By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios
Aired May 12, 2020 on AXS TV
Impact started off with a hype package to hype the Impact Number One Contender’s Tournament. Moose interrupted the video and told the Impact Voice Guy that he wants the “TNA Voice Guy” (TNA’s fake James Earl Jones voiceover guy) to do the intro for Moose. The TNA voice guy did an over the top introduction and highlight video package, praising Moose, complete with “edited” clips of legends like Bobby Roode, Christopher Daniels, Hulk Hogan, Bully Ray, Jeff Hardy and other TNA legends “praising” Moose for how great Moose is. Dixie Carter even “praised” Moose…
John’s Thoughts: Not only did Moose find the TNA Championship from the TNA trash can, but he also hijacked their entire tape library somehow. Joking aside, that was a pretty fun intro with Impact actually pulling off some clever humor.
Madman Fulton, Dave Crist, and Jake Crist made their entrance…
1. Madman Fulton vs. Shawn Hernandez in a first round match of the Impact Number One Contenders Tournament. Fulton had Hernandez in a headlock early on. Hernandez reversed a hip toss into a headbutt. Fulton and Hernandez traded power moves. Josh Mathews put over how odd it was to see Hernandez manhandled because Hernandez is usually the big man. Fulton hit Hernandez with a Deadlift Superplex and rolled into a body slam. Fulton hit Hernandez with a running splash. Fulton went back to his methodical offense for a few minutes.
After Hernandez hit OVE with a dive, both big men traded punches. Hernandez shoved Fulton off the top rope and hit Fulton with a top rope splash for the victory.
Hernandez defeated Madman Fulton via pinfall in 8:57 to advance in the Impact Number One Contenders Tournament.
Michael Elgin cut a promo talking about how he shouldn’t have to prove himself due to his years in the business as well as being the number one contender already. Elgin said he’s going to send everyone in the tournament to the hospital…[c]
John’s Thoughts: On one hand, OVE are serving as good showcase jobbers for their opponents, but you can’t help but tag them with the title “jobber” because their matches are so predictable during this prolongued losing streak storyline. The worst part of it is how they’re overexposing Madman Fulton who is taking a majority of the pins. He’s supposed to be a monster, but everyone can kick his ass. Speaking of which, why didn’t they put Jake in the tournament to take the loss. The guy can easily bounce back from a loss and is oddly more credible in their storylines than Fulton who can’t win for shiz.
Madman Fulton was tossing around stuff backstage. Dave Crist calmed him down for a sec, but then criticized him for not being “championship material” which fired up Fulton again. Dave calmed both of them down. Crazzy Stave danced into the scene with a toy monkey (the toy monkey had a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19). Steve said OVE sounds like it’s OVER. Dave said he was going to punch Steve. Steve said it will take more than just a Madman to lead a flock. Dave was offended at Steve calling OVE sheep. Jake said Dave will kick Steve’s ass next week. OVE left. Joseph P Ryan showed up and said he heard the “C” word. Steve said that his name is “Crazzy” steve. Joey said that was offensive to crazy people…
John’s Thoughts: Hmmmmm… Just a thought, but are they thinking of making a Decay 2.0? Now, I don’t think Decay will absorb all of OVE, but maybe just Fulton? Decay resurrected Abyss’s career and made him more of a monster than he’s ever been. I can’t say I’m too opposed to it, but I also wouldn’t mind seeing what they have in mind with Taya and Rosemary before Rosemary shifts over to Decay if this is where things are going. I’m just speculating.
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne checked in on commentary. Josh said he really likes Joseph P Ryan and thinks Joseph is on to something with the cancel culture (wait? wasn’t he talking over the last two weeks about how much Joseph sucks and how he wants dick Joey back?). Madison called Josh Mathews a nerd boy. Josh called Impact “the most exciting two hours of the week” as he ran through the upcoming matches on this show…
2. Kylie Rae vs. Tasha Steelz. Steelz is a regular on NWA Powerr. Kylie acted bubbly and wanted a handshake, but Tasha wanted to get right to the match. Rae dominated the chain wrestling sequence with a wristlock. Tasha came back with a side headlick. Both women traded ground submissions for a few minutes. Kylie broke up a backpack sleeper with the turnbuckle. Kylie hit Tasha with a few clotheslines. Kylie hit Tasha with a basement superkick for a two count. Tasha got to the bottom rope to break Kylie’s STF attempt.
Tasha hit Kylie with a gamengiri and flying crossbody for a two count. Kylie blocked Tasha’s sliced bread attempt into a headlock driver. Kylie then locked in the STF on Tasha for the win.
Kylie defeated Tasha Steelz via submission in 6:55.
John’s Thoughts: A bit of a filler match. I get it, quarantine, but I felt like they could have given Kylie some promo time to get her character over as opposed to this meaningless match. It also went a bit longer than it needed to go too. Again, I get it, quarantine, but that doesn’t make things more entertaining.
Rohit Raju cut a promo about how it’s time for a change. Rohit said he’s seen other people get their big breaks, but when is Rohit going to get his big berak. Rohit said he’s been in the company for three years and doesn’t have a t-shirt or poster. He said managment doesn’t look him in the eye when they pass him in the hallway. Rohit said he comes off as a joke to them and the “nimrod fans” at home. Rohit said the meatbags have done nothing but disrespect him. Rohit said he was going to beat Trey. He said all the disrespect is going away when he wins the tournament. Rohit said the Desi Hit Squad is gone and there is only a Desi Hit Man left. He said he is Rohit Raju and you nimrods will realize that his mother calls him “sun” because he shines like the “sun”…[c]
John’s Thoughts: I think Rohit is trying a bit too hard to the point that wasn’t a good promo. This might have been a problem dating back to his Global Forged days where every promo from the wrestlers sounded like a guy “trying to play pro wrestler” as opposed to talking like a human being. I also thought he may be going for a babyface turn last week, but this week he calls the fans “nimrods”. I’m rooting for the guy, but so far he’s not hitting the reboot character out of the park. Maybe he should stop yelling and tone down the catchphrasing, then build up from there.
Kylie Rae ran into Susie Yung backstage. Susie asked Kylie what her name was. Rae told her it was Rae. Susie said it was like a “ray” of sunshine. Susie soon left. Kylie said she likes Susie…
3. Kimber Lee vs. Jessika Havok. Havok no sold Lee’s forearms early on. Lee ran away after Havok roared at her. Havok womanhandled Lee around the ring with tosses. Havok no sold Lee’s corner chops and responded with corner forearms. Havok blocked a huracanrana into a sitout bomb for a two count. Kimber Lee managed to get Havok on the second rope with two kicks to get her on the ropes.[c]
Lee was dominating Havok with corner chokes back from break. Lee locked Havok in an illegal Koji Clutch on the ropes for five seconds. The camera showed that Nevaeh was watching from the crowd area. Lee hit Havok with a Swanton for a two count. Havok caught Lee and hit her with a side slam for a two count. Havok was then distracted for a few seconds when she noticed Nevaeh in the crowd area. This allowed Kimber Lee to put on brass knuckles. She kept them conceiled from the referee while he was looking. Lee managed to punch Havok with the knucks when Havok scared the referee with a roar. Lee picked up the pinfall win.
Kimber Lee defeated Jessika Havok via pinfall in 5:14 of on-air TV time.
Madison Rayne “left” the commentary table to go host Locker room talk. Josh Mathews pointed out Lee’s brass knuckles. Lee waved at Nevaeh on her way to the back…
John’s Thoughts: A good way to debut Kimber Lee, protect the monster Havok, and also push forward the intrigue behind the mystery Nevaeh character. Lee looked pretty good in the ring too, giving me some hope that she might end up standing out a hell of a lot more than she did during her underwhelming WWE run (where they did push her and even gave her women’s title shots in NXT).
A continuation of Kiera Hogan’s vignette from last week aired. Kiera talked about watching her career from the passenger’s seat over the last five years. She said she saw other people try to take control and guide her in the right direction. Kiera said she hasn’t just been watching, but rather learning, listening, and seeing all of the mistakes that have been made. Kiera said she’s been waiting for the perfect time to use all that knowledge to her advantage. Kiera said it’s not all about Kiera. She said her name is Kiera Hogan and she’s the hottest flame…
John’s Thoughts: Another simple, strong, and sweet vignette for Kiera Hogan. She really shines no matter where anyone presents her. This is very, very similar to the “Fire” cinematic vignettes in WOW and those vignettes also did a good job delving into Kiera’s background. Sad thing about the WOW vignettes was they aired those, but Kiera ended up in the same “good hand” role as she is in Impact. That said, I think Impact is about to do a better job with Kiera in finally presenting her as a featured protagonist.
Madison Rayne hosted the Locker Room Talk talkshow alongside Johnny Swinger. Ken Shamrock was this week’s guest. Johnny Swinger tried to give Shamrock a handshake but Shamrock didn’t want it. Shamrock told Swinger to get him water. Swinger said he’ll do Shamrock one better and get one of those muscle shakes for Shamrock. Swinger left the set. Madison apologized on behalf of Swinger. Madison talked about how Shamrock had issues with people like Swinger, Moose, Joey Ryan, and Sami Callihan. Shamrock said he understands his issues with Moose and Sami. He said Joey Ryan is just a character.
Shamrock said that Callihan has been pissing him off most recently. Rayne asked Shamrock if his goals are different now that Callihan is in the rear view mirror. Shamrock said he came into Impact again with the goal of becoming Imapct World Champion. Michael Elgin then interrupted the interview and hit Shamrock with something in the head. Elgin then gave Shamrock a Con-chair-to on the ground…[c]
Sami Callihan cut one of his digitized “hacker” promos. It’s essentially his usual OVE promos, just with TV scrambling effects. Shamrock said Michael Elgin has always tried to outdo Sami Callihan, but Big Mike always fails. Shamrock said that Elgin is trying to be world champion while Sami already reached that goal. Sami hyped up his potential win of the tournament. Callihan ended his promo by saying “I see everything, thumbs up, thumbs down”…
4. Rohit Raju vs. Trey Miguel in a first round match of the Impact Number One Contender’s Tournament. Trey and Rohit started out the match with chain wrestling. Trey hit Rohit with the Rey Fenix tightrope armdrag. Rohit ran circles around Trey and hit him with a clothesline. Trey hit Rohit with a facebuster bulldog and then a headscissors twist on the mat. Rohit rolled to ringside for respite. Rohit managed to hit Trey with a punch on the apron followed by a series of kicks. Rohit slammed Trey to the mat for a two count.
Trey hit Rohit with a Scorpion Kick. Rohit came back with a kick and Pay dirt for a two count. Rohit worked on Trey with methodical offense for a few minutes. Trey managed to hit Rohit with a Scorpion Kick and Neckbreaker to give himself a moment to recover from Rohit’s onslaught. Trey blocked all of Rohit’s strikes and did a matrix dodge into a Pele kick to get a two count of Rohit. Rohit gave Trey a boot in the corner and hit Trey with a Front Suplex for a two count. Trey hit Rohit with the Cheeky Nandos and Tiger Feint combo.
Rohit caught Trey with a high knee when Trey went for the meteora. Rohit hit Trey with a twisting suplex. Rohit went for a vertical suplex, but Trey reversed it into a Small Package for the win.
Trey Miguel defeated Rohit Raju via pinfall in 10:23.
After Trey Miguel left the arena, Rohit Raju threw a fit inside the ring and yelled at the referee…
Josh Mathews hyped up another “Title Defense” by The North for later in the show…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A solid match and I like Impact not going all in on a Rohit Raju Cinderella story right away. I’m okay if they’re going to slow burn that. Right now, Trey Miguel is doing a better job at wiping away some of the stank from the low-budget Rascalz presentation (though he does still have the music and hand sign). If Rohit can get better on the mic and calm down on the promos, I wouldn’t mind them repackaging him as “Hakim Zane” to get rid of the Desi Hit Squad jobber stank.
Cody Deaner hosted another video of him in “Kwarantine”. He did his usual Cody Deaner things, like telling wrestlers to “give’er” over the phone. He also wrestled trees, a dinosaur doll, and an invincible opponent…
The North made their entrance to the Don Kolov Arena in Mississauga. Destiny Wrestling promoter George Menezes was in the ring again as the over enthuisatic ring announcer. Josh Alexander looked very depressed and wasn’t playing along with Ethan Page. Page told Alexander that he understands that Alexander is upset about the lame opponents last week. Page said he paid someone to pick out legit opponents this week. George Menezes talked about how he picked the greatest competition in the world for this week’s match. Josh looked ready for competition. Suddenly, two jobbers made their entrance and Josh Alexander went back to being apathetic.
John’s Thoughts: In all honesty, I find Josh Alexander very relatable right now. Dude just wants to work and this quarantine is just making us all really angsty.
George Menezes handled the ring introductions. He introduced the opponents as “The Smoes”. Menezes gave mild introductions for Josh Alexander and The Smoes, but went over the top in introducing All-Ego Ethan Page, complete with Snapchat Fireworks (which was fun). Josh Alexander pointed out that some of his “Nicknames” were taken from other people. A Mortal Kombat graphic showed to start the North vs. Smoes match.
The Smoes didn’t want to wrestle Alexander so Page started out the match. Page knocked out the guy in one kick. Page said this was a “title match” and then went on to Weekend With Bernie the ragdolled body of the Smoe. Alexander continued to not play along. The smoe kicked Alexander and Alexander came back with his signature moves. Page gave the referee money for some reason. Page then threw the Smoe into Alexander’s gutbuster. Alexander wanted to pin the guy, but Page wanted to do their tag finisher. Page beat the Smoe after hitting the Smoe with The North’s Burning Hammer Spinebuster. Josh Alexander continued to look apathetic at the whole thing…
Rosemary was at the bar again, talking to Tarot Cards, the bunny doll, and the Mr. Mundo doll. Rosemary said he prefers Mundo and the bunny doll to Taya and Allie because they are much quieter. John E Bravo then approached Rosemary. Bravo wondered if Rosemary stole Mr. Mundo because she misses Taya. John E said she must have took Mundo because he smells like Taya. Rosemary said its stranger that John E knows Taya’s smell. John E noted that he may miss Taya even though she beats him and makes him shave his head to kill any viruses. John E took Mr. Mundo away. Rosemary then yelled “no! Him?” To the voice in her head before the cutaway…[c]
The Impact Plus Flashback Match of the Week was AJ Styles vs. “Coldblooded” Matt Hardy with Ric Flair at ringside from TNA Victory Road 2011 (wasn’t that the infamous show with the tragic Jeff Hardy vs. Sting incident?). They aired one minute of the match with AJ winning after the Spiral Tap…
Chris Bey ran into Johnny Swinger backstage. Bey told Swinger that Willie Mack has been dissing Swinger, saying that Mack is the star of Mack and Pack. Swinger said he’s going to straighten up Mack now…
Swinger told Willie Mack that he was getting a big head. He said he was going to take Mack to the “Royal Humble” and take the belt from Mack. Mack said all Swinger had to do was ask and he agreed to give Swinger a title match next week. Swinger told Mack not to patronize him because Swinger is not the Shawn Michaels of the Mack and Pack. After Swinger left Mack said “this foo is stupid!”…
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne checked in on commentary where they announced Mack vs. Swinger for the X Division Title next week. They announced Michael Elgin vs. Sami Callihan and Rhino vs. Ken Shamrock as tournament matches for next week. Mathews said the Rhino vs. Shamrock match might not happen due to Shamrock getting attacked during Locker Room Talk. Mathews announced XXXL vs. TJ Perkins and Fallah Bahh for next week…
Suicide made his entrance first. Josh kept reminding viewers that Suicide came from the TNA Playstation 2 Video Game. Moose made his entrance with the TNA Championship belt. Moose ordered Dave Penzer to handle the formal ring introductions for the world title match. Josh Mathews said Moose’s ego was out of control. Josh Mathews argued that this wasn’t a title match (even though they made a graphic saying that this was a TNA title match last week)…
5. Moose vs. Suicide for the TNA Heavyweight Championship (?). Suicide took down Moose with a series of armdrags heading into commercial.[c]
Suicide hit Moose with the Rey Fenix tightrope huracanrana followed by a baseball slide at ringside. Moose got a moment to recover after throwing Suicide into the barricade. Suicide fended off Moose with a series of boots. Moose body slammed Suicide from the top rope. Josh Mathews talked about how much he hopes Eric Young feels about Moose being TNA Champion.
John’s Thoughts: That’s a little specific. I’m guessing they’re hoping EY comes back.
Josh then listed other former TNA Champions as a part of a group of people who would not like Moose crowning himself as champion. Moose gave Suicide a boot to knock Suicide off the apron. Moose gave Suicide a giant swing into the barricade. Moose manahndled Suicide at ringside. Moose kept kicking Suicide out of the ring with Suicide beating the ten counts. While Moose was gloating at ringside to an empty crowd, Suicide nailed Moose with a suicide dive.
Suicide tossed Moose to ringside and hit Moose with a cannonball. Suicide hit Moose with a huracanrana. Suicide chopped Moose’s leg for a two count. Suicide reversed a power bomb with a huracanrana. Suicide hit Moose with a Rolling Senton for a two count. After trading positions in the corner, Moose accidentally gives the referee a corner splash. REF BUMP!!! (of course, they are doing a weird TNA tribute for some reason). Suicide hit Moose with a superkick and enzuigiri. Moose came back with a pump kick. Suicide hit Moose with a palm strike.
Suicide hit Moose with a backfist. Suicide caught a diving Moose with a Codebreaker. Suicide got the visual pinfall over Moose, but the referee was still TNA ref bumped. Suicide countered the spear with the Code Red for a two count. Josh Mathews noted that the referee was slow because he was recovering. Moose kicked Suicide in the balls and followed up with a spear for the victory.
Moose defeated Suicide via pinfall in about 12:27 of on-air TV time to retain the TNA Heavyweight Championship (?).
Josh Mathews noted that Dave Penzer was apprehensive in his announcement of Moose as TNA Champion. Josh Mathews closed the show…
John’s Thoughts: A well wrestled match, but it seemed like they were trying too long to tell a joke that lost steam a long time ago. First of all, I don’t think people have fond memories of Suicide other than him being played by TJ Perkins and being a part of James Storm’s weird Wyatt Family ripoff. They even threw in a ref bump for more TNA tributes. Maybe this will work if they can bring in someone like Eric Young down the road, though I still don’t know why Impact is having the sudden obsession with TNA all of a sudden. That said, I will give Impact a thumbs up for the TNA Voice Guy intro to the show. That is parody done right!
This week’s show was a better show than the last week. While the tournament makes no sense (since Michael Elgin never lost his number one contendership) it does allow Impact to follow the suit of NXT, WWE, and AEW in having a tournament kill time during the empty arena era of our world. There are a few rough edges and more comedy segments than they need, but there are also some promising new storylines emerging across the board. I also like what seems to be a revamping of the Knockouts Division with everything starting from scratch it seems. Really looking forward to the Kiera Hogan reboot.