Before I start this review, I have to tell you that Joe Hendry is no longer a member of the Impact Wrestling roster. You can’t make a bird stop flying, but you can make the lions roar when you open their cages…
Since Homecoming, despite all his rage, The Machine has been just like a rat in his Cage (thank you, The Smashing Pumpkins). Brian Cage desperately wants the Impact World Title for which he relinquished the X-Division title. As he was about to have his coveted rematch against Johnny Impact, Moose and Killer Kross added themselves in the equation. And a Fatal Four-Way match has never really been in favour of the challengers… We are Uncaged, at a time when a cage can be the best place for Johnny and Brian to end this thing up…
Four matches have been announced, but only 2 Impact titles will be on the line. Taya Valkyrie will defend the Knockouts title against Tessa Blanchard, another match between the two, but this time with Taya as the Champ. Team AAA and Team Impact will square off in a 4-Man Elimination Match. Willie Mack and Ethan Page will compete. We’ll also hear about Sami Callihan who has some things to tell us about Rich Swann’s past. This “special event” and last episode from Mexico is taking place during IMPACT weekly broadcast time slot. But we’re still ready for some action, your French Enygma Steph way.
Street Fight for the Impact Knockouts Championship: Taya Valkyrie (c) vs. Tessa Blanchard
Blanchard jumped on Valkyrie on the ramp but Valkyrie started kicking her down to the ringside apron. Blanchard grabbed a chair and set it between the ropes in the corner, tried to whip Valkyrie into it, but Taya put the brakes on, hits a go-behind, a hard German suplex, a few kicks to the spine and some elbows. She tossed Blanchard out of the ring and tried to dive, but ran into a cookie sheet. Blanchard mocked Valkyrie and tossed her between the ring post and the barricades. She grabbed a chair and threw it into Valkyrie’s head, before hitting a running dropkick into the chair. Taya connected with a kick to the gut and a shot with the cookie sheet. She charged but got back body dropped into the crowd, she grabbed a beer from a fan and smacked Blanchard with it. Valkyrie tried to jump off of the barricade, but Blanchard cut her off and grabbed a chair, wrapped it around Valkyrie’s head and slammed her into the ring post.
Blanchard grabbed some spare cable and started choking Valkyrie with it. She bailed on that and tore the other shirt off of Valkyrie’s ring attire, spat on it and tossed it into Valkyrie’s face. Blanchard tossed loot into the ring, charged at Valkyrie but Valkyrie drop toe held her into the chair that was set up in the corner to take the momentum. She connected with clotheslines, then a series in the corner and a running double knee strike. Valkyrie set the sheet metal between Blanchard’s legs and golf swung a chair into the metal. Blanchard countered a Road to Valhalla and started laying in shots with a chair. Blanchard tossed a bunch of chairs into the ring, slammed Valkyrie into one of them and tried to go up top. Valkyrie recovered and threw a chair into her face. Valkyrie went up top now and hit a Samoan drop onto a chair.
They traded chops and slaps while seating on chairs, Valkyrie folded up her chair and kicked it into the face of Blanchard. Blanchard speared Valkyrie into a table in the corner, but the table didn’t break, the second time too. She grabbed another table, tossed it into the ring, set it up near the corner and draped Valkyrie it. Blanchard went up top but again was cut off. Valkyrie pushed her to the outside, then climbed up to the top rope and jumped onto Blanchard on the outside. Valkyrie tried to set up her STF variant but Blanchard kicked her off. She got set up on the table after a knee from Valkyrie. The table partially collapsed, but Valkyrie got a double stomp through the table to retain her title.
The Nygma View: Tables, chairs, cookie sheet, cables, it was hardcore… and it was good! Street fights are not only made for men, Taya and Tessa proved it tonight. Nevertheless, I wish this match will end this long series that we had to witness and open the door for new storylines and new contenders.
Sami Callihan appointed himself the leader of Team Impact. Fallah said ‘Bahh’ in agreement. Edwards and Drake winded up taking over as Callihan stormed off. Drake implored Eddie Edwards one last time to put away the kendo stick and traded in the jeans and tennis shoes for tights and wrestling boots. That was just a fact of life and Eddie Edwards looked with a bit of trepidation at the kendo stick. That will lead us to another break.
Willie Mack vs. Ethan Page
Page opened up with strikes in the corner, Mack reversed a whip, Page leapfrogged over him and Mack posed with a headstand on the turnbuckles, and then landed a spinning cross body to Page. Mack hit chops, then faked a chop into a double nipple twister. Page slipped off the back of Mack and hit a DDT, mounted rights, and punches and chops in the corner.
Page went for a suplex, Mack reversed. He hit some strikes in the corner but ran into a boot from Page who connected with a jumping roundhouse from the second rope. Page tossed Mack into the corner but missed a charge. Mack hit a series of charging attacks that culminated with a cannonball and a Samoan drop. He went for a stunner, Page countered, he hit a few kicks and a scoop driver. Page countered another stunner attempt, but Mack got the next one for the win.
The Nygma View: A classic X-Division style match with 2 very good wrestlers. If it was meant to determine a #1 contender for the X-Division Championship, The Mack would perfectly fit. Like Ethan Page. It will be interesting to see where it leads.
– Killer Kross said divine intervention has not been Impact’s strength, Johnny needs to be focused or minds will wander and become susceptible to being assaulted. He will annihilate… and he’s not going away.
– After his match, Willie can be seen walking into a room. The Crist Brothers followed him in.
– Team AAA said they are coming for the Cup. They wrestle for pride and the flag. They were pumped up to take the win from Team Impact. Psycho Clown promised victory, Puma King agreed and they all took turns staring into the camera as they made their way out of the interview area.
Sami Callihan’s truth about Rich Swann…
Callihan was in the ring calling out Rich Swann. Everyone knew they are “brothers”. He said Swann ran his mouth last week, but much of what he said was “fake news”. Sami was pissed that he kept turning down his offer. He said, if their relationship meant anything, he would come out and accept his offer to join oVe. Rich Swann made his way to the ring, but refused to accept and threw the t-shirt at Callihan.
Sami clocked him in the face with the microphone. He went for a piledriver, but Rich slipped through and countered with a spinning kick. Sami tried to escape, but Swann flipped from the turnbuckle to the outside. They scrapped on the outside until Callihan strangled Swann’s eyes. He took Rich up the ramp and finished him with a piledriver on the stage. Sami threw Rich off the stage through a table, he looked happy with the result.
The Nygma’s View: The past is the past, wrestling is the future. Make them fight, once and for all. So we can move forward…
World Cup Trophy 4-Man Elimination Match: Team AAA (El Hijo Del Vikingo, Aerostar, Puma King & Psycho Clown) vs. Team Impact (Sami Callihan, Eli Drake, Eddie Edwards & Fallah Bahh)
Eliminations: (4-3 AAA) Eli Drake rolled up by Puma King / (3-3) Vikingo pinned after a strong powerslam from Fallah Bahh / (3-2 AAA) Fallah rolled up by Aerostar / (2-2) Aerostar pinned by Eddie after a Boston knee party / (2-1 Impact) Puma King out via Callihan’s piledriver / (1-1) Clown rolled up Callihan for the pin / (1-0) After Eli Drake hit Eddie with “Kenny”, Psycho Clown executed a backbreaker and rolled him up to end the match.
Psycho Clown and Sami Callihan started trading blows in the middle of the ring until Callihan landed a clothesline. Clown avoided a charge and hit a dive from the top rope, they traded some corner offence until Clown hit a snap powerslam. Aerostar tagged in, Clown elevated him for a dropkick to Callihan. Corkscrew crossbody from Aerostar as he was whipped into the turnbuckles, then he walked the ropes into a codebreaker. Kicks from Aerostar but Drake caught him after an elevated toss into a modified back body slam. Aerostar avoided a suplex attempt and tagged in Vikingo who countered a toss slam into a DDT. Drake tagged in Edwards, Vikingo connected with a spinning hurricanrana and sent Edwards out of the ring. Edwards tried to toss Vikingo out but Vikingo countered, landed a kick and tagged in Puma. Kicks from Puma followed by a delayed vertical suplex. Edwards avoided a rush in the corner, caught Puma as Puma was on the top, then Edwards hit the backpack stunner but had to roll for a tag and got Bahh in. Puma connected with a series of kicks, but Bahh cut him off with the power of his presence then hit a belly to belly suplex. Bahh rolled over Puma (horror movie moment…) and Callihan tagged himself in with a chop to the chest.
Drake and Callihan took them out. Callihan connected with a springboard clothesline, he tried to fly but Clown slipped around and into the ring, then hit a dive onto Callihan and Bahh. Edwards and Puma in the ring, Puma hit a hurricanrana and a springboard crossbody onto everyone outside. Aerostar’s turn to dive and he got serious air on his dive to the outside. Bahh was in the ring now, he faked a dive but instead just climbed to the apron and hopped onto the pile of bodies. Vikingo set for a double springboard into a reverse splash. Vikingo back in the ring looked to climb the ropes but Drake cut him off and hit a power slam onto the pile. Puma and Drake in the ring, Edwards tried to bring the kendo stick in but Drake cut that off and tried to use the stick himself. Edwards took it, which led to Puma hitting a series of roll-ups into a 3 count to eliminate Drake. Back from break, Callihan was working over Puma. Callihan chopped Bahh to tag him in, Bahh wasn’t happy about that. Bahh cut off the tag attempt from Puma, then Bahh slammed Callihan onto Puma. Puma slipped off the back of Bahh, landed a superkick, then tagged in Vikingo. Double dropkick to the Impact members in the corner followed by a hurricanrana to Bahh into the corner. Springboard Code Breaker from Vikingo took out Callihan, he winded up taking out Edwards with flying double knees in the corner, but that let Bahh regain himself.
Bahh ate leg kicks and an enzuigiri, but Bahh reversed a whip attempt, Vikingo then slipped around the ropes and tried a springboard, but Bahh caught him and hit the running power slam to get the pinfall. Aerostar in now bounced off of Bahh with some running kicks but Bahh landed a crossbody on Aerostar. Bahh set for a Vader Bomb but missed, Aerostar got a crucifix pin to take him out. Callihan jumped on Aerostar immediately but took issue as Edwards tagged himself in. Aerostar took advantage with a rolling cutter to Edwards, then missed a jumping splash. Edwards hit the Boston Knee Party to take out Aerostar. Puma hung out in the ropes and kicked Edwards when he charged, Callihan tagged himself in and Puma took him out with a spinning slam. Callihan got a powerbomb out of the corner. Knee from Callihan followed by a pile driver to take out Puma. Edwards and Callihan winded up squaring off and talking smack to each other. Psycho took them out with clotheslines, but the eventual double team was too much for him. Running leg lariat from Edwards but Callihan pushed him out, Callihan told Edwards he screwed up with that move, then Psycho rolled him up.
Last two men, Edwards and Psycho went face to face and started trading chops. They winded up trading rights then Edwards slid out of the ring but Psycho just dove onto him and they were both down outside the ring. Psycho rolled Edwards back into the ring, Edwards got a Tiger Bomb. They clashed a few times, but Psycho landed a series of kicks and a sliced bread #2. Some clotheslines from Edwards who talked with Drake. Drake had Kenny and said he didn’t need it. They traded roll-ups, then Drake hit Edwards with the kendo stick, Psycho connected with the lung blower into La Magistral cradle for the final elimination and win.
The Nygma View: If I wasn’t a fan of last year’s AAA vs. Impact thing, this year, things went straight where it was supposed to go to, a match, and a very good one… It, of course, fueled the storyline between Eli and Eddie. But the action was way enough to make me appreciate this bout.
– Adam Thornstowe and Luster the Legend, aka Reno Scum, are returning to Impact Wrestling in two weeks.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
– Konnan was frustrated. He blamed the title loss on Ortiz for opening his mouth. Konnan said he will go to the Lucha Brothers and ask for one last shot at the titles on their behalf.
– Allie was with Su Yung. Allie said “Shadow” is playing mind games. She was disturbed by a presence in the air.
– Scarlett Bordeaux was “sleeping” in bed, with not much on. She was woken up by the cameraman and quickly hyped her Las Vegas debut in two weeks.
Fatal Four-Way match for the Impact World Championship: Johnny Impact (c) vs. Moose vs. Killer Kross vs. Brian Cage
All four men squared off, they traded kicks then Johnny low bridged Moose, kicked Kross and Cage and dove onto Moose. Kross and Cage traded offence, Cage kicked him out of the ring, which set up a dive from Cage onto all three other men and he landed on his feet. Cage tossed Johnny back into the ring and those two squared off. Johnny connected with some kicks and a shining wizard, but Moose and Kross double-teamed him. Moose and Kross connected with a double powerbomb, but Kross broke up a cover attempt from Moose. They stared for a moment but seemed still on the same page. They set to double team Cage and hit the double powerbomb on him, then Moose rolled up Kross. Kross stared daggers at him, Moose appealed to him and they winded up hugging, but Kross hit an exploder suplex.
Johnny went for the Moonlight drive, connected with a backbreaker into a side Russian leg sweep on Cage and a leg drop. Moose cut off that offence with a nutcracker and landed some running dropkicks to Cage and Kross. He hit a Go To Hell on Johnny but Cage broke up the pinfall attempt. Cage kicked Kross in the corner and hits a double German suplex onto Moose who was holding Kross. Cage connected with a delayed suplex to Johnny. Kross avoided a discus lariat, landed a backdrop driver, then tried the Kross jacket. Moose broke it up and everyone traded strikes that ended up with a springboard spear from Johnny to Cage. Everyone was down.
The Tower of Doom was later set up. Moose and Cage had Johnny, Kross finished things with the powerbomb to Cage and Moose as they hit a superplex on Johnny. Kross locked an armbar but Moose then locked in a figure 4 leg lock, Cage grabbed a Dragon Sleeper on Kross. Johnny rolled Moose over and Kross hit a northern lights suplex, and everyone was down yet again. Kross threw Johnny onto Cage and Moose with the big delayed dropkick to Cage. Kross ducked a clothesline from Moose and took him down with a Saito suplex, then picked up Johnny. Johnny escaped and landed a springboard kick. Knee from Johnny to Kross but Moose takes him out with another Go To Hell. Johnny countered with a hurricanrana but Moose landed a pop-up powerbomb and a senton. Moose hit a headbutt on Cage, they traded missed discus lariats and Cage hit Moose with a Drill Claw. Stereo finishers from Johnny and Cage, Johnny connected with the Starship Pain to Moose as Cage hit the Drill Claw to Kross. Johnny pinned Moose just before Cage could pin Kross to retain the title.
The Nygma View: Very disappointing, I’m sorry to say it. Same botched finishing move, same quirky ending, same storyline going on and on. Whatever the situation Cage is involved in this World Championship context, he comes up short. I tend to think this storyline is not over and, honestly, I’m not happy with that…
To be eNYGMAtic…
It started very well, but Uncaged ended the worst possible way. Cage was screwed up again, with the same ugly Starship Pain… Mack and Swann were had by oVe, again… Eli used Kenny, again… We had great talents with AAA talents, The Mack, Ethan Page, great action with Taya and Tessa. Do we move forward this week? I’m not sure at all… We will, for sure, have an Eli vs. Eddie remake of “Kramer vs. Kramer”, for the love of Kenny; Sami vs. Rich for a past that needs to be forgotten; Moose and Kross in a new version of the Frog and the Scorpion; and Cage trying again to grab the World title.
We’re more than 2 months away from Rebellion PPV. What a long road we have to ride… At this very moment, it stopped in Las Vegas, where Impact is tapping new episodes. For the moment, the Nygma’s Crystal Ball has nothing else to tell you but, read the upcoming reviews… On this very unclear note, until next week, never EVER forget to stay #eNYGMAtic…
Uncaged Full Results:
* Street Fight for the Impact Knockouts Championship: Taya Valkyrie (c) defeated Tessa Blanchard
* Willie Mack defeated Ethan Page
* World Cup Trophy 4-Man Elimination Match: Team AAA (El Hijo Del Vikingo, Aerostar, Puma King & Psycho Clown) defeated Team Impact (Sami Callihan, Eli Drake, Eddie Edwards & Fallah Bahh)
* Fatal Four-Way match for the Impact World Championship: Johnny Impact (c) defeated Moose, Killer Kross and Brian Cage
All pics, videos, and screenshots courtesy of Impact Wrestling. Photomontage by @frenchnygma exclusively for @steelchairmag.