Here are my top 5 IMPACT Hidden Gems that either were a dark match or took place on Xplosion. These matches feature a former WWE Superstar and current AEW Champion as well as wrestlers from NJPW and WWE.
Jon Moxley vs Lamar Braxton Porter:
This was a dark match that took place on November 11th, 2008. The bell rings and here we go. They lock up and Porter sends Mox into the ropes. Porter then panders to the crowd. Porter lokks for the lock ul but Mox slips behind him with a waistlock. Porter then spins out of it and puts on a waistlock of his own. Mox then spins out and goes behind with another waistlock. Porter then scrambles to get to the ropes twice before breaking the hold and punching Mox in the face then kicking him in the midsection. Porter tosses Mox in the corner and blatantly chokes out Mox. He then chokes him with his boot in the throat of Mox. He then irish whips Mox but he ducks the clothesline and looks for a sunset flip but Porter is too big and looks to squash Mox who moves out of the way. Mox then comes off the ropes and kicks Porter in the chest for a two count. He then hits Porter with multiple blows to the back before Porter shives him off. Porter then returns the favor with blows to the back of Mox. He then irish whips Mox and catches him with a spinebuster. Porter then panders to the crowd again before stepping on the chest of Mox leading to a splash for a nearfall. Porter then slaps the back of Mox then puts him in the corner and chops his chest. He then irish whips Mox into the and follows him in with a splash. He irish whips him again but Mox leaps over as Porter goes shoulder first into the turnbuckle. Mox then stumbles as he hits the ropes and takes dowm Porter with a clothesline. Mox mounts a comeback with a forearm shot to the face then a kneelift and a powerslam. Mox then climbs to the tope rope and hits a missile dropkick for a nearfall. Mox then picks up Porter who counters into a backbreaker across his knee. Porter then hits what looks like a blackhole slam for a two count. Porter then singals for the match to be over and irish whips Mox into the ropes. Mox ducks the clothesline and spikes him with a DDT for the 1 2 3.
Winner: Jon Moxley via DDT
Johnny Curtis vs Alex Shelley:
This match was on TNA Xplosion July 24th, 2004. This was Fandango's one and only singles match in TNA/IMPACT. The bell rings and here we go. They lock up with Shelly getting the advantage and trapping the arm of Curtis then sweeps out the legs and the locks on a hammer lock before Curtis spins out into a wristlock. Shelley looks to break the hold but Curtis holds on tight and takesdown Shelley. Alex gets back to his feet and looks to grab the top rope but Curtis pulls him in and back down to the mat. Shelley finally breaks the hold then chops the chest of Curtis. He then hits the ropes but gets caught with a spinning heel kick from Curtis. Johnny then irish whips Shelley into the ropes and looks for a hip toss but Alex puts the breaks on that and chops down Curtis with multiple strikes. Shelley then kicks the back of Curtis multiple times and blatantly choks out Curtis. Shelley then hits a neckbreaker on Curtis and rakes his boots across his face. Shelley then gets Curtis back to his feet and locks in the cravate. Curtis looks to try and break the hold with multiple shots to the midsection but Shelley answers back with multiple kneelifts that takes down Curtis. Alex then stomps on the chest of Curtis ane irish whips him into the ropes and hits him with a back elbow into a suplex. Alex then hits a snapmare and locks in a working hold. Curtis breaks free with a jawbreaker but Alex answers back with a low dropkick. Alex Shelley then puts Johnny Curtis in a corner and lights him up with multiple strikes. He irish whips him into the opposite turnbuckle and follows him in but Curtis gets the boot up in time. Curtis mounts a comeback and takes down Shelley for a two count. Curtis looks to irish whip Shelley but Alex counters into a spinning neckbreaker and singals to finish the match. Alex Shelley hits a cross leg brainbuster for the pinfall victory.
Winner: Alex Shelley via Cross Leg Brainbuster
Kazuchika Okada vs Alex Shelley:
This match took place on Xplosion June 21st, 2011 in Championship Challenge Qualifier Match. The bell rings and here we go. They lock up and Okada looks to grab hild of Shelley's arm but he spins out and grabs Okada's arm. Okada then spins out and grabsa the wrist of Shelley. Alex then rolls down to the mat and use his leg to break the hold and lock on a wristlock of his own. Okada then rolls through and locks on a wristlock too. Shelley then breaks the hold and hits Okada with a forearm to face. Alex then looks for sliced bread but Okada shoots him off and Shelley immediately comes back with a crucifix pin for a one count. Shelley then locks in a front facelock but Okada pushes him back into a corner. We get a clean break as Okada follows up with a chop attempt but Shelley ducks and hits Okada with a chop to the chest. Shelley then looks for an irish whip but Okada counters into one of his own Shelley looks to leap over Okada but gets caught on the shoulders. Shelley slides out the back and takes down Okada. Shelley then hits an armdrag takedown and a drop toehold on Okada. Shelley then rolls up Okada for a one count. Shelley then locks in a working hold on the arm and shoulder area then transitions into trapping the hand of Okada under his boot as he panders to the crowd. He then stompa on the hand before locking in another working hold but Okada pushes him into the ropes. Shelley then spins and puts Okada in the ropes while maintaining the hold. We get a clean break from the two before Okada attempts to hit Shelley but he counters and kicks him in the midsection. Shelley then goes for sliced bread but Okada shoves him into thr turnbuckle and follows him in but Shelley gets the boot up and charges Okada but gets taken down with a big kick giving Okada a one count. Okada then locks on a Full Nelson but Shelley slips out leading to a clubbing blow to the back of the neck from Okada. Okada then locks on a cravate but Shelley breaks free with punches to the midsection. Okada holds on though and hits a spinning neckbreaker for a one count. The finish of the match sees Alex Shelley finally hit Sliced Bread #2 for the pinfall victory. Winner: Alex Shelley via Sliced Bread #2
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Roderick Strong:
This match took place on February 3rd, 2006 on Xplosion. The bell rings and here we go. They lock up with Tanahashi getting the advantage with a go behind on Strong. Roderick Strong spins out with a wristlock but Tanahashi spins out and locks on a wristlick of his own. Strong rolls around on the mat and is able to escape and lock back on the wristlock but Tanahashi rolls and kicks him away into the corner. Strong leaps over Tanahashi and takes him down with a shoulder block and hits the ropes again and looks for another shoulder block but gets caught and taken down with an armdrag takedown. Tanahashi takes him down again with another armdrag takedown but this time locks in a working hold on the arm and shoulder area. Strong is able to get back to his feet and pulls the hair of Tanahashi to get the advantage and pushes him into the corner. We look to get a clean break and Strong hits him in the midsection with a kneelift. Strong then chops him multiple times in the chest then hits a butterfly suplex for a two count. Strong looks to lock in the surfboard submission but instead opts for a reverse chin lock. Strong then lets go of the hold and pushes him off face first into the mat. Strong then chops him in the chest then irish whips him into the opposite turnbuckle and follows him in but Tanahashi moves out of the way. Tanahashi then follows up with multiple forearms strikes to the face of Strong. Tanahashi then irish whips Strong into the ropes and follows up with a jumping forearm strike to take him down. Tanahashi then slams Strong to the mat followed by a jumping elbow drop then the somersault splash for a two count. Tanahashi then hits a snapmare then a shot to the back of the neck for a two count. The finish of the match sees Tanahashi come off the ropes with a slingblade for the pinfall victory. Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi via Slingblade
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Elix Skipper:
This match took place on January 28th, 2008 on Xplosion. Shinsuke Nakamura was the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion at the time. The bell rings and here we go. They don't lock up and start out with kicks. Skipper then comes back with a kick to the leg then the head which Nakamura blocks the head kick. Nakamura then comes back with a kneelift to the midsection. Shinsuke then attacks the back of the neck then wrings out the arm of Skipper. Nakamura locks on a wristlock and wrenches on it but Skipper is able to spin out and lock on a wristlock too. Nakamura is then able to roll down to the mat then kip up and go behind into a hammer lock for a second then brings him down with a sideheadlock but Skipler counters into a headscissors but Nakamura is able to break free and both men make it back to their feet. The match fast forward and Skipper flips back into the ring and catches Nakamura with a clothesline for a two count. Skipper then uses strong style kicks to the chest and back of Nakamura. Skipper then goes for another kick but Nakamura catches the kick and turns it into a powerbomb. Nakamura then hits the landslide for the pinfall victory. Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura via The Landslide
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