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Jeremy’s Impact Wrestling Review 6.2.20

June 2, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
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Jeremy’s Impact Wrestling Review 6.2.20  

Heya, folks. It’s Impact Wrestling time! I’m Jeremy, you all know how this works. Last week we had Ace Austin beat Hernandez and Trey upset Michael Elgin in the #1 Contender’s Tournament, the Deaners Compound match and Deonna Purrazzo’s arrival. This week we have the tournament concludes and Joseph P. Ryan will battle Crazzy Steve, plus more. Let’s get into it!

As a reminder, the GoFundMe for Larry’s daughters is still active and if you can make a donation, that would be awesome. Thank you so much to everyone who’s done so thus far.

* The opening video provides a recap of the #1 Contender’s Tournament, leading us to tonight’s finals.

Ladies and Gentlemen — YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE! (AKA Title Sequence)

Kylie Rae & Susie vs. Tasha Steelz & Kiera Hogan

Kylie stars off against Tasha and gets mocked with the bow Tasha and Kiera took from her last week. They lock up and go into some counter wrestling; Tasha takes control and Kylie flips out, only to get knocked down. She tags in Susie who waves to Tasha and gets mocked and bullied, only to respond with a slap. Kiera wants the tag and comes in right into a side headlock takedown, then another. Susie in the corner, Kylie tags in and they hit a double bulldog for a one-count. Kylie with forearms and an armlock, Susie’s back in but Kiera escapes and runs to tag in Tasha. Tasha offers a handshake, Susie isn’t sure and gets backed into the heel corner where Kiera yanks her down to the mat while the ref is distracted. Tasha kicks away at Susie and tags in Kiera, double straight-jacket and they throw her chest-first into the corner. Kiera chokes Susie with her boot, then tags in Tasha who kicks Susie in the corner. She nails Susie with forearms and the heels go for quick tags to punish Susie. Neckbreaker by Tasha and Kiera goes for the pinfall, Kylie Ray breaks up the pin at two. Tasha’s back in, she mocks and slaps at Susie as Susie tries to get in her corner. Strikes to Susie, a kick and Tasha comes off the ropes but Susie counters to slam Tasha head-first into the mat. SHE GETS THE BOW! That’s the turning point, it seems, and Kylie gets the hot tag. Fired up strikes to Tasha in one corner, Kiera in the other, cannonball to Tasha but Kiera gets out of the way. Kiera runs into a boot by Kyle, who comes off the ropes with an armdrag. Kylie Special gets two. She backs Kiera in the corner, tags in Susie who grabs a charging Tasha on her shoulders. Tasha counters with a Codebreaker but eats a Superkick. Kiera with a Superkick of her own, but Susie hits a palm strike and gets Tasha on her shoulders. Kiera saves Tasha and a double boot backs Susie into the corner. Kiera gets Susie on the top turnbuckle, Kylie in and Tasha blocks the Superkick, taking Kylie down. Handstand rana attempt onto Susie, over Susie goes and Kiera hits a fisherman’s spinning suplex for three.

Winner: Kiera and Tasha (7:45)
Rating: **
Thoughts: The opening was very disjointed because of all the trash talk, but played to character work. This was nothing special but it picked up a bit at the end and I’m okay with it overall.

After the match, the heels celebrate.

Josh Matthews and Madison Rayne run down tonight’s card, including a Tag Team Championship #1 contender’s match and Madison doing Locker Room Talk with Chris Bey.

Ace Austin is interviewed and asked about his loss to Willie Mack. Austin says people are too concerned about the past. He’s not dwelling; he’s always looking to the future and it looks like the World Championship. He says he’s outgrown the X-Division and here comes the TNA WORLD CHAMPION in Moose. Moose says he should be proud of himself and suggests that, should he win tonight, he should challenge for the TNA World Championship and get the chance to follow in the steps of Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam, and Sting. He calls the Impact World Championship a second-rate title. Austin says maybe he will.

Joseph P. Ryan vs. Crazzy Steve

The Crists are out with Joseph tonight after he invited them last week. Steve says he knows Ryan; he’s the dick guy! Ryan isn’t happy about that and decks Steve, which results in Steve going into a series of clotheslines. Jawbreaker to Joseph, then a takedown for two. Steve comes off the ropes but runs into a dropkick to the face. Joseph slams Steve into the turnbuckle, berates Steve for being offensive and drives shoulders into the midsection. Steve out into the center of the ring, bodyslam and a knee drop off the ropes for two. Ryan trash talks and punishes Steve, takes him down with an uppercut and then calls for the greatest suplex on Earth. But no luck, as Steve hits the suplex instead. Ryan is still up first and they start trading punches in the middle of the ring. Joseph hits a knee but Steve bits Joseph’s hand, then drags Ryan down so his head hits the bottom turnbuckle. Steve backs up, cannonball into Ryan. Jake Crist gets the ref’s attention. Steve is on the second rope, nails Dave as he tries to interfere but that lets Ryan recover and he hits a superkick for the three-count.

Winner: Joseph P. Ryan (3:26)
Rating: **
Thoughts: Ryan and Steve work pretty well off of each other, and I’d love to see what they can do given more than three and a half minutes.

After the match, Ryan tells the Crists that they see how important the mission is and they have all the information we need to make an informed decision. The Crists are down with this idea, but Joseph needs a signal of Jake’s virtue. He tells Jake to do the right thing for himself and for the culture. Dave tries to talk sense, but Jake drops him with a roundhouse kick. Looks like Jake Crist is a Cancel Culture member.

Rohit Raju vs. Chase Stevens

This match was set up last week after Chase pissed Rohit off enough to demand a match. Madison gives new Impact fans a brief overview on Stevens and the bell rings. Raju with a kick before the lockup and stars clubbing away on Stevens, but Stevens starts firing back. Raju takes back control, kicks the leg out from under Stevens and hits a knee for a two-count. He claws at Stevens’ face, kicks him while he’s on his knees but Stevens fights back and hits a clothesline for one. Snap suplex by Stevens gets two. Raju fights back, charges into a boot in the corner but ducks the clothesline into a side leg sweep for two. He stomps on Stevens, comes off the ropes with an elbow drop for another near-fall. Raju is frustrated and moves in, but Stevens with an elbow to the gut. He goes for a German suplex, but Rohit blocks it and hits a reverse cutter for two. Rohit chokes out Steve a bit, then does the same against the ropes for four seconds. He fires away at Stevens, who punches back and comes off the ropes into a back elbow from Rohit. Rohit says it’s his time and it belongs to him, then stomps at Stevens. He trash talks Stevens and eats a couple of fists, slap and kick for his trouble. Kick to the head off the ropes, German suplex, scissor kick and Rohit kicks out at two-plus. Stevens pulls Rohit into the corner, moonsault off the second rope but Rohit gets the knees up. Rohit charges into a boot, Steve charges in for a slam but Rohit gets the ref in the way and uses the distraction to hit a jumping knee to turn Chase inside out. Rohit up top, double stomp to the back for the win.

Winner: Rohit Raju (5:52)
Rating: ** 1/4
Thoughts: These two worked a pretty solid match against each other, with Stevens looking good considering I haven’t seen him in forever and Raju getting a solid win. It had a couple of start and stop moments but all in all I enjoyed.

After the match, Rohit cuts a promo but turns around RIGHT INTO A GORE FROM RHINO! That’s gonna leave a mark.

* Gia Miller is backstage with Havok and Neveah. She asks Neveah what’s been bringing her to Impact, and Neveah says she’s been friends with Havok for years but has been watching everything going on with James Mitchell from the shadows. She has made sure to come and personally check to make sure Havok’s okay. She says together, they are a complete force and that they have arrived as a team.

* It’s Locker Room Talk with Madison Rayne and Johnny Swinger! Swinger pimps out his T-Shirt, and Madison says she’s excited for her guest. Swinger cuts her off and pumps up his “new tag team partner” before Rayne tells him to chill. They introduce Chris Bey and Swinger is way too excited as usual. Madison welcomes him and asks what made him decide to come to Impact. Chris tries to answer but Swinger cuts him off and talks Bey up. Madison mentions Bey’s recent wins and mentions Willie Mack. She asks if he thinks he has what it takes and Swinger says Bey has everything it takes; he’s amphibian in that he can use his right and left hands! And that means he can focus on his tag team work with Swinger and become an X-Division champion. Swinger says that they’re going to debut next week as the Finesse and Bench Press Express to challenge Willie Mack and Jake Ham-And-Egger. Bey hesitantly says “Sure, we’ll do that” as Madison looks like she wants to kill Johnny. Bey says after they win, Swinger can help him beat Willie Mack for the X-Division champion. Madison tells Swinger to stop saying “brother.” It doesn’t work. And that’s the end of Locker Room Talk!

* Flashback Moment of the Week is Slammiversary 2016 when Lashley defeated Drew Galloway for the TNA World Heavyweight Champion.

* Jimmy Jacobs is backstage with Jordynne Grace, who says it’s awesome to be back. She says she’s been training and scouting the new Knockouts, runs down a couple of the new roster members and then Taya shows up asking where she’s been. When Jimmy says she hasn’t been around either, Taya says it’s not about her and says she never would have taken time off. Jordynne suggests a title shot tonight, and Taya says tonight’s busy. Jordynne suggests next week and Taya doesn’t seem sure, but it’s happening anyway.

#1 Contender’s Tag Team Match:
The Rascalz vs. TJP and Fallah Bahh

Fallah is waving as TJP offers a handshake, but Bahh points out hygiene rules and they elbow touch. Bahh wants to be in first and TJP disagrees, but he can’t move him out of the ring and exits as Bahh starts against Dez. Dez locks in a waistlock to no effect, Bahh takes control and Dez flips and spins out, only to have Bahh somersault out. Dez off the ropes, rolls out of a clothesline attempt and tries for a roll-up to no effect, ducks a sitdown splash. Dez goes for a kick, Bahh ducks, Dez roles through a pinfall and Dez does a flip kick that just misses. Bahh goes to take in TJP, and Dez tags in Wentz. Counter wrestling between the two, Wentz flips out of a wristlock and takes TJP down but TJP kicks up into a headscissors that sends Wentz into the corner. TJP up and over Wentz, Wentz takes him down and gets TJP in a headscissors, only to have TJP escape out and hit a dropkick. TJP with a suplex that Wentz slips out of, kicks a charging TJP and then goes outside, Dez tags and hits a shoulderblock through the ropes to TJP and goes up and over, through the legs and takes him down. Tag into Wentz, Bronco Buster to THP and Bahh comes in to slash Dez down. Bahh charges into Wentz, eats a boot but TJP off Bahh’s back with Whisper in the Wind. Pinfall gets two. TJP with a suplex, followed by a back suplex which Wentz escapes. Dez tags in, team-up kicks and Dez gets a two-count. He jabs at TJP, gets him i8n the corner, fir5es into the gut and hits back elbows. Tag into Wentz, slingshot senton for two. Wentz wears TJP down with a resthold, gets TJP into the corner and Dez tags in. Double whip into the corner, TJP ducks one charge and then another, TJP hits a tornado DDT onto Wentz and gets the hot tag to Bahh. Fallah in, takes Dez down and chucks him into the corner, splash to both men, charges at Dez and eats a boot but picks up Dez and lawn darts him right into Wentz. Bahh with a Samoan Drop to Dez, goes for the pin, it’s a near-fall. He yanks Dez up and says “No more games,’ Dez drops down and a kick to the hit. Double chest strike into the corner, TJP tagged in, roll-through Samoan slam and he gets on Bahh’s back for a double splash to Dez. Dez still kicks out at two! TJP gets Dez up, suplex and dragon legwhip. Wentz is trying to fire Dez up, Dez in a front facelock and tries to push into his corner but TJP knocks Wentz off the ropes. Dez fires off with strikes, cutter takes TJP down and Wentz makes the ta! He superkicks Bahh off the corner, series of kicks puts TJP in the corner, big knee to the corner and a kick to TJP’s chest. Standing moonsault gets two. Wentz tags in Dez, he slingshots TJP into a kick, Dez with a double-knee drop to TJP but Bahh makes the save. Bahh hits a belly-to-belly to Wentz, Samoan drop to Dez, TJP up top and he Mamba Splashes but Dez gets the knees up! A whole bunch of chaotic pin attempts and all four men are down. Bahh and Dez up, Bahh hits a chop and Wentz hits a boot. TJP with a back suplex to Wentz but Dez goes for a kick out of nowhere. TJP turns it into a grapevine and Dez tries to reach the ropes, but pulled back to the center of the ring. Dez fights again, pulled back to the center once more. One more time, he gets to the ropes and Wentz pushes him back into a bridge with TJP’s shoulders down for the pin!

Winner: The Rascalz (12:44)
Rating: *** 1/2
Thoughts: Okay, that was dope and my fingers hurt. Lots of great action, the two teams matched up well and the finish was really good. It also told a pretty decent story to boot. This is easily the match of the night so far.

After the match, the two teams have a show of respect.

* Another promo for Deonna Purrazzo’s return, selling her as the Virtuosa who is a master of technique and paragon of excellence and elegance. She says she’s a threat to anyone who dares to not give her what she deserves and talks about how she is ready for matches long before she has them. She says she’s long been prepared for Impact, but is Impact ready for her? She’s back next week.

* John E. Bravo is out with Rosemary, and he’s a lucky man. He says he’s never summoned locusts before but had a good time. Rosemary says next time, they should head out on a real job and go hunt down Asmodeus or meet hellhounds. Bravo marvels that this is just a normal day for Rosemary but wonders what Taya’s doing. Rosemary tells him to stick with her, she’s full of fun. She gets a bit strident when Bravo doesn’t notice to take her coat, then notes how he has been kicked into submission. He agrees, says Taya’s always yelling at him. He’s feeling all different and doesn’t know what he’s gonna do. Rosemary tells him to come work for her and they can have many more days like this. Bravo asks what he has to do, she offers an apple. Bravo says it could have a razor blade in it. Rosemary says to just bite it but at the last second Taya calls and Bravo has to run because she’s out of dog food. Rosemary says she’s clear across the country and he says that’s why he has to go. He comes back just quick enough to get the stuffed dog and runs off. He’s an idiot.

* Michael Elgin orders the producer to play his music and then storms out to the ring. He has a mic and goes off about how it’s been constant since he’s come to Impact that he’s the rightful Impact World Champion and has been for well over a year, but last week he beat himself by letting Sami Callihan distract him. Right on cue Sami takes over the arena. Elgin asks where Sami is, and says he’s nowhere to be found because no matter what he can’t get it done in the ring against Elgin. Elgin says that the first person to walk through the curtain for the finals in the tournament has to deal with him, and he’s not leaving until he’s named #1 contender or Impact World Champion. That brings out Ken Shamrock, who Elgin attacked and knocked out of the tournament! They brawl in the ring, Shamrock hits knee strikes and he goes for the ankle lock but Elgin escapes. Shamrock goes nuts and Elgin says it’ll happen on his time before leaving.

* Austin is out for the Tournament finals match, but backstage Trey has been assaulted and the Rascalz call for help. A doctor shows up and Wentz says he knows who did this. In the ring, Austin cuts a promo about how they’re depriving the people of a five star match, and now he just has to be declared the #1 contender. The ref isn’t so sure, and out comes Wentz to go after Austin. Austin powders to the outside as Wentz accuses Austin of the attack. Out to the ring comes Scott D’Amore as the refs keep the two separated. D’Amore asks if Austin wants to be #1 contender and when he says yes, says to start the match.

#1 Contender’s Tournament Finals (?):
Ace Austin vs. Wentz

The match starts with Wentz hitting a suplex and going right after Austin, driving him head-first into the canvas with a snapmare DDT for two. He mounts Austin for punches and has to be pulled off by the referee, who warns him. Apparently this IS for the #1 Contendership still. Wentz stomps at Austin in the corner, Austin tries desperately to escape as Wentz rages at him and is backed up by the ref. Wentz with a hard kick to Austin’s head and tries to pull him into the center of the ring, he lays in a serious of punches and we’re going to break.

Back from break and Austin has managed to get in control. He tries to kick Wentz, who’s on the outside, from the apron but grabs the leg. Austin cartwheels to dodge but then gets yanked off the apron anyway. Wentz gets Austin up, decks him but Austin fights back. He gets Wentz’s shirt off and chokes him with it. Punch to Wentz’s head and a knee to the gut, then he drives him back into the ring apron. Wentz blocks a head smash into the apron and hits one of his own, charges at Austin but gets backdropped onto the ramp. Austin rolls back into the ring and the ref starts to count. Wentz crawls back, Austin slips out and starts to beat on Wentz but the Rascal fights back. Repeated knee lifts to Austin and a front facelock, hammer fist to the back and he goes to whip Austin into the guardrail but it’s reversed. Austin drags Wentz up and throws him into the guardrail again. He gets back in as the ref counts, makes it to six before Austin comes out and lays in stomps and kicks. Austin rams Wentz’s back repeatedly into the guardrail, then backs up and charges in but Wentz gets out of the way and Austin hits the guardrail. Wentz starts stomping away at Austin, then kicks him in the back. Another boot right to the head, then he rolls in and right back out so he can charge at him. He jumps off the ringside steps RIGHT INTO A KICK. And we’re off to break again.

We’re back and Austin is in co9ntrol, but Wentz hits a couple of kicks. Austin ducks a third kick, knee to the gut and a gutwrench front slam for two. Austin locks in an elevated armlock, Wentz battles up but hammer blows across the back. Austin beats Wentz down in the turnbuckle, then picks him up for a snapmare and then a catapult into the bottom rope. Pinfall gets two. Wentz taken down, Austin hits a suplex and floats over for two. Wentz counters another suplex into one of his own. Wentz gets a two-count on it, then picks Austin up but is hit with a stunner. Austin with another submission hold on Wentz, he uses his card between Wentz’s fingers but quickly eats a chop. He fires back with a kick to Wentz and then picks Wentz up, but Wentz gets his energy back and fires off a rapid series of strikes. He downs Austin and pulls him up but Austin grabs the hair and yanks Wentz back to the mat. Austin with a kick to Wentz’s head, he goes off the ropes for the Fold but Wentz counters and both men are down. Ref count hits nine before Wentz and Austin are up, Wentz nails a bunch of kicks and takes Austin down with a jumping side kick to the head. Knee to Austin in the corner, he kicks Austin hard and hits a standing moonsault for a near-fall. Wentz is up, yells and Austin to get up, goes for a move and Ace counters, misses a kick and eats a knee. Wentz hits a spinning uranage for two and a half. Wentz with fists to Austin, pins him for two and just SLAPS Austin across the head. Wentz goes for a suplex, Ace counters into a small package for two and Wentz with an immediate kick to the head for his own two-count. Wentz pulls Austin to the corner, kicks him and climbs up top. He jumps off and lands back-first onto Austin’s knees! Both men slowly back up, Austin drives Wentz head-first into the man with a headscissors stomp and calls for The Fold. He hits it, gets the pin and wins!

Winner: Ace Austin (17:19)
Rating: *** 1/2
Thoughts: I hate the way they got here as it makes pretty much no sense; why does a guy suddenly get all the way into the finals match just because his friend got beat up? But the match itself was pretty great. Austin is a great heel and was the right guy obviously considering the two, while Wentz looked damned fantastic between this and the tag match.

Austin celebrates as we fade to black — BUT WAIT. Someone’s having a drink and watching a “report” about the WWE releases last month. We see them from the back as Mike Bennett, Maria, Gallows & Anderson, Rockstar Spud, EC3 and more are shown from their Impact days. Then we get a Slammiversary 2020 announcement for July 18th, live on PPV.

Next week: Sami Callihan vs. Michael Elgin vs. Ken Shamrock

The final score: review Good
The 411
Impact is consistently improving week to week. There were some gaps in booking logic here and there and not all the matches were classics, but all in all this was a great episode this week with a couple very, very good matches.

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Impact Wrestling, Jeremy Thomas