Right here, right now. Happy Day 5 of this year 2021. Of course, all my wishes to all of you for this new year, but I want to enjoy every day, every moment, not think “a whole year.” Be happy, be healthy, be true to yourself. Carpe Diem. We’re not out of COVID crisis and a “return to normality,” very far from it. Let’s take things as they come, not as we want them to come.
Right here, right now. Three weeks ago, IMPACT was ready to close the chapter 2020. And begin 2021 with a frenzied marathon of episodes, iPPVs, and PPV. It’s time to write the finals lines of the build-ups of Genesis and Hard To Kill, give some sense to what seems not to have. At least, try.
On the menu this week, from Nashville, Tennessee, Rhino and Cousin Jake will face off Eric Young and Joe Doering. In the last semifinals of the IMPACT Knockouts Tag Team Tournament, who of Havok and Nevaeh or Jazz and Jordynne Grace will win the finals sport at Hard To Kill? We will meet some of the Super X-Cup tournament participants as Ace Austin, Crazzy Steve, KC Navarro and Blake Christian will compete against each other. Matthew Palmer will try to win a 3-minute challenge against TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Sami Callihan and Eddie Edwards will face off (who said again?). And Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers will appear. So no more words, let’s get ready for some action, but your French Enygma Steph way, of course…
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 4, 2021
The Nygma’s Chart of the Week
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne were on commentary.
- Crazzy Steve defeated KC Navarro, Blake Christian and Ace Austin w/ Madman Fulton.
- From his video control centre, Sami Callihan said everything in life has a purpose. Eddie Edwards’ purpose is to show the world anything is possible if you work hard and play by the rules. But Sami is here for the reality check. We don’t win in a fair world, and bad guys win in the end. He gave Eddie advice for tonight, make sure Alisha isn’t at ringside. Thumbs up, thumbs down.
- AEW’s paid advertisement.
- In the bus, Kenny Omega, Don Callis, and the Good Brothers were celebrating with all their gold. Callis talked about the six-man tag match at Hard to Kill and said they have to win it. Kenny said it’s a foregone conclusion as Swann and the Guns have no history or chemistry, they’re fueled by hate and jealousy. They’re a team, but Kenny and the Brothers are a family.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 6, 2021
- In the ring, Cousin Jake, with Rhino, said it’s been the hardest few weeks of his life and that betrayal from family cuts deep. He pleaded for Cody to fix this and then called out Eric Young and Joe Doering. Here they come, with Cody bearing a shaved head. EY said Cody answers to him now because he showed him the truth. They’re looking at the real world and the design. The trio walked to the ring.
- Unlike what was announced first, Cody Deaner teamed up with Joe Doering to defeat Rhino and Cousin Jake. After the match, “The Church of EY” attacked Cousin Jake but Dreamer came out with a kendo stick to make the save and run off the heels. Dreamer said EY betrayed him so he knows what it’s like. He called them out for a 6-Man tag match at Hard to Kill under Old School Rules.
- Backstage, Matthew Palmer told Gia Miller he didn’t mean to rip Moose’s shirt and drove ten hours there to get his foot in the door. The way he saw it he had two choices: cower and be ashamed or get in the ring with Moose, possibly get his butt kicked, and hold his head up with pride. If he lasts the three minutes, the whole world will know who he is.
- In an office, Sherlock Acey Romero wanted to get to the bottom of how Larry was set up with Johnny Swinger. He said Steve told him that Swinger has information, and Swinger suggested he talk to the Knockouts. “Just barge into the locker room, I do it all the time.”
- In the ring, IMPACT Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo, with Kimber Lee, said she doesn’t know what Taya Valkyrie’s problem is. She noted that Taya got angry after Deonna beat Rosemary and then Deonna and Kimber cost Taya and Rosemary their tournament spot. She said the question is what happens when she locks in her submission moves and puts over all her accomplishments and names. She says the only question at Hard to Kill is whether Taya finally accepts reality. Taya then came out with Rosemary. She said Deonna is delusional but she’ll make it easy: she’s the longest-reigning Knockouts Champion in Impact Wrestling history and Deonna has never faced her. She said she’s seemed distracted with everything, but she never lost focus and she wants the Knockouts Champion. Deonna said she lost the title to Grace, who she beat. It’s only a matter of time before Rosemary leaves and Rosemary was pissed. She said to look around at everything she’s done and calls this the Age of the Virtuosa. She mocked Taya’s Longest Reigning claim and said when she breaks Taya’s arm at Hard to Kill, that won’t matter anymore. Purrazzo fired back on how Valkyrie seems to be slipping and losing all her allies over the years (John Morrison, John E. Bravo, and possibly, Rosemary). Taya got up in her face and shoved Kimber down. She said a husband jab is not very original and Deonna is scared of her, the unknown, and that she’s going to humiliate Deonna when she becomes a two-time Knockouts Champion and ends the Age of the Virtuosa and opens the Era de la Wera.
- Backstage, Rohit Raju told Chris Bey he’s been thinking of a New Year’s Resolution. He forgave Bey for wanting an X-Division Title shot at Hard to Kill. He said they’re even now, but Bey replied they aren’t even until he’s X-Division Champion again. He said he’s not here to argue, he came here in peace. Their problem is Manik and if they unmask him, it’ll be down to them. Bey liked that and asked where he is, Rohit said they should go find him.
- Backstage, TJP was reading a magazine when Rohit and Bey walked up, asking if he’s seen Manik. TJP said he’s probably close by but he hasn’t seen him. Rohit said they want a tag match of Manik and TJP against Bey and Rohit. TJP said he doesn’t get along with Manik, but if he sees him he’ll let him know.
- Backstage, Tenille and Kaleb with a K approached Rosemary and said she sees what Taya’s been doing, going after bigger and better things, and asked where it leaves Rosemary. Rosemary said their alliance is stronger than ever. Tenille said she knows about partner split and Kaleb listed all Tenille’s failed tag teams. She said one door opens when another closes. Rosemary knocked on Kaleb’s head, saying she was not interested.
- Knockouts Tag Team Title Tournament Semi-finals: Havok & Nevaeh defeated Jazz & Jordynne Grace. They will face Tasha Steelz and Kiera Hogan for the belts at Hard To Kill.
- Backstage, Rich Swann and the MCMG were with Gia Miller. Sabin said he wants to know who Omega and the Good Brothers think they are. Impact Wrestling was built on the backs of people like the Guns and Swann, and they better be ready at Hard to Kill. Swann said he’s been a Machine Gun from the inner city before, but now he’s repping Detroit with the MCMGs, one of the greatest teams in wrestling history. Since they brought up the Cleaner, Kenny Omega, he said the letters on his title belt don’t say AEW, they say Impact World Champion and he’ll be damned if he lets someone come in from another company to say they run this place. They’ll show Kenny and the Brothers that pain is temporary and pride is everything. Shelley said he’s not scared to get his ass kicked, and suggested they go to the bus. They slammed at the door, telling them to come out. Omega and the Good Brothers attacked from behind, of course, and beat them down, with Omega choking Sabin with his shirt. They mocked Swann and said Kenny is the REAL World Champion. Omega added these babyfaces were easy to kill.
- Backstage, Jordynne Grace apologized to Jazz and said winning the tag titles meant everything to her. Jazz said losing was not part of the plan, and Grace said she’s disappointed in herself and disappointed for Jazz. She apologized again, and Jazz said no apologies because she’s grateful she got to mix it up with the new generation. Grace wanted to give her one more match, a singles bout between them at Genesis. Jazz accepted.
- Backstage, Deonna and Kimber asked Father James Mitchell if it’s done, and he said Su Yung is not Su. But she’s not Susie, either. She came out in a suit and said she’s Susan.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 6, 2021
- Matthew Palmer won the 3-minute challenge against Moose, with a little help from Willie Mack who distracted Moose.
- Backstage, Ethan Page was on a couch, saying everything is unravelling since they lost the titles. The Karaté Man’s voice spouted Zen wackiness, and Page said he believed he derailed, but Karaté Man said life is sending him on another path and to trust. Page said he had plans, made plans, followed through, and everything just fell apart. Karaté Man said to deconstruct his life so he can come back better than before. Page said the problem is that everyone in the company has it out for Ethan Page and maybe this place is the problem. He asks Karaté Man if he’s listening, and he said yes. He’s listening to a man with no confidence or purpose, he’s listening to a b*tch. Page was incensed, they stared down as Page said he’s the best wrestler in Impact Wrestling history and it’s time for him to beat the crap out of Karaté Man. Karaté Man said all his matches are fought in Kumite (grappling hands, according to Wikipedia) and it will be done at Hard to Kill.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 6, 2021
- Sami Callihan vs Eddie Edwards ended in a double DQ when they KOed the referee. After the referee left, they continued fighting and Callihan dove into Eddie on the outside. He rolled Eddie in, who came off the ropes and dove onto Sami. Eddie got the bat and was looking a little psychotic. Sami begged off and backed up the ramp. Eddie stalked him, pounding the bat on the ramp and telling Semi to beg. Sami pulled out his phone and hit a button for the lights to go and Alisha appeared on the Tron trapped in a room. Eddie nailed Sami with the bat and went running for Alisha, yelling for her as he ran backstage. He found her but it was a trap as Shamrock was there. Sami came in as well and they beat him down. Shamrock said it’s Eddies fault as Sami wrapped Eddie in barbed wire. He nailed Eddie in the face with the bat. Sami blew Alisha a kiss when Ken said it’s Eddie’s fault again before they exited.
The Nygma’s Nutcracker(s) of the Week
– Ace Austin vs KC Navarro vs Crazzy Steve vs Blake Christian
Steve joked around with Navarro and Christian and got knocked down, the “veterans” fought on the outside while Christian and Navarro did some aerial work on the inside. Austin tripped Navarro off the ropes and pulled him out for a beatdown, then slid in and faced off with Blake. Fulton distracted them and Ace attacked. Austin ate a kick to the face and a headscissors takedown, Austin countered with kicks in the corner and an Irish whip. Steve sent KC out of the ring, locked Ace in The Tarantula. He leapt off into a fist to the gut, Ace connected with punches but got whipped into KC. KC replied with a hurricanrana to Steve, off the ropes and he hung Austin on the ropes. Springboard apron dropkick, he went up but Blake shoved him to the floor. Ace hit a kick to Blake’s head, he went up, the superplex attempt was stopped by Steve who went for a powerbomb but got blocked and knocked down.
Blake slipped out the back of a superplex, kicked Ace and dove onto Navarro. He punched Ace in the gut but ate a kick from the apron. Steve and Ace fought, Austin knocked to the floor. KC dove through the ropes onto Blake, Austin back in hit a Fosbury flop onto Blake and KC. Steve and Ace now fighting, with Steve in control in the corner. He went up to the second rope but got punched off the rope. KC was in and he took Ace down with a neckbreaker off the ropes. Black took KC down, hit a springboard but missed Ace, he was caught with a standing Spanish Fly and a frog splash. Steve worked on Blake now but splashed Ace. He ran at Blake but ate a boot. He charged and got caught into a Tree of Woe over Ace. KC came in, got caught with a short-arm reversal and a DVD onto Blake and Ace. Steve connected with a diving DDT off the top for the win.
– Eddie Edwards vs Sami Callihan
Sami attacked right off the bat (and with his bat) and took it to Eddie before the match started. The weapons came out and Sami assaulted Eddie. Eddie managed to duck a chair shot and briefly took control until Sami threw a chair in his face. Sami stood on Eddie’s Jewels of The Crown, then smashed Eddie who fought back. Technically, the match hadn’t started yet. Back from the break, still not in the ring, Eddie was throwing Callihan back first onto the apron. He hit Callihan with a chair to the gut and Callihan fired back with a ring bell to the head. Ring bell hammer to a chair against Eddie’s head, and he tried to jab the hammer into Eddie’s eye. Eddie avoided that and backed off, then took control. They traded blows on the outside, Sami connected with a back suplex onto the apron. Callihan was busted open slightly, and he hit a crawling headbutt to Eddie’s side.
Callihan walked away to take a breath, then threw a chair into Eddie’s head. He told Eddie he should have stayed home and then choked Edwards against the floor. Callihan picked Eddie up and measured him for a punch, then backed up and charged in with a kick to Eddie against the guardrail. Sami set up a chair, grabbed Eddie and went for a suplex through the chair. Eddie blocked it, fought back, and headbutted Callihan repeatedly. Callihan dazed in the chair, Eddie charged and Sami was up. Big suplex through the chair and Edwards was clutching his knee. They rolled him into the ring and the bell was rung. They were both up, they stared off and started trading shots. Eddie took control and the referee tried to pull him off, and he shoved the referee. They repeated this with Sami in control and shoving the referee. Eddie connected with a big boot and came off the ropes into a big hand. Sami came off into another boot and they knocked the referee down, who called the match off.
The Weekly “Enigma For a Nygma”
Dr Ethan and Mr Karaté Man… If you watched Talk N’ Shop A Mania II, you know The Karaté Man is one hell of a nutcracking spirit. But if you want to have a little taste of what could happen at Hard To Kill, I invite you to look at this video here. It’s not as if no one knows Ethan Page’s contract is coming to an end, but this video, this match and what it represents sadly make me think he is about to leave the company in a self-destruction move. That cinematic orchestra bout will be a must-watch, for sure.
The Nygma’s Noticeable Facts of the Week
– Another sense of the moniker The GivR
On Twitter, Cody Deaner was teasing a change on that day. And what a change it was. EY literally changed everything of him. He probably brainwashed him. “The Church of EY” has more and more members, disciples, whichever name you want to call them. I would rather say, zombies…
– KC, Tre and Blake, the New Kids on The Block…
The X-Division recently was lacking contenders, something that was easily noticeable in the way the Rohit vs TJP storyline was developed. Despite being more used to a violent style of wrestling (type their names in our website and you’ll find out a lot on what they’re able of), KC Navarro, Tre Lamar and Blake Christian are undeniably made for IMPACT. May the best win…
– Hell will freeze over at Hard To Kill…
I don’t think there was a better match for this storyline. When you went that far and when you pushed each other to limits you were not even suspecting yourself about, you have to do something dangerous, nasty, vicious. Three years after the infamous baseball bat incident, Eddie Edwards and Sami Callihan will enter one of the most gruelling matches in the history of TNA/Impact Wrestling, the Barbed Wire Massacre. Nothing but a hardcore match in a ring where the ropes are replaced by barbed wire and every toy is allowed, even the worst.
After Sabu vs Abyss at Turning Point 2005, Abyss vs Judas Mesias at Against All Odds 2008, and oVe (Sami Callihan and Jake & Dave Crist) vs LAX (Konnan, Ortiz & Santana) on January 18, 2018, IMPACT episode, Eddie and Sami will destroy themselves in something that is close to deathmatch than hardcore. It’s clearly not for everyone, it will probably be the opening match so to let the ones who don’t like that escape that bloody moment but, for me, this is heaven…
– Genesis and Hard To Kill
Genesis will be mostly all about X-Division, Hard To Kill will be purely Impact. Two Women’s Championship matches, some hardcore, some cinematic, some extreme hardcore, Impact Wrestling is changing gears and coming back to its roots. AEW may pay all the advertisements they want, Impact Wrestling has its special recipe, spicy sauce, etc. That means everything I said before. So their champion may come to do the main-event, Impact Wrestling is not ready to lose its soul. At least, for the moment…
To be eNYGMAtic…
I think it’s the longest weekly review I have ever written in nearly 4 years… But it was a Pearl Harbour-like episode. Don’t make me say it was bad because that’s not true but, to finish the build-ups of two important events, the company had to unleash the bombs. Cody Deaner’s evolution, Sami and Eddie going into barbed wire, Ethan Page in front of himself, Su turned Susie turning Susan, Rosemary now completely lost, the Super X-Cup talents, Matthew Palmer defeating Moose… I am speechless and at the same time super excited for the coming PPVs.
I took part in the Slammiversary CELL-Ebration last July and I have to tell you I spent two fantastic hours. So, if you hesitate to register to Hard To Kill CELL-Ebration, believe me, you won’t regret it. What they promise is true, you will really receive the gifts announced and, most importantly, you will spend a great moment. So go sign in fast.
On this “Nygma Loves Barbed Wire” note, until next week, take care, stay safe, watch wrestling, and never EVER forget to stay #eNYGMAtic…
Genesis Card (as of today):
- Moose vs Willie Mack – I Quit Match
- Super X-Cup tournament – The four qualifying matches, the semi-finals and the finals
- Jazz vs Jordynne Grace
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
- IMPACT Knockouts Tag Team Tournament Finals: Tasha Steelz & Kiera Hogan vs Havok & Nevaeh
- Ethan Page vs The Karaté Man
- Old School Rules Match: Joe Doering, Cody Deaner & Eric Young vs Tommy Dreamer, Rhino & Cousin Jake
- Barbed Wire Massacre IV: Eddie Edwards vs Sami Callihan
All pics, videos, and screenshots courtesy of Impact Wrestling, Basil Mahmud and AXS TV. Photocollage custom made by @frenchnygma exclusively for @steelchairmag.