Impact Wrestling presents Uncaged this Friday night, and with only four matches the show still looks absolutely must-see. Two championships are on the line, but we’ve got a sleeper of a classic opening the show and a cross-brand battle as Team AAA takes on Team Impact for the Impact Wrestling 2019 World Cup.
With Impact Wrestling Homecoming a month in the past, the effects of their first pay-per-view of 2019 are still rippling throughout the company. On that night, we saw Johnny Impact and Taya Valkyrie emerge as champions, but they’ll be forced to defend their titles this Sunday. Valkyrie adds another chapter in her heated rivalry with Tessa Blanchard, and this time it’s a Street Fight.
For the Impact World Championship, we’ve got a Fatal 4-Way Match to look forward to. After the attack on Taya Valkyrie by Killer Kross, and the lingering presence of Moose, both men have found their way to a championship opportunity. Brian Cage was arguably screwed out of the title at Homecoming, and he’s more dangerous than ever and he looks to redeem that loss.
Ethan Page vs. Willie Mack
This is the only match of the night that doesn’t have much build, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a spectacular contest. If you got to see Homecoming, you may remember Sami Callihan and Willie Mack having a match with very little build. The match was announced only a few days before the event, and seemingly had no stakes going in.
Despite that, Mack and Callihan nearly stole the show and put on an instant classic. This week, we’ve got a match that could fulfill those same standards. Ethan Page has nestled into his role in Impact Wrestling’s X-Division, utilizing his power and sneaky agility in a division often dominated by the company’s most agile performers.
Meanwhile, Willie Mack has been trying to make his mark while watching Rich Swann deal with Sami Callihan and oVe. Mack has tried not to interfere as the weeks progressed, but there’s no doubt his friend’s situation will be on his mind. If he can focus, much like he did at Homecoming, this could be a truly special contest, and I see Mack picking up the victory.
Prediction: Willie Mack def. Ethan Page
Impact Wrestling 2019 World Cup: Team AAA (Psycho Clown, Aerostar, El Hijo del Vikingo, and Puma King) vs. Team IMPACT (Eli Drake, Eddie Edwards, Fallah Bahh, and Sami Callihan)
Impact Wrestling’s time in Mexico City concludes with their 2019 World Cup. Impact Wrestling has done versions of an international tournament like the World Cup or World X Cup in the past, though the exact details tend to vary from year to year. This year, we’ll see a highlight of Impact Wrestling’s partnership with Lucha Libre AAA in an 8-Man Tag Team Match that’s sure to impress.
Team AAA will be represented by Psycho Clown, Aerostar, El Hijo del Vikingo, and finally Puma King. While Aerostar hasn’t competed in Impact Wrestling for several months, we’ve seen the other three members of Team AAA light it up in recent weeks. Puma King put on a great performance against Sami Callihan last week, but came up short.
Vikingo lit things up against Rich Swann a few weeks back in a losing effort, and Psycho Clown took on Fallah Bahh to pick up a victory for Team AAA. That puts the score so far at 2-1 for Team IMPACT going into this match, but there’s still a big question on whether or not Team IMPACT can work as a cohesive unit.
While Team AAA is a combo of competitors who will have the home field advantage, Team IMPACT is a more haphazard grouping. Sami Callihan is a top-notch performer, but it’s unclear if he can work well with teammates who aren’t part of oVe. Eddie Edwards and Eli Drake are still a relatively new pairing, and Fallah Bahh has only found success at the side of KM. Team IMPACT could pull it out, but those questions and the home turf make Team AAA look like the favorites.
Prediction: Team AAA def. Team IMPACT
Impact Knockouts Championship Street Fight: Taya Valkyrie (c) vs. Tessa Blanchard
The first of our two championship matches will see another chapter in one of Impact Wrestling’s most heated rivalries as of late. The issues between Tessa Blanchard and Taya Valkyrie really heated up back at Bound for Glory 2018. On that night, Valkyrie and Blanchard had a spectacular match, but Blanchard used the ring ropes to help her secure the victory.
Due to the controversy, Valkyrie was able to garner a rematch. Only a few weeks later on Impact, they went at it again. Unfortunately for Taya Valkyrie, she picked up a victory but didn’t leave as champion. Tessa Blanchard chose to attack the referee and intentionally get herself disqualified, losing the match but keeping her title. Valkyrie refused to let this be the end of things, and looked for an opportunity to earn another shot at Blanchard.
She got her chance to do that in a mixed tag team match in December, teaming with Johnny Impact to take on Moose and Tessa Blanchard. Taya Valkyrie forced then-champion Tessa Blanchard to tap out in the match, effectively securing her shot at Homecoming. On that night, a wrench was thrown in as Gail Kim was made the Special Guest Referee.
Blanchard has had issues with Kim in the past, and those surfaced again at Homecoming. Tessa Blanchard attempted to skirt the rules on more than one occasion, eventually getting in the face of Gail Kim. The confrontation heated up, and Blanchard finally pushed Gail Kim too far. Kim hit Blanchard with Eat Defeat, and Taya Valkyrie followed up immediately with Road to Valhalla to capture the Impact Knockouts Championship.
In the aftermath of that loss, Tessa Blanchard has become completely unhinged, choking out Gail Kim with a cord backstage. Her actions led to a suspension, but that ends this Friday. Blanchard is back, and she’ll take on Valkyrie in a Street Fight that is sure to be one of the most brutal Knockouts Championship matches in recent memory. While Blanchard will try to use every trick in the book, I don’t see Taya Valkyrie’s reign ending just yet.
Prediction: Taya Valkyrie def. Tessa Blanchard
Impact World Championship Fatal 4-Way Match: Johnny Impact (c) vs. Brian Cage vs. Killer Kross vs. Moose
The night’s main event will see the Impact World Championship defended in a chaotic Fatal 4-Way Match. Current champion Johnny Impact was less than thrilled when he heard the news, and Brian Cage seemed to take some comfort in Johnny being “screwed” like Cage believes he was at Homecoming. This match may have only been made recently, but it’s been building for months.
In the weeks before Homecoming, Johnny Impact successfully defended his title against Killer Kross and Moose on separate occasions. Despite their losses, Kross and Moose put on respectable performances that showed they were absolutely capable of competing at the main event level.
As for Brian Cage, he’s still fuming about Homecoming. For those who don’t remember, it was the presence of Johnny Impact’s Survivor castmates at ringside that made the difference. Their actions left the referee distracted during a moment where Cage had Johnny pinned for well over a count of three. Cage let his frustration build, and Impact was eventually able to roll him up to escape with his title.
After the match, Killer Kross made his presence felt by attacking Johnny Impact and sending Taya Valkyrie into the third row with a devastating powerbomb. Meanwhile, Moose has continued to lurk near the title picture and keep himself in the conversation. All of that has built to this moment, as all four men enter the fray at the same time to see who can leave as Impact Wrestling World Champion.
While Kross and Moose are definitely ready for this position, it’s unlikely either man walks out as champion. Their time will come, but it won’t be this Friday. As for Brian Cage, the chaos of the match may see the title slip through his fingers once again. Johnny Impact has an uphill battle and only a 25% chance of leaving as champion, but I still expect him to do so, likely pinning Moose or Kross and keeping his issues with Brian Cage alive.
Prediction: Johnny Impact def. Brian Cage, Killer Kross, and Moose