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Impact recap & reactions: Major upset in #1 contender tournament

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The latest episode of Impact! (May 26, 2020) featured a cinematic hillbilly brawl, a new Knockout, and the World Championship #1 contender tournament semifinals.

Upset city, baby

The semifinal bouts of the Impact World Championship #1 contender tournament took place as Hernandez tussled with Ace Austin and Michael Elgin danced with Trey Miguel. One of those resulted in a major upset.

The opening bout was Hernandez versus Ace Austin. Speed vs power. Hernandez tossed Ace around until Ace used a referee distraction to kick the ropes into Hernandez’s cojones as he was getting back in the ring. Ace focused on knocking out the big man’s legs. Hernandez still found the might to muscle up. Ace kept escaping Hernandez’s signature moves to clip SuperMex in the knee. That led to Ace winning with The Fold.

Ace advances to the tournament final next week. Impact is arguing that this is an upset, but I’m not so sure about that. Hernandez had the power and experience advantage, but Ace currently has a higher status in the company coming off an X-Division title run. If you ask me, Ace would win 9 times out of 10. I think Ace’s smart strategy of attacking the legs proves that.

Michael Elgin versus Trey Miguel closed the show. The match lasted about 20 minutes. Elgin was confident going in. He declared that he will always be #1 contender until he becomes Impact Wold Champion.

The first big move of the contest was a DDT on the floor from Trey. Trey followed up with a split-legged moonsault. Elgin rebounded with a facebreaker then a double underhook backbreaker. The match progressed with Elgin using his power and veteran savvy to maintain control, while Trey used his shiftiness to stay alive with a variety of escapes and counters. Elgin was wearing down Trey and setting up for the finish when Sami Callihan used his ICU hacker tactics to make a scene flashing the lights. Trey capitalized on the distraction with a surprise jackknife pin to win.

Trey defeating Elgin is the major upset I was referring to. I did not see that coming at all. Elgin was the heavy favorite to win the entire tournament. I’m actually shocked he was bounced in the semifinals. Trey will reignite his rivalry with Ace in the finals next week.

Hillbilly Theater

Impact put on another cinematic wrestling piece. This time it was The North defending the tag team titles against Cody Deaner and the mysterious Wheels on the “Deaners Compund.” Check it out in all its glory.

The early teases to hype the fight began as a motorcycle dude rode by Cody. He yelled that this ain’t no boneyard. Cody surmised that the rider was probably American and thinks he is a badass. Meanwhile, The North arrived in a limousine. They cackled with laughter at the countryside on the way to the site of the fight. Some creepy Deaner family member welcomed them to the compound. He threatened them for laughing then ran away.

The North approached a locked barn. The weirdo from earlier opened the door and ran away again. More Deaners were waiting inside. Cody pep-talked his family about winning gold. The North were upset about so many Deaners being present. They reiterated that it was supposed to be 2 vs 2. Cody assured them it would be fair. They will fight like men to the finish. The reveal of Cody’s partner, Wheels, turned out to be a very rotund fellow.

Ding, ding, ding. The fight was a brawl in cinematic style. The action spilled outside the barn. Highlights were a double-team Razor’s Edge from the North out of the back of a truck onto a pile of Deaners, a flying crossbody from Cody off the top of a truck, and Josh Alexander piledriving Cody on the roof of a tall trailer. The North pushed over the ladder to prevent Cody from eventually getting down. That led to 2-on-1 action against Wheels.

The North beat up Wheels back in ring, meanwhile, the Deaner family helped get the ladder for Cody to return. Cody cleaned house on The North. Cody had Josh Alexander pinned on a DDT, but the referee had been knocked out. The North put Cody down with a double-team slam. Wheels revived for a double chokeslam attempt, but some stooge (I think the promoter from The North’s past gym segments) low-blowed the big man. The stooge revealed a referee’s shirt and counted to three for a North victory. All the Deaners chased The North off their property with pitchforks.

Let’s cruise through the rest of the show.

Johnny Swinger approached Chris Bay backstage. The Swingman smells chemistry. Swinger had his bag of gimmicks; a role of quarters, Fuji dust, and a taped-up gimmick. Bey suggested they call it in the ring. Swinger was enthused at doing it old school.

Chris Bey defeated Cousin Jake Deaner. Swinger was ringside and dancing to Bey’s entrance music. Swinger proved his usefulness in the end by causing a distraction. Bey hit Deaner with the a Fameasser and a kick to the mush to win. Afterward, both men put the boots to Deaner. Willie Mack ran out for the save.

Rohit Raju wanted to know when he would get his next opportunity. Chase Stevens interrupted to defend the TNA name, even though, Rohit didn’t mention TNA. Stevens insulted Rohit, so Rohit scheduled a match next week to whoop Stevens’ ass.

Kimber Lee vs Havok. This was a rematch from last week when Lee used brass knuckles to win. In the end, Lee raked Havok’s eyes then went for her brass knuckles again. Nevaeh ran in for the surprise attack on Lee to save Havok. Nevaeh and Havok came together for a teamwork cutter slam.

The match was thrown out, although, Lee technically deserves the DQ win.

Kylie Rae accidentally ran into Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz. Hogan and Steelz took it as a sign of disrespect. Susie came out, and Hogan mouthed off. Steelz sucker punched Rae in the gut. The bad girls put the boots to Susie. The violence caused Susie to have a Su Yung flashback.

Joseph P. Ryan informed the Crists that he has a match next week against “Mentally Unwell” Steve. He invited them to come to the match to learn how they deal with problems in Cancel Culture.

TJP and Fallah Bahh are ready for a title shot against The North. Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz came up to say they should be ahead of them in line. The recent record is 1-1 against each other. A tag bout was made for next week.

In the Treehouse, the Rascalz discussed their tag match next week. Moose entered the circle. He handed Trey a smooth pair of sunglasses. The trio didn’t understand why Moose was carrying the TNA Heavyweight Championship. Moose tried to convince Trey into coming after his TNA title instead of gunning for the Impact World Championship. They mocked Moose, so he left them a stern warning of potential physical danger.

Deonna Purrazzo made a surprise appearance with a hype promo as a new member of Impact Wrestling. She is the Virtuosa. Purrazzo possesses outstanding technical ability and has cultivated an appreciation for artistic excellence. She has formulated the perfect equation for success, which she implements with precision.

Rosemary regaled John E. Bravo with tales of human sacrifice as the Demon Assassin. That was in the past under her father. Now, the shadow allows more creative freedom to allure souls. Bravo could relate by feeling like he sold his soul to Taya. Rosemary wanted to be in Bravo’s corner. Bravo liked the idea of them sticking together. Rosemary has now broken the ice on her quest for seduction.

In a bubble, Trey Miguel vs Ace Austin is an interesting final for #1 contender tournament. Looking at the whole picture, I’m not that excited. The match should be solid, but I’m not eager to see either of them challenge for Tessa Blanchard’s Impact World Championship in the near future. I don’t envision Trey beating Tessa to become the face of the company. As for Ace vs Tessa, we had that as a mini feud not too long ago. Nothing has really happened in the meantime for either character to evolve.

I’m bummed Michael Elgin was eliminated, since I’m pulling for him to become champ. It was an interesting call from an upset perspective, but I didn’t like the execution. Let Trey win on his own to pump up his stock. The ICU distraction from Sami Callihan helped no one look better.

The Deaner Compound fight was so-so. Coming off the epic Stadium Stampede in AEW, this cinematic match was bound to pale in comparison. I think the biggest issue was that the action wasn’t all that exciting. It felt like 90% punches. The humor had its bright spots though.

Impact is really racking up the storylines in the Knockouts division. In this episode alone, we had Rosemary continuing to seduce John E. Bravo, a tag team bout arranged for next week between Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz and Kylie Rae & Susie, and Nevaeh joining forces with Havok against Kimber Lee. All three segments were entertaining in their own way. Hogan and Steelz came off the best as backstage bullies. My initial impression of Nevaeh attacking Lee was confusion. I didn’t read the story playing that way based on the past few appearances of Nevaeh during Havok’s matches. It will be interesting to see if Lee picks up an ally to even the odds.

Share your thoughts on Impact! Which match stole the show? Who put in your favorite performance? Were does the Deaner Compound brawl rank in recent cinematic wrestling fights?