by Patches Chance
Impact Wrestling comes back home to The Asylum in Nashville, Tennessee for a stacked event that will start 2019 with a bang. After the bar set by their last two pay-per-views Slammiversary and Bound for Glory, Impact has big shoes to fill to set the tone right for the new year.
If the stacked card lives up to the hype, there’s no doubt Homecoming can hit that bar and send Impact barreling into 2019 and their new television deal with a mountain of momentum. Here’s how the card is looking going into the night.
Full Card for Homecoming
- Tag Team Match: Jordynne Grace & Kiera Hogan vs. Allie & Su Yung
- Singles Match: Willie Mack vs. Sami Callihan
- Falls Count Anywhere Match: Eddie Edwards vs. Moose
- Monster’s Ball Match: Abyss vs. Eli Drake
- Impact World Tag Team Championship Match: LAX (c) vs. The Lucha Bros
- Ultimate X Match for the vacant X-Division Championship: Ethan Page vs. Jake Crist vs. Rich Swann vs. Trey Miguel
- Impact Knockouts Championship Match with Gail Kim as Special Guest Referee: Tessa Blanchard (c) vs. Taya Valkyrie
- Impact World Championship Match: Johnny Impact (c) vs. Brian Cage
The following article will be updated throughout the broadcast of Impact Wrestling Homecoming with ongoing results and analysis. Please refresh this article to get the most recent version.
Before we get rolling, props go out to the video package crew at Impact Wrestling. Between the pre-show and the cold open for Homecoming, there’s no way not to be excited for this show. Well done, everyone.
The first non-title match of the night came with Allie and Su Yung taking on the new pairing of Kiera Hogan and Jordynne Grace. This darker version of Allie under the control of Su Yung is increasingly scary, and she looked as focused as ever at the side of The Undead Bride. Jordynne Grace and Allie got things started with some early action, but Allie quickly retreated to her corner and tagged in Su Yung. As soon as Kiera Hogan was in the ring, Allie was eager to get back in and go after her former friend. Without a soul, Dark Allie worked well with Hogan and continued to isolate Hogan.
After wearing down Hogan, it was Grace who finally got the hot tag and joined the fray. From start to finish, Jordynne’s power was on display. She even managed to simultaneously powerslam Allie and powerbomb Yung with some assistance by Hogan getting them into position. It helped keep them in control for a bit, but a well-timed red mist by Su Yung took Jordynne out of the picture temporarily. With Hogan alone, Allie nailed her with a Codebreaker then called for the disgusting wedding glove of Yung to finish Kiera with the mandible claw for the win.
Su Yung called for The Undead Bridesmaids to bring out the coffin and it looked like Hogan was set to go in, but the coffin was opened to suddenly reveal Rosemary! After spending weeks on the shelf, Rosemary has returned to save Kiera Hogan. She sent Yung into The Undead Bridesmaids and turned her attention to Allie in the ring. Rosemary slowly approached her and looked ready to reconnect to her soulless former friend, but Allie screeched and retreated the second Rosemary tried to touch her. Rosemary is back, and that’s big for Impact.
Without missing a beat, it was then time to see Moose and Eddie Edwards go to war in a Falls Count Anywhere Match. Moose barely made it a few steps down the ramp before being attacked by Eddie Edwards and the battle was on. Eddie’s advantage didn’t last long, as Moose quickly took control with a few huge powerbombs onto the apron.
That was just the beginning, as the hardcore nature of the match was on display from bell to bell. Things quickly spilled into the crowd and Eddie Edwards came flying off a balcony onto Moose. Once things were back near the ring, Moose filled the ring with chairs and soon busted open Edwards. The utter carnage was just about non-stop, but things really picked up near the end. After back and forth action, Eddie Edwards backdropped Moose over the ropes and sent him crashing through a barricade laying between the ring and some steel steps.
It was the beginning of the end as Eddie retrieved “Kenny” the kendo stick. After several devastating shots, Eddie’s wife Alisha Edwards suddenly ran down the ramp to stop him. Rather than controlling Eddie’s impulses, she grabbed “Kenny” and wailed on Moose with strike after strike after strike. Eddie followed up with a DDT to seal the deal and pick up the win. With Alisha back at his side, Eddie Edwards is more dangerous than ever.
The next matchup featured “The Draw” Sami Callihan taking on Willie Mack. While this is just a budding rivalry, Sami’s all or nothing personality and Willie Mack’s lack of fear has already pushed things up a notch. Dave Crist was at ringside for Sami, and made his presence felt throughout the match. Callihan’s aggression was on display and helped him take control early, but Willie Mack was not going down without a fight.
Showing his power and sneaky athleticism, Willie Mack took the fight to Sami with some huge moments. Mack kicked out of some of Sami’s best shots, including a stiff V-Trigger (as called by Don Callis) paying homage to former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega. Mack fought back and hit a Stunner that looked like it would give him the upset over Callihan, but Sami got his foot on the rope.
Willie went to the tope rope to finish things off, but Dave Crist grabbed him by the foot and provided enough distraction for Sami to recover. Callihan brought Mack crashing down with a top rope death valley driver, but Mack kicked out at one! Sami followed it up with a clothesline from hell that would make JBL jealous, but Mack kicked out at one again! It was a hell of a fight by Willie Mack, but Sami finally nailed him with a stiff piledriver to pick up the win.
The next and final non-title match of the night was the Monster’s Ball, and boy did it live up to the history of that match. Abyss has been in nearly every Monster’s Ball match ever held, and his expertise was on display early. Abyss set the tone right off the bat by using a staple gun on the chest of Eli Drake. The man who calls himself “The Last of a Dying Breed” found himself at the mercy of wrestling’s most deadly weapons.
With trash cans, chairs, and tables galore, there was no avoiding the violence. Things spilled out into the crowd at one point and Eli Drake tried to take advantage with a low blow and a rolling storage case, but Abyss didn’t let that advantage last long. Back in the ring, Drake got Abyss stunned on the ropes. He picked up steam and went to knock Abyss off the apron, but “The Monster” instead sent Drake flying through tables on the outside with a huge overhead belly to belly suplex.
To the surprise of no one, Abyss eventually brought his familiar thumbtacks back into the mix. Drake quickly tried to take control by grabbing a handful of thumbtacks and throwing them at the face of Abyss, but Abyss ducked and the tacks instead went into the face of the referee. This left him out and unable to count the pin after Abyss hit a Black Hole Slam, keeping Eli Drake alive.
With Drake down, Abyss looked to find a new weapon to inflict damage and realized he could hear the crowd chanting “JANICE! JANICE! JANICE!” The name of Abyss’ trademark nail-filled 2×4 rang through The Asylum, and he answered the call. Abyss tried to finish off Drake with it, but Eli fought back and began to wail on Abyss with a chair. Shot after shot, Drake refused to let up. He probably hit Abyss with it nearly 20 times, if not more. Drake finally took a wooden paddle and broke it over the head of Abyss to take the pin and survive Monster’s Ball with a win.
In Pursuit of Gold
As Homecoming opened, the ring was already set up for Ultimate X. It’s been over a year since the death-defying and dangerous matchup graced Impact Wrestling, and this one is filled with talent. Things were off to a lightning quick start with exactly the kind of chaos you’d expect from a four-man Ultimate X Match.
“All Ego” Ethan Page took advantage early making use of his power advantage. While agility normally wins out in a match like Ultimate X, Page made great use of his skills by dominating opponents and chunking some of his lighter competition around like sacks of potatoes.
Impact did unfortunately hit a hiccup during the match as the title fell early, but they did very well keeping the fall and the replacement of it completely off camera.
If it wasn’t for a glimpse of a ladder and the crowd chanting about ladders, I might not have even noticed. Fortunately, it didn’t overshadow an otherwise spectacular opening match that saw Rich Swann finally snag the belt to take the win and become the new X-Division Champion.
The second championship contest of the night saw LAX put the Impact World Tag Titles on the line against The Lucha Bros. This was expected to be one of the hottest matches of the night, and that was on display immediately as Lucha Bros came out flying and took an early advantage.
Honestly, it’s hard to encapsulate how spectacular this match was in words. It was one of the most fast-paced tag team spectacles I’ve seen in years. Both teams wanted to lay everything on the line inside the ring, and that’s exactly what they did. On more than one occasion, both teams hit a string of unbelievable moves that showed just how much athleticism there was between these four competitors.
From a Canadian Destroyer used to break a pinfall, throwing their partners like foreign objects, and even Fenix hitting a double stomp to the head to break up a pin, there were so many unforgettable moments in this match that they were nearly impossible to keep up with. I can’t do this match justice, but I can tell you that it’s required viewing for any self-respecting wrestling fan.
After a hard-fought contest that was high speed from bell to bell, LAX finally hit a string of moves on Fenix while Pentagon was down on the outside to pick up the pin and retain the Impact World Tag Team Titles. Afterwards, Konnan made his way to the ring. He reiterated that he didn’t think LAX and The Lucha Bros could separate the professional from the personal, but admitted he was wrong. All five of them celebrated LAX’s win and the spectacular match.
The penultimate match of the night saw Tessa Blanchard defend her Impact Knockouts Championship against Taya Valkyrie with Impact Hall of Famer Gail Kim as the Special Guest Referee. Both Blanchard and Valkyrie came out looking prepped for war, and they took it to each other as soon as the bell sounded. Taya Valkyrie was off to a hot start, but it didn’t take long for the champion to take control and grind things to her pace.
Tessa got Taya to the outside and then sent her barreling into the barricade. With Taya still down, Tessa hit a stiff dropkick to the head that sandwiched Taya against the steel barricade. Back in the ring, Tessa stayed in control with an arm wrench that looked like she was channeling her inner Zack Sabre Jr. However, Taya Valkyrie had a lot left to give. She fought back with a string of clotheslines and a big german suplex.
Tessa tried to counter with a quick Buzzsaw DDT, but Tessa countered with a northern lights suplex and double stomp for a close count of two. Taya followed up with a picture perfect moonsault, but Tessa rolled out of the way. Tessa hit a big spear shortly after, but went to strike Taya and accidentally hit Gail Kim. Tessa hit the DDT, but Gail wasn’t there to count. In frustration, Tessa went out to grab the belt and use it on Taya.
Gail tried to stop her, but a tug of war ended with the belt accidentally striking Taya. Gail reluctantly counted the pin, but Taya still kicked out. Tessa’s frustration with Kim reached a boiling point and she finally shoved her one too many times. Kim suddenly hit Tessa with Eat Defeat, and Tessa was knocked right into the arms of Taya Valkyrie. The challenger hit The Road to Valhalla for the pin to become the new Knockouts Champion!
Finally it was time for the main event of the evening as Brian Cage challenged Johnny Impact for the Impact World Championship. It was well documented before the match that these two are no strangers to one another. While they’d clashed before, this was their first time to face off in Impact Wrestling. The big fight feel was definitely at play, as Brian Cage came out in full Terminator mode to live up to his moniker of “The Machine.”
Things started with Brian Cage using his power as expected. Impact tried to fight back, but Brian kept control in the early on with lots of great power moves. The champion didn’t let it last forever, as a few well-timed counters let Johnny leverage things back into his pace. Johnny eventually sent Cage to the outside and he climbed to the top turnbuckle. In one of the most mind-boggling moves all night, Johnny hit a cartwheel knee to the face off the top rope that hit Cage with pinpoint precision.
Back in the ring, Cage managed to find his footing again and hit a series of strong strikes. The crowd was definitely feeling Cage’s rise, and even started chanting “new champ” while the match was still going on. They felt “The Machine” closing in, and they weren’t alone. Johnny fought back and managed to nail Starship Pain, but Cage kicked out at one. Impact looked shocked, and the crowd went nuts. Brian Cage rose like The Terminator and began to fight back.
Johnny fought it off briefly and got him to the top, suddenly hitting a huge top rope spanish fly. The sheer force with which they struck the ring made it look like things were over, but Cage still kicked out. Brian went into another gear, suddenly hitting Johnny with a popup powerbomb, buckle bomb, and spinning sitout powerbomb. Somehow Johnny kicked out. Cage followed up with Weapon X, but Johnny managed to get a foot on the bottom rope.
Cage rolled out of the ring a few moments later, not realizing he was right next to Johnny’s castmates from Survivor at ringside. Johnny’s buddies started shoving Cage, and the referee came out to break things up. With the ref still keeping them in check and calming things down, Cage got back in the ring and hit the Drill Claw. He had Johnny down for well over the count of three, but the referee wasn’t there to count out. A few moments later Cage went for a deadlift suplex bringing Johnny from the apron to the inside, but the champion squirmed out and rolled up Cage for a questionable count of three. Cage’s shoulders seemed barely down, but the referee’s decision is final.
Furious about the way things ended, Cage threw the title at Johnny’s feet and left the arena. Despite what may have seemed like a hollow victory, Johnny Impact celebrated with his wife, new Knockouts Champion Taya Valkyrie. They were standing tall on the ramp and the logo came on screen to signify things were over when Killer Kross came barreling out from the back and attacked Johnny. Taya tried to stop it, but got powerbombed into the third row for her troubles. Kross laid out Johnny and has clearly stakes his claim for the Impact World Championship.
- Rich Swann def. Ethan Page, Trey Miguel, and Jake Crist to become the new X-Division Champion
- Su Yung & Allie def. Jordynne Grace & Kiera Hogan
- Eddie Edwards def. Moose
- Sami Callihan def. Willie Mack
- Eli Drake def. Abyss
- LAX def. The Lucha Bros to retain the Impact World Tag Team Titles
- Taya Valkyrie def. Tessa Blanchard to become the new Impact Knockouts Champion
- Johnny Impact def. Brian Cage to retain the Impact World Championship