The quest for the new Women's Tag Team Championship kicked off the night. Nia Jax and Tamina, who I was high on teaming up, took the first qualifying match in an impressive fashion. Before that, the two had a stare down with Dean Ambrose following his loss. The Moral Compass wanted to air his grievances but did not want any parts of the Samoan women. Alexa Bliss (face?) and Mickie James trotted out to rehash an old feud but were merely a means to put Jax and Tamina into the chamber match.
Lio Rush had some very strong words to say about Brock Lesnar and how he compares to Bobby Lashley. They proceeded to show Finn Balor just what that meant when Lashley stepped in to face Balor during the Irish star's promo. It was a wicked confrontation that saw Lashley standing tall by the end of the exchange. I don't know when and if we will see Bobby and Brock face off.
We were set to come into Black History Month with an R-Truth title reign. For being attacked and injured by Nia, Truth was given a US Championship match against Shinsuke Nakamura. They truly did a job selling this match because I was certain Truth was going to put Nakamura over as usual. Then it happened, Truth scored a roll-up pin for the win! I don't even recall him executing many of his signature moves. If that wasn't enough of a shock, Rusev would make his way down to challenge the new champion, and R-Truth accepted. This set up us seeing R-Truth win and defend the US Title all in one show.
The promoters want to keep us on our toes over here. They would book the New Day in a four-team tag match to determine the next to face the new SmackDown Tag Team champions. We were quickly brought back to Earth after they were the first team to be eliminated from the match. Xavier Woods did provide some excitement from the ringside to accompany his mates involved in the match.
This week's abbreviated show was highlighted with a Harlem Heat dressed Street Profits facing the Forgotten Sons. I've noticed the change of pace with Angelo Dawkins starting the match. There were a lot of chops and hard shots exchanged among these men. Montez Ford also provided a highlight of a spot with his dive over the top rope to the outside. I was hype to the fact that 3 of the 5 men involved in this contest are former Marines, but that's not this recap. There was a tease of Jaxson Ryker and Angelo coming to blows that may lead to a future encounter. Tonight, it served as a way to get the win for the Forgotten Sons.
The multi-woman dance among Kiera Hogan, Allie, and Su Yung continued this week. The new players are Jordynne Grace and Rosemary, and both came to play. First, I have a clearer understanding of the ring and its physical stature because I've had the opportunity to see Kiera in person. Seeing her having to stand on the tip of her toes just to get her face even with the top rope, says a lot about the height of other competitors. Secondly, this is the first time I've seen her execute the swinging neckbreaker / pin combo finisher on Impact! Earlier, I had to seek out YouTube clips just to see her signature move set.
Dezmond Xavier led his Rascalz buddies to face Eddie Edwards and Eli Drake in a tag match that will most likely serve as a jumping point for a program with Edwards and Drake. The Rascalz did serve as an interesting set of opponents with their styles causing the frustration for their foes. In the end, it was Drake using nefarious tactics to take Dez out.
The Moose & Killer Cross show continued to be a thorn in the sides of Johnny Impact and Brian Cage to the tune of a tag match. Moose and Cross would keep Impact away from Cage for as long as they could during an exchange where we saw Moose mimick Johnny's kip up only to fall back to the mat. Cage couldn't quite catch either of his opponents clean enough to do any serious damage mainly due to the fact that they avoided direct confrontation when possible. A miscue between Impact and Cage was enough to seal the victory for Moose and Cross.
Ring of Honor
It has been less than a year since Eli Isom lay outside the ring during the Bully Ray set at Supercard of Honor; what a time these few months have been. We find Isom in the finals of the tournament to face the ROH TV champ, and his opponent is Silas Young. Young brought the top-notch performing and gave Isom plenty of work to sell. In the back of my mind, I would love to see a Jeff Cobb and Eli Isom slugfest, but I knew a Silas Young run at the title was on the horizon. I still wonder if that one-count kick out by Eli was a no sell or a well placed moment to put him over.