By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped July 19-20 in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios
Aired August 4, 2020 on AXS TV
Highlights from last week’s Impact Wrestling show aired followed by the Impact intro theme…
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne were on commentary…
1. Moose vs. Heath [Slater] for Moose’s TNA Title Belt. Moose dominated early on, but Heath came right back with a flurry of punches. Heath tossed Moose around at ringside. Moose regained control by whipping Heath into the barricade. Heath dominated in ther ring with methodical punches. Moose gave Heath a flapjack into the top rope. The commentators were laying it on thick in regards to Heath trying to put food on the table.
Moose catapulted Heath’s neck into the bottom rope. Heath tried to rally back with right hands, but Moose maintained control with a high dropkick. Moose worked on Heath with kidney punches. Moose yelled at Heath and said Heath’s kids are ugly. This caused Heath to fire up and hit Moose with a series of forearms. Heath caught Moose with a Yakuza kick and bicycle kick for a two count.
Heath rolled up Moose with a schoolboy for a two count. Heath whipped Moose into the referee. REF BUMP!!! Heath hit Moose with the Zig Zag. Heath had the visual pinfall over Moose, but because this is a TNA themed match, there was a ref bump. Heath woke up the referee. As the referee was still getting to his knees, Moose hit Heath with a low blow. Moose then rolled up Heath with a handful of tights for the dirty win (which took about six seconds due to the referee selling the bump).
Moose defeated Heath via pinfall in 8:52 to retain his TNA belt.
Josh Mathews went into his mildly somber voice to show that he was emotional over Heath not getting a job…
John’s Thoughts: Do all 3MB guys that get fired by WWE end up looking jacked as hell after their firing? I only point this one out because Heath looked really comparable to heavyweight Moose in terms of size. That said, It’s really tough to invest in a low budget carbon copy of a storyline done 4 years ago. Just change the company and replace Shane McMahon with Scott D’Amore, and this is oddly a replica of that story. The fact that I (and millions of other wrestling viewers) saw this chapter of the story before, took away any thrill behind Heath’s nearfalls. It doesn’t help that Josh Mathews was laying it on a bit too thick to the point where it’s hard to see Heath getting his contract.
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne checked in from their commentary set. Josh Mathews announced that in a few weeks Impact Wrestling will be airing one of their PPV-themed shows. This show will be dubbed “Emergence”. Josh said it’s happening in two weeks and will be a two week event (I think he said it was two weeks?). Josh announced Deonna Purrazzo vs. Jordynne Grace for the Impact Knockouts Championship for the Emergence show. The commentators then ran through advertised upcoming segments…
John’s Thoughts: Here’s the funny thing, if you tell a lot of the younger crowd that you named your show “Emergence”, a lot of them would think of a very depressing (and slightly pornographic) graphic novel. Joking aside, I really like the return of Impact’s PPV-themed editions. Impact did this for a while before moving the themes to Impact Plus as One Night Only like shows. Impact does a really amazing job building to these PPV-themed shows in most cases and their last one, Rebellion, was a solid show too (Week 1, not so much week 2).
Gia Miller interviewed Willie Mack on some insight as to what Rich Swann’s huge announcement. Mack said he doesn’t have an update because Rich is keeping the news close to his chest. Mack then talked about how he was disappointed in seeing what TNA Original Eric Young did to Rich Swann. Mack said he’s going to be there for Rich and Mack will find out what Rich has to say the same time as everyone else…[c]
The show cut back to an EC3 brick wall promo. EC3 said he achieved a lot early success but after that success EC3 now feels punished. EC3 said he felt punished by the (Impact?) fanbase due to how Impact was mismanaged. They showed clips of Dixie Carter and Billy Corgan. EC3 said he felt punished when there were companies competing for control of Impact (GFW and Anthem?). EC3 said he was then punished by the true top one percent of the industry by simply inheriting the EC3 name. EC3 said it was time to control the narrative.
EC3 said to find freedom you must destroy your past. EC3 talked about the legacy behind the TNA Championship. EC3 said there is no body who is going to stop him on his path on regaining the TNA Heavyweight Championship and once he gets the championship he will burn the company’s legacy to the ground. EC3 said “Moose! You have been warned”…
Jimmy Jacobs introduced Impact Tag Team Champions Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin as his in-ring interview guests. Jacobs congratulated the Guns for their championship win and then asked for the reason the Guns decided to return to Impact. Alex Shelley talked about being good friends with Jimmy Jacobs and Chris Sabin for years. Shelley brought up last teaming up in Impact eight years ago. Shelley said the Guns reunited and came back to challenge themselves.
Shelley said he’s proud of what he did in New Japan and proud of Sabin for becoming TNA Heavyweight Champion. Shelley also called Sabin a medical miracle for all the surgeries that Sabin went through. Sabin said Shelley is the only person he’d call to train with him. Sabin said after training he saw that the Guns still have chemistry. Shelley agreed with Sabin that they might be able to compete in the current tag team scene. While Sabin was talking he was cut off by Josh Alexander and Ethan Page making their entrance.
Alexander talked about how the North were never given a chance to tell their story during their year as champions while the Guns get a interview just a few weeks after they win. Alexander talked about how The North were at the top of the mountain top. Alexander then gave credit to the Guns for beating the North. Ethan Page then started yelling and said that the Guns didn’t beat the North, they only beat the North at 40%. Page bragged about not turning down any challenge. Page yelled that they destroyed the whole damn division.
Alexander reminded Page that they get a rematch soon for the titles due to the rematch clause. Shelley agreed that the North get a title shot. Shelley joked that Page looks like he’s cosplaying as Rick Martel and how Josh Alexander looks like Rick Steiner’s son. Shelley said they can get a title shot whenever they want. Shelley proposed a title shot on this episode. Page yelled that the North lost last time because they defended their title belts a few days before.
Alexander said Page is right and the rematch should be on the North’s terms, when the North is at 100%. Alexander announced that they were invoking their rematch clause for the Emergence show…
John’s Thoughts: The interview started off a bit vanilla, especially when Chris Sabin tried to get all his words in, but the segment really stepped up to another level once Josh Alexander and Ethan Page took over the interview. Ethan Page is one of the best talkers in pro wrestling that people don’t know about. Alexander has showed in recent weeks that he can be a good talker too and a good counterbalance to the over-the-top Page. Throw in that with two great teams that can go in the ring, and you have a well built up tag team match for the Emergence show.
Kimber Lee ran into Deonna Purrazzo at the makeup table. Kimber sucked up to Deonna a bit for winning the title from Jordynne Grace but then told Deonna that she’s coming for the title after Deonna’s title defense. Kimber Lee proposed a deal, that if Kimber takes out Jordynne Grace then Deonna give’s lee a title shot. Deonna agreed to the deal…[c]
An intro theme played for Impact Wrestle House. Taya Valkyrie called for a group meeting and said that she figured out she’s trapped in Wrestle House and needs to make the most of the situation. Taya then talked about how there was BO spreading around. Johnny Swinger thought BO meant Bob Orton. Taya ordered John E Bravo to pass out soap and hygiene products to the wrestlers. Kylie Rae asked Rosemary when they can leave the house because she’s number one contender.
Rosemary said they can leave once John E gets a hint. Alisha Edwards tried to give Susie Yung tips on men. Johnny Swinger tried to hit on both Susie and Alisha. This caused Tommy Dreamer to book Swinger in a handicap match against Alisha and Susie…[c]
2. Johnny Swinger vs. Alishia Edwards and Susie Yung in a Wrestle House handicap match. Swinger tried to show off his biceps, but the girls slammed him to the mat. Susie and Alisha then gave Johnny kicks. Johnny grabbed their shoulders for a photo pose and the women slammed him with a russian legsweep. Johnny then asked Alisha and Susie to wishbone him, which they did. Alisha and Susie gave Johnny running splashes to pick up the pinfall. Cody Deaner counted the pin.
Alisha Edwards and Susie defeated Johnny Swinger via pinfall in 1:50.
Kylie Rae met with John E Bravo to try to hook up John E and Rosemary, but John E still couldn’t take the hint…
John’s Thoughts: I liked it last week, but they seem to be throwing a bit too much Wrestle House at us than we need. I almost would prefer Shane McMahon’s Raw Underground compared to this because of the cornball comedy on this show. What made things worse on this week’s edition was Alisha Edwards’s overacting to the level of cringeworthy.
This week’s Impact Plus Flashback Match of the Week was Brian Cage vs. Sami Callihan in a steel cage match (Get it? Cage in a cage? ugh) for the Impact World Championship. This was from an episode of Impact Wrestling in October 2019. They only aired the finish, which was Sami winning the title…
John’s Thoughts: Remember when Sami Callihan was the top wrestler in Impact Wrestling? Now he’s a weird teleporting hacker that is feuding with Katie Forbes.
Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows were walking around backstage talking about how they wanted to drink some White Claw seltzer. The Good Brothers found their car broken into and left open, with broken beer bottles on the ground. A Sheriff approached the Good Brothers and told the Brothers that it was illegal in the county to have an open container in public.
Ace Austin walked up to the sheriff and called the Good Brothers booze hounds. Gallows tried to choke Ace. Gallows then accidentally punched one of the cops causing the cops to arrest Gallows. Anderson told the cops that it was obviously a setup…[c]
A Brian Myers re-debut vignette aired (I note re-debut because the guy is a former TNA Tag Champion, with Trevor Lee)…
Eddie Edwards made his entrance for his weekly World Championship title defense. Sami Callihan was his opponent. Sami tried to make his entrance, but he was hit by a steel chair by Rob Van Dam. RVD beat on Sami while Katie Forbes twirked over them. Security guards separeated them. The security tried to carry Sami to the back, but Sami decided to continue to the world title match…
3. Eddie Edwards vs. Sami Callihan for the Impact World Championship. Eddie hit Sami with a Tiger Driver for the two count. Josh Mathews reminded viewers that Sami Callihan hit Eddie Edwards in the eye with a baseball bat once. Sami recovered and hit Eddie with a low suicide dive at ringside. Eddie recovered and hit Sami with a suicide dive right back. Sami escaped Eddie’s hold with a thumb to the eye. Sami then gave Eddie a pile driver on the apron.
Sami tossed Eddie into the barricade. Sami then hit Eddie with a chop. Sami tossed Eddie back in the ring to reset the count. Sami hit Eddie with a leaping elbow drop for the two count. Sami then worked on Eddie with a fish hook hold. Sami worked on Eddie a bit. Sami and Eddie took each other out with lariats. Eddie hit Sami with his Kawada chops. Eddie then hit Sami with the Blue Thunder Bomb for the two count (because he never beats anyone with the Blue Thunder Bomb).
Sami reversed a Sunset Flip and hit Eddie with a thrust kick and Brainbuster for the two count. Sami hit Eddie with a GTS and sliding forearm for a two count. Eddie hit Sami with a jump kick and Tiger Driver for another two count. Sami ended up hitting Eddie with a Pile Driver out of nowhere. Eddie got his foot on the bottom rope for the rope break. Josh Mathews pointed out the Boston Celtic colored sneakers Eddie was wearing.
Sami was about to hit Eddie with a steel chair, but then he had second thoughts and tossed it away. Eddie gave Sami the Boston Knee Party. Eddie gave Sami a second Boston Knee Party for the victory.
Eddie Edwards defeated Sami Callihan via pinfall in 11:52 to retain the Impact World Championship.
Madison Rayne wondered if Sami didn’t use the chair because he had a change of heart as opposed to not trying to get DQ’d…
John’s Thoughts: A decent match, but we’ve definitely seen better between these two. Throw in Eddie’s goofy look and Sami’s fall from main event grace, and you get a match that looks good on paper, but ultimately underwhelming. I like Eddie racking up wins and hitting the reboot on his character, but that’s a work in progress as is. Sami Callihan is the most disappointing because the guy was the top star in Impact Wrestling at one point and now he’s a weird teleporting guy in the mid card.
They cut back to Wrestle House. Kylie Rae witnessed John E Bravo leaving the house. Taya and Rosemary were looking for John E and Rosemary asked Kylie if Kylie had something to do with John E leaving. Kylie brought up how she mentioned the “take a hint” line. Rosemary yelled for Tommy Dreamer to start another “match time”…[c]
4. Kylie Rae vs. Rosemary in a Wrestle House match. Taya was the referee. Taya distracted Kylie so Rosemary could give Kylie a running forearm to the back of the head. Kylie gave Rosemary a deep side headlock. Rosemary escaped. Kylie joked that she got Rosemary’s nose. Kylie rolled up Rosemary with a jackknife pin. Taya slow counted a two . Kylie went back to the nose gag and Rosemary actually sold it. ugh. Rosemary then put the boots to Kylie for “taking her nose”.
Kylie slammed Rosemary in teh corner and hit Rosemary with a cannonball. Taya slow counted again. Rosemary hit Kylie with a spear. Kylie kicked out at two during a fast count. John E showed up to cheer Rosemary from ringside. This distracted Rosemary who was smitten by John E. Kylie hit Rosemary with with a superkick and got the pinfall despite the slow count and John E begging Taya to not count.
Kylie Rae defeated Rosemary via pinfall in 4:30.
The background music went back on when John E entered the ring to check on Rosemary. John E told Rosemary that he’s torn between Taya and Rosemary. Rosemary recommended that they keep their relationship a secret. Taya then yelled at John E for not making her sangria. Taya tossed John E outside of the ring…
John’s Thoughts: What? Rosemary selling the kiddy nose gag? Ugh? Where’s Shane McMahon and his Raw Underground to take me away from this campy Impact stuff. In a similar vein as Sami, remember when Rosemary was the hottest act in all of Impact when she was coming off her run with Decay? Rosemary sadly got Undead Realm’d (and Sexy Star’d, but that’s a different story).
Karl Anderson was chatting with Doc Gallows on the phone, saying that he’d get him out of jail soon. Ace Austin gloated in Anderson’s face. Anderson clocked Ace with a right hand. Madman Fulton then ran in and beat down Anderson. Ace and Madman left Anderson lying after a few cane shots to Anderson’s gut…[c]
Shawn Hernandez and this thick mustache tried to convince Reno Scum to get his money back from Rhino. Adam F’n Thornstowe and Luster the Legend agreed. For some reason, Thornstowe had a country accent (last time he did his weird cookie monster voice)…
Chris Bey and Rohit Raju made their entrances. Rohit has new entrance music. Bahh and Perkins then made their entrance. Josh Mathews reminded viewers that Perkins and Bahh bond over their Filipino heritage…
5. Chris Bey and Rohit Raju vs. TJ Perkins and Fallah Bahh. Perkins and Bey traded wristlocks. Perkins took down Bey with his signature leg scissors. Bey ended up doing the same move to Perkins. Perkins put the breaks on to fake out a Bey leapfrog and dropkick. Perkins hit Bey with the sacrifice arm breaker. Bahh tagged in and the face team took down the heels with tandem offense.[c]
Raju dumped Bahh to ringside. Bey got a two count on Perkins after some ground and pound. Rohit hit Perkins with a thrust kick for a two count. Raju locked Perkins in a double wrist hold. Perkins hit Raju with an Atomic Drop, but Raju hit Perkins with a running knee. Bey tagged in and hit Perkins with a running uppercut. Perkins escaped Bey’s butterfly stretch with a donkey kick.
Perkins tagged in Bahh. Bahh cleaned house. Bahh hit Raju with a Hadoken. Rohit came back with a running knee. Perkins and Bey tagged in. Perkins hit Bey with an atomic drop and springboard splash. Perkins hit Bey with two suplexes. Rohit grabbed TJ’s foot which allowed Bey to avoid a swanton. Bey hit Perkins with a spinning knee. Rohit hit Perkins with Paydirt.
Bahh broke up the pin. Rohit took down Bahh with a knee. Bey went for a springboard stunner, but he jumpped right into the Juji Gatame by TJP for the submission loss.
TJP and Fallah Bahh defeated Chris Bey and Rohit Raju via submission in 6:30 of on-air time.
Josh said that TJP might have put himself in line for a future X Division Title shot…
They showed Rich Swann backstage in business attire and crutches…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A decent tag match with Rohit Raju and Chris Bey looking pretty good as a tag team. What is still disappointing is the other side of that match. Bahh was one of the hottest babyfaces in Impact and this pairing with TJP has dragged him into a forgettable undercard role. TJ Perkins is also more money as a top heel, but companies keep pushing him as an oddball babyface.
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne checked in from their commentary set to advertise the following segments for next week: Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz vs. Jessika Havok and Nevaeh in a no-DQ match and Eddie Edwards defending his championship. Josh Mathews sent things to the ring where Rich Swann made his entrance…
Rich Swann made his entrance looking somber, wearing a walking boot and on crutches. Swann took a mic and noted that last week he was going to make an announcement this week. Swann said that hard work, dedication, heart, love, and support led him to becoming a pro wrestler. Swann said it allowed him to look at the doubters in the eye and it allowed him to live the dream. Swann said in January he blew out his ankle and a bunch of career-threatening injuries. Swann said his doctor told him he’s going to walk with a limp for the rest of his life and possibly not being able to wrestle anymore.
Swann said he tried his toughest over the months after to recover and prove that doctor wrong. Swann said he would get that itch every time Impact called him to do segments. He yelled that he felt stronger during those times. Swann said he went to the Doctor and the Doctor told him that he made a miraculous recovery and the doctor wondered how Swann made that recovery. Swann said it was through heart and willpower. Swann said he then saw the vacant spot in the Impact World Championship match and he knew he was ready to claim that spot.
Swann said once he got the ok, Swann was inserted in the main event in Impact’s biggest PPV. Swann said he gave it his all and his heart. Swann pointed out that he pinned Eric Young and thought he was going to wrestle with Ace Austin and Eddie Edwards more. Swann said jealousy and hate ruined that moment for Swann. Swann said those 7 months came back all over again when EY messed up Swann’s leg with a chair. Swann said he’s back at square one, back at the orthopedics office.
Swann said the doctors gave him a different answer this time, that if Swann gets back in the ring, his life might change. Swann said the doctors told him that he won’t be able to live a regular life if he continues to put his body through what it’s been through. Swann said he came to a decision. Swann said since he has to think about his family and future, he is announcing his retirement from wrestling.
Swann then thanked the locker room, the production team, and the commentators. Swann said it’s been a good 15 years and he hopes he made a lasting impact in the wrestling industry. Swann ended his speech. The members of the Impact roster surrounded the ring and pounded on the mat in honor of Rich. The Rascalz held open the ropes so Rich could exit. Rich cried as he exited the ring and walked up the ramp. Rich Swann soaked in cheers from the top of the stage.
Suddenly, World Class Maniac Eric Young ran in and hit Swann’s walking boot with one of Swann’s crutches. EY bolted to the back and Impact closed with the roster checking on Rich Swann while Swann cried in pain and anger. No post-credits stinger this week…
John’s Thoughts: A really well delivered “retirement” promo that I have mixed thoughts about. Here’s the thing, the guy might actually be retired; but that presentation screams kayfabe all over it. Swann really does a good job when cutting an emotional promo. They sound like they come from the heart. That was a good retirement speech, but the moment Eric Young does his hit-and-run thing, it kinda killed the suspense and turned it into a wrestling angle. Maybe they should have let this stew for a week? I don’t know. Rich Swann also wrestling his usual main event style at Slammiversary makes this seem like a work (and is it really smart to diminish the impact of retirements in pro wrestling by turning it into an angle?).
Mixed thoughts on this show this week. It was ok. I liked the pacing as the two hours just few by. They filled out the time nice. There was a splattering of a lot of what make’s Impact less desirable. There was too much Wrestle House again. Ultimately I didn’t feel any storylines were forwarded on this show and everything was in wheel spinning mode. The Swann announcement was big, but even then they didn’t really advertise it all night. What we do have to look forward to is that Emergence show. Impact has been consistent with both their PPVs and Theme Shows. Fingers crossed that they do a good job with this one coming up, and I don’t think that’s going to be hard when you’re booking the Machine Guns vs. North and Purrazzo vs. Grace, two of Impact’s easy money big money matches.