By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios
Aired June 2, 2020 on AXS TV
Highlights from last week’s Impact show aired. Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne were on commentary…
1. Kylie Rae and Susie Yung vs. Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz. Kiera wiped a bow that Kiera stole from Kylie on her butt. Tasha and Kylie started off the match. Tasha got an early takedown on Kylie, leading to Susie asking for a tag. Susie tagged in and did her child bit. Tasha tried to punk out Susie, but Susie responded with a simple slap. Kiera tagged in. Susie took down Kiera with a few side headlocks.
Kylie and Susie hit Kiera with a bulldog. Kiera kicked out of Kylie’s pin attempt. Tasha took control of the match and slammed Susie once Susie tagged in. The heels hit Susie with a straitjacket whip into the corner. The heels then cut the ring in half on Kiera with methodical offense. Susie got a moment of opportunity after hitting Tasha with an X Factor. Kyrie got a hot tag and cleaned house. Kylie hit Kiera with an armdrag into a back kick for a two count.
Susie tagged in. Tasha nailed Susie with a codebreaker. Kylie caught Tasha with a superkick. Kiera clocked Kylie with a superkick. Susie hit Kiera with a palm. The heels hit Susie with boots. Josh Mathews noted that Kiera and Tasha weren’t following tag rules.
Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz defeated Kylie Rae and Susie Yung via pinfall in 7:46.
The heels danced up the ramp to celebrate their win…
John’s Thoughts: The match was wrestled well enough, but so far nothing is clicking with this combination. Maybe if they have something to fight for, like tag belts, things would get spicy, but so far it’s pretty meh. I said it last week, I fear that Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz are destined to be midcard gatekeeper heels. Kiera in particular would be better served as a top tier babyface, especially after those great re-introduction vignettes they were airing. I’m not sure what I think of the Su/Susie gimmick nowadays. To me, it looks like Susie is going to wrestle when Impact needs the babyfaces to take a pinfall and Su will show up to get the face’s win back.
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne checked in from the commentary table. Madison jokingly took credit for Kiera Hogan’s success. Josh and Madison ran through upcoming segments…
Gia Miller interviewed Ace Austin. Ace cut off Gia before she could get a question out. Ace said he doesn’t want to talk about the past because he looks towards the future. Moose cut off Ace’s promo and congratulated Ace for beating Rhino and Hernandez. Moose said he was just here to tell Ace how prestigeous the TNA championship is. Moose brought up RVD, Kurt Angle, and Sting as past champions. Moose told Ace that if Ace becomes number one contender tonight, he shouldn’t go after the Impact Championship because that belt is a second-rate championship. Moose said Ace should go after the TNA title. Ace walked away saying “maybe I will?”…
Joseph P Ryan, Jake Crist, and Dave Crist made their entrance. The Crist Brothers had a generic look with just jeans and OVE T-Shirts…
2. Joseph P Ryan (w/Jake Crist, Dave Crist) vs. Crazzy Steve. Ryan slapped Steve when Steve called Joey “the dick guy”. Steve hit Joey with a jawbreaker and running knee for a two count. Joey regained control and punched Steve around. Joey then worked on Steve with methodical offense. Joey told the Crist that he has the “Greatest suplex on earth”. Steve hit Joey with a reversal suplex. Joey and Steve then traded punches. Steve bit at the hand of Ryan and then rolled Ryan into the bottom buckle.
Steve hit Joey with a cannonball. Dave Crist took a punch from Steve. This distraction was enough for Joey to avoid a high risk move from Steve. Joey nailed Steve with a superkick for the victory.
Joey Ryan defeated Crazzy Steve via pinfall in 3:48.
Joey took the mic after the match. He said the Crists now have enough information they need to make an informed decision as to joining Cancel Culture. Jake and Dave nodded in agreement. Joey addressed Jake in particular and said that Jake needs to put Cancel Culture ahead of everything and everyone. Joey told Jake to “do the right thing” for himself and Cancel Culture (Which I guess is code word meaning to betray Dave). Dave tried to convince Jake that Joey was full of it, but Jake laid out Dave with a Savate Kick. Josh Mathews recapped the segment…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A bit disappointing that we’re not getting The Crist Brothers as a meaningful tag team anytime soon. I say this because The Crists were such a hot tag team over a year ago, especially when they feuded with Santana and Ortiz. It’s just been so long since then and they’ve been relegated to cannon fodder. The jury is out on what they do with Joey and Jake as a pairing. I hope it’s not as a tag team because Jake has proven that he has star potential which he showed as “The Golden Draw”. The Cancel Culture thing just never really picked up any steam and is already looking very bland. There’s no heat, controversy, pop, or whatever.
3. Rohit Raju vs. Chase Stevens. Rohit got a two count on Steves after a PK to the knee and running boot. Chase hit Rohit with a shortarm lariat and a suplex for a two count. Rohit regained control and hit Stevens with a falling elbow for a two count. Josh said that Rohit’s temper has been costing him matches. Rohit hit Chase with a Paydirt for a two count. Rohit kept Chase under control with a back elbow. Chase came back with a few punches.
Chase hit Rohit with a scisors kick for a two count. Rohit got the knees up when Chase went for a moonsault. Rohit used the referee as a shield to hit Chase with a kick. Rohit hit Chase in the back of the neck with a double stomp for the victory.
Rohit Raju defeated Chase Stevens via pinfall in 5:48.
Rohit went up to the camera and called himself the most underrated wrestler in the world. He then said his catchphrase about how his mother calls him “Sun”. Suddenly behind him, Rhino appeared and caught Rohit with a Gore. Rhino stood tall to end the segment…
John’s Thoughts: Believe it or not, I thought it would have been a better move to have Rohit lose the match here given the story that Josh Mathews was telling. Josh was talking about how Rohit loses matches because he’s a hot head. They could have reestablished that here. They can easy give Rohit a turnaround when he drops the Rohit Raju name and becomes “Hakim Zane” to present him in a new light.
Gia Miller interviewed Jessika Havok and Nevaeh backstage. Gia wanted to know from Nevaeh why she was appearing in the crowd area in recent months. Nevaeh talked about he’s been friends with Havok for years. Nevaeh said she also witnesse Havok winning the Knockouts title. Nevaeh said she’s just looking out and checking if her friend is ok. Nevaeh said the team of Havok and Nevaeh have arrived…[c]
The show cut to Madison Rayne and Johnny Swinger’s Locker Room Talk talk show. Johnny was extra excited in introducing the guest, Chris Bey, due to their association in recent weeks. Madison asked Chris for the reason behind him picking Impact Wrestling to join when he was a free agent. Swinger didn’t allow Bey to speak and answered for him, saying that Bey has it going on and can get all the rizzats and gimmicks he wants.
Rayne pointed out that Bey beat Daga and Cousin Jake. Rayne wondered if Bey thinks he can beat Willie Mack. Swinger didn’t allow Bey to speak again. Swinger called Rayne, “Madison Square Garden” Rayne. Swinger said Bey is amphibious (he meant Ambidextrous) because he can work in both the Tag Team and X Division at the same time. Bey was looking frustrated. Swinger said the “Finesse and Bench Press Express” is way better than the “Mark and Pack” connection.
Johnny said that he and Bey are beating Mack and Cousing Jake next week. Rayne and Bey continued to look frustrated. Johnny said that Bey can have his pick of the Rizzats. Bey said he was fine with everything as long as Swinger helps him out against Willie Mack when Mack and Bey face for the championship eventually. Swinger agreed and ended his sentence with the word “brother” which Rayne told him not to say…
This week’s Impact Wrestling Flashback Match of the Week was Drew Galloway (Drew McIntyre) vs. Bobby Lashley for the TNA Heavyweight Championship from Slammiversary 2016. You can see this match happen in a four sided ring next Sunday on WWE Backlash. Lashley won the 2016 version though, making Drew McIntyre pass out to the Kata Gatame…
Jimmy Jacobs interviewed Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace about what she’s been doing during her time off. Grace said she was scouting her competition and training. Grace said the Knockouts Division is looking wonderful with new faces like Tasha Steelz and Nevaeh. Taya Valkyrie cut off the interview. Jacobs noted that Taya has also been out over a month. Taya told Grace that Grace is making herself look bad for not appearing as Champion on TV.
Grace said she’s dying to defend the title and is willing to defend the title against Taya. Taya made excuses and said that she can’t this week. Grace then said she challenges Taya in a title defense next week. Grace assumed Taya agreed and walked away. Taya yelled, looking for John E Bravo…[c]
4. “The Rascalz” Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz vs. TJ Perkins and Fallah Bahh. Perkins wanted to high five everyone, but Bahh cut in and said that everyone needs to elbow bump to prevent the spread of germs. Bahh then said “Wash your hands!” in a heavy accent. Bahh and Perkins joked around as to who would start the match. Bahh no sold Dez’s waistlock early on. Bahh then no sold Dezmond’s wristlock with a judo roll.
Bahh then no sold Dezmond’s rollup. Dezmond dodged a Bahh Banzai Drop. Bahh avoided Dezmond’s flip kick. Bahh then calmly tagged in TJ. Wentz also tagged in. TJ turned the Test of Strength into an armwrench. Perkins hit Zach with a twisting headscissors. Wentz reversed a huracanrana with a handstand. Both men then traded ground submissions. Perkins nailed Wentz with a dropkick.
Dezmond tagged in and ran circles around Perkins. Dezmond nailed Perkins with a huracanrana. Zach hit Perkins with a Bronco BUster. Bahh slammed Dezmond to the mat. TJP hit Wentz with a Poetry In Motion for a two count. The Rascalz hit Perkins with rapid fire roundhouse kicks after Zach escaped a Perkins suplex. Zach slammed Perkins to the mat for a two count.
The Rascalz traded quick tags to isolate Perkins. Perkins ran off the back of Dezmond and hit Zach with a Tornado DDT. Bahh tossed Dezmond in teh corner. He then hit both rascalz with corner splashes. Bahh lawn darted Dezmond into Zach. Bahh hit Dezmond with a Samoan Drop for the two count. Bahh hit Dezmond with a “HADOUKEN”. Perkins then rode on Bahh’s back to support Bahh during a splash on Dezmond. Perkins hit Dezmond with a suplex and Dragon Screw.
Perkins knocked Zach off the apron. Dezmond hit Perkins with a CQC Cutter combo. Wentz tagged in and kicked Bahh off the apron. Wentz hit Perkins with a strike combination and corner knee. Wentz hit Perkins with a PK and Standing Moonsault for a two count. The Rascals hit Perkisn with a catapult kick combination for the two count. Bahh tossed around both Rascalz. Perkins hit Dezmond with a frog splash. Both men traded rollups. Bahh broke up Zach’s pin attempt on Perkins.
Zach knocked out Bahh with a big boot. Perkins hit Wentz with a Back suplex. Perkins caught a flying Dezmond into a heel hook. Dezmond made it to the ropes, but Wentz pushed Dezmond into a bridge which put TJ’s shoulders on the mat to give Dezmond the three count.
The Rascalz defeated TJ Perkins and Fallah Bahh via pinfall in 12:38.
Dezmond told Bahh and Perkins after that they’d be willing to wrestle again out of respect…
John’s Thoughts: First of all, I’ll admit that seeing Fallah Bahh do a Hadouken out of nowhere got a huge chuckle out of me. That said, I think the right team went over here. Bahh and Perkins haven’t clicked yet as the generic guys who are proud of their heritage. I want to be excited for Rascalz vs. North, but the Rascalz still present themselves as undercard goofs.
Deonna Purrazzo talked about how she’s a virtuosa. She listed words to talk about how intelligent she is. Deonna talked about how she starts her fights before she gets into the ring by having strategies seep into her subconscious. She said she’s been long prepared for Impact Wrestling but she wonders if Impact is ready for her. Josh Mathews noted that Deonna Purrazzo will be appearing in-person next week…[c]
John’s Thoughts: That was probably, hands down, the best promo I ever heard Deonnna cut on TV. That’s of course due to WWE relegating her to no talking and enhancement matches where she’s the enhancement wrestler. I’m really excited to see if Deonna can live up to the hype now that she finally has a company that will present her properly.
Rosemary and John E Bravo were strolling outside. John E was walking Taya’s dog toy. John E talked about having a good time hanging out with Rosemary. Rosemary said she wants to show John E what a “Hell hound” is. John E said he never had this much fun with Taya. John E said he’s not sure how he’s feeling now. Rosemary told John E to work with her instead of Taya. Rosemary then tried to feed John E this apple (which the camera showed, she covered with a potion/drug).
John E said he wasn’t taking food from crazy people because it could be sabotoged. Rosemary then exposed her cleavage and told John E to bite it. John E agreed and was about to bite it but then his phone rang, which had Taya Valkyrie’s theme as the ringtone. It was apparently Taya on the other side. John E then said she had to go help Taya and buy some dog food. John E also took Mr. Mundo away from Rosemary. Rosemary took a bite of the apple and said this is going to be tougher that she thought…
Michael Elgin yelled at a production guy and told him to play his music. Elgin then walked out to the ring after his music started. Michael talked about how he’s the rightful World Champion and has been for over a year. Elgin said he beat himself last week by letting Sami distract him. The random hacking graphics flashed on the screen again. Elgin then said that Sami knows that Sami can’t get it done against Elgin, and that’s why Sami isn’t facing him face to face. Elgin then threatened to stay in the ring and hold the show hostage.
Ken Shamrock’s entrance theme then played as Shamrock marched to the ring. Elgin put the boots to Shamrock when Shamrock entered the ring. Shamrock got to his feet and hit Elgin with Muay Thai clinch knees. Elgin rolled away and walked up the ramp saying “on my time”. Shamrock’s theme closed the segment…[c]
John’s Thoughts: I’m even more confused about last week’s match finish now. I liked this week’s build towards Elgin vs. Shamrock a lot better, but why make Elgin look like a dumbass when Sami’s graphic flashed on the screen? It also took away any steam Trey Miguel could have had. That said, I’m looking forward to Elgin vs. Shamrock and because Elgin is involved I don’t think they’ll go cinematic with this. Shamrock has been a huge suprise since his return, given his age. I’d argue that Shamrock and Elgin are the most credible main eventers in Impact at the moment.
During the main event entrances, the camera cut to the back where Trey Miguel was knocked out on the ground. Zachary Wentz marched away saying he knew who did this. Cut to the ring, Ace Austin said the referee has to declare Ace the number one contender by default. Zachary Wentz ran out to the ring yelling “I knew it was you!”. “Executive Vice-President” Scott D’Amore and some referees ran out to get between Zach and Ace. D’Amore then told Ace that he has a match against Zach Wentz now for number one contendership…
John’s Thoughts: Why does anything that involves Scott D’Amore these days become the most overbooked TNA things ever. I thought that was Jeff Jarrett’s MO.
5. Ace Austin vs. Zachary Wentz in the finals of the Impact Number One Contenders Tournament? Zach gave Ace a facebuster for a two count. Zach then pounded Ace with stiff ground and pound. Wentz almost got himself disqualified, yelling “he’s my brother!”. Zach went back to the ground and pound. [c]
John’s Thoughts: As goofy as the setup was, I really like this passionate Zach Wentz. Kinda reminds me of Matt Riddle which is a good person to be compared to as a hybrid pro wrestler.
Zach tripped Ace off the apron. Ace took Zach’s shirt and used it to choke Zach. Ace then gave Zach’s gut a few knees. Zach turned the tide and gave Ace a few clubbing blows. Ace got a moment of respite after back body dropping Zach on the Ace gave Zach a knee when it looked like Zach would beat the ten count. Zach came back at Ace with Muay Thai knees. Ace reversed Zach with a whip into the barricade. Ace used his kicks to keep Zach on the ground. Ace then tackled Zach into the barricade.
Zach got a moment of respite after tossing Ace into the barricade. Zach then used the barricade to support his boots on Ace. Wentz tried to leap from the steps, but he leapt right into Ace’s boot.[c]
Wentz hit Ace with a few kicks. Ace hit Zach with a modified Final Cut Suplex for a two count. Ace used kicks to press Zach against the bottom turnbuckle. Ace catapulted Ace into the bottom rope for a two count. Ace got another two count after a suplex. Zach got a bit of a breather after backdropping Ace. Ace hit Zach with a jawbreaker to get a moment to recover. Ace did his signature laminated card spot on Zach.
Ace followed up on Zach with a bicycle knee. Zach hit Ace with rapid fire chops. Ace clocked Zach with a leaping knee. Zach reversed the fold and hit Ace with a neuralizer. Both men beat the ten count. Zach hit Ace with a kick-punch combination. Zach then hit Ace with a high knee and basement knee. Wentz hit Ace with a moonsault. Zach caught Ace with another knee and followed up with a side slam. Ace kicked out at two.
Zach kicked out of a small package and then superkicked Ace for his own two count. Zach caught Ace with an axe kick. Ace used his knees to block a Wentz Swanton. Ace slammed Zach’s face to the mat with a double stomp. Ace then hit Zach with The Fold for the clean win.
Ace Austin defeated Zachary Wentz via pinfall in 17:14 of on-air TV time to win the Impact Number One Contenders Tournament.
Josh Mathews noted that Ace is now number one contender “for the world championship” after winning the match…
After the Impact graphic flashed on the screen, the show cut to a teaser vignette. A person in a hoodie was shown watching a faux-news report on wrestlers getting released from their WWE Contracts due to the COVID layoffs. The graphic showed Drake Maverick, Mike Kanellis, EC3, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, and Eric Young as some of the released wrestlers. The show then cut to a graphic saying that Slammiversary is happening July 17…
John’s Thoughts: I wasn’t a fan of Impact throwing away their tournament in favor of doing a random Wentz vs. Austin match for number one contendership. That said, this match is more proof as to why I feel Impact is sabotoging the Rascalz by presenting them as happy-go-lucky goofs. Zach showed good fire and I liked him wrestling more of a snug striking style as opposed to his indie style we usually see him in. I do think that Ace is the right guy to be the next world champion given the field that Impact has to work with.
Interesting teaser in the end too. Right now I think the best bets for Impact to sign, is EC3 or Eric Young. EY will play into their TNA obcession. Mike Kanellis would be good too, but I think EC3 and EY carry more weight. Maybe it’s someone not in the teaser? Deonna Purrazzo doesn’t count because she already has the clear vignettes.