Impact Wrestling – June 28, 2018

Impact Wrestling
Date: June 28, 2018
Location: St. Clair College, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Don Callis

We’re getting closer and closer to Slammiversary and the card is really starting to take shape. One of the matches though appears to be Eddie Edwards vs. Tommy Dreamer, which means more of Dreamer talking about stuff that happened twenty years ago and how much he loves wrestling. That’s all well and good, if you ignore the fact that he’s done it for more than half of his career. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of last week’s big stories, including Konnan returning and being suspicious of King, Edwards going insane, Madison Rayne becoming #1 contender and OVE vs. Pentagon Jr./El Hijo Del Fantasma.

Opening sequence.

Here’s Rayne for a chat. She never intended to get back in the ring but now it’s all about creating moments. The biggest moment she could create would be to become the Knockouts Champion again. Sure she’s afraid of Su Yung, but she’s told her daughter to not be afraid of monsters. She’s coming to Slammiversary not as a mom, but as the five time Knockouts Champion.

This brings out Tessa Blanchard to say it’s not 2011 anymore. Tessa rants about being a third generation diamond of professional wrestling so Madison mocks her for telling us that over and over. A fight nearly breaks out but the lights flicker and Yung’s laughter is heard, allowing Tessa to drop her with a forearm. Tessa is awesome and while the Rayne story makes sense, I’m not really caring about what she’s saying.

Rich Swann vs. Trevor Lee

Swann is looking and acting exactly as he did in WWE. It’s a pose/dance off to start with Swann turning the test of strength into more dancing. There’s a flip over Lee as we have no contact in the first minute. A dropkick sends Lee outside though and more dancing takes us to a break. Back with Swann kicking him between the shoulders but getting dropped throat first onto the top rope.

Lee knocks Swann into the corner and chokes a bit as we’re told that it’s Blanchard vs. Rayne later tonight. Swann avoids a charge in the corner though and snaps off some dropkicks into a headscissors to the floor. That means the big flip dive to drop Lee again but his running double stomp gets two. Not that it matters as Swann hits his spinning kick to the head, followed by the reverse hurricanrana and the Phoenix splash for the pin at 12:40.

Rating: C+. If you liked Swann in WWE, you’ll like him here too as he’s doing the exact same thing. That’s a nice pickup as Swann has charisma and the fans love him, not to mention the division needs a top face star which Swann could certainly be. That being said, given how often the division needs some fresh blood, there might be far bigger problems at the moment.

We see OVE attacking Pentagon at a PCW show in Los Angeles. They take off his mask but Pentagon falls on his face, which Sami doesn’t care to expose to anyone.

Clip of the King of the Mountain match from Slammiversary 2005.

Katarina comes up to tell Grado and that she has a match next week. Grado is surprised but she reminds him that she’s a former two time Knockouts Champion. That’s a relief that we’re not supposed to think she’s someone brand new.

Desi Hit Squad vs. Z&E

This is the Hit Squad’s (Gursinder Singh/Rohit Raju) official debut though we’ve heard about them for months. They’re introduced by manager Gama Singh, a famous former wrestler. Everett tries to spin out of a wristlock but gets punched in the face for his efforts. A dropkick and then a double dropkick get two on Raju as we hear about Singh’s training methods. The Squad sends them both to the floor though and a dropkick gives Singh two back inside.

That’s about it for their control at the moment though as they’re both sent outside for a springboard corkscrew dive from Everett. A springboard spinwheel kick gets two on Raju but Singh knocks them both down. Raju knees Everett into a Sky High for another near fall so DJZ makes a save, apparently remembering that he’s in the match. A series of moonsaults gets two on Raju as Gama Singh is on the apron. The distraction lets Raju grab a rollup with tights to pin Everett at 6:53.

Rating: C. The Hit Squad was better than I expected but they didn’t exactly live up to the hype from hearing about them for so long. The ending didn’t do them any favors either as it was the same distraction for a save into a cheating pin that people have done for years now. They were fine, but certainly nothing inspiring or overly impressive.

Pentagon Jr. challenges Sami to mask vs. hair at Slammiversary.

Video on Moose, who grew up in a very bad neighborhood but he had an outlet in sports. He was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons but got traded around so much that he lost his love for football but his love for wrestling was growing. This is what he wanted to do more than anything else, even though his wife didn’t support it.

At a House of Hardcore event in Philadelphia, Eddie Edwards attacked Tommy Dreamer and busted him open. Eddie rubbed the blood onto his face and left, with Moose following him out and demanding an explanation. Eddie just said to leave him alone.

Konnan and King argue at the LAX Clubhouse with Konnan saying he’s playing him, no matter what King thinks. King leaves and Konnan says King is lying but LAX doesn’t buy it. Konnan promises proof.

Dezmond Xavier vs. Matt Sydal

Non-title. Xavier armdrags him to start but Sydal has a seat on the mat. A handshake is declined and Sydal takes a quick break on the floor. Back in and Xavier takes his head off with a clothesline and pounds away in the corner. Sydal starts in on the knee though and grabs a half crab, which he lets go in a hurry due to a sore hip. A dropkick to the leg cuts Xavier down again but he snapmares Sydal to the floor. The running flip dive drops Sydal one more time but the knee goes out to slow Xavier down. Back in and Sydal catches him on top, setting up that flip package cradle (name that already) for the pin on Xavier at 5:57.

Rating: C+. This had a lot more of a story than most X-Division matches and that’s a nice thing to see. Xavier continues to be one of the most underutilized talents on the roster. He’s young, looks great and can flip around with the best of them but instead he’s just putting over the champion with the third eye deal, which isn’t exactly lighting the division on fire. Such is life in Impact.

Post match Brian Cage comes out to go after Sydal but Jimmy Jacobs and Kongo Kong show up for a distraction, allowing Sydal to hit Cage with a belt shot. Kong adds a top rope splash.

Callihan says it’s on at Slammiversary and promises to humiliate Pentagon.

The announcers preview Slammiversary, which will include Johnny Impact vs. Fenix vs. Rich Swann vs. Taiji Ishimori.

Austin Aries says he’s being hunted by a Moose and doesn’t think much of Moose’s story. Aries didn’t fail at his first career, but the difference is Moose is going to fail his second too. Moose is desperate and no match for Aries.

Madison Rayne vs. Tessa Blanchard

Some forearms knock Blanchard to the floor to start but she sends Madison throat first into the middle rope. A running elbow to the back keeps Madison in trouble and Tessa kicks her in the back for two. We’re off to an abdominal stretch and a delayed vertical suplex gets two more.

Madison finally gets in a headscissors for two of her own, only to get caught in the corner for a hanging Downward Spiral. A spear gets Madison out of trouble and it’s off to the forearm exchange. Tessa gets the better of it and gets her up in a fireman’s carry, only to get pulled down with a crucifix slam for the pin at 8:04.

Rating: C. They’re going all the way in on the Madison push but I can’t imagine they’ll have her win the title at Slammiversary. I know this company LOVES its nostalgia pushes but egads that would be a big waste of Yung. Then again this is the company that has had Madison go over Tessa twice in a row, which is nuts if Tessa is sticking around for the long term.

Post match Tessa knocks her down and grabs a chair but here are Yung with the dead bridesmaids. Tessa bails and the bridesmaids beat on Madison but Allie runs in for the save to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. This was the new Impact wrapped up in a nice package: nothing bad (the biggest key of them all), some stuff that intrigues me, and no particularly great matches. The wrestling isn’t terrible but it’s nothing that’s going to blow the doors off. What the show has become is stable, but there are enough things that are starting to grow (the main event angle, Moose vs. Aries and the LAX feud) that they’re a few steps ahead of where they were a few months back. That’s a positive sign and hopefully they stay on this trajectory.

Results

Rich Swann b. Trevor Lee – Phoenix Splash

Desi Hit Squad b. Z&E – Rollup with tights to Everett

Matt Sydal b. Dezmond Xavier – Flip package rollup

Madison Rayne b. Tessa Blanchard – Crucifix slam

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