By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling on Pursuit (simulcast on Twitch TV)
Taped August 4, 2019 in Port Hueneme, California at Oceanview Pavilion
The usual Impact teaser aired showing highlights from last week followed by the Impact Wrestling intro theme…
Josh Mathews and Don Callis were on commentary…
1. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs. Rhino. Of course, the fans chanted EC-Dub as they usually do when an ECW guy shows up. Rhino planted Elgin to the mat to cause Elgin to roll to ringside and come up with a new plan. The fans started chanting “War Machine” at Rhino (wait? I don’t see Hanson and Rowe?). Elgin kicked Rhino in the gut when Rhino wanted a test of strength. Don Callis talked about how Elgin’s frustation is stemming from his time in Japan and how he didn’t like to follow the Japanese tradition of waiting in line behind people with more seniority.
Rhino dominated Elgin at ringside. Elgin managed to get a moment of respite after nailing Rhino with a jumping enzuigiri. Elgin dominated the strong style chop battle with Rhino. Elgin the followed up with a body slam and elbow. Rhino got Elgin and himself to the ground by butting heads in the middle of the ring. Rhino tried to tackle Elgin but Elgin caught Rhino and planted him with a uranage. Elgin took his time executing a corkscrew moonsault, which allowed Rhino to roll away and causing Elgin to crash and burn.
Elgin had a rally of striking offense. Rhino hit Elgin with a spinebuster for a two count. Elgin and Rhino adjusted each other’s weight to block suplexes. Elgin hit Rhino with a discus forearm which allowed him to deadlift Rhino into a German to get a two count. Rhino recovered and hit Elgin with a pile driver. Both men brawled to the top rope with Rhino executing a superplex. Elgin kicked out at two after Rhino could barely get the cover in. Rhino set up for the Gore but he ran right into Elgin’s knee and lariat. Elgin and Rhino were brawling in slow motion at ringside (complete with Rhino posing to the fans? What?). They didn’t beat the ten count. Dammit!
Rhino vs. Michael Elgin ended in an double countout in 11:27.
Elgin tossed Rhino into the ring and both men brawled with each other. The crowed loved it (good for them). The indie wrestling security guards ran out to separate the two men. Scott D’Amore and D’Lo Brown also ran out to separate both men… [c]
John’s Thoughts: The reason I said “dammit” was because I feel like this feud is continuing. That was not a good match and it did not have me looking forward to a future match between the two. Keith Lee and Dominik Dijakovic did this finish and I was happy because it would set up something fun to watch. This moved at a snail’s pace; and I like both wrestlers. Elgin has been one of my favorite wrestlers to watch in-ring for years. Rhino can go when against a good opponent too. This was just kinda eh. It also doesn’t help that Elgin struggled to beat a guy fresh off a undercard comedy role in WWE. I also feel like Impact doesn’t present Elgin as strongly at these “house show” type shows as they do when they are at their main tapings.
Elgin was pissed off backstage. He talked about Rhino using the rules to his advantage and jumping him from behind all the time. Elgin talked about how Rhino attacked him in a “goddamn mask”. Elgin said this fight isn’t close to over. Speaking of attacks from behind, while Elgin was cutting his promo, Rhino ran in and attacked him from behind again leading to a brawl. D’Amore, D’Lo, and the indie security separated them again. Rhino yelled “it’s not f–king over Elgin, I will end you!!!”…
John’s Thoughts: Now wait a sec? Why is Rhino so pissed off at Elgin again? I mean, Elgin has a point. Rhino is the one running around dressed up as a ninja, attacking him from behind without honor? Who’s the babyface again? And not in a good-intriguing way either? If Rhino is the masked heel ninja, could it be that Rhino has also been trying to murder Roman Reigns?
Josh Mathews and Don Callis checked in from their commentary area. Callis talked about how this Elgin-Rhino rivalry might end in a “gore gore gore”. Calis and Josh hyped up some upcoming segments…
Reno Scum made their entrance to challenge for the Impact Tag Team Championships. They led the crowd in “oi” chants. They’re babyface now?
John’s Thoughts: Is it like a requirement that every time a wrestling company comes to the west coast that there has to be a Reno Scum match?
2. “The North” All-Ego Ethan Page and Josh Alexander vs. “Reno Scum” Luster the Legend and Adam Thornstowe for the Impact Tag Team Championships. Luster shoulder tackled Page and led an “oi” chant (which is over in California due to their long history here). Luster took down Page with a Judo takedown and headbutt to the gut of Page. Luster tagged in Thornstowe who gave Page a stomp to the elbow. Alexander tagged in and Adam dominated a bit. Alexander turned the tables and swung around Adam with a Giant Swing. Alexander hit Adam with an assisted Impaler for the two count. [c]
Page and Alexander traded quick tags for some isolation offense on Adam. Thornstowe got a hope spot when he hit Page with a Tornado Paydirt. Luster caught the hot tag and Alexander tagged in too. Alexander dominated for a bit but Luster got Alexander in the corner and gave him punches. Luster put Page on the other side and ran into both men several times. Alexander escaped a fireman carry because Luster wanted to pose and say “oi”. Alexander tried to use the ropes for leverage but the referee caught him. Luster planted Alexander with a Uranage for a two count.
Adam tagged in and ran off Luster’s back to hit Page with a Poetry in Motion double stomp. Luster then suplexed Adam onto Alexander. Page put Alexander’s foot on the bottom rope for the pinfall rope break. Luster gave Page a suicide dive. Adam caught Alexander with a Death Valley Driver. Page crotched Adam on the top rope. This led to the North hitting Adam with a Burning Hammer (from Alexander) into a power slam by Page for the pinfall win.
The North defeated Reno Scum via pinfall in 7:55 of TV Time to retain the Impact Tag Team Championships.
The North’s entrance theme played as they celebrated their win (Is it just me or does their entrance music sound like the music that a BDSM tag team would have. Like the Bashems, or the AEW Dark Order)…
John’s Thoughts: An okay match, but I haven’t been impressed by Reno Scum’s television work even though I really like what I see from them on untelevised shows. I also thought the North should have gone over stronger because they’re trying to establish them as a powerhouse team. By the way, we see Reno Scum in many wrestling promotions as a tag team, but I see HUGE singles potential with Luster. Luster is in the same class of top tier California singles talent as Jeff Cobb, Brian Cage, Jacob Fatu, Karl Fredericks, and others but for some reason we always see the tag team on television. If Luster can break away from Scum, I feel like he might catch some eyes because I’ve seen him in more entertaining singles matches than Scum tag team matches.
Ace Austin was backstage on a crutch and acting like he was struggling to take off his shirt. Alisha Edwards walked to him and helped him remove his shirt. She noticed the rib tape and wondered if it was from Eddie. Austin said it was from Eddie. Austin said he should be at home but he’s here to support Alisha in her match against Jessika Havok. Alisha said Austin didn’t have to do it but Austin said he only does this for people he cares about. Alisha wished Austin well and Austin said “I’ll be watching”. After Alisha left, Austin dropped the crutch to show that he was fine… [c]
John’s Thoughts: Maybe Eddie Edwards needs to put his dick in a box for Alisha because for some reason it looks like that worked out well for Ace Austin in this scenario.
An ad aired for Impact’s Las Vegas tapings at the Sam’s Town Casino September 5th and 6th…
Madison Rayne met up with Jordynne Grace backstage. Rayne tried to manipulate Grace to not team up with Rosemary. Rayne brought up Kiera Hogan and Allie as examples of Rosemary ruining things. Grace told Rayne she doesn’t need Rayne’s help and she doesn’t need Rosemary’s either. Grace said she’ll tell Rosemary she doesn’t need help later. Rayne agreed with this…
3. Jessika Havok vs. Alisha Edwards. Alisha eluded Havok early on. Alisha then gave Havok a few forearms and a crossbody, all of which Havok no-sold. Alisha now yells when she wrestles. Havok ragdolled Alisha around the ring. The crowd cheered this and Havok played to the crowd. Edwards managed to hit Havok with a bulldog and senton. Havok got up and caught Alisha (why did she jump right into Havok’s arms?). Havok hit Edwards with a tombstone for the win.
Jessika Havok defeated Alisha Edwards via pinfall in 3:35.
A shirtless Ace Austin went to check on Alisha Edwards. Eddie Edwards walked out wearing a Fight Network shirt. He chased Austin and walked right into Jessika Havok. Austin taunted Edwards by sticking his tongue out and implying indecent things towards Alisha. Jessika Havok gave Eddie a chokeslam and the crowd loved this. Ace Austin carried a knocked out Alisha to the back. Callis said that Austin is just being a good semitarian.
The camera cut to Su Yung talking in her presumably Southeast Asian language. The show cut back to Josh Mathews and Don Callis. Josh wondered how Su Yung got control of the broadcast (So Su Yung’s a part of Contra Unit now? I kid, but that would be cool)…
John’s Thoughts: Standard and effective squash by Havok. Alisha Edwards isn’t great in the ring so it’s good to keep her in-ring performances short while she improves. What was odd was Havok getting 99% babyface reactions here when beating up the Edwards couple. The crowds obviously don’t care about “Crazy Eddie” so much that it turned Havok babyface here. Just scrap the thing. What is a positive from this feud is Ace Austin, who’s doing a great job getting his character over now that he’s given a lot of promo time.
Impact cut to the latest OVE camcorder promo. Sami yelled at Dave Crist for losing in last week’s Impact main event. Dave Crist talked about how he got hit a ton of times with a Kendo stick. Sami said he wasn’t able to help because Dave accidentally hit Sami in the “ding ding” with a kendo stick. Jake Crist continued his gloating with his belt. Sami talked about how he doesn’t care about Cage’s health and that after his match with Cage, Sami will be new world champion. Dave asked if that would make Sami “the silver draw”. Sami told Dave to shut up. Sami then responded to Jake’s gloating by saying that not only does he not need Jake’s help to beat Cage, but also OVE isn’t joining Jake at ringside for his title defense against Rich Swann. Sami then said OVE is for Ohio, by Ohio, and will take over Everything… Everything! Everything! Thumbs up Thumbs down… [c]
Moose was shown walking around outside somewhere. There were a ton of palm trees so I’m assuming he’s walking around SoCal. The interviewer asked Moose about his feud with Ken Shamrock on Twitter. Moose cut a promo about Shamrock trying to make a name for himself at the expense of one of the top guys in Impact. Moose then threw more jabs at Shamrock and bragged about his accolades. Moose ended the promo by inviting Shamrock to Las Vegas and he said “be careful what you wish for’…
4. Jake Crist vs. Rich Swann for the Impact X Division Championship. Josh Mathews noted that Jake dyed his hair and has new ring gear to signify a change in character after winning the championship. Josh said he thinks Jake looks like Justin Bieber. Callis said he’d compare Jake’s new look to a young to Ray Stevens or Pat Patterson. Jake surprised Rich with a chest chop early on to dominate early in the match. Rich Swann dominated the subsequent Cruiserweight chain wrestling sequence. Rich blocked what looked like dangerous looking Tope DDT from Jake. Rich then hit Jake with a Tiger Feint Kick at ringside.
Rich went high risk and dived right into Jake Crist’s foot. Jake locked Rich in a cravate. Rich escaped and hit Jake with a sunset flip pin for the nearfall. After kicking Rich again, he went right back to the methodical offense. Jake tossed Rich outside and gave him a backbreaker on the apron. Jake went back to the methodical chinlocks. After getting dominated for a bit, Rich came back with a rolling thunder crossbody on Jake. Rich Swann then hit Jake with his Road Dogg backfist punch combination. Rich woke up the crowd by flipping up to a stage area and hitting Jake with a cannonball.
Rich Swann hit Jake with a Randy Savage elbow for a two count. Both men traded counters. Jake caught a flying Swann midair into a DVD. Jake got a two count. Rich hit Jake with a twisting neckbreaker and running back kick. Rich hit Jake with a 450 for a nearfall. Rich fired up the crowd. Rich went for the Lethal Injection but almost gave the referee the cutter because Jake put the referee in front of him. Jake rolled up Rich with a hand full of tights for the victory.
Jake Crist defeated Rich Swann via pinfall in 8:55 to retain the Impact X Division Championship.
Josh Mathews hyped Sami Callihan vs. Tommy Dreamer as the main event of this show… [c]
John’s Thoughts: We’ve definitely seen better from these two, but what I do like is Jake is racking up more wins that he’s ever had in his Impact Wrestling career. He needs rebuilding, and Impact is doing a simple and effective job at rebuilding Jake. The finish protects Swann because Swann is presented as a main eventer. It also sets up a future rematch for Swann.
A Tenille Dashwood introductory vignette aired where Tenille introduced herself. Tenille said she came to Impact due to their strong Knockouts Division. She said she’s coming for Taya Valkyrie. Tenille said people are going to find out that “it’s all about me”…
John’s Thoughts: Nice get for Impact. It looks like Tenille is picking up where she left off in WWE with her “Evil Emma” character (which is really similar to “Evil Tessa”, complete with Aviators). It also seems that “Evil Emma” might be a babyface which would be interesting if they go that route. I understand it from Impact’s perspective because they are really lacking in Babyfaces.
It was time for the Deaners-Desi Hit Squad farm skit. They showed clips of farm animals with hokey “farm music” playing in the background. Long story short, the Deaners forced the DHS to wear overalls. Rohit Raju said he kinda liked it…
John’s Thoughts: Who gets a chuckle out of this? Is this a D’Amore thing? Can we at least bring back Grado for some good and thoughtful comedy?
Josh Mathews hyped Impact’s return to the Fronton Mexico Entertainment Center August 15 and 16. He also hyped other live events…
This week’s Impact Plus Flashback Match of the Week was the late Malice vs. Ken Shamrock for the vacant NWA World Heavyweight championship with Ricky Steamboat as guest referee. James Mitchell was at ringside. Shamrock won…
Trey Miguel and Willie Mack were shown heading to the ring for their upcoming match against each other… [c]
Back from the break, Taya was holding her personal “State of the Knockouts Division” press conference. John E Bravo was acting like a bodyguard/security-detail. Taya bragged about defending her championship over and over again. Taya said she’s on day 229 of her reign as Knockouts Champion. She said the record is 238 days (were is that number from? Gail Kim had it for 232, Rosemary had it for 265, and Taryn Terrell had it for 279 according to wikipedia). Taya said she’ll be the greatest Knockout in Impact history after next week. Taya said she’s going to face someone “new and interesting” in Mexico City for a title defense and it will be big…
John’s Thoughts: Statistical errors aside, I liked this Taya skit better than that last one they did on the beach. It allowed Taya to stand out more here and Impact didn’t stumble over their production feet trying too hard to be cute. Taya’s long reign kinda flew under the radar, but it’s definitely deserved. Interesting hook for next week’s title defense which probably would appeal to Lucha Libre AAA viewers due to it being in Mexico? My first guess would have been Faby Apache, but since she mentioned “new” we might get someone like Keyra or Lady Shani. The Faby Apache one would be a good one if they could get there because the first match I ever saw Taya wrestle on TV was against Faby on a TripleMania show and they tore the house down.
5. Willie Mack vs. Trey Miguel. Trey did some dancing to show off his quick feet. Josh said that Impact is taping about an hour away from Mack’s hometown of South Central LA. Trey locked in a headlock on Mack. Mack escaped and hit Trey with a shoulder block. Trey got on Mack’s nerves with his Rascalz pose. Mack and Trey then had a lucha libre exchange. Mack landed his Samoan Drop and moonsault combo on Trey. Trey went for the Rey Fenix tightrope armdrag but Mack blocked it. Trey converted the move to a huracanrana. Mack recovered and gave Trey a punch and running boot in the corner. Mack hit Trey with his imploding cannonball.
A “Return of the Mack” chant ensued (showing that this is that crowd that’s really familiar with Willie Mack’s local work). Trey hit Mack with a Scorpion Kick and Neckbreaker combo for a two count. Trey and Mack had a strong style punch exchange which Callis said was not smart for Trey to take part in due to Mack’s power. Trey eluded Mack and landed a punch. Mack came right back by staggering Trey with a rising palm. Trey went for a Sunset Flip but couldn’t drag down Mack. Trey slipped away and hit Mack with the Cheeky Nandos Kick. Trey hit Mack with a Tiger Feint Kick. Mack went to opposite corner to stand up where Trey can’t reach him. For some reason, Trey saw this and decided to jump anyway. Mack caught a flying Trey with a Stone Cold Stunner for the victory.
Willie Mack defeated Trey Miguel via pinfall in 5:26.
John’s Thoughts: A solid match with Mack playing well off the Southern California crowd that’s familiar with his work. Trey rarely disappoints in the ring and he delivered well here as usual. That said, some of his match finishes are a bit odd. I remember him doing odd stuff in his Rascalz triple threat, that false finish with LAX, and now here. I don’t think it’s a part of any story because the commentators avoid talking about it.
Melissa Santos interviewed Tommy Dreamer about his No-DQ match against Sami Callihan. Dreamer talked about seeing negativity in the news all over the place. Dreamer said pro wrestling is the people’s escape from reality. Dreamer said life is like pro wrestling with good and bad people. Dreamer said Sami is a bad person because he’s spreading hate and negativity. Dreamer said Sami is a bad person because Sami hates Tommy. Dreamer said Sami isn’t better than Tessa nor Tommy despite what Sami may think to the contrary. Dreamer said the best part of Dreamer’s job tonight is that Dreamer’s escapism is Sami’s reality. Dreamer said he’ll make the world a better place by beating Sami… [c]
Josh Mathews hyped next week’s Impact show which includes Taya Valkyrie’s title defense and the rematch between Rhino and Michael Elgin…
6. Sami Callihan vs. Tommy Dreamer in a no-DQ match. Callis noted that Dreamer is wrestling with an injured neck. Sami tripped up Dreamer when Dreamer went for a Bionic Elbow. Dreamer and Callihan brawled to ringside. Sami went for his signature running tackle at ringside but Dreamer punched Sami. Dreamer grabbed a bell and slammed the bell at Sami’s balls. Callis said that it may be a benefit to society if Sami wasn’t able to reproduce after that strike. [c]
Sami brought out a bat while Dreamer brought out his Kendo stick. Josh wondered if Dreamer sees Dreamer in Callihan. Callis said that Dreamer sees Callihan as Raven, Dreamer’s biggest rival. Dreamer mocked Sami’s Thumb thing and then won the stick battle by whacking Sami in the gut with the stick. He then got a two count after a cane assisted legsweep. Sami dropped Dreamer with a pump kick and then he went to tee off on Dreamer with the Kendo stick and chair. Josh and Don dreaded Sami potentially being champion. Sami mocked Dreamer’s pose and then he did his own thumb thing. This allowed Dreamer to escape. Sami countered with a judo legsweep onto chairs.
Sami tossed a chair into a chair on top of Dreamer’s shoulder. Dreamer blocked Sami by raising his boot. Dreamer hit Sami with the Bionic Elbow but Sami no sold it into a rebound punch. Sami accidentally shoulder tackled the chair he put in the corner. This allowed Dreamer to plant him with a neckbreaker. Dreamer went to the back and brought a trash can to the ring. He also brought a ladder to the ring. Dreamer put a ladder between the turnbuckles. Sami reversed an Irish Whip and whipped Dreamer into the ladder. Sami then hit Dreamer with a (protected) trash can shot to the head.
Sami put a trash can in between the turnbuckles. Dreamer stopped on a dime during the whip. Dreamer was able to catapult Sami into the chair because Sami did his thumb thing. Dreamer gave Sami a DDT and got a two count. Dreamer went for a pile driver on Sami but Sami gave Dreamer the groin claw. Sami licked his had after grabbing Dreamer’s junk area. Sami drop toeheld Dreamer into the set up chair. Sami then set up a plank on top of two chairs. Sami then decided to do his Thumb thing yet again and Dreamer countered it, again, with his own groin claw.
John’s Thoughts: Sami is kinda killing his Thumb thing in this match because every single time he decides to do it it allows Tommy Dreamer to gain control of the match, thus making Sami’s cerebral character look like an idiot because he stops to do his Thumb thing before every big move.
Dreamer hit Sami with the Pile Driver. Dreamer accidentally put Sami’s foot on the bottom rope to cause a rope break during the pin attempt. Dreamer put Sami on a ladder. Dreamer then crash and and buned on an elbow drop and he elbow dropped ladder (that was sick looking in a violent way). Sami then did his thumb thing yet again, but this time he went for the pile driver on the plank he set up. He hit the pile driver but missed the plank. Sami picked up the pinfall win.
Sami Callihan defeated Tommy Dreamer via pinfall in 11:57 of TV Time.
Sami tried to sandwich Dreamer’s shoulder in the ladder with a slam of the bat. Tessa Blanchard ran out and saved Dreamer. Tessa teased going after Sami with his bat but Sami started begging for mercy. That allowed Jake Crist to run up behind Tessa and hit her with the ring bell. Sami planted Tessa with the Pile Driver. Josh Mathews closed the show by calling Sami Callihan a “son of a …”…
John’s Thoughts: Seemed like the story of the entire show: “A passable match but we’ve definitely saw both men have better matches”. The biggest problem here was all of Sami’s thumb’s up, thumbs down because it made him look like a dope for doing it about five times during the match with the fifth one being the one he lifted Dreamer up for the move. He didn’t even hit the wooden plank (but that’s also Sami being a bit too cute with his contraptions. Kinda like when he broke Eddie’s eye). But hey, this was at least better than Rhino vs. Elgin, so there’s that.
Not a bad show. I felt like Impact a few weeks ago had one of those clunkers, but this week’s show had more flaws than they usually do these days. These days, Impact is a very entertaining wrestling show with a few missteps. This episode felt like a “house show” and that they weren’t working important TV matches. Here’s hoping that next week’s return to Mexico is a return to consistent form for Impact Wrestling…
Peak Twitch Viewership: About 6,000 rounded up (It was about 5,750 at around 8:30 PM PST)