SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
•Opening Teaser – HIT: Wait, what? “Opening teaser”, that thing that Impact Wrestling and other shows play before the opening credits that catches you up with what’s gone on in previous episodes and gives you an idea of what to expect coming up? Yup. That opening teaser. I have been remiss to bring up how much I enjoy these since they do a good job to set the stage for the viewer, but what makes this one unique is, well, Moose took it over. Moose interrupts Impact’s voice over guy and replaces him with TNA’s (Barry Scott). What follows is an over the top video package praising Moose including cameos from a whole host of TNA Originals singing his praises (with lines presumably taken out of context.) This put me in a good mood for the night.
•Overall – HIT: Another show not for in-ring action wrestling purists. The show is heavy on angle and character progression with many entertaining segments mixed in. Overall, I found it fun, but as usual with comedy, ultimately your tastes will determine the enjoyment you’d derive from it.
•Madman Fulton vs. Hernandez, Impact Wrestling World Championship Number One Contender Tournament match – PUSH: I am tempted to be petty give it a MISS since I had Fulton going through to the next round but Hernandez proved me wrong by pinning Fulton after a splash. Still trying to wrap my head around Fulton’s booking. I’m finding it hard to take him as a serious threat when he keeps losing all the time. I had counted Hernandez out in the tournament since Impact has been treating him more like a body there to help out rather than a legit contender, but I may have to rethink that impression. The match itself is fine. After the match, a chance encounter between Crazzy Steve and OVE leads to a match between Crazzy Steve and Dave Crist next week.
•Kylie Rae vs. Tasha Steelz – PUSH: A second decent match for the night with Tasha Steelz officially debuting for Impact Wrestling. Steelz will forever have heat with me since I can’t stand trilling, fortunately she kept it to a minimum this match. Steelz taps out to Kylie’s STF. After the match, Kylie and Suzie ran into each other again, foreshadowing something foreboding, maybe?
•Kimber Lee vs. Havok – HIT: I wasn’t expecting a clean finish to this match, with it being Kimber Lee’s Impact Wrestling’s debut match and there being equity built into Jessicka Havok’s character. Sure enough, Nevaeh makes her presence known, giving Lee a chance to grab brass knuckles and eventually use them to win. We still have no hint of Nevaeh’s motivations or alignment, but there is enough here to have me intrigued for the moment.
•Locker Room Talk with guest Ken Shamrock – HIT: This did not last long. Shamrock “encouraged” Johnny Swinger to take a powder as soon as he arrived. While answering Madison Rayne’s question about his future goals now that Sami was behind him, a wild Elgin appeared and took out Shamrock, crushing his head with chairs. Earlier, Elgin had cut a promo to Impact management stating that if beating people wasn’t good enough for them to make him number one contender to the Impact World Championship, then he might go back to hospitalizing people instead. Looks like he just made good on his threat. I also like the way this was shot, made the scene look like it really was a skit gone awry.
•Sami Callihan promo – HIT: I feel like I need a smoke or at the very least a drink after one of these Sami promos. I don’t smoke and barely drink. I’m totally, one hundred percent into everything this man says and has become my favorite act in wrestling right now. This time he’s fired a verbal broadside at Michael Elgin and I’m all in for their encounter in the tournament.
•Rohit Raju vs. Trey, Impact Wrestling World Championship Number One Contender Tournament match – HIT: Prior to the match Rohit cut a passionate promo, saying that there is no more Desi Hit Squad, just the Desi Hit Man. I truly hope this is the start of a new direction and push for him. Did this newfound passion translate into a win for him? Sadly, no. Trey gets him with a small package. Afterwards, the camera did stay on the distraught Rohit instead of the winner Trey, so maybe this is the rock bottom that leads to an ascension for him.
•Cody Deaner in Kwaranteen – HIT: And so continue Cody Deaner’s adventures in self isolation. Today we get a call with “Matt” (Hardy I pressume), and he has matches against the Invisible Man, Luchasaurus, and a tree, all while squatting on someone else’s land. (That was Luchasaurus right?)
•The North vs. Two Shmoes, Impact World Tag Team Championship match – HIT: How can anyone not love this skit? Ethan Page hailed as “The Economic Stability in Today’s World Economy” among many other sobriquets, had me in stiches. Another “you got to watch” skit. This is like “All Ego” Ethan Page’s ego made manifest and presented for the whole world to see.
•Rosemary at the Bar – HIT: Rosemary is at the bar, being kept company by the effigy of the Bunny, and now Mr. Mundo, Taya Valkyrie’s (or more appropriately, John E. Bravo’s) stuffed dog. Bravo shows up to retrieve the stuffed dog and accuses Rosemary of missing Taya. As Bravo leaves, Rosemary remembers that last week’s tarot reading revealed seduction in her future, and while initially disgusted by the idea of her together with Bravo, she seems to reconsider it as the scene ends. Yeah, I’m not sure I’m ready for a Rosemary and Bravo relationship.
•Chris Bey and Johnny Swinger Backstage – HIT: Chris Bey makes his move when he approaches Swinger backstage and (rather easily) plays Swinger against Willie Mack. Swinger goes out looking for Willie and a confused Willy accepts Swinger’s challenge for next week. What role Bey plays then remains to be seen.
•Suicide vs. Moose, TNA World Heavyweight Championship match… maybe? – HIT: This gets a HIT thanks to the sheer audacity of Moose gaslighting a defunct championship into existence and parlaying it into a title defense in tonight’s main event. The match was fine, with Moose “retaining” with the No-Jackhammer-Needed Spear after taking advantage of a low blow.
Bonus: Impact World Championship Number One Contender Tournament
Whelp, just two matches in and two wrong choices but such is life. I never expected Hernandez to factor in hence me not mentioning him at all last week, but he managed to pull a victory. I expected for OVE to finally start righting the ship after Sami cut ties with them but, nope, it is not their time yet. Speaking of someone whose time it most decidedly is not, Rohit Raju succumbed to Trey Miguel.
Hernandez will face the winner of the Rhino and Shamrock match, that is if the match happens at all since Elgin might have taken out Shamrock today. I think Shamrock does recover enough to compete and defeat Rhino, then Hernandez. Who will his opponent be in the finals?
Ken Shamrock’s opponent won’t be Trey, of that I’m sure of. That leaves the winner of Elgin and Callihan in the finals. Since this sneak attack has created heat between Elgin and Shamrock, you can get more matches for the next big event if they both ultimately fail and are each other’s opponents instead of facing the champ.
By that logic, that leaves me with Callihan as my new pick to win the whole shebang by defeating Elgin, then Trey, and a depleted Shamrock in a rematch. This get him that win back and put him on an eventual collision course with Tessa again. Originally, I resisted the idea of putting them together again so soon, hoping Sami and Tessa would build up more wins away from each other, but the current pandemic may have forced their hand. With this set up we get Sami vs. Tessa, Elgin vs. Shamrock, and possibly, Rohit vs. Trey in a grudge match.
CATCH UP… IMPACT WRESTLING HITS & MISSES 5/5: Best Skit in History of Wrestling, Sami Callihan promo, OVW vs. XXXL, Jessicka Havoc’s Locker Room Talk, Deaner vs. Kwaranteen, X Division Championship match