IMPACT Wrestling Results: Winners, Grades and Reaction from December 1
The march to Final Resolution on December 12 continued this week with the latest in the tournament to crown Knockouts Tag Team champions, Deonna Purrazzo's attempt to vanquish the threat of Su Yung to her Knockouts Championship, X-Division champion Rohit Raju's latest title defense and a high-octane main event between world championship contenders Chris Bey and Willie Mack.
Who emerged from Tuesday's AXS TV broadcast with momentum on their side, ready to close out 2020 in grand fashion?
Find out with this recap of the December 1 broadcast.
Motor City Machine Guns vs. XXXL
"Size matters!" XXXL's Larry D exclaimed as he entered the squared circle alongside partner Acey Romero for a showdown with the Motor City Machine Guns' Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley. It was Romero and Larry who viciously assaulted Shelley shortly after Bound for Glory, causing him to miss several weeks of action.
The vengeful former Impact Tag Team champions started quick, taking the fight to their much larger opponents. Both Sabin and Shelley quickly felt the wrath of the heels, though, as XXXL slowed the pace and looked to gain control with its strength advantage.
Shelley and Sabin weathered the storm and fired off another rapid-paced onslaught. Romero, though, flattened both men and set his sights on Shelley. The heels isolated Shelley and worked him over in their corner of the ring, making Sabin expend energy to break up pins and save his partner from defeat.
Sabin joined Shelley for a double-team maneuver to Romero before officially being tagged into the match. The former world champion rocked Larry D with a forearm, clothesline, jumping knee and enzuigiri before finally downing him with a DDT.
XXXL momentarily regained control of the match, downing Sabin for a near-fall. A misfire that sent them crashing into each other put the heels on the defensive. They ultimately put the heavyweights away with Skull and Bones for the win.
Motor City Machine Guns defeated XXXL
It's time for people to start talking about the work Larry D and Acey Romero are doing as XXXL. For two heavyweights who employ a largely power-based offense, they work extremely well with smaller opponents. We saw it with The Rascalz and again here.
For competitors of their size, they could easily take the lazy way out by punching and kicking their way through matches, but they work damn hard to prove they can keep up with their peers, and the result is often a much better match than wrestlers of their style may have worked in the past.
As for Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin, they are every bit as good as they were at the peak of their Impact Wrestling careers, but they are smarter now. They fit their stuff in where applicable, still work circles around the teams they share the ring with and are ever the creative performers. They don't take as many unnecessary risks at this point, and that is a good thing.
Shelley and Sabin are one of the most influential and best teams of their generation, and to see them have the opportunity to reaffirm their place in modern wrestling history has been one of the highlights of 2020 in the sport.
Jordynne Grace and Jazz vs. Killer Kelly and Renee Michelle
Earlier tonight, Impact Executive Vice President Scott D'Amore greeted Ken Shamrock and Sami Callihan as they arrived to the building. D'Amore suspended Shamrock for 30 days for striking official D'Lo Brown, much to the dismay of the hell-raising heels.
Back in the Impact Zone, the team of Killer Kelly and Renee Michelle made its way to the ring for the latest quarterfinal match in the Knockouts Tag Team Championship Tournament. The opponents? Former Knockouts champion Jordynne Grace and future Hall of Famer Jazz.
Grace and Kelly started the match for their respective teams, engaging in some chain wrestling before transitioning into a series of pinfalls and reversals. A standoff gave way to respective tags to Jazz and Michelle.
Jazz overpowered Michelle and then tagged Grace back into the ring. A double shoulder tackle left the newcomer reeling. A well-timed dropkick off the apron allowed Michelle to seize control of the bout heading into the break.
After the commercial, Michelle and Kelly took turns teeing off on Thicc Mama Pump, working her over and keeping her from making the tag to her veteran partner. Grace fought back into the match, exchanged heavy strikes with Kelly and delivered a Grace Driver for a near-fall broken up by Michelle.
Jazz downed Kelly but did not recognize Michelle was the legal competitor. It made no difference, though, as she escaped a modified neckbreaker and put the lesser-experienced Michelle down with the Jazz Stinger for the win.
Grace and Jazz defeated Michelle and Kelly
Jordynne Grace continued her run through 2020 as one of the MVPs of Impact. She is so consistent that it is easy to forget how good she really is. We saw it throughout her title reign, in the series with Deonna Purrazzo and even as she shared the ring with the X-Division stars.
Here, she carried the bulk of the load, selling for Michelle and unloading with some fiery strikes on Kelly in an exchange that made a singles match between the two extremely appealing.
The right team went over here, but there is a bright future for both Michelle and Kelly as Impact looks to add to a Knockouts division that is sneaky good right now. 2021 should be a banner year for women's wrestling in this promotion.
Cody Deaner vs. Johnny Swinger
In a rematch from a few weeks back, the newly exonerated Johnny Swinger battled Cody Deaner in singles competition.
Frustrated and focused, Deaner took the fight to Swinger just in time for Eric Young and Joe Doering to make their way to the ring. The devastating duo laid out Cousin Jake at ringside, obliterated Deaner and flattened Swinger as Josh Mathews asked what their mission and end game are.
"The disease has taken over, but we will win. We will prevail. The quicker you learn to heed my warnings...this world doesn't belong to you. It belongs to us."
As Young and Doering surveyed their destruction, Mathews said, "You are looking into the eyes of a madman," further putting over the unpredictability and danger the twosome breeds.
Young and Doering are an intriguing pair, but it's time to move on to the next phase of their plan. The run-ins and beatdowns are becoming repetitive, and Young's vague messages aren't helping much.
Deaner's post-beatdown backstage promo, in which he recounted the days of riding from show to show with Young, featured some great fire from a performer who is typically utilized in a more comedic role. A match with Young could be a sort of revelation, especially if he can channel that emotion into his ring game and the former world champion is willing to sell for him.
James Mitchell Pays Off the Devil's Deal
Moments after confronting James Mitchell about getting Su Yung to revert back to Susie, Knockouts champion Deonna Purrazzo and Kimber Lee took to the ring, looking to lure the Undead Bride out of the darkness.
Yung fell right into the trap, and Mitchell appeared in the arena. "You have been nothing but trouble, a thorn in my side for too long, and tonight you will pay for your sins." Ominous music played over the PA system, and the bridesmaids made their way down the ramp.
They stalked to the ring, surrounding it and Yung. Purrazzo jumped her rival, but Yung dropped her with a headbutt. Lee didn't fare any better. Purrazzo choked Yung out and delivered the Cosa Nostra before the bridesmaids dragged the former Knockouts champion to the back.
The Yung character is always interesting, even if it's not necessarily your thing.
With that said, this is low-key less about Yung and more about the implications Purrazzo and Lee's deal with the devil will be. Mitchell doesn't do things out of the kindness of his heart. There are always repercussions, and those repercussions will manifest in ways that will be unpleasant for The Virtuosa and her sidekick.
Yeah, Purrazzo may get what she wanted in the form of the return of Susie, but at what cost?
That is a question that bears watching in the coming weeks.
X-Division Championship Match: Crazzy Steve vs. Rohit Raju
A week after Crazzy Steve disguised himself as Suicide and scored an upset win over X-Division champion Rohit Raju following a distraction from TJP, the former circus clown challenged for the gold.
Despite a spirited start by Steve, Raju gained the upper hand during the break and worked over his opponent, going as far as to bite him in the forehead. He followed with a fisherman neckbreaker and then a fisherman brainbuster for two.
Intense and aggressive, he continued to unleash on his opponent, seemingly sending a message to anyone who doubted his status at the top of the division. He uncorked a kick to the chest that folded Steve backward, only for the challenger to rise up and ignite a fiery comeback.
A leg sweep and submission had Raju desperately scurrying for the ropes to break the hold. He recovered, countered a sunset flip and grabbed the ropes for yet another successful title defense.
Raju defeated Steve
Raju rebounded from last week's embarrassment with a win here, under less-than-honest means.
There is an argument to be made that a clean win over someone like Steve would not have hurt either man's character, but Impact has been very deliberate about building the Mocha-Skinned Manimal into this era's Honky Tonk Man. That character did not hesitate to cheat his way to wins, regardless of the opposition, and neither does Raju.
Most interesting was the lack of an appearance by TJP, who has been a thorn in the side of Rohit for weeks now. His absence will be short-lived, as it is apparent that the former WWE Cruiserweight champion is the Impact star destined to end Raju's reign of terror over the X-Division.
Update: TJP comforted Steve after his loss and then stood up for him in the face of insults from Brian Myers. TJP vs. Myers next week.
Willie Mack vs. Chris Bey
Driven by world title aspirations, "The Ultimate Finesser" Chris Bey battled familiar foe, and Impact champion Rich Swann's best friend, Willie Mack in Tuesday's main event.
Disrespect from Bey early ignited a spark in Mack that manifested itself in the form of punishing blows to the smaller competitor. An infuriated Mack punished Bey, forcing him to the sanctuary of the Impact Zone floor, where he capitalized with a kick to the face. Mack shook it off and delivered a sidewalk slam onto the ring apron.
During the break, Bey seized control, targeting the left knee of his opponent and taking away the bigger man's base.
Mack finally created separation and mounted a comeback but in doing so further injured his own knee. In clear pain despite a near-fall, he sought to fight through it. Bey countered a stunner attempt into a roll-up. A sunset flip bomb followed, but Bey could not keep Mack down for the count.
The resilient babyface fought through, delivered the stunner and earned the win.
As he celebrated his hard-fought victory, Mack fell prey to the spear from Moose, who attacked from out of nowhere. World champion Rich Swann made the save, driving the self-proclaimed TNA champion out of the ring. Bey delivered a springboard cutter from out of nowhere and stood tall to close out the show.
Mack defeated Bey
If you had mentioned at the beginning of 2020 that Impact Wrestling would near the end of the year with Rich Swann, Chris Bey, Willie Mack and Moose in the world title picture, you may have been greeted with more than a few cocked eyebrows.
That is where the company is, though, and it is incredibly refreshing.
Here are four immensely talented wrestlers of different styles and backgrounds, all vying for a major world title. Size doesn't matter, nor does athleticism or who has the proverbial "look." What matters is that four of the workhorses of Impact Wrestling here in 2020 are seeing their tireless efforts manifest in the form of a high-profile position in the company.
Sure, the money match is clearly Swann vs. Moose, but Bey and Mack have been so steadily good for the company over the last six months that even one big main event opportunity has been well-earned.
With Final Resolution just 11 days away, do not be surprised if a four-way of sorts is announced for that show. Or, at the very least, a three-way between Swann, Mack and Bey as the promotion continues to build to Moose's title opportunity.
If you are a fan of fresh and exciting, the conclusion of this show was for you.