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Photo Credit: IMPACT Wrestling

IMPACT Recap and Review (4 February)

IMPACT was live from Mexico, City as the fallout from Hard to Kill is felt, and feuds more closer towards Sacrifice on 22 February.

Here is a recap, results, and reactions from the show.

Fast-Count Results

Tessa Blanchard d. Adam Thornstowe

Taurus d. Rhino (via disqualification)

Rosemary vs. Suzie ends in a no-contest

TJP d. Vikingo

Daga & Dr. Wagner Jr. d. oVe

Ace Austin d. Tommy Dreamer


Rundown

We get a recap video of the Michael Elgin and Eddie Edwards feud featuring match one, of their best of five series, which was won by Big Mike. 

The show kicks off with the entrance of World Champion, Tessa Blanchard, who is in gear. Josh Mathews hypes Sacrifice live on IMPACT Plus on February 22, where Tessa will go against the X-Division Champion, Ace Austin. Tessa addresses Ace’s comments aimed towards her. Ace comes out alongside Adam Thornstowe and Luster The Legend of Reno Scum. Mexico City begins rallying for Tessa as Adam Thornstowe enters the ring for a singles match with the champ. 

Tessa Blanchard vs. Adam Thornstowe

The action kicks off with Thornstowe on the receiving end of Tessa’s fast-paced offense. Tessa looked for The Buzzsaw DDT early but Thornstowe avoided her finishing move, allowing Luster The Legend to get involved and slam Tessa on the apron. Thornstowe capitalized on this by keeping Tessa on the ground, neutralizing her high energy style. Thornstowe continues to a chorus of boos until Tessa turns things around by dodging Thornstowe’s standing moonsault. Ace Austin frantically yells from ringside as Tessa begins her comeback, featuring an impressive Samoan Drop. She meets him outside with a duo of suicide dives followed by a top rope senton onto everybody. Tessa nails a cutter out of nowhere for a pretty good near fall. Tessa nails the Buzzsaw DDT to pin Thornstowe for the win. After the bout, Ace Austin nails Tessa with a  loaded fist, and prepares to hit her again. Tommy Dreamer runs down the ramp for the save with a kendo stick, scaring Ace Austin and Reno Scum away. 

OPINION:

The match was solid, but Thornstowe’s heat dragged on a bit too long. Dreamer’s involvement doesn’t make me too excited but at least they have built a solid relationship between the “Innovator of Violence” and the World Champion. With that being said, Dreamer got a good pop, and will continue to regardless of the location. 

**1/2

We cut to Kiera Hogan and Madison Rayne arguing backstage as Taya Valkyrie approaches, attempting to befriend them for support in her title match with Jordynne Grace next week. 

We head back to the ring with footage from the break, where Dreamer challenged Ace Austin to a Falls Count Anywhere Street Fight tonight. 

Josh Mathews and Don Callis begin previewing the match only to get interrupted by what seems to be someone hacking the feed, featuring the web address, realityislost.com. This appears to be related to Sami Callihan, who will likely work a rendition of his short-lived NXT character, Solomon Crowe. 

Rhino vs. Taurus

I hate how Josh Mathews says “Taurus”. Anyway this match is part of Rhino’s animal-based feud with Moose. I know that seems like a joke but the commentary team and social media accounts mention animals every single time they promote this feud. They’ll lock up in a Hard to Kill rematch at Sacrifice, which IMPACT has actually been promoting. Rhino and Taurus trade stiff strikes in the middle of the ring to start the bout. Taurus gains control with a wristlock until Rhino opens up with some strikes. Josh continues to butcher the Spanish language as Taurus nails a beautiful shining wizard for a near fall. Rhino and Taurus both start hitting their signature maneuvers, as the crowd is split between both hosses. Moose starts running down the ramp to attack Rhino, causing a disqualification. I swear Moose interferes in every match. Taurus headbutts Moose, then Rhino delivers a Gore, and expectedly cusses him out. 

OPINION:

This match was ok, lacking a strong finishing stretch due to the Moose interference. Moose has been interrupting his rival’s matches ever since he turned heel in 2018. This was basic and did nothing to add to the Sacrifice match, but it existed.

**

Michael Elgin cuts a promo backstage, looking into the mirror for a good shot. He mentions how he defeated Edwards and plans to do so again next week. 

We catch up with Johnny Swinger backstage, who meets with the Desi Hit Squad. 

The IMPACT Plus Flashback Moment of The Week is The Motor City Machine Guns vs. Beer Money Inc. vs. Team 3D from Sacrifice 2010. 

Rosemary vs. Suzie

Suzie makes her debut entrance to creepy music and new gear. Suzie refuses to engage in violence as she deems it “bad”. Rosemary begs her to strike her but Suzie appears uncomfortable. Rosemary slaps her, attempting to initiate the fight. Rosemary then slaps her with Su Yung’s trademark blood-stained glove. Suzie puts the glove on, starts screeching, and lunges towards her. Rosemary lures her outside where they brawl to the backstage area. The bell rings as we catch up with them backstage.  Dramatic music begins playing as Rosemary tells Su to wake up. We see flashes of Su Yung’s death scene in Suzie’s place which make for pretty cool visuals. Rosemary begins strangling Suzie, awaking Su Yung as she stares down an arriving Havok. We come back from commercial break to see Havok and Rosemary both taken out as Father James Mitchell approaches them. 

OPINION:

This served as an angle and a pretty solid one at that. Rosemary awoke Su Yung, and she seems more dangerous than ever. This feud is literally the longest one I can remember and tends to drag on more than you can even imagine, but it also has very strong angles at times. This was a strong point as the shots were creative nailing the Undead Realm setting, and building Su Yung back up with dramatic effects. I’m more interested in the feud this week, and hope that they can capitalize on this with a strong Sacrifice match for the angle. 

TJP vs. Vikingo

TJP enters alongside Fallah Bahh. An excellent pairing. It’s a treat any time Vikingo appears on IMPACT television and a match with TJP is about as good as it gets. This is my most anticipated moment of the night. The two have a neat exchange on the ground, featuring crafty pinfalls and audible strikes. They hit a double dropkick spot to a big pop from Mexico City. They end up on the outside where Vikingo hits a Shooting Star Press off the apron onto TJP. Vikingo becomes neutralized by TJP’s technical ability back in the ring. Vikingo is getting to shine a little bit more against TJP than Josh Alexander. The two engage in a multitude of counters, with TJP gaining the advantage. They trade strikes until Vikingo catches him in a flying armbar. TJP catches him in a Muta Lock, just to add on to the fantastic submission wrestling in this bout. Vikingo displays his speed, dropkicking TJP to the outside and heading right over the steel post for a flip to the outside. Vikingo nails a leg drop onto a hanging TJP for a close call. The crowd is loving this. TJP hits a stunning Tombstone Piledriver followed by a frog splash for a near fall of his own. TJP hops up to the top rope, meeting Vikingo for a Superplex, chained into an octopus stretch.  They have an insane sequence ending with a TJP submission victory. WOW. The North come out and attack Vikingo, due to his victory over Alexander last week. Fallah forces The North to back down.

OPINION:

Okay it’s easy to say this, but IMPACT needs more matches like this. First of all TJP is world-class and adds legitimacy to any company he is in. He’s about as credible as a roster member can be, especially in the X-Division. Vikingo is obviously a hot commodity and IMPACT should do everything they can to continue using him and bring him North if possible. As for the match, this was amazing. The pacing was excellent, displaying a plethora of offense, including countless submissions, flashy high flying, and a hot crowd. The finish was insanely smooth allowing this match to live up to my high expectations. These guys are professionals and should be showcased in any company they work in. Also, TJP and Fallah Bahh against The North is a nice, fresh feud for the tag belts.

**** 

Katie Forbes and Joey Ryan talk backstage, where Ryan is snuck up on by Rob Van Dam. I guess this feud makes sense with both being oversexualized characters. Yes, Rob Van Dam is an oversexualized character in 2020. I’m glad we live in this timeline.

oVe vs. Dr. Wagner Jr. & Daga

Wagner maintains control over Jake Crist for a fair amount of time. He hits a cutter out of the corner before tagging in the younger, Daga. Jake and Daga have good chemistry as seen in their singles bouts. They trade Death Valley Drivers before Daga hits a baseball slide. Daga starts feeling the effects of both Crists as he connects for the hot tag to Wagner. He goes off for a bit, allowing Daga to also come in and double up on Jake. The Crists regain control, hitting a Tombstone Piledriver for a near fall. The crowd is dead for this bout, as Wagner tries to heat things up with a flip off of the apron. Daga hits Dave Crist with a double underhook facebreaker for the victory. Madman Fulton comes in afterwards to hit the Better Than Baron on Daga. 

OPINION:

This match was a bit flat with oVe taking yet another loss. Despite his loss to Ken Shamrock at Hard to Kill, Fulton continues to look strong, this time taking out Daga, which should lead to a match at Sacrifice which I’m down for.

**

Johnny Swinger walks up to Willie Mack, talking about their alliance, Mack and Pack Connection. Swinger promises he’s got his back in his match against Mahabali Shera. Mack tells him to stay away. 

Mathews and Callis hype next week’s episode featuring Elgin vs. Edwards Match Two, Taya vs. Grace for the belt, RVD vs. Joey Ryan, and Fulton vs. Daga.

Tommy Dreamer vs. Ace Austin

It’s time for our IMPACT main event featuring Tommy Dreamer in a Street Fight. That statement can be placed in an IMPACT review from a lot of different years, including the last three. I’m assuming this is just to give Ace Austin a win over a bigger name, but I’m not sure Dreamer is the best option. They likely needed not only a name, but a name in Mexico. I can’t say it’s a bad call for the live crowd. The two unsurprisingly brawl on the outside to start the match. Dreamer hits a suplex on the ramp before finding a garbage can full of weapons and a sombrero. They enter Fronton’s bleachers and continue brawling as we enter the commercial break. We come back to see much of the same as Dreamer clears the way of fans. Ace Austin flies from the elevated bleachers for a crossbody onto Dreamer. Ace’s wrist gets trapped in a chair as Dreamer bashes it to switch momentum. Ace counters by sending Dreamer back first onto a steel chair. Dreamer is busted open for this match as Mexico continues to cheer him on. Ace Austin sets up a table in the corner as he smacks Dreamer with the kendo stick. Dreamer fires back with shots of his own. Dreamer uses Ace’s card against his own groin, and plants him with a DDT for a near fall. Dreamer drives Austin through the table with a powerslam for another near fall. Dreamer introduces a ladder to the ring. I don’t expect him to do a 450 splash off of it but I’ve seen crazier. The ladder is balanced on the ropes in the corner, as they meet up top. Ace crotches Dreamer in the ladder and nails The Fold from the top rope for the win. 

OPINION:

This match was incredibly lethargic and exactly what I expected. The commentary team attempted to put this over as a match that proved Ace Austin had a darker side. I fail to see how. Nothing was learned from this match, especially if you’ve seen one of Dreamer’s modern garbage hardcore main events. This was such a flat main event for a pretty solid episode. 

*3/4

Overall Opinion:

This week’s episode of IMPACT was a mixed bag. The in-ring action was flat, as it tends to be in the Mexico tapings, but was saved by an incredible match between TJP and Vikingo. I enjoyed the Undead Realm angle which was a pleasant surprise. They also actually built to their IMPACT Plus event this month which is great to see. Seeing that they’ve improved production and promotion for these events leads me to believe that these shows will start to resemble monthly pay-per-view events a bit more. This was a solid show, with the only bad moment being the main event match. 

Overall Rating:

6/10