Yes, I’m back. I told you a few weeks ago I knew I would need some time off and, unfortunately, I had to take a moment to stop and take care of myself. Thank you so much for your messages, they went deep down to my heart. But yes, I’m back, and my nutcracking spirit too! I left you in New York City and I find you back in Las Vegas, with a new Chapter to open and unveil, the one that will lead us to Homecoming in 7 weeks. No worries, I’ll do a little reminder of the last 2 weeks before starting this week’s review…
What is on the menu this week? Every Champion will be in action, Johnny Impact, LAX, Tessa Blanchard and Brian Cage, who will finally give a title chance to Sami Callihan. We’ll also hear about Eli Drake. So no more words, let’s get ready for some action, but your French Enygma Steph way, of course…
The Nygma’s Necessary Rewind…
- In his first singles match in the Impact Zone, Willie Mack was defeated by Rich Swann.
- In a Bound for Glory rematch, Taya Valkyrie defeated Champion Tessa Blanchard via DQ.
- Impact World Tag Team Champions LAX defeated Matt Sydal & Ethan Page.
- Allie was more and more filled with darkness.
- After the sneak attack of the OGz on the Lucha Brothers, Pentagon Junior defeated Homicide. Big brawl after the match, the OGz stood tall.
Final Hour Special Event
- Pentagon Junior & Fénix defeated The OGz. Konnan came to celebrate with the Lucha Brothers with Ortiz and Santana. Will he have a choice to make very soon?
- “Thick Mama Pump” Jordynne Grace destroyed Katarina Leigh in her first Impact Wrestling match.
- From Rockstar Pro Wrestling, Brian Cage vs. Sami Callihan turned into a big attack on Cage.
- Taya cut a promo to say Tessa is a coward and she would whatever it takes to win the title.
- Moose defeated Eddie Edwards after hitting a powerbomb on Edwards over the ropes and onto the ramp.
- Allie decided to embrace her darkness and followed Su Yung and Father James Mitchell.
- Eli Drake attacked Joseph Park.
- Johnny Impact remained World Champion after defeating Killer Kross, Moose was brought to the back by the referee.
The Nygma’s Chart of the Week
- Tessa Blanchard defeated Ray Lyn in a non-title match. Post-match, Tessa ran down Taya Valkyrie for not being in her league. Tessa said she’s been dying to know how it feels to be nothing more than Johnny Impact’s wife. Taya ran off Tessa and told her she is also the Wera Loca. She said she’s proud to be Johnny’s wife and if Tessa thinks she’s the best, she will have to prove it on January 6th at Homecoming.
- The Rascalz, Dezmond Xavier, Zachary Wentz and Trey Miguel will make their debut in 2 weeks.
- LAX defeated Fallah Bahh & KM in a non-title match.
- At the LAX clubhouse, Santana and Ortiz wanted to give Pentagon and Fénix a tag title shot. Konnan said not right now, noting that he’s never steered them wrong.
- Sydal talked with Page, about their destiny being in the right direction. Page praised Sydal and said he will get to watch him beat Johnny Impact tonight. Sydal said he saw through Impact and will beat him tonight and show him the path to enlightenment.
- The Desi Hit Squad promised to ruin Thanksgiving next week.
- “The Last of a Dying Breed” Eli Drake cut a promo on ending Abyss/Joseph Park’s career last week and dropping the lawsuit, claiming it was all a trap to take him out. He ran down Abyss and all the hardcore wrestlers. Last week was the beginning of his crusade to get rid of the stunts and gimmicks because he is wrestling. Tommy Dreamer arrived. Drake described Dreamer as a sad old man that does hardcore shit. Dreamer threatened to bit off Drake’s finger and said Drake would taste like chicken. Dreamer was offended and called Drake a skinny jean wearing millennial. Dreamer defined hardcore wrestling as a work ethic from those who love the business. He praises Konnan for the Lucha revolution, from Eddie Guerrero to Rey Mysterio, to Pentagon Junior and Fénix today. Dreamer said that Drake was rewriting history and put over Sabu, Mick Foley, and Abyss for their sacrifices. He said the most hardcore people are the fans, and claimed Drake doesn’t know what it’s like to work hard to attend shows. The people made them, Drake has insulted the fans and Dreamer. Dreamer was sick of talking and wanted a fight. Drake bailed and left. (This promo really seems like an interview I did with Tommy Dreamer that you can find here and here and here)
- Alisha met with Moose, said Eddie was on his way and Moose should leave. Moose didn’t care about what he did to Eddie last week. If he showed up, he’d call the police. Meanwhile, referees were arguing as Scarlett was intimidating them.
- Johnny Impact defeated Matt Sydal, with Ethan Page, in a non-title match. Killer Kross came to the ring after the match to talk to him and said maybe he was not the catalyst for change, maybe Impact was. If Kross couldn’t make a change, he could make sure it happens by Impact’s hands. He mockingly praised Impact as a role model with fighting spirit. If Impact needs help, he can call him and he’ll be there. Impact said he knows Kross and won’t shake his hand. What he said may be true, but he didn’t trust him and didn’t want him anywhere near him. Johnny Impact turned down his offer.
- Jordynne Grace accepted a rematch against Katarina in 2 weeks.
- Su Yung defeated Heather Monroe. After the match, Kiera Hogan came to save Monroe but Allie distracted Hogan and allowed Yung to hit the Panic Switch on Hogan. They left together.
- Brian Cage defeated Sami Callihan for the Impact X-Division Championship. Jake and Dave Crist got involved. After the match, Cage announced he’s cashing in his X-Division title with Option C to challenge for the World Championship at Homecoming.
The Nygma’s Nutcracker(s) of the Week
– Impact World Championship match: Johnny Impact (c) vs. Matt Sydal
Another very good title defence for Johnny Impact, that is decided to show he earned this belt and will do everything to retain it. In my opinion, that kind of match is what I’m used to calling a modern classic, in a very high-flying style.
After some third eye claptrap, they locked up and worked into some counters, and Sydal followed with leg kicks. They picked up the pace, Sydal took Impact down and Johnny hit the standing Shooting Star Press. Sydal cut him off with a kick and Impact spilt to the floor. Sydal followed and laid in more kicks. Back in, Johnny hit a sunset flip but Sydal now attacked his knee with a Muta Lock. Impact escaped, but Sydal continued to attack his knee.
Johnny unloaded a corner dropkick, some strikes and a backbreaker. He laid in more rights and then worked over Sydal in the corner. The leg lariat and knee strike followed. Sydal replied with a knee strike, but Impact cut him off with a sliding German. Impact argued with Page, allowing Sydal to cradle him. Impact cut him off again, Page pulled Sydal to the floor, countering the Starship Pain. Johnny then hit an over-the-post tope, wiping out Page. Sydal slammed him into the barricade. Back in, Sydal headed up top, got cut off, but Sydal countered with the Meteora/diving double knees. Impact countered the Chemical Imbalance with the Moonlight Drive and the Starship Pain for the win.
– Impact X-Division Championship Match: Brian Cage (c) vs. Sami Callihan w/ Dave & Jake Crist
As I’m currently working on a possible “best of 2018”, a few names are rushing in my mind when it comes to the nutcrackers of the year. Cage and Callihan are definitely making the List of Nygma. As if they haven’t already shown what they are about, the two were able to raise the bar again this week.
They brawled at the bell with Cage controlling easily with ease. Sami fought back, and they traded hurricanranas (what Callihan admitted he was not doing very often…) and Cage followed with a dropkick. Sami fought off the powerbomb, but Cage fired back with a flurry of kicks until Dave distracted him and Sami dumped Cage. The referee then sent oVe to the back. Sami went to the floor got caught and Cage hit a suplex on the floor. After commercials, Sami was in control after an apron piledriver. Cage battled back with strikes and an enzuigiri, but Sami attacked Cage’s knee.
Cage cut him off with an Alabama Slam. Sami then countered a powerbomb with a hanging guillotine and followed with a running Death Valley Driver into the buckles. Cage countered the Cactus Driver, but Sami trapped him into an ankle lock. Cage escaped and hits a pump handle slam. Cage unloaded a superplex and the F5, only for 2. Sami now kicked Cage in the face repeatedly, before hitting the Cactus Driver, only for 2. Sami trapped Cage back to the ankle lock, but Cage made the ropes. Sami now hit the Code Red, but Cage followed with a powerbomb and the Drill Claw for the win.
– LAX w/ Konnan vs. Fallah Bahh & KM
Fallah Bahh is a fan favourite, LAX too. What could have been a bad match was definitely a good one. I wish LAX to have some real competition, as the Tag Team division has been suffering for a while now.
Santana and Bahh began. Santana looked to pick up the pace right away, and they worked into some counters. Bahh started to overpower him, Santana fired up but Bahh took him down with a shoulder tackle. Santana hit arm drags, but Bahh then hit one and some Japanese arm drags, but he missed the sit-down splash. After an enzuigiri by Santana, he and Ortiz worked double team moves. They dumped Bahh, but Bahh cut off Ortiz and tagged in KM. The slam and elbow drop followed, Bahh hit a steamroller, KM too.
They worked quick tags, and isolated Ortiz. KM tagged back in and Ortiz ran Bahh into KM and tagged in Santana. KM grabbed the high cross, but Santana escaped and hit a senton. Ortiz came back in and KM cut them off with a double suplex. Bahh tagged in with a running cross body to both, hit corner splashes, and then hit butt attacks. Bahh hit the Samoan drop, went for a banzai drop, but Santana sent KM into Bahh’s ass (ouch…). LAX now ran wild on KM, hitting double team moves, after a winning springboard lionsault on KM.
The not-Nygma’s Moment(s) of the Week (or the Nygma’s Broken Record Moment of the Week)
The Desi Hit Squad, Scarlett Bordeaux, you know their names, enough has been said about…
The Nygma’s Award of the Week
Tons of names this week, but they all really earned the Nygma spotlight…
– The Rascalz
Ohio is really taking over EVERYTHING on Impact Wrestling… Zachary Wentz, Dezmond Xavier and Trey Miguel already impressed on the Impact Zone, and I told you about at that time. I was expecting them to be signed, to see them compete for the Tag Team Championships or even open the gates for a Trio Championship on Impact Wrestling. Mission accomplished… The “That 70s Show” pot smoking parody was great as a promo for their debut.
In an era of Women’s Evolution or Revolution, whatever you want to call it, here’s a woman that has completely revolutionized herself. From a blonde, shy and pink girl, she has now become a dark, mellow and fierce woman. That’s just mind-blowing and it fits her so well…
– Killer Kross
What the hell is happening in Killer Kross’ mind? In the doom of his brain, Kross suddenly turned his back on Moose, or not, and is offering his help to his former AAA acolyte and World Champion, Johnny Impact… Where is this storyline going to lead us? Don’t blink, you’ll miss something…
– Eli Drake
Even if it’s not perfect yet, Eli Drake is back where he’s supposed to be, in the front line. His brand-new quest against hardcore wrestling and wrestlers is not the best of the year. But at least Drake is finally able to show how good he is with a mic. And soon in a ring. May it be Abyss or Tommy Dreamer, whether he wins or not, Drake will seize the moment, for sure.
– Tommy Dreamer
Who can stop the Innovator of Violence? His defence of hardcore wrestling was wonderful to listen to because it reminded me of all the things he told me a few months ago. I gave you the links above to find out about, but Dreamer was definitely not “kayfabe” when he said those words…
– Option C
We heard about over the last few weeks, but this week, Brian Cage said those 2 words that Austin Aries pronounced the first in 2017. Option C is about seizing an opportunity, vacating the X-Division Championship to become the #1 contender for the World Championship. Cage definitely has the potential to become a World Champion. We’ll see if it’s happening at Homecoming…
To be eNYGMAtic…
This episode was neither good, not bad. Brian Cage and Sami Callihan offered a brilliant match, Johnny Impact and Matt Sydal too. But this episode was amazing for one reason. In front of a long and difficult build-up to Bound for Glory, Impact Wrestling has learnt the lesson. The build-up to Homecoming has officially started, 7 weeks before the PPV, with 2 Championship matches already announced and some interesting storylines blossoming. Kudos to the Creative team, that is really able to reinvent itself and make the show evolve constantly. Next week, it’s Thanksgiving in the USA, not in France, so it will be time for a little Turkey trot… and the Nygma knows how to dance it… On this coming-back note, until next week, never EVER forget to stay #eNYGMAtic…
All pics, videos, and screenshots courtesy of Impact Wrestling. Photomontage by @frenchnygma exclusively for @steelchairmag.