IMPACT HITS & MISSES 4/14: Ken Shamrock-Sami Callihan contract signing, Swinger vs. Mike Jackson, Locker Room Talk a new guilty pleasure, Valkyrie vs. Dashwood, Rhino, Dreamer

By Javier Machado, PWTorch contributor


Ken Shamrock

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

•Overall – PUSH: The only thing you “need” to see this episode is the Sami and Shamrock contract signing since I believe the events occurring during that segment may have repercussions at Rebellion. Taya Valkyrie, losing her cool and destroying Tenille Dashwood was also a good character moment for most involved (Jordynne what the hell took you so long to make the save?). Those two plus a handful entertaining moments make this passable episode, hampered by the fact that it felt cobbled together from existing footage due to circumstances regarding the global pandemic and in no way feeling like the go-home show to the Rebellion event.

•Johnny Swinger vs. Mike Jackson – HIT: Swinger had promised to face M. Jackson, a “young buck” on this week’s show, and he delivered a 70-year-old Mike Jackson. Mike cut a decent promo stating how he is going to put Swinger in his place. Then Mike proceeds to beat the holy hell out of Swinger, nailing him with hurricanranas, suicide dives, even walking the ropes “old-school” style. Eventually Swinger used the ropes as leverage to steal the win from Mike. Dumb but fun match.

•The Rascalz vs. XXXL vs. Reno Scum vs. TJP & Fallah Bahh – PUSH: This match is not a bad way to kill a few minutes off of your day, but ultimately not that important in the grand scheme of things. TJP pins Thornstowe following a Kobe Splash for the win. Afterwards the North hit the ring and the two teams got in each other’s faces.

•#Cancelculture skit – HIT: It begins with an epic (and I mean EPIC) retelling of the Deaner vs. Joseph Ryan match as if it were the story headlining Rebellion, which had me admittedly confused. It was part of the gag as Ryan was in the production truck trying to get the director to stop airing that footage and air something Ryan brought. It was a video of Katie Forbes and RVD in a hot tub, doing their shtick (RVD chastising the Deaners for overconsumption of controlled substances being a particular highlight for me). Overall, it was okay, but had enough chuckles for me to enjoy.

•Rohit Raju vs. Hernandez – OVER QUICKLY: The elder Singh booked this match for Rohit Raju, despite Rohit’s protestations. The opponent… Hernandez. He promptly kills Rohit, laughing off all of Rohit’s offence, and finishing him with the Border Toss.

•Locker Room Talk: Kylie Rae – HIT: I may have a new guilty pleasure if this talk-show skit is new ongoing thing. Madison Rayne hosts an interview and she is delightfully fake, dropping little snarky asides as she asks questions. Meanwhile, her cohost(?), Johnny Swinger, sits by being wonderfully inappropriate and creepy. Kylie Rae, her first interviewee, obliviously powered through all that with her sunny disposition intact until Kiera Hogan was introduced. Rae apologetically admitted that Hogan was not very nice and stormed off. Everyone played their role great and I hope to see more of this.

•Ace Austin vs. Trey – PUSH: Prior to the match, Ace Austin cut a pretty decent promo on his Rebellion opponent, Willie Mack, when he was interrupted by Trey Miguel. Trey recapped their shared recent past and Ace goaded Trey into a fight by bringing up Trey’s mom. That led to this match, which was another decent way to while away the time. Ace wins by rolling up Trey and grasping the tights. The match was followed by a rather lackluster Willie Mack promo.

•Taya Valkyrie vs. Tenille Dashwood – HIT: Tennille Dashwood is a wrestler I heard a lot of buzz about after I came back from my hiatus watching wrestling. This was at the tail end of her WWE career so when she went to Ring of Honor, I was excited to see what an unleased Dashwood can do. Then came illness and injury leading to her arrival at Impact and more of the same. Hopefully, I can see what she is about, and I got to see a glimmer during this match. She sook a hell of a beating from Taya and made Taya look really good for her match against Jordynne Grace. Tenille even got the surprise win with a (yet another this episode) surprise pin. After the match Taya attacked Tenille with all sorts of weaponry. After spending an inordinate amount of time looking for her entrance music backstage, there was no way Jordynne Grace was going to go out to the ring without her theme playing, Grace finally hits the ring to make the save. It’s apparent to me that the sequence of events playing out in this story has been shuffled due to the current global pandemic. It seems though this angle today is what would have led up to the Metal Mayhem stipulation for Taya and Grace’s match at Rebellion, and as a result of the reshuffling, Tenille’s role seem more marginal in the story than originally intended.

•Rhino and Tommy Dreamer promo – MISS: The ECW guys cut a fiery promo about going after OVE, bringing a surprise ECW partner (gonna be Sandman or Sabu). I don’t care, sorry.

•No-Contact Contract Signing: Ken Shamrock and Sami Callihan – HIT: If Ken Shamrock touches Sami Callihan, Ken Shamrock does not get his hands on Sami at Rebellion. Sami, with the upper hand, taunts Shamrock until he finally flips the table in frustration when Sami brings up Shamrocks family. Sami uses his hacktool to turn the lights off and on, each time more and followers wearing the ICU logo as masks appearing around the ring. Eventually, Shamrock goes after a follower backstage where we enter post-produced land, complete with a musical score, and the ICU face masks glitching as if they were video screens. When Shamrock gets to the parking lot, he sees a car driving off, and assuming it is Sami, jumps into a car an tells the driver to follow. The driver is another ICU follower and leaves Shamrock in the vehicle as it is surrounded by more and more ICU glitched faces. The scene was unnerving, helped a lot by the music. The angle will have its detractors but so far, I’m in. I just hope we can get past the Ken Shamrock chapter quickly and on to the next chapter in the story.


CATCH UP… IMPACT HITS & MISSES 4/7: Blanchard & Edwards vs. The North for Tag Titles, Tenille Dashwood interview, OVE vs. Tommy Dreamer & Rhino, Shamrock interview, Razcalz backstage, Rayne vs. Havoc

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