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Impact Wrestling preview (Dec. 13, 2018): Unknown relations

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Impact Wrestling returns tonight (Dec. 13) from Sam’s Town Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is the fifth episode from the most recent set of tapings.

Advertised for tonight:

  • Cage vs. Moose
  • Rey Fenix vs. Santana
  • Tessa Blanchard and Taya Valkyrie face off
  • Dave Crist vs. Rich Swann in an Ultimate X qualifier
  • Trey Miguel vs. Trevor Lee in an Ultimate X qualifier
  • Katarina’s plan for Jordynne Grace

As per usual, here are our five questions about Impact tonight:

1) How long have Cage and Johnny been friends for?

This question stems from the close of last week’s show, when Brian Cage came down to the week to help Taya Valkyrie before Moose or Tessa Blanchard could put the hurt on her. Josh Mathews and Don Callis casually informed us that Cage is good friends with Johnny Impact and Taya Valkyrie, almost as a reminder of their relationship.

But it was surely news to me.

This was an addition to the championship story that felt abrupt. In Impact, Cage has been a lone wolf. He once teamed with the Lucha Bros in a pay-per-view match, but he’s still portrayed as a one man army. They’ve never given us anything to make us think that Cage and Johnny are casual acquaintances, let alone good friends.

Unless it was represented in a minor segment that has slipped my mind, they are likely depending on us to know of their history outside the promotion. That’s never something creative should rely on. Pretend we only watch Impact and then go from there. That way, finishes to last week shows would build off something we definitely know.

Tonight, Cage fights Moose because of what Moose did to the Machine’s friends last week. Perhaps in the build throughout the episode, they’ll elaborate more on the relationship between champion and challenger.

2) Is a “face off” a fight?

Impact is advertising a “face off” between Tessa and Taya ahead of their championship fight at Homecoming.

Is this talking about a face to face verbal confrontation? Or actually physicality? The promo ad for the segment shows Taya submitting Tessa from last week. That gives the challenger a ton of momentum headed into their match.

I would assume this is a verbal confrontation as that works better in this build. They’ve already had multiple matches together. An in-ring promo segment would shake things up a bit.

3) Will Willie Mack help or hinder Rich Swann’s Ultimate X chances?

Last week, Sami Callihan and David Crist cost Willie Mack in his Ultimate X qualifier against Jake Crist. Now he’s gunning for revenge.

Rich Swann has his own match against the other Crist brother to qualify for the Ultimate X himself. There’s no doubt that Mack is going to be looking for that revenge during this match, when all of oVe will certainly be present. Will that help Rich Swann even the odds? Or will Mack be too obsessed and cost his friend, perhaps by DQ?

It would surprise me if both Crists are in Ultimate X and Swann seems like a perfect fit for the gimmick match. In that regards, things are looking good for Rich. But at the same time, it feels like the Willie/Swann friendship could be a tenuous one.

4) Is Konnan’s fears coming to fruition?

Konnan didn’t want LAX to defend the tag titles against the Lucha Bros because he worries they’ll hate each other afterwards. He has seen too many friendships end due to ultra-competitive matches. He doesn’t want to see that with these two teams, both whom he considers “his boys.”

Last week already got a bit chippy when Pentagon Jr. was a little too “in your face” with his “Cero Miedo” hand symbol. Tonight there’s actually a match between the respective members.

Konnan will surely be ringside to try to keep things civil, but these teams both have angry streaks so it will be a tough task.

5) Is Trevor Lee long for the company?

There were rumors floating around that Trevor Lee gave his notice to Impact. He himself refuted that on Twitter. That should be that, though it’s surely not unheard of for a talent not to be completely forthright with rumors.

But there’s no doubt that Lee has be rarely used and when he has, it’s been a losing effort. Tonight will likely be no different facing a member of the Rascalz, a new act they want to get over. Maybe he’s going to eventually take his leave. Maybe he’s not. Either way, his booking in Impact has been disappointing.

Impact Wrestling returns tonight at 10 PM ET on Pop TV. Who’s watching?

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