IMPACT Wrestling Results: Winners, Grades and Reaction from November 24
A brutal assault at the conclusion of last week's show gave way to Tuesday's AXS TV presentation of Impact Wrestling, headlined by world champion Rich Swann's title defense against "The World's Most Dangerous Man" Ken Shamrock.
The star-studded main event capped off a broadcast that also featured "All Ego" Ethan Page battling a "Phenomenal Opponent" selected by The Good Brothers, and the trial of Johnny Swinger.
Who emerged with the top prize in the promotion, what fate awaited The Swing Man and would Page avenge The North's recent tag title loss to Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson?
Find out with this recap of the November 24 episode.
Knockouts Tag Team Title Tournament: Sea Stars vs. Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz
The Knockouts Tag Team Championship Tournament continued in this week's opening match as Tasha Steelz and Kiera Hogan battled the debuting Sea Stars (Ashley Vox and Delmi Exo).
Exo and Hogan started the match for their respective teams, the former outwrestling a somewhat surprised Hogan early. Vox and Steelz tagged in, and the Sea Stars' early success continued. A cheap shot by Hogan to the back of Vox allowed the heels to take advantage.
Vox showed great resilience, withstanding everything thrown at her by Hogan and Steelz en route to a hot tag to Exo.
Delmi, the tallest competitor in the bout, used her height to her advantage, taking Hogan over with a bridging suplex. She followed with a reverse fallaway slam that sent Hogan into Steelz. Vox tagged back in and scored a two-count off a Celtic Cross.
Hogan and Steelz regained the upper hand, Hogan delivered a twisting fisherman neckbreaker on Exo and scored the hard-fought victory.
Steelz and Hogan defeated Sea Stars
This was good, thanks in large part to the work of the debuting team and what it was able to pull out of the underrated Hogan and Steelz. The chemistry was solid and the in-ring work even better. The result was the best match of the tournament to this point.
The right team went over considering Hogan and Steelz are actual members of the Impact roster, but do not be surprised if we see more of Vox and Exo on AXS TV or in any other company whose interest may have been piqued by their performance here.
It was a quality match to kick off the evening's broadcast and a reminder of just how good Hogan and Steelz have become as a team in a relatively short span.
Wrestler's Court: The Boys vs. Johnny Swinger
After producing the same gun used to shoot John E Bravo, Johnny Swinger found himself brought up on charges in "Wrestler's Court" this week.
Madison Rayne represented Swinger, while D'Lo Brown, from "The Nation of Litigation," represented the locker room. Judge Tommy Dreamer, "The Innovator of Jurisprudence," was replaced immediately by Brown when Rayne pointed out Dreamer was the man accusing Swinger.
Rayne said the crime in question was committed by a mastermind and that alone should exonerate Swinger. "What a burial. Leave your shovel at home, daddy-o," Swinger said.
Fallah Bahh, Cody Deaner and Acey Romero all testified against the defendant. (To be continued...)
"Wrestler's Court" returned with Dreamer interrogating Swinger, who suggested he was at the top of his career and it wouldn't make sense for him to commit the crime.
Dreamer called Father James Mitchell to the stand. Mitchell talked virgin blood and suggested it would be highly sought-after for "some people."
This led to Rosemary taking the stand. She admitted she never loved Bravo, that she used him for his virgin blood. Bravo appeared, and after an ex-lover's quarrel, he admitted it was not Rosemary who shot him. He could smell the perpetrator: Larry D, whose romantic Lawrence D persona took exception to Bravo for stealing Rosemary from him.
The charges against Swinger were dropped.
This was all harmless fun that wrapped up a weeks-long storyline in grand fashion.
Rosemary was exposed as the real heel here, Larry D's misplaced infatuation dating back to "Wrestle House" proved the motive for shooting Bravo and Swinger got to showcase his always-excellent self.
No harm, no foul. And now, Rosemary completes a heel turn just in time for the Knockouts Tag Team Championship Tournament.
Defeat Rohit Challenge
X-Division champion Rohit Raju hit the ring for his latest Defeat Rohit Challenge. After a trash-talking promo, Raju summoned his latest opponent: Suicide.
The masked competitor, born in the TNA Wrestling video game, made his way to the squared circle for a championship opportunity. That is until Raju took exception and announced the match would be non-title.
The heel attacked his hooded opponent from the opening bell, slugging away at him in the corner and stomping him to the mat. Attempting to prove his suspicions correct, that Suicide was really just TJP in disguise, Raju tried to unmask his opponent.
He failed but continued to unload on the opposition. Suicide mounted a comeback, delivering a headscissors and following with a side Russian leg sweep. Rohit finally managed to unmask his opponent just in time for TJP to make his entrance.
Stunned, Raju found himself rolled up and defeated by Crazzy Steve, who joined TJP on the stage, the babyfaces having gotten one over on the champion.
Crazzy Steve defeated Raju
This was some clever booking that played on an old-school booking trope.
History suggested it would be TJP under the hood, looking to outsmart Raju. He did, just unconventionally by distracting the champion long enough for Steve to score a huge upset.
This is clearly heading to TJP getting one last opportunity to dethrone Raju, and that is absolutely the right choice given the direction this story has been going. The question is whether Impact can keep things interesting enough in the lead-up to either Final Resolution in December or Hard to Kill in January.
Killer Kelly (with Renee Michelle) vs. Kimber Lee (with Deonna Purrazzo)
Killer Kelly made her in-ring debut for Impact, accompanied by Renee Michelle, for a showdown with Kimber Lee, who was seconded by Knockouts champion Deonna Purrazzo.
Lee weathered the early intensity of her opponent and grounded her, working her over on the mat. Kelly fought back, though, delivering an under-hook suplex and following with a shotgun dropkick in the corner.
Lee fought back and delivered a Swanton Bomb for the physical, hard-fought victory.
After the match, Lee embraced Purrazzo in the center of the ring only to be interrupted by the haunting music of Susie. The aimlessly wandering Knockout appeared on the stage. "You hurt my friend, and that's bad. But now my friend is here, and that's really bad."
Su Yung appeared and beat up on the heels, leaving them scurrying to the floor for safety.
Yung and Susie appeared simultaneously in a cool bit of production.
Lee defeated Kelly
There was not much to the match, nor was there a ton of time for Kimber Lee and Killer Kelly to deliver on their considerable talent.
But this was always less about the match itself and more about the latest in Su Yung's rivalry with Purrazzo and Lee. The super cool effect of Yung and Susie sharing the screen, and Yung gaining a measure of revenge for her loss to Purrazzo at Turning Point, helped elevate the segment.
Hopefully, the eventual blowoff maintains the momentum of the feud to this point because Purrazzo and Yung have some wicked in-ring chemistry.
Ethan Page vs. "A Phenomenal Opponent"
The Good Brothers promised the return of "The Phenomenal One" for a match with The North's Ethan Page, and after Doc Gallows suffered an off-screen beatdown at the hands of an unknown assailant, vengeance was on the mind of "Machine Gun" Karl Anderson.
But who would the current Impact Wrestling Tag Team champion produce as All Ego's opponent, and would it be the teased competitor? The "Wee-nomenal One" Swoggle!
Swoggle took Page down with a hurricanrana, but a distraction by Josh Alexander allowed Page to catch him with a pump kick.
Page dominated momentarily, but Swoggle scored the humongous upset with a schoolboy roll-up, leaving The North to wonder what is next now that a championship opportunity is out of the question. Page, in particular, proved inconsolable.
Swoggle defeated Page
The loudmouth heel was silenced in humiliating fashion, the perfect comeuppance for The North as it now looks to move on from The Good Brothers and on to the next chapter in its Impact Wrestling run.
Swoggle as an AJ Styles clone was a hilarious choice, and he played it perfectly, down to that delightful long, brown mane.
Like the "Wrestler's Court" segment, this was harmless fun that did not hurt anyone involved and, as such, can be considered a success.
Eric Young and Joe Doering Beat Down Fallah Bahh, Daivari and Rhino
Fallah Bahh took to the squared circle for a match with Daivari, but before it could really get underway, Eric Young and Joe Doering hit the ring.
The duo beat down the competitors and then Rhino before Young proclaimed themselves the cure for the sickness in pro wrestling.
Young and Doering make for an impressive visual, but at some point, they will have to move beyond the random beatdowns and focus either on tag team wrestling or a singles run for Doering.
Otherwise, this particular booking will wear out its welcome soon.
Impact World Championship Match: Rich Swann vs. Ken Shamrock
In the main event of this week's show, Impact world champion Rich Swann defended his title against Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock in what proved to be his toughest test to date.
Shamrock overpowered the champion and wasted little time targeting the ankle of his opponent, looking for the right opportunity to trap him in his patented ankle lock.
Back from the break, Swann mounted a comeback, firing off some rights and delivering a series of clothesline that barley rocked the challenger. Shamrock shook off the flurry and dropped the champion back to the mat. A knee to the side of the face followed as the challenger appeared unfazed.
Swann finally downed Shamrock and delivered the Rolling Thunder for two. A back heel kick and sunset flip followed, but Shamrock countered into a triangle choke. Swann escaped and stunned The World's Most Dangerous Man.
He came off the top rope with a frog splash for two. Stunned, Swann left himself open for an armbar. The champion fought out, delivered a few kicks but found himself trapped in the ankle lock. Swann escaped, Shamrock grabbed a sleeper and the champion countered into a roll-up for the win.
After the match, Shamrock assaulted a referee while Sami Callihan arrived and delivered a package piledriver on Swann. Callihan retrieved a baseball bat and teased using it until Eddie Edwards made the save.
Callihan went low, stunning Edwards. The heels subdued Edwards, taping him to the top rope. "Do it, b---h!” Edwards exclaimed before Sami blasted him in the head. D'Lo Brown hit the ring to restore order but endured a punch to the face.
The heels stood tall to close out the show despite Scott D'Amore's best attempts to clear them out.
Swann defeated Shamrock
This was the first time that Shamrock looked like a guy who couldn't keep up with the younger star he shared the ring with. Moose and Eddie Edwards presented the opportunity for Shamrock to brawl, thus hiding his weaknesses. Swann is in his athletic prime and just moves at a pace that Shamrock cannot believably or realistically keep up with.
Though no fault of the performers, it creates a very difficult setting in which to have a great match.
Swann and Shamrock still had a solid, if unspectacular, match that set up the big post-match beatdown angle. With Final Resolution coming up in December, do not be surprised if we see some sort of high-profile tag match pitting Swann and Edwards against Shamrock and Callihan.
Particularly if there is some sort of stipulation involved.