Impact Wrestling (June 17, 2021) featured a reference to Mickie James possibly returning, Steve Maclin making his in-ring debut, Satoshi Kojima earning a tag title shot, and resolution to the firing of Sami Callihan.
When Mickie James was released from WWE, it was later revealed that her belongings were placed in a trash bag and sent to her home. James has since moved on to the NWA to produce an all-women PPV coming in August. Could James also be returning to the Impact Zone?
If so, then it appears that her trash bag care package arrived before she did. Knockouts tag champs Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz were running their mouths, then Rosemary and Havok roughed them up. Hogan was tossed into a dumpster. As she was trying to get out, she pulled out James’ infamous trash bag.
That tease could be something or it could be nothing. Chalk it up to Impact hyping new signings to appear at Slammiversary on July 17. Last year’s road to Slammiversary was full of hints. Some were red herrings, while some followed through with EC3, Eric Young, and others showing up on the PPV.
If James does return to Impact, then she’ll have her eyes on Deonna Purrazzo and the Knockouts Championship.
Let’s rocket through the rest of the show from beginning to end.
Josh Mathews and D’Lo Brown were on commentary.
Gia Miller was outside the office of EVP Scott D’Amore looking for answers about Don Callis firing Sami Callihan. Moose walked up to pound on the door. He was upset about being screwed in his title match against Kenny Omega. Moose wanted a rematch for Slammiversary. D’Amore brushed him off. The management board is sending someone to the Impact Zone to settle everything. D’Amore didn’t have time for Moose’s dilemma and closed the door on him. Moose muttered that he will make the time.
TJP defeated Black Taurus. Fallah Bahh and Crazzy Steve were ringside. TJP connected on a tornado DDT, but Taurus rolled out of the ring after impact. TJP followed with a slingshot plancha. He rolled Taurus back into the ring then took flight for the mamba splash to win.
After the match, Moose hijacked the ring. His intention was to force D’Amore to make time for him. When Moose was distracted by security, Chris Sabin flew in for a dropkick. Sabin cracked Moose with a chair to send the big man retreating.
Ace Austin convinced Rohit Raju to form an alliance in the six-man Ultimate X match at Slammiversary.
Backstage, Sabin issued a challenge for Moose at Slammiversary.
Josh Alexander defeated Madman Fulton. Rugged fight with Alexander unloading a discus elbow and double underhook piledriver to keep the monster down.
Afterward, Ace immediately stomped Alexander. Petey Williams ran in to save his fellow Canadian. Rohit Raju ran in to pummel Petey. Trey Miguel ran in to smash Rohit. Shera ran in to stand tall over everyone. Ace and Rohit celebrated their new alliance with monsters Madman and Shera by their sides.
Deonna Purrazzo had enough of Kimber Lee and Susan. Their losing ways reflected badly on the champ. Purrazzo dumped them.
W. Morrissey cut a promo about only trusting yourself. The wrestlers may think they have friends, but the reality is that each man is out for themselves.
Steve Maclin defeated Jason Page. Maclin squashed his opponent to win his Impact in-ring debut. An inverted facelock sitdown slam finished the job.
Jordynne Grace was overly sassy to Rachael Ellering. Grace’s ego was wounded by locker room chatter about being a non-factor. She declined to support Ellering in her match against Tenille Dashwood.
Callis believes he helped D’Amore by firing Callihan. He is able to do what D’Amore is too nice to do. Callis is there to make the hard decisions.
Tenille Dashwood defeated Rachael Ellering. Ellering had momentum on a flying leg drop then Kaleb Konley distracted her. Dashwood trapped Ellering in a crucifix for the three count.
Decay confronted TJP and Fallah Bahh. A tag bout was made for the future.
Satoshi Kojima defeated Rhino. The stipulation was earning a tag title shot with Eddie Edwards if Kojima could win. Rhino gained control for a belly-to-belly. He charged for a spear, but Kojima sidestepped. Kojima blasted Rhino with a lariat to the back then executed the Koji cutter. That paved the way for Kojima’s finishing lariat, however, Rhino ducked. Kojima kept running the ropes and laid Rhino out on the rebound.
Sami Callihan took over the main event segment. (Full details here.) He refused to accept his firing. D’Amore tried to calm down the Death Machine. Callihan relented to let D’Amore handle business. Once Callihan exited, Callis came out to lay his case for firing Callihan. That led to Tommy Dreamer entering the scene. He was management’s representative. Dreamer reinstated Callihan then fired Callis.
Callihan is set to main event Slammiversary against against Kenny Omega for the Impact World Championship on July 17. Backstage, Callis walked past Callihan. The Death Machine declined violence on Callis. Instead, he will force Callis to watch Omega get his head bashed in.
That closing scene did a pretty good job of making me believe Impact could pull the title switch to crown Callihan champ. I still think Omega is going to retain the Impact World Championship at Slammiversary, but at least Impact is trying to muddy the waters of predictability.
Callis kind of got a raw deal by being fired. Callihan could have injured Omega with the baseball bat, and that would have canceled the main event. Callihan has zero respect for authority, so Callis did what needed to be done to protect Impact’s biggest money-maker. Callis has committed other fireable offenses, but I don’t think canning Callihan was one of them.
As for Dreamer, I don’t think Impact needs another authority figure. However, he would do a good job if that becomes his role moving forward. That might have been a one night job and Dreamer moves back to the wrestler side. Dreamer may have to do both roles if he doesn’t make time for Moose’s accurate complaints.
The finish for Kojima versus Rhino was executed well. The lariat setup was the typical formula, so they added a duck and rebound for extra drama. It worked on me, because I popped when Kojima connected. I’m pumped for Kojima and Edwards earning a tag title shot, however, I’m a little disappointed that the Violent by Design duo will be Deaner and Doering. When Doering and Rhino won the straps, I was excited for see a super hoss team. Unfortunately, they haven’t teamed together since. Deaner has been placed in using Freebird Rules. In the words of Batista, give me what I want, which is to see Rhino and Doering destroy challengers with maximum hossitude. That said, I will also accept a tag title run for Kojima and Edwards.
Share your thoughts on Impact Wrestling. What was your favorite match? Who stole the show?