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 from last week’s Impact Wrestling show aired…
Josh Mathews and Don Callis were on commentary. Ace Austin made his usual entrance where he flourishes an ace card and gambit stick. His opponent was a Deaner, Jake Deaner…
1. Ace Austin vs. Cousin Jake (w/Cody Deaner). Josh Mathews said that Ace Austin is a magician in the ring. Jake manhandled Austin into a corner to show that he had a power advantage. Austin tried to use his agility, but Jake kept a strong base. Ace landed a kick on Jake. Jake managed to land a huracanrana on Jake. Jake planted Ace with a back suplex. After being pretty much even for a bit, Austin landed a handstand PK from the apron. Jake caught Ace during a Fosbury Flop attempt (not the best catch). Jake hit Austin with a backbreaker on the apron.
Josh Mathews kept making magician references on commentary. Austin went for a Disaster Kick but Jake just shoved Austin mid air. Ace dodged an incoming running Deander as he struck a Tranquilo pose on the top rope. Austin produced a card and gave Deaner a paper cut. Austin hit Jake with a nice spinning quillotine leg drop to get a two count. Austin went for a Kimura but Jake kept his hand pinned to the ground. Austin clubbed at Jake to get the arm up and Austin managed to get Jake’s arm wrenched.
Ace turned the hold into a triangle choke. Jake escaped. Austin tried to chop Jake but the larger Jake no sold the chop. Austin went for a rollup and then hit Jake with a savate kick. Austin threw a card and then hit Jake with a double knee press. Jake came back with a despiration lariat. Austin dodged a few of Jake’s strikes but not a final forearm. Jake hulked up and ran through Austin a few times. Jake hit Austin with a Michinoku Driver for a good nearfall. Suddenly the Desi Hit Squad ran out and beat up on Cody. This distracted Jake enough to have him tied up in the ropes so Austin could kick the ropes into his groin. Ace Austin followed up on Jake with “The Fold” for the victory.
Ace Austin defeated Cousin Jake via pinfall in 8:54.
Cousin Jake went to check to check on Cody. The camera cut to Rosemary dragging around Su Yung with a dog collar… [c]
John’s Thoughts: A decent enough match, but I feel like the crowd wasn’t invested in either character enough to care. The lack of investment also hurt the heel reaction it looked like they were going for with the Desi Hit Squad attack. That criticism aside, I really like what I see from both wrestlers. Jake’s fairly imposing and has a good power look. Ace Austin has a lot going for him, from a unique in-ring offense to good mannerisms. One drawback is we never really hear from Ace. Another might be his oddball magician gimmick?
Melissa Santos interviewed Taya Valkyrie about facing Rosemary. Taya said she thought she was done with Rosemary from before. Taya bragged about being married to a movie star and living the life in Slam Town. Taya wondered if Rosemary was obsessed with Taya and said she can’t blame Rosemary. Taya said she’s Lucha Royalty and not afraid to deliver a message to Rosemary…
Josh Mathews and Don Callis checked in from ringside. Josh noted that 30 days haven’t passed and Taya vs. Rosemary will be non-title. Josh noted that Brian Cage will be at Slammiversary weather or not he’s cleared to wrestle. Josh said that Cage will defend his championship against Michael Elgin. Josh also talked about Rich Swann vs. Johnny Impact for the X Division Championship at Slammiversary…
2. Taya Valkyrie vs. Rosemary (w/Chained Su Yung) in a non-title match. Rosemary tied Su Yung’s dog leash to the ring post. Taya got a double leg takedown on Rosemary followed by clubbing blows. Don Callis said that Rosemary should stop worrying about collecting pets and more about championships. Josh then asked Don about what would happen if Su Yung were free. Callis said he doesn’t know and doesn’t want to find out.
Taya gave Rosemary a running hip attack in the corner and was pretty much dominating 100% of the match leading to the two minute mark. Rosemary finally landed a strike and locked Taya in the tarantula. Josh said that move reminded him of Tajiri because they’re in the ECW arena. Rosemary crashed and burned on a missile dropkick attempt. Taya gloated and yelled “where’s your hive now”. Rosemary ducked a lariat and hit Taya with a Sling Blade. Rosemary hit Taya with a Scorpion Death Drop for a two count. Rosemary hit Taya with a spear to get a two count. Suddenly new entrance music played as James Mitchell and the returning Jessicka Havok made their entrance. Havok attacked Rosemary first to prompt the referee to call for the bell.
Taya Valkyrie vs. Rosemary ended in an apparent no-contest
Havok gave Rosemary a headbutt to prompt the bell ringing. Havok then took down Rosemary with a Lariat. Mitchell directed Havok to give Rosemary a Tombstone Pile Driver. Taya took one look at this and said “oh Hell naw!!!” (great reaction). James Mitchell prevented Taya from escaping one end of the ring and Su Yung blocked another exit. This allowed Havok to nail Taya with a choke slam. Havok posed to her entrance music. James Mitchell lightly touched Su Yung’s dog collar and suddenly she was freed (now why the f–k couldn’t Su Yung do this if all Mitchell had to do was lightly touch it. You better not say “IT WAS MAGIC!!!”. The Undead Realm sucks!!!). Havok, Mitchell, and Su Yung posed while Taya and Rosemary was left lying… [c]
John’s Rant: So, Rosemary and Su Yung are two of the collest character gimmicks in pro wrestling and somehow with this Undead Realm crap, Impact has found a way to kill off Rosemary’s cool factor and kill off Su’s mystique. This is worse than when they paired Su with Braxton Sutter. I’m afraid they’re going to kill off Havok’s cool factor too. Look at the “eh” crowd reaction. A program between Havok, Rosemary, and Su Yung sould be the coolest monster mash in the world but I fear they are going to crap all over this with crappy inconsistent cinematics (and I review Lucha Underground for this site so you know that I’m actually a proponent of cinematics done right, like the LAX cinematics, like the Disco Inferno cinematics, like the Jeremy Borash produced cinematics, etc.). The best part of this segment was Taya who continues to kill it as a hell. Taya’s “oh hell naw!” reaction was both great and exactly the reaction I have every week that I’m forced to watch a crap ass undead realm cinematic win what is otherwise a great wrestling show. F you Undead Realm!
The Rascalz were shown in their ring gear doing their weekly That 70s Show Smoke Circle tribute complete with the Adobe After Effects smoke. Dez and Wentz were trying to tell Trey to put his normal clothes back on and be their manager just like Konnan is to LAX. Apparently, Trey’s an alcoholic now…
Josh Mathews ran through the following “Night You Can’t Mist” Card: Taya Valkyrie vs. Jordynne Grace for the Knockouts Championship, “Touch it vs. Suck It” with Joey Ryan vs. Billy Gunn, Willie Mack vs. Rich Swann vs. Teddy Hart for the House of Hardcore Championship, Sami Callihan vs. Eddie Edwards in a Philly Street Fight, and Tommy Dreamer and Great Muta vs. Johnny Impact and Michael Elgin (W/Jerry Lynn as the guest referee).
It was time for the Impact Plus Flashback Match of the Week. It was Great Muta vs. Mr. Ken Anderson from some random One Night Only show, maybe in 2015?
Sandman was shown backstage on the phone and smoking a vape pen. Eddie Edwards walked up to Sandman and told Sandman that while he appreciated Sandman’s help, he can’t accept the new kendo stick because it wouldn’t be fair to Kenny. Eddie said the new stick isn’t Kenny. Sandman said he had an idea. Sandman took a sharpie face on the stick (like it was Plank from Ed, Edd, and Eddy). Sandman said this was Kenny 2.0. Eddie said “it is kenny!”… [c]
A video package was shown of Brian Cage pumping iron while also recapping the moments that led to Brian Cage’s injury at Rebellion…
Michael Elgin was shown presumably watching the Brian Cage vignette. Elgin said Cage can stay at home, lift, and have a camera crew follow him all he wants. Elgin said he already proved he can outlift Cage. Elgin said he can outwrestle adn outfight Cage. Elgin said Cage is at home doing what Cage does best, being a coward, while Elgin is doing work. Elgin said he’s sending everyone in his path to the hospital and that path is leading to Cage and the World Championship. Elgin hyped facing Willie Mack next week and he’s going to act like Mack is Cage. Elgin said every little ounce of pain he’s going to inflict on Willie is just going to be small taste of what Elgin is going to give Cage…
Madman Fulton made his entrance with Sami Callihan on his shoulders. Fulton’s opponents were already in the ring…
3. Madman Fulton (w/Sami Callihan) vs. Two Enhancement Wrestlers in a handicap match. I couldn’t catch the names of the two guys because they weren’t the easiest names to pronounce (they might have had French names). Fulton took down both opponents with a double lariat. Fulton slammed one guy with a spinebuster. He then front suplexed one guy into the other. Fulton then tossed the guys into each other in the corner. He bit one guy’s face. Sami slapped around Fulton at one point. After more domination, Fulton gave one guy an End of Days into the other guy for the win.
Madman Fulton defeated two enhancement wrestlers via pinfall in 3:21.
Callihan dragged Fulton by the dreadlocks a bit before holding up his hand in victory…
John’s Thoughts: After a few rough initial in-ring outings, Madman Fulton has looked pretty good in his showcases in recent weeks. He’s starting to get better in the “big man” role he’s trying to portray. It’s not perfect, but it’s getting there. The best part of this act is how he’s playing the role of “lion” to Sami Callihan’s “liontamer” role.
Sami said he’s tired of the Knockouts Division “Bull Crap”. Sami said Scarlett the Harlot and Fallah “Blah” wants to embarass OVE. Sami Callihan called for Jake and Dave to come out and kick Scarlet’s and Fallah’s ass… [c]
4. Dave Crist and Jake Crist (w/Sami Callihan, Madman Fulton) vs. Scarlett Bordeaux and Fallah Bahh in an intergender match. Sami held Bahh’s feet early in the match which caused the referee to eject Sami and Fulton from the match. Sami pulled Fulton by the hair to the back to prevent him from attacking the referee. Bahh dominated Dave in the ring. Jake pulled Dave away for the tag. Jake pressed Bahh on the ropes. Jake and Dave traded tags to cut the ring in half on Bahh. Dave threw in a thumb to Bahh’s eye. Bahh tried to fend off Dave with chops but Dave came right back with a drop kick.
The Crist Brothers continued to trade tags and isolate Bahh. Bahh had a big moment where he fought out of the corner with chops and a crossbody on Dave. Jake regained control. Bahh almost made it for the hot tag but Dave pulled Bahh away from the hot tag. Bahh countered Jake’s sunset flip by falling on Jake. This allowed Bahh to hot tag Scarlett who hit Dave with a tilt a whirl headscissors. Scarlett gave Dave a stink fac ein the corner. Scarlett hit Jake with a Tilt a Whirl. Scarlett hit both Crist Brothers with a crossbody. Scarlett then held open the ropes for Bahh to hit the Crist Brothers wiht a suicide dive. Scarlett then followed up on both Crist Brothers with a flip senton.
Dave held Scarlett’s leg to allow Jake to give Scarlett a body slam. Bahh crotched Dave on the top rope during a Doomsday Device attempt. Scarlett hit Jake with a reverse frankendriver. Bahh and Scarlett then hit Dave with a Doomsday Device. Dave Crist kicked out at two. Bahh then called Scarlett over for a double Banzai Drop. Bahh and Scarlett crashed and burned. I think Dave got out of the way? Dave Crist picked up the win after punching Bahh in the head with a roll of quarters.
The Crist Brothers defeated Fallah Bahh and Scarlett Bordeaux via pinfall in 10:24.
Scarlett checked on Bahh after the match. Jake and Dave then threatened Scarlett. Scarlett tried to fight back but Dave held Scarlett in place. Suddenly, Tessa Blanchard ran in for the save. Tessa dodged Jake’s Savate Kick to send the kick into Dave. Tessa punted Jake in the balls to allow her ot hit Jake with The Magnum (top rope codebreaker). Tessa stood tall to close the segment…
John’s Thoughts: I really liked the end of that segment. Tessa’s a badass, and a bit of a violent badass who I can see beating up all foes man or woman. While the Disco feud was entertaining, I thought this segment was a bigger step in Tessa’s development as a babyface (but why did they not keep her heel?). What was a bit odd was the Crist Brothers vs. Bahh and Scarlett match. There was no reason for this match happening. Who booked this? Why does OVE suddenly hate women? Scarlett is supposed to be a superstar yet for some reason she’s playing the role of understudy for Kevin Matthews who left the company.
Melissa Santos interviewed Willie Mack and Rich Swann about Mack facing Elgin next week and Elgin putting people in the hospital. Mack said Elgin tried to make a name for himself in Japan, but this is Impact Wrestling. Mack said people around here are trying to make money but if you’re in the hospital then you can’t make no money. Mack said he was going to give Elgin these hands and end Elgin’s signature rides to the emergency room. Rich Swann ensured Mack that he has Mack’s back.
Johnny Impact and John E Bravo walked into the interview singing “That’s what friends are for” for some reason. Johnny said Mack and Swann’s good times are about to go bad. He said he doesn’t care if Elgin and Mack send each other to the hospital because either man going to the hospital is a win-win for Johnny Impact. Swann said Rich Swann is on the “Johnny Impact Diet” because Swann is going to be ten pounds lighter when Johnny takes the X Division Title to Slam Town. Johnny said everybody is hungry for “peanut butter and Johnny”. That last line baffled Melissa and Rich. Willie Mack asked “ey, who dat man with the X?” in reference to John E Bravo (that was a good line)… [c]
John’s Thoughts: Solid interview. I thought Willie Mack came off well here and showed off more personality than he’s been allowed to on Impact.
Josh Mathews recapped Tessa Blanchard clearing the Crist Brothers from the ring…
OVE was shown in a parking lot next to a trash dumpster. Sami Callihan berated the Crist Brothers for not sticking to the plan. Sami then cut a promo in the camera. Sami called out the Knockouts Division (why?). Sami said he’s sick of Tessa who has a silver spoon in her mouth. Sami said the Crist Brothers are going to make good because OVE is for Ohio, by Ohio, and will take over Everything… Everything… EVERYTHING!!! (I didn’t mistype those last few sentences, Sami’s promo didn’t really make sense)…
John’s Thoughts: Again, why does Sami Callihan hate women all of a sudden? This is as weird as Sami’s “my hair has been with me…” promo about Pentagon Jr. That oddball feud did lead to a match of the year candidate so there’s that? I’m ok with intergender wrestling if done right so if this can somehow lead to a great Sami Callihan vs. Tessa Blanchard match, that I’d be all for it? Sami has wrestled a lot of women on Lucha Underground. This also beats Tessa in the Undead Realm. See, silver lining.
5. Kiera Hogan vs. Jordynne Grace. Grace wanted to start with a Code of Honor but Kiera waved it off. Kiera managed to land a boot and back elbow on Grace. Grace came back with a shoulder block. Kiera came right back with a dropkick. Grace blocked an incoming Kiera with a double boot and followed up with a slingshot senton. Grace hit Kiera with a Delayed Vertical Jackhammer. Kiera hid behind the referee and tried to beg for mercy. Grace didn’t fall for the bait and then slapped Kiera.
Kiera did trip up Grace and hit Grace with a basement dropkick. The referee caught Kiera trying to pick up a leverage pin. Kiera worked on Grace in the corner with several kicks topped off with a basement dropkick for a two count. Kiera went for a few pin attempts and then showed a bit of frustration. Grace countered Kiera with a snap suplex. Kiera hit Grace with the Protect Yo Neck for a two count. Kiera then gave Grace some roundhouse kicks which Grace powered through. Grace planted Kiera with a spinebuster.
Grace put Kiera in the corner and hit her with a meteora and uppercut. Grace hit Kiera with a Vader Bomb for a two count. Grace blocked a Sunset Flip but Kiera tripped Grace onto the second rope and hit her with a neckbreaker for a two count. Grace blocked a headscissors and then planted Kiera into a side slam for a two count. Kiera used a bunch of strikes to block a Grace Driver. Kiera missed a roundhouse which allowed Grace to hit Kiera with the Grace Driver for the win.
Jordynne Grace defeated Kiera Hogan via pinfall in 8:00.
Josh said Grace should be put in consideration for a knockouts title shot…
John’s Thoughts: Not a bad match and Kiera surprised me a bit with her heel work. For one, she was just as good as ever in the ring, but her heel manerisms were pretty good (and I was a proponent of her staying babyface because she’s so good in the plucky babyface role). I always said Kiera should be Impact’s next Taylor Wilde, but maybe this heel thing can work? Anyway, good match, and I hope this stays the hell away from the Undead Realm.
The show cut to this week’s LAX clubhouse skit. Konnan mocked Ortiz and Santana for eating when their match is next and they should be watching tape on the Rascalz. Santana named off all the tag teams that LAX beat. Ortiz talked about how they beat everyone. Konnan said if LAX rests on their laurels they will end up hearing “and new… tag team champions”. Ortiz said there’s no way the Rascalz can win since they’re from Toledo. Santana said he doesn’t know where Toledo is…
John’s Thoughts: Are they laying it on so thick that the Rascalz are comedy scrubs to set up a surprise title win tonight? I hope not. I also don’t see the benefit of painting the Rascalz as scrubs and posers via the skits leading up to this match.
Moose was outside cutting a promo. He said the old ECW originals always come back to impact looking for rent money. Moose said he was one of those kids who stood in front of a mirror doing RVD’s “cheesy hand gesture”. Moose said that was 20 years ago. Moose said RVD coming back is an insult to Moose’s face because Moose is the Whole F’n Show and Mr. Impact Wrestling. Moose then proposed a match with RVD at Slammiversary. Moose said he’s going to make RVD’s life a living hell until he gets an answer because Moose is still the legend known as Moose…
Josh Mathews announced Willie Mack vs. Michael Elgin for next week…
Entrance for the main event took place…[c]
6. “The Latin American XChange” Santana and Ortiz (w/Konnan) vs. “The Rascalz” Dez and Wentz (w/Trey) for the Impact Tag Team Championships. Ortiz and Wentz started off the match. Ortiz joked around of taking down Wentz with pure wrestling. Ortiz dominated Wentz early on with the chain wrestling. Wentz gained an advantage after catching Ortiz with a corkscrew springboard crossbody. Dez tagged in and did double team moves with Wentz on Ortiz. The Rascalz took down Santana with a plethora of kicks. Wentz took down LAX on the outside with a Whisper of the Wind to the outside. Dez followed up on LAX with a Tiger Drop. Wentz hit Ortiz with a Swanton. Dez hit Ortiz with a Final Flash (Spiral Tap). Santana broke up the subsequent pin. [c]
LAX planted Wentz with double team moves back from the break. The camera showed Trey continuing to drink Ortiz’s flask of drank. LAX continued to keep Wentz isolated from his partner as they rained down on him with a series of splashes. Wentz was crying in pain after taking a double stomp to the wrist from Santana. Wentz got a window of opportunity for a tag after nailing Santana with a Neuralizer. Ortiz and Dez tagged in with Dez getting the hot sequence. Dez hit Ortiz with a dropkick combo. Dez hit Santana with a CQC neckbreaker combo. Dez then took out Ortiz with a suicide dive. Ortiz managed to ground Wentz with a dropkick. A bunch of crazy counters ensued. They also tried to pin each other but they also broke up the pins.
Santana and Ortiz stood tall after the sequence. Dez recovered and they hit Santana with a Knee combo. Wentz hit Santana with his Shove-sault finisher. Ortiz broke up the pin. Ortiz got rid of Dez and hit Wentz with a power slam. Ortiz got his flask back and took a swig. Wentz punched Ortiz in the gut to cause him to spit “liquor” in the face of the referee to cause a REF BUMP!?! Wentz hit Santana with rapid fire chops. Santana caught Wentz with a superkick. Wentz came back with a cool springboard cutter. Trey took off his shirt and hit Santana with a top rope meteora for a pinfall win by the child referee?
The Rascalz celebrated like they won the title but the commentators pointed out that Trey wasn’t in the match. The referee told the ring announcer to reverse the decision as a win for LAX by DQ.
The Latin American XChange defeated The Rascalz via DQ in 12:20 of TV Time.
LAX celebrated their title defense while Zachary tried to argue on behalf of his team (for what?). Konnan told Callis “it’s about to get cotton candy up in here”. LAX went up the ramp and posed with their titles and alcohol flask to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: That was a bit odd, and a bit TNA, complete with a TNA Ref Bump and overbooked finish. I’m okay with the Rascalz not winning because they’ve been presented as poser scrubs, but why did Impact decided to present them as poser scrubs with LAX completely treating them as such in the skits? What was up with the overbooking? The Rascalz aren’t protected. They tried to cheat and did it in a dumb ass way. Maybe I can see this leading to a serious turn for the Rascalz but seeing what they did with the Undead Realm and Eddie Edwards, I see Impact more as stubborn and they’ll probably do more 70s show ripoffs.
A serious Rascalz could work. At least a Serious Dez can like when Jeff Jarrett’s creative team presented Dezmond Xavier as a future World Champion (a bright spot from 2017). Overall, this show is still better than WWE Raw, but a bit on the weaker side for the higher standard they’ve put for themselves. The only thing odd here is there was a lot of strangeness with a lot of the new feuds they are starting like that odd Rascalz stuff and Sami Callihan suddenly deciding that Ohio should hate women. Oh! Can we call OVE, Ohio vs. Estrogen!!! Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Joking aside, I’m just going to chalk up this below average episode to it being at the end of the tapings.