The latest episode of Impact Wrestling (May 19, 2020) featured Moose defending his self-proclaimed TNA Heavyweight Championship in a rematch, Willie Mack defending the X-Division title against the Swingman, and the remaining two first round bouts of the World Championship #1 contender tournament with a fill-in for Ken Shamrock against Rhino and Michael Elgin against Sami Callihan.
Let’s run through the show from start to finish.
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne handled commentary once again.
Ken Shamrock was officially withdrawn from the #1 contender tournament after the attack last week from Michael Elgin. Shamrock’s replacement was Ace Austin.
BREAKING: @ShamrockKen is unable to compete in the #1 Contenders Tournament as a result of @MichaelElgin25's attack last week.@The_Ace_Austin will replace Shamrock and face @Rhyno313 in the First Round TOMORROW at 8/7c on @AXSTV!#IMPACTonAXSTV pic.twitter.com/WymjMMmVVI— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) May 18, 2020
#1 contender tournament: Ace Austin defeated Rhino. Speed vs power. Highlights were a suplex by Rhino on the floor and a superplex from Rhino. The finish involved shenanigans. Earlier, Rhino introduced a chair but never used it. At the end, Ace grabbed the chair and wound up. Rhino kicked him in the gut then grabbed the chair with bad intent. The referee intervened to snatch the chair from Rhino. Ace sneakily used his collapsible magic cane to bash Rhino then hit his Fold finisher to win. Ace advances to face Hernandez in the semifinals next week.
Self-proclaimed champ. Moose sat down with Josh Mathews. Mathews questioned when Moose’s charade will be over. His self-proclaimed reign as TNA Heavyweight Champion won’t end until someone beats him. Moose believes he is the real world champ. Mathews pressed about the legitimacy of this stunt. Moose rebutted by pointing out the referee and announcer treated it like a championship match. Mathews mentioned last week’s funny finish against Suicide. Moose is a fighting champion and will give Suicide a rematch tonight.
Kiera Hogan approached Tasha Steelz. Hogan proposed to take Steelz under her wing. Steelz accepted the offer. They will be riding vibes and snatching bitches together.
Crazzy Steve defeated Dave Crist. oVe was ringside. Steve started with a flurry of offense culminating with a slingshot plancha. Dave dominated the rest of the match until Steve hit a surprise flying DDT to win.
Madman Fulton had enough losing and quit oVe.
Side note: Joseph P. Ryan came out on the entrance ramp to take notes during that last contest.
Rosemary at the bar. She shared her plan with Mr. Mundo.
Taya isn’t around and owes Rosemary. Since Rosemary is bored, she will play with Taya’s servant, John E. Bravo. Bravo wasn’t interested in Rosemary’s games. She flirted in an attempt to seduce. It didn’t work... yet.
TJP & Fallah Bahh defeated XXXL. Highlights were a piggyback splash from TJP and Bahh, TJP jumping off Acey Romero’s back for a flying DDT, and a belly-to-belly suplex from Larry D to Bahh. In the end, Bahh smashed Larry with a Samoan drop. TJP crashed down with a mamba splash. Bahh pinned Larry for victory.
That should make TJP & Fallah Bahh the next tag title contenders whenever The North can come down from Canada.
Self-proclaimed TNA Heavyweight Championship: Moose retained against Suicide. Moose was more dominant this week. He caught Suicide on a hurricanrana attempt then swung him into the guardrail. The two men replayed a scene from last week’s encounter. Suicide turned the tide with a rolling slam then a Lionsault. After that, both took turns running into the corner but stopping short of smashing the ref this time. Suicide hit a Codebreaker to knock Moose down to one knee. 4 superkicks later and Suicide went for the pin. Moose kicked out. Suicide went high risk for a flying crossbody, however, Moose rolled him over upon impact for the 1, 2, 3.
Michael Elgin is the best and will be Impact World Champion. You hate his claims now, but you will love him when reflecting upon history. To Ken Shamrock, you are the most dangerous until someone unbreakable comes around. To Sami Callihan, words don’t hurt, but Elgin does.
Chris Bey was proud of Johnny Swinger for standing up to Willie Mack. Bey tried to manipulate Swinger with the idea of there being more than one way to win. Even if Swinger doesn’t win the X-Division belt, he can still win by teaching Mack a lesson.
X-Division Championship: Willie Mack retained against Johnny Swinger. Swinger took it to Mack early. Mack rebounded with a spinning slam, running leg drop, then a running corner smash. Swinger countered Mack into a swinging neckbreaker. 1, 2, Mack got his foot on the rope. Swinger thought he won and grabbed the title to celebrate. Once the referee informed Swinger that the match was not over, he tried to clock Mack with the belt. Mack ducked then hit a Samoan drop and standing moonsault to win.
Swinger was upset, so he clipped Mack in the knee. Chris Bey ran out to help Swinger put the boots to Mack. Swinger went to raise Bey’s hand, but Bey pulled away to unload punches on Mack. Swinger was realizing that Bey played him. Bey saw Swinger’s look then went over to let Swinger raise his hand. Swinger was excited again then stomped on Mack some more.
The North in Canada. Josh Alexander wasn’t interested in another cheap title defense. Cody Deaner randomly showed up to challenge The North. Cousin Jake was still in the USA, so Cody proposed a different family member, Wheels. It was implied to be the referee in a wheel chair. Ethan Page burst out in laughter then accepted. Name the place, name the date for the tag title bout. Cody replied next week in the Deaner compound. After The North left, Cody told the ref that Wheels is actually someone else.
#1 contender tournament: Michael Elgin defeated Sami Callihan. Callihan had a noticeable limp from Ken Shamrock’s ankle lock at Rebellion. Of course, Elgin focused his attack on the leg. Callihan had no quit and fought tough despite the injury. He even hit a suicide dive and a back suplex. Elgin went low again to take control. Elgin then peppered Callihan with front and back clotheslines. Callihan was still standing. Elgin ran the ropes, but Callihan’s leg gave out and he collapsed to the mat in pain.
Callihan surprised Elgin with a back suplex and running forearm strike. Elgin kicked out at 2. Callihan tried to finish it with a piledriver. Elgin powered out. That led to a buckle bomb by Elgin. Callihan was shifty and attempted a backslide. Elgin responded with a spinning backfist to crush Callihan. Elgin went for another buckle bomb, but Callihan escaped. His gimpy leg failed him again. Elgin unleashed another spinning backfist then an Elgin Bomb to win.
Elgin advances to face Trey Miguel in the semifinals next week.
The stock of both Michael Elgin and Sami Callihan increased in my book. Elgin for shutting up that loudmouth Sami Callihan, and Callihan for showing intestinal fortitude to compete with a clearly damaged leg. I’m glad Elgin won. He is the contender I most want to see compete for gold against Tessa Blanchard.
Ace Austin is an intriguing wrinkle to replace Ken Shamrock. He has the skills to win the tournament. Also, Ace’s past story with Tessa gives enough ammunition to believe he could be triumphant and not make the tournament winner predictably Elgin.
Moose is mighty. He backed up his bravado by winning fair and square against Suicide. I like the callback to last week’s finish. Credit to Josh Mathews for digging to find out how long Moose will keep the charade afloat. Impact is doing a good job of closing open doors in this TNA Heavyweight Championship story for it to make sense. I’m curious if the TNA belt will become a prize for a legend or another notch on Tessa’s resume in gold vs gold. I’d love if WWE could loan Jeff Jarrett out for one night, so he could return to defeat Moose and retire that title again.
Poor Johnny Swinger. I actually felt bad for him falsely thinking he won the X-Division strap and for also feeling duped by Chris Bey. It was a smart story touch to see Bey reluctantly realize he needs to massage Swinger’s ego, so he could continue to manipulate him. Swinger has to find redemption one of these days. I would love it if it came against Bey down the line.
I fear for John E. Bravo. This scheme from Rosemary is reading like Bravo will be left hung upside down in some dungeon of seduction.
We’ll close with a new signing and a new t-shirt. Tasha Steelz is officially part of the Knockouts division.
BREAKING: You saw her on IMPACT last night and now it's official, Tasha Steelz has signed with IMPACT Wrestling! https://t.co/I5eyLVj0m2 has an exclusive interview with the #BoricuaBadAss: https://t.co/hsM85Wijqu pic.twitter.com/9NR7fHbMz0— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) May 13, 2020
Johnny Swinger wants you to pick up a Swingman shirt at a gimmick table near you. This was filmed before his match against Willie Mack.
Share your thoughts on Impact. Which match stole the show? Who put in your favorite performance? Who are you picking to advance to the #1 contender tournament final?