BFG Cold Opening - Local boys Santana and Ortiz were the MCs of the video, talking about NYC and walking around town. Video touched down on all matches tonight.
Rich Swann & WIllie Mack vs "Reborn" Matt Sydal & Ethan Page - 7.5/10
Josh is selling Page's experience as a tag team as a big deal, but Don is selling Mack as finally arriving in Impact. Mack had a great first showing against Sydal, pulling out all the flippy stuff, but then Page got in against Swann, and he played the big muscle, overpowering Swann into peril. Sydal and Page kept this control for a long while, even after some dives spots, but at the end, Swann finally got a chance to dodge them both and get the tag to Mack for a big hot tag.
There was a great spot with Page blocking a double Superplex, throwing Mack to the ground, hitting a Super Scoop Slam on Swann, and then a Senton Bomb for a near fall. They did some of those X-Division spots were a Rana feeds into another Rana on another person. Finish saw Mack take out Page with the Stunner, Sydal took out Mack, and Swann took out Sydal with the Phoenix Splash for the win. Awesome opener!
Post-match - Mack and Swann danced a bit after the match. Mack then did some fan hyping offering two front row seats to two loud fans. It was to promote the sponsor, and it was weird they did it on screen, but hey if it pumps the fans, it's all good.
Impact vs Aries Build Up - This was a recap of the TMZ appearance that Impact and Taya did as they were doing their worked shoot angle. They later showed the footage of the Hall of Fame Ceremony that escalated things greatly. You have to appreciate some good shades of reality storytelling now a days.
LAX Backstage - Konnan got attacked on the back by King, they get the medics and he tells Santana and Ortiz to take care of business.
Eli Drake Open Challenge
Eli Drake vs James Ellsworth - Squash!
Everyone is chanting for Y2J. Drake's promo says that he saw no one new backstage, so he starts shooting on the NYGiants, and the man to come out? James Elsworth. Not exactly a New Yorker, he wasn't exactly well received, even when he defended NYC, fans rather chant for Pizza and 'Fuck You Ellsworth'. It was all fuel for Eli Drake to shit on Ellsworth. Ellsworth cheap shots Drake to start the match, making Drake a super babyface tonight.
Drake just overpowered him left to right, Ellsworth got a hope spot going for the No Chin Music, but Drake kicked out, hit Gravy Train, a second by fan petition, and pin. This was what it had to be, especially after the fan's reaction to Ellsworth.
Post-match - Drake goes back to the mic and says he asked for the best, not Stanton Island Trash, he said he wanted the best, he wanted Hall of Fame level competition, so this brought out Abyss who just killed Drake and celebrated in the ring. Black Hole Slam and Chokeslam through a table. Even here, Drake was getting chants.
Tessa Blanchard Interview - Tessa says she is confident this is her night and that tonight Taya finds out diamonds are forever, and so is Tessa Blanchard.
Impact Wrestling Knockout's Championship Match
Tessa Blanchard (C) vs Taya Valkyrie - 6.5/10
Taya seems to be cosplaying for Natty tonight, with terrible pony tails. Tessa had a strong start, working on Taya's head, working her towards a comeback where Taya took control and got a near submission with a Guillotine, but Tessa just overpowered herself out of the lock. Tessa started chasing the Buzzsaw DDT, but Taya countered and looked for Road to Valhalla herself, also to be blocked out by Tessa. Taya hit a scary Moonsault, and locked in an armbar as Tessa kicked out. Taya hit a Super Dragon Curb Stomp and locked in a nasty STF for another near submission.
Taya hit the Road to Valhalla, but Tessa kicked out at 2, Callis and Josh selling that the ref was out of position, but not that much to me. Tessa faked Taya into a head bump on the corner, hit the Buzzsaw DDT, but Taya kicked out! One Magnum later, and Tessa gets the pin for the win. This was a good match, some spots seemed sloppy, mostly because Taya sometimes slows down, but Tessa was amazing. Tessa got 'Tessa B Ain't Nothin' To Fuck With' chants.
Moose Interview - Moose's attires ever since turning heel makes it all worth it.
Eddie Edwards vs Moose - Dud
Moose's entrance theme was changed, which I don't mind, because as a heel, I always found myself chanting to his old song. Moose came out with an entourage of valets. Really early in the match, Eddie got Boston Knee Party in and went for Kenny, but from the crowd came out Kross, and he choked out Eddie, setting him up for Moose, but out for the save, came Tommy Dreamer.
Dreamer got the mic and challenged both Moose and Kross to a tag match, so now we have...
No DQs Match
Killer Kross & Moose vs Eddie Edwards & Tommy Dreamer - 6.5/10
This was all chaotic, but mostly within the rules. Moose and Eddie brawled on one side of the ring, with Dreamer and Kross on the other side. Later on, we got Eddie fight off Kross while Moose took out Dreamer. It all built to Eddie and Moose having a strike off in the middle of the ring, this was straight from a Puroresu match. Eddie and Moose took each other out leaving Dreamer to be taken out by Kross' Doomsday Saito, and when it seems everything is lost for Moose, Eddie rolls him up and pins him. Everything in the match with Eddie was great, everything with Dreamer was ok. At one point one of the NY Giants guys pushed Moose, but it didn't go anywhere, so it's obvious that douchebag was just trying to get attention.
Post-match - Kross and Moose take out Eddie and hit him with an assisted Apron Bomb.
OVE Promo - Callihan says that the Crists are taking down the Lucha Bros proving the Ohio is better than Mexico, and he will personally take down the machine. Best thing about these promos is always the interaction of Dave and Jake behind Callihan.
OVE Rules Match
Lucha Brothers & "The Machine" Brian Cage vs Ohio Versus Everything - 8/10
This felt more like a PWG match, with tons of spots, both in and outside the ring, people coming in and out of the match, and with really no use of weapons or low blows or anything of the like. Match was all over the place and everyone got their stuff in. We got a bunch of double and triple moves. We got a botched spot with Jake hitting a cutter from Fenix that was standing on Pentagon's shoulders, but Fenix didn't fully commit on falling down face first.
Finish saw all of OVE gang up on Cage, who wouldn't go down, but as they got him on his knees, they gave him the superkick execution, over and over again, until he was done for and easy for Callihan to hit the final shot and pin Cage for the very first time. They made a big fuzz about this being Cage's first pinfall, so I take it we may see Callihan vs Cage for the title soon. This match was great, but my words can't even come close to really recapping everything that went down in this match.
Austin Aries Interview - Awesome serious promo by Aries, he talks about putting Impact back on the spot while Johnny just comes and goes and thinks he can just drop to the main event. He says that this last week, everything has changed, and so tonight he's bringing his boys, and Impact should bring his wife to see him fall front row. Aries has been killing it with his promos.
OGz Promo - King is (hopefully) kayfabe drunk. He hypes H&H about NYC being their streets.
LAX vs OGz Build Up Video - Awesome stuff.
Concrete Jungle Deathmatch
LAX vs OGz - 8/10
Concrete Jungle entitles that the ring has no mat nor padding no turnbuckle pads, it's straight up wood, plus a bunch of weapons and tables surrounding it. LAX had a weird entrance, it started with a bunch of guys in cammo hunched up with a guy rapping, the group eventually broke up and Santana and Ortiz walked out, but it took a while and it was weird. It was too many people and the ramp too small to make this look cool, and considering they're coming in outnumbered because Konnan is not here, seeing all these people makes it harder to get behind the idea that they're going in handicapped.
Match started and Hernandez was busted open within a minute. OGz started with control of the match, King slammed Santana to the wood boards, and Ortiz was taken out with garbage can lids. LAX slowly started making a comeback, picking out one by one, at one point Superplexing Hernandez to a huge spot. OGz eventually came back with numbers, and King had Ortiz ready for execution, but suddenly, Konnan came back and joined his boys. Konnan came out with the blackjack, took out Homicide and Hernandez, and got in a brawl with King. LAX hit the Street Sweeper on King for the win.
Match went kinda short, but it had a bunch of spots making it feel like a lot happened. I was hoping for something bigger as the finish if this is to be the end of the feud, but I think the match overall was the perfect climax.
Allie, The Undead Slayer vs "The Undead Bride" Su Yung - Awesome
This is done in Impact Wrestling Cinematic Universe style, Allie is totally Buffy here. Allie gets into the coffin and she is greeted by James Mitchell. He tells her that Kiera is on the top floor and tells her that if she finds her soul (Allie's), she can see but not touch, as Allie's soul is to stay in the Undead Realm forever (spoiler alert: she finds herself, she touched it).
Allie starts investigating the house she's in, she gets attacked left ad right by Undead Bridesmaids, but she LITERALLY kills them again with an ax, we even get blood splatter on the screen. She makes her way to a chappel where she finds Kiera, but Su Yung comes out with an ax herself and starts attacking Allie. They fight each other into a closet where Yung locks in the Mandible Claw and chokes out Allie, and as Yung is about to stab Allie, Allie wakes up and kills Yung with the Ax.
Allie gets Hogan and they run to the exit, but they can't open it. James Mitchell tells her that he is a man of his word, he said he bring her in, but not get her out. All the Undead Bridesmaids come back, but suddenly, Rosemary makes her return and takes them out and helps Allie and Hogan open the door. Su Yung, half extra dead, comes back and finally faces off with Su Yung, but she gets ganged up by the Bridesmaids as she sacrifices herself to let Allie and Hogan escape.
Outside, Allie wants to go back, but Hogan stops her. As they argue, Evil Allie comes out hinting that Allie's soul indeed stayed in Mitchell's hands.
Impact Homecoming PPV is coming to Nashville on Jan 6th.
Johnny Impact Interview - Great babyface promo, lots of intensity. Tonight he takes what validates Arie's whole career, the World Title.
Impact vs Aries Build Up Video - Awesome stuff, great promos by both men.
Impact World Championship Match
Austin Aries (C) w/Killer Kross & Moose vs Johnny Impact w/Taya - 9/10
Aries kept his word and came out with black trunks, black boots. The heat for this match is increadible, fans are 50-50 on them
They had a worked shoot match, everything they did made me wonder if they were shooting on each other, even botching as the momentum in their moves would betray them. After an initial flurry of shooting in the ring, they started trading momentum here and there, but soon enough Aries got control and started working on towards Last Chancery. All of the offense here looked stiff and shooty.
Impact had some flurries of comebacks, slowly chipping down on Aries, always coming close for a big move, but Aries kept getting out of trouble, all leading to Impact finally hitting a Top Rope Spanish Fly for the first near fall of the match. They kept trading momentum and near falls, including a 450 by Aries, but after that one, Aries starts to lose his cool.
Impact landed a Starship Pain for a near fall as Aries got the rope. Aries hit the Roaring Elbow and Brainbuster, but Impact also got his feet on the rope to break the pin. Aries locked in Last Chancery, but Impact made it to the ropes. At this point, Aries is getting distracted by Taya quite a lot, which leads to Aires taking her out with a dive as Impact dodges him. Impact went to attack Aries afterwards, and he didn't really check on Taya. Impact lands a Brainbuster and Starship Painfor the pin. Aries just got up and walked out flipping off Callis and the crowd.
This was a great match, the shooty aspect of it really brought out a lot of intensity. I'm not happy with how Aries walked out at the end because it really puts a bad foot note on the whole thing. This title change made all the sense in the world, at least given the build up, so I hope Aries is not just throwing a fit.
Top to bottom, a good show for Impact. The venue wasn't all that big, so some stuff didn't feel right, but all the wrestlers went out there to do things right. This show is an interesting turning point (no pun intended) since I would have to imagine that LAX vs OGz is over and I think that Lucha Bros need to move on too. We'll see on Thursday how the storylines proceed.