Impact Wrestling – August 23, 2019

Impact Wrestling
Date: August 23, 2019
Location: Oceanview Pavilion, Port Hueneme, California
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Don Callis

We’re out of the northeast for a change and in this case it’s for a special show called Cali Combat. Impact has a tendency to make their bigger shows pretty good as they know how to do the all action events, but I’m not sure how well that is going to work this time around. Let’s get to it.

Opening recap.

Opening sequence.

Michael Elgin vs. Rhino

The ring is especially small here. Rhino goes with the power game to start and shoulders him to the floor as the fans start a WAR MACHINE chant. Back in and a running shoulder in the corner has Elgin in more trouble but he’s on the floor again before the Gore can launch. Elgin nails an enziguri for his first shot and it’s time to unload in the corner. A collision gives us a quick double knockdown but Elgin is back up with a release Rock Bottom out of the corner.

The twisting Swanton misses though and the comeback is on, including a spinebuster to give Rhino two. Elgin’s bridging German suplex gets the same as the power brawling continues. A piledriver plants Elgin for two more and a superplex makes it even better. Elgin kicks the Gore away and they fight to the floor for the double countout at 11:37.

Rating: C. Not much to this one but you can almost guarantee a rematch, likely with some kind of a stipulation, to be set up for next week or the week after. Elgin has dropped a good bit as he goes from fighting Brian Cage for the World Title to Rhino, but Impact has always seen Rhino as a big deal so it’s not like Elgin has been banished.

Post match the fight continues until referees break it up.

Post break Elgin says this isn’t over. Rhino comes in to brawl some more.

The announcers preview the show.

Tag Team Titles: Reno Scum vs. The North

The North is defending. Luster the Legend headlocks Ethan to start and then runs him down with a shoulder. The bigger Luster cranks on the arm and it’s Thornstowe coming in with an ax handle. Alexander comes in for a swinging Texas Cloverleaf of all things and it’s the chinlock to take us to a break.

Back with Alexander stomping Thornstowe down in the corner and handing it off to Page for a spinning backbreaker. A shot to the face allows the tag off to Luster for the big power comeback, including a spinebuster for two on Alexander. Everything breaks down with Page’s suicide dive taking out Luster. That leaves Thornstowe to get crotched on top, setting up the toss Alabama Slam for the pin to retain at 11:25.

Rating: C. That’s one of the better Scum matches as the team continues to be the most “well they exist” pairings I can remember in a long time. They’re not horrible by any means but they’re still just two guys who have a name and unique chants from the fans. I guess they work very cheap as Impact keeps bringing them back in, despite not being much of a team either way.

Ace Austin is banged up so Alisha Edwards helps him get his shirt off. Ace confirms that the bandages (they must be Ace Bandages) are from Eddie Edwards but Alisha leaves for her match. The chicanery continues.

Madison Rayne tries to smooth things over with Jordynne Grace, who shouldn’t be associating with some newcomer. Grace doesn’t need her help, just like she didn’t need Rosemary’s help last week either.

Havok vs. Alisha Edwards

Alisha, in gear featuring a bunch of checkered flags in a Sparky Plugg tribute, hammers away at Havok but her crossbody is shrugged off. Havok tosses her around and chokes on the ropes as we talk about Moose insulting Ken Shamrock’s bare knuckle boxing company. Alisha gets in a bulldog, only to get Tombstoned for the pin at 3:33.

Rating: D. Havok is a monster but Alisha continues to be someone who is just there week in and week out. The story with Ace vs. Eddie could be something but Alisha is about as far up the food chain as she is going to get in the ring at the moment. She was cannon fodder here and without some big changes, I don’t know if I see that changing anytime soon.

Post match Ace comes out to check on Alisha so here’s Eddie for the chase….right into a chokeslam from Havok as Ace leaves with Alisha.

Su Yung appears on screen, speaks gibberish, and is gone.

Sami Callihan blames Dave Crist for the loss last week so tonight he’ll handle Tommy Dreamer himself. Yes, Dreamer is getting a main event out of this whole thing. Sami is coming for the World Title when he’s done with Dreamer. Why do I have a bad feeling that’s going to take a long time?

Moose tells Ken Shamrock to meet him in Las Vegas because while Ken is a fighting legend, Moose is a five star athlete.

X-Division Title: Rich Swann vs. Jake Crist

Crist is defending and kicks Swann in the face at the bell. Swann is fine enough to block a suicide tornado DDT on the floor and a 619 from the apron connects. Back in and Swann gets superkicked out of the air, setting up the early chinlock. Swann gets sent outside and dropped onto the apron for two and the chinlock goes on again. That’s switched into the reverse Rings of Saturn but Swann is back up with a rolling clothesline.

Some rapid fire strikes send Crist outside, where Swann flips off the stage to kick him in the face again. Back in and Crist plants him with a Death Valley Driver so Swann comes back with a swinging neckbreaker. The middle rope 450 gets two on Crist so Swann loads up the Lethal Injection, which nearly takes out the referee. That’s enough of a distraction for Crist to grab a rollup with trunks for the pin at 8:43.

Rating: C+. These two are some of the best things going in Impact today with both guys knowing exactly what to do and how to have an exciting match. Now the lack of selling or psychology hurts a lot but that’s not what the point of something like this is. Swann seems almost destined to move up to the main event scene, or at least he should be. Jake calling himself the Golden Draw and getting on Sami has potential down the line too so this could be more interesting later.

Tenille Dashwood is coming. That’s a good signing.

The Desi Hit Squad go to the Deaners’ farm for WACKY COMEDY. The Deaners put them in overalls, which Raju seems to like. Gama slaps him in the face and more on this later. This feels like it’s straight out of 1986 WWF.

Flashback Moment of the Week: Ken Shamrock wins the NWA World Title on the first show.

Taya Valkyrie promises a big title defense next week as she comes up on the longest title reign in Knockouts Title history.

Trey Miguel vs. Willie Mack

Trey starts with the Running Man and dances up off a hard shoulder. A Samoan drop into the standing moonsault gives Mack two as the fans aren’t sure who they like more. Trey’s double springboard wristdrag is blocked with raw power and some running forearms in the corner put Trey down.

The running Cannonball connects but the Stunner (how Kevin Owens of him, though it might be more Willie Mack of Owens) is countered into a rollup to give Trey two. Trey wins a slugout and goes up top, where he slides between Mack’s legs to set up a Cheeky Nandos kick. The 619 around the corner connects, only to have Mack come back with the Stunner for the pin at 5:26.

Rating: C. Mack is similar to Swann in that he seems ready to move up the card at a moment’s notice but it seems like every time he gets ready, he’s put back down into a match like this. Keeping him winning is a good sign for his future though and it’s certainly better than having him sitting around doing nothing.

Tommy Dreamer says Sami Callihan is one of the bad people in wrestling and he can’t wait to beat Sami up tonight.

Next week: Rhino vs. Elgin, falls count anywhere.

Tommy Dreamer vs. Sami Callihan

No DQ because of course. Sami charges at him to start and gets punched in the face as they quickly head to the floor for the brawling. A ring bell shot to the ribs each take us to a break and we’re back with the two of them on opposite aprons for a staredown. Dreamer uses a kendo stick for Sandman’s (more stealing) White Russian legsweep but Callihan gets in a chair shot.

Then it’s time to go hybrid with a stick shot to the chair to keep Dreamer in trouble, followed by pulling the stick across Dreamer’s mouth. Neither can hit a DDT so Callihan shoves him onto the chair for two instead. Something close to a Conchairto has Dreamer in agony so Sami takes a bow (I’d throw money at him). Dreamer comes back with the Dusty Rhodes punches and Bionic Elbow for two and it’s trashcan time. And for a bonus, ladder time.

Sami hits him with both of them but Dreamer catapults him into the trashcan in the corner. The DDT gets two on Sami, who grabs Tommy by the crotch. The drop toehold sends Dreamer into the open chair and it’s time to put a piece of wood between two chairs. Dreamer gets in a piledriver for two but a middle rope elbow only hits ladder. Some kendo stick shots set up the piledriver through the wood to finish Dreamer at 15:28.

Rating: D+. Commentary tried to make this feel like a big deal but how many times has someone beaten the hardcore legend Tommy Dreamer in a hardcore style match? The match was exactly what you would have expected because it’s all Dreamer can really do these days and it’s supposed to be important because Dreamer has been around for so long. That’s not exactly working, but I’m sure the old ECW fans can explain it better than I can.

Post match the beatdown stays on until Tessa Blanchard runs in for the save with a baseball bat. Jake Crist runs in to take Tessa out to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. The show wasn’t the worst they’ve done but at the same time it didn’t exactly make me want to see what they’re doing next. This was an episode designed to set up something for the future but it didn’t do the best job. Sami can be a good choice for a top heel but the lack of Cage being around and having the show feel more like the Brock Lesnar as Universal Champion Raws aren’t helping things. It’s not completely terrible as there was some decent action, but the storytelling needs some work.

Results

Michael Elgin vs. Rhino went to a double countout

The North b. Reno Scum – Assisted Alabama Slam

Havok b. Alisha Edwards – Tombstone

Jake Crist b. Rich Swann – Rollup with a handful of trunks

Willie Mack b. Trey Miguel – Stunner

Sami Callihan b. Tommy Dreamer – Piledriver through a board

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