This week, in the second part of Impact Wrestling Best of 2020, it’s time for the Match of the Year and the Moment of The Year, chosen by the fans. I prepared a little something of a Top 5 by myself, match wise, and be sure I had my little idea on the Moment of the Year.
It’s hard to look back when the present and the future are about to collide. As we are slowly closing the book of 2020, we will start 2021 with 14 crazy days, IMPACT every Tuesday, Genesis on January 9 and Hard To Kill on January 16. I know “Red Bull© gives you wings” but if you know something stronger, and legal, I take it. 
Like last week, I’ll review for you this Best of 2020, Part 2, and share with you The Nygma’s own 2020 Impact Wrestling Favourites of The Year. Were my choices the same than the fans? No more words, let’s get ready for some action, but your French Enygma Steph way, of course…

The Nygma’s Chart of the Week

I won’t review the matches again, but add a few words to the reviews I’ve already done in the following section. Josh Mathews and Impact EVP Scott D’Amore hosted the episode (thanks again for the Nutcrackers in front of the chimney, guys…). This episode was dedicated to the memory of Jon “Brodie Lee” Huber. 

  • Josh Mathews and Scott D’Amore were in front of the chimney, Josh said he got coal for Christmas. They congratulated Deonna Purrazzo for her big wins last week and hyped this week’s Moment of the Year and Match of the Year reveal, as well as the main event of Hard to Kill. D’Amore called Tuesdays and Wednesdays must-see TV and noted that we don’t even know what’s happening tomorrow. Mathews said Slammiversary was also an incredible night and looked back at the Moment of the Year (see below).
  • Willie Mack’s New Year’s Resolution is to take this as far as he can and travel the world.
  • Scott D’Amore joked that his resolution is to be nicer to Matthews, in fact not. He and Matthews bantered a bit, and then they looked back at Ace Austin’s match with Willie Mack at Rebellion.

  • Willie Mack defeated Ace Austin to become the new X-Division Champion at Rebellion.
  • Matthews and D’Amore talked about Moose and Mack’s I Quit match at Genesis and how Mack may be in over his head trying to take on Moose in that kind of match.
  • Tasha and Kiera said they want to get an accessory with “Impact Knockouts Tag Team Champions” on it and say their goal is to become the Champs.

  • Matthews and D’Amore talked about the tournament, with Kiera and Tasha in the finals and the other finalist team to be determined still. They ran down previous great Knockout tag teams before Matthews brought up Taya’s challenge to Purrazzo for Hard to Kill.
  • Backstage, Deonna said she doesn’t normally interact with Knockout peasants, but this challenge interests her because of Taya’s status as longest-reigning Knockout of all-time. And if Deonna beats Taya, she will lay the foundation for the empire they’re building. She used her Age of the Virtuosa tag line and said that she accepts the challenge. She said when her next masterpiece is revealed, Taya’s fate is sealed.

  • Rich Swann’s resolution is to bring Impact to the highest level in 2021.

  • Matthews and D’Amore then looked back at the year of Rich Swann. A video looked at Swann’s time off due to injury, his return at Slammiversary, his teased retirement and attack at Eric Young’s hands. That led into his recovery and rehab to return at Bound For Glory and beat Young for the Impact World Title.

 

  • Jordynne Grace said her New Year’s Resolution is to respond to people less on Twitter.

  • Matthews and D’Amore talked about having the Motor City Machine Guns back in Impact. D’Amore said they’re a team that revolutionized the industry in terms of tag wrestling and wrestling in general, noting that they preceded the Young Bucks and inspired a generation of wrestlers.
  • IMPACT – The Fallout From Slammiversary – The MCMG defeated The North to become the new IMPACT World Tag Team Champions.
  • Matthews asked D’Amore if he was surprised the Guns won the titles so quickly, and he said he wasn’t because the Guns are historic. He put over The North as classic style much like FTR.

  • Johnny Swinger’s resolution is a happy New Year to Bill Watts.
  • D’Amore and Matthews looked back at Johnny Swinger being accused of Bravo’s murder. Acey was investigating the situation because of Larry being set up. Acey confronted Crazzy Steve and said that since the lights went out when Bravo was shot, maybe Steve heard or smelled something. Steve said he can take his suspicions elsewhere. He noted that he was on the bride’s side, though he did hear some scuttlebutt from the groom’s side. He said Acey may want to chat with Swinger.

  • Matthews and D’Amore commented on Wrestle House, which D’Amore chalked up to doing new things during the pandemic. Matthews suggested that he and D’Amore be on Wrestle House, and D’Amore just wanted Matthews in his own house far away. They did tease a new instalment in 2021.

  • Matthews hyped the X-Division title match at Hard to Kill. They talked about how Rohit had the Defeat Rohit challenge and TJP’s attempts to challenge for the title.
  • Final Resolution – Manik defeated Rohit Raju to become the new IMPACT X-Division Champion.
  • Brian Myers doesn’t do New Year’s Resolutions, because he’s the best him all the time.

  • Matthews and D’Amore look back at Ken Shamrock’s induction into the Impact Hall of Fame at Bound For Glory. They also talk about Shamrock being a Hall of Famer in both Impact and the UFC, with D’Amore talking about how seriously he takes what they do. He said to see people throw love and accolade his way was great to see, then pivoted into Shamrock being under Sami Callihan’s sway.

 

  • Eddie Edwards said he doesn’t make specific New Year’s Resolutions because he tries to set goals, and his goals are to continue to get better and better.
  • Time for Match of The Year, the 5-Way Impact World Title Elimination Match between Ace Austin (w/ Madman Fulton), Eddie Edwards, Trey, Rich Swann, Eric Young.
  • Eddie appeared in a video and thanked the fans who voted for all the awards. He noted the match is special to him as his second World Title win and a new beginning. He also wanted to thank everyone at Impact in the back and the office, and the fans. He added, let’s keep it rolling in 2021.

The Nygma’s NutCrackers of the Week

Click on the name of the event to find the original review of the show and the match.

One of the best matches of the year for one simple reason, The Mack was so focused he owned the match from the beginning to the end. It was one of the very first shows taped in an empty arena because of COVID and I wish we could hear the joy of the crowd because Willie Mack became X-Division Champion (we’re currently at 33 weeks of shows without crowd). The man who made his way to the ring that night was different, his purple eyes were the ones of a future Champion. Between the Coast to Coast and the 6-foot height stunner, this match was intense, fascinating and so damn good. That’s what X-Division is about.

 

If I had to choose between all the matches related to The North and The MCMG, that would not have been my match. The match at Bound For Glory was so unique in the masterplan The North built, but that’s my personal choice and I would not deny the fact that seeing Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin becoming World Tag Team Champions again was something as predictable as great (remember, the title change the IMPACT after the PPV…). As a long-time TNA/Impact Wrestling fan, it made me happy and nostalgic at the same time. Shelley and Sabin have so much to say in a ring the book of their legacy is plenty of pages ready to be written on.

 

  • Final Resolution – Rohit Raju (c) vs Manik for the IMPACT X-Division Champion.

More than the match itself, I would retain this feud and the attitude of Rohit Raju that was his undoing. We are not going to make as if we don’t know TJP is under the costume of Manik. The way Raju provoked TJP again and again, the way he drove Scott D’Amore crazy and led the EVP to say to TJP to find “another way” to win, all of this had finished with this match, and this loss. I want to say if Rohit Raju if broke our nerves in 2020, I suspect it was his design and his way to have the attention he thought he deserved. He was right, Raju shined in 2020 and that was more than deserved.

 

  • Slammiversary – Ace Austin (w/ Madman Fulton) vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Trey vs. Rich Swann vs. Eric Young for the Impact World Championship

See below.

Impact Wrestling 2021 Awards vs. The Nygma 2021 Awards

– Moment of the year: Slammiversary Debuts & Returns

My personal Moment of The Year was the records broken by Taya Valkyrie and The North as Champions, I will talk about that after. EC3, EY, The Good Brothers, Brian Myers, and the MCMG came back, and Heath made his debut at Slammiversary. The build-up with the mysterious man (the Invisible Hand?), all the names teased in the promos, that was something fun to follow (and to screencap). We all imagined who will be there and I think we all find a way to be happy. You know, fellow readers, I just bought every moment of the EC3 storyline, with the “Control Your Narrative” idea. It blew my mind and I can’t wait to see EC3 back in the Impact Zone.

– Match of the year: Slammiversary – Ace Austin (w/ Madman Fulton) vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Trey vs. Rich Swann vs. Eric Young for the Impact World Championship

I try to remember which one I chose and I have to make a confession. I blame the company for putting aside from the possible choices some excellent matches involving wrestlers who were fired. Tessa vs Sami for the title was in the list, but I wish I could find one of the Eddie vs Elgin bouts. I’m trying to say I couldn’t choose a match, I mean ONE match. Then, this match was a great one for many, many reasons. Eric Young coming back, Rich Swann back from injury, young seeds like Trey and Ace Austin give a chance to the World Title. And Eddie Edwards, the heart and soul of Impact Wrestling, winning his second World Championship, something he had deserved for so long. This match was essential to define the rest of 2020, something we can only be aware now.

 

No Top 5 Matches of the Year. I will submit some matches but without saying if one was better than another. Of course, comment on these choices on my social media @FrenchNygma.

  • EC3 vs Moose – Undisclosed Location Match – Bound For Glory
  • Rosemary vs Havok – Full Metal Mayhem Match – Rebellion Night Two
  • Deonna Purrazzo vs Jordynne Grace – Iron Woman Match – Emergence Night Two
  • Willie Mack vs Ace Austin – Rebellion Night One
  • Any of the Eddie Edwards vs Michael Elgin matches
  • Tommy Dreamer vs Larry D – Old School (Candy Corns) Match – Final Resolution
  • The North vs the MCMG vs The Good Brothers vs Ace Austin & Madman Fulton – Bound For Glory

I think you understood Bound For Glory is for me the PPV of the year…

The Nygma’s Nutcrackers of this Best Of

  • TNA

These three letters were important this year. At first, it was supposed to be a show during WrestleMania week and a special TV event that took place on March 31. It aired on TV but the show was cancelled due to COVID. That didn’t mean the story was over and it became the purpose of Slammiversary. Bringing back talents who made the history of the company. The future was written in the past.

  • Breaking records, barriers, grounds… despite a context like no other

All this year, I asked you every single week, which barriers to break? Each and every week, Impact Wrestling was finding a reason to change the game, reinvent itself and push boundaries. Taya Valkyrie and The North became the longest-reigning Champions in their categories. Jordynne Grace entered an X-Division Championship Match. EC3 and Moose pushed the limits of the cinematic orchestra. Dr Ross resurrected Rich Swann’s leg. Two women competed for a World Championship usually opposing men. Let’s not forget the Iron Woman Match.
All of this happened in empty arenas, something sad but absolutely necessary. Entertain the fans doesn’t mean putting them in danger, and putting its roster in danger. The show must have gone on, and it went on. Right here, right now, I say it one last time, too much will never be enough.

  • Killer Knockouts

Kylie Rae, even if she left since, Tasha Steelz, Kimber Lee, Nevaeh, and of course Deonna Purrazzo, the newest additions in the Knockouts Division have been such a breath of fresh air it suddenly became obvious something would happen. Right in June, I told you what the company confirmed a few months later, it was time for the Knockouts Tag Team titles to come back. I wish the company could sign Team Sea Stars, Killer Kelly and Renee Michelle because we hadn’t seen enough of them. They are made to be Knockouts and join a legendary division.

  • The cornerstones

Look at the IMPACT opening once, the first three faces you will see are Eddie Edwards, Rosemary and Moose. Normal? Absolutely. They have been with the company before I even started to write on it. They have pushed boundaries even before we started to notice it. They have been embodying the fact there’s a place for everyone in this company, every kind of wrestler, every character. This year, Moose learnt to control his narrative and, damn, that’s scary. Rosemary got married and found some friends (and damn, that’s scary). And Eddie Edwards has remained the same, a true leader for the company. I will add to this group my dear friend Sami Callihan who arrived just after I started. His 2020 may not have been as prolific as the previous years but he is and remains an important part of this roster and the most vocal supporter of this company.

The Yearly “Enigma For a Nygma”

  • Where is intergender?

With Tessa Blanchard, the company chose to develop that kind of wrestling and, with her departure, it fell apart. It was one of the barriers the company exploded and I don’t see any reason not to find some intergender matches back on IMPACT, weekly, on iPPV or on PPV. Kimber Lee, Taya Valkyrie, Havok, Nevaeh, Jordynne Grace, these ladies can do it. Then, when it comes to the men, Ace Austin, Willie Mack and more can do it. Sadly, I think the recent Kenny Omega/Invisible Hand storyline won’t make it happen soon. But that’s definitely something not to forget.

To be eNYGMAtic…

The episode was once again nicely done. I’m puzzled without being surprised by the second part of the 2020 Awards. Saying more would be unnecessary because, as I said earlier, Genesis and Hard To Kill are just around the corner. And I will have a lot to tell you…
Some wrestlers left, some wrestlers arrived. The history of the company is based on this constant turnover of talents, it has always been. Impact Wrestling stole the year 2020 despite an unprecedented context. As we’re about to live the last hours of 2020 (I’m late this week…), we can only wish 2021 will be very different, with fans back, arenas stacked.
I will thank everyone like I did last year, Executives, Creatives, Talents and PRs. I have to because they know how grateful I am to be a part of their family. Behind the scenes of the reviews or the interviews, there is a mutual trust I’ve valued day after day. This year represents more than 20 interviews and media calls, 52 weekly reviews, 4 PPVs reviews, 3 or 4 iPPVs reviews and a few features. It’s a lot of time but it’s also a lot of pleasure. Because Impact Wrestling earn it and because we earn it…
In 2021, the motto is: right here, right now. Let’s enjoy the moment, let’s celebrate our chance to be a fan of a great wrestling company.
On this very “Nygma is Definitely Hard To Kill”, until next week, until next year, never EVER forget to stay #eNYGMAtic…

Genesis Card (as of today):

  • Moose vs Willie Mack – I Quit Match
  • Super X-Cup tournament

Hard To Kill Card (as of today):

  • AEW World Champion Kenny Omega & IMPACT World Tag Team Champions The Good Brothers vs IMPACT World Champion Rich Swann & The MCMG
  • Three-Way Match for the X-Division Championship: Manik (c) vs Rahit Raju vs Chris Bey
  • IMPACT Knockouts Championship Match: Deonna Purrazzo (c) vs Taya Valkyrie

All pics, videos, and screenshots courtesy of Impact Wrestling, Basil Mahmud and AXS TV. Photocollage custom made by @frenchnygma exclusively for @steelchairmag.