By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios
Aired October 14, 2021 on AXS TV
Highlights from last Week’s Impact Wrestling show aired…
Josh Mathews and D’Lo Brown were on commentary…
1. El Phantasmo (w/Hikuleo, Chris Bey) vs. Rohit Raju vs. Willie Mack for a spot in the Bound For Glory X Division Championship Match. Phantasmo was sent to ringside and Mack hit Raju with a shoulder block. Mack no-sold Phantasmo’s offense. Phantasmo knocked down Mack with an eye poke and shove. Mack came back with a lucha huracanrana. Raju and Phantasmo traded strikes in the center of the ring.
Raju hit El P with his signature sweep and elbow drop for a two count. Mack cleared Raju from the ring with a right hand. Phantasmao hit Mack with a crossbody and lionsault for a two count. Phantasmo hit Raju with a dive. El P hit Mack with a Swanton for a two count. Mack hit El P with a cannonball in the Tree of Woe and Raju hit El P with a cannonball. Raju hit Mack with a double stomp. Phantasmo broke up the pin. While Raju and Phantasmo traded punches, Mack took down both of them with lariats. Mack put both opponents in a Fireman Carry and hit them with a Samoan Drop.
Mack sold low back pain before hitting his signature standing moonsault for a two count. Rohit Raju was shoved off the top rope. Phantasmo hit Mack with a Frankensteiner and moonsault for a two count nearfall. Phantasmo went for the loaded boot superkick but Mack reversed it into a Stone Cold Stunner. Bey and Hikuleo distracted the referee to prevent the count. Mack took down Bey and Hiku with a shotgun dropkick and Tope Con Hilo. Raju rolled up Phantasmo for a two count and then hit Phantasmo with a Paydirt for another nearfall.
Phantasmo hit Raju with a gut punch (that was sold to may be a low blow). Phantasmo hit Raju with a Hammerlock slam for the win.
El Phantasmo defeated Rohit Raju and Willie Mack via pinfall in 9:38.
The Bullet Club Trio celebrated Phantasmo’s win after the match…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A very good X Division match and I liked the added aspect of there not being a clear cut favorite of the match because all three would have made logical and fun opponents at the BFG match. While Jay White was the star of Bullet Club, El Phantasmo isn’t half bad (but if only Impact would give Phantasmo the mic time that they gave White so he can get over his character).
Gia Miller interviewed Ace Austin and Madman Fulton about Ace and Fulton being in a battle royal for the 20th and 1st spot in the Call Your Shot match (the winner gets 20, and runner up gets 1). Ace talked about things not being over between him and Christian. Ace said the Call Your Shot match could get him back on track. Ace said being number 20 would double his odds of winning. Fulton said he would like to be number 1 just so he can destroy opponents one-by-one. Ace said he doesn’t leave things up for chance, he makes his own luck…
John’s Thoughts: I sure hope that Impact has bigger and better plans for Ace Austin following Bound For Glory, because the guy is so talented, but is stuck being the punching bag for Christian Cage and Josh Alexander for months.
Josh Mathews and D’Lo Brown ran through Bound For Glory and Digital Media Championship plugs…
Entrances for the next match took place…
2. Savannah Evans (w/Tasha Steelz) vs. Lady Frost. Lady Frost is billed as from “somewhere cold”. Frost started off with strikes, but Evans came back with a running splash. Evans hit Frost with a tackle and underhook suplex. Evans worked on Frost with methodical offense. Frost went for a comeback, but Evans clocked her with a Yakuza Kick heading into commercial.[c]
Evans hit Frost with an awkward landing on a Samoan Drop. Frost dodged a corner tackle and hit Evans with a gamengiri. Frost hit Evans with a few shoulder tackles. Frost hit Evans with a shotgun dropkick. Evans hit Frost with a Lariat and Full Nelson Slam for the win.
Savannah Evans defeated Lady Frost in 4:08 of on-air time.
John’s Thoughts: Decent match, but we haven’t seen Evans wrestle a whole ton on Impact TV and I thought they gave Frost way more offense than they should have given that Frost has been designated as Impact’s enhancement wrestler and Evans needs to be established as a powerhouse monster. That’s one lesson Impact (and even AEW) should take from NXT when NXT establishes powerhouse talent. I think this match would have been just fine under 2 minutes. It won’t hurt Frost because if they want to start pushing Frost, all she has to do is give up the random ass ice queen gimmick.
Deonna Purrazzo and Matthew Rehwoldt made their entrance. Deonna Purrazzo cut a promo and, long story short, Deonna asked Evans to be her pick your poison opponent for Mickie James next week and said she based her decision off Evans winning here and winning Monsters Ball at the last Impact Plus show. Evans accepted using a handshake…
Steve Maclin cut a promo about his time in the Marines. Maclin said in the Marines he had to deal with people known as “ribbon chasers” which were people who went after medals as opposed to doing their job. Maclin said those people get people who mean business, like Maclin, killed. Maclin said people in the X Division are ribbon chasers, trying to get a championship for social media and championship fame. Maclin said that attitude is weakness. He said he wants to be championship to put the target on his back and when the target is on his back you know exactly what you’re getting. Maclin said he likes mayhem and he’s going to win the X Division title…
John’s Thoughts: Holy hell, how did WWE drop the ball on this guy? Where the hell was he when boring ass Steve Cutler was running around being “forgotten”? Not only was this guy secretly a badass monster heal, but the guy can cut an inspired promo too.
Gia Miller congratulated Gail Kim on producing a successful Knockouts Knockdown show. Gail mentioned highlights like the tribute to Daffney and Misha Slammovich being signed to Impact. Rosemary and Havoc interrupted to talk about how they were wrestling The IInspiration at Bound for Glory.
A random delivery man showed up with a note from “Sydney, Australia”. The note was read by Gia and signed from Jessie McKay and Cassie Lee. The note talked about both of the IInspiration members were looking forward to wrestle Decay. The note said it had to be read in an Australian accent but Gia refused. Rosemary said that through wrestling the Iinspiration, Decay will continue to bring their brand of Chaos to the ring…
Entrances for the next match took place…
3. VSK (w/Brian Myers) vs. Rich Swann. Rich backslid VSK for a two count. VSK gave Swann a neckbreaker and splash for a few nearfalls. VSK dominated Swann for a stretch. Swann came back with his signature backfist combination. Rich hit VSK with a running mule kick and running splash. Swann hit VSK with a Phoenix Splash for the victory.
Rich Swann defeated VSK via pinfall in 3:00.
John’s Thoughts: An interesting side feud, but I can also see this side feud telegraphing that Rich Swann will NOT win the Call Your Shot match at BFG (which is fine, I would rather take someone like Ace Austin or Heath [Slater] winning the match). A step down for former world champ Rich Swann yes, but it does allow Brian Myers to establish his stable. I just kinda wish Myers’s stable were less cheesy.
The show cut to this week’s Swinger’s Palace segment were Swinger was still packing up. Swinger was saying goodbye to his employees like John E Bravo and Hernandez. One of the Swinger Girls confessed their love to Swinger. Swinger said there are two rules in the business “don’t fall in love with a rizzat” and “don’t fall in love with the Swingman” because Johnny Swinger doesn’t lock himself down. Alisha Edwards said Swinger was a monster. Chris Sabin showed up and talked about how he’s sad to see Swinger’s Palace go.
One of the Swinger girls confessed her love to Sabin. Sabin thought her name was Swingerella #2, but she said her name was Reily. Sabin said his one true love is the wrestling ring and he has to go to Bound For Glory. A montage aired of past Swinger’s Palace segments. The segment ended with Sabin saying “I’ll always love this place”…
John’s Thoughts: I really hope this is the end of Swinger’s Palace, because it seemed like those segments were more meant to pop people in the back as opposed to be real comedy. I honestly thought it held back the actual comedic talent of people like Fallah Bahh and Johnny Swinger because it was more about the “Casino” than them. Finger’s crossed that this is dead and buried, but at the same time I’m not keeping my hopes up.
Scott D’Amore met with Heath [Slater] in his board room. Heath said he’s cleared and ready to sign his Impact contract. D’Amore welcomed Heath to the Impact roster. Heath said he’s been out for a year and his first match will be at Bound For Glory. Heath spoke in a cordial tone and politely asked D’Amore to book him and Rhino in a match against Violent By Design at Bound for Glory. D’Amore said he’s happy to book the match, but not sure if Rhino even wants to team with Heath. Heath said he knows Rhino and the Rhino now is not the Rhino we know and love. Heath said that Eric Young is in Rhino’s head. Heath said he can get to Rhino because he’s Rhino’s best friend. Heath said all he needs to do is talk to Rhino. Heath solemnly begged D’Amore to allow him and Rhino to have the match against VBD at BFG. D’Amore agreed and said he hopes Rhino even shows up…
John’s Thoughts: Hmmm… I’m a huge fan of the way Heath cuts his promos now, and this is the Heath we wanted to see before the big injury (the Heath Slater that we saw face Drew McIntyre on that episode of WWE Raw). Heath is kinda like Cameron Grimes in that he’s way over the top in cutting promos to the point of sounding cartoony. He’s toned down his promos a lot, and comes off as a man speaking from the heart to people. He’s someone you want to see succeed and do well. Hey! If Heath can continue this streak of cutting heartfelt promos, I’m sold. Heck, I wouldn’t mind if Heath Slater get’s resigned to WWE very soon and wins their World Championship, just to run the gambit of 3MB members transforming themselves after getting fired, only to come back as main event talent. All 3 3MB guys have had such a Hero’s Journey.
Entrances for the next match took place. Josh Mathews hyped up Chris Bey’s new Bullet Club shirt being a top seller on the Impact online store…
4. Chris Sabin (w/Juice Robinson, David Finlay) vs. Chris Bey (w/Hikuleo, El Phantasmo). Sabin dominated the collar and elbow. Sabin dominated the subsequent technical chain wrestling. FinJuice and Bullet Club brawled at ringside. The referee ejected Bullet Club and FinJuice from ringside. Sabin hit Bey with a snap suplex for a two count. Bey hit Sabin with a draping front kick and elbow drop combo for a two count. Bey hit Sabin with a corkscrew uppercut for a two count.
Sabin got a victory roll for a two count. Bey hit Sabin with a Gamengiri combo and crossbody for a two count. Bey worked on Sabin with methodical offense. Sabin reversed a handstand with a PK. Sabiin hit Bey with a rolling Fisherman Buster for a two count. Bey reversed a Cradle Shock into a reverse TKO for a two count. Sabin blocked Bey’s finisher, but ate a dropkick for a two count. Sabin dodged a frog splash and got a two count off a La Magistral. Sabin and Bey took each other out with lariats. Sabin blocked a rolling Bey with a enzuigiri. Sabin hit Bey with a Cradle Shock for the victory.
Chris Sabin defeated Chris Bey via pinfall in 12:04.
John’s Thoughts: This was a fun match you can go out of your way to see. Bey and Sabin put on a good back-and-forth. Impact has been doing an amazing job with the booking of Chris Sabin. They don’t parity book the guy, and this is the booking philosophy they should take with other wrestlers. Sabin went from being Alex Shelley’s tag partner, to a solid fixture in the main event based off the constant big wins they keep giving him. The Moose win in particular really elevated him. Kudos to Sabin, who felt like he was on the edge of retirement several times over the last few years. Now he’s Impact’s in-ring workhorse.
Gia Miller interviewed Trey Miguel about his chances in the X Division 3 way match at BFG. Miguel tried to cut a promo about chances, but was cut off by Alex Zayne. Zayne said he understands all the hype about Trey Miguel, but he’s not satisfied with that hype yet after having one match with Miguel. Zayne noted that Trey only won because Zayne took out Laredo Kid in the match they had. Trey agreed that he didn’t beat Zayne and assumes that Zayne wants a one-on-one match. Both men seemingly agreed…[c]
A black and white Good Brothers promo aired where Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows shilled their merch and hyped up wrestling at Bound for Glory against either FinJuice or Bullet Club…
A bunch of random male and female wrestlers were already in ther ring for the upcoming battle royal…
5. Intergender Battle Royal for the 1st and 20th spots in the Call Your Shot Battle Royal at Bound for Glory. Madness ensued. Moose eliminated Alisha Edwards early on. Johnny Swinger eliminated himself because he was afraid of the zombie girls. Madness continued to ensue. The Learning Three prevented Myers from being eliminated by Cardona, but Rachael Ellering eliminated Myers with a pump kick. Eliminations enused.[c]
Eliminations probably happened during the commercial break. Eliminations ensued. Ace, Fulton, Moose, Morrissey, and Sabin were the final five. The two tag teams tried to eliminate each other while Sabin was recovering. Fulton fought off Moose and Morrissey with Yakuza Kicks. Morrissey hit Fulton with a big boot to eliminate him.[c]
Moose and Morrissey attacked the smaller wrestlers. Ace tried to convince Moose and Morrissey to team with him against Sabin, but they didn’t bit on it. Sabin pulled down teh bottom rope to put Moose on the apron. Sabin eliminated Moose with a dropkick. Sabin took down Morrissey with a shotgun dropkick. Morrissey recovered and worked on Sabin with methodical offense. Sabin tried to rally with machine gun punches, but Morrissey regained control with a single punch. Morrissey tossed out Sabin for the win.
W Morrissey earned the 20th spot in the Call Your Shot Battle Royal in 12:35 of on-air time. Chris Sabin earned the 1st spot in the Battle Royal.
John’s Thoughts: Good two wrestlers to have at those spots. I mentioned how Sabin is Impact’s workhorse and it looks like Impact definitely sees him as such in putting him in that position in their version of the Royal Rumble. Morrissey is a good person to put in the final spot to look good. I don’t think he wins because he seems to be on some sort of collision course with Moose if their alliance implodes in the battle royal.
Josh Mathews and D’Lo Brown ran through the following matches next week: Mickie James vs. Samantha Evans, Trey Miguel vs. Alex Zayne, and FinJuice vs. Bullet Club in a number one contender’s match…[c]
A vignette aired to hype the Impact debut of Minoru Suzuki…
John’s Thoughts: Oh hell yes! Minoru Suzuki (right behind Walter) may be my favorite wrestler to watch. The dude’s just such a demented badass. I hope he doesn’t come to Impact just to wrestle Eddie Edwards because it seems like every Japanese wrestler that comes into Impact gets stuck in a program with Eddie Edwards.
The show cut to “earlier today” where Josh Mathews conducted an in-ring interview with Josh Alexander and Christian Cage inside of an empty Skyway Studios. They dubbed the interview a “summit”. Mathews asked Christian how it felt to pin Kenny Omega for the Impact Title on the first episode of AEW Rampage. Christian talked about his comeback from his 7 year retirement. He said he didn’t come back to do Christian’s Greatest Hits, but he came here to be the best and win championships. He said the Impact title is dear to his heart because Impact got behind him when no one else would. Mathews talked about Impact fans being proud when Christian took the title away from Kenny Omega.
Mathews asked Alexander what was his thought process behind cashing in Option C for Bound for Glory. Alexander said the X Division means a lot to him especially after his run as a strong Tag Team wrestler. He said wrestling Chris Sabin gave him that push to go to the main event and to invoke Option C. Alexander said it was difficult to give up the title, but the world title is much sweeter. Mathews asked Alexander if he has regrets in giving up the sure thing in the X Division title with the possibility of coming out of BFG with nothing. Alexander said he has absolutely no regrets.
Mathews talked about Christian and Alexander both being Canadian and both fighting through career ending injuries. Mathews asked Christian if he sees a bit of himself in Alexander. Christian said he sees hunger and passion in Alexander and knows that Alexander is overlooked. Christian said that’s where the similarities end because Alexander will find out that nobody compares to Christian. Christian said he’s a ring general, and he means no disrespect to Alexander. Mathews asked Alexander if he sees himself in Christian.
Alexander talked about growing up close to Christian’s hometown and he agrees that he’s looked up to Christian. Alexander said he’s a wild card at BFG because he knows all the cards Christian is playing. Mathews asked Christian how he’s approaching this upcoming match differently from other matches. Christian said he’s been in this spot before. Christian said Alexander’s fault is that he lets his emotions get the better of him. Christian said at BFG is sink or swim, and Christian is a good swimmer. Christian said he’s a fan of watching wrestling too and has followed Alexander’s career since Alexander won the tag titles (with Ethan Page).
Mathews called out Christian for saying he knows Josh Alexander and then aired a clip from an AEW press conference. The fans said they wanted to see Christian face Josh Alexander as a dream match and Christian said “I don’t know who that is?”. Back at Skyway, Christian let out a nervous laugh and said he was just ribbing. Alexander said either Christian was lying then or lying now. He said he lost respect for Christian and Christian will find out at BFG what happens when you face the walking weapon. Josh Alexander marched to the back. Christian closed the show by saying that his point is proven that Alexander can’t keep his emotions in check…
John’s Thoughts: That was a great change of pace for Impact and a strong setup for the Christian vs. Josh Alexander match at Bound for Glory. Clever usage of finding that clip where Christian goes “I don’t know who he is” in a real-life setting. That right there did a good job setting up Christian as a de-facto heel for the match with Josh Alexander as the sentimental favorite. Both men were good here with Alexander coming off like the man on the journey, while Christian played the role of the confident veteran.
I thought that this was one of the better episodes of Impact in recent months and Impact has been solid in recent months. The strength of this show was solid wrestling matches with the focus on a few important things. They didn’t try to get EVERYONE on the show and they tried to actually develop their meaningful storylines in meaningful ways. Bound for Glory is setting up to be a desirable PPV with several storylines to look out for. Things all the way from the world title picture to the Heath and VBD storyline are very intriguing. Impact also has a few decent side stories going on to keep you entertained. NXT stepped up this week by returning to their old form in terms of solid booking, but I thought Impact also stepped up in a different way as a good hype show for their big PPV.