Impact Wrestling – June 21, 2019

Impact Wrestling
Date: June 21, 2019
Location: Melrose Ballroom, New York City, New York
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Don Callis

We’re about two weeks away from Slammiversary and that could go a few different directions. You can see most of the card from here and that means it’s time for the final push. We also have Tessa Blanchard vs. Jake Crist tonight, which will seem to be setting up Tessa vs. Sami Callihan at Slammiversary. Let’s get to it.

Opening recap.

Opening sequence.

Tessa Blanchard vs. Jake Crist

Sami is here with Jake. Tessa goes right to it with the forearms to send Jake outside for the suicide dives. Back in and Magnum is superkicked out of the air. The fans tell Jake to go back to Ohio as he forearms away in the corner. A Russian legsweep into Naomi’s reverse Rings of Saturn keeps Tessa in trouble for a bit before it’s off to the chinlock.

That’s broken up without much effort and they’re back to their feet. They forearm (again, which is better than exchanging punches in this case) it out until Tessa grabs a tilt-a-whirl DDT for two. A Death Valley Driver gives Jake the same but Tessa kicks him in the face three times in a row. Magnum finishes Jake at 7:32.

Rating: D+. Not awful here with the main positive being Tessa being treated like any male wrestler. A lot of the time in these matches you can see the man taking something off his offense but they didn’t go that way here and it made things a lot more believable. It still wasn’t very good though with a lot of forearms and strikes until more strikes set up the finish. Tessa vs. Callihan could be….something.

Post match Callihan comes out to yell at Jake. Tessa stares Sami down but here’s Eddie Edwards to go after Madman Fulton, who he is scheduled to face tonight.

Eddie Edwards vs. Madman Fulton

Eddie hits a suicide dive and we take an early break. Back with the bell not having rung yet (THANK YOU!) and Eddie slugging away at the monster. A chokeslam onto the apron cuts Eddie down though and they head inside for the opening bell. Fulton throws him around to start and then rams his own head into the buckle. A one hand chokeslam plants Eddie as Sami is rather pleased on the floor. There’s a suplex for two and Fulton’s smile is rather creepy.

The powerbomb to the floor is blocked and Eddie manages a hurricanrana to avoid a bad case of death. The Blue Thunder Bomb gives Eddie two but he has to knock Sami off the floor. Instead of following up it’s the suicide dive to send Sami into the barricade. Eddie grabs Kenny but Killer Kross pops up on screen. He has Sandman tied up and under a hood so he can pour water over Sandman’s head. As the torture ensues, Fulton grabs the swinging Downward Spiral for the pin at 5:47.

Rating: C-. They have an idea here but what if you don’t mind seeing Sandman get tortured like this? Fulton is quite the monster and knows how to work like one, which is a big reason why he’s going to stand out around here. They have big guys but they don’t have monsters like him, which is the kind of thing that can help them out a lot.

Eddie goes to help Sandman.

Post break Alisha Edwards cuts Eddie off because, duh, it’s a trap. Eddie storms off after him anyway.

Moose vs. Tommy Dreamer

Moose shrugs off some shots in the corner and chops away but Dreamer’s clothesline takes him down. They head outside with Dreamer backdropping him on the concrete and peeling back the floor mats. Moose drops him onto the apron though and Dreamer thinks that it hurts. Back in and we hit the chinlock but Dreamer is right back up with a cutter.

The snap jabs put Moose right back in control until a DDT gives Dreamer two. A superplex gives Dreamer two, followed by a spear for the same. With the wrestling not working, let’s bring in a chair, sending Moose behind the referee. Moose kicks the chair into Dreamer’s face and it’s No Jackhammer Needed to finish Dreamer at 8:18.

Rating: D. What the heck was that? Moose is a powerhouse and about to have one of the bigger matches at Slammiversary but he has issues beating Tommy Dreamer? After Dreamer got in quite a bit of offense and near falls. Sometimes it’s ok to crush someone and that’s the case with Dreamer here.

Post match Moose loads up a Van Terminator but Rob Van Dam makes the save.

Taya Valkyrie and John E. Bravo go into a stairwell to talk to Rosemary about Su Yung. Rosemary wonders what is going on with Taya but suggests that she’ll help in exchange for a title shot. Taya rolls her eyes and makes the offer. Rosemary promises to have her people call Taya’s people.

Johnny Impact is ready for tonight’s triple threat against Rich Swann and Michael Elgin. He’ll win the X Division Title at Slammiversary.

Knockouts Title: Su Yung vs. Taya Valkyrie

Su is challenging and has James Mitchell and Havok in her corner. They slug it out to start and the early Panic Switch attempt is blocked. Taya misses a charge in the corner and gets forearmed in the face, only to send Su into the buckle. The running hip attack sets up some gyrating into the running Meteora in the corner. More gyrating lets Su get up and Taya misses a charge into the corner.

A headscissors sends her into the buckle again and it’s off to something like a reverse Koji Clutch. Yung gets two more off a hanging Pedigree and it’s time for the bloody glove. That takes a bit too long though and Taya faceplants her for two of her own, followed by a Codebreaker on the arm (makes sense). Taya goes up but Havok hits her with a forearm for the DQ at 6:19.

Rating: D+. This was a setup for a future match rather than anything that mattered on its own. There’s nothing wrong with that and you can feel a big title match coming up at Slammiversary. What matters most here is keeping both of them strong, which was done well here, even if the DQ kind of came out of nowhere.

Post match here’s Rosemary but Mitchell says they’re not here for violence. At Slammiversary, it’s time for some history: the first ever women’s Monster’s Ball match with Taya defending against Rosemary, Taya and Havok.

Here’s Ace Austin for a chat, including a plug for his shirts. He hasn’t been pinned around here and therefore he wants some fresh competition. Someone needs to come out here and stop him from being the future of the X-Division.

Ace Austin vs. TJP

This works. TJP gets a rather weak WELCOME BACK chant and he starts fast with a headscissors. A handspring armdrag sends Austin to the floor and that means a springboard slingshot dropkick. Austin sends him into the apron though and hits a dropkick of his own before diving back in to break the count like a smart man. Back in and TJP gets in a hurricanrana, followed by a high crossbody. The Detonation Kick finishes Austin at 2:17. Hopefully TJP goes somewhere because an undefeated Austin had some potential.

Eddie is still looking for Kross.

The Rascalz don’t want to train again but have a Tag Team Title shot at Slammiversary. Konnan comes in and says they remind him of LAX. It took guts to walk into the LAX clubhouse and try something like that but the Rascalz better be ready for a fight at Slammiversary. These circle segments are good, but how has Rob Van Dam not shown up for one yet? It’s kind of the layup of layups.

This week’s Flashback Moment of the Week: Ethan Carter III beats Bully Ray in a Texas Deathmatch at Slammiversary 2014. Dixie Carter even gets in a cameo.

Eddie finds someone who is not Sandman under the hood. Kross pops up and the fight is on with Alisha coming in to break it up. Eddie says this is who he is and Alisha storms off. We’re still doing this story? Eddie bites Kross’ face and a lot of blood flows. The murder rate spiking around here wasn’t something I would have bet on.

Sami Callihan wants Tessa Blanchard at Slammiversary.

Slammiversary rundown.

Rich Swann vs. Michael Elgin vs. Johnny Impact

Non-title. Elgin and Impact go after Swann to start but once he’s thrown to the floor, it’s time for the villains to slug it out. Swann springboards back in to take them both down before knocking Elgin outside. Impact dives onto both of them but only hits Elgin as Swann is smart enough to move away when a large man is diving at him.

Back in and Elgin German suplexes both of them at the same time. You know, because he can do something like that. Swann is back up with a hurricanrana on Elgin and a kick to Impact’s head gets two. Elgin plants Swann but gets kneed in the head by Impact, who adds a break dancing splash. A swinging sitout Rock Bottom gives Elgin two on Impact as Swann is still down in the corner.

Elgin and Impact strike it out until Swann is back up with a double Lethal Injection to put both of them down. Swann gets caught in an electric chair from Elgin until Impact hits a Flying Chuck to take them both down, with Swann reverse hurricanranaing Elgin for a cool spot. Starship Pain…I think misses Elgin (it grazed him but it’s not clear if it was supposed to or not), who is right back up with some kicks to the face. Impact pulls him off the middle rope with a super Spanish Fly but Swann comes back in with the 450 to finish Impact at 8:32.

Rating: B. Swann has benefited greatly from these main event matches, mainly because he’s been treated not only as an equal but also a bigger deal in some cases. Having him get a fall here is a big deal and something that makes the X-Division Title feel like that much more important. That’s how you build a star and it’s working well here.

Post match Elgin comes after Swann so Rich drops him as well as Impact again. Cue John E. Bravo with the Ultimate X to deck Swann though….until Brian Cage is back. House is cleaned and Cage powerbombs Elgin to end the show. Cage looked awesome, which is the case when you’re a returning monster.

Overall Rating: C+. Maybe it’s how bad Raw and Smackdown have been as of late but this show did a good job of making me want to see Slammiversary and building up some names at the same time. It’s far from a perfect show but what matters here is that things are looking like they’re moving in the right direction. You don’t see that very often in WWE and this place (plus Ring of Honor) is doing it fairly well. It can be done, if the company actually puts in the effort, which is what happened here. Nice job.

Results

Tessa Blanchard b. Jake Crist – Magnum

Madman Fulton b. Eddie Edwards – Swinging Downward Spiral

Moose b. Tommy Dreamer – No Jackhammer Needed

Taya Valkyrie b. Su Yung via DQ when Havok interfered

TJP b. Ace Austin – Detonation Kick

Rich Swann b. Michael Elgin and Johnny Impact – 450 to Impact

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