SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
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Final impact – PUSH: Capped with an emotional end to the show that others undoubtedly found more resonating than I, this was a decent show. We got another “EC3” promo and incremental movement on the top storylines. For those that vehemently hate them, there were two Wrestle House skits to tune out. For those of us with souls, while some of the gags didn’t land like they hoped, the melodrama was solid. Add some matches with good in ring action and/or psychology… and yeah, decent.
Heath vs. Moose, TNA World Heavyweight Championship match (?) – HIT: This was a high stakes match for Heath as he not only wrestled for the we-don’t-know-if-its-an-official-title-but-they-are-kinda-treating-it-as-such TNA Heavyweight Championship, but for a spot on the roster. I really liked how they structured the match with Moose and Heath going even at the start but Moose slowly gaining the upper hand as he wore Heath down. It wasn’t until Moose insulted Heath’s children (which Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne shouted all over on commentary, showing a complete lack of awareness of the storyline unfolding in the ring) that Heath made his comeback and nearly won with the Wake-Up Call, only the ref had been taken out earlier. A low blow from Moose coupled with a handful of tights and Heath’s dreams were dashed.
Gia Miller interviews Willie Mack – MISS: Gia Miller asked Willie Mack about Rich Swann’s announcement, but Mack has no Idea what it might be about. Mack is just not a good speaker. He does come across as the everyman, which is kind of charming, I suppose, but I can’t get myself emotionally invested in what he is saying if he himself doesn’t appear to be.
Carter (EC3) video promo – HIT: While not explicitly mentioned, I believe Carter is shedding the “EC3” moniker and going with “Carter” from now on. A move that makes sense since his overall mission statement is to reinvent himself by destroying the past (a concept that is a personal anathema to me but he seems to be presented as a babyface so I’ll roll with it). He announced his next step in his plan which is to win the we-don’t-know-if-its-an-official-title-but-they-are-kinda-treating-it-as-such TNA Heavyweight Championship in order to destroy it and with it his past. Great delivery from Carter, and I’m intrigued by him as his character stands on the line between face and heel.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) August 5, 2020
Jimmy Jacob interviews the Motor City Machine Guns – PUSH: Alex Shelly and Chris Sabin took the time to give us a general heads up of what they’ve been doing and what has brought them back to Impact Wrestling, shining each other up along the way. They were interrupted by The North, Josh Alexander and Ethan Page, who made excuses for their loss and brought up their rematch. The Motor City Machine Guns were ready to go right there but The North wants the match at Impact Emergence. What they did with Shelly and Sabin was nice, but Ethan Page went a bit too far in his promo, yelling WAY too much. The segment was fine for what it was.
Deonna Purrazzo and Kimber Lee backstage – PUSH: Kimber Lee, barged into Deonna Purrazzo’s dressing room and struck a deal with Deonna. Kimber Lee would take out Deonna’s Jordynne Grace problem, and in return, Deonna gives her a title shot. This gives Grace something to do I guest.
Wrestle House, Johnny Swinger vs. Alisha Edwards & Susie – PUSH: Taya called a house meeting to discuss everyone’s personal hygiene in a segment of Wrestle House that expanded a bit on the burgeoning relationship between Cousin Jake and Susie. Alisha Edwards stepped in to show Susie how to use her feminine “wilds” (seriously, Alisha’s lack of grasp of the English language is one of her most endearing qualities). Johnny Swinger showed up a said he could “handle” both women and Tommy Dreamer took this to mean he wanted a handicap match. So that happened. It was what you can imagine a Swinger versus two women in a gag match would look like. The two women finish Swinger with dual splashes and the referee, Cousin Jake, counted the pin. Mildly entertaining but most of the jokes in this one didn’t land for me. After the match, Kylie approached John E. Bravo to discuss Rosemary, which upset Bravo leading to the next segment of Wrestle House.
Eddie Edwards (c) vs. Sami Callihan, Impact World Championship match – PUSH: The things I liked and the things I hated in this segment pretty much cancelled each other out. The thing I hated… Katie Forbes. We didn’t know who Edwards’s challenger was going to be until we get the ICU hack. When the lights came back on, Sami was there but RVD wass behind him with a chair. Rob Van Dam and Katie Forbes attacked Sami and left. Sami got back up and decided to go through with the match anyway. The match itself was fine, and it was a reminder of their infamous rivalry. The part I liked, since we get to see the most telling evidence of Sami’s change, is when Sami brought out a chair to take out Edwards. Only Sami softens and thinking twice, tossed the chair away. Edwards took advantage and hit the Boston Knee Party and won. I don’t like how Edwards took advantage of an opening created when another wrestler “did the right thing”. I would’ve much rather Edwards recognize what Sami did, the two square off as equals, and have Edwards go over clean at that point. Still, the twerking in the beginning soured me on the whole thing.
Wrestle House: Kylie Rae vs. Rosemary – HIT: I liked this Wrestle House segment much better than the first since it furthered the drama between Rosemary and John E. Bravo which is the whole thrust of Wrestle House’s narrative. Bravo, upset by his predicament, tried to leave the house. Rosemary, who was looking for him, ran into Kylie Rae who confesses that she spoke to Bravo about Rosemary. Angry at Kylie’s meddling, Rosemary called Tommy Dreamer to demand a match. The match was officiated by Taya who cheated on behalf of her BFF Rosemary. Bravo, having changed his mind about leaving (not that he could, I don’t think) came to ringside to cheer Rosemary. Rosemary was suddenly taken by Bravo’s reappearance and support and that distraction led her to eating a superkick from Kylie. Taya had no choice but to count out the knocked-out Rosemary. Bravo checked on Rosemary and admitted that he had feelings for her, but he knows that pursuing a relationship with Rosemary would lead to issues with Taya. Get out the tissue, there is no way this does not end in heartbreak. The telenovela has been cranked to eleven and I love it.
Doc Gallows arrested, Karl Anderson jumped – PUSH: I’m not sure I’d take my storyline cues from angles recently run on WWE Smackdown, but that is what we got here. Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson were leaving (had they even been on the show?) when they found their car broken into and beer cans littered around. The sheriff showed up thinking they had been drinking and driving. Ace Austin showed up and accused them of such. This led to a scuffle between Austin and Gallows that ending with Gallows accidentally string an officer and getting arrested. Later in the show, Anderson is backstage on the phone with Gallows when he is attacked by Austin and Madman Fulton and left lying. I am ready for this storyline to move forward to the next step.
Hernandez and Reno Scum – THINGS THAT HAPPENED THIS EPISODE: Hernandez, still upset that Rhino has the money Rhino fairly won from Hernandez has hired Reno Scum to take out Rhino. There is a tag team attacking Rhino? Heath to the rescue?
Chris Bey & Rohit Raju vs. TJP & Fallah Bahh – HIT: I don’t know if I’ve said this before, but if I have, I’ll say it again and again, I don’t think there is a wrestler today (maybe Kota Ibushi) who has more body control and more confidence in his body, than TJP. Every motion he makes is calculated and precise. Chris Bey, while not at that level of effortlessness, is up there, none the less. These two heading towards an X Division Championship match is something I’m looking forward to. This was a hard fought, fast moving match, everyone confident in what they were doing. Though likely short lived, I like the tag team pairing of Rohit Raju and Bey. Teamwork for the two went awry when Rohit who had immobilized TJP was pulled out of the ring by Fallah Bahh, letting TJP counter Bey into a submission for the tap.
Rich Swann announcement – HIT: To be perfectly honest, the moment I saw the despair on Rich Swann’s face, I was prepared to hate this. Swann cut an emotional promo (I could say maudlin) talking about how he got to this point, his recent travails, and his return cut tragically short by Eric Young. Oh great, I thought, another fake retirement angle. An emotional farewell followed by a swerve. I decided to go back and watch it again without the baggage of seeing angles like these play out over decades of watching wrestling, so instead, I’m giving it a pass. Swann’s speech was powerful and moving, he’s a pretty good speaker. The wrestlers coming out to celebrate him seemed a bit too choreographed and was the thing that most brought me out of the moment. Eric Young coming out and attacking Swann was vicious and the wrestler’s reactions were spot on. I especially liked Eddie Edwards as the champion and locker room leader coming back to tend to Swann. So overall it was effective in getting over Eric Young as a loathsome, despicable heel.