By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV – Emergence Night One
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios
Aired August 18, 2020 on AXS TV
Impact started out with an intro video that spotlighted the word “Emergence” that had clips from past Impact episodes and a lady in the background explaining the scientific meaning behind the word “Emergence”. The video then showed the set up footage to each of the individual matches on this weeks’ show. The usual Impact intro theme aired…
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne were on commentary…
1. Chris Bey vs. TJ Perkins (w/Fallah Bahh) vs. Rohit Raju for the Impact X Division Championship. Bey and Raju fist bumped at ringside. Perkins started the match off by giving them a dive to the outside. Raju tripped up Perkins with a kick but Perkins came back with his signature headscisors takedown. Bey gained control giving Perkins his own version of a headscissors. Bey avoided a Perkins wrecking ball kick.
Raju distracted Perkins to allow Bey to gain control and put the boots to Perkins. Perkins got Bey in a submission while having a pin on Rohit. Bey helped Rohit escape the bridged pin. Perkins hit Bey with a Sacrifice Arm Breaker. Rohit gained control after giving Perkins a shove. Bey ordered Rohit to beat up Perkins. Perkins reversed both men and put Bey in a Gory Special while having Rohit in a double arm cradle submission.
Perkins went for a singular submission on Bey, but Rohit used kicks to get Perkins off of Bey. Perkins missed two Tornado DDT attempts on both opponents. Bey accidentally gave Rohit a tackle. Perkins hit Bey with a springboard tackle. Bey the fliped into and hit a Tombstone Pile Driver on Bey. Rohit shoved Perkins off the top rope. Perkins quickly recovered. Bey put Perkins in the Electric Chair. Perkins fought through and gave Rohit a Superplex.
Perkins locked Rohit in an octopus hold. Perkins locked both opponents in an octopus hold. Perkins hit Bey with a back suplex for a two count. Perkins hit Rohit with a back kick. Rohit knocked Perkins to the mat but Perkins recovered and gave Rohit a Fisherman Suplex. Rohit caught Perkins with a Face Wash in the corner. Perkins sidestepped Raju. Bey reversed Perkins into a victory roll for a two count.
Bey hit Perkins with a Fireaman Carry into a Impaler DDT for the two count. Perkins hit Bey with a double underhook gutbuster. Perkins then tossed Rohit to the apron. Bey rolled up Perkins for a two count. Perkins locked Bey into a modified STF. Bey said he was going to tap, but Rohit held Bey’s hand to prevent the tap out. Perkins nailed Bey with a wrecking ball kick. Bey no-sold it eventually and met Perkins on the top rope. Perkins recovered from the shove.
All three men brawled in the corner. Rohit shoved Perkins off and put Bey in the Tree of Woe. Rohit hit Bey with a double foot stomp for the victory.
Rohit Raju defeated Chris Bey and TJP via pinfall 10:50 to become the new Impact X Division Champion.
Josh Mathews sold shock while Madison Rayne said Bey was “Brilliant”…
John’s Thoughts: Not the best X Division match we’ve seen in Impact. I wasn’t a huge fan of the first half of the match where Perkins was getting a bit too cute with his “innovative” submissions without trying to tell a good story. I did really like the second half of the match, especially the storytelling in the ending. Rohit saving Bey from submission in the end made it look like Rohit was playing his role as an insurance policy, winning over Bey in the kayfabe. Ultimately it made sense for Rohit to prevent Perkins from winning because it prevents him from winning himself. I’ll wait and see on Rohit as champion. I personally thing the guy is champion material and a potential rising star, but Impact has been consistant in presenting him as an enhancement joke. I can easily see Rohit having one of those Trevor Lee (Cameron Grimes) like forgettable X Title runs. I’m also surprised that Impact turned Bey into a quick transitional champion. Maybe there’s more to come there.
The opening theme for Wrestle House aired. John E Bravo and Crazzy Steve were using their dog and monkey toys as puppets, acting like the puppets were talking about Taya Valkyrie and Kylie Rae. The next scene had Team XXXL arguing to each other about how Larry D smelt with D saying he covered himself in ring rust chemical to use as cologne. D was still under Rosemary’s love “spell”. Acey was confused at Larry calling himself “Lawrence”…[c]
Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson cut a backstage promo on Ace Austin and Madman Fulton. Anderson talked about Ace catching the Good Brothers’ attention. Anderson talked about how the Big LG and Machine Gun don’t play around. Gallows called Ace a stooge to Madman Fulton. Gallows said he’s been behind bars in Nashville before, so that’s nothing new to him. Gallows said he was going to make Ace and Fulton “famous”…
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne checked in from their commentary set. Josh formally introduced the show and the commentators ran through the advertised card…
Dave Penzer handled the “formal” in-ring introductions for the Moose title defense with Josh Mathews continuing to sell disgust at Moose holding a fake championship. Moose was wearing Black Lives Matter tights…
2. Moose vs. Trey Miguel for Moose’s TNA Title Belt. Trey and Moose traded counters early on. Moose took down Trey with one chop heading into the commercial break.[c]
Moose beat up Trey and yelled that he was at another level compared to Trey’s old rival Ace Austin. Trey dodged a Moose lariat and landed a handful of kicks and punches on Moose. Moose blocked a Rey Fenix armdrag from Trey. Moose dropkicked Trey off the top rope to ringside. Moose said he was going to beat up Trey Miguel in HD quality. Moose worked on Trey at ringside. Moose took the beatdown to the ring. Moose chucked Trey across the ring and yelled Time to Fly (Isn’t that a Dominik Dijakovic signature?).
Trey hit Moose with rapid fire punches. Moose caught Trey and hit Trey with a fallaway slam. Moose continued his onslaught on Trey. Trey had a little bit of a forearm rally, but Moose grounded Trey with a dropkick and continued his dominance. Moose yelled to Trey that he was supposed to be kicking Suicide’s ass this week. Trey landed on his feet during a Moose toss. Trey nailed Moose with a spin kick and then hit Moose in the back with a dropkick.
Trey hit Moose with a knee. Moose blocked a DDT. Trey countered Moose’s suplex into a DDT. Moose caught Trey during a Tope Con Hilo attempt. Moose hit Trey with a power bomb on the ring apron. Trey milked and beat the ten count at nine. Trey avoided an initial spear from Moose, but Moose reversed Trey with an Irish Whip, and then hit Trey with the Spear for the victory.
Moose defeated Trey Miguel via pinfall in 8:30 of on-air Time to retain his TNA Title Belt.
ECE showed up behind Moose and hit Moose with a reverse DDT. EC3 took the TNA Heavyweight Championship and walked away with it…
John’s Thoughts: A really good clash between power and speed. I would also like to say that this was Moose’s best match since they started wrestling in empty arenas. Moose’s weakness in his past empty-arena matches is that he would play to a non-existent crowd out of habit (not character delusion). He replaced those filler moments in this match with trash talk which I thought really took up his in ring storytelling and kept the dead air moments from being dull. The only weak point of this match was it was hard to take Trey seriously when the television is looking ahead towards EC3 vs. Moose, but at least the match had a high level of entertainment. Looking forward to Moose and EC3.
Shawn Hernandez thanked Adam Thornstowe and Luster the Legend backstage for getting his roll of money back. Hernandez gave then a cut of the money. Luster convinced Hernandez to give them more money, claiming that Hernandez short changed them. Hernandez gave them more money without protest. Hernandez told Reno Scum that he might have more jobs for them in the future…[c]
An Eric Young promo video aired. Eric Young named off all the different Eric Young characters he’s played over the years. Eric Young said the current Eric Young is the purest form of Eric Young. Young said he wasn’t going to be shoved under the rug. Young said he’s going to be the first choice now. Young said he’s going to take what he wants and not waste another two years of doing nothing. Young said this is all for him and for him alone…
This week’s Impact Plus Flashback Match of the week was Kurt Angle vs. Eric Young in a stretcher match from an episode of Impact Wrestling back in May 2015. Josh Mathews and Al Snow were on commentary. Eric Young beat the world champion in a non-title match by putting Angle on the stretcher. This was Young playing the first iteration of his “World Class Maniac” character…
John’s Thoughts: That Eric Young profile package was wonderful. Give some credit to Eric Young for delivering a good and serious promo that matches his current personality. The video served as a good cliff’s notes package for EY through the years. Give credit to whoever put that package together and allow that guy to make that type of video for other wrestlers on the card (How awesome would it be if EY just copied Jeremy Borash’s stellar production techniques from NXT and brought them over to Impact? Impact really needs that type of touch in their production as opposed to all the hokey things they settle on).
Jimmy Jacobs interviewed Willie Mack about his rough past few weeks. Mack talked about how it’s been tough and that Rich Swann was forced to retire at such a young age. Brian Myers took the camera away and told Jimmy Jacobs to follow him. Myers sat Jacobs down and started to rant. He ranted about being forced over the years to play by the rules, do what you’re told, and listen to veterans.
Myers said all that advise ever did was get him fired with a pregnant wife at home. Myers said he sick of being the “good hand”. Myers said it’s disgusting that all major decisons in pro wrestling are being handled by an out of touch 70 year old man in goofy production meetings. Myers said he’s taking his career into his own hands. Myers said he’s warning the rest of the locker room that Brian Myers is the most professional wrestler in professional wresting. Willie Mack then jumped Myers for interrupting his interview…
John’s Thoughts: While I’m still going to take a “wait-and-see” approach to this one (given Myers’s long track record of being an undercard wrestler) this was a much, much better introduction of the “new” Brian Myers than last week’s main event (where I felt like it hurt Eddie a bit to have to sell so much to WWE’s designated jobber). Myers arguably delivered the best promo of his career and it was a solid promo that addressed those that transgressed him without coming off too much like sour grapes. I’m intrigued and want to see Myers continue to get more mic time to reinvent himself (if only “I have kids” Heath Slater would do the same). What was weird about tha segment was Mack jumping Myers in the end because it would have been ok if Myers ended the segment in a cutaway, not being beat down. It’s just odd that Mack would turn his attention to Myers when he did such a great job in last week’s match showing that Rich Swann was the only thing on his mind. Seemed a bit petty of Mack to divert his attention because he couldn’t complete an interview.
Speaking of Heath Slater, Heath [Slater] cut one of his Southpaw Regional Wrestling-like “Heath4Impact” commercials. He talked about Joe Biden taking away attention from the Heath4Impact hash tag by announcing his running mate on a Tuesday. Heath told the audience to get the hash tag trending so he can come to Impact to protect his buddy Rhino after Rhino got attacked by Reno Scum last week. The producer told Heath that he only had a few seconds left and Heath said that “I have kids”…
John’s Thoughts: Not only is it odd that they aired back-to-back jarring segments between WWE’s two released enhancement guys, but it’s even odder that Impact is continuing to rip-off Heath Slater’s story from 4 years ago. In all honesty, it was one of my personal favorite storylines back when WWE first did it. It was charming and organic. Rhino specifically got to show a different side of his personality. This feels inferior, ripped off, and manufactured. This is also coming right off Brian Myers putting in solid effort to shed the sins of WWE. Meanwhile, Heath Slater is embracing his WWE writing all the way. Huh?
3. “The Good Brothers” Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Ace Austin and Madman Fulton. Josh Mathews noted that the Good Brothers are looking to recruit people now that they’re in Impact. Ace decided to start off the match. Josh said he was surprised that Ace decided not to hide behind Madman Fulton and make Fulton wrestle initially. Gallows and Anderson traded tags and cut the ring in half on Austin. Austin managed to escape and tag in Fulton. Fulton and Ace then cut the ring in half on Anderson.
Anderson tackled Austin to his corner and got Gallows in the ring. Gallows then beat up Austin around the ring. Austin got a hot tag to Fulton to start a battle between the big men. Anderson and Fulton no sold each other’s lariats. Gallows rallied and dominated Fulton.
John’s Thoughts: Small observation, but that’s one of the first times that Fulton really came off as a credible big man, in his encounter with fellow big man Luke Gallows. More of that from Fulton please! (Fulton comes off way too soft and ineffective throughout his career).
Fulton slammed Gallows’ head into the buckle several times. Fulton tagged in Austin so Austin could keep Gallows under control . Anderson tagged in and gave Austin a high knee. Fulton distracted Anderson, which allowed Ace to nail him with a dropkick. Ace Austin tagged in Fulton to keep his team’s momentum up. Ace hit Anderson with a backbreaker for a two count. Ace blocked the ref’s vision so he could slice at Anderson’s hand webbing with his laminated card. Ace and Fulton went back to isolating Anderson.
Fulton hit Anderson with a nice front suplex onto the knees of Ace. Fulton went for the same move again, but Anderson escaped and tripped Fulton face first into Ace’s knees. Gallows tagged in and cleaned house. Gallows hit Ace with a elbow and shoulder tackle. Gallows hit Ace with a pump kick. Fulton helped Ace escape a Magic Killer. Gallows pulled Fulton outside and Fulton shoved Gallows into the ringpost. Ace then took down Anderson with a cross kick.
Ace tagged in Fulton. Fulton lawn darted Anderson into Ace’s knee. Anderson kicked out at two. Ace and Anderson traded strong style forearms. Austin got the advantage after Anderson got distracted by Fulton and Ace could hit Anderson with a knee. Fulton tried to kick Gallows at ringside, but Fulton trapped his foot in the barricade so Gallows can tackle him down. The Good Brothers hit Ace Austin with the Magic Killer to give Gallows the pinfall win.
The Good Brothers defeated Ace Austin and Madman Fulton via pinfall in 10:56.
Josh Mathews assumed that this wasn’t the end between both teams…
John’s Thoughts: A really well wrestled tag team match and I’m surprised they found a way to make Ace Austin and Madman Fulton look really credible against the fresh and new Gallows and Anderson. There was no doubt that its the right decision to keep their new hot act hot, but they also managed to elevate Ace and Fulton a bit in terms of in-ring credibility. The fear was that Ace would end up being the initial sacrificial lamb to slaughter for the Good Brothers, and so far that’s not the case. With Josh Mathews talking about the Good Brothers “recruiting” and how Ace Austin looked more honorable than usual, I hope that leads to Jason Powell’s fantasy booking of the Good Brothers turning heel soon and recruiting Ace Austin as their new light heavyweight “Ace” which was what was established when Anderson and Gallows teamed up with Bullet Club inventor Finn Balor.
The show cut to Wrestle House. The usual cornball comedy ensued. They continued to tell the story of Larry D being under the spell of Rosemary’s “magic” along with John E Bravo possibly being jealous…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A lot of people give Josh Mathews crap for bringing over his bad WWE habits to Impact, but has Jimmy Jacobs brought over some of WWE’s crappy Vince McMahon humor to Impact too? If not Jimmy, then someone has similar out-of-touch humor as the 70 year old man, to quote Brian Myers a bit.
4. Taya Valkyrie vs. Kylie Rae in a Wrestle House match. Kylie wanted a handshake, but Taya didn’t agree. Kylie escaped an early waisthold. Kylie tackled Taya in the corner and gave Taya a corner splash. Taya turned the tables and gave Kylie a series of forearms. Kylie hit Taya with a huracanrana and a superkick. Referee Rosemary tripped up Kylie to give Taya an advantage. Taya got a two count off of the trip. Taya hit Kylie with a roundhouse to the temple. Taya choked Kylie on the second rope.
Kylie hit Taya with an armdrag and back kick for the two count. Taya hit Kylie with a suplex for a two count. Rosemary and Taya yelled in support of each other that the match should have ended. Taya prevented herself from running into Rosemary. This allowed Kylie to hit Taya with a superkick for the win (didn’t it use to take a lot to beat Taya back when she was women’s champ?). Kylie won despite Rosemary doing an intentionally slow count.
Kylie Rae defeated Taya Valkyrie via pinfall in 4:49.
Rosemary checked on Taya’s face after the match. They then teased something between Larry D and Rosemary for next week…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Ugh, this was the best worked match of the Wrestle House matches, but it’s still a total waste of time and definitely worth skipping on your DVR. Does whoever is writing this not know the meaning of “tight writing” to maximize effectiveness? Like Raw Underground, this “alternative universe” has no reason to exist or no end-goals, no story arcs. Raw Underground is as least a little entertaining because they are trying to present it at some level of seriousness. Raw Underground is also a bit more organically funny because you have goofy-ass dad man Shane McMahon trying to run his own gangsta fight promotion, unaware that he’s coming off as a soccer dad. That’s some organic and unintentional comedy there.
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne checked in from their commentary set. They announced the following segments for Emergence Night 2: Willie Mack vs. Brian Myers, Wrestle House (ugh, vomit), EC3 explaining why he stole the TNA belt, Eddie Edwards’s world championship open challenge, and Deonna Purrazzo vs. Jordynne Grace in a 30 minute Ironwoman Match for the Impact Knockouts Championship…
Entrances for the Tag Team Title main event took place…[c]
5. “The Motor City Machine Guns” Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin vs. “The North” Josh Alexander and Ethan Page for the Impact Tag Team Championships. Sabin and Alexander started off the match with Alexander controlling the match with a shoulder tackle. Sabin used his speed and a baseball slide to set up a dropkick on Alexander. Alexander caught a flying Sabin and slammed him to the mat. The North dominated Sabin and Shelley. Page tagged in and put the boots to Sabin.
The North traded quick tags to isolate Sabin away from his corner. Sabin avoided a lariat from both North members and caused Alexander to accidentally forearm Page. Shelley took the tag and shoved Alexander to the mat. Shelley dropkicked Alexander in the shin. Sabin gave Page a boot which set him up for a Shelley DDT. The Guns hit Alexander with tandem offense.[c]
Shelley kept Alexander under control with a heel hook into a Boston Crab. Mathews noted that the Guns dominated during the break by targeting Alexander’s leg. Alexander slammed Shelley after recovering and got a two count. Page ketp Shelley on the mat with knees to the gut. Alexander tagged in and locked Shelley in a modified Indian Deathlock. Sabin broke up the submission. Page tagged in and kept momentum with his team. The North dominated for a good minute or so.
Shelley backdropped Alexander and gave Page a Flatliner into the second buckle. This allowed Shelley to tag in Chris Sabin. Sabin caught Page with a knee into a neckbreaker. Sabin hit Alexander with a PK from the apron. Sabin hit Page with a missile dropkick. Sabin gave Alexader a Suicide Dive after Shelley tagged in. Page avoided Shelley’s double stomp. The Guns hit Page with a tandem dropkick Flatliner to give Shelley a two count.
Page escaped a Slice Bread attempt by Shelley. Shelley grabbed onto Alexander and ran off Sabin to hit both North guys with a Sliced Bread #2. The north caught the Guns with kicks. The North hit Sabin with one of their finishers, the Double Neutralizer. Sabin kicked out at two. The North hit Sabin with wombo combo strikes. Sabin reversed the North’s spinebuster finisher to get a two count on Page. All four men laid on the ground to recover. Alexander reversed Shelley’s Sliced Bread into a backbreaker.
Page caught Shelley with a superkick. Sabin hit Page with a nice spike Tornado DDT. Alexander caught Sabin with a forearm smash. Shelley put Alexander in a Chancery hold to allow Sabin to dropkick him. The guns hit Page wtih stereo superkick and Face Wash kicks. Sabin put Page in neckbreaker position while Shelley splashed him to the mat. Shelley blocked Alexander from breaking the pin while Sabin picked up the victory.
The Motor City Machine Guns defeated The North via pinfall in 13:25 of on-air time to retain the Impact Tag Team Championships.
The Guns celebrated their win. Josh Mathews hyped up the Women’s Title match as next week’s main attraction. The show closed…
John’s Thoughts: As you would expect from two world class teams, this was a fun tag team match. That said, in terms of tag team matches, I was a bigger fan of the Good Brothers vs. Ace and Fulton match given that the earlier match had better storytelling. This was your usual fast paced/kick-out-of-finisher indie style match. No one does indie style better than the Guns and the North were a good foil for the Guns. I’m actually wondering if Impact is looking towards setting up a Guns vs. Rascalz rematch down the road to pass the torch there. I just hope they give up on the 70s Show wannabe act (along with giving Dez and Wentz their last names back like Trey Miguel) when it comes time to take the Rascalz seriously.
This show is easy to grade. Make sure to catch it on DVR, and fast forward through all the Wrestle House stuff. Trust me, you’ll get a more coherent show and not waste your time. Seriously, there’s no goal with Wrestle House and all Wrestle House is is a bubblegum fairy version of Undead Realm, where half of Impact’s roster is trapped doing cinematics that have no endgame. The rest of the show was a solid wrestling show, I would argue right below NXT as being one of the best weekly wrestling TV shows (when you sans the Wrestle House segments).
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