By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped March 6-7 in Atlanta, Georgia at Coca-Cola Roxy
Aired March 31, 2020 on AXS TV
[Hour One] The recap package focused on last week’s Undead Realm segments. The Impact Wrestling intro theme aired…
Josh Mathews was on commentary and he was joined by his real-life wife, Madison Rayne, instead of his usual color commentator Don Callis…
1. Eddie Edwards vs. Josh Alexander (w/All Ego Ethan Page). Alexander had the power advantage during the initial strike exchanges. Eddie used his speed to turn the tables. Eddie worked methodical offense on Alexander. Alexander turned the tide with a foot stomp and knee strike to the gut of Edwards. Alexander dodged a plancha at ringside and gave Eddie a forearm. Eddie recovered and chopped Alexander in the chest.
John’s Thoughts: As Eddie Edwards was dragging Alexander to the commentary table area, the camera showed that Don Callis and Josh Mathews were on commentary. Odd with the post edit (and lack of quality control) switch.
Alexander ran through Edwards with a big boot. Alexander dominated Edwards for a bit, even getting a nearfall in there. Eddie and Alexander had a strong style exchange once Eddie got fired up. Once Eddie sidestepped Alexander to lure him outside, Eddie hit Alexander with a suicide dive. Eddie hit Alexander with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. Alexander escaped a Backpack Stunner and gave Eddie a thunder clap. Alexander hit Eddie with a release toss for a two count. Eddie and Alexander had a prolonged Strong Style sequence.
Eddie ended the sequence with a lariat on Alexander. Eddie hit Alexander with a Tiger Bomb for a two count. Eddie was about to set up for the Boston Knee Party, but Ethan Page held on to Eddie’s leg for a bit of a distraction. This allowed Josh Alexander to flip over Eddie into a Jackknife pin for the victory.
Josh Alexander defeated Eddie Edwards via pinfall in 9:37.
Alexander pummeled Eddie after the match and was joined by Page in the beatdown. Tessa Blanchard ran out for the save. Eddie and Tessa cleared The North from the ring…
Josh Mathews ran through the AXS TNA Special card as well as upcoming segments on this show. Josh noted that Ken Shamrock is not at the show tonight due to possible retinal damage from Sami Callihan’s fireball…[c]
John’s Thoughts: I like that they found a way to give Josh Alexander the win while protecting their number one contender (somewhat). I’m not the biggest fan of wrestling companies sacrificing their tag team champions in order to boast the main eventers because the tag team champions need to be presented as champions in their own right. Given that Tessa ran out, I’m guessing they’re setting up Page vs. Tessa sometime in the future, as soon as tonight maybe. There I totally expect Tessa to beat the tag champ, but at least they’ll be a split there instead of the Tag champs fully getting squashed.
Josh Alexander and Ethan Page were backstage. Ethan Page ranted about being a world champion in his own right. Ultimately, he ended up challenging Tessa Blanchard to a (non-title) champion vs. champion match…
2. Kylie Rae vs. Cassandra Golden. Cassandra beat up Kylie right before the belt. Madison Rayne talked about recently wrestling an indie match against Kylie Rae. Rae was womanhandled by Golden early on. Rae got a few sidesteps in and then gave Golden a bunch of forearms. Rae got a small package for a two count. Rae hit Golden with the “Kylie Special” (Basement Superkick) for a two count.
Golden kicked out of the pin. Rae hit Golden with a cannonball for another two count. Rae escaped a Fireman Carry and hit Golden with a Side Russian Legsweep. Rae locked Golden in a STF for the submission win.
Kylie Rae defeated Cassandra Golden via submission in 2:51.
Highlights from Rae’s moveset were shown. Josh Mathews hyped Ethan Page vs. Tessa Blanchard for later in the show…[c]
Jimmy Jacobs interviewed Kylie Rae about her return to Impact. Rae was extra giddy, talking about her “rollercoaster year”. Rae said she ultimately came to the conclusion that Impact is her home. Rae said she’s announcing that she just signed a long-germ wrestling contract with Impact Wrestling. Rae gave Jacobs a double high five…
This week’s Impact Plus Flashback Moment of the Week was the Scott Steiner Math Promo on Samoa Joe (This is something they air once or twice a show if you’re watching the Twitch version)…
John’s Thoughts: Good signing to Impact in terms of Kylie Rae. In the ring, she’s very solid. Outside of the ring, she comes off as Indie-Bayley. That may be a good thing, but it can also work against her if she comes off too much like an imitation Bayley.
Moose made his entrance for a promo. He still thinks he’s better than TNA wrestlers. He was quickly interrupted by “David” Kid Kash (That’s how Josh introduced him as). Kash gave Moose props for being an amazing athlete. Kash said he’s an “Original TNA” and he doesn’t think Moose would have measured up in the original TNA. Moose called Kash a dumbass and challenged Kash to a match…
3. Moose vs. Kid Kash. Kash landed a few low kicks on Moose. Kash hit Moose with a huracanrana. Moose recovered a bit at ringside. Kash hit Moose with an (ugly looking) huracanrana from the ring to ringside. Moose no sold a few Kash kicks in the ring. Moose sidestepped a running Kash and hit Kash with a spear for the win.
Moose defeated Kid Kash via pinfall in 1:00.
Josh Mathews noted that David Kid Kash might have better luck in his match on the TNA show right after this show on AXS. Josh hyped Sami Callihan addressing his attack on Ken Shamrock later in the show…[c]
Jimmy Jacobs introduced Acey Romero and Larry D as the new tag team named Team Double XL. Acey cut a promo like he was a TV informercial salesperson. He talked about how they’re both big and how he can do a flip. Larry also cut a similar excited promo. Larry ended the promo by saying that “Size matters”.
Fallah Bahh and TJ Perkins walked into the promo. Bahh was speaking in a combination of English and (what I’m assuming is) Tagalog. Bahh brought a platter tray of fried chicken with him. Perkins kept trying to get Bahh to understand that XXL were saying “Size matters” not “Sides matter”. Perkins said he wanted to welcome XXL the Filipino way by giving their new friends food. Perkins said if they want to get in line for the tag titles, then XXL needs to get behind Bahh and Perkins in that line. Perkins took a chicken breast. Bahh took the whole tray of chicken back and gave Acey and Larry a single piece of chicken…
Jimmy Jacobs interviewed Rich Swann “via satellite”. Rich Swann was shown on Skype from Orlando, FL. Jacobs recapped Rich Swann getting an ankle injury at an Impact Plus show. Swann said he’s not feeling right and recovery has not been going good. Jacobs asked Swann on Swann’s thoughts on Willie Mack challenging Ace Austin for the X Title at Rebellion. Swann talked about how Mack needs to look out for Reno Scum.
Ace Austin walked in and took over Jacob’s seat. Ace brought up how Mack was holding back Rich Swann. Ace then brought up how he knows that Swann is a good guy and that if Mack was recovering from an injury then Swann would be right there next to Mack and not out there wrestling selfishly. Swann mocked Ace and told him to shut up. Swann said that Ace was stupid in thinking that Mack would bring a one legged man to ringside with him (I don’t think Swann got what Ace was trying to say?).
Swann said he and Mack will go after the tag titles down the road. Suddenly there was a knock at Rich Swann’s door. Ace Austin brought up that he sent Reno Scum over to Swann’s home to check on Rich because he cares. Rich said “ain’t nobody outside” (but somebody just knocked the door). Rich Swann left to open the door and then we heard a simple “ahhhh” so signify that he got beat…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A bit odd on Rich Swann’s end of the promo. He was also acting a bit goofy at times when he’s at his best (especially before the injury) when he’s taking things seriously. I do continue to like the work Ace Austin is doing. Criticisms aside, Rich Swann got injured at probably the worst time for Impact because they do have depth problems and Swann emerged as their top babyface right before his injury, even stealing the show during several of Tessa Blanchard’s signature moments.
[Hour Two] Back from break, Jimmy Jacobs, some guy, and Daga were shown trying to hold Willie Mack back…
They then cut to the ring where Sami Callihan made his entrance to some cool sounding and new rock entrance music (Which Twitter is saying is the music Shotzi Blackheart used during her Impact run). Callihan said “I see you Atlanta! I see Everything!”. Callihan said he’s not going to freak out like everyone expects. Callihan said he set himself aside for soul searching after losing the world title. Callihan recapped throwing a fireball at Ken Shamrock. He said he doesn’t just have an issue with Impact management, but wrestling companies in general.
Callihan brought up how “Other Companies” bring in legends and push other wrestlers down the card “but that shit don’t happen in Impact Wrestling” (but didn’t he attack Shamrock because that was happening in Impact Wrestling?). Callihan said you have to earn your spot in Imapct and he’d be damned if Shamrock didn’t go through the Draw first. Sami brought up Shamrock being in the best shape of his life.
Callihan said people still call Shamrock the world’s most dangerous man and while Shamrock is breaking ankles, Callihan is hitting people in faces with bats and throwing fireballs. Callihan said that you’re looking at the new most dangerous man. Tommy Dreamer made his entrance. Dreamer said he’s out there to speak for Shamrock, but moreso for a man that Sami may have blinded. Dreamer said his dad was blinded so he knows how it is to be older and not be able to earn an income anymore.
Callihan led the crowd condescendingly in an applause for Tommy Dreamer. The crowd cheered. Sami started to twitch a bit. Sami said he understands that Dreamer has pull in the business and always finds a way to get himself in other people’s segments. Callihan told the crowd to take their phones out and tweet their pictures out. The crowd didn’t do this. Dreamer cut back in talking about how veterans are there to make sure the new generation doesn’t make the mistakes of the past.
Dreamer brought up Terry Funk, Mick Foley, and Dusty Rhodes as some of these legends. Dreamer said Callihan uses fear on social media. Dreamer said he’s fighting for everyone in the back. He said he’s using his platform to fight for good to fight against trolls like Callihan. Callihan hit Dreamer in the head with a mic. While Sami was doing his thumb thing, Dreamer came back with his own mic shot. Dreamer then challenged Callihan to an Old School Rules match. Dreamer ordered a referee to get to the ring and start a match…
4. Tommy Dreamer vs. Sami Callihan in an “Old School Rules” match. Dreamer tossed Callihan into a ringpost at ringside. Dreamer used a punger on Callihan’s face. Callihan gained control and hit Dreamer in the back with a chair. Callihan used the plunger on Dreamer’s face. Dreamer tripped up Callihan off the apron. Dreamer hit Callihan several times with cookie sheets. Dreamer then gave Callihan a lariat. Callihan gained control by grabbing the balls of Dreamer.
Sami did his thumb thing which allowed Dreamer to recover, hit a few of his bionic elbow punches, and then give Sami an elbow smash. Dreamer then walked to the back. Dreamer then tackled Callihan with a trash can. Dreamer hit Callihan in the chest with a trash can. Dreamer cleared the ring when Sami brought a staple gun to the ring. Dreamer brought his own staple gun to the ring heading into commercial. [c]
Dreamer and Callihan sat down and “stapled” each other in the chest. Dreamer stapled Callihan low and gave Callihan a lariat. Callihan gave Dreamer a nasty drop toehold into the spine of a set up chair. Dreamer ended up tossing Callihan into a chair that Sami set up against the turnbuckle. Dreamer got a two count on Sami. Callihan gave Dreamer an STO into a chair. Both men traded reversals.
Callihan gave Dreamer a Death Valley Driver into two chairs. Sami did his thumb thing and then gave Dreamer a pile driver for the win.
Sami Callihan defeated Tommy Dreamer via pinfall in 8:07 of on-air TV Time.
Callihan put a pile of chairs and the trash can on top of Dreamer. Rhino’s theme started to play, as Rhino made the save and put the boots to Callihan. Jake Crist, Dave Crist, and Madman Fulton ran out to dominate Rhino and Dreamer. OVE tried to pose with Callihan. Sami was about to lead them in his thumb thing, but before he could finish, he “hacked” into the lights with his smartphone. When the lights came back on, Sami was gone. OVE acted confused with Fulton yelling…
John’s Thoughts: Your usual Tommy Dreamer gatekeeper match. They’re usually solid and Dreamer tends to do better than the other ECW-Impact guys at these safe hardcore matches (because when you watch someone like Sabu or Rhino, those matches tend to be at a snail’s pace). The preceeding promo was a bit all over the place and I hope Sami will do a better job now that he cleared a lot of the exposition that he felt like he needed to include. So far, I’m kinda just seeing “new” Hacker Sami as just Sami with a smartphone, but maybe they add more layers to him. What I’m intrigued most by is his new entrance theme and how that continues to separate him from OVE. His dynamic with OVE and the mystery behind that is the most intriguing part of the new Hacker Sami.
Rosemary was shown at the bar again. She challenged everyone to a drinking game where the loser has to lose their soul. Most of the bar left when she made this challenge except one man sitting at the bar. Rosemary talked about how being in the mortal realm changed her and she even cared for a person in the realm, Allie (but what about Abyss and Crazzy Steve?). Rosemary talked about how Allie taught her about love and friendship. Rosemary said she remember her pride now. Rosemary called the man at the bar the winner and “sole survivor”. Not sure if we were supposed to know who this man was?…[c]
A Su Yung career video package aired…
Susie Yung was shown trying to say hello to people, but everybody kept running away from her. Cody Deaner and Cousin Jake acted petrified at Susie. Susie told Jake that she knows she’s Su Yung. Susie said Su stabbed put people in coffins and stabbed them, and that’s bad. Susie said she likes being Susie more and she’s a “cool guy now”. Cody said he had a match now and the Deaners ran away, terrfied. Susie wished Cody good luck…
Joey Ryan made his entrance wearing his country club attire and carrying an Ipad to the ring. Josh Mathews acted all excited that some guy named Lou Young was at ringside…
5. Joseph P Ryan vs. Cody Deaner (w/Cousin Jake). Cody hulked up after taking a swig of beer. Joey gave Cody tackles in the corner. Cody dominated Joey for most of the beginning of the match. Joey managed to turn the tables with a punch and boots. Joey worked methodical offense on Cody. Cody had an Ultimate Warrior tribute moment with noselling Joey’s punches. Deaner gave Ryan a lariat. Joey escaped a Deaner DDT attempt. Jake poured beer down Joey’s throat while the referee didn’t see. Cody kicked Joey in the gut and gave him the Deaner DDT for the win.
Cody Deaner beat Joseph P Ryan via pinfall in 4:06.
Josh and Madison said that Joey might have just been cancelled. Josh said that he thinks Joey lost because he didn’t use his [Penis] powers…
They cut to Eddie Edwards thanking Tessa Blanchard backstage. Eddie offered to have Tessa’s back in keeping Josh Alexander in check during Tessa’s match. Tessa told Eddie that she’s got things under control…[c]
Michael Elgin cut a promo recapping all the times he beat Eddie before and during the best of five. Elgin brought up that even though it was ruled that Elgin’s shoulder was on the mat this time, there’s no doubt that Eddie tapped out. Elgin brought up Tessa having more balls then most of the boys in the back for challenging Elgin and Eddie.
Elgin said Rebellion is Elgin’s one year anniversary in Impact, and a year since he said he’s a future champion. Elgin hyped up Tessa as credible. Elgin said every path has a road block. Elgin said he breaks through those blocks, but Eddie didn’t. Elgin said he’s going to prove that Tessa’s road block is going to be “unbreakable” at Rebellion…
Josh Mathews announced Daga vs. Chris Bey, The Crist Brothers vs. Tommy Dreamer and Rhino, and Ken Shamrock returning to Impact. Josh Mathews noted that Sami’s alliance with OVE is still unknown at this point. Josh Mathews hyped up the TNA show after this show finishes up…
6. Impact World Champion Tessa Blanchard vs. Impact Tag Champion Ethan Page (w/Josh Alexander) in a non-title intergender match. Page acted disrespectful early on. Tessa took down Page with a kick combination. Page raked Tessa in the eyes and cradled Tessa. Page turned the cradle into a backbreaker. Tessa came back with punches and chops. Page came back with a shoulder block. Page choked Tessa with his boot several times. Tessa overwhelmed Page with chops and slaps.
Page came back with a kick and tackle combo. Page worked on Tessa’s back with knees. Page hit Tessa with a delayed vertical suplex. Page planted Tessa with a backbreaker. Josh talked about how there’s a lot of noise and critics that are looking down to Tessa’s title reign (well? I thought most of the noise was due to all the social media backlash against Tessa due to Tessa being accused of being an a-hole by her various co-workers?).
Page dominated Tessa for a stretch. Tessa escaped the corner with a judo roll. Tessa hit Page with a huracanrana. Tessa hit Page with a Sliced Bread #2. Tessa then hit Page with three dives. Tessa jawed with Josh Alexander a bit, which allowed Page to grab her hair. Page dragged Tessa back in the ring. Tessa reversed Page with a Tornado DDT. Page kicked out at two.
Page caught Tessa during a Magnum attempt. Page gave Tessa a elbow and Yakuza kick for a two count. Tessa was trapped in the corner after getting clocked by a right hand from Page. Tessa fought out of Page’s Superplex attempt. Page distracted the referee so Josh Alexander could hold Tessa’s foot. Eddie Edwards ran out to yank Josh Alexander away. This allowed Tessa to nail Ethan Page with The Magnum for the victory.
Tessa Blanchard defeated Ethan Page via pinfall in 9:17.
Eddie Edwards tried to hand Tessa the title belt, but Michael Elgin joined them and gave both of his future opponents a lariat. Elgin showed Tessa the title and was about to hit her with an Elgin Bomb. Eddie saved Tessa and they hit Elgin with strikes. Eddie tossed Tessa into Elgin for a Huracanrana. Eddie Edwards and Tessa Blanchard stood tall in the ring while Elgin stood tall at ringside. Tessa’s theme played to close the show. Josh Mathews made sure to introduce the TNA on AXS show…
John’s Thoughts: One of Tessa’s better intergender matches since becoming world champion. This was mostly due to Ethan Page not sandbagging like a lot of her opponents do, which usually makes Tessa’s matches unrealistic. The problem with Tessa’s title reign so far has been so many uninteresting storylines. She’s just having matches and looking like she has plot armor due to the booking. This was even a problem right before she won the title because Rich Swann was taking all the positive attention away from Tessa due to his organic rise.
Overall, this was a less impressive show than the last few weeks of shows. Not sure why Don Callis was taken off the commentary track because he was clearly at ringside at many points during the show. Madison Rayne was better than she has been in the past on commentary, but Don Callis was really good at adding sports-like commentary, comedy wit, and keeping dorky Josh in check. The show overall, nothing really stood out.