Date: February 16, 2021
Location: Skyway Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: D’Lo Brown, Matt Striker
We’re done with No Surrender and that means it’s time to get moving towards Rebellion. There weren’t a ton of changes coming out of No Surrender but one of the more interesting ones saw Josh Alexander becoming the new #1 contender to the X-Division Title. The question for tonight is seeing what we’ll be seeing from AEW next. And what is up with Tommy Dreamer. Let’s get to it.
We open with a No Surrender recap.
David Finlay and Juice Robinson, better known as FinJuice, are coming from New Japan. Well that’s an upgrade.
X-Division Title: Josh Alexander vs. TJP
TJP is defending and they’re starting fast this week. Commentary hypes the heck out of the guys and the title so well done so far. They go to the mat to start and the threat of an ankle lock sends TJP straight to the ropes. Back up and an abdominal stretch has Alexander in some trouble but that’s broken up. An anklescissors takes Alexander down but he grabs an ankle lock. STRIKER: “STAND UP AND APPLAUD!” No.
Alexander takes him down and works on the ankle some more before switching to some leg cranking. A surfboard has TJP in even more trouble but he slips out and grabs a triangle choke. That’s broken up with a powerbomb backbreaker but TJP slaps it on again. This time Alexander takes him into the corner and catapults him into the middle buckle for a clever counter. Alexander puts a knee in the back and cranks on both arms, only to have TJP flip forward….and not break a thing. Well they can’t all work.
Back up and the abdominal stretch is broken up so TJP climbs on his back and tries a full nelson but can’t get the hands locked. Alexander reverses into another ankle lock but this time it’s rolled out to the floor. The slingshot dropkick knocks Alexander silly and the tornado DDT gives TJP two back inside. Alexander dumps him outside in a heap but TJP dropkicks him out of the air for a double knockdown. It’s the ankle lock going on again so TJP counters again (the ankle lock isn’t working at all here), this time with an enziguri.
TJP goes up top but gets kicked in the head but can’t hit a super Divine Intervention. Instead TJP shoves him off the top and the Mamba Splash…hits raised knees. Another ankle lock, this time with the grapevine, has Striker getting WAY too excited as TJP escapes again. Another Divine Intervention is countered into the Octopus, which is countered into, say it with me, the ankle lock. Say it with me again: TJP counters, this time with a slap to the face into a suplex. Josh’s big boot is countered into the Detonation Kick and the Mamba Splash retains at 11:23.
Rating: B. They were going nuts with the counters here, though Alexander’s ankle locking felt like spamming a finisher in a game. That being said, it was a heck of a match here and I wanted to see who was going to win. Granted not as much as it is going to take to validate Striker losing his mind about how awesome the match was after it’s over, but it was very good indeed.
Tommy Dreamer (before the first break) isn’t happy with what Moose did to Rich Swann on Saturday. Tonight, Moose is getting some sense beaten into him in an Old School Rules match.
Brian Myers runs into Hernandez and gives him the rest of his pay for the win at No Surrender. It worked on Saturday so let’s do the same thing again tonight, with Hernandez getting paid again if he beats Matt Cardona. Fallah Bahh comes up to say he has been looking for Hernandez. This isn’t happening again but Bahh says he is here as an investor. If Bahh gives him $20, he’ll bring him $40. Hernandez says we’ll see if he can turn $10 into $20 first. This doesn’t seem like it is going to end well.
The announcers talk about FinJuice, who are here tonight. Well that’s fast. They talk about the rest of the show as well.
Willie Mack vs. Daivari vs. Suicide vs. Trey Miguel
Daivari jumps Mack to start but gets double dropkicked to the floor for his efforts. Trey and Suicide miss some strikes and neither can snap off a Japanese armdrag. Mack is back up with a double flying shoulder to put them both down but misses a charge and crashes to the floor. Suicide backdrops Miguel outside as well but Daivari shoves him off the top for a crash.
Back up and Daivari charges into an elbow, leaving Mack to nail him with a sitout powerbomb. Mack’s Samoan drop plants Suicide and then Miguel gets the same, setting up the standing moonsault to both of them. Daivari gets in a shot on Mack but gets sent outside, leaving Miguel to hit a top rope Meteora to finish Suicide at 4:50.
Rating: C+. Take four people and let them do whatever they can to pop the crowd (or at least the one at home) for a few minutes. I’m surprised at how short it was but at least they didn’t stop while it lasted. Miguel needed the win more than anyone else and hopefully this starts him on the path to something more positive. Good while it lasted, but it didn’t last long enough.
Post match Trey runs into Sami Callihan and doesn’t seem happy. Sami talks about how Trey can’t win when everything matters, like when he lost at No Surrender. Trey storms off without saying anything.
Scott D’Amore congratulates TJP on his title defense when Ace Austin comes in with the Super X Cup. Austin wants the title shot but D’Amore makes a six man tag for next week. The winning team will face off in a triple threat the next week and the winner of that is #1 contender. That’s as Impact of an idea as I’ve heard in a long time.
Hernandez vs. Matt Cardona
Brian Myers is here with Hernandez, who throws Cardona down with ease. Back up and Cardona low bridges him to the floor, setting up the big running flip dive. Myers isn’t having this and offers a distraction, allowing Hernandez to break up Radio Silence with a low blow. Cardona gets knocked outside and we take a break. Back with Cardona fighting out of a bearhug and hitting a faceplant. The middle rope dropkick connects but Hernandez Pounces the heck out of him. The Border Toss is broken up though and Radio Silence gives Cardona the pin at 7:52.
Rating: C-. Just a quick match here and Cardona gets a win to make him look a bit better around here. That’s the kind of thing he hasn’t had yet as it has mainly been him coasting on his reputation. I’m almost getting curious to see him face Myers, though they are going to have to do it right or it isn’t going to do either of them that many favors. Hernandez was fine enough here, but anything is better than having him doing the deal with the money for months on end.
Post match Cardona says he isn’t here to pass a torch, but to ignite his own. Myers gets in the ring to say this is his place and Cardona is just trying to copy him. Cardona asks what’s up with that because they’re best friends when the camera goes off. Hernandez jumps Cardona from behind but Eddie Edwards runs in for the save.
Video on FinJuice.
Tony Schiavone and Tony Khan (in heart shaped sunglasses) hope we had a good Valentine’s Day but Khan didn’t get any gifts. He did give Impact Wrestling what they needed the most: money! It helps that it’s a charitable donation too and yes that was his idea. We run down the Dynamite card and Khan says Eddie Kingston reminds him of Michael Corleone.
Havok comes up to Nevaeh, who is sick of losing and asks where they’re going from here. Should they even be a team? No not really, but almost no Knockouts in this company should be. Tenille Dashwood comes out to suggest that she and Havok be a team but Nevaeh doesn’t like the sound of it so let’s have a match tonight. Dashwood is down.
Reno Scum vs. FinJuice
Striker loses his mind at FinJuice being here, again being far more excited than he ever is about almost anyone in Impact. Finlay and Robinson start in on Thornstowe’s arm and a double bulldog takes him down. Thornstowe is back with a spinebuster to Finlay (Brown: “SIT YOUR A** DOWN!”) and the Pit Stop makes it even worse. A missed charge in the corner allows the tag off to Robinson to clean house. Everything breaks down and there’s a double dropkick to Luster. The PowerPlex finishes Thornstowe at 4:12.
Rating: C+. Not bad for mostly a debut squash and there is nothing wrong with that. Odds are this sets up a title match against the Good Brothers, because they’re both big teams in Japan and that’s the most amazing thing in the world. FinJuice is good, but Impact doesn’t know how to not go over the top with it and that worries me going forward.
Post match here are the Good Brothers to call FinJuice young boys and we hear about the Brothers’ success in Japan. Then they can buy some beers and have a welcome to Impact party, or just go and buy some of their Good Brothers whiskey. FinJuice says cool, but imply Anderson will pass out and lose control of his bodily functions.
At the bar, Rohit Raju blames Mahabali Shera for costing him the X-Division Title. Shera shoves him away and into James Storm, spilling his beer. Raju won’t apologize or accept Storm’s offer of a beer so Storm breaks the bottle over his head. Shera is ready to fight but Chris Sabin intervenes. Johnny Swinger comes in to offer then a night at his palace, which they actually accept. Then Swinger steals the bartender’s tip.
Post break we go to the Palace where beer is consumed and James Storm….starts freestyle rapping (ok rhyming) to impress Alisha Edwards. Fallah Bahh sits down at the Blackjack table and says hit me, so Sabin does jut that. Bahh loses his money again but Edwards says have a heart because Bahh is hurting. Swinger says you don’t know what it’s like to be hurting until Bob Seger’s ex girlfriend gives you crabs. Daddy.
Tenille Dashwood vs. Nevaeh
Kaleb With A K is here but there is no Havok. Dashwood takes her down to start but gets tossed outside as we take an early break. Back with Dashwood in control thanks to some Kaleb With A K cheating, including a neckbreaker over the middle rope for two. A backbreaker gets Nevaeh out of trouble and she strikes away for the comeback.
An STO into a running basement clothesline gets two on Dashwood, as does a belly to back faceplant. Dashwood is right back with a whip into the corner, setting up the Taste of Tenille. The Spotlight Kick connects (with Striker shouting AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE on the count because Matt Striker tries way too hard at his job) to finish Nevaeh at 9:54.
Rating: C-. Dashwood looked fine here but the Knockouts division continues to be pretty lifeless. It’s just people having one match after another without much changing. Havok and Nevaeh splitting isn’t exactly interesting as they’ve been together what? Maybe six months? There are some fine enough parts to the division, but it’s nothing with any kind of spark to be seen.
Flashback Moment of the Week: Moose attacks Tommy Dreamer and Rich Swann at No Surrender. Three days ago.
Violent By Design is ready to take care of Jake Something, with Deaner promising to put Jake through a table to end everything. If not, he will face the consequences because nothing is bigger than this.
Susan wants to take out Jordynne Grace, ODB and Jazz for what they did last week but Deonna Purrazzo says that’s not how champions do things. She flags down Scott D’Amore (who seems to be about three feet away) to ask about a Knockouts Tag Team Titles shot for Kimber Lee and Susan. D’Amore likes the idea so they can have their shot….if they win a #1 contenders match over Jordynne Grace and Jazz next week. Susan seems…..pleased? I think?
Here’s what’s coming next week.
Moose vs. Tommy Dreamer
Old School rules. Dreamer hammers away to start and knocks Moose outside for a rake to the eyes. A reversed whip sends Moose into the steps and Dreamer poses a lot as we take a break. Back with Moose unloading with a trashcan lid as Striker gets all solemn about Dreamer being beaten up too much. Striker: “When do you say enough is enough?” The question people have been asking about Dreamer for years.
They head back inside with Moose hitting a dropkick and standing on Dreamer’s face. Dreamer comes back with a testicular claw and a cutter for one as Moose isn’t having this. A trashcan lid shot to the back rocks Moose a bit and a chair to the back does it again. The Dreamer DDT is countered with a shove onto the chair though and it’s table time.
Dreamer spears Moose through the table in the corner, sending Striker into his biggest RAH RAH speech. Moose isn’t having this and spears Dreamer for the pin at 14:36. Naturally Striker acts like this is Dreamer being shot, because it’s not like THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS EVERY TIME HE HAS A MATCH.
Rating: D+. They used weapons, Dreamer got some hope spots, the other guy won with his finisher, commentary acted like Dreamer was Bruno Sammartino in his last run. I know Dreamer has been around forever and wrestled everywhere but he’s regularly in some spot on TV and he’s regularly getting beaten up. How many times am I supposed to get all emotional about it when that’s what he’s done for his entire career?
Overall Rating: C-. The opener almost singlehandedly saved this show as some of the stories and feuds they’re going with at the moment make me sigh rather heavily. Between treating Japan like the promised land, Tommy Dreamer as the focal point, the never ending saga of that wad of money, whatever the Knockouts are doing this week and having to pretend that Violent By Design is interesting, there is very little to get interested about on here. Throw in Striker making me want to pound a spike into my head and this is a pretty lame show. But hey, maybe AEW can show up again and mock the company one more time.
TJP b. Josh Alexander – Mamba Splash
Trey Miguel b. Suicide, Willie Mack and Daivari – Top rope Meteora to Suicide
Matt Cardona b. Hernandez – Radio Silence
FinJuice b. Reno Scum – PowerPlex to Thornstowe
Tenille Dashwood b. Nevaeh – Spotlight Kick
Moose b. Tommy Dreamer – Spear
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