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Impact Wrestling: Sacrifice
by Samoa Rowe
February 22, 2020
From the Davis Arena in Louisville, Kentucky. Our hosts are Josh Mathews and D'Lo Brown. They are touting a sell-out, despite several empty seats in the crowd.
Rohit Raju vs. Corey Storm
Storm gets the hometown pop. Storm, who needs a new surname, scores a shoulder tackle and atomic drop. Dropkick by Storm and enziguri. Raju kicks out after a big boot and briefly takes over. Storm throws wild punches, but Raju answers with a string of impact moves, including a brainbuster for 2. CUE THE CHINLOCK! Storm comes back with a jawbreaker. Storm's spin kick gets a decent nearfall. Storm back flips into a modified Codebreaker for another 2 count. Storm counters a Falcon Arrow by landing on his feet, but Raju improvises with a running cannonball. Flying double stomp to the back finishes Storm at 6:25. Nice opener, **½.
Winner: Rohit Raju
Impact Tag Team Championship:
The North © (Ethan Page and Josh Alexander) vs. The Rascalz (Trey and Wentz)
Alexander gets a waistlock takedown on Trey, forcing a quick tag to Wentz. Leg takedown by Wentz and a gator roll, but Alexander knocks him down. Trey returns and Alexander cartwheels out of a wristlock and destroys him with a chop. Arm drag by Trey, and the Rascalz swarm Alexander with tandem offense. Page scores a cheap shot from the apron, and The North take over Wentz. Alexander's vertical suplex gets 2. Trey gets the hot tag but his house cleaning is cut short by Page's superkick. The North isolate Trey to work him over. Trey shows some fire and trades chops with Alexander before taking over with a flurry. Alexander grabs the tights to hit a back suplex, retaining control for the North. Trey blocks a hand-off suplex and hits a scorpion kick and cutter! Hot tag to Wentz, who lights up Page with a flurry of stiff strikes. Wentz can't hit a dive but counters Page's dive with a stunner and plants him in the ring for a good nearfall. The Rascalz overwhelm Page with rapid attacks and Alexander has to save him after a double stomp. Alexander uses Wentz as a battering ram and slams him for a botched nearfall that the ref calls 2. Wentz comes back and hits a snap German on Alexander, but Page drops him with a neckbreaker. Alexander power slams Trey onto the apron, but Wentz catches him with a dive. DESTROYER by Wentz gets 2 (of course). Alexander blocks a Swanton Bomb! The North arm drag Wentz off the top rope, but he counters them both with leg scissors. Trey goes for a flying double knees, but the North pull him into a double team Crucifix Bomb, but TREY KICKS OUT! Trey double stomps the head of Page and Trey follows with a Swanton Bomb. The ref takes a bump in the chaos, as the Rascalz hits Alexander with 619 and prepare a Burning Hammer variation, but Rohit Raju runs in for interference. The North finish Wentz with a tandem power slam to retain at 20:15. Great match that was hurt by a crowd that wasn't terribly invested and a weak finish, ****.
Winners and still Impact Tag Team Champions: The North
As is tradition with these specials, Jimmy Jacobs tries to interview Ace Austin, but you can't hear a word they're saying. He seems to like his chances against World Champion Tessa Blanchard due to her being a WOMAN he's already pinned before.
Kiera Hogan vs. Ray Lyn
Lyn is all smiles and looks happy just to be there, and holds her own in the opening lock ups. Lyn uses the ropes to flip out of a wristlock and stands her ground when Hogan shoulder tackles her. They both attempt dropkicks for a stalemate and posedown. Lyn enjoys this a bit too much and Hogan catches her with a boot to the gut and takes over. Lyn comes back with arm drags and shakes her butt in Hogan's face. Hogan answers with a low dropkick to the face. Hogan crushes Lyn in the corner and applies the obligatory chinlock. The match kind of runs out of gas before they both go down with stereo roundhouse kicks. Back leg sweep by Lyn and running knees to the head gets 2. Missile dropkick by Lyn gets 2. Hogan takes a lap around the ring to build up speed for a running boot to the head. Lyn's spin kick gets a cold nearfall, as does a Fisherman suplex. They trade shots to their feet (a spot they haven't earned) and Hogan hits a thrust kick and suplex for the win at 10:38. This was stuck in second gear and the crowd did them zero favors, **.
Winner: Kiera Hogan
Johnny Swinger tries to recruit Willie Mack and hands him a VHS tape. I don't really know what's happening as there's no sound.
Jay Bradley vs. Willie Mack
Bradley tosses his cigar and ambushes Mack before the opening bell. Mack gets to his feet and unloads some punches. Bradley corners Mack with hard strikes. Bradley steps over Mack and misses an elbow drop off the ropes. Mack hits a slingshot plancha to ringside. Bradley comes back with a gut wrench suplex for 2. Axe handle to the head gets another 2 for Bradley. Mack is in big trouble as Bradley applies a CHINLOCK! Mack escapes and hits a standing moonsault. Mack hits a pair of stunners and the Six Star Frog Splash for the win at 6:34. Good hoss fight, but man oh man, this crowd is killing the show, **¾.
Winner: Willie Mack
oVe backstage promo, and you'll be shocked to know that I CAN HEAR WHAT THEY ARE SAYING! Unfortunately, the audio is not in synch with the video, so that's distracting. Maybe that's intentional, because these guys are so underground and edgy, but if I have to guess, then it's a problem. Anyways, these guys are so intense, they even seem a bit scared of one another.
oVe (Madman Fulton and Dave Crist, with Jake Crist) vs. Larry D and Acey Romero
The ref confiscates brass knuckles from Dave, which infuriates Fulton. Dave does a good "How did those get in there?!?" face. Larry D squares off with Fulton in our opening hoss fight. Larry and Crist lock fists and Larry scores a headbutt takedown and dropkick in the buckles. Romero tags in with a huge back senton. Jack distracts the ref, which lets Fulton trip Romero head-first into Dave's boots. oVe take over with a beatdown on Romero. Romero powers into a brawl with Fulton and they knock each other down. Larry D gets the hot tag (or would be if the crowd cared) and runs wild through Dave. Larry D hits a sitout powerbomb for 2. Dave his a jawbreaker to force Romero to tag in. Larry and Romero sandwich Fulton and he goes down for a Romero elbow drop. Romero's dive is blocked by Fulton's elbow, but he tries again and wakes the crowd up with a "Holy sh!t" chant. Fulton pulls Romero off the apron onto his shoulders but Larry D breaks it up with a closed fist. Dave slams Larry down for 2. Romero throws Dave into Larry's closed fist and hits a shoulder tackle for the upset win at 13:46! Match was all kinds of fun and had a cool upset, plus they managed to get this terrible crowd involved, ***.
Winners: Larry D and Acey Romero
oVe attempt a revenge attack, but Daga runs in to even the odds. That takes us to...
Daga vs. Jake Crist
Quick back body drop by Daga forces Jake to retreat. Jake returns with a crucifix pin for 2. Daga hits a clothesline over the ropes and hits a slingshot plancha. Somersault senton off the apron by Daga! Jake answers with a superkick for 2. Jake applies a reverse hammerlock and viciously rakes the eyes to maintain control. Daga absorbs a ton of punishment but manages to come back with desperation offense. Jake rakes the eyes again! Daga manages a tornado DDT on the floor and hits a high crossbody. Daga's sitout powerbomb gets 2. Gut wrench powerbomb by Daga also gets a 2 count, but the crowd doesn't care. Top rope sunset flip bomb by Jake gets another cold 2 count. They exchange forearms to their feet (which feels desperate at this point) and Daga scores a package suplex and a German for 2. Some fans are clapping and one guys is chanting "oVe" but no one else seems to care. Jake hits a counter power slam into the buckles for yet another nearfall that gets zero reaction. Daga blocks a super cutter and hits a top rope DVD for yet another 2 count, which this time gets a sarcastic reaction from the fans. They collide with headbutts and Daga collapses on Crist for 2. Daga flies into a cutter and kicks out at 2, and they've wel overstayed their welcome. Daga counters into a rana and hits a double underhook Codebreaker for the win AT LAST at 16:28. This was really good for the first 12 minutes or so, but this DIED with all the kickouts at 2 that no one cared about. Sometimes you need to just read the room and know when to adjust your gameplan, **½.
Jimmy Jacobs interviews Moose, but I can't hear them, so I'll just say that Moose looks like a total monster. The audio comes back, but now it's too loud, and I need to adjust the volume as Moose rants and raves about being a legend.
Johnny Swinger vs. Joey Ryan
Swinger brings a VHS tape to the ring because he thinks it's still 1985. I thought Joey Ryan had shifted to a Cancel Culture warrior gimmick, but he's still playing the sleazy, faux p0rn star character here. Swinger grabs a mic and says he's a serious wrestler while Ryan is nobody's cup of tea. His VHS tape is a Best of Johnny Swinger collection and offers it to Ryan so he can learn, if Ryan lays down for him. Ryan takes the tape, which is completely blank in a Kodak case, and puts it in his tights and lays spread eagle on the mat. I didn't hear a bell, but Swinger cautiously moves in for a cover, but Ryan reverses into an inside cradle. Swinger is mad and pulls the tape out of Ryan's tights. Ryan seems to offer a friendly handshake but then tries to force his hand onto his groin, which is like, totally uncool, man. Swinger's cheap shot back fires and Ryan hitsa a series of atomic drops. Swinger comes back with an axe handle and head scissors submission. Ryan breaks a chinlock and Swinger collapses head first into his groin, which of course hurts Swinger more than Ryan. Spinebuster by Ryan gets 2. Ref catches Swinger using the ropes for a cover and doesn't see Ryan pull out a lollipop. Ryan charges and accidentally puts the pop in the ref's mouth, allowing Swinger to hit a VHS TAPE SHOT TO THE HEAD for 2. Ryan pulls Swinger's hand into the testicular claw for the Penis-plex. Swinger kicks out! Ryan hits Sweet Tooth Music for the win at 7:52. This was a total Joey Ryan match, so take that for what it's worth, **.
Winner: Joey Ryan
Impact Knockouts Championship:
Jordynne Grace © vs. Havok
Havok powers Grace into the buckles immediately. Havok stands on the arm and kicks the face. Backbreaker by Havok, but she then misses a leg drop. Grace attempts a rear naked choke but Havok backs her into the corner. Grace blocks a neckbreaker off the buckles and hits a Vader Bomb. Draping DDT by Grace gets 2. Havok counters the sleeper with a snapmare and hits a backbreaker into a lariat. Chokeslam by Havok gets 2. Grace goes for the sleeper yet again, but Havok drops her hard, but Grace immediately shifts into the rear naked choke and Havok is finished at 5:35! Refreshingly brisk and straight to the point, **¾.
Winner and still Knockouts Champion: Jordynne Grace
Jimmy Jacobs talks to Impact World Champion Tessa Blanchard and I can't hear them. Hopefully Tessa isn't saying anything racist. They turn up the volume and she'd be happy to give Austin a title shot if he wins, but if she wins, she wants a shot at the X title. I was under the impression that Blanchard's title was on the line tonight, so I feel a tad deflated.
Wildcat Chris Harris is in the house!
Moose vs. Rhino
Crowd cares enough for a dueling chant at the opening bell. They duke it out until Rhino hits a spinebuster. Moose threatens to walk out because "Rhino doesn't deserve to be in the ring with me" but Rhino hauls him back. Moose hits a blatant low blow and gets disqualified at 2:22. Just a prelude.
Winner via DQ: Rhino
Rhino isn't satisfied and challenges Moose to a No DQ match on the spot.
Moose vs. Rhino
Rhino is still feeling the effects of the low blow as Moose pummels him. Moose misses a chair shot and the chair bounces off the ropes into his face. Moose rakes the eyes to buy time to get a can lid to attack the ribcage area. Moose talks some trash at Chris Harris in the front row, and the distraction allows Rhino to hit some chair shots. Moose reverses a whip into a steel girder. Moose hits a big boot in front of Harris and they trade more smack talk. Moose charges into Rhino's lid shot. Moose kicks the bottom rope into Rhino's groin to regain control. Moose fetches a staple gun, but Rhino blocks and staples the groin! Moose is in obvious pain as he comes back with dropkicks. Moose gets a hammer but Rhino blocks a shot that would have murdered him had it connected. Rhino hits a powerbomb onto the hammer. Rhino grabs a chair, but Moose blasts his foot with the hammer. Rhino comes back with a superplex onto a pile of chairs! Rhino positions a table in the corner but Moose blocks a Gore. Rhino sends Moose into a bridged chair, but Moose tackles him through the table for the win at 11:50. This is a weird show, as this time the crowd was into the match, but I was bored, **¼.
Lockdown is returning to Impact Plus in March. Rebellion is on real PPV in April. I guess Impact wanted to let AEW Revolution off the hook for most generic PPV name of 2020.
X Division Champion Ace Austin vs. Impact World Champion Tessa Blanchard
Blanchard has seemingly survived last month's Twitter scandal where she denied accusations of using racist language, and Impact continued with their plans to make her champion. Austin stalls heavily early on, giving the fans a chance to chant for Tessa. Austin signals a test of strength, but instead pulls Tessa into a dance position, so she blasts him in the face. Blanchard sprints through a flurry of offense but Ace hip tosses her into the corner. Austin applies a chinlock into a suplex. Ace slows it down with Methodical Heel Offense ®. Tessa counters with a drop toe hold into the ropes and attacks the head, but Austin fires back with a big boot. Austin cartwheels over a clothesline and superkicks the face from the apron. Ace tries the same spot again but this time Tessa superkicks his arm out from under him. Austin blocks Tessa's dive with a forearm. Draping neckbreaker by Austin gets 2. Austin applies a hard armbar and uses his playing card to papercut her between the fingers. Tessa continues clutching her fingers on her way to countering into knees to the face in the corner. Austin fakes an injury that goes nowhere as Tessa hits a cutter, followed by a trio of suicide dives. Austin counters with a Northern Lights suplex, followed by a neckbreaker onto his knee. Tessa answers with a tilt-a-whirl inverted DDT. Tessa flies into Austin's superkick but kicks out at 2! Flying guillotine leg drop by Austin also gets a good 2 count. Fans chant "Tessa!" Austin flings a playing card and Tessa comes back with a spike DDT and Destroyer for a good nearfall. Austin blocks Magnum but Tessa blocks a superplex, and Tessa delivers a DDT of sorts onto the top buckle and gets the pinfall at 18:30. Good showing from both competitors here, Austin shined as a vile heel and Tessa put in a great underdog performance, ***½.
Winner: Tessa Blanchard
Final Thoughts: This was a pretty good show that deserved a better live crowd. There were multiple instances where I was popping for a match in my mancave, and the fans in the arena were just stone silent. Just "one of those shows" I guess.
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