By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios
Aired May 27, 2021 on AXS TV
[Hour One] The highlight video for last week’s Impact Wrestling aired. They also aired the Eric Young promo from two weeks ago where Young talked about Violent By Design’s recent failures and how they were going to bounce back, leading to Joe Doering and Rhino winning the tag team titles. The show then cut to a new Violent By Design promo where Young talked about how Rhino and Doering winning the titles came to fruition and how it was “By design”…
The Impact intro theme aired…
Josh Mathews and D’Lo Brown were on commentary. Josh Mathews noted he was filling in because Matt Striker was “on assignment”…
John’s Thoughts: I got to hear Mathews and Brown a little bit on the Before the Impact show that aired before this week’s show. From what little I heard during the Eddie Edwards vs. Sam Beale match, Brown and Mathews had good chemistry. I honestly prefer Mathews at this point. Striker’s a great announcer, only of he’s reigned in by a big personality (I honestly think Don Callis would get the best out of Striker). Mathews has his flaws too, as a Michael Cole clone, but at the same time he’s much more tolerable than an out of control and hyperbolic Matt Striker.
Sami Callihan made his entrance for a promo. He cut the promo while sitting in a chair in the ring. Callihan called Kenny Omega a dumbass and said that all Omega brought to Impact is bull crap. Callihan said that Omega and his goons are afraid of the Death Machine. Challihan talked about how Omega was able to plan for most of the impact roster. Callihan rattled off names on the roster. Callihan said that Omega simply can’t plan for Callihan. Callihan talked about Don Callis also being afraid of Callihan putting his hands on his precious Omega.
Sami Callihan called out Kenny Omega. Instead of getting Omega, he got Moose, which Josh Mathews reminded viewers is the number one contender at the moment. Josh Mathews noted that Callihan looked like he was going to be the next contender, but Don Callis got involved. Moose called out Sami for complaining a lot. Moose said nobody cares. He noted that Callihan is not the number one contender and didn’t beat five other men at Under Siege. Moose told Callihan to stay out of his business.
Moose said that Kenny Omega is his business now leading up to the Against All Odds event. He said Callihan can start complaining once Moose wins the title. Callihan talked about how it’s interesting that Callis is sicking the Good Brothers solely on Callihan, because he sees Callihan as unpredictible and dangerous. The Good Brothers, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows, made their entrance and acted like prechers on the way to the ring, saying Praise the Lord and whatnot. Gallows sucked up to Moose and continued to antagonize Callihan. Gallows said that the Good Brothers are on Moose’s side in this issue.
Moose said he sees the Good Brothers are on his side, but he’s not on theirs. Moose and Callihan cleared the Good Brothers from the ring. The segment ended with Moose and Callihan standing tall in the ring with Callihan’s theme playing…
The camera cut to the Gorilla Position area where the Good Brothers were throwing a fit. Don Callis showed up and reminded them that he’s an EVP. Callis said he was booking the Good Brothers vs. Moose and Sami…
John’s Thoughts: Strong promo segment to set up the TV tag team main event. Moose and Callihan logically not being on the same page adds a lot of intrigue to their interactions. Callis and crew will try to obviously in storyline try to take advantage of this animosity. It also sets up either a future feud (or future alliance) between Callihan and Moose.
Gia Miller asked Don Callis about how he booked Good Brothers vs. Callihan and Moose yet never regularly books matches. Callis said he’s an invisible hand and you usually don’t see the influence he has on matches. Scott D’Amore showed up and confronted Callis. Callis said he was doing it all for the ratings. Callis brushed off D’Amore and walked away to avoid questioning.
John’s Thoughts: The tension they’re building between D’Amore and Callis has me thinking that Impact might be transitioning Callis out of being an authority figure to being a full-time manager.
Josh Mathews and D’Lo Brown checked from their commentary set. D’Lo Brown talked about how he senses tension between D’Amore and Callis. The commentary team hyped up upcoming segments…
1. TJP and Fallah Bahh vs. Petey Williams and X Division Champion Josh Alexander. Bahh locked Alexander in an alligator roll. Alexander got to his feet and used a fakeout punch to allow him to dropkick Bahh in the shin. Petey tagged in but Bahh managed to take down both opponents with a shoulder block. After Bahh hit an elbow drop on Petey, Bahh teased a kip up and failed for comedic effect. Bahh and TJ traded tags to isolate Petey from Alexander.
Petey managed to tag in Alexander and Alexander took out TJ with a diving crossbody. Alexander had Bahh locked in a cravate heading into commercial.[c]
Pete worked on Bahh with knees to the back. Alexander worked on Bahh with methodical power offense. Josh Mathews reminded viewers that Scott D’Amore isn’t happy with Don Callis booking matches out of nowhere. Bahh and Alexander took each other out and tagged in TJ and Petey. TJ had the advantage over Petey with multiple face wash kicks against the bottom buckle. Baah tagged in and cleaned house. Bahh planted Alexander with a Samoan Drop. TJ hit Alexander with a Mamba Splash (rip Kobe) for the victory.
TJP and Fallah Bahh defeated Josh Alexander and Petey Williams via pinfall in 7:44 of on-air time.
Gia Miller interviewed W. Morrissey (who looks more like a giant ass Edge every time they show him). Morrissey said that even though Gia says she is happy, he sees it as her being condescending, like everyone else is to him in the real world. Gia said W comes off as bitter. W brought up a moment where he had a health emergency in the middle of the ring due to a seizure and instead of calling 911, the fans took out their cameras to record YouTube clips. Morrissey talked about how he ended up recovering and people started to buddy up to him.
Gia talked about how she knows nice people like Rich Swann and Willie Mack. Morrissey said they are not really friends. He said that Swann is just latching on to Willie to boost his ego. He said Swann and Mack are just like everyone else, selfish. Morrisey talked about how everyone laughed and laughed at him at his lowest point, but who’s laughing now? Rich Swann ran in and clocked W with a big boot. Referees and staff pulled both men apart…
John’s Thoughts: Another good talking performance from W Morrissey. What makes this good is how Morrissey is taking what should be a a heartfelt redemption story and making it into heel motivation with warped and petty logic. The day he does become babyface, he can go back to his promos like this and they can add to his babyface persona on the road to his full recovery. Him being a heel at the moment is great for the Impact roster, because a guy that huge really stands out stronger from the heel position because everyone smaller is sympathetic.
A hype vignette aired hyping up the Impact Knockout’s division as the best in the world. Gail Kim, Jordynne Grace, Kiera Hogan, Rachael Ellering, Tasha Steelz talked about what drew them to the Impact Knockouts division. This ended up being an ad for a Knockouts show on AXS TV (either that or it was an ad for Impact, that wasn’t clear. I’m watching live).
Gia Miller interviewed Rachael Ellering, Tenille Dashwood, Rosemary and Havok. They all noted that their fifth member in their upcoming tag team match, Taylor Wilde, was missing. Jordynne Grace showed up and Ellering asked Grace is she can fill in. Grace acted peeved about being an “alternate” but ultimately agreed to fill-in…
Entrances for the next match started…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Looks like there’s a Jordynne Grace heel turn on the horizon.
2. Rachael Ellering, Jordynne Grace, Tenille Dashwood (w/Kaleb Konley), Rosemary, and Jessika Havok vs. Kiera Hogan, Tasha Steelz, Susan, Kimber Lee, and Deonna Purrazzo. Havok dominated Susan and Kiera early on in the match. Ellering tagged in and gave Kiera a Gutwrench Release Suplex. Ellering followed up with a running senton. Tasha tagged in and took a gutwrench. Jordynne Grace tagged in and lifted up Tasha for a double team move wiht Ellering. The referee blocked the move saying that Ellering was in the ring too long after the tag.[c]
[Hour Two] Tasha Steelz was dominating Jordyne Grace back from the break. Josh talked about how Tasha and Kiera have singled out Grace as the weak link of Grace’s team with Ellering. Tasha and Kiera traded quick tags to isolate Grace. Rosemary tagged in and locked Kiera in a tarantula. Tasha broke up the illegal hold. Kiera worked on Rosemary with face wash kicks. Kimber tagged in and the heels ended up trading quick tags to isolate Rosemary.
Josh Mathews noted that Satoshi Kojima was trending number 1 on twitter last week after his debut announcement was made on Impact. D’Lo talked about wrestling Kojima while in Japan. Ellering and Purrazzo ended up tagging in with Ellering takind down Deonna with a legsweep. Grace hit Deonna with a senton while Ellering held her up. Grace accidentally broke up Ellering’s pin after Kiera and Tasha kicked Grace into Ellering. Deonna was left alone with four of the babyface team after Kiera and Tasha started to brawl with Kimber and Susan. Rosemary hit Deonna with a Wing Clipper for the victory.
Rosemary, Rachael Ellering, Jordynne Grace, Tenille Dashwood, and Havok defeated Deonna Purrazzo, Kimber Lee, Susan, Tasha Steelz, and Kiera Hogan via pinfall.
Josh Mathews noted that Rosemary has just pinned the Knockouts Champion. The face team ended up walking out with Grace and Ellering looking to be on the same page.
This week’s Impact Plus Flashback Match of the week was World Class Maniac Eric Young vs. Bobby Roode for the King of the Mountain Championship from a 2016 episode of Impact. James Storm and Thom Latimer were at ringside. Bobby Roode ended up losing because he decided to do his Beer Money pose, leading to Eric Young giving him a low blow…
Josh Alexander cut a promo backstage about losing to TJP in the tag match. Alexander was talking about how Perkins made himself a contender for the X Division title. TJP showed up acting very cocky. Scott D’Amore popped out of nowhere and called TJ and Josh the essence and flagbarers of the X Division. D’Amore said he would like to see TJ and Josh go all night long. D’Amore booked Josh Alexander vs. TJP for the X Division Championship in a 60 minute ironman match on Before The Impact…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Do I have to cover BTI next week? Maybe? This should be a very good match.
An ad aired for Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson’s in-person Talk n’ Shop show…
A vignette aired spotlighting Jake Something and Rohit Raju. The promo focused on both men’s parallel careers in the indies and in Impact. Both men talked about being great friends that traveled the indies together. Raju said he was the first of the two to be signed by Impact and he immediately contacted Something to tell him the good news. Something said the Raju he knows now is not the man he’s been friends with for 15 years. Raju said he didn’t like that Scott D’Amore singled out Something as a future star of Impact Wrestling. Something talked about how something warping the mind of Raju, causing him to be warped. Raju said people are giving all the hype to Something for some reason and how Something thinks that Raju’s spotlight belongs to Something. Both men hyped up their Tables Match for next week…
John’s Thoughts: Great promo package to set up a match between these two rising stars in Impact. I had no clue that they were so close behind the scenes? This also reminds me about something NXT did recently and it’s not a great thing (with a Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Gonzalez match). They kind brought this friendship out of nowhere and it would have helped if they could have told this story at least a little bit on the road to this match? Maybe Striker threw in a line about it or something, but I don’t remember anyone saying anything about their friendship. Anyway, that video got me hyped for the tables match.
Violent By Design made their entrance. Young talked about how violence is scary, unpredictable, and chaotic to regular people but for VDB it’s a tool and vehicle. Young said he needed like minded people by his side who were aware that the sickness had to be removed. Young talked about Joe Doering being his first choice due to the violence he inflicted all across Japan. Young talked about recruiting Deaner as a sick man and how he’s now cleansed and the most perfect person of himself.
Young talked about Rhino being sick too and how he had to bring him back to being The War Machine. Young said all of this was by design, part of that design being Rhino’s trophy. Young said them picking off FinJuice when they were weak, being a part of this design. Young said Impact belongs to Violent By Design. Young said VBD will take over North America, Mexico, and even Japan. After the Japan mention, queue Satoshi Kojima making his entrance.
Satoshi Kojima and Joe Doering had a face off. D’Lo and Josh noted that he and Doering must have history. Kojima simply said “Against all odds”. The announce team assumed that this was a challenge and that we’re getting Joe Doering vs. Satoshi Kojima at Against All Odds…
A replay aired of Brian Myers randomly attacking Matt Cardona in the hallway after seeing Cardona in the hallway.
Gia Miller interviewed “Impact’s resident doctor” Ross Foreman (who’s actually Impact’s head of PR) about Matt Cardona’s medical status. Ross noted that Cardona will be out for two weeks. Brian Myers showed up ranting about Cardona. Sam Beale interrupted Myers and Myers told Beale that he’s going to teach Beale how it is to be a professional…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A bit of a disappointing appearance from Kojima. Again, most wrestling companies falter with this in regards to wrestlers showing up from other promotions. They expect you to be excited solely because they’re from a more popular promotion, yet not telling you why a specific wrestler is popular.
The Slammiversary teaser aired, continuing to tease current New Japan and former WWE wrestlers appearing…
The camera cut to Violent By Design backstage where Joe Doering accepted Satoshi Kojima’s challenge. Crazzy Steve and Black Taurus showed up and called out Deaner for living in Eric Young’s shadow. Deaner pointed out that VBD are the tag team champions and that he’s at his best he could be in terms of being a person. Steve said a poem that called out Deaner for being blind and a fool. Steve and Taurus ended up making their entrance in the Skyway arena…
3. “Decay” Crazzy Steve and Black Taurus vs. Johnny Swinger and Hernandez(w/Alisha Edwards). Steve and Swinger started out in the ring with chain wrestling. Hernandez tagged in and gave Steve a Argentine Drop. Swinger tagged back in and teased jumping off Hernandez’s shoulders, but then decided for a basic standing fall. Taurus tagged in and tackled Swinger. Taurus hit Hernandez with a Wisper of the Wind. Taurus took out Hernandez at ringside with a plancha.
Swigner teased a power bomb in the ring, but was backdroped. Steve jumped off the rope and hit Swinger with a springboard DDT for the victory.
Decay defeated Johnny Swinger and Hernandez via pinfall in 3:53.
Josh Mathews and D’Lo Brown checked in from the commentary set. D’Lo talked about how Crazzy Steve and Deaner were both trained by Eric Young and that being the reason why they might have interacted earlier. The commentary team announced the following matches for next week: Rohit Raju vs. Jake Something in a tables match, Fire and Flava vs. Rachael Ellering and Jordynne Grace for the tag tean championships, and Satoshi Kojima vs. Deaner. Josh Alexander vs. TJP for the X Division Championship was announced for Before the Impact and the commentators noted that the final 30 minutes of the match will bleed into the Impact on AXS show.
The show cut to the TNA stalker cam where Don Callis was discussing his plan with the Good Brothers about playing off the animosity between Moose and Callihan…
John’s Thoughts: Looks like I’m reviewing BTI next week. At the same time don’t blame me if the review comes in the next morning. I’s gotta work!
The slammiversary teaser aired again…
Entrances for the main event match took place…
4. Moose and Sami Callihan vs. “The Good Brothers” Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Callihan and Anderson started off the match with Callihan dominating with his frantic offense. Moose tagged himself in, much to the dismay of Callihan. Moose body slammed Anderson and body slammed Callihan on Anderson. Callihan and Moose got in each other’s faces heading into commercial.[c]
Callihan had the upper hand over Anderson back from the break. Callihan aggressively chopped Moose in the chest to tag him in. Moose and Callihan traded aggressive tags to cut off the ring from Anderson. Anderson took advantage of the lack of chemistry of his opponents, which led to Gallows tagging in and dominating Callihan with strikes. Gallows worked on Callihan with methodical offense. Moose tagged in and cleaned house. Moose took out Gallows with a nice springboard crossbody. Moose was about to hit Anderson with a spear, but Callihan tagged himself in.
Callihan was about to hit Anderson with a pile driver, but Moose clocked his partner with a big boot. Anderson rolled up Callihan for a two count. Callihan knocked Moose off the apron with a pump kick. Gallows tagged in and the Good Brothers hit Callihan with a Magic Killer for the victory.
The Good Brothers defeated Sami Callihan and Moose via pinfall in 3:32.
After the Good Brothers left, Moose took out Callihan with a spear. Moose told Callihan to stay out of his business. Moose left to his entrance theme to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: A good match that was more about the story of strengthening the friction between Moose and Callihan. Good storytelling and I like that it keeps Callihan elevated in the main event picture where he belongs. This is also setting up Callihan to potentially let hit pride get the best of him in making him cost Moose the world title at Against All Odds. Lots of directions they can go with that match now while also keeping the title on Kenny Omega.
Speaking of Omega, he was absent for this week’s show. I wonder if he made the tapings? I understand if he didn’t, guy’s a busy champion of three televised companies, but at the same time Impact really benefits from his presense. This week’s show had less in-ring time than usual, but I like that they focused on telling several intricate stories that didn’t pay off quickly. They also did a solid job hyping up the Josh Alexander vs. TJP 60 minute match for next week’s show. The match was apparently so huge that next week’s Impact is essentially 2 hours 30 minutes.
“The tension they’re building between D’Amore and Callis has me thinking that Impact might be transitioning Callis out of being an authority figure to being a full-time manager.”
That actually leaked a few weeks ago. Callis is no longer going to be in that role, only being a full-time manager. He will eventually leave Impact and move to AEW.
Striker’s a great announcer? Yet he’s out of control and hyperbolic??? Which is it?
He’s great when reigned in. I’ve covered Striker’s commentary for years on Lucha Underground and he even got my Dot Net commentator of the year due to his strong work with Vampiro. It’s usually the case of who he’s paired with. When he’s paired with Hugo in AAA and D’Lo in Impact, he goes into overboard hyperbolic and almost condescending mode.