By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped January 17-18, 2020 in Mexico City, Mexico at Fronton Mexico
Aired February 4, 2020 on AXS TV
[Hour One] Highlights from last week’s Impact Wrestling show were shown. They focused on the Eddie Edwards vs. Michael Elgin match. The Impact Wrestling intro theme played…
Josh Mathews and Don Callis were on commentary. Impact World Champion Tessa Blanchard made her entrance to the Fronton Mexico Entertainment Complex. The crowd was somewhat receptive towards Tessa (and there was an odd amount of cat call whistling from the crowd). Tessa addressed Ace Austin constantly bringing up beating Tessa Blanchard several times. Tessa said she knows that Ace Austin likes to play mind games. Tessa said you don’t have to play games with Tessa. Tessa said she said it before “I may be hard to kill, but not hard to find”.
Tessa said she has match scheduled on February 22 at Impact Sacrifice (A Impact Plus show), but Tessa said she’s a bit impatient and she wanted Ace Austin to “andale!” out here. Josh noted that it’s a regular thing for Tessa Blanchard to call out her opponents. Ace Austin, Adam Thornstowe, and Luster the Legend made their entrance. Ace Austin came out dressed as a pimp with a spotted suit and pimp cane. A referee suddenly appeared in the ring. The three heels argued who would wrestle Tessa. So this is a match? Josh noted that Thornstowe took up the challenge and Josh noted that Tessa doesn’t look intimidated…
John’s Thoughts: I have to agree with Josh. If I saw Adam Thornstowe running at me I wouldn’t be intimidated either. I’m kidding. I’m kidding.
1. Impact Wrestling World Champion Tessa Blanchard vs. Adam Thornstowe (w/Ace Austin, Luster The Legend) in a non-title match. Thornstowe overpowered Tessa early on. Tessa punched Thornstowe to the second rope. Luster tried to distract Tessa on the apron, but Tessa dodged Tornstowe’s blindside attack to cause him to accidentally knock Luster off the apron. Tessa put Adam back on the second rope and gave him a jump kick followed by a thrust kick. Adam escaped Tessa’s DDT finisher. Tessa hit Adam with a huracanrana. Tessa tried to hit Luster with a Suicide Dive but Luster caught her and hit her with a backbreaker on the apron. Ace Austin was distracting the referee.
The crowd gave Reno Scum a “Culero” (asshole) chant. Adam rubbed his armpit into Tessa’s face. Adam fishhooked Tessa on the ground. Thornstowe worked on Tessa for a bit with methodical strikes. Tessa did manage to nail Thornstowe with chops and forearms, but Tornstowe regained control and went back to the methodical offense with Tessa working from underneath. Thornstowe did Tessa Blanchard’s ass pose (ok… that one cracked me up). He did miss a moonsault though.
Tessa came back with the right hands followed by a lariat. Tessa then gave Thornstowe a huracanrana. Tessa lifted and hit Tornstowe with a Samoan Drop. Tessa kicked Thornstowe into Luster on the outside. Tessa then hit Luster with two suicide dives. Tessa caught Luster with a top rope cannonball. Tessa slipped under Thornstowe to hit him with a cutter for a two count. Tessa reversed Adam’s Impaler into her Hammerlock DDT finisher for the win.
Tessa Blanchard defeated Adam Thornstowe via pinfall in 7:58.
Ace Austin used his pimp cane to distract Tessa so Luster could lock her in a reverse bear hug. Tessa escaped by kicking Luster in the balls. Ace Austin used his “loaded fist” to knock out Tessa, as the commentators put it. Reno Scum held Tessa in place so Austin could kick her. Austin did. Suddenly, the babyface hero of the lockeroom, Tommy Dreamer ran out for the save with a Kendo Stick. Dreamer hit Reno Scum with the stick. Ace Austin retreated with Scum by ducking a cane shot. Tommy Dreamer held up Tessa’s hand in victory…
Madison Rayne and Kiera Hogan were bickering backstage. Taya approached them and tried to work out a similar deal that she made with them before Hard to Kill, to take care of Jordynne Grace. Kiera and Madison said they weren’t helping this time. Taya said that Madison and Kiera were acting like such bullies…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A solid enhancement match that I thought went about four minutes too long? If this were Luster, I could see an argument being made for the larger guy working long methodical sequences, but I think they should have gotten away with a shorter match for Adam to have Tessa go over strong. That said, it was still solid. The highlight of the match was probably Adam Tornstowe doing Tessa Blanchard’s ass pose. Of all the years I’ve seen of Adam Thornstowe matches, that was probably the most impactful move he’s ever done (Again, I’m kidding. This is a running inside joke that only a few people are going to get).
They aired Tommy Dreamer “during the break” challenging Ace Austin to a street fight match later on in this show…
Josh Mathews and Don Callis checked in on commentary. While Josh was doing his line reads, the broadcast was “hacked” and the ICU graphics started flashing on the screen. This week there were the words “Scan the Code” followed by a QR Code. Josh advertised upcoming segments including the in-ring “debut” of Susie Yung. Josh also advertised Tessa Blanchard vs. Ace Austin at Impact Sacrifice (I’m assuming it’s non title on both sides)…
John’s Thoughts: So, the QR Code doesn’t work if you scan it on your TV (due to the TV’s 16:9 aspect ratio). I used some quick editing to scale it back to 4:3 for you guys and I scanned it myself. Thankfully, I didn’t get a computer virus and it forwards you to realityislost.com. On that site is a bunch of “hacker” graphics, a “hacker” video, and some written promos mocking Impact management. When you think of “pro wrestling hacker” you think of Solomon Crowe Sami Callihan right? Solomon Crowe is Sami’s hacker gimmick that never saw the light of day before WWE scraped it and made Sami a generic crazy person (a la Eric Young). Based off the “Nashville” promo on that website, it seems simple as that, but I kinda hope that they are trying to debut a new wrestler because Impact hasn’t really done detailed character debut vignettes in a long time. I go back to Killer Kross and Scarlett Bordeaux’s debut vignettes as some Impact’s successes on that front.
Rhino made his entrance constantly saying the words “who’s the man, who’s the man baby”…
2. Rhino vs. Taurus. Rhino yelled “who’s the man” at Taurus to start. Rhino then locked Taurus in a headlock. Taurus escaped and both men stood in a stalemate, no selling each other’s shoulder blocks. Rhino successfully got Taurus to the mat with a shoulder block. Taurus came back with a shoulder tackle of his own. Rhino slipped and snake eyed Taurus on the apron. Rhino and Taurus brawled at ringside. Taurus hit Rhino in the ring with double knees to the arm of Rhino. Taurus chop blocked Rhino and gave him a Shining Wizard for a two count.
Josh noted that you shouldn’t see a guy Taurus’s size do high flying moves like that (uhm? Taurus is kinda small.). Taurus crashed and burned on a Corkscrew Moonsault attempt. Rhino gave Taurus a belly-to-belly suplex for a two count. Rhino gave Taurus a spinebuster and was getting ready for the Gore. Moose ran out and put the boots to Rhino for the apparent DQ.
Taurus defeated Rhino via apparent DQ in 6:44.
Moose put the boots to Taurus too after the bell. Moose was wearing silken or satin-like street clothes. Moose started showboating to the crowd. This allowed Taurus to hit Moose with a headbutt and Rhino to hit Moose with a Gore. Moose rolled away. Rhino’s theme played as Rhino fist bumped with Taurus…
Elgin was staring in a mirror cutting a promo on Eddie Edwards. Elgin talked about looking up to Eddie ten years ago when they wrestled each other. Elgin said Eddie needs to look up to Elgin now. Elgin recapped making Eddie pass out last week. Elgin said he only wants the world championship. Elgin said he’s going up 2-0 next week, and will go 3-0 in the next match. Elgin said he’s keeping his promise, to prove he’s better than Eddie…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Eh, not too horrid of a match, but it was still a bit boring. The “walk and brawl” Rhino match that Rhino has been delivering since his Impact return. Can’t say this feud is intriguing either. Did someone’s child think it would be fun booking a feud between three wrestlers that sound like they come from the animal kingdom? Eh? Taurus, while looking impressive for spurts, still comes off as a non-cannon “guest wrestler”. We might get one or two more matches between these three and I’m not looking forward to it.
Johnny Swinger was shown trying to psyche himself up for what he was attempting to do next. Swinger stormed the Desi Hit Squad locker room and was talking in his Swinger-isms. Swinger said “The Mack and Pack” connection was the hottest new team in the territory and they were issuing a challenge. Swinger was then intimidated by Mahabali Shera. Swinger then changed his challenge to a one-on-one match between Willie Mack and Mahabali Shera. Swinger then got timid while also recommending that the Hit Squad listen to that “new” Van Halen album that just came out. The DHS then discussed things in their native Indian dialect…
It was time for the Impact Plus Flashback match of the week. This was The Dudley Boyz vs. Beer Money vs. The Motor City Machine Guns from an old TNA Sacrifice PPV. I fast forwarded 2-3 minutes. Chris Sabin pinned Bubba Ray…
Taya Valkyrie was shown ranting in front of Rosemary who was distracted looking like she was going to ambush someone. Taya tried to ask for Rosemary’s help, but Rosemary was still distracted. James Mitchell was walking by on his phone. Rosemary choked Mitchell and threw him in a random closet. Rosemary told Taya “we’re” busy as she dashed off. Mitchell was banging on the locked door (despite the door obviously not having a dead bolt, Only in TNA folks!)…
John’s Thoughts: Ugh… Again? What’s the point of this story? Why are Mitchell, Havok, and Yung roaming backstage for seemingly no reason (they beat Rosemary damn about every week). What is Rosemary’s role in this? Why is there crappy music and screen filters? Why don’t Mitchell and crew just stay in Hell or whatever? I’ve watched crappy anime with more coherent stories than this. This is just pure TNA ass booking. I’m not talking about Vince Russo booking. That guy knew how to tell a story. Star of the women’s division? Taya Valkyrie, for no-selling this crap ass booking and staying as far as possible from this pretentious crap.
An ad aired for Alberto Del Rio (they’re using the name Alberto del Rio) vs. Tito Oritz on the Combate Americas show this friday…
They cut back to James Mitchell and Jessika Havok both struggling to free Mitchell from being trapped in the closet (despite there obviously not being a deadbolt!). Rosemary choked out Havok and made her pass out. I think Rosemary may have licked Havok’s head. Rosemary then ran away…
John’s Thoughts: Seriousy? No dead bolt! Ugh! Only in TNA! I have to deal with this here and on Wednesday nights I have to deal with DJ Zema F’n Ion continuing to try to keep BroMans alive. Scott D’Amore and crew are right, TNA is hard to kill.
Rosemary made her entrance giggling. Josh Mathews attempted to recap the Susie Yung story. Susie Yung made her entrance wearing a short skirt Sailor Dress. Josh said he doesn’t think the people in Mexico know how to react to what they’re seeing (I’m pretty sure people in the United States don’t know either)…
3. Rosemary vs. “Susie” Yung. Rosemary gave Susie a free punch but Susie wanted a handshake. Rosemary shook Susie’s hand and dragged the hand to her neck. Susie pulled back and said “that is bad”. Rosemary then slapped Susie in the face, causing her to cry. Rosemary then slapped Susie in the face with Su Yung’s bloody glove. Susie then put on the glove while Rosemary was showboating. Susie then let out a banchee scream and gave Rosemary a Thesz Press.
Susie dragged Rosemary around in Mandible Claw position. Rosemary rolled outside and told Susie to come outside. Both women brawled to the back.
Rosemary vs. Susie Yung ended in an apparent no-contest in 3:07.
Josh said that they need to send a camera to the back. They cut to the weird cinematic cameras with the crappy purple filter. The crappy stock music started playing in the background. Rosemary and Susie brawled up the same stairwell that Havok and Su Yung brawled up. The one where Havok choked Su Yung “to death”. Rosemary found a noose and started to choke Susie to death (and I almost wanted to vomit). Next, Susie started no-selling and she “transformed” into Su Yung. Yay? Havok ran up the stairs and had a not-so-epic staredown with Su Yung…[c]
John’s Slightly NSFW Thought: That “cinematic” was nothing more than pretentious bullshit (and I rarely curse, ya’ll know me). There’s no story! No plot! Just aimless people doing aimless things. What makes this hurt worse is Susie Yung’s acting is great! James Mitchell’s delivery is great! Rosemary’s delivery is decent (albeit she has a pretentious script). Havok’s being wasted. I joked about it earlier, but this story feels like it was written by a five year old who saw the Thai movie Shutter for the first time. I’m not joking about the five-year old thing. Little kids only want to see “cool things” without proper plot structure. Huh? Ok. Rant over. Anyway, the small bright spot. Susie’s acting and selling was actually pretty good during the in-ring portion. It’s the bad Adobe After Effects and aimless story that dragged this all to shit.
They cut back to the crap ass undead realm cinematic. James Mitchell entered the stairwell (I guess he figured out how to open a door that had no dead bolt). Rosemary, Jessika Havok, and some security guards were all knocked out around the stairwell. Rosemary was giggling. James Mitchell said, “congratulations Rosemary, we’re all doomed”…
[Hour Two] TJP and Fallah Bahh made their entrance. Josh Mathews was super excited and yelled “SU YUNG IS BACK!!!”. He asked Callis what he thought and Callis simply said it was bad…
4. TJ Perkins (w/Fallah Bahh) vs. El Hijo Del Vikingo. Perkins and Viking did a Code of Honor handshake to start the match. The crowd was fully behind Vikingo. Vikingo and Perkins started off with technical chain wrestling. Perkins took down Vikingo with his signature twisting headscissors. Perkins escaped Vikingo’s headscissors with his signature handstand. Vikingo put TJP in a BJJ high guard. They then converted to handstands and started slapping each other. Both men kip’d up into a stalemate stance.
Perkins did a handstand in the corner and hit Vikingo with a huracanrana. Perkins then did his classic Suicide Spiderman grab on the ropes. Vikingo went outside and caught Perkins with a slingshot spear. vikingo hit Perkins with an impressive corkscrew huracanrana (I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone do that). That move looked like it came straight out of one of my favorite video games of all time, Def Jam Fight For New York. Vikingo hit Perkins ringside from the apron with a running Shooting Star Press.
John’s Thoughts: After seeing that sequence, there’s a part of me that wants to see Vikingo vs. Mark Andrews. Vikingo has Rey Fenix-like main event upside and I think highly of Mark Andrews as a Welsh and much younger Rey Mysterio.
Perkins dodged a slingshot 450 from Vikingo. Perkins hit Vikingo with an inverted gutbuster. Perkins followed up with a slingshot Swanton for a two count. Perkins slowed things down with a full nelson side headlock. Vikingo escaped, and then deadlifted Perkins into a very innovative standing Bow and Arrow hold. Perkins escaped and hit Vikingo with the Pentagon Sacrifice Armbreaker. Perkins got a two count after a Russian Legsweep. Vikingo and Perkins traded roundhouses. Vikingo caught TJ’s roundhouse into a crossarmbreaker.
Perkins escaped and locked Vikingo in a Muta Lock. Perkins had Vikingo in a Fujiwara Armbar for a second, but Vikingo made his way to the bottom rope for the break. Vikingo won a chop battle with a kick. Vikingo surprised TJ entering the ring, with a shotgun dropkick. Vikingo hit Perkins with a Tope Con Hilo over the ringpost. A Spanish-accent “This Is Awesome” chant ensued (they’re right! This is great). Vikingo had Perkins in a reverse drape as he hit him with a rebound guillotine leg drop.
TJ Perkins did a flip into a Tombstone Pile Driver on Vikingo. Perkins hit Vikingo with a Five Star Frog Splash for a great nearfall. Vikingo tripped Perkins off the top rope. Vikingo hit Perkins with a meteora in the corner. This got him a solid nearfall. Fallah Bahh was cheering on Perkins from ringside. Perkins ran up the top rope with Vikingo and hit him with a Superplex. Perkins then converted into an Octopus Hold. A fan threw a water bottle at Perkins (eh, not cool by the fan, that probably should have been edited out).
Vikingo made it to the bottom rope for the break. Perkins hit Vikingo with a CQC combo. Vikingo came back with a corkscrew roundhouse. Perkins countered Vikingo’s slingshot move. Perkins then countered a huracanrana from Vikingo into a Modified STF. Vikingo tapped out.
TJ Perkins defeated El Hijo del Vikingo via submission in 13:19.
Josh Alexander and Ethan page ran out to put the boots to Vikingo. Josh noted that this was revenge for Vikingo beating Alexander last week. They knocked out TJ Perkings. Both North members backed down when Fallah Bahh confronted them…
John’s Thoughts: One of the major US promotions out there, even smaller ones like Impact or MLW, need to consider signing this Vikingo guy (unless we have a Walter situation where the guy just doesn’t want to live away from home, then I understand). Vikingo has been the most impressive wrestler to appear out of AAA via these “partnerships” (and this guy was in AAA during the dull Vampiro era of AAA too so he’s been impressive for a while). This was a fun match that wasn’t just high spots, but it also included a lot of submission wrestling to differentiate it from other X-Division or Lucha Libre matchups.
Katie Forbes confronted Joey Ryan about what Joey said last week of Katie wanting to “touch it”. Joey told Katie “thanks but no thanks”. Katie said she had something else to talk about. Rob Van Dam blindsided Joey Ryan and put the boots to him. Rob and Katie made out to end the segment…[c]
Gabby Loren interviewed Rob Van Dam and Katie Forbes about RVD “losing his cool”. RVD said he didn’t lose anything, and is cool as a cucumber. RVD said Joey Ryan will find out how cool RVD is next week…
John’s Thoughts: Get ready for yet another Joey Ryan Penis match. Just mad lib RVD’s name in there as the opponent.
Entrances for the upcoming tag match took place before the commercial…[c]
5. “OVE” Dave Crist and Jake Crist (w/Madman Fulton) vs. Daga and Dr. Wagner Jr. Wagner led the crowd in an “Ay Puto!” chant. Dave and Wagner locked up early. Wagner used a drop toehold on Dave and did his Wagner pose. Dave landed a right hand on Wagner but Wagner came back with a power slam. Don Callis noted that the Crist Brothers are fans of the Cleveland Browns and that the Browns signed the Minnesota Vikings Offensive coordinator as their head coach. Callis said, “good luck with that” in regards to the coaching change.
Daga tagged in. After some counters Daga landed a kick on Jake. Jake gave Daga a DVD. Daga came back with his own DVD. Daga chased Jake to ringside. Daga ran right inot Dave’s right hand. Daga hit Dave with a kick combination to get Dave to his knees. Wagner and Jake tagged in. Wagner had the hot hand. Wagner hit Jake and Dave with Dragon Screws. He then hit Jake with a German Suplex. Daga hit Jake with a Face Wash. Daga hit Jake with a Brainbuster for a two count due to Dave breaking the count.
Jake fended off Daga with savate kicks. Jake catapulted Daga into Dave’s boot after Dage tagged in. Dave hit Daga with a spike pile driver. Wagner broke up the pin. Wagner hit Jake at ringside with a cannonball. Daga hit Dave with a double underhook facebuster for the win.
Daga and Dr. Wagner Jr. defeated OVE via pinfall in 8:13.
Madman Fulton ran in and beat up all three babyfaces. Fulton hit Daga with End of Days. He also put the boots to Wagner’s son. Fulton ended the segment by doing Sami Callihan’s Thumb thing…
Johnny Swinger ran into Willie Mack (who was wearing a Darkwing Duck shirt) backstage claiming that Mack has heat with Mahabali Shera, possibly from something like not paying for gas money. Swinger noted that Shera understands that Mack and Pack is the hottest team in the territory. Mack wasn’t on board with the team. Mack said he didn’t need Swinger’s help for his match against Shera. Mack walked away and Swinger claimed that Mack’s fanny pack was in the mail…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A interpromotional match that lacked any real energy. Odd, because you would think the crowd would be hyped for the AAA duo of Wagner and Daga, but they weren’t too much. Can’t wait to they get out of Mexico (even though these tapings have been better than most Mexico tapings, there’s still more unnecessary hurdles that Impact had to overcome). Moving past that, I was afraid that Mack would fall into the background with Rich Swann gone, but Mack is getting a chance to really shine and show his personality in these segments with Swinger. Looking forward to more Mack and Pack segments, and I never thought I’d say that.
Josh Mathews advertised Taya vs. Grace for the Knockouts Title, Fulton vs. Daga, and Eddie Edwards vs. Michael Elgin for next week…
6. Tommy Dreamer vs. Ace Austin in a Street Fight. Josh Mathews noted everyone was banned from ringside in this street fight (what?). Dreamer blocked Ace coming at him with the playing card. Dreamer backdroped Ace to outside. Dreamer teased a dive, but instead ran through the ropes, walked to the ground and punched Ace. Ace fought back Dreamer with kicks. Dreamer came back with a suplex. Dreamer brought weapons into play, like a trash can, cookie sheet, and sombrero. Dreamer hit Ace with a crutch. Dreamer put on the sombrero and gave Ace a headbutt.
Ace ran into the bleacher and Dreamer chased him up there. Dreamer beat up Ace in front of the fans heading into commercial.[c]
Ace started to toss Dreamer back to ringiside. Austin hit a sick dive from a balcony to Tommy Dreamer. Mathews noted that it looked like a ten feet crossbody. Dreamer regained control and trapped Ace’s arm in between a chair and turnbuckle. Dreamer used another chair to jam the chair into Ace’s wrist. Ace escaped Dreamer’s DDT attempt. Ace gave Dreamer’s head a paper cut. Dreamer bladed. Dreamer fended off Ace with a boot. Dreamer elbow dropped a chair into Ace. Dreamer hit Ace with his Dusty Bionic Elbow punches. A portion of the crowd actually chanted “Dusty Rhodes” (cool fans).
Ace slipped away from a cane shot and hit Dreamer with a top rope Fameasser for a two count. Ace hit Dreamer with the stick a few times. Dreamer got the stick back and hit Ace with a Side Russian Legsweep. Ace caught Dreamer with a spinning heel kick for a two count. Ace went for another paper cut spot, but Dreamer grabbed the crotch of Ace. Dreamer hit Ace with a DDT. Ace kicked out at two. Dreamer gave Ace a power slam into a table. Ace kicked out at two. Ace countered a Death Valley Driver with a Backstabber on Dreamer. Ace and Dreamer brawled to the top rope with Dreamer creating a ladder bridge in the corner. Ace austin pulled out his extendable stsaff and whacked Dreamer with it, crotching him in the ladder. Ace hit Dreamer with The Fold for the win.
Ace Austin defeated Tommy Dreamer in 14:28 of on-air TV Time.
Ace Austin celebrated his win to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: A solid hardcore brawl that gave Ace Austin a bit of a gritty win. I did think it dragged at points and I wasn’t a fan of Dreamer blading early on in the match, let alone selling a paper cut. I also thought that they could have done a better job building to this match as opposed to letting the quick story play out in one episode. I’ll say this week’s Impact was better than last week’s, but that’s because last week’s was very poor. The Mexican crowd is better than they were last time they taped in Mexico, but going to a foreign crowd puts Impact in a handicap, most notably in the promo department.