By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios
Aired May 6, 2021 on AXS TV
Highlights from last week’s Impact show aired followed by the Impact Wrestling intro theme…
Matt Stryker and D’Lo Brown were on commentary…
1. Chris Sabin (w/James Storm) vs. Rhino (w/Deaner, Eric Young, Joe Doering) for a spot in the number one contenders match at Under Siege. Sabin sent Rhino to ringside with a dropkick. Sabin continued with a huracanrana and back elbow, leading to Sabin hitting Rhino with a flurry of offense. Deaner tripped up Sabin while the referee was distracted, which allowed Rhino to get the upper hand. Rhino went into some very slow and methodical offense on Sabin.
Sabin got a moment to recover after Rhino was knocked out by running into Sabin’s head. Sabin hit Rhino with an atomic drop and dropkick. Sabin caught Rhino at ringside with a plancha. Sabin hit Rhino with a missile dropkick for a two count. Rhino and Sabin brawled to the top rope with Rhino hitting Sabin with a superplex. Rhino started getting fired up and making his weird Rhino faces at Eric Young. Matt Striker noted that he thinks Rhino is getting “stimulated” (huh?). Sabin avoided a Gore and dropkicked Rhino in the knee. Sabin got the win after a La Magistral cradle.
Chris Sabin defeated Rhino via pinfall in 6:43 to earn a spot in the number one contenders match at Under Siege.
Matt Striker introduced the updated graphic with Chris Sabin qualifying for the Under Siege number one contenders match. For some reason, Sami Callihan ended up qualifying for the match (even though Kenny Omega attacked both Sami and Eddie last week. My guess is Impact will say that Sami got punched first or something like that)…
John’s Thoughts: An okay match when Sabin was on offense. Heel Rhino in recent years has been really dull in the ring with his offense consisting of mostly walking, punching, and making goofy Rhino faces. It also doesn’t help when Striker is on the call telling us how “stimulated” Rhino gets from staring at Eric Young. I had some hope that Rhino would have a Deaner-like transformation but now I’m kinda hoping he goes back to being the fun-loving babyface where he seems more motivated combined with his great comedic timing.
Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown checked in from their commentary set. The commentators ran through the upcoming segments which included El Phantasmo debuting in Impact…
Brian Myers was tossing around chairs and tables backstage, throwing a fit. Myers told Gia Miller that it wasn’t fair that he had to wrestle someone he already beat last week. Myers said that Scott D’Amore needs to put him in another qualifying match. Myers walked away from Gia and right into some crappy and cheap-ass Adobe After Effects effects (oh crap… it’s back… oh nooooo). Rosemary was laughing at Bryan while lying on a table. There was also crappy horror music playing loudly for some reason.
Rosemary talked about how Brian feels like he’s stuck in a cycle of suffering. Rosemary then showed Brian the Hanged Man Arcana card, and compared Brian to the hanged man. Rosemary said that Brian reversed his arcana and that it’s his ego that is forcing his fate to stay the same. Brian called Rosemary a “bro” and said that all of this weird stuff is crap (well, he’s right). Suddenly, Black Taurus showed up and beat down Brian Myers. Rosemary laid down another card on Brian and said that this is his new preferred arcana (I couldn’t tell what it was because Impact kept adding static)…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Man! This sucks! Poor Brian Myers. He goes on from feuding with Zack F’n Ryder, right into Impact Creative’s public access cinematics. I say public access, because Rosemary’s promo is fine, and we’ve seen Scarlett Bordeaux, in NXT, do the same tarot bit with a producer who knows how to produce cinematics. Not by whoever is in Impact who has fun with Adobe After Effects! I feel bad for Decay too. Someone here doesn’t understand what made the initial group cool. I fear Impact might be tempted to adopt back some of their undead realm tendencies. And can we ever find out why Black Taurus is a part of the group? He’s kinda like Rhino, except he’s a bull.
Kenny Omega, Doc Gallows, and Karl Anderson were bragging to each other about beating up Sami Callihan and Eddie Edwards last week. Don Callis told them to calm down because Gallows and Anderson have been killing their stock due to losing a few matches. Anderson asked Omega why Callis was “heeling” on the Good Brothers. Omega said he understands that winning matters, which Omega learned from working in a place where wins and losses matter.
Omega said he was going to help Gallows win by being in Gallows’s corner. Omega said he has coaching experience because he coached high school girls basketball. Gallows said, “that’s what I need!”, which caused everyone to hang their head and walk off…
Entrances for the next match took place. Taylor Wilde lip synced her theme on the way to the ring…
2. Susan (w/Kimber Lee) vs. Taylor Wilde. Both women started pretty even with unorthodox chain wrestling, after Wilde tried to booty shake in front of Susan. Wilde slammed Susan to the mat for a two count. Susan distracted the referee so Kimber could choke Wilde on the bottom rope. Tenille Dashwood and Kaleb Konley showed up. Wilde recovered and hit Susan with a huracanrana. Wilde hit Susan with a German Suplex.
Wilde hit Susan with a huracanrana from the apron to ringsie. Kaleb lifted up Kimber to prevent her from interfering. Dashwood gave Susan a neckbreaker onto the second rope while the referee was distracted. Wilde picked up the win after a bridged German Suplex.
Taylor Wilde defeated Susan in 2:26
Tenille Dashwood was over-the-top in celebrating with Taylor Wilde, with Wilde continuing to blow off Dashwood…
John’s Thoughts: An okay match in terms of forwarding this story between Tenille Dashwood and Taylor Wilde, but I feel like there are a lot of recycled storylines here that we’ve seen not too long ago. Both Dashwood recruiting and Deonna’s minions taking gatekeeper losses. This may be one consequence of Impact now building towards Impact Plus shows in addition to PPVs because it causes them to burn through their matchups quicker than they should. Impact Wrestling arguably has the 2nd best women’s division amongst all the promotions, but I feel like creative doesn’t necessarily know how to utilized their talented roster.
Gia Miller interviewed Deonna Purrazzo and asked her for the reason why she’s been backstage during Susan and Kimber’s recent matches. Deonna said that you shouldn’t assume that she’s ducking out on Tayler Wilde. Deonna said that Kimber and Susan need to earn the right to have Deonna at ringside with them. Rosemary showed up and told Deonna that Deonna has been looking like a coward these days (she’s got a point). Deonna said she’s not going to listen to freaks like Decay.
Jessika Havok showed up and prevented Deonna from walking away. Havok said all she sees is a champion with no challengers. Deonna got nervous and said she’s a fighting champion. Deonna said she’s going to find Scott D’Amore to book a match between Havok and Rosemary where the winner will face Deonna…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Oh look! No crappy static effects and unnecessarily loud background music. It’s not that hard! Anyway, I do agree with Rosemary that Deonna went from being a dominant heel to being just like every other cowardly heel. I hope they change that.
A W. Morrissey promo package aired where Morrissey talked about his past as one half of a tag team and how he was seen as goofy. Morrissey said you should see agony in his eyes now. He said he doesn’t blame the fans for not seeing that, but he does blame the fans for turning their backs on him when he couldn’t entertain them. Morrissey said that the fans were the first ones criticize him and say he’s done.
He said it’s not just the fans, but this industry and his former friends. Morrissey said he rose from the ashes to become better and bigger than he’s ever been and he didn’t need anyone’s help for that. He said he’s going to make everyone feel the agony that he feels and that will start at Under Siege against Willie Mack…
John’s Thoughts: Yo! Big Cass can cut a good promo. I continue to root for W in his road to redemption and that was a good promo package to set up W’s mission statement. It was not only well delivered, but he managed to twist what should be a sympathetic story into some really strong heel motivation.
Entrances for the next match took place…
3. Rohit Raju (w/Mahabali Shera) vs. Trey Miguel for a spot in the number one contenders match at Under Siege. Trey hit Rohit with a sunset flip. Rohit rolled to ringside to avoid Trey’s submission attempt. Shera stared down with Trey to back Trey down. Trey and Rohit got in a Test of Strength. Trey escaped with a few flips. Rohit came back with a back elbow heading into commercial.[c]
Trey took down Rohit with a few clotheslines. Rohit kept a wide base to block a Northern Lights. Trey hit Rohit with a twisting DDT for a two count. Trey tossed Rohit and distracted the ref so Shera could get a few cheap shots in on Trey. Rohit worked on Trey with joint manipulation. Rohit hit Trey with paydirt. Trey avoided a double stomp. Trey flipped behind Rohit and hit Rohit with a double stomp. Rohit hit Trey with a CQC combo.
Trey came back with an Atomic Drop, Northern Lights, and Hoverboard Lock. Rohit escaped and kicked out of the pin attempt at two. Rohit crotched Trey on the second rope and followed up with a roundhouse kick. Rohit hit Trey with a draping neckbreaker and Falcon Arrow. Rohit floated over into a Crossface. Rohit got a two count after a small package. Trey hit Rohit with a back suplex and made Rohit tap out to the hourglass submission.
Trey Miguel defeated Rohit Raju via submission in 7:55 of on-air time to earn a spot in the number one contenders match at Under Siege.
Right as Trey Miguel was leaving, Jake Something made his entrance. Something gave Shera a lariat on his way to Rohit. Something was about to power bomb Rohit but Shera got in the ring, so Something tossed Rohit into Shera. Something dumped Shera and Raju to ringside to end the segment standing tall…
John’s Thoughts: A really good X Division match that wasn’t your usual flip and flop fest. There was a lot of good submission and striking in this match to shake things up from the usual cruiserweight formula. Miguel continues to get a consistent push and Raju got to look good here.
The show cut to this week’s Swinger’s Palace segment. A handful of Impact roster members were around the card table. Trey Miguel showed up to brag about qualifying for the match at Under Siege. Chris Bey, Matt Cardona, and Chris Sabin talked about also being in the match. Sabin said he was a former world champion. Storm said he’s going to win the six way after qualifying later in the show. Bey tried to stir the pot between Sabin and Storm but Storm wasn’t buying in. Sabin kept acting goofy. Storm got in Bey’s face and said that he’d see him at Under Siege…[c]
The Good Brothers, Kenny Omega, and Don Callis made their entrance. Striker noted that Kenny Omega has stated that he won’t bring out any of his world titles because Omega doesn’t think the fans deserve to see the titles
4. Doc Gallows (w/Karl Anderson, Kenny Omega, and Don Callis) vs. Impact Tag Team Champion Juice Robinson (w/Dave Finlay). Robinson dominated early on and got the ten punches in the corner on Gallows. Juice hit Doc with a cannonball in the corner. Gallows blocked Robinson’s telegraphed punches with an uppercut. Gallows roundhouse kicked Juice off the top rope. Gallows grinded his boot on Juice in the corner.
Gallows gave Juice gut punches. Gallows worked on Juice with methodical offense. Juice tried to make a comeback with punches, but Gallows took him down with a Yakuza Kick. Gallows went back to his grinding offense on Juice. Juice managed to trip up Doc with a dropkick to the knee and DDT for a two count. Juice got Doc to a knee with the Dusty Punches. Anderson, Omega, and Callis got on the aprons for the distraction.
Gallows escaped Juice’s Unprettier attempt with a front slam. Gallows sent Juice flying into the corner with a Yakuza Kick. Gallows hit Juice with a sitout power bomb for the victory.
Doc Gallows defeated Juice Robinson via pinfall in 7:14.
Omega, Gallows, and Anderson put the boots to Finlay and Robinson. Eddie Edwards ran out for the save, but he was overwhelmed by the heel trio. Omega, Gallows, and Anderson stood tall to end the segment…
John’s Thoughts: Impact’s usual formula of setting up a future tag team match by having members of the teams fight in singles matches. This match did have the added layer of Gallows and Anderson trying to live up to Don Callis’s expectations, and I thought that added layer helped keep this match from being totally mundane. It was good and it’s always a treat to see Juice Robinson wrestle singles matches because he’s really good at playing the plucky underdog. I hope they aren’t building towards Kenny Omega vs. Eddie Edwards as the beatdown situation would equate to. Low-rent looking Crazy Eddie is the last person I would want to see in that title match. Heck, I’d take “Zack Ryder” Matt Cardona over goofy Eddie (and that’s not shot against Eddie the wrestler. Can we get American Wolf Eddie back?).
Gia Miller caught up with Deonna Purrazzo, Kimber Lee, and Susan asking Deonna for an update on Deonna’s meeting with Scott D’Amore. Deonna blew off Gia and said she had to leave. Scott D’Amore showed up and said he heard that Deonna was looking for him. D’Amore joked that it was odd that Deonna couldn’t find him despite everyone else finding him easily. D’Amore said he actually thought Deonna’s idea on finding her next contender was a good idea. D’Amore booked Rosemary vs. Havok in a number one contender’s match next week. D’Amore walked off, joking that Deonna should take part in booking meetings…[c]
John’s Thoughts: I really like the Havok vs. Rosemary matchup, but what have Havok or Rosemary done to earn a title shot? Isn’t it Taylor Wilde who beat Deonna’s stooge gatekeepers the past two weeks? I get that they want to continue to make Scott D’Amore get one up over the heels, but a little bit of logic isn’t a bad thing either?
Entrances for El Phantasmo’s debut took place. Phantasmo poked Dave Penzer’s head before heading into the ring. Striker noted that VSK was trained by both Ricky Reyes and Brian Myers…
5. El Phantasmo vs. VSK. VSK used quick offense to hit a series of quick moves on Phantasmo. VSK got a two count. Phantasmo gained momentum after a back rake on VSK. Phantasmo put VSK in the Tree of Woe. Phantasmo grinded his boot into VSK’s groin while posing on the top rope. Phantasmo hit VSK with a crossbody and lionsault for a two count. VSK got a small package on Phantasmo for a two count. VSK gave Phantasmo a DVD on the knee for a two count.
Phantasmo used a nipple twister and mule kick. Striker then noted that Phantasmo is famous for having a loaded boot. Phantasmo superkicked VSK and pinned VSK, crossing VSK’s arms Undertaker style.
El Phantasmo defeated VSK via pinfall in 3:12.
D’Lo Brown said that it was disrespectful for Phantasmo to use a loaded boot. Striker hyped upcoming matches…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A good debut from Phantasmo with Phantasmo looking like a big star in his debut. It was a bit odd to see VSK get a lot of offense in with the commentators gushing all over VSK, the designated enhancement guy. Part of that is probably Striker’s bad hyperbole habit. It wasn’t the worst thing to give VSK offense, but I feel like most shows that aren’t NXT don’t utilize the pure squash match as they should.
6. Kiera Hogan (w/Tasha Steelz) vs. Impact Women’s Tag Team Champion Rachael Ellering (w/Jordynne Grace). Ellering came out to some pop punk music (I’m a fan of people who people who keep pop punk alive in 2021). Tasha distracted Rachael early on, which allowed Kiera to put the boots to Rachael. Kiera beat up Rachael around the turnbuckles. Rachael tossed Kiera into the corner for a bit of a breather. Kiera came back with a dropkick.
Rachael reversed a neckbreaker. Kiera came back with an X Factor. Rachael kicked out at two. Rachael and Kiera took each other out with right hands. Rachael hit Kiera with a few running uppercuts. Rachael followed up with a running senton for a two count. Kiera hit Rachael with a running splash and basement boot for a two count. Ellering picked up the win after hitting Kiera with the Bossman Slam.
Rachael Ellering defeated Kiera Hogan via pinfall in 4:31.
The show cut to Moose getting ready backstage heading into commercial. Don Callis showed up and interrupted the commercial transition to complement Moose for looking in good shape. Callis said his favorite NFL coach was Jimmy Johnson and how Johnson was consistant with how he treated people on his teams, by treating the stars like stars and the j-brones like j-brones.
Callis said he’s confused as to why people are treating Moose like everyone else when Moose is a star. Moose blamed Callis for attempting to keep Moose away from Kenny Omega. Moose said he’s going to send a message to the locker room in the ring…[c]
Jordynne Grance and Rachael Ellering confronted Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz to gloat. Kiera said that she and Tasha will get back the titles at Under Siege and that Grace only won the title because of Ellering carrying her. This caused Grace to challenge Tasha to a match next week…
Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown checked in from the commentary set and announced the following matches for next week: Havok vs. Rosemary in a number one contenders match, an X Division Scramble match, and Karl Anderson vs. Dave Finlay…
Entrances for the main event took place…
7. Moose vs. James Storm for a spot in the number one contenders match at Under Siege. Storm and Moose traded power holds to start the match. Moose no sold Storm’s shoulder tackles. Storm backed down Moose with punches. Moose came back with a pump kick. Storm pulled the top rope down to dump Moose to ringside.[c]
Storm hit Moose with an atomic drop and discus lariat. Storm went for a Gamengiri, but Moose grabbed the kick and dragged it over the top rope to trip Storm off the apron. Moose focused his attack on Storm’s legs for a few minutes. Striker noted that Storm has wrestled over 1000 matches in Impact, and thus has a lot of in-ring mileage. After about 5 minutes of selling, Storm managed to sidestep Moose for a chance for his legs to recover.
Storm took down Moose with a Thesz Press. Storm hit Moose with a Codebreaker, but Moose was still staggering on his feet. Storm hit Moose with a Tornado DDT a two count. Storm went for an Eye of the Storm, but couldn’t use his legs to lift Moose. Moose went at Storm’s leg again with a chop block. Moose locked Storm in a half Crab and continued to punch at Storm’s leg. Storm got to the bottom rope for the break.
Storm went for another Eye of the Storm with the help of the ropes, but his lages gave up on him again. Storm blocked a spear with a high knee and caught Moose with the Last Call Superkick. D’Lo pointed out that Storm might have got the worst out of the move because of all the pain Moose infliced on him throughout the match. Storm writhed in pain on the mat. D’Lo noted that Brian Hebner was considering calling the bell for the Technical Knockout due to Storm possibly not being able to continue.
Storm kept pulling at Hebner to prevent him from calling the TKO. As Storm got to his feet, he walked right into a spear by Moose for the loss.
Moose defeated James Storm via pinfall in 12:38 of on-air time to earn a spot in the number one contenders match at Under Siege.
Striker introduced the complete graphic for the six way match at Under Siege: Chris Sabin vs. Chris Bey vs. Sami Callihan vs. Matt Cardona vs. Trey Miguel vs. Moose. Moose brought a chair in the ring and wrapped it around the leg of Storm. Moose stomped on the chair and D’Lo said he heard Storm’s leg pop. Chris Sabin ran out to check on Storm. Moose left the ring as Storm was crying in pain. Striker closed the show by naming off the wrestlers in the six way match at Under Siege…
John’s Thoughts: That was an amazing match in terms of storytelling and I’m a huge fan of those matches that look average on paper, but turn out to be an instant classic. It was really cool seeing Moose inflict leg damage for a majority of the match with Storm doing an amazing job selling, especially off those broken Eye of the Storms. The best part of the match was Storm nailing Moose with the Last Call only to be the one hurt most by the move due to Moose’s focus on Storm’s knees. This was some good stuff.
Another good week of Impact Wrestling. Impact is starting to show some of their booking flaws and bad habits again (for some reason, they just had to do that oddball Rosemary and Brian Myers segment), but they are still overwhelmed by good segments and good matches. I would also argue that Impact is putting on some stellar in-ring performances week-to-week in recent months. Kenny Omega may be originally an AEW wrestler, but I feel like Impact has done a better job presenting him as a world champion. Both parties, Omega and Impact, benefit from that.