IMPACT WRESTLING HITS & MISSES: Final Slammiversary hype, Cinematic Street Fight with Rhino vs. Hernandez, Purrazzo and Grace contract signing, XXXL vs. The Deaners, Dreamer & Crazzy Steve vs. Moose & a partner

By Javier Machado, PWTorch contributor

Rohit Raju (photo from ImpactWrestling.com)

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•Final impact – HIT: I was already looking forward to Slammiversary with a mix of excitement (new, exciting characters to explore) and apprehension (old, tired, damaged talent sucking up the oxygen from the people they already have). This episode served to finish dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. There were several video packages promoting the various matches I won’t go into separately, but as usual, they were top notch and got the job of getting the matches over, done. Altogether, a solid go-home show.

•Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz & Kimber Lee & Rosemary & Taya Valkyrie vs. Jessicka Havok & Nevaeh & Alisha Edwards & Susie & Kylie Rae – HIT: This is your basic “a lot of people do a lot of stuff in rapid succession” match, there to give you a little taste of what you will see at Slammiversary. I like these when they are used sparingly. Susie wins when she hits Kimber Lee with Su Yung’s Panic Switch for the finish. For a brief moment we get a glimpse of Su Yung emerging which spells trouble for the women in the gauntlet match at Slammiversary.

•XXXL vs. The Deaners – HIT: So, XXXL turned heel today. I guess they needed something to help them move up the card. In what was a pretty good hard-hitting match, Larry D thought he had Cody Deaner pinned after hitting Cody with a sit down powerbomb. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t see Cousin Jake tag-in, and Larry got rolled up for the pin. Tired of losing, Larry D and Acey Romero attacked the Deaners after the bell.

•Bey and Swinger backstage – HIT: Swinger is still trying to convince Chris Bey that he can help out in Bey’s match against Willie Mack. He seeks out the official that banned him from ringside and claims that he is Bey’s emotional support person and that he’s going to sue if he can’t be by Bey’s side The official acquiesces (this looked like it was some remnant of the Cancel Culture storyline that was deep-sixed). When Swinger returns to Bey however, he overhears Bey bragging to a woman how he’s manipulating Swinger for his own gain. A crestfallen Swinger tells Bey that the office wouldn’t budge, and that Bey will be alone in his championship match. Good acting by Swinger. He had a normal human subdued reaction which speaks volumes for someone who is so over the top. It strongly got over his sadness.

•Deonna Purrazzo and Jordynne Grace contract signing – HIT: How long was this, five minutes give or take? That’s all this took to get over the match, the personalities of both women involved, and the animosity between them, with Grace slamming Purrazzo’s head into the table to boot. This is what I want from a contract signing.

•Moose & partner of his choice vs. Crazzy Steve & Tommy Dreamer – HIT: Shame on Moose. After costing Hernandez’s arm-wrestling match to Rhino (more on that in a bit) while trying to recruit Hernandez as his partner, Moose finally turns to Rohit Raju as his final option. I have never been more insulted by Moose. Rohit, despite feeling rightfully slighted, magnanimously agreed to help the hapless Moose. After a solid match, mostly carried by anyone not named Dreamer, Rohit allows himself to be pinned by Steve to teach Moose a lesson in humility. At least that was my interpretation of events.

•Rhino vs. Hernandez, impromptu cinematic street fight – MISS: So, the arm-wrestling match between Rhino and Hernandez went on for seven days. There are even scenes of the two men at the urinal still going at it. Moose’s interference in looking for a tag team partner causes Hernandez to lose but he refuses to pay up, telling Rhino that he’ll meet him outside. Later, the two men brawl in a multi-camera angle cinematic fight complete with soundtrack. Technically it was good, minus the scenes where we are looking up at Rhino, then Hernandez punching down at us. These are horrible looking shots even if it is a multi-angle fight. Brawling over a roll of cash also seem silly. Eventually, both men, exhausted, call it a draw and agree to split the money. The set up was funny in an irreverent way, but everything that followed was pretty pointless. Heath Slater can’t get here soon enough to rescue Rhino. 

•Trey Miguel and Ace Austin gym brawl – HIT: Throughout the episode there are scenes of Ace Austin and Madman Fulton heading to a gym to train. There are some good moments that serve to move Fulton away from being an uncontrolled wildman and giving him more agency. There is also a great promo by Austin that can make you believe that he stands a chance at being the Impact champion. The gym they are at is also the gym Trey and Zach work out at, and when Trey and Wentz find out, they head to the gym to ambush Austin. Wentz draws Fulton away and Trey and Austin fight in the second cinematic fight of the night. They used the soundtrack to good effect, switching up the music as the momentum and tempo of the fight switched up. Austin also delivers some effective villainous trash talking, enough to want me to see Trey kick his ass, which is an accomplishment. When Trey finally gets the upper hand, Fulton appears but Wentz, barb-wired chain in hand, quickly evens up the numbers and as such, Austin decides to leave.

Catch my Slammiversary PPV report right here on PWTorch.com on Saturday night!


CATCH UP… IMPACT WRESTLING HITS & MISSES 7/7: Rosemary & Valkyrie vs. Sisie & Kylie Rae, Kimber Lee vs. Jordynne Grace, Locker Room talk with Rayne, Alexander vs. Callihan, Dreamer apology, Hernandez

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