Impact Wrestling returned last night (June 28) from St. Clair college in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. You can find the results at the live blog here.
The focus of this week’s episode was the Knockouts division.
They opened the show with a promo from Madison Rayne, which was interrupted by Tessa Blanchard. After talking some trash, Tessa was not happy being reminded that she took an L from the #1 contender Madison weeks back.
This led to the main event match between the two.
It was similar to their first match, with Tessa dominating most of the time but Madison finding a way to win yet again. (This time, it was a crucifix pin.) The match was good, but the post match angle was better.
Tessa immediately attacked Madison after the loss, a move that completely fits her character. But before she could use a chair on her foe, Su Yung and her undead bridesmaids slowly marched to the ring. It almost looked like they were here to save Madison. (Spoiler: They weren’t.)
Su and her army surrounded the ring with both women inside. However, Tessa found an opening and bailed, leaving Madison to her fate.
The brides surrounded Rayne and started beating her until Su ordered them to stop. The Knockouts champ picked her up looking to finish her off with the Panic Switch.
Until Allie made the save!
Allie hasn’t been seen since losing her Knockouts title in a casket match, and honestly, I thought she could have been done with the company. But she’s at least here for four more episodes of Impact and that’s great.
This post-match angle was well done. Tessa got to play up her angry side but escaped when things were over her head. As someone who enjoys mystical wrestling angles, I enjoy Su and her bridesmaids. The imagery they create with the creepy music that accompanies them always captures my attention. And then we got the surprise return of Allie, who should be owned a Knockouts title rematch at one point.
It’s possible that Matt Sydal and Jimmy Jacobs have some sort of alliance going on.
It started when Sydal picked up a win over Dezmond Xavier this week. Sydal is really playing up his obnoxious spiritual gimmick during the bouts, and it’s fantastic. He’s very good at this. He even told Dezmond that he’s here to help him after he worked over his leg. He also points to his forehead (where the third eye is apparently located) all the time.
Plus he cheated to win, something he wasn’t doing enough of in his early run as a heel. He pushed the referee into the ropes to prevent Xavier from delivering one of his spectacular maneuvers from on high.
After the match, Brian Cage made his way to the ring, looking for revenge against the man who has a cheap victory over him. But he was immediately bumrushed by Kongo Kong, with Jimmy Jacobs in tow.
Their brawl spilled into the ring when Sydal nailed Cage in the back of the head with his X Division title. Then he and Jacobs shared a bow.
These guys seem like a perfect pair to have some dirty dealings. Matt Sydal is spiritual to the point of obnoxious. And Jimmy Jacobs is surely eccentric in his own right. I don’t foresee a long future of them doing business together, but it could be fun in the short term.
One of the clips taped at a different promotion was a post match attack by Sami Callihan and oVe on Pentagon Jr. The sadistic Callihan instructed the Crist brothers to hold down the former Impact champ while he undid his mask... and then he removed it.
That’s right, Callihan took Pentagon’s mask.
This is a huge insult to Pentagon and if Sami didn’t awaken the monster inside Pentagon last week, he surely did this week.
This was a good addition to this story, which sets up a hair vs. mask match at Slammiversary. It was such a big moment that it probably would have been better served inside the Impact Zone. But at the same time, a brief story-advancing moment like this is the best use of the footage from other promotions.
All Night Long
Rich Swann debuted in Impact with an impressive win over Trevor Lee.
Understandably, some people aren’t going to be able to enjoy Swann given the circumstances surrounding the domestic arrest that led to the end of his WWE career. Others may be able to fully enjoy him because they’re able to separate the performer and person or the fact charges were dropped is enough for them. I’m not here to tell you where to fit in with those possibilities. I’d prefer not to have to talk about these things at all in a wrestling recap, but it’s part of the baggage he carries so it should be addressed.
What is hard to deny is how damn talented he is in that ring. He showed off his moves last night and the crowd was hot for him.
Video Package Treatment
Moose got the video package treatment this week.
That’s not a bad thing. NXT uses this method to try to breathe life into talent that are stale or need more life. Now, it’s difficult to compete with WWE when it comes to putting together a hot video package, but this short one on Moose was pretty good.
He focused on his mother, who has always been there for him, even when he decided to go into professional wrestling. (A move that his ex-wife did not support.) He talked about how football was there so he took the opportunity but he never loved it like he does wrestling.
It’s a good start to give Moose a little dimension. Let’s see how they try to build off it.
Eddie Edwards attacked Tommy Dreamer at Tommy’s House of Hardcore promotion. He bloodied him and then walked out, not listening to his friend Moose, who tried to talk some sense in him.
This is pretty much the perfect way to use clips from other promotions. It was a five minute clip max. It makes sense because Tommy quit Impact because of how Eddie is acting. So the deranged Edwards had to track Dreamer down, who he thinks is sleeping with his wife.
There was no wasted time here. They started with the attack, we got to see Eddie rub Tommy’s blood on his face, ignore Moose, and leave.
New Tag Team
The Desi Hit Squad finally debuted after Impact announced them many moons ago.
The tag team, made of up Gursinder Singh & Rohit Raju and led by Gama Singh, picked up a win over former tag champs Z & E. They worked heel, though not overtly until the end. When it looked like the high flying Z & E were going to pick up the win, Gama Singh jumped on the apron to distract the referee. This allowed Gursinder to roll up Andrew Everett with a handful of tights.
This was a pretty good outing for the new tag team in Impact. (And Impact desperately needs more tag teams.) All the “wow” moments came from the former champs since that’s their gig, but the new duo acquitted themselves well in their debut.
A few words should be said about this new venue at St. Clair college in Windsor, Ontario.
The crowd looked full enough. Now of course, that doesn’t mean it was. But that doesn’t matter as long as you can’t tell on TV.
Perhaps because of a smaller venue or a venue that’s not set up for TV, there were some tighter camera shots, weird camera angles, and shakier camera work. This wasn’t as noticeable during the matches as it was during the one promo segment between Madison Rayne and Tessa Blanchard.
The crowd seemed pretty hot for this taping and came across as more excited than the typical Impact Zone crowd. And that’s very important.
Pros of the Show:
- Good post match angle to close the show
- Matt Sydal is so great as a heel
- They’re starting to use the footage taped elsewhere better
Cons of the Show:
- The new venue led to shakier camera work with weird angles
This was another solid episode this week, with a fun crowd to help it along. There wasn’t a ton of major storyline developments outside the Knockouts segment though.
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