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January 11, 2019 | Posted by Robert Winfree
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Hello everyone and welcome to 411’s LIVE coverage of Impact Wrestling. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening. With the man who runs 411, Larry Csonka, out of action for a bit the eight or nine person workload he shouldered is being spread around to the rest of us. For those who don’t know me, and really I can’t blame you one bit, I’m the live coverage guy for the MMA zone here at 411mania. Apparently no one from the wrestling zone was willing to cover this so I got pushed on top of the grenade. Part of me can’t help but wonder about the karmic justice angle, seeing as poor Larry has been covering The Ultimate Fighter since it conflicts with my schedule.

I’m not unfamiliar with professional wrestling, but I haven’t watched TNA/Impact/Wait what’s with that owl in the logo for several years. The last thing I watched live was the debut of Nigel McGuinness/Desmond Wolf because I enjoyed his work in Ring of Honor but after Impact had no follow up for him and if memory serves he was like the fourth or fifth guy they debuted with hype then fizzled out after a few months because they had no follow up ideas I basically bid adieu to the promotion. It’s been about that long since I’ve watched WWE programming as well. That’s mostly to say I have no idea about current story lines, or the roster really. I also wont be putting up star ratings, I feel star ratings should reflect a bit of reality and greater context with the art from that I just don’t think I have right now as opposed to just “I liked that” or “I didn’t like that”. So please bear with me, I assure you that you will get my best effort.

I don’t have Pursuit as a channel, because who’s got that, but apparently they stream on twitch so let’s fire that up. I spend entirely too much time on twitch generally so I’m familiar with the platform. There’s a bit of a pre-show on Twitch, it’s the former Santino Marella I think and a woman who’s name I missed giving a brief preview of what’s to come while sitting in chairs. Very low tech but I think it’s by design. To get the broadcast proper going we get highlights from Homecoming a couple of nights ago.

Now that your expectations have been sufficiently lowered, let’s get to the action.

We get, is that Josh Matthews screeching into my ears? Ugh, that’ll get old. Johnny Nitro/Morrison/Mundo/Impact is here with his Impact world title as we get a replay of Killer Kross beating Johnny and Taya down after his match with Brian Cage. He holds up the title says this is important but his wife is more important, claiming Taya has been in the hospital after the attack at Homecoming. There’s a mild “Thank you Kross” chant for that. Johnny takes off his bedazzled sunglasses so you know he’s serious, to say he’s focused entirely on what he’s going to do to Kross when they meet up.

Oh, Brian Cage is here now. Commentary tells me Cage should have won at Homecoming after one of Johnny’s drunk friends on the crowd screwed him out of the title. Cage reiterates that point on the mic, says he’s the rightful champion and everyone knows it. He wants his rematch not next week, not next month, but right now. Johnny says this isn’t the time or place, his wife is- Cage cuts him off saying he doesn’t care just like Johnny doesn’t care about his (Cage’s) family, he just wants his rematch. They shout at each other for a moment before Killer Kross arrives. He says on the entrance ramp and calls Johnny the great impostor. He says that Cage had Johnny pinned for a count of 10, which technically means Cage beat him three times. He notes that Johnny doesn’t care about Cage’s family but does care about his wife, then says that once Taya comes back he’ll put her back in the hospital. Johnny doesn’t like that, super kicks Cage to then hit a tope onto Kross, Kross rolls into the cage then when Johnny follows him Cage takes him out with a discus clothesline. Kross clotheslines Cage, Cage bounces right back up and flexes, Kross decides to take a powder in the face of Cage. Cage grabs the title and poses over the fallen Johnny, then tosses the title onto him and exits the ring.

That’ll close our opening segment. Just served to reiterate the results from Homecoming and extend the feuds for all three men. Not sure if the crowd is just really small or were just quiet for much of this but it seemed to serve the designed purpose.

During the break Cage and Johnny got into it backstage over the rematch situation, Johnny promises Cage the next title shot after he deals with Kross tonight.

We go to commentary with Josh Matthews and Don Callis, they confirm that the main event tonight is Johnny Impact taking on Killer Kross in a non-title affair but the bout is also No Holds Barred. They also run down the rest of the card. Callis says he’s always in twitch chat, and given his outfit I suppose he’d be a fitting avatar for twitch chat.

Match #1: The Rascalz vs. The Lucha Bros.

Fenix and Pentagon Jr. are guys I’m familiar with from their time in Lucha Underground, apparently they’re being sold as biological brothers. We get some dueling chanting to start, Cero Miedo (my Spanish is awful I apologize) is the louder of the two. Lots of staring between Pentagon and one of the Rascalz, then we get to things. There’s a tie up, running the rope segment but Pentagon just kicks him when he was going for a headstand. The Rascalz look to regroup, Pentagon goes for a dive but gets cut off with a cutter. Wentz is in with Fenix now, a few rope segments then Dez is in and hits a dropsault to Fenix. Pentagon is lurking behind him, gets some offense before Dez counters in the corner and Wentz hits a bronco buster. Fenix doesn’t have time for that and comes flying in from the other side and hits a double cutter to send us to break.

We come back with Wentz avoiding a dive from Fenix and hitting kicks then a running knee int the corner. Fenix avoids a kick, can’t get a roll up and Wentz kicks Pentagon off of the apron. A series of double team moves to Fenix leads to a near fall then Dez kicks Pentagon to keep him from getting to the apron. Feix staggers tot he corner, Wentz tags in Dez, they try a corner assault but Fenix kicks them each, Pentagon hits an enziguri on one of them and Fenix kicks them out of the right. Both Pentagon and Feix hit dives, Dez back in the ring and eats a double super kick, they go for a pin after a splash but Wentz dives from the top rope to break it up and everyone is down. Fenix and Pentagon are in opposite corners, the Rascalz hit running blows to both of them, Pentagon lands a super kick on the return attempt, Wentz hits a spingboard knee strike to Pentagon, Fenix cuts him off with a spring board kick then Dez catches Fenix with a kick as Fenix was building momentum towards Wentz. Now Pentagon cuts off Dez and looks for the package pile driver, Wentz saves Dez and we get kicks to Pentagon. Fenix back in and hits a cutter on Wentz, Pentagon rolls up Dez for 2 then they provide tandem super kicks to both of the Rascalz. Wicked tandem move, Pentagon hit a package pile driver while holding the other man in a Gory Guerrero special, Feix proceeded to kick then cutter the one on Pentagon’s back and that leads to the finish.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – The Lucha Bros. via Pinfall

All four men pose after the match in a show of sportsmanship. That was frantic from all four men but an enjoyable frantic.

We get the GWN Flashback Moment of the Week, apparently this will be a weekly thing. In this instance it’s a flashback to the first ever Ultimate X match. Sabin vs. Kazarian vs. Michael Shane, two men who went on to be corner stones of the X-Division as it built in what was the Total Non-stop Action wrestling in Sabin and Kazarian. I’m curious how much of this they’ll show because thus far they’re just re-airing that match. There’s a bit of editing to the match but largely they’re just showing the match. I didn’t watch that match live but looked it up as the gimmick of Ultimate X kept growing and produced some great matches over the years.

Since Twitch doesn’t run adds the same way broadcast TV does we’re getting some odd flashbacks during downtime. The first one earlier in the broadcast was the infamous Steiner math promo, the second one features the Hardy Brothers. Wait, they actually wrestled with a live kangaroo at one point?

And we’re back to live action. The recap a bit of the Kross/Impact/Cage saga to this point. Kross gets an interview backstage, the interviewer says she’s speechless at his actions, he says that’s good as it’s authentic. Kross addresses Johnny Impact, he asks if Johnny even knows how to hurt him because causing pain and hurting someone are two different things. He says he’ll liberate Johnny tonight.

Back in the ring Matthews introduces the new X-Division champion Rich Swann. Swann makes his way to the ring then shakes hands with Matthews to start his inaugural interview as champion. The crowd starts a “You deserve it” chant that he seems appreciative of. He says Homecoming was one of the biggest moments of his career, talks about the history of the X-Division and it getting started in the Asylum, name drops Low Ki, Sonjay Dutt, Chris Saban, Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, and puts them over as having changed the entire industry. He calls Ultimate X one of the scariest matches he’s been in, but notes he came out on top, then restates the old definition of the X-Division: it’s not about weight limits it’s about no limits. He calls himself the no limit soldier of the X-Division division and wants to take on all comers.

The proceedings are interrupted by Sami Callihan, who promptly kicks Matthews out of the ring and says he might come after Matthews job next. He says he’s already won Impact Wrestler of the Year and isn’t opposed to becoming Announcer of the Year. He tells the crowd to let him talk, they play back by interrupting him. Sami says he doesn’t care that they’re booing him but he has things to say. Swann asks the crowd to quiet down a bit and they do. Callihan says a lot of rumors have been circulating about his relationship with Swann, he says he and Swann have a long history but the people don’t deserve to hear it, he just tells Swann that family is everything. He offers Swann a t-shirt, it’s Swann’s catchphrase but done in a style that seems opposed to what Swann is wearing. Callihan tells Swann to come on home where he wants to be. Willie Mack is here and spears Callihan, they roll around then Swann pulls Callihan off of Mack, they shove each other then Mack spears Callihan again. This time Swann pulls Mack off of Callihan and referees are in to separate the wrestlers as we go to commercial, and presumably set up the Mack vs. Callihan bout to start next.

Match #2: Willie Mack vs. Sami Callihan

We’re joined in progress as Mack and Callihan trade punches. They trade headlock takeovers then trade jumping front kicks and both men are down in the middle of the ring. Headbutts from Callihan as they get up, Mack returns one and Callihan lands a punch as they get up. Now they’re trading punches and chops giving each other crazy eyes. Speaking of eyes, Callihan gets a rake of the eyes but runs into a forearm from Mack. Mack tries to hit a baseball slide as Callihan is outside the ring but Callihan traps him in the apron material. Callihan lands a few blows then Mack cuts him off with a clothesline and frees himself. Chops from Mack then he hits a standing uranage onto the ring apron, that looked painful. They trade blows then Callihan tosses Mack into the ring steps, given the type of steps they’re using it was the knees of Mack that hit and he’s down beside them. Callihan back into the ring as the ref starts counting Mack out. Mack is back in at a count of 7, Callihan tosses him back out of the ring, this time he follows him out and drags him up the ramp. A couple of rights from Mack as they’re at the top of the ramp. Mack was thinking about a uranage off of the stage but Callihan cuts him off with thumbs to the eye then hit s a piledriver at the top of the ramp and walks back tot he ring. The ref starts the count again, Mack starts crawling back towards the ring and just barely beats the count. Callihan was celebrating on top of the corner and seems annoyed by Mack’s refusal to lay down and die. Mack fires up and lands a series of rights then a couple of jumping forearm shots. Jumping boot to Callihan as he was in the corner and Callihan is down in the corner. Mack sets up for something but runs into a right hand, Callihan gets a head of steam but runs into a Samoan drop then a standing moonsault from Mack gets a close 2 count. They’re up, Mack sets for a powerbomb but Callihan bites his hand to stop that then hits a lariat in close for a near fall of his own. Callihan is up first and setting for another lariat, but runs into a Sky High for another near fall. This time Mack is up first and climbs the turnbuckles but Callihan cuts him off then hits a powerbomb into a seated knee strike but again Mack kicks out at 2. Callihan sets in the corner, goes for the lariat but runs into a pop up forearm then Mack hits a cannonball in the corner. Mack goes for a stunner, Callihan blocks with more eye pokes and goes for a piledriver but can’t get it and we get a series of near falls before they break. School boy attempt from Mack but Callihan is out, Callihan tries a back slide but that’s countered, Mack counters another piledriver attempt with an ankle pick and gets a final pinning situation to get the 3.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Willie Mack via Pinfall

Not a bad match from where I sit.

We get a video of the current iteration of LAX sitting with Konan talking about their tag team title win from Homecoming, then a preview of Scarlett Brodeaux’s upcoming strip/burlesque show which should be what’s coming up next.

On the return we get LAX running into Callihan and a couple of members of his group, then we cut to Scarlett Brodeaux coming to the ring for her strip show. She wants a mic to start. She promises to announce the winner of her talent search next week, then wants to celebrate the debut of Impact on Pursuit, puts over Nashville as a party city, and asks the crowd how badly they want to see her disrobe. They certainly seem to be interested. Before she can take anything off we get interrupted by, people that I don’t know. The elder statesmen with the mic tells her not to belittle herself in public like this, to save it for the winner of the talent search and perform for them in private after they win. He runs down the crowd, hits one of his wrestlers for contradicting him, but he’s cut off by the siren of the one and only Scott Steiner.

Pretty good pop for Steiner, chain mail and all he makes his way to the ring. Steiner takes the mic from the Indian gentleman, he says he was here to watch the debut of Impact on the Pursuit channel, then notes he pulled his groin hunting two legged dear at a club in Detroit. He says he loves watching freaks get their freak on and is annoyed that this was ruined by them. The man, I think commentary called him Gama, fakes a heart attack. The tag team tries to attack Steiner, that goes badly as Steiner takes them both out and puts them in the Steiner Recliner at the same time. Scarlett gets the mic back and says that while she loves violence she promised a show, and if Steiner wanted a front row seat he just had to ask. Steiner happily grabs a chair and sits to watch the show as Brodeaux starts her strip show. She leaves wearing lingerie, Steiner drops his catchprase and follows her up the ramp, which takes us to break.

To come back we get a recap of Taya beating Tessa Blanchard to become the Knockouts champion at Homecoming. There’s a promo from Kim that airs, telling Blanchard that she got what she deserved for putting her hands on an official as Kim was the ref for that match.

Match #3: Tessa Blanchard vs. Cali

Back in the arena Tessa Blanchard makes her way to the ring. Blanchard’s opponent is already in the ring, the jobber entrance is rarely a good thing. Tessa lays into her opponent Cali with kicks and forearms, Cali avoids a rush in the corner and lands a kick but that just pisses Blanchard off. Clubbing blows to the back from Blanchard drive Cali to the mat, then drags Cali’s eyes along the ropes and hangs her up on the second rope. A nasty looking drop kick to the back from Blanchard sets up a suplex then a one footed cover that only gets a 2 count. Blanchard sets for the buzzsaw DDT, then decides instead to hit Kim’s Eat Defeat finisher and get the 3 count.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Tessa Blanchard via Pinfall

Recorded promo from Eddie Edwards, saying he wants to move beyond Moose after the Homecoming match. Eddie says he and Kenny, his kendo stick, are ready to move on, then he’s cut off by Eli Drak. Drake questions if Edwards really wants to be the guy to pick up and bear the flag of hardcore in Impact wrestling. We close with a graphic for the main event between Johnny Impact and Killer Kross.

We come back to a horror inspired vignette for a couple of women’s wrestlers. They’re over a casket talking about having sold a bunny and not needing a Shadow. Commentary tells me that was Su and I think Alley talking about getting over and away from Rosemary, who left a message on the casket that they have one more chance to rejoin the shadow.

That’ll bring us to the walkouts from the two main event participants. As an aside, I’ve seen a few of you in the comments who don’t have Pursuit as a channel. They’re also streaming on Twitch, right HERE if you’re interested in giving that a try.

Match #3 No Disqualification Non-title: Impact champion Johnny Impact vs. Killer Kross

We’re back at the start of the match. We get brawling to start, thankfully because nothing sells a blood feud like a tie up to start. Johnny gets full mount and punches Kross through the ropes but Kross threatens a heel hook and gets a separation. They tie up and trade elbows then Kross gets a go over slam and Johnny is down. Kicks from Johnny as he get sup, Kross shoves him into the corner and works body shots then clotheslines Johnny over the top rope and all the way to the floor. Johnny fires up with elbows and knees on the ground, then a couple of kicks and slams Kross’ head into the barricade. Kross is set up against a barricade and Johnny runs through him with a hip strike, then resets near the apron and pulls out a table from under the ring. Johnny sets up the table then tosses Kross onto it and takes a chair from a fan but Kross punches it back in Johnny’s face. Kross puts Johnny’s head into the opened chair and drives Johnny into the ring post with the chair around his neck. Kross gets Johnny up and locks up a Tazmission variation before dropping Johnny crotch first onto the barricade. Now Kross slams the chair into Johnny’s back as a segment of the crowd starts chanting “Kill Kross, Kill”. Kross walks over and brings the steel steps into play, dragging them over to where Johnny is laid out. Kross tells Johnny that Taya is watching as he sets his head on the stairs then looks to crush him with the chair but Johnny rolls away, gets the chair and slams Kross with it a few times. Johnny calls for more chairs, the fans oblige him and he buries Kross under a bunch of them, then walks up the stairs and moonsaults while holding a chair onto the pile of chairs and Kross. We get a “This is wrestling” chant, that was a pretty cool move but the replay showed that Johnny might have clipped his own chin on the steel stairs on that moonsault. If he’s concussed he’s not showing much of it, he tosses chairs into the ring then Kross gets up stares at him for a moment before helping him toss chairs into the ring. With all the chairs in the ring both men climb into the ring staring daggers at each other, then each grab a chair and we get a sword fight before Johnny starts landing strikes backing Kross into a corner. Chair to the gut from Johnny, that he then sets up and looks drops the face of Kross onto it three times then hits Kross with a super kick and Kross winds up sitting on the chair laughing. Johnny picks up another chair and throws it into Kross’ face then drags him in position for the corkscrew split legged moonsault he calls Starship Pain. Johnny buries Kross under chairs again and slams him with another one before climbing the turnbuckles. Top rope for Johnny but Moose runs down and shoves him off of the top rope through the table set up on the outside. Moose drags Johnny back up and shoves him into the ring then urges on Kross. Kross laughs and locks up the Kross Jacket choke, his Tazmission variant from earlier, and he chokes Johnny completely unconscious.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Killer Kross via Technical Submission

Kross holds the choke a long time after the bell but does relent and then shares a hug with Moose. Moose and Kross pose in the ring.

If you’re going to sell a violent hate filled feud you should deliver a violent hate filled brawl like those two delivered. Pretty solid main event for a debut show.

Pretty solid show overall, not a lot of fat on it, you had a fast paced opener, decent big man style match between Callihan and Mack, then an appropriate brawl between Kross and Johnny Impact. Considering the state of Impact when I stopped watching, really good stuff.

Thank you for putting up with me guys, wish Larry a quick recovery, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

article topics :

Impact Wrestling, Robert Winfree

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