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Impact Wrestling recap & reactions: #1 contender tournament announced for World Championship

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The latest episode of Impact Wrestling (May 5, 2020) dealt with the fallout from Rebellion (Night 1, Night 2). It featured the set up to a #1 contender tournament for the World Championship, a new Knockout revealed for the roster, and an X-Division triple threat title defense in the main event.

#1 contender tournament

Rebellion left us with numerous questions about the hierarchy of challengers for Tessa Blanchard’s Impact World Championship. Her three-way bout with Michael Elgin and Eddie Edwards had been canceled due to coronavirus travel restrictions. Elgin wanted to declare himself as the rightful champ, but Moose threw a wrench in those plans with the TNA Heavyweight Championship. That led to a ‘title defense’ between Moose, Elgin, and Hernandez. Moose won that match and caused a shake-up for Tessa’s next challenger.

The show opened with Sami Callihan handling unfinished business with Ken Shamrock. Callihan came down to the ring walking awkwardly to sell the heel hook damage at the hands of Shamrock. Callihan went toe to toe with the “World’s Most Dangerous Man” and is still standing. It will take a lot more to keep him down. The referee thought he needed help by ending the match. oVe thought he needed help too. Callihan doesn’t need help from anyone. That’s why he attacked oVe. Callihan called out Shamrock to deal with their unfinished business.

Shamrock was impressed that Callihan did not tap out. He’s fought lots of tough SOBs. Big Show, Bas Rutten, and The Rock all tapped out. Shamrock gave Callihan two choices. They could take it back outside and finish it. Or, they could shake hands, put it behind them, and go after the Impact World Championship. Shamrock offered his hand. Right as Callihan stepped toward Shamrock, Michael Elgin’s music hit.

Elgin is the one and only rightful #1 contender. The line starts behind him. Callihan responded that Elgin will choke like he always does. Elgin clocked Callihan for that comment. Shamrock hit Elgin. Callihan was setting Elgin up for a maneuver, but Elgin escaped the ring. Callihan and Shamrock were tentative pals for a brief moment. Shamrock offered his hand again. Callihan used his ICU device to do the lights out, lights on disappearing act.

Later, Moose had a sitdown interview with Josh Mathews. Moose believes he is the TNA Heavyweight Champion because he has defeated TNA greats in Shamrock, RVD, and Rhino. That makes Moose the real world champion in Impact. Mathews mentioned the #1 contender tournament. Moose withdraw from participating. He already has the most prestigious belt around his waist. It was later announced that Moose will ‘defend’ his title against Suicide next week.

Rohit Raju knew he had to take the opportunity to grab Moose’s tournament spot. He is on his own path away from the Desi Hit Squad. Rohit wants his seat at the main table and will win the #1 contendership.

Impact then revealed the full bracket.

  • Rohit Raju vs Trey Miguel
  • Sami Callihan vs Michael Elgin
  • Ken Shamrock vs Rhino
  • Madman Fulton vs Hernandez

Rohit vs Trey and Fulton vs Hernandez will take place next week.

Impact did a nifty job of weaving all those stories together so that the tournament makes sense. There is enough unpredictability for the journey to be worth paying attention. Callihan vs Elgin in the first round is a monster of a match. I expect that winner to be in the finals. The other side is more up for grabs. Shamrock seems like the favorite, but can Impact really squeeze three matches out of him in a short taping period? I’m picking the winner of the Fulton vs Hernandez hoss fight to make it to the finals.

Moose holding the TNA title is wacky, but his beliefs are justified in a delusional heel sort of way. I’m crossing my fingers that a petition on for Disco Inferno to challenge Moose picks up steam. Right now, it has only 5 signatures. Between Moose’s title defense and the tournament, Impact should have plenty of riveting matches to bide time until they can get their full crew back together.

X-Division main event

The main event was an X-Division title defense from Willie Mack against Chris Bey and Ace Austin. Mack was fresh off winning gold from Ace, while Bey found victory in a four-way singles bout at Rebellion.

Bey declared himself to be the undisputed X-Division #1 contender. He will finesse his way into winning the title.

Mack was still riding high from taking the X-Division Championship. He didn’t expect to defend the belt so quick. Bey may have finessed his way into something he doesn’t want. That would be Mack finessing his foot up Bey’s ass.

Ace heard about Bey getting a title shot, so he put himself into that main event due to his rematch clause. That made it a triple threat.

The match was pretty solid. Mack had the early highlight with a double Samoan drop followed by a standing moonsault.

The pace picked up during a three-way exchange of strikes. Mack took charge with furious running attacks to each opponent in separate corners. Mack was setting up a powerbomb to Ace off the turnbuckles, but Ace grabbed the ropes. Bey ran over for a German suplex to Ace.

Mack hit a stunner to Bey. He climbed the corner for a frog splash, but Ace surprised Mack with a headscissors off the turnbuckles down onto Bey. Ace hit the Fold on Mack. Bey broke the pin up. Ace then hit the Fold on Bey. Mack broke the pin up. Ace hit two spinning kicks to Mack. Ace went for a super hurricanrana. Mack blocked it to send Ace crashing down to the mat, then Mack flew for the frog splash to win and retain the X-Division Championship.

New Knockout on the roster

The last bit of headline news came from Locker Room Talk with Madison Rayne and Johnny Swinger. The guest was Havok. Rayne asked Havok about coming up short against Rosemary in Full Metal Mayhem. Havok threatened Rayne. About Nevaeh appearing last week, Havok doesn’t know why Nevaeh was there. Rayne then revealed another person from Havok’s past, Kimber Lee. Trash-talk ensued

It was later announced that Havok will wrestle Lee next week.

You may remember Kimber Lee from her a stint in NXT. She has won 11 championships across several promotions. Lee was ranked 35th in the 2017 PWI Female 50.

Let’s blitz through the rest of the results.

XXXL defeated oVe. Jake Crist and Madman Fulton represented oVe. Dave Crist was ringside for support. The highlights were a rolling DVD from Madman to Acey Romero and an oVe teamwork powerbomb/neckbreaker combo.

For the finish, Romero pounced Madman out of the ring. Larry D socked Jake with a right hand punch to win.

Cody Deaner demonstrated his quarantine habits. He washed his hands with a neighbor’s hose, drank beer with action figures, and tried selling merch on the side of the road to make money.

Suicide defeated Johnny Swinger. A swanton was the winning maneuver.

Joseph P. Ryan defeated Jake Deaner. Ryan won with an eye poke behind the referee’s back then grabbed the tights on a roll-up.

Kiera Hogan is the girl on fire. Atlanta is all she’s ever known. Getting into wrestling was scary and new. It’s time for her to get out of the passenger seat.

Impact Tag Team Championship: The North retained against The Creeps. The North wanted to defend their belts against the best Canada has to offer. They brought in two jabrones. The North squashed the Creeps in a comedy segment. Ethan Page picked up the winning pin.

Rosemary looking for seduction. Back at the bar, she looked to the cards for another epic battle. Perhaps a celestial battle, usurp the Undead Realm throne, or staying on Earth. Rosemary received a message from her bunny doll. I didn’t understand what Rosemary was talking about. It seemed to end with choosing someone for seduction.

Share your thoughts on Impact. Who are you picking to win the #1 contender tournament? Which first-round match are you most excited for? Are you happy with the addition of Kimber Lee to the Knockouts division?