Normally in wrestling, when a champion and challenger go head-t0-head before their title match at a big pay-per-view, tempers get heated and the fists start to fly. But that wasn’t the case during the Summit between Impact World Champion Christian Cage and his upcoming challenger at Bound For Glory, Josh Alexander. While each of them made it known that they felt they had what it takes to beat the other, they didn’t feel the need to demonstrate it. The subdued nature of the segment might have seemed a bit underwhelming to some. But for others, it was a good change of pace from the rest of the show, which had its fair share of fast-paced matches and physicality.
Match 1: El Phantasmo (w/ Hikuleo and Chris Bey) vs. Rohit Raju vs. Willie Mack
The winner of this one will join Steve Maclin and Trey Miguel in the Triple Threat X-Division Championship match at Bound For Glory.
This one followed the typical formula of two guys fighting in the ring while the other was on the floor on the outside. The action was pretty fast and furious throughout, including a nice sequence where Phanstasmo hit a flying dive onto Raju on the floor and then scrambled back to the ring to hit Mack with a big top rope Senton for a two-count. Raju and Phantasmo had a couple of lengthy forearm exchanges, but the second one got stopped when Mack bulldozed through them both. He then stacked both of them on top of his shoulders and hit a Double Samoan Drop, and then a Double Standing Moonsault for a near-fall. In a neat spot, Phantasmo hit a Frankensteiner on Mack, sending him somersaulting right onto Raju who was down on the mat in the corner.
In the end, Mack caught a Superkick attempt by Phantasmo and hit him with a Stunner. But Bey and Hikuleo distracted the ref, so Phantasmo escaped a sure pin. Mack took them out with a flying dive to the floor, leaving Raju and Phantasmo in the ring. After an exchange of pinfall attempts, Phantasmo hit Raju with a blatant Low Blow punch – this was in plain sight of the ref, but he could do nothing because three-way matches are no-DQ – and followed that up with a Double Underook Piledriver for the win.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 15, 2021
This was a good match, very X-Division with lots of speed and action. The cheap win at the end kind of deflated the crowd, but as the Bullet Club are supposed to be a heel faction, it worked.
Winner: El Phantasmo
In the back, Gia Miller introduced Ace Austin and Mad Man Fulton who will both be in the 20-person Battle Royal later tonight. She explained that the winner will win the right to be the last person in the Call Your Shot Gauntlet match at BFG – but the runner-up will have to be the first one. Which is straight out of the Vince Russo playbook of convoluted stipulations.
Austin said that he and Fulton will be the last two in the Battle Royal, so that at BFG, Fulton can be the number one entrant in the gauntlet and eliminate the rest one-by-one, giving Austin a free and clear path to the win.
Josh Mathews gave an update on the Digital Media Championship tournament, which will conclude at BFG. So far, John Skyler, Crazzy Steve, Fallah Baah, and Jordynne Grace have advanced into the six-person match at BFG to crown the championship. This week, the qualifying matches will be Madison Rayne versus Chelsea Green and Alisha Edwards versus Tenille Dashwood with the winners taking the last two spots.
Match 2: Savannah Evans (w/ Tasha Steelz) vs. Lady Frost
Evans has a great look – big, tall, and physically dominant, and the match pretty much solidified that. She toyed with Frost in the early moments, throwing her around with ease and pummeling her with hard shots. Evans clamped on a Bear Hug, but Frost escaped, only to get hit with a huge boot to the face to take us into the commercial. Back from the break, and Evans was still in control, planting Frost with a Samoan Drop. Frost mounted a bit of a comeback, but it was short-lived. A Full Nelson Slam with authority gave Evans the win.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 15, 2021
After the match, Deonna Purrazzo, accompanied by Matthew Rehwoldt came to the ring. She asked Evans if she would agree to take on Mickie James next week, as Purrazzo’s choice for James’ “Pick Your Poison” opponent. Evans accepted.
This was a good showcase for Evans, and was effective to make her look like a threat. While having Purrazzo pick her for James’ opponent helped in that regard, hopefully it doesn’t result in a stumble in terms of Evans’ upward momentum potential. I mean, Mickie should win since she has the title shot at BFG. But maybe they’ll go what’s not expected and give us a good surprise?
Winner: Savannah Evans
A Steve Maclin promo aired. He said he’s going to be the X-Division Champion at Bound For Glory, and when he has the target on his back, he’s ready to deliver mayhem on everyone. Dude is angry with a quiet intensity that is kind of scary.
Gia Miller interviewed Gail Kim who said she was proud about last weekend’s Knockouts Knockdown show. Decay came up to Gail. Rosemary questioned Gail’s decision to sacrifice the Iinspiration by making their first match with the company against her and Havok. A delivery guy came up to Gail with an envelope, with a sender address from Sydney, Australia. Gail opened up the envelope, and it was a letter from the Iinspiration who said they were excited about the match.
Match 3: VSK (w/ Brian Myers and the Learning Tree) vs. Rich Swann (w/ Willie Mack)
Myers dismissed the Learning Tree, sending them to the back as VSK made his entrance. VSK took control early, picking Swann apart with some hard shots like a Fireman’s Carry Neckbreaker, and then hitting him in the corner with running boots and elbows. Swann came back with a flurry of strikes, and a Neckbreaker. He then went up top and hit VSK with a Phoenix Splash for the convincing win.
This was fine. VSK isn’t much of a character, and linking him with the dull Brian Myers isn’t really helping things. But the match wasn’t bad. Maybe a bit surprising that Myers didn’t get involved at all. But on the plus side, nobody really wants more Brian Myers, do they?
Winner: Rich Swann
The packing up of Swinger’s Palace continued with Bravo and Hernandez saying their farewells. Alisha told one of the Swingerellas to talk to Swinger and let him know how she felt. The Swingerella did and told Swinger that she had feelings for him. He didn’t let her down gently, and the Swingerella left in tears. Swinger then left, leaving only the other Swingerella in the room.
Chris Sabin came in and talked with the other Swingerella. She told him that she liked him and asked him if he would stay in Nashville with her. He said that his first love is the wrestling ring, and he had to go to Las Vegas for BFG. She was disappointed, but understood. Sabin sat there and reminisced about all his good times there over the past year, complete with a flashback video scored by an emo acoustic song. As he said his farewell, the lights shut off on the casino, presumably forever.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 15, 2021
The ridiculous cheesiness of this segment was brilliant. It was like a parody of the melodramatic M*A*S*H finale, but with a wink to the silliness of the entire thing. *Chef kiss* for this one.
Heath met with Impact Executive Vice-President Scott D’Amore to sign his long-awaited contract. Heath said that before he signed, he wanted one more thing: a tag team match at Bound For Glory with him and Rhino teaming up against Violent By Design. D’Amore said he would make the match, but he couldn’t force Rhino to team up with Heath. Heath said that he would talk to Rhino and try to wipe the brain-wash job that Eric Young has put on him. And if he couldn’t get Rhino to team with him, he would face VBD alone. D’Amore agreed, and Heath signed the contract.
Match 4: Chris Bey (w/ Hikuleo and El Phantasmo) vs. Chris Sabin (w/ FinJuice)
The match started off quickly with a series of counters and reversals, with neither man gaining an advantage. As they came to a deadlock, the others started pushing and shoving each other on the floor, and lest things blow up and potentially affect the match, the referee sent everyone to the back.
With his partners gone, Bey was a bit flustered, and that allowed Sabin to take over, hitting a nice Hesitation Dropkick to Bey who was tied up in the Tree of Woe. But Bey got back into it, using some nifty rope tricks to take over, and soon Sabin was down, taking hits by Bey from every conceivable angle. Sabin finally kicked into the next gear, and fired back with hits of his own, including a huge face kick in the corner and a Rolling Fisherman’s Buster for a two-count. Bey went for the Art of Finesse but Sabin blocked it, so Bey adjusted and hit a Jumping Head Kick for a close count.
Bey went for a huge Frog Splash, but Sabin moved and Bey crashed hard. They slowly struggled to their feet where the battle continued with a Forearm exchange. After that and a bit more back-and-forth action, Sabin hit a Cradle Shock to get the pin.
This was really good and had some good pacing with a quick start, but letting it breathe as the match went on, leading to the big finish.
Winner: Chris Sabin
Gia Miller interviewed Trey Miguel about his chances in the X-Division Championship match at BFG against Steve Maclin and El Phantasmo. Trey reminded her that he had beaten Alex Zayne and the Laredo Kid in the qualifier, and was going to continue his point, but Zayne walked in and interrupted him. Zayne said that he wasn’t the one who lost the match, and that Trey couldn’t beat him. They made some food metaphors and it looks like they will go one-on-one next week.
As an aside, I’d say that 95% or more of the commercials for this show have been for online casinos, including one for Tonybet.net that features a guy that kind of looks like AEW owner Tony Khan – not sure if that’s what they were going for or not, but if not, that’s a heck of a coincidence.
The Good Brothers did a video promo from their vacation spot. They said that they were irritated by Impact management for not yet finding them opponents that they could wrestle at BFG. They suggested that FinJuice and the Bullet Club compete for the right to challenge them, and said they wanted an answer by the end of the night.
Match 5: 20-Person Battle Royal
Moose was the only person to get a semi-entrance for this one, as he came to the ring that was already filled with various competitors. The commentators noted that W. Morrissey was in there already, and he and Moose apparently had come to some deal that they would be allies in this match until only they remained.
There were a couple of fun eliminations: Swinger was so scared of the Undead Bridesmaids that he climbed over the top and jumped down to eliminate himself; the Learning Tree caught Brian Myers and saved him from hitting the ground, but as soon as they put him back on the apron, Rachael Ellering kicked him off the apron and he landed on all of the Learning Tree and they couldn’t save him that time. Later,
In an edgier moment, after being misted by the Undead Bridesmaids, Fulton picked up Brandi Lauren and heaved her over the top onto a bunch of others that were out there on the floor, including her undead partner Kimber Lee. Otherwise, Fulton pretty much protected Austin for most of this one, including at one point just shielding him in the corner.
The last five people in there were Chris Sabin and the two pairings of Moose and W. Morrissey against Fulton and Austin. As Sabin brawled with Austin, Fulton was in a 2-on-1 situation against the big guys. He fought hard, but a double-boot sent him flying over the top. Austin tried to turn their attention on Sabin, but they were having none of it – they sent Austin flying over the top and sailed him into Austin.
Moose and Morrissey then went after Sabin. He razzle-dazzled and rope-a-doped Moose and sent him to the floor. He tried something similar with Morrissey, and was halfway to tipping Morrissey over the top, but Moose pushed Morrissey back into the ring. Morrissey then flattened Sabin with a huge shot and then punished him with some ground-and-pound. Sabin tried to fight back, hitting a flurry of punches, but after already competing tonight, he was too exhausted to keep it up. A huge shot by Morrissey stopped him cold, and then Morrissey flung him over the top rope to win the final spot in the BFG Gauntlet match.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 15, 2021
The last few minutes were interesting, since the heel-heel dynamic between the two teams made it possible that they would screw each other and let Sabin sneak through with the upset win.
Winner: W. Morrissey
A hype video aired for Minoru Suzuki – he will be coming to Impact soon.
Bound For Glory Summit
Josh Mathews hosted a sit-down interview with Impact World Champion Christian Cage and his BFG opponent Josh Alexander.
Christian started by saying that his goal in returning to the ring was to be able to compete at the same level he did before his hiatus. And that coming back to represent Impact – who gave him a chance when nobody else would – and beat Kenny Omega for the championship makes him very proud.
Alexander said that it was difficult to surrender the X-Division Championship for Option C, but that he has no regrets in doing so. Because winning the X-Division Championship was a signal to everyone that he could compete with the best, and his time to be the best is now.
Christian said that while he sees a bit of himself in Alexander, he doesn’t see enough to think that Alexander will beat him at BFG. Alexander said that Christian was one of his inspirations and influences in becoming a wrestler, and that he knows everything about Christian – and that he’s the wildcard that Christian can’t plan for.
Christian said that Alexander won’t be able to contain his emotions of competing for the world championship, but for him, it’s old hat. And that will come into play and hurt Josh during their match.
Matthews showed a clip from a recent AEW Fan Fest where Christian said that he didn’t even know who Alexander was. Christian tried to play it off as a joke, but Alexander cut him off. He said that Christian was a liar, and that he had no more respect for him. And at BFG, he was going to give Christian a lesson.
Angry, Alexander left the ring and headed up the ramp. Christian smirked and told Matthews that this proved his point about Alexander being too emotional to take the pressure of being in the position he is in – and that it would be his undoing at Bound For Glory.
This was different in that it wasn’t the typical confrontation between opponents that breaks down into violence. They’re planting some seeds for the story of the match, which should be really good. It will be interesting to see if they get physical on the go-home show to really turn it up a notch. We’ll find out next week.
Impact Wrestling - Oct 14th, 2021
Skyway Studios - Nashville, TN
Highlighted by some strong matches – the X-Division match and Savannah Evans’ squash in particular – the show had a good mix of action throughout before balancing that with the talky closing segment. The battle royal wasn’t particularly memorable and took a bit of time, but the closing moments were good. Overall, the build for Bound For Glory was helped by this show – and with a week to go, that’s exactly what the objective should have been.