12/15 Impact Wrestling TV Results: Moore’s review of AEW Champion Kenny Omega and Don Callis latest appearance, Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz vs. Taya Valkyrie and Rosemary in a Knockouts Tag Title tournament semifinal match, Karl Anderson vs. Chris Sabin, Manik vs. Chris Bey

By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)

Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios

Aired December 15, 2020 on AXS TV

Highlights from last week’s Impact Wrestling show aired. The intro package focused on Rich Swann as world champion and the possibility of Kenny Omega going after the Impact World Championship…

Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne were on commentary. The show started out with Kaleb Konley handling the ring introductions for Tenille Dashwood. Josh Mathews noted that Don Callis and Kenny Omega were “here tonight”…

1. Tenille Dashwood (w/Kaleb Konley) vs. Alisha Edwards (w/Eddie Edwards). Dashwood tackled Alisha to start the match followed by some ground and pound. Alisha came right back with a Thesz Press and punches. Alisha tripped up Tenille and hit Tenille with a running senton. Tenille turned the tide a bit after hitting Alisha with a draping neckbreaker. Tenille hit Alisha with a double underhook suplex for a two count. Tenille dominated Alisha for a bit with Eddie trying to cheer on his wife from ringside. Alisha gained momentum after a running lariat. Alisha hit Tenille with a bulldog for a two count. The two count was due to Kaleb pulling Tenille to ringside.

Eddie got in Kaleb’s face and Kaleb punched Eddie at ringside. Alisha gave Kaleb a dive. When Alisha got back in the ring, Tenille nailed Alisha with the Spotlight Kick for the win.

Tenille Dashwood defeated Alisha Edwards via pinfall in 5:12.

Josh noted that Tenille won due to the help of Kaleb. Eddie went in the ring to check on her wife. All of a sudden, Sami Callihan’s ICU graphics flashed on the screen. Sami then appeared on the video wall. Sami joked about attacking Eddie from behind and said he’s done with that. Sami then proposed a match with Eddie to happen in a few weeks. Sami told Eddie to enjoy the holidays with his family because those holidays may be Eddie’s last. Sami ended his promo and Eddie was in the ring saying he wants the match now…

Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne checked in from their commentary set. Josh reiterated that Kenny Omega’s tour bus was on site at Skyway Studios…

Gia Miller interviewed Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley about their three step process on going back to the Tag Team Titles. Shelley talked about how easy it was to beat Larry D and how the North ended up beating themselves up due to bickering. Shelley said the next step is the Good Brothers. Chris Sabin noted that the Good Brothers never pinned any of the Machine Guns. Shelley also noted that t

They cut over to the Kenny Omega Tour Bus where Omega, Karl Anderson, and Don Callis were firing Anderson up, saying that Shelley and Sabin were being disrespectful. Omega encouraged Anderson to “Get Him!”…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A decent women’s match and Alisha is getting better in the ring, albeit she’s a bit rough. One positive over the last few weeks is Tenille has been changing up her character to fit her Instagram influencer gimmick. If only she’d completely ditch the “Evil Emma” look because it’s just the vestiges of a failed gimmick. Impact is also doing a solid job utilizing the Kenny Omega starpower that they’re blessed with at the moment. That already takes up the promotion a bit.

Since I’m watching via Twitch this week, they’re still having Melissa Santos host the twitch commercials. Santos did her usual thing by chatting directly with the twitch viewers via the text chatroom…

Karl Anderson barged into skyway Studios furious at what Sabin and Shelley talked about. Anderson ran into Rich Swann. Swann mocked Anderson for following Kenny Omega’s orders. Shelley and Sabin showed up alongside Swann. Anderson ended up leaving saying that he’d meet Chris Sabin later in the show for their scheduled match…

Moose made his entrance to the Skyway ring. He was wearing a business suit. Moose said that he was giving an injury update and that Willie Mack was not going to be able to wrestle for a few weeks. Moose said he injured Mack the same way he injures other people. Moose said he doesn’t like that people are always talking about Impact World Champion Rich Swann. Moose said that he respects Swann but the difference between Moose and Swann is that Swann stays hurts while Moose hurts people. Moose told Swann to ask Mack what real pain feels like.

Willie Mack made his entrance. Security guards got in between Mack and Moose. Mack said he’s not out to wrestle and he agrees that he’s on the shelf for weeks. Mack said when refs tell him to stop when Mack knows he can go further, it pisses Mack off. Mack then challenged Moose to an I Quit match at the Genesis show. Mack then entered the ring to brawl with Moose. The security guards quickly got between Mack and Moose. Moose fought away from the guards and dropped Mack with a punch. Josh noted that a guard ripped Moose’s suit, which caused Moose to attack the guards. Josh noted that Moose will surely be fined for what he did tonight…

Gia Miller caught up with Moose backstage to talk about the previous segment. Moose said he’s tired of Independent Wrestlers putting their hands on the superstars. Moose said they ripped his suit. Moose said that independent wrestlers can’t hang in the ring for 3 minutes and don’t have the right to touch Moose. Moose said if they touch him again they will feel what Mack feels and they will get hurt.

Chris Bey entered a room where Rohit Raju was sitting. Bey mocked Raju for losing the title to Manik at Final Destination. Rohit told Bey to get out. Bey told Raju that all Raju needs to do is unmask Manik and when he proves Manik is TJP, he’ll get the title back. Raju thought it was a great idea. Bey also recommended that Raju team up with him for a bit…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Solid stuff between Moose and Mack. I’m assuming Mack will still end up being a stepping stone for Moose en route to a Moose vs. Swann match, but Mack is pretty teflon in terms of taking losses. So far so good with Moose. He’s taking things a bit more seriously these days. I don’t think the TNA title really adds anything to his act though and they should find a way to make his presentation more about Moose as opposed to his toy belt.

Melissa Santos noted that the Genesis show was happening on Impact Plus. Melissa also continued to hype up the Impact and AEW relationship. Melissa talked about how she loved working with Thunder Rosa in Lucha Underground (back when Thunder Rosa was more of a mouthpiece for Luchasaurus. Rosa’s actually a really good promo)…

They aired another Tony Khan and Tony Schiavonie paid ad. Tony joked about helping to keep Impact alive by paying for ads like this. Tony said he’s not going to file an injunction against Kenny Omega since he respects Omega, but doesn’t respect what he did in his title win. Khan noted that he likes that Omega is on Impact regularly now because it’s free advertisement. Tony Schiavonie then ran through tomorrow’s AEW Dynamite. Schiavone threw a few jabs at Impact’s low viewership and AXS. Kahn bragged about AEW popping a huge number last week…

They cut to an Eric Young cinematic vignette from the Prison where they taped the BFG commercials. Young talked about losing his mother to sickness recently. Young talked about having to take care of sicknesses and how they need to be cured. They then showed Cody Deaner sitting across the table from him. Young said that Deaner will be baptised and changed…

John’s Thoughts: Hey! This is very interesting. Cody Deaner has been doing really good promo work after flipping the switch to more of a serious character. Looking forward to see how Deaner does as Eric Young’s disciple. This kinda reminds me of WWE when Festus was repackaged as Doc Gallows. It also reminds me, due to EY, of the Sanity faction where Young led a faction with Killian Dain, Alexander Wolfe, Nikki Cross, and Madman Fulton.  One huge plus from all this, is that it also looks like Cousin Jake will end up shifting his character by default because Jake has a lot of upside that’s tough to deny.

2. Impact X Division Champion Manik vs. Chris Bey (w/Rohit Raju) in a non-title match. Bey went for a huracanrana but Manik reversed the move into a Argentine Drop. Manik then caught Bey at ringside with a Plancha. The show cut to commercial.[c]

Melissa Santos said that she thought that the Tony’s were a bit mean in taking shots against Impact. Manik dominated Bey with quick strikes and dodges. Bey caught Manik in the back of the neck with a draping elbow drop. Bey was then able to work on Manik with methodical strikes. Manik escaped a shoulder stretch and he hit Bey with a dropkick. Bey ended up escaping TJ’s elbow stretch. Bey went back to the methodical offense to wear down Manik. Manik hit Bey with a back suplex. Bey got a two count off a victory roll. Manik escaped Bey and ended up hiding under the ring. This prompted the referee to start a 10 count.

Manik showed up the opposite side of where everyone was looking. Manik beat the 10 count by hitting Bey with a crossbody. Manik hit Bey with a Detonation Kick. Bey grabbed the referee during a tieup. Bey low blowed Manik. Bey then yelled at Rohit Raju in the ring because it was looking like Rohit attacked Manik. Rohit got fired up and ended up hitting Bey for the DQ.

Chris Bey defeated Manik via DQ in 6:55 of on-air time.

Bey chuckled while getting up, showing that he planned this all along. Josh said that Bey finessed  his way into a win at the expense of Rohit Raju…

John’s Thoughts: I actually thought that finish was a bit clever and it does characterize Bey a bit. It makes more sense to rebuild Bey here as opposed to that weird one-sided program they did between Swann and Bey. Because Raju was involved, I can sense we’re in store for some entertaining segments down the road. On a side note, for some strange reason, If TJ Perkins is going to remain Babyface, I think that him being the stoic and masked Manik actually works in his favor. The mask and attitude will mask his unlikable qualities that tend to creep up during his promo segments.

The Impact Plus Flashback Moment of the Week was Sting’s TNA debut…

Ethan Page walked up to Josh Alexander backstage and apologized for losing at Final Resolution. Unlike usual, Page took full blame. Alexander told Page to focus and that they should get on the same page. Page assured Alexander that everything will be alright. Page put his arm on Alexander’s shoulder and said “We” will take care of this, which confused Alexander because of the “we” part in terms of Page and an unknown person (either that or Page thinks he’s two people like Rosemary). Page left. Brian Myers showed up and bragged about being a Tag Team specialist and former TNA Tag Team Champion. Myers offered to be Alexander’s new tag team partner. Alexander walked away saying he would rather kick Myers’s ass…[c]

They cut to Anderson, Callis, and Omega in the tour bus. Omega said Rich was just a bitch. Callis calmed down Anderson and Anderson said he was off to take care of Sabin. Omega said he was a bit pissed because this is not supposed to be about Rich Swann. Omega said he’s going to take care of this and it’s a long time coming…

John’s Thoughts: Good stuff from Omega who’s been putting in good heel work over the past month or so. Impact is also benefiting from having him in segments throughout the show. They’re definitely really leaning towards a Omega vs. Swann match for down the road which will be amazing if they allow these guys go go 25+ minutes.

3. Taya Valkyrie and Rosemary vs. Tasha Steelz and Kiera Hogan in a semi-final match of the Impact Knockouts Tag Team Championship Tournament. Taya pressed Tasha with a spinebuster. Rosemary tagged in and hit Tasha with an Exploder Suplex. Kiera tagged in and got hit with a Sidewalk Slam by Rosemary. Rosemary then womanhandled Kiera around the ring. Kiera reversed Rosemary and gained control. Kiera and Tasha traded quick tags to isolate Rosemary and keep the pressure up. After a few minutes, Rosemary slammed Tasha to escape a sleeper.

Tasha tackled Rosemary and went high risk but Rosemary dodged and gave Rosemary a spear. Taya and Kiera tagged in. Taya caught Kiera with a spear and Blue Thunder Bomb. Tasha broke up the pin attempt. Deonna Purrazzo and Kimber Lee showed up and pulled Rosemary to ringside. The referee was distracted by the in-ring action. Deonna and Kimber put the boots to Rosemary. Deonna gave Rosemary a Flatliner on the Ramp. Taya was yelling at Deonna and Kimber during this attack, but the Referee wouldn’t turn around for some reason. The distraction allowed Kiera to catch Taya with a Twisting Backbreaker for the win.

Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz defeated Taya Valkyrie and Rosemary via pinfall in 7:28 to advance to the finals of the  Impact Knockouts Tag Team Championship Tournament. 

They cut back to Cody Deaner and Eric Young at EY’s prison set. Young talked about how professional wrestling lies and wrestling is a disease. Young said Cody gave everything to wrestling but a disease can’t give back, it can only take from you. Young said the parasite latched on to Cody and Cody didn’t see it. Cody said “I never saw it”. They then showed Joe Doering opening a jail cell that he was in…

John’s Thoughts: I hope they elevate Taya and Rosemary back to serious programs again (while keeping them away from their weird goofy segments). It will give Deonna some fresh opponents and Taya in particular is someone who’s carried Impact’s Knockouts division over the past few years (and It’s odd that they’re keeping her away from any real programs over the past few months ever since she dropped the title).

An Impact Hard To Kill PPV ad aired, featuring Rich Swann…

Tasha and Kiera were backstage celebrating about being one match away from the Tag Team titles. Kiera then argued with Tasha Steelz about losing Hernandez’s wad of cash. Johnny Swinger then showed up and did his Johnny Swinger things on the table. Kiera and Tasha no-sold Johnny and left the dressing room. Johnny then picked up Kiera’s fanny back and called it an upgrade from his own. Johnny then said he discovered the Kayfabe compartment. Johnny then found Hernandez’s wad of cash…

John’s Thoughts: Ugh… Now they’re trying to make Kiera and Tasha stupid by saying that they can’t feel a giant cylinder in a bag?

4. Brian Myers vs. Josh Alexander (w/Ethan Page). Myers took out Ethan Page and then dominated Alexander for the early part of the match. Ethan Page then got up wearing different gear. Josh Mathews noted that Page transformed into his alter ego “The Karate Man”. Page attacked Myers with strikes and a cyclone kick.

Brian Myers defeated Josh Alexander via DQ in 3:33. 

Myers quickly left the ring. Alexander confronted Page in the ring. Page struck a fighting pose and acted like he was in a trance. Alexander had enough, and left the ring. The segment ended with Page frozen in his fighting pose…

They cut back to Eric Young’s prison where Young continued his interview with Cody Deaner. Young reiterated that Cody has a disease. Young said the people weren’t laughing with Cody, but at Cody. Young said he’s baptizing Cody in the water of change. Young said Cody is awakened and things are clearer. Young said Cody is now free. Cody said “I am free”. Young said the world doesn’t belong to them, it belongs to “us”…

John’s Thoughts: Mixed thoughts on the Karate Man thing. Him being in a “trance” is hokey as hell and Impact doesn’t have a good track record with hokey gimmick. That said, Ethan Page is very talented and good with goofy things. I also thought that Page should have integrated some of his martial arts into his in-ring style. Let’s see where this goes. What I’m really liking is the Cody Deaner transformation segments. Young seems to really “get it” and let’s see where this goes. Hopefully Cousin Jake gets involved somehow because he could use a bit of a transformation too (I assume Jake’s going to be the babyface in this program).

A Rich Swann Impact Hard to Kill ad aired…

Acey Romero walked up to Tommy Dreamer about Larry D being in jail now and how he was set up. Dreamer advised Romero to go out there and prove Larry’s innocence. Acey ended up leaving. Tommy Dreamer then walked up to Rhino and Cousin Jake. Dreamer encouraged Rhino and Jake to take care of EY and Joe Doering before things get worse…

Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne checked in from their commentary set. Rayne noted that the next two weeks of shows are going to be Holiday Specials. The commentary team then hyped up Genesis and Hard to Kill in January…

Entrances for the main event match took place…[c]

During the commercial break, Melissa Santos noted that there were an odd amount of trolls on the chat hating on Impact, but also a good amount of new cool people who support AEW and Impact…

John’s Thoughts: I know Cage and Melissa have a kid and Melissa is at home watching her, but it would definitely be cool if Impact can bring Melissa back one of these days to be an interviewer or ring announcer. Melissa is up there as one of the best broadcast team members in the business, up there with Renee Young, because she’s really good with interacting with the wrestlers in a natural way. She’s also very knowledgeable on the products she watches.

5. Karl Anderson vs. Chris Sabin (w/Alex Shelley). The match started off with chain wrestling after coming back from the break. Sabin ended up landing the first few clean moves. Anderson got control after pressuring Sabin to the corner for some corner offense. Anderson gloated after hitting Sabin with an Irish whip to the corner. Anderson kept Sabin under control with methodical strikes. Sabin tried to fight back, but Anderson clawed Sabin in the eyes. Anderson blocked a PK from the apron by Sabin. Anderson tripped up Sabin on the apron (nice bump by Sabin). The show then cut back to the commercial with Melissa Santos. [c]

Anderson was wearing Sabin down with methodical offense back from the break. Josh Mathews continued to reiterated that Don Callis and Kenny Omega were watching the match from their 1.5 million dollar bus. Sabin and Anderson took each other out with simultaneous running headbutts. Josh noted that this goes in Sabin’s favor, who has been behind for a few minutes. Sabin rallied with lariats. Sabin caught Anderson with a back elbow. Sabin hit Anderson with a crossbody for a two count.

Sabin caught Anderson in the corner with a Helluva Kick. Sabin hit Anderson with a spike Tornado DDT for a two count. Sabin and Anderson traded fighting spirit forearms in the center of the ring. Both men took each other out after knocking each other with stereo lariats. After another exchange of counters, Anderson planted Sabin with a spinebuster for a good nearfall. Sabin gave Anderson a backslide for a good nearfall. The show cut to a picture in picture to show Callis and Omega watching the match from the bus. Anderson rolled up Sabin with a handful of tights for the dirty win.

Karl Anderson defeated Chris Sabin via pinfall in 12:16 of on-air time. 

Omega was bragging about the Machine Gun being back. Rich Swann confronted Karl Anderson on the ramp, looking disappointed in Anderson using dirty tactics. Swann and Anderson walked to the back…

Omega ended up leaving saying he was going to take care of things. They cut to the backstage area of Skyway Studios. The Machine Guns were brawling with Karl Anderson and Omega clocked Rich Swann with a slippery floor sign. Omega knelt in front of a fallen Swann and said that even though Swann is the champ, as long as he’s a wrestlers he’s living in Omega’s world. Omega then said that he’s looking forward to teaming up with his Bullet Club teammates. Don Callis then booked Omega, Gallows, and Anderson vs. Swann, Sabin, and Shelley in a trios match for Hard To Kill. Impact ended.

Average Twitch Viewership during the last 10 minutes: 14,200 (Rounded up, the viewership also trended upward throughout the show without dropping. It was around 12,000 during the first hour)

John’s Thoughts: A really strong set of segments. Sabin and Anderson had a good match. It’s surprising that we don’t see too much of singles Karl Anderson because the guy is really good in the ring. Sabin has come out of seemingly winding down his career to being the workhorse of the Machine Guns since Shelley got hurt. Sabin is a strong singles wrestler himself and former Impact World Champion. Sabin is protected with the dirty win and Anderson establishes that he’s leaning heel now that he’s aligned with Kenny Omega.

Kenny Omega got a lot of TV time tonight in his backstage segments and was constantly mentioned on commentary. He’s really adding star power to this show. Omega’s also really benefiting because he’s getting more time than ever to establish his peronality (he’s getting more character development time on this show than Dynamite). Bullet Club vs. Swann and Friends should be really fun, but I hope we also end up getting Swann and Omega in a singles match down the road because of the magic those two guys can produce.

This was another strong episode of Impact after Impact’s partnership with AEW started. There’s a little dumb thing here and there, but they’ve really toned down the dumb stuff over the last two weeks. And look! Less Scott D’Amore on TV (He’s not bad, he was just getting way too much TV time in 2020). The strongest parts of the show were the Omega parts and the Baptism of Cody Deaner by Eric Young.

 


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