If you were kind enough to join me with the latest AEW recap of Winter is Coming or you watched the event yourself, you know that Kenny Omega, current AAA Mega Champion and recently crowned AEW World Champion, will appear tonight with Don Callis at his side at some point. If you have been paying attention to Impact, you know that this is the go-home show for the last PPV of 2020 for Impact, Final Resolution, in which the main event will be Impact World Champion Rich Swann facing former X-Division Champion and one of the rising stars of the promotion, Chris Bey for Swann’s belt.
But before we dig into more about Final Resolution, we have an episode of Impact television to experience.
The episode starts with a quick video of the Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley title bout last Wednesday on AEW programming, which was a weird touch to have the first two minutes of your show feature one of your guys getting involved in helping someone else win a belt of another promotion for an overarching story that involves the both of you also coming to Impact tonight in a bus. Cool. Josh Mathews gets to discuss with Omega and Callis later tonight.
Josh Alexander vs. Chris Sabin (2 ½ stars)
A pretty short, decent match to start the night off with some action that needs to keep things going. Sabin’s athleticism is still in reserves, and Alexander got to show off a lot more power than I’m used to seeing from him, but that’s because I’m used to seeing him in tag matches. When Sabin finally does get all the momentum for a finish, Alexander counters, and Ethan Page on the outside is telling Alexander to drop him on his head and really stick it to him. Still, Alexander doesn’t dig that idea but tries it anyway, and it backfires on him completely. He gets rolled up and loses, leaving Sabin and Shelley to run off to the back while The North regroup.
Backstage, Chris Bey is talking to Moose, his tag team partner for tonight’s tag match against Rich Swann and Willie Mack. Rich tries to get on the same page with Moose, and they come to an understanding, but Moose is cold and focused while Bey is confident and friendly. They clash a bit, but nothing foreboding.
After a legendary advertisement bought by Tony Khan for AEW, we get another match.
Brian Myers vs. TJP (1 ½ stars)
A lot of pick-and-prod offense from both men, with both really trying to get the upper hand, but neither gain control for too long. It is a constantly simmering back and forth, deeply unaffecting match. Myers looks a lot better than I have ever seen, which isn’t saying a lot. TJP looks as athletic as I remember. Nothing was added by having these two really face each other, and when Myers gets a win, TJP is the one they focus on – standing backstage with the X-Division champ and taunting him about his open challenge.
Cody Deaner is backstage, taking this match coming up later tonight against Eric Young very seriously. He tells his cousin that he doesn’t want him at ringside and wants to do this alone, to which Jake reminds him that Joe Doering will be on Eric’s side. Cody relents but reminds him that he’s desperate to prove himself.
Eric Young vs. Cody Deaner (1 star)
This match was flat from the start and almost refused to pick up. Just when something important goes right for someone, the other turns the table. Typically, there’s a lot of give-and-take, but here it’s a tug of war that isn’t fun to watch. Two guys are trying too hard to really get both of themselves over and work a story here, but throughout, especially when Cody starts yelling about not being a nobody, it just feels so forced and wrong. The previous match wasn’t much of a great match either, giving me the promising idea of wanting to go elsewhere with my attention. Eric Young finishes with a super good looking piledriver (literally the best thing by far about this match) gets the win.
After the match, Young and Doering go to decimate Cody, but Jake gets involved. He fails immediately, but Rhino comes out before the real damage is dealt. He’s got a lead pipe. Cool.
Tommy Dreamer has a series of discussions backstage, one consoling someone with a hurt stuffed animal that was shot or something, and then Dreamer goes to the assailant. They set up a match for the man’s freedom. Acey Romero stares on. Dreamer does whatever the hell he wants, including bothering his boss, Scott D’Amore. But nothing can ruin his mood. He’s looking at his phone, and he’s more than happy with what is going on outside with Kenny Omega. Dreamer is worried. Cool.
Impact Knockouts Tag Team Championship Tournament – Deonna Purrazzo & Kimber Lee vs. Rosemary & Taya Valkyrie (2 ½ stars)
Lee and Purrazzo work together at the beginning, breaking up and isolating whichever legal member. A slow start, but a good start to show each team’s story getting here. Rosemary gets a decent comeback early on, really building the real story of this match – Deonna and the title she already has with the situation to get another title and the lack of focus on the “right now.” All four women do a decent enough job working the short match, and Rosemary gets a solid showcase at the end here, getting the pin on Kimber Lee and basking in the glory of advancing in the tournament with Taya.
Backstage, Deonna is upset with D’Amore now, saying she has too much on her plate. He rubs in the fact they lost and then up’s the ante by saying Deonna is defending her title against Rosemary at Final Resolution on Saturday.
Sami Callihan is in the ring now, and he’s got some stuff to say. He’s the best in Impact, and he’s the man. He brings up the baseball bat situation with Eddie Edwards and watches the whole thing from the ring. He goes on for far too long. Alisha Edwards interrupts him, to which Sami doesn’t stop or even change pace; he actually doubles down on his aggression. Eddie Edwards shows up out of nowhere, and they tussle.
Chris Bey & Moose vs. Rich Swann & Willie Mack (3 stars)
By far the best match on this show; Bey & Moose didn’t gel as a team should, but they got the job done early on. Even with Mack, Moose’s pure physicality was probably the most obvious part of this match after witnessing it, but Bey’s efficient offense with perfect movement overshadowed the entire match. This was one of the shorter matches on the card, but every move was weighted with importance. Bey gets the pin on Mack and gets some major momentum heading into the title match against Swann. It literally felt like Rich Swann wasn’t even here in this match for being the main champ.
The interview… At this point, it had been mentioned like 12,000 times, so it was way past time to do this. Callis interrupts Mathews and genuinely owned this entire interview, really all of his promo as thick as possible. Early on, the best part was the nameplate change on the AEW title, to which Kenny gets handed the plate, and he offers it to Mathews, referring to Jon Moxley as Ambrose and mentioning their time in Tough Enough, season 1. They then played into their history, which has been explained multiple times now on multiple programming levels. He makes the fine point of pointing out that he’s coming back to wrestling was all for Kenny and this plan, not just to be a color commentator in New Japan. They name their situation with Mox last week “The Golden Screwjob,” and Callis continues to mention he and Omega make “history.” Josh Mathews grows a set of balls and asks Kenny if winning the way he did “tarnishes” his legacy. Omega legitimately defends himself by mentioning that Mox struck Callis and his rebuttal was the microphone spot. Omega then reminds us he’s in all of the greatest wrestling matches of all-time worldwide, even Zimbabwe. It would’ve been nice for a North Carolina bit. Kenny takes off his glasses and finally reveals his eye for the first time since he sustained the injury.
To compose himself after getting upset with Mathews, Omega contains his entire new persona in the ending. He launches into being a comic collector and compares his titles to the most coveted items in the industry.
Callis: “We got titles here—”
Kenny: “Why not add a little to my collection? Who knows—”
Kenny isn’t the Cleaner.
Kenny is the Collector.
He gives one more hint before leaving us with a goodbye and a good night, BANG.