By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios
Aired December 1, 2020 on AXS TV
Highlights from last week’s Impact Wrestling show aired, followed by the Impact intro theme…
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne were on commentary…
1. “Team XXXL” Larry D and Acey Romero vs. “The Motor City Machine Guns” Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley. Both teams brawled in the ring once the bell rung. The Guns got the upper hand and hit XXXL with corner splashes and elbows. The Guns pulled the ropes down to dump Romero and D to ringside. Sabin hit XXXL with a suicide dive right after. Shelley hit Larry with an axe handle strike to lead to them being the legal men.
Sabin tagged in and hit Larry with an axe handle strike. Rayne pointed out that Larry should be in jail since his alter ego “Lawrence D” shot John E Bravo. Acey tagged in and took a few strikes from Shelley, which left Ace staggering. Sabin tagged in after Acey caught Alex with a clubbing blow. Sabin went for a body slam on Acey, but Acey was to heavy. Acey hit Sabin with a body slam. Shelley tagged in and the Guns staggered Acey with double enzuigiris. Larry tagged in and was kicked down as well.
Shelley went for Whisper of the Wind, but Acey caught Shelley and hit him with a Uranage on top of Sabin. Acey and Larry then double teamed Shelley with quick tags and methodical offense. Larry hit Shelley with a super kick. Shelley got a foot on the bottom rope for the count break. Acey caught Shelley with a running senton. Sabin broke up the pin attempt by Acey. Sabin ended up tossing Larry to ringside. Sabin reversed Acey’s uranage into an armdrag. Sabin got Acey to the mat with Sliced Bread. Sabin and Larry tagged in.
Larry D no sold Sabins running strikes. Sabin staggered Larry with an enzuigiri and grounded Larry with a DDT. Shelley caught Larry with a running strike and the Guns hit Larry with a Flatliner-Dropkick combo. Acey tagged in and hit Sabin with a crossbody for a two count. Sabin dodged to cause Larry and Acey to run into each other. Larry escaped Sabin’s pursuit, which allowed Acey to give Sabin a Uranage. Sabin rolled aside to avoid a Larry D splash. Shelley tagged in and exchanged strikes with Acey. Acey blocked a drop toehold from Shelley, but Sabin followed up by giving Acey a bulldog.
The Guns gave Larry stereo superkicks. The Guns double suplexed Acey Romero. The Guns caught Larry with a double face wash. The Guns hit Larry with a neckbreaker-splash combination to give Sabin the pinfall win.
The Motor City Machine Guns defeated Team XXXL via pinfall in 9:22.
John’s Thoughts: While the finish was what you would expect given XXXL’s status as an undercard tag team, both of these teams turned this match into a very entertaining bout. XXXL looked the best they’ve looked in Impact in this match and what made this match entertaining was all of the counters and both teams playing to their strengths. If Impact could get behind XXXL there might be potential, but that would be tough given XXXL being well-established as undercard/comedy fodder. Next up for Sabin and Shelley are The North, who I hope they can get more than one match out of. With Ethan Page taking a lot of L’s recently, I can also see the Guns steamrolling The North so that they can get to the Guns vs. Brothers dream match (but I wouldn’t mind The Guns and The North getting a long-ish program given how entertaining The North can be. Heck, I wouldn’t mind a Guns vs. North Best-of-five).
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne checked in from their commentary set. Josh welcomed Madison Rayne back after Rayne was off commentary last week due to Johnny Swinger’s trial on Wrestler’s Court. The commentary team ran through the upcoming advertised segments on this week’s show. Josh Mathews also noted that Eddie Edwards wasn’t at the show this week due to getting beaten up by Ken Shamrock and Sami Callihan…
Ken Shamrock and Sami Callihan were about to enter Skyway Studios, but were blocked by Scott D’Amore and security guards. Sami called Scott a dumbass. D’Amore yelled and told Shamrock that he was suspending Shamrock for 30 days for attacking an Impact Official in attacking D’Lo Brown. Shamrock protested but Sami calmed him down after D’Amore threatened to also suspend Sami and extend the suspension to 60 days.
Sami said he’s going to make a call to Bob Ryder to set up a vacation for Shamrock (unfortunately in real life after this was taped, Ryder had passed away due to a long time battle with cancer). Shamrock threatened to beat up the security, but then took Sami’s car keys and headed back to the hotel. Sami entered Skyway, saying that D’Amore was lucky that he’s in a good mood today…[c]
Team XXXL was walking backstage where they were confronted by John E Bravo who yelled at Larry D for trying to murder him. John E wondered why Larry wasn’t in jail (good point)? Larry pinned John E up against a door and started choking him. Tommy Dreamer separated Larry and John E. Dreamer had a “Police” shirt on. Tommy threatened to arrest John E Bravo if he gets out of hand again. After John E left, XXXL called out Dreamer for not being a real cop. Dreamer reminded Larry that Larry was guilty due to shooting John E Bravo. Larry tried to argue that he was set up.
Dreamer tried to escort Larry out of the building, but then Larry clocked Dreamer in the face with a right hand to leave Dreamer lying. After XXXL left, John E came back and let out an intentionally-cheesy “nooooooo” over the unconscious Tommy Dreamer…
2. Jordynne Grace and Jazz vs. Renee Michelle and Killer Kelly in a first round match of the Impact Knockouts Tag Team Championship Tournament. Madison Rayne pointed out that she’s wrestled at many indie shows with Killer Kelly. Grace got a one count after a Sunset Flip. Both women ended up at a stalemate after trading counters. Jazz and Michelle tagged in. Jazz grounded Michelle with a Belly to Back Suplex, followed by Jazz giving Michelle clubbing blows to the back. Rayne noted that Michelle competed in the WWE Mae Young Classic.
Josh Mathews noted that Jazz was actually retired and Grace pulled Jazz out of retirement for this tournament. Grace tagged in and womanhandled Michelle. Michelle got a bit of breathing room by dumping Grace to the apron. Kelly got a cheap shot in on Grace. Michelle hit Grace with a dropkick to send Grace to ringside heading into commercial.[c]
Michelle put the boots to Grace back from the break. Michelle then dominated Grace with methodical offense. Kelly tagged in and hit Grace with a PK for a one count. Kelly worked on Grace with ground-and-pound. Michelle and Kelly traded tags to keep Grace exhausted. Grace grounded Kelly and tagged in Jazz for the hot tag. Jazz cleaned house and hit both opponents with lariats. Jazz hit Kelly with a series of punches. Grace tagged in and hit Kelly with stiff lariats. Kelly regained control by catching Grace’s lariats and hitting her with a headbutt.
Kelly hit Grace in the corner with an imploding cannonball. Grace got a foot on the bottom rope for the pin rope break. Grace ended up hitting Kelly with a Grace Driver. Michelle broke up the pin. Jazz tossed Michelle to ringside and then tagged in. Jazz planted Kelly with a flapjack. Jazz couldn’t pin Kelly because Michelle blind tagged herself in. Michelle went for a facebuster, but Jazz kicked Michelle in the gut and hit Michelle with an X-Factor for the win.
Jazz and Jordynne Grace defeated Renee Michelle and Killer Kelly via pinfall in 8:54 of on-air time to advance in the Knockouts Tag Team Championship Tournament.
John’s Thoughts: I didn’t expect a lot from Jazz given she’s an older wrestler who retired from the ring back in October. She really exceeded my expectations and looked really damn good here. That was a fun tag team match with the expected team going over given that Grace is an Impact regular and it looking like they brought in a handful of women to these tapings to be first round filler. With Jazz’s nice performance, I’m looking forward to more of the Grace-Jazz duo. I wouldn’t mind seeing Impact bring in Kelly and/or Michelle as regulars. Ever since her great match against Meiko Satomura, WWE utilized Killer Kelly as enhancement talent in the UK despite her showing a lot of potential. Michelle actually got a lot of TV time on WWE’s main roster when she was featured in the WWE 24/7 Championship segments with her real life husband Drake Maverick (Rockstar Spud).
This week’s Impact Plus Flashback Match of the Week was The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelly and Chris Sabin) vs. The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) in a Full Metal Mayhem Match from TNA Final Resolution 2010. Sabin ended up picking up the tag team belts after knocking Matt Jackson off a ladder and table bridge he set up in the middle of the ring, sending Matt into a table. They aired about 2 minutes of match…
Ethan Page and Josh Alexander were backstage where Page was cutting a promo where he claimed that everyone backstage was messing with him. Page talked about how he was going to fix things. Page then changed his tone to sadistic when he talked about how much he enjoyed taking out Doc Gallows. Page then challenged Karl Anderson to a match at Final Resolution. Page said that if he beats Anderson then The North deserves a tag team title rematch. Page talked about how he wants to earn that title shot instead of having it handed to him…[c]
An ad aired for the December 12 Final Resolution show happening on Impact Plus…
John’s Thoughts: Damn, I was kinda hoping that Final Resolution was going to be one of Impact’s themed Impact episodes and instead it’s on the missable Impact Plus service. I like that Impact is trying to make their Impact Plus shows more important, but I feel like all it will lead up to is sunk costs. I don’t think Impact Plus has any value business-wise other than to get a few bucks from the Impact die hard fans (they don’t even have Impact shows from 2004-2012 due to Viacom owning those shows). What I think is worst is Impact took away their spcecial themed shows which were some of the best weekly television shows that Impact was producing.
Tenille Dashwood and Kaleb Konley were backstage gloating about Tenille to Alisha Edwards while Edwards was creeping around a corner waiting for someone to pass by. Edwards ended up leaving the corner when she saw Sami Callihan, who she pounced on to attack as revenge for attacking her husband Eddie. Security guards ended up breaking apart Sami and Alisha. Alisha yelled that she was going to kick Sami’s ass…
Johnny Swinger made his entrance for the upcoming match.
3. Johnny Swinger vs. Cody Deaner (w/Cousin Jake). Cody caught Johnny with a lariat and followed up with mounted punches. Cody put the boots to Johnny in the corner. Eric Young ran out and gave Cousin Jake a lariat at ringside. Young was followed by Joe Doering. Young entered the ring to attack Cody to prompt the DQ.
Johnny Swinger vs. Cody Deaner ended in an apparent no-contest in 0:50.
Young turned Cody inside-out with a clothesline. Swinger gloated and asked Doering for a high five. Doering gave Swinger a chokebomb. Young hit Cody with a pile driver. Young got a mic and said these attacks will continue until everyone’s eyes are open. Young said he and Doering are the Cure and the disease is everywhere (I kinda want to make a Corona joke here, but I’ll contain myself).
Young said to look into his eyes and know that Young speaks the truth. Young said the world doesn’t belong to “you”, it belongs to “us”. Young yelled that “the world belongs to us” several times before leaving with his theme music playing…
John’s Thoughts: Another short and sweet segment to establish the new duo of Eric Young and Joe Doering. They are taking their time with Doering, having him look like Young’s dominant enforcer with Young continuing to do solid work ever since his Impact return. They can probably get a few more weeks out of Young and Doering beating up comedy guys before they get to an actual program involving the new Young and Doering duo.
Deonna Purrazzo and Kimber Lee wandered to a red lighted area backstage where James Mitchell was hanging out. Purrazzo wanted to know if Mitchell transformed Su Yung to Susie yet? Mitchell said it’s a little hard to het his hands on Su. Purrazzo said she can lead Su to the ring and she hopes Mitchell is ready…[c]
Cody Deaner was yelling at Cousin Jake backstage about Eric Young treating the Deaners like “curtain jerking nobodies” (Well? They kinda are, to be brutally honest). Jake said they aren’t nobodies because they are The Deaners. Jake said they will end up fixing this. Cody told Jake that this is not about “we” but “me” (Cody). Cody talked about this being personal because EY was at Cody’s first day at wrestling school. Cody said he was Young’s riding partner early in their careers. Cody said he saw EY as family. Cody said he’s not going to let Young treat him like a nobody and next week he’s going to prove to Young that he’s not a nobody…
John’s Thoughts: Woah? Who know goofy-ass Cody Deaner had a fiery and serious promo in him? That wasn’t bad? (It’s just tough seeing Cody as serious due to him being the goofy jobber guy dating back to the TNA days. He was even brought in as Eric Young’s replacement in the comedy ODB segments). See, it kinda pisses me off sometimes when you find out that Impact is hiding a lot of talent behind goofy community theater garbage that the current creative team feels obligated to produce. Decent stuff here. Cody’s still getting his ass kicked next week though. What I also hope comes from this is Cousin Jake finally breaking away from the Deaners because that guy has shown that he has a lot of potential. Seriously, if Jake were in NXT, MLW, New Japan, or AEW, I could see Jake beline to the main event scene due to his in-ring and size.
Impact Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo made her entrance with Kimber Lee. Deonna grabbed a mic and talked about how Su Yung has been haunting her and Kimber since Bound for Glory. Purrazzo said Su keeps talking about the time coming, but Su’s time was coming now. Deonna called out Su Yung to the ring. Josh Mathews noted that we all know that Deonna is luring Su out so that James Mitchell can transform Su back to Susie.
After Su was in the ring, James Mitchell made his entrance. Mitchell had a mic and said that Su Yung has been a thorn in his side for too long. Mitchell said Su will pay for her sins. Some horror music started playing as the “Undead Bridesmaids” made their entrance. The zombie brides shambled to ringside to surround the ring. While Su was distracted by the bridesmaids, Purrazzo blindsided Su and landed a few punches. Su ended up getting the upper hand. Kimber Lee distracted Su, causing Su to come at her with the “bloody” glove.
When Deonna recovered, Su tried to spit red mist at her, but Deonna managed to grab Su’s neck to prevent Su from spitting. Su started choking from her own mist. Deonna hit Su with a Gotch Pile Driver to leave Su unconscious. The Undead Bridesmaids then carried Su to the back with James Mitchell doing his signature evil laugh…
John’s Thoughts: A little out-there, but I actually liked that segment. Can Impact not see that it’s easier and more effective to produce more realistic segments using practical effects as opposed to their low budget Adobe After Effects cartoon s*it. Su Yung has really shined the last couple weeks in taking a more realistic take on her horror-movie character. No powers, just mind games. Speaking of mind games, I really like Deonna Purrazzo being the one to overpower Su Yung here as it makes her look more credible. It wasn’t the Bridesmaids overpowering Su, it was Deonna outwitting Su with her own mind games.
The show cut to Moose’s POV for some reason. Moose confronted Chris Bey and noted how Bey beat up Willie Mack to get himself in line for an Impact title shot. Bey assumed Moose was trying to campaign for the first title shot after Bey beats Rich Swann. Moose said that he’s not here to finesse Bey. Moose said that if Bey can beat Swann for the title, then all Moose has to do is “take” the title from Bey…[c]
John’s Thoughts: I mean? Seriously! Why is “moose vision” a thing? Is there supposed to be some cameras in his eyes or something? What does this add to the show? Impact really knows how to break the viewers emersion sometimes. At least back in the TNA days, they didn’t do anything this stupid/emersion-breaking. Which sucks because they are doing so many things way better with this creative team, to the point that they end up shooting themselves in the foot with needless “cuteness”.
An ad aired for Impact Plus…
Gia Miller interviewed Karl Anderson backstage. Karl Anderson accepted Ethan Page’s challenge at Final Resolution. Anderson implied that he had some “friends” who were going to back him up at Final Resolution…
During Rohit Raju’s entrance, Josh Mathews advertised the the Impact EBay store where you can buy wrestler-worn clothes…
4. Rohit Raju vs. Crazzy Steve for the Impact X Division Championship. The referee ordered Steve to put the toy monkey in the corner. Steve got control of the match and landed a few strikes on Raju. Steve gave Raju an Irish Whip. Raju retreated to ringside for a bit of a timeout. Steve used a Full Nelson to set up a snapmare on Raju. Steve kicked Rohit and locked Rohit in the Decay Tarantula. Rohit ended up catching Steve with a Paydirt for a two count.[c]
Josh Mathews pimped out the Impact Plus Cameo account (Good for them! I hope that Impact isn’t asking for a huge cut from the wrestlers like WWE is). Raju caught Steve with a twisting neckbreaker. Josh Mathews noted that Rohit Raju is calling himself the greatest Indian pro wrestler of all time. Madison Rayne brought up Tiger Jeet Singh and Gama Singh as great Indian professional wrestlers. Josh Mathews joked that he thought Madison Rayne was going to call Sonjay Dutt a legend.
Rohit dominated Steve for a few minutes. Rohit got a two count after a snap suplex. Steve did the Undertaker Sit-up to nosell a roundhouse. Steve gave Raju a DDT to rake Raju’s head on the top rope. Steve got a two count on Raju. Steve locked Raju in a modified Rings of Saturn. Raju got a foot on the bottom rope for the rope break. Steve went for a crucifix driver, but Raju reversed it into a sitdown pin. Raju grabbed the ropes for leverage and the dirty pin.
Rohit Raju defeated Crazzy Steve via pinfall in 8:08 of on-air time to retain the Impact X Division Championship.
John’s Thoughts: Impact is doing an amazing job in giving Rohit Raju meaningful TV time and he’s making the most out of every opportunity. Raju showed that he had this potential back when they were using him as their designated jobber guy, so it’s not too surprising. He’s kinda reminding me of a young Christian Cage in his singles heel work. Another nice touch that I like that Impact is doing, is over the past few week’s they’ve had the commentary team name drop legendary X Divison champions and putting Rohit Raju in the same breath as them. Nice touch to help build the credibility of a guy that was so damaged heading into his championship run.
Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz were backstage waving around Hernandez’s wad of cash (seriously? Does no one in Impact spend money? Go buy a new TV with that! Or a Playstation 5 or something!). Fallah Bahh confronted Kiera and Tasha, causing Tasha to hide the cash behind her back. Bahh claimed that Tasha and Kiera stole his money because he saw a video on twitter. Kiera said she didn’t know that Bahh could use internet. Bahh said he has that wi-fi swag.
Kiera admitted that they stole the money, but didn’t have the money at the moment. Kiera and Tasha then passed the wad between each other’s backs to hide it from Bahh. Kiera promised to bring the money next week. Bahh agreed and walked away, calling Tasha’s sunglasses bootleg. Johnny Swinger walked up to Kiera and Tasha, saying he wasnted some of their two-for-one special. Kiera acted disgusted, saying that Swinger looked like someones uncle. Kiera and Tasha walked away, talking about how he looked like he was stuck in the 80s. Johnny was confused, wondering why he was getting all this “heat” after winning his trial…
A ShopImpact ad aired…
TJP was trying to cheer up Crazzy Steve backstage after his loss. Brian Myers showed up to make fun of Steve for losing. Perkins challenged Myers to a match. Myers accepted…
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne checked in on commentary and announced the following segments for next week’s show: Eric Young vs. Cody Deaner, Brian Myers vs. TJP, Josh Alexander vs. Chris Sabin, And Deonna Purrazzo and Kimber Lee vs. Rosemary and Taya Valkyrie in the last first round match of the Knockouts Tag Team Tournament.
5. Willie Mack vs. Chris Bey. Josh Mathews noted that he was a fan of Willie Mack from Lucha Underground and then told viewers to go to Cameo to request a Mack video. Mack wanted a test of strength, but Bey gave Mack a slap. Mack responded with his own slap. Mack then pummeled Bey with boots and chops. Mack gave Bey a titty twister. Mack continued to dominate Bey for a sequence.
Bey caught Mack with a Tiger Feint Kick. Mack avoided a wrecking ball kick and then hit Bey with a sidewalk slam on the apron. Bey hit Mack with a jump kick to the hamstring to give himself a bit of a breather heading into commercial.[c]
Josh Mathews noted that the jump kick might have injured Mack before the break, as Bey has now focused his attack on Mack’s leg. Mack fended off Bey with boots. Bey went for a dive but Mack caught Bey. Bey escaped and gave Mack a chop block. Bey worked on Mack’s injured leg with a Half Crab. Mack rolled on his back ot reverse the pressure. Mack escaped. Josh noted that Mack is a high flyer, which means a leg injury can slow Mack down. Mack caught Bey with a lariat to give himself some time to recover.
Mack gave Bey an elbow followed by a swinging Body Slam. Mack hit Bey with a knee drop, but then sold the injured knee (If your knee hurts, why would you do a move like that and not, say, an elbow drop or something?). Madison noted that knee drop might not be the smartest move. Bey used a jackknife rollup for a one count. Bey hit Mack with a Canadian Destroyer for a two count. Mack caught Bey’s kick and Bey gave Mack a slap. This fired up Mack who gave Bey a popup punch and Stone Cold Stunner for the win.
Willie Mack defeated Chris Bey via pinfall in 9:29 of on-air time.
Moose tried to attack Willie Mack after the match, but Rich Swann attacked Moose and sent Moose into retreat. Chris Bey surprised Swann with the springboard cutter. Chris Bey posed with the Impact World Championship to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: While Mack and Bey have great matches together (most notably the match where Bey won the title off Mack) and this was no exception, I don’t think that Chris Bey vs. Willie Mack is a compelling main event at this time of Mack and Bey’s storylines. That said, I do like Mack picking up the win. Bey needs to be rebuilt a bit and Mack gains more from the win. Mack is someone that Impact can slide into big programs when they need compelling matches, so this was the right decision. Again, the match was solid, I just think that because Bey has been taking a bunch of under-the-radar L’s recently, that there wasn’t much of a hook to this being in the main event slot.
I’m not sure what Chris Bey holding the title at the end of the show really means? It’s kinda like those times where Trey Miguel would hold the title up and you can’t help but think that he has 0% chance of being champ in the near future. Anyways, this was a solid show overall even though the main event didn’t feel like a main event. They’re doing a lot of solid character development all across the board. Credit to Madison Rayne throughout the night for providing good energy too the show and it was a treat to have her back. She especially shined when she provided her own locker-room experience. What also stood out this week is them keeping a lot of their dumb stuff to a minimum. No Adobe After effects. Very little Wrestle House or John E Bravo. No teleporting hackers. Even Cody F’n Deaner cut a serious promo for once. The only really immersion-breaking thing was Moose’s stupid Moose-vision.