IMPACT Wrestling Results: Winners, Grades and Reaction from December 15
One week after the most buzz-worthy episode of Impact Wrestling in recent memory, AEW World champion Kenny Omega returned Tuesday night to send his latest message to the wrestling world. Joined by Don Callis, what did The Cleaner have to say to the Impact and AEW faithful?
That question, as well as which team would advance in the Knockouts Tag Team Championship Tournament, was answered on a broadcast that also featured Chris Sabin and Karl Anderson's first singles match against each other ever.
Find out who emerged from the high-profile encounter now, as well as the answers to the proposed questions, with this recap of the December 15 AXS TV broadcast.
Announced for Tuesday's AXS TV broadcast:
- An appearance from Don Callis and AEW World champion Kenny Omega
- X-Division champion Manik vs. Chris Bey
- Knockouts Tag Team Championship Tournament match: Rosemary and Taya Valkyrie vs. Tasha Steelz and Kiera Hogan
- Chris Sabin vs. Karl Anderson
- Alisha Edwards vs. Tenille Dashwood
Alisha Edwards vs. Tenille Dashwood
Kaleb With a K stood mid-ring as this week's show hit the airwaves. Vowing more premium content, he introduced Tenille Dashwood, calling her "The Influence," a nickname that could stick if management desired.
Alisha Edwards, accompanied by her husband Eddie, made her way to the ring and wasted little time taking the fight to her opponent. Dashwood turned the tables, overwhelming her with a strength advantage and powering her down with an under-hook suplex.
As Edwards mounted a comeback, Dashwood threw Kaleb in harm's way, providing just enough of a distraction for Tenille to deliver the Spotlight Kick for the win.
After the match, the lights dimmed and Sami Callihan made his presence felt via video. Eddie's sworn enemy suggested they finally bring their differences to an end. "Have an amazing Christmas...because it might be your last," he warned.
Dashwood defeated Alisha
Edwards may not be the most polished wrestler but she's a damn scrappy babyface and one that shows grit when she mixes it up between the ropes. It was no different here.
The object of this match, though, was Dashwood picking up a big win. The Aussie has been somewhat lost in the shuffle in the Knockouts division despite having a name and presence that screams "star." Hopefully, this is the start of a sustained push.
Callihan and Edwards are going to tear the house down when they mix it up for one last time, presumably at Hard to Kill in January.
Moose Addresses Rich Swann, Willie Mack Responds
TNA World Heavyweight champion Moose made his way to the ring, just days after playing mind games with Impact World champion Rich Swann in the closing moments of Final Resolution.
Addressing Swann, he warned the champ to call his best friend Willie Mack and ask him what pain feels like. Almost as if on cue, Mack appeared. Security stepped in between the two, just as Mack said he didn't come out to wrestle tonight.
He took exception to the referee calling for the bell at his expense when he knew damn well that he had plenty of fight left. Mack challenged Moose to an "I Quit" match at Genesis, to which the TNA champion warned him he's not the guy to have such a match against.
A brawl between the two broke out, with Moose dropping Mack and then hammering away at the security guards.
Backstage, he told Gia Miller that he is tired of independent wrestlers putting their hands on stars like him.
As the emphasis for one last battle between Moose and Mack, this worked perfectly.
Moose has defeated Mack via referee stoppage. The former X-Division champion takes exception to that and is hellbent on proving his toughness. It is a simple enough story and one that will allow Moose to show off his newfound aggression as he preps for a match with world champion Rich Swann.
Finally, the former NFL star taking the star stance and claiming he can beat any of the security team in three minutes sets up a potentially humbling experience for him that may very well feature either Mack or Swann as the company builds to those two contests.
Manik vs. Chris Bey
Fresh off the Impact World Championship main event match against Rich Swann at Final Resolution, Chris Bey made his way to the ring for a non-title match against X-Division champion Manik. The Ultimate Finnesser was accompanied to the ring by Rohit Raju, whom Manik defeated for the gold Saturday night.
Raju and Bey concocted a plan backstage to unmask Manik, reveal he is TJP and force Impact officials to strip him of the title. Why? Because TJP was barred from further X-Division Championship opportunities by way of his losses to Raju.
Back from the break, Bey delivered a middle-rope leg drop to the back of the head for a near-fall. "Take it off! Take it off!" Raju implored his cohort. Bey scored another near-fall as he controlled the pace of the match.
Manik fought back, delivered a detonation kick and had Bey reeling. A low blow by the heel left Manik in a heap. Raju entered and delivered a cheap shot to Bey, to which he responded with a smile, recognizing he won the match via disqualification and is now in line for a championship opportunity.
Bey defeated Manik via disqualification
Bey suckering Raju in and manipulating the former X-Division champion to get what he wanted was a nice touch. The Ultimate Finesser found himself on the receiving end of similar actions by Raju, so turnabout is fair play.
Manik escaping the unmasking allows his story to continue, while Bey's tricky victory sets up a potential three-way scenario, perhaps as soon as Genesis.
The X-Division may not be what it once was, but the talent there now and Raju's enormous personality are certainly making for entertaining television.
Led by the great Bey, who is the future of this company.
Taya Valkyrie and Rosemary vs. Tasha Steelz and Kiera Hogan
"Machine Gun" Karl Anderson joined Don Callis and Kenny Omega in the luxury bus, and despite their best attempts to rile up the Impact Tag Team champion, Anderson vowed to take care of Rich Swann and The Motor City Machine Guns and take his name back. Omega teased an interaction of some sort with Swann.
In the Impact Zone, Tasha Steelz and Kiera Hogan hit the ring for the Knockouts Tag Team Championship Tournament semifinal round match against Rosemary and Taya Valkyrie.
The veterans Rosemary and Valkyrie dominated the opening moments of the match, brutalizing the opposition as Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne talked them up as the favorites of the tournament. A cheap shot to the back of the head by Steelz stunned Rosemary and allowed the heels to seize control of the bout.
The young, upstart team worked over The Demon Assassin, cutting her off from La Wera Loca and driving the fight out of her. She finally tagged Valkyrie into the match, and the longest-reigning Knockouts champion in Impact history fired off a flurry of offense on Steelz and Hogan, only for Deonna Purrazzo and Kimber Lee to attack Rosemary at ringside.
The distraction allowed Hogan to score the win with a fisherman neckbreaker and move on to the finals of the tag title tournament.
Steelz and Hogan defeated Valkyrie and Rosemary
The best young tag team in women's wrestling and the potential breakout stars of Impact in 2021, Steelz and Hogan were absolutely the right choice to win here and head to the title match at Hard to Kill. They are charismatic, have great in-ring chemistry and can carry the tag division on their back as long as another company doesn't throw a ton of money their way first.
Purrazzo attacking Rosemary and drawing the ire of Valkyrie seems to suggest The Virutosa could see action against the demon for the second month in a row come Genesis or Hard to Kill, or Valkyrie in a match we have yet to witness in Impact.
Either way, they are matches that suit Purrazzo and allow her to further establish herself as the centerpiece of the Knockouts division.
Brian Myers vs. Josh Alexander And...is That THE KARATE MAN?!
After the tension between The North's Josh Alexander and Ethan Page reached a boiling point at Final Resolution, the former took to the squared circle for a showdown with "The Most Professional Wrestler" Brian Myers.
Myers worked heel, downing The Walking Weapon and applying a rear chin lock.
Alexander fought out and fired up, only to endure a side suplex from a game Myers. As the former Curt Hawkins set up for his lariat finisher, "The Karate Man" appeared and unloaded on Myers with a big kick. Ethan Page's alter ego struck a pose as a disgusted, frustrated Alexander walked out on his spiraling partner.
The latest video in a series of them that aired over the course of the night saw Eric Young "baptize" Cody Deaner "in the name of change," awakening in the mostly comedic act a more serious side. "This world doesn't belong to them. It belongs to us."
Myers defeated Alexander
Page is in the midst of a breakdown and The Karate Man has seemingly taken over, leaving All Ego behind. Page continues to seek Alexander's approval, holding on to the last vestiges of The North and their tag team excellence. He is desperate, to the point that it created a break with reality.
So much so that Page continued the act over on Twitter, insisting that he is not The Karate Man.
How this all plays out with Alexander, and whether Page re-signs with the company, remains to be seen, but the potential for incredibly entertaining television is certainly there.
As for the Young-Deaner vignettes that aired throughout the show, if they work in getting Cody over in a new persona and add to Young's cult-like leader act, good. Time will tell, but Young is a great performer who will do everything in his power to make it work.
'Machine Gun' Karl Anderson vs. Chris Sabin
Earlier in the night, The Motor City Machine Guns reminded the world of their contractual rematch for the Impact Tag Team Championships, drawing the ire of Karl Anderson in the process. After a backstage confrontation and some egging on by Don Callis and Kenny Omega, Anderson battled Chris Sabin in the night's main event.
An aggressive Anderson took the fight to the former TNA World champion, unleashing a tenacity we had not seen out of the New Japan Pro-Wrestling alum since his debut in Impact. He dominated the action heading into the break.
Back from the break, Anderson refused to allow Sabin to create separation, continuously staying on top of him. He wore Sabin down, working a headlock and negating his speed and agility advantages. Sabin finally mounted a comeback, building momentum through a series of strikes and a crossbody for two.
Sabin reversed a Gun Stun and delivered a running boot in the corner. A tornado DDT followed as Sabin earned a near-fall.
As the action intensified, Anderson reversed a schoolboy roll-up into one of his own, grabbing a handful of tights for the win.
In the Impact Zone, Rich Swann confronted Anderson on the entrance ramp. Back in the bus, Kenny Omega took exception to Swann's appearance and told Callis to "watch a master at work."
A brawl between Swann, The Motor City Machine Guns and Anderson gave way to the return of Doc Gallows. Omega came from out of nowhere, blasting Swann with the AEW World Championship. Standing tall with The Good Brothers, Omega issued a challenge for a six-man tag team match that Don Callis made official for Hard to Kill on pay-per-view, January 16.
Anderson defeated Sabin
And with that, we have our first official Impact vs. AEW match.
Omega and The Good Brothers have a wealth of history together, dating back to their days in Bullet Club, so their alliance makes sense. The proposed match, against Swann, Sabin and Alex Shelley, is one of dream proportions and may very well kick 2021 off with a legitimate Match of the Year contender.
In consecutive weeks, Impact has ended with a red-hot segment that created genuine excitement about the product and will undoubtedly drive fans back to the show in the coming weeks. It is that sort of thing that makes wrestling fandom fun in a way other promotions just have not recently.
There is no denying Omega's star aura or his drawing ability. His credibility will continue to rub off on the roster and the product, hopefully providing Impact the wider audience it probably deserves.