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Impact recap & reactions: Knockouts title match set for Slammiversary

The latest episode of Impact Wrestling (June 23, 2020) featured Johnny Swinger on a quest to find a trios partner, Eddie Edwards looking for revenge against Madman Fulton, and the Knockouts Championship match announcement for Slammiversary on July 18.

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

Tasha Steelz defeated Nevaeh. Kiera Hogan and Jessicka Havok were ringside. Nevaeh was setting up her DDT finisher when Kiera hopped onto the apron. Steelz took advantage of that distraction with a roll-up to win.

Deonna Purrazzo was a guest on Busted Open with hosts Dave LaGreca and Tommy Dreamer. Jordynne Grace appeared on air as a surprise. She is pissed at Purrazzo and plans to crush her. Purrazzo responded that Grace is classless and jealous. Purrazzo will become the next Knockouts Champion.

Purrazzo was also interviewed backstage. She didn’t come to Impact to brawl or fraternize with lower class people. She came to be champ. Alisha Edwards interrupted to offer friendly advice. Purrazzo wasn’t interested in Edwards and her drama. Alisha took offense and challenged Purrazzo to a match.

Johnny Swinger tried to recruit Rich Swann as a third partner to team with Chris Bey against Willie Mack and the Deaners. Swann obviously declined to turn on Mack. Plus, he was still recovering from injury. Swann left to stooge off Swinger’s plan to Mack.

The North was still upset about being ignored by their peers last week. Ethan Page rambled about how the crew was watching old Ken Shamrock matches on the Impact Wrestling app. Page called Shamrock a dumbass and insulted his cauliflower ears. Of course, Shamrock just happened to walk up behind and heard that part. Josh Alexander stepped up to challenge Shamrock.

Moose told tales of his NFL days and how Pro Bowl players were showered with gifts. Since Moose is the TNA Heavyweight Champion, he should also be showered with gifts. Crazzy Steve called Moose a fake world champ. Moose made a title match for next week to teach Steve respect.

Deonna Purrazzo defeated Alisha Edwards. Total domination by Purrazzo. She won with a Russian leg sweep rolling over into an armbar submission. Afterward, Jordynne Grace ran down for revenge, but Purrazzo exited the ring before any extracurricular fisticuffs.

Breaking news later in the show. Grace will defend her Knockouts belt against Purrazzo at Slammiversary on July 18.

Swinger approached Suicide to be his trios partner. The masked man disappeared off camera while Swinger was lost in the delusion of his sales pitch. Swinger was not to be deterred. He had another person in mind for his next option.

Swinger went to Hernandez to be the power man. Hernandez accepted, but only if Swinger could beat him in arm wrestling. Swinger gave it a shot and was soundly beaten. Hernandez gave him a Micro Brawler consolation prize. The scene transitioned into the hallway as Swinger bumped into Taya. She made faces of indignation at his requests to team up. Taya turned down the Swingman. She’s busy looking for (John E.) Bravo. Swinger loves Dino (Bravo). He wanted Taya to pass the word about this match to Dino when she finds Bravo.

Ken Shamrock was attacked from behind by The North when making his entrance for their match. The North put the boots to Shamrock to knock him out. The singles bout against Josh Alexander was called off.

Taya defeated Susie. John E. Bravo was ringside to cheat. Susie showed heart by kicking out of a curb stomp. Taya set up Road to Valhalla, but Susie countered into a roll-up. Taya kicked out then flattened Susie with a high knee and Road to Valhalla for the win. After the match, Taya mocked Susie and her friend Kylie Rae. Taya did a humorous knee wiggle that I wish was a GIF. Kylie made the save with a superkick to Taya.

Jimmy Jacobs tried to interview Madman Fulton about aligning with Ace Austin, but Ace swooped in to do the talking. Jacobs stated that is was clear how Ace benefits from the partnership and inquired about what was in it for Fulton. Ace put over Fulton as having the most potential in Impact, besides himself. Fulton wasn’t the reason oVe was losing. Ace and Fulton will make their own success with Ace becoming the youngest Impact World Champ of all-time.

Johnny Swinger revealed the trios partner to Chris Bey. It turned out to be Rohit Raju. Bey was not excited at all. Rohit explained that his presence on the team was part of a used car deal. Bey split out of the scene.

Chris Bey, Johnny Swinger, & Rohit Raju defeated Willie Mack, Cody Deaner, & Jake Deaner. The finish broke down to moves galore. Jake hit a sitdown powerbomb on Bey. Singer hit a swinging neckbreaker on Jake. Cody hit a DDT on Swinger. Rohit hit a Flatliner on Cody. While Mack was focused on Rohit, Bey swooped in for a sunset flip pin. Mack kicked out. Rohit saved Bey from a stunner. Bey repaid the good deed by shoving Rohit into a stunner from Mack. Bey pounced with a springboard Famouser to pin Mack.

Reno Scum made fun of D’Lo Brown as a sell-out to Impact. He went from Aces & Eights to computer geek. TJP and Fallah Bahh walked in to deny Reno Scum’s allegations of attacking Trey. A match was made between the two tag teams for next week.

Madman Fulton defeated Eddie Edwards. Ace Austin was ringside, but he didn’t play much of a role. Edwards had trouble dealing with Fulton’s size and power. Edwards got some momentum with a suicide dive into the guardrail, however, Madman rose up from behind like a creepazoid.

Back in the ring, Edwards was picking up steam with a blue thunder bomb and a tiger driver. Fulton kicked out of both pinfall attempts. Edwards charged at Fulton for a Boston Knee Party, but Fulton caught him for a swinging Flatliner to win.

The show closed with D’Lo Brown venting about being perceived as a corporate stooge. He wants to get the band back together. Brown stood up to reveal his Aces & Eights cutte.

Impact has been in the news this week for negative reasons. Joey Ryan and Dave Crist were released and Michael Elgin was suspended as fallout from the #SpeakingOut movement. That left Impact scrambling to edit this episode to eliminate the Cancel Culture storyline from the broadcast and possibly take out scenes featuring Michael Elgin.

With that in mind, I think Impact did a good job with the show. Nothing screwy popped out to me. Everything that occurred on the episode made story sense. Josh Mathews on commentary did mention Elgin as a participant in the Slammiversary (July 18) five-way main event for Tessa Blanchard’s World Championship, but I think Impact deserves some leeway to cobble together a story reason for Elgin’s suspension. If nothing is mentioned next week, then they deserve flak.

The main event victory was a curious decision. Why have Madman Fulton win relatively clean against one of Slammiversary’s five championship competitors? That loss did no favors for Eddie Edwards. This match was filmed before the Elgin suspension. While Fulton could become the substitute, that wasn’t the original plan. On the flip side, Fulton eating a loss so soon into his alliance with Ace Austin would have made little sense. It seems the best move would have been for Ace to blatantly cheat so bad on purpose even though Fulton didn’t need the help, so Edwards could save some face.

Speaking of Fulton, commentary mentioned that Madman was behind the attacks on Trey Miguel at the orders of Ace. Apparently, Madison Rayne mentioned it last week at the end of the show, but I completely missed it. That reveal makes sense, although, it is a little lackluster. Ace and Trey have been feuding for quite a while. It would have been nice to set up a new story instead of continuing an old one.

The Knockouts Championship match is set for Slammiversary. Jordynne Grace will defend against Deonna Purrazzo. The story was a simple set-up. Newcomer attacks champ, so champ gives a title shot to get revenge. I’m not invested yet, but the match itself could be interesting. Purrazzo had some slick submission transitions in her match. Grace usually uses her strength advantage to ham-fist her way out of situations. I’m curious how Purrazzo will adapt.

Johnny Swinger stole the show with his silly backstage scenes searching for a trios partner. I love his comedic gimmick. I could watch the Swingman all day long. Impact should put the camera on him if they need extra footage to fill up for any canceled scenes from their tapings.

Share your thoughts on Impact. Which match stole the show? Who put in your favorite performance? Are you excited for the Knockouts title fight at Slammiversary?

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