Impact Wrestling
Final Resolution 2020
December 12, 2020
Skyway Studios
Nashville, Tennessee

Watch: FITE

Impact Wrestling held their final monthly special of the year, Final Resolution, this past Saturday, with Rich Swann defending his Impact World Title against Chris Bey in the main event.

Old School Rules
Tommy Dreamer def. Larry D

You know things aren’t going well when you end up on your phone a few minutes into the show’s opening match… Sadly, this was probably even more plodding than I thought it’d be and it’s remarkable that one of the things I found most interesting was how the wooden coffee stirrers ended up stuck in Larry D’s hair.

As became the story of the night, the finish was a deep source of frustration. Acey Romero came out to back up Larry D, before John E. Bravo ran out to level things. Romero ended up crashing through the table he’d brought into play before Dreamer hit Larry D with a DDT for the win. This was only 12 minutes but it felt much, much longer. *

Havok & Neveah def. Team Sea Stars

It was a match that happened. There were some nice double-teams but also a fair bit of clunkiness. It picked up down the stretch with Havok & Neveah securing the expected win with the wheelbarrow cutter. **

Tenille Dashwood & Kaleb with a K def. Eddie Edwards & Alisha Edwards

I actually thought this was pretty OK. It was nothing particularly groundbreaking, but it was a relatively simple, straightforward tag team match. Kaleb’s gear here was comically bad, which I’m sure was the point, and Tenille’s involvement was pretty minimal until the finish. Alisha looked set to join Eddie Edwards in making a dive to the outside when Sami Callihan’s ICU gimmick came on the titantron and affected the lights. There was no Sami but the distraction allowed Tenille to throw Alisha off the top rope and pin her while Kaleb held down Eddie on the outside. **1/2

Post-match, Callihan emerged from ringside and laid out Eddie with another bat shot and threatened to piledrive Alisha, only for security to run him off.

Hernandez def. Fallah Bahh w/Special Guest Referee: Kiera Hogan

This was the shortest match of the night but you know what, it worked for me and I’m definitely the high man on it. Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz were highly amusing in their roles as special guest ref and special ring announcer respectively and the action in the ring was worked at a decent pace. Hogan gave Bahh a slow count on a Bonsai drop, leading the big Filipino to jaw-jack with her. That allowed Hernandez to skin the cat, knock him down and hit the big splash for the win. **1/2

Post-match, Tasha Steelz couldn’t find the roll of notes in her fannypack, so this story must continue…

Eric Young def. Rhino

There was an obvious ceiling to this match but the action was decent and it was on the way to being the best contest of the night at this point (a low bar I know), but then someone sounded the dodgy finish klaxon. We got a ref bump and while Brandon Tolle was down, Young went to hit Rhino with the mask he wears to the ring. Cody Deaner and Jake Something ran down to stop him, only for Deaner to turn on Something and nail him with the mask before bailing. Young then hit Rhino with the mask for the win. **

X-Division Championship
Manik def. Rohit Raju (C)

The greatest X-Division Championship reign in our lifetime™ has finally come to an end.

TJP winning the title off Raju in the Manik costume was well-telegraphed but I thought they’d wait and do it at Hard to Kill instead of rolling with it here. However, I’m glad they did as this was the shot in the arm the show needed.

Worked at a great pace throughout, this match illustrated to me how much Raju has grown as a performer this year. I know I’m a little bit biased by this point but I truly think he’s been the promotion’s biggest revelation of the year. The match made a change from some of TJP’s more recent contests as there was less emphasis on the submission spots but that made sense given that he was working as Manik instead. Both men got big nearfalls before Raju’s antics finally got the best of him. After using the referee as a de facto tag partner on a jumping knee, Manik/TJP was able to catch him with a schoolboy for the victory. ***1/4

Knockouts Championship
Deonna Purrazzo (C) w/Kimber Lee def. Rosemary w/Taya

We got a bit of shenanigans on the outside with Kimber and Taya but this was a largely solid match. Rosemary got early control with a spear before Deonna was able to assert some dominance by working over the challenger’s arm. After powering out of the Fujiwara Armbar, Rosemary bust out the Red Wedding for the first time in ages for a nearfall. That was to be it for her though, as Deonna then got her up for the Cosa Nostra (Gotch-style) piledriver and that was it. **3/4

The way the post-match went, I’m inclined to think Taya is Deonna’s next challenger.

Karl Anderson def. Ethan Page

Before the opening bell we got footage of Karl Anderson entering the hallowed bus to catch up with his old friend Kenny Omega, who said he wanted to see more of the Machine Gun of old. Given The Good Brothers are supposed to be working a match in AEW in the near future, it all made sense.

The match itself told the story of The North’s continuing implosion ahead of Page’s contract expiring. Josh Alexander barely got involved in the match, which was your archetypal gentleman’s three. There was some fun back-and-forth before Page took control with some rest holds, allowing Anderson to get the big babyface comeback down the stretch with his big moves. After knocking Page off the top rope, Anderson hit the Gun Stun (which Page sold in a way Dolph Ziggler would be proud of) for the win. ***

Impact World Championship
Rich Swann (C) def. Chris Bey

As I noted in my preview, this was one of the very rare occasions in which two black wrestlers headlined a big show for a North American promotion. Over the course of 20 minutes, these two had a good match that veered towards great and was the best thing on the entire show by a country mile.

We had quite the methodical start, with both men showing off their athleticism and counters, playing into the narrative that they’d watched a lot of each other’s work, and Swann working a series of arm and neck holds. Once Bey broke free of those, he went into the ascendancy and we got a natural escalation in pace, with Bey pulling out all the stops, like the Panama Sunrise and a Torture Rack, only for Swann to counter him with his trademark series of punches and kicks.

After Swann powered out of Bey’s closest nearfall of the match, the champion hit two of his big push kicks before heading up top for the Phoenix Splash to retain. ***3/4

This was just a shade below notebook worthy for me for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it suffered from the issue that the whole product has for months in the empty studio and that’s a general lack of urgency that makes matches feel longer than they would have with the natural peaks and troughs of an audience. In terms of the work, it was hurt by Bey never feeling like he had a chance to win and the comparatively slow start. All of that said though, this was still very good and they left a lot of meat on the bone for what can hopefully be a great series of matches.

Post-match, Moose came to stare down Swann before leaving the ring. That’s going to be your Hard to Kill main event in January.

Final Thoughts

On the whole, this was not a good show. I hesitate to say it was a bad show because the final four matches ranged for solid to very good, but the opening five were entirely forgettable. I’d like to speak to the person who thought it was a smart idea to have distraction finishes or ref bumps in six of the nine matches, as that’s something that feels dredged out of the dark times in the promotion’s past. There were also a bevy of technical issues on the night as the promotion continue to face teething problems with their Impact Plus overhaul, leading to the show ending up free at a time when they could have probably sold more given the buzz they had during the week.

There is a wider conversation to be had here about the promotion’s identity going into 2021 but this isn’t the place. If you have time, Swann/Bey was entertaining but there’s nothing else I can say you need to go out of your way to see.