The working arrangements between Impact, AEW, and New Japan Pro Wrestling got a little more blurry this week, as NJPW stars David Finlay and Juice Robinson – collectively known as FinJuice – made their Impact debut on Tuesday night, getting into a verbal skirmish with Impact Tag Team Champions, the Good Brothers. What this may mean in the overall scheme of things is still to be determined, but certainly their appearance will have some implications down the road. Meanwhile, Moose’s road to a World Championship match against Rich Swann took a brief detour as he first had to deal with Tommy Dreamer in an Old School Rules match.


Match 1: Josh Alexander vs. TJP (c) – for the X-Division Championship

This was dang fine wrestling match. They started off with a lengthy technical exchange, with chain wrestling, counters, and reversals. Throughout, TJP was trying to lock on various submission holds, while Alexander would use his strength to escape them, and then power TJP down so he could either lock on an Ankle Lock or get him prone for Divine Intervention, which he calls his Double-Underhook Piledriver.

The action picked up after TJP hit Alexander with a series of moves –  a head kick, a high-cross body, and a Tornado DDT – for a near-fall. Josh avoided a Mamba Splash and then body-bashed TJP to the floor. But when he went for an uncharacteristic move off the top, TJP nailed him with a dropkick. But Josh repaid him by posting him with a huge forearm when TJP went up for another Mamba Splash attempt. Alexander tried to hit Divine Intervention off the turnbuckles, but TJP fought him off and knocked him down. TJP went for the Mamba Splash again, but Alexander got his knees up and TJP crashed hard. Alexander looked to finish things with Divine Intervention, but TJP floated over and locked on the Octopus. Alexander escaped that, but then got hit with the Ninja Kick that knocked him down. TJP finally nailed the Mamba Splash to keep him down for the three.

This was really good. A Best-of-Seven series between these two would be most welcome.

Winner, and still X-Division Champion: TJP

Backstage, Gia Miller found Tommy Dreamer coming out of Scott D’Amore’s office. Dreamer explained that he was in there to ask D’Amore for an Old School Rules match against Moose tonight.

Brian Myers ran into Hernandez backstage, and Hernandez wanted his money for teaming up with Myers at No Surrender. Myers paid Hernandez more money to take on Matt Cardona tonight. Fallah Bahh approached Hernandez with eyes on the wad of cash. He told Hernandez that he could parlay the money into a fortune at Swinger’s Palace. Hernandez was wary, but gave him ten bucks.


Match 2: Willie Mack vs. Daivari vs. Suicide vs. Trey Miguel

These were four of the non-winners from the Three-Way Revolver match from Saturday, with all four competing in the match at the same time, with no tags necessary.

After some quick action up front, Daivari and Suicide slowed the pace of the match, as they got into it in an extended 1-on-1 segment while Mack and Trey recovered on the floor. Later on, Mack hit a Standing Moonsault on Trey and Suicide at the same time before Daivari planted him with a Missile Dropkick.

As Suicide went after Daivari, Miguel surprised him with a Meteora, and pinned him.

This was good while it lasted, but a bit too short to really get into.

Winner: Trey Miguel

Trey got to the back after his match when he was intercepted by Sami Callihan. Callihan questioned Miguel’s passion, needling him about having lost at No Surrender. Miguel was peeved, but simply walked away.

Ace Austin interrupted a meeting between TJP and Scott D’Amore. He protested about not having received his X-Division Championship match despite having won the X-Cup. D’Amore said that Austin would be in a six-man tag match next week, with the winning team members competing in a Triple Threat match the week after that, with the winner becoming the number one contender. Austin cockily said that him winning was inevitable.


Match 3: Hernandez (w/ Brian Myers) vs. Matt Cardona

Cardona used his speed to hit and move, not wanting to get close enough to get mauled by the powerful Hernandez. Myers, sensing Hernandez was being stymied, jumped up on the apron, and when the ref was dealing with him, Hernandez stopped Cardona with a low blow, just in time for a commercial. Back from the break, and Hernandez had Cardona in a bear hug and then hit Cardona with a huge shoulder tackle. He had Cardona up for the Border Toss, but Cardona floated over, and hit Radio Silence to get the pin.

The placement of the commercial break really did this match a disservice. On-screen, there was virtually no time that Hernandez had control, so it never felt like Cardona was ever in any jeopardy, making his “comeback” feel meaningless.

Winner: Matt Cardona

After the match, Gia Miller interviewed Cardona in the ring. Cardona said that he wasn’t concerned with Brian Myers, but then Myers came into the ring. Cardona confronted him, saying that Myers should dispense fronting a bad attitude. Then Hernandez ran in and attacked Cardona from behind. Eddie Edwards made the save, and Hernandez and Myers skedaddled.

Tony Schiavone and Tony Khan did their weekly paid ad segment. Tony Khan whined about not getting anything for Valentine’s Day. He knocked Impact, and he and Schiavone ran down tomorrow’s Dynamite lineup. Khan hinted / made a veiled threat towards Kenny Omega, saying that there would be a Valentine’s Day present waiting for him at the show.

Backstage, Havok approached Nevaeh, and asked if they had any issues between them. Nevaeh questioned if they should even be a team anymore after their loss on Saturday. Tenille Dashwood and Kaleb came up to them, and suggested that Havok dump Nevaeh as a partner and join her instead. Nevaeh challenged Dashwood to a match, and told Havok to not get involved.


Match 4: Reno Scum vs. FinJuice (David Finlay and Juice Robinson)

FinJuice had some rapid tags early on, double-teaming Luster the Legend really smoothly in the opening minutes. But Legend dropped Finlay with a big Spinebuster and that stopped the train. Reno Scum double-teamed Luster, but he was able get out of danger and make the tag to a fresh Robinson, who cleaned house. But the ref apparently stopped caring about enforcing the rules, because he didn’t do anything to stop Legend from staying in the ring for a while and hit Robinson with a big Pump Kick when he was about to put away Adam Thornstowe. He then simply watched the brawl ensue between all four men, which ultimately ended when FinJuice pinned Thornstowe after a Superplex Frog Splash combo.

After the match, the Good Brothers came out and talked condescendingly towards FinJuice, referring to them repeatedly as “boys,” and reminding them of their times in Japan where they were rookies while the Good Brothers were headlining shows as IWGP Tag Team Champions. FinJuice shaded back at them, and they jaw-jacked at each other from afar.

This was a good match, although apparently Impact ref Brandon Tolle has been watching tapes from AEW and stealing their stuff. He was so ineffectual in the match, they might as well just have made it a Texas Tornado match. FinJuice might be a celebrated team, but they seemed pretty much run-of-the-mill here. Putting them in a program with the Good Brothers may have some niche appeal, but all the insider references and back stories won’t do anything for the casual fan.

Winners: FinJuice

At a bar, Rohit Raju was blaming Mahabali Shera for being ineffective and not helping Raju beat TJP on Saturday. He got a bit too uppity, and Shera pushed him away, knocking Raju into James Storm and spilling Storm’s beer. Raju got lippy, so Storm smashed a beer bottle over his head, knocking him out. Shera squared off to Storm, but Sabin calmed things down. Swinger walked up to them and suggested they come to Swinger’s Palace to continue the party, so Sabin and Storm left with him.

Cut to Swinger’s Palace. Storm and Sabin sat down at the BlackJack table, and Bahh barged in. He bet and immediately lost the ten bucks that Hernandez had given him, so Swinger had him removed from the premises. Swinger was gold here as usual.


Match 5: Tenille Dashwood (w/ Kaleb) vs. Nevaeh

Nevaeh took control early by bashing Tenille’s head hard into the turnbuckle that spilled her hard to the floor, just in time for a commercial. But when we got back, Tenille was firmly in control – the commentators explained that Kaleb’s interference on the outside led to the turnaround. Dashwood used some dirty tactics to continue the punishment, but Nevaeh got her second wind and used some power moves and strikes, like a big knee and a Front Face Driver to turn things around. But it was only temporary, as Dashwood surprised her with a big back elbow to the face, and followed that up with a huge Running Kick that put Nevaeh down for the count.

This was another match that was hurt by a bad commercial break – if you’re going to have Kaleb do something on the floor to change the match so drastically, at least show it on the replay. That being said, the match was all right. Having Nevaeh lose her first real singles match is likely setting up for something larger between her and Havok, which could end up being fun.

Winner: Tenille Dashwood

The Flashback Moment of the Week was from this past Saturday, when Moose attacked Rich Swann after his successful title defense against Tommy Dreamer.

A hype video for Violent By Design aired. Deaner did most of the talking, sending a message to Jake Something. He said he would avenge his loss by making Jake suffer next week in a Tables match. He said he would do it alone, or he would suffer the consequences of his failure.

In the back, Deonna Purraazzo and Kimber Lee tried to talk Susan out of confronting Jazz for pinning her on Saturday. Purrazzo said that Susan needed to calm down. She flagged down Scott D’Amore and said that Lee and Susan should be granted a Tag Team Championship shot. Instead, D’Amore said that next week, Susan and Lee would face Jordynne Grace and Jazz, with the winners earning the title shot.


Match 6: Moose vs. Tommy Dreamer – Old School Rules match

Within seconds, the action spilled to the floor where one would think Dreamer would be in his element, but didn’t fare too well, eating ring-post, courtesy of Moose. But then Dreamer took advantage of the no rules, taking off his headband and choking Moose with it, while simultaneously biting Moose’s forehead. And then came the plunder, in the form of baking sheets, which Dreamer smashed over Moose’s head before the commercial.

Moose was in control when we returned, wrapping a chair around Dreamer’s neck and ramming it into the post.

He followed that up by using the chair as a weapon and then giving Dreamer a taste of his own baking sheet. Moose used the guardrail and a garbage can lid to continue the beating, and then rolled Dreamer back into the ring, where he whipped Dreamer hard into the garbage can which he’d wedged between the ropes in the corner. Moose started verbally berating Dreamer, but Dreamer countered that with an old-fashioned 5-on-2. He hit a Spinning Neckbreaker but Moose easily kicked out after a 1-count, so a desperate Tommy went back to the weapons, bashing Moose with a chair. He went for a DDT on the chair, but Moose blocked it and drove Dreamer spine-first onto it instead.

As Dreamer lay in pain, Moose went under the ring and got a table, which he set up in the corner. But this gave Dreamer time to recover, and he got up and charged, driving Moose through the table. He then grabbed a Singapore cane and chopped Moose with it. But Moose would have none of that, and planted Dreamer with a Uranage, and when Tommy got up, Moose hit him with the Spear and got the 1-2-3.

This was a fun match, though the ending really wasn’t in any doubt. Still, at 50 years old, Dreamer can still put on an entertaining enough fight that checks the right boxes. Moose has his critics, but he was perfect in his role in this one.

Winner: Moose



Impact Wrestling - February 16th, 2021

Skyway Studios - Nashville, TN

This show was bookended by some strong in-ring action, Alexander-TJP match being excellent, and the main event bringing a lot of fun. The much-hyped FinJuice debut was okay; their match was all right, but it seemed merely to set up the verbal confrontation with the Good Brothers, teasing a match down the road. The rest of the show suffered with some pacing and timing issues – especially with respect to commercial break placement, which negatively-affected the experience.