By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling on Pursuit (simulcast on Twitch TV)
Taped June 6-7 in New York City, New York at The Melrose Ballroom
Highlights from last week’s Impact Wrestling aired…
Josh Mathews and Don Callis were on commentary. Josh welcomed viewers from the Melrose Ballroom in New York City…
1. Tessa Blanchard vs. Jake Crist. Tessa pummeled Jake early on before Jake got the upper hand by dragging Tessa to the mat. Tessa came right back with a cutter on Jake. Tessa then hit Jake with a series of three suicide dives. Tessa went for the Magnum, but instead ate a superkick from Jake. The crowd chanted “Go! Back to Ohio!” in the cadence of Seven Nation Army. Callis said he can’t believe anyone wants to actually go back to Ohio after getting out. Jake raked Tessa’s face with his forearm.
Tessa escaped the corner when Jake decided to taunt the crowd. Tessa gave Jake a series of forearms. Jake countered with a Russian Legsweep into a butterfly submission hold. Tessa tried to escape with knees to Jake but Jake made sure to position himself away from the knee range. Tessa managed to reach the bottom rope for the rope break. Callis noted taht Jake made the most of the five count. Jake locked Tessa in a facelock. Jake clawed at the face of Tessa. Jake hit Tessa with a snap suplex for a one count. Tessa rocked Jake with a series of punches. Tessa countered Jake’s counter with a tornado DDT for a two count. Jake escaped Tessa’s fireman carry with a claw to Tessa’s face.
Callis noted that Jake’s strikes aren’t getting Tessa of her feet. Tessa hit Jake with a Jawbreaker. Jake planted Tessa with a delayed Death Valley Driver for a two count. Tessa recovered and hit Jake with a series of thrust kicks. Tessa hit Jake with The Magnum for the victory.
Tessa Blanchard defeated Jake Crist via pinfall in 7:32.
Sami Callihan, Dave Crist, and Madman Fulton made their way to the ring. Tessa made sure to duck away because OVE has the numbers advantage. Dave dragged around Fulton by the dreadlocks. Tessa told Sami to bring it on while Sami responded with a thumbs down. Josh Mathews noted that Madman Fulton is scheduled next for a match against Eddie Edwards.
John’s Thoughts: Small side nitpick, but why did they turn Tessa babyface? The only reason I bring up that point is because Tessa was so good as a bratty heel and she hasn’t shown as much personality since turning face. I only say that because she is very next-level as an antagonist. That said, her in-ring is as sharp as ever. She wrestles like the men in that she’s very power oriented in her offense. Tessa’s offense was very believable against Jake. I like the way that Callis put it in the end that it wasn’t an upset. Tessa’s just a damn good wrestler, regardless of gender expectations.
Right after Tessa left, Eddie Edwards made his entrance. Josh Mathews said “to hell with Commercial breaks”. Eddie Edwards cleared the ring. Edwards gave Fulton a suicide dive. Josh sent things to commercial… [c]
2. Madman Fulton (w/Dave Crist, Jake Crist, Sami Callihan) vs. Eddie Edwards. Edwards and Fulton brawled at ringside. Josh noted that the bell hasn’t rung yet and that Eddie can use Kenny 2.0 if he wants. Eddie and Fulton brawled for a good minute. Fulton hit Edwards with a choke slam on the hardest part of the ring. Fulton and Callihan intimidated the referee to get the bell rung. After the bell rang, Fulton hit Edwards with a release vertical suplex. Fulton deadlifted Eddie from the mat into a choke slam.
Fulton intimidated the referee again which distracted the ref to allow Callihan to get a cheap shot on Edwards. Fulton hit Edwards with a butterfly side slam. Edwards kicked out at two. Edwards ended Fulton’s onslaught with a basement dropkick to Fulton’s knee. Fulton tried to power bomb Eddie to the outside but Edwards held on to Fulton’s hair followed by a huracanrana. Edwards hit Fulton with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. Callis said this is the first time he’s seen Fulton at a disadvantage in Impact Wrestling. Edwards dove at Callihan on the outside.
Eddie pulled out “Kenny 2.0” from under the ring. Suddenly Killer Kross appeared on the video wall. Kross addressed Eddie as “Mr. Edwards”. Kross looked like he was in a janitor’s closet as he had a person trapped with a bag on his head. Kross said this was Sandman. Kross said everything between him and Eddie is water under the bridge. Kross said Sandman is fine too because Sandman has all the alcohol and carcinogens that Sandman would wish to consume. Sandman mumbled in pain. Kross joked that Sandman must be thirsty. Kross then went on to waterboard Sandman while taunting Eddie to “join the party”. Kross called Eddie a son of a bitch. This distracted Eddie enough for Fulton to nail Eddie with End of Days for the victory.
Madman Fulton defeated Eddie Edwards via pinfall in 5:49.
Callis said we just witnessed Impact Wrestling first waterboarding. Callis also assumed that Sandman is trapped somewhere in the building. The camera stuck on Eddie Edwards after the match. Eddie stumbled in a rage and presumablyl went to the back to find sandman… [c]
John’s Thoughts: A pretty good match. Fulton’s still a bit rough when it comes to playing the monster role, but there are Kane qualities to the way he’s presented. It is a bit odd that there were no callbacks to Eddie Edwards and Sami Callihan’s feud because Sami is supposedly the reason “Crazy Eddie” exists. Kross continues to shine every time he’s given TV time. The only problem with this feud is Eddie is not sympathetic because Crazy Eddie has been a bust since it’s inception.
A Slammiversary ad aired…
Alisha Edwards found Eddie Edwards walking around the stairwell, and of course she started yelling at him because she is always yelling at him. Alisha said she saw Kross and it’s a trap. Alisha kept yelling “it’s a trap” but Eddie Edwards didn’t listen and went on the hunt for Kross and Sandman…
Josh Mathews and Don Callis checked in from ringside. Josh Mathews said Eddie is a man possessed. Josh then hyped upcoming segments…
Moose made his entrance wearing a sparkly green bath robe. He looked like a giant green disco ball…
3. Moose vs. Tommy Dreamer. Josh noted that Tommy Dreamer is a former ECW champion. Moose overpowered Dreamer early on. Dreamer came back with a shoulder tackle. Mosoe powered up with a Kip Up. Dreamer took down Moose with a flying crossbody. Moose regained control on the outside by slamming Dreamer’s head on the apron. Dreamer countered by whipping Moose to the ringpost followed by a back body drop. Dreamer took a sip of diet coke and spat it in Moose’s face. Moose regained control by giving Dreamer a backbreaker on the apron.
Moose continued dominating in the ring for a minute or two. Dreamer ducked a punch, punched Moose, and planted Moose with a cutter. Dreamer went for but missed the Bionic Elbow. Moose then did his rendition of the Bionic Elbow punches, but missed the elbow too. Moose hit Dreamer with a pump kick. Dreamer came back with a forearm. Dreamer then used a fakeout punch to plant Moose with a DDT. Moose kicked out at two. Dreamer put Moose on the top rope and hit him with a superplex for a two count. Moose turned the tables with a power Irish Whip to the turnbuckle. Dreamer blocked a spear with a boot. Dreamer then gave Moose a spear. Dreamer pulled out a chair from under the ring. Moose used the referee as a human shield. Moose then pump kicked the chair into Dreamer and followed up with a spear for the win.
Moose defeated Tommy Dramer via pinfall in 8:17.
Moose put the boots to Dreamer after the match. Josh said this was Moose’s psychological warfare. Moose set up Dreamer and the chair in position for the Van Terminator. Moose was about to execute the move but he was stopped in his tracks by Rob Van Dam’s crap ass entrance music. RVD ran out for the save and Moose ran away…
John’s Thoughts: A pretty decent match that the crowd just wasn’t into. Not the wrestlers fault because the work was there. The crowd here just wasn’t as hot as the 2300 arena crowd was for the ECW nostalgia.
Taya Valkyrie and John E. Bravo were backstage looking for Rosemary’s lair. Taya found Rosemary’s lair to be right under the stairwell. Rosemary called Taya a mortal while calling John E a dog. Taya said she only came here because she absolutely had to. Taya said the humidity is really messing with her complexion. Taya said Rosemary’s “goblin friends” are a problem and Rosemary needs to take care of them. Rosemary said Taya used to be a “Thunder Goddess” at one point and now she’s running to “us” to take care of Taya’s pest problem. Taya said in Slam Town you call the exterminator to deal with pest problems.
Taya said she doesn’t know how to deal with these “creatures”. Rosemary said that exterminators always come at a price. Rosemary said “give a little, get a little” in regards to an exchange for Rosemary’s services. Rosemary stared at Taya’s knockouts title. Taya got the message and agreed to give Rosemary a title shot if Rosemary could take care of the “goblins” (Havok, Su Yung, and James Mitchell)… [c]
John’s Thoughts: Again, another solid performance from Rosemary and Taya, but there’s still that looming fear that Impact creative will try to get too cute with this again and start doing supernatural stuff without context. Right now, this is okay. Taya’s trying to keep her title. Rosemary, Havok, and Su Yung are coming after the title. There’s an absolute goal. The “Undead Realm” saga made no sense because there was no endgame, goals, or logic. Throw random superpowers in the mix and it all goes to crap.
Melissa Santos interviewed Johnny Impact who was shirtless and had John E Bravo with him holding the plastic X. Johnny hyped this week’s triple threat main event. Johnny said last week Mike Elgin bit the hand that fed him. Johnny said that’s understandble because Elgin is hungry and not smart. Johnny called out Big Mike and said it was time for Big Payback. Johnny said he’s cashing his giant red X for a X Division title shot at Slammiversary. John E held up the giant X in front of Melissa while Melissa tried to shove it away because it was against her face. Johnny said Rich Swann has a one way ticket to Slam Town and Johnny is leaving Slammiversary as the X Division Champion. Melissa was annoyaed as Johnny and John E were doing their thing…
John’s Thoughts: Decent interview, but the star of these interviews is Melissa Santos who does a great job reacting to the wrestlers she’s interviewing. This was something she did really well as a ring announcer in Lucha Underground and I’m happy it’s worked even better in Impact because she’s directly interacting with more wrestlers.
4. Taya Valkyrie vs. Su Yung (w/Jessika Havok, James Mitchell) for the Impact Knockouts Championship. Josh Mathews and Don Callis wondered why Havok wears a gas mask? Taya threw her coat in Don’s face which freaked Don out. Su Yung was spazing out in the corner before the bell. Taya and Su traded standing forearms early on. Taya dominated after a back kick and knee lift. Su staggered Taya with a palm strike. Taya escaped an early Panic Switch attempt. Taya hit Sy Yung with a German Suplex. Su dodged Taya and came at her with forearms. Taya countered Su and German Suplexed Su into the bottom buckle. Taya hit Su Yung with a hip attack and running meteora in the corner.
Taya did her Wera Loca dance to try to wake up the crowd a bit. Su Yung recovered, sent Taya into the corner, and dropkicked Taya. Su Yung hit Taya with a crabwalk headscissors into the second buckle. Su locked Taya in a modified Rings of Saturn. Taya made it to the ropes for the break. Su Yung hit Taya with a hanging Pedigree. Su Yung got a two count as Josh Mathews noted that Su Yung grabbed the “Boot with the fir”.
John’s Thoughts: I don’t know why, but Josh Mathews trying to channel his inner T-Pain cracked me the hell up.
Su Yung pulled out her blood glove from her bra. Josh said the glove might be made of human skin. Callis said he can smell the glove from the commentary table. Taya ducked the glove and gave Su Yung a curb stomp for a two count. Taya fended off the glove and kicked Su’s arm. Taya gave a codebreaker to Su’s arm. Taya then focused her offense on Su Yung’s gloved right hand. Taya went to the top rope to pose. Josh noted that this was a bad decision by Taya. This allowed Su Yung to grab Taya’s butt with the bloody glove (I guess?). Havok shoved Taya off the top rope to invoke the DQ.
Taya Valkyrie defeated Su Yung via a DQ in 6:17 to retain the Impact Knockouts Championship.
The ring announcer actually announced the match result. Taya’s entrance theme played. Su Yung, Jessika Havok, and James Mitchell surrounded Taya. Rosemary made her entrance as Taya retreated to Rosemary. Josh called Rosemary “the insurance policy of Taya Valkyrie”. Mitchell said Rosemary has come out here to save the day. Mitchell said he isn’t here to incite violence but rather this is a time for celebration. Mitchell went into hype for Slammiversary. Mitchell said since Texas is known for parties he’s announcing that Rosemary, Havok, Su Yung, and Taya Valkryie will all be involved in a Monster’s Ball Match. Havok and Rosemary looked happy at this development. Taya wasn’t happy. Su Yung shambled around like a zombie because that’s what Su Yung does. Havok’s theme played to close the segment… [c]
John’s Thoughts: A good match with a bad finish. Bad in a sense that it made Taya look really dumb for deciding to pose on the top rope while Su Yung wasn’t knocked out. Josh Mathews even pointed that out. That said, I’m still okay with this feud because it’s staying grounded in logic. Mitchell is allowed to shine when given good material to work with. I also look forward to the Monster’s Ball match because since Abyss isn’t involved, you shouldn’t get that carbon copy Abyss match that made Monster’s Ball so redundant.
A replay aired of James Mitchell announcing Monster’s Ball…
Ace Austin made his entrance for an upcoming match. He still loves his ace card. Josh noted that Ace does magic. Callis said it wasn’t magic because all Ace did was pull a ace out of his sleeve and we all saw it. Austin plugged his T-Shirt in the promo. Austin bragged about being unpinned and undefeated (in singles matches). Austin talked about being the future of the X Division. Austin said the division will be called “The Ace Division”. Callis called Austin a cocky little bastard. Austin talked about how he’ll be a future X Division Champion. Austin laid out an open challenge.
New entrance music played. The video wall revealed that the new wresler was the returning TJ Perkins who’s now going under the name TJP in Impact. Josh Mathews noted that the P stands for Perkins and that TJP used to be called Manik in Impact Wrestling (as well as Suicide)…
John’s Thoughts: Another aside, but is it just me or is the crowd extremely quiet for this week’s episode? This is a stark contrast when compared to the hot 2300 Arena crowd. I’m not sure if the crowd is quiet or just not mic’d well?
5. Ace Austin vs. TJ Perkins. Perkins got a mild “welcome back” chant. Perkins took down Austin with a huracanrana and rebound armdrag. Perkins hit Austin with a wrecking ball kick at ringside. Austin countered a whip and came right back at Perkins with a forearm and drive by kick. Austin hit Perkins with his signature Handstand into a kick. Perkins countered a huracanrana with a power bomb in the ring. Perkins hit Austin with a High Fly Flow. Perkins hit Austin with the Detonation Kick and then picked up the win.
TJP defeated Ace Austin via pinfall in 2:11.
Josh Mathews noted that this was Ace Austin’s first loss in Impact Wrestling…
John’s Thoughts: A nice get for Impact Wrestling in getting back TJ Perkins. Perkins has evolved a lot as a wrestler since we last saw him in Impact and I got to see him grow during my time reviewing 205 Live. Not sure how he’ll do as a babyface, but the guy showed a lot of strong mic skills as a heel by the end of his WWE run. The only thing that confuses me a bit about the TJP return is why would they feed Ace Austin to him? Maybe this will be Ace Austin’s first program? Then again, it kinda reeks of old TNA to bury young promising talent in favor of WWE castoffs (And I like TJP, but Ace Austin is someone Impact should be building up as “the future”).
Eddie Edwards was wandering around backstage looking for Kross and Sandman. He was essentially playing Marco Polo and finding nothing…
The Rascalz were back to doing 70s show ripoffs. Their Adobe After Effects smoke was brown for some reason. Konnan joined the circle and tried to hype up LAX’s upcoming match against the Rascalz. Konnan mocked the Rascalz hand thing by calling it “fruit roll up” stuff. Konnan ended his hype by doing the LAX catchphrase…
John’s Thoughts: It was refreshing last week to see the Rascalz take things seriously for once. It looks like they’re back to acting like a bunch of scrubs. There’s a lot of promise with the group. It’s not like the serious approach wouldn’t be a bad approach. Jeff Jarrett even presented Dezmond Xavier as a future world championat one point and that came off well…
After some Slammiversary hype, Josh Mathews sent it over to the Impact Plus Match of the Week. It was Sami Callihan vs. Pentagon Jr. in a Mask vs. Hair match from last year’s Slammiversary. They aired about 9 minutes…
Eddie Edwards was still roaming backstage.The camera was in cinematic mode for this. He found the man with the bag on his head and found out that it wasn’t Sandman. Kross blindsided Edwards and the two men brawled. Kross flashed a compact mirror at Eddie maniacally asking “which Eddie is this?”. Random generic rock music started playing. Eddie Edwards dominated Kross. Alisha Edwards ran in to yell at Eddie Edwards again, saying that this is not who Eddie is. Eddie started to mumble about how this his who he always is. Alisha yelled “no more Eddie”. Kross was spitting up blood and asked Eddie for more. Eddie Edwards mounted Killer Kross and started to eat Kross’s face (?). (So, he’s LU Jeff Cobb now?). Eddie Edwards stood up chewing something while Kross was rolling on the ground in pain away from the camera. The cheesy generic rock music played again. The cinematic ended with Eddie stomping Kross… [c]
John’s Thoughts: Okay? That was a thing? We’re back to Lucha Underground world with Eddie except Lucha Underground is well written while this one reeks of Jimmy Jacobs Undead Realm stubbornness. I mean, it makes more sense than Undead Realm, but Eddie Edwards is not the right actor for this “crazed” role. He comes off as cheesy. Kross is perfect for this role. Not Eddie. And now Eddie’s eating people? I guess? Why is that interesting? I mean, when Jeff Cobb ate B-Boy it made sense because Jeff Cobb’s character was a cannibal in a basement. Eddie is just Eddie. Nevermind, this isn’t worth delving into.
Sami Callihan cut a camcorder promo. He talked about how Tessa Blanchard wants to be treated as an equal. Sami Callihan proposed Tessa Blanchard vs. Sami Callihan at Slammiversary. Sami said that it’s 2019 where people get equal opportunities. Sami said he’s going to treat Tessa like he treats everyone else, by beating them to a bloody pulp. Sami said he beat down Pentagon, Brian Cage, and Rich Swann (didn’t he lose all those matches/feuds?). Sami then went on to brag about being “the draw”. He then talked about bringing in the ratings (which are around 4000 people right now on Twitch). Sami ended the promo with his thumbs up thing…
Josh Mathews and Don Callis checked in from ringside. Don Callis said he’s not sure what Sami’s issue with Tessa is (I’m honestly wondering the same thing)? Josh Mathews announced LAX and Laredo Kid vs. The Rascalz next week in a Trios Match. He also advertised Taya and Rosemary vs. Su Yung and Havok along with a Brian Cage health update…
Entrances for the main event took place… [c]
6. Rich Swann vs. Johnny Impact vs. Michael Elgin in a non-title match. Elgin and Johnny shoved each other early on as to who would beat up Rich Swann. Elgin controled the match early on with his power. Johnny escaped a carry. Swann took down both Elgin and Johnny with a crossbody. Swann used his agility to run around Johnny and Elgin. Swann took down Elgin on the outside with a corkscrew plancha. Callis noted that it wasn’t a clean hit. Johnny hit Elgin and Swann with his own Corkscrew plancha. Johnny and Rich brawled in the ring to the to rope.
Elgin reentered the party and hit both men with a singular German Suplex. Elgin put both men in parallel corners and then ran into them many times with corner splashes. Johnny escaped an Elgin suplex. Swann took down both Elgin and Johnny with huracanranas. Swann got a two count on Elgin. Elgin grabbed Swann’s leg to prevent Swann from going high risk. Elgin hit Swann with a Air Raid Crash. Johnny hit a bunch of rapid fire flips on Elgin and Swann. Johnny got a two count on Swann. Johnny and Elgin brawled. Elgin clocked Johnny with a discus forearm which he used to set up Johnny with a spinning side slam. Elgin got a two count on Johnny. Johnny and Elgin staggered each other with kicks which allowed Rich Swann to nail both men with a double Lethal Injection.
Swann put Johnny on the top rope but Elgin put Swann in the Electric Chair position. Johnny hit Swann with a Flying Chuck which in turn Swann hit Elgin with a huracanrana. Johnny missed a Starship Pain on Elgin. Johnny used his feet to fend off Elgin. Elgin used Savate kicks to fight back Johnny. Johnny caught Elgin with a Spanish Fly. Rich Swann came out of nowhere on Johnny with a 450 for the victory.
Rich Swann defeated Johnny Impact and Michael Elgin via pinfall in 8:34.
Rich Swann dance holding up his X Title after the match. Mike Elgin stood right up with an angry look on his face. Josh Mathews said “party crasher”. Swann tried to catch Elgin off guard with a cross kick but Elgin caught it. Swann ended up taking down Elgin with a spinning roundhouse. Swann took down Johnny with a cross kick. John E Bravo ran out and hit Rich Swann with what Josh Mathews called “The Ultimate X”. Johnny Impact then went on to choke Rich Swann with the giant red X. Johnny and Elgin started playing tug-o-war with the red X.
Suddenly Impact World Champion made his entrance. Cage Military Press Slammed Johnny from inside of the ring to the ramp. Elgin and Cage had a face off. Cage hit Elgin with a high knee and discus lariat. Brian Cage hit Michael Elgin with a Jackknife Power Bomb. Cage stood tall with his world championship to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: A fun main event match with a lot of fun spots. Rich Swann was the right person to put over as he has the most to gain from beating two main eventers. Johnny can absorb the loss. Elgin was kept away from the finish. The Brian Cage return was pretty standard but also pretty cool. It’s not too much of a shock that Cage is medically cleared if you pay attention to stuff happening outside of Impact. Even if you only pay attention to Impact, Melissa Santos announced during the commercials a few weeks ago that Cage was fine health wise and wrestling all over the world again. That said, it’s good for Impact to finally have their world champion back.
Another good episode of Impact. Impact continues to put on good shows on a weekly basis and some of their bad parts like the Undead Realm are hopefully starting to disappear. I do fear that the Undead Realm might come back. I was happy that the 70s show circle disappeared for one week only to have it reappear the next. That and they took another lame step in the development of Eddie Edwards by having him eat Killer Kross.