IMPACT HITS & MISSES 1/20: W. Morrissey vs. Learning Tree, Hass vs. Alexander, Continuation of ROH Invasion, Tom Hannifan (Tom Phillips) commentary, Matt Cardona, Skybox

By Ross Leslie, PWTorch contributor

Tom Hannifan a/k/a Tom Philips (photo


HIT – Learning Tree vs. W. Morrissey: Morrissey continued his hot streak here with a killer one on two handicap victory over, Brian Myers’ team, the Learning Tree.  The result was never in doubt of course, but his execution of this angle and match bodes well for his babyface run and pursuit of Moose.  Unless there is a misstep or issue to come, the title match at No Surrender is pretty much a guaranteed banger at this stage.

HIT – ROH Title Match: Very solid performance from both competitors.  It wasn’t too flashy, but a good hard hitting pure style match.  The finish was a clever use of the rope break rules, and nice to see something a little different for a finish in an important title match.

HIT – Tasha Steelz vs. Chelsea Green: Pretty sound match, nothing spectacular here.  Steelz defeating Green is a great boost for her push as she eventually moves towards cashing in her title match that she earned at Hard To Kill.

Before we get there, we may have a tag match, if events after the match are any indication.  Steelz with some good trash talk, including talking about sending James back to her husband, which prompted James to get in the ring and along with Green sending the heels packing.

Huge fan of the winner having to carry a big Red X around with them that looks like they stole from the set of America’s Got Talent. 

HIT – Charlie Haas vs. Josh Alexander: In times gone by, you would say, “can you believe at 49 years old the performance that Haas gave here?!”  But we currently live in the world of Jericho being world champion in his 50’s, 50-something Dustin Rhodes doing Canadian Destroyers and Sting being a major attraction at 60 years old.

Haas was fine, Alexander clearly doing a lot of the work to make him look good, there was a fairly awkward mini moment during the run-in at the end, where Haas visibly stood still whilst anticipating the planned attack, but we can let him off with that, I think.

Pleased for Alexander to have gotten what must have been a dream match for him, it was good, Haas was fine and can probably stick around for a bit and have a few similar matches, for instance a match with any of the X-Division guys would be fantastic entertainment.

HIT – Continuation of ROH Invasion: Invading wrestlers buying a ticket to get in arena segment, check.  Continues to be exciting, I love the “Honor No More” tag, and all of the invaders, all bring a different thing, and a lovely bit of chaos to proceedings.

Nice to see more Impact roster members come out for the save this time as well.  We know where its going, its going to be a big tag match at some point, but will be interesting to see the development and where Gresham fits in.

HIT – Commentary: Hannifan, who must be from the only family in the world with that name, was clearly more confident and comfortable, and hopefully grows into the role.  I would think after some time he might create his own identity and cadences, as you can plainly hear he was trained by Michael Cole.

The rotating casts of guest co-commentators works well actually and D-Lo not hugely missed, which is a shame for him, of course.

MISS – Doering & Gallows vs. Slater & Rhino: Unfortunately, a miss for me, just not really that interested personally in all of this.  Not a massive Karl Anderson fan, but at least he was entertaining on co-commentary, but I don’t imagine anyone tuning in has the initial thought of “hope we see more of Doc Gallows tonight.”

MISS – Matt Cardona: Pre-COVID, Impact had a brilliant intergender program that just made sense and was really enjoyable, because it had a plucky underdog character in Tessa Blanchard (who would definitely not be a fan favorite if she returned now, but we will park that for the moment) and a reviled heel in Sami Callihan.

Cardona, currently babyface, challenging a woman, just seems a bit odd.  And quite hard to root for him to win, when essentially you are wanting a decent sized man to beat up a woman.

If Jordynne Grace wins, then it could be great for her, but Cardona defeating her to win the title would be crazy.

MISS – The Influence vs. Havok: A fair number of sloppy moments in this match makes this a miss for me.  It was reasonably smart to make The Influence only be able to defeat Havok on her own, so they took out Rosemary pre-match.  Havok looked cumbersome and Madison Rayne has never been a great worker, so just a bit clunky overall.

The vignette after match from The IInspiration was decent and was nice to see them mix the comedy with a serious message for the upcoming program with The Influence.

MISS – Skybox: The most depressing “skybox” in professional wrestling history.

Overall Show Thoughts: Not as strong as the cracking show we had last week, however a lot of positives to take from quality in-ring action mostly throughout, the World Title picture looks like its on an exciting path and the overall health of the women’s division continues to shine.

Scott D’Amore may wish to ditch the headset though, as that thing is cursed, just constant bad news getting fed to him.

PWTorch contributor Ross Leslie is a five-time Scottish Comedian of the Year finalist, radio writer, and life-long professional wrestling fan. Seek him out online at

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