By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Kissimmee, Florida at Osceola Heritage Park
Aired May 26, 2022 on AXS TV
Highlights from last week’s Impact Wrestling show aired…
Impact opened up with a TNA themed opening theme and video. Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt were on commentary. Dave Penzer was the ring announcer…
1. Alex Shelley vs. Trey Miguel for a spot in the Ultimate X Match at Slammiversary. The match started out with chain wrestling which lead to a stalemate. Both men traded side headlocks. Shelley hit Miguel with a shoulder tackle and chest chop. Miguel tripped up Shelley and hit Shelley wit a dropkick. Shelley avoided a baseball slide and gave Miguel a chop. Miguel came back with a Tiger Faint Kick. Shelley avoided Miguel’s Asai Moonsault. Shelley gave Miguel a strong chop.
Shelly did pushups in teh ring to showboat a bit. Shelley missed a chop and chopped the ringpost. This allowed Miguel to hit Shelley with a Triangle Moonsault. Shelley avoided a Swanton and gave Miguel a low dropkick to the calf. Shelley worked on Miguel’s right leg after tangling it in the ropes. Shelley worked on Miguel’s right leg with a tangled Dragon Screw submission. Miguel went for a comeback, but Shelley hit Miguel with a Dragon Screw. Shelley hit Miguel with a PK and put Miguel in a crossface.
Miguel broke the submission with a rope break. Miguel avoided a baseball slide and gave Shelley a standing senton. Miguel hit Shelley with a kick combination and a senton. Miguel hit Shelley with a DDT into a Dragon Sleeper. Shelley escaped and hit Miguel with a discus forearm. Shelley escaped a hold and hit Miguel with a double stomp fir a twi count. Shelley gave Miguel a STO into the turnbuckle. Both men traded fighting spirit forearms.
Shelley gave Miguel a series of shortarm chops. Shelley hyperextended Miguel’s elbow. Miguel came back with a CQC combo into a Scorpion Kick. Shelley avoided a meteora and hit Miguel with a clothesline to turn him inside out. Shelley hit Miguel with a Brainbuster for a two count. Shelley hit Miguel with an Air Raid Crash. Both men traded rollups. Miguel pinned Shelley with a crucifix rollup for the win.
Trey Miguel defeated Alex Shelley via pinfall in 12:31 to earn a spot in the Ultimate X Match at Slammiversary.
The Updated graphic aired to show the wrestlers that are currently in the Ultimate X Match…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A good technical cruiserweight match and nice change of pace from the usual rapid-fire spotfests we get in the X Division. Miguel’s a great wrestler and definitely deserves a push, but ever since he resigned with Impact Wrestling (and this includes his run as X Division Champion) Miguel has felt like complete filler in the X Division. They don’t give the guy any promo or character time and usually write X Division stories around him (and it feels like Speedball and Austin tend to get most of the focus). Because of this, I was kinda hoping Alex Shelley would win. Shelley is fun every time he returns and it would have been fresh to have the TNA original in Ultimate X rather than Miguel who tends to be in every multi-man X Division match in recent years.
Gia Miller interviewed The Briscoes and Josh Alexander about their upcoming match against Violent By Design. Mark talked about the Briscoes being the hottest tag team on the planet. Jay said it wasn’t right that VBD jumped him and his brother after they beat VBD fair and square for the titles. Alexander said he wants to send a message to Eric Young. He said Young may have held the title before, but Alexander is the future of the company. Alexander walked away.
Gallows and Anderson walked up to the Briscoes and said that they won’t be the best team in Impact unless they beat the Good Brothers. The Briscoes said they were game for a match…
Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in from the commentary table. They ran through the upcoming segments advertised for the show…
Entrances for the next match took place. A replay aired of last week’s standoff between Masha Slammovich and Jessika Havok…
2. Masha Slamovich vs. Havok (w/Rosemary). Masha and Havok traded slaps and forearms. Havok gave Masha a lariat in the corner. Masha gave Havok a wheel kick. Masha gave Havok a punch combo and an axe kick. Masha gave Havok a Snow Plow for the quick win.
Masha Slamovich defeated Havok via pinfall in 1:30.
Hannifan noted that Masha made quick work of a former Knockouts Champion. Rosemary sold shock and went to check on Havok. Steve and Black Taurus ran out and also sold shock over Havok’s quick loss…
John’s Thoughts: Wowzers! That one caught me off guard in a good way. That was the perfect way to book Masha. I honestly thought we were in for Masha’s first real match, but she ended up having one of her usual Squash Matches. On top of that it was credible that she squashed a former champion. Impact is doing a stellar job with Masha Slamovich and they’ve built up intrigue as to what her first “real” match is going to be. They gave us a tease here, but I like that they continue to show patience with her. They’re giving her the Asuka push, but at the same time credit to her for playing her part extremely well as Impact’s buzzsaw. Another thing I liked from the end of that match was Rosemary’s facial expressions selling the shock of the dominant Havok getting squashed. I hope that wasn’t a throwaway moment because it could be an impetus for Decay to get much needed character development after being cannon fodder for the longest time.
Trey Miguel high-fived random wrestlers, Alex Shelley, and Blake Christian backstage. Kenny King walked in to talk trash to Christian and Miguel. King said that Christian and Miguel can be something if they take advice from a veteran like him. Miguel said that if King is so confident in himself, then he should put his spot in Ultimate X on the line against an up-and-comer like Blake Christian. King said a nobody like Christian has no chance. King agreed to the match and walked off. Miguel and Christian laughed and Miguel said that they just tricked King via psychological warfare into putting something on the line…[c]
Rich Swann cut a promo backstage to hype up going against Matt Cardona for the Digital Media Champion. Swann also talked about how he’s going to get revenge on “The Drama King” Matthew Rehwoldt for eliminating him from the Gauntlet for the Gold…
John’s Thoughts: Rich Swann goes from one of the applauded champions when he was Impact’s world champion to being excited to wrestle for Impact’s version of the WWE 24/7 title (in terms of title prestige). That’s kinda sad. Swann is treating the title more real than Matt Cardona, who is at least being ironic about his title.
Entrances for the next match took place. Hannifan noted that this was a preview to the Queen of the Mountain match. Hannifan also noted that King/Queen of the Mountain is a “complicated” match…
John’s Thoughts: Well, at least Impact isn’t shying away from how convoluted the KOTM match is. Hannifan is gonna have a a task on his hands to try to explain the weird rules of this match.
3. Chelsea Green vs. Jordynne Grace. Grace hit Green with a shoulder tackle and body slam. Matthew Rehwoldt ran through the rulles of King of the Mountain. Grace hit Green with clinch knees and a draping neckbreaker. Green hit Grace with a gamengiri and cannonball. Green gave Grace a curb stomp into the bottom buckle. Green worked on Grace with methodical offense. Green got a window of opportunity after hitting Green with a spinebuster. Grace hit Green with a series of body slams.
Grace escaped a Unprettier attempt. Grace hit Green with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. Green escaped a Kinniku Buster attempt and hit Grace with an Elevated Flatliner for a two count. Grace rolled up Green for a two count. Grace hit Green with stiff lariats Green came back with a backfist. Grace escaped another unprettier attempt. Green escaped an Electric Chair. Grace hit Green with a Grace Driver for the win.
Jordynne Grace defeated Chelsea Green via pinfall in 7:52.
John’s Thoughts: A good match but I would have put some steam behind Chelsea Green this fresh in her heel turn. Impact really likes to take care of Jordynne Grace, but I feel like it’s going back to the well with her and she isn’t exactly the most exciting wrestler in Impact these days. Oddly enough, this might have been the best match I’ve seen Chelsea Green have in years, dating back to that match against Pentagon Dark that I keep hyping up, which was back in 2017. I say that because Green has not been able to wrestle many singles matches since then due to her chronic wrist injuries.
Scott D’Amore was crowded by the Honor No More faction. Mike Bennett said that Maria Kanellis was stuck at home due to being hurt in Impact (Bennett accidentally speared Maria last week). Bennett said that Impact is an unsafe working environment. Bennett proposed Honor No More vs. The Good Brothers so they can avenge Maria. D’Amore sarcastically agreed then pointed out that he already booked The Briscoes vs. Good Brothers for Slammiversary. Eddie Edwards said that if Honor No More doesn’t get what they want, nobody will…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Honor No More really needs some steam put behind them. The only guy who wins matches for them is Eddie Edwards. On top of that, most of Honor No More’s losses are due to them being bumbling and hapless due to their cheating backfiring. The only reason we should care so much is with Edwards, Bennett, Taven, and Maria, Honor No More has a lot of potential main event talent in their stable. Impact fans should be most surprised with Mike Bennett, who showed a lot of polish as a main event talker in his Impact run as “The Miracle”. Now he’s back to playing second fiddle to his wife yet again (Again, I totally understand why. Maria is one of the greatest talkers in all of pro wrestling, but Mike showed that he’s pretty damn good too. I don’t like him carrying his “generic wrestling guy” gimmick from 205 Live here). Let’s bring back “The Miracle” at least. Matt Taven is criminally underutilized too, but at least that’s stopping him from making sex puns and shoehorning the world “Melvin” (which doesn’t mean anything) in every segment.
Gia Miller interviewed Deonna Purrazzo and noted that Mia Yim has been targeting Deonna specifically since Mia came back to Impact. Deonna noted that everyone who shows up in Impact tries to make a name for themselves off her. Tasha Steelz and Savannah Evans interrupted. Tasha noted that she made history by winning the first women’s Ultimate X match. Tasha said that while they’re not friends, they both have a common enemy in Mia Yim. Tasha invited Deonna to ringside for next week’s Savannah Evans vs. Mia Yim match to help her get rid of their Mia Yim problem…
Entrances for the next match took place. Tom Hannifan ran through Kazarian’s long history in Impact…
4. Chris Sabin vs. Frankie Kazarian. Kaz landed a shoulder block for a two count. Kaz kept Sabin under control with a side headlock. Sabin escaped with an armdrag. Both men traded quick rollups for rapid fire nearfalls. Kaz slowed the match back down with a side headlock. Sabin backdroped Kaz to ringside and Hannifan noted that Kaz might have caught his face on the apron. Sabin and Kaz traded chops. Sabin shoved Kaz into the ringpost. Sabin gave Kaz a PK. Sabin gave Kaz a crossbody for a two count.
Sabin hit Kaz with a few suplexes for a few two counts. Sabin put Kazarian in a sleeper which Kazarian escaped. Kaz rolled up Sabin for a two count and Sabin came back with a follow-through lariat. Sabin put Kaz in a straitjacket hold. Kaz got to his feet. Sabin hit Kaz with a German Suplex. Kaz hit Sabin with a body slam and springboard legdrop for a two count. Kazarian hit Sabin with a guillotine leg drop. Kaz hit Sabin with One Final Beat for a two count. Sabin staggered Sabin with a dropkick and Yakuza Kick. Sabin hit Kaz with a Tornado DDT for a two count.
Kaz went high risk and Sabin jumped up to nail Kazarian with a Super Twisting German Suplex. Both men took each other out with mirror crossbody blocks. While both men were writhing on the ground in pain, Eddie Edwards and Honor No More ran out and put the boots to both opponents for the no contest.
Chris Sabin vs. Frankie Kazarian ended in an apparent no-contest in 10:17.
PCO is hanging out with Honor No More again. Honor No More put more boots on both men in the ring. Honor No More posed to end the segment…
John’s Thoughts: It’s very astonishing that 20 years ago when we watched guys like Sabin, Kazarian, and Shelley on ROH and Impact, that they were the acrobatic spot-fest guys that were innovating pro wrestling. Fast forward to 20 years later, and these guys are the ones taking their time in slower methodical matches (it also makes me feel old, referencing watching these guys have matches 20 years ago on Impact and ROH. At the same time, I was in Middle School at the time so it’s not that bad). The match was good for the time given, and it’ll be fun to see if they go back to this given more time. Looks we’re going to get Kaz and Sabin in some form against some configuration of Honor No More. Because of his history with TNA and connection to Kaz, I wonder if they’ll add Fallen Angel Chris Daniels to this mix? (Yes, I know there was an AEW stip, but Impact fans don’t know about that).
The Honor No More faction took turns about how they are currently being disrespected by the company celebrating their 20 year anniversary, Impact/TNA. Heath [Slater] and Rhino walked up to Honor No More. Heath talked about how he relates to Honor No More in getting fired from the last company they were all in. Heath said that Honor No More needs to be more grateful because Impact gave them all a new home. Heath said that Honor No More are all ungrateful pieces of crap. Rhino said that Impact gave him an opportunity to challenge for the world title back in 2005 and he gored his way to the top. Security guards ran-in and got in between the arguing teams…
It was time for this week’s contractually obligated Bhupinder Gujjar segment (at least I feel like these segments are contractually obligated)…
5. Raj Singh and “The Indian Lion” Mahabali Shera vs. W Morrissey and Bhupinder Gujjar. Bhupinder gave Raj and dropkick, Sling Blade, and leg drop. Morrissey tagged in and gave Raj a body slam. Gujjar tagged back in and gave Raj a slingshot elbow. Shera gave Bhupinder a roundhouse. Raj gave Bhupinder snake eyes. The heels put the boots to Bhupinder when the ref was distracted with Morrissey. Shera worked on Bhupinder with methodical offense. Raj hit Bhupinder with paydirt for a two count.
Bhupinder managed to hit Raj with a power slam so he could tag in Morrissey who cleaned house. Morrissey dumped Shera to ringside with a boot and lariat. Bhupinder hit Shera with a dive. Morrissey hit Raj with a choke slam. Bhupinder hit Raj with a second rope spear for the win.
Bhupinder Gujjar and W Morrrissey defeated Raj Singh and Mahabali Shera via pinfall in 5:17.
John’s Thoughts: Well, that was easy enough. I’m okay if they move on because there was nothing really compelling about this feud to begin with. I do think that Morrissey is coming off well as the giant babyface. Bhupinder Gujjar is also getting better every time we see him. He’s Impact’s version of NXT’s Von Wagner, where they threw him out on TV before being ready despite having an amazing look. He’s getting there, but he does need to add a little spice to his vanilla presentation. I would also have him pick a better finisher because the 2nd rope spear is more contrived than compelling.
Josh Alexander and the Briscoes were warming up backstage…[c]
A Slammiversary ad aired which focused on Josh Alexander vs. Eric Young…
Gia Miller interviewed Moose about his and Maclin’s match vs. W Morrissey and PCO. Miller also noted that Sami Callihan has been coming after Moose. Moose noted that the last time he and Callihan were in the ring, Callihan was put on a stretcher and put out of action for over a year. Steve Maclin walked up to Moose and said that he prefers to fight alone, but they need to be on the same page. Maclin said that Moose needs to get Sami out of his head. Moose said that Sami isn’t in his head. The feed got distorted and Moose acted paranoid. Maclin said that Sami is in Moose’s head and Moose needs to get him out…
Entrances for the next match took place…[c]
6. “Violent By Design” Eric Young, Joe Doering, and Deaner vs. Impact World Champion Josh Alexander and Impact Tag Team Champions “The Briscoes Brothers” Jay and Mark Briscoe. Alexander dominated the early chain wrestling sequence on Deaner. Alexander no-sold Deaner’s shoulder tackle and gave him a few armdrags. Jay tagged in and stompped a mudhole in Deaner. Mark tagged in and hit Deaner with methodical strikes. Mark and Deaner had a chop battle. Deaner dragged Mark to VBD’s corner to tag in EY.
Mark backdropped Young and tagged in Jay. Jay gave EY a snap suplex. The Briscoes traded quick tags and gave Young a double shoulder tackle. Jay gave Young a Yakuza Kick. Alexander gave Deaner’s back a crossbody. Jay did a flip dive to catch VBD at ringside. Mark hit VBD with a Triangle Phoenix Splash.[c]
Alexander hit EY with an axe handle strike and ten punches in the corner. EY tangled Alexander in the ropes so Deaner could nail him with an axe handle lariat. Young tagged in allowing him and Deaner to boot Josh in the head. VBD traded quick tags to cut the ring in half on Alexander. Alexander managed to hit Deaner with a Northern Lights for a two count. Young tagged in to continue the quick tag isolation game on Alexander. Alexander got a moment of respite after hitting Deaner with a knee to the back of the neck. Mark and Young tagged in with Mark having the momentum.
Jay tagged in and hit Young with a Yakuza kick. Mark hit Young with Froggy Bow. Deaner broke up Jay’s pin. Jay caught Young with a leg lariat. The Briscoes hit Deaner with a Razor’s Edge neckbreaker combo to give Mark a two count. The Birscoes went for a doomsday device on Deaner. Young hit Mark with the VBD flag. Deaner tossed Jay to ringside. Deaner hit Mark with the Deaner DDT. Alexander broke up Deaner’s pin. Young escaped a Jay Driller attempt from Josh. Doering hit Alexander with a crossbody.
Mark escaped EY and Deaner’s Doomsday Device attempt. Mark crotched Deaner and gave him a palm strike. Deaner hit Mark with Eric Young’s hockey mask to escape a Superplex attempt. Young hit Mark with a Pile Driver for the win.
Violent By Design defeated The Briscoes Brothers and Josh Alexander via pinfall in 13:39 of on-air time.
Young and Violent By Design posed at the top of the stage to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: A fun six person tag match with the usual fun Briscoes mayhem at the end of the match. I totally understand the booking as Eric Young needs some heat put on him heading into his world title challenge. That said, Violent By Design as a collective act has been dead in the water for a while. That’s what happens when you have a never-ending feud with Heath and Rhino over nothing. I don’t think they’ll be able to make EY into a credible opponent come Slammiversary and they probably should have put someone else in that slot. Heck, I feel like someone like Alex Shelley or Frankie Kazarian have more steam than Eric Young (and Young’s a stellar main eventer for this company. Look at his run against Rich Swann last year. VBD’s just ice cold).
As usual, Impact is staying away from their old bad habits. I like that even though they’re celebrating their tumultuous TNA history, they haven’t fallen back into their bad TNA habits. No lame casinos, no zombies, and teleportations are being kept to a minimum by Impact standards. This show is simply a fun weekly pro wrestling show.