Preview by Josh Nason
Thursday's Impact is headlined by a grudge match that has been building for weeks as no. 1 contender Moose will face Sami Callihan.
Callihan and Moose have spent the past few weeks reluctantly backing each other up against Impact World Champion Kenny Omega and the Good Brothers, but came to blows last week in a match against the Brothers.
Tonight's show will also feature the conclusion of Impact's first-ever hour-long Iron Man match as X-Division Champion Josh Alexander will defend against TJP. The match will start on their BTI pre-show (also on AXS TV) at 7 PM with the conclusion on the main show.
New Japan legend Satoshi Kojima will make his promotional debut against VBD's Deaner ahead of his Against All Odds clash with Joe Doering.
In a Knockouts Tag Team title rematch, Fire N' Flava will defend against former champions Jordynne Grace and Rachael Ellering in a time when there has been dissention between them.
In another grudge match, Jake Something will face Rohit Raju in a tables match.
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X-Division Champion Josh Alexander (w/ Petey Williams) defeated TJP (w/ Fallah Bahh) two falls to one in a 60-minute Iron Man match to retain
Both men have feuded around the X-Division championship for months. They traded wins and losses since last year, both in singles and tag team matches, but as of late, Alexander has moved forward winning the title at Rebellion by defeating Austin and TJP in a three-way, the latter earning a shot at the title on last week’s Impact when he pinned Alexander in a tag team match.
The match started on the BTI pre-show.
The match started with a slow pace with both men trading holds on the mat. TJP kept changing his focus between the legs to the arms, while Alexander stayed with the left arm. After about 15 minutes, both men kept trading momentum between Alexander distracting himself with Bahh and then coming back into the match as he managed to lock in the first ankle lock of the match.
Both men started trading and reversing pinfalls until Alexander managed to keep TJP down for the three count, giving him the 1-0 advantage.
With TJP hurt, Alexander dominated, setting a slow pace by working over TJP’s head but not slow enough that he took the easy way out for a countout win. This, despite it being clear that TJP wasn’t making it back in the ring on time. Alexander maintained this control past the 30-minute mark.
TJP started to make a comeback and traded some submissions with Alexander, but he couldn’t fully cut him off. He did pull Alexander into another near fall exchange. Instead of going for a pinfall, though, TJP locked in a sharpshooter that he finished with a last chancery. Alexander made the ropes, but he was hurt.
40 minutes in, TJP was still down 1-0, but managed to hurt Alexander’s midsection. At the 45 minute mark, TJP had completely turned the match around, he caught Alexander with an octopus stretch, transitioned to a near fall and followed with a DDT and a dive, but as he we went for more offense outside the ring, Alexander hit a brainbuster, dropping TJP on the apron.
The match got heated and spilled outside. Alexander went to piledrive TJP on the ramp, but was distracted by Chris Sabin, Trey Miguel and even Williams telling him to not cross that line. It was counterproductive as TJP used that time to recover and reverse Alexander, hitting a piledriver himself and wanting to take the countout win. Alas, Alexander made it in at 9.
At this point, the roster slowly started to spill outside to watch the match.
TJP followed with a helluva kick and the mamba splash, but he was done for and Alexander moved out of the way. Alexander was bleeding from the forehead. TJP locked Alexander in a tree of woe and even took off his headgear. As the match transitioned into the main TV show, TJP still couldn't get a pin on Alexander.
With five minutes to go, TJP hit a falcon arrow for a near fall, followed with a couple of running boots, but Alexander reacted after two and countered with an ankle lock. TJP hit a desperation detonation kick for a two count. He finally connected with the mamba splash, but Alexander still kicked out.
TJP finally went for another detonation kick, but Alexander countered into the ankle lock. With two minutes to go, TJP reversed into an ankle lock himself and into a kneebar. Somehow, Alexander managed to reverse it into an ankle lock.
In the final minute, Alexander had TJP in a deep ankle lock with his legs grapevined. With tw seconds to go, TJP managed to roll back the ankle lock and pin Alexander to tie the match, meaning we are going into sudden death.
The bell rung and they went straight into a striking exchange. TJP was wobbly and Alexander was all bruised and bloody. Alexander caught TJP with a Green Bay plunge, moonsault and powerbomb on the knee, only to get a near fall. Finally, he hit Divine Intervention and won the match 2-1.
This was just amazing and one of the best Impact matches I’ve seen in years. Alexander is going to elevate the X-Division to a new level.
-- Backstage, Don Callis talked to the Good Brothers about their plans to have Moose and Callihan fight, but before they continued, they discovered the hidden cameraperson and cut the feed out.
- Josh Alexander talked about how hard ironman matches are. Edwards walked up and congratulated him. TJP walked up and thanked Alexander for the match, whether they had another match again or not. D’Amore also approached them, to which Alexander told him that he is the only Impact wrestler holding Impact gold, and until they regain the Impact World Championship, he considers himself the king of the mountain.
All of the X Division guys walked up and asked D’Amore for a shot, but D’Amore instead walked away.
Jake Something defeated Rohit Raju in a tables match
About a month ago, Rohit Raju cost Something the opportunity to be in the Under Siege #1 contendership match, even since, Something has chased both Raju and Shera, who he has already taken out.
The match quickly went into some table teases as both men brawled outside the ring. Raju tried to introduce some chairs into the match, but was blocked by Something, and easily taken down by a couple of power moves from Something.
It wouldn’t be until Raju hit a desperate foot stomp that he got the opening to attack Something with the chair, over and over, focusing the arm. Raju kept Something down for some time, between knee attacks, chair spots, and low blows. At one point, he hit a top rope foot stomp onto Something, who lay on top ro a chair bed.
Finish saw Raju try to kick Something into a vertical table, but Something countered with a couple of blackhole slams, no sold a chair shot, and destroyed Raju through a table with a spear.
Something looked amazing in those last couple of minutes.
- W. Morrissey asked D’Amore for a match with Rich Swann tonight. Swann had asked for one too, so the match was next.
- Rosemary cut a promo on Deonna Purrazzo. She said that last week, she pinned her, and at Against All Odds, she’s bringing the title back to the darkness. Havok walked up to Rosemary and told her that just because they’ve been on the same side lately, she’s still coming for the title regardless who wins at AAO.
Rosemary told her that if she wanted a shot, she'd need to take it from her.
Rich Swann vs W. Morrissey never officially started
Swann and Morrissey started feuding after Morrissey destroyed Mack at Under Siege. Ever since, they’ve taken shots at each other, but this is the first time they make it to the ring.
Morrissey jumped Swann during his entrance. Swann tried to make a comeback, but Morrissey kept him down with a big boot. Security came down and stopped Morrissey from further harm to Swann.
The distraction from security allowed Mack to come out with a chair and kept Morrissey at bay, saving Swann from a beat down. Morrissey walked away with a smile.
- Backstage, Tenille Dashwood and Kaleb with a K walked up to Rachael Ellering while she warmed up. Dashwood brought up all the chemistry between them in last week’s match, and since they both wanted the tag titles, then maybe they could team up. Jordynne Grace walked up and saved Ellering from the awkwardness. Dashwood wished them luck in their tag title match tonight.
- We got a video package from Bryan Myers explaining Sam Beale on how to be a professional wrestler. He critiqued Beale’s look and presentation. He gave him one of his t-shirts to hide his tattoos and told him to change his entrance. This has potential if it ends with Beale getting a new look.
- Gia Miller interviewed Purrazzo and told her that Havok and Rosemary are wrestling next week, and if Havok wins, she is inserted to the AAO match. Purrazzo said that the office keeps stacking the odds against her, but she has already defeated them before and she’ll do it again.
Knockout Tag Team Champions Fire ‘n Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz) defeated Jordynne Grace & Rachael Ellering to retain the titles.
Just a week after winning the titles, Grace and Ellering lost them again to former champions Hogan and Steelz. They have successfully made Grace question her abilities after she was the one to take the pin for her teams (Ellering, Jazz) for a few months now.
The match was a shorter version of their Under Siege match with Ellering as the babyface in peril and Grace getting the hot tag. Ellering returned to the match and once again got cut off by the champs. The match eventually came down to Grace and Steelz with Grace taken out outside. The champions double-teamed Grace with a frog splash and sleeper combo to retain the titles.
This was yet another loss for Grace who is close to her breaking point. Surprisingly, Dashwood never interfered or came out.
-- Callihan cut a promo saying he wasn’t afraid of Moose. Callis walked up to him and tried to play head games, telling him that he’s on his side because everyone likes Moose, but he recognizes Callihan’s potential.
-- We got a vignette for Steve Maclin, the former Steve Cutler, who likes to drink Jameson and listen to old music.
-- Backstage, Hogan and Steelz bugged D’Amore with their title defense celebration. They told him they wanted new competition, so D’Amore told them that Susan and Kimber Lee had issues with them and would be defending the titles against them at Against All Odds.
Satoshi Kojima defeated Deaner (w/ Violent By Design)
Kojima debuted last week, challenging Doering to a match at Against All Odds. Before that, he takes on Doering’s stablemate, Deaner. The match was mostly Kojima on top, getting in all his greatest hits. Deaner did get some offense in as VBD kept distracting Kojima, but nothing big.
At one point, Doering was going to get involved, but Edwards came out and made the save, allowing Kojima to hit the Cozy Cutter and lariat combo for the win.
-- Moose was cutting a promo when he also got interrupted by Callis. He now pretended to be in Moose’s corner. Callis is trying to get Moose and Callihan to take each other out, but neither are buying what Callis is selling.
-- Eric Young was cutting a promo on Edwards, but they got interrupted by Decay. They talked down Deaner, but EY stepped up and told him that he also trained Crazzy Steve as he did Deaner. Steve told him that if EY was so sure about Deaner, why not invoke "Freebird rules" and have Violent By Design defend the tag titles against Black Taurus and him. The match is on, but I didn’t get which VBD combo will defend the titles.
- Brown and Josh Mathews (who sat in for Matt Striker again) ran down next week’s card with Havok vs Rosemary and Morrissey vs Mack. Also, Swann vs. Morrissey were announced for Against All Odds.
Sami Callihan defeated Moose by DQ
Both men have chased Kenny Omega ever since he won the Impact World title. Moose won the Under Siege #1 contender match to earn his shot against Omega. In that same match, Callis and the Good Brothers personally targeted Callihan, costing him the match. Last week, through problems, Moose and Callihan lost to the Brothers and the dissension led to this match between the two which was Callis’ plan all along.
Callihan hit Moose with a big boot at the start, catching him off his guard and allowing Callihan to get in some early offense. Moose eventually had enough, blocked Callihan's kick attempt, power bombed him, and took control.
The match spilled to the floor with back and forrth action with Callihan heavily focusing on taking out Moose’s arm.
Back in the ring, the action continued with both men trying to chase their finishing move. Moose was working with only one arm at this point, so he was having trouble with most of his power moves. Nonetheless, he fought through the pain and still managed to hit a superplex for a near fall.
At the end, Moose hit the Okada corner dropkick, followed by a Go To Hell for a near fall. Callihan hit a piledriver for a near fall, but as he went for the finish, the Good Brothers came out and attacked both men, giving Callihan the win by DQ.
Callis and Omega walked out afterwards with the latter joining in on the attack.
Backstage, the group celebrated until D'Amore confronted them and told Callis that since Callihan had defeated the top contender, he officially needed to be entered into the Against All Odds main event.
Callis tried to argue that Tony Khan wouldn’t accept Omega wrestling Callihan, so D’Amore invited Khan to be there next week to talk it over.