Homecoming was a great PPV, build-up wise. If you’re fellow readers of my weekly reviews, you know how things went good, to come to where we are right now. I already gave you a lot of clues in my preview piece, that you can still read here, so you know what my expectations are, but also my fears. Was Impact Wrestling able to start 2019 with a great PPV and consolidate its PPV successes of 2018? And why not, did they even do better?
Impact Wrestling was back home, in The Asylum, where it all began. Ultimate X and Monster’s Ball matches were back, ready to chastise bodies and souls. Who are the survivors and the winners of that great night? How many “I told you” and “I saw it coming” will you read below? It’s time to find it out, but your French Nygma Steph way…
– LAX vs. The Lucha Brothers
I told you, without any shadow of a doubt, it would be the match of the night. How is it possible to say we have the Match of the Year on January 6? This match was just AWESOME! No one was expecting LAX to retain but they made it, with a deep sense of respect for wrestling and their opponents. Explosive, innovative, crazy, mind-blowing, death-defying, Santana, Ortiz, Pentagon Junior and Fénix did something deliriously good.
I don’t even know how to describe this match… There were double team moves, suicide dives, topes, powerbomb, a superkick party, the Fear Factor double stomp combo, a Street Sweeper… And a pin from outta nowhere… Honestly, I wish it could have lasted longer but all guys left their bodies and souls in these incredible 11 minutes of Lucha Libre and pro wrestling.
LAX is not only the longest combined reigning tag team champions in IMPACT/TNA history, but they’re also now the longest tag team title reign in TNA/IMPACT’s history. I agree with Josh Mathews when he said we want to see them battle again, again and again… And I’m sure we will.
I let the final word to Konnan, the man who made this match possible: “You know what? I was wrong. I thought that you, 4 guys, wouldn’t be able to separate the professional from the personal. But you were able to. But I’m going to tell you what I wasn’t wrong about. I told everybody this would be a great historic match. And what better place for that match-up than the home of Impact Wrestling, The Asylum in Nashville, Tennessee. Hasta la Muerte y Después!!!”
– Ultimate X Match
I told you all 4 men has never been involved in this kind of match and been X-Division Champion. Jake Crist, Trey Miguel, Rich Swann and Ethan Page had a huge weight on their shoulders as they were about to compete in this gruelling structure. And this did very well.
They all climbed to begin, it broke down with hurricanranas. Page climbed, Miguel cut him off, only to be slammed to the floor onto Jake and Swann. Page continued to climb, but got cut off and ate superkicks. It broke down into a superkick party and everyone was down. Miguel and Swann double teamed Page and climbed as they fought off Jake. Jake fought back and hit the double cutter. Page hit an elbow drop off the cables, battled with Swann and Swann hit a cutter.
Miguel flew in with a double stomp, climbed but Page pulled him off into a backbreaker. Jake now flew in with a leg drop on Page. Miguel hit a hurricanrana on the floor on Page, but Jake followed with a DDT. Swann followed with a tope to wipe out the pile. Swann climbed, they all followed and Swann got tossed off onto the others. Miguel hit a moonsault onto the pile. They all worked back in for a Tower of Doom/Meteora combo. Jake cut off Swann and tombstoned him onto the floor. Back in Jake climbed but Page speared him off the cables! Swann back his a hurricanrana on Miguel and they both climbed. Swann grabbed the title for the win.
Rich Swann as X-Division Champion is not surprising me at all. Whoever would have won, this Ultimate X match showed the world a new breed of talents is able to rule the X-Division and this Division is definitely Impact Wrestling’s flagship, as it had been since Day One.
– Eddie Edwards vs. Moose
This one, I didn’t see it coming, because I never thought this match would have been more hardcore than the Monster’s Ball… The Falls Count Anywhere was absolutely unnecessary, this match was personal. Moose and Eddie Edwards have been feuding for months now.
Edwards attacked during Moose’s entrance, wasting no time. Moose cut off a suicide dive and hit 2 vicious apron bombs. Moose built a barricade bridge, they brawled into the crowd. Back in the ring, Moose hit the Nygma’s Lethal Weapon, the Nutcracker. Moose tossed chairs into the ring, Edwards was busted open. Moose piled chairs onto him, headed up top, but Edwards threw chairs at him. Edwards piled up the chairs, followed Moose up top and hit a superplex into the pile of chairs.
They fired up and trade chops, headbutt by Moose who charged, but Edwards dumped him over the top and onto the barricade bridge. Back in, Edwards got his friend, Kenny the kendo stick. Edwards fired away on Moose, but his wife Alisha arrived and almost got hit. She grabbed the stick and hit Moose to get her revenge. Edwards hit the Kill Shot and the Future Shock on Moose to finish him.
Alisha Edwards is a hell of a woman, afraid of absolutely nothing. But if she got the last word in this match, her husband was on fire. That was really a great hardcore bout. The great moment for “Crazy” Eddie to unleash the best of his new character. This match was very cool to watch, tough and brutal. Well, very ECW…
Smelled like nutcracking…
– Sami Callihan vs. The Mack
I told you this match was coming out of nowhere and that obviously made it slightly under the other matches. That doesn’t mean the match was good, but the matter of it was not as clear as the rest of the card. But Sami Callihan is not Wrestler of Year, Match of Year and Moment of the Year for nothing…
Mack attacked at the bell and ran wild with a tope. Dave distracted him to let Sami get in some offence and take control back in the ring. Sami grounded the action, but Mack was able to fire back and hit a stunner. Sami strangled his eyes, but Mack caught him with a head kick, a Samoan drop and the standing moonsault. Mack was on fire, but Dave was there, allowing Sami to cut him off and hit a super Death Valley Driver and a big lariat. Sami hit the piledriver for the win.
Really good match but, with Dave Crist by Sami’s side, The Mack had no chance. A little bird is telling me this was just a beginning…
– Johnny Impact vs. Brian Cage
What the hell these Survivor guys were doing here? They wasted a match that should have worth way much better. Why the hell, in a backstage interview, Brian Cage explained how he’s sacrificed his daughter’s birth, his soon-to-be wife, his wedding, just to get to this point to fight for the Impact World Championship. Everybody saw the documentary on Youtube and knew how Melissa Santos is proud of her man. I don’t really understand why a Machine costume for Cage, because he is a Machine by nature. But I told you Johnny would retain, Kross would be involved and the story would not come to an end tonight. In fact, it has just begun yesterday night…
The match itself was pretty good, but not what we could have expected from a PPV. I tend to think one of the 2 guys was not 100%. To reach the point of having the Survivor guys distracting the referee, in order to change the momentum, for me something was rotten. The match was there, the moves were there, but the Killer Instinct came way later. And it was Killer Kross. After a pretty strange finish, Mr and Miss Impact were celebrating in the ring and on the ramp. And here came Killer Kross who attacked Johnny before powerbombing Taya into the crowd.
Johnny Impact may still be the Champion but now, he has 2 serious contenders to take care of. The upcoming weeks should be pretty interesting…
No PPV announcement, but Impact will also air on Twitch every week! No excuses anymore not to watch it…
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 7, 2019
Could have been nutcracking…
– Eli Drake vs. Abyss
I’m sorry to say it, but it was a Monster’s Ball match. Not more, not less. With thumbtacks, Janice, tables, chairs… but neither Raven nor Tommy Dreamer… Because it was Eli Drake’s moment. A rowing paddle may not be very hardcore but it worked.
Drake got stapled a staple gun but scored with the Nutcracker. He ran over Abyss with a production box, but Abyss returned the favour. Back in the ring, Abyss got the bag of tacks, spilt them out, Drake even threw some in the referee’s face. Black hole slam by Abyss, but the ref was blind. Drake sent Abyss into a chair. Abyss got Janice, but Drake replied with chair shots and got slammed into the tacks. Drake tossed tacks at Abyss, hit a chair shot. Drake laid in repeated chair shots but Abyss kicked out. Drake finally grabbed the paddle, broke it over Abyss’ head and finally won.
I’m sad for Abyss, I’m happy for Eli Drake, but I’m even more sad to see one of Impact’s flagship matches becoming a caricature of itself. Abyss tried really hard, but Drake really shined here.
– Tessa Blanchard vs. Taya Valkyrie
I was expecting some interventions in many matches but definitely not in this one. I thought Gail Kim would be fair trade and a good referee. But Tessa Blanchard made everything possible to make her snap. And that’s what happened.
The match was not that bad, I have to say Tessa Blanchard was very good and inspired. They were on their way to having a very good match, but unfortunately, it broke down into everything it wasn’t supposed to be. But Tessa hit Gail, Gail hit Taya with the belt, and Gail hit Tessa with the Eat Defeat. Taya is the new Knockouts Champion in a match she was absolutely not in control of. I’m not saying she doesn’t earn it, but she could have won it a better way.
– Kiera Hogan & Jordynne Grace vs. Su Yung & Dark Allie
I saw it coming, Rosemary would be back, and she’s back. But let’s come back to the match because everybody played the game very well. Yung and Allie were perfect as the heels, but Jordynne Grace was very impressive. The mist on Grace and the mandible claw from Allie on Hogan were enough to make them win. But this match definitely had 2 vocations, allow Jordynne Grace to make her PPV debut and Rosemary to come back. We all noticed how difficult it was for her to walk, I’m not sure we’ll see her in the ring very quickly. But she’s the missing piece of this strange jigsaw this storyline from the Undead Realm has been. Another one that is not done yet…
To be eNYGMAtic…
I’m sorry to say that I told you that I saw it coming… Homecoming may have been utterly predictable, it was a great PPV. There was no need for a crystal ball to see what was going to happen. Again, LAX, Pentagon and Fénix tore the house down. Eli Drake destroyed the Master of The Asylum in his Kingdom. The cherry on the cake, Moose vs. Eddie that I have never expected to be so damn good. There were way more interferences than I expected, they didn’t come from Dreamer or Raven, but from Gail Kim. Killer Kross definitely found the killer in himself, when he totally snapped after Johnny retained.
Impact Wrestling proved one very important thing with Homecoming, banish the word “rebuild” from your vocabulary. After such an amazing 2018, the first PPV of the year confirmed what we all knew, Impact Wrestling has never been better than now. What do you have to rebuild when you have the talents, some action, signature matches, and masters of cinematic moments? What do you need to rebuild when the jigsaw puzzle is complete?
Watching a PPV like this makes me remember why I fell in love with wrestling when I was a little girl. Because it makes me thrill, be happy, feel human… It makes me be myself, my real self. An eNYGMAtic thank you, Impact Wrestling…
Homecoming Full Results:
* Ultimate X Match for the vacant X-Division Championship: Rich Swann defeated Jake Crist, Ethan Page and Trey Miguel to become the new X-Division Champion
* Knockouts Tag Team Match: Dark Allie & Su Yung defeated Kiera Hogan & Jordynne Grace
* Falls Count Anywhere Match: Eddie Edwards defeated Moose
* Singles Match: Sami Callihan w/ Dave Crist defeated Willie Mack
* Monster’s Ball Match: Eli Drake defeated Abyss
* Impact Knockouts Championship match: Taya Valkyrie defeated Tessa Blanchard (c), with Gail Kim as special guest referee
* Impact World Tag Team Championship Match: LAX (Ortiz & Santana) (c) defeated The Lucha Brothers (Pentagon Junior & Fénix)
* Impact World Championship Match: Johnny Impact (c) defeated Brian Cage
All pics, screenshots and videos courtesy of Impact Wrestling. Photomontage by @frenchnygma exclusively for @steelchairmag.