By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling on Pursuit (simulcast on Twitch TV)
Taped May 3-4 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
Highlights aired of last week’s Impact Wrestling show…
Josh Mathews and Don Callis were on commentary. Josh Mathews welcomed viewers to the “Birthplace of ECW”, the 2300 Arena…
There were random (non-Impact Wrestling) women already in the ring for a “Knockots Battle Royal” as mentioned by the ring announcer. Jordynne Grace, Madison Rayne, Scarlett Bordeaux, and Tessa Blanchard got televised entrances. Kiera Hogan was already in the ring with all the random non-impact women for some reason. The last entrance was Disco Inferno, Glenn Gilbertti. Disco was ranting on his way to the ring that Scarlett beating him that one time was a fluke.
Disco said it’s already tough watching two women wrestle and for some reason Impact Wrestling is making ten wrestle at the same time. Disco said this could get them kicked off TV. Disco said the only reason this match should be happening is if it was a Bra and Panties Battle Royal. Disco said he had second thoughts and that the women in the ring should just keep their clothes on because they don’t look that good anyway…
1. Knockouts Battle Royal. The bell ran once Disco entered the ring and the women all attacked him at once. Disco quickly rolled to ringside as Don Callis yelled “what a wimp”. Disco joined Mathews and Callis at the commentary table. Disco said the girls are “emotional hemophiliacs” because they get triggered by just one thing. Callis wondered why Disco was shirtless. Disco said he’s trying to prove that women’s wrestling is too over-saturated. Madness ensued in the ring. Josh Mathews tried to name all the non-Impact women in the ring.
Alisha Edwards was one of the non-televised entrances. Josh Mathews noted that Alisha was “back in Impact Wrestling”. Disco said that the women would be bigger draws if there was more sex appeal and were dressed scantily clad. Jordynne Grace hit the lady in a mohawk with a nice Pile Driver. The known names all started hitting each other with high impact moves. Disco said the reason there’s no WNBA Dunk Contest is because women can’t dunk.
There was a plucky woman named Ashley who managed to get some shots on Grace. Grace put Ashley and another lady named Clarissa on the apron. Tessa Blanchard eliminated the random women. Kiera Hogan superkicked one of the random women on the apron. The ring announcer had a hilariously bad voice when announcing the eliminations. Kiera Hogan got in Grace’s face at one point. Kiera escaped a Kinniku Buster, but Kiera couldn’t get Grace over the top rope. Kiera was fliped over the rope but she skinned the cat.
Grace almost eliminated Blanchard but Kiera took advantage of Grace’s diverted attention to eliminated Grace. Taya Valkyrie (Taya’s not in this match) attacked Rayne while Rayne was at ringside. She didn’t go over the top rope so Taya had to toss Rayne back so Tessa and crew could eliminate her. Kiera Hogan, Tessa Blanchard, Glenn Gilbertti (?), and Scarlett Bordeaux were the last entrants heading into commercial. [c]
Tessa gave Kiera a codebreaker. Scarlett gave Tessa a power bomb. Scarlett gave Tessa a top rope crossbody. Callis said Disco looks like an idiot. Disco said Callis is just being a hater. Kiera Hogan used a clothesline to eliminate Scarlett and almost eliminated herself. Scarlett and Kiera were the last two in the ring but Disco claimed he’s in the match. Tessa brought Kiera to the apron to initiate a brawl where both women were in danger of elimination. Tessa held on for dear life when Kiera tried to German Tessa to teh floor. Tessa caught Kiera’s foot and eliminated Kiera.
Disco Inferno ran into the ring and gave Tessa a mean lariat (good bumping by Tessa by the way). Callis said that Disco was a piece of garbage. Disco Inferno tossed Tessa over the top rope to eliminate her.
The Disco Inferno won some random Impact Wrestling Knockouts Battle Royal in 11:40 of TV Time.
Disco celebrated his win like he won a marathon. Tessa entered the ring and Disco retreated up the ramp all happy of himself. Tessa then chased him in pursuit…
John’s Thoughts: Mixed thoughts on the opening segment leaning on positive because once you dig through the rough parts there were some entertaining parts in there. The awkward parts was there being no reason for this random battle royal and there were a bunch of unnecessary local talent already in the ring. The match actually got better once the random women and Alisha Edwards were eliminated because some storylines were forwarded. Disco Inferno isn’t doing anything new, but the guy is just really good at being a comedy fool. Disco goes for cheap heat, but going for cheap heat gets him the loudest boos in the entire company.
Josh Mathews and Don Callis checked in from ringside. Callis said he was sick and disgusted at Disco winning he previous match. Josh Mathews said that “the Impact Wrestling physician” will give the viewers an update on the extent of Brian Cage’s injuries. Josh cut to some unseen footage from last week’s show…
Michael Elgin met with Willie Mack in the parking lot. Elgin noted how Mack survived Code Red without being sent to the hospital by Elgin. Elgin said it’s not too late. Mack said people call Mike “Big Mike” while Mack will just call him “Big Brenda”. Mack laid punches on Elgin but Elgin overpowered Mack with gut punches. Elgin power bombed Mack on the side of a U-Haul… [c]
Rolando Menendez creeped up on Michael Elgin and told Elgin “remember me?”. Rolando said there’s a long list of people that Elgin is putting in the hospital (again, no question). Elgin said he was tired of waiting in line in Japan. Elgin said when you want something you have to get it yourself. Elgin said he sent Brian Cage, Pentagon Jr, and Mack to the hospital. Elgin threatened sending Rolando to the hospital to join Mack. Rich Swann interrupted Elgin for putting Mack’s name in his mouth. Swann said Mack isn’t even here to defend himself and Swann is here to fight. Swann said “what up cuz?”. Elgin said Swann must want a hospital ride. Swann rolled his eyes and started to pummel Elgin. The local indie security brigade broke things up as Swann frantically yelled “HURT ME!!!”…
John’s Thoughts: I still don’t see a reason for Rafael Morffi’s awkward interviewer character when Impact has such a talented interviewer and ring announcer in Melissa Santos. Taking the unnecessary Rolando out of the picture and you got some very solid work from Michael Elgin and Rich Swann. Elgin was well spoken here in simply laying out his mission statement of breaking people. Swann had limited words but this is some of the most intensity I’ve seen from Swann. Again, Swann’s doing a really good job showing his range and moving away from the happy-go-lucky midcard persona.
Speaking of Rich Swann, Swann’s wife (they don’t acknowledge this) Su Yung made her entrance…
2. “The Undead Bride” Su Yung vs. Rosemary in a demon collar match. The child referee helped Rosemary put the collar on Su Yung. Mathews said that this was a demonic Tug of War. Rosemary wrapped the chain around Su’s neck and tossed Su around the ring. Josh Mathews advertised Imapct returning to the 2300 Arena in a few weeks for a Impact Plus show which will include Great Muta appearing. Mathews said it’s like both women have supernatural powers (how? and why?).
Rosemary hit Su Yung with a tarantula. Su Yung escaped to ringside and used the chain to whiplash Rosemary into the bottom buckle. Su then ran to the other side to yank Rosemary into the ring post several times. Su Yung put Rosemary in a chair to sit as Su Yung hit Rosemary with a cannonball. Su tried to drag Rose to the back but Rosemary gave Su Yung a lariat for a moment of respite. Josh Mathews advertised upcoming Impact Wrestling live events.
Su Yung used the chain to trip up Rosemary in the ring. Su Yung badly missed several chain shots. Rosemary wrapped the chain around Su’s neck and gave Rosemary a scorpion death drop. Su Yung countered and got a nearfall on Rosemary after slamming Rosemary on the mat. Su used a headscissors to slam Rosemary’s face in the turnbuckle. Su Yung gave Rosemary a draping Pedigree. Callis said the match has been 75% in favor of Su Yung.
Rosemary avoided Su’s mist but not Su’s bloody mandible claw. Rosemary escaped the move by punching Su Yung. Rosemary pulled Su Yung off the top rope with the chain and hit Su Yung with a green mist. Rosemary hit Su Yung with a clunky looking F5 to pick up the pinfall win.
Rosemary defeated Su Yung via pinfall in 7:34 to win the demon collar match. Rosemary now “takes all”?
Josh Mathews said that Rosemary is now “Taking possession” of Su Yung (ok?). Rosemary dragged Su Yung by the neck up the ramp and to the back. This caused Callis to go “oh god!”. The crowd chanted “Rosemary!” for this (is this a scene you really cheer?)… [c]
John’s Thoughts: To be completely honest and not thinking about the undead realm crap, this was a decent match for the most part. I think the worst part of the match was the women obviously trying to work together to avoid injury by using a metal chain. Aside from that detail, I thought the rest of the chain spots were creative. I still can’t help but feel that the Undead Realm has damaged the characters of Su Yung and Rosemary so much that their personas are just shells of what they once were.
Melissa Santos tried to interview Madison Rayne backstage. Rayne said she understands what Taya just did to her because Rayne has mastered the same tactics in the past. Rayne said Taya is not defending the title because she knows that Rayne will beat her. Rayne said Taya is hiding behind the 30 day rule. Rayne said Taya’s 30 days are up next week and she’ll finally have to defend against Rayne…
Sami Callihan was riding on Madman Fulton’s shoulders on their way to the ring…
3. Madman Fulton (w/Sami Callihan) vs. Randy Shawn. Shawn is obviously enhancement fodder who didn’t get a televised entrance. Callihan fired up Fulton by pulling his hair and slapping him all across the face. Shawn tried to punch Fulton in the center of the ring but Fulton did the Kane no-sell. Mathews noted that Fulton’s attention was directed towards Sami Callihan and he was awaiting orders. Callihan yelled “Kill him!” which prompted Fulton to maul Shawn in the corner. Fulton roared and hip tossed Shawn all across the ring.
Fulton pump kicked Shawn into another pump kick. Fulton picked Fulton off the ground and gave him a few deadlift choke slams. Three was the final count on the deadlift choke slams. Fulton defeated Shawn after hitting Shawn with End of Days.
Madman Fulton defeated Randy Shawn via pinfall in 2:20.
The ring announcer announced Fulton as “OVE’s newest member”. Fulton tried to inflict more damage on Shawn but Callihan had to pull Fulton off by the dreadlocks…
John’s Thoughts: One weakness of Fulton in his last two matches are a few of his power moves looked less than powerful. He struggled in particular last week in trying to execute them on Fallah Bahh. This was a much better showcase of Fulton as a monster as he looked really good in getting over his monster moveset in this match.
Melissa Santos interviewed Rob Van Dam backstage. RVD was wearing shades this week (presumably to hide his bloodshot eyes? just a hunch). Melissa congratulated RVD for his win against Ethan Page and wanted RVD’s thoughts on returning to the 2300 arena. RVD said he helped make this building famous while the building also made RVD famous. RVD said he’s still crushing it. RVD said he’s on a run to the top, boom. RVD said there’s this guy who wants to face him and he really wants to face “this guy” too. RVD danced around a bit on the mic until he announced that he’s facing Tommy Dreamer next week, at least I think it’s next week. RVD then said more random stuff and said he would like to give Dreamer a Van Daminator. RVD ended the promo by saying “dude” while Melissa chuckled… [c]
John’s Thoughts: Again, props to Melissa for trying her best to work with faded-ass RVD. Is this all we’re going to get from RVD’s return to Impact Wrestling? Just a bunch of awkward promos. Again, I have no problem with marijuana, but da weed is doing RVD no favors on air because it’s throwing him off. He’s not even the cool witty stoner like Matt Riddle. It just looks like RVD had way too much indica when he should just be taking a little bit of sativa.
Rolando Menendez was back and he interviewed “Dr. Ariel” about Brian Cage’s medical status. Through the power of bad acting and a teleprompter, the fake doctor guy tried to read off a bunch of medical nomenclature. Long story short, the doctor said cage got sciatica from the Spanish Fly of Johnny Impact and the Elgin Bomb made it worse. Rolando said he understands the medical terminology but the doctor needs to explain in layman’s terms to the audience as to when they should expect Cage back in action. The fake doctor man said Cage has spinal trauma. The doctor said that normal people would struggle to even walk again but because Cage is not a normal man he’s currently already walking again. The doctor said that it would be irresponsible of him to predict when or if Cage will return due to this being a spinal injury. Rolando ended the promo in cheesy fashion by saying “return date, unknown”…
John’s Thoughts: What the F’ing F was that? That was some of the worst acting I’ve ever seen on television and I’m not being hyperbolic. So I get it, they’re trying to kayfabe Cage’s injury, but why make light of it with cheesy acting? I also still don’t see a reason for Rafael Morffi’s goofball reporter character when you have the extremely credible Melissa Santos on the roster.
Killer Kross made his entrance holding “Kenneth” (as Kross calls it) the Kendo stick. Callis and Mathews talked about how intelligent and violent Kross is.
4. Killer Kross vs. Eddie Edwards. Kross pummeled Edwards with forearms from the mounted position. Edwards sent Kross to ringside and caught Kross with a plancha. Edwards rebounded at Kross with a suicide Dive. Edwards chopped around Kross at ringside. Callis called Edwards a “new age Tommy Dreamer”. Kross caught Edwards in the ring with a suplex. Kross stompped a mudhole in Eddie. Edwards hit Kross with a reversal suplex. Kross caught Eddie with a knee and shortarm lariat. Callis said it’s odd that Kross never hooks the leg, but he wonders if Kross is purposefully prolonging his matches.
Kross dominated Edwards for a sequence. Edwards asked Kross to give him a few stiff roundhouse kicks. Callis noted that Kross gained these kicks in Thailand. Kross gave Eddie a few kicks but reversed the last roundhouse with a Blue Thunder Bomb. Kross caught Eddie with a boot but Eddie fought through and hit Kross with a Frankensteiner. Kross kicked out of the subsequent pin with at one. Kross no sold Eddie’s offense for a sequence. Edwards fought through and hit Kross with a Tiger Driver for a two count. Kross clawed Eddie in the eye and sent Eddie to ringside for a moment of respite. Callis noted Eddie’s eye damage history (via Sami Callihan). Eddie grabbed the kendo stick. The referee tried to take away Eddie’s stick which allowed Kross to nail Eddie with the Doomsday Saito for the win.
Killer Kross defeated Eddie Edwards via pinfall in 7:03.
Kross repossessed the Kendo Stick after the match while Edwards was knocked out on the ground. Kross poked at Edwards with the stick. Kross used the stick to lift Edwards and then followed up with a Muay Thai kick to the ear of Edwards. Kross trapped Eddie Edwards in crucifix position on the second rope with zip ties. Kross put on gloves and teased hitting Eddie with the kendo stick but instead caused Eddie to cry in pain after seeing Kross snap “kenny” in two (and the announcers resisted from making a South Park reference here). Callis said Eddie’s crying because the stick was family to Edwards and it was given to him by Tommy Dreamer… [c]
John’s Thoughts: Crazy Eddie is still the most midcard thing in the world, but at least his matches are still fun to watch. Kross doesn’t get as much time in the ring as you think he should get and I really hope we get more in-ring from him because that part of his game can be more entertaining than his eloquence on the microphone. Kross’s violence makes him really unique in the ring and able to tell stories other wrestlers rarely tell. I’m also still hoping that Kross burns “Kenny” in a fire after snaping him in two. Hopefully that will also burn Eddie’s crazy character by association.
It was time for another that 70s Show tribute from the Rascalz, this time with no Adobe After Effects fog. They were joking about getting healthy for a match against LAX. There was also that weird laugh track. The scene then moved on to a cheesy 80s workout montage…
Josh Mathews advertised upcoming live events…
The Impact Plus Match of the week was Cage vs. Kongo Kong…
An ad for Slammiversary aired…
Ethan Page and Josh Alexander, The North, were chatting on a couch backstage. Alexander berated Page for picking fights with RVD when both of them should be focused on going after the tag team titles. Alexander said they both lost their respective matches the same night as a result. Page said they’re not done with RVD. Page said RVD embarrased him. Alexander said RVD embarrassed “us”. Moose walked in wearing a dapper red suit. Moose said The North sure bicker alot for a great tag team. Moose said to look at the bright side, LAX is giving away title shots to everyone including the custodians. Moose said the title shots will always be there but they only have one opportunity to be the first guys to take out RVD. Page agreed. Moose said the only thing missing is they didn’t have Moose. Page said Moose isn’t wrong…
John’s Thoughts: While they’re already going to the bickering phase of the tag team this soon in The North’s Impact run, I do like that the reason they are bickering is because Ethan Page is finally showing an ego. This is the first time in Impact that All Ego has had an Ego.
Josh Mathews and Don Callis checked in from ringside and advertised “The Night You Can’t Mist” Impact Plus show which will include Keiji Mutoh in Impact. Josh ran through some upcoming matches for next week including Tommy Dreamer vs. Rob Van Dam…
Michael Elgin made his entrance. Callis said he was confused when Elgin showed up initially because he thought Elgin was in New Japan. Rich Swann made his entrance and he was back to wearing the white shirt and ski goggles, dancing to the ring… [c]
5. Rich Swann vs. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin in a non-title match. Elgin won the initial collar and elbow. Swann used his agility to get Elgin in a side headlock. Elgin no-sold a Swann shoulder block. Elgin showed off agility of his own. Elgin used a cartwheel to block Swann’s huracanrana. Swann caught Elgin with a basement dropkick followed by a huracanrana. Swann hit Elgin with a jumping back kick. Rich dominated Elgin for a sequence. Elgin blocked the Lethal Injection. Swann reversed a vertical suplex. Elgin trapped Swann in the second rope and hit him with a discus forearm-German Suplex combo.
Swann faded to the ground after a stiff Elgin chop. Elgin then sent Swann to the ground with a power whip to the corner. Swann got some right hands on Elgin but it only took Elgin one right hand to get Swann back to the ground. Elgin hit Swann with a body slam and slingshot splash. Swann kicked out at two. Swann got a boot on Elgin but Elgin didn’t relent. Rich Swann held on for dear life to prevent Elgin from hitting a superplex. Elgin was sent to the ground with a headbutt. Swann went for a dive but Elgin caught Swann midair with a precision high-angle dropkick.
Rich Swann caught Elgin staggering with a right hand. Elgin reversed Swann’s cross kick with a pump kick. Swann reversed the Elgin Bomb with a DDT. Elgin was sent out side with a leap frog. Rich Swann followed up on Elgin with two flip dives. Swann caught Elgin with a Swanton to ringside. Swann hit Elgin with a Macho Man elbow for a two count. [c]
Elgin caught Swann wtih a shiranui stunner. Elgin then gave Swann a few corner splashes into a Falcon Arrow for a nearfall. Elgin gave Rich Swann stiff lariats. Rich managed to stay on his feet. Swann landed a kick combo on Elgin. Swann finally caught Elgin with the cross kick. Elgin powered through and hit Swann with a stiff lariat. Elgin hit Swann with a side slam for a great nearfall. A “this is awesome” chant ensued. Swann fought out of fireman carry from the top rope. Elgin used his core to block Swann’s Frankensteiner. Swann still pulled out the Frankensteiner and hit Elgin with a Lethal Injection.
Rich Swann hit Elgin with an impressive 450 for a great nearfall (which Mathews kinda ruined a bit with his Vince McMahon “we have a winner” call). Swann crashed and burned on a Phoenix Splash because Elgin rolled away. Elgin called for it, ran the ropes, and hit Swann with a Clothesline from Hell. Elgin hit Swann with a sitout Razor’s edge. Another great false finish with Swann kicking out at two. Elgin hit Swann with a bucklebomb. Swann reversed the Elgin bomb with two Frankendrivers into a cross kick. Elgin kicked out at two.
Swann went for a huracanrana at ringside but Elgin caught Swann and hit Swann with a power bomb into the ringpost. Elgin then stared at the post and gave Swann another bomb into the ring post. Callis said “he’s going to break him in half!”. The child referee tried to stop Elgin from doing more damage but Elgin shoved the referee away and gave Swann another bomb into the ringpost. The child referee guy disqualified Elgin for shoving him to the ground.
Rich Swann defeated Michael Elgin via DQ in 17:30 of TV time.
The referee bolted and ran to the back when Elgin started to pace towards him. Elgin took off his wrist tape and was about to inflict more damage on Swann but Willie Mack ran out to save his friend. Mack hit Elgin with his signature Samoan Drop and Moonsault combo. Johnny Impact ran out to attack Mack. Johnny took down mack with precision strikes. Johnny yelled “welcome to slam town bro” and hit Mack with a Flying Chuck. Johnny then hit Swann with a stiff knee strike. Johnny and Elgin then had a faceoff to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: Color me surprised. You’re going to need a cigarette after that one. That might have been one of the best Impact Wrestling singles matches in the last few years. Certainly up there with Pentagon vs. Aries, Pentagon vs. Callihan, and Rey Fenix vs. Rich Swann (those are a few I can remember being comparable to this). Swann vs. Fenix might have been Impact’s best match in recent memory. Swann is Impact’s in-ring anchor so it should be no shock that the guy is capable of carrying a main event. Elgin was very good on his end. I really liked the story of “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin not being able to break both the body and fighting spirit of Rich Swann. Swann is elevated while Elgin was protected by the ref ending the match earlier than expected due to Elgin’s rule breaking. This match did involve a ton of false finishes, but Impact has done a solid job not overding the false finishes in their matchups. Great stuff you should go out of your way to see.
Another great edition of Impact with a killer main event. I dare WWE to put out as good a match as Rich Swann vs. Michael Elgin at Money in the Bank (it’s going to be tough for WWE to meet this high standard due to there not being a Takeover this weekend). Their world champion is going to be out of action for a while because he did miss these tapings but I’m very intrigued with the new makeshift main event scene that they showcased at the end of this show with Swann, Mack, Elgin, and Johnny.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Will Pruett on the Roman Reigns whodunnit angle, WWE heading into SummerSlam, AEW's October 2 premiere on TNT, the New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax Tournament through Day 11, and more (77:45)...