikingo hit Alexander with a meteora in the corner. Vikingo hit Alexander with a 450. Alexander kicked out at two. Josh noted Alexander was coughing. Alexander blocked a huracanrana with a backbreaker bomb. Alexander got a two count. Alexander showed the action down, which Josh said takes the fans out of it. Alexander went for a top rope hold, but Vikingo reversed into a Frankensteiner.
Vikingo used a sunset flip to get a two count. Both men traded rapid fire rollups. Vikingo landed a victory roll on Josh Alexander to pick up the pinfall victory.
El Hijo Del Vikingo defeated Josh Alexander via pinfall in 9:45.
Fans threw money in the ring to celebrate Vikingo’s win. Don Callis said that he and Josh should storm the ring to pick up some of that money…
John’s Thoughts: A very entertaining match of power vs. agility. Vikingo strikes me as one of those AAA “Konnan Projects” where he can be the next big Lucha star in the US if given the right stage. With his good unique mix of agility, strong style, and submission moves he reminds me of the first time I saw Rey Fenix emerge as a potential main event singles star (by the way, I still say that Fenix needs to get the hell away from Lucha Bros). This Vikingo guy is someone that should end up on the radar of a big company. Hell, Impact should see if they can give this guy a run in the US. He’ll be a huge upgrade over Daga with a similar toolkit.
Gabby Loren interviewed Taya Valkyrie on her thought of the number one contenders triple threat happening later. Taya brushed off Gabby’s question initially. Taya talked about how Jordynne Grace had no business in that match because Taya promised Kiera Hogan and Madison Rayne the shot, not Grace. Gabby brought up Taya getting pinned at the Impact Plus show the day before Hard to Kill. Taya backed Gabby into the corner saying that she can’t comment on an event she wasn’t even invited to. Taya said she’ll be watching the Knockout’s triple threat really closely…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Gabby’s fine I guess, but she smiles (corpses) too much and doesn’t sell when heels act disgusting. My guess would be that Melissa Santos doesn’t want to travel because they’re currently using her to host their Twitch shows during the commercial breaks, but you can clearly hear her and Cage’s daughter crying in the background. No huge shot against Gabby, she might get better down the road, but in that case then why not use Jimmy Jacobs who does a solid job as interviewer now that he’s dropped the “princess” gimmick?
Moose talked about not being a man who makes excuses. He said the only reason he lost ot Taurus last week is because of Rhino. Moose said he has nothing to prove with anyone. Moose said if Rhino didn’t distract him he would have beat Taurus last week. Moose said after he beats Taurus tonight, you’re ne… Moose stopped before saying “next” because he said he doesn’t need that either (since his catchphrase recently has been “no jackhammer needed”)…
John’s Thoughts: Are both Moose and Matt Riddle trying to set up matches with Bill Goldberg? Good luck guys.
Josh Mathews and Don Callis checked in from their commentary booth. While Josh was introducing the team, there were “techinical difficulties” with static and a weird Atari-like graphic with the letters “ICU” on it as well as a pixel face with x’s for eyes. The commentators ran through upcoming segments…
2. “The Rascalz” Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz vs. Pagano and Murder Clown. Josh Mathews said that this match was set up because the Rascalz are facing their demons from taking new drugs last week. Murder Clown gorilla pressed Wentz early. Wentz used a series of dropkicks to take down Murder Clown. The crowd booed Wentz doing his Rascalz hand thing. Callis said the reason that is is because the crowd in Mexico both support “murder” and “clowns” (funny line).
Dezmond tagged in and hit Murder with a huracanrana. Pagano tagged in and Dezmond acted freaked out. The crowd cheered Pagano doing some sort of dance. Pagano and Dezmond did a lucha agility sequence. Pagano hit Dezmond with a reverse slingshot suplex. Pagano hit rapid fire chops on Dezmond. Dezmond hit Pagano with a CQC combo. Wentz came in with a bulldog. The Rascalz traded quick tags. Murder Clown pulled the Rascalz outside. Pagano hit The Rascalz with a suicide dive senton.
The clowns hit Dezmond with a double team leg drop. Wentz broke up the subsequent pin. The clowns hit Zach with a Street Sweeper. Murder Clown hit Dezmond with a Tiger Feint Kick. Wentz and Murder brawled to the top rope. Dezmond joined them up there. The Rascalz hit Murder with a superplex. Zach hit Murder with a Swanton followed up by Dezmond hitting Murder with a Final Flash (Spiral Tap) to give Dezmond the pinfall victory.
The Rascalz beat Murder Clown and Psycho Clown via pinfall in 5:55.
Michael Elgin cut a promo backstage. Elgin brought up the same complaints as he did last week saying that Eddie tapped out at Hard to kill. This time Elgin added some hype for the first match of their best of five series…[c]
John’s Thoughts: The action was fine, but the story leading up to the match was stupid. So stupid that the commentators weren’t taking it seriously. I do give Callis and Mathews credit for not killing their credibility in trying to sell bad writing (but the guy commentating is the head booker? Then why doesn’t he just veto things?). At least Pagano showed up to work this time. Last time Pagano worked a match for Impact, he looked really out of it and looked like he wanted to be anywhere else but in a wrestling ring.
3. Moose vs. Taurus. Taurus came out with some kind of belt that said “Los Perros Del Mal” on it (Los Perros Del Mal is the NWO-like faction that Perro Aguayo Jr. led before his passing). Josh noted that Taurus is a part of “The Mercenaries” faction. The commentators weren’t sure what kind of championship he was holding either. Moose and Taurus struggled to get each other down early on. Taurus got Moose to the mat with a huracanrana. Moose and Taurus then had a strong style chop exchange. Moose kicked Taurus to end the strong style sequence.
Taurus hit Moose wtih a whisper of the wind. Taurus hit Moose at ringside with a Corkscrew Tope. Moose got a moment of respite by giving Taurus a whip into the ringpost. Moose then did that spot where he “accidentally” chops the ringpost. Moose tried to remove Taurus’s mask, which is disrespectful in Lucha Libre. Moose then gloated to the crowd. Moose manhandled Taurus around the ring. Callis noted that he believes that Moose is still collecting money from the NFL as well as being one of the highest paid in Impact.
Moose continued to showboat. Don Callis repeated his point from last week that he thinks Moose needs a manager to reach the world championship. Taurus hit Moose with a drop toehold and Tiger Feint Kick. Taurus hit Moose with a reverse Sling Blade for a two count. Moose and Taurus had an exchange. Moose sent Taurus into the turnbuckle. Moose hit Taurus with the spear for the victory.
Moose defeated Taurus via pinfall in 6:29.
While Moose was celebrating Rhino crept up into the ring. Based off the crowd reaction, Moose looked like he had a feeling Rhino was in the ring. Rather than roll outside, he ended up walking into Rhino’s Gore. Rhino then did his pose and yelled “Who’s the man” (Which is his new catchphrase I guess? I kinda just want to see him go out there and yell “O’Doyle Rules!”)…
Josh Mathews advertised upcoming matches including Reno Scum vs. Dr. Wagner Jr and Daga…[c]
John’s Thoughts: The match was fine enough, but I’m starting to notice a diminishing formula in Moose’s matches. He’s repeating the same spots like his eye-poke/kick during the strong style exchange. The most formula is how he always has to chop the ringpost in all his singles matches. It’s making him come off as less organic which isn’t great for weekly television (good for untelevised house shows. For the families).
Eddie Edwards was cutting a promo with his “Timmy the Trophy” (complete with the smiley face on it). Edwards hyped up his best of five match against Elgin. Eddie said tonight he’s starting his path to calling his shot to championship gold…
They aired the Impact Plus Flashback match of the Week. It was Kurt Angle vs. James Storm from TNA Genesis. I only had to fast forward about a minute this week…
Gabby Loren interviewed Joey Ryan about Rob Van Dam’s commentary of his match last week. Joey joked about another legend in the industry not liking Joey Ryan. Ryan said it hurts a bit because he looked up to RVD. Joey said what’s odd is something coming off as “too extreme” for Rob Van Dam. Joey said he knows the truth because he said he sees the way that Katie Forbes looks at “it” (Joey Ryan’s penis). Joey said that he thinks that RVD feels threatened because Katie wants to touch “it”. Joey left and the camera panned over to Gabby Loren’s robotic smile…
Taya Valkyrie made her entrance with John E Bravo. Taya joined the commentary table for the upcoming match…[c]
[Hour Two] The women for the upcoming number one contenders match made their entrances…
4. Madison Rayne vs. Kiera Hogan vs. Jordynne Grace for a title shot at the Impact Knockouts Championship. Kiera and Madison double teamed Grace. Taya said that’s the reason she calls Kiera and Madison “Thing 1” and “Thing 2”. Grace managed to overpower both women and got a nearfall off of Rayne. Kiera saved Rayne from a Kinniku Buster attempt. Rayne broke up a lateral press from Grace on Kiera.
Kiera and Madison continued to double team Grace for a few minutes. Taya made fun of Kiera and Madison for being “tiny”. Grace got a little window of opportunity after hitting both Madison and Kiera with a double suplex. Grace fended off both women with slaps and strikes. She hit both women wiht body slams. Grace hit Kiera with a Michinoku Driver. Taya and Callis noted that it looked like Kiera landed wrong. Rayne broke up Grace’s pin attempt on Kiera.
Grace used boots to fend off both heels. Rayne punched Grace on the top rope. They tossed Grace to the center of the ring. Kiera hit Grace with an assisted Sliced Bread #2. Kiera and Madison went for the pin, but the referee said there could only be one winner so he wouldn’t count the pin. Grace tripped up both women . Grace put Kiera in a crossface while Madison was in between them. Rayne prevented Kiera from tapping out. Rayne got a two count off a rollup on Grace.
Kiera and Madison sent Grace out of the ring with a plethora of kicks. Grace gave Rayne a snake eyes on the apron. Grace hit Kiera with a Grace Driver for the victory.
Jordynne Grace defeated Kiera Hogan and Madison Rayne via pinfall in 8:14 to earn a future title shot at the Knockouts Championship.
Josh Mathews was hyping Taya Valkyries future title defense while waving around Taya’s ear muffs…
John’s Thoughts: I liked the decision to put a babyface in the match to prevent an awkward heel vs. heel matchup. Nice attention to detail in remembering Taya’s promise to Kiera and Madison. The subsequent match was still a bit awkward though. There was just too little action and too much cartoon antics from Kiera and Madison. I feel bad for Kiera Hogan in particular. Kiera proved over her entire Impact Run (as well as her WOW run) that she is one of the most talented overall wrestlers on the Impact roster. Sadly, they have her buried on the depth chart as their designated enhancement heel.
Ace Austin cut a promo where he pointed out both his clean wins over Trey Miguel the last two weeks. Ace said this means that Trey is at the back of the line in terms of getting an X Division Title Shot. Ace talked about how he also beat Tessa twice, in the tag team match and in the ladder match where he won the title. Ace said he’s about to knock Tessa back to the glass ceiling. Ace said in the end, everyone will be chanting “ace’s up”…[c]
An ad aired for the Impact Plus show Sacrifice (named after the old TNA PPV) which will be happen Saturday February 22 in Louisville, Kentucky…
John’s Thoughts: I’m guessing they’re not doing the “special shows” on Impact anymore because they’ve converted their old TNA PPV names to the non-canon Impact Plus shows. Sucks, because I really thought the Callis-D’Amore creative team did a good job building up to those intermediary special TV shows to have big moments in between actual PPVs.
Willie Mack was on his smartphone backstage as Johnny Swinger slid up next to him to chat. Swinger said last week was a bad debut for the “Mack and Pack” connection. Swinger cut off Mack from talking saying that they need to work on their teamwork to get one of those belt. Mack said they aren’t a tag team. Swinger took it as Mack saying they don’t “look” like a tag team in their current form. Swinger said they need to put some swing time in training. Mack said he thought Swinger was cool in ECW but now he’s just a creepy old dude. Mack said Mack’s only tag partner is Rich Swann and Mack walked off. Swinger laughed and agreed with Mack that he was cool in ECW…
John’s Thoughts: While it seems a bit goofy, I’m willing to give this Mack and Swinger team a chance. This will give Mack a chance to show some of the immense personality that I’ve seen from him in Lucha Underground and the California independents, and Swinger has been a solid comedy figure on the show. There’s potential here for some fun character development.
TJ Perkins and Fallah Bahh were in the dressing room. Bahh is speaking in coherent English these days. Bahh didn’t like the ring gear that Perkins forced him to wear. Perkins said the gear looked like “hot soup” (which is a complement I guess?). Bahh said it sucks because it’s yellow. Perkins said Bahh needs to wear boots to the ring. Bahh called out Perkins for being over 30 years old while wearing Jordans to the ring. Bahh also called out Perkins for losing to Alexander, the guy that lost to El Hijo Del Vikingo earlier today. Perkins said he’ll prove next week that he can beat Vikingo. Perkins left and Bahh was doing his Filipino Mega Powers handshake pose. Perkins came back and gave Bahh the handshake..
John’s Thoughts: Can we get Kevin Mathews back? Mathews doesn’t even have to wrestle, he just has to be Fallah Bahh’s Rocket Racoon again by just talking.
Reno Scum made their entrance followed by the AAA team of Dr. Wagner Jr. and Daga. They had El Hijo De Dr. Wagner Jr at ringside…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Uhm? Shouldn’t “El Hijo De Dr Wagner Jr.” actually be named “Dr. Wagner III”? I’m saying this as a “John Moore III”. I don’t understand Lucha Libre naming conventions sometimes.
5. “The Reno Scum” Adam Thornstowe and Luster the Legend vs. Daga and Dr. Wagner Jr. (w/El Hijo De Dr. Wagner Jr). Wagner took off his mask and Josh Mathews noted that Wagner isn’t allowed to wrestle in a mask anymore after losing Luchas De Apuesta (mask vs. mask match) to Psycho Clown. Wagner has dyed his grey hair to jet black. Thornstowe and Daga started off the match. Daga ran circles around Adam and hit him with a huracanrana. Mathews noted that Daga is a protege of Konnan.
Luster and Wagner tagged in. Wagner went for a crossbody on Luster, but Luster caught Wagner. Luster gave Wagner a body slam and headbutt for a two count. Luster crashed and burned on a top rope headbutt attempt. Daga tagged in and the Lucha team gave Luster chops in the corner. Daga punched Thornstowe off the apron. Thornstowe tripped up Daga and tossed him into the barricade. Mathews called Reno Scum “the pride of Reno, Nevada”. Don Callis said “there’s not much to be proud about. I spent a week in Reno once”.
John’s Thoughts: No shot against Reno, NV, but I have to agree with Don Callis on that last line. I spent a week in Reno once too and came to the same conclusion as Callis did.
Don Callis said that if you have to give the United States an enema, you would stick it in Reno. Reno Scum cut the ring in half on Daga and worked on him for a bit. Daga turned the tables with a European Uppercut and kick combination. Daga posed for the crowd which allowed Luster to catch him off guard. Daga hit Luster with a botched DDT. This allowed him to make the hot tag to Wagner who cleaned house. Wagner hit both opponents with Dragon Screws. Wagner hit Tornstowe with a Samoan Drop.
Daga hit Luster with a twisting Paydirt. He then hit luster with his cool delayed corkscrew plancha. Wagner hit Thronstowe with the Dr. Driver for a two count. Luster hit Daga with a Spinebuster. Thornstowe hit Daga with a DVD. Wagner broke up Tornstowe’s pin. Wagner sent Luster outside. Wagner hit Luster with a cannonball (awkward landing though). Daga hit Thornstowe with a Tiger Facebuster for the victory.
Daga and Dr. Wagner Jr. defeated Reno Scum via pinfall in 8:07.
Jake Crist, David Crist, and Madman Fulton beat up Wagner and Daga after the match. Reno Scum forced Wagner’s Hijo to watch. OVE hit Daga with a triple team Samoan Drop, initiated by Fulton. Like Wagner, Fulton has hit the hair dye and his dreadlocks are now jet black (which, oddly enough, makes him look like former WWE Wrestler Tyler Reks). Josh Mathews hyped Eddie Edwards vs. Michael Elgin after the break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: So I’ve experienced 50+ year old Dr. Wagner Jr. wrestle in-person and in-person this guy looks jacked. Not only that, the guy can still wrestle at a high workrate. Throwing in the black hair dye he uses now, and you can argue that the guy is 35-40 if you didn’t know he was 50+. That said, this was a random match. I continue to question why Konnan has been pushing Daga so hard since 2014 (and I’m usually a huge proponent of Konnan’s scouting successes). The problem with Daga is the guy’s very wooden and you have guys like Rey Fenix and Vikingo who has everything Daga has plus charisma. Maybe Daga has some Roderick Strong in him? Because Roddy was in a similar position at one point.
Another ad aired for Impact Plus’s Sacrifice show…
Susie Yung was continuing to roam around backstage like a lost girl (why Mitchell keeps bringing her to wrestling shows is beyond me?). Rosemary teleported in front of Susie (ugh, yuck). Rosemary asked Susie if she found what she’s looking for yet. Susie said she thinks it’s around here. Rosemary said that since Susie has been looking around the “battle arenas”, that her answer might be in the actual battle itself (the wrestling ring?). Susie said that’s a good idea. Rosemary said even though Susie’s a delicate flower, if she had the right teacher she can be a great warrior. Susie said it sounds cool, “I’m in”. Rosemary hyped an exhibition match between Rosemary and Susie. Rosemary handed Susie what looked like sneakers and ring gear…
John’s Thoughts: Ugh. I used to be a huge fan of Rosemary’s promos, but ever since she returned from injury all she’s been saying is empty and pretentious words. What’s the point of this story? Susie’s acting is great. James Mitchell’s acting is great. The story just sucks because there’s NO PLOT! They just do random things every week and with no endgoal. Also seriously, Rosemary needs to get out of Impact. In fact, I would probably most want to see her in NWA Powerrr where I know Billy Corgan and Dave Lagana can produce her well. This was proven, in 2016.
Entrances for the main event took place with 15 minutes left at the top of the hour…
6. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs. Eddie Edwards in the first match of a best-of-5 series. Edwards and Elgin had a stalemate during the initual ground chain wrestling. Elgin and Edwards then had a stalemate while running into each other. Eddie hit Elgin with a dropkick to the knee. Elgin came back with a headscissors. Edwards dodged a enzuigiri. Elgin blocked an STF and got to the bottom rope. Eddie Edwards hit Michael Elgin with a suicide dive. Edwards blocked a German from Elgin. Both men traded reversals. Elgin blocked Eddie’s huracanrana and then slammed him into the barricade heading into commercial. [c]
Don Callis noted that Elgin has become a better technical wrestler over the past two years while Eddie Edwards has gotten worse after getting hit by Sami Callihan’s baseball bat to the eye. Eddie hit Elginw with a Blue Thunder Bomb. Eddie hit Elgin with a Dragon Screw. Eddie hit Elgin with a backpack Stunner. Eddie turned a pin attempt to a half crab. Eddie turned the crab into a STF to prevent Elgin’s escape. Elgin got to a vertical base and hit Eddie with a reverse Vertebreaker.
This gave Elgin a moment of respite. Elgin ran into Eddie a few times in the corner. Elgin then hit Eddie with three German Suplexes in a row. Elgin hit Eddie with a basement Northern Forearm for the two count. Eddie blocked Elgin’s Elgin Bomb attempt. Eddie and Elgin had a strong style striking sequence in the center of the ring. Eddie and Elgin no sold each other’s lariats. Eddie managed to turn Elgin inside out iwth a left handed lariat. Eddie hit Elgin with a Tiger Bomb for a good nearfall.
Eddie put Elgin on the top rope. Elgin pulled Eddie in and hit him with a Super Attitude Adjustment for a two count. Elgin quickly followed up with a Crossface. Eddie escaped. Elgin gave Eddie clubbing elbows to the side of the head. Elgin put Eddie back in the crossface and the referee noticed that Eddie was passed out after the punches.
Michael Elgin defeated Eddie Edwards via ref stoppage in 10:35 of on-air TV Time to win the first match in the best of 5 series (The series is currently 1-0 in favor of Elgin).
Josh Mathews handled the outro to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: I do like me some ref stoppage finishes. Even so, I already feel like they are starting to run Eddie Edwards vs. Michael Elgin into the ground. They already had three matches already, so technically this is a best-of-8-ish series. The diminishing returns on a repeated match took this down a bit. Eddie’s cartoon character gimmick also takes things down a notch. I would be totally okay with this if Elgin sweeps Eddie and this leads to American Wolf Eddie coming back, but I’m not holding my breath on that. If this was Rich Swann vs. Michael Elgin there might have been more staying power, but as I said, Eddie’s currently an F’n cartoon character.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of this episode of Impact sadly. It wasn’t horrid. The most memorable positives were the El Hijo Del Vikingo match and the short Johnny Swinger and Willie Mack interaction. Everything else seemed like a meaningless or flawed segment. Even the Knockouts triple threat felt like it was killing time. I understand not doing in-ring promos because of the Spanish speaking crowd; but if that’s the case then why do they tape English television in Mexico on the regular? As I throw out there, maybe Jason Powell liked it better than I did? You can check out his thoughts when he comes out with the hit list and member’s exclusive audio review.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Frank Zarrillo discussing his film "The Wrestler: A QT Marshall Story", which includes appearances by Matt Riddle, Damian Priest, Gerald Brisco, Kevin Kelly, Steve Corino, and many more, the involvement of Marshall's wife and mother, and much more. Stick around after the interview for Powell's audio review of Wednesday's AEW Dynamite television show...