Impact Wrestling (July 22, 2021) featured “Switchblade” Jay White explaining his arrival, Deonna Purrazzo accepting Mickie James’ invitation for NWA Empowerrr, Eric Young mastering the manipulation of electricity, and Rosemary & Havok defending the Knockouts tag titles in the main event for fallout from Slammiversary.
It was a newsworthy episode, but the one thing that caught my attention most was Eric Young’s new villain abilities. Rich Swann and Willie Mack were cutting a promo about those suckers known as Violent by Design when the light bulbs started flickering and Young magically appeared in the background. Deaner, Rhino, and Joe Doering joined in on a beatdown as Young watched approvingly.
Hot damn. Young just took his game to a whole new level with electrokinesis and teleportation. It would be easy to brush that off as a creative illusion, but keep in mind Impact’s world has demons, undead brides, a taurus, and other oddities. Not to mention Sami Callihan’s hacker ability to appear out of thin air when the lights go out. Believe what you want to believe. I shall choose the option that Young is now a supervillain with super powers. The Impact world will belong to him by design.
Let’s rocket through the rest of the show from beginning to end.
Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown were on commentary.
Chris Bey defeated Rohit Raju. Bey dodged a running knee to set up the Art of Finesse springboard cutter to win.
Backstage, Jay White recruited Bey for membership to the Bullet Club. Bey prefers to walk alone, so White alerted him that the Bullet Club offer will expire soon.
Don Callis was upset about Impact’s shabby treatment of Impact World Champion Kenny Omega. Callis wants to know what surprises Impact has in store. He was also annoyed that Impact allowed White to appear without advance notice to the Elite. Impact’s working environment sucks, but Callis has the power with the world title belt.
Mickie James went to the ring to ask Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo to participate in NWA’s all-women Empowerrr PPV on August 28. Purrazzo wasn’t feeling James’ compliments. The champ viewed them as self-serving since James needs her to make the NWA PPV the best it can be. Gail Kim came out to convince Purrazzo. She won’t want to miss being part of history. Purrazzo reluctantly accepted.
A candelabra vignette played for the Drama King.
Matt Cardona, Chelsea Green, & Jake Something defeated Brian Myers, Tenille Dashwood, & Sam Beale. Taylor Wilde returned to Impact after a suspicious absence to prevent Kaleb Konley from interfering. That allowed Green to hit the Unprettier on Beale for victory.
Eddie Edwards criticized W. Morrissey’s attitude. They both know Edwards had Morrissey beat until he used the chain. If Morrissey wants to fight, Edwards is ready for a parking lot brawl right now.
Edwards was waiting in the parking lot surrounded by fans. Morrissey answered the call to pummel Edwards. Eddie fought back using a trashcan and an ice cooler. Morrissey blocked the cooler and landed a big boot. Edwards had a surprise in store with two hidden kendo sticks. Morrissey charged but ate a barrage of shots. Morrissey retreated to give Edwards the unofficial bragging rights.
Tenille Dashwood dumped Brian Myers as a partner for the mixed tag tournament at Homecoming on July 31. Myers blamed Beale, who promised to find him a new partner. It was also teased that Tenille was the reason for Wilde disappearing.
Jay White came to the ring to explain his appearance at Slammiversary. White has a match against David Finlay at NJPW’s Resurgence PPV on August 14. He won’t let Finlay hide from him in Impact. White then talked smack about the Elite. That’s when Omega, Callis, and the Good Brothers came out on stage. Barbs were traded back and forth. Omega split, so the Good Brothers could handle business with White. They requested a thank you for paving the way for today’s Bullet Club. White sassed them, so fisticuffs broke out. Bey ran in to save White from a Magic Killer.
Josh Alexander discussed being a fighting champion. He wants to be the face of Impact. Omega overheard and took issue with the statement. Callis guided Omega away before it got too heated.
Good Brothers challenged White and Bey to a tag match next week.
FinJuice defeated Ace Austin & Madman Fulton. Juice Robinson escaped a slam to roll-up Fulton for the 1, 2, 3. Afterward, Rohit Raju and Shera joined the fun for a 4-on-2 beating to FinJuice.
Moose demanded a rematch to right the wrong of losing to Chris Sabin at Slammiversary. He was dominating until Sabin got lucky. Sabin stepped up in Moose’s face. Scott D’Amore made the match as next week’s TV main event.
Knockouts Tag Team Championship: Rosemary & Havok retained against Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz. Hot tag to Havok to clean house. With help from a distraction by Steelz, Hogan was able to hop on Havok’s back for a sleeper in a callback to their match at Slammiversary. Havok leaned back into her corner for a tag to Rosemary. The Demon Assassin hit an inverted DDT on Hogan, but Fire kicked out. Steelz held Rosemary’s arms from behind. Hogan charged for a superkick. Rosemary escaped and the impact nailed Steelz. That led to a teamwork spear into Russian leg sweep for victory by Decay.
This episode of Impact Wrestling popped with the star power appeal of Jay White and Mickie James, but I have a mixed reaction to how things went down. Starting with James, I understand the Forbidden Door relationship of give and take. NWA gave Thunder Rosa as a notch on Deonna Purrazzo’s career résumé, and they were allowed to take up TV time to promote the Empowerrr show. That’s an even trade, especially since Thunder Rosa exited NWA to sign with AEW. The part I dislike is that the segment lacked sizzle. There was no tease for something larger. Purrazzo should have at least had demands to stretch out the story a little. Why should she trust that James and the NWA won’t try to take advantage of her much like Impact does?
With White, it was my first time experiencing Switchblade. His promo came across as delusional to me. Saying things like single-handedly selling out Madison Square Garden makes him look like a typical blowhard heel. Calling himself the real belt collector fails an easy fact check when looking at Kenny Omega holding four world titles to White’s one NJPW championship. The Good Brothers had valid points about showing gratitude as the OG Bullet Club. White brushed them off disrespectfully. From my point of view, I’m rooting for the Elite at this moment in time. I don’t think that is supposed to be the goal.
Even though I have reservations about those particular segments, the bottom line is that it was very cool to see the Forbidden Door bring unexpected surprises. It has kept the Impact product fresh ever since Omega arrived. For example, the drama of Chris Bey joining the Bullet Club makes him attract all eyes until his decision.
Share your thoughts on Impact Wrestling. What was your favorite match? Who stole the show?