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Andrew’s Impact Wrestling Cali Combat Ratings & Analysis

Tonight’s Impact is more on the TV Special side, with Cali Combat! Two title matches and a No DQ main event!

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Tonight’s Impact is more on the TV Special side, with Cali Combat! Two title matches and a No DQ main event!

From last week’s build, we should be in store for a fun night. Rhino/Elgin finally get to square up in the ring, The North get their mystery West opponent and Rich Swann gets an X Division rematch.

Some real potential for great matches here.

Before we get to the review, we need to take a pause for the newest Impact acquisition…

Ratings:

  • Rhino vs Michael Elgin: Double Count-Out – *** 1/4
  • Impact Tag Team Championships: The North (c) vs Reno SCUM: The North retain via Tandem Torture Rack/Slam Combo – ** 3/4
  • Alisha Edwards vs Havok: Havok wins via Piledriver – *
  • X Division Championship: Jake Crist (c) vs Rich Swann : Crist retains via Rollup w/tights – ****
  • Willie Mack vs Trey: Willie wins via Stunner – *** 1/4
  • No DQ Match: Tommy Dreamer vs Sami Callihan: Callihan wins via Piledriver through ply wood – ***

 

Analysis:

Rhino vs Michael Elgin – This match was a pretty damn good match. Rhino proves he can still hang in the ring and is more than just comedy relief with crackers and cheese whiz. Neither guy hit their finish, it was just nice power spots and Elgin tried to pull off some higher spots. After Elgin managed to intercept the Gore with kick, they brawled to the outside. We get the “We Want Tables” chant, but the referee counts to ten and we get a fairly flat finish. Yes everyone stays protected, but the crowd was hot for more, and No Contests are always stupid.

Impact Tag Team Championships: The North (c) vs Reno SCUM – The North put out the challenge to any team from the West, and former Impact Tag Champions Reno SCUM answer the call. We got a slightly different match. I don’t mean different as in what went on, but the pacing and the moves were just weird. Alexander missed a catch, but turned it into the Big Swing without much hesitation. But after the commercial break there were definitely some missteps, extra time between moves, and just odd movement. SCUM had a few believable shots at winning, plus the crowd was behind them, but The North did just enough to retain.

Alisha Edwards vs Havok – Well…umm…things happened, tried to happen. Ugh. Still not sure why Alisha gets in the ring, but any points this match gets is just because it’s extending a story line. Granted, the Ace Austin homewrecker angle is dumb. Eddie confronting Ace and then getting caught by Havok is probably just a way to get them to a Mixed Tag match. But god this match was terrible.

X Division Championship: Jake Crist (c) vs Rich Swann –  Rich Swann gets his contractual rematch, and Crist is told by Callihan that he’s on his own for this defense. Crist kicks off the match quickly with a Yakuza Kick, then we get insane amounts of back and forth. Gimmick be damned, Jake is a damn good wrestler, and I appreciate his new attire have his JC initials stylized in a Prince symbol type of thing. Swann did catch Crist with his blitz, his back kick and then a 450 Splash, but the champion didn’t stay down. The heel roll-up with a handful of tights keeps the Golden Draw in tact, but don’t let the heel finish detract from the fact the match was great.

ImpactPlus Flashback Moment: Ken Shamrock vs Malice, Guest Referee Ricky Steambot, NWA World Championship, NWA-TNA PPV #1, June 19,2002

Nice that they played Ken Shamrock winning the NWA World Title to add to the Moose feud.

Willie Mack vs Trey – Both of these men are fun in the ring. Trey tried to mess with Willie early, but Willie proved he could keep up with Trey’s athleticism. Every time Trey strung a few moves together, Willie’s size and power advantage would create enough space. Trey pulls off a Cheeky Nando’s Kick, Tiger Feint Kick and goes to the top for a big move, but he gets caught in mid-air by a Stunner…and that’s all folks. Fun match, and not too bad generally speaking.

No DQ Match: Tommy Dreamer vs Sami Callihan – If I said that we knew what this would be, how would that strike you? This wasn’t a bad No DQ match, but it was very much the normal kind of Dreamer match. Samurai duel with Kendo Stick against Baseball bat, White Russian Leg Sweep from Tommy, and a cornucopia of weapons. A surprisingly decent amount of time was given to the match itself. Dreamer had a small hope spot towards the end, but Callihan moved off the ladder, lit up Dreamer with a kendo stick and then hit the Piledriver through a ‘Dayton Table’.

Tessa slides in to make the save for Dreamer when Callihan tried to continue the punishment. Jake Crist helped out Sami, so Tessa gets spiked with the Piledriver and oVe stands tall.

 

Overall Score: 7/10

TV Specials are hot and cold, but this was one of the better ones. Kicking off with the first official match between Elgin and Rhino for their budding feud had the crowd pretty hot. The bogus finish didn’t help, but later in the show they did announce a rematch for next week, No Disqualification.

Aside from the Alisha Edwards match, every match was decent to pretty damn good. Also the fact that Taya, The Deaners and Desi Hit Squad had some story movement is great that they didn’t get forgotten about. I’m also slightly intrigued to see where this whole Ken Shamrock/Moose angle is going. We all know that Shamrock is a badass MMA Grandpa, but…I honestly don’t know what to make of it.

Personal takes on storylines aside, the matches were solid, the story made sense and this was an enjoyable night of IMPACT.


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Andrew’s Impact Wrestling Results & Match Ratings: 1.26.21

With Private Party earning tag title shots at No Surrender, what else does Impact do to draw interest for their ImpactPlus App special?

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So we got a little bit to work with from last week. We know that Private Party will have tag title shots at No Surrender, we know Taya is hauled off to jail to write her off for 2 to 3 years at least, Fire & Flava Fest will have MC Lish and Susan is much different than Susie.

Okay so admittedly that’s not a ton to go off of, so I suppose this should be a really helpful episode of Impact! Also we get to find out exactly when Moose wants to cash in the title shot Rich offered him for Willie’s safety.

First though, the most important thing, an update on the Fire & Flava Fest:

Ratings:

  • Matt Cardona & Josh Alexander vs Ace Austin & Madman Fulton: Cardona wins via Radio Silence – ***
  • Brian Myers vs Eddie Edwards: Myers wins by DQ – * ¾
  • Tenille Dashwood w/Kaleb with a K vs Rosemary w/Crazzy Steve: Rosemary wins via As Above So Below – **
  • Joe Doering w/ Deaner & Eric Young vs Cousin Jake: Doering wins via DVD/Short Arm Lariat – ** ¼
  • Moose, Sami Callihan, Ken Shamrock & Chris Bey vs Rich Swann, Tommy Dreamer, Willie Mack & Trey Miguel: Trey wins via Hurricanrana – ***

 

Results:

So after the main event recap from last week, we see Rich Swann head out to the ring. Swann makes the “target on my back” kind of promo, and then calls out Dreamer. He challenges Dreamer, out of respect and honor or something; giving Dreamer a title shot at No Surrender. This of course brings out the rest of the main event player heels, and they all have a solid claim. Hell, the guy who was stopping people from going out to the Parking Lot has a better claim than Dreamer.

So Sami Callihan, Chris Bey and of course, Moose, show up to make their statements. Brawl ensues, Willie Mack comes out for the save and the return from Moose taking him out, but then Ken Shamrock is a one man wrecking crew. This probably sets up a 8 man tag either tonight or next week, but I suppose it gets us….somewhere?

Matt Cardona & Josh Alexander vs Ace Austin & Madman Fulton

These teams trade moments of control, which was more just seeing if Cardona and Alexander could work together; while Fulton and Ace show a level of chemistry and tag team prowess that they were starting to put together before their brief hiatus.

The Sidewalk Slam/Guillotine Leg Drop is a nice combination, but the real takeaway was that Fulton doesn’t look nearly as big against Cardona and Alexander. Fulton did have great power moments, but both Alexander and Cardona found ways to rock the big man. Madman drags Alexander into the ring, they trade blows, but Ace eventually hits a High Roundhouse to knock Alexander down. Cardona gets lifted over Ace, into Fulton, with Radio Silence; all while Alexander recovers enough to grab Ace so he can’t break up the pin.

These AEW commercials are the same level of amateur cringe, because Tony Khan is talking. I really he didn’t make it obvious he was reading a prompter and using an acting level that even Brian Zane or the Angry Video Game Nerd would find campy.

Brian Myers vs Eddie Edwards

We get a fairly paint by numbers wrestling match, Eddie starts to out wrestle “the most professional wrestler” so it forces Myers to take a shortcut, or three.

As the match progresses we see Eddie get caught more by shortcuts than by getting outwrestled. So after a while, a man snaps. So Myers goes for the Charging Lariat, Eddie turns and goes after Myers’ face. He gauges at the eye with the tape over it, and then even goes as far as to bite Brian Myers while not letting go at the five count.

Eddie gets disqualified, Myers is crying about the attack and Eddie looks proud of himself. Maybe he’s really into the new Resident Evil vampire hot chick too?

Tenille Dashwood w/Kaleb with a K vs Rosemary w/Crazzy Steve

Tenille starts off quick, all in a way to distract the referee so she can use Kaleb’s camera bag. Rosemary still kicks out. This starts out a long timeframe of Tenille staying aggressive and in control. I was generally surprised she put in the effort, but she was very frustrated that Rosemary wasn’t staying down.

Rosemary starts her comeback, Tenille manages to side step the Spear, then tries a Double Underhook move, but Rosemary counters it with her own Double Underhook, and it finally has a name! As Above So Below, wins the match for Rosemary.

Fire and Flava Fest is…a trainwreck like expected. They run their mouths in the amusing way their characters have been built on, their catering is cheese sandwiches with the wrapper still on the cheese and it’s just sad. Nevaeh was dressed like the Stay Puft Fresh Man, they thought it was Fallah, but she and Havok clear the ring. Havok looks genuinely amused, but this segment was as cringe as expected.

Joe Doering w/ Deaner & Eric Young vs Cousin Jake

Joe finally gets a chance to show a pinch of his amazing ability. Jake had a few opening, but never took Joe off his feet and Joe dominated more often than not. An Inverted Slingshot Elbow, the Fun Splash, and just great power moves showed off why Joe is a former 2 time Triple Crown Champion.

Death Valley Driver into a Short Arm Lariat finished off Jake, but before they Pillmanized Jake, Eric called off the dogs and dropped the Violent by Design towel on Jake. Was it an offer, or a message to stop interfering?

Moose, Sami Callihan, Ken Shamrock & Chris Bey vs Rich Swann, Tommy Dreamer, Willie Mack & Trey Miguel

So Impact kept the worst of the Rascalz, and the other two become MSK. Who knows, maybe someone can teach Trey how to cut a promo and no more eggs and potatoes.  He dyed his hair blonde, so I guess we can see if anything else changed eventually.

This was fast paced and had decent moments. I appreciated the callback to when Moose and Bey tagged against Rich and Willie, where Moose just clubs Chris in the chest as a tag, shoots him into the ropes and then Powerbombs him onto the prone opponent. It’s a great tandem move, that gets across a lot of personality.

As for the match, they saved the final hot tag for Trey, and then we got to see his new aggressive style against Sami Callihan. We got the signature spam from everyone, but it still came down to Sami and Trey. Sami went for his Piledriver, but Trey flipped through the lift to hit a Hurricanrana for the flash pin!

 

Overall Score: 7/10

 After what felt like a questionable start, giving Dreamer basically the past champion’s provisional of title shots; it actually recovered fairly well. If you’ve been following Impact for more than 10 minutes, you knew the Fire & Flava Fest was going to be a shitshow, and boy was it. Tasha and Kiera are charming in their own mouthy ignorance, so they can carry a segment fairly well. We got a bunch of hints for more reveals, Beer Guns isn’t done, Trey Miguel returns (yay?) and Violent by Design sent a message.

This does a good job moving towards some of the bigger stories for No Surrender and moving forward, all while acknowledging AEW but not really using them for more than the awful commercial and a backstage segment. Plus the wrinkle in Eddie Edwards’ new approach could be interesting. Susan challenging Jordynne is pretty intriguing and starting the tension for the eventual Hawkins versus Ryder match is something I’m okay with if they build can stay clever with winks, while not relying too heavily on jabs or meta knowledge.


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Andrew’s Impact Wrestling Results & Match Ratings: 1.19.2021

So Hard to Kill definitely put a few things to bed while setting up an insinuation that this AEW angle is far from over. Does Moose go right after Rich? Do more AEW stars invade? Who framed Roger Rabbit…erhm…Larry D?

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So Hard to Kill definitely put a few things to bed while setting up an insinuation that this AEW angle is far from over. Does Moose go right after Rich? Do more AEW stars invade? Who framed Roger Rabbit…erhm…Larry D?

Aside from those question, now we just get to sit back and see how Impact will start building the next few months of stories. Remember, we’ve got Rebellion in April; so that means we’ve go three months to fill!

Apparently the show gets kicked off with an answer to one of my questions! Moose and Rich are definitely not friends.

Ratings:

  • Eric Young w/Deaner & Joe Doering vs Rhino w/Cousin Jake: EY wins via Spinning Toe Hold – **
  • Kimber Lee &Susan w/Deonna Purrazzo vs Jordynne Grace & Jazz: Susan wins via Rollup – ** ½
  • Brian Myers vs Fallah Bahh: Myers wins via Charging Lariat – **
  • Private Party w/Big Money Matt Hardy vs Beer Guns (James Storm & Chris Sabin): Private Party win via Gin & Juice – *** ½

Results:

Eric Young w/Deaner & Joe Doering vs Rhino w/Cousin Jake

EY starts with a head of steam, but Rhino side steps and takes control of the match. As he whips EY in the corner, EY does the Flair up and over, runs to the other turnbuckle, gets on the top and Rhino catches him. EY goes after the eyes, then nearly bumps referee Brian Hebner, forcing him to cower in the corner, and EY hits the back kick low blow.

From there on, Rhino is picked apart, the cronies of Violent By Design interfere, grab a leg, add some punishment, and it’s all but over. Young slaps on the Spinning Toe Hold, and makes Rhino tap out.

The Good Brothers come out, mostly tooting their own horns about being the biggest draws and Biz Cliz references. A Magic Killer, a 1,2,3 and a just Too…oh thank Christ it’s Chris Sabin! Sabin points out that the Motor City Machine Guns should be number one contenders, Good Brothers say he has a point but he has no partner. Cue the James Storm music. Time to run back Beer Guns!

James Storm is about to hit the catch phrase…and wait, Big Money Matt Hardy’s music hits with Private Party? Ohh…we’re getting more AEW cross over. Hardy goes for a Hardy Math moment, and it’s mediocre.  He does make plenty of references to old Impact gimmicks, moments and it’s decent enough as the greedy heel manager.

Matt Cardona interview in typical older Zack Ryder style of just trying to prove himself. I’m anticipating a Myers v Cardona match soon since he made not so veiled shots at Myers’ new persona.

Kimber Lee &Susan w/Deonna Purrazzo vs Jordynne Grace & Jazz

Jordynne and Jazz really do beat down on Kimber and Susan for the better portion of the match. Susan showed a lot of personality being the Karen/Cornette whatever you want to call her. She makes Kimber hold the tag rope, she holds the rope and just gets smarmy and sarcastic in her mannerisms. Susan really shined getting over this character and Kimber was mostly there for the match.

The finish came with Susan begging, Jazz getting cocky and then Susan shoving her into Deonna with the Knockouts title while the referee was distracted. Susan gets the Rollup win!

This was a clever way to write off Taya with her setting up Larry D to kill Bravo, and the little reference Tommy makes were amusing, and the Rosemary moment was honestly a little touching. I’m just happy they didn’t kill another person.

Khan is still cringe to watch do whatever he thinks acting is, but my main takeaway is apparently it only costs 100 dollars for ad time during Impact? I SMELL an Opportunity!

Rich calls out Moose, for the inevitable “let’s do it now” talk. Moose tells him it’s on his time and not on Rich Swann’s time. Rich acts calm, and then snaps. We get a small scuffle, which ends with Moose missing the Spear into Rich hitting a Phoenix Splash to look good at the end of the segment.

Brian Myers vs Fallah Bahh

Myers had his issues getting anything going against Fallah, but Fallah stood his ground, built up momentum knocked Myers head off and went to go for his signature “No No No”. Since Myers Always Uses His Head, Myers moved into the finger and acted like he was poked in the eye. The referee was distracted, Myers shoved him off, Punt to the little Bahhs, Charging Lariat, and Myers gets the win.

Interview segment with Ace Austin and Fulton, they mock Josh Alexander and Matt Cardona. Ace reuses his tweet of Always Ready for Catering, and just play the cocky/jaded heel who deserved better. Josh Alexander gets sick of hearing it and trades words before Fulton and Ace attack him. Cardona makes the save and we look have set up Cardona & Alexander versus Fulton & Ace for next week, most likely.

Private Party w/Big Money Matt Hardy vs Beer Guns (James Storm & Chris Sabin)

Fast paced as expected, but early on we see Tony Khan and Jerry Lynn walk out to sit at ringside and watch the match. Storm didn’t slow down too much, which is surprising since aside from his brief stint back in Impact at the end of 2020, we saw him tagging with Eli Drake in much slower, less workrate dependent matches.

Private Party were their usual high flying, fun having, break dance inspired flourishes to some offense we’ve seen for years. Beer Guns had a cool tandem move with Sabin Sunset Flipping from outside in, Quen rolled right into the Backstabber from James Storm. Lots of signature spam, a few dives, highlighted by a nice Fosbury Flop from Quen.

Sabin looked to be setting up for the finish, when Jerry Lynn hops the familiar guardrail, grabs Sabin’s foot while Matt Hardy distracted the ref; and Private Party hit Gin & Juice for the heel tactic upset! Interestingly, Private Party still comes off as great babyface kids who are being swindled by scummy adults. So they aren’t playing heel, but everyone around them is doing it for them.

 

Overall Score: 7.5/10

For only having four matches, the highlights from Hard to Kill segued nicely into current segments, and the show felt very full and active. We managed to squeeze in most of the roster, a few AEW guest appearances, and writing off a character without murder or sci fi fantasy shenanigans for the first time since Austin Aries just walked off after a loss.

Susan is going to be a bigger joy to watch than Susie, I’m nearly positive. Matt Hardy and Jerry Lynn toying with their old Impact/TNA ties and coming in to purposely try and destroy Impact has something artistic about it. I still hate everything about Tony Khan, and yes I know the gimmick seems to be the smarmy smug rich kid who thinks he’s a nice guy but is just a toolbox. But I just don’t enjoy his portrayal, he’s trying far too hard and being too over the top, so it’s a cringe induced hatred not a character hatred.

Fire and Flava Fest next week should be great! Brian Myers starting an angle with Eddie Edwards will be quality wrestling. Oh and yes, if it involves Josh Alexander, I’m all for it; so the Ace Austin story should be great. I’m a sucker for good technical wrestling badasses *waves at Minoru Suzuki*.

All in all, damn good show with a little bit of everything. Great way to follow a PPV.


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