clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Impact Victory Road 2020 recap & reactions: Rohit Raju steals the show as X-Division Champion

Impact offered Victory Road (Oct. 3, 2020) as a special event on the Impact Plus app. The three title bouts elevated the event from regular TV episode into special event status. Let’s break it down from main event to opener.

Eric Young retained the Impact World Championship against Eddie Edwards. (Full recap here.) Edwards fought valiantly, but Young did too much damage to the previously injured leg. When it came down to the nitty-gritty, Young escaped Emerald Flowsion to hit a piledriver and secure an ankle lock for victory.

Afterward, Rich Swann ran in gingerly to save Edwards from more punishment. Swann and Young will officially clash at Bound for Glory on October 24.

This bout was definitely a satisfying main event. It started hot with Edwards cooking, slowed a little as Young laid the foundation for success by attacking Edwards’ neck and leg, then the excitement boiled into a frothy brew for Edwards’ comeback. The result was never in doubt, since Young and Swann have too much story developed to drop the title at this event. However, Edwards did his darnedest to make the fight as exciting as it could be given the circumstances. Edwards always wins me over with these gutsy performances.

Deonna Purrazzo retained the Knockouts Championship against Susie. (Full recap here.) Kimber Lee and Kylie Rae were ringside. The challenger put up a tough fight and had momentum near the end. Purrazzo was hoisted up for the Panic Switch, but she escaped to snap Susie’s arm. Purrazzo cinched in a double armbar for victory.

Afterward, the mean ladies were bad. They beat up Rae. Purrazzo used a chair to injure Susie’s arm then an armbar to injure her other arm. Purrazzo will face Rae at Bound for Glory on October 24.

Purrazzo has “it” as the Virtuosa with her style and movement. She backs up her words talking about playing chess and painting masterpieces. When watching Purrazzo compete, it is easy to see her game plan unfold and lead to success. It is simple yet the process remains entertaining.

Susie left me impressed as well. I haven’t seen many Su Yung matches. Susie has been a doofus in Impact, so her mat work was surprising. In this match, there was a little bit of comedy, but she played it straight for the most part. Susie actually looked like a legitimate wrestler. It made me excited for when Su Yung is finally unleashed.

Josh Alexander pinned Alex Shelley to win a four-way with Ace Austin and Karl Anderson. This was a singles tease for the four-way tag title bout at Bound for Glory on October 24. The rules were two legal men at once with tags to get in. All partners were ringside.

The match devolved into chaos when Alexander picked up Anderson in a fireman’s carry position and accidentally knocked out the referee. Madman Fulton, Luke Gallows, Ethan Page, and Chris Sabin all went wild on each other. Once the ref was revived, he noticed the insanity and ejected the four extra men.

That led to the finish where the previous tag rules were completely ignored. The four competitors hit a bunch of moves on each other. Alexander was the last man standing to pin Shelly on a double underhook piledriver.

This bout unfolded in a paint by numbers sort of way. There was the standard match to start, ref bump for outside shenanigans, and finished with a break down of rules and flurry of signature maneuvers. That said, it was still entertaining for what it was. All four of those guys possess excellent ability.

This was the most unpredictable bout to call going in. I would have favored Austin, since he is adept at picking opportune moments. Alexander winning was a pleasant surprise, although, that probably doesn’t bode well for The North’s chances to win tag gold at Bound for Glory.

Trey Miguel defeated Moose. The big man took his anger of the stolen TNA Heavyweight Championship out on Trey. Trey showed fighting spirit, but he was manhandled for the majority of the bout. Trey’s big flurry was stifled when Moose caught him on a moonsault. Back in the ring, Moose was ready to end it. That’s when EC3’s logo flashed on the big screen. Trey surprised Moose with a roll-up to win.

Moose immediately exited the ring on his way to the production truck to find EC3. Moose was locked inside with a supersonic grinding noise to hurt his ears. Moose got out to find his precious gold surrounded by candles. EC3 teleported to attack from behind. The camera cut to show Moose unconscious on the ground. EC3 proclaimed that the TNA Championship will die next week. He picked up the strap upon leaving.

I’m not a fan of Moose losing on a simple roll-up due to distraction, since it is his first loss in a very long time. Although, it might be part of the bigger story as Moose controls his narrative to become a true wrestling god. The EC3 part was a bit too fantastical in nature. Actually seeing him “live” was effective to make me more interested in the upcoming funeral of the TNA Heavyweight Championship this Tuesday on TV.

Heath & Rhino defeated Reno Scum in an unsanctioned match. The stipulation was due to Heath not being signed to Impact. The bout had regular rules though. Reno Scum worked on Heath until he got the hot tag to Rhino. Rhino cleaned house. When Reno Scum started clawing back, Heath tagged himself in. The match broke down and Rhino speared one piece of scum to save Heath. Heath hit a cutter on the other scum to win.

Backstage, Heath and Rhino ran into Scott D’Amore. He complimented their chemistry and Heath’s persistence with #Heath4Impact. D’Amore gave positive news by telling Heath to meet on Tuesday. They’ll see if something can be worked out to put money in Heath’s pocket. A job offer was implied.

The Heath saga of trying to get a job has been a fun story. It kept me engaged in wishing to see him do well in this match. Too bad Heath took such a beating. D’Amore was impressed, but I wasn’t. It is cold to say because the man has kids, but I wouldn’t have offered him a contract after that performance. Heath does have value in a tag team with Rhino, so maybe that’s his role going forward.

Tenille Dashwood defeated Jordynne Grace. Big Momma Pump dominated with anger after a noogie.

The match went back and forth, but Kaleb Konley consistently came to the aid of Dashwood with timely distractions. Grace should have won on a rear naked choke, however, the referee was focused on Konley instead of the action. Grace let go to yell at the official. Dashwood capitalized with a head kick then a Spotlight Kick to win.

The action was the same positive standard as their previous encounters, but I was disappointed with the story. This was their third contest against each other in less than two weeks. The rubber match should have felt like a bigger deal.

Grace pulled her weight. Unfortunately, Dashwood’s character was more concerned about creating social media content than being in a fight. That attitude was fine for the first two matches, but it’s not fine for a big rubber match. Due to relying too much on Konley, Dashwood didn’t really pick up any momentum with the win. If there is going to be yet another rematch, then it will be more about Grace neutralizing Konley than defeating Dashwood. That’s something I’m not too interested in seeing.

Instead, give me a slobberknocker with a motivated Dashwood proving she is better than Grace. That would help entice me to drop coin for the Bound for Glory PPV. Both these women have the chemistry to tear the house down.

Killer instinct. Sami Callihan and Ken Shamrock were interviewed about Shamrock’s attacks on Eddie Edwards. Callihan did all the talking. He got in Shamrock’s head to help regain his killer instinct. Callihan deflected answering accusatory questions about his motives. He is only looking out for Shamrock’s best interests.

Interesting explanation. Callihan is taking the lead, but Shamrock doesn’t seem bothered by it. That leads me to believe Callihan’s motivation is legit. It is easy enough to believe that Shamrock realizes his expiration date is near and needs to maximize his aggression for one last grasp at glory. That is a story that has my interest. Their relationship can become combustible later. For now, give the the World’s Most Dangerous Man cranked to the max.

Rohit Raju lost to Willie Mack but still retained the X-Division Championship. Mack answered the call for the Defeat Rohit Challenge. Rohit stepped up and put on a great performance. He almost won after raking the eyes of Mack on a stunner attempt. Rohit hit a spinning neckbreaker then transitioned into an armbar. Mack inched toward the ropes, but Rohit used his feet to push off and readjust position. Mack was almost done, however, he dug deep to power out. Rohit kept up the attack with a jumping knee strike then a running cannonball into the corner. Mack kicked out of the pin.

Mack came back with a pop-up elbow strike then an exploder suplex. The two collided heads running into the corner. The impact knocked Rohit out of the ring. At the count of 8, Rohit flopped back down to the floor and took the count-out loss. That meant the title did not change hands.

This was the best match on the undercard. Rohit was mighty impressive. He is successfully rehabilitating his image from chump to champ. I enjoyed the intensity and strong desire to kept his gold. Yes, Rohit lost, but it was the kind of loss that made him look good and also built quality weasel heat. Mack was as entertaining as he always is. I’m definitely interested in a rematch.

Brian Myers defeated Tommy Dreamer. Both men exchanged close pinfalls with rope breaks. In the end, Dreamer climbed the corner. Myers bounced on the ropes to knock Dreamer down to the mat. Myers followed with a big clothesline to win.

Later in the show, Dreamer approached Myers to offer a handshake. Myers refused. He was hoping for the Innovator of Violence. Instead, a tired, old man showed up. Dreamer grabbed Myers by the arm with a threat of violence for Tuesday TV.

The most professional wrestler won this professional wrestling bout. Much to my surprise, Myers did not cheat. The backstage interaction was a perfect setup to escalate the fury toward Old School Rules extreme match, which is Dreamer’s specialty in Impact. Myers has done a great job so far in Impact of being smarmy and building desire to see his butt get kicked. Dreamer is just the man for that job.

Rascalz defeated XXXL. Speed versus size. In the end, Wentz took down Acey Romero with a flying plancha. Larry D clobbered Wentz with a powerful clothesline. Dez exploded for a flipping kick.

A flying corkscrew senton bomb by Dez secured the win for the Rascalz.

A decent opener. The big men did big men stuff, while the little men did little men stuff. It probably would have gotten the crowd in the right mood, if there had been fans in attendance. Rascalz picked up a much needed win to stop their losing skid.

The three title matches were easily the best of the bunch. I’d rank the World Championship bout at the top, followed by the X-Division Championship contest, and the Knockouts Championship coming in a strong third. The rest of the show played out like a standard episode of Impact Wrestling.

Much to my surprise, Rohit Raju stole the show. He went from comedy goof to bona fide weasel champ. I enjoy seeing this career redemption for Rohit. Impact could have easily cut him and not skipped a beat, but they stuck with Rohit and gave him an opportunity to strut his stuff. That’s not to say Rohit didn’t have skills before. Just that now he is shining, and it is believable.

Share your thoughts on Victory Road. Who stole the show? Which match was your favorite?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats