By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios
Aired December 8, 2020 on AXS TV
Highlights from Don Callis’s appearance on AEW Dynamite aired, notably Callis’s interaction in the Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega main event. A drone shot was then shown of Kenny Omega’s private bus, which was heading towards Skyway Studios. Josh Mathews, who was on commentary with Madison Rayne, noted he would conduct an interview with AEW Champion Kenny Omega during the show…
1. Josh Alexander (w/Ethan Page) vs. Chris Sabin (w/Alex Shelley). Sabin used a few rolls to escape Alexander’s initial wristlock. Josh Mathews had Madison Rayne give some character exposition on Josh Alexander due to the new viewers that might be tuning in from AEW Dynamite’s audience. Alexander overpowered Sabin with strong strikes for a stretch of time. Sabin started to rally a bit after a rollup attempt and a Pele Kick. Sabin used a crucifix rollup for a two count.
Sabin used a Magistral for a two count. Alexander retreated to ringside and but Sabin kept the pressure on with a suicide dive on Alexander. Sabin got a two count off a crossbody. Alexander blocked a huracanrana from Sabin and reversed it into a backbreaker bomb for a two count. Sabin hit Alexander with an enzuigiri to rock Alexander a bit. Alexander came right back with a T-Bone Suplex. Sabin staggered Alexander with an enzuigiri and followed up with a missile dropkick. Alexander got a breather after nailing Sabin with a rip cord elbow.
Ethan Page and Josh Alexander then started arguing over what move Alexander should do next. Alexander wanted to soften Sabin up with more elbows while Page wanted Alexander to “drop him on his head like you did to Shelley”. Sabin took advantage of the distracted Josh Alexander by using a Jackknife Rollup for the win.
Chris Sabin defeated Josh Alexander via pinfall in 9:15.
Alexander immediately kicked out after three and aggressively unhooked his headgear out of frustration. Josh Mathews noted that the North’s indecisiveness cost them this match. Ethan Page held his head down in shame…
John’s Thoughts: A good match that protects Alexander due to his tag team partner unintentionally costing him the win via bad coaching. As much as I want to talk about the match, the real positive is Impact adjusting their commentary to welcome potential AEW viewers. Josh has been calling more moves as of late, as Matt Striker joked about two weeks ago, but here he was naming moves I didn’t know he had to memory. When’s the last time you heard Josh say the words “La Magistral” or “shining wizard”? Good stuff, and I continue to argue that Josh needs to move away from being a Michael Cole clone (Cole has proven to be much better when produced by Paul Levesque himself). I like the little tweaks they’re doing and looking to see if they do more later in the show. What might be a bit weird for AEW viewers, is the lack of crowd or spectator wrestlers. That said, Impact has very crisp production values that make their show come off as a professional production in terms of their in-ring visual presentation.
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne checked in from their commentary set. Josh noted that Don Callis is his PPV Color Commentator and how he got involved in the main event of last week’s AEW Dynamite. Josh then talked about how he was granted the first interview with Kenny Omega. Rayne talked about how unnatural it is to see AEW wrestler Kenny Omega on Impact Wrestling with Impact Executive Don Callis. Josh reiterated that he’ll be called sometime during this show to do the interview with Omega…
John’s Thoughts: I like Mathews leaving the actual time of the interview very vague because it causes viewers to stay tuned throughout the show. Fingers crossed that Impact creative contains their urges to put out stupid comedy s*it and low budget Adobe After Effects garbage. I just mentioned in their opening match, their camerawork and video quality is a par above all the indie wrestling companies. They should rock what they’re good at instead of trying to be innovative and failing.
Moose was shown sitting down with a blank stare (Thank God we didn’t get yet another week of “Moose Vision”, whatever the hell that was?). Chris Bey showed up to buddy up to Moose. Moose ignored Bey, who wanted to go over strategy for their upcoming match. Moose said “these” (his fists) talk for him. Bey then gloated to Moose about possibly being Impact champion after the next Impact Plus show and how Moose would want to talk to Bey then. Moose held up his two fists and said that maybe he’ll talk to Bey after Saturday’s show. Moose walked away and Bey raised an eyebrow…
John’s Thoughts: More of this Moose, please! Moose has a fun goofy personality, but that has only gotten him so far.
Tony Schiavone introduced Tony Khan in an insert ad. The old school backdrop made it look like a public access ad. Khan was wearing a Jacksonville Jaguars polo, and I think Schiavone was wearing a Detroit Lions sweater. Khan was intentionally cheesy (I think?) until he started talking about how he disliked how the main event of last week’s show went. Khan then ran through advertised matches for tomorrow’s AEW Dynamite show. Khan hyped The Young Bucks vs. Angelico and Jack Evans in particular as a must-watch match.
Khan then joked about rumors that he might be buying Impact Wrestling. Schiavone then joked that he worked for Impact for one day, quit the day after, and then retired from the wrestling business for 18 years. Khan gave Schiavone a hug and said he appreciates bringing Schiavone back into wrestling. Khan then hyped up Schiavone conducting an interview with Sting. Khan then said he’s looking forward to seeing Kenny Omega and Don Callis tomorrow…
John’s Thoughts: Fun skit that reminded me a bit of the public access ads in the Wayne’s World movie. They did quickly move away from the tribute to other media and quickly moved on towards pimping out their show, which I think they did a good job of, especially with the fun jabs to the Impact audience that they would understand. I can see a good portion of the Impact-only viewers watching Dynamite tomorrow and that little bit might help in terms of AEW’s ratings war with NXT.
Brian Myers made his entrance. Mathews noted that Myers is a former WWE Tag Team Champion (w/Matt Cardona) and a former TNA Tag Team Champion (w/Cameron Grimes). TJP made his entrance and Josh reminded viewers that Perkins is not allowed to challenge for the X Division Championship as long as Rohit Raju is champion…
2. Brian Myers vs. TJP. Perkins and Myers locked up early on with Myers overpowering Myers. Perkins hit Myers with a huracanrana which caused Myers to retreat to the apron for a 10 second time out. Myers and Perkins then traded some chain wrestling. Perkins rolled under Myers and went for a Sharpshooter, which Perkins adjusted to a Muta Lock. Myers got to the bottom rope to break the hold.
Perkins made Myers stop on a dime when he did the signature Jack Gallagher handstand in the corner. Myers crotched Perkins in the corner and shoved him to ringside. The show then cut to commercial.[c]
Perkins hit Myers with a Tornado DDT. Perkins then hit Myers with a springboard lariat. Myers dodged a Mamba Splash and hit Perkins with an Elevated Flatliner. Myers did the signature Edge spear pose in the corner but Perkins blocked the spear with a drop toehold. Perkins locked Myers in a kneebar, which Myers broke with a rope break. Perkins countered Myers into a Back Suplex. Perkins executed the Mamba Splash, but Myers got the knees up for a rollup two count. Perkins rolled Myers around the ground to synch in the kneebar again.
Myers used his free hand to toss the referee into Perkins so Perkins would break the hold. Myers gave Perkins a spinebuster. Myers turned TJP inside-out with a lariat for the win.
Brian Myers defeated TJP via pinfall in 7:09 of on-air time.
Josh noted that he wasn’t sure if TJ had his foot under the bottom rope. Josh then hyped more of the Knockouts Tag Team Tournament later in the show…
John’s Thoughts: Though a bit dirty with tossing the ref into TJ, I liked that Myers used a wrestling move and got a clean pin minus the ref spot. I also like him picking up the win with a lariat which they can hopefully establish as being devastating with a few more Myers wins.
Cody Deaner was shown looking focused backstage. Cousin told Jake “we got this” in terms of Cody’s match against Eric Young later in the show. Cody told Jake that this was more about “me” than “we” in terms of dealing with a personal issue in Eric Young. Jake mentioned that Joe Doering was going to have Young’s back so he would at least like the chance to help Cody keep Joe under control. Cody told Jake that he can accompany Cody to ringside but Jake needs to promise that he won’t get involved no matter what he sees…[c]
Rohit Raju was wearing a flashy shirt. He walked up to TJP and started to gloat about being X Division Champion. Raju reminded Perkins that Perkins can’t challenge for the X Division title while Raju is champ. Raju talked about how he was going to have the final Defeat Rohit Challenge of 2020 at Final Resolution. Before TJP left, he wished Raju good luck in his “final” Defeat Rohit Challenge…
Eric Young and Joe Doering made their entrance…
3. Eric Young (w/Joe Doering) vs. Cody Deaner (w/Cousin Jake). Young tackled Cody to the corner and worked on him with strikes. Cody came back with a leap and ground punches. Cody then dominated Eric Young in the corner with strikes. Cody kept yelling “I’m not a nobody!”. Young regained control and stretched Cody’s back against the top rope. Young hit Cody with an elevated Death Valley Driver. Cody hit EY with a Sunset Flip for a two count.
Young quickly regained control after the kickout. Madison Rayne talked about how Cody needs to use cousin Jake’s help especially when Joe Doering will eventually help out Eric Young. Cody managed to rally against Young, hitting Young with a Body Slam. Doering tried to approach Cody and Cody waved off Jake when Jake tried to help Cody. Cody taking his time caused him to miss a top rope headbutt. Young hit Cody with a Pile Driver for the win.
Eric Young defeated Cody Deaner via pinfall in 3:42.
Josh noted that nobody kicks out of EY’s pile driver. Doering and Young continued to attack Cody after the match. Jake tried to run in for the save, but Doering hit Jake with a short-arm lariat. Suddenly, Rhino made his entrance, holding a lead pipe. Doering wanted to fight Rhino, but Eric Young pulled Doering up the ramp and to the back…
Tommy Dreamer was trying to hold back John E Bravo backstage from confronting Team XXXL. Dreamer told Bravo that he’ll be taking care of the problem. Dreamer then took a kendo stick to confront Acey Romero and Larry D. Larry D continued to say that he was set up in terms of trying to murder John E Bravo. Larry D then agreed to a match with Dreamer at Final Resolution that if he loses he will willingly go to jail. Dreamer booked the match. Larry was shocked that Dreamer can book a match where he can avoid jail for attempted murder…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A simple and effective match to boost up Young and Doering while also showing a more serious side to Cody Deaner. I hope that this isn’t the end of the Deaners taking a serious turn because of Cousin Jake’s upside along with Cody showing some hidden fire over the past two weeks. This was also good timing as the Deaners being serious takes away one stupid segment from the show that is going to be presented to AEW viewers. The John E Bravo skit appeared after it, but it wasn’t as egregious as Impact comedy skits have been in the past.
Tommy Dreamer sat down with Scott D’Amore backstage. D’Amore said he doesn’t like wrestlers like Dreamer making their own matches, but D’Amore was too happy tonight so Dreamer can have his match on Saturday. Dreamer said he was more worried about Don Callis and Kenny Omega being around in Impact because he’s been in similar situations in other companies before and it never ends up well. D’Amore brought up that this is bringing more eyes and attention to the show so it’s tough to argue against. Dreamer said he thinks Don is being selfish and that Dreamer is worried about how the locker room morale. D’Amore continued to no-sell Dreamer, only seeing dollar signs in Omega being on Impact…
4. Kimber Lee and Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo vs. Rosemary and Taya Valkyrie in a first round match of the Impact Knockouts Tag Team Championship Tournament. Rosemary licked her hand and asked for a Test of Strength, but Deonna didn’t want that and went for an armbar. Josh Mathews listed out Deonna’s finishing moves. Taya and Kimber tagged in. Taya hit Kimber with a knee lift, but Kimber came back with a pump kick and pin attempt. Kimber tossed Taya to her corner to tag in Deonna for isolation offense.
Kimber and Deonna traded quick tags to keep Taya under control. Rosemary got the hot tag and cleaned house. Rosemary hit Deonna with an exploder for a two count. Deonna reversed Rosemary with a snap Flatliner. Kimber tagged in and did a tandem Blockbuster-backbreaker combo with Deonna on Rosemary. Rosemary then froze Kimber and Deonna with the no-sell sit-up.
Both teams ended up trading punches, with Kimber and Taya ending up in the splits (both women have a gymnastics background). Deonna ended up accidentally attacking Kimber. Rosemary hit Kimber Lee with a Spear. Taya tossed Deonna to ringside. Rosemary hit Kimber Lee with a Wing Clipper for the victory.
Rosemary and Taya Valkyrie defeated Kimber Lee and Deonna Purrazzo via pinfall in 7:00 to advance in the Knockouts Tag Team Tournament.
John’s Thoughts: I kinda expect Lee and Purrazzo to be eliminated in the next round given how limited Rosemary has been in the ring since returning from her last injury along with Taya just being out of the ring in general in recent months (which is odd). Totally fine though, as Kimber Lee’s job here is to take losses for Deonna. That said, I kinda hope we see more of Taya and Rosemary because they have so must wasted upside and are so talented.
Alisha Edwards was pacing around backstage looking pissed off. Tenille Dashwood and Kaleb Konley then approached Edwards to pitch potential tag team names. Edwards told Dashwood that she has more important things to deal with now. Dashwood then listed a few names. Edwards reminded Dashwood that she’s more worried about her husband getting attacked by Sami Callihan. Konley and Dashwood then told Alisha that she’s off the team. Alisha told Tenille to teach her a lesson. Dashwood and Konley said they will teach her later…[c]
Deonna Purrazzo and Kimber Lee complained to Scott D’Amore about having to juggle around so many things like the Tag Team Tournament, Knockouts Championship, and a zombie lady. D’Amore then threw a fit which ended up in him booking Deonna in a title defense against Rosemary on Saturday’s Final Resolution show. D’Amore threw his papers in the air and walked away…
Sami Callihan was already in the ring with a bat and microphone. Callihan bragged about being the highest rated wrestler in Impact. He said he was the best in the ring and on the mic. Callihan talked about the time he got mainstream buzz due to hitting Eddie Edwards in the eye with a baseball bat. Callihan then had the production team replay the moment he hit Eddie in an eye with a bat. Sami then said that he wanted to boost the ratings by hitting Eddie in the face again with a bat. Sami wanted the production crew to play the second time he hit Eddie in the face from a few weeks ago.
Instead of the video playing, Alisha Edwards made her entrance. Sami told Alisha that Alisha almost got pile drove by Eric Young the last time she showed up to the ring. Sami said the difference this time is EY has better manners than Sami and if Alisha enters the ring Sami will break her freaking neck. Alisha got a mic and told Sami that she didn’t come alone. Eddie Edwards then blindsided Sami and then grabbed the bat. Sami ducked a bat shot and ran away through the barricaded area…
Josh Mathews hyped up the Kenny Omega interview for later in the show…[c]
John’s Thoughts: An okay promo and the best part of Sami Callihan now is he’s dialing back on the dumb hacker gimmick that failed in both NXT and Impact. I’m not sure if there’s money in revisiting the angle where Sami accidentally smashed Eddie’s orbital bone with a bat? Not because it isn’t compelling, but it comes off as a stale retread.
Eddie Edwards was acting fired up backstage. Alisha yelled to try to get his attention so he can help her with a problem. Eddie continued to act fired up…
John’s Thoughts: Ugh, I hope Crazy Eddie isn’t coming back.
Chris Bey and Moose made their entrance next. Moose now has the stock latin choir music that usually plays in movie trailers as a lead in to his usual entrance music. Moose still carries around the TNA Title Belt. Josh Mathews reminded viewers that Moose is not a recognized champion…
6. Chris Bey and Moose vs. Willie Mack and Impact World Champion Rich Swann. Moose wanted to start the match with Rich, but Bey tagged himself in, much to the dismay of Moose. Bey and Rich traded flips and dodges. The first clean move was a dropkick by Rich on Bey, heading into commercial.[c]
Mack and Moose were in the ring back from the break. Mack hit Moose with an imploding cannonball in the corner. Moose reversed Mack’s punches with two Uranages. Moose tagged in Chris Bey, but Moose power bombed Chris Bey into Mack. Moose tagged himself back in and continued his team’s advantage over Mack. While Moose was gloating, Mack surprised Moose with a Stunner. Swann tagged in and took out Bey with a kick. Swann hit Moose with three kicks. Moose reversed a huracanrana into a power bomb on Rich.
Rich ended up tripping up Moose and tossing Bey on Moose with a Frankensteiner. Rich got a two count off of Bey. Rich hit Bey with a running back kick. Mack missed a Six Star Frog Splash. Bey gave Rich a huracanrana into the buckle and hit Rich with a corkscrew back kick. Mack hit Bey with a pop up punch. Moose hit Mack with a spear. Moose hit Mack with nice looking ground and pound elbows. Rich shoved Moose to ringside. Bey pinned Mack for the win.
Chris Bey and Moose defeated Willie Mack and Rich Swann via pinfall in 7:35 of on-air time.
Josh noted that Bey was challenging for the Impact World Title at Final Resolution…
With about 10 minutes of on-air time left on the show, Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne checked in from the commentary set. Josh talked about not knowing what to expect from his interview with Kenny Omega…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A good tag team match. I don’t think they’ve done a good job building up Bey as a credible world title contender. In fact, it’s sorta dragging Rich Swann down. What I do like is Moose acting a bit more serious this week. The best part of that seriousness was him looking badass, and treating Chris Bey like garbage. That worked. I also liked Moose’s aggressive offense in the end, namely those ground and pound elbows.
Rich Swann tried to head to the parking lot to leave Skyway Studios, but he was blocked by a security guard who said the “World Champ” had the parking lot blocked off and you could only get in if you were on the guest list. Rich wondered if this was “TNA World Champ” Moose trolling him but the guard told him is was “World Champ” Kenny Omega. The guard then blocked Josh Mathews from crossing, but Josh noted he was on the list, which the guard verified. Rich walked away looking pissed…
John’s Thoughts: Yo! Rich Swann vs. Kenny Omega can be a fire match down the road. No kidding, Swann vs. Omega, given how those guys sell in the ring, can be bigger than any Kenny Omega match that AEW can put on. I’m not being hyperbolic about this.
Josh Mathews entered the bus of Kenny Omega and waited on the couch. Kenny Omega and Don Callis then entered the living room of the bus to participate in the interview with Josh. Don Callis took control for a bit and said he was conducting the ceremonial name plate change from Jon Moxley to Kenny Omega. While Callis was changing the plates, Josh asked if Callis planned this coup of the world title for a long time. Callis ignored Mathews and continued to pimp the world title. Kenny Omega then noted that Josh Mathews was friends with “Dean Ambrose” from Tough Enough Season 1 and should have the name plate as a souvenir.
Callis then talked about how this plan was conducted 27 years ago when Callis was trained by The Golden Shiek in Canada. They focused the camera on a picture of the Golden Sheik and Callis noted that The Sheik was Kenny’s uncle. Callis said he was just paying it forward by being Omega’s guardian angel just like the Sheik was for him. Callis noted that he didn’t come back to wrestling just to be a podcaster or color commentator. Callis said it was a plan so he could be in Japan at Kenny’s side when he won the title. Callis said it was all a part of the plan to be in position for Omega’s big moments in AEW.
Callis talked about how he booked Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega in the Tokyo Dome and how Tony Khan has admitted that that match may have started AEW. Omega reaffirmed it. Callis said AEW fans should send thank you cards to he and Kenny. Callis said they changed the course of wrestling history. Callis said people are calling this the Golden Screwjob. Callis said he sees it as setting things straight. Callis then talked about this being special.
Callis said some people like to make matches, some people like to make memories, but he and Omega make history. Mathews asked Omega if Omega is worried about tarnishing his legacy. Callis yelled over and blew off Mathews’s question. Omega asked Josh to ask the question again. Josh reiterated his question, noting that Kenny hit Moxley in the head with a mic. Omega said he was going to ask Josh questions now. He talked about how he was just striking the man that was striking his father figure. Omega called Callis the Architect and the Invincible Hand.
Omega said from “coming from that place” that Josh has arrogance. Omega then started to talk a mile a minute about all the greatest matches he had all over the world. Omega said this high class living is making him feel like the old Kenny. Kenny then talked about how he collected comic books back in the day. he talked about how he had to quit to get the biggest prize of them all. Omega said he might want to collect other rare prizes like the Impact title.
Omega and Callis said they had to bounce because Kenny has something huge planned for tomorrow. Omega said the clue is that it has to do with something Lex Luger did. Omega then did his “bang” catchphrase. Omega said they had to go. Callis told Josh to go back to Stamford. Omega said Josh seems nice. Callis said that Josh is a stooge. The Impact closing graphic flashed on the screen…
John’s Thoughts: A really good segment that was carried in particular by Don Callis doing good hype work. Omega is a bit awkward, always speaking a mile a minute, on the mic, but Callis is very efficient, hitting on all the points and drawing heat. Callis also has a lovable-idiot quality to him that lends to some sympathy come the time Omega will have to turn on him down the road. Omega over the last few months, has been doing a really good job leaning into coming off as an overrated wrestler (which overall, is kinda true. I mean, wasn’t he just filling in the slot that AJ Styles and Finn Balor had in Bullet Club when he inherited their big matches over the years? I kid, I kid).
Omega was still awkward on the mic, but that awkwardness feeds well into the overconfident heel who believes in all the BS that is said about him. Where he did better here was also not mentioning insider terms and focusing on his accolades as an athlete which is something anyone can get into. Good stuff.
Overall, this was a really good episode of Impact and I really really hope we similar episodes in following weeks. I had my reservations on the AEW-Impact relationship, but I think there’s a lot of potential for some fun stuff. Heck, I think we can see some AEW teams that are buried on Dark get some rub if they appear on Impact. Here’s an example, if you throw Jack Evans and Angelico into the Impact tag team division, I think that they can catch some eyeballs as a top tag team in the world, just saying? Anyway, good stuff and looking for more from this relationship, especially once they burn through the last set of taped matches. Jason Powell’s Impact Hit List and the weekly Dot Net Members’ exclusive audio review of Impact Wrestling will be available on Wednesday.
Average Twitch Viewership (rounded up): 43,300 during the 1st hour; 47,000 right before the Kenny Omega interview.