By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Newport, Kentucky at PromoWest Pavilion
Aired May 12, 2022 on AXS TV
Commentators Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt started off Impact Wrestling from inside of the ring. Dave Penzer was the ring announcer. Hannifan introduced the Gauntlet for the Gold which will determine the number one contender to the Impact World Championship. A highlight package aired to hype Gauntlet for the Gold, which featured classic TNA footage…
Matt Rehwoldt tried to give more hype to the match, but he was cut off by Kenny King and Honor No More making their entrance. Rehwoldt and Hannifan sat down at the commentary table. Maria Kanellis joined the announce table for the next match. Hannifan wished Maria a happy Mother’s Day.
Chris Bey made his entrance. Honor No More and Bullet Club accompanied King and Bey to the stage, but then went to the back. Hannifan noted that Bullet Club and Honor No More were banned from ringside. Footage aired of Honor No More defeating Bullet Club at Under Siege via a distraction from Maria Kanellis…
1. Kenny King vs. Chris Bey to qualify for the Ultimate X Match at Slammiversary. The match started off with chain wrestling. King landed a hip toss on Bey and Bey came back with an arm drag. Bey gave King a front dropkick to send him to ringside. King walked to the side to prevent Bey from hitting a dive. Bey caught King with a wrecking ball kick. King tossed Bey back in the ring and Bey caught King with a Tope Con Hilo. Bey went high risk, but King tripped Bey off the top rope.
King hit Bey with a Shotgun Dropkick for a one count. Bey got a two count reversing a Full Nelson into a victory roll. King hit Bey with a power slam for a two count. King hit Bey with a body slam, but Bey avoided a slingshot leg drop. Bey hit King with a series of methodical strikes to stagger him. Bey caught King with a diving clothesline. Bey hit King with a reverse TKO for a two count. King hit Bey with a chin checker and Tiger Driver for a two count.
Bey escaped a fireman carry and caught King with a flip dropkick. Bey went for a springboard cutter, but King shook the ropes to trip him. The referee wouldn’t count King’s pin because King had his hand on the rope for leverage. Bey caught King with a Slingshot DDT for a nearfall. After trading counters, Bey caught King with a delayed Sliced Bread. Maria distracted Bey when Bey went high risk, which allowed King to catch Bey with a rising palm and enzuigiri. King hit Bey with the Royal Flush for the win.
Kenny King defeated Chris Bey via pinfall in 8:26 to qualify for the Ultimate X match at Slammiversary.
Tom Hannifan wasn’t happy that Maria got involved in to Honor No More wins in a row…
John’s Thoughts: This match was well paced and slower than expected from two X Division wrestlers, in a good way. What’s interesting is they’re finally giving Honor No More wins as a group as opposed to just giving the wins to Eddie Edwards. Bennett picking up the win on Bullet Club and King picking up the win this week are two good momentum building wins for Honor No More (Maria’s distractions led to both wins, but that leads to her effectiveness at ringside).
Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in from the commentary table. Hannifan hyped more qualifying matches for the Slammiversary Ultimate X match. Hannifan noted that Josh Alexander’s opponent at Slammiversary will be chosen via this week’s Gauntlet for the Gold. Hannifan and Rehwoldt then ran through some upcoming segments…
The show cut to Alisha Edwards banging on the personal locker room door of Giselle Shaw, who is her tag team partner this week. Show walked out and called Edwards bossy. Edwards said they need to hustle for the upcoming match…[c]
2. “The Influence” Madison Rayne and Tenille Dashwood vs. Giselle Shaw and Alisha Edwards for the Impact Knockouts Tag Team Championships. Edwards went for pin attempts early on. Shaw tagged in. The challengers gave The Influence stereo Thesz presses heading into commercial.[c]
Shaw and Edwards cut the ring in half on Dashwood with quick tags. Edwards knocked Rayne off the apron. Rayne held Alisha’s leg so Dashwood could hit Edwards with a draping neckbreaker. Dashwood got a two count. Dashwood worked on Edwards with methodical offense. The Influence used tags and cut the ring in half on Edwards. This lasted for a few minutes. Alisha got a window of opportunity after giving Rayne a enzuigiri. This allowed her to tag in Shaw for the hot tag.
Shaw tossed Rayne to the corner and dumped Dashwood to ringside. Shaw hit Rayne with a draping DDT for a two count. Rayne tossed Shaw’s face into the turnbuckle. Edwards tagged in and hit Rayne with a basement Flatliner. Dashwood broke up Alisha’s pin. Dashwood shoved Edwards when the referee tried to keep Shaw out of the ring. Rayne shoved Edwards into Shaw to stagger Shaw. The Influence gave Edwards a double leg sweep to give Dashwood the win for her team.
The Influence defeated Alisha Edwards and Giselle Shaw via pinfall in 7:10 of on-air time to retain the Impact Knockouts Championship.
John’s Thoughts: Solid win for the tag champions, but I feel like with the IInspiration gone, there is less interest in the women’s tag team division, especially if Taya Valkyrie is going to stick around and keep the AAA Women’s title in play. I also feel like the Influence as an act will take a step back with Caleb Konley no longer a part of their act (and he was the most entertaining member of the Influence).
The show cut to a Violent By Design promo. Eric Young did one of his usual rhetorical promos, focused on Young saying that VBD will both take the tag titles back from the Briscoe Brothers as well as Young potentially winning Gauntlet for the Gold…[c]
Gail Kim was in the ring. She hyped up Slammiversary being a 20 year anniversary for TNA/Impact. Kim announced that there will be a historic first-ever Queen of the Mountain match. Kim talked about King of the Mountain being a staple in the company. She announced Tasha Steelz, Chelsea Green, Jordynne Grace, and Deonna Purrazzo as in the match. Before Kim could announce the last wrestler of the match, Knockouts Champion Tasha Steelz and Savannah Evans made their entrances to interrupt Kim.
Tasha claimed that Kim was conspiring to do anything to take the title off of Steelz. She said it might be because she beat the last of Kim’s generation, Mickie James, twice. Tasha said she assumed that Savannah Evans was in the Queen of the Mountain match. Kim said that only former champions are allowed in the match. Kim announced that Mia Yim (f.k.a. Jade) was in the Queen of the Mountain match. Steelz threw a fit, saying that Yim was cutting the line.
Steelz and Evans intimidated Kim. The lights went off and when the club lights came on there were masked dancers on the stage. Mia Yim made her entrance to attack Steelz and Evans. Yim gave both opponents dropkicks. Deonna Purrazzo ran out to put the boots to Yim. The heels all put the boots to Yim. Taya Valkyrie and Jordynne Grace ran out to even the odds. Yim planted Purrazzo with a German Suplex. Grace planted Steelz with a spinebuster. Valkyrie dumped Evans to ringside. Yim, Grace, and Valkyrie stood tall in the ring while Grace’s theme played. Hannifan hyped up Queen of the Mountain…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Maybe the TNA diehards will be hyped about “Queen of the Mountain”, but I can’t say I’m too excited. I’m assuming this also means we’re getting King of the Mountain too isn’t it (which may or may not feature an obligatory return of Jeff Jarrett). King of the Mountain was just one of the most convoluted match concepts in the history of pro wrestling. It involved penalty boxes, Jeremy Borash walking around the ring with a title belt, you have to take the title from him and climb up the ladder to hang it, then you have to bring the title down. Mike Tenay always seemed to have the unfortunate task of trying to explain this convoluted match. I mean, I guess because celebrating TNA is this year’s Slammiversary theme, then I guess this makes sense. If they’re also celebrating TNA, then every match at Slammiversary must include a mandatory REF BUMP!!!
Gia Miller interviewed Rich Swann about Gauntlet for the Gold. Swann talked about how he’s a former world champion who never got his rematch for the title. Swann talked about everyone wanting to main event Slammiversary. Swann talked about Matt Cardona claiming his Digital Media title is a World Title. Swann said he would like to get that title himself so Cardona better watch his back. Swann said as for the Gauntlet, he’s willing to fight “All Night Long” (a reference to Swann’s Lionel Richie based catchphrase)…
Entrances for the next match took place. Hannifan noted that the rest of Bullet Club was banned from ringside, just like the opening match. Highlights from Alexander vs. Ishii at Under Siege aired…
3. “Bullet Club” Jay White and El Phantasmo vs. Tomohiro Ishii and Impact World Champion Josh Alexander. White teased wrestling Alexander, but quickly tagged in Phantasmo. Alexander and Phantasmo started the match with methodical chain wrestling. White tagged in and asked for Alexander to tag in Ishii. Ishii tagged in. Ishii no-sold White’s shoulder tackles. White landed a knee and clubbing blows on Ishii. Ishii no-sold a forearm and punches.
Ishii staggered White wtih a right hand and shove. Ishii gave Phantasmo a shove too. White managed to float over and hit Ishii with a Spike DDT. Phantasmo attacked Alexander at ringside. Phantasmo and Phantasmo took turns giving Ishii back rakes. Bullet Club cut the ring in half on Ishii, which included more back rakes. Ishii no sold White’s chop and gave White a power slam. Phantasmo and Alexander tagged in with Alexander having momentum.
Alexander hit Phantasmo with two German Suplexes. Alexander put Phantasmo in an Ankle Lock. White tried to hit Alexander with a Blade Runner, but Alexander countered and hit White with a Jay Driller. Phantasmo rolled up Alexander with a hand full of tights for a two count. Phantasmo hit Alexander with a lionsault for a two coutn. Alexander backdropped Phantasmo. Ishii tagged in and escaped Phantasmo’s suplex to give Phantasmo a German Suplex. White tripped Ishii. Alexander tripped Phantasmo and punched White off the apron. Alexander hit hit Phantasmo wtih a power bomb. Ishii followed up with a lariat. Ishii hit Phantasmo with a Brainbuster for the win.
Tomohiro Ishii and Josh Alexander defeated El Phantasmo and Jay White via pinfall in 10:41.
Ishii and Alexander celebrated their win…[c]
John’s Thoughts: This was a good clash between the babyface-style vs. the heel Bullet Club style (as opposed to the more dynamic BeyBlade tag team). A lot of times the Strong Style no-selling can be overdone, but when Ishii is the only one doing it in Impact, it makes Ishii stand out as unique. As good as this match was, I’m not sure where it leads. I don’t think Ishii is sticking around for the long haul. They randomly threw the World Champion in the middle of a Impact TV show out of nowhere? Maybe we’ll find out later why they decided to put this random match together?
Impact Tag Team Champions Mark and Jay Briscoe hyped up Slammiversary. Jay talked about how Joe Doering and Deaner will be invoking their rematch for the tag titles next week…
Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in from the commentary table and announced the upcoming segments for next week: The Briscoe Brothers vs. Joe Doering and Deaner for the Tag Team Championships, Laredo Kid vs. Mike Bailey, A Six Person Women’s Tag Team Match. and Mike Bennett and Matt Taven vs. The Good Brothers. Rehwoldt hyped up Jon Moxley vs. Will Ospreay and Tomohiro Ishii vs. Minoru Susuki for the New Japan on AXS show…
A graphic aired to explain the rules for Gauntlet for the Gold. It’s essentially Royal Rumble rules with the last two wrestlers having a singles match…
Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley were the first wrestlers in the Battle Royal. Hannifan noted that Ken Shamrock won the inaugural Gauntlet for the Gold for the NWA-TNA Championship and Gail Kim was the first woman to win Gauntlet for the Gold…[c]
4. Gauntlet for the Gold for a shot at the Impact World Championship. Sabin and Shelley started the match with chain wrestling. Both men started at a stalemate. Shelley dominated the next chain sequence. Sabin and Shelley continue to trade advantages. The countdown appeared as Eddie Edwards made his entrance to join the Battle Royal. Eddie took his time walking to the ring. The Machine Guns double teamed Eddie. Eddie got the advantage after hitting both opponents with eye pokes and headbutts.
Sabin hit Eddie with a DDT and Shelley Eddie with a dropkick. Eddie took down the Guns with strikes. Sabin hit Eddie with an enzuigiri. The Honor No More theme played as Vincent came out as the next member of the Battle Royal. Eddie wrestled Sabin while Vincent wrestled Shelley. The Guns took down Eddie with swarming strikes. The Guns took down Vincent with stereo Enzuigiris. The countdown appeared as Steve Maclin made his entrance.
Maclin gave both Guns backbreakers. Maclin got in Eddie’s face. Maclin decided to put Sabin in the corner and Shelley in the Tree of Woe. He gave both opponents a spear. Vincent hit Shelley with a Swanton. The heels tried to eliminate the Guns. The countdown appeared. The bootleg Stone Cold theme played, as TNA Original Shark Boy made his entrance. Shark Boy gave Maclin a Stunner. Honor No More took down Shark Boy. The Guns gave Vincent stereo superkicks. The Guns hit Eddie with swarming attacks. Shark Boy gave Honor No More a double stunner.[c]
Shark Boy was seemingly eliminated and Raj Singh was already in the ring. Bhupinder Gujjar made his entrance. Gujjar gave Raj a kick. The picture-in-picture showed that Eddie Edwards eliminated Shark Boy. Trey Miguel was also shown to have joined the match. All the wrestlers brawled. Gujjar eliminated Singh with a dropkick. The countdown appeared as Mahabali Shera made his entrance. Shera won the punch exchange with Gujjar.
John’s Thoguhts: Looks like they put their seemingly-contractually-obligated weekly Bhupinder Gujjar spotlight in this match.
Shera tackled Gujjar into the corner while everyone continued to brawl. The countdown appeared as W Morrissey made his entrance. Hannifan noted that Morrissey has the Impact handicap match record by beating 9 wrestlers all at once. Morrissey cleaned house. Morrissey eliminated Shera and Vincent in quick fashion. The countdown appeared again. Former Impact Champion Eric Young made his entrance. Young hit Morrissey in the head with a hockey mask. Young gave Morrissey a pile driver.
Gujjar ducked Young’s hockey mask. Young blocked an Irish Whip by flying over the top rope. Young dumped Gujjar to ringside, but Gujjar skinned the cat. Gujjar tried to give Young a huracanrana, but Young shoved Gujjar down to eliminate him. The brawling ensued. The countdown appeared again as Johnny Swinger made his entrance. Zicky Dice rolled out Swinger on a dolly that was made to look like a mini ring. Young quickly eliminated Swinger. Swinger walked away doing the Bushwhackers walk.[c]
Rhino gave Eddie Edwards a Gore as he entered the match. Sabin dumped Eddie over the top rope to eliminate him. At this point, Black Taurus and Heath [Slater] were in the match. The picture-in-picture showed that Eddie eliminated Shelley while Maclin eliminated Trey Miguel. The brawling continued. The countdown appeared again as former Impact Champion Moose entered the Battle Royal. Moose used a backdrop to eliminate Taurus. Moose then quickly eliminated Rhino. Heath tried to eliminate Moose, but Moose used a handstand to leverage in the ring.
Moose ran the ropes and eliminated Heath by dumping him to ringside. Rehwoldt noted Moose’s three quick eliminations. Rich Swann was the next wrestler in the match. Swann gave Moose a Buzzsaw Kick. Moose recovered and pressured Swann to the corner. Swann used kicks to fight out of the corner.
Swann hit Moose with a Lethal Injection. Swann tried to eliminate Young, but Young gave Swann a low blow. Matt Cardona’s theme played but Hannifan noted that Cardona was on his wedding honeymoon. Matthew Rehwoldt entered the match from the commentary table and eliminated Rich Swann.
John’s Thoughts: Did Swann piss someone off backstage? Swann’s usually a highlight in longer ironman-type matches and I remember his classic series of matches against Michael Elgin. Now the former champ quickly gets eliminated by the color commentator for a cup of coffee in this match? Due to Cardona’s theme playing, I’m assuming they’re setting up Swann vs. Cardona for the Digital Championship toy belt.
Rehwoldt said “The Drama King is back!” Rehwoldt put the boots to Sabin and tried to eliminate him. Sabin punched Rehwoldt away. Young and Rehwoldt put the boots to Sabin. The countdown appeared again as PCO made his entrance. PCO has his own entrance theme now. Tom Hannifan ensured the viewers that he’s not in the match. PCO cleaned house. PCO hit Maclin with a spike DDT. PCO tossed Rehwoldt to eliminate him. W Morrissey appeared out of nowhere. Hannifan noted that Morrissey was out of the match temporarily due to being checked on by the medics after getting hit with a pile driver from Eric Young.
PCO got in Morrissey’s face. Maclin came out of nowhere to dump both Morrissey and PCO over the top rope to eliminate both men. Moose cleaned house. The lights went out and came back on. Sami Callihan appeared and hit Moose with the bat. Sami Callihan dumped Moose over the top rope to elimiante him. Callihan walked to the back. Hannifan noted that Moose put Callihan on the shelf. Young got in Maclin’s face and the two agreed to put the boots to Sabin.
Sabin came back by hitting both opponents with a lariat. Sabin ran off Maclin and hit Young with a Tornado DDT. Sabin gave Maclin a jawbreaker and used two dropkicks to eliminate Steve Maclin. The bell rang for the singles match between Eric Young and Chris Sabin. Young gave Sabin a body slam and elbow drop for a two count. Young gave Sabin a stiff discus lariat for a two count. Sabin recovered and hit Young with a Tornado DDT for a nearfall.
Young escaped a Cradle Shock. Sabin escaped a pile driver for a small package tow count. Young raked Sabin’s eyes during a cradle shock attempt. Young hit Sabin with a piledriver for the win.
Eric Young defeated Chris Sabin via pinfall in 19:30 of total on-air time to win Gauntlet for the Gold and become number one contender to the Impact World Championship.
Joe Doering and Deaner ran out to stand by Young. Hannifan closed the show by plugging the Slammiversary pay-per-vew and the Josh Alexander vs. Eric Young match for the Impact World Championship…
John’s Thoughts: This was a well paced out Battle Royal match. We saw a women’s battle royal about a month or so ago that was horrible due to the lack of storytelling and quick eliminations. This was a fun royal rumble style of match with mini-stories throughout (Odd that they decided to quickly eliminate Swann though by having the color commentator do it). I’m okay with Young winning. Because Slammiversary is a celebration of TNA this year, it would make sense to have the TNA original on the roster to go against Alexander. I’m surprised they couldn’t find someone else not in the company to win this match (Like James Storm or someone similar).
Impact continues to put on solid no-nonsense wrestling on a week to week basis. I was afraid last week. Impact brought back some teleporting and Undead Realm, and I was like “Hell naw!” Thankfully, we got back to business. Hey, there was even a fun Johnny Swinger moment in this Battle Royal.