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 followed by the Impact Wrestling intro theme… Josh Mathews and Don Callis were on commentary…
1. “The North” All-Ego Ethan Page and Josh Alexander vs. “The Deaners” Cody Deaner and Cousin Jake. Josh and Jake started off the match. Alexander overpowered Jake during the chain wrestling sequence. Alexander used a single-leg takedown to initiate a side headlock on Jake. Jake recovered and hit Alexander with a shoulder block. Cody and Jake traded quick tags for tandem offense. Alexander fought his way out of the corner with a forearm to tag in Page. Cody tossed Page into Jake’s knee for a gutbuster.
Page fought Jake to his corner to tag in Alexander. Page and Alexander put the boots to Jake. Jake escaped a double Neutralizer attempt by the North. Jake held open the ropes so Cody could hit Page with a suicide dive. Alexander tripped Jake to the outside and hit Jake with a crossbody dive to the outside. Cody pulled Alexander back in the ring. Page and Alexander managed to overpower Jake. Page hit Cody with a spinning backbreaker. The North worked isolation on Cody. Alexander hit Cody with a double team impaler DDT. Jake broke up the pin attempt.
Jake got control of the match and took down Alexander with a hip attack. Alexander hit Jake with a chop block and got a ankle lock in for a bit. Jake escaped and fought Alexander to the Deaner corner. Cody tagged in and hit Alexander with a top rope headbutt for a two count. Jake hit Alexander with a spear in the corner. Cody tagged in and twisted the hat and it looked like the Deaners went for a Magic Killer. Ethan Page broke up the move and the North regained control of the match. Alexander and Jake traded stiff strikes. Alexander hit Jake with a Deadlift German but Jake nosold the move and came back with a lariat.
Alexander kicked out at two. Cody hit Alexander with a DDT which Josh Mathews said has beat many people in the past (wasn’t he a jobber during his first TNA run?). Page held on to Cody’s leg to prevent him form going high risk. The North hit Cody with a Double Neutralizer and All Ego picked up the pinfall.
The North defeated The Deaners via pinfall in 10:31.
Alexander was bleeding from the forehead…
John’s Thoughts: A good win for the North who Impact seems to be back in rebuild mode after taking a few losses during their run as Moose’s sidekicks. Here’s hoping we see some character work from the two eventually especially from Ethan Page who cut one hell of a promo against RVD in Page’s one chance in Impact to cut a promo.
Taya Valkyrie met with Rosemary in Rosemary’s stairwell lair. Taya talked about how she didn’t agree to Monster’s Ball. Taya also talked about this not being close to the end of her latest 30-day title defense window and thus she’s not contractually obligated to defend the title. Rosemary cupped Taya’s mouth and reminded Taya that Taya had made a verbal contract with Rosemary last week that Rosemary would help take care of Havok and Su in exchange for a title shot. Rosemary also told Taya that Taya and Rosemary have been “tasked” with a match against “the goblins” (Su Yung and Havok)… [c]
Rolando Menendez is back and he was outside somewhere looking for a “scoop” on Brian Cage’s health. Rolando met with the Fake Doctor guy, Doctor Ariel, from a few weeks ago. The Doctor said Cage put his health in jeopardy last week and he’s going to see to it personally that Cage doesn’t put himself and the company in jeopardy tonight…
Josh Mathews and Don Callis checked in on commentary. They talked about how Dr. Ariel hasn’t medically cleared Cage yet. The commentators cut to footage from a recent House of Hardcore show where Moose attacked Tommy Dreamer. Moose held Dreamer near the camera and said “This is all your fault Rob!”. The camera’s cut to the commentary table and Josh said Don Callis better watch out for Moose because Callis is a friend of RVD. Josh also hyped Sami Callihan vs. Tessa Blanchard at Slammiversary. He also announced Eddie Edwards vs. Killer Kross in a first blood match. Josh then ran through some upcoming matches on Impact… [c]
2. Su Yung and Jessika Havok vs. Taya Valkyrie and Rosemary. Josh Mathews invoked his weird WWE logic of saying that Taya has 25% chance of retaining her title at Slammiversary. Taya and Rosemary argued over who would start the match (why would Taya want to wrestle anyway given her character?). Havok dragged in Taya and then worked her over. Su Yung tagged in and started to choke Taya. Taya fought off Su with forearms but Su came back with a drop toehold. Su Yung hit Taya with her headscissors into the second turnbuckle. Su Yung put on her bloody glove and Havok tagged in. Havok missed a Banzai Drop and Rosemary tagged in.
Callis argued that Taya should let Rosemary handle everything. Rosemary hit Havok with a corner splash. Rosemary took down Havok iwth a dropkick to Havok’s knee. Rosemary locked Last Chancery on Havok but Su Yung broke it up. Rosemary sidestepped Havok to send her spilling to the outside. Rosemary drop toeheld Havok into a chair at ringside. Su Yung hit Rosemary in the back with a chair to invoke a DQ.
Rosemary and Taya Valkyrie defeated Su Yung and Jessika Havok via DQ in 4:58.
Taya tried to run away with her title but Su Yung caught up to Taya and brawled with Taya to the ring. Su Yung stuck the bloody glove in Taya’s mouth for the mandible claw. Rosemary sent Havok into the ringpost and then hit Su Yung with a spear. Taya put the boots to Havok and then went into babyface Wera Loca mode complete with a Ultimate Warrior rope shake. Rosemary poured thumbtacks in the ring. Havok saved Su Yung from getting suplexed into the tacks. Su Yung accidently gave Havok a palm strike. Havok tried to shove Su into the tacks but James Mitchell ran out to get between Havok and Su to get them back on the same page…
John’s Thoughts: Not the hottest angle, but pretty decent hype for Monsters Ball. Rosemary hasn’t worked a lot in-ring since her return and I’m wondering if she’s limited physically. While not to hot, I’ll take this over any trips to the Undead Realm. At least the women are fighting for championships and power rather than running around in pointless circles just for the sake of having cinematics.
Melissa Santos interviewed Ace Austin about suffering his first loss in Impact last week. Ace said he didn’t like Melissa’s question. Ace Austin talked about how nobody knew TJP worked in Impact before last week. Austin talked about how he studies for his matches blamed his loss on not knowing who his opponent was. TJP interrupted the interview. TJP said he showed up to the interview because he had to stretch his legs a bit after being “chained in a basement” for the last three years. TJP talked about how TJP didn’t know he was in Impact before last week either. TJP challenged Ace Austin to a rematch so Ace wouldn’t have any excuses this time… [c]
John’s Thoughts: I like that they’re allowing Ace Austin to talk more and it looks like they’re stretching out something between him and TJP. TJP’s improved on the microphone a lot since he was last in Impact (he’s dropped the weird Swaggy P Nick Young like promos). I could have done without the cliche jab at WWE especially since his WWE run was way better than his last run in Impact given that WWE made him the centerpiece of the Cruiserweight Division at one point and had him win their WWE Cruiserweight Classic tournament. That kinda just made him come off as sour grapes.
Cody and Cousin Jake Deaner were at the bar area drinking beers. Cody tried to inspire Jake after their loss talking about how the Deaners “Giv’er”. Rohit Raju, Raj Singh, and Gama Singh walked in to mock the Deaners for losing. Rohit said the Deaners were trash where the DHS were class…
Josh Mathews hyped Slammiversary…
The show cut to cinematic mode at some sort of church at Boston, MA. Eddie Edwards sat at the first row of seats and started to pray. A pastor came up behind him asked Eddie when’s the last time he made a confession. Eddie started to sob about losing his friends, career, and maybe his wife. Eddie said he doesn’t care because he’s being pulled in the direction of doing bad things. Eddie said in the eyes of God, he’s a sinner. Suddenly Killer Kross teleported in the place of the pastor. Kross said we’re all sinners in the eyes of God. Eddie was about to fight Kross but Kross told Eddie that this was holy grounds and nobody wants to start a fight in a church.
Kross said Eddie’s always trying to search for forgiveness in all the wrong places. Kross said Edwards is afraid of losing or maybe even finding himself. Eddie said he’ll see Kross later outside, where there’s no rules. Eddie left. Kross said Eddie will have to wait a long time because Kross finds it peaceful at church. Kross sat down and the random pastor asked Kross about Kross’s last confession. Kross got up and said he would like to confess his sins right now. Kross aggressively held in the pastor and asked the pastor “how much time do you have?”… [c]
John’s Thoughts: Production-wise, this was one of Impact’s better cinematics in a long time. Kross is a great actor and I’m surprised Lucha Underground didn’t do more cinematic work with him aside from a few where Kross was a evil wizard from Wonderland. Eddie Edwards on the other hand is not fit for this “Crazy” character which seems to get retconned week-to-week. If they wanted to go the cinematic route, why not make Eddie a straight-laced hero, like Lucha Underground did with people like Ricochet or Rey Fenix. Instead, this crazy Eddie character is just too inconsistent and comes off as Eddie playing community theater.
John E Bravo was hanging out with his former referee colleagues bragging about being Johnny Impact’s friend. The referees laughed at John E for being Johnny’s stooge. Johnny talked about how he’s in a better positon now instead of being a referee jobber. John E said “Johnny completes me”. The referees and security continued to laugh off John E. John E tried to act macho by saying he would choke Rich Swann by the neck if Rich were here. Speak of the devil, Rich Swann showed up and started to attack John E. Johnny ran in to save John E. Willie Mack joined in. The referees and security separated the two teams. Rich Swann proposed a match between the two teams. John E accepted the challenge much to the chagrin of Johnny who was busy talking about Slam Town…
John’s Thoughts: Random thought, wasn’t Willie Mack supposed to be in the hospital at this point. I’m fine with Mack being presented as durable, but I thought it would have been good to have Mack sell the injury to give Michael Elgin some credibility.
Sami Callihan and Madman Fulton made their entrance. Josh said he doesn’t understand Sami Callihan’s sudden obcession with Tessa Blanchard and the Knockouts. Callis said Sami is always trying to prove something to everyone.
John’s Thoughts: I’m guessing Impact’s just trying to wear their oddball writing on their sleeve, but all that does is bring the bad writing to light. It’s not horrible, because I’m pretty sure Sami vs. Tessa is going to be a great match. I’m just not sure why the commentators are bringing up how random Sami hating women is. I would have just presented as Sami being a bit of a wild card.
3. Sami Callihan (w/Madman Fulton) vs. Fallah Bahh (w/Scarlett Bordeaux). Bahh came at Sami early on with rapid fire palm strikes. Don Callis gave Bahh credit for having a lot of agility for his size. Bahh slammed Sami to the ground and hit him with a spinning elbow strike. Fulton held on to Bahh’s leg and Bahh stomped Fulton’s hand. The distraction was enough for Sami to plant Bahh with a lariat. Fulton was ejected from ringside. Bahh stood up and did the Mutombo finger wag. Sami stopped running on a dime which caused Bahh to crash and burn off a crossbody attempt.
Sami locked in a headlock. Bahh Bahh’d up. Sami brought Bahh back down with a kick after pulling Bahh’s long hair. The camera caught snot falling out of Sami’s nose uncontrollably which caused the commentators to rightfully show their disgust. Callis said Sami needs to check his sinuses. Sami maintained control over Bahh with a side headlock. Bahh fought out. Bahh showed agility with a judo roll and then hit Sami with a belly-to-belly. Bahh did his own stopping on a dime and hit Sami with a hip attack in the corner. Callis noted that Bahh is a lot faster after dropping weight.
Bahh hit Sami with a Samoan Drop. Sami rolled away to avoid a Bahh top rope Banzai Drop. Bahh chased Sami around ringside. Sami escaped the hold of Bahh by biting Bahh’s hand. Sami also stepped on Bahh’s bare foot. Sami hit Bahh with a draping Pile Driver for the victory.
Sami Callihan defeated Fallah Bahh via pinfall in 6:43.
John’s Thoughts: A good match on both sides. Fallah Bahh has evolved into quite the in-ring workhorse and this really started to stand out ever since his world title match against Austin Aries. He’s also gotten noticeably faster after dropping a large amount of weight. Sami continues to build himself up as one of the more credible wrestlers on the Impact roster (despite losing all his big matches). Sami comes off as plucky and resourceful, but in a heel way. It’s tough to argue against Sami being one of the best overall wrestlers in the world (and Sami Callihan can be a great babyface too down the road and MLW viewers have witness in the past few months).
Sami took a mic and called someone in the crowd a dumbass. Sami successfully led the crowd in a “draw” chant. Sami talked about how only a male can get this over. Sami said he doesn’t like knockouts equality. Sami sat in the ring and said he might take this show hostage. Sami said he has to say something but “unlike a bitch, I don’t do it from behind”. Sami called out Tessa Blanchard. Tessa made her entrance. Sami called Tessa a professional wrestler. Sami talked about how Tessa can’t do anything to him because he’s a male. Sami talked about how he’s going to treat Tessa like an equal. Sami hit Tessa with a pump kick and said that’s what happens when a women gets in the ring with a man. Sami did his thumb thing. Tessa recovered and beat up Sami. Jake and Dave Crist ran out and pulled Tessa away. Sami hit Tessa in the gut with a baseball bat. Tessa spit in the face of Sami and Sami planted her with a pile driver. The OVE trio did their thumbs up thing to end the segment… [c]
John’s Thoughts: So, Sami’s a great promo and all, but this random male chauvinist thing is just coming off as plain random. While I gave Disco Inferno credit for using a simple heel tactic to get on the nerves of the crowd, Disco’s overall storyline needs to be credited with having a strong logical build. This Sami vs. women feud had no build whatsoever. Coming off the Disco feud, it’s making Sami come off as Disco-lite when the guy deserves better writing behind his immense talent. I don’t want to always bring up Lucha Underground, but even they handled Sami Callihan vs. Women a lot better when Sami was feuding with Ivelisse (and subsequently dropped the ball when Sami became a Zombie).
4. Laredo Kid, Santana, and Ortiz vs. “The Rascalz” Dez, Trey, and Wentz. LAX and The Rascalz jawed a bit before the match. Laredo Kid started the action by giving the Rascalz a flying crossbody. Santana and Ortiz hit the Rascalz with dives to the ringside. Laredo and Trey then went one-on-one. Laredo hit Trey with a crossbody and superkick. Trey was sent to ringside with a dropkick Laredo hit the pile of people on the outside with a Tuck Moonsault. [c]
Santana hit Trey with a Reverse Power bomb. All three of the LAX team then hit splash variations on Trey. The Rascalz recovered and turned the tables on LAX. Ortiz fought out of the corner and used a body scissors to cause Wentz to accidently DDT Dez. Santana hit Trey with a modified Falcon Arrow. Wentz hit Santana with Neuralizer. Ortiz hit Wentz with a sitout bomb. Dez hit Ortiz with CQC into a cutter. Laredo hit Dez with a Spanish Fly. Trey took out Laredo Kid with a roundhouse. LAX won the next exchange. Laredo Kid hit all three Rascalz with a 450. Trey kicked out at two. Wentz and Dez cleared Santana and Laredo from the ring. Ortiz ate many kicks from all directions. Trey hit Ortiz with a top rope meteora for the victory.
The Rascalz defeated The Latin American XChange and Laredo Kid via pinfall.
Trey was crying after the match after his big victory while the other two Rascalz did their hand thing to the crowd…
John’s Thoughts: A very fun indie-style spotfest. While I liked their tag title encounter better, the crowd was really into this match. I think this might be the loudest this Melrose Ballroom crowd has been (the Melrose Crowd hasn’t been as excited compared to the 2300 Arena crowd).
Melissa Santos interviewd Madison Rayne about being the second person to pin Jordynne Grace. Rayne said she should be happy for that victory but the finish was clouded in controversy when Kiera Hogan interference. Rayne said she feels Jordynne deserves a rematch. Kiera Hogan interrupted the interview and said Jordynne Grace doesn’t deserve a damn thing for everything Grace did to Kiera as a friend. Kiera said she sees the old and sympathetic Kiera in Madison Rayne right now, a person who thinks that the Knockouts division should be a sisterhood. Kiera said one thing every knockout has in common is they are all “selfish bitches” deep down inside. Kiera said Kiera’s difference is she’s not afraid to admit that. Madison Rayne said the rematch with Jordyne Grace could wait and maybe the women do have a dark side in them. Rayne challenged Kiera and said she’ll show Kiera how ugly things can really get… [c]
It was time for the latest Rascalz ode to That 70s show, complete with the canned laughter and Adobe After Effects smoke. They argued over who would wrestle LAX for the titles at Slammiversary. They proposed a triple threat next week where the Rascal that gets pinned will not be in the Slammiversary match…
John’s Thoughts: When they treat these segments like they just had a match, it comes off more like they are sitting in a sauna than smoking weed. Anyway, this cheesy and esoteric humor continues to make the Rascalz come off as scrubs. This feud really needs Konnan to tear into the Rascalz (he did a bit by mocking their lame hand gesture), similar to how Konnan took OVE to the next level by pointing out their flaws and the Crists getting rid of said flaws (the bad promos and meth addict look).
Josh Mathews announced the Rascalz triple threat, Kiera Hogan vs. Madison Rayne, TJP vs. Ace Austin, and Johnny Impact and John E Bravo vs. Rich Swann and The Mack for next week. Josh also ran through the announced Slammiversary matches…
Rolando Menendez tried to interview Brian Cage but Cage told Rolando to get out of his face. The fake doctor tried to tell Cage he’s not medically cleared but Cage lifted the doctor by the armpits and set him to the side. Cage headed to the ring… [c]
Brian Cage made his entrance for his first in-ring promo since winning the world championship. Fans near the ramp slapped the ramp to the beat of the Terminator theme (they finally learned from the Temple fans). Cage talked about how it took him 14 years to show he’s the best in pro wrestling and become Impact world champion. Cage said Elgin took that moment from Cage and even sent Cage to the hospital. Cage said Elgin sent an already injured Cage to the hospital. Cage said Cage is here now and Elgin will find out you can’t break the machine. The fake doctor interrupted Cage’s promo and stood face-to-face with Cage. Cage gave the fake doctor an F5. Cage was posing and was blindsided by Michael Elgin. Elgin gave Cage a buckle bomb followed by an Elgin Bomb.
Elgin held the title and told Cage that the title is his at Slammiversary. Before Elgin could leave, Cage held on to Elgin’s foot. Before Cage could get up, Elgin planted Cage with a spinning Elgin Bomb. Elgin set up a table. Callis noted that nobody is stopping Elgin because Elgin is sending everybody to the hospital (technically, he only really sent Cage there because Johnny Impact and Willie Mack were obviously fine in the earlier segment). Elgin power bombed Cage from the ring to ringside through a table. Elgin took Don Callis’s microphone and talked about how he’s going to be the new world champion. Callis walked away to check on Cage. Callis then told Elgin to get out of here. Callis threatened to fire Michael Elgin. Elgin responded by punching Callis. Elgin was about to power bomb Callis but he was frozen in his tracks when he saw Cage recovering. Cage and Elgin then brawled to close the show.
John’s Thoughts: A decent enough segment to close the show and build towards Cage vs. Elgin at Slammiversary. This build could be better, but Cage has been out with an injury so you can’t blame Impact in that sense since Elgin has been feuding with Rich Swann and Willie Mack while Cage was out. The only thing I would have liked to have seen was Elgin looking a bit stronger. Why not have Cage sell Elgin’s offense instead of the constant no-sells? Why not have Willie Mack not show up in a prior segment to sell Elgin’s destruction? I just think they aren’t putting enough heat behind Elgin since Cage returned.
Not as good as some of the shows we’ve gotten in the past few months, but it was still a solid show. Impact is up there as one of the more enjoyable weekly pro wrestling shows. The Eddie Edwards cinematic was pretty decent (the only drawback is Eddie’s miscast character). Rosemary and Su Yung have escaped the Undead Realm another week. So some of the bad parts of this show weren’t here this week so that’s a plus.
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