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8/26 Impact Wrestling TV Results: Moore’s review of Christian Cage’s latest appearance, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Rich Swann and Willie Mack in a non-title match, Sami Callihan vs. Chris Sabin, Chris Bey vs. David Finlay, Taylor Wilde vs. Madison Rayne, Tenille Dashwood, and Kaleb in a handicap match

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

Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios

Aired August 26, 2021 on AXS TV

Highlights from the Impact Wrestling Emergence show aired, which included Ace Austin becoming the number one contender to the Impact World Championship. The Impact intro theme aired…

Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown were on commentary. Striker threw in a plug for the NWA Empowerrr show…

Chris Sabin made his entrance for the opening match. Striker said that Sabin had such a great outing at Emergence, that he proved he’s a first ballot hall of famer…

1. Chris Sabin vs. Sami Callihan. Sabin jumped the gun with a suicide dive. Sami recovered and shoved Sabin to the mat. After the bell rang, Sami hit Sabin with a Death Valley Driver. Sabin caught Sami with a PK and cannonball at ringside. Sami lifted Sabin and power bombed him into the ringpost. Sami gave Sabin a chop at ringside. Sabin gave Sami forearms and chops, but Sami no sold them and gave Sabin a thumb to the eye.

Sabin held on to the top rope to block a power bomb. Sami tripped off Sabin with a Nandos Kick. Sami locked Sabin in a modified Deathlock. Sabin got to the bottom rope for the break. Sami dragged and set up Sabin on the top rope. Sabin used thumbs to knock Sami off the top rope and followed up with a missile dropkick. Sabin hit Sami with a Yakuza Kick and Tornado DDT for a two count. Sami and Sabin traded mirror strikes and took each other out with front kicks.

Sabin caught Sami with a thrust kick. Sami tripped Sabin and put Sami in a curb stomp. Sami hit Sabin with a pile driver for the two count. Sabin used a victory roll to get a very close nearfall on Sami. Sabin followed up with a Leg Lariat and Cradle Shock for the clean win.

Chris Sabin defeated Sami Callihan in 7:53.

Moose ran in the ring and tossed Sabin out of the ring. Sabin set up and hit Sami Callihan with a spear. Moose tossed a chair in the ring and discovered Sami Callihan’s metal bat. Moose tried to hammer the chair into Sami, but Eddie Edwards ran into the ring and cleared Moose from the ring. D’Lo brown noted how odd it looked to see Sami and Eddie on the same side. Eddie’s theme played to end the segment…

John’s Thoughts: A good babyface vs. anti-hero babyface matchup. I’m pretty surprised they’ve given Chris Sabin so many big singles wins over their top stars (Moose and Callihan). Sabin was in no-man’s land after Alex Shelley’s injury, but it seems like they’ve decided to really boost him to the main event. While he wouldn’t have been my first choice, I’d take the more straight-forward Chris Sabin character over the damaged Eddie Edwards character getting boosted. I’m actually okay with this as long as they don’t give Sami his win back (and invoke parity). What I am also surprised at is Sabin kicking out of Sami’s finisher, but at the same time, I’m okay as long as they don’t parity it.

Gia Miller interviewed Taylor Wilde and pointed out that Taylor challenged Tenille Dashwood, Kaleb Konley, and Madison Rayne to a 3-on-1 handicap match for some reason. Miller wondered what was going through Taylor’s mind. Taylor said she didn’t know that it would become 3-on-1 at Emergence, so she just wants to have the 3-on-1 in front of her without surprises. Wilde said she wants the Dashwood in Madison Rayne to go down under. Wilde said Rayne is out of retirement, but her time passed a few years ago. Wilde said she’s also weirded out by Kaleb constantly trying to facetime her. Wilde ended the interview by saying “let’s get Wilde”…[c]

An ad sired for the NWA EmPowerrr show and the NWA 73 PPV shows…

Gia Miller tried to interview Eddie Edwards backstage, but Sami Callihan showed up to question why Eddie would come out and save him. Eddie said Sami saved him once and he just returned the favor. Eddie demanded that they were done and Sami doesn’t need to help him anymore. Eddie walked off and Sami sarcastically yelled “what? No hug!?!”…

Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown checked in from their commentary set. Striker and D’Lo ran through upcoming segments…

The Hardcore Country theme played as Mickie James made her entrance to the Skyway ring. Mickie said she knows that the Impact crowd likes them a whole lot of Hardcore Country. Mickie said that in a few days the NWA are about to make Her-story. Mickie noted that she along with Medusa and Jazz are producing a historic PPV. A “her-story” chant ensued. Mickie said she had to thank the Impact Zone for their support. Mickie then congratulated Deonna Purrazzo for defending the Impact Title recently. Mickie brought up Deonna wrestling Melina Perez at Empowerrr. Mickie introduced a Deonna Purrazzo vs. Melina video package which hyped the upcoming match at the PPV.

Deonna Purrazzo and Matthew Rehwoldt made their entrance right after the video ended. Deonna carried her Impact and AAA championships over her shoulders. Deonnna gloated and said wonders how Mickie feels to have her spotlight stolen. She said she understands that Mickie is out there to create buzz for the Empowerrr PPV. She said she is excited to be a part of a PPV run by a woman. Deonna said while she’s truthful, Mickie is dishonest, because Mickie is making Melina vs. Deonna seem like a competitive match. Deonna pointed out that Mickie left out Deonna beating Melina at Emergence. Mickie said she didn’t see Deonna beat Melina, she saw Rehwoldt beat Melina.

Mickie said the difference between Emergence and Empowerrr is that Rehwoldt won’t be there. Mickie wondered how confident Deonna will be without Rehwoldt because Melina is unpredictable. Deonna said we have to wait until Saturday to see the match with Melina, but we don’t have to wait to Saturday to see Deonna kick Mickie’s ass. Deonna attacked Mickie. Trey Miguel ran out to dump Rehwoldt from the ring. Trey hit Rehwoldt with a Tope con Hilo. Melina ran out and attacked Deonna. Melina hit Deonna with an Overdrive to send Deonna into retreat. Matt Striker hyped up the Empowerrr show to end the segment…

Chris Bey vs. Dave Finlay was hyped for after the break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A solid segment to hype the NWA PPV. Deonna continues to look like a strong and confident heel, but they are also doing a solid job with her involvement in other companies like NWA and AAA.

An ad aired again for NWA Empowerrr and NWA 73…

The show cut to Brian Myers’ “How to become a professional wrestler” skit where Brian continues to teach Sam Beale on how to be a professional. Myers said he wanted to teach Sam how to properly trim his t-shirt. Sam took a serious tone and said he thought Brian was about to teach him how to react to losing in a world title match, because Brian just lost to Christian at Emergence. They cut to Sam cutting up an Impact shirt.

Sam noted that you can buy pre-cut tank tops, which caused Brian to yell at him. Sam then wore the shirt, which had an exposed midriff. Brian noted that the sleeve becomes a free headband. Brian asked Sam what was missing. Sam wondered if it was a world title? This got on Brian’s nerves and he said it was time for an open casting call…

Chris Bay made his entrance. Dave Penzer introduced Bey as representing the Bullet Club. Striker and Brown plugged Bey’s “Finesse Club” shirt…

2. Chris Bey vs. Dave Finlay. Finlay tripped up Bey and worked on Bey with methodical offense. Finlay dominated for a few minutes. Bey managed to turn the tide by grabbing Finlay in the tights and slamming him into the turnbuckle.[c]

Bey gave Finlay a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. Bey worked on Finlay with Muay Thai roundhosue kicks. Finlay came back with a European Uppercut. Striker tossed in a Fit Finlay Irish reference. Bey reversed a back suplex and put Finlay in a Cravate. Bey hit Finlay with a Cravate Suplex for a two count. Brown talked about being impressed, seeing a Cravate turned into a suplex. Finlay dumped Bey to ringside and hit him with a Plancha. Finlay hit Bey with a backbreaker on the apron. Finlay hit Bey with a running and springboard European Uppercut for a two count.

Bey reversed a backbreaker with an armdrag. Finlay reversed a Fameasser into a backbreaker. Bey reversed a vertical suplex into a small package for a two count. Finlay hit Bey with a neckbreaker for a two count. Bey eluded a running Finlay and rolled up Finlay with a crucifix pin. Bey picked up the win with his feet on the ropes for leverage.

Chris Bey defeated Dave Finlay via pinfall in 8:19 of on-air time.

John’s Thoughts: A solid match to showcase both men in singles fashion. They’re trying to drive it home that Bey is a part of Bullet Club now, but I think Striker needs to tone things down a bit (which he should be doing all across the board). I feel like Striker’s hyperboles are very counter-intuitive to the wrestlers he’s trying to hype. I also feel like Dave Finlay and Juice Robinson would be better served as singles wrestlers. I miss Robinson as the plucky and happy-go-lucky gaijin who would pick up big wins out of nowhere. Finlay needs a bit of a makeover to look less like a create-a-wrestler, but he definitely has the in-ring talent to stand out above the rest.

Willie Mack and Rich Swann cut a promo backstage. Swann noted that he and Mack weren’t involved in the loss at Emergence. Swann challenged the Good Brothers to a non-title match which led to the Good Brothers vs. Mack and Swann later in the show…[c]

John’s Thoughts: It’s still a bit disappointing that Swann went from decorated World Champion to forgettable tag team wrestler. He is Impact’s Kofi (after Kofi’s Brock Lesnar loss) isn’t he?

Gia Miller asked Josh Alexander if Alexander has picked his next opponent. Josh Alexander said next week he was laying out an open challenge to any Ex-X Division Champion…

Impact World Champion Christian Cage made his entrance. Highlights aired of the Christian vs. Brian Myers match from Emergence. Christian took his time to soak in the cheers. Christian talked about how he said he would pin Myers and he did that at Emergence. Christian pointed out that Ace Austin is his next challenge. Christian heard a fan say that Ace sucks, but said he must be at least pretty good if he’s number one contender. Christian joked about taking Austin seriously, but then laughed it off, saying there’s no way Ace Austin is beating him.

Tommy Dreamer made his entrance. Striker noted that Tommy Dreamer used to be travel buddies with Christian and Edge. Christian said the question on everyone’s mind “what is up with your hair?”. Dreamer said he was totally against the whole Don Callis and Kenny Omega alliance in Impact. Dreamer said if there is a person who cares about the business and everyone in the back, it’s Christian. Dreamer said it was a sad time in the business when Christian was retired for 7 years, and how we never got to say goodbye to Christian. Dreamer congratulated Christian for finding the fountain of youth and wrestling for the right reasons.

Dreamer said Christian performs for the people no matter where he is. He thanked Christian as a peer and as a friend. Dreamer thanked Christian for representing Impact as any champion should. Dreamer then asked Christian for one more match against Christian. Dreamer noted that he hasn’t earned the match yet, but for the same reason Christian outworks everyone, Dreamer is going to outwork everyone to get a match against Christian. Before Christian could respond, Ace Austin and Madman Fulton made their entrance. Ace introduced himself to Christian and said he’s the guy around here.

Ace said he’s going to make history at Victory Road and become the youngest man at 24 years old to hold the Impact Championship. Ace said even on Tommy Dreamer’s best day, Dreamer will never be a world champion again. Ace noted that Christian has a busy schedule in Impact and AEW, just like the old days. Ace said after Victory Road, Christian’s schedule will be lighter when he loses to “the inevitable”. Christian said he understands that Ace has high goals, but Ace will never be the man as long as Christian is here. Christian mocked Ace’s height and said that if he wants the respect of the fans he needs to stand on his tip toes so they can see Ace over the top rope.

That got on Ace’s nerves, and Ace punched Christian in the face. Dreamer and Christian managed to clear Ace and Fulton from the ring. Christian and Dreamer stood tall to end the segment with Christian’s theme playing…

John’s Thoughts: I could have done without Christian tearing down Ace due to his height, but otherwise this was a solid segment to continue to reinforce Christian as the face of Impact Wrestling while also setting up his match against Ace Austin and presumed match against Tommy Dreamer. Kenny Omega may have been a bigger draw for Impact in terms of drawing outside eyes (which might actually be more beneficial in the long run), but at the same time Christian has been a better addition overall to the Impact roster because he instantly got plugged in as their flagbaring top babyface, which benefits their storyline quality.

The show cut to a promo by Violent By Design, led by Eric Young. Young berated Rhino for losing the championships and championship rematch. Young noted that Rhino is dragging them down. Young said the only answer is violence and how Rhino needs to be washed in the holy waters of change…

John’s Thoughts: Are they going to give Rhino a haircut finally? I kid I kid. But at the same time poor Cody Deaner had to initiate himself into the VBD cult by changing his look, and for some reason Rhino gets a pass?

Gia Miller tried to interview Ace Austin and Madman Fulton, but Ace walked past her and walked up to Scott D’Amore to complain about what just happened. Ace demanded a match against Dreamer. D’Amore went into that mode where he talks down to heels. D’Amore noted that to get something, Ace needs to give something. D’Amore noted that if Ace loses his match next week, then Dreamer is added to the Victory Road match and the match becomes a triple threat for the world title. D’Amore gave Ace a condescending pat on the chest and walked off…

John’s Thoughts: D’Amore continues to be the most confident babyface in the company for some reason, and no heels can touch him. That’s not the worst part about the outcome of the segment, why tease downgrading what should be an anticipated Christian vs. Ace match with the possibility of adding Dreamer?

3. Taylor Wilde vs. “The Influence” Madison Rayne, Tenille Dashwood, and Kaleb Konley in a 3-on-1 handicap match. Kaleb was taking polaroid shots with Dashwood and Rayne at ringside. Wilde hit all three opponents with a crossbody. Eventually The Influence got the upper hand due to the numbers game. The Influence dominated for a few minutes. Wilde managed to get control and all three opponents stacked in the corner. Wilde hit all three opponents with a double stomp.

Dashwood broke up the pin on Kaleb. Wilde used boots to fend off all three opponents. Wilde went for a rollup on Rayne, but Dashwood hit Wilde with a Spotlight Kick to pick up the pinfall win on Wilde.

The Influence defeated Taylor Wilde via pinfall in 3:17.

The Influence put the boots to Wilde after the match. Jordynne Grace and Rachael Ellering ran in the ring and the heels scurried away. Grace’s theme played to end the segment…

John’s Thoughts: I’m not the biggest fan of this match on Taylor’s end. She just came off as dumb for setting up this 3-on-1 situation. At least the Influence won it and didn’t get embarassed themselves. I’m a fan of The Influence and already feel that Madison Rayne is doing a great job adding charisma to the dull Dashwood. I’m still confused as to what they are trying to do with Wilde. For some reason her character and gear is all over the place, yet not defined. I thought Wilde was at her best when she was the plucky 1-2-3 kid type of babyface back in the day.

Gia Miller interviewed Brandi Lauren about her thoughts on the Deonna Purrazzo vs. Melina match at Empowerrr. Before Brandi could give an answer, the lights flashed and the camera got a red filter. The show went into cheesy horror movie mode for some reason and Zombie Kimber Lee chased away Brandi Lauren. Lauren ran into Su Yung which allowed Zombie Kimber to put Lauren in the Mandible Claw…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Ugh, please don’t let this be the return of the Undead F’n Realm? Poor Brandi too. I really hope Impact signs her back because she had a lot of untapped potential both in Impact and in NXT. Maybe she becomes a sexy zombie or something, which I’m afraid will lead to more crappy Impact cheese.

Highlights from the Steve Maclin vs. Petey Williams match at Emergence where Maclin won after hitting Petey with a low blow. They then aired clips of the Maclin vs. TJP match where Maclin won via DQ due to Petey running in and hitting Maclin with a Canadian Destroyer. They also showed that TJP wasn’t a fan of Petey costing him the match…

Gia Miller interviewed TJP about how his return to Impact didn’t end up like he wanted. TJP noted that he doesn’t need Petey’s help and his only tag partner is Fallah Bahh. Petey Williams showed up and taunted TJP. Petey and TJ traded verbal jabs. Petey calmed things down and said that he’ll keep it simple, he’ll stay out of TJ’s way and TJ will stay out of his. TJ said fine…

John’s Thoughts: Petey was acting a bit more petulant there and actually looked a bit heelish. Petey has been rah-rah Captain Canada for years, to the point where I wouldn’t mind seeing the guy try something different with his character. If Chris Sabin could find the fountain of youth, why not Petey. Someone who REALLY REALLY needs a heel turn is TJP though. I still don’t get why companies never pull the trigger on a heel turn with this guy. He’s so good at being a cocky heel! MLW at least is trying it.

The Impact Plus Flashback match of the week was Christian Cage vs. “The Alpha Male” Monty Brown for the NWA Heavyweight Championship from Destination X 2006. Christian ended up retaining the title…

John’s Thoughts: Impact continues to do a great job establishing Christian as the flagbaring face of the company (despite him “technically” being an AEW wrestler). They’ve utilized the Flashback Matches of the Week well in doing this by showcasing his NWA Championship past in the company.

Matt Cardona and Chelsea Green was backstage. Cardona was pissed at Rohit Raju and Mahabali Shera teaming up on him. Chelsea said that while Shera won’t hit a woman, she has no problem smacking around Shera. Green proposed a match between Shera and Raju vs. Herself and Ryder for next week. Green said she’s “always ready” as she revealed an Always Ready shirt…

John’s Thoughts: As much as I’m not a fan of intergender matches, I’ll still state that one of my favorite matches to watch live was Pentagon Jr. vs. Chelsea Green at “The Temple” of Los Angeles. This is a legendary classic match that no-one other a than a few people have seen live (on TV it was cut due to time). It sucks that after that match, Green has struggled to get on TV due to constant injuries (injuries that are still plaguing her til this day).

An ad aired for Bound for Glory…

Gia Miller interviewed Tasha Steelz and Savannah Evans about losing at Emergence. Steelz blamed Fallah Bahh for the loss. Bahh and No Way [Jose] showed up. Bahh asked Tasha how he can make it up to her. Steelz said there’s no way he can make it up. Bahh said he’ll make it up with him and No Way taking care of Crazzy Steve and Taurus next week while Tasha and Savannah take care of Rosemary and Havok. Tasha said “we’ll see”…

Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown checked in from the commentary set. Striker hyped John Skyler vs. Jake Something for next week’s Before The Impact. The following matches were announced for next week: The Influence vs. Ellering, Grace, and Wilde, Chelsea Green and Matt Cardona vs. Rohit Raju and Mahabali Shera, Josh Alexander’s open challenge to an Ex-X Division Champion, and Ace Austin vs. Tommy Dreamer…

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

4. Impact World Tag Team Champions “The Good Brothers” Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Rich Swann and Willie Mack in a non-title match. Anderson dominated early on with armbars and methodical offense. Swann managed to tag in Mack. They hit Anderson with a double lariat and double splash. Mack hit Anderson wtih a elbow drop. Anderson sent Mack to his corner and tagged in Gallows. Mark recovered and worked on Gallows with armbar wrenches. Swann tagged in and hit Gallows in the elbow with a diving axe handle strike.

Gallows recovered and worked on Swann with throat punches. Gallows treated Swann like a punching bag in the corner. Anderson tagged in, which allowed Swann to tag in Mack. Mack trapped Anderson in the corner and he and Swann hit Anderson with tandem offense. Anderson used an eye rake to drag Mack to the opposite corner to tag in Gallows, who put the boots to Mack. Gallows hit Mack with a roundhouse to the temple for a two count. Anderson tagged in and walked right into a popup punch by Mack.

Swann tagged in and dominated Gallows with a punch and kick combo. Swann hit Anderson with a swinging neckbreaker. Swann hit Anderson with a rolling thunder splash for a two count. Anderson planted Swann with a spinebuster for a two count. Gallows knocked Mack off the apron. Anderson was about to go for the Gun Stun, but Swann rolled up Anderson with a small package for the win.

Swann and Mack defeated The Good Brothers via pinfall in 5:58 in a non-title match.

Gallows attacked Swann after the bell. The Good Brothers put the boots to Swann. Mack ran in and saved Swann from a Magic Killer. The numbers game got the better of Mack which allowed the Good Brothers to continue to put the boots to the babyface team. Gallows set up a chair in the corner. They tossed Swann into the chair head-first.

The Good Brothers hit Mack with a Magic Killer. The Good Brothers dragged Swann to ringside and tossed him into a chair. Anderson dragged a table from under the ring. The Good Brothers gave Mack a double power bomb through the table. The Good Brothers stood tall at the top of the ramp to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: This was just a formula way to set up the next tag team contenders, no more no less. Can’t say they did a great job at it either. Swann and Mack don’t come off as anything more than the challenger-of-the-week for the Good Brothers title reign. The match was fine, but inconsequential because we know exactly where they want to go. Again, I also think Mack and Swann are wasted as a tag team.

Aside from a pretty standard main event, I thought this week’s episode of Impact was solid as usual. They continue to do a great job establishing Christian as their top babyface. They’re also doing a pretty good job building up their main event scene with wrestlers like Moose, Chris Sabin, and Sami Callihan. They still have some work to do to draw eyes to the product. As good as Christian has been so far as Impact champ, Kenny Omega is a bigger name these days and might be more beneficial to Impact’s social media numbers than Christian.


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