By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped January 17-18, 2020 in Mexico City, Mexico at Fronton Mexico
Aired February 11, 2020 on AXS TV
[Hour One] Clips from the Taya Valkyrie and Jordynne Grace feud were shown followed by the Impact Wrestling intro theme…
Josh Mathews and Don Callis were on commentary…
1. Michael Elgin vs. Eddie Edwards in the second match of the best-of-5 series (Elgin leads 1-0). Josh noted that Elgin was up 1-0 and looks calm because of it. Josh also noted that Eddie might make a comeback like some Boston sports team. Elgin slammed Eddie early on and locked in an early crossface. Eddie got to the bottom rope for the break. Eddie reversed a forearm with a German Suplex and a basement forearm with a crucifix rollup, two count.
Eddie hyperextended Elgin’s leg with a dragon screw on the second rope. Elgin countered an Eddie dive with a power bomb for a two count. Elgin clocked Eddie with a right elbow. Eddie and Elgin traded strikes outside. Elgin slowed things down by giving Eddie a backbreaker on the apron. Elgin would constantly taunt Eddie while on offense. Elgin no-sold Eddie’s enzuigiri and hit Eddie with a German Suplex. Elgin hit Eddie with a Dragon Suplex. Elgin got a two count after a lariat on Eddie.
Elgin blocked Eddie’s Sunset bomb attempt. Elgin clocked Eddie with a right elbow. Eddie then turned Elgin inside-out with a lariat. Eddie hit Elgin with a Tiger Driver for a two count. Elgin tried to rest outside, but Eddie followed up on Elgin with a suicide dive. Eddie and Elgin brawled to the top rope. Elgin almost got a Super Bomb but Eddie followed through into a Frankensteiner for a two count. Elgin parried Eddie’s strikes into a side sweep. Elgin locked Eddie in a crossface. Elgin continued with the parries.
Eddie came back with a German Suplex. Elgin ducked a Shining Wizard attempt. Elgin hit Eddie with the Buckle Bomb followed by an Elgin Bomb for the victory.
Michael Elgin defeated Eddie Edwards via pinfall 10:46. Michael Elgin leads the series 2-0.
Josh and Don agreed that Eddie looks outmatched…
A highlight package aired to hype up Taya Valkyrie vs. Jordynne Grace for later in the show…
John’s Thoughts: A decent enough match, but both these men are running out of fresh takes on the same matchup. Technically, the series is 4-1 in favor of Elgin when you really think of it. Josh Mathews even alluded to that when he noted that the win-win ratio was low despite these two wrestling matches for months. All I think this feud has done is cool down what was once a really hot Michael Elgin act. It doesn’t help that Eddie Edwards looks like a poorly conceived cartoon character. With Eddie, the guy might be better served if he goes back to wearing tights and being clean shaven.
An ad aired for Impact Sacrifice…
Gabby Loren was outside of Taya Valkyrie’s dressing room to interview her. Taya emerged from the room and Gabby asked Taya if Taya feels prepared. Taya talked about how stupid that question was. Taya said of course she’s ready. Taya noted that everyone including Gabby is against Taya. Taya started listing off names of other women on the Impact Roster who she felt was against her. For some reason, it looked like Gabby was trying to hold back a chuckle. Taya bragged about beating Tessa Blanchard several times in title matches. Taya then noted she’s the current longest reigning champion “in wrestling”. Taya said she’s at least a bit grateful that John E Bravo is still on her side to help…
Josh Mathews and Don Callis checked in from their commentary booth. Josh advertised Impact Sacrifice which was a joint show with Ohio Valley Wrestling…
2. Madman Fulton vs. Daga. Josh said he’s not sure if it’s Sami or The Crist Brothers who sent Fulton after Daga. Daga took Fulton down early on with two dropkicks. Fulton used his core to block Daga’s hip toss. Fulton lifted Daga with an Iron Claw hold. Don Callis noted that Fulton had a successful amateur wrestling career at Bowling Green University (This was a part of his initial WWE gimmick before he was repackaged to join Eric Young’s Sanity faction). The action spilled to ringside, heading into commercial.[c]
Fulton hit Daga with a flapjack, boot, and body slam for a two count. Fulton gave Daga snake eyes on the turnbuckle followed up by a German Suplex for a two count. Fulton worked on Daga for a sequence. Daga used his speed to elude Fulton for a bit. Daga took down Fulton with a Missile Dropkick. Daga hit Fulton with a short DDT for a two count. Daga hit Fulton with a double stomp for another two count. Fulton fought through Daga’s strikes with a choke hold. Fulton hit Daga with a choke slam for a two count.
Fulton carried Daga to the top rope but Daga escaped. Daga hit Fulton with a German from the Second Rope. Daga hit Fulton with a Death Valley Driver. The Crist brothers ran out to catch Daga’a attention. Daga took down Jake and Dave with a corkscrew plancha. Callis noted that Fulton is recovering. Daga hit Fulton with a slingshot Ace Crusher. Fulton countered Daga with a modified version of his End of Days move for the win.
Madman Fulton defeated Daga via pinfall in 7:56 of on-air TV Time.
John’s Thoughts: OVE is another act that’s gotten cold over the past few months. Fulton was never really hot to begin with in terms of being a monster, and that monster hype is even more hindered with Fulton struggling to beat Daga. Daga’s also a guy who really needs to get out of his shell a bit, but that’s tough given how many companies have tried to give Daga pushes, but he’s just come off as very wooden.
After the match, they cut to Moose getting a massage. Moose told the masseuse to rub his ass because Rhino has been a pain in Moose’s ass. Moose said he’s tired of constantly wrestling Rhino and Impact, for some reason, booked Moose in another match against Rhino for the Sacrifice show. Moose said he doesn’t need to prepare since he beat Rhino at Hard to Kill. Moose said it’s more important to protect his body at this point. The masseuse walked away and Rhino replaced her. Rhino slapped Moose’s back and Moose said that hurt.
Rhino caught Moose’s attention and said he doesn’t give a damn if that hurt. Moose and Rhino brawled a bit. Rhino ripped off Moose’s towel revealing that he was wearing red underwear. Moose ran away after Rhino started whipping him with the towel…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Thank God Moose was wearing underwear under there or else Impact would have gotten banned from Twitch yet again. Anyway, I think Impact is really stretching themselves thin by trying to do the slightest amount of build to a show that nobody is excited for, nor is going to watch. I say this because Impact used to put this hype towards their “Themed shows” which had the TNA-PPV names. Now, Impact TV is less important and Impact Plus was never important to begin with. They’re just stretching themselves thin to the point where they are just sinking costs all across the board.
3. All Ego Ethan Page (w/Josh Alexander) vs. Fallah Bahh (w/TJ Perkins). Page got the early advantage after Alexander tripped up Bahh early on. Bahh managed to turn the tide and hit Page with a corner splash. Bahh hit Page with a Belly to Belly for a two count. Page managed to kick Bahh off the apron. Bahh Bahh’d up and hit Page with a splash and hip attack in the corner. Bahh then followed up with a Samoan Drop. Alexander pulled Bahh to ringside to prevent him from eating a Banzai Drop.
TJP dove over the top rope to take out Alexander. Bahh caught Page with the small package for the win.
Fallah Bahh defeated Ethan Page via pinfall.
Josh noted that this may put Bahh and TJP in line for a title shot. Josh also noted that The North weren’t doing well in Mexico, losing to Vikingo and Bahh at different points…[c]
Jessika Havok and James Mitchell were walking backstage. Mitchell was warning Havok about the Undead Bride getting too powerful. Mitchell said he’s trying to keep things under control by preventing the metaphysical version of a nuclear holocaust. They ran into the “Susie” version of Su Yung backstage (complete with the campy music in the background). Mitchell was super relieved and joked about wanting to buy Susie a doggie tracking implant from a vet to keep track of her. Mitchell told Susie to follow him and Jessika. Susie followed, showing that she wasn’t fully Susie anymore by twitching and holding a noose over her shoulder…
John’s Thoughts: Yep. They don’t know what they’re writing. It really says something when you can easily argue that AEW’s Dark Order storyline makes way more coherent sense than whatever they are trying to do with James Mitchell and crew.
[Hour Two] Rob Van Dam and Katie Forbes made their entrance to RVD’s new and improved entrance music. Katie is making like she wants to get Impact banned from Twitch again with her usual twerking entrance (I kid, I kid). I’m guessing we’re getting our regularly scheduled Joey Ryan penis match based off Joey making his entrance…
4. Rob Van Dam (w/Katie Forbes) vs. Joey Ryan. Joey started the match like he usually does, with the oil on his crotch. Joey also asked RVD to touch his dick, as he usually does. RVD just did his thumb point thing. Ryan still wanted RVD to touch his dick. RVD instead got in the face of Ryan. Ryan shoved RVD off and struck a fighting pose. Katie Forbes entered the ring and made out with RVD. Don Callis said he doesn’t understand why the referee isn’t doing anything about Katie interfering.
Katie started booty shaking. This distracted Ryan enough to allow RVD to kick him down. Callis said he would like there to be at least one wrestling move. RVD walked around the ring and did his thumb thing. RVD teased a Rolling Thunder and then pulled back. Ryan got up and gave RVD right hands. Ryan hit RVD with a dropkick. RVD rolled to ringside and gave Katie a kiss. Ryan followed RVD out and brawled with RVD. Callis noted that Ryan has a good dropkick, just like Jim Brunzell.
RVD hit Ryan with an eye poke. RVD crotched Joey on the top rope and hit him with a diving Sobat kick. RVD teased another rolling thunder and then went to make out with Katie at ringside. This allowed Joey to hit RVD with a suicide dive. Joey rallied with strikes in the ring. Joey and RVD traded rollups. Joey then managed to get RVD to grab his dick. Joey got two penis pumps in on the Penis plex but RVD countered the Penis toss with an enzuigiri. Callis said he never saw anyone counter the penis plex. RVD hit Joey with a 5 star frog splash for the win.
Rob Van Dam defeated Joey Ryan via pinfall in 7:29.
John’s Thoughts: A little bit different from your usual Joey Ryan penis match, but still mostly the same, with minimal fighting. I guess it’s progress that RVD became the first person to no-sell Joey’s penis plex I guess? Silver lining, I like that they continue to put over heel RVD strong. It builds stock for when he has to pass that over to a up-and-coming babyface.
Josh Mathews noted that “something is going on in the locker room” involving Su Yung. They cut to Su Yung, now transformed I guess, as she was dragging around James Mitchell by the neck with a noose. Mitchell passed out. Then a random acid trip montage, or something like that, flashed on the screen. They then cut to James Mitchell recovering in a different location. Mitchell talked about how “daddy’s home” in the “undead realm”…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Not even Matt Hardy can save this at this point. But hey, if Anthem wants to tank their company and creative, who am I to stop them with my criticism. Stubbornness is one of the things that killed the TNA cat and that self-indulgent behavior continues to persist to this day. Man, do I miss 2016 Impact Wrestling when they finally got things right (before Dixie Carter found a way to drag it back down to s–t)
It was time for the Impact Plus Flashback Match of the Week. It was Showtime Eric Young vs. Magnus (Real Name: Nick Aldis) at TNA Victory Road for the Impact World Championship. Eric Young retained the title…
Johnny Swinger was hyping Willie Mack up backstage for Mack’s match against Mahabali Shera. Swinger talked about having “Fuji dust”, brass knuckles, and a roll of quarters in his fanny pack, ready for when Mack gives Swinger the iggy to interfere. Mack said the iggy he’s giving Swinger is for him to just stay in place right here because he doesn’t need Swinger’s help. Mack left. Swinger said he’s getting mixed signals, like possible dissension…
Gama Singh handled his usual DHS introduction…
5. Mahabali Shera (w/Rohit Raju, Gama Singh) vs. Willie Mack. Callis noted that the ring announcer called Mack “El Chocolate Calliente”. Josh said he thinks it means Chocolate Thunder. Callis noted that Calliente means “hot”. Shera dominated mack early on. Mack came back with a big boot. Mack pummeled shera in the corner. Rohit Raju ran in for the announced no-contest.
Mahabali Shera vs. Willie Mack ended in a no contest in 0:43.
Johnny Swinger saved Mack by clearing the ring by swinging around a chair. The ring announcer announced in english and spanish that the match got rebooked as a tag team match…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Baby steps I guess, a wrestling company finally announced a match finish for interference. That said, why was it a no-contest instead of a DQ?
They aired a Combate Americas ad during the commercial…
John’s Thoughts: These constant ads for Alberto El Patron’s MMA promotion better not mean that Alberto El Patron will be making his Impact Wrestling return. I’m partially joking about that one.
6. Mahabali Shera and Rohit Raju (w/Gama Singh) vs. Willie Mack and Johnny Swinger. Don Callis said he was disappointed that he didn’t get Swinger doing the Hulk Hogan air guitar with the steel chair. Shera and Raju cut the ring in half on Swinger. Swinger managed to get the hot tag to Mack who cleaned house with lariats. Mack hit Shera with an imploding cannonball. Mack hit Raju with his Samoan Drop-Moonsault combo, modified with the Macarana.
Swinger tagged himself in to the confusion of Mack. Mack and Swinger put the boots to Shera. Mack didn’t want to double team with Swinger, and protested. This allowed Gama to pull Mack to ringside and distract him for a long time. Raju hit Swinger with a high knee to allow Shera to hit Swinger with Sky High for the win.
The Desi Hit Squad defeated Johnny Swinger and Willie Mack via pinfall in 3:28.
John’s Thoughts: While Mack and Pack may be one of the better written current stories in Impact, this match wasn’t all that great. They kinda made Swinger out to be a bit sympathetic with Mack looking like a bit of an A-hole for refusing any tandem offense with Swinger. I just thought that it contradicts Mack’s wholesome character he established in Lucha Underground and even in Impact when he worked with Rich Swann and various other tag team partners.
Gabby Loren interviewed Tessa Blanchard about Blanchard’s match against Ace Austin at Sacrifice with no titles on the line. Tessa talked about Austin’s “different” mind games, like trying to sleep with Alisha Edwards or hitting on Trey Miguel’s mom. Ace Austin interrupted the interview. Austin said that Tessa sounds insecure. Austin said Tessa will never earn Daddy’s approval. Austin said the bright side is that Austin has a thing for girls with daddy issues. This caused Tessa to pummel Austin. Reno Scum and the Rascalz ran in between to pull apart Tessa and Austin…[c]
An ad aired for Impact Sacrifice on Impact Plus…
They replayed the previous Ace Austin and Tessa Blanchard segment…
Josh Mathews and Don Callis checked in on commentary. Josh announced Ace Austin, Luster the Legend, and Adam Thornstowe vs. Tessa Blanchard, Trey Miguel, and Tommy Dreamer in a trios match for next week. Josh was trying to run through more line reads, but they were interrupted by the “reality is lost” QR code again. The last two week’s Josh no-sold it, but this week he acknowledged the “technical difficulties”…
John’s Thoughts: One underlying bright spot, I like that they’re separating Trey Miguel from the Rascal act for now and he’s obviously coming off as a bigger star as a result. The complaints Jason and I have about Impact’s stubbornness to progress aren’t unwarranted. It’s proven when they put it on their TV that hokey stuff like the 70s show ripoff and Undead Realm don’t do a lick of positive for this company.
Entrances for the main event took place. Taya Valkyrie was wearing Cruella de Vil themed ring gear. Josh Mathews noted that Taya Valkyrie is the longest reigning overall champion in all companies in the modern era…
John’s Thoughts: Uhm? That’s laying it on a bit thick Josh? Kazuchika Okada has had twice as long a reign (and Don Callis called his matches for years). CM Punk and Pete Dunne also come to mind as historic champions in the “modern era”. If we’re talking major women’s championships, I can think of Asuka and Shayna Baszler having longer reigns. Hell, Taya Valkyrie’s Queen of Queens Championship reign was longer. I’m not sure where Josh is getting his stats from. What Taya is, is she’s the longest reigning TNA/Impact champion of all time. She recently passed Bobby Roode for that.
6. Taya Valkyrie (w/John E Bravo) vs. Jordynne Grace for the Impact Knockouts Championship. Taya pummeled Grace early on. Taya hit Grace with a hip attack in the corner. Bravo choked Grace with the dog leash while Taya distracted the referee. Taya then hit Grace with her signature corner meteora. [c]
The show came back with about 12 minutes left at the top of the hour. Taya was putting the boots to Grace. Taya tried to get the crowd to boo her by trying to start a “culero” chant, but they didn’t bite. Grace suplexed Taya. Grace hit Taya at ringside with a dive. Bravo shoved Grace off the top rope while the referee was distracted by Taya. Taya and Bravo traded off attacking Grace. Grace gained a moment of respite after hitting Taya with a spinebuster.
Grace and Taya traded chest slaps and forearms. Grace hit Taya with a series of body slams. Grace hit Taya with a Michinoku Driver for a two count. Josh noted that Grace cost herself that pin by trying to count with the referee. Taya hit Grace with a high knee and staggered her on the apron. Bravo dragged over the wooden steps. Taya power bombed Grace on the wooden steps. Taya went back to kicking Grace after Grace beat the ten count.
Taya hit Grace with a Road to Valhalla on the top of the ramp. Grace beat the ten count again. Taya got two nearfalls in the ring. The crowd was giving John E Bravo a huge ovation. Grace tripped off Taya from the top rope. Grace set up and hit Taya with a Kinniku Buster for a two count. Taya hit Grace with a sitout atomic drop into a cross armbreaker. Grace countered into a crossface. Bravo pulled Taya to the bottom rope for the break.
Grace hit Taya with a Vader Bomb and Grace Driver. John E pulled the referee to ringside. Grace dragged John E in the ring. Grace sidestepped Taya to cause Taya to accidentally spear John E. Bravo covered up Taya to eat a Senton from Grace. Grace hit Taya with a Grace Driver for the victory.
Jordynne Grace defeated Taya Valkyrie via pinfall in 12:39 of TV Time to become the new Impact Knockouts Champion.
Grace posed with the title belt and the crowd didn’t seem to care when Impact would show shots of the crowd. Impact closed…
John’s Thoughts: A bit of a clunky match and an anticlimactic end to Taya’s “historic” title reign. I think them being in Mexico set up a bit of a weird atmosphere. Taya tried to get the crowd to boo her, but they wouldn’t bite on her leading them. There were points during the match where the crowd were giving a positive reaction to John E Bravo. That also led to the match not being all that great. If the title change were going to happen, I thought that either they should have dragged this to the US where they can build in front of an English speaking crowd, or they should have did the title change at Hard to Kill where there was a better match and atmosphere.
Overall, Impact continues to be very meh in the AXS era of Impact. A huge contributor to this meh-ness is the Mexico tapings. It’s just tough to really build any talking segments in front of a crowd that won’t react to them. It’s also very odd that Impact on AXS has ended up being an inferior product to Impact on the Buck Hunting Pursuit network. This show in particular, there was not much to really like. They did a lot of hype to a Impact Plus show that most wrestling fans aren’t going to bat an eye to, so there’s that? Seriously, who would pay for Impact Plus. I wonder, are they still not allowed to use the Spike TV footage on that thing? I remember that was a problem for a while.