Impact Wrestling – December 30, 2021
By Thomas Hall on 31st December 2021
Date: December 30, 2021
Hosts: Josh Matthews, Scott D’Amore
It’s the last show of the year and just like last week, that means it is time for the second half of the Best Of 2021. That could make for a good show, as Impact Wrestling knows how to pick and choose their best stuff. There should be some solid picks here, as was the case last week. We also have some more awards to hand out so let’s get to it.
As usual, I’ll be copying and pasting the full version of the matches rather than the clipped ones airing here.
Josh and Scott welcome us to the show.
We see the last few minutes of Moose retaining the World Title over Eddie Edwards in a Full Metal Mayhem match at Turning Point.
Kaleb With A K is doing a photo shoot for the Influence when the IInspiration interrupts. They insults each other’s outfits and the IInspiration’s own photographer comes in, leaving Kaleb With A K unhappy.
From Bound For Glory.
Knockouts Tag Team Titles: IInspiration vs. Decay
The debuting IInspiration is defending and Harley Cameron sings them to the ring. We get all of the signature IIconics poses and it’s time for an official introduction. They say they are here to inspire up and strike the hands on hips pose…..so yeah they’re still the same team, minus some of the annoying voices. Rosemary (in orange) scares McKay into the corner to start so Rosemary sideslams Lee for two instead. Havok comes in to scream and hammer away, setting up the Upside Down from Rosemary. That’s enough for Lee to grab a suplex and McKay grabs a quickly broken chinlock.
They take each other down by the hair and it’s back to Havok to crush the IInspiration in the corner. Lee manages to send Havok outside though and it’s McKay coming back in to take over. The bulldog onto McKay’s knee gets two but Rosemary is back with a Scorpion Death Drop. Havok misses a legdrop though and gets sent into the post. That just makes her scream, so she gets sent in again, followed by another posting. Rosemary makes the save but gets sent into McKay’s knee. A sitout powerbomb/neckbreaker combination is enough to give McKay the pin and the titles at 8:58.
Rating: C. The action wasn’t great, but the IInspiration feels SO much bigger than any team that has held the titles since their return (save for maybe Fire N Flava). It isn’t like Rosemary and Havok were some legendary team (with their 98 day reign ending here) so this is the right call. It isn’t a case of Impact bringing in WWE rejects and putting them over, because this is a nice upgrade for the titles.
It’s time for the Knockouts Tag Team of the Year Award with the following nominees:
Fire N Flava
Jordynne Grace/Rachael Ellering
Grace and Ellering win, which is a little surprising but the Influence hasn’t won anything, Fire N Flava are half gone and the IInspiration has been here about a month and a half.
Eddie Edwards, Rich Swann, Willie Mack, Heath and Rhino are ready for Violent By Design and the Good Brothers at Hard To Kill.
We look at the Top Ten Social Media Posts of the Year, with Christian Cage winning the World Title on the debut of AEW Rampage.
Impact Wrestling World Title: Kenny Omega vs. Sami Callihan
Omega, with Don Callis, is defending and it is No DQ. Callis lists off Omega’s greatness, including saying he is the King of the Deathmatch and better than Terry Funk. Callihan jumps Omega to start and hits the Cactus Special for an early two. As Callis joins commentary, Callihan sends in a bunch of chairs but Omega blocks a fork to the head. Omega’s sunset flip is blocked and Callihan busts out a pizza cutter to slice Omega open.
Another rake across the head makes it even worse and a Death Valley Driver sends Omega outside. Callihan follows but gets caught with a trashcan to the head, allowing Omega to grab some weapons of his own. More shots put Callihan down and the moonsault with a trashcan onto the leg keeps him in trouble. The chair is wedged in the corner so Omega loads up….the One Winged Angel, which is countered into a rollup. The kickout sends Callihan head first into the chair though and he’s busted open too.
Omega grabs a fork to stab the head, as well as the inside of the mouth. They head outside with Callihan chopping the post, meaning Omega can load up the table. The Snapdragon off the apron is broken up, as is the piledriver from the apron. Instead, Callihan piledrives him through the table and throws in a piece of plywood. A trashcan to the head rocks Omega again and a side slam onto the top of the open can makes it worse.
Callihan sends him hard through the board in the corner for two and it’s time for a chair wrapped in barbed wire (Callis: “Never would have happened when I ran this place!”). Omega manages a V Trigger though and another one gets two. A bunch of stuff is piled up in the middle of the ring and Omega hits a superplex through all of it. Another V Trigger sets up a failed One Winged Angel attempt and Callihan Tombstones him onto the barbed wire chair for two.
Omega rolls outside and throws salt in Callihan’s eyes, causing Callihan to take the referee out. The blind Callihan gets belt shotted and piledriven but there is no referee. Cue the Good Brothers but Eddie Edwards and Chris Sabin cut them off. Callihan hits a package piledriver for two so it’s time for the bag of thumbtacks. Callis gets up for a distraction so Omega can throw tacks in Callihan’s eyes. Another V Trigger connects, followed by another V Trigger with tacks on the knee. Omega puts the tacks in Callihan’s mouth for another V Trigger and the One Winged Angel onto the tacks retains the title at 27:33.
Rating: B. I’m never sure what to give something like this but the violence was good, as it was supposed to be. The match didn’t feel like the nearly half an hour it got, but the V Triggers and the easy kickoff off the Tombstone onto the chair were a bit much. I liked what we got and while there wasn’t much drama, I’m not sure how much there could be in something like this.
We look at Jonah debuting and laying out Josh Alexander.
From Impact, December 2.
Jonah vs. Jay Vidal
Jonah runs him over, tosses him around, and finishes with the top rope splash at 1:49. That splash still looks incredible as the impact is perfect.
X-Division Title: Chris Bey vs. Ace Austin vs. Josh Alexander vs. Trey Miguel vs. Petey Williams vs. Rohit Raju
Alexander is defending in Ultimate X, with commentary saying that wrestling skill has little importance here. It’s a big brawl to start (as it should be) with Bey going for the belt early and getting caught just as fast. Alexander is left alone so Austin comes back in and gets German suplexed. Raju goes up top and jumps for the belt, only to crash down. Bey comes in and hits a big running flip dive back to the floor. Williams follows with the slingshot hurricanrana and Miguel hits some kind of a running DDT.
Raju and Austin go up at the same time until Austin gets shoved down onto the pile for the huge moonsault crash. That leaves Raju to bust out a grappling hook and climbs up, taking WAY longer than it would have had he just gone as usual. Williams makes the save, sending Striker into a more complicated than necessary metaphor about Williams being the foundation of the division. After Williams clears Raju out, here is Bey to take Williams down as well. Bey and Miguel wind up going for the belt at the same time, though Miguel is a lot further away.
An attempt at a hurricanrana doesn’t quite work so Miguel kind of spears Bey down instead to drop everyone. A Tower of Doom is loaded up but they have to stop to prevent Raju from pulling the title down with a hook. Everyone else is down so Raju grabs a chair and tries the hook again, only to get dropkicked down by Miguel. Williams comes back in for a Sharpshooter on Miguel, with Raju adding a Crossface for the tap. That means nothing so Alexander goes up, only to get caught hanging upside down with the belt behind him.
Therefore, Bey is fed up to him for an ankle lock as Alexander is still hanging from the X. It makes no sense but DANG that is an awesome visual. At the same time, Bey chokes Austin, who headlocks Williams, who still has Miguel in the Sharpshooter. Raju lets go and chairs Alexander down to get everyone a needed breather. Austin goes up and tries for the belt but slips a bit, allowing Bey to dive off the top with a cutter to put them both down again. Williams is back up with the Canadian Destroyer on Raju and a running version drops Miguel.
That lets Williams go up but Bey Bey get son Alexander’s shoulder to cut him off…and gets planed with another Canadian Destroyer. Well that worked. Alexander isn’t having any of this Destroyer stuff and gives Williams the C4 to knock him silly. Raju breaks up Alexander and Miguel’s slugout, meaning it’s a Downward Spiral to plant Miguel off of Alexander’s shoulders. That lets Raju go up but Miguel makes the save and takes him down.
Alexander superplexes Miguel down though, meaning he and Bey can go up at the same time. They wind up hanging upside and pull the belt down at the same time, only to have Austin springboard in and…completely crash without grabbing the title. The distraction lets Alexander knock Bey down and retain at 15:46.
Rating: B+. Yeah this was pretty awesome with everyone trying something and a bunch of insane spots. The match isn’t supposed to have much of a story or flow to it and that’s perfectly fine. This is the company’s version of the ladder match and they nailed it here, though I have no idea who takes the title from Alexander at this point. Whoever does is going to let him move up to the main event scene though, as there is nothing left for him to do.
Video on W. Morrissey.
Here are the nominees for Men’s Wrestler of the Year:
Josh Alexander wins, as he kind of had to.
We see the last few minutes of Rich Swann beating Moose to retain the World Title at Sacrifice.
Here are the nominees for the Men’s Match of the Year:
Kenny Omega vs. Rich Swann (Rebellion)
Kenny Omega vs. Sami Callihan (Slammiversary)
Moose vs. Rich Swann (Sacrifice)
Christian Cage vs. Josh Alexander (Bound For Glory)
Ultimate X (Slammiversary)
Josh Alexander vs. TJP (BTI/Impact – June 3)
The winner comes later.
Mercedes Martinez doesn’t like Deonna Purrazzo speaking her name so the challenge is on.
The hosts talk about the knockouts division.
The Men’s Match of the Year: Josh Alexander vs. TJP. Again, kind of the clear favorite/winner based on how much it was hyped at the time.
Before The Impact: X-Division Title: Josh Alexander vs. TJP
Alexander is defending in a sixty minute Iron Man match. Fallah Bahh is here to sweep the steps for TJP and Petey Williams is here with Alexander. They go with the grappling to start with Alexander being shoved down in a hurry. A test of strength goes to Alexander but he can’t break TJP’s bridge. Instead TJP flips him over but gets caught in a bodyscissors. With that broken up they go back to a standoff until Alexander grabs a headlock of his own. That’s reversed into a headlock takeover until they jump up to another standoff.
Alexander goes to a crank on the ankle, which he pulls into a bow and arrow hold. TJP flips out again and it’s another standoff as they have a lot of time to use here. This time TJP takes him down by the ankle, setting off an exchange of mat holds. TJP pulls on the leg but Alexander grabs a chinlock for the break. That’s reversed into a hammerlock with TJP flipping over him to stay on the arm. Alexander gets his own armbar with TJP not being able to flip out of it so easily this time. He finally manages to send Alexander outside and a Bahh distraction lets TJP hit the slingshot dropkick (and a good looking one at that).
Back in and TJP starts in on the ribs, including a belly to back suplex for two. Alexander dragon screw legwhips him down but TJP slams the leg into the mat to put Alexander in more trouble. A headlock on the mat has Alexander in more trouble but gets reversed into a headscissors. TJP tries to spin out but gets reversed into something like a short piledriver.
TJP is fine enough to try a Muta Lock but gets reversed into a chinlock into an abdominal stretch. With the holds not working, Alexander rolls some German suplexes but gets pulled into a Kimura. That’s reversed into an ankle lock (on TJP’s other ankle) to send TJP to the ropes with 45:00 to go.
Alexander is busted open just a bit as he hits a belly to back suplex for two. A cannonball down onto the leg sets up some twisting around the rope to keep TJP in trouble. The chinlock eats up some more of the clock but TJP fights up to send him into the corner. Now the facewashes work but Alexander takes him down into a cradle for the first fall at 19:52.
We get a thirty second rest period before and the canned noise cranks up. TJP takes him down into a chinlock into a cravate, which is reversed into a chinlock with a knee in TJP’s back. A backbreaker drops TJP again and Alexander sends him outside in a heap. Just to show off, Alexander picks him up and walks up the steps to drop TJP inside. A surfboard in the ropes (that’s a new one) makes TJP scream until Alexander lets go.
Back in and Alexander goes up, with TJP catching him in a top rope superplex. TJP tries to roll it into another suplex but they crash over the top to the floor instead. The brawl on the apron sees TJP dropped down onto the apron as we hit halftime. Alexander drives TJP through the ropes with a running crossbody for another crash. Back in and TJP lifts him up for another backbreaker but TJP is right back with something like an Indian Deathlock. That’s broken up as well and Alexander hits a very delayed (as in about a minute) vertical suplex.
With TJP down, it’s off to another double arm crank. That’s broken up so TJP tries to power him down for a cover. With that not working, TJP tries a Sharpshooter but switches over to a Muta Lock instead. That doesn’t last long but Alexander is back up with a German suplex to put them both down. TJP unloads in the corner but charges into a hot shot onto the buckle.
We have twenty minutes left and it’s time to crank on TJP’s ankle again. That’s broken up with an enziguri, followed by a toss to send TJP shoulder first into the post. With TJP still in the ropes, Alexander grabs a half crab while sitting on the top. The chinlock goes on until TJP sends him chest first into the corner. The Black Widow goes on until TJP turns it over into a cradle for two with fifteen minutes left. A tornado DDT sends Alexander outside and there’s a slingshot dive to put him down again.
Alexander is right back up with a suplex onto the apron (egads) and TJP is mostly done. That’s a bit too much for Alexander so he takes him to the stage and loads up a piledriver. Cue Chris Sabin and Trey Miguel to say that’s too far but the distraction inadvertently allows TJP to hit a Tombstone powerslam (basically Riddle’s Bro Derek). A bunch of the roster comes out to watch as Alexander stumbles down the ramp and rolls in to beat the clock with 10:00 left.
TJP hits a running knee in the corner but the Mamba Splash takes too long and only hits mat. Alexander can’t follow up either though and gets tied in the Tree of Woe so TJP can hit him in the face quite a few times. A sliding dropkick connects as we have eight minutes left and Impact officially begins. TJP hits a springboard shot to the face for two but a double clothesline puts both of them down. Alexander tries the double underhook but gets reversed into a Falcon Arrow for two more.
We have five minutes left as TJP hits a running boot in the corner. TJP does it again but this time it is countered into the ankle lock. That’s countered into the Detonation Kick for two and the Mamba Splash connects for another near fall, as these kickouts are getting to be a bit much. Another Detonation Kick is countered into the ankle lock with three minutes left. TJP reverses into the kneebar, which he turns into something like a reverse Figure Four with two minutes left.
Alexander picks the ankle to retain and puts on the grapevine with 45 seconds left. TJP nearly taps but gets up and bridges back to tie it up with 2 seconds left and time expires. Therefore, we go to sudden death so both guys pull themselves up in the corner during the rest period. They slug it out until Alexander hits a Regal Roll to set up a moonsault for two. The powerbomb onto the knee gets two more so it’s the double underhook piledriver to FINALLY finish TJP at 63:36.
Rating: B. This was very good and the sixty minutes flew by, which is pretty hard to do. They didn’t waste a lot of time here, making this almost all action throughout. It helps that they have some awesome chemistry together and both came out looking great. Alexander is turning into a star around here and I’m really curious to see what happens with him. Heck of a match here that is actually worth the watch.
Josh and Scott thank the fans and wrap it up.
Hold on though as the Undead Bridesmaids announce that Su Yung is needing more souls….because she is pregnant.
Overall Rating: B+. What else is there to say here? This was a really fun show with everything ranging from very good to completely watchable. It’s really hard to screw up something like this and they made it work very well throughout. Impact is doing a lot of things right at the moment, to the point where they have me invested in Zack Ryder vs. Big Cass in a World Title match. Keep this up and the company might actually stay good for a long time to come.
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