Impact Wrestling – January 5, 2021: The Playground Games
Date: January 5, 2021
Location: Skyway Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Madison Rayne
It’s time to get back to the regular shows but we are also on the way to both Genesis and Hard To Kill. That means we could be seeing some good stuff around here, though the idea of building towards two shows at once is rarely something that works out all that well. Maybe they can fix that tonight though as Kenny Omega is here. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Kenny Omega and Don Callis joining forces with the Good Brothers against the Motor City Machine Guns and Rich Swann.
Ace Austin vs. Blake Christian vs. KC Navarro vs. Crazzy Steve
Madman Fulton is here with Austin and this is a preview of the Super X Cup at Genesis. Austin chills on the floor to start so the other two rub Steve’s chest. That’s a little too much for Austin, who pulls Steve to the floor so Christian and Navarro start going rather fast. Christian kicks Austin in the face but Austin sends him into the corner. Steve ties Navarro in the upside down Figure Four necklock over the ropes but Navarro is right back with a headscissors.
Navarro takes Austin out, only to have Christian shove him off the top to the floor. Christian’s big flip dive to the floor takes Navarro down but Austin cuts Christian off. That lets Navarro get back inside to dive onto Christian for a change, so Austin flips onto both of them at once. Back in and Navarro hits a running neckbreaker for two on Austin and Christian adds a standing Spanish Fly. Christian’s springboard frog splash gets two on Austin with Steve making the save. Steve Death Valley Drives Navarro into the other two in the corner and a middle rope DDT is enough to give Steve the pin on Navarro at 7:06.
Rating: C+. This was your old school X-Division spot fest, meaning there was almost no way to have anyone stand out and someone won in the end. That being said, it’s also a rather entertaining match because it is non-stop action from bell to bell. They kept things moving and didn’t stay out there too long, which is what matters most in something like this. It’s junk food, but it’s good junk food.
Kenny Omega’s bus is here so make sure you watch the whole show to see what he does!
Here’s what’s coming up tonight.
Sami Callihan hacks the feed and talks about how he is ready for Eddie Edwards. Eddie is trying to say that the good guys win in the end but tonight, Sami is proving the bad guys win. Thumbs up, thumbs down.
We get another paid advertisement from Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone. They’re here to help those less fortunate, meaning Impact Wrestling. We hear the Dynamite card and Khan goes into a rant against Don Callis, saying that he does everything for AEW except wrestling. Callis is a parasite but Khan is a patron of wrestling. He’ll be back to buy another ad next week because his grandmother gave him $100 in a Christmas card and he wants to spend it on something fun (Schiavone isn’t even trying to hide his laughter at that one).
The Good Brothers and Don Callis think Kenny Omega’s is so big. His belt that is. They’re ready for Hard To Kill because they’re friends with chemistry, which is more than the Guns and Swann have ever had.
Here are Cousin Jake and Rhino, with Jake wanting Cody Deaner back because they’re family.
Cousin Jake/Rhino vs. Cody Deaner/Joe Doering
Before the match, Eric Young says Deaner answers to him these days because Deaner has seen the truth. Cody hammers on Jake to start and seems far more intense than he has ever been before. Doering comes in as we hear about how awesome is he again, mainly because he was in Japan. We take a break and come back with Jake still in trouble in the corner. Jake manages to backflip out of a belly to back though and brings in Rhino to hammer away. The offense lasts about ten seconds before it’s already back to Jake though and Cody hits him low. The Deaner DDT finishes Jake at 7:31.
Rating: D+. There wasn’t much drama to this as you have a new heel able so they aren’t going to lose on their first match together. Doering is still his usual self but I can go with something that gets rid of one of the redneck Deaners. It’s not like the team was anything of value in the first place so this is an improvement. Not much of one, but an improvement.
Post match Jake and Rhino get beaten down even more….until Tommy Dreamer comes out with the kendo sticks for the same. Dreamer issues the challenge for the Old School rules match at Hard To Kill. Eric Young and Tommy Dreamer in the same angle and match. Happy freaking new year.
Matthew Palmer didn’t drive this far to become a security guard so he is here to face Moose. If he lasts three minutes, people will know who Matthew Palmer is.
Acey Romero comes in to see Johnny Swinger, who has his own office. Romero says Crazzy Steve sent him to see Swinger about John E. Bravo being framed. Swinger says go ask the Knockouts.
Here are Deonna Purrazzo and Kimber Lee for a chat. Deonna doesn’t understand why Taya Valkyrie has a problem with them. Taya is blaming them for all of her problems, but what happens when Purrazzo takes her out? Cue Taya and Rosemary, who says she is the longest reigning Knockouts Champion ever, and she hasn’t lost any focus on that title. Deonna says Taya has already lost everything she has and her husband isn’t even here anymore. When will Rosemary turn on her too? The only thing she has left is the record but Taya knows Purrazzo is scared of what is coming at Hard To Kill. Just a quick push towards the match.
Rohit Raju tells Chris Bey that his New Year’s resolution is to forgive, so he forgives Bey for costing him the X-Division Title. Bey isn’t impressed but Raju thinks they need to get together and take Manik out.
Post break Raju and Bey go find TJP, who hasn’t seen Manik. They want a tag match against Manik and TJP but he isn’t interested.
Tenille Dashwood and Kaleb With A K comes up to Rosemary and understands what it’s like to split with a partner like Rosemary is going to split with Taya soon. Rosemary isn’t interested.
Knockouts Tag Team Title Tournament Semifinals: Jazz/Jordynne Grace vs. Havok/Nevaeh
Nevaeh and Grace start things off with Grace working on a headlock to take Nevaeh down. That’s broken up so Havok comes in for the hoss fight, with Grace being knocked into the corner. Jazz comes in to slap Havok and stomp away in the corner. Havok sends her into the corner and hands it off to Nevaeh for the running splash.
That’s broken up in a hurry so Grace comes back in for a double back elbow to the face. Jazz is in just as fast and leaves Grace hanging on a tag (how rude) but suplexes Nevaeh down. The neck crank doesn’t last long as Nevaeh makes the comeback in a hurry. A double tag brings in Havok to powerbomb Grace for two as everything breaks down. The Tombstone finishes Jazz at 9:49 to send Havok and Nevaeh to Hard to Kill.
Rating: C-. This tournament has been ok at best and it isn’t exactly thrilling when the finals wind up being two of the only regular teams in the whole thing. Granted I’d rather have that than two random teams who have no history fighting for some historic titles. Grace continues to look like a star, but this was the right choice.
Rich Swann and the Motor City Machine Guns aren’t impressed by Kenny Omega and the Good Brothers. This company was founded on people like the three of them (Swann was 11 years old when the company was founded) and they aren’t letting this happen. Swann talks about how the letters on this title doesn’t say AEW because it says Impact Wrestling World Champion. They’re going to show the three of them that pain is temporary but pride is forever. Shelley is ready to go fight right now so they head to the parking lot.
After walking around security (It took them a month to figure that out?), the trio gets jumped from behind by Omega and the Good Brothers, with Callis shouting a lot. Omega says they were easy to kill and gets in a few more stomps before heading back onto the bus. In other words, Omega and company again look like the smart ones while the good guys are presented as complete morons.
Jazz asks Grace what happened but Grace says it was her fault. Everything is ok and Grace praises Jazz for being awesome. They should face each other at Genesis and the match is on. Grace wasn’t exactly great on the talking here.
Deonna Purrazzo and Kimber Lee ask James Mitchell if he has taken care of Su Yung. Cue…..Susan, who wears glasses and a business suit. Our villains aren’t sure what to do.
Moose vs. Matthew Palmer
Non-title with a three minute time limit. Palmer slugs away to start but gets planted with a standing Rock Bottom (as Josh puts it). The slow beating continues as we’re already down to a minute and a half left. Palmer is tossed around but gets in a jumping knee to the face. Moose kicks him in the face and loads up the spear but here’s Willie Mack for a distraction, allowing the clock to run out at 3:00.
Rating: D. You can only get so much out of something like this and they did a fine enough job of advancing Mack vs. Moose by having Moose humiliated. Palmer was any warm body here and that’s all he needed to be. I’m still not sure what the endgame is with Moose as TNA World Champion and the longer it goes, the more I don’t think Impact knows either.
Ethan Page is on a psychiatrist’s couch but the doctor keeps speaking in what sound like motivational poster cliches. Page thinks everyone around here is out to get him and yells at the doctor for not listening. It’s Karate Man, who calls Page a b****. They argue a bit and the match is made for Hard To Kill.
Here’s what’s coming at Genesis, Hard To Kill and next week.
Eddie Edwards vs. Sami Callihan
They start fighting during the entrances with Sami getting in a few chair shots. Eddie is back with some headbutts but chops the post by mistake. Sami steps over him for a low blow and we take a break before the bell. Back with Eddie getting in his own chair shot as the bell still hasn’t rung. Sami grabs the timekeeper’s hammer and knocks the chair into Eddie’s head.
The chair is thrown at Eddie’s head but Eddie headbutts his way out of a suplex through said chair. Eddie charges into a t-bone suplex through the chair though and they finally head inside for the bell. The slugout is on but Eddie shoves the referee down, allowing Sami to get in some more shots. They rake each others’ eyes and the referee is knocked down again, drawing the double DQ at 1:13.
Post match Eddie grabs Sami’s bat and stalks him but Sami pulls out the hacking phone to show Alisha Edwards trapped in a cage. Eddie goes after her but it’s Ken Shamrock jumping him from behind. Sami comes in and they wrap Eddie in barbed wire for a baseball bat shot to the face. Alisha is blamed as the villains leave to end the show. I really could go with this feud being done for good already as it isn’t quite as epic as Impact thinks it is.
Overall Rating: C-. The AEW addition to the show is rapidly dwindling in value as this show is becoming AEW’s playground. It’s starting to feel like when New Japan would come to Ring of Honor and that’s not a good idea. The rest of the show was the usual hit or miss effort, as there isn’t a big story or feud to point to at the moment. The show is just kind of coming and going most weeks as AEW is treated like this divine intervention that only serves the other company. Not a terrible show, but the sooner Omega and pals are gone, the better it is likely to be.
Crazzy Steve b. KC Navarro, Ace Austin and Blake Christian – Middle rope DDT to Navarro
Cody Deaner/Joe Doering b. Cousin Jake/Rhino – Deaner DDT to Jake
Havok/Nevaeh b. Jazz/Jordynne Grace – Tombstone to Jazz
Matthew Palmer b. Moose – Time expired
Eddie Edwards vs. Sami Callihan went to a double DQ when the referee was knocked down
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