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Jeremy’s Impact Wrestling Review 5.19.20

May 19, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Michael Elgin Impact Rebellion
6.5
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Jeremy’s Impact Wrestling Review 5.19.20  

Hey all, welcome to tonight’s Impact Wrestling coverage. We’re still sorting out live coverage right now, so bear with us as we do so. This is a tough time for us at 411, as you all very probably know. No one will ever be able to fill Larry’s shoes; as I said in my tribute piece, the best we can do is slip them on and shuffle enough that they keep moving.

Love you Larry.

Quick note: I haven’t done star ratings for a long, long-ass time. Be gentle.

* We start off with the opening video hyping the Impact World Title #1 contender’s tournament and recapping last week’s win by Trey, as well as Michael Elgin’s attack on Ken Shamrock and Moose’s TNA World Title defense against Suicide.

And now…TITLE SEQUENCE!

#1 Contender’s Tournament Match:
Ace Austin vs. Rhino

Austin is in the tournament after Shamrock was removed due to Elgin’s attack last week. They two lock up, Rhino powers Austin to the ground. Some back and forth chain wrestling follows, Austin gets to the ropes to break it then goes outside for a breather. Back in for more chain wrestling, Rhino flips Austin to the ground. Off the ropes and Austin tries a hip toss that just ain’t happening; Rhino hits a chop and tosses Austin into the ropes. Austin powders to the outside. Back in after some jawing and Austin with shots to the face, gets Rhino into the corner but Rhino takes back control and hits a chop, a punch and then a hip toss out of the corner. He sets up for the Gore but Austin literally jumps to the ringside floor. Rhino goes outside and punishes Austin with a chop, then a suplex onto the ringside mat. Rhino slams Austin headfirst into the guardrail and gets a chair out from under the ring, but the ref convinces him not to use it. That allows Austin some recovery time and he gets a couple shots in. Kick to Rhino’s head, Austin gets on the apron and acrobatically dodges a punch, the takes Rhino down with another kick. Austin argues with the ref and then goes to the outside, Rhino sends Austin over the guardrail but Austin lands on his feet and kicks Rhino to the chest and pushes him face-first into the steel post. The ref checks on Rhino but Austin yells at him to count Rhino out. Rhino is up at 9, slides into the ring and Austin pounces on him with punches. He gets Rhino up, Rhino fires back with a couple of punches and sends him into the turnbuckle but Austin goes horizontal to dodge it and takes Rhino down with a slingshot spinning kick. Pin attempt gets two. He tries to wear Rhino down with a resthold, Rhino powers out but gets sent into the corner. Some ducked moves before a double clothesline takes both down. Rhino up at eight, Austin up right after and runs right into some punches. Rhino sends Austin into the ropes and knocks him down, shoots him into the turnbuckle and hits a mini-Gore in the corner. Austin gets a kick, ducks a clotheslines and boots Rhino down for another two-count. Austin to the outside, goes up top but Rhino is up too quickly and decks him a couple of times. Rhino back up, superplex off the top and he hits a cover for two. Ace hits a kick to the midsection, Austin grabs a chair but the ref stops him and Rhino kicks him in the gut. Now Rhino has the chair, he’s hyped to use it, the ref stops the chair shot and while he’s tossing the chair out of the ring Austin hits Rhino with an international object and hits the Fold for the three-count.

Winner: Ace Austin (10:44)
Rating: ** 1/4
Thoughts: Decent opener that kept Rhino looking pretty good while Ace gets to advance in the tournament. Not spectacular, but there was nothing to complain about really.

* Earlier today, Josh Matthews interviews Moose about his TNA World Title which Josh calls a “very heavy prop.” He asks when it’s going to end, and Moose says it’ll only end when someone beats him for the title. He says he’s the real World Champion and when Matthews points out that the matches aren’t actually championship matches, Moose stops him and says he feels like Josh is trying to insult him. The ref held the title up, it was announced as a title match, so it’s a title match. Matthews points out that Suicide had him beat and if the ref hadn’t gone down, Suicide would be champion. Moose talks about “ifs” and if Suicide had won, he’d be the champion but he’s not so Moose is still the real World Champion. Matthews asks if Moose is open to a rematch, and Moose says he’s a fighting champion. He says he’ll give Suicide another title shot tonight and ends the interview so he doesn’t get fined for attacking Mathews.

* Backstage, Kiera talks to Tasha and says she was impressed with Tasha’s match with Kylie Ray. She tries to be a mentor to Tasha and says she was naive when she first arrived, and says if any of the Knockouts try to get cute with Tasha, she’ll have her back. She says she wants to help carry Tasha to the top. Tasha is down for the alliance.

* Josh and Madison run down the rest of the card for tonight.

Dave Crist (w/oVe) vs. Crazzy Steve

Josh asks Madison if she’s happy to see Steve back, and her “…sure” response is great. Dave tries to attack to start and takes a drop toe-hold for his trouble. Clotheslines in the corner by Steve and an uppercut, then a cannonball in the corner. Crist to the outside, and Steve leaps over the top rope onto Crist. Out comes Joseph P. Ryan with his iPad to watch as Crist takes control with a kick to the gut and gets a pinfall attempt for two. Crist lays in the punches, gets up and kicks Steve in the spine before choking him against the ropes. While the ref’s back is turned, Fulton hits Steve with a punch. Crist lays in the boots in the corner, gets Steve up and Steve fires back with punches. He goes into the ropes and gets leveled with a clothesline, pin for two. Knee strikes by Crist and an elbow lock. He gets up and measures Steve, kicks him around the ring. Steve fires back with a couple punches but gets taken down and Crist is now picking Steve apart. Steve ends up in the corner, fights back with kicks and gets taken down again. oVe beats on Steve with the ref distracted by Dave again. Dave hits a suplex, gets another near-fall. Steve has a chance to recover, hits an uppercut and then comes off the top with a flying DDT for the pinfall.

Winner: Crazzy Steve (4:11)
Rating: ** 1/2
Thoughts: A short but fun match that advanced the oVe storyline well and gave Steve a strong return to Impact.

After the match, Joseph P. Ryan heads off and Steve celebrates with his monkey. Fulton berates Dave and Jake tries to intervene. Fulton says he’s better than this and all they’re doing is losing. He says he’s done and Jake tries to attack; Fulton grabs both of them in chokeholds and says he quits, tears off his oVe shirt and walks off.

* Rosemary talks to a stuffed animal and says that the Valkyrie is going to get what’s coming to her. She says she’s bored so she’s going to play with Taya’s servant. John E. Bravo shows up and asks what she’s doing, she acts all creepily seductive but John’s not keen on taking the bait. Rosemary says she was rude last time they spoke and hits on him some more. John thinks she’s a weirdo, and he’s not wrong but if you ask me she’s the right kind of weird.

XXXL vs. TJP & Fallah Bahh

TJP and Fallah debate who’s going to start against Acey, it’s going to be Fallah. Lockup gets nothing from either, so they repeat with the same result. Third time’s not the charm so they try clotheslining each other a few times. Shoulderblock off the ropes doesn’t knock either down, Bahh goes into the corner and rolls to avoid a clothesline then takes Romero down. Massive splash and he tags TJP in, who comes off the ropes with a shot to the noggin. Acey shoves TJP away and then tags in Larry D. Lockup gets TJP sent to the mat, a second one sees TJ put in the corner but he ducks out and hits elevated punches. Larry grabs TJP and pulls him out, TJP off the ropes but a crucifix is caught. TJP rolls over and gets out of the way of a sit attempt, hits a low-cross body, pinfall for one and low dropkick, then tags Baha in. TJP on Fallah’s back for a big splash. Baha beats Larry down, but Larry fights back and gets to his feet, coming off the ropes into an elbow. Two-count for Fallah, who tags TJP in. Punch off the top to the elbow and they’re working the joint with quick tags. Headbutt by Fallah and TJP is in, they send Larry into the corner and then a flying elbow off Bahh’s back gets a two-count. TJP hits elbows to the back of Larry’s head, tries to whip Larry into the ropes but gets reversed. In the exchange, Acey gets tagged and takes TJP down as we go to break.

Back from break, Larry and Acey are double-teaming TJP and pancake him between them. Larry gets a two-count and then goes into a chinlock to wear TJP down. Gets him up, TJP fights back and comes off the ropes into a bear hug. TJ fights out again but gets kicked in the corner and then a spinebuster by Larry for two. TJP battles to his feet amid some Larry restholds, gets a double ear clap and dives for the tag but gets stopped and Acey knocks Fallah off the corner. TJP manages to hit a DDT off the back and crawls over, makes the tag to Fallah. Fallah invites Acey to hit him a few times, “NO NO NO” and sends Acey to the floor. Crossbody to Larry, he goes for a belly to belly but Larry fights out of it and Acey steamrolls into Fallah. TJP comes in but Acey throws him out and XXXL are double-teaming Baha. A double pseudo-crossbody takes out both XXXL members, hits a belly-to-belly on Larry and it’s a two-count. He pulls Larry to the corner, goes to climb the ropes but Acey interferes. TJP comes into makes the save and gets flattened; Larry climbs to the second turnbuckle but Baha is back in and takes down Larry. Samoan Drop followed by a Mamba Splash gets the pinfall.

Winner: TJP and Fallah Baha (10:12)
Rating: * 3/4
Thoughts: I’m not a huge fan of these styles of matches as a rule. There was a bit of sloppiness in here it went on longer than it really needed to.

By the by, if you haven’t already please check out the GoFundMe set up to benefit Larry’s daughters. We all here at 411 would appreciate it.

TNA World Championship Match:
Suicide vs. Moose

Moose tells Penzer to get in the ring so he can give the championship introduction. Bell rings, Moose charges and Suicide jumps over. Back and forth off the ropes, Suicide hits a rana and Moose fights back as they go back and forth on the ropes. Moose ends up outside, Suicide leaps out and gets caught by the champ. He tries to send Suicide into the post but Suicide slides off and kicks Moose in the head, sends him into the ring and gets a rana out of the turnbuckle. Octopus submission by the challenger, he turns it into a pin attempt for two. Suicide with the short dropkick, Moose rolls to the floor and Suicide goes to the apron. Somersault dive but Moose catches him and slams him into the guardrail a few times. Moose is back in the ring, Suicide up at nine and gets into the ring at the last second. Moose steps on the throat, steps back and then goes in to do it again in the turnbuckle. As Moose and the ref talk, Suicide gets up enough for a shot but Moose decks him down, then picks him up and throws him across the ring. He picks Suicide up, whips him into the opposite turnbuckle. Then he does it again. Suicide gets thrown from one corner to another as Moose is playing with him now. He lays in punches to the head, steps on the throat again. Suicide struggles toward his feet but gets clubbed down and stepped on more. Moose picks suicide up, laughs and jaws at him in the corner, then whips him hard into the opposite corner. IT AIN’T LOOKING GOOD, BUD. Moose tells Suicide he’s nothing but a piece of garbage but that motivates Suicide and he hits a clothesline which — does little. A second one still doesn’t hurt Moose, nor a third. Moose says Suicide can’t hurt him because he’s a wrestling good, he comes off the ropes and this time Suicide’s clothesline takes effect, flipping the champ. Both men down, Moose up at five. He charges to the corner but Suicide is out of the way, charges again and Suicide moves again. One more time, and then Suicide hits a few running dropkicks into the corner. Suicide fired up, he wraps Moose up for a rolling Samoan Drop and then a Lionsault! Pinfall gets two. Moose manages to get Suicide into the corner, shoulder slams into the gut and then stomps before he argues with the ref for pulling him off. Suicide charges in, nearly hits the ref in a near-repeat of last week. Moose is distracted, Suicide kicks him in the chest and then catches the boot attempt before hitting the Codebreaker. Three superkicks and Moose isn’t down; a fourth finally does it. Suicide goes up top, hits the crossbody but Moose rolls through for the pinfall win.

Winner: Moose (11:06)
Rating: ** 1/2
Thoughts: I’m really digging the Moose storyline, and he plays it to perfection. Moose and Suicide matched up well and while the ending left something to be desired, it was all in all pretty good.

* Michael Elgin talks about how we live in a world were people look for handouts, but that’s not how the world works. You have to put in the work and he’s the best. People don’t like when he says he’ll be World Champion, but they also hated when Muhammad Ali and Conor McGregor said the same thing and look what happened with them. He’ll be the same and when all’s said and done, he says we’ll love him. He says Shamrock has some balls talking about the Impact World Title but got laid out. Elgin says Sami likes to talk a lot, but he has to stand in front of Elgin and learn that words don’t hurt, but Michael Elgin does. He’s said he’ll be Impact World Champion, and what he says happens.

* Johnny Swinger is backstage and Chris Bey walks up to him, says that there’s more than one way to win. Even if he doesn’t win the X-Division title, he can still send Willie Mack a message. Swinger calls Bey “brother” and says he’ll be the next X-Division champion and they’ll celebrate at the Landing Strip. “See you in five, Daddy!”

X-Division Championship Match:
Johnny Swinger vs. Willie Mack

Swinger attacks to get the bell rung and chokes Mack in the corner with his shirt, picks him up and throws him in the corner. Whip to the other corner and a clothesline is followed by an elbow off the ropes for a quick cover that Mack kicks out of. Swinger drops a couple of elbows and gets a two-count, then rips on Willie’s face. Mack manages to fight back, but eats a boot charging at Swinger in the corner. They’re going back and forth, Mack ducks a clothesline and slams Swinger down, then drops the leg off the ropes. He hits a bit Stinger Splash, picks Swinger up but Swinger slides off Mack’s back and hits a Swinging Neckbreaker for a two-count before Willie gets his foot on the bottom rope. Swinger thinks he won, grabs the title and acts like he’s the champion while the ref tries to explain. Swinger goes to hit Mack with the belt, Mack hits a Samoan Drop and standing moonsault for the pinfall win.

Winner: Willie Mack (3:01)
Rating: ** 3/4
Thoughts: It was a short but pretty fast-paced match and I was entertained by Swinger’s antics.

* After the match, Swinger attacks Mack and lays in the stomps. Out comes Chris Bey and he joins in the attack. He beats Mack down while Swinger looks depressed but then celebrates with Bey and they continue the assault.

* The North are at BattleArts Academy again. Ethan Page is way more excited than Josh Alexander, who wants to know what they’re doing there. Page says he rented the place out and says the washed-up wrestlers will literally do anything for money. Alexander says he can’t do this again, and Page said they’re done before ref Cameron Adamson shows up. Page says there aren’t any challengers left, but in rushes Cody Deaner. He says he and challenges them to a title match next week with “Wheels” as his partner. Page laughs and accepts. When The North leave, Cameron says that he’s not a wrestler and Cody laughs. “Do you think you’re the Wheels I meant?” He says to show up because they’ll need a ref.

NEXT WEEK:
* Cody & ??? vs. The North
* Semifinal Matches in #1 Contender’s Tournament

#1 Contender’s Tournament Match:
Sami Callihan vs. Michael Elgin

Callihan and Elgin square off, circle each other a bit. Lockup and Elgin backs Callihan into the corner, Callihan pushes Elgin back with a boot. Elgin points out Callihan’s injured ankle and then they prepare for a show of strength. Elgin ducks down and targets the knee. Callihan hits chops that do nothing to Elgin, who powers Sami down. Elgin off the ropes right into gouges to the eyes by Callihan. Elgin then goes for the leg but Sami goes to the outside. He limps back and rolls in as Elgin goes out. Callihan hits a DDT through the ropes for a two-count. Kicks to Elgin’s head send him out through the ropes to the floor, Sami comes down to the outside and sends Elgin into the guardrail. He hits Elgin and puts slams his head into the ringpost, then works the elbow against the guardrail. Callihan goes for a piledriver to the floor but Elgin counters and slams Sami’s knee into the ring structure, then into the guardrail. Elgin circles as Callihan crawls, taunts Sami and kicks him right in the ankle. Elgin picks Sami up and throws him in the ring, pulls him around the ringpost and slams his leg into it. He grabs both legs but Sami pulls him into the post face-first. They’re both in the ring and trade shots, Elgin takes Sami down as we go to break.

Back from break, Elgin is picking apart Callihan’s knee with kicks and then grabs the leg, slamming it against the mat. He pulls Sami up and takes some willing chops and punches, fires back and floors Sami. He bellows in Sami’s face, punches him, comes off the ropes for a diving punch but gets rolled up for a near-fall. They start trading strikes, pump kick by Sami counters the spinning punch and then clotheslines Elgin down. Both men on the mat, Elgin up first and Sami up in the corner. They collide, Elgin goes after Sami but gets sent to the floor to give Sami time to recover. He dives through the ropes and takes Elgin down. Headbutt to Elgin, then Sami throws him into the ring. Sami in, goes for a move but Elgin grabs the ropes. Elgin fights out but gets decked, throws him for a two-count. Sami grabs Elgin, goes for a power bomb but Elgin counters and attacks the knee again. He charges same in the corner, hits a splash and then charges in again. Running front dropkick to the knee, then he picks Sami up and drops him right on the knee. Running forearm to the back of the head for two. Single leg crab on Callihan who’s fading, but he fights back and gets to the ropes. Elgin looks pissed, picks Sami up and goes for a power bomb but Sami falls down so Elgin slams him with forearms to the front and back of Sami. Sami says, “Is that all you got, b**tch?” A slap by Elgin and then another shot, he comes off the ropes but Callihan has collapsed. Elgin showboats, grabs Sami by the hair but Sami hits a back suplex. Off the ropes for a running forearm for a near-fall. THE HAIR TIE IS OUT! Sami calls for the finish, does the thumbs up/thumbs down but Elgin counters the Cactus Special, hits a Buckle Bomb and comes right out with a clothesline. He hits a backslide for two. Spinning backfist takes Sami down, Elgin picks him up and goes for a power bomb but Callihan lands on his feet. Knee buckles, Elgin hits the power bomb for the win.

Winner: Michael Elgin (15:26)
Rating: *** 1/2
Thoughts: Good main event match that told a decent story. Callihan and Elgin match up quite well and I enjoyed the final few minutes in particular.

After the match, Elgin walks off victorious and poses on the ramp to close the show.

6.5
The final score: review Average
The 411
As a caveat, it's been a long time since I've rated a wrestling show numerically, particularly Impact. That said, this was a good, solid episode of Impact with some decent matches including a very nice main event between Elgin and Callihan. All in all, a decent show.
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