By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV – Emergence Night Two
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios
Aired August 25, 2020 on AXS TV
Impact started off with an Emergence Night 2 teaser trailer followed by the Impact intro theme…
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne were on commentary and the show opened up with Eddie Edwards’s open challenge. Rob Van Dam accepted the challenge…
1. Eddie Edwards vs. Rob Van Dam (w/Katie Forbes) for the Impact World Championship. Rob and Eddie started the match off with chain wrestling. Eddie hit Rob with an Atomic Drop and Belly to Belly. Rob dodged a baseball slide at ringside and hit Eddie with a back kick. Rob tried to make out with Katie Forbes, which allowed Eddie to nail him with a suicide dive.
Katie yelled at Eddie to distract him. That allowed Rob to shove Eddie into the ringpost. Rob gave Eddie a front suplex onto the guard rail. Rob gave Eddie a jumping spin leg drop while Eddie was draped on the guard rail. Eddie had a bit of a punch rally. Rob gave Eddie a drop toehold onto the second rope. Katie gave Eddie a hip attack while Eddie was draped. Rob gave Eddie a split legged moonsault for a two count. Josh Mathews talked about Eddie defending his title on a near-weekly basis since winning the title.
Rob worked on Eddie a bit after a back kick. Eddie came back with the Blue Thunder Bomb. Rob used his signature body scissors pin for a two count. Eddie hit Rob with a Tiger Driver for a two count. Eddie went for a top rope move, but Rob crotched Eddie in the middle of the top ropes. Rob hit Eddie with a jump kick. Eddie avoided Rob’s five star frog splash and hit Rob with the Boston Knee Party for the three count.
Eddie Edwards defeated Rob Van Dam via pinfall in 7:19 to retain the Impact World Championship.
World Class Maniac Eric Young ran out and blindsided Eddie while Eddie was celebrating his title defense. Young put the boots to Edwards. Young yelled “NEXT WEEK! Edwards… Young… World Title!”. Young told Eddie that the fate of the world title goes through him. Young said he’d see Eddie next week…
John’s Thoughts: Another solid match for Eddie and one of the better Rob Van Dam matches that I’ve seen in a good while, maybe his best in-ring stuff since returning as a babyface last year. So far, Eddie has done a solid job wiping away the mess that was the Crazy Eddie character. If only he’d ditch the casual clothes and dreads, because even American Wolf Eddie would seem fresh at this point after being away for a few years. The stuff after the match was the best part. Eric Young, believe it or not, has thrust himself to being the top heel of the company in a strong way. His promo and character work have been off the charts since returning. Looking forward to seeing Edwards vs. Young next week and I totally expect some interference from either Rich Swann or Willie Mack. Maybe they have something different in mind?
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne checked in from their commentary set. They ran through the advertised upcoming segments. Josh then sent things over to Wrestle House…
The Wrestle House op theme aired. The usual campy comedy ensued. This week’s comedy involved togas for some reason…[c]
After the break they cut to the Wrestle House toga party. More campy comedy ensued. At one point, Johnny Swinger accidentally threw Mr. Fuji dust at Crazzy Steve, which led to Steve vs. Swinger in a blindfold match where the loser has to dress like the winner next week…
John’s Thoughts: I feel bad for praising this thing week one. It was solid in small doses, but they ran this 90s sitcom tribute into the ground in a hurry. It’s even keeping talented comedy acts like Johnny Swinger off the main show where that Mr. Fuji dust joke would have worked a lot better. Why couldn’t they relegate this to YouTube and if they were confident it would be “such a hit” then it would have made sense. Instead this is jarring.
2. Crazzy Steve vs. Johnny Swinger in a Wrestle House blindfold match. Steve used a horn to lure Swinger early on. Referee Cousin Jake took the horn so Swinger thought he was steve. The match then devolved into your usual blindfold match, with Swinger playing into the babyface marco-polo cliche. Steve rolled up Swinger for the win.
Crazzy Steve defeated Johnny Swinger via pinfall.
The show cut back to Skyway Studios where Eddie Edwards was backstage looking for Eric Young…[c]
An Eric Young cinematic promo package aired. Eric Young was shown walking around in what looked like a prison. Young talked about it “taking all of us” to “Start a revolution”. Turns out it was a Bound for Glory ad. Bound for Glory is happening October 24, 2020…
Rhino was cutting a promo backstage. Rhino told the Impact viewers to make #Heath4Impact trend so he can team with Heath against Reno Scum next week. Rhino ended his promo with his usual gore gore gore line…
John’s Thoughts: I mean, I can see what Impact is going for with social media, but they haven’t given Impact viewers a reason to care about Heath Slater whatsoever other than the WWE-produced “I got kids” line. The reason this exact story worked better in WWE was because Heath Slater spent years on WWE TV as the endearing goof, which acclimated him to that audience. This alienates the WWE audience that already saw that storyline and new viewers have no reason to care about this WWE castoff. Brian Myers did a way better job starting his character rehabilitation last week in one promo. Meanwhile, Heath is taking the meh Tenille Dashwood route.
Eddie Edwards entered the empty ring to call out Eric Young. Eddie said Young got Eddie’s attention after all the damage he’s done in the last few weeks. Eddie yelled that he wants the title match that Young wants “right now”. World Class Maniac Eric Young’s entrance theme played and EY walked to the stage. Young joked about being a martyr, hero, and tough guy. Young said it was pathetic. Young said Eddie’s reacting to things real time, like checkers, while Young is thinking five steps ahead, like chess.
Young said Eddie is trying to convince himself that what happened to Swann was a coincidence, but it was calculated, by a world class maniac. Young refused Eddie’s proposal for wrestling this week. Young said they can wrestle next week, just like Young initially planned. Eddie said the match can happen next week, but the ass whooping begins now. Eddie and Eric brawled at ringside. The referees and security ran out to break apart the pull-apart. Scott D’Amore ran out too.
John’s Thoughts: So the security guards all run out with face masks but Scott runs out without proper PPE. What a horrible executive! (I joke, I joke).
The brawled continued for a bit. When D’Amore tried to get involved, Eddie shoved him to the ramp. Eric Young freed himself and got a few cheap shots on Eddie. The guards separated the two, with Eric Young taunting Eddie from a distance…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Joking aside, that was a good segment and I continue to praise the work that Eric Young is doing in such a short time during his latest Impact stint. Young continues to cut these promos that make a whole lot of sense for his maniac character. He has story threads with Eddie Edwards and Rich Swann at the moment and both are anticipated climaxes.
Gia Miller interviewed Rohit Raju backstage. Rohit talked about how he manipulated his way to the title. Raju said Chris Bey is crossed off the Desi Hit Man’s hit list. Raju then ranted about not knowing the right people politically and being held back. Rohit said he’s now going to give everyone opportunity, something that Raju never received. Raju ranted about being called. the bottom of the barell, but now being champion. He ended the promo by saying “who can defeat rohit!”…
John’s Thoughts: Well, still a bit cheesy, but better than the “mother calls me sun” promo he was doing for a while (that people like me and even Don Callis called him out on for coming off as too scripted and cheesy). That said, Rohit is coming off as a bit too over eager to be taken seriously. The guy has the in-ring talent, no doubt; but he’s a bit too jumpy in his promos to the point where it looks like he’s trying to “play pro wrestler”. I’d like to hear Rohit Raju cut a promo in more of his natural voice and maybe that might do him better.
Madison Rayne introduced her Locker Room Talk talk show. Johnny Swinger is still trapped in the Wrestle House dimension. Rayne introcued Dezmond Xavier and Zach Wentz as her co-hosts. They made weed jokes, with Rayne talking about actual trees. Rayne stopped them from smoking and Wentz called her a “Karen”. Rayne introduced Madman Fulton and Ace Austin as the guests. The four men struggeled to find space on the couch with Ace and Fulton forcing themselves on the couch.
Rayne asked Ace about his loss to Good Brothers last week. Ace said he agrees that the Brothers got one over on him. Wentz then joked about Ace and Fulton losing which caused Fulton to shove the Rascalz around. Ace told Fulton to stop because they need to respect a lady like Madison. Fulton and Ace left. The Rascalz then invited Rayne to the “treehouse”, which Rayne declined…
John’s Thoughts: I’m guessing it leads to a simple Rascalz vs. Fulton and Ace match. Locker Room Talk continues to be one of Impact’s innovations that actually pushes things forward. It’s solid, and having Johnny Swinger around would make it better. I also popped a bit for the “karen” line.
Some “hacking” download graphics aired as they cut to a Sami Callihan promo where he was in his hacking room(?). Sami praised RVD as being one of the best in the world, but also pointed out that RVD cost him his title shot a few weeks ago. Sami said RVD lost today because RVD can’t stop thinking about Sami. Sami then said RVD and Katie won’t know when Sami is coming for them. Sami said he’s going to meet RVD in the ring next week so he can kick RVD’s ass. Sami closed with his Thumb thing and QR Code…[c]
John’s Thoughts: By the way, if you scan Sami’s QR code it leads to a website that “he” hasn’t updated since March. Anyway, Hacker-Sami is lame. Maybe this is why Paul Levesque and crew scrapped it before his NXT debut? I joke, but so far it’s just given him the power to teleport and do his thumb thing more. Can Impact sign Mance Warner? I kinda want to see how the Mid-West Mega Powers would have ended up. That’s way better than NXT Hacker Solomon Crowe.
EC3 cut a promo. He called the moment he pinned Kurt Angle for the TNA title as the greatest moment of his life. They showed clips of Jeremy Borash announcing him as the new champion. EC3 stared down at the belt he stole from Moose and said he’s holding on to it now because he can’t let go of his greatest moment. He talked about giving his heart and body only wanting pride, respect, and love from those around him. He said all he got was pain, regret, and hate.
EC3 said as long as this physical belt exists, EC3 can’t be free. EC3 said he doesn’t care how Moose won the title, but he understands it means pride, respect, and love. EC3 said Moose was hiding behind a lot of things when he could be greater. He said Moose is hiding behind weird costumes and nicknames. EC3 called Moose a false idol for calling himself a “God”. EC3 said he remembers when he was loved, just because the title is in EC3’s hand. EC3 said this title is like a ball and chain holding him to the bottom of a pool.
EC3 said he must destroy the TNA Championship. EC3 invited Moose to the destruction of the Impact Championship. EC3 said destroying the past, destroying this title is the only way EC3 can be free…
John’s Thoughts: Great promo. I’ll give EC3 credit here, he took Moose’s goofy ass gimmick and added a layer of seriousness to it. I like that he called out Moose for all of his undercard pagentry gimmicks because that can possibly lead to Moose coming out of this feud as a new person. Can EC3 also do this to Eddie Edwards, if that’s the case, so Eddie can get rid of his ball and chain, his entire look!
3. Brian Myers vs. Willie Mack. Mack and Myers started off with a standing switch. Josh Mathews plugged Brian Myers and Matt Cardona’s Action Figure podcast. Mack grounded Myers with a Suplex. Myers took control of the match with a snapmare and pk to the back on Mack for the two count. Mack ran the ropes and landed a huracanrana and dropkick on Myers. Mack and Myers brawled in the ropes. Myers yanked Mack into the ropes and pummeled Mack a bit.
Josh Mathews talked about knowing Myers before and he hasn’t seen Myers this aggressive. Myers kept Mack under control with a side headlock. Myers gave Mack a diving elbow for a two count. Myers gave Mack knees and a chinlock. Mack hit Myers with a sunset flip for a two count. Myers kept Mack under control with a chinlock. Mack caught a running Myers with a Sky High. Mack hit Myers with a Flying Jalepeno and Body Slam.
Mack got a two count off Myers. Mack hit Myers with his signature Samoan Drop-Moonsault combo. Myers tried to make a comeback, but Mack gave Myers a headbutt in the corner. Myers shoved Mack off the top rope and hit a beautiful elbow drop. Mack kicked out at two. Mack avoided an Edgeucution attempt, but Myers hit Mack with an enzuigiri. Mack kicked out at two. Myers yelled that he’s the “most professional wrestler”. Mack gave Myers a slap. Both men traded counters. Myers rolled up Mack with a hand full of tights for the dirty win.
Brian Myers defeated Willie Mack via pinfall in 9:38.
Myers smirked at ringside and quickly backed up the ramp…
John’s Thoughts: Perception is key, and I think last week’s promo did a lot to add to Brian’s credibility heading into this match. I thought they didn’t do a good job getting him into the Eddie match because he was coming off his jobber run, but last week’s promo did a good job changing the course on his perception. I liked this Brian Myers match better than Brian’s match with Eddie. If this guy is in Impact for a year or two, I hope they take their time building him, and if that’s what they are going to do, it looks like it can pay off given the how well he’s come off in the last two weeks.
The show cut to Heath [Slater] cutting one of his WWE-style and Southpaw Regional Wrestling-like promos. He talked about how much he wants to team up with Rhino next week and encouraged viewers to get the hash tag trending…
Josh Mathews hyped up the Knockouts main event…[c]
John’s Thoughts: I kinda want to see Heath back on WWE Raw, in all honesty. Heath had that amazing segment against Drew McIntyre a month or so ago that had me looking forward to his evolution. Instead, we’re seeing him trying to rehash an old storyline. Maybe this is intentional? But if it is, I don’t see it leading to Heath being taken seriously.
The Eric Young Bound For Glory ad aired again…
Ugh, the show cut back to Wrestle House and their toga party. More cheesy comedy ensued. They continued the “Lawerence D” storyline from last week where Rosemary was making John E Bravo jealous. Jealous Bravo ended up slapping Larry D. Tommy Dreamer booked them in a match…
4. John E Bravo vs. Larry D in a Wrestle House match. Acey Romero was the referee. Bravo gave Larry a forearm. Larry came back with a headbutt. Larry gave John E a punch for the victory.
Larry D defeated John E Bravo.
Rosemary checked in on John E where John E confessed his feelings for Rosemary to Taya and Rosemary. This shocked Taya. Taya yelled at Rosemary for Wrestle House existing. Taya challenged Rosemary to a winner-take-all match next week. Taya said that “all” includes John E…
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne checked in on commentary where they hyped the following segments for next week: Taya vs. Rosemary at Wrestle House, Ace and Fulton vs. The Rascalz, Sami Callihan vs. RVD, and Eddie Edwards vs. Eric Young for the Impact Championship…
Entrances for the main event took place…[c]
Dave Penzer handled formal in-ring introductions for the ironwoman match. The match started off with about 20 minutes left in the screener I’m watching…
5. Deonna Purrazzo vs. Jordynne Grace in a 30-minute Ironwoman Match for the Knockouts Championship. The match started off with a collar and elbow lockup. Grace took down Purrazzo with a wristlock for a one count. The match went back to trading wristlocks. Grace turned the wristlock to an armdrag on Purrazzo. Purrazzo locked Grace in a side headlock and takedown. Grace locked her wrists to convert the move to a leg triangle on Deonna’s neck.
Deonna used a downward dog and handstand to escape the move. Grace got back to standing headlock position. Grace took down Purrazzo with a series of armdrags. Grace locked Deonna into a half crab. Purrazzo got to the bottom rope for the break.[c]
Josh noted that the time was going during the break and there were no pinfalls. Grace womanhandled Purrazzo around the ring until Purrazzo rolled to ringside. Purrazzo got a moment of respite after nailing Grace with a Yakuza kick. Purrazzo took Grace in the ring and worked on Grace’s left arm with precision moves. Grace stomped on Grace’s left elbow in an awkward position, for more pain. Purrazzo continued to focus her attack on softening up Grace’s left arm.
Grace kicked out at two during what Josh pointed out as Deonna’s first pin attempt. Josh noted that he’s seeing swelling around Grace’s arm. Deonna continued to focus on the left arm attack. The graphic showed that the match passed the 15 minute mark (10 minutes left in the video file). The show cut to commercial with Purrazzo continuing to work on Grace’s left arm.[c]
Josh Mathews recapped footage during the break where Purrazzo stompped on the right hand of Grace. Grace kicked out of a few of Deonna’s pin attempts. Purrazzo continued to go for pins while also continuing to focus her attack on Grace’s left arm. The graphic showed 8 minutes left in the match (which matches the video file now). Grace managed to corner Purrazzo and rally with right forearms.
Purrazzo shoved Grace off the top rope. Grace came back with a rising palm and Superplex. Grace sold the pain due to the left arm initiating the suplex. Grace hit Purrazzo with a series of running sentons for a two count. Deonna went for a Full Nelson, but Grace reversed the move into a Rear Naked Choke. Purrazzo’s arm dropped three times to signify the first fall.
Jordynne Grace picked up a fall via TKO to lead the match 0-1.
The referee separated the women with four minutes or so left in the match. Deonna reversed a whip into a running knee. Purrazzo gave Grace a knee and locked Grace in a Koji Clutch. Grace got to the bottom rope for the break. Purrazzo put the boots to Grace after the rope break. Grace came back with a series of right hands. Deonna fought out of a Grace Driver attempt.
Grace went for a corner splash on Deonna but Deonna pulled the ref in as a human shield. REF BUMP!!! Grace ended up hitting Deonna with the Grace Driver for the visual pinfall, but the referee was bumped. While Grace was trying to revive the referee, Deonna brought the title belt into the ring and swung it overhead to nail Grace with the title belt. Deonna picked up the pinfall.
Deonna Purrazzo picked up a fall via pinfall to tie the match 1-1.
Josh said that if it’s a tie, the match will go overtime. Purrazzo went for a pin, but converted it to a armbar. Grace got up and hit Deonna with right hands. Deonna hit Grace with a pump kick for a two count, but she floated into the Fujiwara Armbar with 10 seconds left. Grace tapped with 3 seconds left on the clock…
Deonna Purrazzo defeated Jordynne Grace, last fall via submission, 2-1 to retain the Impact Knockouts Championship.
John’s Thoughts: A great, NXT-Takeover Style, main event match. The match was paced really well and the women went over 20 minutes of on-air time. The best part was that it didn’t feel like over 20 minutes. That’s a testament as to the great pacing. I wonder if Deonna working in NXT with people like Shawn Michaels led to her being able to bring that style to Impact, which isn’t a bad thing because I’ll argue that the NXT main event style is the best in-ring style in pro wrestling in terms of storytelling.
I did feel that they didn’t need that ref bump spot. They could have had Deonna get a handful of tights, or an exposed turnbuckle, but not go with the TNA cliche. To mention NXT-Takeover, one thing they do well is not convoluting their Takeover matches. Aside from the small bit of overbooking, both women did great and Deonna gained in her loss. Deonna has grown as a better wrestler in this singular feud with Deonna Purrazzo, more than her entire run as champion (which unfortunately got dialed down due to quarantine).
Both Emergence shows were really good and no-nonsense. It’s only no-nonsense when you edit the Wrestle House out of the show. So the biggest recommendation is that you get a PPV quality show as long as you DVR both shows and edit out all the Wrestle House. It also did a good job setting up Eric Young over the two weeks as a hot act that’s a threat to Eddie Edwards. Looking forward to next week’s show.