SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Overall – HIT: The Impact wrestlers really came to play in this joint show with River City Wrestling, bringing more action than I anticipated for an Impact Wrestling special. First, there is the venue. It is held in the Freetail Brewery, the “brewery” in Bash at the Brewery 2 Special. Watching the wrestlers wrestle in front of giant tanks is a sight to behold, lending to a very unique viewing experience. Either because of the venue or their return from the holidays, the wrestlers seemed truly inspired to put on a good show.
RCW Tag Team Championship preshow match: Royal Taxation vs. Pillars of Destiny – HIT: I enjoy these cosponsored Impact events since I can discover indie talent I haven’t seen before, and boy howdy did The Pillars of Destiny, Hunter and Titan make an impression on me. Two massive individuals (D’Lo on commentary said they might be 6’ 5’, 6’ 7’) they easily dwarfed their opponents, Richie Garcia and Brandon Vice (who were no slouches in the ring themselves). My biggest criticism is that, as an outsider not familiar with the River City Wrestling ecosystem, in my view, The Pillars sold way too much for Royal Taxation. Good match and I’ll keep an eye out for these guys. The Pillars of Destiny retain their championship.
RCW International Championship preshow match: Anthony Andrews vs. Luigi Primo vs. Alberto del Frito vs. Randy Price – MISS: Definitely a motley bunch of indirific characters. First there is Anthony Andrews, not the best look when you think “wrestler”, Luigi Primo, who in an apron tossing pizza dough, Alberto del Frito, as in the actual corn chips Fritos, and finally Retro Randy Price who hails from the past and is rocking a retro vibe. I normally like this stuff. Not this time. Luigi was the most charismatic of the bunch and wins the championship by pinning Andrews in a clunky match.
Zachary Wentz vs. Ace Austin – HIT: Good match involving Ace Austin working Zachary Wentz’s knee leading to the knee failing Wentz giving Ace an opening to hit The Fold for the win.
RCW Women’s Championship match: Christi Jaynes vs. Kiera Hogan – PUSH: Kiera Hogan comes in as the champion and is able to successfully fend off Christi Jaynes and retain her title. The match was just okay, but I do like the progress Kiera has made with her in-ring work ever since she first debuted for Impact.
RCW Championship match: Kongo Kong vs. Fallah Bahh – HIT: I loved this match. These are two athletic super heavyweights just going at each other. The champion Fallah Bahh has great control of the crowd and they went with him the entire match. I want to see Fallah given a bigger spotlight on the Impact show proper.
***WARNING*** Joey Ryan sighting ***WARNING***
Michael Elgin vs. Joey Ryan – HIT: Setting aside the penis stuff, this is a damn good match. Michael Elgin plays the crowd well here. Elgin “touches it” but is able to break the “hold” with a nasty lariat avoiding getting flipped. Joey Ryan goes for it again, but Elgin makes the referee “touch it” as a counter and delivers the buckle bomb, Elgin bomb one-two punch for the win. After the match, a dejected Joey Ryan flips the referee to make the crowd happy.
*** END OF WARNING ***
Mahabali Shera vs. Rhino – MISS: What was turning out to be a pretty boring match ends with Moose jumping Rhino causing a disqualification. The only reason I see for this match to exist is to eat up time. At least Mahabali Shera got some work in with a veteran like Rhino.
RVD vs. Eddie Edwards – MISS: Just another match. RVD and Katie Forbes continue to be obnoxious and their ringside shenanigans never allowed the match to get going. Alisha Edwards comes out to even the odds but instead serves as a distraction causing Eddie Edwards the match. This may be setting up the next feud for Eddie and RVD.
The North vs. The Rascalz – HIT: Hard for The North, Ethan Page and Josh Alexander, not to score a hit these days. Excellent work from them, and the Trey Miguel and Dezmond Xavier iteration of The Rascalz. I just wish commentary would finally give us the name of their finisher (and a few other signature tandem moves they use). Whatever it is called, The North applied it for the win.
Brewery Brawl match: Taya Valkyrie vs. Jordynne Grace – HIT: I sometime wonder if it is an inside joke within the wrestling industry to come up with as many different names for a street fight match. These two women beat the hell out of each other in a great match. Jordynne Grace and Taya Valkyrie have good chemistry together. Taya played up her heel character and Grace showed great babyface fire. From audience participation, to a mid-match drinking contest (appropriate considering the venue) it’s a wild ride. Grace score the win with the Grace driver.
Elimination tag team match: OVE vs. Rich Swann & Willie Mack & Brian Cage & Tessa Blanchard – HIT: Another good match marred by the unfortunate injury to Rich Swann who was considered eliminated when he was helped out to the back. The match centered around the conflict between Tessa Blanchard and Sami Callihan with Sami disrespecting her and Tessa firing back. Eventually they fight to the back, eliminating them both. Brian Cage soon after eliminates Dave Crist with the Drill Claw and the rest of the wrestlers are eliminated in quick succession, leaving Madman Fulton standing as the sole survivor. Excellent end to an excellent show.