By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios
Aired July 7, 2020 on AXS TV
Highlights from last week’s Impact Wrestling show aired…
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne were on commentary…
1. Rosemary and Taya Valkyrie (w/John E Bravo) vs. Kylie Rae and Susie Yung. Rosemary berated Susie and called Susie an idiot for not accepting her “powers”. Rosemary overpowered Susie early on, but then Susie turned the tables and gave Rosemary a monkey flip. Kylie tagged in and ducked Rosemary’s punches. Kylie and Susie attacked Rosemary with tandem offense. Taya tagged in and took a side headlock from Kylie.
Susie slammed Taya for a two count. John E distracted Susie, which allowed Rosemary to kick Susie and Taya to take control of the match. Rosemary hit Susie with a German Suplex for a two count. Rosemary locked Susie in a Tarantula. Taya followed up with a meteora on Susie leading for a two count. Susie got a moment of respite after hitting Taya with a facebuster. Kylie and Rosemary tagged in with Kylie blocking Rosemary’s strikes.
Kylie hit Rosemary with a huracanrana. Kylie hit Rosemary with a cannonball for a two count. Kylie hit Rosemary with a stunner. Rosemary recovered with her Undertaker sit up. Kylie nailed Rosemary with a superkick. Taya hit Kylie with a spear, after tagging in, for a two count. Taya hit Kylie with a Northern Lights for a two count. Kylie got a superkick and two count on Taya after Rosemary broke it up. Susie dumped Rosemary to ringside. John E Bravo was super concerned, saying that Rosemary was hurt. Kylie locked Taya in the STF. Taya wanted Johnny to pull her to the ropes, but John E was distracted in concern for Rosemary. Taya tapped out.
Kylie Rae and Susie Yung defeated Taya Valkyrie and Rosemary via submission in 8:19.
Susie and Kylie were excited for their win while Taya was berating John E a bit for not helping her…
John’s Thoughts: A bit of a surprising finish given that this was Rosemary and Taya’s first match as an official team. I almost thought for certain that Rosemary and Taya were going over given that Susie Yung has the perception of being a designated fall girl, but I get it, they’re talling a story with John E Bravo involved.
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne checked in from their commentary set. Josh talked about Taya Valkyrie being oblivious to the relationship between John E Bravo and Rosemary. Rayne talked about it being like an entertaining drama to her. Josh Mathews ran through upcoming segments and the advertised Slammiversary card…[c]
Chris Bey and Johnny Swinger were chatting back stage. Bey was expressing his disappointment in Swinger being banned from ringside during Bey’s title match. Johnny Swinger said he has a plan and he’s about to put in in effect…
2. “The Deaners” Cody Deaner and Cousin Jake vs. “Team XXXL” Larry D and Acey Romero vs. “Reno Scum” Adam Thornstowe and Luster the Legend vs. Fallah Bahh and TJ Perkins. Madness ensued to start the match. Josh Mathews used his stock “bedlam” and “chaos” lines that he’s been using since WWE to describe the situation. Acey and Larry squashed Cody in between their bodies. The brawling spilled outside. Cousin Jake hit everyone outside with a dive heading into the break.[c]
Reno Scum traded quick tags to isolate Cody Deaner in their corner. Reno Scum did their signature arm pit rub to Cody during Cody’s selling sequence. Cody hit Luster in which allowed Acey to tag Luster out. Acey worked on Cody with methodical offense. Cody punched his way out of a hold and hit Acey with a neckbreaker. Larry tagged in and hit Cody with a pop up uppercut. Each person involved in the match took their turns hitting moves on people.
Bahh and TJP and Reno Scum brawled to the back, leaving only XXXL and the Deaners in the match. Josh Mathews kept pointing out how the rules were constantly being broken. Larry slammed Jake for a two count. Larry escaped a Deaner from Cody. Larry and Jake brawled in the center of the ring. Jake hit Larry with a sitout Uranage for the victory.
The Deaners defeated Team XXXL, TJP and Fallah Bahh, and Reno Scum via pinfall in 7:10 of on-air TV Time.
The camera cut to TJP and Bahh and Reno Scum brawling backstage. At one point, Bahh put TJP in a trash can with a chair so TJP could bulldoze Reno Scum while Bahh pushed. Reno Scum ended up getting the upperhand. Adam F’n Thornstowe gave Bahh a superkick. Reno Scum stacked guardrails over Bahh. Josh noted that Reno Scum literally buried TJP and Fallah Bahh…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Is it just me or do we seem to get a lot of meaningless tag team matches involving TJP and Fallah Bahh, XXXL, and other random teams. I guess it was the Deaners turn to win this week, but it seems like these auxillary tag teams are stuck spinning their wheels in meaningless matches, while The North are off on their island having meaningful programs. (A part of me kinda wishes that TJP and Fallah Bahh break up already because Bahh’s stock has plummeted ever since he started teaming with TJP. I was kinda hoping Bahh would help raise the stock of Perkins).
Johnny Swinger was looking in random luggage bags for a disguise. He picked up Super Eric [Young’s] Gear. Swinger said the Super Eric gear might be better for the hotel room later. Swinger then opened up Suicide’s bag and jacked his costume…
This week’s Impact Plus Flashback Match of the Week was from Lockdown 2010, where every match happened in a steel cage. It was a Lethal Lockdown match for the Knockouts title involving Angelina Love, Madison Rayne, Victoria (who carried a pet tarantula to the ring with her), and Velvet Sky. Mike Tenay noted that Victoria was supposed to be the champion, but somehow she decided to trade the title belt for her pet tarantula (I believe this involved keys on a pole and some lock boxes?). Love was the defending champion because she opened a box that had the title belt. Madison Rayne won the title belt after they aired about 8 minutes of match and entrances…
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne hyped upcoming segments…[c]
Ken Shamrock was looking for Sami Callihan backstage. The ICU logo flashed on the screen and Sami “teleported” behind Shamrock (now wait a sec? How in the hell does being a hacker give you wizard powers?). There was loud “horror” music in the background for some reason (that was not mixed well with the audio). Shamrock tried to hype Sami about potentially shutting up the North and becoming tag champions. Ken offered to have Sami’s back in the main event of this show.
Sami talked about how he looked at the situation and they can be “The World’s Most Dangerous Tag Team”. Sami then compared their relationship to the Aesop Fable of the Scorpion and Frog, where the Scorpion ends up backstabbing the frog. Sami then pushed his smart phone to teleport away (because he has cyber magic? or something?)…
John’s Thoughts: As lame as Sami has been since re-purposing his NXT hacker gimmick, I’m really looking forward to this Shamrock and Callihan vs. North match at Slammiversary. Shamrock, by default, might be Impact’s biggest star after Tessa and Elgin have been taken off TV and Shamrock has been delivering consistantly good performances whenever he’s in the ring or in a skit. It’s Callihan who needs to rebuild himself because this techno-wizard thing doesn’t make much sense. He’s Sami Callihan and was arguably one of Impact’s MVP’s over the last few years, so he can always easily turn it around.
3. Impact Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace vs. Kimber Lee in a non-title match. Lee used a Test of Strength to mock Grace’s short height. Grace dragged Lee to the mat for a few pin attempts. Lee used the Bridge to break up a few of those pins. Lee ran to the ropes to prevent a Grace Driver from happening. Lee bit the hand of Grace. Grace regained control after a strong Irish Whip. Grace worked on Lee for a few minutes.
Lee tripped Grace on the bottom rope and put the boot to Grace’s back. Lee worked on Grace with methodical offense. Lee locked Grace in a unique leg scissor Full Nelson. Grace no sold a few Lee punches and gave Lee a Michinoku Driver for a two count. Lee escaped a pumphandle and then grounded Grace with three kicks. Lee hit Grace with a Swanton for a two count. Lee tried to punch Grace with the brass knuckles, but Grace blocked the punch. Grace hit Lee with the Grace Driver (Pumphandle Michinoku Driver) for the win.
Jordynne Grace defeated Kimber Lee via pinfall in 6:21.
Deonna Purrazzo’s entrance music interrupted Jordynne Grace’s generic entrance theme. Instead of being at the studio, Deonna appeared on the big screen. Deonna said she didn’t come to Impact to get involved in “frivolous” combat. Deonna said Grace will get a chance to get her hands on her at Slammiversary when the title is on the line. Deonna said Impact Wrestling is ripe for the picking and all Grace has to do is sit, wait, and bide her time until Slammiversary…
John’s Thoughts: I don’t see Grace getting out of Slammiversary with the Knockouts Title and I think that Impact really has to put that title belt on Deonna. Deonna has been killing it on the mic, proving that WWE missed the boat on her. I’m almost sure the title switches hands at Slammiversary. As for Kimber Lee, initially I thought that Impact could do more with her than other companies, but with the huge slew of Knockouts talent that entered the company, maybe she is best suited for the enhancement/gatekeeper role?
A video package aired spotlighting each of the wrestlers in the World Championship match at Slammiversary. Each wrestler also gave their thoughts on the mystery opponent as well…[c]
John’s Thoughts: That focus package went on for a good few minutes and it was really well produced. The only thing that was a bit of a negative was Trey Miguel being a bit over the top, but you can justify that as him being intense and genuine. The star of that video package was Ace Austin who came off as a big rising star there. They’ve definitely found a way to elevate Ace Austin from being the goofy magician who liked to sleep with married women, to being one of the most credible wrestlers in the company.
[Johnny] Suicide was strolling backstage looking for Willie Mack. You can tell he’s Johnny because he had his chest exposed. He ran into Willie Mack who was playing things like he thought it was suicide. Mack “forgot” Swinger’s name and said that Swinger smells like Banana Boat. Johnny Suicide took off his mask for a bit to tell Mack that the name is Johnny Swinger who is “44 years old kayfabe”. Mack talked about giving Suicide a title shot this week and that he’d see him in a bit…
The show cut to Madison Rayne’s Locker Room Talk show. Rayne said she was hosting the show without Johnny Swinger because the guest was too big for him. Rayne introduced the guess as “Madison Rayne”. Rayne interviewed herself. Rayne announced that at Slammiversary she will be returning to the ring to wrestle in the number one contender’s gauntlet. Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz interrupted the interview and mocked Rayne for being lonely.
Jessika Havok and Nevaeh interrupted. Havok said Rayne created a monster in Kiera. Nevaeh said Steelz and Kiera have been pressing their luck every week, but that luck is about to run out. Both teams jawed with each other. The two teams brawled with Rayne watching from the side. Rayne ducked to the ground to handle the outtro to the segment…[c]
Hernandez beat some random guy in arm wrestling backstage. Random stock music starte playing as Rhino sat down. The camera cut away during the arm wrestling match between Rhino and Hernandez saying “to be continued”…
John’s Thoughts: So? Hernandez is APA-lite?
Entrances for the next match took place. Josh Mathews kept pointing out that it was Johnny Swinger under the mask. Mathews also noted that Swinger tried to turn Suicide’s gear into a “Swinglet”…
4. Willie Mack vs. [Johnny] SUicide for the Impact X Division Championship. Swinger crashed and burned on the mat when tried to do Suicide’s spider-man move. Swinger raked Mack’s eyes and did an abdominal stretch on Mack. Mack escaped and gave Swinger a hip toss. Swinger gave Mack a jawbreaker and axe handle strike. Josh noted that Swinger adjusted his move to avoid using the Swinging neckbreaker. Mack recovered and hit Swinger with the Stone Cold Stunner for the win.
Willie Mack defeated Johnny Suicide via pinfall in 1:40 to retain the Impact X Division Championship.
Mathews said Swinger is a goof…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Harmless fun. I like that they showcased the X Division title a bit because it felt like the title got lost in the shuffle for a while behind Johnny Swinger comedy. I don’t feel like Chris Bey is getting enough rub from this feud though. At least, I hoped that he would gain more from this, but he’s getting outshined by the overbearing Swinger.
Gia Miller interviewed Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer said he was reading a prepared apology to Moose that was written by his attorney “Tricky Dicky Heyman”. Dreamer’s statement said that Moose has a fragile ego. Dreamer said there’s no way that Moose doesn’t have a heart because you need a heart to live. Dreamer said he’s sad he said Moose has no passion for the game even though Moose doesn’t know who Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, Bruno Sammertino, or Bob Backlund are. Dreamer said he not going to fault Moose for thinking the world is flat, or thinking he can beat Floyd Mayweather in a fight.
Dreamer said he understands that words hurt and that he’s sorry. Moose interrupted and said he doesn’t think Dreamer was sincere. Moose also said there is no proof that the earth is round. Dreamer said he got off the phone with the TNA Championship committee and the TNA authority and they granted Dreamer a title shot against Moose. Moose said Dreamer looks stupid for thinking there’s a TNA Championship committee. Dreamer said he’s challenging Moose in an old school match. Moose said that Dreamer only had to ask for the title shot because the championship committee doesn’t exist. Dreamer said that was right, just like there’s no TNA. Dreamer left and Moose said Dreamer was stupid…
John’s Thoughts: A better promo from Dreamer this week, but mostly because it’s refreshing to see him do comedy as opposed to one of his hyperbolic serious promos. As fun as it was at the beginning, I can’t say I’m really hyped for Moose vs. Dreamer at Slammiversary. My guess is what everyone else is probably thinking. Dreamer ends up losing and some person from TNA’s past will end up beating up Moose in the end. If they were going to do that, why not hype Moose vs. the mystery TNA guy?
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne checked in from their commentary set. Josh threw his hands in the air and was tired of Moose calling himself a champion. Josh said the Moose vs. Dreamer match doesn’t make sense. Josh then ran through advertised Slammiversary matches. Rayne sang her own praises for the Knockouts gauntlet. Josh said Rayne shouldn’t be there since she’s a broadcaster now…
Entrances for the main event took place…
5. Impact Tag Team Champion Josh Alexander (w/Ethan Page) vs. Sami Callihan. Sami still does his thumbs up thing. Callihan dominated the opening minutes with a headlock and shove. Callihan took down Alexander with a Thesz Press. Callihan caught Alexander with a high knee and a diving knee to the side of Alexander’s head.
Alexander ended up getting the upper hand when Page yelled at Callihan for the distraction. Callihan turned the table by whipping Alexander and hitting Alexander with a running boot.[c]
Alexander dominated Callihan at ringside by punching him around. Callihan gained a moment of respite after hitting Alexander with an Attitude Adjustment. Alexander recovered and suplexed Callihan on the ring apron. Callihan beat the ten count and took boots from Alexander. Alexander worked on Callihan with methodical offense. Callihan rallied back with some shoves and a lariat. Alexander hit Callihan with a thunder clap. Callihan came back with a lariat.
Alexander escaped Callihan’s pile driver because Callihan did his thumb thing. Both men traded counters with Callihan hitting Alexander with a Brainbuster for at two count. Alexander escaped the punches in the corner. Alexander hit Callihan with an Argentine toss for a two count. Alexander locked Callihan in the Ankle Lock, which Mathews thought was a message to Ken Shamrock.
Sami got to the bottom rope for the break. Alexander grinded Sami’s head to the mat with the bottom of his boot. Callihan raked Alexander’s eyes which allowed him to hit Alexander with a pile driver on the apron. Alexander kicked out at two. Page dived on the referee during the pin count. REF BUMP!!! Page fish hooked Callihan’s jaw. When Page mocked Callihan’s thumb thing, Ken Shamrock ran out and put Page in the Ankle Lock.
Page was tapping out at ringside while crying in pain. Callihan caught a distracted Alexander with a pile driver for the win.
Sami Callihan defeated Josh Alexander via pinfall in 10:10 of on-air TV time.
Shamrock confronted Callihan in the ring. Callihan pantomimed “I see you” to Shamrock before walking away. The Impact closing graphic aired…
But wait? There’s more. They aired another version of the Slammiversary teaser. In addition to there being a former world champion appearing at Slammiversary, this new teaser confirmed that more than one new person will be appearing at Slammiversary…
John’s Thoughts: We kinda knew more than one new person was appearing based off Eric Young and The Good Brothers being presented as locks in terms of appearing. Eric Young technically counts as a former world champion, but I’m assuming they have a bigger name in mind? Maybe? Back to Callihan and Alexander. A good match. Nothing too fancy. Just a classic TNA Ref Bump finish and a simple build to the reluctant-partners wrestling trope. Harmless. I just hope that they find a way to get Sami back on track because he’s been pretty flat since coming back as the “Hacker”. Sami also continues to look stupid when people keep escaping his finisher because he decides to do his idiotic thumbs-up thing.
Another solid show this week from Impact and they’re really banking on the build to several wrestlers debuting or returning at Slammiversary. In addition to that I give Impact some praise for scrambling in editing out the Joey Ryan and Michael Elgin segments in a seamless fashion. That might mean stretching out the Impact Plus flashback segments, but at least the flashbacks are making some sense these days because they play into the teasers.