Impact Wrestling Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction, Highlights from August 26
On the heels of Emergence, Impact Wrestling hit the airwaves guaranteeing an appearance by world champion Christian Cage.
Following his victory over Brian Myers, what did Captain Charisma have to say when he addressed the Impact Zone, and would new No. 1 contender Ace Austin make his presence felt?
Find out with this recap of a show that also featured The Good Brothers in action and a showdown between former world champions Chris Sabin and Sami Callihan.
Chris Sabin vs. Sami Callihan
Last week, Sami Callihan dropped tag team partner with Chris Sabin with a spike piledriver. Then, at Emergence, he cost The Motor City Machine Gun a shot at Christian Cage's Impact world title.
The vengeful Sabin battled The Draw in singles competition to kick off Thursday's show.
He would have to do it by fighting from underneath, as Callihan downed and worked him over. He did, though, delivering a running boot to the face and a Tornado DDT for two. Callihan answered with a Stomp and his trademark piledriver for another two.
Sabin overcame late frustration and delivered Cradle Shock for the pinfall victory.
After the match, Moose sent Sabin to the floor and flattened Callihan with a Spear. He threatened to use a chair and a baseball bat on The Draw before Eddie Edwards made the save. He and Callihan stood tall to close the segment.
Sabin defeated Callihan
This was a high-intensity opener featuring perennial championship contenders. Considering how hot Callihan is right now, it was interesting to see Sabin pick up the win, but it keeps him strong and in the thick of the main event scene.
Callihan is popular and strong enough to remain over despite the loss.
The most interesting development here was the continued tease of Edwards and Callihan putting their longtime rivalry aside to present a united front. Callihan saved Edwards from W. Morrissey, and he returned the favor here.
Whatever the end game is—presumably a run at the tag team titles—it breaks up the monotony of having them face off in another feud down the line.
Deonna Purrazzo Interrupts Mickie James
Mickie James made her return to the Impact Zone, hyping this weekend's NWA Empower women's event. She threw to a video package highlighting the main event of that show before one-half of that match, Knockouts champion Deonna Purrazzo, interrupted.
Seconded by Matthew Rehwoldt, Purrazzo laughed off the idea of Melina defeating her since she beat the former women’s champion at Emergence. James talked trash with the Knockouts champion, drawing a sneak attack from The Virtuosa.
Trey Miguel made the save, wiping out Rehwoldt with a dive. And Melina hit the ring and laid out Purrazzo to sell the ongoing feud.
James and Purrazzo did a great job of putting over the Empower PPV and the latter's title defense against Melina. The involvement of Miguel and Rehwoldt keeps them on television and sets them up for a feud as well.
Purrazzo and Melina will likely have a great match, if only because The Virutosa has willed in-ring excellence out of everyone she has worked with. Melina has been there, had strong matches with Hall of Famers and earned the right to be in this significant contest.
Still, one cannot help but think the big money is in Purrazzo vs. James, who have shown considerable chemistry with each other.
David Finlay vs. Chris Bey
The newest Bullet Club member Chris Bey battled familiar foe David Finlay in singles competition, continuing his and Jay White's ongoing feud with FinJuice.
Bey controlled the match heading into the break and continued to beat down Finlay until the second-generation star flew through the air and wiped out his opponent with a plancha.
A series of near-falls gave way to Bey stacking Finlay up and using the ropes for added leverage and the tainted victory.
Bey defeated Finlay
This was a good, solid victory for Bey, who has made the most of the increased spotlight in his new role with Bullet Club. The screwy nature of it ensures the feud between BC and FinJuice will continue, hopefully culminating in a high-profile tag team match in either Impact or New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
Their feud has been entertaining and has done wonders for Bey. One more opportunity for him to get the rub by working with Jay White is exactly what he could use to entrench himself among the top stars in the promotion.
Impact World Champion Christian Cage Is Back
After a backstage promo from X-Division champion Josh Alexander in which he issued a challenge to the Impact locker room for a title match, world champion Christian Cage made his way to the ring, fresh off a successful title defense against Brian Myers at Emergence.
Cage laughed off the idea of Ace Austin beating him for the title at Victory Road on Sept. 18 before Tommy Dreamer interrupted. He paid respect to Captain Charisma and revealed his desire to wrestle him one more time at some point.
Austin and Madman Fulton butted in, with the former labeling himself a 24-year-old prodigy and telling Cage that his bag is about to become a whole lot lighter when he travels around the globe because at Victory Road, he’s taking the Impact world title.
The emotion from Dreamer as he discussed Cage and the idea that we missed out on seven years of in-ring excellence was raw and real and added to this segment. He genuinely cares about the world champion and established a bond that can manifest itself in tag team matches and the inevitable bout between them.
Austin hasn't had a ton of opportunities to hang with a genuine main event competitor like Cage, but he was fine in the small sample of mic work here. He can definitely go between the ropes, but it will be his growth on the mic that will eventually determine his ceiling in the industry.
Taylor Wilde vs. The Influence
Taylor Wilde wasted little time in her 3-on-1 handicap match against The Influence's Kaleb, Madison Rayne and Tenille Dashwood, diving off the top rope and wiping them out on the arena floor.
The numbers game eventually proved too much, though.
Wilde rolled Rayne up but an alert Dashwood rocked her with the Spotlight Kick, and the heels picked up the win. They beat down Wilde after the bell until Jordynne Grace and Rachael Ellering made the save.
The Influence defeated Wilde
Too often, companies announce handicap matches like this one and then inexplicably book babyfaces to overcome the odds and win them, devaluing the heels in the process. Luckily, that wasn't the direction the creative team took here.
Wilde never should have stood a chance, and there is an argument that she got too much offense in. Still, she ultimately lost, putting over the strength and credibility of The Influence as a trio.
Grace making the save was a sensible development because she has a long history with Dashwood, and a Trios feud is hardly a bad way to utilize the talent involved.
It wasn't a particularly great match, but it sets up a feud between the two sides that should keep everyone busy while they wait for a championship to challenge for.
Rich Swann and Willie Mack vs. The Good Brothers
Impact tag team champions The Good Brothers battled Willie Mack and Rich Swann in a non-title match to cap off this week's show.
The heels beat down and isolated Mack midway through the bout, looking to put an end to him and Swann's contention for their titles. But the former X-Division champion created separation and made the tag to his teammate, who exploded into the match.
Swann took down Gallows, frustrated Anderson and appeared to have victory in his hands. A spinebuster by Machine Gun cut off his momentum, but the former world champion recovered and scored the win for his team with a quick counter into a roll-up.
After the match, the infuriated champions attacked the victors, driving Swann face-first into a steel chair and Mack through a table.
Swann and Mack defeated The Good Brothers
Matches and segments like this remind you that Anderson and Gallows are more than lackeys for Kenny Omega on Wednesday nights. They are an accomplished tag team, and there are consequences for besting them between the ropes.
Swann and Mack found that out the hard way in a post-match beatdown, which should fuel a rematch with the titles at stake sometime soon.
Given the star power and title resumes between the competitors involved, that is a mightily appealing idea.