Date: June 3, 2021
Location: Skyway Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Josh Matthews, D’Lo Brown
We’re on the way to Against All Odds which means we’re on the way to Slammiversary, meaning Kenny Omega is going to be getting some more featured time around here. Tonight might be a little short on time though, as we are getting a special bonus match. During Before The Impact (the show which airs before Impact), Josh Alexander defended the X-Division Title against TJP in an hour long Iron Man match, which has gotten such rave reviews that I’ll include it as an extra. Let’s get to it.
Before The Impact: X-Division Title: Josh Alexander vs. TJP
Alexander is defending in a sixty minute Iron Man match. Fallah Bahh is here to sweep the steps for TJP and Petey Williams is here with Alexander. They go with the grappling to start with Alexander being shoved down in a hurry. A test of strength goes to Alexander but he can’t break TJP’s bridge. Instead TJP flips him over but gets caught in a bodyscissors. With that broken up they go back to a standoff until Alexander grabs a headlock of his own. That’s reversed into a headlock takeover until they jump up to another standoff.
Alexander goes to a crank on the ankle, which he pulls into a bow and arrow hold. TJP flips out again and it’s another standoff as they have a lot of time to use here. This time TJP takes him down by the ankle, setting off an exchange of mat holds. TJP pulls on the leg but Alexander grabs a chinlock for the break. That’s reversed into a hammerlock with TJP flipping over him to stay on the arm. Alexander gets his own armbar with TJP not being able to flip out of it so easily this time. He finally manages to send Alexander outside and a Bahh distraction lets TJP hit the slingshot dropkick (and a good looking one at that).
Back in and TJP starts in on the ribs, including a belly to back suplex for two. Alexander dragon screw legwhips him down but TJP slams the leg into the mat to put Alexander in more trouble. A headlock on the mat has Alexander in more trouble but gets reversed into a headscissors. TJP tries to spin out but gets reversed into something like a short piledriver.
TJP is fine enough to try a Muta Lock but gets reversed into a chinlock into an abdominal stretch. With the holds not working, Alexander rolls some German suplexes but gets pulled into a Kimura. That’s reversed into an ankle lock (on TJP’s other ankle) to send TJP to the ropes with 45:00 to go.
Alexander is busted open just a bit as he hits a belly to back suplex for two. A cannonball down onto the leg sets up some twisting around the rope to keep TJP in trouble. The chinlock eats up some more of the clock but TJP fights up to send him into the corner. Now the facewashes work but Alexander takes him down into a cradle for the first fall at 19:52.
We get a thirty second rest period before and the canned noise cranks up. TJP takes him down into a chinlock into a cravate, which is reversed into a chinlock with a knee in TJP’s back. A backbreaker drops TJP again and Alexander sends him outside in a heap. Just to show off, Alexander picks him up and walks up the steps to drop TJP inside. A surfboard in the ropes (that’s a new one) makes TJP scream until Alexander lets go.
Back in and Alexander goes up, with TJP catching him in a top rope superplex. TJP tries to roll it into another suplex but they crash over the top to the floor instead. The brawl on the apron sees TJP dropped down onto the apron as we hit halftime. Alexander drives TJP through the ropes with a running crossbody for another crash. Back in and TJP lifts him up for another backbreaker but TJP is right back with something like an Indian Deathlock. That’s broken up as well and Alexander hits a very delayed (as in about a minute) vertical suplex.
With TJP down, it’s off to another double arm crank. That’s broken up so TJP tries to power him down for a cover. With that not working, TJP tries a Sharpshooter but switches over to a Muta Lock instead. That doesn’t last long but Alexander is back up with a German suplex to put them both down. TJP unloads in the corner but charges into a hot shot onto the buckle.
We have twenty minutes left and it’s time to crank on TJP’s ankle again. That’s broken up with an enziguri, followed by a toss to send TJP shoulder first into the post. With TJP still in the ropes, Alexander grabs a half crab while sitting on the top. The chinlock goes on until TJP sends him chest first into the corner. The Black Widow goes on until TJP turns it over into a cradle for two with fifteen minutes left. A tornado DDT sends Alexander outside and there’s a slingshot dive to put him down again.
Alexander is right back up with a suplex onto the apron (egads) and TJP is mostly done. That’s a bit too much for Alexander so he takes him to the stage and loads up a piledriver. Cue Chris Sabin and Trey Miguel to say that’s too far but the distraction inadvertently allows TJP to hit a Tombstone powerslam (basically Riddle’s Bro Derek). A bunch of the roster comes out to watch as Alexander stumbles down the ramp and rolls in to beat the clock with 10:00 left.
TJP hits a running knee in the corner but the Mamba Splash takes too long and only hits mat. Alexander can’t follow up either though and gets tied in the Tree of Woe so TJP can hit him in the face quite a few times. A sliding dropkick connects as we have eight minutes left and Impact officially begins. TJP hits a springboard shot to the face for two but a double clothesline puts both of them down. Alexander tries the double underhook but gets reversed into a Falcon Arrow for two more.
We have five minutes left as TJP hits a running boot in the corner. TJP does it again but this time it is countered into the ankle lock. That’s countered into the Detonation Kick for two and the Mamba Splash connects for another near fall, as these kickouts are getting to be a bit much. Another Detonation Kick is countered into the ankle lock with three minutes left. TJP reverses into the kneebar, which he turns into something like a reverse Figure Four with two minutes left.
Alexander picks the ankle to retain and puts on the grapevine with 45 seconds left. TJP nearly taps but gets up and bridges back to tie it up with 2 seconds left and time expires. Therefore, we go to sudden death so both guys pull themselves up in the corner during the rest period. They slug it out until Alexander hits a Regal Roll to set up a moonsault for two. The powerbomb onto the knee gets two more so it’s the double underhook piledriver to FINALLY finish TJP at 63:36.
Rating: B. This was very good and the sixty minutes flew by, which is pretty hard to do. They didn’t waste a lot of time here, making this almost all action throughout. It helps that they have some awesome chemistry together and both came out looking great. Alexander is turning into a star around here and I’m really curious to see what happens with him. Heck of a match here that is actually worth the watch.
The roster gives them a standing ovation and respect is shown post match.
Commentary previews the rest of the show.
The Good Brothers and Don Callis don’t like being filmed.
TJP and Josh Alexander have a moment of respect in the back. Scott D’Amore congratulates both of them and Alexander says he wants all of the challengers. A bunch of people come up to say they want the shot so D’Amore leaves them to argue among themselves.
Rohit Raju vs. Jake Something
Tables match and they are both alone. Raju slugs away to start and ducks Jake’s bit right hand. They’re on the apron in a hurry with Raju bailing from an attempt to be put through a table. We take a break and come back with Jake sending him back inside, where Raju hits a running knee to the head. Some chairs are brought in but Raju breaks that up with some running clotheslines.
There’s a running shoulder into Raju’s ribs in the corner but Raju gets in a few chair shots to even things back up. The chair is driven into Jake’s arm and a chair to the arm sets up the Crossface. The referee points out that it doesn’t matter so Raju stomps the chair onto Jake in the corner. A Cannonball onto the chair onto Jake makes it even worse but he is right back with a shot of his own. Jake finally grabs a table and puts it in the corner as we get back to the point. That takes too long though and Raju sends him face first into some open chairs.
A running knee to the face drops Jake again but he cuts off Raju with a shot to the head. They fight to the apron with Jake being shoved into the post and being laid onto a table at ringside. That is broken up as well so they head back inside, where Raju kicks him off the ropes. A top rope double stomp sends Jake face first into the chairs but Raju charges into the swinging Black Hole Slam. Jake hits another one so Raju throws a chair at his head. That has no effect so Jake spears him through a table for the win at 15:05.
Rating: C. It was a violent brawl but this was a good bit longer than it needed to be. At the same time, it really didn’t need to be a tables match, as it felt like they just remembered the tables part at the end. It worked out well enough, but it felt like a stipulation there for the sake of having one, which isn’t a great sign.
W. Morrison tells Scott D’Amore that he wants a match with Rich Swann. It turns out that Swann wants that too so the match is on.
Rosemary is rather happy with beating Deonna Purrazzo last week and promises to win the Knockouts Title. Havok comes in to say she wants the title too. Rosemary thinks this means Havok wants one more fight, but it can be after Rosemary gets the title back…I think.
W. Morrissey vs. Rich Swann
Swann takes way too much time dancing to the ring and gets jumped from behind. They head inside with Swann hammering away but getting knocked back down. Security breaks it up before the match ever starts. Cue Willie Mack with a chair, which has little effect on Morrissey. Staring ensues.
Tenille Dashwood and Kaleb With A K talk to Rachael Ellering and propose an appearance on It’s All About Me. Ellering says Jordynne Grace is her partner so here is Grace to interrupt. Grace doesn’t seem thrilled but things go ok.
Brian Myers gives Sam Beale pointers on being a professional, including wearing a Myers shirt. His entrance is terrible too, with Myers busting out a boom box to demonstrate the proper way.
Deonna Purrazzo is told that Rosemary will face Havok next week. If Havok wins, Against All Odds becomes a triple threat title match. Purrazzo rolls her eyes but says it doesn’t matter what happens.
Knockouts Tag Team Titles: Jordynne Grace/Rachael Ellering vs. Fire N Flava
Fire N Flava is defending with Tasha Steelz having to pick up the pace to avoid Jordynne’s power. A swinging full nelson slam plants Steelz and a charge in the corner gives Grace two. Ellering comes in for a running kick to the head into a backsplash for two of her own. An electric chair is broken up with Tasha using the headband to pull her down. Ellering gets taken into the corner for the double teaming but powers her way over to Grace for the tag. A gutwrench powerbomb gets two on Hogan and a running hip attack in the corner crushes her again.
Ellering comes in for a spinning legdrop but the referee has to get rid of Grace, allowing Steelz to hit a Codebreaker. That doesn’t last long either as it’s back to Grace for MuscleBuster into a powerbomb for two more. They head outside with Steelz hitting a DDT to plant Ellering, leaving Grace to get beaten down. Hogan grabs a sleeper but Grace pulls her up and drops back down, only to have Steelz come in with a top rope splash for the pin at 8:37.
Rating: C-. I really don’t need to see these four fight again, though I’m not sure who else is left in the, ahem, division. Grace and Ellering weren’t exactly a great team in the first place and they were given the titles out of nowhere. Fire N Flava are a good team, but they have almost no one to defend against and that is a problem.
Sami Callihan wants to be in the World Title picture but here is Don Callis to say the company wants Moose instead. Callihan is always the bridesmaid instead of the bride and kind of a journeyman. Except for that time he won the World Title, sure I guess.
We get a video of a guy drinking whiskey as a song talks about this being the time we have waited for. His name is Steve Maclin, though you might know him better as Steve Cutler.
Fire N Flava annoy Scott D’Amore about retaining their titles and want competition. As luck would have it, Kimber Lee and Susan are in his office and get the Against All Odds title shot.
Deaner vs. Satoshi Kojima
Kojima is a New Japan legend and runs Deaner over to start. Deaner rakes the eyes for a breather and hits a running dropkick to the back to send Kojima into the corner. An elbow seems to wake Kojima up as he takes Deaner into the corner for the rapid fire chops. A running neckbreaker drops Kojima but he’s right back with the brainbuster. Kojima loads up his big clothesline but Rhino gets on the apron for a distraction. Joe Doering goes after Kojima so here is Eddie Edwards to take care of him. The Koji Cutter sets up a lariat to finish Deaner at 5:07.
Rating: C-. This was perfectly fine and a way to get Kojima’s feet wet in Impact. He didn’t do much because he didn’t have to but the match got the point across. Throw in his match against Doering at Against All Odds and this was a perfectly fine way to spend about five minutes. They might even have a tag match ready for next week if necessary.
Moose is ready for Sami Callihan but Don Callis comes in to say no one wants to see Kenny Omega vs. Sami Callihan. Maybe Moose can finish Sami off quick with some extra mustard. Moose doesn’t care and is only after the World Title.
Violent By Design doesn’t want to have to deal with Eddie Edwards anymore but Decay comes in to interrupt. A Tag Team Title match is set for Against All Odds.
Here’s what’s coming next week.
Moose vs. Sami Callihan
Callihan sends him outside to start and a superkick knocks Moose off the apron. That’s fine with Moose, who pulls him outside as well but a powerbomb is countered as Sami jumps onto the apron. That’s fine with Moose as he beats Sami down again and rolls inside to break the count. Back on the floor and Sami is sent into the barricade but a charge only hits steel.
Sami ties the arm in the barricade but commentary is too busy reading their lines about the two of them. More arm cranking takes us to a break and we come back with them inside for a change. Moose’s arm is too banged up to hit the Rock Bottom and Sami hits a Death Valley Driver out of the corner. Moose powers him into the corner to block the piledriver but a superplex is countered with a shot to the bad arm.
The second attempt works just fine though and Moose gets a slightly delayed two. They trade some shots to the face until Moose catches him on top with a dropkick. The chokebomb out of the corner gets two more on Sami but he hits Moose in the arm again. The Cactus Special gets two on Moose but here are the Good Brothers to jump Sami for the DQ at 13:31.
Rating: C. I liked the arm work throughout the match as it actually seemed like Moose was damaged rather than just going through the match and then grabbing his arm intermittently. The ending probably sets up something for either next week or Against All Odds, assuming they say it was a DQ rather than the no contest, which isn’t how that ending works. Good enough match here, as Callihan continues to move towards a title shot of his own.
Post match the beatdown is on both of them as Don Callis and Kenny Omega come out. The Elite goes to the back when Scott D’Amore interrupts. Omega and the Good Brothers leave so D’Amore talks to Callis about how Sami Callihan should get a title shot after beating the #1 contender. Maybe Against All Odds should be a three way match! Callis says no because they have to agree and Tony Khan would never go with that. It turns out Khan will be here next week so we’ll figure all of that out together.
Overall Rating: C+. I’m not sure if I should count the Iron Man match in this or not as just the last ten minutes or so were included. The rest of the show wasn’t great, though they did add a good bit to the Against All Odds card. That was one of the more important things to cover here and it worked out well enough, though I’m not sure how much difference it makes with Slammiversary in July.
Josh Alexander b. TJP 2-1
Jake Something b. Rohit Raju – Spear through a table
Fire N Flava b. Jordynne Grace/Rachael Ellering – Frog splash to Grace
Satoshi Kojima b. Deaner – Lariat
Sami Callihan b. Moose via DQ when the Good Brothers interfered
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