Impact Wrestling – February 23, 2021: The Russo Style
Date: February 23, 2021
Location: Skyway Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: D’Lo Brown, Matt Striker
We’re still starting the build to Rebellion but first up we need to get through another Impact Plus special. Things have changed around here though as for once that does not sound like the worst thing. I’m not sure what to expect here but last week’s show was not the strongest in the world. Let’s get to it.
Here are last week’s results if you need a recap.
Jake Something vs. Deaner
Tables match. Deaner goes straight for the bite to the nose as commentary actually tries to compare the two of them. Jake is right back with a running clothesline to the back of the head and it’s time for the first table. That takes a little too long though and the table is dropkicked into Jake’s face. Jake fights back and puts the table over the middle rope in the corner, setting up a Michinoku Driver….in the middle of the ring instead of near the table.
Back up and Deaner avoids a charge to send Jake throat first into the edge of the table. Another table is bridged between the ring and the barricade and they fight to the apron. Jake is knocked to the floor and Deaner tries a flip dive, but Jake pulls it out of the air. With that broken up, Deaner rams the edge of the bridged table into Jake’s chest.
Deaner goes up top but Jake catches him, only to have Deaner escape a superplex attempt. A hair mare brings Jake down but he’s right back with a sitout powerbomb. A powerslam off the steps is broken up so they head to the stage. The Deaner DDT is broken up as well, followed by a powerbomb being escaped as well. Jake staggers down the aisle so Deaner charges….right into a Black Hole Slam to give Jake the win at 9:41.
Rating: C. This was a decent enough tables match and I’m rather impressed by what the Deaners could pull off, as they went from insufferable to this in just a few months. I’m not needing to see these two again and Jake Something is the most indy name you could ask for, but at least they did something nice enough here.
Post match here’s Moose to drive Jake through a table. Moose sits in a chair and says there is not going to be a show until Rich Swann comes out here. Post break, Moose is still waiting but here’s Scott D’Amore instead. Moose isn’t leaving, even when D’Amore says Swann isn’t in the building. Cue Jake Something, with Moose telling him not to do this. D’Amore likes the idea though and yeah we will have a World Title match tonight because the TNA World Title is officially recognized again.
Commentary goes over what’s coming tonight.
Trey Miguel/Willie Mack/Josh Alexander vs. Chris Bey/Ace Austin/Black Taurus
The winning team faces each other in a triple threat match next week to crown a new #1 contender (that’s quite Russoish). Bey and Miguel start, with Striker saying they are the aces of the teams. As you try to get your head around that one, Trey takes Bey down by the arm to start. It’s quickly off to Austin, with Striker not bothering to call him the Ace. Trey sends him into the corner so Mack can send him into the corner as well.
Austin slips out of the swinging slam and it’s Taurus coming in for the battle of the jumps/flips. A hurricanrana puts Taurus down and there’s a dropkick into the corner. Alexander comes in for a Regal Roll but has to knock an invading Bey off the apron. That lets Taurus get up for some chops in the corner but Alexander is right back with his own. Taurus pops up and runs the corner for a twisting flip dive to drop Alexander though and we take a break.
Back with Bey’s running hurricanrana being countered into a powerbomb backbreaker to give Alexander a breather. That’s enough for the hot tag to Miguel to pick up the pace, including a jumping elbow to Austin’s back for two. Everything breaks down with Alexander taking Bey down with a dive. Mack plants Austin and goes up, only to get crotched on top. The Fold drops Mack again but Miguel and Alexander make the double save.
A huge backbreaker plants Miguel but Alexander is right back up with a German suplex to Taurus. Austin counters the ankle lock and Bey plants Alexander with a slingshot DDT. Mack takes Bey down but has to bail out of the Six Star. A heck of a dropkick into the corner sets up the Art of Finesse to finish Mack at 10:50. Striker: “FINALLY!”
Rating: B-. Good action as expected, but I’m trying to figure out the FINALLY. What’s worthy of a finally? Bey, who has already been X-Division Champion, has beaten Mack before and it’s not like it’s some big rivalry. Anyway, if Bey and company were going to win, Mack was the only one to take the fall so this works well enough. As per tradition, the X-Division works rather well.
The winners argue over who should win the triple threat.
A frustrated Trey Miguel walks to the back and Sami Callihan is waiting on him. Callihan asks if Trey is going to give up again but Trey jumps him.
Flashback Moment of the Week: Decay retains the Tag Team Titles over the BroMans at Slammiversary 2016.
Decay talks about how they have been gone for a long time but now it is time for the resurrection of the death dealers. Without death there is no light and they are nature’s pestilence. This felt a lot better than anything the three of them have done in a long time.
AEW’s Tony Schiavone and Tony Khan, this time flanked by a bunch of AEW wrestlers, including Team Taz, Britt Baker, Matt Hardy and more, are glad to be doing more charity work. Khan (who Schiavone calls the Forbidden Door) refers to himself as the Biggest Mark In Professional Wrestling and the wrestlers cut mini promos about how they are ready for their matches this week. Schiavone gives us a more traditional rundown.
Nevaeh tells Havok that she needs some time away and won’t listen to Havok trying to talk her out of it. Nevaeh leaves and here are Kaleb With A K (in a neck brace) and Tenille Dashwood to propose a new team with Havok. That’s a big negative, but Kaleb With A K thinks there’s chemistry.
XXXL vs. Good Brothers
Non-title. Larry runs Anderson over to start but gets sent into the corner for a fall away slam from Gallows. It’s off to Romero, with Striker talking about how Romero looks like Adrian Adonis. With that image out of the way, Romero drives Anderson into the corner and brings Larry back in to choke on the ropes. We hit the chinlock on Anderson but he jawbreaks his way to freedom. The hot tag brings in Gallows and house is cleaned. The Magic Killer finishes Larry at 5:55.
Rating: D+. Pretty much just a workout for the Brothers here, though the Magic Killer on someone Larry’s size was impressive. I can go for seeing a match like this and XXXL have just enough status to make it mean something. If nothing else it meant I didn’t have to hear the Brothers talking and that’s a plus.
We go to Swinger’s Palace, where James Storm and Chris Sabin are making money but Rohit Raju comes in and takes the card they need, costing them a lot of money. Storm is ready to fight but Sabin says this isn’t happening because he loves Swinger’s Palace. A match is set up between Raju and Storm for later.
The Good Bros ask FinJuice about their beers but FinJuice points out that it took them a bit to beat XXXL. FinJuice talk about how great the Brothers are but make a few jokes so Gallows has to hold Anderson back.
Eddie Edwards vs. Brian Myers
Hold on though as Myers comes out in street clothes. Myers has retained a lawyer and is accusing Impact for an unsafe working environment over his eye injury. Therefore Myers can’t wrestle so here’s a replacement.
Eddie Edwards vs. Hernandez
Eddie dives onto Hernandez before the bell and they get inside to get things going. Hernandez is knocked to the floor but cuts off a dive by sweeping the legs, sending Edwards back first into the apron. Myers gets in a few shots to the face and there’s the big shoulder to send Edwards flying. Eddie catches Hernandez on top though and it’s a superplex to bring them back down. The Border Toss is loaded up but Eddie gets out and goes up, meaning it’s a middle rope Boston Knee Party for the pin at 2:30.
Post break Matt Cardona comes up to Brian Myers, who doesn’t want to hear it. Scott D’Amore comes in to say he has talked to the lawyer, See, that contract is rather technical and the clause they use says Myers has to be cleared by an Impact doctor….and he has been so next week it’s Myers vs. Edwards in an Eye For An Eye match. And Cardona can referee! Myers protests and OF COURSE we aren’t doing an Eye For An Eye match because that would be stupid. The company that had a reality show, a whodunit over a split personality and a casino is complaining about something being ridiculous?
Kimber Lee/Susan vs. Jordynne Grace/Jazz
For the #1 contendership to the Tag Team Titles and Deonna Purrazzo is here with Lee and Susan. Jazz flips her way out of Susan’s waistlock and Gator Rolls her for a bonus. Some crossface forearms keep Susan in trouble but Purrazzo grabs Jazz’s leg for a distraction. Cue ODB to jump Purrazzo and that’s good for an ejection as we take a break. Back with Jazz fighting out of a chinlock but getting caught before she can get over to Grace. Forearms in the corner set up Susan’s chinlock to keep Jazz down.
Another comeback attempt is cut off so it’s back to Lee, who is headbutted down in a hurry. Grace gets the tag to clean house and Lee is knocked to the floor. A double gordbuster gets two on Susan and there’s a torture rack to make it even worse. Susan slips out so Grace plants her again with a German suplex. A poke to the eye sets up an ankle lock on Grace, who powers out in a hurry and finishes with the Grace Driver at 10:48.
Rating: C-. The Knockouts Tag Team Titles continue to be a bit of a problem as there are a lot of people involved in the division but there is little reason to have them team up other than they have to. That was the case with Grace and Jazz, but at least Susan and Lee are in the same group. That isn’t quite enough to warrant a team, but you kind of have to deal with it in a division like this.
ODB has been attacked and Grace/Jazz think it was Deonna Purrazzo.
Here’s what’s coming next week.
TNA World Title: Moose vs. Jake Something
Moose is defending but Jake jumps him from behind and literally steals the spotlight during his entrance. They fight on the floor and we take a break, coming back with nothing seeming to have changed. Jake throws him in for the opening bell, with Moose saying bring it on. Moose hits a running charge in the corner and starts choking on the ropes, followed by the trash talking chop in the corner. Jake’s face is sent into the apron and his ribs are sent into the barricade so Moose can chill for a bit inside.
Back in and Jake grabs the wrist for a series of clotheslines. A big one turns Moose inside out but he’s right back up to walk into the Michinoku Driver for two. Jake goes up but Moose nails him with a good dropkick and the top rope superplex is good for the double knockdown. The spear is countered into a sitout powerbomb for two and they’re both down. They get back up for the big slugout with Moose nailing a pump kick. A release Rock Bottom sets up a release Rock Bottom into the discus lariat to knock Jake silly. Now the spear can retain at 6:51.
Rating: C. Jake looked good here and while I’m still not wild on the rather indy name, it was nice to see someone fresh getting to showcase themselves. It was a good power brawl and while the ending wasn’t in doubt, at least they offered a new name in the main event. Now if only Jake can get away from Violent By Design, he might be able to jump up the ladder a bit.
Post match Moose grabs the chair but Rich Swann runs in for the save. Referees break it up so here’s Scott D’Amore to make the title match at Sacrifice on March 13. Striker: “When you make a deal with the devil, you cannot negotiate the price.”
Overall Rating: C. This was a perfectly serviceable show which had some acceptable matches and moved some stories forward. At the same time though there is nothing worth going out of your way to see and Striker was his usual annoying self. In other words, it’s right in the middle and that is kind of an upgrade for the show. The lack of annoying stuff helped a lot too, though I have no reason to believe it won’t be there again next week.
Jake Something b. Deaner – Spinebuster through a table
Chris Bey/Ace Austin/Black Taurus b. Josh Alexander/Willie Mack/Trey Miguel – Art of Finesse to Mack
Good Brothers b. XXXL – Magic Killer to Larry D.
Eddie Edwards b. Hernandez – Middle rope Boston Knee Party
Jordynne Grace/Jazz b. Kimber Lee/Susan – Grace Driver to Susan
Moose b. Jake Something – Lights Out
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Jake Something might be the worst wrestling name I have ever heard and I am not being facetious.
It’s fine for an indy name, but as so many indy wrestlers/mainstream promotions don’t get: there is a big difference between indy wrestling and national television.