Impact Wrestling returned late last night (Dec. 6) from Sam’s Town Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Let’s get right to it.
Jake Crist def. Willie Mack to qualify for Ultimate X
I was surprised to see Mack take the L here, but with the way it went down, it made sense.
It took Dave Crist distracting the referee from one side of the ring and Sami Callihan getting involved from the other for Jake to capitalize with a top rope cutter. Also, getting Willie’s first loss out of the way is important because if they wait too long, it becomes something they have to book around.
While I would have enjoyed see the heavyweight Mack navigate the Ultimate X structure, Jake Crist is more of a natural fit for the match. And now Willie has a feud with Callihan set up for his first real program in the promotion.
Dark Allie def. Heather Monroe
After the victory, Allie takes Su Yung’s nasty glove and locks the mandible claw into Heather Monroe. Kiera Hogan runs out, tosses Su into the stairs, and pleads with Allie to come to her senses. Allie doesn’t listen though. She drops her friend with a forearm. Her and Su lay the boots into Kiera before Allie delivers a Code Breaker.
Allie is one of those characters who has gone through some changes in her time here. She debuted as the clueless, loud heel who didn’t know how to wrestle. Then transitioned into a babyface and eventually learned how to wrestle.
Now she’s tasked with the character of Dark Allie, and like with all of her other personas, she’s done well with it. The commitment is there. She has new mannerisms, including laughing and screaming at inappropriate times. I always appreciate a performer who can play different roles naturally and Allie can do that.
While I wasn’t a fan of the over-the-top videos that got us to this point, now that the character shift is taking place in the ring, it’s working.
Hogan continues to play her role well too. Unfortunately for young Kiera, Allie is too far lost right now.
Desi Hit Squad def. Damien Hyde & Manny Lemons
The new Hit Squad continues to roll. Of course, tonight was in little doubt. Manny Lemons actually ate lemons at one point before he got into the ring. He earned a deserved “This guy’s an idiot!” from Don Callis. If you’re eating fruit to pump yourself up mid-match, the writing is on the wall.
I’m starting to wonder if the story with Gursinder is something that we see fallout from or if he’s moved on. I figured given Impact’s penchant for longer term stories, he’d show up again eventually, and that certainly can happen. But it’s also possible that was a write out. Even if it was, they found a smart way to take a team that lost more often than not to a more dominant team.
Ethan Page def. Matt Sydal to qualify for Ultimate X
At least we’re getting one big guy in Ultimate X.
These two men, teacher and student, brought the fight for two segments. It tried their teach/student relationship, but for now, they seem to still be simpatico. But as Sydal continues to lose, he’s going to eventually snap. That may be at expense of Page.
Impact has been good at using losing streaks in their stories, which is good for Matt given he hasn’t won in a long while.
We get an update on Eddie Edwards from Shady Acres, where Eddie is playing chess with… Raven!? Eddie is super frustrated, claiming he doesn’t belong here. Raven agrees, thinking that Eddie didn’t go too far. He hasn’t gone far enough. Raven steals a keycard from an orderly and gives it to Eddie to get out of there.
Ha! What a cameo from Raven!
It appears that the Shady Acres detour is a brief one. That makes sense because it’s entirely possible the last show or two of the year will be recap shows. They couldn’t spend too much time there. They have to get back to Eddie vs. Moose.
Hell, it’s possible that Eddie makes it out in time to interfere in the main event. Scroll down to find out. (That’s what we call in the biz “scroll bait.”)
Johnny Impact & Taya Valkyrie def. Moose and Tessa Blanchard when Taya taps out Tessa
Immediately after the match, Moose spears Johnny. He then goes face to face with Taya when Tessa attacks Valkyrie from behind. She picks up a chair when Kross runs out. Moose thinks he’s with them but Kross prevents Tessa from using the chair.
Brian Cage runs down and clotheslines both Kross and Moose.
Moose and Kross bail and Johnny and Brian help Taya up. Champ and challenger then stare each other down as the show goes off the air.
This was a fun main event match, helped by the fact we don’t see a ton of mixed tag matches, especially in Impact. That left the bout with a unique quality. The fact that one team was a married couple helped even more.
Taya tapping Tessa is mainly just a “momentum” boost, which means nothing in professional wrestling. (And if you believe my man Cain A. Knight, it doesn’t exist in real sports either.) The fact that Taya won with a submission that she wasn’t using the last time they fought is another subtle wrinkle.
The post match angle with Killer Kross was the really interesting bit here. Kross has been trying to get Johnny to enlist his services for awhile now. Tonight, he was out to prove that he was being sincere. He prevented Tessa from using a chair on Taya, despite his friend Moose cheering his partner on to do it.
Kross is an X factor in the title match and adds another dimension to a babyface vs. babyface match. It’s an added point to pay attention to during the build and then the match itself.
- In a backstage interview, Katarina introduced Ruby Raze, who she has brought into take out her Jordynne Grace problem. Ruby has a build closer to Grace than Katarina so it’ll be a different challenge for the newcomer.
- Eli Drake learned he has to face Abyss in a Monster’s Ball match at Homecoming.
- Konnan implored both the Lucha Brothers and LAX not to take this feud too far. Then Pentagon did the “Cero Miedo” into the face of LAX and things got chippy, immediately angering Konnan.
This was another solid episode of Impact. It’s no different than most episodes. They have a good roster and tell solid stories. But episodes are missing a spark that makes this feel must watch, especially must watch at 10 PM ET.
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