Date: May 12, 2020
Location: Skyway Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Madison Rayne, Josh Matthews
Believe it or not, it’s tournament time around here and that means things are going to get interesting in a few weeks. I’m not sure what to expect here as we are on the way towards…well nothing actually as it’s far too early to know the next pay per view. Hopefully things stay up around here, which has been the case in recent weeks. Let’s get to it.
The opening preview, narrated this week, talks about the tournament, but Moose cuts things off and throws it to the still amazing TNA voiceover guy who talks about how great Moose is. This includes various clips of names like Christopher Daniels, Robert Roode, Jeff Hardy, Dixie Carter and Hulk Hogan praising someone, who of course is Moose and this is in no way doctored. This was great and an actually unique opening.
#1 Contenders Tournament First Round: Mad Man Fulton vs. Hernandez
The Crists are in Fulton’s corner. Fulton drives him into the corner to start so Hernandez takes the bandanna off to show that he’s serious. Some running clotheslines don’t do much to Fulton but a Pounds takes him down as the shouting ensues. Fulton gets two off a suplex and it’s time to choke on the ropes as the announcers debate the validity of Moose’s title reign. Hernandez fights out of a chinlock but gets sent head first into the mat for his efforts.
Jake Crist gets in a cheap shot and we hit the chinlock again. Fulton misses a heck of a middle rope headbutt and Hernandez is back with a backsplash. The Crists get involved so Hernandez throws Jake at Fulton. Hernandez goes up top, shoves Fulton down, and hits a top rope splash for the pin at 8:54.
Rating: C. Not a bad power match here though I would question having OVE lose AGAIN, especially with the numbers advantage. The story of them being all messed up with no leader is fine and makes me wonder why they’ll bring in to replace Sami Callihan, but how much of an advantage do you need to beat Hernandez.
Michael Elgin doesn’t understand why there is a tournament when he has proven himself time after time.
Fulton is freaking out and the Crists are ready to come to blows. Crazzy Steve comes in to say he’s ready to fight next week. Joseph P. Ryan comes in to say the word Crazzy is offensive to crazy people.
The announcers preview the rest of the show.
Kylie Rae vs. Tasha Steelz
Steelz is an NWA regular. There’s no handshake to start and Kylie spins out of a wristlock. A headscissors gets Kylie out of a headlock on the mat so Steelz headstands up. It works so well that Kylie does it as well, albeit with a smile. A series of clotheslines sets up the chinlock on Rae so she powers up and drives Steelz into the corner. More clotheslines stagger Steelz but she sends Rae out to the apron for a breather. The Kylie Special gets two but Tasha rolls away from the STF. Steelz’s high crossbody gets two as Josh praises Steelz quite a bit. A springboard bulldog is blocked though and the STF finishes Steelz at 6:56.
Rating: C-. It’s hard not to like Kylie a little bit with the gimmick being so similar to Bayley. That’s something that works well if you have the charisma to build it up. What matters most here though is the rebuilding of the Knockouts division, which is suddenly looking rather deep. It’s certainly looking better than what we had a few months or even years ago.
Rohit Raju is ready to get his big break. He’s tired of being a joke and it’s changing tonight in the tournament. This is an interesting case as Raju on his own it’s too bad. It’s just how far down he’s been for so long. Maybe the lack of the rest of the Hit Squad will help though.
Susie comes up to Kylie in the back for a second introduction. Susie understands that Rae’s last night’s “again” and thinks Rae sounds like a ray of sunshine. Kylie: “I like her.”
Kimber Lee vs. Havok
Kimber screams at her so Havok screams back. Lee: “Nope.” Havok grabs her by the hair but gets chopped in the corner. That’s broken up and Havok hits a sitout powerbomb for two. Some kicks to the head rock Havok and we hit the choking on the ropes. Back from a break with Havok whipping her hard into the corner. That’s reversed into an Octopus in the ropes as Nevaeh comes out to watch. Lee’s Swanton gets two, as does Havok’s spinning side slam. Havok sees Nevaeh and the distraction lets Lee bust out some brass knuckles. A loud scream scares the referee so Kimber can use the knuckles for the pin at 8:47.
Rating: C. Just like in the previous one, I’m interested in how they’re rebuilding the division. That could go a long way and with so many talented people out there, the division could go in a lot of directions. This wasn’t a great match or anything, but the Knockouts are getting more depth than the WWE women’s division has had for a good while now. Granted having one division to two helps a lot.
Video on Kiera Hogan. She’s been learning from her mistakes and is waiting for the perfect opportunity.
It’s time for Locker Room Talk with Ken Shamrock, who doesn’t think much of Johnny Swinger. Shamrock talks about how he’s had a lot of feuds since he’s been been and he’s ready to hurt people. The only thing that matters is getting the World Title, so here’s Elgin to hit him in the head with a chair.
Sami Callihan is used to people trying to follow in his footsteps and that’s all Elgin is doing now. Next week, Sami is ready to take out Elgin in the tournament.
#1 Contenders Tournament First Round: Trey vs. Rohit Raju
They’re both on their own. They fight over arm control to start with neither being able to get much of an advantage. Trey runs him over with a shoulder but an elbow to the face cuts him down. A sitout facebuster into a boot scrap to the face sends Raju outside where he catches Trey with a shot to the face.
Back in and a Steve Austin elbow connects for two as the announcers bicker about Moose again. Raju’s running Downward Spiral gets two more and it’s a snap suplex for the same. Trey fights up for the slugout and hits a running neckbreaker for the double knockdown. A kick to the face gives Trey two and he catches Raju on top with the Cheeky Nandos kick. The 619 connects but Raju knees him out of the air. Not that it matters as Trey small packages him for the pin at 10:19.
Rating: C+. That’s the right result but what matters most here is having Raju as a solo act. That might be the key to him the entire time as there was nothing happening with the Hit Squad and everyone knew it. Again, it’s a mentality of trying something different instead of hammering away with the same thing over and over when it doesn’t work. Well done for a change.
Cody Deaner tries not to go insane in self isolation. He’s been training in the woods and trying to have someone to share a beer. Then he wrestled himself and a stuffed animal to make himself feel better.
We go back to the Battle Arts Academy in Canada for the North’s Tag Team Title defense. Ethan Page knows that Josh Alexander wasn’t happy with last week’s opponents so the ring announcer gets to pick this week. We get two more very skinny guys and Alexander isn’t pleased again. Ethan Page gets a bunch of nicknames ala Apollo Creed, though Alexander points out that Creed died in Rocky IV.
After hearing about Page being voted the sex symbol by a fishing magazine, Page superkicks the first schmo (as commentary calls him) out cold. That means Page has to pick him up for the offense, which doesn’t please Page. In other words, it’s a Weekend At Bernie’s match until Page super gorilla presses him into a backbreaker. Northern Assault finishes in a hurry. These have been funny and well done on making something out of nothing.
Rosemary yells at the cards in a bar and talks to her stuffed lion (for Taya) and stuffed bunny (for the Bunny). John E. Bravo comes in to say he misses how Taya smells but Rosemary is the one really obsessed with her. Rosemary doesn’t look convinced.
Flashback Moment of the Week: AJ Styles beats Matt Hardy at Victory Road 2011. They haven’t been airing as much of these things and that’s a good thing.
Chris Bey talks to Johnny Swinger about Willie Mack saying he was the leader of the Mack And Pack Connection.
Post break, Swinger comes up to Mack and says he’s not the weak link of the team. Swinger: “I’m not the Shawn Michaels of the team.” The title match is on for next week.
TNA World Title: Suicide vs. Moose
Moose is defending despite not actually being champion. Suicide grabs a rollup for an early two and an armdrag has Moose on the floor in a hurry. Back from a break with Moose yelling at the referee and getting hit in the face. They head outside with Moose whipping him into the barricade to take over.
Back in and a reverse press slam off the top has suicide in trouble again. As Josh wonders how many former World Champions aren’t pleased with Moose, Suicide gets kicked off the apron in a big crash. Suicide is swung into the barricade and it’s time to start celebrating. After getting back in at nine, Suicide gets knocked right back to the floor.
They switch places though and Suicide hits a namesake dive, followed by the cannonball off the apron. Back in and a headscissors puts Moose down again but he stomps Suicide down in the corner. The referee gets bumped so Suicide strikes away, including a running palm strike. The Code Breaker connects for no count so it’s a sunset flip for two. Back up and a low blow into No Jackhammer Needed retains the title at 16:14.
Rating: C+. I’m not sure how smart it was to have Moose need to cheat to beat a video game character but that has never stopped Impact before. Moose won and looked rather villainous in doing so, which I’ll take over a lot of other options. This is a gimmick that could go on for a good while, though the idea of Moose having trouble with a bunch of the older wrestlers who are classified as TNA Originals could get tiresome.
Overall Rating: B-. What got my attention the most around here is a fresh take on a lot of things. They’re bringing in new talents and presenting some fresh concepts, which is one of the best things that could be done. Impact has had such a bad reputation for so long now that it’s nice to see them do something different. I’ll take what I can get at this point and this was a fun, engaging show that made me want to see more. You don’t get that often around here and hopefully it is here to stay.
Hernandez b. Mad Man Fulton – Top rope splash
Kylie Rae b. Tasha Steelz – Smile to the Finish
Kimber Lee b. Havok – Brass knuckles to the head
Trey b. Rohit Raju – Small package
Moose b. Suicide – No Jackhammer Needed
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