Impact Wrestling is back tonight with their Homecoming pay-per-view (PPV). It emanates from the Asylum in Nashville, Tennessee. It airs tonight at 8 EST on PPV and the Fite TV app.
To get you all ready for it, we’re going to give you the quick rundown of the matches, our anticipation for each bout, and then our predictions. The anticipation will be a simple 1 to 5 with 1 being “not into at all” and 5 being “REALLY PUMPED”
I’ll be joined by occasional Impact reviewer and co-host of the Not Your Demographic podcast “Stunning” Stella Cheeks for the predictions and anticipation levels.
Let’s jump right into it!
Johnny Impact (c) vs. Brian Cage for the Impact world title
Brian Cage held the X Division championship since winning it from Matt Sydal at Slammiversary. He recently cashed in “Option C,” which means he could relinquish that title for a shot at the world title. (This was usually only allowed prior to Destination X, but I guess because that doesn’t exist any more, he could do it whenever?)
He’ll face Johnny Impact, who won the belt from Austin Aries at Bound for Glory. These two men are pretty much friends, and outside emotions leading to a brawl on the go-home show, it’s been pretty cordial.
There is a small story they’ve been telling about Killer Kross wanting to help Johnny Impact find his own killer instinct in regards to this match, so it is possible he will be a factor in this match.
Also, two dudes from Survivor (the show, not the band) will be in Johnny’s corner.
Kyle: 4 - The build wasn’t much, but I expect the match to be good. They’ve showed they have chemistry when they faced each other in Lucha Underground.
Stella: 4- The short build may not leave much in the way of story telling, but both of these wrestlers are top notch and have proven chemistry. Hopefully, there are some good fallout story lines to come out of this match! Give the Pursuit channel what they want.
Kyle: Brian Cage - They’ve been building to Brian Cage for awhile now. I can imagine maybe a situation where Killer Kross costs Cage and Johnny retains (and so they can do Johnny and Taya as champions together), but I think the real money is on Cage here.
Stella: Johnny Impact- This feels like his first big test as champion. Most other match-ups have been obvious and Johnny needs this win to solidify himself as the top dog. Plus, we may get a little heel Johnny with Killer Kross in his corner which could be interesting.
Tessa Blanchard (c) vs. Taya Valkyrie for the Knockouts championship with Gail Kim as the special guest referee
This is a rematch from Bound for Glory.
Tessa won that match, but she did have to hang on to the ring apron at one point when she was in trouble. While not the most egregious tactic, Taya was not happy about it and demanded a rematch, which the champion granted.
Blanchard’s tactics in that match were much worse, straight up knocking out the referee when it looked like Valkyrie may win.
She assaulted a referee weeks later and officials had a difficult time pulling her off the man until Impact producer and Hall of Famer Gail Kim had to get involved.
This eventually led to Gail being named the special guest referee in tonight’s match.
Kyle: 5 - Their BFG match last fall may be my favorite match in Impact this year, so of course I’m hyped for this. The Gail factor doesn’t add much for me either way, but it makes sense in the story they are telling.
Stella: 5 - It’s Tessa Blanchard vs Taya Valkyrie. I’m obviously very excited!
Kyle: Taya Valkyrie - Feels weird picking against Tessa, who is THE woman in Impact currently. But with the Gail Kim factor, the story seems to call for a change. Perhaps it will lead into a Tessa/Gail feud where Gail will actually lose as her retirement match. (In her actual retirement match, she ended up winning the title and immediately relinquishing it.)
Stella: Taya Valkyrie- If Gail wasn’t a factor, I may have picked Tessa, but with her preventing Tessa from pulling heel shenanigans this feels like Taya’s match to lose. Taya is a fantastic wrestler and if Tessa can’t cheat I don’t think she’ll be able to beat Wera Loca. Selfishly, I want to see Gail and Tessa beat the hell out of each other so Taya winning is also a win/win for me.
Rich Swann vs. Jake Crist vs. Ethan Page vs. Trey Miguel in an Ultimate X match for the X Division championship
With the X Division championship relinquished, there were four qualifying matches for an Ultimate X match to crown a new champion.
Kyle: 4 - This should be a fun match. Ultimate X matches usual are. There isn’t much story between these guys outside them wanting to win the title, which is why I’m maxing at a 4 and not a 5.
Stella: 5- I am so excited to see an Ultimate X match live!! I would’ve have been a four if I was watching at home because like Kyle said there is no real story, but I get to see flippy guys do flips IRL!
Kyle: Rich Swann - Rich seems to make the most sense of these four. Two of them are part of trios groups and Ethan Page isn’t a traditional X Division guy (then again, neither was Brian Cage).
Stella: Ethan Page - Okay, I don’t actually think he will win, I think it will be Swann, but god dammit I want Page to win! His qualifying match with Matt Sydal was awesome and I want to see more of that from him.
LAX (Santana & Ortiz) (c) vs. the Lucha Bros (Pentagon Jr. & Fenix) for the tag team championships
LAX wanted to defend their titles against the best team in Impact and that team is Pentagon and Fenix.
Unfortunately, Konnan heavily advised Santana & Ortiz against it, saying it wasn’t time. They went and issued the challenge anyway. This enraged Konnan, who has seen too many friends become enemies due to matches like this. In fact, he won’t even be in LAX’s corner tonight because of it.
That’s a problem for LAX. Last summer, Konnan went missing, and they went on a bad losing streak. Could that be a factor tonight as well?
Kyle: 5 - This match is going to be so good. Easily a match of the night contender. I’d be super pumped if it were just these two fighting. The added wrinkle of Konnan’s worries adds even a little more spice to it.
Stella: 4- These guys are going to tear it down! I only give it a four because I hate Konnan and his involvement will also taint my enjoyment.
Kyle: LAX - They’re going to prove they don’t need Konnan to win. Also, Pentagon is more suited as a main event guy than a tag champ.
Stella: LAX - They have been stuck in a story loop with the OGz for months. This is their chance to prove that they are championship worthy.
Eddie Edwards vs. Moose in a Falls Count Anywhere match
Yes, this feud is still going.
Their match that was planned at Bound for Glory, set up because Moose stabbed Eddie in the back, turned into a tag match with Tommy Dreamer joining Eddie and Killer Kross joining Moose.
The fallout from that pay-per-view involved Moose threatening to have Eddie arrested if he attacked him again. Because of that, Eddie’s (estranged?) wife Alisha had Eddie committed to protect him from this fate.
While at the Shady Acres psychiatric facility, he met Raven, who convinced Eddie to escape. Edwards heeded this advice and left to attack Moose.
Kyle: 2 - Yeah, I’m done here. This feud has been going on for awhile and was never really good. I was hoping Bound for Glory would be the end of it but apparently, we had another three months in store. The only thing preventing this from a “1” is the fact that they have pretty good matches together.
Stella: 3 - On one hand I am SO EXCITED to see Eddie Edwards be a big weirdo live. On the other hand, this story is stale AF and I am done with it.
Kyle: Eddie Edwards - Honestly, I’m in a “who knows?” state with this one. Figure Eddie is more likely to enter the title picture sooner than Moose, who had a big title match in the last year.
Stella: Eddie Edwards - He has a kendo stick.
Willie Mack vs. Sami Callihan
oVe cost Willie Mack a spot in the Ultimate X match when they interfered in Willie’s match with Jake Crist to allow Jake to win.
Since then, Willie has been on a mission to take out Sami Callihan. Last week, after a six man tag, oVe put Mack through the table with the All Seeing Eye.
The most interesting part of this feud is the fact that Rich Swann, who is friends with Mack, has no desire to help him. He claims he doesn’t want to go down that road with Callihan. And oddly enough, Callihan has passed on every opportunity to attack Swann as well.
Kyle: 3 - This should be a good match, but the story is still too young for me to be too invested.
Stella: 3- This will be fun, but there are no real stakes.
Kyle: Sami Callihan - With Swann not looking to help out (and already in another match), Willie is going to have to deal with at least a 2 on 1 handicap.
Stella: Sami Callihan - Never bet against oVe. They are dastardly.
Allie & Su Yung vs. Jordynne Grace & Kiera Hogan
Allie’s trip into the Undead Realm last fall to save Kiera Hogan left her without her soul. Because of that, she has transitioned into a darker version of herself. It also has left her now allied with Su Yung, the woman with whom she feuded most of last year.
Her friend that she sacrificed herself to save (Kiera) has since become her target. Last week, Allie defeated Kiera Hogan and then was joined by Su Yung for a two on one post match attack. That was when relative newcomer Jordynne Grace made the save, setting up this tag match.
Kyle: 4 - I’m a big fan of Jordynne and I’m also very hopeful that Rosemary finally returns tonight.
Stella: 5- I love all four of these women. Throwing Jordynne into this established feud makes me even more excited! She needs to her making her mark on Impact outside of Katerina and this match is the perfect opportunity to do so.
Kyle: Allie & Su Yung - My guess is the soulless ones go over and then Rosemary makes the save.
Stella: Allie & Su Yung - BRING BACK ROSEMARY YOU COWARDS.
Eli Drake vs. Abyss in a Monster’s Ball match
At Bound for Glory, Eli Drake ended up going through a table at the hands of the Monster Abyss after he successfully defeated James Ellsworth (in his one appearance for the promotion) in an open challenge.
After that, Eli was incensed, claiming that Impact was an unsafe working environment. He threatened to sue the company, which got the attention of Abyss’ alter ego Joseph Park Esq.
However, that was all a ruse. When Eli had Park go over the details of the lawsuit, he unleashed a brutal attack on the hapless attorney. This was all just a plan to get revenge for Bound for Glory.
The Namer of Dummies then went on a crusade about how he is the “last of a dying breed” and hardcore guys like Abyss have ruined this business. This led to a brief feud with Tommy Dreamer, where Eli beat Dreamer in a hardcore match.
Management has since informed Drake he’ll be competing against the Monster in a Monster’s Ball match.
Kyle: 3 - Mainly because of Drake. I’ve seen enough Monster’s Ball matches to know what to expect from Abyss so there’s no much to get excited for here.
Stella: 4 - Eli Drake has been selling the hell out of this match - I even loved the bit with Raven in the Asylum! Plus, it’s a monsters ball, how can you not love a monsters ball?
Kyle: Eli Drake - He has to win this match. Abyss isn’t really full time any more. This is to put Eli over.
Stella: Eli Drake - If Eli doesn’t win, he’s a dummy.
Kyle: This is a solid show with a handful of matches that can rule. In that sense, this should be very good.
Unfortunately, with the new, lesser TV deal and the word of a new promotion that could be difficulty to compete with, it feels like Impact is starting to fade away. It’s not as if they’re going out of business or leaving us forever. But the last two weeks makes me feel Impact is going to become less relevant than they had once been.
Plus, this is the end of it for me since I don’t get Pursuit. I’ll surely keep an eye on the promotion, but not being able to watch like I used to means all the fallout of this show will be something I’m not going to be following as it happens. That detracts a tad for me.
Stella: This is a stacked card. They may be headed into the wild west (i.e. The Pursuit Channel), but they are kicking off 2019 with a bang. There is literally not a match that I am ambivalent on, they each have an x-factor.
And I’ll be there live, which only adds to my excitement. I’ve invested so much energy into being an Impact fan that I am choosing to look on the positives! There are some amazing wrestlers on this card and I can’t wait to cheer them on.
That’s how we see it Cagesiders. Let us know what you think of tonight’s card and if you’ll be tuning into Impact’s latest PPV tonight. And keep it here to CagesideSeats.com for all of the Homecoming coverage starting at 8 EST.