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8/19 Impact Wrestling TV Results: Moore’s review of Christian Cage’s return as the Impact World Champion, Melina makes her Impact debut, Doc Gallows vs. Joe Doering, Moose and Ace Austin vs. Sami Callihan and Chris Sabin, Shera vs. Matt Cardona, final hype for Emergence

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

Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios

Aired August 19, 2021 on AXS TV

Highlights from last week’s Kenny Omega vs. Christian Cage match from last week’s AEW Rampage show aired. Highlights of Christian’s NWA title wins were also shown…

Josh Mathews and Gia Miller introduced Impact Wrestling from the center of the Skyway Studios ring. Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown were on commentary. Mathews and Gia talked about Christian becoming the new Impact World Champion. Before they could complete the introduction, W Morrissey and Eddie Edwards brawled to the ring. Morrissey was about to power bomb Eddie, but Sami Callihan ran out with a bad for the save. Eddie used a lariat to dump Morrissey to ringside. During the brawl, Eddie and Sami had a stare to acknowledge their longtime rivalry.

Security got between Morrissey and Sami and Eddie. Sami got on the mic and said he has a match soon and he doesn’t want to wait any longer. Sami said to get them sons of bitches out here and start the show. The Impact “we own the night” intro theme played…

John’s Thoughts: Nice and different opening. They did a decent job introducing the new Impact champion, while also giving a different flavor of opening with the Eddie and W brawl to the ring.

Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown discussed the opening match…

1. Chris Sabin and Sami Callihan vs. Ace Austin (w/Madman Fulton) and Moose. Sami and Ace started off the match with the crowd giving Sami a “death machine” chant. Sami dominated the match early on and tagged in Sabin. Sabin gave Ace a PK to the back. Callihan tagged back in and used Ace’s hair to hit him with a snapmare. Sami gave Ace a PK. Sabin tagged in and gave Ace another PK to the shoulder. Ace avoided a splash in the corner. Sabin avoided a Disaster Kick.

Ace whipped Sabin to the rope and Sabin did a baseball slide. Sabin tripped up Moose off the apron. Ace slammed Sabin to the mat and got a two count heading into commercial.[c]

Moose trapped Sabin in the ropes and gave him a loud chest chop. The crowd wanted Moose to do another chop, but he eye raked Sabin to not give the crowd what they want. Fulton gave Sabin a big boot while the ref was distracted. Ace tagged in and worked on Sabin with methodical offense. Sabin got a two count off a Code Red rollup, which also allowed him to tag in Sami Callihan, who managed to put the boots to Ace Austin.

Sami turned Ace inside-out with a lariat. Moose hit Sami with the Pounce while Sami was doing his Thumbs Up thing. Sabin hit Moose with a DDT. Sami hit Ace with a sitout power bomb for a two count. Sami did his thumb thing to signal a finisher, but Sabin tagged himself in. Sabin hit Ace with a Cradle Shock for the victory.

Chris Sabin and Sami Callihan defeated Ace Austin and Moose via pinfall in 7:16 of on-air time.

Sabin explained to Sami that he was trying to win the match. Sami raised Sabin’s hand in victory. Sami then hit Chris Sabin with a pile driver, which drew cheers. Sami bowed to the crowd and posed around the ring…

John’s Thoughts: A really good tag team match and hype crowd. On one hand I like that Ace Austin was featured amongst the wrestlers at the top of the card of Impact (kudos for Impact elevating Chris Sabin to a top singles position via his feud with Moose). On the other hand, I’m a bit disappointed that he was clearly the one here set up to take the loss. I still think that Ace Austin should have been someone they elevated to world title status a long time ago, but sadly they’ve seemingly put him in the “good hand” role for a good while. I do like the finish of this match as it sets up a potential Sabin vs. Callihan match. Yes, both babyfaces, but babyface vs. babyface matches can work (as opposed to heel vs. heel where you don’t wanna see either guy win).

Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown checked in on commentary. They ran through advertised segments for this week’s show and the Emergence show…

Highlights from the Good Brothers vs. John Moxley and Yuji Nagata match aired from the New Japan Resurgence show. The end of the match featured a face-off between the Good Brothers and Guerillas of Destiny (Karl Anderson and Tama Tonga have history of being founding Bullet Club members alongside Prince Devitt and Bad Luck Fale)…

The show cut to a post-match promo by the Good Brothers. Anderson joked about how they “Beat up John Moxley” (in the cadence of their “Beat up John Cena” catchphrase). Doc Gallows talked about Impact having “Monster’s Ball” matches and how he and Doering are Impact’s monsters. Gallows talked about how his match against Doering will end with Gallows winning and him giving Anderson a Too Sweet…[c]

Sami Callihan hyped up his participation in a match tomorrow where a handful of wrestlers are wrestling for number one contendership for the Impact title. Eddie Edwards cut off Sami’s promo to tell Sami that he still doesn’t like Sami despite them being on the same side recently. Sami blew Eddie off and walked away…

Mahabali Shera made his entrance with Rohit Raju. He had more serious entrance music as opposed to his old lighthearted theme. Matt “Zack Ryder” Cardona and Chelsea Green made their entrance next. To emphasize the Zack Ryder-ness, Cardona was wearing his Z True Long Island Story logo on his tights. Striker noted that Cardona is deceptively big since he’s the same size as Shera…

2. “Always Ready” Matt Cardona (w/Chelsea Green) vs. Mahabali Shera (w/Rohit Raju). Cardona and Shera started at a stalemate with a few collar-and-elbows. Cardona locked Shera in a headlock. Shera escaped and took down Cardona with a few shoulder tackles. Cardona dumped Shera to ringside and hit Shera with a wrecking ball kick. Cardona hit Shera with a flip dive. Rohit Raju grabbed Cardona’s leg which allowed Shera to big boot him off the apron.[c]

Shera put the boots to Cardona in the ring and worked on Cardona with power moves. Cardona used a jawbreaker to escape a body stretch, but Shera regained control with a kick to the gut. Cardona turned the tables with a facebuster and a missile dropkick. Cardona hit Shera with a few lariats in the corner. Shera shrugged it off and chokeslammed Cardona on his knee. Shera body slammed Cardona. Cardona tackled Shera to the corner. Cardona was going for the Broski Boot, but Raju got on the apron for the distraction.

Green pulled Raju away. Shera put Cardona on the top rope, but Cardona fended off Shera with a boot. Cardona hit Shera with a top rope Ruff Ryder for the victory.

Matt Cardona defeated Mahabali Shera via pinfall in 6:17 of on-air time.

John’s Thoughts: So I’ve been reviewing Mahabali Shera matches since 2015 when Dixie Carter and crew pushed this guy to the moon, yet the guy barely was able to wrestle a solid match (not his fault, he just wasn’t trained enough and put on TV sooner than he was supposed to be). This wasn’t a main event level match or anything, but this may have been the best match I’ve seen Shera put together in the ring. Credit to Cardona for getting him there, but I’m also assuming the time he spent training in the WWE Performance Center is paying off a bit.

The Impact Plus Flashback Match of the week was Jeff Jarrett vs. Christian Cage for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship from February 2006. Because the referee was rolling in pain, I assume a ref bump happened earlier (as was mandatory in Jeff Jarrett world title matches). They aired the finish which had Christian winning and picking up the NWA title…

John’s Thoughts: Despite Christian technically being an AEW wrestler, Impact has done a solid job this show painting him out to be a “TNA original”.

Madison Rayne was in the Skyway Studios lounge room with Johnny Swinger where they introduced the Locker Room Talk show. Swinger talked about how he started his own illegal casino while Rayne was gone from Impact. Rayne introduced Tenille Dashwood and Kaleb Konley as the guests. Dashwood was not in the same room as Rayne (and it looked like they just had Dashwood in a pre-tape in the same room). Rayne asked Dashwood why she recruited her to attack Taylor Wilde. Dashwood said she’s been looking for a tag partner for a long time, but her first partner was Rayne and it was just meant to be.

Dashwood told some random poem about things coming full circle. Swinger joked that Dashwood sounded like she got that poem from One Man Gang. Dashwood and Rayne buttered each other up. Kaleb talked about Scott D’Amore showing up and disrespecting him and Tenille. Swinger joked that Kaleb jobbed to the barking guy from Team Canada. Kaleb called Swinger a boomer. Swinger and Kaleb threw verbal jabs at each other. Dashwood and Rayne said that Kaleb needs to give D’Amore a piece of his mind, and Kaleb agreed. Rayne talked about how she and Dashwood are “The Influence” and they are about to show that tomorrow at Emergence…

John’s Thoughts: The whole “same room” joke was cheesy and not for me, but I’m a bit more hopeful of this whole “Influence” tag team they’re forming between Dashwood and Rayne. The whole Locker Room Talk show was a huge charismatic upgrade over Dashwood’s boring talk show. Rayne also made the whole Influencer thing interesting by integrating it in her name. Dashwood is still pretty boring on the mic, but that was covered up by Rayne, Konley, and Swinger picking up the slack in this segment. Speaking of Swinger, it was refreshing to see him out of the repetitive Swinger’s Palace segments, and back to his good old-man jokes. Swinger was the sleeper highlight of this segment.

A generic ad aired for the Emergence show…

Gia Miller interviewed Josh Alexander for facing a larger wrestler in Jake Something at Emergence. Alexander said he said for months that he wants to be the face of the company. Alexander said Kenny Omega hasn’t showed respect to Impact since becoming world champion. Alexander said things are different now with Christian being champion, who’s a legend in this company. Alexander said that doesn’t mean Christian will carry the company banner in the future. Alexander said that no matter how big Something is, he’s not concerned. Something showed up and got up in Alexander’s face. In a mean voice, Something said he’ll give Alexander something to be concerned about.

Something marched away to an argument between Kaleb and Scott D’Amore. Kaleb wanted to wrestle D’Amore. D’Amore told Kaleb that he’s not medically cleared. Kaleb said he’s definitely medically cleared. In a cheesy angry voice, Something said he wanted a match. D’Amore went into his sarcastic condescending voice to book Kaleb in a match against Something…

Dave Penzer introduced the new Impact World Champion, Christian Cage, to the ring. Matt Striker said this moment has “just become instantly classic” (which is the exact line Striker used word-for-word when Christian made his WWE-ECW debut in a segment against Jake Hager). Christian was wearing the Impact World title on his waist while holding the TNA title. Christian talked about being hit with a lot of nostalgia now, standing in the Impact Zone as Impact World Champion. Christian said even though he wrestles for AEW, he’s proud to take the titles away from Omega and back to where they belong in Impact.

Christian talked about walking out on WWE in 2005, taking a chance in the world. Christian said that Impact took a chance on him and allowed him to wrestle in main events. Christian said this is surreal and he thanks Impact Wrestling. Christian got a “you deserve it” chant. Christian said it’s not about his history anymore. Christian said he spoke with D’Amore and they decided it might be time to respectfully retire the TNA title. Christian said it’s all about the future, and the Impact belt represents the future. Christian said from this day forward, the Impact belt will be seen as the biggest prize in the company. Chrisian said the TNA title will be ingrained in his memory and haroled in the company forever.

John’s Thoughts: Great promo by Christian so far, but I don’t think Christian ever won the TNA version of the belt, right? He only won the NWA one and was the last NWA champion under the TNA banner (Kurt Angle was the first TNA champ).

Christian handed the TNA championship to Dave Penzer to take to the back. A “TNA” chant ensued. Christian was about to continue his promo, but was cut off by Brian Myers and Sam Beale. Myers talked about it being nostalgic. Myers joked about the fans having a brown bag special or shark boy possibly coming out. Myers said that was before Beale was born. Myers talked about how he’s been killing it in Impact. Myers said he’s going to take the title away from Christian at Emergence and it will belong to the “most professional wrestler”. Christian said he’s glad Myers escaped Matt Cardona’s shadow.

Christian threw condescending complements to Myers. Christian talked about how Myers is always complaining about being held down. Christian said the lesson you need to learn is that you need to lose before you win. Christian said that Myers may be the “most professional wrestler” but Christian is the “best professional wrestler”. Myers got in Christian’s face, but then backed down to boos. Christian punched Beale and Myers rolled away. Christian’s theme played as Christian posed with the title belt to end the segment…

John’s Thoughts: A great first promo by Christian, who can be hit or miss in terms of babyface promos. As I noted earlier, Impact has done a great job in a short time turning Christian into the TNA flagbaring babyface of the company despite him “technically” not being on the roster. Omega being on the Impact Roster temporarily did add a ton of star power to Impact (though, you can also argue that Omega isn’t as much of a casual draw as his clout says); that said Christian is a better fit for Impact because of his long history with the company. Aside from the Cardona reference, I didn’t think I was seeing a battle between Curt Hawkins and Christian from WWE. Myers continues to shine in his new persona and I like his version of The Way’s Austin Theory in Sam Beale running around. Myers has 0% chance to win the title, but I like him getting a taste of the main event.

Melina ran into Trey Miguel in the hallway. Trey and Melina traded flirty comments…[c]

An ad aired for the NWA Empowerrr and NWA 73 PPVs…

Highlights aired of the Faby Apache vs. Deonna Purrazzo in a title vs. title match from TripleMania where Deonna defeated Faby for the AAA Queen of Queens championship. Deonna won the match with the Queen’s Gambit submission…

Melina made her entrance for her Impact Debut match. Her opponent was Brandi Lauren (former Impact Knockout Ava Storie who was in Impact back in 2017-2018). Striker acknowledge that Lauren used ot be known as Ava Storie…

John’s Thoughts: Yo! Forget Melina! Impact should be signing Brandi Lauren back to the roster. I’m still disappointed that WWE never presented her on TV despite using her as an extra in so many NXT segments.

3. Melina vs. Brandi Lauren. Melina whipped Brandi to the corner and gave her a forearm. Brandi fended off Melina with a boot. Striker said Melina has inspired wrestlers like Rich Swann with her work with MNM. Melina gave Ava boots and a crossbody. Melina gave Brandi a knee to the back and a face driver. Melina reversed a kick and locked Brandi in the Muta Lock. Melina reversed the move into a Reverse Muta Lock for the submission win.

Melina defeated Brandi Lauren via submission in 2:06.

Deonna Purrazzo attacked Melina after the match and put the boots to her. Melina took down Deonna and rained punches on him. Drama King Matthew Rehwoldt ran out to assist Deonna. Trey cleared Drama King from the ring. Melina hit Deonna with a Thesz Press. Trey Miguel and Melina stood tall in the ring…

John’s Thoughts: Is it just me, or are they hyping up Melina way more than she should be hyped as a “legend”. Melina was great as a valet, and has done good mic work in NWA, but she was never really the most legendary women’s wrestler in the world or anything (heck, during her time, I’d still give the nod to Gail Kim and Awesome Kong, who were killing it in Impact). Someone who I would like to see Impact (or even AEW) sign is Brandi Lauren! Lauren was former Impact Knockout Ava Storie and I thought she showed a lot of babyface potential in her last Impact run as a “girl next door” type. I’m surprised NXT never presented her on TV as a wrestler because she is very solid in the ring. They did feature her on TV a lot because every time they needed a “sexy girl” for a segment, Brandi Lauren was there (in Breezango stripper segments, Velveteen Dream “sex couch” segments, Damian Priest hot tub segments, etc.).

Highlights from John Skyler’s win against Matt Cardona aired from last week…

Gia Miller interviewed John Skyler about winning his first match in Impact. Gia noted that it was a shocking win. Skyler said it shouldn’t be seen as shocking because it was his knee that hit Cardona. The camera panned away to show Juice Robinson holding his leg in pain as Dave Finlay was calling for help…[c]

An ad aired for NWA Empowerr and NWA 73…

Clips of Jordynne Grace winning a powerlifting competition were shown. Grace talked about her husband and Rachael Ellering being there for support as she broke records. Ellering talked about being proud of Grace. Grace said she was going to move on and win a powerlifting national title….

Entrances for the next match took place…

4. Jake Something vs. Kaleb Konley in a no-DQ match. Something power whipped Kaleb into the corner. Kaleb had a bowtie on his neckbrace. Something launched Kaleb with a release suplex. Something hit Kaleb with a sitout power bomb. Something got a table and set it up in the corner. Something hit Kaleb with a hip attack. Something speared Kaleb through the table for the win.

Jake Something defeated Kaleb Konley via pinfall in 1:06.

Josh Alexander made his entrance to size up his Emergence opponent…

The show cut to Su Yung and Kimber Lee. Kimber addressed Su as “mother” and said she’s collected her first soul (Kiera Hogan). Kimber said it won’t be the last soul…

A generic ad aired for Impact Emergence…

Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown checked in on commentary. The following matches were announced for Emergence: Deonna Purrazo and Drama King vs. Trey Miguel and Melina, Rohit Raju vs. Matt Cardona, Steve Maclin vs. Petey Williams, Madison Rayne vs. Taylor Wilde, Tasha Steelz, Savannah Evans, Fallah Bahh, and No Way [Jose] vs. Black Taurus, Rosemary, Jessika Havok, and Crazzy Steve, Josh Alexander vs. Jake Something for the X Title, and Moose vs. Ace Austin vs. Sami Callihan vs. Chris Sabin in a number one contendership match for the Impact title, and Violent By Design vs. Mack and Swann vs. Good Brothers for the tag titles.

Entrances for the main event took place. Striker noted that Gallows worked for New Japan while Doering worked for All Japan…

5. Joe Doering (w/Eric Young, Rhino, Deaner) vs. Doc Gallows (w/Karl Anderson). Doering and Gallows traded big boots and power strikes heading into commercial.[c]

Gallows gave Doering a shoulder tackle and torpedo tackle for a one count. Gallows gave Doering a roundhouse kick. Gallows gave Doering a tackle, but Doering reversed it into a German Suplex. Gallows and Doering gave each other lariats. Gallows went for a boot, but Doering gave Gallows a forearm. Doering gave Gallows a delayed vertical suplex. D’Lo noted how unnatural it was to see a big man like Gallows lifted for so long. The suplex took a bit out of Doering.

The brawl spilled to ringside where both men traded advantage. Gallows used a steel chair to block Joe’s big boot. Brown noted that both men are still suffering from the delayed vertical suplex. Both men ran into each other after running the ropes and took each other out by running into each other. Both men stumbled to ringside. Gallows and Doering continued to trade methodical punches. Both men brawled to the top of the stage. Gallows lifted up Doering and Sky High’d him through the stage.

Gallows and Doering were both knocked out. Referees and “Dr. Ross Forman” showed up to check on both big men. Scott D’Amore then showed up to check on the injured big men. Striker noted that Gallows suffered as much damage as Doering from the Sky High. The referees tried to carry Gallows to the back, but Gallows started crawling on his own volition to the ring. Doering recovered and emerged from the pile of rubble. Striker said that Joe Doering is “Emerging” from the rubble like the “Emergence” show.

Gallows and Doering shambled to the inside of the ring. After both men recovered, Gallows got the first punch in. Gallows went for a diving lariat, but was swatted out of the air by Doering’s clothesline. The referee counted to three to give Doering the pinfall win.

Joe Doering defeated Doc Gallows via pinfall in 10:33 of on-air time.

Doering and Gallows were on the ground selling the effects of the match. Violent By Design helped Doering to his feet to celebrate his win to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: Yo! The match was very slow and methodical, but very high impact and meaningful. I loved that match! It was refreshing to see a slower and powerful match in a world filled with flip dives and Canadian Destroyers. I don’t know if I’m overselling it, but this match would have stood out on a PPV. Good Big Hoss match and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of these in different companies (but there aren’t as many big men wrestling in wrestling these days as opposed to before).

A very very strong episode of Impact. I liked this show at least. The show did a decent job presenting their few meaningful storylines. The best job was establishing Christian Cage as the face of Impact Wrestling given his history with the company. I’m curious as to how Christian will come off to non-Impact fans. I think it should be positive because his past history adds positive Ethos to his character. The Emergence Card looks stacked too and if I cared to order Impact Plus (not to mention, I’m usually busy on Fridays), I would definitely watch this show.


Readers Comments (3)

  1. Melina is one of WWE’s most decorated women’s champion of all time with five tittle reigns. Melina is also the first ever Latina WWE women’s champion as well as the the first woman in WWE history to become a multiple-time champion with both the Women’s and Divas titles. So yeah Melina is a legend.

  2. John, instead of crediting WWE with Shera’s improvement in the ring, I think you should really give the credit to OVW. He’s been training & wrestling there on a regular basis. According to Jessie Godderz, Shera’s one of the most improved guys that he’s seen for quite a while.

  3. Also his time spent with Rohit Raju has helped immensely.

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