Date: December 16, 2021
Location: Sam’s Town Live, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Matt Striker, D’Lo Brown
We’re on the way to Hard To Kill and the card is starting to take shape. That means we should have some good stuff coming up in the next few weeks, as Impact can give us some nice final pushes into major shows. Matt Cardona is still building momentum on the way to the biggest match of his career and that could continue this week. Let’s get to it.
In Memory of Jimmy Rave.
Opening recap looks at last week’s main event, with W. Morrissey’s temper costing him a chance to get Matt Cardona out of the Hard To Kill main event.
Rohit Raju vs. Josh Alexander
Raj Singh is here with Raju. A single right hand annoys Alexander so Raju is already hiding in the ropes. That earns him a hiptoss out of the corner as Alexander’s bad ribs don’t seem to be bothering him to start. They head outside with Alexander taking out Singh but getting said ribs driven into the barricade. Back in and Raju sweeps the leg out, setting up a Russian legsweep for two.
The ribs are draped over the top rope but Alexander snaps off an overhead belly to belly. Alexander tries to bridge into a backslide but the ribs give out, meaning Raju tries…some kind of unclear ribs hold. With that not working, Alexander hits him in the face, only to get sent into the corner for a Cannonball. Raju’s double stomp to the bad ribs gets two and a jumping knee to the face rocks Alexander again. It doesn’t seem to matter though as Alexander is back with a shot to the knee, setting up the C4 Spike for the pin at 8:30.
Rating: C. This was kind of a weird match as Raju got in a bunch of offense but Alexander shrugged it off and won in the end. The good thing is that Alexander survived and fought through an injury to win, as he continues his path back to the title. I’m just not sure he’s getting back there anytime soon, as it already feels like his entire run over the summer has been forgotten.
Here’s what’s coming tonight.
The Good Brothers and Violent By Design seem to have mutual enemies but they don’t trust each other.
Ad for Throwback Throwdown 2, which seems like a fun show.
Chelsea Green is ready for the first ever Knockouts Ultimate X match. The same night, Matt Cardona is going to win the World Title…and here is Moose behind her. He wishes her good luck because she is nice enough to stay with someone who is always midcard. Green says Moose is here because he’s scared to talk trash to Cardona. Violence is promised at Hard To Kill.
Joe Doering/Doc Gallows vs. Rich Swann/Willie Mack
So it’s two halves of a tag team vs. a regular tag team? Everyone else, including Rhino and Heath, are at ringside so this is an odd choice. Swann rolls away from Gallows to start and hands it off to Mack to work on the arm. Mack and Swann take turns on said arm until Gallows is sent outside. Stereo dives take out the big men and we take a break.
Back with Swann getting distracted by Doering so Gallows can kick him to the floor. Doering throws him back in for a Boston crab before Gallows strikes away at the ribs. Swann enziguris Doering to make the tag off to Mack though and everything breaks down. A high crossbody hits Gallows but Doering shoves Swann off the top, leaving Mack to get double chokeslammed for the pin at 9:29.
Rating: C. It was a fine formula match but egads the idea of Violent By Design and the Good Brothers as a team makes my head hurt. Odds are this is setting up a four way at Hard To Kill, but that doesn’t make the next few weeks any easier. Swann and Mack continue to be a fun team, but it’s not exactly an easy way to get to the pay per view.
Post match the big beatdown is on but Eddie Edwards of all people makes the save. Ten man tag/hardcore war?
The Learning Tree is worried that Brian Myers won’t be pleased with them but they can make up for it by beating Decay.
Jonah talks about what it means to be the Top Dog. His dad was in prison and gained respect by not telling the guards when someone hit him. Jonah hit Josh Alexander at Hard To Kill, so now it’s time for Alexander to respect him too.
John Skyler vs. Trey Miguel
Non-title. Miguel spins out of a wristlock to start and snaps off a dropkick to send Skyler outside. That means a suicide dive to knock him into the barricade but Skyler is right back with a slingshot spear. Miguel’s comeback is cut off with an overhead belly to belly into the corner but he’s fine enough to tie Skyler up in said corner. The Cheeky Nandos Kick sets up the 619 into the top rope Meteora to finish Skyler at 3:43.
Rating: C. Another simple yet effective match as Skyler got in a bit of offense but ultimately lost to the much better star. Miguel is probably set up for a showdown with Steve Maclin at Hard To Kill so it makes sense to build him up a bit here. Skyler is fine as one of the jobbers to the stars around here and that is a nice role for him.
Post match, Steve Maclin comes out to blast Miguel with the X-Division Title. Maclin takes him backstage and post break, Miguel is tied up with a gag in his mouth.
Chris Bey vs. Laredo Kid
Striker says this could be the match of the year and could “define a generation”. Hikuleo is here with Bey to keep things uneven. Kid spins out of a wristdrag and Bey isn’t sure what to do early on. Bey whips him hard into the corner but gets taken down by a springboard clothesline. A hurricanrana puts Bey on the floor but Kid misses the required dive. That earns him a big point in the face from Hikuleo and Bey posts Kid to take over.
Back in and Bey kicks the leg out, setting up a dropkick for two. A Hikuleo cheap shot gets two and we hit the chinlock but Kid is up in a hurry. Bey gets sent outside where Kid hits a big dive, but Hikuleo shoves him off the top. We take a break and come back with Kid hitting a Falcon Arrow to set up the series of moonsaults for two.
Kid goes up top but gets caught, only to come out with a super Michinoku Driver the another near fall. Bey catches him on top again for a double stomp and two of his own. That doesn’t slow Kid down as he scores with a running flip DDT before diving onto Hikuleo. The distraction is enough for Bey to get up and catch a diving Kid in a cutter for the pin at 13:36.
Rating: B. This was rather good and one of the better TV matches in a good while. These two flew around and were hitting some crazy spots, with some of Kid’s dives looking awesome. Bey getting the win was a nice surprise, but it’s kind of hard to get invested as he hasn’t really had much to do lately. I’m not sure if it was some generation defining match like Striker said, but that’s partially because there is no reason to listen to Striker on just about anything.
We recap Deonna Purrazzo showing up at Ring of Honor Final Battle to challenge Rok-C to a winner take all title match. Since that would require Purrazzo winning the Knockouts Title from Mickie James, we see Purrazzo jumping James at an autograph signing.
Gail Kim makes a Texas Death Match between Purrazzo and James for Hard To Kill. Until then, they can’t touch each other.
Tenille Dashwood vs. Jessie McKay
Everyone associated with the two of them are here and the IInspiration are in Harlem Heat inspired gear. They shout at each other to start and then catch stereo boots to the ribs. Dashwood grabs a headlock but gets shouldered down as we take a break. Back with Dashwood bending McKay’s neck around the ropes and hitting the running crossbody in the corner. We hit the seated full nelson for a bit, followed by a big boot for two on Dashwood. Everyone else gets in a fight at ringside though and it’s the Spotlight Kick to finish McKay at 9:19.
Rating: C. The wrestling was average, but there is something nice about Dashwood finally getting something together around here. It seems like she has been floating around since she debuted and now she is finding her footing with the Influence deal. Odds are this sets up the title match at Hard To Kill, assuming you remember that the Knockouts Tag Team Titles actually exist.
It’s time for a contract signing between W. Morrissey, Matt Cardona (with Chelsea Green) and Moose. Cardona is about to sign but Morrissey takes the contract away and says he’s ready for Hard To Kill right now. Morrissey signs and leaves so Cardona promises that he has never been more ready. Cardona signs as well, leaving Moose to ask if Cardona really wants to do this. That makes Cardona think Moose is scared but Moose asks again. Cardona says sign it, which Moose does, though he still can’t believe that Green stays with someone so average.
Moose asks if she’ll stay with Midcardona after he leaves, or if she leaves like the w**** that she is. That’s enough for Cardona to jump the table, which he is promptly put through. Moose goes to leave but comes back and shoves Green down to get to Cardona again. The chair is wrapped around Cardona’s head but Green grabs another chair away. That’s enough for Cardona to get up….and accidentally chair her straight in the head. Panic ensues to end the show. The angle was fine on paper, but there’s no need for a chair shot to the head like that. It didn’t feel like a big moment as much as “we’re really doing that?” and that’s not good.
Overall Rating: C+. It felt like they took a bit of the show off until the ending and that’s ok for a show coming up on the holiday break. The main event angle worked and made Cardona feel like a bigger threat to win the title, but the rest of the show worked well enough too. The wrestling was certainly adequate and Bey vs. Kid was very good. I’m looking forward to Hard To Kill, and I wouldn’t have bet on that with a show involving Zack Ryder and Big Cass in a pay per view main event. Nice job with making that work.
Josh Alexander b. Rohit Raju – C4 Spike
Doc Gallows/Joe Doering b. Rich Swann/Willie Mack – Double chokeslam to Mack
Trey Miguel b. John Skyler – Top rope Meteora
Chris Bey b. Laredo Kid – Cutter
Tenille Dashwood b. Jessie McKay – Spotlight Kick
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with 30 different cheap wrestling books at: