A long time ago, Impact was used to do special events during TV time… The last one was in March if I remember well… Those events are like mini-PPVs, they are usually a moment for title changes, end of feuds, or beginning of new feuds. This week, Cali Combat is walking in the footsteps of the feuds we have witnessed over the last few weeks. We’re now 8 weeks before Bound for Glory, time to seriously move forward… 

Two titles are on the line. The North will defend against Reno Scum. Jake Crist is putting the X-Division title on the line in a rematch against Rich Swann. Alisha Edwards will face Havok. Rhino will square off with Michael Elgin, and it should be bloody… Willie Mack and Trey of The Rascalz will compete. Tommy Dreamer will be allowed to go hardcore as he will face Sami Callihan in a No-DQ match. Finally, we’ll hear of Taya Valkyrie about the fate of the Knockouts Division. This “special event”, taped in California, is taking place during IMPACT weekly broadcast time slot. But we’re still ready for some action, your French Enygma Steph way.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78do1Gwl-uE]

Michael Elgin vs Rhino

They traded strikes and shoulder tackles to begin, Rhino hit a clothesline and Elgin powdered. Elgin back in attacked with kicks and strikes, then missed a charge and Rhino hit the tackle in the corner. They fought to the floor and then back in, Elgin fired back and hit an enzuigiri, taking control and following with chops. Rhino fired back but Elgin took him down. He followed with elbow drops. Rhino tried to fight back and they worked into a double down. Elgin then cut him off with a uranage, headed up top and the senton missed.

Rhino now followed with strikes, clotheslines, and the spinebuster. Elgin fought off the TKO, hit clotheslines and they fought over a suplex until Elgin laid in strikes and hit a German Suplex. Rhino fired back and hit a piledriver. They worked up top and Rhino followed with headbutts and a  superplex. Rhino set for the Gore, but Elgin cut him off and hit a lariat. Rhino rolled to the floor, Elgin followed and they brawled at ringside. Elgin got posted and they got counted out as security had to separate them.

The Nygma View: The story between these 2 is just beginning but they were able to wrestle like 10 minutes before brawling. The action was pretty good, solidly hard-hitting despite a bit slow. The level of hate between the 2 men could only lead them to a speculation match. That will happen next week and it may continue the following ones…

Wait, wait…

Both men continued their brawl. Security from the back came out to separate the two. Backstage after the break, Elgin told Rhino that their feud is long from over. Rhino came in from the back doors and they continued their brawl. Security pulled them apart once again.

Impact World Tag Team Title Match: Champions The North vs Reno Scum 

The fans began with the chant “Scum Forever.” Ethan Page and Luster began the match. Luster took the lead at the beginning with a takedown on Page. Page got up and tried to go for a kick, but Luster caught it and dropped Page to the mat. Luster tagged in Adam Thornstowe who went for a dropkick. Page tagged in Josh Alexander. Alexander went for a cheap shot with a nose hold on Thornstowe. Back from the break, Page tagged in Alexander. Thornstowe was still in the ring representing Reno Scum. Page was back in the ring again after the tag. Page picked up and planted Thornstowe onto the mat.

Thornstowe picked himself up with a DDT and tagged in Luster. Page tagged in Alexander. Alexander went for several chest chops. Luster reversed it with a few of his own. Page tried to come in, Lust hit some Irish Whips him into the opposite corner. Luster lifted up Alexander but Alexander reversed it and went for an illegal pin. It didn’t work. Luster tagged in Thornstowe. He went for the cover after an attack and Alexander put Page’s leg up on the bottom rope to break the count. Luster from the outside took out Page who rolled out of the ring. The North now took down Thornstowe with their finishing double-team move. They went for the cover and retained.

The Nygma View: The match was good but there was no reason to expect a title change… IF both teams have real chemistry, The North was really above. The question now is, who will dethrone them?

Meanwhile, backstage… 

– Ace Austin was standing in the corridor, sporting a crutch and bandages. On the way to her match, Alisha Edwards came across him and asked if the injuries were Eddie’s doing. She showed sympathy and wished him well, as Ace reassured her he’ll recover. After Alisha walked away, Austin showed he’s faking it by dropping his crutch.

– Madison Rayne wanted a chat with Jordynne Grace in the locker room. She warned her about partnering with Rosemary, who liked to make a disaster out of everything. Madison would hate to see her go through something similar. Jordynne didn’t need her advice, nor anyone else’s.

Havok vs Alisha Edwards 

Alisha tried to stay away, followed with strikes, but Havok hit a fallaway slam. She then tossed Alisha around, laid the boots to her and followed with a backbreaker. Havok hit a suplex and grounded the action. Havok choked her out and then slammed her to the buckles. Havok missed a charge and then a leg drop, Alisha fired back and hit the bulldog. She headed up top and Havok caught her and the Tombstone Piledriver finished it.

The Nygma’s View: Poor Alisha and poor Havok. Jessicka seems indestructible and Alisha paid the hard price confronting her. At the same time, using that kind of match to fuel the love triangle angle was bad. Whatever, the whole Impact roster must fear because Havok can catch them all…

Wait, wait…

Ace arrived to check on Alisha, Eddie arrived and Ace hid behind Havok as she chokeslammed Eddie.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNhAkOXtqYE]

Meanwhile, backstage… 

– Another Su Yung video package.

– Sami blamed Dave for their loss last week, they argued and Sami reminded them that he’s the #1 contender for the world title and that he will win the title. Jake talked some shit so Sami told him to go it alone tonight against Swann.

– Moose walked with some ladies and talked about the beef with Ken Shamrock. He said Shamrock is looking for attention and that HE is the biggest star in wrestling. Ken isn’t even the most dangerous guy in his family and welcomed him to come to Las Vegas.

Impact X-Division Championship Match: Jake Crist (c) vs. Rich Swann

Crist went right towards Swann with a kick to his head at the bell. Swann fell over. Swann got up and went for a hurricanrana, then a dropkick. Swann followed it up with a 619. Crist picked himself up and went for a submission hold. Swann broke it. Crist went for a sunset flip but went back for another submission. Swann was able to break out of it again. Crist connected with a leg sweep, then locked Swann in another upper body submission. Swann’s arms were trapped. Swann was able to turn Crist onto his shoulders for a pin, but he kicked out right away.

After both men got up, Crist went chest first on Swann with a strong boot. Outside of the ring, Swann was up on the stage and landed on Crist. Now back in the ring, Swann planted an elbow onto Crist. Crist now upturned the match around with a takedown. Swann went for a neck drop. He went up top for a 450 and landed it. Swann then followed it up with a back kick. Swann went for a cutter, and Crist pushed the referee in between them. Jake used the ref to counter the Lethal injection and used the tights to roll Swann up for the win.

The Nygma View: I love the blond Jake… Very Mad Max… Despite an ugly finish, it was a very good match, even if both guys are capable of so much more. It seems like the X-Division title is now away from Rich Swann but I’m sure some new adventures are right around the corner… 

Meanwhile, backstage… 

– Tenille Dashwood promo. She’s here in Impact Wrestling because the Knockouts Division is the best place for the world to know it’s “All About Me”.

– The Desi Hit Squad were on The Deaners’ farm and it was stinking. The Deaners came, storming in driving an off-road vehicle. They are told to change into farming attire. After changing, Rohit Raju started getting into the idea of being a farm boy, Gama slapped him.

Taya Valkyrie’s press conference

Taya Valkyrie gave an address from a podium, with John E. Bravo at her side. Taya’s current reign sits at 229 days, meaning that as of next week she will become the longest-reigning champion in Knockout’s history. To mark the special occasion, she wants to defend the title against someone new, someone interesting. It’s gonna be big.

The Nygma View: For the record, Taryn Terrell’s first reign is the longest in the title’s history, at 279 days, going by tape date. It’s in fact 238 days, going by air date (thank to @talkingimpact). Gail Kim held the title 7 times and she’s the longest-reigning Champion, with 711 days during her 7 reigns. Taya said it’s going to be big… Well, HER big… There are 3 possibilities, whether she will choose a weaker opponent from the Knockouts roster, a Luchadora as we’ll be in Mexico, or Tenille… I’m sure The Wera Loca made a good choice… For herself…

Willie Mack vs Trey

Trey used his speed to begin, avoiding Mack. He danced, they shook hands and Mack followed with a shoulder tackle. Trey powdered, Mack chased and they work into Lucha passes back in. Mack hit the Samoan Drop and a standing moonsault. Mack followed with uppercuts, but Trey countered back and hit a hurricanrana. Mack avoided the charge and followed with running corner strikes and the cannonball. Trey countered the stunner into a cradle. The cutter followed. Trey followed with strikes, they traded and Trey connected with an enzuigiri and headed up top, cut off and Mack followed him up. Trey countered out into Cheeky Nandos, the 619 and flew with Meteora but Mack caught him with a stunner outta nowhere for the win.

The Nygma View: It lasted 5 minutes but it was 5 freaking good minutes. The Mack is capable of the impossible, due to his size and weight. Meanwhile, take each of the Rascalz, put them in a match on their own and they will impress you. This match would have lasted longer, I would have appreciated…

Meanwhile, backstage… 

– Tommy Dreamer told Melissa Santos every time he goes on social media, he had to read about bad stuff and negativity. A lot of people use wrestling to get away from reality, but life is like that too. Callihan thinks he’s better than him and everyone else. The best part of his job is though? His escapism is Sami’s reality. He was going to enjoy beating the crap out of him and making the world a better place.

No Disqualification match: Tommy Dreamer vs Sami Callihan

They brawled at the bell, Dreamer hit a clothesline, but Sami grounded him and they spilt to the floor for some walk and brawl. Sami charged and got cut off and Dreamer attacked with the ring bell and rang it on his crotch, what I will call the Nut Ringer. After the break, they were still on the floor, Sami had a bat while Dreamer a kendo stick. Back in, Dreamer attacked with kendo shots and the White Russian leg sweep. He got chairs, but Sami fired back with a Mafia kick and kendo shots. He added in chair shots and ground the kendo into Dreamer’s face. More kendo shots followed, he stacked up chairs and mocked Dreamer. The DDT was countered and Sami slammed him onto the chairs. Sami hits a Con-Chair-To and posed in celebration.

He wedged a chair in the corner, but Dreamer fired back, connected with jabs, sent Sami into the chair and hit the cutter. Dreamer left to come back with a trashcan full of toys. He tossed in a ladder, set it up in the corner, but Sami whipped him into it and hit him with the trashcan. Sami set up the can in the corner, laid in chops and Dreamer countered the Cactus Special, sent him into the can and hit the DDT. He set up a chair, but Sami got the groin claw (the Nut Brewer) and tripped Dreamer into the chair (let’s say it was a NutCracker…). He brought in a board, set it up on chairs and Dreamer Nut Brewed (groin clawed) him and hit a piledriver for 2. He grabbed the ladder, laid Sami on it and to the ropes and missed the elbow drop. Sami hit kendo shots and hit the Cactus Piledriver through the board for the win.

The Nygma View: I’m never against a hardcore match, with all the toys and sneak attacks that go with it. But what we saw was more a collision of generations than a really good hardcore bout. I appreciated Dreamer’s efforts but Callihan set the tone. If Dreamer really wants the next generation to be successful, I’m sure they will appreciate his guidance. Wrestling him is another story…

Wait, wait… 

Callihan put Dreamer’s arm in between the ladder and grabbed a baseball bat, looking to end the career of Dreamer. Tessa came out to make the save, but just as it looked like she’s gotten the best of him, the X Division Champion showed up to save his leader. Blanchard ate a piledriver, which pleased Callihan on his journey to the World Championship.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BGSyg1Wwkw]

To be eNYGMAtic…

If like rumours say, this episode was designed to be a backdoor pilot for a potential studio-style TV show from the company, talked about as secondary series if and when the main Impact series finds a new home on cable, I am puzzled. Cali Combat was not the best special event we’ve ever seen.
Since Slammiversary, I’ve had this feeling the show is like an ice rink. Everybody is skating in, doing circles again and again, but no one seems to want to get out of it. We desperately need to move forward. The matches and shows have not been that bad, but they need a little more spice and fire to enlight your Nygma.
We will be in Mexico for the next few weeks, it will be an attraction, because AAA wrestlers are so talented and great to watch, but not obviously a moment to move forward. Something desperately needs to click. We need Brian Cage back. We need to know where Bound Glory will go.
On this very “Nygma can’t skate” note, until next week, never EVER forget to stay #eNYGMAtic…


Cali Combat Full Results:

  • Rhino vs Michael Elgin ended in a double count-out
  • Impact World Tag Team Champions The North defeated Reno Scum
  • Havok defeated Alisha Edwards
  • Impact X-Division Champion Jake Crist defeated Rich Swann
  • Willie Mack defeated Trey Miguel
  • Sami Callihan defeated Tommy Dreamer in a No-Disqualification match

All pics, videos, and screenshots courtesy of Impact Wrestling. Photomontage by @frenchnygma exclusively for @steelchairmag.

By Steph Franchomme

News, Reviews, Social Media Editor, Impact Wrestling Reviewer, Interviewer Well, call me The Boss... And French...

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