SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Tasha Steelz vs. Nevaeh – MISS: So, we start with a match that ends in a WWE Special (distraction leading to a roll up) with Nevaeh taking the loss. Sure, this is leading to a tag team confrontation between the teams of Nevaeh and Havok versus Hogan and Steelz. Unfortunately, they haven’t given me a reason to cheer for or against either of these two teams.
Moose backstage skit – HIT: Moose continues going all in on being the TNA World Heavyweight Champion, now “suggesting” that the locker room shower him with gifts as befits his stature as champion. Crazzy Steve appears and declares Moose to be a fake world champion, so Moose gives Steve a championship “opportunity” for next week. I’m still getting to know Crazzy Steve’s character, but Moose’s character work is on point.
Deonna Purrazzo vs. Alisha Edwards – HIT: Earlier, Impact aired an interview by Deonna Purrazzo on Busted Open Radio which is interrupted by Jordynne Grace. I liked the interaction between the two with Purrazzo coming across with a strong bitchy attitude and I can see Grace really wanting to get her hands on Purrazzo. I’m liking where this is going. Afterwards, during a backstage interview segment, Purrazzo is interrupted by Alisha Edwards (who delivers some of the most stilted dialogue I’ve heard in a long while. Seriously Impact? That was the best take you had?). The “Versatosa” (as Alisha called her) Deonna Purrazzo dominated their entire match and wins with the arm bar. After the match, Grace makes a run at Deonna, but Grace’s music tipped Deonna off to the impending attack and she had plenty of time to get away from Grace.
Ken Shamrock vs. Josh Alexander – HIT: Earlier, Ethan Page was complaining (loudly) to Josh Alexander how everyone in the back is fawning over Ken Shamrock, when they should be fawning over the tag champs, the North. As usual, Ethan Page’s performance was spot on for his character, and as expected in these moments, Ken Shamrock sneaks up behind Page while Page is bad-mouthing him. Page looks like he’s about to back down obsequiously, when Josh leaps to Page’s defense, claiming to want to fight Shamrock, setting up this match. The idea of Shamrock and Josh Alexander going at it in a match-up is something I was immediately intrigued by. Unfortunately, the payoff will have to wait, since the match was a set-up by The North to sneak attack Shamrock and take him out before the match got into the ring. Why do I get the feeling this is leading to a Ken Shamrock and Sami Callihan team-up?
Taya Valkyrie vs. Susie – PUSH: Basically, this is a story of a bully picking on those she perceives as being weaker than her. Taya dominates Susie throughout the match and wins with a Road to Valhalla. After her win Taya continues to bully Susie, apparently trying to draw out Su Yung. Instead, Kylie Rae runs out to help her friend and fight Taya off. I assume the plan is for Taya to face Kylie next and eventually face an unleased Su Yung. It’s early days in this story, and it is possible Rosemary has a role to play in all of this. What holds this back for me is that Kylie Rae and Susie are positioned way below Taya’s position on the roster. I think Su Yung is set at a higher level (I rank Susie and Su Yung characters separately) so I think it behooves them to get to that point in the story sooner rather than later.
Chris Bey & Johnny Swinger & a mystery partner vs. Willie Mack & The Deaners – HIT: Throughout the show Swinger approached various wrestlers to convince them to join up as the third man for his and Bey’s match. He first tried Rich Swann, who is still out due to injury, Suicide who pulled a Batman and vanished as soon as Swinger’s back was turned, Hernandez who agreed to join only if Swinger beat him in an arm wrestling contest (spoiler alert… he didn’t), and Taya who was her Taya-rific self in her denial of him. Finally, right before the match, he scores a homerun when he reveals that Rohit Raju agreed to join the team. Bey was unimpressed. Shame on him for not watching the product. With Rohit, they will obviously win the match. And indeed, they do, when Rohit valiantly sacrifices himself to take a stunner meant for Bey, buying time for Bey to score the win. Rohit Raju… what a guy. Now Bey, by pinning Willie, is on step closer to the X Division championship.
Reno Scum backstage – PUSH: Reno Scum finds D-Lo backstage and proceed to taunt him when TJP and Fallah Bahh confront them. Angry at being unjustly accused of attacking Trey, TJP and Bahh challenge Reno Scum to a match next week. I’m a bit confused at the recent goings on in the tag division since a few weeks ago, it seemed apparent that TJP and Bahh were going to face The North for the titles, but things seem to have shifted with The North apparently heading to a feud with Shamrock and TJP and Bahh getting involved with Reno Scum.
Madman Fulton vs. Eddie Edwards – PUSH: Earlier, Jimmy Jacobs tried to interview Madman Fulton, but Ace Austin intervened to do the talking for Fulton. Ace did a great job in choosing Fulton as his “monster” since Fulton lived up to the role this match, defeating Edwards cleanly and looking like a real monster. I’m getting a bit of a Shawn Michaels/ Diesel vibe from these two and if they can accomplish only a quarter of what Shawn and Nash did, it’d be a good career. I’ll be pulling for both of them. Eddie, for his part seems to have been regulated to “gatekeeper” status. The only thing holding this segment back in by eyes, is that I’m not sure if this is the time to give Fulton a win over Eddie as Eddie heads to Slammiversary.
CATCH UP… IMPACT WRESTLING HITS & MISSES 6/16: EC3’s music plays, Hernandez vs. Moose, untimely Cancel Culture skit with Joey Ryan, Rascalz vs. The North, Ace Austin vs. Eddie Edwares, Rhino, Kylie Ray, Deonna Purrazzo, more