History was made on tonight’s episode of Impact when All Elite Wrestling’s reigning world champion Kenny Omega appeared on the show, cutting a promo with Impact Executive Vice-President Don Callis. And while many (arguably, most) eyes were on the show just to see that unfold, there was still a lot of homegrown action to deal with, on the last show before this Saturday’s Final Resolution event.


The show started with highlights from the main event of this past week’s AEW Dynamite, showing how Don Callis helped Kenny Omega win the championship. Then, they showed an aerial shot of a tour bus arriving to the Skyway Studios. Josh Mathews advises that he will be conducting an interview on the bus later tonight.


Match 1: Josh Alexander (w/ Ethan Page) vs. Chris Sabin (w/ Alex Shelley)

The match started off with a nice sequence where Sabin outwrestled Alexander, but eventually he got caught and dropped hard. Alexander followed that up with some big knees to the gut and a backbreaker, and then punished Sabin with some stomps, chops, and kicks. Sabin was able to get his second wind, and tried for a few quick rollups, but couldn’t keep Alexander down, so Sabin turned up the efforts with a big flying dive to the entrance ramp. But then he got caught in a hurancarana attempt and Alexander turned it into a big backbreaker, and followed that up with a huge overhead suplex. Sabin still wouldn’t stay down, though, and hit a missile dropkick and a Shining Wizard, to no avail. Alexander powered up and hit a huge Ripcord Elbow. He was going for another, but Ethan Page yelled out some unsolicited advice from the floor, distracting Josh. This allowed Sabin to roll up an unsuspecting Alexander for the win.


This was a good match to kick off the show. It went longer than most Impact matches, which allowed the story to breathe, and showcase how good these guys are. The ending continued to build the dissent between The North, which will likely come to a head this Saturday on the Final Resolution Impact+ special, where Page wrestles Karl Anderson for a chance at a Tag Team Championship match.

Winner: Chris Sabin

Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne ran down the Omega-Callis situation and teased the upcoming interview with Omega.

Chris Bey wanted to talk over strategy with Moose, his partner in tonight’s match against Willie Mack and Rich Swann. Moose wasn’t in a talking mood, and gave notice to Bey that if Bey wins the World Championship against Swann on Saturday, Moose would be coming for him.

AEW CEO Tony Khan and commentator Tony Schiavone did a pre-taped video. Khan said that he was paying for advertising time on the show, and didn’t seem to harbour any ill-will towards Omega for what happened on Wednesday, or for showing up on Impact. He then invited Impact fans to check out tomorrow’s episode of Dynamite, and ran down some of the announced matches, and put over his roster. He mentioned the speculation that he was thinking of buying Impact, and put over himself. Lastly, he invited Don Callis to show up tomorrow. Khan seemed like a real nerdy mark here, and Schiavone looked like he would rather be anywhere else with anyone else.

Match 2: Brian Myers vs. TJP

Early on, TJP out-quicked Myers, giving him control. He locked on a nifty Mock Crab submission, but Myers got to the ropes. Myers then sucker-punched TJP and took control. TJP puzzled him with a top rope headstand, frustrating Myers, and then hit him with an attack off the apron. TJP tried for another high attack, but Myers shoved him off the turnbuckle and to the floor, as we headed into a commercial. Back from the break, and TJP hit a big Tornado DDT to turn things around. TJP hit a Springboard Press, and then the Three Amigos. Myers avoided the Mamba Splash, and hit a Flatliner for two.  TJP sidestepped a running charge and locked on another knee submission, but again Myers got to the ropes. TJP hit another Suplex, but ate knees when going for a Mamba Splash. Myers was too ineffective to capitalize, though, and he found himself back in the submission. This time, out of desperation, he pushed the referee onto TJP, which broke the hold. As TJP shook off the ref, he was prone for a big Lariat that put him down for the pin.

Bad ending here, since Myers clearly should have been disqualified for manhandling the referee who was looking right at him when Myers made the shove. If they were looking to impress AEW fans by showcasing their star power, putting Myers on the show is a weird way to do it. By which I mean, it’s the complete opposite way to do it.

Winner: Brian Myers

Backstage, Cousin Jake tried to motivate Cody Deaner for his match against Eric Young. Cody said that he had something to prove tonight, so he made Jake promise that he wouldn’t get involved, even if Joe Doering tried to help Young.

During the ad break, there was a commercial for CaraMiaBras, and I think they should consider playing Nikolai Volkov’s rendition of “Cara Mia” from The Wrestling Album as the background music. I’d buy one if they did.

Backstage, Rohit Raju mocked TJP about losing to Myers, and boasted about being the X-Division Champion. Raju said that anyone except TJP would be eligible to participate in his “Defeat Rohit” Open Challenge on Saturday. TJP cryptically wished Raju luck on Saturday.


Match 3: Eric Young (w/ Joe Doering) vs. Cody Deaner (w/ Cousin Jake)

Deaner walked out holding a beer bottle, which may not have been the best choice, since it took away from his seriousness in his backstage promo. He rushed Young at the bell and after a brief exchange, took over with big stomps. Young avoided a big running shoulder, and Deaner hit the ringpost hard. Young then went on the offense, dropping Cody with a Fireman Slam and then a big running elbow. Deaner got fired up and went into Giv’er mode, hitting a couple of big clotheslines and planting Young with a slam. Deaner climbed the ropes, but turned his head when Doering flinched towards him. This was simply to buy Young time, and when Deaner went for a Flying Headbutt, Young moved, and Deaner hit hard. Deaner was shook up and staggering, and after a Piledriver by Young, that was all she wrote.


After the match, Doering joined Young in the ring to beat down Cody. Cousin Jake came in to stop them, but Doering dropped him with a Death Valley Driver and a huge lariat. They were going to end the Deaners with stereo Piledrivers, but Rhino ran in with a steel chair and chased them off.

This was a bit of a disappointment. The match was good for the short while it lasted. But after the intense promo by Deaner last week – and knowing how good these guys can be – it felt way too short and, frankly, too one-sided. This could have been a good opportunity to let Cody have a breakout moment, but instead, it just reinforced him at the same level.

Winner: Eric Young

Backstage, Tommy Dreamer was calming down John E. Bravo who was looking for revenge on Larry D for shooting him. Dreamer confronted Larry and his partner Acey Romero. Larry challenged Dreamer to a match this Saturday, with his freedom on the line. Dreamer accepted. And because everyone was thinking it, they even lampshaded the ludicrous premise that an attempted murderer could walk away a free man simply by winning a wrestling match.

After that, Dreamer went into Impact Executive Vice-President Scott D’Amore’s office and expressed his concern about the Omega situation. Dreamer said that having another company’s stars on their show sends a bad message to the locker room and only helps to serve the best interests of the selfish Don Callis. D’Amore disagreed, putting over Omega as the hottest thing in wrestling, and said that Dreamer should just enjoy the ride like everyone else.


Match 4: Deonna Purrazzo and Kimber Lee vs. Taya Valkyrie and Rosemary – First-round match in the Knockouts Tag Team Championship tournament

Rosemary tried to play mind games on Purrazzo, but the Knockouts Champion tried to stick to business, looking to weaken Rosemary’s arm for one of her specialty submissions. Taya didn’t fare much better when she and Lees squared off early on. And then she got trapped in Lee and Purrazzo’s corner, where she was easy pickings. They alternated in beating down Taya, until Taya was able to make her stand, knocking down Lee with a big forearm smash, and getting the tag to Rosemary. Rosemary beat up both opponents, nearly getting the pin on Purrazzo after a huge throw. But Purrazzo’s technique was strong, and she dropped Rosemary with a spinning driver. The ref lost control and all four women started brawling in the ring. A neat moment saw Purrazzo and Rosemary use leg whips on their opponents, sending them each crash down in the splits, where they started exchanging punches.


Purrazzo accidentally kicked her own partner in the face when Taya ducked the boot, and Lee was down. Rosemary and Taya dispatched of Purrazzo, and then Rosemary sent Lee Straight to Hell to get the pin.

This was good overall. It made sense to advance Taya and Rosemary, since Purrazzo is already involved in a championship program with Su Yung. And if she gets past her, then they could be building towards a jealousy angle with Lee that could have started with the accidental kick here.

Winners: Taya Valkyrie and Rosemary

Backstage, Tenille Dashwood and her cameraman Kaleb were with Alisha Edwards. Dashwood wanted to talk about a photo shoot, but Alisha wasn’t interested, because she was still upset about the beating that her husband Eddie had taken at the hands of Sami Callihan and Ken Shamrock. She said that she didn’t have time for them and stormed off. In response, they kicked Alisha out of their club.

Elsewhere, Purrazzo and Lee complained to D’Amore about all of the matches she had to participate in recently in both the singles and tag division. D’Amore sarcastically sympathized with her, and said that since she no longer had to compete in the tag tournament, she should be able to focus on defending her singles title. Against Rosemary. On Saturday. When will the heels learn that they shouldn’t complain to D’Amore, because he only makes things worse for them?

Sami Callihan was in the ring, brandishing his baseball bat. He put himself over as being the most important part of Impact Wrestling, in no small part because of the attention he got the company after he demolished Edwards’ face with a baseball bat some months back. They showed the clip, but strategically cut away from it right before the killing blow. He bragged about it and trash-talked Edwards. He asked to roll the footage of his most recent attack on Edwards, but instead, Alisha Edwards came onto the entrance ramp. Sami threatened her, and as they verbally sparred, Eddie slid into the ring and attacked Sami from behind. Eddie was able to get Sami’s bat, and Sami high-tailed it out of there before Eddie could use it.

Backstage, Alisha said that Eddie owed her a favour now that she’d helped him with Sami.


Match 4: Chris Bey and Moose vs. Willie Mack and Impact World Champion Rich Swann

Moose is still carrying around the TNA World Heavyweight Champion, which Josh Mathews pointed out still has no official standing in the company. Bey and Swann dazzled with some quick dives and reversals in the opening seconds, leading to an even steven standoff heading into the break, less than a minute into it. Returning from break, the big boys were in there, with Mack in control over Moose after a big splash and a senton splash in the corner. Moose had enough of that  and slammed Mack down hard with a pair of Uranage Throws before Powerbombing his own partner Bey on to Mack. Moose then hammered Mack with punches and stomps, allowing Bey to get in his shots too, but making it clear who was the boss of the team. Moose got a bit cocky, though, and when he spent time trash-talking Swann, Mack was able to get the tag. He ate an early slam by Moose, but was able to fire up and take charge, nearly getting a pin after hitting a Hurancarana that sent Bey flying onto his partner.

Then things picked up and all four men hit potential finishers. The end of that sequence saw Moose hit a huge Spear on Mack. Instead of going for the pin, though, he mounted Mack and dropped a series of hammer fists. Swann charged Moose and they spilled to the floor. So Bey, seeing Mack laid out, simply lay on top of him for the easy pin.

This was good, with everyone getting to shine a bit. Mack continues to just be in the main event scene without being treated as a main event player. But the other three got to show why they’re all in the title picture. Based on this, it looks that Swann will beat Bey on Saturday, and then have to deal with Moose next. Impact gets some criticism for not having champions that look larger-than-life, so Moose may be the one person who could refute that argument.

Winners: Chris Bey and Moose

As Rich Swann was leaving the building, he was stopped by security, who said that only people on the champion’s list could use that exit door. Swann was understandably ticked when he learned that the champion being referred to was Kenny Omega. Speaking of Kenny, this schlub of a security guard looked exactly like Kenny Powers from Eastbound & Down.


Kenny Omega & Don Callis Interview

Josh Mathews boarded Kenny Omega’s tour bus for his interview, and they emerged from the back room, with the AEW title. Don said they would showcase some history by allowing Josh to see them change the nameplate on the title from Jon Moxley’s to Kenny’s.

Mathews questioned Callis about how long he and Kenny were in cahoots. Callis said it had been planned for 27 years, when Callis was trained by Kenny’s uncle “The Golden Sheik.” He and Kenny became family back then, and Don became Kenny’s “Invisible Hand.” Don ran through all of the key events of Kenny’s career, and said that everything that had gone down was part of their plan. Callis said that he and Omega were changing the industry.

Josh asked if they felt that the way Kenny won the title hurts Kenny’s legacy. Kenny put himself over in his inimitable whiny promo style. Kenny said that he was a hobbyist and that he had no problem coming to Impact, and teased wanting to possibly compete for an Impact title as well.

They said that they would be making some kind of big announcement on Dynamite tomorrow, cryptically dropping the hint “Lex Luger,” and ended the interview.

Kenny would benefit by not talking at all, and simply letting Callis – who was tremendous as usual –  do it for him.  That said, this segment was really good. If it’s the beginning of something more between the two companies – which we may find out tomorrow – then this was a good way to kick it off. And even if it was only a one-off, it still was done really well. Time will tell.


Impact Wrestling - December 8, 2020

Impact Zone - Nashville, TN

While most of the discussion will be about the Kenny Omega / AEW tie-in, the Impact components of the Impact broadcast largely delivered. Josh Alexander and Chris Sabin had a great match, and the main event was solid as well. In terms of setting up this Saturday’s special event, the show did its job well, even if that gets overshadowed.