Hello all and welcome to a Chairshots Classic special to coincide with the 2MB Wrestling Podcast.
In 2001, the Monday Night War is over. ECW went bankrupt and out of business. WCW planned to sell to Eric Bischoff and a consortium of investors for somewhere between $10 Million and $!5 Million.
When an AOL Time Warner Executive named Jamie Kellner (the guy who really killed WCW) dropped WCW programming from the Turner Networks, the Bischoff deal fell through. With no TV to air WCW on, WCW was considered worthless and the backers backed out.
WWE and Vince McMahon stepped in. They had a TV deal of their own. They scooped up the WCW library, trademarks and the contracts of some WCW stars for a figure rumoured to be in theregion of just $3 million.
WWE had bought their competition and with that the Monday Night War was declared over on March 26 2001.
On TV, in a moment that aired simultaneously on the March 26th episode of WWE Raw (episode 409) AND the final episode of WCW Nitro (episode 288) it was announced that Shane McMahon’s name was on the contract and he now owned WCW. As Spring turned to Summer, WCW wrestlers began interfering in WWE matches on Raw and Smackdown.
Then on the July 9th Raw, members of Team WWE, Chris Jericho and Kane took on WCW representatives, Lance Storm & Mike Awesome. During the match, Rob Van Dam and Tommy Dreamer came through the crowd and attacked Jericho and Kane. Bubba Ray Dudley, Justin Credible, D Von Dudley, Rhyno and Raven ran in to chase off the invading Van Dam and Dreamer only for them to join forces with Storm, Awesome, Dreamer and Van Dam to beat down Jericho and Kane. Paul Heyman would leave the commentary position and announce “This invasion has been taken to the Extreme!” as this group were representing ECW. Later in the show, the WCW and ECW teams would join forces forming The Alliance before announcing new ECW owner (on screen anyway) Stephanie McMahon.
The Invasion is on.
This all leads to…..
InVasion [July 22 2001]
Following an opening video package with stock footage of soldiers marching, bombs falling and a general theme of war, Michael Cole and JR welcome us to the show.
. Edge & Christian vs Lance Storm & Mike Awesome
Awesome starts with a kick and some right hands to Christian followed by shoulders in the corner. Awesome Irish Whips Christian into the corner but Christian avoids the charging Awesome and hits him with a Drop Toe Hold before tagging Edge. He hits Awesome with a couple of Right Hands before Awesome counters an Irish Whip and drops Edge with a Clothesline. Storm tags in and hits Edge with a kick to the ribs and a couple of Right Hands. An Irish Whip by Storm is countered by a Hurricanranna by Edge. Storm reverses an Irish Whip but Edge gets a boot up to stop the oncoming Storm before smacking him with a second rope Dropkick. From the apron, Awesome tries to Clothesline Edge but he ducks it and Dropkicks Awesome off the apron. Storm tries to take advantage of the distraction and charges at Edge who ducks him and Back Drops Storm over the top rope and he lands on Awesome. Christian then uses Edge as a springboard to help him Plancha onto the Alliance team at ringside. Edge drags Storm into the ring and gets a two count from a Backbreaker before tagging in Christian who gets a two from a double hiptoss.
Christian Irish Whips Storm but Storm catches a Monkey Flip attempt and tries to Superplex Christian only for Christian to push Storm off the top turnbuckle. Before Christian is able to mount an attack, Awesome pulls Christian’s legs from underhim and he falls chest first onto the turnbuckle pad. As a wounded Christian stands on the apron, Storm clatters into him sending Christian into the ringside barrier. While Edge protests in the ring distracting the referee, Awesome rams Christian into the ring apron and then back into the ringside barrier. Back in the ring, Christian tries to fight back with Right Hands but Storm catches him with a knee to the gut before sending Christian gut first into the ringpost. Awesome tags in and gets a two from an Elbow Drop. A Clothesline knocks Christian down as does a Bodyslam before he gets a two count from a Big Splash. Awesome stomps on Christian’s lower back before throwing him face first into Storm’s waiting boot. Storm then tags in and gets a two count from a Forearm Smash which he follows with a Gutbuster and catches Christian with a knee to the gut following a whip off the ropes that gets another two.
Storm whips Christian off the ropes but Christian ducks a Clothesline and hits a Cross Body. Storm is able to tag Awesome who prevents Christian from doing the same before lifting him up and dropping Christian down on the top rope before an Alabama Slam gets Awesome a two when Edge has to break it up. After the referee gets Edge back out of the ring, Awesome gets yet another two count after a Flying Clothesline. Storm tags back in and lays into Christian with kicks and stomps and a Backbreaker before tagging out again. Awesome climbs the turnbuckles and launches at Christian with a Frog Splash for a two count. Awesome follows an Irish Whip into the corner with a Clothesline before attempting a top rope Awesome Bomb that Christian Back Drops his way out of. Much like Awesome tags Storm, Christian is able to tag Edge who lays out Storm with Right Hands and a Clothesline before lamping Awesome with a Spinning Heel Kick when he tried to get involved. Edge then catches Storm with a Backdrop and Awesome with a Dropkick before hitting an Edge O Matic to Storm that gets a two count. Edge attempts a Sunset Flip but Storm grabs Awesome’s hands to prevent it. Christian gets on the apron and thumbs Awesome breaking his grip only for Storm to roll out of it but Edge rolls him up with an O’Connor Roll for another two count. Storm rolls up Edge with a Small Package but the referee is distracted by Awesome so Christian rolls both men over so Edge now has Storm rolled up, it gets a two count. Storm hits a Jawbreaker and tags Awesome, they go for a Double Side Suplex but Edge rolls out of it allowing Christian to hit Storm and Awesome with a top rope Clothesline. Edge runs at Storm for a Spear but he manages to leapfrog over Edge, Awesome doesn’t and he gets hit by the Spear for a two count. Christian Irish Whips Storm but is caught by a back elbow from Storm who lines Christian up for a Superkick. Edge pushes Christian out of the way and he eats the Superkick. Christian dives at Storm and both men go sailing over the top rope while in the ring Awesome manages to cover the fallen Edge for a two count. Awesome lifts Edge for an Awesome Bomb but Christian runs in and Spears Awesome allowing Edge to make the cover and he gets three.
Winners: Edge & Christian
Backstage, Vince McMahon celebrates Edge & Christian’s victory by attempting a five second pose. He is interupted by William Regal who says that Steve Austin and his wife Debra have arived at the arena. Vince tells Regal to give Austin some space and think about his own match with Raven later tonight. Vince says tosmear him into the ground like George Washington did to King George’s red coats in the Revolutionarry War.
. Earl Hebner vs Nick Patrick
For all those that think 2018 wrestling is a little on the odd side, the referees are going to fight. To keep things even, MIck Foley is here to be the referee.
Earl starts by shoving Patrick but he slaps Earl and Earl looks like he’s going to fall down. Earl kicks Patrick then shoves him into the opposite corner and procedesto unload on Patrick with more kicks. Earl grabs Patrick by the ankles and pulls him out of the corner and into the air getting a two count when Patrick lands. Earl attacks with punches but Patrick turns him over and gets in some punches of his own. Earl gets in some knees before Patrick pulls him out of the ring. As Earl slides back in the ring, Patrick stomps down on him but Earl gets to his feet punches Patrick into the corner and hits the 10 punches in the corner. Patrick hits Earl with a Low Blow before a Baseball Slide sends Earl out of the ring again. The WCW referees that accompanied Patrick to the ring attack Earl before the WWE referees chase them off and Mick Foley sends the WCW refs to the the back. In the ring, Patrick argues with Foley allowing Earl time to hit something vaguely resembling a Spear to get the pinfall victory. After the bell, Patrick argues with Foley and gets a mouth full of Socko for his troubles.
Winner: Earl Hebner
An ad airs for an upcoming episode of Tough Enough. I spotted Chris Nowinski and Maven in there. No idea who anyone else is to be honest.
Cole and JR hype the 5 on 5 main event tag match and we see footage from last Thursday’s Smackdown when Diamond Dallas Page kidnapped Debra only for Steve Austin to car jack a limo and give chase.
Back in catering, Debra is still angry at being kidnapped by DDP and dumped on a street corner. The Undertaker’s wife, Sara (who keeps calling him Mark) understands, she has had her problems with DDP before. Both women want to see DDP torn limb from limb.
. Faarooq & Bradshaw vs Chuck Palumbo & Sean O’Haire
Right, now there are two separate reasons for this match. First one is simple: WWE Tag Team Champions versus WCW Tag Team Champions. Other reason is that Faarooq and Bradshaw are the guardians of the gate defending against the inVading WCW. Fun fact: a WCW Tag Team Champions versus WWE Tag Team Champions match happened three times on Pay Per View over the InVasion period. Each time it was different teams, that is six separate teams competed in these champion vs champion matches. A lot of titles switched hands a lot of times in this five month period.
The match starts immediately with O’Haire and Faarooq brawling on the inside and Bradshaw and Palumbo on the inside. Bradshaw’s punches seem to be winning and Faarooq, fresh from whipping O’Haire into the barriers, joins as they hit Palumbo with a Double Spinebuster. Eventually, the referee makes it one on one as he sends Faarooq to the corner. Bradshaw hits Palumbo with a Bodyslam and an Elbow Drop before lifting him for a Suplex that doesn’t even get a one count as O’Haire immediately breaks it up. Bradshaw clubs O’Haire as he exits the ring but gets Clotheslined by Palumbo. O’Haire tags in and unloads on Bradshaw with Right Hands before Bradshaw fights back with a knee to the gut and some chops. Bradshaw whips O’Haire off the ropes but he ducks a Clothesline and hits Bradshaw with one of his own before he mounts Bradshaw and unloads on him with punches. Back to his feet and Bradshaw hits O’Haire with a Side Suplex which allows him to tag Faarooq.
Faarooq hits O’Haire with Right Hands and a Back Elbow for a two count. Farrooq Irish Whips O’Haire chest first into the corner and lifts him for a Side Suplex that O’Haire rolls out of and lands on his feet (kind of) before hitting Faarooq with an elbow to the gut and a knee to the face that gets him a two count. O’Haire tags Palumbo who peppers Faarooq with punches and stomps. He whips Faarooq off the ropes and Faarooq ducks a Clothesline before hitting Palumbo with a Shoulder Block before tagging Bradshaw who unloads on Palumbo with punches in the corner before ramming his head into the turnbuckle and hitting him with more right hands. Palumbo reverses an Irish Whip and runs at Bradshaw for an Avalanche but Bradshaw catches him and hits a Fallaway Slam. Bradshaw goes for a Powerbomb but O’Haire is in and he kicks Bradshaw in the head. Instead of removing O’Haire, the referee choses to deal with a protesting Faarooq and doesn’t see O’Haire lift Bradshaw up for a Prophecy that, when the referee is paying attention, gets a two count. Palumbo whips Bradshaw off the ropes but Bradshaw clubs him in the back when he telegraphs a Back Drop before hitting a DDT allowing him to tag Faarooq.
Faarooq Irish Whips Palumbo who leaps over a charging Farrooq and catches him with a Waistlock that Faarooq reverses before Palumbo puls him into a Clothesline by O’Haire On the outside of the ring, O’Haire drags Faarooq out of the ring and whips him into the steel ringside steps before sliding him back into the ring where Palumbo covers him for a two count. Palumbo stomps Faarooq before tagging O’Haire and they whip Faarooq off the ropes and drop him with a double Back Elbow. O’Haire then whips Faarooq off the ropes again catching him with another elbow to the gut and a knee to the head that gets him a two count. O’Haire charges at Faarooq for something but it is countered into a huge Spinebuster.
Both men tag their partners and Bradshaw boots Palumbo in the face before whiping him off the ropes and catching Palumbo with a Back Elbow. Whipping Palumbo off the ropes a second time ends in a Powerslam that gets him a two count. A third whip off the ropes sees a Clothesline ducked before Palumbo throws himself at Bradshaw for a Cross Body that again is caught. Before he has a chance to hit another Fallaway Slam, O’Haire Superkicks Bradshaw causing Palumbo to land on Bradshaw for a one count which is broken up by Faarooq.O’Haire then lifts Bradshaw and Paulumbo Dropkicks him in the spine that sends Bradshaw into the turnbuckle in some kind of double Snake Eyes move. Palumbo Superkicks Bradshaw but this leaves him open for Bradshaw to hit a Clothesline From Hell that gets the three count
Winners: Faarooq & Bradshaw
Chris Jericho and Vince McMahon are backstage. Jericho says he’s been in all companies. He says WCW never had a leader but ECW have a psychotic and lunatic leader in Paul Heyman (pitty he doesn’t mention the WWE leader) Instead he fat shames Heyman. But he does warn that it’s because of Heyman that WCW and ECW will be coming on strong, but WWE aren’t going to get mad they are going to get Get GET even. Vince says The Alliance will never Eeeeever be the same again.
Shane McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and for some reason Billy Kidman are watching Vince and Jericho on a monitor backstage. Stephanie says she hates Jericho and Paul Heyman can be seen face-palming in the corner. Shane tells Billy Kidman that they need to turn the tide and that he needs to beat X Pac to do that (so that’s why he’s in this scene) Heyman is furious that The Alliance is losing everything from matches to momentum and tells Kidman that they are at the point of no return and that he NEEDS to beat X Pac.
. Billy Kidman vs X Pac
Yo, you dealling with the X Factor.
JR tells us that because of the inVasion and because X Pac is on team WWE, he will be getting cheers tonight instead of the usual jeers. X Pac gets immediate ‘X Pac sucks’ chants. X Pac turns a Collar and Elbow into an Arm Drag. X Pac turns another Collar and Elbow into a Headlock then a Hammerlock before pulling Kidman’s ankles and sending him face first into the canvas. A third Collar and Elbow is turned into a Headlock again by X Pac but Kitman pushes him off sending X Pac off the ropes but the returning X Pac knocks Kidman down with a Shoulder Block. Both men counter each other’s attempts at a Hip Toss before Kidman ducks a Spinning Kick and pulls on X Pac’s ankles sending him face first into the canvas. Kidman takes X Pack down with a Drop Toe Hold which he turns into a Headlock. X Pac gets to hi feet and shoots Kidman off the ropes but the returning Kidman knocks X Pac down with a Shoulder Block. Kidman bounces off the ropes but X Pac catches him and throws him into the air (presumably for a Pop Up Powerbomb) but Kidman counters it with a Hurricanranna followed with an Enziguri that knocks X Pac out of the ring. What X Pac doesn’t see is Kidman who slides under the ropes with a Baseball Slide Faceplant which gets a two count once Kidman rolls him back into the ring. X Pac whips KIdman off the ropes but he ducks a Clothesline and hits another Hurricanranna. Kidman then charges at X Pac who catches Kidman and throws him over the top rope to the outside. As Kidman gets to his feet, X Pac springboards off the second rope, over the top rope and down onto Kidman with a High Cross Body.
In the ring, Kidman kets knocked down by a Standing Spin Kick which gets a two count before X Pack locks in a Chinlock. Kidman fights out of it only to be caught in a Sleeper Hold. Kidman elbows his way out of it, shoots X Pac off the roes and catches him in a Sleeper Hold but X Pac quickly breaks it when he turns it into a Side Suplex. With Kidman down, X Pac climbs to the top turnbuckle and leaps with some kind of Swanton like manouver, but Kidman moves out of the way and X Pac hits nothing but canvas. Kidman hits X Pac with a Right Hand, an Elbow, a Dropkick and a Sky High (shades of D’Lo Brown) that gets him a two count. X Pac staggers into the corner where Kidman hits him with six out of Ten Punches before X Pac Powerbombs Kidman and, despie having his feet on the ropes for leverage, only gets a two count. X Pac lifts Kidma for a Powerbomb that Kidman counters into a Facebuster (or an X Factor if you want to get technical) for a two count. KIdman climbs to the top rope and launches at X Pac with a flying who knows as X Pac counters it with an X Factor of his own which, amazingly, only gets a two count. X Pac drapes Kidman over th e bottom turnbuckle and goes for a Bronco Buster but Kidman counters it by getting a foot up to block (Referee! That’s a low Blow!). With X Pac down, Kidman climbs to the turnbuckle and hits the always impressive looking Shooting Star Press and gets the victory. WCW win something.
Winner: Billy Kidman
Backstage Shane, Stephanie and Heyman seem happier. Diamond Dallas Page is here (Page here) and is talking about when he kidnapped Debra on Smackdown. Shane tells him to forget Smackdown and focus on the likes of Undertaker and Steve Austin tonight
Stacy Kiebler and Torrie Wilson are shown. Torrie says it’s a pitty that the audience is going to see Trish Stratus in her underwear and not Torrie’s “big, voluptuous breasts“. Stacy says no body looks better in panties than her. They say it’s a pitty the audience won’t see them in their underwear tonight so they plan on giving Matt and Jeff Hardy a private showing. Women’s wrestling as come a long way since 2001, that’s all I’m saying.
. Raven vs William Regal
A Collar and Elbow ends with Raven backing Regal into the corner and he goes for a Right Hand but Regal ducks it and unloads on Raven with a series of lefts. He whips Raven off the ropes but telegraphs a Back Drop and is kicked in the chest by Raven who takes too long working out his next move that he gets Clotheslined by Regal. He follows that up by grabbing Raven and hoisting him up with a Double Underhook Suplex. As Regal tries to apply an STF, Raven pulls away from Regal and scuttles out of the ring. Regal goes out after him and strikes with some left hands before throwing Raven back into the ring. In the ring, a Left Hand and an Uppercut get Regal the first two count of the match. Raven reverses a whip against the ropes and tries to Dropkick Regal as he rebounds back. Instead, Regal catches Raven by the ankles and slingshots him over the top rope and out of the ring. Regal follows and throws Raven just far enough back into the ring so he can slam Raven down, chest first, onto the ring apron. Back in the ring, Regal charges at Raven who grabs Reagal and thows him over the top rope to the floor where Raven hits Regal with a Baseball Slide.
Raven slips out of the ring to meet Regal and Russian Leg Sweeps Regal into the crowd barrier. In the ring and in the corner, Raven rams his shoulder into Regal’s gut. Raven Irish Whips Regal chest first into the corner hits an awkward looking Clothesline to get a two count. Raven Snapmares Regal before applying a Chinlock. Regal is quickly out of it however and Suplexes Raven for a two count. Raven gets control back from a Shoulder to the gut before climbing to the second turnbuckle and clocking Regal with a flying Forearm Smash. A second one is stopped due to a Regal punch to the gut and it gives Regal room to hit a running knee to the side of the head but it’s a Small Package from Raven that gets the two count. Regal pounds Raven with Left Hands before Raven reverses an Irish Whip and catches Regal in the corner with a Right Hand and a Bulldog out of the corner gets Raven a two count. Regal counters an attempted whip with a Full Nelson attempt but Raven counters it with a hip thrust and a Sunset Flip that Regal rolls into a pin attempt for a two count. Same for a different roll up. Regal gets another two count from a couple of knees to the skull and a Back Elbow. A DDT attempt by Raven is countered by Regal following a variation of a Northern Lights Suplex that gets another two. An attempted Regal Cutter is countered into an attempted DDT that regal stops by driving Raven into the turnbuckles. An Irish Whip is counterd by Raven but both men run into each other and this knocks Raven out of the ring. With the referee’s atention on Raven, Tazz runs in and hits Regal with an Exploder Suplex. Raven then slides back into the ring and hits Regal with a DDT that gets the three count.
Vince McMahon, The Undertaker, Sara and Kane are backstage. Vince says WCW have won two in a row and WWE can’t afford for WCW to win a third. Vince attempts to motivate Undertaker and Kane by reminding Kane how ECW beat him down when they first joined the inVasion. Vince mentions Diamond Dallas Page stalking Undertaker’s wife, Sara and Undertaker grabs Vince by the throat and slams him against the wall. He says tonight we will see the best of The Undertaker. Vince smiles, happy his guy are motivated.
. Hugh Morrus, Shawn Stasiak & Kanyon vs Billy Gunn, The Big Show & Albert
Do not adjust your set, Albert really is wearing the Intercontinental Title and really held the title back then. To this day I have no idea why though.
The WCW lads attack Team WWE to start but WWE quickly fight back creating a cool visual where each man on WWE lifts an opponent for a Gorilla Press Slam. Gunn and Kanyon start with Kanyon ramming Gunn’s head into the turnbuckles and unloading with punches and Shoulder Blocks. An Irish Whip is reversed by Gunn and Kanyon tries to leap over Gunn. Instead Gun catches him in a chicken fight/doomsday device position and falls backwards hitting Kanyon with an Electric Chair Drop. Gun charges at Kanyon who hits some kind of Back Drop into a modified Northern Lights Suplex that gets him a two count when Gunn pushes himself up before rolling Kanyon with a Backslide that gets Gunn a two. Gunn hits some Right Hands but is caught by a Stasiak Forearm as he shoots himself off the ropes allowing Kanyon to hit a Russian Leg Sweep that he rolls into a Stroke for a two before tagging Stasiak. He lays into Gunn in the corner with Right Hands and stomps. Stasiak Irish Whips Gunn but Gunn catches in incoming Stasiak with a Back Elbow and a Neckbreaker. Gunn tags Albert who hits Stasiak with a Clothesline, an Irish Whip and an Avalanche. All six men enter the ring but WWE quickly clear house. Back to one on one, Albert knocks Stasiak down with a Pump Kick and a Baldo Bomb that gets a two count. Behind the referees back, Morrus hits Albert with a DDT before legally tagging in. He runs straight into a Powerslam by Albert. Gunn tags back in and he hits Morrus with a Clothesline and a Fameasser but can’t take advantaage as Kanyon is in the ring. With the referee distracted by Kanyon, Stasiak hits Gunn with a Reverse DDT (no matter who does it, I love this move) Morrus makes the cover and he gets the three count.
Winners: Hugh Morrus, Shawn Stasiak & Kanyon
Backstage Shane McMahon and Booker T are confident they are going to win tonight.
William Regal and Tajiri are in Regal’s office. Regal tells Tajiri that since coming to the WWE, Tajiri has been loyal to WWE. Tonight is his shot. Tonight he wants Tajiri to take the “foul, miserable, torag little gobshite, Tazz” (which the subtitles on the WWE Network amusingly translate as “foul, miserable total reckless will go upside, Tazz”) and pull him apart for Regal, for Vince McMahon and most of all the WWE. Regal tells Tajiri that he knows Tajiri can do it “So bloody well go and do it!” I love, Love, LOVE this segment.
. Tajiri vs Tazz
As Tajiri slides into the ring, Tazz kicks him in the head. Both men exchange Right Hands. Tazz wins the Battle of the Right Hands and whips Tajiri off the rope but he ducks a Clothesline and hits Tazz with a Spinning Heel Kick and a standing Moonsault that gets an early two count. Tajiri then rams Tazz into the corner and Chops him. An Irish Whip is countered by Tazz, Tajiri gets a boot up to counter a running Tazz but he then walks into a Capture Suplex. Tazz smashes Tajiri with Forearms to the shoulder blades. Tajiri counters a Suplex and unleashes a flurry of kicks and punches on Tazz but this time he runs into a Clothesline by Tazz. A Whip of the ropes into a Back Drop is scuppered by Tajiri who kicks Tazz in the chest but Tazz ducks a Spinning Kick before hitting a Snapmare and forearms to the face. Tazz chops and stomps Tajiri in the corner. Tajiri fights back with punches and kicks byt Tazz drops Tajiri to the mat with a UFC style takedown which results in a two count. Tazz locks in a Cross Armbreaker (oddly on the right arm, in wrestling it’s normally the left) but Tajiri is close enough to get his foot on the bottom rope. Tazz Irish Whips Tajiri who tries to leap over Tazz but Tazz catches him and Alabama Slams Tajiri to the mat for a two count. Tazz whips Tajiri off the ropes but Tajiri turns it into a Handspring Elbow that knocks Tazz out of the ring. Tajiri stands on the ring apron and tries to kick Tazz but he just grabs Tajiri’s ankle and yanks him off the apron and down onto the arena floor before throwing Tajiri into the ringside steps. Back in the ring, Tazz Irish Whips Tajiri but Tajiri manages to catch an oncoming Tazz in the Tarantula. Away from the corner, Tajiri hits Tazz with a running Dropkick that get him a two count. Tajiri rattles Tazz with two big Roundhouse Kicks to the chest but Tazz catches a third one and lobs Tajiri up and over with a Leg Arm Suplex. As Tazz attempt to lift Tajiri for his next attack, Tajiri spews green mist into Tazz’s face. With his vision obsured, Tazz is defenceless, this allows Tajiri to crack Tazz on the side of the head with another Roundhouse Kick for the pinfall victory.
Backstage we see Matt and Jeff Hardy. Matt says he is worried about Jeff’s match later tonight. He tells Jeff that the upcomming Hardcore Match is what Jeff’s opponent, Rob Van Dam, built his reputation on and that Jeff needs to finish the match quickly. Rob Van Dam appears like a puff of smoke and smashes Matt in the back with a chair and tells Jeff “You’re Next“. Matt seems hurt and most likely won’t be at ringside for Jeff’s match (you could say his appearance has been DELETED!)
In the WWE’s New York restaurant, Bob Holly is hapily signing autographs for fans. That is until one of them is wearing a WCW shirt. This angers Bob. He tears the shirt off the fan and threatens to kick his ass. (pretty sure the fan could sue here. Destruction of Property, maybe even Threatening with Intent but I digress)
. Rob Van Dam vs Jeff Hardy [Hardcore Title]
Jeff starts immediately with Right Hands. He shoots RVD off the ropes but it is reversed, RVD tries to duck under Jeff but Jeff tries to Legdrop RVD who moves and kicks Jeff in the face. Both men take turns at Legdropping each other but the other one moves out of the way. RVD tries to German Suplex Jeff but he reverses it and his attemt at a German Suplex on RVD is thwarded by a Back Elbow and an Arm Drag which Jeff gets out off with a Headscissors.
We have a stand off.
RVD chants can be heard around the arena and when RVD turns to acknowledge them he is Dropkicked from behind. Jeff Irish Whips RVD but RVD catches in incoming Jeff with a Back Elbow. RVD Irish Whips Jeff but Jeff leaps over RVD and Dropkicks him head firtst into the bottom turnbuckle for a two count. RVD sends Jeff off the ropes and tries to Monkey Flip Jeff as he rebounds back. Jeff sees it coming and catches RVD’s ankles before compacting him for a two count. RVD hits Jeff with some forearm shots before Jeff hits RVD with an inverted Atomic Drop. RVD ducks a charging Jeff and hits a standing Moonsault on a fallen Jeff for a two count. RVD hits Jeff with a Double Underhook Lifting Facebuster and a Rollng Thunder for a two count. RVD hits Jeff with some rights and some kicks before an Irish Whip which is countered by Jeff. RVD leaps to the top rope but is pushed off by Jeff and RVD goes face first into the ringside barrier. As RVD tries to get back into the ring Jeff catches him in the face with a Baseball Slide. Jeff goes to the outside and uses the crowd barrier as a platform to throw himself at RVD but RVD has the move scouted and knocks Jeff off the barrier and and into the crowd. RVD goes into the crowd after him where Jeff reverses an Irish Whip and RVD goes back first into another barricade. Jeff charges at him and RVD boots Jeff in the face before jumping on to the barricade and Moonsaulting onto Jeff for a two count. At ringside, RVD lifts Jeff onto the ringside barrier so Jeff’s laying with his chest on the barrier before leaping off the ring apron and striking Jeff with a spinning Legdrop for a two. RVD tosses Jeff back into the ring but again acknowledges the crowd. This allows Jeff to hit RVD with a Sunset Flip into a Powerbomb sending RVD from the apron back first to the ringside mats. Jeff drags a ladder from under the ring and sets it up at ringside.
Jeff climbs to the top of the ladder but RVD is back on his feet and pushes the ladder over sending Jeff crashing to the floor. RVD arms himself with a steel chair. Not even on his feet yet, Jeff smashes RVD in the face with the ladder. Jeff now has the chair and he gets revenge for Matt when he smashes RVD in the back with it. RVD is on his knees at the top of the isle begging Jeff not to hit him. Jeff takes a moment to think about it and that is all RVD needs as he leaps into the air and Van Daminators the chair into Jeff’s face sending him off the entrance stage. Tossing Jeff back onto the stage, RVD hits Jeff with a spinning Legdrop in the middle of the isle way for a two count. RVD throws Jeff and the chair back into the ring before mounting Jeff and unloading with punches. RVD dumps Jeff into the corner and Dropkicks the chair right into Jeff’s face but Jeff gets his knees up to counter a Split Legged Moonsault. Jeff DDT’s RVD right ontop of his skull and somehow only gets a two. A German Suplex by Jeff also gets a two. Jeff hits RVD with a Jawbreaker before climbing to the top turnbuckle and launching at RVD with a Swanton but RVD narrowly avoids it, moving at the last second and Jeff lands hard on the canvas. RVD places the Hardcore Title onto Jeff’s chest before climbing to the top turnbuckle himself and flying through the air and crashing down onto Jeff with a Frog Splash that gives him the victory and the title.
Winner: Rob Van Dam [NEW Hardcore Champion]
Backstage and Vince McMahon isn’t looking as confident as he was earlier. Kurt Angle (with hair) is here. Vince says Kurt needs to be in the right frame of mind if they are going to beat The Alliance. Kurt says at the Olympics he kicked ass (with a broken freaking neck probably) and he’ll do the same tonight. He’s going to kick some serious behind for his country, his company and mostly for himself.
Speaking of serious behind (Michael Cole’s words, not mine)
. Trish Stratus & Lita vs Stacy Kiebler & Torrie Wilson [Bra And Panties Match]
According to the video package that aired prior to this, this match is happening because Trish, Torrie and Stacy are all trying to seduce Matt and Jeff Hardy and Lita isn’t happy about it. Plus that pesky WCW inVasion thing.
Oh look, Mick Foley is here. He’s going to be the guest referee for this. Granted I’m not exactly sure HOW you referee one of these.
Trish and Lita start by mounting Torrie and Stacy and smother them with punches. Stacy escapes by rolling out of the ring while Torrie is now on top of Trish and is slamming her head againt the canvas. Foley sends Lita out of the ring so only two remain in the ring. Torrie kicks Trish in the gut and then Dropkicks her from behind and then stomps her in the corner before unleashing a fearsome Slap to the face. This angers Trish who Slaps Torrie who reverses an Irish Whip, but it does not do any good as Trish comes firing out of the corner and blasts Torrie with a Clothesline. Trish hits Torrie with a Suplex and then tries to remove Torrie’s top but Stacy attacks Trish from behind. Stacy and Torrie try to Double Clothesline Trish but she ducks it and Clotheslines them before tagging in Lita. Torrie and Stacy fight over who is legal (it should be Torrie) before Lita pulls Stacy into the ring and pulls off her top. Lita whips Stacy off the ropes but Stacy manages to “High tail it” to the outside. Lita follow and chases Stacy around the ring before Stacy slides back into the ring. As Lita slides in after her Torrie stomps her spine and holds Lita down while Stacy rams Lita’s head into the canvas and removes Lita’s top. Foley for some reason lifts up Stacy and carries her away, odd he never tried this with Earl earlier. Lita wraps her top around Stacy’s neck and uses it to Snapmare Stacy
“Is it a Snapmare because she’s a female?”
Lita rams Stacy’s head into the corner before grabbing Stacy by the hair and throwing Stacy across the ring. Lita climbs to the top turnbuckle and throws herself at Stacy but she ducks and Lita hits nothing but canvas. Trish and Torrie tag in and Trish knocks Torrie down with a series of Clotheslines. Torrie gets Irish Whipped but moves to avoid an incoming Trish before she grabs Trish by the hair and throws her across the ring. Torrie stands on Trish’s hair and pulls Trish by the arms. Torrie then pulls Trish’s top off but Trish rolls Torrie and pulls off Torrie’s tights. Trish Irish Whips Torrie into the corner and Trish and Lita hit Torrie with a Poetry in Motion and remove Torrie’s top. Trish hits a Bulldog on Stacy and Lita hits a Moonsault before they remove Stacy’s tights.
Winners: Trish Stratus & Lita
Shane, Stephanie and Heyman are with The Alliance team for the main event. Stephanie says it’s do or die. Heyman says they have a chance to create history, that they have a chance to show a winner from a loser. They could be failures or Gods. Shane says the time for talking is over.
Steve Austin and Debra are in Vince’s office. Austin says he isn’t here to sing, hug or play guitar. He says he’s here to whip somebody’s ass. Short and to the point I suppose.
. Diamond Dallas Page, Bubba Ray Dudley, D Von Dudley, Booker T & Rhyno vs Kurt Angle, Steve Austin, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker & Kane [10 Man Tag Match]
Undertaker goes to meet Page as he makes his entrance and this war is on. Austin lays into Rhyno with punches before throwing him into the steps. Austin turns his attentions to Booker T and Austin hits Booker with a Snake Eyes on the barricade. Austin throws Rhyno into the ring and the bell finally rings.
Austin kicks Rhyno a couple of times and kicks him low when the referee isn’t looking. Rhyno stumbles backwards into the corner where Austin ‘stomps a mudhole‘ in him before he punches Bubba and Page. Austin whips Rhyno off the ropes and knees him in the gut. Austin whips Rhyno off the ropes again and this time hits a Lou Thez Press and a series of Right Hands. Austin shoots himself off the ropes and drops an Elbow on Rhyno that gets a two count. Austin takes Rhyno and plonks him on the top turnbuckle and Chops away at Rhyno before bringing Rhyno down with a Superplex that gets a two count. Jericho tags in and Chops Rhyno before hitting a Flying Forearm. Jericho mounts Rhyno and unloads with a series of punches. Rhyno counters a whip off the ropes with a knee to the gut and a Clothesline and tagging in Booker who stomps Jericho in the corner. Booker then Chops Jericho against the rope before a Jumping Side Kick that Jericho ducks before applying Chops of his own. Jericho shoots Booker off the ropes and catches him with a couple of deep Arm Drags and a one handed Bulldog that gets a two count when Rhyno breaks the count but a springboard Dropkick sends him back out of the ring. A second rope Missile Dropkick gets another two count for Jericho. Kurt tags in and he lays in to Booker with right after right. Kurt whips Booker off the ropes and drops him with a Back Elbow. Booker reverses a second whip of the rops and he drops Kurt with a Spinning Kick. Booker tags D Von and he walks into Right Hands by Kurt. D Von reverses a whip off the ropes and he nails Kurt with a spinning Elbow. D Von Irish Whips Kurt but Kurt nails the oncoming D Von with a Back Elbow (seriously how many times has this same runing into the corner only to be either booted or Back Elbowed on this show alone?) and Kurt drops D Von with a Clothesline before tagging Kane.
Kane nails D Von with an Uppercut before throwing him into the corner. Kane then Irish Whips D Von and the oncoming Kane….. actually hits a Clothesline in the corner before Sidewalk Slamming D Von to the mat for a two count. D Von ducks a Clothesline by Kane but walks in to a Chokeslam that is only broken up when Bubba interferes. With Bubba gone after a Right Hand, Kane catches D Von with a Side Suplex. D Von taggs Bubba and Kane shoots D Von off the ropes but D Von ducks a Clothesline and hits a 3DB (a lift into a Neckbreaker as opposed to the 3D which is a lift into an Ace Crusher) which gets Bubba a two count. Bubba follows with a series of Elbow Drops for another two. Kane shoots Bubba off the ropes and Boots him in the face before climbing to the top turnbuckle and flying at Bubba with a Clothesline. Undertaker tags in un unloads with Right Hands, a Back Elbow and an Irish Whip. But a second Irish Whip is, oncoming, back elbow, we know. A Clothesline by Bubba gets a two count. Bubba shoots Undertaker off the ropes and he ducks a Clothesline by Bubba before catching Bubba with a Flying Clothesline and catches a day dreaming Page with a Right Hand that knocks him off the apron. Undertaker hits Bubba with a Legdrop that gets a two count. Undertaker grabs Bubba’s arm and hits Old School before hitting Booker, D Von and Rhyno with Right Hands. He misses a Right Hand to Page who pulls Undertaker down on the ropes leaving him open for Bubba to hit a Suplex. before tagging Rhyno. He hits Undertaker with Punches into the corner and then a running Shoulder (which technically is a Gore) and stomps. Page demands to tag in and Rhyno obliges. Page knees, punches, elbows and stomps Undertaker before a Short Arm Clothesline that gets a two count. Undertaker hits some body shots and an Uppercut that sends Page off the ropes. Page tries to Boot Undertaker, he blocks it but Page is able to hit Undertaker with a Clothesline for a two count. Page shoot Undertaker off the ropes (lot of shooting off the ropes on this show too) but Undertaker ducks a Clothesline only to run into a Back Elbow and a DDT that gets another two count.
Booker tags in and hits some Right Hands before sending Undertaker off the ropes and hitting a Leg Lariat. Booker hits Undertaker with punches to the ribs but Undertaker hits Booker with a DDT for a two count. Undertaker tags Austin who wrenches on Booker’s shoulder. Austin thumbs Booker in the eye before ‘stomping a mudhole‘ in the corner. Booker Irish Whips Austin but he comes out of the corner and nails Booker with a Clothesline. Austin attemts a Stunner but Booker pushes him away. A knee to the gut by Austin sends Booker out of the ring. Outside the ring, Austin throws Booker over the barrier and Suplexes him back over onto the ringside mats before throwing him back into the ring. Austin tags Jericho who Irish Whips Booker and yep. Jericho tries to apply the Walls Of Jericho to Booker but Page is in the ring so Jericho tries to apply the Walls Of Jericho to him. Jericho knocks Booker down and attemps a Lionsault. Booker rolls out of the way and Jericho lands on his feet. Jericho tries a Hurricanranna but D Von grabs him and pulls him down onto the ropes and tags in. D Von stomps Jericho down before throwing him into the corner where he unloads on Jericho with Right Hands. Bubba tags in and hit punches and Elbows. Jericho tries to fight back but an Eye Rake stops that before Bubba tags D Von back in. They Irish Whip Jericho but he ducks a Clothesline from an incoming Bubba and hits D Von with a Forearm and a Spinning Heel Kick to Bubba. Angle tags in and he hits Right Hand to both Bubba and D Von. An Irish Whip to D Von is followed by Angle ducking a charging Bubba and sends him crashing into D Von. It’s Overhead Belly To Belly Suplex City as Angle hits one to Bubba and one to D Von and a cover on D Von get a two count. A distraction by Page allows Bubba to hit Angle with a Bubba Bomb before he finally rolls out of the ring.
D Von hits Angle with a Stomp, a Bodyslam and a Legdrop for a two count. Rhyno tags in and he punches and stomps Angle in the corner before he hits Angle with a Belly To Belly Suplex for a two count. Bubba tags in and he and Angle exchange Right Hands before an Eye Rake by Bubba. D Von tags in and he stomps Angle in the corner before tagging Booker who hits Angle with a Scissors Kick. Page tags in and he Powerbombs Angle for a two count and gets the same result from a Clothesline. Bubba tags in and he and D Von hit Angle with a What’s Up Headbutt that gets D Von a two count when he makes the cover. Page tags in and he hits Angle with a Sleeper into a Slam for a two count before applying a Front Facelock. Angle Back Drops his way out of it and tags Austin. The ref doesn’t see the tag. Page hits Angle with a Diamond Cutter but Undertaker is in the ring punching at Page and pretty soon everybody is in the ring.
Rhyno accidentally Gores Booker. It soon comes down to four men: Angle who is still down, Booker likewise and Undertaker and Page who are still fighting. Undertaker hits a Sidewalk slam on Page and a Chokeslam. On thee outside of the ring, Booker pushes Austin into the steps while inside Undertaker hits WCW referee with a Last Ride. Austin is clutching his knee. Page makes an exit through the crowd and Undertaker follows. D Von throws Kane into the steps and sets up a table against the ringside barrier. Kane is back on his feet and Boots Bubba in the face before Chokeslamming D Von through the commentary table. Bubba clangs Kane on the head with a TV monitor. Bubba and Rhyno suplex Kane through the Mexican commentary table. Jericho, from the apron, throws himself at Rhyno and they go through the table at ringside. Bubba and Booker stomp Angle in the corner. Angle fights both men off with punches and hits a German Suplex to Booker followed by an Olympic Slam to Bubba. Booker tries to kick Angle but he grabs Booker’s foot and applies an Angle Lock. Booker pushes his way out of it and knocks Angle into the referee who falls out of the ring. Angle charges at Booker who hits a Flapjack. Both men are down. At ringside Vince has the WWE Title in his hand. He slides it into Angle but Shane intercepts it. Vince gets in the ring and is clocked in the head by Shane with the title. Shane tries the same to Angle but he clotheslines Shane out of the ring and Back Drops Bubba too. Angle hits Booker with an Olympic Slam and applies the Angle Lock. Booker taps but there is no referee so Austin slides the referee back into the ring. Ausin gets into the ring and kicks Angle in the head and hits Angle with a Stunner. He throws Booker on top of Angle. The referee counts and thanks to Austin’s defection, The Alliance win.
Winners: Diamond Dallas Page, Bubba Ray Dudley, D Von Dudley, Booker T & Rhyno
Austin celebrates his new team’s victory by drinking beer with Shane, Stephanie and Heyman and we are done.
Post Show: I enjoyed this. It’s easy to complain about this and point out the missing WCW stars like Sting, Ric Flair, Bill Goldberg and Hulk Hogan, but this is the first PPV of the inVasion. IF those stars are coming in, I’d expect to see them in later matches when there is a need for the ‘Big guns‘. Overall, WCW were made to look like a proper threat to WWE here and I enjoyed the show as a result.
Match Of The Night: Rob Van Dam vs Jeff Hardy. There was a few good ones here but this was a great one.
MVP: Steve Austin. Going in to the show everyone was talking about him, as the show ended people were still talking about him.
That is me done too. I can be found on Twitter @Callaweasy2220 or I can be found here covering Monday Night Raw from 1993 as part of Chairshot Classics. #UseYourHead and ALWAYS have an Angle!
Chairshot Classics: Impact Wrestling Homecoming 2019
Harry takes us on a few, more recent Impact Wrestling classics. He lends his experience to this new look Homecoming PPV! How does it stack up?
Harry takes us on a few, more recent Impact Wrestling classics. He lends his experience to this new look Homecoming PPV! How does it stack up?
Welcome back into ‘What I Watched’, everyone. As you all know, Rebellion has come and gone from Impact Wrestling. Andrew does an excellent job of covering the show, which you can see (HERE). The idea for ‘What I Watched’ was to cover the PPV prior to Rebellion as a way to get everyone hyped for the show. Thankfully, the United We Stand review going up when it did basically served that purpose. Now, I get the chance to take my time and give Homecoming a fair and honest shake as opposed to the rush job that would have had to happen to get it up in time. As far as where ‘What I Watched’ goes from here…obviously back to PROGRESS for Chapters 6 and going forward. Chapter 5 is already in the queue as discussed before. Having subscribed to IWTV (Independent Wrestling TV) for the time being at least, I now have access to new CHIKARA, Glory Pro, Black Label Pro and much more. Plus classic independent wrestling shows as well. The Club WWN thing is still in the planning stages as well, though that may be a tougher nut to crack.
That brings us to why we’re here today. As mentioned, Impact Wrestling had the Rebellion PPV on the 28th of April. As has been the tradition of ‘What I Watched’, I usually look at the PPV before it to see what they need to improve and what stood out from the prior show. I honestly don’t remember anything about the card for Homecoming since I’ve been focusing on looking at the build to Rebellion as well as my coverage of ‘United We Stand’. All this said, it’s into the way back machine where we head to January 6th, 2019 as ‘What I Watched’ presents Impact Wrestling’s ‘Homecoming’ 2019.
WRITER’S NOTE #1: My reviews will not be a play by play recap. I’ve done that style in the past and honestly, I don’t especially care for it. Instead, it’ll be more of a stream of consciousness review as I talk about the wrestlers, the matches, the storylines and whatever else happens to pop into my head while I watch.
WRITER’S NOTE #2: As much as I’d like to let everyone make their own decisions on the matches, giving away match results in the review will be a necessary evil. The reason being is that I will discuss what I think everything means going forward and maybe even doing a little fantasy booking of where I would go from where they presently are. I will still post the results as one big listing at the end of the articles as well as my ratings for the contests. The final show review will be after that as well as the ‘Final Reaction’ for the show. If you are interested in reading any of my previous reviews here at the Chairshot, feel free to click my name at the top of this article to go to my archive of posted material.
MY RATING SCALE: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Above Average, Average, Below Average, Bad, Very Bad, Terrible and SKIP. Some matches will occasionally get a ‘N/A’ rating as well. That will be reserved for matches that I feel don’t warrant a rating.
Impact Wrestling: ‘Homecoming’
From: The Asylum in Nashville, Tennessee
Date: January 6th, 2019
Run Time: 2:50:01 (Impact Plus (the new GWN)
*GENERAL NOTES: The nostalgia is strong with this show. I can remember watching some of the early TNA weekly PPVs, so for them to be back where it all started almost seventeen years later is quite the feat. Looking forward to see how much of the history of the building comes into play and if they bring in any blasts from TNA/Impact’s past…the building looks really well set up and most importantly, full.
*COLD OPEN: Narrated by Johnny Impact. It’s not bad. I think I liked the Bound for Glory narrated by LAX more but part of that is LAX comes off as more themselves, where as Impact comes off as playing a character most of the time. Still a nice way to look back at days of TNA past. It does a pretty good job of letting us know a good portion of the card for tonight.
*Match #1: ‘Ultimate X’ for the vacant ‘X Division’ Championship- Rich Swann vs. Trey Miguel vs. Ethan Page vs. Jake Crist
The Who: Rich Swann is the former WWE Cruiserweight champion, After personal issues, he left the WWE and ended up in Impact where his wife also is. He defeated Dave Crist to get into this match. Trey Miguel (just Miguel in Impact) got here by beating Trevor Lee. He’s one third of the Rascalz as Wentz (Zachery) and Dez (Dezmond Xavier) came out to the stage with him but then went to the back. Ethan Page beat his mentor (and the man he teamed with back at Bound for Glory) Matt Sydal to qualify here. Still doing the ‘Third Eye’ gimmick here, he has thankfully since dropped that and gone back to the much more familiar ‘All Ego’ Ethan Page. Jake Crist got here by beating Willie Mack. He’s one half of Irish Airborne and (at this point) was one third of oVe (Ohio Versus Everything) with his brother Dave and the leader of the group who we will probably see later in Sami Callihan.
The Why: Brian Cage was the X Division champion, however he cashed in that belt for this opportunity at the Heavyweight title later tonight. On the road here, the four men listed above had the qualifying matches where they advanced to compete for the title in ‘Ultimate X’. I believe they used the same format back in 2012 when Austin Aries cashed in his X Division title for a shot at Robert Roode’s heavyweight title and I want to say that DJ Z (Zema Ion) won the title in that ‘Ultimate X’ match.
The Match: Having just watched the one at ‘United We Stand’, I’ll be curious to see how it compares. I know I’m not supposed to compare one match to another, but it’s human and reviewer nature to do so…opening bell goes here…Ethan is a little big by X Division standards. Doesn’t really wrestle the X Division style either. But I like him as a character and a performer so I wouldn’t have been opposed to him winning here…opening sequence is everyone rushing the belt and then dropping off into frankensteiner when they can’t get to it. Different way to start, I suppose…well, that’ll work. Page body slams Miguel off the top onto Swann and Jake…admittedly choreographed sequence with all the kicks, but the fans liked it…Josh announces that the X Division title went into abeyance when Brian Cage got his opportunity at Johnny Impact later. Man, they sign all the former WWE people…double cutter by Jake to take down Swann and Miguel…showstopper elbow off the cables by Page. Damn, son. Prove me wrong why don’t you…Swann catches Page with a beautiful handspring cutter. His reward for doing so is a double stomp to the back of the head by Trey…so, one cool thing about this match is the guys using the cables to amp up their moves. Does it make a bit of sense? No. But it’s visually impressive and that’s also part of the point of wrestling too…someone needs a Heel Section sign in that crowd…did someone just grab a ladder? That seems moderately unsporting in this match…Trey uses Swann as a projectile off the Ultimate X holder and does a moonsault off it himself. Again, visually impressive and took out all three opponents…different take on the Tower of Doom…just noticed that the ref is ‘Kid Ref’ Kris Levin…Tombstone on the floor. Fuck that noise…Crist tries going across the cables and Ethan spears him off. The one at United We Stand looked better though…leap of faith (Jigsaw) style ’rana by Swann. Miguel tries to return the favor but Swann lands on his feet and races to the other side. He travels down the cable and right as Trey tries to reach out to him, Swann grabs the belt to win the match at 14:01…well, as I said, it’ll be hard not to compare this to the ‘Ultimate X’ match we had at United We Stand. While I thought that match was a better athletic display, I think this one tells a better story with all four men being first time competitors in this match type. Ethan Page impressed me the most with the way he adapted his style to the ‘Ultimate X’ playground. However, I can’t be mad at Swann getting the win here as he’s one of the better Jr. Heavyweight or Cruiserweight wrestlers in the world. Call this one GOOD but a slight step below the ‘Ultimate X’ from ‘United We Stand’, in my opinion.
*Announcers run down the card. Don Callis attempts in vain to keep his cowboy hat in place. The card itself looks pretty good. There isn’t a match here that looks like it’ll be bad. Impact has had two good PPVs prior to this so they seem to be in good shape to keep that run up…we then go backstage to a Brian Cage interview with McKenzie Mitchell. Cage isn’t the best promo but when you look like he does, you don’t have to be. Mitchell isn’t a bad interviewer, but this would have been a good opportunity to go into the Impact past and bring back someone like Goldilocks here.
*Match #2: Allie/Su Yung vs. Jordynne Grace/Kiera Hogan
The Who: Allie is the former Cherry Bomb on the indies and is a former Impact Knockouts champion. Su Yung is a former champion as well, having lost the title in between the Slammiversary and Bound for Glory PPVs last year. Jordynne Grace is making her Impact PPV debut here, but had been on quite the roll in the company up to this point having not lost. At this point in time, she may be the most sought after female talent on the indies. Kiera Hogan, I honestly don’t know much about. I’m starting to go back and watch some of the SHIMMER and SHINE shows, but she’s the wild card here to me.
The Why: Allie was feuding with Su in an attempt to save her friend Kiera, even traveling to the Undead Realm to rescue Kiera when Su abducted her (it‘s Lucha Underground rules at Impact these days). However when she did, she made a deal with Father James Mitchell to get into the Realm at the expense of her soul. A darker and more vicious Allie began to emerge and she eventually sided with Su against her former friend. That led to Jordynne making the save for Kiera during a two on one attack and thus bringing us to this tag match.
The Match: Knowing what we know now (Allie has since left Impact Wrestling and signed with AEW), I feel like Jordynne pinning Allie would have been a good way to announce Jordynne’s arrival into the upper tier of the Knockouts division. As they say though, hindsight is twenty-twenty, so let’s see what did happen…what the sam hill is Kiera wearing? Did she steal Natalya’s side gig as a dominatrix?…Josh: ‘Is Jordynne Grace the most powerful Knockout you’ve ever seen?’ Me: ‘Not in a world where Awesome Kong existed. But she might be second’…I like Jordynne. I am happy to report that she would eventually take her place in said top tier of Knockouts, getting the title shot at the next PPV. Su is a strong character but I’m not sold on her in-ring work. Allie, I like and I always have. But she’s now part of AEW, so I guess that’s irrelevant around Impact these days…opening bell goes here…Grace goes for a powerbomb to open the match. Yeah, I got nothing for that…a snapmare into a sliding clothesline is a much more appropriate opening spot however…tags made on both sides…Kiera’s dropkick does not look good…the hip attack and sliding kick do look better though…lengthy distraction sequence leads to Su pulling Kiera into the buckle…Dark Allie and Su take over at this point…man, Allie has quite the ass (I’m a guy, sue me)…tree of whoa neckbreaker by Su looks really nice. She’s gotten better in the ring in the several years she’s been doing this…good double team work by Allie and Su with the Arachnidrana into a lungblower…neither Kiera nor Su throws a good looking strike. Even the forearms look like they wouldn’t break a piece of paper…Jordynne’s strikes look much better…I actually think Kiera’s gear may be actually be a Harlem Heat tribute. Just saw the flames on the back. Wonder if she broke into the business at Reality of Wrestling…double team suplex and cross body to the floor. Give Su credit, that is a hell of a bump, even with the mats…Allie goes to the eyes and Kiera tags herself in. Allie takes advantage of that, but Kiera catches a swinging fisherman’s suplex…Jordynne with a fall-forward slam to Allie at the same time as she powerbombs Su…Su mists Jordynne sending her to the floor. Allie catches Kiera with a Codebreaker. Instead of going for the cover, she crawls over to Su and gets the glove that Su has used for the Mandible Claw in the past. Allie then applies the Mandible Claw herself on Kiera and the referee notes that Kiera is out, calling for the bell at 8:52…better then I thought it would be, but it wasn’t anything you need to see either. Su is much more sizzle then steak and while Allie isn’t a bad worker, she’s nothing to write home about either. Jordynne has the potential to be something special down the line and while Kiera is getting better, she’s by far the lowest of the four on the totem pole. Again, knowing that Allie would soon be gone, I think I’d have given the win to Jordynne and Kiera here, but all in all, it’s an AVERAGE match with a strong finish due to the mind games that Su has worked on Allie.
*Post match- the attack on Kiera continues and it leads to the Undead Bridesmaids bringing a casket onto the stage, much the same way Madison Rayne found herself inside of it at Slammiversary…Su grabs Kiera and sends her toward the casket, calling for it to be opened. When it is opened, Rosemary pops out. It would be the first time we’ve seen Rosemary at ringside since she tore her ACL back in early 2018…Rosemary lays out a few of the Undead Bridesmaids before throwing a charging Su into the pack…Rosemary and Allie come face to face and Rosemary goes for the ‘bunny pat’ but Allie slaps her hand away and escapes the ring.
*Match #3: ‘Falls Count Anywhere’- Moose vs. Eddie Edwards
The Who: Moose is a former NFL player who has made the transition to wrestling, first stopping at ROH on his way to Impact. Eddie Edwards is, well at this point, a crazy person. He’s also one of the few who can claim they are an Impact ‘Grand Slam’ champion, having held the Heavyweight, X Division, Tag and Grand Championships for the company.
The Why: This match was supposed to happen at Bound for Glory, but Killer Kross got involved at ringside and the match got turned into a tag match between Kross and Moose against Edwards and Tommy Dreamer. That didn’t settle the score and Impact management has given them a ‘Falls Count Anywhere’ match here to hopefully settle their differences once and for all.
The Match: Video package before as is the norm and man, that powerbomb onto the ramp had to hurt like hell. Screw that noise…they put Eddie in a mental asylum. The irony of that is there have been times where Impact’s booking has made me feel like I should be in one of those myself…Raven being used in the build makes sense though, given that they are in the Asylum for this show…Moose makes his entrance and Eddie jumps him in the aisle way, giving us our opening bell…Josh calls Eddie a ‘loose cannon’. Let’s not go throwing that around so flippantly, shall we?…that plancha looked really awkward…the suicide dive catch into the apron powerbomb looks a lot better…and that’s a double your pleasure moment…Moose uses the ring steps (one piece ring steps) to bridge a guardrail off the side of the ring. This probably ends poorly for someone…if at first you don’t succeed, suicide dive again…weekly PPV flashback time as they begin to brawl all around the Asylum…start my own ‘I can’t see shit’ chant at this point…we finally catch up as they make it to what used to be Raven’s Nest…plancha out of the Nest by Edwards. Nice move…Josh points out that ‘Anarchy Rules’ in the Asylum. Don’s microphone goes silent for a bit as I assume that popped him…Edwards is on those ‘red equals green’ types. For the second time in a big singles match at a PPV I’ve covered, he’s busted open…Edwards chair chucks at Moose twice, hitting him in the head both times. Sabu wouldn’t show back up until ‘United We Stand’, so someone had too…superplex into a chair stack…strike exchange and it actually looks good. Both guys are very believable strikers…and Moose goes through the guardrail. Well, it is Wrestling 101. ‘He who sets it up usually goes through it’. Usually works for tables, but I guess guardrails bridged like a table works much the same…it’s Falls Count Anywhere, Eddie. Just pin him there…kendo stick shots to the quad. That’s such a jerk move…Eddie’s wife Alisha comes down and pulls the kendo stick from him, yelling that it’s enough. She then proceeds to beat Moose with the stick herself. When in Rome, I suppose…Edwards gets in one last shot himself that splinters the cane. Eddie follows up with a double arm DDT and that’s three at 13:20…so, I’m a little torn here. The match itself was very good. Exactly what it needed to be with the physicality and Edwards finally able to overcome the size disadvantage to stand tall. I don’t care for the ending. I get that Moose has been mean to Alisha as well as Eddie, but her going off on Moose with the cane seemed like she took Eddie’s moment to me. I’m still going with a GOOD rating here, but I think it’s higher if Alisha isn’t involved.
*Sami Callihan promo to get us to the next match, which will be Callihan vs. Willie Mack. Callihan delivers his usual strong promo here, but for as much as I like Willie Mack, I can’t help but feel like Sami is underutilized here.
*Match #4: Willie Mack vs. Sami Callihan
The Who: Willie Mack made his Impact debut right around Bound for Glory last year, where he teamed with Rich Swann to beat Ethan Page and Matt Sydal. Sami Callihan had my best match of 2018 in Impact with Pentagon Jr. at Slammiversary. Sami was also voted Impact Wrestler of the Year and for those more into the WWE, was briefly known as Solomon Crowe in NXT.
The Why: Guessing it goes back to Jake Crist beating Willie Mack to get into the ‘Ultimate X’ match. Willie wasn’t cool with that after Sami cost him the match and went after Sami, despite Rich Swann telling Willie that Sami isn’t a war worth fighting.
The Match: Sami makes friends with everyone around ringside before eventually yelling at Don Callis. Who does he think he is, Austin Aries?…as soon as Sami gets into the ring, Willie charges in with a clothesline and an opening bell…Willie with a tope con hilo and lands on his feet. I’ll point out at this time that if you aren’t familiar with Willie, he also weighs about three hundred pounds. That’s insane agility for a guy his size…weird to see Mack controlling the opening part of this match. I do like he’s getting the chance to showcase some of his moveset…Willie decides to go after Dave and it turns the tables to put Sami in control…bicycle knee while Mack is trapped in the apron. Unique offense…that’s just fucking gross, Sami…pretty lengthy rest hold here. Not what you’d expect from these two…jaw-jacker by Willie to escape another sleeper. Not the Stunner he was using back in Lucha Underground though…that Samoan Drop->nip-up->standing moonsault combo by Willie always impresses me. An incredible blend of strength and athleticism…jesus, that cannonball…Stunner attempts gets countered but Mack catches the Sky-High (called such by Matthews) for a close two…speaking of bicycle knees. (Callis cant help but call it the ‘V Trigger’)…Mack does get the Stunner but Callihan is able to get a foot on the rope. Mack to the top but while Sami has the ref, Dave Crist distracts Mack long enough for Sami to get over and bring Willie down with an avalanche DVD…for a ONE COUNT! DISRESPECTFUL!…burning lariat gets another one count…fans rally behind Willie as Sami lays in strikes. Willie tries a lariat of his own, but it’s ducked and Sami turns him inside out with another burning lariat. Callihan then catches Mack with a piledriver (Memphis style) for the three count at 10:20…there we go. Leave it to Sami to once again deliver. I’m not going to say excellent, because I don’t think it’s long enough to justify that. That being said, it’s one of the better ten minute matches I’ve seen. I’ll go with a VERY GOOD here and these Impact PPVs just keep killing it.
*Eli Drake interview with McKenzie Mitchell here about Monster’s Ball up next…forget the promo for a second here…how did Impact let this guy fall so far? Yes, he’s not exactly great in the ring, but the guy has the kind of promo skills that can carry a company. For the longest time, he did carry the company. I get the whole ‘he was fired because of disparaging remarks about Impact’ thing. At the same time, his character at this time is anti-Impact Wrestling management. There’s nothing there that couldn’t have been worked out. Honestly, I would not be surprised to see him signing with AEW or the WWE by the time people are reading this if not shortly thereafter.
*Match #5: Monster’s Ball- Eli Drake vs. Abyss
The Who: Eli Drake, I talked about just above. Former Impact world champion and while he’s not anything special in the ring, he can talk them into the building. Abyss is the most homecoming of all the people at this show as he broke out as Abyss here in the Asylum in the early (ish) days of TNA. He was even on the first weekly PPV for TNA as Prince Justice (though that wasn’t here in the Asylum. That was in the Von Braun Center, I believe)
The Why: Eli has been speaking out against hardcore wrestling. Who better in TNA/Impact world to defend it then Abyss? There was also the whole Abyss put Eli through a table with a Chokeslam at Bound for Glory situation too.
The Match: Eli brings out what looks to be an ore as weapon. Why the hell not?…and yet again, another jumpstart as Eli attacks Abyss before the opening bell at…Abyss throws his jacket at Eli and misses, but Eli catches it in time for continue what they had planned. That’s a professional…Abyss has a staple gun. Eli tries a sunset flip. This goes about as well as you would expect for Eli…we’re almost two minutes in and Eli still hasn’t gotten his ring jacket off…Abyss sets up tables and goes for a Chokeslam but Eli goes to the eyes…they then begin brawling into the crowd which would have been a lot more effective if Eddie and Moose hadn’t done it less then an hour ago…traveling case as a weapon. That works…Eli calls himself the ‘last of a dying breed’. Well, he break into TNA with Eddie Kingston…JESUS! Overhead belly to belly from the ring to the floor through the tables! That’s a dummy no for Eli…and Abyss has the thumbtacks…Abyss calls for the Chokeslam but Eli escapes. Drake gets a handful of tacks, but Abyss ducks and Kid Ref takes them in the face. With Levin being attended to, Abyss hits the Black Hole Slam, but there’s no zebra to count, despite the crowd’s best attempt…corner charge attempt by Abyss meets a chair that was placed there I think at the start…Eli has a chair. Abyss has Janice. Eli proceeds to beg before a gut shot with the chair. Eli tries to use Janice but Abyss catches Eli in a goozle and this time, it is the Chokeslam into the tacks complete with full ‘FML’ face from Eli…jesus christ, his back is a pincushion…face full of tacks to Abyss this time and Eli tries to use zip ties. That does not work, so instead it’s a series of chair shots. I lost count around 10…it was an attempt at the Rock-Austin Mania X7 finish but Abyss out at two…Eli grabs the paddle (the thing I thought was an ore) and breaks it over Abyss’ head. That’s your three count at 12:12…by Monster’s Ball standards, it was a little tame. Having the Falls Count Anywhere match earlier in the show may have taken some of the shine off it as well. That said, I enjoyed the match. I thought Eli looked really good here and for as long as it’s been for Abyss to be a regular competitor in Impact, he more then held his own. Eli getting the win here made sense too because you could use it to springboard him back up the card (which they kind of were going to with Eddie Edwards before Drake got fired). Neither one of these guys is still with the company, but it was an ABOVE AVERAGE match to go out on.
*Killer Kross promo backstage with McKenzie Mitchell…and his promo ain’t make a damn bit of sense. He seemed to still be channeling his Lucha Underground Rabbit Tribe gimmick then anything that checks inside of Impact. He does call out Johnny Impact and hopefully, that’s not foreshadowing his involvement in the main event.
*Match #6: Impact Tag Team titles- LAX © vs. Lucha Brothers (Fenix and Pentagon Jr.)
The Who: LAX (Ortiz and Santana) come into this match after having successfully defended their tag belts at Bound for Glory in the ‘Concrete Jungle’ match, teaming with Konnan to beat the original LAX of Hernandez and Homicide along with Eddie Kingston. Lucha Brothers come into this on a PPV losing streak for Fenix, as he dropped the fall in the four way at Slammiversary and alongside Brian Cage and Pentagon Jr., they were bested by the Crist brothers and Sami Callihan at Bound for Glory.
The Why: LAX wanted to know if they could beat the Lucha Brothers. Sometimes, you don’t need a complicated story. Just a battle for respect.
The Match: I really didn’t feel the need to the talk about the who much here. I’m actually debating dropping that going forward. I can talk about people here on the match section and for some of these people, the who becomes very redundant…having watched Rebellion live, I know what they did in the match that followed this. I’m curious to see how this goes without the stipulation to guide it…then again, Pentagon Jr. might just have been the hottest wrestler in the world at this point not named Becky Lynch…Josh and Don do bring up a valid point going into this match as LAX is not accompanied by Konnan. The last time they had a PPV title defense not with Konnan, they lost the tag belts. Though Josh and Don don’t name who, the answer is Eli Drake and Scott Steiner…there is a sign at ringside they keep showing that does make sense. “LAX vs. Lucha Brothers. Los Ganadores: Nosotros”. Despite my limited knowledge of Spanish, the sign translates to “LAX vs. Lucha Bros. The winners: All of us” or something similar…opening bell here…and the opening double team starts just about a minute into the match. If I’m the referee here, it’s Lucha rules. Let them go balls to the wall. Everyone wants to see it, why the hell not?…double stomp powerbomb combo lands Santana square on the back of his head. Oops…man, Fenix eats shit to the floor…once Santana is able to cause shit-eating, LAX brings the double teams. I go back to what I’ve said before. I think LAX is one of the top three best tag teams in the world when it comes to double team work. I’d also put the Lucha Brothers either in the top five or really close to it…Ortiz with a tope con hilo of his own and almost eats it into the barricade. The adrenaline is flowing for all four guys to start this one…top rope Asai Moonsault by Santana. Yep, balls to the wall…I don’t even know how to describe some of the double team work in this match…what the hell was that? Like an overhead throw assisted suicide dive by the Lucha Brothers. That’s a new one for me…you get a tope, you get a tope, you get a tope. Everyone gets a tope…your referee is Brandon Toll. Or as he’s known for this match: ‘that poor bastard’…360 kick by Fenix sets up a Codebreaker with double stomp combo…that’s it. I’m out. I got nothing. Top rope splash by Ortiz on Fenix. He goes the cover which Pentagon Jr. breaks up with a double stomp. Pentagon Jr. goes forward from that double stomp into a Canadian Destroyer on Santana as well…and a near standing ovation breaks out from it…that whole exchange looks cool but comes off really choreographed…double stomp Fear Factor lands this time but Ortiz throws Fenix into Pentagon to break up the count…Fenix is the man of 1000 double stomps. This one breaks up the cover after the Street Sweeper. He came from completely out of camera range to hit it, which did make for a nice visual…shortly after the breakup, Pentagon Jr. rolls out to the floor, leaving Ortiz and Fenix in the ring. Santana gets the tag and a series of moves that I don’t try to describe leads to a double team chicken wing into a facebuster that gets the three count at 11:31…exactly what I wanted from this match. I’d put it as good as the ‘Full Metal Mayhem’ match they’d go on to have at Rebellion. This match here though had none of the toys to work with that match had. Instead it was just four dudes going out there and busting their asses to entertain the fans in attendance and the paying audience at home. A VERY GOOD match here but given the four, that’s probably not that much of a surprise.
*Post-match: Konnan comes out and puts over all four guys as well as the building itself. Josh wants to see more and we would.
*McKenzie Mitchell is now backstage with Gail Kim, who has quite the little referee outfit on. If I didn’t know better, I’d say Gail may have had some work done…Gail mentions everything that’s been going on with Tessa and says that she’s here to call it down the middle to make sure the right women is the Knockout’s champion.
*Match #7: Impact Knockouts title- Tessa Blanchard © vs. Taya Valkyrie with Gail Kim as the special guest referee
The Who: Tessa Blanchard is the current champion and is a third generation wrestler (Grandfather is Joe, father is Tully). Taya Valkyrie is still relatively new to Impact at this point but was a key player in Lucha Underground. Gail Kim is the most celebrated Knockout in TNA/Impact history. However, she’s been retired from wrestling (as a competitor) since Bound for Glory 2017.
The Why: Tessa beat Taya at Bound for Glory, albeit under some controversial circumstances with a referee paying more attention to a ring apron than to Taya’s pin after the Road to Valhalla. Taya was granted the rematch and Tessa began disrespecting everyone, referees and staff alike at Impact to the point where Gail Kim stepped up and said she’d be the referee for the rematch here at Homecoming.
The Match: Let me first say that I don’t dislike Taya. I’m just not a huge fan of hers. If I had to sum it up with one word, it would probably be indifference. That’s not a good thing. My adoration of Tessa is well documented by this point and I don’t wish to expand…the cameraman for Gail’s entrance is getting fired…crowd seems pretty evenly split here though…Gail and Tessa get into a verbal spat before the opening bell. Let’s go ahead and telegraph this one way out in front, why don’t we…opening bell here…and the opening collar and elbow looks awkward. Not a great start…most of the Lucha sequence that follows looks good, until a mess is made of a tilt-a-whirl head scissors attempt. Not on the same page at the start of this one…it has been the night of the double stomp. Taya with a standing one to Tessa’s back…DDT onto the apron turns the table, though…the Survivor schmucks they showed earlier (I did not make mention of it) have a “Dicks Out 4 Taya” sign. The fuck is wrong with you morons?…basement dropkick into the guardrail by Tessa. Looked vicious…well, that’s quite the arm bar…looked like a Zig Zag with the hair there by Tessa…Gail and Tessa goes nose to nose. It leads to Taya fighting back for a brief moment before Tessa regains control…release German by Taya looks good…charging hip attack by Taya leads to the double knees in the corner…Buzzsaw DDT attempt by Tessa is countered nicely into a northern lights suplex by Taya. Tip toe bridge too until Taya rolls back and hits another double stomp, this time to a flattened Tessa…Taya goes for and misses a moonsault leading to a Tessa spear for two…Taya ducks and Tessa drills Gail. Accidentally, but I don’t think Tessa cared. Tessa gets the Buzzsaw DDT, but Gail is down so there’s no count. Turnabout being fair play from the referee at Bound for Glory…Tessa grabs the belt, but by the time she tries to use it, Gail tries to pull it away from her. A tug of war leads to Gail smacking Taya with the belt as Taya smirks. Tessa demands a count and Gail does, not even looking at the shoulders for two…Tessa shoves Gail. Tessa with a second shove and Gail shoves back into a roll-up for two by Taya. Glad that wasn’t the finish…Taya also gets out of the corner trap chestblower. Tessa grabs Gail by the throat, forcing her into the buckle. Tessa takes a swing at Gail. Gail ducks and catches Tessa with Eat Defeat. Tessa stumbles forward towards Taya, who lifts Tessa up and plants her with Road to Valhalla. With no ring apron distraction this time, it’s a three count at 10:41…definitely had it’s ups and downs. The booking of the match made sense with the story they are trying to tell so I won’t be too upset about that. Unfortunately, there was a lot of other moments here and there where they didn’t seem to be on the same page that hurt the flow of the match. For as relatively good as I thought their match was at Bound for Glory, this is a bit of a disappointment to me. Call it AVERAGE, but slightly better then the tag match that went on second on this show.
*Post-match, Taya seems to be genuinely happy that she’s won the belt. I can’t hate that. Tessa looks furious and the stage is set for a Rebellion…we then go to Josh and Don who run down everything that’s happened before giving us the Impact to Twitch announcement. The announcers then set the stage for Johnny Impact and Brian Cage.
*Johnny Impact promo, once again with McKenzie. I still say they missed an opportunity with not using old Impact interviewers since they were back in the Asylum…Impact has become a little better at promos but he’s still not great.
*Match #8: Impact Heavyweight title- Johnny Impact © vs. Brian Cage
The Who: Johnny Impact is the former John Morrison, of course. He’s been the champion since Bound for Glory when he beat Austin Aries. At this point, he was still a baby face as well. Brian Cage was also loved by fans here (and still is). Bound for Glory was not so kind to him as he suffered his first loss in Impact when he was pinned in that previously mentioned six-man tag by Sami Callihan.
The Why: This is an ‘Option C’ match up, where Brian Cage cashed in his Impact X Division title for a shot at Johnny Impact and the Heavyweight title. To this point, I don’t believe Cage had been beaten in a singles match either.
The Match: Cage comes out looking like he found the Gauntlet from Lucha Underground…Josh puts over Johnny during his entrance. Callis then puts over Cage. I think we know who is siding with who here…I feel like Johnny’s and Survivor don’t mix. Whatever you do, don’t bring back Fairplay…opening bell here…Cage snuffs a single leg attempt and it ends up as a stalemate…Impact teases a test of strength before clocking Cage with a kick. Obviously, Impact is going to have to use stamina and intellect here…that was kind of a northern lights. I’m not sure what it was supposed to be but I’m guessing that’s not it…fans seem to be leaning Cage but Impact catches a pretty good looking springboard spear gets two for Impact…well, that’s one way to turn the match. Cage sweeps the leg and Impact goes back into the buckle before face into the mat…Cage’s strength does allow him to combine offense like few can…monkey flip. Because of course Cage does a monkey flip…Impact escapes a power slam attempt and sends Cage into the cover. Leverage is also going to be key for Impact here…Cheeky Nandos! And Callis gives credit to Will Ospreay on the call. Never change, Don! It sets up a really nice looking electric chair facebuster too…Cage going for more of a grounded match then I thought he would. It’s like he’s intentionally trying to throw Impact off his game…Impact with a big dive to the floor and flushes Cage in the face with his knee! Jesus, Johnny. Fans chant ‘TNA’ too, so they have been hit with the knee as well…that definitely turns the tide as Impact takes over…Johnny Impact with a discus forearm. He’s never been a strike guy though, so Cage takes over almost immediately thereafter…apparently Josh has forgotten that the neckbreaker is called ‘Moonlight Drive’…Impact goes for the Razor’s Edge Urinage but Cage escapes. Cage goes for the Drill Claw, but Impact escapes. Impact catches some, but not nearly all, of the rope-hang German suplex. Sometimes, I think Johnny’s offense is too fancy just for the sake of being fancy…that was a pathetic looking kickout…they are just trading bombs at this point…Impact out of the discus lariat which I believe was one of Cage’s primary finishers in Lucha Underground…Impact catches Starship Pain but it’s a clean kickout by Cage. I’m trying to remember if Aries kicked out of it at Bound for Glory. I think he did, but I’m not sure…Impact with a top-rope Spanish Fly. For one. Because of course…Cage looking for Weapon X and this time gets it, but Impact gets the rope at the last split second. Maybe even just after what would have been the three. Given what we know now, that moment makes a lot more sense in hindsight…and Cage launches a Survivor douche three rows deep with a shove. Hahahahaha!…Drill Claw but there’s no referee as he’s dealing with the Survivor schmucks. Referee finally in and it’s a last second kickout from Impact. Cage looks for the Cesaro superplex but Impact counters it twice. Impact finally swings around and it’s a sort of powerbomb kinda that just barely gets a three count (again, what we know now) at 19:12…the finish was blown to an extent but they recovered it enough to make it work for where it was going. In addition, I could have done without the involvement of the dumb asses from Survivor as well. As far as Impact and Cage alone go, the match was GOOD but never anything above just because it came off kinda clunky. Neither one of these guys is known as a match leader and it showed here as they battled some miscommunications. Middle of the pack match for the title, sad to say.
*Cage is fuming after the way the match ends, grabbing the belt from referee Johnny Bravo. Cage debates what to do before throwing the belt at Impact and storming off. Seems to be a theme around here…Impact slowly makes his way back up as Taya makes her way out to the ring. Fans are booing and I saw a couple water bottles chucked, but the final thing we see are Impact and Valkyrie celebrating their wins and titles…right as I type that Killer Kross jumps Impact. Valkyrie tries to defend Impact and Kross powerbombs her off the ramp into the crowd onto black shirt security (hey, a throwback) and Killer Kross celebrates as the last thing we actually see.
Match #1: ‘Ultimate X’ for the vacant X Division title- Rich Swann wins 4 way by grabbing X Division title @ 14:01 in a match that also included Ethan Page, Jake Crist and Trey Miguel (GOOD)
Match #2: Allie/Su Yung def. Jordynne Grace/Kiera Hogan, referee stoppage when Allie has Mandible Claw on Hogan @ 8:52 (AVERAGE)
Match #3: Falls Count Anywhere- Eddie Edwards pins Moose, double-arm DDT @ 13:20 (GOOD)
Match #4: Sami Callihan pins Willie Mack, piledriver @ 10:20 (VERY GOOD)
Match #5: Monster’s Ball- Eli Drake pins Abyss, series of paddle shots to head @ 12:12 (ABOVE AVERAGE)
Match #6: Impact Tag Team titles- LAX (Ortiz/Santana) © defeat Lucha Brothers, Santana pins Fenix after a double team facebuster @ 11:31 to retain (VERY GOOD)
Match #7: Impact Knockouts title- Taya Valkyrie pins Tessa Blanchard ©, Road to Valhalla after Eat Defeat @ 10:41 to win the title (AVERAGE)
Match #8: Impact Heavyweight title- Johnny Impact © pins Brian Cage, quasi avalanche powerbomb @ 19:12 (GOOD)
FINAL SHOW THOUGHTS
Another Impact PPV, another banger of a show to me. Was it to the level of Slammiversary or Bound for Glory? No. But to expect that on a consistent basis is to set yourself up for disappointment. There are two really good matches that are well worth your time (Sami-Willie and the tag titles) and two others that are almost to that level (Ultimate X and Eddie-Moose). That’s half the PPV at GOOD to VERY GOOD or above. You can’t argue quality like that.
THE FINAL REACTION
Best Match/Moment: Whoever made the decision to let the Lucha Brothers and LAX go out there and just bust ass. The match itself, officially. But honorable mention to that guy (probably Scott D’Amore). You da real MVP.
Worst match/moment: Dark Allie and Su Yung vs. Jordynne Grace and Kiera Hogan. Wasn’t a bad match but was the worst thing on the show. The booking in the main event is the runner up.
MVP: They call him ‘The Draw’ for a reason. When I saw that Sami Callihan was facing Willie Mack, I was disappointed. I like Willie but Sami has been the best thing in Impact for close to a year now. The match itself was a ton of fun though.
FINAL SCORE: 7/10
The next time I come at you guys with a review will be when I cover “All In” right before the ‘Double or Nothing’ offering from AEW. After that, my next review that comes to you guys will be PROGRESS Chapter 5, “For Those About to Fight”. Hopefully, I’ll get some more shows into the archive for you guys as well. I would also hope that you guys will check out the Raw Reaction every Monday night at 11:30 PM (EST) to hear Tony Acero, Andrew Balaz and myself break down the important news and cover Monday Night Raw over on the Chairshot Radio Network.
Taking Over: Greg DeMarco’s Look at WWE NXT Takeover Fatal 4-Way (9/11/14)
“Taking Over” continues as we see how Takeover Fatal 4-Way (9/11/14) holds up today!
Greg DeMarco takes a look back at the second NXT Takeover in the first edition of “Taking Over” as we march towards WWE NXT Takeover XXV!
WWE NXT Takeover is turning 25 on June 1! Well, sort of… On June 1, WWE NXT will present the 25th Takeover event, a stand-alone show from Connecticut–which I wouldn’t call the heart of WWE, but the brain. I am taking a look back at the first 24 to see just how far we’ve come. Join me for “Taking Over,” my look back at the first 24 Takeover events.
NXT Takeover Fatal 4 Way
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentary Team: Tom Phillips, Renee Young, and Byron Saxton
- NXT Tag Team Championship: Lucha Dragons beat The Ascension to win the championships – A good match, but not great. It’s a far cry from what the Takeover opening tag team match would become. Big pop for the finish, though.
- Baron Corbin beat CJ Parker – This was back when I hated Baron Corbin. Wait, that was yesterday. Anyway, this is a squash to elevate Baron Corbin, even though we didn’t get a true entrance for Corbin. Corbin’s hair didn’t look terribl ehere, in fact it looked better than CJ’s. According to commentary, this was Corbin’s NXT debut. Huge pop for the End Of Days. In fact, Crbin was crazy over here.
- Hair vs. Hair Match – Sylvester Lefort vs. Enzo Amore – NXT was definitely more “developmental” at this time, and this match showed it. Both these guys had the personalities to excel, but never pans out. They worked hard and did get the crowd invested, which is job #1.
- Hideo Itami NXT debut promo – Thi sis where he shifts from KENTA to Hideo Itami, , and he cut most of the promo in Japanese. The Ascension would come out and eventually attack, but Itami got the upperhand in the end. This was an insanely promising start to his WWE career. The visual of him sitting in a chair begging them both to get back in the ring was amazing.
- Bull Dempsey vs. Mojo Rawley – Quick win for Bull Dempsey, who should have been a bigger deal. He’d be a great fit at NXT UK. His theme song is still the most underrated they’ve ever made.
- NXT Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair successfully defended against Bayley – Bayley, just like everyone, was crazy over at Full Sail. Her “childhood dream” gimmick can only go so far, though. Charlotte Flair was the decided heel here, and showed signs of the greatness she’d achieve while also showing how green she was. Charlotte was absolutely ripped here. Charlotte nailed a terrible looking moonsault that the announce team didn’t know how to sell. Charlotte won with Natural Selection, which may have been an audible after the moonsault debacle as you can hear Bayley call for the spot. It’s amazing what Charlotte has become. Sasha Banks attacked Bayley after,and Charlotte
- NXT Championship: Adrian Neville successfully defended against Tyson Kidd, Sami Zayn, and Tyler Breeze – One hell of a match, and I remember how great the build was. Breeze won a #1 contender match but had his title match interrupted by Kidd, Kidd and Zayn were eventually here to make it a Fatal 4-Way. I really thought Breeze would win here, but that was really wishful thinking on my part. This match was one-fall rules. Tyson Kidd’s Sharpshooter is criminally underrated. Neville shows heel tendencies here, pulling the referee out of the ring before he can count the three in Zayn’s favor (legal in a 4-way match), Neville would then superkick Zayn on the floor and pin Kidd after a Red Arrow. The story after the match was Zayn’s reaction and dejection, setting up the obvious main event for the next Takeover. I loved the character shift for Neville, winning “by means necessary” and showing signs of the amazing heel we’d see later.
Where are they now:
- The Ascension – Konnor & Viktor are on Raw, and are basically an afterthought after being repackaged as a ripoff of late 80s/early 90s tag teams like The Road Warriors.
- Kalisto – Doing very little as a member of the Lucha House Party on Raw, but he’s also a former NXT Tag Team Champion and 2-time United States Champion, along with a former Cruiserweight Champion.
- Sin Cara – Still wearing that cursed mask, so he’s injured.
- Baron Corbin – Sucking on the main roster! He’s been a Money In The Bank briefcase holder (he lost his cash in), Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal winner, and United States Champion. He was also Constable Corbin and the General Manager of Raw. He retired Kurt Angle. And he sucks.
- CJ Parker – He is likely best known for being Kevin Owens’ first NXT opponent, and busting his nose in the process. He left WWE, and is now back to working as Juice Robinson in ROH and New Japan, where he is the IWGP United States Champion (although you wouldn’t know it by watching their product).
- Sylvester Lefort – He ended up getting released in early 2016, went to TNA to be part of The Tribunal under his name Tom LaRuffa. He worked there through the end of 2016, before returning to Europe where he remains active to this day.
- Enzo Amore – Ugh…he went to the main roster with Big Cass (on Raw) and Carmella (on Smackdown), working as a team until they broke up in what was actually a good angle. He eventually showed up on 205 Live, where he drew some good heat, but ended up leaving the company for outside the ring issues. He’s released some rap songs/videos, and made an ill-fated appearance at ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard.
- Hideo Itami – Such a promising start, he had a good run in NXT that included a NXT Championship shot at Bobby Roode. He went to 205 Live, but failed to become Cruiserweight Champion. He eventually requested his release and returned home to Japan.
- Bull Dempsey – He had a small NXT run before being released, and works as Bull James on the independents, mostly in the Northeast United States.
- Bayley – She’d have a better run later with Sasha Banks, before moving to the main roster and holding the Raw Women’s Championship. She won the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship with Sasha Banks, and is not on Smackdown.
- Charlotte Flair – Just main evented WrestleMania, is an 8-time Women’s Champion, and is one of the very best performers of either gender on the main roster.
- Sami Zayn – A mid-card player on the main roster, just recently returned from injury and is doing some great character work on Raw. Also (briefly) held the NXT Championship but was just the transitional champion from Neville to Kevin Owens.
- Tyler Breeze – Moved to the main roster too soon, found some critical success with Fandago as the Fashion Police, has floundered during Fandango’s injury recovery, is back in NXT and working a program with Velveteen Dream.
- Tyson Kidd – Career cut short by injury after holding tag team gold, and now works as a producer behind the scenes.
- Neville – Had a respectable main roster run before taking over (pun intended) WWE 205 Live. That alignment led to his eventual downfall when he didn’t want to put Enzo Amore over strong after being pushed to the kickoff in his match with Austin Aries. He’s currently preparing to face Adam Page at All Elite Wrestling’s Double Or Nothing event.
Renee young was better than I remember on commentary here. Overall this was a good show that, outside of the main event, wouldn’t hold up against the Takeover events of the past few years. But the foundation was being laid, and this should be evaluated as such. The main event was spectacular, and this was a rare Takeover with six matches. Those, plus two other in-ring segments, still went just under two hours. All four members of the main event wrestled on the Raw before this, and that decision, along with this match, can really be credited with the early rise in populary of NXT.
One additional thing that’s quite evident in watching these events, is now much easier it is for the talent to stay in perfect shape in NXT as they’re spending less time on the road. You can see the differences in Charlotte, Bayley, Sami Zayn, Tyler Breeze, and others.