By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios
Aired October 21, 2021 on AXS TV
Highlights from last week’s Impact Wrestling show aired…
Josh Mathews and D’Lo Brown were on commentary…
1. “Bullet Club” Chris Bey and Hikuleo vs. “FinJuice” David Finlay and Juice Robinson. Bey and Hikuleo came out to the original Bullet Club theme song. Hikuleo took down Finlay with a shoulder tackle. Bey tagged in and walked into a suplex from Finlay. Juice tagged in and hit Bey with a senton for a two count. Bey blocked a kick combo and tagged in Hikuleo. Robinson gave Hikuleo a drop toehold and tagged in Finlay who gave Hikuleo an axe handle strike.
Hikuleo escaped a headlock and hit Finlay with a side suplex. Bey tagged in and teased a high flying move, but hit Finlay with a back rake. Bey hit Finlay with a dropkick for a two count and went into methodical offense. Finlay got a window of opportunity aftering hitting Bey with a back suplex. Bey tagged in Juice who rallied with clothelines. Robinson knocked Hikuleo off teh apron. Juice gave Bey ten punches and a bite in the corner. Juice followed up on Bey with a cannonball.
Finjuice hit Bey with a high low combo after Finlay tagged in. Hikuleo broke up the pin. Bey hit Finlay with a victory roll for a two count. Finlay suplexed Bey, but Bey’s foot caught the referee. REF BUMP!!! Hikuleo gave Finlay a chokeslam. A 2nd referee ran out and Finlay kicked out Bey’s pin at two .
Finlay countered Bey’s cutter with a neckbreaker. Juice and Hikuleo tagged in with Juice going for the telegraphed punches. Hikuleo blocked the final punch and gave Juice a power slam. After commotion, Juice rolled up Hikuleo while Bey rolled up Finlay. Both referees were recovered and counted both separate pins.
FinJuice vs. Bullet Club ended in an apparent no-contest in 8:23.
Juice and Bey protested with the referee that their respected teams won. Josh Mathews said that Juice Robinson was the legal pin in his eyes. The referees retreated to the back to deliberate while the wrestlers argued in the ring…[c]
John’s Thoughts: My guess is this is how we get to Good Brothers vs. FinJuice vs. Bullet Club in a triple threat for the tag team titles at Bound For Glory. I’m not a fan of this finish. It was very Jarrett-style “TNA” overbooked complete with the obligatory ref bump and contrived finish.
FinJuice, Bullet Club, and the two referees were arguing backstage over the match finish. Scott D’Amore showed up and listened to the separate cases. D’Amore yelled at everyone to stop. He said he was going to make a decision on the number one contenders to the Good Brothers titles at Bound For Glory later in the show…
Josh Mathews and D’Lo Brown ran through advertised Bound For Glory and Impact matches. Josh announced Awesome Kong being inducted into the Impact Hall of Fame on Saturday and also noted that the Digital Media Champion will be crowned on Saturday…
A documentary style promo aired to spotlight Josh Alexander. Alexander talked about growing up in poverty and being bullied in school. Josh said that Pro Wresling inpsired him to get better he said his first job was as a tire technician. He said he did that because it allowed him to have Friday off to train for pro wrestling. Josh talked about having a C4 Neck Fusion and after a subsequent injury he was told he might have to retire. Josh said the physical pain was bad, but the mental pain was bad too.
He said that second injury motivated him to get back on the horse and to try to succeed even more. Josh talked about using loopholes to get out of Canada to wrestle independently in the US. Josh thanked the owner of Destiny Wrestling, George Iceman, as the person who got him noticed. They showed a clip of Scott D’Amore signing Josh Alexander to an Impact contract at a Destiny show.
Josh compared the X Division to the Cruiserweight title in WCW. Josh talked about someone like Low Ki inspiring him with a different style of pro wrestling. Josh talked about the X Division always had the best quality of matches. Josh then talked about Chris Sabin being his toughest opponent at Victory Road on Impact Plus. Josh said according to Sabin and people backstage, he beat the best X Division Champion, and what can he do next? Josh talked about wanting to feel pressure. He said he can challenge one of the most iconic wrestlers in the business in Christian Cage.
Alexander said he has the size, strength, and speed advantage over Christian but Christian has the experience advantage and that means a lot. Alexander said the thing everyone has to know is everyone has to keep up with Josh Alexander, not the other way around. Alexander said he overcame so many things to get to this point to the point where he can’t accept failure. That ended the promo…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Amazing video package! This kinda reminds me of the Jeremy Borash produced “Prime Target” documentary packages that NXT produces for their world title matches. This video package did an amazing job of laying out Josh Alexander’s life story and goal to become world champion. Josh did a great job on his end coming off as genuine and affable. Even though they’re probably a Christian Cage documentary somewhere on the WWE Network, I wouldn’t mind if we get the Christian side of this video package later in the show to relate it to Impact.
Entrances for the next match took place…
1. Crazzy Steve and Chelsea Green vs. Jordynne Grace and Fallah Bahh vs. Tenille Dashwood (w/Kaleb Konley) and John Skyler. Bahh no sold Green’s offense early on. Bahh missed a Banzai drop. Green hit Bahh with a shotgun dropkick for a two count. Steve tagged in and fought Bahh to a corner. Steve bit Bahh’s forehead in the corner. Skyler tagged Bahh out. Skyler hit Steve with a legsweep for a one count.
Dashwood tagged in and worked on Steve with methodical offense. Steve turned the tide after biting both Tenille and John. Grace tagged in and hit Dashwood with a spinebuster. Grace hit Skyler with a meteora and basement uppercut. Grace hit Skyler with a Vader Bomb. Grace hit Dashwood with a backfist for a nearfall. Bahh ended up splashing a bunch of people in teh corner. Skyler raked Bahh in the eye to prevent him from hitting Dashwood with a Banzai Drop.
Steve caught Skyler with a superman punch. Steve caught Bahh with a diving DDT. Skyler dragged Steve to ringside. Dashwood hit Bahh with the Spotlight Kick for the win.
Tenille Dashwood and John Skyler defeated Fallah Bahh and Jordynne Grace and Chelsea Green and Crazzy Steve via pinfall in 5:24.
Dashwood, Skyler, and Kaleb celebrated the win heading into commercial…[c]
Rhino was already in the ring looking depressed. Before he could speak, Heath [Slater] made his entrance. Heath told Rhino that it sounds like the cat still has his tongue. Heath said he’s confused and sure the fans are confused at this too. He said he’s been through a lot with Rhino. Heath said they know each others’ family. Heath said this non-communication is not going to work.
He said he wanted to hear from Rhino while he was injured but didn’t. Heath said it must be Eric Young and VBD getting to Rhino’s head. Heath begged Rhino to say something. Heath said he want to tell Rhino “I love you”. He said his family, himself, and Heath’s two little daughters miss Uncle Rhino. That got a light smile out of Rhino. Eric Young, Deaner, and Joe Doering made their entrance to ruin the wholesome moment. Young calmly took the mic from Rhino’s hand.
Young said VBD is forever and something you don’t walk away from. He said Rhino made a pact and VBD is his family now. Heath asked Rhino if he wants to live with “that”. He said it isn’t a family, it’s just a crazy bald dude, a creepy guy, and a guy in a cowboy hat. Young said he told Rhino the truth. Heath said Rhino is brainwashed. Heath said to listen to the people and Heath because “we love you”. Deaner punched Heath. Deander and Doering put the boots to Heath. Rhino watched doing nothing.
Rhino slowly walked to Deaner and pulled him off Heath. Rhino teased goring Heath. Young told Rhino to tear Heath in half. Instead of spearing someone (I expected him to Gore either Young or Doering), Rhino rolled under the ropes and slowly walked out of the ring and arena. VBD continued to attack Heath. The attack ended with Young smashing Heath in the back of the neck with the VBD flag…
Mickie James was shown backstage, heading to the ring…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Hey, that was some good stuff and one of my favorite Impact TV segments in recent memory, at least in terms of storytelling. I continue to really like the approach Heath Slater is taking in terms of speaking calmly and speaking like a human being. Seriously, I want to see Heath signed by WWE a year from now and win their world title. Finish that 3MB tri-facta because this guy is ready! As far as here, he’s doing great work building genuine sympathy towards himself and towards Rhion. He’s not on his own either, because Rhino has done an amazing job playing the role of the conflicted-soul. He’s not talking at all, but saying a lot and telling a compelling story. I totally expected him to Gore someone from VBD and I like the nuance storytelling of him walking away. That’s good storytelling and I’m looking forward to the next chapter on Saturday.
A vignette aired for Minoru Susuki’s Impact debut. He’s labeled as “coming soon”…
3. Mickie James vs. Savannah Evans (w/Tasha Steelz). Mickie soaked up the “welcome back” chants to start the match. Evans dominated the first collar and elbow. Mickie went at Savannah’s legs, but Savannah shoved her off. Mickie went for punches and a sleeper, but Evans slammed Mickie in the corner. Mickie dodged a tackle and rallied at Evans with strikes in the corner. Mickie staggered Evans with a kick combo.
Tasha tripped up Mickie which allowed Evans to catch Mickie with a big boot. Evans worked on Mickie with methodical offense. Evans ragdolled Mickie with a bear hug. Mickie used forearms to loosen the grip. Mickie used a bite to escape the hold. Mickie pulled down the top rope to tangle Savannah’s leg. Mickie worked on Evans with strikes. Evans escaped a Mickie DDT attempt. Mickie hit Evans with a top rope seated senton for the two count. Deonna Purrazzo walked out to the stage.
Evans shoved Mickie to the corner and gave her a splash. Mickie almost escaped a Full Nelson but Evans slammed Mickie with the Full Nelson Slam for a two count. Mickie hit Evans with two cross kicks. Mickie hit Evans with the Mickie-DDT for the victory.
Mickie James defeated Savannah Evans via pinfall in 7:27.
Deonna taunted Mickie on the apron. Matthew Rehwoldt showed up out of nowhere and gave Mickie a clothesline. Deonna grabbed Mickie by the hair and then shoved Mickie to the mat. Deonna Purrazzo posed to end the segment…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Wasn’t Rehwoldt supposed to have some program with Laredo Kid? Did I forget something? Anyway as for the match, a good return to Impact TV for Mickie. As much as I didn’t necessarily want to see Savannah Evans lose on TV so early in her TV run, they handled that the best they can by giving Savannah 90% of the offense which puts Evans over strong while also showcasing Mickie’s signature pluckiness.
Gia Miller caught up with Deonna Purrazzo and Matthew Rehwoldt and noted that Deonna seemingly broke the no-contact clause by leaving Mickie lying. Deonna said she didn’t do anything because her Drama King did everything for her. Scott D’Amore showed up and Deonna reiterated her point about Rehwoldt leaving her lying.
D’Amore noted that Deonna technically touched Mickie and should lose the title. Deonna said she can’t lose the title via technicallity. D’Amore said that he’s not going to cancel his Women’s title match a few days before Bound For Glory. D’Amore said that the title match was still happening but Matt Rehwoldt was banned from ringside. D’Amore said if Rehwoldt shows up then he and Deonna will be “suspended forever” from Impact…
John’s Thoughts: There’s a part of me that thinks that Doc Rivers would want to suspend Ben Simmons “forever” from the Philidelphia 76ers.
They aired this week’s Brian Myers “How to become a professional skit”. This week’s lesson was “consequences”. Myers berated Beale, VSK, Lemons, and Dice for embarrassing him last week. Beale said he agrees and he’s been taking notes. Myers said notes will not do and they have to spill blood. Myers noted that VSK lost to Swann. Lemons mocked VSK. Myers said Lemons failed the test and was supposed to help VSK. He said that Lemons was sent the best on his future endeavors. He said he’ll send Lemons a trash bag with all his supplies.
Beale said they need this tough love and he likes seeing Myers like this. Myers yelled that heads need to roll. Beale jumped the gun and tried to wish Zicky Dice the best on his future endeavors. Myers implied that Dice wasn’t going to be cut. Beale assumed VSK was cut. Myers told Beale that Beale was cut. Beale asked Myers if Myers would sign his picture. Myers had VSK sign the picture. Beale looked sad to end the segment…
Scott D’Amore was in his board room talking to someone on the phone saying that the IInspiration weren’t here for a contract signing. RD Evans showed up and D’Amore noted that he used to be Deonna’s Barrister. RD said he was representing the IInspiration and will sign the contract on their behalf. Rosemary and Jessika Havoc “teleported” into the room for the contract signing.
Rosemary complained about having to sign the contract in ink and not blood. Rosemary then got excited saying she smelled virgin blood inside of RD. D’Amore calmed her down. Havoc and Rosemary signed the contract. Evans signed for the IInspiration. Rosemary taunted Evans before the tag champions left (at least they didn’t teleport)…[c]
Entrances for the next match took place…
4. Trey Miguel vs. Alex Zayne. Miguel dominated the early chain wrestling. After the separation, Zayne planed Miguel with a Belly to Back suplex. Trey used a test of strength to get Zayne to the mat where he got a handful of pin attempts. Zayne got a two count off a victory roll. Trey teased a dive at ringside, but he was stopped by Zayne cutting him off.
Both men had a stalemate for a bit. Zayne gook out Trey with an enzuigiri. Trey avoided an Asai Moonsault. Trey hit Zayne with an Asai Moonsault heading into commercial break.[c]
The Good Brothers hyped Wrestle Week in an ad. Trey hit Zayne with a back suplex. Trey locked Zayne in a unique hammerlock octopus hold. Zayne escaped the hold and punched Trey away. Zayne turned Trey inside out with a lariat. Zayne hit Trey with an amazing looking Handstand Frankensteiner. Trey hit Zayne with a half meteora for a two count. Trey missed a buzzsaw kick, but hit a back kick. Zayne recovered and hit Trey with a knee.
Trey escaped the corner. Zayne blocked a Sunset Bomb. Trey hit Zayne with Cheeky Nandos and Tiger Feint. Trey hit Zayne with a top rope meteora for the victory.
Trey Miguel defeated Alex Zayne via pinfall in 8:16.
John’s Thoughts: A good match between two talented wrestlers. I expected high spots and fast pacing, but it was surprisingly well paced with a mix of fast moves and slow builds. Hopefully Impact brings in Zayne because he seems to be the type that can really add something to their roster. I’m surprised WWE never did anything with him other than use him as jobber fodder on occasion. He seems like someone who would have strived on NXT 2.0, even if they gave him the Joe Gacy makeover treatment.
Josh Mathews noted that Trey is building momentum for Bound for Glory. Steve Maclin showed up and attacked Trey Miguel from behind. Maclin left Miguel lying with a Drill Claw. The Bullet Club trio of Phantasmo, Hikuleo, and Bey ran out. The trio dominated Maclin with the numbers advantage. Phantasmo left Maclin lying with the loaded superkick. Phantasmo left Miguel lying with a haymaker to the balls…
Josh Mathews and D’Lo Brown ran through the advertised Bound For Glory and pre-show matches…
Josh Alexander made his entrance to the skyway studios ring…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Darn, I was kinda hoping they would give Christian a documentary video package, especially since Impact has a lot of non-WWE history on Christian in their library. Last week’s in-ring segment between Alexander and Christian was good so this shouldn’t be bad.
Josh Alexander was in the ring with a mic with 8 minutes left at the top of the hour. Alexander talked about facing Christian in a few days for the World Championship. He noted that he was taking a risk. He he didn’t think he would have any risks when he was almost forced to retire from pro wrestling and forced to work at a construction site just to put food on his family’s table. He said he risked everything just stand where he is right now, the number one contender.
He said he’s willing to take risks all day long. Alexander told his sons at home to not give up on their dreams and to chase their dreams with everything they have. Alexander said he will win the championship on Saturday because every risk has its rewards. Christian Cage made his entrance. Chrisian noted that BFG was two days away. He said he understands what position Alexander is in because Christian has been in this spot for decades.
He said the key about going into that spot is dealing with pressure. Christian said some people crack under pressure and fade into oblivion while others like Christian thrive under pressure and win world titles. Christian said Alexander hasn’t proven to him that he has it in him to be champion. Alexander said this criticism is familliar. He said people say that Alexander is just a tag team guy, which should sound familliar to Christian. Alexander noted that Christian had the same stigma back in 2005 when he came into Impact.
Alexander said that Christian may say he wants to help the next generation but as long as he’s cashing the paycheck from a millionaire from another company, he will not represent Impact Wrestling. Alexander said he’s winning the world title and slamming the forbidden door in Christian’s face. Alexander said if anyone else wants to go through the forbidden door then they have to encounter the walking weapon, world champion, and best wrestler in the world.
Christian said Josh isn’t even the best wrestler from Canada, let alone in the ring. Christian said nothing will change and the hashtag will read “And Still”. Alexander attacked Christian and put him in the Ankle Lock. Security ran out to separate both men. The Impact Locker room also ran out to separate both men. Eventually, both men were allowed to calm down and Christian was allowed to walk to the stage. Christian posed with the title belt to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: Great promo to close the show and Josh Alexander cut the best promo of his career to this point. It was inspired, it drew from reality, and it hyped up a world title match at their biggest PPV of the year. Christian deserves a lot of credit during this feud too doing all the right things to set up Alexander as a sentimental favorite while not turning heel in the process. Christian is doing a great job as a confident veteran.
This was a very good go-home show and one of my favorite Impact episodes top to bottom in recent memory. Bonus points for not having any Swinger’s Palace or zombie women on the show to take up an unnecessary 10 minutes. The best parts of the show involved the way the presented Josh Alexander. They’ve already done a good job of presenting Christian as the face of Impact. One low key gem on the show is the Heath and Rhino storyline because I really like the twist and turns they are taking by not having Rhino fully commit to his old tag partner. Good stuff throughout and I’m looking forward to see how some of these stories pay off on Saturday when I do my Live Review of the show.