By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Pembroke Pines, Florida at Charles Dodge Center
Aired February 3, 2022 on AXS TV
Highlights form last week’s Impact Wrestling show aired…
Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt were on commentary…
1. Jordynne Grace vs. “Always Ready” Matt Cardona for the Impact Digital Media Championship. Cardona and Grace started the match off with a handshake. Cardona pressured Grace to the corner with the collar and elbow. Cardona took down Grace with a shoulder tackle and acted apprehensive about hitting a female. Grace flipped out the corner and rolled up Cardona for a two count. Cardona no-sold a few shoulder tackles.
Grace tripped up Cadrona by going prone on the mat and then took him down with a shoulder tackle. Grace blocked a neckbreaker. Cardona dodged Grace’s Vader Bomb. Cardona suplexed Grace on the buckle and then acted remorseful. Cardona gave Grace another suplex and continued to act remorseful. Cardona took down Grace with a power Irish Whip. Grace avoided a few elbow drops and rolled up Cardona for a two count. Cardona took down Grace with a lariat for a two count.
Grace blocked Cardona’s missile dropkick and gave Cardona a spinebuster. Grace escaped a power bomb and kicked Cardona in the shin. Grae hit Cardona with a elbow drop and vader bomb for a two count. Grace hit Cardona with clubbing haymakers. Cardona came back with a Yakuza Kick. Cardona acted remorseful again but then decided to hit Grace with the Broski Boot. Grace kicked out at two. Grace escaped a hold and dumped Cardona to ringside.
Cardona picked up the digital media championship and stared at it. The referee took the title belt away from Cardona and dropped it to ringside. Since the ref was distracted, Cardona hit Grace with a steel chair when she went for a dive at ringside. Cardona flashed a heelish grin and sarcastic shrug. Cardona hit Grace with the Ruff Ryder for the victory.
Matt Cardona defeated Jordynne Grace via pinfall in 8:50 to become the new Impact Digital Media Champion.
Cardona was grinning and acted over-the-top in his celebration…
John’s Thoughts: There we go! Finally getting things on track with good ol’ Zack Ryder. As for thoughts on the match, one of the better intergender matches we’ve seen in Impact. Reminded me a bit of some of the Lucha Underground intergender matches where there wasn’t a bunch of “forced” awkwardness to produce fabricated heat or fabricated pop. It helped that it led to Cardona finally turning heel. Cardona has been a blast in GCW and other places (like NWA) and for some reason they made an ample effort to get generic ass “Always [Mid Card]” Zack Ryder over. That failed, so this abrupt change in direction is welcome. Not to mention, Cardona is great in the role of Mr. Sports Entertainment in a hardcore indie world.
W Morrissey was backstage beating up random local wrestlers, looking for Brian Myers. For some reason, Impact decided to add cheesy stock background music to this scene (Why?). Instead of Moose, he ran into his attackers from last week, VSK, Zicky Dice, and Brian Myers. Morrissey ran through VSK and tossed Dice into doors. Morriseey tried to get to Myers, but security blocked him…[c]
W Morrissey argued at Scott D’Amore for sending security after him to prevent him from getting to Brian Myers. D’Amore said he’s trying to help Morrissey and would in fact book Morrissey vs. Myers for next week because Myers has been a pain in D’Amore’s ass too. D’Amore also noted that Moose was not in the arena because he sent Moose to a nearby hotel…
Tom Hannifan and Matt Rehwoldt checked in from the commentary table. The commentary team ran through the advertised No Surrender card as well as upcoming segments…
Entrances for the next match took place…
2. Jonah vs. Crazzy Steve (w/Rosemary, Black Taurus). Steve tilted his head in a weird way which caught Jonah off guard and allowed Steve to elude Jonah for a stretch, even getting a few bites in. Jonah came back with a running shove. Steve went for a sleeper, but Jonah shoved Steve into the buckle. Jonah hit Steve with a running senton. Jonah hit Steve with the Tsunami Splash for the win.
Jonah defeated Crazzy Steve via pinfall in 2:10.
Jonah was about to go for another Tsunami Splash on Steve but Black Taurus got in the way. Jonah decided to back down and head up the ramp…
John’s Thoughts: Simple and effective squash to build up Jonah. Jonah was brought in immediately for the dream match with Alexander; but now that he’s decided to stick around they’re giving him the standard big man push, exactly like they did in NXT when they finally turned him into “The Colossal”; and that totally a good thing. Looking forward to whatever they have potentially planned with him and Dan F’n Lambert. As for Steve, I feel a bit bad for Decay. Decay, when they were the cool gothic characters, were one of the most unique acts in pro wrestling. The current creative team has never saw it in them and has pigeonholed them as gatekeepers who have cheesy superpowers sometimes.
Matt Cardona was walking around backstage with the Digital Media belt. Gia Miller asked Cardona what was up with his actions in the ring. Cardona bragged about becoming a “World Champion”, the Digital Media World Champion. Gia asked Matt what Chelsea Green would think? Cardona said he just had the biggest moment of his career and for some reason Gia is asking about his spouse. Cardona said Gia should ask Jonathan Gresham how it feels to be married to a “Loser!!!” (Jordynne Grace is married to Jonathan Gresham). Cardona walked to the parking lot while Gia looked appalled…[c]
An ad aired for Impact’s upcoming live events…
Madison Rayne acted annoyed at Kaleb Konley for talking about how they were close to beating the IInspiration. Rayne said they will win the titles once Dashwood gets back and that her and Kaleb’s team was the bootleg version of The Influence. Cassie Lee and Jessie McKay showed up and handed Kaleb a present. The IInspiration walked away. Kaleb opened the box, which had a smartphone in it. Rayne told Kaleb to change the wallpaper because it had the IInspiration on it…
Entrances for the next match took place. Ian Riccaboni joined Hannifan and Rehwoldt on commentary. Cary Silkin was sitting at the timekeeper’s table. Riccaboni talked about how Silkin brought in wrestlers like Brian Danielson, CM Punk, and Samoa Joe to Ring of Honor while he was the owner of the company…
3. ROH [Original] Champion Jonathan Gresham vs. Steve Maclin in a non-title match. Maclin started the match with punches. Gresham came back with a huracanrana and dropkick. Riccaboni said this is Gresham’s first regular rules match in 18 months. Maclin came back with a back elbow. Gresham and Maclin traded restholds. Maclin suplexed Gresham but Gresham wouldn’t let go of the headlock. Gresham spent a stretch of the match getting headlocks and nearfalls. Maclin sent Gresham’s throat into the ropes for a moment of respite.[c]
Maclin dominated Gresham with methodical offense back from the break. Gresham and Maclin traded fighting spirit strikes. Maclin reversed a springboard moonsault with a running power slam. Gresham broke the pin with a rope break. Maclin pummeled Gresham with punches while Gresham was holding the ropes. The ref called for the bell after Maclin refused to stop after the 5 count.
Jonathan Gresham defeated Steve Maclin via DQ in 7:45 of on-air time.
Maclin put Gresham in the Tree of Woe and hit Gresham with a spear. Maclin put Gresham in a Boston Crab. Gresham was tapping out. Honor No More, Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, Vincent, and PCO, ran out to attack Maclin. Bennett left Maclin lying after a cutter.
Honor No More wanted Jonathan Gresham to join them, but he refused and walked up the ramp. Gresham crossed paths with Josh Alexander, who made his entrance. Hannifan noted that Alexander was heading out for his scheduled match after the break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Good match while it lasted and they tried to protect Maclin somewhat with the DQ loss. That said, a loss is a loss, and Maclin has lost 3 or 4 high profile matches in a row. Maybe it’s time to pull Maclin away from wrestlers that need to be protected and start putting steam behind him again. Maclin’s someone Impact should be building up to be a world champion so hopefully they get back on track with him.
4. Josh Alexander vs. Vincent (w/Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, PCO, Maria Kanellis). Alexander hit Vincent with a shoulder tackle and body slam. Alexander hit Vincent with a draped kick and crossbody to the back. Vincent slammed Alexander on the rope and hit him with a suicide dive. Vincent hit Alexander with a back suplex and a STO for a two count. Vincent worked on Alexander with methodical offense.
Alexander tried to go for an Irish Whip on Vincent, but Vincent reversed the move into a guillotine choke. Alexander reversed the choke into a suplex and got a moment of respite. After recovering, Alexander took dwon Vincent with a clubbing blow and lariat. Alexander rolled up Vincent into a Bridged German Suplex for a two count. Alexander went for a ripcord lariat, but Vincent blocked it by putting the referee in the way.
Vincent hit Alexander with a Side Russian Leg Sweep. Vincent hit Alexander with a Swanton Bomb for two nearfalls. Alexander countered Vincent into an Ankle Lock. The Honor No More members swarmed Alexander, causing a distraction. Maria Kanellis got on the apron to also distract Alexander once he cleared everyone else from the ring. Vincent rolled up the distracted Alexander for a two count.
Honor No More surrounded Josh Alexander. Chris Sabin, Rhino, and Chris Sabin ran out to brawl with the Honor No More members, leaving Vincent and Alexander back in the ring. Alexander blocked a Sliced Bread and then gave an elevated stomp to Vincent’s shin. Alexander then grapevined an Ankle Lock for the submission win.
Josh Alexander defeated Vincent via submission in 9:02.
Kenny King showed up dressed in street clothes and hit Alexander with the Royal Flush. Honor No More and Kenny King posed on the ramp. Hannifan assumed that King is now a part of Honor No More and their team at No Surrender…
John’s Thoughts: Again, I can’t be overthinking this right? Eddie Edwards was conspicuously not at ringside this time and in past week’s he’s avoided contact with Honor No More members. I have a feeling they’re setting up a potential turn for him due to his history with Ring of Honor (and I sure hope that’s the case. Crazy Leprechaun Eddie needs to die in the grave that he built for himself when he showed up dead on arrival). It’s ok that Honor No More takes the loss here, it establishes Vincent as one of their lower ranked members and he lost to the ace of Impact, Josh Alexander. Kenny King is a talented individual that Impact fans actually know well given his extensive time in the company. He’s potentially a strong addition to the group.
W Morrissey was in a random hotel building, looking for Moose. Of course, he brought Impact’s poorly-mixed background music with him. Morrissey somehow found Moose’s room, which he opened with a big boot. Morrissey then beat up Moose in his hotel room. This is when the cringey background music really kicks in. Morrissey slammed a freezer door into Moose several times. Morrissey then tossed Moose into the cameraman, taking out the camera…[c]
John’s Thoughts: The beatdown was actually pretty well done, but all the drama was killed when Impact decided to add their cringey background music to the scene. This wasn’t even a multi-shot cinematic. I’m not the biggest fan of background music, but if they feel the need to add music, why do they mix it so poorly by having it overpower the natural noise of the scene? Also, why would Impact in their kayfabe world have random stock background music on queue? Is this like when Betty from Kung Pow brings a boom box to play the big butts song when he randomly beats people up on the street?
W Morrissey was featured in the ad for Impact Plus’s No Surrender show…
Matt Taven was rallying the Honor No More troops backstage. Mike Bennett talked about how the wrestling world is full of BS and always changing. PCO heard the word “changing” and decided to randomly yell it (because he’s wrestling’s Frankenstein’s Monster). Bennett said there’s also someone all the time who has a chip on their shoulder. Kenny King introduced himself and said that honor in pro wrestling is like honor in politics.
He said he likes what Scott D’Amore has done to the place and Honor No More is here to take over. He said it’s no time for lies, game, or honor. Vincent said he’s a man who’s lost everything. Vincent said he’s looking forward to the 5 on 5 match…
Entrances for the next match took place. Matt Rehwoldt noted that Bhupinder Gujjar made his way to Impact from India via Canada (If I remember correctly, this guy was hyped a few years ago as one of Scott D’Amore’s Border City recruits. He was supposed to be in Desi Hit Squad from what I remember)…
4. John Skyler vs. Bhupinder Gujjar. Skyler took down Gujjar with a shoulder block. Gujjar slammed Skyler and hit Skyler with a bicycle kick. Skyler came back with a Side Russian Legsweep. Skyler worked on Bhupinder with methodical offense. Bhupinder came back with a power slam on Skyler.
Bhupinder hit Skyler with a slingshot elbow drop for a two count. Bhupinder hit Skyler with a corner splash. Bhupinder fended off Skyler with a boot. Bhupinder then hit Skyler with a Spear from the second rope for the win.
Bhupinder Gujjar defeated John Skyler via pinfall in 3:27.
Raj Singh walked out to cheer on and congratulate Bhupinder. Bhupinder had a confused look and didn’t recriprocate Raj’s cheers. Bhupinder walked up the ramp dismissively…
John’s Thoughts: Eh? An okay match, but nothing too special. Bhupinder has been on Impact’s roster for years and was supposed to debut back in 2017 as a part of the Desi Hit Squad. After all those years, he’s finally made it to TV and looked pretty pedestrian. I’m more disappointed that John Skyler is back to being enhancement talent and trapped in untelevised matches in Impact’s “Digital Media” division. Maybe it’s just me too, but I’m not a fan of the 2nd rope spear, it just seems impractical and less devastating than a grounded spear.
Highlights of the WWE Royal Rumble aired, featuring Mickie James appearing in the Women’s Royal Rumble. The footage noted that the footage was given to them via World Wrestling Entertainment…
Gia Miller interviewed Mickie James about her Royal Rumble experience. Mickie said she was disappointed she didn’t win, but she was proud that she represented Impact Wrestling and broke down doors. Tasha Steelz interrupted and mocked Mickie James. Tasha mocked Mickie for sounding sappy and her Southern Accent. Tasha name dropped Mickie’s son “Donovan” and said Mickie will return to him as a loser. Mickie said she hopes that Tasha can wrestle as well as she runs her mouth. Savannah Evans got in Mickie’s face, but Chelsea Green showed up and had Mickie’s back.
Mickie said it looks like a two on two situation now. Tasha and Savannah decided to walk away. Mickie told Chelsea Green that she agrees that she and Mickie would have a great match that people want to see. She said she’ll wrestle Green before wrestling Tasha at No Surrender next week. Green acted giddy and gave Mickie a hug…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A bit surreal to see WWE footage on Impact/TNA television. Give Scott D’Amore credit. The dude repaired what seemed irreparable in the burned bridge between TNA and New Japan. Not to mention, D’Amore as pulled off working relationships at points with AAA, AEW, New Japan, and WWE. Dude’s one hell of an ambassador. As for the segment, all signs point towards Chelsea Green turning heel with her husband. Especially with Green’s over-the-top giddiness.
A vignette aired to hype the debut of “The quintessential Diva” Gisselle Shaw. She’s “coming soon”…
Entrances for the next match took place…
6. Masha Slammovich vs. Kaci Lennox. Hannifan went into a bit of Masha’s history on how she came to America from Russia. Masha sent Kaci into the corner and gave her a Face Wash kick. Masha hit Kaci with a spinning backfist. Masha then finished off Kaci with a Body Slam into a Brainbuster which Hannifan noted she calls the “Russian Death Device”.
Masha Slammovich defeated Kaci Lennox via pinfall in 0:43.
John’s Thoughts: Simple and effective squash for Masha who is seemingly getting the buzzsaw push. Should way to keep her occupied while racking up wins for her, which means something. Very cool to see Kaci too. I remember her work in MLW as their backstage interviewer and I thought she grew into a pretty decent member of the broadcast team. I also remember her playing the role of Beth Phoenix’s body stand-in during 2020 when Beth had to call NXT from home (Leading to people hilariously mistaking her for Sasha Banks on commentary)
Gia Miller interviewed AAA Reina De Reina’s and ROH Women’s Champion Deonna Purrazzo. Miller brought up Mickie James mentioning Deonna in her State of the Knockouts address last week. Deonna said she doesn’t give a damn what Mickie has to say. Deonna listed off the many accolades she’s accumulated in her two years in Impact. Deonna said she is setting up an Open Challenge for either her AAA or ROH belt next week and whoever takes her up on that offer will have their arm broken by greatest technical women’s wrestler in the world and the age of the Virtuosa will continue…
Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in from ringside and announced the following segments for next week: Deonna Purrazzo’s open challenge for either the ROH or AAA Women’s title, Mickie James vs. Chelsea Green in a non-title match, Mike Bennett and Matt Taven vs. Rich Swann and Rhino (wait? Why Swann and Rhino?), and Brian Myers vs. W Morrissey in a no-DQ match. The commentary team also ran through the advertised No Surrender card. Rehwoldt advertised a replay of Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi from a G1 Climax on the NJPW AXS show…
Entrances for the next match took place…[c]
7. “Bullet Club” Jay White, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, and Chris Bey vs. Jake Something, “Speedball” Mike Bailey, Ace Austin, and Madman Fulton. White teased starting the match, but quickly tagged in Bey to wrestle Bailey. Bailey took down Bey with a armdrag. White tagged in and took down Bailey with boots. Bullet Club cut the ring in half on Bailey with quick tags and swarming offense.
Bailey managed to nail Bey with a dropkick so he can tag in Fulton. Something disliked Fulton getting in his way for the pin. Fulton gave Bey a body slam on the apron…[c]
The Impact Original team cut the ring in half on Bey. Bey got a moment of respite after Fulton ended up missing a baseball slide and hitting his head on the buckle. Bailey and White tagged in. Bailey hit White with rapid roundhouse kicks. Bailey hit White with a standing corkscrew shooting star for a two count. White came back with a Uranage for a two count on Bailey. Tama and Ace tagged in. Something complained with Ace because Ace and Fulton keep stealing his tags.
Tama took down Ace with a lariat. Fulton hit Tama with a claw slam. Loa entered the ring and the GoD gave Fulton a Magic Killer, which Hannifan noted was a ultimatum to the Good Brothers. Bailey tried to hit both GoD with kicks, but they hit him with a double neckbreaker. Ace blocked Bey’s frog splash with knees. Ace teased tagging in Something, but Ace pulled his hand away. This allowed Bey to hit Ace with a jawbreaker.
Something slapped Ace in the chest to aggressively tag himself in. Something cleaned house with all the Bullet Club members. Something gave Bey a spear. White pulled Bey to the apron which allowed the Guerrilas to swarm Something with strikes. White hit Something with a Half Nelson Suplex. Bey hit Something with a springboard cutter for the win.
The Bullet Club defeated Jake Something, Mike Bailey, Ace Austin, and Madman Fulton via pinfall in 12:05 of on-air time.
The Bullet Club gave each other the Too Sweet hand gesture. Violent By Design and The Good Brothers ran out to beat down Bullet Club. The show closed with Bullet Club at the disadvantage due to the numbers in the favor of their enemies…
John’s Thoughts: A fun main event showcasing a the better iteration of Bullet Club in Impact Wrestling. Helps that they have Bullet Club’s main attractions this time around as opposed to some of their side wrestlers (El Phantasmo is great, don’t get me wrong, but he doesn’t have the name value of the other more prominent wrestlers in that faction). I so hope we get some mic time from either Jay White of Tama Tonga. Those guys can cut fun promos and we need a bit of a mission statement from Bullet Club, especially after Bullet Club is seemingly 5 or so years past it’s expiration date of coolness.
Yet another strong show for Impact this week. Impact has passed NXT (partially due to 2.0 being all over the place) as a good alternative to WWE or AEW’s main shows. The show has gotten a fresh injection of talent with all the Ring of Honor wrestlers showing up. In turn, that also extricates some of the dumb sports entertainment segments Impact feels obligated to present. If only they’d get rid of their horrible background music that they during brawls. They also might need to consider moving away from the worn out “We Own the Night” theme (and if they do change they need to also find different transition music to not burn out their new name like they did their current theme).