Former WWE and recent New Japan Pro-Wrestling talent Lio Rush was advertised for Impact's first night of "Summer Sizzler" taping at Atlanta's Center Stage, so his appearance on June 23 wasn't a surprise.
Rush previously wrestled on Impact and New Japan’s WrestleMania week Multiverse United show, so he's technically a return. The two unexpected wrestlers who showed up Friday night definitely were.
We already talked about Zachary Wentz's Impact comeback here. The final one was Tommy Dreamer, who had been on a leave of absence after the death of his mother and a recurrence of skin cancer.
Here's what we'll see each of them do on episodes that will air the next two weeks as Impact builds toward their Slammiversary PPV (spoilers courtesy Wrestling Observer):
• Dirty Dango def. Crazzy Steve. Dango called out Santino Marella after the match which led to Heath attacking Dango from behind.
• X-Division Champion Chris Sabin def. Trey Miguel to retain the title. Zachary Wentz of The Rascalz made his return and attacked Sabin before Alex Shelley ran out to make the save.
• Lio Rush def. Jack Price
• Masha Slamovich def. KiLynn King. Courtney Rush took out King’s partner Taylor Wilde and choked her with a chain. Slamovich then took the other part of the chain and led Rush out.
• Kenny King def. Yuya Uemura. Digital Media Champion Joe Hendry came out afterward and aired a new video making fun of King.
• Nick Aldis did an in-ring promo to explain last week’s attack on Shelley. The two then had a confrontation which led to Sabin coming out to aid Shelley. Lio Rush came out to help Aldis and they stood tall at the end.
• Eddie Edwards defeated Frankie Kazarian
• Sami Callihan & Rich Swann def. Champagne Singh & Shera
• Jonathan Gresham def. Angels. After Deaner wouldn’t let Angels shake Gresham’s hand, Angels pushed Deaner and left with Gresham
• Gisele Shaw def. Courtney Rush
• Chic Donovan def. Johnny Swinger after Ernest “The Cat” Miller came out and reversed Swinger’s initial win, restarting the match.
• Chris Bey def. Kevin Knight
• Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo def. Taylor Wilde to retain
• Impact World Champion Alex Shelley def. Brian Myers to retain
• Steve Maclin def. PCO in a street fight. Maclin cut a post-match promo that brought out the returning Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer took out Maclin and cut a babyface promo to end the show. He had taken a leave of absence due to his mother’s passing and his third bout with skin cancer
Sound like a good way to spend a couple summer Thursday nights?