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Impact recap & reactions: Jordynne Grace takes out Taya but has a new Knockouts challenger

The latest episode of Impact Wrestling (June 9, 2020) featured a big-time three-way with Micheal Elgin, Ken Shamrock, and Sami Callihan, a Knockouts title bout between Jordynne Grace and Taya, and Deonna Purrazzo making a statement in her return.

If you missed the big news, Tessa Blanchard has been scheduled to defend the World Championship in a five-way bout at Slammiversary on July 17.

Let’s roll through the show from beginning to end.

Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne were on commentary. Don Callis was shown to be in the building, so perhaps Rayne impressed enough to earn her spot as announcer going forward instead of Callis. She does make a good pair with Nerd Boy.

Michael Elgin defeated Ken Shamrock and Sami Callihan in a three-way. Shamrock ran out before his music to fight Elgin. Callihan did his ICU magic trick to transport into the ring. Shamrock had the flashiest move of the match via plancha over the ropes to the outside with impressive athleticism for a man of his age with bad knees.

In the early going, Elgin took turns fighting both Shamrock and Callihan. The mystery between Ken and Sami was if they would become friends. They ended up fighting each other when Callihan flashed the finger in Shamrock’s face.

For the finishing sequence, Shamrock charged up to become the world’s most dangerous man. He no-sold two consecutive DDTs from Elgin. Ankle lock time to Big Mike. Elgin crawled to the corner and grabbed onto the turnbuckle, but Shamrock dragged him back to the center of the ring. This resulted in the turnbuckle pad being ripped off to expose steel. Callihan crawled into the ring and grabbed Elgin’s arm to prevent him from tapping out. Shamrock let go and snatched Callihan’s leg for an ankle lock. Sami rolled over to send Ken into the exposed steel, but Shammy stopped short before impact. Elgin barreled Callihan into Shamrock into the steel. A spinning backfist from Elgin knocked Callihan out of the ring. An Elgin Bomb to Shamrock won the match for Big Mike.

Afterward, Callihan and Shamrock looked into each other’s eyes. The question remained if they would finally become pals. Callihan used his ICU gimmick to disappear from sight.

Jordynne Grace was asked if she felt nervous returning to Impact after six weeks off due to coronavirus precautions. It feels like home to return to normalcy, and normal is Grace dominating the competition. When Grace drives Taya’s head through the mat in their Knockouts title match, then Grace will know everything is back to normal.

Who attacked Trey? Zachary Wentz and Dezmond Xavier were discussing being #1 contenders for the tag titles when Trey Miguel walked up. Trey was upset about being jumped last week. Wentz brought up Ace Austin’s name as a suspect, but Dez saw him going in to the bathroom. That cleared Ace’s name from the suspect list.

Wentz then accused Reno Scum. The North walked up to inform the Rascalz of an imminent ass whipping when they have their title match next week. Wentz started to accuse The North as the culprits of Trey’s beatdown, but The North pointed the finger back at Wentz with logic about who had the most to gain from the situation. Wentz denied it, but it didn’t look like Trey was ruling him out as a suspect. Wentz left to, “go do something.”

Tasha Steelz defeated Susie. Kiera Hogan was ringside. Steelz controlled the majority of the bout. For the finish, Steelz took flight, but Susie struck her with a palm thrust on the way down. 2 count on the pin. Kiera hopped onto the apron as a distraction to Susie. That led to a cutter for Steelz to win.

Ace Austin speculated about the World Championship announcement. The only logical explanation is that he gets crowned champ, since he won the #1 contender tournament. Enter Moose on the scene. He tried reverse psychology to convince Ace that he should challenge for the TNA Heavyweight Championship instead. Ace brushed him off. Enter Hernandez. He challenged Moose for next week. Moose backed away.

Deonna Purrazzo arrived in a slick white automobile, but we never actually saw her.

Tasha Steelz was backstage celebrating her win with Kiera Hogan. They were talking tough until they turned the corner and ran into Havok and Nevaeh. The boisterous ladies slowed their roll. Nevaeh wanted a tag bout, but that was off the table since Steelz just finished a match. Kiera and Tasha claimed not to be scared, but their stammering said otherwise. They weaseled away to close the scene.

Rohit Raju approached Rhino about last week’s Gore. Rohit questioned if it was Rhino’s way to show tough love to become a tag team. Rhino already has a tag partner, and that partner has kids (Heath Slater). Rhino didn’t like the disrespect from Rohit, so he threatened another Gore. Rohit exited off camera then shot back to attack once Rhino’s back was turned. The two brawled for a little bit.

Taya was backstage searching for John E. Bravo.

Willie Mack & Jake Deaner defeated Finesse and Bench Press Express. For the closing sequence, Deaner clotheslined both Chris Bey and Johnny Swinger. Hot tag to Mack culminating in a standing moonsault on top of both opponents. Kick out of the pin. Deaner clotheslined Bey out of the ring. Swinger tried to swoop in on Mack for his rolling neckbreaker finisher, but Mack countered into a stunner for victory.

After the match, Bey and Swinger put the boots to Mack and Deaner as sore losers. Cody Deaner returned for the save with a big DDT to Bey.

Rosemary at the bar. Rosemary was still on her quest to seduce John E. Bravo. Taya interrupted with her bossy demands for Bravo. Taya downplayed Rosemary’s assertions of abandonment by claiming she was only following the health rules about the coronavirus. Taya presented Rosemary a Micro Brawler to always keep her company. Rosemary was interested in helping Taya re-establish dominance over the Knockouts division, so she would be ringside for the title fight main event. Taya dragged Rosemary away to pick out matching outfits.

Tessa Blanchard’s match at Slammiversary. It was announced that she will defend the World Championship in a five-way against Michael Elgin, Eddie Edwards, Ace Austin, and Trey Miguel. I covered the full segment separately. Read details here.

Backstage interviewer Gia Miller knocked on the door of Deonna Purrazzo. No answer, so she snooped inside. No one there.

Cancel Culture. Joseph P. Ryan introduced Jacob Christ as the new member. He was wearing a black button shirt and fluorescent plaid shorts. RVD and Katie Forbes were also there smooching in the background. Forbes was wearing a full bodysuit. Crist was once versus everything, now he is for everyone to make Impact the safe space it should be. Ryan proclaimed that Crist was going to teach Mentally Unwell (Crazzy) Steve a lesson. By using words that hurt, you will get hurt.

Jacob Crist defeated Crazzy Steve. Steve had momentum until Ryan provided a distraction. Crist unleashed a flurry of feet to knock Steve out for the pin and win.

Knockouts Championship: Jordynne Grace retained against Taya. John E. Bravo and Rosemary were ringside. Grace attacked early with a suicide dive onto Taya, Rosemary, and Bravo.

The big move of the match was a powerbomb by Grace out of the corner.

In the end, Grace escaped Taya’s Road to Valhalla finisher and locked in a rear naked choke. Taya rolled to the ropes looking for help, but Rosemary and Bravo were occupied flirting with each other. Taya was forced to tap.

Virtuosa. After the match, Grace’s celebration was interrupted by Deonna Purrazzo. Purrazzo offered her hand for a shake to congratulate Grace on her win. Grace accepted, then Purrazzo swiftly applied an arm bar to make a statement. She let go before doing serious damage. Purrazzo stood tall to show she is likely the next contender for the Knockouts Championship.

Canadians are team players. The show ended with Elgin taking a phone call. He was showing massive respect to whoever was on the line by referring to that person as sir. Everything is going great. “You know us Canadians, we’ve always been team players.”

Poor, Taya. I was rooting for her to take back the Knockouts gold. Alas, it was not meant to be as she was surrounded by knuckleheads who can’t focus on cheating. If Impact isn’t going to bring in women’s tag titles, then I hope this loss brings out the craziness in Taya. La Wera Loca has the wera part, now she just needs more loca. I was hyped after she piled so many chairs on top of Tenille Dashwood before the Full Metal Mayhem match that ended up being cancelled due to the coronavirus. My favorite Taya is the no fear, butt kicking version.

Deonna Purrazzo certainly made an impact. Putting the champ in an arm bar is definitely an effective way to get attention toward a title shot. Jordynne Grace defending against Purrazzo seems the likely match for Slammiversary. I’m going to need to see Purrazzo in the Impact ring before I get excited though. She has a lot of hype, so let’s see if she can deliver.

The opening three-way between Michael Elgin, Ken Shamrock, and Sami Callihan was an interesting battle. I like how Impact is keeping Shamrock strong as the world’s most dangerous man with his violent ankle lock. It is a sign of respect to the veteran. Elgin took advantage for the victory, but the real drama is the potential friendship between Callihan and Shamrock. It would be interesting if Shamrock turned to a mentor role to reinvent Callihan again, this time as an ankle breaking good guy.

Share your thoughts on Impact. Which match stole the show? Who put in your favorite performance? Which storyline has you most intrigued?

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