Impact Wrestling – July 19, 2018

Impact Wrestling
Date: July 19, 2018
Location: St. Clair College, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Don Callis

It’s the go home show for Slammiversary and for once I’m actually interested in where we’re going. The build for the show has been rather good so far and that could make for a solid pay per view. They can still hammer in a few more things tonight but really, Sunday is all that matters at this point. Let’s get to it.

We open with a rapid fire recap of the big stories.

Petey Williams vs. Killer Kross

The Canadian fans are behind Petey, who gets driven into the corner early on. Petey tries to strike away but gets tossed with a t-bone suplex as Kross laughs. Another t-bone drops Williams but he avoids a charge to send Kross shoulder first into the post. A Codebreaker and a tornado DDT have Kross rocked so he comes right back with a hard Saito suplex.

The Krossjacket (a not great looking choke) has Petey in trouble but Kross lets him go. Kross bends over and puts Petey in position for the Canadian Destroyer (as in he puts Petey in position to give Kross the Destroyer) before slamming him down. The Krossjacket knocks Petey out at 5:03.

Rating: D+. I’m not feeling the choke finisher but this was a very effective match and something they should have done rather than the Fallah Bahh match two weeks ago. Kross feels like a monster and that’s exactly what they should be going for with him. Let that kind of evil flow and see how far up the ladder he can go. I liked this WAY more than the Bahh match and Kross looks like he could be a player.

Post match Kross leaves the card on Petey’s chest.

The announcers give their regular preview.

Madison Rayne talks about her daughter wanting to grow up to be a superhero like her mom. Or maybe a ballerina.

Joe Hendry is at a photo shoot when Grado and Katarina come in. Grado isn’t happy with Hendry for flirting with Katarina but Hendry has a surprise.

Desi Hit Squad vs. KM/Fallah Bahh

So yeah, KM and Bahh are back on the same page again. Raju jumps Bahh to start and has as much success off a crossbody as you would expect. Singh comes in and gets crushed by Bahh’s crossbody so Raju gets in a few more cheap shots. Bahh sends the Squad into each other and it’s off to KM (whose full name of Kevin Matthews is mentioned, possibly for the first time ever around here) to clean house. The Squad gets put down so Bahh and KM do the rolls over them twice in a row. Gama Singh offers a distraction though and it’s a rake to the eyes into a rollup to pin Bahh at 4:34.

Rating: D. The Hit Squad is still fine, though not exactly great. Bahh is exactly the same person he’s been since his debut, though you could say that his charisma has gotten better. KM….actually wasn’t too bad here. Imagine that: you let him wrestle an actual match instead of being a clueless putz and his value goes up. The Squad will probably win the Tag Team Titles one day and while I understand why, it’s not the most inspiring thought in the world.

Video on the LAX civil war, which is actually an awesome story so far.

King doesn’t think anything of Konnan who has turned his back on the Latino nation to join his nice white friends in his white neighborhood. Yeah he put the hit out on Konnan because he had the OG’s in his back pocket. Nobody wants the three of them there so they’ve got nothing to lose. They’re taking over.

Eli Drake vs. Joe Hendry

Drake has kind of been lost in the shuffle of late. Hendry sings his own music about making things better, featuring a video of people celebrating in various ways. To be fair, that’s a heck of an entrance and a rather catchy song. The fans chant LOCAL HERO (Hendry’s nickname) but hang on though as Hendry has a video about Eli Drake with Hendry singing about how big of a dummy Drake really is. Apparently Drake likes to dress up like a woman, complete with what looks like regular photos.

Drake isn’t happy and decks Hendry before the bell with the referee starting the match as Drake is choking in the corner. Hendry gets in a jumping knee to the face but misses a charge in the corner to take him right back down. A pair of neckbreakers take Hendry down but he’s right back up with one of his own. Hendry’s DDT gets two but Drake takes him down without much trouble. The Gravy Train is countered into a rollup to give Hendry the pin at 3:50.

Rating: C-. Hendry is someone with a lot of upside as the singing will carry him for a long way and he has a great look. Once you get him away from Grado things can get better, but for now there’s a big upside to him. That’s what has gone well for Impact as of late: bringing in some fresh names who can make an impact in a hurry.

Hendry celebrates with Katarina, much to Grado’s annoyance.

The new LAX knows that the OG’s helped get them here but it’s their time now.

Andrew Everett vs. Dezmond Xavier

And here’s Eddie Edwards to attack the referee at 15 seconds. The bell rang so yes, this was a match.

Eddie says the time has come for Tommy Dreamer and no matter what the stipulation is, pain is coming for Dreamer. There will be blood and Eddie is going to taste it straight from Dreamer’s head. Then Eddie will be the new Innovator of Violence and Dreamer’s never ending nightmare. This was very good and if you just get rid of the Dreamer factor, it’s that much better.

Recap of last week’s Madison Rayne/Su Yung incident.

Rayne is in a funeral home with pictures of her and her family. She opens the casket and finds herself but a man comes up from behind her. His face is in Yung style paint and Madison runs away, finding a girl looking for her mom. Madison panics and is suddenly outside in the woods. Blood falls from the sky and the bridesmaids appear with Yung saying Rayne’s time has come.

Video on Pentagon Jr. vs. Sami Callihan.

Greg Osborne vs. Sami Callihan

Osborne is from Australia and has a boomerang. Callihan wastes no time in kicking him down in the corner but stops to get Pentagon’s mask from the Crist brothers. A double eye gouge sets up the Cactus piledriver for no cover. The fans sing the Goodbye Song and Sami puts the mask on Osborne. Sami starts a Pentagon chest but calls it bull, eventually accepting the hair vs. mask match. Wasn’t that accepted weeks ago? A low superkick sets up Get Out Of Here for the pin on Osborne at 4:09.

Rating: D. Just a squash here with Sami’s ranting being a good chunk of the match. Callihan is fine in short bursts like this and the violence works far better than seeing him trying to wrestle. Throw him in there with someone as good as Pentagon and the match should be a lot of fun.

Post match Sami promises violence on Sunday. Pentagon pops up to say bring it so OVE gives chase.

The OG’s are ready to take back what’s theirs.

Allie doesn’t like Tessa Blanchard but is ready for the tag match tonight.

Tessa is ready to take care of Allie for messing with her plans.

Allie/Kiera Hogan vs. Tessa Blanchard/Shotzi Blackheart

I’m glad to see Shotzi again. Kiera and Tessa start things off with Blanchard taking her into the corner and slapping Kiera in the chest. They switch places and do the same thing, followed by Kiera armdragging her down. Blackheart comes in and misses a charge to send her to the floor. Allie gets two off a snap suplex with Tessa shouting DON’T MESS THIS UP FOR ME.

Tessa kicks Kiera in the face and comes in, only to have stereo big boots give us a double knockdown. The hot tag brings in Allie to clean house on Shotzi with a Russian legsweep getting two. A Tessa distraction lets Shotzi grab a neckbreaker but the Best Superkick Ever puts Shotzi down. That’s enough for Tessa, leaving Allie to hit the Codebreaker on Shotzi for the pin at 7:03.

Rating: C. The division is getting better and better with Tessa clearly being a star (albeit pretty close to a Charlotte clone) and Allie being someone the division could be built around for a long time. Kiera has turned into a nice featured player and Shotzi got my attention as soon as she debuted. Good stuff, though nothing that hasn’t been done before.

OVE is still looking for Pentagon.

Scarlett Bordeaux, now named and shown, debuts next week. This works in a variety of ways.

Video on the international four way, featuring the return of Johnny Impact.

The announcers run down the pay per view card.

Video on Brian Cage vs. Matt Sydal, including Kongo Kong costing Cage the X-Division Title a few weeks back.

Santana talks about having history with Homicide. They’ve known each other for years now and Homicide has made the wrong decision.

Video on Austin Aries vs. Moose.

The search for Pentagon continues and the Crist brothers find him….or rather Sami tied up in Pentagon’s mask. The real Pentagon shows up and seems to break the brothers’ arms but the editing is so fast that it’s hard to tell.

Here’s Moose for the hard sell promo for Sunday’s main event. Moose has been away from the Impact Zone for a long time and wants Austin Aries down here now. Bring the banana with you too. Aries pops up on screen to say chill a bit because we don’t need a moose on the loose. He’s not coming out right now and Moose can just wait until Sunday. Cue Aries from behind (smart move) and the beatdown is on. Moose gets up behind Aries though and tosses him into the corner. A swing with a chair misses and Aries runs. This company has a history of not great main event builds and that’s true here, but it was good enough.

One more Slammiversary run down ends the show.

Overall Rating: B+. I want to see Sunday’s show more than I did when I came in so I don’t know how this could be anything but a success. They did exactly what they wanted to do here with some watchable wrestling but the pay per view build was what really mattered. As long as Sunday can live up to the hype they’ll be fine, but this company has a history of choking at the finish line. Hopefully they break the streak here though, as the show looks rather good. Very well done this week and the best Impact has looked in a LONG time.

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