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[2019-10-29 Impact-Impact] Brian Cage vs Sami Callihan

Superstar Sleeze

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Impact World Champion Brian Cage vs Sami Callihan - Impact 10/29/19 Steel Cage

This was Impact's debut on AXS after spending five years in TV Purgatory of Destination America, Pop TV and Pursuit. I still cant believe Impact lasted long enough to see this day but good on them. Their 2018/2019 run was definitely fun & entertaining and they deserved to be rewarded. Very smart booking to take your top two stars and featured them in World Heavyweight Title Defense in a Steel Cage. It is so refreshing that their roster is so fresh and so new. I remember liking their Bound for Glory match well enough. 

Loved the start, Callihan enters the cage first and as Cage is about to, Callihan dropkicks the door in his face. I love how Cage REGISTERS and then commences to whuppin' ass. Callihan has piledriven his wife and threatened his daughter. Let the ass kicking begin! Callihan is able to get away and he locks himself in the cage because he is scared of Cage. Cage scales the Cage quickly and the way he leaps down, it was very cool, badass, felt like superhero. I think they should have let the shine continue for longer because there was more heat to be had. Cage is overzealous and when Callihan sidesteps him he goes into the cage. Baseball bat shot. Cage blades and it is a pretty good one. Effective heat segment for Callihan who is growing one me more and more as one of the better heels of the 2010s. No Cage sidesteps Callihan and he charges into the Cage and it is all even into the ad break. 

I read my Bound For Glory review after watching the match but before writing this. It reminded me how much I loved the finish, the use of the one count, the Hulk Up and ultimately the win. The one count was used here and again it has heat. Cage needed to dive into it. Instead he waited for Callihan to get up, get in position. It was lame and it squandered a lot of heat. Cage loves the one count and I think a one count can be super effective but you need that follow through. It seems they wanted to protect Cage's finishes because it does not get any major nearfalls. He gets one but nothing major. The way they protected him was showing his resiliency he took four piledrivers total, three of those consecutive and still kicked out. He succumbed to a fifth one coming off the top rope. I actually like this structure. Cage fell behind and was never able to claw himself out. Cage does not look like a choke for not getting done or his finish is not exposed. It is just Callihan took an early lead, Cage was resilient and had hope spots, but couldnt regain the lead. It happens. It all stems originally to him being overzealous and hitting the cage on his own. You can tie it back to Callihan's attacks on Cage's family paying dividends. I enjoyed this as a old school, bloody cage match that features strong babyface/heel dynamics. ***1/2

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