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Impact recap & reactions: Tommy Dreamer to compete for TNA Heavyweight Championship

The latest episode of Impact Wrestling (July 7, 2020) featured Madison Rayne with a surprise announcement, Johnny Swinger stealing the show again, and Tommy Dreamer talking his way into a TNA Heavyweight Championship title shot at Slammiversary on July 18.

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

Susie & Kylie Rae defeated Rosemary & Taya. John E. Bravo was ringside. Rosemary started yelling at Susie trying to wake up Su Yung. It didn’t work. Perhaps because Rosemary’s gear resembled a purple seaweed monster. In the end, Rosemary ate a superkick and a palm strike to get knocked out of the ring. A concerned Bravo checked on the status of Rosemary. This caused a distraction to Taya as she yelled for Bravo to focus on her instead. Kylie came from behind to put Taya in an STF submission. Taya tapped out.

Chris Bey was disappointed that Johnny Swinger got himself banned from ringside for Bey’s X-Division title shot against Willie Mack at Slammiversary. Swingman is going to put his new plan into effect.

Deaners defeated Reno Scum, XXXL, and TJP & Fallah Bahh in a four-way. The match featured hectic action. Reno Scum and TJP & Fallah Bahh brawled to the back. In the ring for the finish, Cousin Jake ducked a clothesline from Larry D then caught D for a sort of spinebuster slam to win. That seemed like an unexpected move to close the contest.

Backstage, the cameras saw the tag team brawl carrying on. TJP leaped off a piece of equipment for a flying crossbody onto Reno Scum. Bahh put TJP into a trashcan and used him as a battering ram with a steel chair. Reno Scum came out with the upper hand to stand tall as they piled sections of guardrail on top of TJP.

Swinger was milling around in the locker room. He found the Super Eric costume from last week’s Slammiversary teaser. Swinger kept moving. He then found the Suicide costume. Swinger may be banned from ringside, but Suicide isn’t. He could barely fit the mask over his big head.

Ken Shamrock searched for Sami Callihan. ICU flash. Sami appeared behind Ken. It doesn’t matter why they helped each other. What matters is that they have a chance to end The North and become tag champs at Slammiversary. Callihan considered that maybe he saved Shamrock because he wants to be the one who takes him out for good. Or maybe Sami liked the idea of the World’s Most Dangerous Tag Team. It reminds him of the story between the scorpion and the frog. Sami then disappeared into thin air.

Jordynne Grace defeated Kimber Lee. This was a non-title contest. Lee held her own until Grace powered up with scoop slams and a sitdown driver. Lee rebounded with a series of kicks and a swanton. Grace kicked out, so Lee tried to use brass knuckles as a short cut. Grace saw what was coming and countered into a Grace Driver to win.

After the match, Deonna Purrazzo’s music played. A promo video aired on the big screen. Purrazzo didn’t come to Impact to engage in frivolous combat. She came to be Knockouts Champion. Purrazzo will wait for her moment at Slammiversary. She’s not the only one who sees Impact as ripe for the picking.

A lengthy hype package played for the Slammiversary main event. It highlighted the strengths of Eddie Edwards, Ace Austin, and Trey Miguel. It also teased that the mystery opponent could be a former World Champ. One thing is certain. There will be a new Impact Champion on July 18.

“Suicide” was walking backstage. His bodysuit didn’t quite fit, daddy. Willie Mack was happy to see him and reminded Suicide of his X-Division title shot tonight.

Locker Room Talk. Madison Rayne hosted solo sans Swinger. The guest was the most iconic Knockout of Impact, herself. Rayne switched seats between the host role and guest role. She had a major announcement. Rayne will be returning to the ring to compete in the #1 contender gauntlet match at Slammiversary. Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz and Havok & Nevaeh interrupted to brawl. They knocked the camera over, so Rayne got on the floor to sign off.

Hernandez was back at the arm wrestling table. Rhino sat down for the challenge. Hands locked. Stalemate. To be continued...

X-Division Championship: Willie Mack retained against Suicide (Johnny Swinger). Swinger tried to wrestle like Suicide, but he was not so smooth.

Suicide had trouble climbing the corner and fell off. Mack pounced with a stunner to win the short match.

Tommy Dreamer read a prepared apology to Moose. He understands his words hurt and he is sorry. Moose didn’t think it was sincere. Dreamer informed Moose that he is the #1 contender for Moose’s TNA Heavyweight Championship under old school rules at Slammiversary per the orders of the TNA Championship Committee and the TNA Director of Authority.

Sami Callihan defeated Josh Alexander. Ethan Page was ringside. Big moves were a DVD on the floor from Callihan, a suplex onto the apron from Alexander, and a brainbuster from Callihan. The finish was a hodgepodge of outside activity. Sami crushed Alexander with a piledriver on the apron. On the pinfall, Alexander pressed Callihan off him and onto the referee. Page ran in for an elbow drop but accidentally hit the referee when Sami moved. Page was setting up a piledriver on Callihan. That’s when Ken Shamrock ran down for the save and put Page into an ankle lock. Sami won via piledriver.

The closing segment was another talent tease for Slammiversary. This time there were three whiskey glasses and three hands.

The matches were all entertaining in their own way. I’m surprised Taya and Rosemary lost, but it makes sense in the story how Taya is too reliant on John E. Bravo and his attention was diverted to a fallen Rosemary. The four-way tag is a bout I expected to see at Slammiversary to give all those dudes a match. Maybe there will be a rematch as Falls Count Anywhere. The main event was predictable. Ethan Page interfered which brought out Ken Shamrock to even the odds. Basic wrestling storytelling. It established the challengers as a credible threat, as long as Sami Callihan doesn’t turn on his partner.

Lots of little enjoyable moments took place on this episode to keep the stories advancing. Johnny Swinger stole the show by pretending to be Suicide. He was perfect as a bumbling fool. I can never get enough of the Swingman. Hernandez and Rhino clashing on the arm wrestling table was silly in a good way. I’m curious how that will relate to Slammiversary, if at all. Madison Rayne made news be announcing her return to the ring. In my mind, she becomes the favorite to win the #1 contender gauntlet match. Tommy Dreamer took the moose by the horns to secure a TNA Heavyweight opportunity. It was amusing how the banter of insulting Moose’s pretend belt flew right past the big man.

Share your thoughts on Impact. Who stole the show? Which was your favorite bout?

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