By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at the Nashville Fairgrounds
Aired June 30, 2022 on AXS TV
Highlights from last week’s Impact Wrestling show aired. Gia Miller asked Scott D’Amore for a medical update on The Briscoes. D’Amore said the Briscoes aren’t medically cleared and can’t compete in their planned match against Honor No More. D’Amore said Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows need to find new partners…
John’s Thoughts: Wasn’t the injury angle done to Mark? Former Ring of Honor World Champion Jay Briscoe has been shown to be very capable without Mark in the past and could have stayed in the match. I thought they should have either clarified that Jay had a “injury” or at least say that Jay wanted to be by his brother’s side during a tough time.
James Storm told Chris Harris, Doc Gallows, and Karl Anderson to follow him because he had a crazy idea. James Storm and crew walked up to PCO. Storm noted to PCO that Honor No More treats PCO like he’s an inhuman monster. Storm said that the best thing for PCO is to join him and the Good Brothers at Against All Odds. Vincent walked in between Storm and PCO and told Storm that he’s trying to recruit the wrong monster. Vincent pointed out that he and PCO are wrestling Anderson and Gallows later on. Vincent said that “The only place for PCO is with Honor No More… Dig what I’m sayin’ man?”. PCO and Vincent walked off…
The show cut immediately to the ring where the x division wrestlers in the next match were already in the ring with Trey Miguel’s theme playing. Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt were on commentary. Dave Penzer was the ring announcer…
John’s Thoughts: Uhm? Another multi-man match? Are they still stuck in their nostalgic TNA trip (I’m partially kidding). Trey Miguel vs. Mike Bailey from a few weeks ago was a gem. More importantly, it was a singles match. Wouldn’t you be able to deliver more content if you put these wrestlers in “singles matches”. Hey, if you think you have “too many wrestlers” (which shouldn’t be a problem with Impact’s revolving door of wrestlers), why not take heavyweight Steve Maclin out and have in in a meaningful mid to upper card feud where he can get some character development?
1. Trey Miguel vs. Steve Maclin vs. Chris Bey vs. Laredo Kid for a shot at the Impact X Division Championship. The small wrestlers all dumped Maclin to ringside with Kid hitting Maclin with a springboard dive. Trey Miguel dominated the martial arts exchange. Kid entered the ring and hit Trey with strikes and a face buster bomb. Maclin planted Kid with a delayed Uranage. Maclin slowed down the pace with chops and a lariat on Kid. Trey hit Maclin with a Missile Dropkick.
Trey tangled himself in a Tree of Woe which allowed Maclin to hit Trey with a Tree of Woe spear. Bey broke up Maclin’s pin on Trey. Kid rallied with strikes on Maclin. Maclin slammed Kid to the mat. Mike Bailey was watching the match from the back. The smaller wrestlers continued to triple team maclin. Trey hit Maclin with a huracanrana to take him off the apron. Kid gave Trey and Maclin a suicide dive. Bey hit everyone with a Asai Moonsault.
Kid rolled up Bey for a two count. Bey hit Kid with a pop up cutter for a two count. Trey hit Bey with a uppercut to block a dive. Bey dodged a diving Meteora from Trey, but Trey continue to run and nail Bey with a running Meteora for the victory.
Trey Miguel defeated Chris Bey, Laredo Kid, and Steve Maclin via pinfall in 6:13 to earn a title shot for the Impact X Division Championship.
The camera showed X Division Champion Mike Bailey watching from the monitor…[c]
The show cut to Raven in a playground explaining the inspiration of his Clockwork Orange House of Fun match. He said it was all about fun and childhood games. He said he made the match to be cruel and inhumane. Raven said he knows Callihan and Moose will have fun. Raven said he hopes someone gets hurt real bad, quote the raven, nevermore…
John’s Thoughts: Violent childhood games? Did Scott Levy invent Squid Game before Squid Game? (Maybe a squid game would have been more interesting than “just another hardcore match”).
Tom Hannifan and Matt Rehwoldt checked in from the commentary table. Rehwoldt noted that Raven will be at Against All Odds to watch his Clockwork match. Hannifan plugged the Impact Plus show and ran through the advertised card. In the Team Impact w/ Two Mystery Partners vs. Honor No More match, PCO wasn’t in the Honor No More graphic…
John’s Thoughts: These Impact Plus shows seems to really hurt Impact creatively by forcing them to burn through matchups that should be on TV or PPV. Also, Honor No More vs. Team TNA w/ Two Mystery Partners again? Yeah, Honor No More needs to move on from being Honor No More. Also, did they already give away the PCO turn in the graphic. I’d be fine with that. He already wrestles babyface in singles matches anyway.
Madison Rayne and Tenille Dashwood joined Hannifan and Rehwoldt on commentary for the next match…
John’s Thoughts: Shaw’s been a heel, but with her coming out recently as a Transgender Woman, and the positive reception it’s gotten, I wonder if Impact should pivot immediately to having her be babyface? Also God Bless Giselle Shaw for coming out publicly 🙂 . While it shouldn’t be a tough thing which is what we would hope, there are a ton of hateful people out there (for some damn reason) to the point where you understand why people are afraid to reveal their true self. Again, God (with a capital G) bless Gisele and I’m happy for her.
2. Giselle Shaw vs. Impact Tag Team Champion Rosemary (w/Taya Valkyrie). Shaw and Rosemary traded waistlocks. Rosemary bit Shaw’s face. Shaw came back with a side headlock. Rosemary slammed Shaw several times into the buckle. Shaw retreated to ringside for a breather in front of the Influence duo.[c]
Shaw worked on Rosemary with methodical offense. Shaw tried to get a too sweet from Rayne and Dashwood. Hannifan was shocked and said “this isn’t Bullet Club?”. Shaw went back to the methodical offense. Rosemary avoided a draping knee and went back to biting the face of Shaw. Rosemary hit Shaw with an Exploder Suplex for a two count.
Shaw hit Rosemary with a springboard cutter for a two count. Rosemary reversed Shaw into an Eye of the Hurricane for a two count. Dashwood and Rayne shoved Taya into the ringpost which distracted Rosemary for a bit. This allowed Shaw to recover and block Rosemary’s spear with a running knee for the victory.
Giselle Shaw defeated Rosemary via pinfall in 5:50 of on-air time.
Giselle and The Influence continued to beat down Rosemary. They dumped Rosemary to ringside. Dashwood and Rayne held up Shaw’s arms while the Influence’s theme played…
John’s Thoughts: Decent enough match, but at the same time I’m still waiting to be impressed by Shaw. (If they don’t turn Shaw babyface) I wonder if they’re going to have Shaw fill in as the third member of the Influence in place of the departed Caleb Konley?
Gia Miller interviewed Mickie James and told Mickie that Purrazzo and Green don’t think James and Yim will have tag team chemistry at Against All Odds. Mickie said she’s beat Green by herself over and over again and Green only gets advantages when Matt Cardona’s around. Green and Purrazzo interrupted and noted that James is narcissistic and never mentioned Yim in her promo. James said she agrees that she has a problem fighting on her own. A brawl ensued. Green and Purrazzo had the initial advantage. Yim ran in to even the odds leading to the heels going in retreat. Yim and Mickie traded plesantries…
Taya and Rosemary were looking through a black silk bag for something. Rosemary pulled out some Lord of the Rings looking ring. Rosemary said some spell (ugh). After Rosemary said the “spell” Father James Mitchell “teleported” in (boooooo you Impact! BOOOOOOOOOOOO!). James Mitchell berated Rosemary for teleporting him because he was just about to have a menage a trois with a jezebel and a siren. Rosemary asked James where Havok was? Mitchell said he doesn’t know because Havok doesn’t participate in his debauchery. Rosemary said that Mitchell needs to pass a “all hands on deck” message along to Havok. Mitchell said he’s not sure if Havok wants to “return to this world”. Mitchell said he’d see what he could do. Rosemary snapped her fingers and he “teleported” away…
John’s Thoughts: While Horny James Mitchell did have some funny lines in there, I’m just done with Impact’s stupid Undead Realm and teleporting crap. I’m afraid Sami Callihan might start becoming a hacking wizard again. Also, why is it “All hands on deck” just to beat The Influence and Shaw? But BOOOOO TO IMPACT. F’n Teleportation. On one hand they can annoy someone like me, but on the other they can get someone who tuned into the channel to change the channel due to their cheap public access effect (they don’t have the expert cinematography that Lucha Underground did. Heck, they don’t even have Jeremy Borash’s cinematography).
Entrances for the next match took place…
3. Impact Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace vs. Savannah Evans (w/Tasha Steelz) in a non-title match. Evans tackled Grace to the corner early on. Grace turned the table with a forearm and flip out of the corner. Evans no sold Grace’s shoulder tackles. Grace ended up dumping Evans to ringside. After having to deal with Steelz a bit, Evans gave Grace a chokeslam on the apron. Evans tossed Grace into the ringpost. Evans got a two count in the ring.
Evans choked Grace in the corner and followed up with a spear. Grace escaped a butterfly suplex with chops. Evans put Grace into a Full Nelson. Grace escaped with a bulldog. Grace hit Evans with a backfist combo. Grace hit Evans with a Kinniku Buster for the victory.
Jordynne Grace defeated Savannah Evans in 3:46.
Hannifan noted how impressive it was to see Grace lift the larger Evans with a Muscle Buster and wondered if that meant that Steelz has no chance at Against All Odds…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Solid showcase for the new Knockouts champion. I wasn’t a fan of Grace picking up the title because she was so ice cold as a wrestler. In fact, I would have put the title on every single other person in that Queen of the Mountain match over her. Now that we’re here though, let’s hope they can make it work. They need to tell some actual stories, because right now based off how cold she was, she has no stories. I do like her winning with the Kinniku Buster, that’s a nice twist. Evans loses nothing in defeat because she is set in the role of Tasha’s heavy. She does impress me every time I see her in singles matches (her best match being against Mickie James). They might have a hidden gem on their hands with Savannah.
A Joe Doering introductory vignette aired that talked about Joe Doering being a legend in Japan, wrestling fellow legends like Satoshi Kojima, The Great Muta, and Minoru Suzuki. The random narrator reiterated that Joe Doering is unpinned and undefeated and may be Josh Alexander’s toughest challenge…
John’s Thoughts: That was a good video package, but a little too abrupt and late to make Doering feel like an absolute threat. Again, why are they burning through this match at Against All Odds. I’m praying for a screwy finish because they should make Joe Doering losing mean something. They haven’t even given the guy the singles run we’ve all been waiting for and it’s been multiple years at this point.
Gia Miller congratulated Josh Alexander for defending his title at Slammiversary. This was sitdown interview. For some reason there was loud background music. Josh had a red bruise on his head. Josh said winning at Slammiversary meant everything to him where he ushered in a new 20 years. Gia asked Josh if Josh thinks Eric Young sent Joe Doering to attack him after Slammiversary. Josh said nobody’s seen Eric Young since Slammiversary, so he’s not sure. Josh talked about Doering being and All Japan World Champion and even beating Josh once (via DQ). Josh said Doering is definitely his toughest challenge. Josh said he does wonder when Eric Young will show up again…
John’s Thoughts: Ok. So They’re laying it on thick that Eric Young will pop back up. I hope he pops up if only to preserve Joe Doering’s undefeated streak. THEN, Impact needs to dissolve Violent By Design and give Joe Doering the singles run we’ve been waiting for, for a long time.
Entrances for the next match took place. Rehwoldt noted that Storm told Chris Harris to stay backstage for his safety and health. Tom Hannifan noted that Karl Anderson is the New Japan Never Openweight Champion (oh, ok. That happened somehow)…
4. Impact Tag Team Champions “The Good Brothers” Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson (w/James Storm) vs. “Honor No More” PCO and Vincent (w/Eddie Edwards, Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, Maria Kanellis, Kenny King) in a non-title match. Anderson and Vincent started the match with Anderson tossing Vincent around the ring. PCO tagged in and beat down Anderson with methodical strikes. Vince gave Anderson a knee to the back. PCO and Vincent cut the ring in half on Anderson with quick tags. Hannifan noted that Vincent shares a bond with PCO due to Vincent being the person that “reanimated” PCO.
PCO hit Anderson with a deanimator on the apron for a two count. The isolation continued. Anderson got a window of opportunity with a spinebuster on Vincent. Gallows tagged in for a hot tag. Gallows hit Vincent with a flying shoulder tackle. PCO prevented the Good Brothers from hitting Vincent with a Magic Killer. Vincent hit Anderson with a Russian Legsweep. Vincent missed a Swanton Bomb on Anderson. Anderson rolled up Vincent for the win.
Karl Anderson defeated Vincent via pinfall in 5:18.
As expected, Honor No More put the boots to Gallows, Anderson, and Storm. Chris Harris ran out to get in between Honor No More and Storm (Uhm? Is Alex Shelley not around or something?). Taven said “who brought this guy” and told Harris to go home. For some reason, the evil Honor No More faction acted afraid to get near Chris Harris. Suddenly Heath [Slater] made his entrance as he slowly walked to the ring.
Heath had two pipes and handed Harris a pipe. Harris and Heath beat up all of Honor No More with pipes. Gallows and Anderson recovered and cleared most of the heels from the ring. Storm gave Taven a Last Call to leave him lying last. The babyfaces stood tall…
John’s Thoughts: Well, I guess they wanted to put heat on the babyface team, but this also lead to Honor No More taking yet another loss. It seems like non-Eddie Edwards members lose at the rate of 4 out of 5 matches, and barely any of their wins are clean. The post match stuff made them look even more hapless. They’re the “evil invading faction” but they were too afraid to beat down the retired Chris Harris. On top of that, they allowed Heath to slowly walk into the ring. On top of that, they get beat up by the retired Braden Walker and former WWE Smackdown lovable comedy guy Heath. Ugh, pull the plug on Honor No More. Someone teach Mike Bennett how to talk again because that guy was so good in Impact’s main event back in 2016. All the guys. Taven too! Vincent, eh, he can develop.
The Good Brothers, Storm, and Harris were rallying backstage. Heath said he’s one of the members of the Impact team. Harris said he was the other member. Storm tried to talk Harris out of it. Harris said that Storm told Harris that Harris is in his best mental and physical shape (Well? I don’t wanna sound mean, but? Uhm? Maybe Storm was just being nice?). Harris said that Storm, his wife, and his family want Harris to move on, but he can’t move on until he finishes this here. Storm said he came in together with Harris and they’ll go out together. Storm agreed to let Harris on the team and they all cheered…
John’s Thoughts: I mean? I get what they’re going for here? A nice swan song story, but this feels a bit forced. It doesn’t take a lot to beat Honor No More. I’m sure you can find a Willie Mack, Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Frankie Kazarian, Matthew Rehwoldt, D’Lo Brown, Super Commissioner Scott D’Amore, Steve Maclin (he hates Honor No More at least), Black Taurus, Bhupinder Gujjar. Hey, maybe they can find Jake Something or Rohit Raju off the street to help them. Seriously, Wouldn’t Harris be a liability?
Ace Austin and Chris Bey made their entrance with Ace’s theme now having Bullet Club graphics…
5. Ace Austin (w/Chris Bey) vs. Alex Zayne. Ace did his usual stalling to start the match. This led to Ace putting the boots to Zayne. Zayne gave Ace a tackle and headscissors takedown. Zayne hit Austin with a modified frankensteiner heading into commercial.[c]
Austin worked on Zayne with methodical offense in the ring. Zayne rallied back with punches and a clothesline. Zayne hit Austin with a sweep and Liger Kick for a two count. Zayne hit Ace with a Baja Blast. Ace rolled away from whatever the Cinnamon Twist is supposed to be. Ace escaped a Taco Driver attempt. Ace caught Zayne with punches and a gamengiri. Ace hit Zayne with a slingshot Frankensteiner. Ace hit Zayne with a Beautiful Disaster. Zayne blocked The Fold with a running knee.
Ace rolled to ringside to recover again. Bey tried to distract Zayne, but Zayne hit both Ace and Bey with an Asai Moonsault. The ref went to check on Ace which allowed Bey to hold on to the legs of Zayne. This distraction allowed Ace to nail Zayne with the Fold for the win.
Ace Austin defeated Alex Zayne via pinfall in 6:56 of on-air time.
John’s Thoughts: Wait? All of Zayne’s moves are named after Taco Bell food? What the hell is the Taco Driver? Does he have the Chalupa Bomb? Tbh, I got a kick out of Hannifan talking about Zayne’s taco bell offense. As for the match, it was fun while it lasted and they left room for a rematch with the dirty finish. I’m surprised companies haven’t really given Alex Zayne any sort of a push. WWE had him for a good while and used him as enhancement talent on all their shows. Other companies tend to have him look good in defeat too. I kinda think he’s a “better” version of Blake Christian (no knock on Christian, but Christian needs to improve his presentation). He can do all the things Blake can do, but he also has a good look and more personality.
Tom Hannifan and Matt Rehwoldt checked in from the commentary table. They ran through the advertised Against All Odds card which would happen the next day. Rehwoldt hyped Tama Tonga vs. Karl Anderson for the Never Openweight Title (which Hannifan told us earlier that Tama lost) and Shingo Takagi vs. Taichi on the NJPW AXS show. Hannifan sent the show to a trailer for the Danny Trejo movie that was sponsoring Against All Odds. Whatever this movie was, it had Danny Trejo shooting green laser beams out of his hand like he’s Johnny Cage…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Are they rushing out a PPV lineup because of the movie sponsorship? Well, I guess. I can’t blame them for hustling for that dolla.
Entrances for the main event took place. Hannifan noted that Traci Brooks and Frankie’s son were in the front row. Frankie’s son was wearing a Frankie “The Future” Kazarian T-shirt. Hannifan noted that this match was also Referee Brian Hebner’s last match as a referee…
6. Frankie Kazarian vs. Chris Sabin (w/Alex Shelley). Both men traded counters during the opening chain wrestling for a virtual stalemate. Sabin countered a Jackknife into a Crucifix rollup. Sabin hit Kazarian with a Victory Roll Driver and wheelbarrow slam. Sabin hit Kaz with a Dragon Screw and Figure Four. Kaz got to the bottom rope for the break. Kaz avoided a tackle and gave Sabin a guillotine leg drop on the apron. Kaz hit Sabin with a slingshot tackle. Kaz hit Sabin with a haymaker.
Kazarian hit Sabin with a running legsweep for a two count. Kaz gave Sabin clubbing blows to the back to set up a Fisherman Suplex for a two count. Kaz put Sabin in a butterfly stretch and got a two count off it. Kaz hit Sabin with a running axe handle clothesline. Sabin got Kaz with a Sunset Flip for a two count. Kaz tripped up Sabin on the apron. Kaz gave Sabin a STO into the ringpost. Shelley went to check on Sabin heading into the commercial. [c]
Kaz hit Sabin with a suplex for a two count. Kaz worked on Sabin with methodical offense. Sabin rallied back with forearms and a backdrop. Sabin hit Kaz with a DDT for a two count. Sabin dumped Kaz to ringside and hit him with a suicide dive which invoked “This is awesome” chants. Sabin hit Kaz with a crossbody for a two count. Sabin got a small package for a two count. Kaz hit Sabin with a sprinboard leg drop for a two count.
Sabin avoided a guillotine leg drop. Kaz blocked a Suicide Dive and hit Sabin with One Final Beat for a two count. Both men brawled to the top rope. Sabin shoved Kaz off. Both men traded counters. Kaz hit Sabin with a Northern Lights for a two count. Kaz went for a plancha but was caught by a superkick. Sabin hit Kaz with a Tornado DDT. Kaz yanked Sabin in off the slingshot and nailed him with a Cutter for a two count. Kaz called Sabin a “son of a bitch” and said he’s here to win.
Sabin countered Kaz into the Cradle Shock. Kazarian kicked out at two for a great nearfall. Sabin and Shelley sold shock. Kazaria crotched Sabin on the top rope. Kazarian hit Sabin with a Superplex, but Sabin hooked Kaz’s leg for a two count. Sabin hit Kaz with a superkick. both men traded flying kicks. Sabin no-sold a German Suplex and hit Kazarian with a “Clothesline from Hells, Michigan”. Sabin hit Kazarian with a Cradle Shock for the victory.
Chris Sabin defeated Frankie Kazarian via pinfall in 17:45 of on-air time.
Sabin, Shelley, and Kaz shook each other hands and held up arms to close the show…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A match that lived up to the hype. If you include commercials, that was close to half an hour, but the pacing and action made the match fly by in a good way and not feel like a drag. Impact’s been selling Team Impact vs. Honor No More for months but it’s felt more like an ode to Ring of Honor (minus Cary Silkin sitting at ringside). This was a great Ring of Honor or NXT Takeover style match that you can go out of your way to watch.
Impact has been giving Chris Sabin a lot of big wins for some reason? Heck, Chris Sabin pinned NJPW World Heavyweight Champion Jay White clean in a singles match on Impact TV (before White won the title of course, but still). On one hand, I like it. When Petey Williams was in the “Gatekeeper” role, he lost every match to the point where it made his matches missable. Is Sabin a “Gatekeeper”? Because they keep putting him over strong. Anyways, this week’s show was carried by the main event. The rest of the show was ok, but it felt like they tried to rush the build to an impromptu PPV-ish show the next day. I guess they have to make that Danny Trejo movie money.