By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios
Aired July 22, 2021 on AXS TV
A Slammiversary recap package aired…
Entrances for the next match took place. They showed a video pacakge taped at Slammiversary where Rohit Raju and Chris Bey bickering backstage. This segment ended with Bey finding a Bullet Club shirt backstage…
1. Chris Bey vs. Rohit Raju (w/Mahabali Shera). Bey and Raju started the first sequence at a stalemate. Raju tried to cheap shot Bey during the stalemate, but Bey blocked it. Bey and Raju had a shoving match. Raju took down Bey with a leg sweep. Bey came back with a headscissors. Raju slammed Bey to the ground and hit Bey with an elbow drop for a two count. Raju distracted the referee so Shera can give Bey a punch.
Raju gave Bey a flapjack and northern lariat for a two count. Raju worked on Bey with methodical offense and pin attempts. Bey ate a Face Wash, but avoided Raju’s cannonball to get a bit of a breather time. Bey used strikes to land a Fameasser on Raju. Bey hit Raju with a flying punch for a two count. Raju shoved Bey and hit Bey with Paydirt for a two count. Raju escaped Bey’s backslide. Raju reversed Bey’s finisher into a Russian Legsweep and Crossface. Bey escaped the hold. Both men traded a series of counters with Bey landing his finisher, the springboard cutter, for the victory.
Chris Bey defeated Rohit Raju via pinfall in 7:56.
Jay White caught up with Chris Bey backstage. White asked Bey if he got White’s message, the Bullet Club shirt. White noted that Bullet Club was recruiting guys they think have potential. Bey said they should have looked harder because people like Chris Bey prefer to walk alone. White asked Bey how that worked out at Slammiversary, when Bey was all alone. White noted that Bey’s invitation to Bullet Club will expire if he doesn’t make a decision. White walked off…
Mickie James was shown walking in the hallway backstage…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Good X-Division opener between two potential top stars of the company. The story they’re trying to drive home is Bey being recruited into Bullet Club. Full-disclosure, while I did avoid spoilers from the tapings, I couldn’t avoid what happens here due to social media; but don’t worry, I’ll hold my tongue on that one. Is it just me, or does anyone else think that Bullet Club has jumped the shark? It was big four or five years ago, but now I feel like a vocal minority are overrating this thing way more than it should be. The only thing I honestly think would put some steam behind Bullet Club nowadays is if somehow their original leader Finn Balor returned to lead the group. Heck, I’d be more excited for Chris Bey if he was being recruited for some iteration of Los Ingobernables.
Gia Miller tried to interview Kenny Omega backstage but got Don Callis. Don Callis said Scott D’Amore and Tommy Dreamer tried to fire him but he has control of the Impact Championship via Kenny Omega so Callis has the control now. Callis noted that Omega was injured and busted open with stitches. Omega said he’s concerned about the working environment in Impact with mental patients like Sami Callihan running around. Miller asked Callis about Jay White showing up.
Callis said he likes certainty and he doesn’t like that he has no clue why Jay White is here. Callis mocked White for being a part of Bullet Club 3.5 or whatever. Callis said that White should consider joining the “Super Elite” with Omega, or he might be here to stab people in the back as Jay White does. Callis said the working environment sucks in Impact. Callis said that if White wants to get to Kenny Omega, then he has to go through the “Invincible Hand”…
Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown checked in on commentary. Striker announced that on July 31st there will be an Impact Plus “Homecoming” show where a Homecoming Queen and King will be crowned via tournament. The commentary team then ran through upcoming segments…
Back at the arena, Mickie James made her entrance to her “Hardcore Country” theme. The crowd gave James a “welcome back” chant and James said it was great to be back. James talked about feeling good about being back and being at Slammiversary to kick the champ in the mouth. James said she’s here to change the business and she had a serious intention when she stepped in the ring in Impact. She said she’s here to finish that business and she requests that Deonna Purrazzo join her in the ring. Deonna Purrazzo made her entrance with a mic and joined James in the ring. James thanked Deonna for joining her in the ring.
James said her intention was pure when she came out to the ring with her request to ask Deonna to be a part of the Empowerrr show. James hyped up the NWA Empowerrr show and asked Deonna to be a part of history with her. Deonna said she tried to give Mickie the benefit of the doubt, that James would rectify her disrespectful acts at Slammiversary. Deonna said James is not here for Deonna, but here for Mickie. Deonna said Mickie is giving Deonna lip service by saying that Deonna is the best, but Deonna already knows she’s the best and doesn’t need Mickie’s affirmation. Deonna said she understands that Mickie needs Deonna to help make Empowerrr the greatest women’s PPV in history. Deonna noted that everyone wants a piece of the Knockouts Champion, the ironwoman of Impact Wrestling.
Deonna demanded that James grovel at her feet and apologize. Deonna said if James is not willing to do that, maybe Deonna needs to slap James into next week. Gail Kim made her entrance. Gail assured Deonna that it wasn’t Mickie’s decision to steal Deonna’s moment because Gail told Mickie to come. Gail said that she wants Deonna to be a part of the Historic EmPowerrr show which is run by a woman, and not just any woman, but a legend/pioneer like Mickie James. Gail noted that Deonna hasn’t rejected the offer so she must be considering it.
James said she understands being in Deonna’s shoes. James said it’s the age of the Virtuosa and Deonna needs to cement her feet in the foundation of history. James asked Deonna to please come to NWA Empowerrr. James and Purrazzo shook hands in agreement…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Solid segment to cross promote the NWA EmPowerrr show. What continues to stand out is how much better the Knockouts Division is when Deonna Purrazzo is allowed to be the fearless heel badass that she was so good at when she came into Impact. On another note, while it’s very cool to see Gail Kim back on Impact TV, a part of me is really disappointed that Gail Kim has settled down into her retirement. I would argue that Kim is one of the best female pro wrestlers of all time, people talk about Mickie being the “pioneer” but I would argue that Kim and Kong were the true pioneers of modern women’s wrestling. I honestly look more forward to the Kim vs. Deonna match that may never happen. I get it though, a lot of people didn’t see the great work of Kim and Kong and that Mickie was a little bit more mainstream as a “pioneer”.
A vignette aired, hyping the debut of the “Drama King”…
Entrances for the next match took place…
2. Brian Myers, Sam Beale, and Tenille Dashwood (w/Kaleb Konley) vs. Jake Something, “Always Ready” Matt Cardona, and Chelsea Green. Something overpowered Beale to start the match. Beale dodged a few of Something’s punches, but Something hit Beale with a front hip attack. Cardona tagged in to continue to dominate and isolate Beale. Beale backtracked and tagged in Myers. Cardona dominated Myers after a flapjack and slam. Dashwood distracted Cardona in the corner which allowed Myers to trip up Cardona off the second rope.
Myers got a two count after a back suplex. Beale tagged in to help Myers with a double-team move, but Cardona hit both opponents with a double suplex. Green and Dashwood tagged in with Green having the rally. Green hit Dashwood with a lungblower and curb stomp into the buckle for a two count. Something and Myers took each other down to ringside.
Dashwood got a two count after a rollup. Kaleb tried to distract Green from the apron, but Taylor Wilde ran out and pulled Kaleb down. Beale tagged in and lifted Green. Green escaped the hold and gave Beale a Unprettier. Green picked up the clean win on Beale.
Chelsea Green, Matt Cardona, and Jake Something defeated Sam Beale, Brian Myers, and Tenille Dashwood via pinfall in 4:06.
The face trio posed to celebrate their win…
A highlight video air to spotlight the W. Morrissey vs. Eddie Edwards match from Saturday. Striker noted that due to the way Eddie lost, he thinks the feud is far from order…
The camera cut to backstage where Eddie Edwards was cutting a promo. Eddie said that Morrissey is walking around like he’s still undefeated, but both he and W know that Eddie had W beat and it took W busting out a chain to bust Eddie in the face. Eddie said he’s down for a fight, but not in the ring. Eddie said he wants a fight right now in the parking lot…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Standard tag team faire to introduce Chelsea Green to the TV audience that didn’t catch the PPV. I’m excited to see what Green can bring to Impact when she’s fully healthy. I always go back to the Lucha Underground temple, where I watched Chelsea Green vs. Pentagon Jr in an intergender match that really opened my eyes as to how great Green can be in the ring from a technical standpoint. Sadly, she’s been snakebit with a ton of injuries and is probably even fighting through an injury right now. Those injuries led to her never really getting a WWE run.
Eddie Edwards was pacing around next to a semi truck and fans. W. Morrissey walked out and attacked Eddie. Morrissey tossed Eddie into the truck. Morrissey then threw a parking cone at Eddie. Morrissey tried to hit Eddie with a trash can but Eddie hit Morrissey with a parking cone first. Eddie chucked an ice chest at Eddie but Morrissey swatted it away and tossed Eddie to the ground. Morrissey beat up Eddie for a stretch. D’Lo Brown noted that all Eddie Edwards as known all his life is fighting in the streets.
John’s Thoughts: Did American Wolf Eddie grow up fighting in the streets? I just think that guy came off as so wholesome. I also wish that Eddie was back instead of weirdo green Eddie we get today.
Morrissey choked Eddie with a strap he found. Morrissey then stompped the ice chest into the back of Eddie. Eddie found “Kenny the Kendo Stick” from under the truck. Eddie actually found two kendo sticks. Eddie pummeled Morrissey with both sticks. Morrissey retreated into the street. Eddie roaraed and celebrated his W…[c]
Gia Miller interviewed Brian Myers and Tenille Dashwood and asked them how they have been taking losses recently and if they have to rethink strategy heading into the Homecoming Tournament. Myers said like a bow and arrow, he and tenille just have to be pulled back to shoot forward. Myers said Dashwood is under the Myers learning tree now. Dashwood looked disgusted and said she can’t go to Homecoming with Myers. Dashwood blamed Taylor Wilde for all the problems. Dashwood and Kaleb left. Myers blamed Beale for screwing up his partnership with Dashwood. Beale said he’s happy to find Myers a new tag partner, especially if it means Beale can talk to a girl. Beale tried to talk to Gia Miller, who walked off…
John’s Thoughts: Is it just me or is Sam Beale essentially Austin Theory lite?
Jay White made his entrance to his Bullet Club theme. White came out for a promo and soaked in “Switch Blade” chants. White said it was rude of him not to introduce himself yet. He said he is the Switchblade Jay White. He said he’s the number one asset in all of wrestling. He said he’s the Last Rock N’ Rolla (a play off Prince Devitt). White said he sold out Madison Square Garden. He said he’s King Switch and a Grand Slam Champion. He said he’s the NEVER Openweight Champion. White said he’s the “real” belt collector.
White said he’s here in Impact for one man, David Finlay (welp, that’s kinda disappointing. Shouldn’t you be in Impact for Kenny Omega?). White said Finlay has been ducking out on him. White hyped his match against Finlay at an upcoming New Japan PPV. White said the Finlay name is supposed to mean something, but Fit must be very disappointed right now at his son. White said Finlay did beat White in the New Japan cup, but he’ll never beat White again and never win the NEVER title. White said he came to Impact in front of the biggest Bullet Club fans. White said he’s not talking about the fans, but the guys throwing up Too Sweets like it’s 2013, the Good Brothers.
White said the Good Brothers were only relevant when they attached their name to Bullet Club. White said this is a new era of Bullet Club, White’s bullet Club, and this Bullet Club has standards. White said that the Good Brothers don’t live up to those standards and he sadly has to give them a no in terms of rejoining. White said he is a nice guy and will allow the Good Brothers to appeal that decision. White was interrupted by Kenny Omega’s Little V entrance theme. Don Callis, Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson, and Impact Champion Kenny Omega made their entrance.
Omega was wearing normal clothes and sporting a head bandage. The crowd gave Callis a “you got fired” chant. Omega took the mic and said the fans have gone and done it. Omega told Anderson to hold Callis back. Omega gave Callis the mic back. Callis said White was one of his favorite talents when Callis was doing Color Commentary for NJPW. Callis said that White is a good talent, guy, and even has the promos down now. Callis said he remembers what the “real” Bullet Club was like, with Gallows, Anderson, and “The god of pro wrestling” Kenny Omega.
Callis said while White was washing people’s backs, Omega and his Bullet Club were selling out Tokyo Domes. Callis said Omega’s Bullet Club was loaded, while White’s are a group of mid carders. Callis said he’s offering White a chance to join “The Elite”. White responded by saying that Don Callis doesn’t even work here in Impact anymore. White said that Callis is calling Omega a wrestling god, but he’s forgetting the time where White and the wrestling god were in the ring and White beat Omega. A “you beat Kenny” chant started from the crowd.
Omega took the mic and nervously said that they will get back to this discussion. Callis and Omega went to the back and left Gallows and Anderson to continue the promo exchange. Anderson said that White should thank the Good Brothers for making the Bullet Club theme cool. Gallows said that White should thank the Good Brothers for leaving Japan for the US so that White and his friends could move up the card and earn a livable wage. Anderson said that White needs to be more thankful to the Good Brothers.
Gallows bragged about his and Anderson’s big houses and talked about White having a decent starter home. Anderson said the simple thing for White to do is thank the Bullet Club royalty standing in front of him in the ring now. White said all the Good Brother did back then was talk and they still only talk. White said that Anderson’s career peaked when he lost to Okada in the 2012 G1 final, and that the Good Brothers see White as everything that they wished they’ve been. White attacked the Good Brothers, but the Good Brothers dominated due to their two on one advantage.
The Good Brothers were about to hit White with a Magic Killer, but Chris Bey ran out for the save. White and Bey cleared the Good Brothers from the ring. White’s theme played to end the segment…
Gia Miller asked Josh Alexander what he was doing next after defending the title at Slammiversary. Alexander said nothing is going to change, he’s going to line up and knock down contenders. Alexander said Impact is where things need to change. Alexander said Impact needs to have a champion they can be proud of, Josh Alexander. Kenny Omega showed up and try to jaw with Alexander. Callis pulled Omega to the back…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Jay White has come a long way on the mic since his days as the bland dude from Ring of Honor (where he was in a bland faction with the Motor City Machine Guns). This felt like a segment that was more New Japan than Impact, but it was a damn good promo exchange. I felt it did drop a bit once the Good Brothers went into their stand-up routine, but it was still solid. Good first promo for White in Impact who came off as very eloquent and as a big star.
The Good Brothers cut a promo backstage to set up a future encounter between them and Bey and White…
Entrances for the next tag match took place…
3. “The Inevitable” Ace Austin and Madman Fulton vs. “FinJuice” Dave Finlay and Juice Robinson. Finlay and Robinson traded quick tags to dominate Austin with tandem moves. Fulton tagged in and turned the tide in the favor of his team heading into commercial.[c]
Fulton and Austin traded quick tags to keep Finlay isolated in their corner. Finlay tried to make a comeback, but he ate a Disaster Kick from Austin to give Austin a two count. Fulton and Austin went back to their isolation sequence. Finlay gave Austin a backdrop to tag in Robinson. Robinson gave Ace a cannonball while Finlay dumped Fulton to ringside. Robinson hit Austin with the Road Dogg punches. Fulton tried to hit Robinson with his End of Days like finisher, but Robinson rolled into a crucifix rollup to pick up the win.
FinJuice defeated Madman Fulton and Ace Austin via pinfall in 4:35.
Fulton and Ace attacked Robinson while he was gloating about his win. Eventually FinJuice got control again. FinJuice were about to hit Austin with a Doomsday Device, but Rohit Raju and Mahabali Shera ran out to give the heels a numbers advantage. Shera hit Finlay with a backbreaker. Austin hit Robinson with The Fold. The heels stood tall with Ace Austin’s theme playing. The camera zoomed to show that Madman Fulton was getting in the face of Mahabali Shera with Rohit Raju trying to break them apart…
John’s Thoughts: Good reintroduction of Finlay and Juice with a standard win. Finlay and Robinson do seem to be more acclimated to the Impact audience as regulars because they’ve gotten so much Impact TV time since Impact’s partnership with NJPW started (where the hell is El Phantasmo?). While I like giving FinJuice the win, I don’t like that it came at the expense of Austin and Fulton. I feel like Ace Austin has the potential to be a top heel face of the company, but they’ve stuck him in the midcard for months as a stepping stone that they don’t know what to do with.
Willie Mack and Rich Swann cut a promo backstage. The jist of it was them calling out Violent By Design. Mack was about to challenge VBD to a match, but the lights started flashing and Mack and Swann was ambushed by Violent By Design. Young got to the camera and said they found Swann and Mack, but next week then end them…
Gia Miller tried to interview Moose, but Moose marched over to bang on Scott D’Amore’s door. Moose said he had Chris Sabin beat on Saturday and Sabin got lucky. Moose wanted another match against Sabin. Sabin showed up and said that Moose doesn’t have to ask D’Amore for a fight because he’s always down to fight. D’Amore got in between them and said that they can’t have a match now, but rather in the main event of next week’s Impact show. Sabin agreed and said he can’t wait to beat Moose again…
Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown checked in on commentary. Striker noted that Steve Maclin wants better competition and he’s getting it on next week’s Before the Impact show where Steve Maclin will face Trey Miguel. The following matches were announced for next week’s Impact show: Deaner and Rhino vs. Mack and Swann and Jay White and Chris Bey vs. The Good Brothers…
John’s Thoughts: While I still prefer the Josh Mathews and D’Lo Brown announce team over the current one, Striker hasn’t been as annoying as he usually is on Impact. D’Lo is starting to assert himself a bit while Striker is toning down the hyperbole and condescending tone. That said, Striker does show glimpses of greatness only to revert to his old ways.
Entrances for the women’s tag team championship match took place. Striker noted that Havok is now a member of Decay…
4. “Decay” Rosemary and Havok (w/Black Taurus, Crazzy Steve) vs. “Fire N’Flava” Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz for the Impact Knockouts Tag Team Championships. Kiera got a victory roll on Rosemary early on for a two count. Kiera escaped an Exploder attempt to lead to a stalemate standoff. Kiera went at Rosemary which led to Rosemary hitting Kiera with a Sidewalk Slam for a two count. Havok tagged in and Kiera ate lariats from Havok and Rosemary at the same time.
Tasha tagged in and hit Havok with a gamengiri and top rope dive. Havok send Tasha flying after Tasha went for a bulldog. Havok got a two count on Tasha. Rosemary tagged in leading to Decay using power moves to keep Tasha isolated. Tasha eventually turned the tables on Rosemary. Fire N’ Flava traded tags to keep Rosemary under control. Rosemary got a bit of a breather by hitting Tasha with a Sling Blade. Tasha came back with a codebreaker for a two count. Fire N’Flava went back to the isolation game with quick tags. Rosemary got another window of opportunity after fending off Tasha with punches. Havok and Tasha tagged in with Havok having momentum. Havok gave Kiera a Face Wash, but Tasha avoided the Face Wash.
Tasha distracted Havok so Kiera could put her in a sleeper. Havok got to her corner and tagged in Rosemary. Rosemary hit Kiera with a modified Scorpion Death Drop for a two count. Kiera tried to superkick Rosemary, but she accidentally superkicked Tasha. Havok tagged in and held Kiera in place for Rosemary’s spear. Havok pinned Kiera for the victory.
Decay defeated Fire N’Flava via pinfall in 10:33.
The four members of Decay celebrated the win to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: A good match, but not necessarily the match that I would have put in a main event slot on Impact given that there wasn’t much doubt or compelling story here. I suspect that they might have put this match in the main event slot out of respect for Kiera Hogan who announced online that she has finished up her contract with Impact and will be exploring other options. I will always see Kiera Hogan as a missed opportunity in Impact Wrestling because I totally felt she could have been the plucky babyface face of the company if they allowed her to play the Fire character that she played early in her Impact run and in WOW. Kiera is SUCH a good wholesome babyface and I kinda hope she ends up in NXT where she has the potential to be one of WWE’s top babyfaces with that wholesome character.
As usual, Impact is not necessarily one of the most exciting of shows, but it’s still a very solid wrestling show week to week that leaves you feeling satisfied. This episode did focus less on Impact and more about Impact’s working relationships. That said the promo segments in this show were solid, especially with Jay White’s promo in the middle of the show (but I hope he really isn’t trying to put himself in a feud with Dave Finlay, who in the Impact universe is just a tag team wrestler).