10/22 Impact Wrestling TV Results: Moore’s review of the “This Is Impact” special featuring The Rascalz vs. Dr. Wagner Jr., Aero Star and Taurus, Madison Rayne vs. Shotzi Blackheart

By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)

Impact Wrestling TV
Taped October 20 in Villa Park, Illinois at Odeum Expo Center
Aired October 22, 2019 on AXS TV

[Hour One] The teaser of this week’s Impact Wrestling was a history montage of TNA/Impact Wrestling. This was a narrated backage talking about how “captivating” TNA was and it spotlighted some of the names of TNA’s past like AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, Gail Kim, Hulk Hogan, and others…

Josh Mathews and Scott D’Amore checked in from a set. Josh talked about how this show is airing two days from the “Critically acclaimed” Bound for Glory show. Josh said this episode of Impact was dubbed “This is Impact”. Josh also talked about how next week Impact will start airing full on episodes starting October 29th. Josh and Scott sent things over to Melissa Santos who was standing at the LA Live set a block from the Staples Center…

John’s Thoughts: Oh! Does this mean I can finally attend an actual Impact Wrestling show now that Impact is partnered up with AXS (the owners of Staples Center). One can hope right? And I’m not counting those low budget high school gym Impact shows I’ve attended here.

Melissa Santos checked in fron LA Live. Melissa hyped up an interview with Knockouts Champion Taya Valkyrie. The show went back to the D’Amore and Mathews news room. D’Amore started hyping up Ace Austin as X Division Champion. Josh said that Ace Austin winning the title has earned him some new gigs including a role in a upcoming movie. Josh sent things over to Don Callis who was standing “at the set of Ace Austin’s feature film” (is this a porn film based on the way it looks?). Callis said he can’t find Ace yet, but he’s looking to give Impact an interview. Josh then hyped Brian Cage’s thoughts after Bound for Glory.

D’Amore said that there are talents all over the place clamoring to become a part of the roster. They talked about RVD, Jordynne Grace, Rhino, Madman Fulton, TJ Perkins, Willie Mack, Tenille Dashwood, and Ken Shamrock as some of their spotlight talent. D’Amore gave synopsis for each of the wrestlers mentioned. Josh Mathews talked about how there is one person who stands out above the rest in their talent pool and that person is Michael Elgin. D’Amore talked about how Elgin choose to walk away from a lifetime job wrestling in Japan to come to Impact because Impact has all the stars. Josh then cut to a Michael Elgin highlight video package…

John’s Thoughts: Of course we won’t know how this show looks like until next week, but the show does have a bit of freshness being on a new network. The LA Live and AXS scenes look good quality, but there are still lower budget feels like when they cut to Callis at the presumed porn set. What I do like that Impact is doing, is not necessarily assuming their new AXS audience knows who their wrestlers are. They are running through everyone (hopefully they do this again starting next week because who’s watching these throw away filler shows anyway?). I also like how they single out someone like Michael Elgin as a top star in the company and aren’t falling into parity traps that we see in other wrestling companies.

Josh and Scott talked about Elgin being a future world champion. Josh sent things over to the Bound for Glory dark matches. The first one being Shotzi Blackheart vs. Madison Rayne…

John’s Thoughts: Isn’t Shotzi signed to WWE? So much that WWE released a video on their YouTube Channel saying that she’s signed to WWE? This reminded me of when Tommaso Ciampa signed with WWE and TNA decided to air a bunch of meaningless matches he was on, on Impact.

1. Madison Rayne (w/Kiera Hogan) vs. Shotzi Blackheart. Kiera Hogan joined Don Callis and Josh Mathews on commentary. Shotzi Blackheart had some very cool entrance music, I approve (and we probably won’t hear it again because she’ll get some more generic stuff in NXT). Rayne pointed to the letters “LRL” on her ass which stood for locker room leader. Shotzi responded to Rayne’s stalling with her signature wolf howl. Shotzi started the match with a dropkick and imploding cannonball. Rayne retreated to the commentary table to sit on Kiera’s lap, much to Kiera’s dismay. Rayne ran away. Kiera mocked Shotzi’s howl which was enough to distract Shotzi and give Rayne the advantage heading into break. [c]

Shotzi was slamming Madison against the turnbuckles a few times. Rayne snuck in a Northern Lights with a bridge for a nearfall. Rayne got another nearfall after a basement lariat. Callis joked to Kiera that he’ll hire Kiera as Play-by-play and send Josh to the kitchen where he can’d do harm. Josh responded by saying “say hello to Ross Foreman while I’m in the Kitchen”. Rayne locked Shotzi in a cravate with some Muay Thai knees in it. Rayne got another two count. Josh noted that there was an annoying drum in the crowd.

Shotzi tried to come back but she walked right into an enzuigiri. Shotzi ran back with a enzuigiri of her own. Shotzi planted Rayne with a reverse sling blade. Shotzi hit Rayne with a few strikes, yelled “who’s your daddy”, and then hit Rayne with a delayed overhead kick. This led to a two count. Shotzi hit Rayne with a Tiger Feint Kick. Shotzi escaped a ripcord. Rayne escaped a Tiger Feint. Rayne then catapulted Shotzi into the top rope. Rayne hit Kiera with Cross Rayne (Cross Rhodes) for the victory.

Madison Rayne defeated Shotzi Blackheart via pinfall in 6:05 of TV Time.

Madison Rayne and Kiera Hogan continued their frenemy gimmick…

John’s Thoughts: Nothing much here other that your typical TNA-Xplosion/WWE Superstars, type of non-canon fare. That said it was a tough break a few years ago when it looked like Impact was about to push Shotzi somewhat before she got hurt during the D’Amore-Dutt creative era. Looking forward to what Shotzi will bring to NXT once she’s done with her indie dates. If you asked me in the last four years, what two hidden gems in the indie scene do I think would be a big deal if signed to WWE, I would have told you Shotzi Blackheart and Kevin Kross. Kross hasn’t let me down in terms of my hype for the guy and trust me Shotzi is someone to watch out for. NXT’s women’s divison may be the best women’s division in pro wrestling with how stacked that is.

They cut back to Josh and Scott in the news room where they talked about Impact’s Women’s Division. D’Amore talked about how Impact Wrestling was the pioneers at taking women’s wrestling seriously and how they started the “Women’s revolution” in pro wrestling. Clips of Gail Kim, Awesome Kong, Angelina Love, Velvet Sky, ODB, Taryn Terrell, and others were shown. Josh then sent things to the highlights of the Knockouts Monster’s Ball match at Slammiversary. There was bad background music in the background for some reason…

John’s Thoughts: Completely not an eye-rolling claim. I 100 percent will agree with Impact saying that they are the pioneers of the Women’s Revolution. A lot of people credit good ol’ Dutch Mantell (a.k.a. Zeb Coulter) with being the person who fought even within TNA when TNA wanted to present women as eye candy and side attractions. Of course, hands down, Gail Kim and Kia Stevens are the two women who can call themselves the pioneers of the women’s revolution. Let’s not forget Taryn Terrell either. Going from being a referee in TNA to becoming a surprising great brawler in her series of matches against Gail Kim.

Josh and Scott discussed Taya Valkyrie’s record-breaking Knockouts title reign. They then cut to Ace Austin on set of his “movie”. Callis interviewed Ace Austin while he was getting makeup put on. Callis talked about how Ace Austin is getting everything now. Austin said his phone was buzzing since he won the title. Callis commended Austin for being just 22 years old. Suddenly a lady in a robe who may or may not be a porn actress walked into the scene and told Austin she was excited to work with him. Then she left. Callis continued to talk up Austin and wondered if Austin was nervous. Austin said this is what he was born to do. The director then pulled Austin aside to the set. Suddenly another lady that may or may not be a porn actress walked up to Callis saying that she swears that Callis’s other name is “Dino Velvet”. Callis nervously walked away saying “uhm. Kayfabe! Kayfabe!”… [c]

Highlights from The North vs. The Latin American XChange Title vs. Career match aired…

The North, Josh Alexander and Ethan Page, were cutting a promo in front of what looked like some sort of warehouse building or something like that. Both of them hyped next week’s debut on AXS. Josh Alexander issued an “Open Challenge” for next week…

Josh and Scott sent it over to highlights at Bound For Glory, the Tag Team Triple threat match that featured RVD’s heel turn on Rhino…

The next set of highlights were from the Moose vs. Shamrock match. These were a bit poorly edited with quick cuts. After the match, they showed Shamrock unsure and conteplating about his pro wrestling future…

Back at the news room, Josh and Scott interviewed Moose via skype. Moose was partying with some of his random friends. Moose said he wasn’t even sure where he was. Scott told Moose that Moose’s victory put a shadow of doubt over Shamrock’s career. Moose said he feels no pity for Shamrock because that match was a foregone conclusion. Moose said he’s a wrestling god. Moose told Shamrock to go home and do what retired people do. D’Amore asked Moose what was next for Moose after possibly retiring Shamrock. Moose talked about how he proved he’s the best multi-sport athlete in pro wrestling. Moose said he’ll be on the Impact debut October 29, to prove he’s the legend known as Moose. Moose’s random friends did the arm pump thing. Moose kissed a random lady friend on the lips. After that, Mathews hyped the Melissa Santos and Taya Valkyrie interview for later in the show… [c]

Highlights aired of the Taya Valkyrie vs. Tenille Dashwood match from last sunday…

Melissa Santos interviewed Taya Valkyrie at LA Live. Taya said she feels amazing after BFG and will go down in history as the greatest Knockouts Champion of all time. Taya talked up Tenille Dashwood a bit and said that Tenille ultimately wasn’t ready for La Wera Loca. Melissa asked what was next for Taya. Taya plugged Impact’s debut on AXS next week and acted disgusted because it was being taped in Winsdor, Ontario, Canada. Taya said that as champion, she makes people’s lives better and she knows that because John E. Bravo told her. They cut to footage of John E Bravo asking random people in a park about Taya Valkyrie and the people not really knowing who Taya is. Impact felt the need to insert crappy background music in the background again…

John’s Thoughts: Not only is the music unnecessary in some of these skits and cinematics, but it always seems like Impact picks the worst royalty free music in the royalty free bin. Just the most campy and crappy stuff. Now that Impact is on AXS they really need to run some QA or take in some analysis from focus groups.

They cut back to Taya, acknowledging that John E failed in his street interviews. Taya stormed off and Melissa Santos hyped up a Johnny Swinger appearance as well as a Brian Cae interview for later… [c]

[Hour two] Scott D’Amore pointed out that Naomichi Marufuji has accepted the North’s challenge and that next week we’re getting Naomichi Marufuji vs. Josh Alexander next week on the Impact debut on AXS. Josh Mathews cut over to the Sami Callihan selfie promo from last week’s Impact on Pursuit. The one where he broke down in a more natural voice that he does what he does to try to fit in…

Brian Cage joined Josh Mathews and Scott D’Amore at the Impact news room. D’Amore congratulated Cage on a successful title defense. Cage acknowledge that his title reign hasn’t gone the way he wanted it to go, but he willing to put everything behind him and prove that he’s the champion he’s supposed to be. They cut to the big moves from the Cage vs. Callihan match from Sunday (which included Cae using his Wolvering claws in a pro wrestling match)…

John’s Thoughts: Hmmmm… Sami Calihan does lose all his PPV matches doesn’t he?

Back at the news room, Cage was excited for his victory and the chance to move on. D’Amore noted that Cage is now healthy and he wondered what was next. Suddenly Sami Callihan invaded the studio and crashed the set. Callihan noted they were in New York City. Callihan demanded a rematch against Cage which Cage refused and instead responded with saying he would rather break Callihan’s neck now. Callihan said Cage is in New York while Melissa is at Downtown Los Angeles which means that Cage’s baby daughter and Melissa Santos’s mother are all alone at Cage’s new house. Cage grabbed Callihan by the collar for threatening his daughter and mother in law.

Cage said that Callihan must be bluffing. Callihan then showed Cage “facetime” footage of Jake Crist and Dave Crist holding Madman Fulton back from presumably storming Cage’s home. Dave looked like he was having a hard time. Cage looked convinced which allowed Callihan to act macho and dare Cage to break his neck on the spot. Callihan reiterated his previous request calmly with the added treat of attacking Cage’s home. Cage agreed to give Callihan the match. Cage pulled in Callihan a bit and said “I’m going to break you limb from f–king limb”… [c]

John’s Thoughts: Great stuff from Sami as usual who tends to elevate any feud he’s in to main event status. Over the past month or so the guy has shown a ton of range in all of the emotions he’s expressing. I also like that OVE is getting some of their cult-like swag back by treatening Cage’s family members.

Josh Mathews announced that Cage and Melissa have now left the show and went straight home to check on their family. Mathews then hyped Cage vs. Callihan for the world title for next week. Their latest guest was D’Lo Brown to discuss next week’s Cage vs. Callihan match. D’Lo said that Callihan will be the new world champ if Cage let’s Callihan’s mind games torment him. D’Amore called this a mental chess game. D’Amore asked D’Lo what Cage has to do to internalize all of these emotions. D’Lo said Cage needs to treat the ring like a “happy place” (so like Happy Gilmore?). Josh Mathews then cut to a Tessa Blanchard hype package…

John’s Thoughts: Random aside, but now that Impact Wrestling is buddy-buddy with Staples Center. One of these days at a Lakers game, can we get a D’Lo Brown bobblehead night? How great would that be? It’s a F’n D’Lo Brown bobble head doll!

The Impact Plus Flashback Match of the Week was Sami Callihan vs. Tessa Blanchard from Slammiversary. They started off with a classic TNA REF BUMP!!! Not just one, but two REF BUMP!!! [c]

A video package aired about the run of “Crazy” Eddie Edwards. The package focused a lot of highlights on the Eddie Edwards vs. Killer Kross match from Slammiversary. After the package Josh hyped Eddie Edwards vs. Ace Austin (again) for next week. Josh said that Eddie is trying to attack Austin because Austin is trying to get with Alisha Edwards “in a sexual way”…

John’s Thoughts: They don’t notice the confused crowd reactions? Ugh. Someone really is being stubborn about this Crazy Eddie character.

The next set of highlights was from the Impact Homecoming Ultimate X match. This match featured Jake Crist wearing Scarlet Spider themed gear. I think Rich Swann won this match…

They cut back to the Ace Austin porn set, featuring Don Callis. While Ace Austin was about to do the deed, he noticed a wedding ring on the lady he was banging’s finger. He told her to keep the ring on since he likes that stuff… [c]

Jimmy Jacobs checked in from LA Live, replacing Melissa Santos. Jacobs interviewed Johnny Swinger. Swinger talked up his swinging neckbreaker. Jacobs noted that Swinger was a hot free agent back in 1993 and wondered how he is now. Swinger talked about giving back to the sport. Jacobs asked Swinger if he has any social media he wants to plug. Swinger didn’t know what social media was, so he hyped his PO Box fan club. Swinger said when the smoke settles, people will know Johnny Swinger as “Johnny Impact”. Jacobs noted that Impact already had a Johnny Impact. Swinger said that guy, Hennigan, sounds like a real job guy…

2. “The Rascalz” Dezmond Xavier, Trey Miguel, and Zachary Wentz vs. Dr. Wagner Jr, Aerostar, and Taurus. Trios madness ensued. The lucha team dominated Wentz. The someone allowed a group in the crowd to play drums and what sounded like vuvuzelas. Taurus and Wagner put Trey in a Surfboard while Aerostar hit Trey with a double stomp. [c]

John’s Thoughts: Another aside, but after listening to Jason Powell’s BFG audio review, I now want to call the luchador Trio “Team Ford Motor Vehicles”. I mean, one guy’s a Ford Taurus and the other is a Ford Aerostar. Ford Aerostar literally has headlights on his gear!!!

Wagner and his friends did a pose around Trey back from break. Dezmond broke up the celebration with a dropkick. Dezmond and Wentz then followed up on Aerostar with bronco busters. Dezmond and Wentz knocked down Taurus with kicks. Trey jumped off Dezmond’s back for a double stomp. Trey and Dezmond catapulted Wagner into Wentz’s superkick and double stomp. They got a nearfall on Wagner. Wentz hit Wagner with a dive to the outside while the other two Rascalz were tripped. Aerostar did a flip dive on Wentz. Trey hit the pile of people with an Asai Moonsault. 50+ Year Old Wagner hit the pile of people with a suicide dive.

Wagner put Dezmond on the top rope and hit him with an Ace Crusher. Wagner then removed his mask (which he lost ot Psycho Clown. He hit Dezmond with a power bomb. Trey broke up a pin attempt from the luchadores. The wrestlers all traded knockout blows. This was topped off by an Aersotar cutter on Dezmond. Dezmond kicked out. Trey put Aerostar on the top rope and hit him with his Cheeky Nandos-Tiger Feint combo. Trey hit Aerostar with his top rope meteora. Dezmond and Wentz hit Aerostar with their shove shooting star finisher. Trey fought off the other two luchadores to allow the other two Rascalz to double pin Aerostar (legal because this was more of a Tornado Tag).

The Rascalz defeated Dr. wagner Jr, Taurus, and Aerostar via pinfall in 6:45 of TV Time.

They ended up cutting to Josh Mathews and Scott D’Amore at the studio where they closed Impact with final hype for Impact’s AXS debut next week…

John’s Thoughts: A decent tornado trios match, but after watching a bunch of Lucha Underground and MLW this would fall under the low end in terms of interesting. It was again, just a house show match where Aerostar was in the match so Leyenda Dr. Wagner Jr. didn’t have to absorb the pin. I feel bad for the Rascalz, who seem to be in this weird undercard “good hand” role where all three have upper midcard upside. Dezmond in particular was someone Jeff Jarrett seemingly hand picked to be a future world champion. Anyway, hope things get better for the Rascalz now that Impact is in need of more talent given their high profile departures.

I probably shouldn’t have went into as much detail on this review as my usual Impact reviews, but me constantly typing what’s popping up in my head is a force of habit at this point. Plus this was good practice as to how I’m going to review Impact on AXS going forward. Hell, I’m getting my Saturday mornings back! (and I won’t have to do a Impact review after a night of clubbing) Anyways, looking forward to Impact on AXs and hope we see some differences there for the better. The focus on “Crazy Eddie” and crappy Lucha Underground wannabe music on this episode had me a bit worried, but at least there was no “Undead Realm” (and watch them bounce back with Undead Realm crap next week). Can we instead just get more Disco Inferno instead of Undead Realm if they have to go the cinematic route because his cinematics were good. Either that or give Kevin Kross the money he deserves.


The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Court Bauer, who discusses MLW Saturday Night SuperFight, his mindset just days before the company's first pay-per-view, the $19.99 price point, future PPV possibilities, the free pre-show, former WWE and Lucha Underground creative force Chris DeJoseph joining the MLW staff, and more...


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