After Saturday’s Hard to Kill event, the big question is whether the AEW-Impact crossover would fade away, or whether it would get amped up. Well, that question seemed to be answered tonight in a big way, with Private Party declaring their intentions to capture the Impact Tag Team Championships, and Tony Khan invading Impact’s home studio to wave his company’s banner on enemy territory.
With the commentators referring to AEW as “invaders” and making references to wrestling “wars” throughout to shows, better get ready, everyone. Because it looks like the fun is just getting started.
The show started with a clip that was filmed after the PPV on Saturday. Don Callis met with Kenny Omega and the Good Brothers after their match to congratulate them on the win, and bring them to the hotel for the celebration party. As they left, Callis returned to address the viewers. He said that the four of them are already planning for what’s coming next. But while that entails some work to be done in Jacksonville, Don and Kenny will be taking a hiatus from Impact for a little while.
Match 1: Eric Young (w/ Joe Doering and Deaner) vs. Rhino (w/ Cousin Jake)
Rhino bullied Young in the opening minute, and when Young tried to bail, Jake threw him back in the ring where Rhino continued to beat him up. A thumb to the eye and a low blow by Young turned things around, and cheap shots by Deaner from the outside helped ground the big man. But then Young missed a flying elbow, and Rhino was able to get back on his feet. He hit Young with some big power moves, and then set up for a GORE GORE GORE, but the rest of Violent By Design distracted the ref and took shots at Rhino’s leg. Young capitalized on his injured leg by locking on a Figure Four Leglock, and Rhino had no choice but to tap. After the match, VBD continued the attack, beat up Jake, and Pillmanized Rhino’s leg.
This was a short match that was really just the set-up for the post-match attack, which was good.
Winner: Eric Young
Another clip from after the show on Saturday. Moose walked in on Rich Swann who was being interviewed by Gia Miller. Moose was going to comment on the match, but instead attacked an unsuspecting Swann and threw him into the wall. He told Swann that he’d kept his promise to be a good teammate for the match. But now that the match is over, he was coming for Swann’s title.
In a quick video reply, Swann said he would give Moose a title shot tonight.
Backstage, Acey Romero and John E. Bravo showed Tommy Dreamer the bottle of Ring Rust cologne he seized from the Knockouts locker room on Saturday. He presented his theory that Larry D was framed for shooting Bravo, and said that he dusted the bottle for prints to prove who did it.
The Good Brothers came to the ring. They cut a promo about how good they were, and said they would keep the tag titles as long as they wanted to. This brought out Chris Sabin, who said that since neither he nor Shelley were pinned in the match where they lost the titles, the Motor City Machine Guns were still number one contenders, and they wanted a title rematch. The Brothers said that he would have to wait until he had a partner, since Shelly isn’t there. Sabin said he had one, and brought out “Cowboy” James Storm. Alcohol and guns are apparently a great combination.
Then – holy crap! AEW’s Matt Hardy and his clients Private Party came out to the ring. Hardy dissed both teams, and demanded a title shot for his team, bringing up the fact that he and Jeff never lost the titles, as they were stripped from them in “some stupid teleportation angle,” so technically he still had a claim to them. The Good Brothers suggested that Private Party take on Sabin and Harris later tonight, with the winner getting a title shot. Everyone was good here, especially Storm and Hardy.
— B/R Wrestling (@BRWrestling) January 20, 2021
Backstage, Gia Miller interviewed Matt Cardona who debuted in Impact on Saturday. He said he came to Impact to get an opportunity and to prove he and his fans right.
Elsewhere, Fire and Flava (Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz) tried to sell tickets to their championship celebration – dubbed Fire & Flava Festival – to Tenille Dashwood and Kaleb. They declined, and then Johnny Swinger showed up, and they tried to sell him some too. He didn’t have any money, even though he was the last person to have possession of the stolen wad of cash, which was part of a silly storyline that should have been dropped the same night it started, but has now gone on for about six months. Fallah Bahh came up, and then Brian Myers did too, as if this couldn’t get any worse. Bahh and Myers started jawing at each other and agreed to have a match.
Match 2: Kimber Lee and Susan (w/ Deonna Purrazzo) vs. Jordynne Grace and Jazz
Despite being rushed by their opponents at the bell, Grace and Jazz’s strength allowed them to take early control. But a cheap shot by Lee on the floor stunned Grace, and soon she was in trouble. Susan and Lee double-teamed her for some time, but Grace eventually fought her way back to her corner and tagged Jazz. At this point, the referee lost all control, and he didn’t see Purrazzo clock Jazz in the back of the head with the championship belt, knocking her silly and prone for a pin by Susan.
The match was good, with some nice hard-hitting offence by Grace, but the ending wasn’t great. The referee seemed to lose track of who was legal and as a result, the ending seemed too cluttered and not as effective.
Winners: Kimber Lee and Susan
Backstage, Gia asked Taya Valkyrie what was next for her. Taya was answering, but John E. Bravo stormed in and accused her of being the one who framed Larry D. She denied it, but Dreamer and Acey joined in and presented their findings, including noting it was her fingerprints on the cologne bottle and on the gun. Faced with the evidence, she came clean. She said she was trying to prevent Rosemary from marrying Bravo because he’s useless, and the only regret she had was that he didn’t die. Harsh.
Dreamer called in the police and they arrested her. They dropped some funny references to where she may end up, taking digs at WWE and even a drive-by swipe at ROH. Rosemary stopped the cops from throwing her out of the building. They had a tearful goodbye hug, and the cops took Taya away. Crazzy Steve consoled Rosemary, and then they walked away all angry like.
AEW President Tony Khan did another paid ad – along with Jerry F’n Lynn! They said they would be watching the show closely tonight to watch Private Party’s match. They then ran down tomorrow’s AEW lineup. Jerry Lynn, for the record, looks younger than he did when he was wrestling.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 20, 2021
Impact World Champion Rich Swann came to the ring. He said that he felt the pressure on Saturday when he had to lead the company into war. He said that with Kenny Omega out of the picture for now, he now had time to settle his issues with Moose. Moose made his way down to the ring. Moose said that their issues would only be settled when Moose got a title shot. Swann said that he was ready to defend the title right then and there, but Moose said it would be on his time. Swann insisted on fighting the and took the first shot. They brawled, and Swann battered Moose who scurried away.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 20, 2021
Rohit Raju barged into Executive Vice-President Scott D’Amore’s office, and TJP walked in afterwards, carrying the X-Division Championship. D’Amore basically mocked Raju, admitting that everyone knew TJP was Manik all along, and they knowingly screwed over TJP. Raju demanded a title opportunity, so Scott told him he had a match in two weeks. After Raju left, Scott and TJP laughed over the fact that the match would be non-title.
Alisha Edwards was sitting with Fire and Flava in the back, and they said she could be the announcer at Fire & Flava Festival. Referee Brandon Tolle walked in, and they put a hard-sell on him. Havok and Nevaeh walked up from behind them and said they wanted to be in the ring for the festival, but Steelz and Hogan rushed out of there.
Match 3: Brian Myers vs. Fallah Bahh
Bahh dominated early on, nearly getting pins after a legdrop, a big cross body, and then a belly-to-belly suplex. Myers used the top rope to guillotine Bahh and when the big man hit the mat, Myers kept him down with stomps and a big headlock. Bahh suplexed his way out of that, and hit a series of chops, an Avalanche, and a running butt splash. Myers faked being poked in the eye when Bahh went for his No, No, No taunt, and when the ref was busy checking, Myers used some craftiness to low blow Bahh. A clothesline later, and it was over.
This was about as good as any Myers match, which is to say, not particularly good. Bahh could be booked stronger given his size and ability, but he’s hampered by his comedic character.
Winner: Brian Myers
Gia Miller interviewed Ace Austin and Mad Man Fulton. Austin insulted both Josh Alexander and Matt Cardona. Alexander barged in and said that he would teach Austin a lesson. He shoved Austin, and was hit from behind by Fulton. They double-teamed him until Cardona ran in for the save, sending Austin and Fulton skedaddling.
Doctor Ross was checking on Eddie Edwards, and suggested that Edwards not participate in any future barbed wire matches. Brian Myers barged in and demanded his eye be looked at. He insulted Edwards, so Eddie challenged him to a match next week.
They announced the following for next week: Joe Doering vs. Cousin Jake; Josh Alexander and Matt Cardona vs. Ace Austin and Mad Man Fulton; Tenille Dashwood vs. Rosemary; and the Fire & Flava Fest.
Match 4: Chris Sabin and “Cowboy” James Storm vs. Private Party (Isaih Kassidy & Marq Quen) (w/ Matt Hardy) – for the #1 contendership to the Tag Team Championships
Sabin and Kassidy started off with a sweet ECW-style stalemate in action too quick to call, and the speediness continued when Quen was tagged in. Storm slowed down the momentum with his more methodical power-based style. But a couple of kicks to the head sent him tumbling to the floor.
He landed just in time to see Jerry Lynn and Tony Khan pull up a couple of chairs so they could sit ringside for the match.
Private Party took it to Storm, using their quick tags to wallop away at Storm, keeping him isolated in their corner for several minutes, and hitting him with rapid-fire double-team moves. Storm eventually muscled up and got the team to Sabin, who was on fire. He struck hard, including nailing Quen with a big missile dropkick to the back of the head, that nearly got him the win. Sabin and Storm worked well as a team, hitting a nice combo slingshot-Backstabber move.
The match must have been contested under AEW’s tag team rules, because the ref lost all control, and all four men were fighting at the same time, coming in and out without tagging, and basically making it a Texas Tornado match – typical AEW chaos.
While he was busy not enforcing the rules, he was distracted by Matt Hardy. So didn’t see Jerry Lynn jump over the guardrail and grab Chris Sabin’s foot when he was trying to climb to the top to put Kassidy away. This allowed Private Party to hit Gin & Juice to get the win.
GIN AND JUICE GETS THE WIN.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 20, 2021
After the match, the Good Brothers came out on the entrance ramp and applauded Private Party’s win. They entered the ring and had a stare-down with Private Party. Storm and Sabin were ticked, and they attacked, and the show ended with all six men brawling.
This was a good match and a good closing segment to the show. Private Party put on a good match, and Sabin and Storm have the right experience in tag team wrestling that they could keep things at the right pace, letting Private Party get in the right number of spots without going too far, and still put on a very good match. The match was a good set-up for the broader war, and if this one is any indication, this could be a great time to be an Impact Wrestling fan.
Winners: Private Party
Impact Wrestling - January 19, 2021
Skyway Studios - Nashville, TN
This show was pretty much a build-up for the broader invasion storyline. What will be important for Impact is to leverage the storyline to elevate their own roster members. Otherwise, as was the case for a lot of the Impact material tonight, they may simply feel like filler, which would be completely counter-productive. That said, the invasion storyline was kicked off in a big way, and was very well-done.