By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped February 7-8 in Las Vegas as Sam’s Town Live
Aired March 17, 2020 on AXS TV
[Hour One] Highlights from last week’s Eddie Edwards vs. Michael Elgin match aired, followed by the Impact Wrestling intro theme…
Josh Mathews and Don Callis were on commentary…
1. “The North” Josh Alexander and All-Ego Ethan Page vs. TJ Perkins and Fallah Bahh for the Impact Tag Team Championships. Bahh no-sold Page’s and Alexander’s slow punches to do his Bahh Up routine. Bahh tossed Page outside and gave Page a body slam. Perkins tagged in and hit Alexander with Poetry in Motion. Bahh hit Alexander with a Belly-to-belly to give Perkins a two count. Perkins escaped a double team attempt by the north. Alexander blocked Perkins’s heel hook. Page held on to Alexander’s singlet to prevent Perkins from nailing Alexander with a Tornado DDT.
The North cut the ring in half on Perkins and worked an isolation sequence for a few minutes. Perkins managed to get a tag in after about 3 minutes of selling, but the referee didn’t see the tag. The North continued their isolation game. Perkins got a window of opportunity after hitting Page with a Butterfly Gutbuster. Bahh got the hot tag and cleaned house. Bahh gave both North members corner splashes and hip attacks. Bahh threw page’s foot at Alexander. Alexander kicked out at two after a Bahh sitout bomb.
Perkins tagged in, but the North regained control. Alexander hit Perkins with crossbody dive to the outside. The show cut to the now regular Eddie Money commercial. [c]
Josh Mathews noted that Eddie Edwards is going to announce his team for the Lockdown show. Bahh and Perkins hit Alexander with tandem offense, ending in a Bahh crossbody. Page broke up Bahh’s pinfall attempt. Alexander hit Perkins with power punches. Perkins came back with a CQC combo and back kick. Alexander hit Bahh with a German Suplex which Bahh no sold and hit Alexander with a lariat. All four men were lying.
Alexander pulled Bahh off the top rope instead of a doomsday device. The North hit Bahh with their double neutralizer finisher. Bahh kicked out at two. Bahh took down The North with a double lariat. Perkins tagged in and hit Page with a crossbody. Perkins missed a Swanton. Perkins locked Page in a heel hook, converted into a crossface. Bahh locked Alexander in a rough looking Octopus hold. Alexander and Bahh fell, hitting the ref. REF BUMP!!!
John’s Thoughts: Ok. With the reunion thing (originally) scheduled, I’m guessing Scott D’Amore is in a TNA state of mind. This crap-lazy booking is continuing from last week.
Page tapped out, but the ref was bumped. TJ Perkins then goes on to act like an idiot by doing his post match celebration without music and without grabbing the belt (good god). The referee tried to convince Perkins that the match was still on, but Perkins couldn’t believe it. Alexander punched Perkins. Bahh punched Alexander to the second rope, draping. Perkins hit Alexander with a wrecking ball kick. Bahh hit Alexander with a suicide dive. Page escaped a double team move and then crotched Perkins on the top rope. The North toss Bahh outside. Perkins managed to nail Alexander with a Tornado DDT. Alexander escaped TJ’s detonation kick. The North hit Perkins with their Burning Hammer Spinebuster finisher to give Alexander the pinfall win.
The North defeated TJ Perkins and Fallah Bahh via pinfall in 14:21 of on-air TV Time.
John’s Thoughts: A bit of a underwhelming and overbooked mess (and I’m still a bit tired from last week’s overbooked main event). While the match was solid, it didn’t really tell any unique story. It was just your standard formula, plucky babyface sells for most of the middle period, type of tag match. The ref bump wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but what was bad was Perkins looking like an absolute dumbass by doing his post-match celebration without music and without grabbing the tag belt he thought he won. I’m guessing the intent was there to protect Perkins and Bahh, but it only buried Perkins. On top of all that, Impact never really sold viewers on Perkins and Bahh becoming new tag team champions, in so much as the purpose of this feud being to give Alexander and Page something to do until a more credible tag team steps up.
An ad aired for the Impact Lockdown show. A subtitle on the screen said that Lockdown is posponed (which I believe is due to the COVID-19 containment efforts). Eddie cut a promo about being in Lethal Lockdown before. Apparently, he also still has his trophy. Eddie picked Tommy Dreamer, Daga, and Tessa Blanchard…
Impact aired a new segment dubbed “The Real Housewives of Slam Town”. Taya was chatting with two of her friends over glasses of champagne. One of the friends was Beautiful Brenda from Lucha Underground (the valet of Famous B). While I’m not completely sure, I think her other friend is Heather Monroe who’s an indie wrestler that works in the west coast. This was shot like a reality show with commentary cutaways. Taya talked about being really excited to finally be friends with Rosemary. Rosemary was drinking from a tiki mug while sporting a goth rocker look. Taya ordered Rosemary to change because Rosemary has worn that look before and it won’t be good for instagram.
The camera cut with Rosemary changing to more of a goth and less rocker look. Brenda spit out her drink in disgust. They cut to the commentary cut with Heather saying that she and Brenda weren’t fans of the new look. Brenda is now going under the name “Holly”. And the other woman was “Heather” so I’m probably right about her being Heather Monroe. After the intro-montage of this skit, they cut to Taya, Heather, and Holly all getting drunk while Rosemary was handling her liquor better than them. They cut to the “Alabama Slam Town Night Club” which is presumably Taya and Johnny’s living room for the party segment.
Heather then warned Taya that Rosemary was “sucking Holly’s soul”. They then cut to Rosemary sucking a bad Adobe After Effects effect out of Holly. Taya berated Rosemary for trying to steal Holly’s soul. Taya said she needed Holly to have her soul because Holly owes her mimosas next week. Holly simply said “my head tickles”. The segment ended with Taya and Rosemary going to the bar while Holly said “what happened?”…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Aside from the crappy and unnecessary lightning effect, I thought that segment was pretty damn good (though I felt like they could have cut this into two segments, because it felt like it could have used the cut). Are they introducing a new faction in Impact? The production and team composition really reminds me of “The Dynasty” (MJF, Richard Holliday, and Alex Hammerstone) in MLW and their “Rich and Dynastic” segments. While I’m not too familiar with Heather’s promo work, she wasn’t bad here. Taya and Rosemary are strong personalities. While Holly doesn’t take bumps (I think she’s an actress?), I thought that Holly was a standout in Lucha Underground playing the ditzy “secretary” to the manager Famous B. I think there’s potential here to make a female version of “The Dynasty”, but please, stay away from the urge to put crap ass Adobe After Effects in a segment that didn’t need it. I’m convinced that we’ve been mistakenly blaming Vince McMahon all these years over Bray Wyatt’s initial characterization and that it was Jimmy Jacobs that thought that Bray was a “magician”. Someone here thinks that Rosemary is a “wizard” when she’s supposed to be a badass goth girl.
Josh Mathews and Don Callis checked in from the commentary table. They cut the camera to show a bored looking singular “Security” guard standing next to some supplies and electrical board. Josh said this guy was there to protect Impact from the Hacker’s cyber attacks (what?). They also showed security standing next to a trailer.
John’s Thoughts: Wait. The guard is not standing next to any computers? Now I’m curious as to how Scott D’Amore’s anti-virus system works. Does he just have some random Border City Wrestling wrestler with the word “antivirus” on his shirt, stand next to his computer and hope that the hackers don’t hack him?
Callis noted that Impact was taking these security measures to stay one step ahead of the hacker. Josh Mathews announced Ken Shamrock appearing on this show to deliver a monumental announcement on Shamrock’s career. Josh also announced Tessa Blanchard vs. Michael Elgin vs. Eddie Edwards for the World Title at Rebellion (they didn’t post a “postponed” caption). Josh then advertised the Impact Lockdown Show which did have a caption saying that the event was postponed…
2. Chris Bey vs. Damien Drake. Bey took down Drake early on with a flying axe handle strike. Bey then hit Drake with a handstand into a headscissors. Bey tripped up Drake and hit him with the Killshot kick. Bey hit Drake with a Tope con Hilo. Bey hit Drake with a capo kick, uppercut, and enzuigiri. Bey hit Drake with a rolling neckbreaker. Drake got a punch and STO on Bey for a two count. Bey regained control after a controlled back kick on Drake. Bey gave Drake a headscissors into the second rope. Bey hit Drake with a nice looking spinning high knee. Bey hit Drake with the Bey-mouser (Slingshot Famouser) for the pinfall win.
Chris Bey defeated Damien Drake via pinfall in 3:57
John’s Thoughts: A really good squash match debut for Chris Bey (which would have been near perfect if they didn’t allow the indie wrestler to hit Bey with the STO). He looked impressive and different enough to where I can nearly forget his 3 or 4 squash losses on Impact. His look, swagger, and movelist reminds me a lot of Shane Strickland. He even seems to garner the same praise from the commentators. Looking forward to see more of Bey in the future and hopefully they don’t ruin his future by dumbing him down to something like the Rascalz or Desi Hit Squad.
The Impact Flashback Match of the Week was Ken Shamrock winning the Gauntlet for the Gold back in 2002 to win the vacant NWA Heavyweight Championship, becoming the first official TNA Champion…
They cut to Alisha Edwards asking Jordynne Grace to join her Lockdown team. For some reason, Grace agreed to put Alisha on her team (who I honestly can’t remember ever winning a match, let alone be on TV for the last half year or so). Grace said that Alisha kicked Ace Austin’s ass and is a freak in the ring. Alisha then said it takes a freak to know a freak. She then started to sing some weird song of Jordynne Grace wanting to be like Alisha. Weird…[c]
It was time for the latest Tenille Dashwood Vignette. This time I’m sure she’s in Vegas due to seeing familliar Casinos and hotels. The message graphic was different this week, saying “Sometimes good things fall apart, so BETTER THINGS can fall together”…
Gabby Loren interviewed Chase Stevens and congratulated him on being an integral part of TNA (wait? Who is Chase Stevens again?). Gabby asked Chase how it feels about the TNA reunion show. Chase said it’s amazing looking at 18 years of this company “growing” to what it is today (hahahahahahah! What? Growing?). Chase talked about being a part of the Hot Shots and The Naturals. Moose took the mic from Gabby. Moose said he’s happy to be here interviewing TNA Superstar Bret Michaels. Moose then said it was a joke because he doesn’t even know Stevens’s name (I honestly had the same reaction as Moose). Moose wondered why all these TNA guys are trying to revive the deceased (good point). Moose bragged about being Mr. Impact. Chase bragged about being a 3 time tag champion in Impact and asked Moose how many titles Moose won in Impact (Moose is a two time Impact Grand Champion). Moose then punched Chase to start a brawl.
John’s Thoughts: Maybe if I dig deep enough in my memory, I can remember Chase Stevens, but that’s really stretching. Now for Moose, is Moose really the bad guy here? He just seems to be the guy trying to kick the ass of all these TNA layovers who are in denial? He asked the right question? Why are we bringing back TNA in 2020? Chase wasn’t the most impactful return. Can we get the return of WWE-not Hall of Famer, the legendary WWE wrestler and former tag team partner of James Storm, Braden Walker? How about Curry Man?
Impact aired the “Finals” of the Impact Gut Check show. D’Amore said the two finalists were this guy named Tyler Tirva and another guy named Shogun Jackson Stone. John E Bravo said these two guys looked the most impressive from the start (despite the Shogun guy potatoing a man in the ring with a backfist that they replayed). Tyler said he was excited. Shogun said this was a big day for him. Rohit Raju was announced as a former Gut Check winner.
Raju said he knows exactly how Shogun and Tyler feel in terms of the nervousness. Cousin Jake also gave his thoughts, and he was dubbed a former Gut Check contestant. Jake noted that you don’t even have to win Gut Check to become an Impact Wrestler. They aired clips of the two finalists having a match, which Shogun won. They cut to after the match where Scott D’Amore announced Shogun as the winner. Shogun cried (or at least made an attempt at crying). D’Amore then said that he’s proud of everyone including Tyler. D’Amore said that Shogun stepped up and won gut check. Josh said you can go to Impact Plus to watch the rest of the show (no need)…
Josh Mathews hyped up the Ken Shamrock career announcment for later in the show…[c]
Jimmy Jacobs interviewed Tessa Blanchard about her thoughts on being world champion for two months. Tessa said she doesn’t have a answer because she’s living things day to day as champion. Jimmy brought up Taya and Ace Austina as two specific opponents. Tessa said that Taya and Ace were justified in their title shots because they did have past wins over Tessa in the past but in the end Tessa is still champion because she’s a different Tessa and Fighting Champion. Jimmy then asked Tessa why she offered to wrestle both Eddie Edwards and Michael Elgin.
Jimmy said that most people don’t think it’s a smart move. Tessa hyped herself as being resilient. She said it’s simple, she’ll take on anybody. Tessa said as the best in Impact, she has to wrestle the best in Impact. She said she’s going to walk out of Rebellion as champion…
John’s Thoughts: Off topic a bit, but when he was off screen, was it just me or does Jimmy Jacobs sound like Chris Jericho when you don’t see Jimmy’s face?
[Hour Two] Joey Ryan made his entrance to rock music. He was wearing a turtleneck sweater and work shorts. Rob Van Dam and Katie Forbes followed a few seconds after Joey. Katie was covered up with a fur coat. Rob still looks like Rob. The ring announcer announced the trio as “Cancel Culture”.
Joey said his name was “Joseph P Ryan” and all three of the people in the ring have extraordinary gifts. Joey said that Rob is an innovating athlete, Katie has a remarkable derriere, and Joseph has a marvelous manhood. Joseph then said that they are not here for the fans and their imput. Joseph said that the fans lost the privilidge of their gifts. Joseph said you’ll never ever ever see a “d-flip” again. Rob talked about how there’s fans that want to see Katie’s skin. Rob also pointed out some drunk fans at ringside. Rob asked “what kind of professional gets in the ring when their mind has obviously been altered by a substance.
This brought out a “how high are you” chant from a part of the crowd. Joseph said their name is “Cancel Culture” and tonight the Deaners are getting cancelled…
3. “Cancel Culture” Joseph P Ryan and Rob Van Dam (w/Katie Forbes) vs. “The Deaners” Cody Deaner and Cousin Jake. Joseph took off his sweater to reveal an office dress shirt. Cody and Jake gave Joseph knees and lariats. Cody stompped a mudhole on Joseph. Joseph turned the tide with a jawbreaker. Joseph crotched Cody on the top rope. This was to set up for Rob hitting Cody with a jump kick. Rob teased a Rolling Thunder but instead gave Cody a body slam. Joseph tagged back in. Joseph teased a penis plex and told the fans they’ll never get it again.
Jake tagged in and rallied against Joseph. Rob broke up a Jake pin attempt. Jake hit Rob with a tackle to the gut. Jake hit Joseph with a front hip attack. Katie slapped Cody to distract COdy from hitting his finisher. The distraction allowed Joseph to hit Cody with a superkick. Rob tagged in and hit Cody with a Five Star Frog Splash for the win.
Cancel Culture defeated The Deaners via pinfall in 4:31.
Joseph Ryan was writing on his tablet after the match…
Gabby Loren knocked on a door where Ken Shamrock emerged. Gabby told Ken that she’s there to get the scoops, and that she wants to know what Ken’s announcement was. Ken said he’s just here because Impact Management told him that there was going to be something special happening today and he’s going to find out the same time as everyone else…[c]
John’s Thoughts: I’m not 100% sold on Cancel Culture being a money tandem, but I do like aspects of what I see and see some potential here. The biggest progress made here is that after five long years, we might have seen the end of the Joey Ryan cookie cutter Penis Match (or at least it’s going to disappear for a few months). It was refreshing to see him unlock a new moveset away from his lollipop and dick flip formula. I like what Rob is doing too and he cut a coherent promo before the match. The only thing I thought was a bit odd was him winning with a Five Star Frog Splash. If they really wanted to drive the gimmick of Cancel Culture taking away from the fans, then Rob should have won with a spin kick, or NOT one of his finishing moves.
Ace Austin and Willie Mack were chatting backstage. Mack was wearing a Street Sharks “Jawsome” shirt (from the 90s cartoon). Mack told Ace he didn’t need Ace’s help to beat Swinger and Disco. Ace agreed and noted that Mack impressed everyone at Hard to Kill during his handicap match there. Ace said he was also impressed. Ace said he’s looking to collect titles and the tag titles are one of those titles he’s after. Ace said he thinks Mack would make a great partner. Mack reiterated that Rich Swann is his only tag partner. Ace said he agrees, but he also wonders if Mack really wants to become a champion in Impact. Mack said he is looking for championships because he’s in a scramble match to go qualify for a X Division title match…
4.Kiera Hogan vs. Lacey Ryan. Kiera blindsided Lacey during Lacey’s entrance into the ring. Kiera hit Lacey with a huracanrana. Lacey countered a tackle with a Belly To Belly Suplex. Lacey knocked Kiera down with a dropkick. Kiera kicked Lacey and followed up with a bicycle axe kick. Kiera worked on Lacey for a sequence. Callis called out Josh for focusing on Kiera’s KT tape. Lacey made a comeback with a series of lariats and kicks.
Lacey hit Kiera with a slingshot elbow drop. Lacey hit Kiera with a quick Feast Your Eyes for a two count. Lacey crashed and burned on a Frog Splash attempt. Kiera nailed Lacey with a roundhouse, followed by a Fisherman Backbreaker for the win.
Kiera Hogan defeated Lacey Ryan via pinfall in 5:30.
John’s Thoughts: A good match. Lacey looks good, though I’m not confident we’ll see her after the Sam’s Town tapings given Impact’s past history using guest wrestlers from the promotions they travel to. Personally, I’m a bit disappointed that Kiera is still a heel. Maybe they’ll make it work if they give her some credibility, but I feel she’s become a bit stale after being established as the designated heel enhancement wrestler of the division (along with Madison Rayne).
Su Yung walked up to a brick wall with a piece of paper taped on it that said the word “Su” on it. She opened the letter and somehow we can hear James Mitchell’s voice, which means that he probably wrote the letter. Mitchel said that the alliance between Su and Havok is over and that next week the two need to wrestle in the “Undead Realm” away from Rosemary. Mitchell ended the letter by saying he’d remain impartial. The segment ended with Su Yung twitching. Cut to yet another Eddie Money commercial…[c]
They aired Michael Elgin’s team announcement for Lethal Lockdown. Of course, the caption said that Lockdown is postponed. Elgin picked Taya, Josh Alexander, and Ethan Page as his partners…
5. Daga vs. Jake Crist. Josh Mathews said he likes Jake’s Spider-man tatoo. Callis didn’t like it, saying that it’s a grown man wearing a Spider-man tatoo. Callis said his favorite superhero is The Lone Ranger. Jake and Daga started off with chain wrestling, which Daga dominated with a wristlock. Daga got a nearfall after a crucifix pin attempt. Jake landed a chop on Daga then cowered to the ropes.
Daga hit Jake with a kick combo. Jake missed all three of his savate kicks. Daga slowed things down with an armdrag. Jake managed to trip Daga off the apron, sending him to ringside. Jake nailed Daga with a rolling kick. Jake hit Daga with a Suicide Dive into a DDT.[c]
Jake tripped up Daga and locked him in a modified Koji Clutch. Daga got to the ropes for the break. Jake and Daga took each other out with stereo kicks and stereo lariats. Josh Mathews hyped up the TNA No Place Like Home show (which they didn’t say was postponed). Daga and Jake had a strong style exchange. Josh and Don said they both don’t understand strong style. Daga had a rally ending with a Dragon Screw. Daga got a two count after La Magistral. Daga got another two after a sitout Gutwrench Bomb.
Jake escaped the butterfly suplex and hit Daga with Savate Kicks for a two count. Daga got a two count after a bridge Rollup. Daga no sold Jake’s German and countered with a pop up Deadlift German Suplex for a two count. Daga drove into Jake Crist’s RKO out of nowhere for a two count. Daga hit Jake with a Dragon Suplex followed by a Tiger Driver into the knees for the win.
Daga defeated Jake Crist via pinfall in 9:04 of On-air TV Time.
John’s Thoughts: A decent enough match, but on one hand it does nothing for Daga because Daga has no momentum and he just beat the henchman guy that loses every week. I’m more disappointed that Impact is short-changing Jake Crist who had such an impressive run as X Division champion, only to be relegated back to being cannon fodder after losing the title.
Josh said that “security” may have found the hacker backstage. Two “security” guards entered the Sams Town Casino area and dragged a long haired hooded man to the back. The show cut to the Eddie Money commercial…[c]
The security guards showed Scott D’Amore the supposed hacker. Scott yelled that this wasn’t a hacker, it’s ordained minister “Ryan Cage”. Ryan said he was just here to look for his brother (Brian Cage). This pissed off D’Amore who yelled at the guards to take him away for looking for Cage…
The commentators checked in with ten minutes left at the top of the hour. Josh Mathews said he was nervous due to all the hacking going around. Josh announced Tessa Blanchard and Eddie Edwards vs. Michael Elgin and Taya Valkyrie next week for advantage in Lethal Lockdown, an X Division Contendership Scramble match, Rhino and Sabu vs. Madman Fulton and Dave Crist, and The Undead Realm match for next week. Josh then left the table for an in-ring segment…
A video montage aired honoring TNA. This led to an ad for the TNA March 31st special…
Josh Mathews said nobody embodies TNA more than Ken Shamrock. Ken Shamrock made his entrane. Mathews praised Shamrock for his career and even his recent run in the ring in Impact. Mathews asked Ken if Ken knew why he was here. Ken said he doesn’t know and will find out now he assumes. Josh talked about how Shamrock is a crossover athlete, even fighting in Japan for the “Pancreas” (Pancrase) promotion. Josh has made this mistake on TV before when talking about Josh Barnett.
Shamrock soaked in “Thank you Shamrock” chants. Shamrock talked about how he was torn up about that. Josh talked about Shamrock being successful in WWE then moving to TNA and becoming the first world champion in TNA history. Josh then announced Ken Shamrock as the newest member of the TNA Hall of Fame which will be celebrated at Bound for Glory. They then cut to a Ken Shamrock career honor video package. This package included clips borrowed from WWE, which WWE gave them rights to. The TNA announcer ran through Shamrock’s WWE championship titles and even noted that Shamrock pinned Dwayne Johnson to become King of the Ring (this included commentary from Jim Ross and Triple H).
The TNA narrator guy talked about Shamrock becoming NWA Heavyweight Champion. The video package was then cut off by the ICU Hacker Graphic and QR Code. Suddenly the lights cut out in the ring. The lights came back on and there was a man in the ring who had his face covered up and had the same build as Sami Callihan. The masked man took out flash paper and shot a fireball at Ken Shamrock. Shamrock was rolling on the ground yelling “He burned my eyes! Jesus Christ!!!”. Much to the surprise of no one (the crowd was even chanting “Sami” at this point), the man pulled down the scarf to reveal that it was in fact Sami Callihan as the ICU hacker.
Callihan pulled out his smart phone and “hacked” into the lights to shut them out. When they came back on he was gone with Shamrock continuing to writhe in pain. Callis said that someone needs to call a doctor. Instead, we get Scott D’Amore (who seems to be getting a lot of TV Time these days). He was followed by referees and a medical person. Callis left the commentary table to check on Ken. Impact closed…
John’s Thoughts: So Solomon Crowe’s here, the hacker gimmick that never showed up on NXT since WWE decided to scrap it last minute before Sami’s debut on NXT. Hasn’t Callihan gone on record telling how much he hated the “Hacker” gimmick because it “wasn’t Sami Callihan” and manufactured? Aside from that, let’s see where this goes. If this were someone else, I’d be a bit worried, but Sami is really good at taking anything and making it work. This will most likely lead to Sami Callihan vs. Ken Shamrock, which can be an entertaining feud. Moose vs. Shamrock was one of the sleeper feuds of 2019. I’m guessing this happens around Slammiversary time because October’s way off.
Believe it or not, this was actually a decent show. The TNA stuff makes this company continue to look like their in denial, and the Undead Realm is horrible, but the last two weeks of show were absolute ass so this is a huge improvement by comparison. Joking aside (but the last two weeks of show were ass, that’s not a joke), there were a lot of potential things that could really work if written correctly. I’m starting to lose confidence in this company knowing how to write stories given their underwhelming writing in recent months, but at least they’re showing signs that they aren’t dead in the water yet.