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Andrew’s IMPACT Victory Road Results & Match Ratings: 9.18.2021

Victory Road has a pretty stacked card. Josh Alexander looks to prove himself against one of the most notable TNA Originals Chris Sabin! Christian Cage also tries to fend off the brash Ace Austin in his second title defense!

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For just being an IMPACTplus event, Victory Road has a pretty stacked card. Josh Alexander looks to prove himself against one of the most notable TNA Originals Chris Sabin! Christian Cage also tries to fend off the brash Ace Austin in his second title defense!

Aside from the two major title matches, we’re also going to see the Good Brothers defend against Willie Mack and PWI #10 Rich Swann! Oh yeah and the Knockouts Tags are defended as well. Why is it that women’s tag belts seem like a decent idea on paper but the execution is always…let’s call it, lacking?

The rest of the card has some fun matches as well, so I’m expecting a decent night of action to lead into G1 Day 2 tomorrow morning!

Ratings:

  • Steve Maclin vs TJP vs Petey Williams: Maclin wins via Mayhem for All – ***
  • Black Taurus vs John Skyler vs Jake Something vs Laredo Kid vs Trey Miguel: Laredo Kid wins via Spanish Fly Press Pin – *** ¼
  • Taylor Wilde w/Jordynne Grace & Rachael Ellering vs Tenille Dashwood w/Kaleb & Madison Rayne: Taylor wins via German Suplex Hold – ** ½
  • NO DQ Match: Rohit Raju w/Shera vs Matt Cardona: Cardona wins via Radio Silence – *** ½
  • Bullet Club (Chris Bey & Hikuleo) vs FinJuice: Hikuleo wins via Michinoku Driver – ***
  • Eddie Edwards & Sami Callihan w/Alisha Edwards vs Moose & W. Morrisey: Moose wins via Lights Out – *** ¼
  • Knockouts Tag Team Championship: Havok & Rosemary (c) vs Savannah Evans & Tasha Steelz: Havok retains via Tombstone Piledriver – ** ¾
  • IMPACT World Tag Team Titles: Good Brothers (c) vs Willie Mack & Rich Swann: Good Brothers retain via Magic Killer – *** ¼
  • X Division Championship: Josh Alexander (c) vs Chris Sabin: Alexander retains via C4 Spike – **** ½
  • IMPACT World Championship: Ace Austin w/Madman Fulton vs Christian Cage: Christian retains via Killswitch – *** ¾

 

Results:

Steve Maclin vs TJP vs Petey Williams

Maclin got to play the power/mat based guy in this match, so we see a nice balance of styles. TJP does a little of everything, Petey is classic X Division and Maclin is the ground and pound. Early on both TJ and Petey went after Maclin, but also took the open shots at one another. A few interesting tandem spots where one would roll up off a roll up, or unintentionally alley oop the other into a dive.

Maclin does a good job taking both out at different times. A Double Tree of Woe for Maclin to hit his Tree of Woe Spear was a nice spot. But that also gives TJ and Petey a weird sense of comraderie. Hortly after that they work together to try and chop down Maclin. Including taking turns on the corner 10 count punches.

But eventually their issues with each other get the best of brief allegiances. TJ looks like he has things taken care of. Seatbelt Suplex, Otani style Bootwashes to both Petey and Maclin, but Maclin dodges the Mamba Splash. Petey manages to hit the Canadian Destroyer on TJP, but Maclin hits Mayhem for All on Petey…and pins TJP.

Maclin continues his undefeated streak.

Black Taurus vs John Skyler vs Jake Something vs Laredo Kid vs Trey Miguel

This is an odd match since there’s no real build, it’s just people who have been marginally relevant either on BTI or in main IMPACT! storylines last few months.

A cluster of fun moves, random tandem action and car crashes but amazing athleticism. Skyler tried to pick his spots early, but got dumped and then he may have taken extra time selling being out just to stay out of the crosshairs. Jake had his hands on Laredo Kid, Trey hits a Meteora on Jake from the corner, which turns into Jake also DDTing Laredo from the corner.

Black Taurus set the pace most of the time, hitting Lucha moves, power moves and even wiping out Trey and Jake with a middle rope Tornillo. Laredo and Skyler respark some of the spots from their match on IMPACT!, Skyler even tries to grab the mask again, but Laredo is a step ahead. Skyler gets rocked, Laredo then hits a Spanish Fly Moonsault Tesz Press pin….type cool thing. Laredo gets the win from it all, but it was just good fun.

Taylor Wilde w/Jordynne Grace & Rachael Ellering vs Tenille Dashwood w/Kaleb & Madison Rayne

Small thing to notice, during their entrance, Madison and Tenille kinda did the back to back IIconics thing. So I wonder if that is foreshadowing to a potential coming feud or more allies.

The early story to this match was Taylor out wrestling Tenille, but whenever Tenille got in trouble Madison or Kaleb would grab or distract somehow. Rachael and Jordynne played the typical stupid faces who are supposed to be equalizers but they’re always one step behind. Then we see all the seconds get kicked out, and Taylor’s comeback is on.

Taylor starts hitting a few higher impact moves even with the worked over ankle. Tenille almost gets the advantage after the Drop Toe Hold into the buckle and then Taste of Tenille. Spotlight Kick gets avoided by Taylor, Taylor snaps off a German Suplex Hold and keeps Tenille down just barely. But Taylor finally got a little bit of revenge.

NO DQ Match: Rohit Raju w/Shera vs Matt Cardona

Cardona comes out during Rohit’s entrance and jumps him for the sneak attack. Cardona stays hot, but Rohit and Shera manage to fight back 2 on 1 for a little bit, before Rohit decides it’s enough and we hear the bell officially ring.

A bunch of surprisingly solid back and forth. Rohit grabbed whatever he could to neutralize Cardona’s size and power advantage. But Cardona didn’t shy away from any weapon usage either. Cardona does a little bit of a Van Terminator, hits Radio Silence, but Shera pulls Rohit out of the ring. After taking out Shera, Rohit hits the Mumbai Drive-By, but looks for more. Wraps the chair around Cardona’s neck, looks to end his career, but Chelsea Green comes out, dodges the chair, Pump Kick and Radio Silence again gives the Cardona Duo the win.

Bullet Club (Chris Bey & Hikuleo) vs FinJuice

HikuBEYo has some early issues. Chris Bey gets a little too cocky, Finlay checks him a little and when gimpy Juice gets in, he still moves well enough to keep the pressure up. Juice and Finlay had some guick tandem attack, Bey was getting rocked for a while until Bey manages to get a shot on that bad ankle and now Bullet Club starts cooking with gas. Juice gets worked over by both men, eventually gets Finlay back in when Bey is legal on the BC side.

Finlay takes the hot tag well, but he did the dumb thing by talking shit to Hikuleo after dropping him off the apron. Hikuleo slides in, plucks Finlay out of the air with a Chokeslam and then one of the crispest Snap Powerslams I’ve ever seen especially from someone nearly 7 feet tall.

When Hikuleo is finally legal in the ring, it takes a joint effort from FinJuice to knock him out of the ring. Then Finlay goes for a Plancha, Hikuleo moves, goes to slam him, but then Juice jumps out so they stack on Hikuleo. FinJuice throws Hikuleo back in the ring, and Finlay looks to attack but the referee is trying to get him back since he’s not legal. Juice is slow to get in because of the ankle, and Chris Bey sneaks around, and cracks Juice in the ankle with a chair while the referee is distracted. Wounded Juice hobbles in and eats a Michinoku Driver, HikuBEYo wins!

Eddie Edwards & Sami Callihan w/Alisha Edwards vs Moose & W. Morrisey

Things kick off with Sami and Eddie working together well. They go at the bigger men fast, then they actually work together to keep Massive Cassidy in the corner eating chops, Moose tries to break it up and they stack them in the corner and continue chopping.

Early on, the quick tags and generally great tag team basics from Sami and Eddie kept the big guys on the back foot. It was very much a punch and counter punch type of match, where Eddie would fight off Moose, but then Massive would kick him to the outside. They’d take out the Massive one and Moose would take someone’s head off.

It was a damn good match, and then we got to a little bit of gimmick. When the tide turned away from the heels, W. Morrissey went after Alisha. So that left Eddie and Sami prone to attack since they were distracted at different points, then we see the gears turning in Morrissey’s head. He throws Alisha in, Moose laughs and eggs it on, Morrissey Jacknife’s Alisha and has a faraway stare reminiscent to when Bubba Ray used to Powerbomb women through tables.

Eddie pulls himself up, sees Alisha out on the mat and collects her and runs to the back with her. He apologizes to Sami as he walks off, but due to this I think we’re going to see that be the catalyst to them bonding and not thinking it’s a short term teaming. Sami showed no fear, went after the skycrapers, but a Big Boot from Morrissey took down Sami and then Moose speared him with Lights Out.

Solid heel/story win, though the match was actually pretty good before the gimmicking. I look forward to a more straight forward match.

Knockouts Tag Team Championship: Havok & Rosemary (c) vs Savannah Evans & Tasha Steelz

Tasha and Rosemary wrestle to what feels like a bit of a draw, but when Havok gets tagged in, she calls out Savannah. So we get two powerful women trading blows, neither showing fear, but Savannah gets an early advantage. Her and Tasha do a great job tagging in an out, Tasha lights up whoever she’s in the ring with and it gets surprisingly fast paced.

Savannah looks to be a big equalizer, but Rosemary pulls out her own equalizer and hits the green mist on Savannah which basically takes her out of the match. Tasha gets tossed around and dumped out by Havok, Rosemary throws Tasha back in, Tombstone Piledriver from Havok and Decay retains!

IMPACT World Tag Team Titles: Good Brothers (c) vs Willie Mack & Rich Swann

LG and Willie kick things off, and there are noticeable early missteps but the camera work protected it enough. Willie goes from punches in the corner to bringing in Rich, but Rich eats a knee for attempting to intercept and Karl is in. This starts a portion of time where the Brothers dominate and chide the crowd with “Super E-Lite” or something. It’s obnoxious, but that’s also the point.

All four are in and there’s one of those cool move spam spots where Rich hits LG with a Jumping Cutter and then possibly goes for a Lethal Injection or something but eats a Gun Stun for his troubles. After trying to fire back up, Rich does the wrong thing by diving outside, gets caught by LG, LG Powerbombs him into the apron. Willie retaliates on Gallows, steps through the ropes to get back in, and Gallows grabs his foot so Karl takes advantage of the prone Willie with a Gun Stun. Then we set up a Magic Killer and the Good Brothers retain in a decent match, but the finish was never really in doubt.

X Division Championship: Josh Alexander (c) vs Chris Sabin

Sabin really establishes his speed early on. A quick rolling lucha exchange that ends up with an over the back Mexican Arm Drag, and Alexander gets visibly irritated early. Alexander tries to keep things ground, but Sabin is blistering him, even hitting the Apron Senton/Backslide Driver, keeping Alexander off kilter.

Josh hits the low Crossbody through the ropes, but Sabin gets control and brings things back in the ring and keeps it slow. He starts wearing down the neck area with Neckbreakers, just torqueing in a submission and being very calculated. As Sabin keeps on him, Sabin goes to the corner, but Josh catches the high risk move into a Flapjack which he then transitions immediately to the Ankle Lock where Sabin gets to the ropes very quickly.

This however becomes Josh’s moments to work on Sabin. Sabin can’t really find an opening as Josh goes from different submissions, to Gutwrench suplexes and it’s a totally different pace. Sabin tries a flash pin by scooping an Inside Cradle, but Josh gets out of it and re-establishes his dominance. Deliberate pacing seems to be Josh’s forte, but it also seems to be annoying him.

As they go to the outside, Sabin hits a devastating Neckbreaker and we start seeing the pace slowly ramp back up but it becomes more of a counter wrestling marathon. Josh finds a small bit of momentum and goes for his locomotion German Suplexes, but Sabin puts the brakes on after the first one, fights around, and manages to counter into a Grounded Hammerlock which gives Josh some issues. Josh manages to fight out of it, wrestles Sabin down and goes for the Ankle Lock. Sabin tries to roll it into a Cradle, but Josh holds on while he kicks out and keeps it locked, grapevines the leg and Sabin…bridges back into a pin causing Josh to have to break the hold and kick out. Sabin searches for something, a kick connects to Josh’s head which knocks off the headgear, Josh fires back, Sabin is stunned, C4 Spike and Josh retains!

IMPACT World Championship: Ace Austin w/Madman Fulton vs Christian Cage

Our main event story plays out well, but it was to be expected with the brash young challenger trying to get a little flashy and fast while the veteran stays mostly composed and picks his spots. Early on Christian transitioned into a lot of basic but effective moves like a Hammerlock and Bodyblock.

After distractions by Fulton ended up giving Ace opportunities to use the card to cut between the fingers and generally alter the flow of the match, Hebner throws out Fulton, leaving Ace to fend for himself. Ace holds his own as they go back and forth with Christian notably getting the better of the exchange getting to 20 count punches and a Scorpion Death Drop.

When Ace finally finds a few openings he pulls out the card again in front of the referee, but then throws it into the audience as he preps The Fold. Christian intercepts it with a Spear and both are laid out for a beat. Ace retreats to the corner, Christian follows but Hebner is in the middle of things trying to get the action out of the corner. Ace rakes the eyes, Hebner sees none of this, while Christian stumbles Fulton also sneaks back in and throats Christian on the ropes.

Ace attacks and goes for the cover thinking there’s been enough short cuts taken, but Christian kicks out. Then as Ace is setting up something else, Christian counters him into the Killswitch and ends the match.

Overall Score: 8.25/10

Well damn, after the main event Josh Alexander comes out and says 5 words. “Bound for Glory, Option C”. I’m glad they’re going with a well set up story and honestly it would be a fantastic way to make someone that fans could consider a homegrown IMPACT talent. Yes yes, he’s been around for years, but never majorly. So it would be a cool way to start having “IMPACT guys” carry the belt instead of the litany of either classic nostalgia acts or guys that got most of their fame elsewhere.

As for the show, there wasn’t a bad match on the card. The worst one was only Tenille and Taylor because it had the most gimmick and the build was gimmick. So it wasn’t set up as a serious match, thus it shouldn’t really be expected to live up to those standards. But everyone really brought it, from Massive Cassidy’s dark side, Josh Alexander being the real best bout machine, Ace getting made even in a loss and a way to keep the odd couple pairing of Sami and Eddie fresh enough to carry into Bound for Glory.

Really complete and solid show. Damn great stuff, and with Option C being invoked, that means we’re going to have a vacant X Division title. So anyone from that 5 way could get launched into a title picture. I have this weird conflicted feeling in my stomach when an IMPACTplus event is actually better than some of their PPVs lately. Awkward…


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Andrew’s G1 Climax 31 FINALS Day Results & Match Ratings: 10.21.2021

Kota Ibushi looks to 3-Peat, Kazuchika Okada looks to win his first G1 in 7 years! Who will win?

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Kota Ibushi looks to 3-Peat, Kazuchika Okada looks to win his first G1 in 7 years! Who will win?

So we get a fairly basic card. A few undercard tags, the semi-main contains Shingo and most of the main players not in the Finals. Jeff Cobb goes from a shot in the Finals to the opening match, that’s a big blow to the ego.

There’s a few interesting threads that can be pulled at, but the major draw is the G1 Climax 31 Finals. So let’s get to it!

Ratings:

  • Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru: Kanemaru wins via Boston Crab @8:40 – **
  • United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) vs Toru Yano & Yuji Nagata: Yano wins via Roll-Up @8:29 – **
  • House of Torture (EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) w/Dick Togo vs Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii: EVIL wins via Everything is Evil @11:20 – * ½
  • KENTA, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Chase Owens w/Jado vs Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Tiger Mask IV & Hiroshi Tanahashi: Chase wins via Package Piledriver @10:41 – ** ½
  • 5 Minute UWF Rules Match::Katsuyori Shibata vs Zack Sabre Jr: Time Limit Draw @5:00 – *****
  • TenCozy, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato vs Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI, SANADA & Shingo Takagi: Shingo wins via Pumping Bomber @12:17 – *** ½
  • G1 Finals: Kota Ibushi vs Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Referee Stoppage @25:37 – *** ¼

 

Results:

Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru

Commentary doesn’t even really try to hide the fact that these Young Lions are very early in their careers and have no real chance. They are in this match to learn, build endurance and get experience.

Nothing special in this match, they give the Lions a few flash pinfall attempts but again, we all know better. More just moments of surprise cause the Suzuki-Gun duo were playing with their food. Still far too fresh in their training to show anything more than basics, and all I’ll say is, they didn’t embarrass themselves, so that’s a positive.

United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) vs Toru Yano & Yuji Nagata

So one of the most successful teams and singles wrestlers this year, against a clown and a veteran. I mean Nagata is no slouch, but he’s not in a position to be upsetting two rising stars. Maybe Yano pulls off some thievery, but I’m not really intrigued.

Early on we see the usual Yano stuff of shenanigans and turnbuckle pads going missing. Nagata gets tagged in and we get some real wrestling. However, Cobb and Nagata square off outside when they aren’t the legal men, and Yano executes the miraculous shot to the Ding-Ding, and Rolls-Up O-Khan for the win!

This does continue the weird story between O-Khan and Yano, so at least there’s a thread of story, but it does definitely leave Cobb in a weird spot.

House of Torture (EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) w/Dick Togo vs Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii

Early on SHO starts with the mind games having a CHAOS towel in the ring and wiping his body with it, and being generally mocking. Things start quick, turnbuckle pads are taken off, people get wrapped into ropes and I suppose this is a more tolerable usage of EVIL. House of Torture can torture the 6 man division with bad wrestling and cliché paint by numbers heel work.

Togo uses the garrot on HASHI, but HASHI and Goto manage to hit GYR on EVIL, but Dick Togo of course gets involved to distract the referee. Chairs lay out the CHOAS members, Everything is EVIL on HASHI and yeah yeah, House wins and challenge for the six mans. Ugh.

KENTA, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Chase Owens w/Jado vs Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Tiger Mask IV & Hiroshi Tanahashi

So wait, we get all Bullet Club members against the veteran Hontai Squad? I mean Tanahashi has looked extremely mortal lately, and he’s not really bringing a ton of back up. When Makabe is the second best one on your squad, and he’s barely wrestled this year…you gotta wonder.

Makabe starts things off and we can see his back and waist heavily taped. So it looks like Makabe’s part time schedule could have something to do with injuries. Injured or not, Makabe gets the most of Loa, brings in Honma, then Honma eats some offense from Tama, until Honma counters and lands a big suplex. Tiger Mask IV comes in and actually cleans house, it takes a little bit before Tama does the Double Leapfrog Haku Chop to start taking control.

Bullet Club smacks around Tiger Mask until KENTA eats a Tiger Driver (ironic, I’m aware) and then Tanahashi gets tagged in. Tanahashi works to get a measure of revenge on the Bullet Club, but  then we get some spam moments. G.o.D. tries to take out Makabe, but Makabe wipes out G.o.D. easily. Makabe brings in Honma, Honma takes it to Chase Owens, but no avail. A missed Kokeshi, a blocked Brainbuster attempt, and then C Trigger into Package Piledriver gives Chase the win.

Chase looks to be setting up a challenge, but KENTA blindsides Tanahashi with the belt. KENTA and Chase play tug of war a little, Chase tells KENTA he pinned him, KENTA says he doesn’t care, and Chase relents. He says KENTA can get the first shot, but he got next.

5 Minute UWF Rules Match: Katsuyori Shibata vs Zack Sabre Jr

This…this is amazing. Shibata gets his first match in 4 years, and it’s against the most perfect wrestler for Shibata to have a technical and safe exhibition match.

Since its UWF this is usually done in a points system like the old IMPACT Grand Championship. But a 1 round exhibition doesn’t allow for anything beyond a Draw, but this is wonderful. It’s a technical marvel with counters, submissions, references to Inoki’s classic on the ground pose that we saw Great-O-Khan reference back to during the G1. This is just a great moment, and hard to do any real play by play, but it’s a technical marvel. Hell, Shibata looks better than he ever has.

WAIT – After the match Shibata says “Next time I’m in the ring, I will be in my ring gear”. He punctuates the line with a hard flat back bump and a kip up. …Shibata is back? SHIBATA IS BACK?!

TenCozy, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato vs Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI, SANADA & Shingo Takagi

Taguchi and Hiromu start off with a good bit of comedy, before everyone not named Tenzan starts doing the Mongolian Chops, much to Tenzan’s chagrin. Wato has some nice spots early before LIJ do their wonderful Bum Rush. BUSHI comes in, uses the shirt and then LIJ starts dominating Wato. Wato manages to get a little space and get Kojima in and we get Machine Gun Chops on SANADA in the corner!

Hiromu tries to block it, gets shoved in the corner for his own chops, BUSHI tries to stop it, and gets put in the corner for the Triple Stacker of Chops. Shingo looks, and then drops off the apron and decides he’s just gonna let them play. Shingo does cut off Kojima before he does his signature Elbow, so Shingo didn’t ignore his team, just decided he wasn’t gonna fall into the dumb spot.

Signature spams, LIJ pain train, signature spam again, and then we get solid call backs. Shingo and Tenzan are the last two, Shingo uses Mongolian Chops, Tenzan responds in his own way. Some haymakers thrown, a Headbutt from Tenzan, the attempted Flying Headbutt, but Shingo cuts him off, Pumping Bomber, and Shingo wins!

G1 Finals: Kota Ibushi vs Kazuchika Okada

So they feel each other out early, and have the usual fast pace wild swings that get dodged and end in a small rest moment where they just smile and absorb the energy of the match. Before Ibushi can really get anything going, the arrogance of the Rainmaker returns. Very deliberate shots, perfectly rolling through his Slingshot Senton, and his single foot Dropkick. It’s really interesting to see Okada reverting back to his old self. The 2017 form is further exemplified by Shibata’s return since it helps to bring everyone back to “brighter days”.

Okada goes for his corner Hip Attack, but now Ibushi gets to start a comeback. Dropkick, Roundhouse Kicks, Standing Moonsault and Okada powders. After some fighting on the outside, Okada takes control again and hits a DDT on the ramp, which has Ibushi pretty much out. Okada waits in the ring until about 18, before he decides that’s not how he wants to win. Drags Ibushi in, tries the Money Clip, Ibushi won’t go in comfortably, Okada rocks him, whips him into the ropes, hits the Million Dollar Dropkick, and finally gets the Money Clip sunk in. Okada is in a different aggressive form that we haven’t seen since 2018 when his nearly 2 year title reign ended and he went balloon crazy.

Savage Elbow, Rainmaker Pose, Zoom Out…Wind up…Rainmaker misses and Ibushi returns with his own Lariat turning Okada inside out. Now they stand up for the strike exchange. Okada falls into an old Nakamura trap, where he starts winning the exchange, taunts the challenger and gets rocked. Ibushi grins, hits the Frankensteiner sending Okada to Powder. So now it’s Moonsault time for Ibushi, and lands perfectly on Okada.

Going back inside, Ibushi looks for Kamigoye, Okada blocks and then ducks the Round Kick, goes for a Backslide, but Ibushi rolls through and kicks Okada. Okada then eats a V Trigger and a Kamigoye…but it’s only 2! Okada flips Ibushi over when he attempts another Kamigoye, Double Legged Cradle, but ibushi kicks out. They lay each other out, Ibushi crawls to the top rope, Phoenix Splash and…Ibushi lands weird. He immediately grabs his arm, Red Shoes goes over to Ibushi, and after a few moments Red Shoes calls for the bell.

Okada wins the G1 off of Ibushi missing the Phoenix Splash and possibly dislocating his right arm.

Overall Score: 7.25/10

There’s a dark poetry in the ending to this year’s G1. Starting with Naito’s injury and ending with Ibushi’s injury, just makes this a fairly cursed year which plays into the cursed aspect of this World Heavyweight Championship. In a way, this works out for the best since if this tournament was supposed to make a newer wrestler and ended the same way, there would always be an asterisk. But it’s Okada, he’s a proven commodity and no one will really question his victory. I really appreciated the fact that he always loomed close while Ibushi was struggling with the doctor and through his injury. He held his hand many times, even seemed to tell him it’s fine, we’ll do it correctly 1 more time in the future.

Katsuyori Shibata returns, Kazuchika Okada returns to the a level of prominence by winning the G1 Climax 31 and this is a nice way to remind people of the names that many of the current crop of IWC fans know. New Japan grew quickly because of AJ Styles and Kenny Omega’s Bullet Clubs, but in the last few years we’ve seen many of the names we know fall to the back or go to different companies. This could be a return to form finally for New Japan.

Even if it ended off a failed Phoenix Splash, it could help New Japan rise from the ashes of community favor like a Phoenix.


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Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 10.21.2021

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Bound for Glory is on Saturday! How does IMPACT! hype us up for one of their crowning PPVs of the year?!

We get to see Mickie in an IMPACT ring for the first since 2015, Heath tries to get answers out of Rhino and we’ll probably see a lot of Josh Alexander and Christian Cage fleshing out the last little bits of the World Title match.

Aside from that, do we get anything of note to talk about, or is it just an appetizer for the real show on Saturday?

Ratings:

  • Bullet Club (Chris Bey & Hikuleo) vs FinJuice: NO CONTEST/Double Pinfall – ***
  • Jordynne Grace & Fallah Bahh vs Tenille Dashwood & John Skyler vs Chelsea Green & Crazzy Steve: Tenille wins via Spotlight Kick – ***
  • Pick Your Poison: Savannah Evans w/Tasha Steelz vs Mickie James: Mickie wins via Mick DDT – *** ¼
  • Alex Zayne vs Trey Miguel: Miguel wins via Meteora – ** ¾

 

Results:

The Insiders Stream on YouTube didn’t start until about 9:00pm, I’m not sure why IMPACT constantly has issues, but YouTube is not a hard platform to utilize. These delays are inane and embarrassing.

Bullet Club (Chris Bey & Hikuleo) vs FinJuice

Bey and Leo try some trickery early, but Finlay keeps pace. When Leo gets back into the match he starts throwing Finlay around a bit, which opens up opportunity for Bey. Bey looks to get flashy, but Finlay manages to get Juice in and Juice comes in hot. He nearly flips Bey out of the ring, takes Leo off the apron and tags in Finlay for some tandem work.

Leo breaks up the pinfall and then throws out Juice. Finlay grabs Bey in a Backbreaker/STO combination but Bey’s feet bump the referee. Leo chokeslams Finlay, puts Bey on top, but it takes the new referee too long to show up and it’s only a two count. We see Hikuleo trying to finish things, while the new referee tries to wake up the original referee. Leo gets double teamed, Juice Rolls Up Leo and then Bey Rolls Up Finlay, both referees count a 3 count for the different pinfalls. So we get a little call back to Beer Money and Motor City Machine Guns if we’re staying within TNA Universe.

This will probably end up a triple threat, unlike the MCMG/Beer Money double pinfall which ended in overtime.

There’s a long segment with Josh Alexander giving us his story. It’s not a bad segment, but the only advantage to the show starting late means I got to rewind for the match and speed through most of this. Alexander is a great story, but I already mostly know it, and would really like to see him win at Bound for Glory. Get the title back on a wrestler on the actual IMPACT roster.

Jordynne Grace & Fallah Bahh vs Tenille Dashwood & John Skyler vs Chelsea Green & Crazzy Steve:

This is a Digital Media Championship preliminary match. I find it interesting that there’s 3 men and 3 women. So instead of one or two for “inclusion” it’s actually an even spread. The way the teams are broken apart is interesting too where it’s Power vs Crazy vs Opportunistic.

The gimmicks actually paid off in the match. Jodynne massacred kids, but then things started to get a little messy. Fallah gets a handle on things, squishes the world, and then looks to BAHHnzai Drop on Tenille but Kaleb gets involved. A little more confusion, Steve hits King Kill 33 on Fallah, but Skyler pulls Steve out of the ring. Tenille hits the Spotlight Kick and the Opportunistic team win because well…there was an opportunity.

Pick Your Poison: Savannah Evans w/Tasha Steelz vs Mickie James

Mickie takes a moment to absorb the accolades from the crowd first, and then we see a quick strategy twist. Savannah looks for a few Haymakers and using her reach to her advantage, where Mickie just finds a few quick strikes and interesting angles to land some offense. Mickie looked to be building some momentum, and then Tasha got involved.

Savannah starts to dominate after the assist from her second. Big Bear Hug in the middle has Savannah just ragdolling Mickie until she can land a few choice Forearms. Mickie fights out, Sole Butts, a few nice attacks and Mickie hits the Avalanche Thesz Press, but only a 2 count. Deonna’s music plays as Savannah kicks out, Mickie is distracted and then we see Savannah lay in some big shots. The Full Nelson Bomb only gets Savannah a 2. Mick Kick rocks Mickie and then Mick DDT for the win. Hardcore Country wins the match.

Deonna walks down, mouths off…actually pushes Mickie…so I’m confused about the no contact clause…but then Rehwoldt shows up behind Mickie and wipes her out.

Alex Zayne vs Trey Miguel

The Sauce against the other guy who can’t speak but likes to try to use food analogies and sucks at it, aka, Trey Miguel. He’s like a Young Will Ospreay with less ability to talk…so no upside at the moment cause Ospreay was pretty awful up until a year or two ago.

So this is just a lot of counters, blocks, Arm Wringers, not much direct offense, just a lot of choreographed spots. This feels like a much slower paced version of a Ricochet/Ospreay match from 2016. Zayne is a more fluid wrestler, and he just makes everything look good. Miguel does a weird Cradled Octopus but Zayne responds with a Handspring Frankensteiner, as an early highlight spot.

Miguel in Ospreay fashion hits the Cheeky Nandos, into the corner stuck Tiger Feint, Meteora and Trey wins.

Thankfully Maclin attacks Trey after the match so I feel generally better. Bullet Club comes out and take out both Maclin and Trey. El Phantasmo just baby faced himself in my house.

Show ends with the usual talking segment hyping the World Title match. Alexander gets a “You Deserve It” from the crowd and portrays himself as the everyman fighting for his boys. Christian’s music hits and Captain Charisma vacuum shows up to stir a pot that doesn’t need to be stirred.

Christian taking the experienced thrives under pressure condescending veteran angle is…annoying. Like I said a few weeks ago, the boxes they are trying to play in, I don’t love. Alexander does flip the script nicely talking about how people classified him as nothing more than a Tag Team guy, and “sounding familiar” strikes a chord with Christian. Small scuffle as Christian tries to snip back, but it’s fairly paint by numbers.

Overall Score: 5/10

Low key? This was a pretty lame episode for an Impact Go Home. The matches weren’t really anything special, with the most happening during Pick Your Poison, but it effectively being a non-issue. The YouTube delay of course hurt my enjoyment of the show, but even without the delay, I don’t really feel like this would’ve registered much higher on my scale.

I am looking forward to Bound for Glory because of who’s in the matches, but this episode didn’t help sell it. Thankfully it’s already sold out, and most people probably decided if they were purchasing it by now.

When it comes down to it, I’m expecting quite a few title changes, even though I’m figuring that Mickie’s involvement is more of a one off to give the rub to younger talent and cement her dominant reign. Alexander I would love to see win the belt and The IInspiration would do wonders and put an immediate spotlight on a division that has floundered behind a lack of real teams and no real direction.

So I’ll see all of you on Saturday for Bound for Glory!


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