Date: July 18, 2020
Location: Skyway Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Don Callis
It’s a big night for Impact and we’re on Saturday for a change. I’m not sure if that’s an improvement or not but in this case the card is looking pretty good. The big question this time around is who comes in from WWE/elsewhere, including who takes the vacant spot in the World Title match. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is all about who will show up from the released wrestlers. The World Title does get a mention, but the mystery wrestlers are the big focus.
Rascalz vs. ???
This is an open challenge and it’s…..the Motor City Machine Guns rather than the Good Brothers, who have been confirmed as signing with the company. Shelley and Wentz fight over a wristlock to start and then go to the mat for a standoff. Even Josh talks about how people were expecting the Good Brothers here, so well done on a bit of a head fake. Dez comes in and flips out of Sabin’s wristlock before hitting a hurricanrana, with Sabin landing on Dez’s back.
It’s back to Shelley, who gets caught in the corner for some quick dropkicks. Sabin gets kicked down over and over, including a dropkick to give Wentz two. Back to back slingshot hilos keep Sabin down but the Guns fight back up and knock Wentz and Dez outside without much effort. Shelley lays on the top and it’s a slugout with Wentz as Shelley gets the better of things.
Stereo enziguris get two on Wentz and Sabin cranks on both arms at once. The rapid fire double teaming keeps Wentz down and Sabin’s kick to the back gets two. Sabin cranks on the fingers, followed by a double forearm to drop Wentz again. Wentz is right back up with a handspring knee to the face, which is enough for the hot tag to Dez to clean house. Shelley gets driven into the corner and Sabin has to make a diving save.
Wentz Codebreakers Sabin but the Swanton hits Shelley’s raised knees. Sabin’s release German suplex drops Dez on his face and the back to back strikes keep him in trouble. The Dominator/sliding cutter combination gets two with Wentz driving Shelley into the cover for the save. Wentz gets caught in the Dream Sequence and it’s the ASCS Rush into the Dirt Bomb to finish Dez at 14:43.
Rating: B-. I’m not the biggest Guns fan (yeah I know) but this was a very good surprise and the team still looked good. What mattered here was keeping the team looking sharp, though seeing the Rascalz lose again makes my soul hurt. They need to win something at some point because this is becoming way too strong of a trend. Anyway, good start here and a solid match for everyone.
The announcers preview the rest of the show.
After a bit of a delay (seemed to be a missed cue), Taya Valkyrie yells at John E. Bravo that winning is all that matter tonight. Bravo doesn’t seem convinced and after Taya leaves, here’s Rosemary to say she needs to win.
We recap Moose vs. Tommy Dreamer for the TNA World Title. Moose claimed the non-existent title and beat up Crazzy Steve. Dreamer didn’t like it and called Moose stupid, along with accusing him of not wrestling for the right reasons. Now it’s time to give Moose a beating and if Dreamer wins the title, so be it.
TNA World Title: Moose vs. Tommy Dreamer
Dreamer, in a Moose Sucks Eggs shirt, is challenging and it’s Old School rules. Moose wastes no time in elbowing him down and out to the floor, meaning it’s time to bring in the weapons. Some trashcan lid shots and choking with a baseball jersey have Moose in trouble but he drops Dreamer hard onto the ramp. Back in and Dreamer gets in a few more shots, only to get dropkicked off the middle rope in a crazy display of athleticism.
They head outside to keep up the weapons with Moose getting the better of things this time around. With Dreamer mostly done inside, Moose throws in a bunch of chairs and plants Dreamer onto them. A standing moonsault onto Dreamer onto the chairs gets two but the middle rope version only hits chairs.
The Dreamer DDT onto the chairs gets two and here is the bag of thumbtacks. Moose low blows his way out of a piledriver and tries to put Dreamer face first into the tacks. A shout of I NEVER WATCHED ECW brings Dreamer back to life so Moose rakes the eyes and sends him into the tacks anyway. No Jackhammer Needed finishes Dreamer at 11:16.
Rating: D+. Yeah can we move on now? Moose destroyed Dreamer as he should have, Dreamer got in his weapons stuff, and ECW still died over twenty years ago while Dreamer continues to be the self appointed defender of legendary wrestlers. I’m not sure why we needed to see this, but apparently Dreamer was the only wrestler in the world available for a pay per view spot.
A Jaguar arrives but it’s Johnny Swinger. He heard the car was for Anderson but Ole wasn’t around so he took it instead. Gia Miller gets to park it, but no dings in the doors.
Knockouts Gauntlet Match
There are eleven women announced so far and the winner gets the next title shot. It’s Royal Rumble rules until the final two have a regular singles match. Tasha Steelz is in at #1 and Kylie Rae is in at #2 with an exchange of armdrags to start. Rae flips out of a springboard hurricanrana attempt but neither can get rid of the other. John E. Bravo, seemingly dressed as Taya Valkyrie, is in at #3 and is out almost immediately in a smart move.
It’s Kimber Lee in at #4 and she kicks Rae in the face. The slow stomping ensues until Kiera Hogan is in at #5 to start a quick alliance with Steelz. Lee tries to dance with them and is knocked down in a hurry. Steelz goes up top but Rae superkicks her out. Katie Forbes is in at #6 and dances quite a bit, with Hogan seeming to approve. Madison Rayne is in at #7 and gets knocked down as well as the intervals are getting very fast here.
Havok is in at #8 and gets to be a monster, including a Boston crab to Rae. Now it’s the real Taya is in at #9 with everyone starting to pair off. Since no one is really close to an elimination, it’s Alisha Edwards in at #10 as Don tells us that Katie was eliminated somewhere in there. Rae tries to gorilla press Edwards but Havok does it for her and throws Edwards onto Kylie.
Nevaeh is in at #11 as the ring is getting WAY too full in a hurry. Rosemary is in at #12 and Susie is out. Rosemary’s music plays again though….and it’s Bravo dressed as Rosemary at #13 as commentary cracks up. Bravo tells Taya and Rosemary to stop fighting over them so Taya decks Rosemary. Havok yells at both of them so Bravo dumps her, followed by Rae getting rid of Bravo. Rae apologizes so Madison beats her up, only to get knocked out. Rae: “I’M SORRY!”
We’re down to Taya, Alisha, Rae, Lee, Nevaeh, Hogan and Rosemary. Nevaeh and Edwards are sent to the apron and get rammed into each other for a double elimination. Rosemary gets rid of Hogan and we’re down to four. Rae clotheslines Lee out and the double teaming is on in a hurry. For some reason Rosemary loads up the Upside Down and is eliminated by Taya because it’s stupid to do anything involving going over the top in a battle royal. That leaves Rae vs. Taya in a singles match for the title shot and it’s a Canadian Destroyer to plant Taya. A superkick gives Rae the pin and the title shot at 19:45.
Rating: C-. This was an entertaining enough match but they had too many people in the ring the entire time. I can go with Rae surviving throughout the whole thing because it’s not like she was running through all kinds of monsters. If nothing else, it was nice to see someone other than Taya getting the shot, which is all you needed here. Good enough match here, with one of the best options winning.
Commentary talks about Rae’s chances at winning the title but Heath (Slater that is) jumps the barricade to say he’ll take the World Title shot tonight, or face the Rascalz. Cue Rohit Raju to jump the barricade, saying Slater is late for the show and missed the Rascalz’s open challenge. Raju is going to take the World Title match anyway because he’s been here for a long time and never gotten a title shot. The fight is on with Heath cleaning house in a hurry.
We recap Chris Bey vs. Willie Mack for the X-Division Title. Bey has won a string of matches and earned a title shot, albeit with a lot of help from Johnny Swinger. Then Bey was overheard talking about how stupid Swinger is, so he’s on his own tonight.
X-Division Title: Willie Mack vs. Chris Bey
Bey is defending and starts fast with a springboard armdrag but Mack sends him outside. The big dive doesn’t get a chance to launch and Bey takes the legs out to put Mack down. Mack catches the slingshot dropkick through the ropes and it’s a neckbreaker onto the apron for a SCARY crash landing. Thankfully Bey can get back up and go inside where Mack hits a standing moonsault for two.
Bey kicks him off the top but Mack kicks him as well, only to have his superplex attempt blocked. A slingshot Sling Blade gives Bey two and it’s a Swinger Neckbreaker for two as Bey tries to make up with Swinger. Bey goes up but dives into a sitout spinebuster for the double knockdown. Mack kicks him in the head to stay on the banged up neck and there’s the reverse Cannonball in the corner.
An exploder suplex sends Bey into the other corner for two and Bey is favoring his neck. Said neck is fine enough to avoid a charge in the corner and hit a running Canadian Destroyer for two. Mack is right back with the Stunner but misses the Six Star. The referee nearly gets bumped so Bey rakes the eyes, setting up the Art of Finesse (springboard cutter) to give Bey the pin and the title at 10:04.
Rating: B-. I like both guys quite a bit so there wasn’t a bad choice for the ending. I’m glad they had Bey win on his own without Swinger as they have a good chemistry but Bey is someone who could be a big deal without the help. Let Swinger come back now that Bey has the gold and go from there, but for now this is a good choice. I’m not sure what Mack does next, but hopefully it’s something other than waiting on Rich Swann to be healthy again.
Heath runs into Rhino in the back and after a brief reunion, it’s Scott D’Amore coming in to join them. D’Amore talks about opportunities and points out that Heath doesn’t work here. It’s a closed set and we can’t have guests so Heath needs to leave. Heath: “At least he was polite about it.” Rhino tells Heath to be at the show on Tuesday and say hi to the kids.
We recap the North vs. Sami Callihan/Ken Shamrock. The North have been Tag Team Champions for over a year and since there are no major opponents left to challenge them, it’s time for the wacky partners who may still hate each other to get the show.
Tag Team Titles: The North vs. Sami Callihan/Ken Shamrock
The North is defending. Shamrock and Alexander go to the mat to start with Shamrock going for various holds. The ankle lock sends Alexander over to the rope while Sami shouts about dangerous men. Callihan comes in and punches Alexander in the face so it’s off to Page for the first time. Page is driven into the corner in a hurry and Shamrock tags himself in this time. That means more punishment of Page and the challengers start tagging regularly to put him in trouble again.
Alexander low bridges Callihan to the floor and the champs finally get to take over. That lasts all of about four seconds as Shamrock sends them together and brings Sami back in for some kicks to the ribs. A brainbuster gets two on Page but another Alexander distraction lets Page hit a dropkick. There’s a running shoulder, allowing Page to pose at Shamrock and talk even more trash.
We hit the chinlock for a bit until Sami jawbreaks his way to freedom. The double tag brings in Shamrock to powerslam Page for two but Callihan gets caught with a double flip slam off the top. Sami sends them into each other again and Shamrock suplexes Alexander to the floor. Shamrock grabs the ankle lock on Page and Alexander does the same to Page, leaving Sami and Page to slap each other while in the holds. That’s broken up and Sami cutters Page so Shamrock locks Alexander’s ankle.
Page shoves Sami into Shamrock for the break and Shamrock doesn’t like Sami hitting him, even by accident. They’re fine enough for Shamrock to kick Alexander into the piledriver for two with Page making another save. Shamrock kicks Sami off the apron by mistake but is fine enough to belly to belly superplex Alexander from the top. A missed dive sends Shamrock crashing onto the floor and it’s the double Neutralizer planting him to retain the titles at 15:58, with Sami not being able to make the save in time.
Rating: C. There were some sloppy points in here but I’m rather relieved that they didn’t go with a pretty questionable title change here. If the Good Brothers and the Guns are around full time, there is little reason to go with something like this when you can have someone else pick up a huge win by ending their reign. It was a fine enough match, but they went with a pretty simple formula with a hottish finish.
Post match the North brags about being the greatest team in Impact history, which brings out the Motor City Machine Guns to interrupt. Shelley talks about how great the North is, but they’re not the best team ever. The Guns are getting their shot on Tuesday.
Gia Miller lets herself into the Good Brothers’ locker room but Rich Swann is inside. He was here to support Willie Mack and see the World Title match. As soon as he’s cleared, he’s coming for whoever wins.
We recap Deonna Purrazzo vs. Jordynne Grace. Purrazzo showed up and has been treated as a major star. She even hurt Grace with the Fujiwara armbar more than once, setting up the title match here.
Knockouts Title: Jordynne Grace vs. Deonna Purrazzo
Purrazzo is challenging and bails to the floor in a hurry. Back in and Grace powers her around without much effort so we need another breather. Purrazzo heads inside again and gets suplexed to the floor, setting up a dive from Grace. Back in again and Grace drops an elbow on the back for two but Purrazzo kicks her into the corner. The arm work begins, with Grace getting a foot on the rope to break the first armbar.
Grace rolls out of a Fujiwara armbar attempt but can’t hit the Grace Driver. Instead Purrazzo tries a cross armbreaker, earning herself a kick to the face. The arm is cranked a little more but Grace escapes, only to get the arm slammed down onto the mat. Grace fights up again though and hits a running backsplash to the back. The rear naked choke with a bodyscissors allows the referee to loudly whisper to them.
They fight up again with Grace sending her into the corner for a bow and arrow around the post. Back in and Grace hits a Michinoku Driver for two, only to get pulled into a triangle choke. Grace breaks out of that with a powerbomb and they’re both down again. They forearm it out with Grace getting the better of things, followed by an exchange of release German suplexes.
Purrazzo hits the Pendulum for two but charges into a boot in the corner. Grace’s running knees to the back set up a Vader Bomb for two more. The Grace Driver is blocked so Grace elbows her in the back of the head over and over. Purrazzo grabs the arm though and a double armbar makes Grace give up at 15:20.
Rating: C+. They kind of had to do the title change here as they set this up for the last few weeks. There wasn’t much else they could do here after Purrazzo had been built up so strong for such a long time. Grace had held the title for a sneaky five months, and now there are several people who could challenge Purrazzo in short order. I like Grace, but this makes sense.
Bound For Glory is October 24.
We recap the World Title match. Tessa Blanchard was released and stripped of the title, followed by Michael Elgin being released over SpeakOut. Therefore, it’s a four way for the vacant title with a mystery opponent.
Impact Wrestling World Title: Eddie Edwards vs. Ace Austin vs. Trey vs. ???
The title is vacant coming in, there are elimination rules, Madman Fulton is here with Ace and the mystery challenger is…..Rich Swann. That’s quite the surprise. Hold on though as we have another person here as a fifth entrant.
Impact Wrestling World Title: Eddie Edwards vs. Ace Austin vs. Trey vs. Rich Swann vs. Eric Young
Young says he won the World Title at Slammiversary (no he didn’t) so he’s going to do it again here. It’s a brawl to start with Swann flipping over Young and hitting a dropkick. Young is knocked outside so Swann and Trey trade flips, leaving Eddie to take them both down. Fulton chokeslams Eddie onto the apron to put him down….and that’s an ejection. Fulton won’t leave so it’s a threat of Ace being eliminated, which is enough to make him go.
Trey spears Ace down and hammers away before sending Ace inside for a super hurricanrana from Swann. Eddie chops at Young and Swann in the corner but Ace slips out of a backpack Stunner out of the corner. Ace kicks people in the head but gets knocked down. It’s Eddie with a Blue Thunder Bomb to Swann, followed by Young knocking Eddie down as well. Trey kicks Young (now bleeding) down and calls out Austin.
The fight is on with Trey slugging away and kicking Young down as well. Swann is sent outside, leaving Eddie to chop Trey, whose dive at Swann is countered with a planting on the floor. Back in and Austin gutwrench suplexes Young but loses a slugout to Eddie. There’s a tiger driver to Austin but Trey comes off the top with a Meteora to Edwards because only Trey gets to eliminate Austin. Young is back up with a quick piledriver to get rid of Trey at 9:36 but can’t pin anyone else.
A lot of shouting makes me remember why Young gets on my nerves in a hurry and his wheelbarrow neckb….well more like a belly to back suplex gets two on Swann. Young takes Swann up but Swann reverses into a super bulldog to put them both down, with Swann breathing very, very loudly. Everyone winds up on the corner and it’s Eddie and Austin falling off the top and through the timekeeper’s table in a huge crash. That leaves Young to call Swann the letdown of the two surprises, allowing Swann to get a rollup to eliminate Young at 15:36, thank goodness.
Young isn’t done and goes after Swann’s bad knee with a chop block and several Pillmanizing stomps, plus a bunch of chair shots. Swann continues and rolls Austin up a few times before slugging away on one leg. Austin kicks the leg out though and hits the Fold to get rid of Swann at 18:55.
So we’re down to Austin vs. Edwards with Eddie pulling himself back in for a slugout. Eddie gets the better of things and even counters the Fold attempt with an overhead belly to belly. Ace misses a kick in the corner and the Boston Knee Party gives Eddie two. Austin hits the Fold for the same but Eddie hits another Boston Knee Party. The Diehard Flosion (Eddie’s old move) gives Edwards the pin and the title at 24:16.
Rating: C+. It was a good, long match (as it should have been), though seeing Young back is hardly the most thrilling thing. Eddie winning the title feels like a safe pick and there’s nothing wrong with that after everything that has been going on around here as of late. Swann was a nice surprise and Austin came close, but it was probably the right call to end with the most established name who was on the roster coming into the match. Good enough, but nothing great, mainly due to so many people being involved.
Post match Fulton is back to jump Edwards but the Good Brothers come out and, after teasing an alliance with the villains, lay them out with a Gun Stun and the Magic Killer. Eddie and the Good Brothers pose to….not end the show because we get an EC3 vignette to really end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. I’m going to have to think about this one for a bit as while it was far from terrible, it was a good bit underwhelming. There was so much focus on bringing in/back all of the wrestlers (eight in total) that it kind of overwhelmed the show. I’m hoping that it doesn’t turn into the nonsense of nearly begging the former WWE stars to save them from their drek.
Bringing in new/established stars is fine, but Impact has been doing rather well without them lately and they don’t need to act like it’s instantly better because the names are well known. What we had here was good enough, but they need to pick the right path forward, and they have a lot of options available.
Motor City Machine Guns b. Rascalz – Dirt Bomb to Dez
Moose b. Tommy Dreamer – No Jackhammer Needed
Kylie Rae won a gauntlet match last eliminating Taya Valkyrie
Chris Bey b. Willie Mack – Art of Finesse
The North b. Sami Callihan/Ken Shamrock – Double Neutralizer to Shamrock
Deonna Purrazzo b. Jordynne Grace – Double armbar
Eddie Edwards b. Eric Young, Rich Swann, Ace Austin and Trey – Diehard Flosion to Austin
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