By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios
Aired June 3, 2021 on AXS TV
Before the Impact
Jon Burton and Gia Miller were the hosts of the Before the Impact show. This week they recapped the main event of last week’s show, the Good Brothers vs. Moose and Sami Callihan match. After the recap, the hosts quickly sent the show over to Skyway Studios for the ironman match…
Josh Mathews and D’Lo Brown were on commentary. Dave Penzer was the ring announcer.
1. Josh Alexander (w/Petey Williams) vs. TJP (w/Fallah Bahh) in a 60-minute Ironman Match for the Impact Wrestling X Division Championship. Both men started out the match with counters to the other person’s chain wrestling moves with no man getting the upper hand. The show cut to commercial with neither man having an advantage.[c]
Five minutes into the match, via the clock, and neither man has gotten a solid advantage and were still going through methodical chain wresting. TJ got a bit of an advantage ten minutes in after a huracanrana. Alexander got distracted by Bahh at ringside which allowed TJ to hit Josh with a wrecking ball kick and slingshot senton for a two count. Josh Mathews noted that double countouts won’t effect the outcome of the match because it would give both men a point.
Perkins worked on Alexander with back suplexes for a two count. Alexander countered one of TJ’s kicks into a Dragon Screw Leg Whip. Perkins gave Alexander rapid kicks from the ground position followed up by leg slam. TJ countered Josh’s ground move with a headscissors. Both men ended up countering each other’s ground chain wrestling again. Josh used compact pile drivers to counter TJ’s handstand counter. TJ modified into a modified Muta Lock, but Josh got a bridge to get back to his feet.
TJ used a back suplex to get a bridged two cont. After trading counters, Alexander went for an ankle lock. TJ escaped, but Alexander followed up with a series of German Suplexes. The show cut to commercial.[c]
Back from break, the clock had 40 minutes left in the match. Alexander went for several pin attempts, ending with Josh Alexander using his momentum to get his body over TJ for the first pinfall of the match.
Josh Alexander earned a fall over TJP via pinfall to go up 1-0.
Josh Mathews noted that both men will get a 30 second reset. Alexander went to his corner and was getting coaching from Petey Williams. TJ struggled to get to his corner and the referee started counting once TJ got to his feet to count down to the reset. TJ went for an early cravate, which Alexander countered into a body slam. TJ went right back to the grounded cravate with a wide leg base. Alexander got to his feet and hit another body slam.
TJ went right back to the cravate. Mathews noted that with the point advantage, Alexander can stop going for pins and play defense. Alexander escaped the cravate and went into a crossface on TJ. Mathews said he suspects that Perkins might have a face injury, but he’s not sure. TJ escaped a butterfly stretch but was dumped to ringside. D’Lo Brown noted that he never went to 60 minutes and his longest match was 30 minutes against Satoshi Kojima.
Josh Alexander dragged TJP back in the ring. TJ locked Alexander in a rope assisted Octopus Hold. When he had to break the hold he hit Alexander with kicks, which kicked off Alexander’s head gear. Alexander locked Perkins in a rope leverage surfboard, which he eventually had to break. Josh went for methodical offense to allow himself to recover and catch his own wind while dishing out pain. The show cut to commercial.[c]
The show cut back with 28 minutes left on the clock. After going for a pin, TJ put Alexander in an Indian Deathlock. TJ got a few head slaps in from the deathlock. Josh countered into an ankle lock, but TJ quickly got to the bottom rope for the break. Alexander put Perkins in a long delayed vertical suplex. The commentators noted how the delay hurts more in this longer match due to the exhaustion TJ must be going through due to the longer match.
Alexander locked TJ in a butterfly stretch. After trading counters, Alexander locked TJ in a Gory Special. Alexander used a backslid to get a two count. Both men traded rapid pin attempts. Alexander wiggled his shoulders to prevent TJ from getting leverage for a pin. TJ locked ALexander in a modified Sharpshooter and then converted the move into a Muta Lock. After both men got to their feet, Alexander planted TJ with a German Suplex to give himself a breather. TJ tried to make a comeback, but Alexander slammed him into the buckle.[c]
Back form break, Perkins had Alexander in an Octopus Hold. Josh Mathews noted the match had about 15 minutes left and the final minutes of the match will spill into the regular Impact show. TJ dumped Alexander to ringside and caught him with a Plancha. Josh Alexander countered TJP’s DDT into a suplex on the apron. D’Lo noted that while getting a double countout won’t give anyone points, it will work in Alexander’s favor because it trims time off the clock.
Petey Williams pled with Alexander several times to not hit TJ with a Tiger Driver, for the health of TJP. Trey Miguel and Chris Sabin also ran out to try to convince Alexander to not give TJ any big injuries. Starting with Eddie and Alisha Edwards, Impact Wrestling roster members started to walk out to watch the match from ringside. Both men beat the count after TJ slammed Alexander to the mat with a counter. TJ dragged Alexander to the ring and went for a Mamba Splash, but Josh Alexander rolled aside.
John’s Thoughts: Ugh, the Kobe reference reminded me that the Lakers just got eliminated from the NBA playoffs. You can tell that I’m a bit salty, and also reviewing this show after it aired.
Alexamder went for a moonsault, but TJ crotched Alexander and put him in the Tree of Woe. TJ struggled to get heavy strikes, but fired himself up by slapping himself, leading to slaps on Alexander. The show cut to the main Impact show…
Josh Mathews and D’Lo Brown were on commentary. Dave Penzer was the ring announcer. The match continued with no breaks and the lighting of the studio changed to signify that the show transitioned to the main Impact show. More wrestlers appeared at ringside to watch the match. There was about 8 minutes left on the Ironman clock.
1. [Continuation from Before The Impact] Josh Alexander (w/Petey Williams) vs. TJP (w/Fallah Bahh) in a 60-Minute Ironman Match for the Impact X Division Championship. Perkins hit Alexander with a slingshot Swanton for a two count. Perkins hit Alexander with a gutbuster for another two count. D’Lo noted that TJ was going for quick pins with the match winding down and him being down a point. Alexander and Perkins took each other out with clotheslines. Josh Alexander had been bleeding from the head for a while.
TJ escaped a Tiger Bomb and countered into a Falcon Arrow for a two count. A replay aired of the first and only pinfall of this match, from Josh Alexander. TJ worked on Josh with face wash kicks ending with a running face wash. Perkins hit Alexander with a knee into the buckle, but Alexander fought through into an Ankle Lock on TJ. TJ escaped and hit Alexander with a Detonation Kick. Alexander kicked out of TJ’s finisher at two. TJ hit Josh with a Mamba Splash, and Alexander kicked out of TJ’s other finisher.
TJ went for another Detonation Kick, but Alexander caught TJ’s leg for an ankle lock. TJ rolled out and put Josh Alexander in a grapevine. TJ made sure to drag Josh to the center of the ring. Alexander escaped the hold with an ankle lock to get the advantage again. Alexander grapevined the ankle lock to keep TJ in the center of the ring. The clock was ticking down with less than 30 seconds left. Using the Judo principle of falling into momentum, TJ altered his body into a jackknife pinning situation to get Alexander’s shoulders on the mat, allowing TJ to get the three count as the clock had two seconds left on it.
TJP pinned Josh Alexander with 0:02 seconds on the clock to end the match in a draw, tied 1-1.
The camera cut to reaction shots from the spectator wrestlers, all with shocked faces. The spectator wrestlers started a “This is Impact” chant. The camera cut over to Dave Penzer who laid out the rules for the sudden death overtime, noting that the match will become one fall to the finish. Brian Hebner sent both men to their corners and counted down from 30 to mark the match reset…
John’s Thoughts: A great methodical-style match. Defenitely up there in terms of quality when it comes to Impact Wrestling match and this match would have easily fit in well on an NXT Takeover Show. Good storytelling, methodical pace, and practical action. It was slow, yes, but not boring because the slowness made sense. Too many times, wrestlers treat Ironman Matches like it’s supposed to be 3 matches in a row with needless quick pinfalls early on, which in turn makes the first two or so falls meaningless. This match was treated like an athletic marathon with both men fighting a war of attrition and wit. I actually liked the Looking forward to the overtime.
2. Josh Alexander vs. TJP in Sudden Death Overtime to the Ironman match for the Impact X Division Championship. Alexander and Perkins traded punches in the center of the ring while also walking around wobbly. TJ hit Josh with a headbutt and CQC combo. TJ missed a kick and standing Phoenix Splash combo. Alexander slammed TJ to the mat and hit him with a moonsault for a two count. Alexander power bombed TJ on his knee for a for a two count. Alexander hit TJ with a Tiger Driver for the pinfall victory.
Josh Alexander defeated TJP via pinfall in 1:55 of overtime to retain the Impact X Division Championship.
The spectator wrestlers cheered on both men for putting on a great match. Josh Mathews made sure to do the show intro at this point…
John’s Thoughts: Really good final two minutes to put over Alexander strong and at the same time elevating both men as main event level in-ring talents in the Impact landscape (I’ve always said TJ had the main event in-ring ability, a company just needs to finally give this guy a big push as a heel. MLW is doing that at least). Impact has been killing it in terms of putting on great in-ring matches for the last few months. I wouldn’t mind Impact utilizing spectator wrestlers more often because that really added to this match (aside from it being unavoidably odd to also have exaggerated piped in cheers). When’s Impact going to announce their plans to hit the road again anyway? With crowds?
Josh Mathews and D’Lo Brown checked in from their commentary set. Josh noted that he and D’Lo just witnessed a match that they won’t ever forget in their commentary careers. D’Lo said it was wrestling at it’s purest between two professional wrestlers. Josh said they need to get the match up on Impact Plus ASAP (but you can also watch the whole Before the Impact show via YouTube). Josh and D’Lo ran through the upcoming segments on this week’s show…
The show cut to the TNA stalker cam with Don Callis going over his evil plan with Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson about how his plan is to make sure to stir the pot between Moose and Sami Callihan in order to have that work in the favor of Kenny Omega in Omega’s next title defense. Callis ended up catching the stalker cam creeping on them. Callis kept yelling “Stooge Alert!” as Gallows and Anderson chased away the cameraperson…[c]
The show cut to Josh Alexander and Petey Williams backstage. As Alexander was recounting his experience in the Ironman match, Eddie Edwards showed up to shake Josh’s hand out of respect. TJP and Fallah Bahh showed up after Eddie left. TJ noted that he and Josh might possibly end up fighting forever, but he’s thanking Josh for such a great match right now especially if they aren’t going to have a match against each other for a long while after the Ironman match. Josh accepted TJ’s handshake.
Scott D’Amore walked in and congratulated Josh and TJ for a great performance. Alexander told D’Amore that he’s the only man holding gold in the company. Alexander said he’s the king of the mountain in this company as long as an AEW Wrestler is currently holding the World title. D’Amore said Alexander makes him feel proud to be a Canadian. Josh Alexander was told to rest up as he walked away.
Wrestlers like Chris Bey, Petey Williams, Madman Fulton, Ace Austin, and Trey Miguel showed up to suck up to D’Amore for an X Title shot. Trey Miguel even tried to bribe D’Amore with American dollars which Chris Bey comically called him out on. Scott D’Amore slipped away as the wrestlers continued to fight amongst themselves…
John’s Thoughts: Hey, I can actually really dig Josh Alexander as the top singles champion in Impact (maybe they’re setting up an Option C thing between Omega and Alexander, but I wouldn’t mind seeing that feud develop naturally as opposed to the Austin Aries gimmick that never really caught steam). When Ethan Page left Impact I was a bit worried that Alexander would be sent to no-mans land in order to run out his Impact contract before teaming up with Page again (heck, that methodical Ironman match proved that AEW could have used him to fill the void of their lack of mat wrestlers). Impact may be finally trying to grow a homegrown star for once and Josh Alexander proved that he can really shine as a singles wrestler on this night.
Entrances for the tables match took place. Josh Mathews noted that instead of Dogecoin he would invest his stocks in Jake Something (but Something loses most of his matches unless it’s a tables match). D’Lo noted that Jake Something is a future star that has developed a mean streak…
John’s Thoughts: Random thought, is Jake Something still dating Heidi Lovelace/Ruby Riott? Riott was criminally underutilized on the WWE Main Roster shows and would definitely be someone I would skyrocket to the top of the Knockouts Division to give them a top babyface and top technical wrestler. Also, apparently, that tattoo that Jake Something is hiding under his knee wrap is Goku and Shenron from Dragonball Z.
3. Rohit Raju vs. Jake Something in a Tables Match. Both men traded punches to start out the match. Raju got the upper hand with a front kick and by pulling the rope down to put Something on the apron. Something used a clubbing blow to drag Raju to the apron. Raju rolled to ringside to avoid the table set up right next to the apron they were standing on.[c]
Raju worked on Something with methodical strikes. Raju brought two chair into the ring. Something swatted away the chair and took down Raju with axe handle strikes. Raju went for a paydirt, but was shrugged off. Something took down Raju with a follow-through lariat. Something yelled “what’s my name”, as he hit Raju with a tackle into the buckle. Something reversed a Black Hole Slam into a double stomp. Raju hit Something in the back with a chair shot.
Raju jabbed a chair into Something a few times. Raju worked on Something with standing roundhouse kicks. Something came back with a right hand. Raju came back with a chair shot to Something’s shoulder. Raju countered Something into a Crossface. After Something got out of the hold, Raju gave Something running strikes in the corner. Raju booted a chair into something and then followed up with a cannonball into the chair. Josh Mathews made sure to do his plug for the Invicta show on AXS.
Something set up a table in the corner while Raju set up chairs. Raju got the upper hand by giving Something a drop toehold onto the chairs. Raju hit Something with a driveby knee to the head. Something used a double arm club to stop Raju from running. Something tried to power bomb Raju through a table at ringside, but Raju shoved Something into the buckle and gave Something a low blow. Raju gave Something a DDT onto the apron. Something recovered and used a right hand to stagger Raju on the top rope.
Raju slipped away and went for a power bomb, but Something blocked it. Raju tripped Something off the top rope. Raju gave Something a double stomp through the chairs. Something was teetering as Raju pressured him with strikes near the table. Something reversed Raju’s running move into a Black Hole Slam. Something followed up with a second Black Hole Slam. Something gave Raju some trash talk. Raju yelled “you’re a coward” before chucking a chair onto Something’s head. Something no-sold the chair that grazed his head and then tackled Raju through the table for the victory.
Jake Something defeated Rohit Raju in a tables match in 11:34 of on-air time.
John’s Thoughts: A solid match between two guys with good in-ring chemistry. We learned recently that they have good chemistry because they’ve been traveling on the road together for their entire indie careers. Something gets a bit of a boost while Raju gains in defeat because he both looked good in this match combined with the fact that he’s benefiting from his recent push as X Division Champion. I hope they follow up with Something well. Last time he beat Deaner in a tables match, that ended up with him taking a bunch of losses after, including a handful of clean losses to chicken heels.
W. Morrissey caught up to Scott D’Amore backstage and demanded a match against Rich Swann. D’Amore told W that Rich Swann also requested that same match against W. D’Amore said the match is happening next. D’Amore condescendingly said that he likes Morrissey’s moxie. D’Amore then walked away saying “you can’t teach that” (one of Enzo Amore’s catchphrases) in regards to Morrissey’s moxie…[c]
John’s Thoughts: I’ve liked D’Amore’s work over the past year or so as Impact’s babyface authority figure, but wouldn’t it have hurt him to not come out looking all confident here and maybe sell W. Morrissey as intimidating? I feel like he sells less to the heels now than he did when he was selling to babyfaces as the coach of Team Canada.
Rosemary was shown cutting one of her rherotrical promos from her weirdly lit area backstage. She talked about shadows and stuff. She also talked about how she pinned Deonna Purrazzo. Rosemary said she wants to take the Knockout’s Title to the Darkness. Havok showed up and noted that she’s been on the same side as Rosemary for a while, but that doesn’t mean that she’s not stopping her quest for the Knockouts Championship.
Rosemary said she really wanted Havok to be a part of the family, but she also sees that Havok wants to go at war with Rosemary in order to gain the right to go after the title. Rosemary said if Havok wants the title shot, she needs to take it. Havok said she will take it…
Rich Swann danced his way to the ring for his upcoming match. He brought back his weird goggles that he used to wear before his matches. While Swann as dancing like a fool, W. Morrissey logically walked up behind him and punched him in the back (good for W!). Morrissey tossed Swann in front of Dave Penzer and the timekeeper table. Swann caught Morrissey with a bunch of kicks and strikes, but Morrissey took down Swann with a simple big boot.
Josh Mathews said Rich Swann looks like Little Mac fighting one of the boss battles in Punch Out. Indie Security Guards ran out to stop Morrissey’s onslaught. Morrissey choked one of the guards into the turnbuckle. Willie Mack ran out and hit Morrissey in the back with a steel chair. Morrissey no sold the chair shot. The security pleaded with Morrissey to back down and Morrissey finally agreed to back down. Morrissey made a smirk as he left the area…
John’s Thoughts: W. Morrissey continues to thrive in this role of the jilted wrestler. His rage is coming through well and the realism behind his story gives his character credibility. Swann vs. Morrissey has the potential to be a huge match whenever they get to it if Morrissey can deliver in the ring as well as he has been on the mic (and Rich Swann is a world class in-ring guy who can carry his end of the match well). I do wish Swann would drop the whole dancing fool gimmick though. He can still keep aspects of being confident and maybe have a little swagger, but he continues to just be a mid-card clown sometimes before his matches. So much that Morrissey exposed that here when he beat down Swann for doing his pre-match dance routine.
The stalker cam was creeping around corners as it found Tenille Dashwood and Kaleb Konley attempt to recruit Rachael Ellering as Tenille’s tag partner. Jordynne Grace showed up and Ellering brushed off Dashwood’s attempts. Dashwood tried to say that she was just inviting Ellering to the “All about me” talk show…[c]
The show cut to a skit by Brian Myers where he was training Sam Beale on how to be a professional. Myers said he was worried a bit about Beale’s lame looking ring gear. Myers said he didn’t like Beale’s tattoo either and that Beale can cover up the tattoos with a Brian Myers shirt that is now on sale at ShopImpact. Myers said the shirt was a big improvement. Myers then wanted Beale to show off his entrance. Myers acted shocked and disgusted when he saw Beale do his entrance, which involved Beale smelling his own finger for some reason.
Myers thought the finger smelling was particularly bad (I agree and it cracked me up). Beale said he just wanted to show people that he was smelling his hair perm product (what?). Myers pointed out that Beale didn’t even show off any music. Myers brought out a boombox and played his entrance theme (which I think is pretty good). Myers told Beale that his entrance theme makes girls pregnant. Myers then showed off his entrance routine, complete with the hoodie and face mask.
Beale said he was confused at the face mask because he thought Myers got both his Covid Vaccination shots. Myers yelled “It’s not that kind of mask!”. Myers ended the skit by saying that he and Beale have a lot of work to do…
John’s Thoughts: Ey man! That segment actually cracked me up. I know comedy is subjective, but Impact’s comedy gets rightfully panned by a lot of people for having no heart and horrible writing. This was fun. Not for everyone, but I liked it and thought it was clever. The Beale and Myers interaction reminded me a bit of the Austin Theory and Johnny Gargano relationship in NXT where Theory is Gargano’s manchild son.
Gia Miller interviewed Deonna Purrazzo and informed Purrazzo that if Havok beats Rosemary next week Havok will be inserted into the title match at Against All Odds and it will become a triple threat (uhm? Why not just put Rosemary’s title shot on the line?). Purrazzo said it was absurd and said that Impact Management might be conspiring against her. Purrazzo noted how she ran through Havok and Rosemary in one-on-one matches. Purrazzo hyped herself up as a great champion and talked about how the odds will always be in her favor at Against All Odds…
Entrances for the women’s tag team title match took place. Ellering and Grace came out to Grace’s entrance theme…
4. “Fire N’ Flava” Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz vs. Jordynne Grace and Rachael Ellering for the Knockouts Tag Team Championship. Grace and Steelz traded counters early on. Grace used a Full Nelson to Giant Swing Steelz. Grace hit Steelz with a spinebuster for a two count. Ellering tagged in and continued the advantage over Steelz. Ellering got a two count after a senton. Steelz got the advantage by yanking down Ellering’s headband and using it to slam her to the mat.
Josh Mathews started shilling Impact trading cards, which he is doing addition to his Micro Brawler shill. Tasha and Kiera traded quick tags to cut the ring in half on Ellering. Ellering dived to Grace to get Grace in for the hot tag. Grace hit Kiera with a Gutwrench Bomb for a two count. Grace hit Kiera with her Vader Bomb combo. Ellering hit a twisting leg drop on Kiera for a two count that was broken up by Tasha. Steelz hit Ellering with a codebreaker when the referee was distracted to give Kiera a two count.
Fire and Flava hit Ellering with a double team stomp slam for a two count. Ellering blocked an Irish Whip and tagged in Grace. Grace hit Tasha with a Kinniku Buster which fed into Ellering’s power bomb to give Grace a two count. Tasha hit Grace with a Crucifix Driver for a two count. Ellering caught Tasha at ringside. Tasha ended up hitting Ellering with a DDT at ringside. Grace tried to fight off Kiera and Tasha to no avail. Kiera used a Rear Naked Choke to drag Grace to the mat. This allowed Tasha to hit Jordynne with a Frog Splash while Jordynne was still trapped in Kiera’s hold. Steelz got the clean pinfall win over Grace.
Fire N’ Flava defeated Jordynne Grace and Rachael Ellering via pinfall in 9:28 to retain the Knockouts Tag Team Championship.
John’s Thoughts: A well worked match that put over Fire N’ Flava strong while continuing the slow burn to an expected Jordynne Grace heel turn (heck? maybe they turn Ellering if they want to go for the “swerve”). I’m a huge proponent of heels picking up clean wins every once and a while because it makes their matches more compelling and less missable. Heels can still be heels if they win clean, just as long as they’re assholes about it after the win. Tasha and Kiera look to be having a stronger second run as tag champs than their first where they were booked to look a bit chicken-bleep.
Sami Callihan was cutting a promo backstage about how much he doesn’t give a damn Moose. He was interrupted by Don Callis who tried to suck up to Callihan. Callis tried to convince Callihan that he has Callihan’s back. Callihan wasn’t buying it as he told Callis to “get”. Callihan ended his promo by saying that he’ll beat Moose’s ass…
Satoshi Kojima was shown stretching and being greeted by Eddie Edwards. Kojima apologized to Eddie for not understanding a word Eddie said because Kojima doesn’t speak English…[c]
A vignette for a debuting wrestler aired. A man was shown drinking a glass of Irish Whiskey as upbeat jazz was playing in the background. The camera panned back to show the former Steve Cutler sitting in a chair wearing an Olive Drab colored t-shirt. The camera cut to a graphic showing Cutler’s new name is “Maclin” (his real name is Tommy Maclin)…
John’s Thoughts: Very cool! I think this is a good signing (and smart not to lump him into the Slammiversary teases because he wasn’t exactly the biggest name to be released from WWE). As much as I’ve reviewed NXT, I’ve never really got to see this guy get a chance to shine as an individual. He’s mostly been hidden behind Wesley Blake and former TNA wrestler Gunner. Like Gunner, Blake also has a background as a United States Marine. It looks like they may or may not be playing into that in Impact. I do have to say, I liked the production of the vignette and looking forward to see how Maclin does on his own.
Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz banged on Scott D’Amore’s office door to brag in front of him. D’Amore came out of his office and listened to the gloating. Tasha and Kiera talked about how they’ve beaten everybody in the division. D’Amore went into his usual sarcastic mode in agreeing with Kiera and Tasha. D’Amore introduced Kimber Lee and Susan as people who have issues with Kiera and Tasha. Susan said that Kiera and Tasha touched her inappropriately last week (they lost due to infighting last week). D’Amore booked Fire N’Flava vs. Kimber Lee and Susan in a Tag Team Title match. Kiera pointed out how D’Amore always does stuff like this. Fire and Flava walked out…
Entrances for the next match took place, which will feature Satoshi Kojima’s Impact in-ring debut. Josh Mathews noted that Kojima was a former heavyweight champion in New Japan as well as a 7 time tag champion and former Never Openweight Champion. D’Lo Brown noted that Kojima has been wrestling for over 30 years…
5. Satoshi Kojima vs. Deaner (w/Eric Young, Joe Doering, Rhino). Kojima backed down Deaner early on. Deaner fought out of the corner with a headlock. Kojima no-sold Deaner’s shoulder tackles. Kojima took down Deaner with a few shoulder tackles. Deaner shoved Kojima’s neck under the second buckle and drove the spine into it with a dropkick. Deaner worked on Kojima with methodical offense. Kojima sidestepped Deaner in the corner and softened him with machine gun chops.
After slamming Deaner to the mat, Kojima hit Deaner with an elbow drop for the two count. Deaner countered Kojima with a neckbreaker for a two count. Kojima reversed the Deaner DDT into a Brainbuster. Deaner kicked out at two. Rhino got up on the apron for the distraction. Doering was about to attack Kojima, but Eddie Edwards ran out and dragged Doering to ringside, threatening him with “kenny” the kendo stick. Kojima hit Deaner with the Koji cutter. Kojima finished up Deaner with a stiff lariat for the pinfall win.
Satoshi Kojima defeated Deaner via pinfall in 5:09.
Eddie Edwards and Satoshi Kojima stood tall to end the segment…
John’s Thoughts: As much as I would like to see Deaner pick up more wins after his transformation, this made sense in that they wanted to kick off Kojima’s rental run off with a strong win. Kojima looks really good and mobile, especially being 50 years old. Doering vs. Kojima should be an intriguing matchup, especially since we don’t see Doering too much in singles matches on Impact.
Moose was trying to cut a promo about Sami Callihan backstage, but he was interrupted by Don Callis who tried to suck up to Moose like he did to Callihan earlier. Moose told Callis that he was ignoring everything Callis was saying and he knows exactly what Callis is trying to pull. Moose told Callis to tell Kenny Omega to keep the belt warm for him…
Eric Young and Violent By Design were backstage with Young calling out Eddie Edwards for costing Deaner the match. Crazzy Steve and Black Taurus showed up with Steve mocking Deaner for losing. Taurus was making weird moaning noises for some reason. Young got in Steve’s face and pointed out how he trained Steve to know better. Steve dared Young to give Deaner more responsibilities by having Deaner defend the tag team titles (via Freebird rule?). Steve proposed Violent By Design vs. Decay for the Tag Team Titles at Against All Odds and noted that Decay are former tag team champions (with Abyss and sans Taurus). Young agreed to the match…
Josh Mathews and D’Lo Brown checked in from their commentary set. They announced the following matches for next week’s Against All Odds go-home show: Rosemary vs. Havok and W. Morrissey vs. Willie Mack in a no-DQ match. The following matches were announced for Against All Odds: W. Morrissey vs. Rich Swann, Fire N’ Flava vs. Kimber Lee and Susan for the Knockouts Tag Team Championship, Satoshi Kojima vs. Joe Doering, and Kenny Omega vs. Moose for the Impact Heavyweight Championship…
Entrances for the Impact main event took place…[c]
6. Moose vs. Sami Callihan. Callihan started off the match with a pump kick. Callihan dumped Moose to ringside and ate a pump kick from Moose. Callihan grabbed the ropes to block a power bomb. Moose blocked a pump kick to lift Callihan and plant him on the apron with a Power Bomb. Josh Mathews noted that Moose is in better shape than he was in the NFL, so much that Josh thinks that Moose can be linebacker instead of O-Line.
Moose manhandled Callihan at ringside. Callihan dodged a tackle, sending Moose into the guardrails. Callihan worked on Moose with a reverse Juji Gatame and went for the joint manipulation. Brian Hebner tried to break up the submission at ringside because you can’t get a fall outside of the ring.[c]
Callihan staggered Moose on the top rope with a right hand. Callihan hit Moose with a Death Valley Driver for a two count. Moose escaped Callihan’s finisher because Callihan decided to do his thumb’s up thing.
John’s Thoughts: I hope I’m not the only person that gets annoyed with Sami does that thumb thing before his finisher. It always leads to his opponents reversing him.
Moose tackled Callihan into the turnbuckles. D’Lo talked about how Moose looked to be losing feeling in his limbs. Callihan used chops to target Moose’s injured arm to shake him off the top rope. Moose did an athletic leap to hit Callihan with a top rope high-angle superplex. Moose got a two count. Callihan used a pump kick to block a spear. Moose hit Callihan on the top rope with a dropkick. Moose hit Callihan with the Go To Hell for the two count.
Callihan dodged a spear which caused Moose to tackle the turnbuckle with the injured shoulder. Callihan hit Moose with a pile driver for a two count. Sami did his thumbs up and thumbs down thing. Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows ran out and attacked Sami for the apparent DQ.
Sami Callihan defeated Moose via apparent DQ in 9:25?
Gallows and Anderson hit Callihan with a Magic Killer. The Good Brothers went on to put the boots to Moose. Kenny Omega and Don Callis showed up. Omega put the boots to both Moose and Callihan. Kenny Omega’s Little V entrance theme played to close the segment, but Callihan kept trying to grab Omega’s leg. Gallows smacked Callihan off Omega…
The camera cut to Omega and crew walking backstage after they left the ring. Scott D’Amore (who’s gotten a ton of TV time tonight) showed up to confront Don Callis. D’Amore was being sarcastic again in praising Omega and the Good Brothers. After Omega and the Good Brothers left, D’Amore told Callis that since Callihan beat Moose, Callihan should be added to the world title match at Against All Odds (what?).
Callis brought up that both Tony Khan and Scott D’Amore have to agree to the match and how Tony Khan has blacklisted Sami Callihan from AEW, so there’s no way Callihan can get in the world title match. D’Amore joked about Callis finally reading one of their agreements. Don Callis joked that he had Jimmy Jacobs read it for him. D’Amore noted that he thought ahead and invited Tony Khan to Impact next week to adjust the match to a triple threat. D’Amore walked off and the show closed with Callis saying “I thought we were a team!”…
John’s Thoughts: The match was okay, but I don’t like that they’re setting up a Triple Threat for Against All Odds. I understand a little bit if they are trying to save Omega vs. Moose for an actual PPV, but booking a triple threat feels a bit lazy and burning through Callihan’s involvement. They could have easily set up individual feuds with Moose and Callihan against Omega if that were the case. Triple Threat stips feel like lazy writing a lot of times. If anything, I hope that a homegrown Impact star, like an Ace Austin or Josh Alexander, ends up taking the title off Omega. At the same time, I was really looking forward to Omega vs. Moose and now I’m looking less forward to it if it’s a Triple Threat.
As for the show, way better than last week with a few PPV worthy matches to bookend. Moose vs. Callihan, while I didn’t like the story direction, was a really good match with Moose selling his shoulder well. Of course, we got an NXT Takeover worthy match in the opening with the Ironman and Tiebreaker match between Josh Alexander and TJP. I thought Omega didn’t make the tapings, but it looks like he was there. I’m ok with this week being allowed to showcase talents other than Omega but I wouldn’t mind Omega getting more mic time again because he does better character work on Impact than on AEW.