IMPACT Wrestling Results: Winners, Grades and Reaction from January 19
On the heels of a historic Hard to Kill pay-per-view, Impact Wrestling hit the AXS TV airwaves for the fallout of the extravaganza.
At the show, AEW world champion Kenny Omega pinned Impact world champion Rich Swann in a blockbuster six-man tag team main event, Fire and Flava became the Knockouts tag team champions, Deonna Purrazzo retained her Knockouts Championship over Taya Valkyrie and Matt Cardona made a surprise debut.
What awaited the top stars of Impact and how did the results of Saturday's spectacular affect its most prominent stories?
Find out with this recap of the January 19 episode.
Rhino vs. Eric Young
The show kicked off with Don Callis, Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers celebrating their win from Hard to Kill. Callis addressed the Impact viewers, saying he was taking a hiatus and heading to Jacksonville, Flordia, to "take care of a little business."
In the arena, Violent By Design's Eric Young, Joe Doering and Deaner made their way to the ring, just days after defeating Rhino, Tommy Dreamer and Cousin Jake in an Old School Rules match. Young and Rhino battled in singles competition to kick off the in-ring portion of the show.
Young seized control early while Doering and Deaner cheered their World Class Maniac on. Jake watched on in support of The Manbeast. Rhino fought back and set up for a Gore, but Deaner distracted the referee and Doering tripped up the former ECW world champion.
Young recovered, trapped his opponent in a heel hook and scored the submission as the commentary team put over the hold as the move that nearly crippled Rich Swann.
Young refused to release the hold and then trapped the injured ankle in a chair for Doering to stomp on while Deaner forced his own cousin Jake to watch. Rhino screamed in agony as referees tried to rid the ring of Violent By Design.
Young defeated Rhino
The match was rather one-dimensional, but it became abundantly clear that it was less about the in-ring product and more about the angle that unfolded after the bell. The faction known as Violent By Design looked utterly dominant—a brutal, unforgiving force that put all of Impact Wrestling on notice right out of the gate this week.
Beating down Rhino, fracturing his ankle and doing so while Cousin Jake was forced to watch was such a great touch and demonstrated just how untouchable the trio considers itself to be.
Factions are always a welcome addition to any wrestling show, and using Young to help bring along Doering and Deaner is an excellent booking decision.
A hot start to this week's show.
The Good Brothers Address Tag Team Division, Get Surprised...Twice
Impact Wrestling tag team champions The Good Brothers made their way to the ring, fresh off their win at Hard to Kill alongside Kenny Omega, an air of unabashed confidence on full display.
They vowed to remain champions until Motor City Machine Guns' Chris Sabin interrupted. He made his case for a rematch, accurately pointing out that he wasn't pinned at Bound for Glory, nor was Alex Shelley.
Doc Gallows reminded Sabin he doesn't have a tag team partner, so he has no business out there.
Sabin introduced "Cowboy" James Storm as his partner, and the duo hit the ring, coming face-to-face with Gallows and Karl Anderson.
Storm told the champions to put up or shut up, only to have his catchphrase cut off by Matt Hardy and Private Party. Hardy put over the trio's match on Dynamite and said he brought Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy to Impact for a warm-up match.
Hardy propped himself up, sealing the Big Money Matt gimmick, before Anderson and Gallows cut him off. The Good Brothers stirred the pot, offering a title opportunity to the winner of a match between Private Party and Sabin and Storm.
The AEW-Impact business relationship continued here with the arrival of Private Party and Matt Hardy spicing up the tag team division. And it was the perfect utilization of the trio.
The AEW tag division is so jam-packed that it is impossible for every team to get the sort of television exposure one would hope for. Shuffling them over to Impact, even if it is only for one week, provides the team a platform to further showcase its abilities while keeping it busy.
The talent exchange really benefits Impact but also gets some more screen time for AEW's lesser-utilized stars. It is mutually beneficial and allows young stars like Private Party to look like a much bigger deal than they may on Dynamite, where they are overshadowed by the likes of The Young Bucks, FTR, Lucha Bros and others.
Kimber Lee and Susan vs. Jordynne Grace and Jazz
Knockouts champion Deonna Purrazzo accompanied Kimber Lee and Susan to the squared circle for a tag team match against Jordynne Grace and Jazz.
Matt Striker put over the renewed emphasis on tag team wrestling in the Knockouts division as Jazz and Grace tore into Susan and Lee early and often. The heels downed Grace on the floor heading into the break and retained control coming out of the timeout.
Grace fought back, leveled Lee with a back elbow and hoisted Susan up for a Death Valley Driver. Susan wiggled free and sent Grace into a spin kick from Lee for two. The former Knockouts champion finally fought back, delivered a Vader Bomb and sent Susan into Jazz, who flattened her with a DDT.
Susan and Lee expertly manipulated the referee, allowing Purrazzo to blast Jazz with the Knockouts Championship. Susan scored the roll-up victory from there.
Backstage, Tommy Dreamer deduced it was Taya Valkyrie who perpetrated the shooting of John E Bravo months ago, leading to her arrest and departure from Impact for a federal prison in "Stamford for two or three years."
Susan and Lee defeated Grace and Jazz
Much like the opening segment, this was all about putting over the newly formed trio of Purrazzo, Lee and Susan by giving them a quality win.
Not only did they dominate the action, but they also scored the underhanded victory that may very well set up a championship encounter between Purrazzo and Jazz or the latest chapter in Grace's battle with The Virtuosa.
The departure of Valkyrie, dragged kicking and screaming out of the Impact Zone before an emotional goodbye with Rosemary, was the perfect way to write that particular character off.
Rich Swann Calls Out Moose
Attacked by Moose after the Hard to Kill main event in footage aired earlier in the show, Impact world champion Rich Swann made his way to the ring to address everything he has endured in recent days.
He admitted feeling the pressure of leading the company into war with Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers. He applauded Chris Sabin and Moose for showing out for Impact on Saturday night before laying down a challenge to Moose.
The self-proclaimed TNA champion made his way to the ring and said nothing would be settled until he had his title opportunity. Swann said he was trying to give him his title shot right then, right there. Moose declined, saying it was on his time.
Swann laid into Moose with a series of rights and then caught the charging big man with boots to the face. A flurry of chops to the chest followed before Moose charged shoulder-first into the turnbuckle. Swann ended with a Phoenix splash that sent Moose scurrying to the floor.
Swann is still finding his voice as a main event talent. He hasn't had a ton of opportunities to express himself on the mic so finding that command and presence on the mic will come the more he gets to talk.
With that said, this was yet another strong segment that put the focus back on Swann and Moose's feud over the world title. Theirs is a battle that has been slowly and steadily building for months and should probably culminate in Moose winning the title he has seemingly been groomed for since his arrival in Impact.
What that means for Swann is a mystery, but there are few better options to program with Moose than the super-talented performer.
Brian Myers vs. Fallah Bahh
Born of a backstage confrontation, Brian Myers squared off with Fallah Bahh in singles competition.
An ill-advised single-leg takedown by Myers gave way to sustained offense from Bahh, who used his size and strength advantage to wear down The Most Professional Wrestler.
Bahh bounced Myers around the ring and squashed him in the corner. A running hip attack gave way to a big Samoan Drop. Bahh rocked him with a series of headbutts and then inadvertently poked Myers in the eye. Myers used the distraction to deliver a lariat clothesline for the win.
Backstage, Gia Miller caught up with Ace Austin and Madman Fulton. The promo gave way to a confrontation with Josh Alexander. The heels double-teamed The Walking Weapon until Matt Cardona made the save.
Myers defeated Bahh
Myers wins a lot of matches but doesn't appear to be moving up the ranks in Impact at all. That should change.
Myers is the perfect choice for a television world title match with Rich Swann. Give it a few weeks of build, put them together on an episode of Impact and let him benefit from the exposure that match would give him.
It would make the wins he has tallied mean more and give him something to do rather than mixing it up with random babyfaces each week.
As for Alexander vs. Austin, it should make for a hell of an entertaining match. With Cardona and Fulton hanging around, the potential for chaos, storyline development and a big-time tag match certainly exists.
That is if that match does not come first.
Update: Myers vs. Eddie Edwards was set up through a backstage confrontation, while Austin/Fulton vs. Cardona/Alexander was announced for next week's show.
Private Party vs. Chris Sabina and James Storm
AEW President Tony Khan and Jerry Lynn sat ringside during the night's main event, marking the first time the All Elite Wrestling executive appeared in the Impact Zone. He watched as Private Party found itself in an unfamiliar position: aggressor in its match with Chris Sabin and James Storm.
The young team worked over Storm, cutting him off from his partner and grounding him. The Cowboy eventually made the hot tag to Sabin, who exploded into the match. A lung blower combination allowed Sabin to score a near-fall on Quen.
The young competitor answered with a big kick that stunned Sabin. Storm delivered a neckbreaker and Kassidy wiped him out, leaving all four down and out on the mat.
With Sabin draped sternum-first over the knees of Kassidy, Quen delivered a standing shooting star press and then wiped Storm out at ringside. Sabin appeared poised to score the win, but Lynn interfered, allowing Private Party to score the win with Gin and Juice.
Khan and Lynn appeared to be very happy with the outcome as The Good Brothers appeared. They mockingly applauded the victors before coming face-to-face with them. Storm interrupted the proceedings and Sabin joined in, sparking a six-man brawl to close out the show.
Private Party defeated Sabin and Storm
A hot main event, the intriguing appearance by Khan and Lynn and the wild brawl helped put an exclamation point on a damn good show from Impact.
There will be some who question AEW going over Impact again, but thus far, the invaders have been portrayed as heels and eventually will put the smaller company over.
The match itself was strong, action-packed and energetic. Private Party really got to shine, and working with tag team veterans like Sabin and Storm had to be a hell of a learning experience for Quen and Kassidy. It is the type of thing that will ultimately help them evolve into the performers they have the potential to be.
Ditto working with Gallows and Anderson.