Tuesday night’s episode of Impact saw a few changes made to this Saturday’s Impact+ streaming No Surrender event. While most of them were positive – or at least neutral – one of them will likely be seen as controversial as it seems to be a bit of a back-track in the commitment to the ongoing AEW crossover feud. One match that didn’t change, though, is the one that will see Tommy Dreamer try to capture the Impact World Championship from Rich Swann. Hopefully that one will be as good as Tommy Dreamer’s performance was during tonight’s closing segment.


Match 1: Josh Alexander, Willie Mack, Suicide, and Trey Miguel vs. Blake Christian, Chris Bey, Daivari, and Ace Austin (w/ Mad Man Fulton)

These eight participants will be in the 8-man Triple Threat Revolver match at No Surrender this Saturday. The rules of that one are that it begins with three wrestlers, and one gets eliminated, a new one replaces him until they get to the final three, at which point the first to score a pinfall or submission wins. The winner of that match at No Surrender will become the number one contender for the X-Division Championship. Hoo boy, that’s nearly as convoluted as the Reverse Battle Royals and King of the Mountain matches they used to have back in the day.

This was a lengthier opening contest than on most episodes, but it worked because it gave everything a chance to breathe up front. Things were going well, until Willie Mack mistimed a bad-looking standing moonsault and Daivari got his knees up. This gave the heels control and they worked over Mack for some time. Willie was able to avoid a flying attack by Daivari and get the tag to Trey, who was a house of fire. Then the rulebook went out the window, and everyone started running in without tagging and hitting moves on each other. Alexander had Austin in a leglock and Blake broke that up with a 450, but in landing on Alexander, he also landed on Austin’s legs, so the two of them argued, but that was broken up by Mack.

Then came another parade of moves, including a nice Flying Flatliner by Christian on Trey. Until we finally got back to the two legal men, Christian and Trey. Trey avoided a flying stomp, and then locked on the Hourglass submission, and Christian had to tap out.

This one was good for the most part, although the referee looked particularly useless as he did virtually nothing but flail around during the chaotic running in by everyone without tags. Everyone got the chance to shine at one point or another, so conceivably anyone could conceivably have a shot of winning on Saturday. The commentators really poured on the praise for Christian, so either he wins or is being set up for a title program in the near future. Alexander seemed a bit of an odd man out here, and he really should be used in the World Title picture.

After the match, Sami Callihan’s graphic played, and he appeared on the big screen. He sarcastically congratulated Trey, then questioned Trey’s commitment to the company, saying Trey should just quit now.

Winners: Josh Alexander, Suicide, Willie Mack, and Trey Miguel

They aired a compilation video of a number of the roster wishing Tommy Dreamer a happy 50th birthday in advance of his actual birthday, this Saturday (when he faces Rich Swann for the World Championship).


Match 2: Kimber Lee (w/ Susan and Deonna Purrazzo) vs. ODB

They started off with lame comedy centred around ODB’s chest-based attack, and then ODB took over. Lee was able to turn things around by whipping ODB hard off the turnbuckles and to the mat, and then got help from her cohorts on the floor to beat up ODB some more. ODB finally muscled up and pounded Lee into the corner, following that up with a Bronco Buster. They exchanged some big shots, but when ODB took over, Purrazzo and Susan tried to interfere again. This brought Jordynne Grace and Jazz to the ring, and so began a brawl on the floor, which ended when ODB did a falling dive onto Purrazzo and Susan. She went back into the ring to do something to Lee, but Lee was playing possum and rolled up ODB in a small package to get the win.

This was fine. ODB always used to seem larger than most of her opponents, but Lee is pretty powerful as well, so there wasn’t as obvious a size difference, and that helped. Having Lee get the clean win is a bit curious, especially in ODB’s return – a bit of cheating may have been a better way to have ODB lose, especially since this appears to be heading towards a 6-woman tag match.

Winner: Kimber Lee

At Swinger’s Palace (his makeshift locker room casino), Fallah Bahh ran out of money, and asked for casino credit, but was denied and thrown out of the room. In a random but funny line, Swinger introduced himself as Terry Taylor, to which Alisha Edwards replied, “Oh, the Red Lobster.”

Backstage, Susan wasn’t thrilled about Grace and Jazz coming out to brawl with them during Lee’s match, and said she was going to speak to management about making a match between the two factions on Saturday. Purrazzo and Lee weren’t thrilled with this.

Cousin Jake responds to Violent By Design

Jake Deaner came to the ring, and hinted that he would be joining Violent By Design so he could re-align himself with his cousin Cody Deaner. This brought out VBD. Eric Young urged him to officially join them and take control of his life. Jake faked them out, telling them that he stood for something. But then clarified that he stood for “Jake Something” (the name he used on the independent circuit) then threw the towel at Young and attacked Cody. Young and Joe Doering broke that up and beat up Jake. They teased Pillmanizing Jake’s neck, but instead, Young said that Cody and Jake would face each other at No Surrender, and it was there that Cody would end him.

Rohit Raju cut a video promo against TJP, saying he would beat him for the X-Division Championship on Saturday. He noted that since TJP had to use his monster Manik to beat Raju, Raju went and got his own monster, Mahabali Shera, who returned last week.

AEW owner Tony Khan and announcer Tony Schiavone appeared in their weekly paid ad. They talked about KENTA’s appearance on Dynamite last week, and Khan said that he was the “Forbidden Door” that has now opened to allow for a working arrangement with New Japan Pro Wrestling. He said that his experience with Impact has opened him up for new possibilities, and sounded so geeky that it was like he had just kissed a girl for the first time last week too. They ran down tomorrow’s Dynamite card. He said he would show up in Impact again sooner rather than later.

Backstage, the Good Brothers cut a promo, telling James Storm and Chris Sabin that they would beat them later on tonight and retain their Impact Tag Team Championship, and they would do the same to AEW’s Private Party on Saturday.


Match 3: Kiera Hogan (w/ Tasha Steelz) vs. Nevaeh (w/ Havok)

Hogan tried to exchange fisticuffs with Nevaeh, but that was bad strategy. Some shenanigans from Steelz from the floor helped Kiera take over, but only briefly, as Nevaeh’s power game was on point. With her partner flattened, Tasha Steelz simply came into the ring and in full view of the referee, hit a CodeBreaker on Nevaeh to protect Hogan from more harm. This was an easy disqualification call for referee Brandon Tolle.

This was a fun match while it lasted, although the dynamic was a bit weird. Fire & Flava have such charismatic and fun personalities that they should be the babyfaces, and Havok and Nevaeh are so dominant-looking that they are natural heels. But that’s the opposite of how the teams are being booked.

 Winner by disqualification: Nevaeh

Another compilation video aired with several AEW stars sending greetings to Tommy Dreamer for his 50th. MJF was the highlight here (like he is in AEW), doing his in character.

Fire & Flava filed a complaint with Impact Executive Vice-President Scott D’Amore about Tolle’s refereeing, accusing him of being biased since he felt cheated for having bought a ticket to their Fire & Flava Festival last week. D’Amore told them that Tolle would not be refereeing their match at No Surrender where they would have to defend against Havok and Nevaeh. They were, of course, surprised to hear of this match that he just dropped on them. D’Amore continued by telling them that they wouldn’t have to worry about biased refereeing, because it is going to be a Texas Tornado No Disqualification match. They protested, but he threw them out of his office and slammed the door in their faces.

XXXL were in the ring with Tenille Dashwood and Kaleb. They said they brought in Tenille to team up with them at No Surrender against Decay, so that she could fight Rosemary because they don’t want to beat up a woman. But that means that Decay will have to find another male partner to team with, but questioned whether anyone was freaky enough to join Decay. Kaleb challenged any member of Decay to come to the ring and wrestle him right there and then. This brought out Rosemary and Crazzy Steve, who introduced their new partner… AAA star Black Taurus.

If you’ve never seen Black Taurus, he’s a huge powerful-looking guy who’s covered in tattoos and wrestlers wearing a demonic bull mask.

Match 4: Kaleb vs. Black Taurus

Black Taurus just destroyed Kaleb, using his size and power to drive through Kaleb, ending things with a Pop-Up Samoan Drop followed by a Spinning Fisherman Slam. A total squash.

This was a great introduction for Taurus. He has the look and mystique to be right at home in Decay, and the squash of Kaleb and XXXL’s worried looks after the match were perfect.

Winner: Black Taurus

Backstage, Hernandez demanded full payment from Brian Myers up front for teaming with him at No Surrender. Myers said he’d pay him half now, and half when they win. Fallah Bahh was walking by and started eying Hernandez’ new big wad of cash. Because that’s a storyline that everyone wanted to see again.


Match 5: James Storm and Chris Sabin vs. the Good Brothers (c) – Tag Team Championship match

Storm and Sabin worked well together for a team that hasn’t had much time together, and they dumped both champs to the floor in the opening minutes, heading into a commercial break. When the show resumed, the “Beer Guns” were still in control, but some dirty tactics by Anderson allowed him to get the tag and isolate Sabin in the Good Brothers’ corner.

At one point during the match, Sabin did something so small and subtle that it came across as much more believable and meaningful than a match filled with a hundred flippy-moves or big spots. At one point, Anderson had him in a headlock for some time, and Sabin finally escaped by getting his foot on the bottom rope. Anderson broke the hold, and then made his way to his corner to tag in Gallows. After he released his grip and stood up, Sabin presumably saw him in his peripheral vision, flinched, and moved his arms up to block his face in case a kick was coming. It was exactly what someone’s first instinct would be in a real fight, and really sold his peril. That’s something you don’t see a lot of these days. Hail Sabin.

As the beatdown of Sabin continued, Matt Hardy and Private Party came out to the entrance ramp. They saw Sabin finally escape, and get the tag to Storm for the hot tag. Storm pummeled Anderson and then threw a kick at Gallows that knocked him from the apron to the floor. Storm and Sabin hit a combo move on Anderson and it looked like they were going to get the win, but Private Party ran to the ring and broke up the pin, forcing the referee to disqualify the Good Brothers.

After the match, Private Party and Hardy skedaddled while the Impact teams were confused and frustrated by what had happened.

This was a good match, up until the finish.

Winners, by disqualification: James Storm and Chris Sabin

Backstage, Hardy and Private Party celebrated their chicanery. They were interrupted by Scott D’Amore, who told them that they had crossed the line by interfering in the title match. And that as a result of their actions, Storm and Sabin would likely interfere in Private Party’s title shot on Saturday. So to avoid any risk of that happening, he was going to add them to the match and make it a Three Way Dance match for the championships. Private Party and Hardy were, of course, not thrilled with this development.

This is, frankly, a step backwards and feels like a cop-out. By introducing a third team into the mix, it further delays having a straight AEW vs. Impact title match, which really could be the thing to kick this inter-promotional war to the next level. If the Good Brothers get the win over Storm and Sabin, it means nothing to the broader war. And if Private Party does, then is it really as significant as if they’d beaten the Good Brothers? There are too many “outs” introduced by this change, and it’s unfortunate they felt the need to do it.

Rich Swann / Tommy Dreamer contract signing

Rich Swann and Tommy Dreamer were seated at a table in the ring with Scott D’Amore for the contract signing for their World Championship match on Saturday. Swann signed the contract, and handed it to Dreamer. Dreamer thanked Swann for the opportunity. And then told Swann that he knew Swann’s leg was injured, but that the opportunity to make history was too important for him, and he had too much respect for Swann as a champion to hold back on him, just because they were friends.

Before Swann could respond, Moose’s music hit and Moose came to the entrance ramp. As he stalked his way to the ring, he said he was angry that Swann wasn’t living up to his promise of giving Moose his title shot. He said that Swann was taking the easy way out by fighting the older Dreamer. Swann squared off with Moose, and said that the Impact Championship is the only title that matters and not Moose’s TNA World Heavyweight Championship. It looked like they would come to blows, but D’Amore broke them up and said that Moose would need to stand down or be suspended for life. Moose said that he won’t interfere in the title match on Saturday, because it doesn’t matter who wins on Saturday because he’ll beat whoever walks out of that match with the title.

A fired up Dreamer then cut a passionate promo about his love for professional wrestling and that’s what would be driving him on Saturday. He signed the contract, and he and Swann shook hands and embraced, as Moose left, staring daggers at them both.

Everyone was good here, but Dreamer was at another level, delivering an Emmy-clip-worthy promo in this segment. This was the proper way to end the go-home show, emphasizing the importance of the world title for both the challenger and the champion.



Impact Wrestling - February 9th, 2021

Skyway Studios - Nashville, TN

This week’s go-h0me show saw some strong matches (despite some refereeing in the opening match that was just sloppy), and a perfect introduction to a new roster member. The highlight of the show was Tommy Dreamer’s stellar promo, full of passion and intensity, focusing on the importance of the world title.