Tonight’s episode of Impact comes to us from Centre Stage in Atlanta Georgia.
The action begins with an exclusive match on BTI.
Bhupinder Gujjar vs Johnny Swinger w/Zicky Dice
Johnny Swinger has an opportunity to jumpstart his road to 50 wins as he goes one-on-one with Bhupinder Gujjar. Zicky Dice will serve as the referee after earning his licence last week. It doesn’t take long before Dice bends the rules in order to favour Swinger. Dice prevents Gujjar from hitting the Gargoyle Spear. Swinger rolls him up as Dice utilises a fast count for three.
Well, Swinger finally has a win on his road to 50! Zicky Dice now having his referee licence is definitely going to yield some fun results. I think it would be hilarious if Swinger gets his 50 wins and actually gets a title shot. A nothing match really in terms of action, it was predictable that there would be shenanigans. Grade D
We continue on the road to Slammiversary now.
Match 1: X-Division Championship Match - Chris Sabin vs Try Miguel
Sabin runs towards Miguel on the apron and Miguel jumps out of the way as Sabin slides under him and drops him face first onto the apron. Back in the ring and Sabin flips Miguel over his head. Miguel hits a basement dropkick on Sabin and covers him for two. Miguel unloads punches on Sabin and hits a Death Valley Driver for a two count. Miguel goes for a springboard moonsault but Sabin moves out of the way. Sabin kicks Miguel’s face in the corner and takes him to the top rope and hits a superplex for two. Sabin goes for the Cradle Shock, but Miguel gets out of it and hits a stomp onto Sabin’s back for two. Miguel goes for the Lightning Spiral, but Sabin drops him knee first and gets him in an STF, but Miguel gets to the ropes. Miguel gets a hurricanrana and goes to the top rope for a Meteora but Sabin counters it into a crossface and goes for a Cradle Shock, but Zachary Wentz comes in and attacks Sabin. Referee calls for the bell. Zachary Wentz has made his return to Impact!
A good opening match and an extremely surprising return from Zachary Wentz. Sabin and Miguel are excellent workers and they have brilliant chemistry together. It's going to be interesting to see what happens with Miguel and Wentz going forward. Grade B
After the match, Miguel and Wentz deliver a 2 on 1 attack on Sabin. Alex Shelley runs out to make the save, forcing Miguel and Wentz to retreat.
Trey Miguel and Zachary Wentz vow to take what is rightfully theirs after they were “abandoned” by the fans. Wentz says that he will always have his brothers back.
Match 2: Trinity vs Jai Vidal w/Gisele Shaw & Savannah Evans
Deonna Purrazzo joins the commentary team for this match. Trinity hits a dropkick on Jai Vidal. Vidal gets out of the ring. Trinity hits a basement dropkick. Trinity throws him into the ring but Savannah Evans catches her and Vidal pulls her down by the hair. Vidal drops an elbow and covers Trinity for a two count. Vidal runs at Trinity in the corner but Trinity counters it into a pin for two. Trinity hits a springboard single-leg dropkick for two. Trinity goes to the top rope and hits a crossbody. Trinity grabs Vidal on the apron and spikes him and gets the Starstruck submission for the win.
This was a surprisingly good match. Nice to see an intergender match. It didn't make either person look weak or like they didn’t belong in the ring together. Grade C
After the match, Gisele Shaw and Savannah Evans jump Trinity from behind. Deonna Purrazzo leaves the commentary table, she doesn’t immediately get in the ring, she watches for a short amount of time, but then she does get into the ring and throws Shaw and Evans out of the ring.
Moose speaks to Brian Myers. Myers tells Moose that he knew he would come to his senses and they will win the tag team championship. Moose then tells Myers that he is right, but Myers needs to lose the dead weight of the Good Hands.
We see footage from earlier tonight on BTI of Johnny Swinger defeating Bhupinder Gujjar due to a fast count from Zicky Dice. As a result of this, referee Daniel Spencer informs Swinger that his victory tonight will not count in his road to 50, and if this happens again, Zicky Dice will lose his referee licence.
Match 3: Lio Rush vs Jack Price
Rush runs around to start to frustrate Price and then does it again until a jumping enziguri drops Price. A hard shot knocks Rush outside and his hurricanrana is countered. Instead a kick from the apron frustrates Price again, setting up the suicide dive into the barricade. Back in and another kick sets up the Final Hour to finish Price.
Some nice athleticism on show, but such a short match for no reason. Not a fan of this one. Grade D
Dirty Dango says that Santino hit the Cobra on him out of luck last week. He goes on to say that Jim Cornette used to slap Santino around in OVW and he got a job as a result of that. He says that now Santino’s daughter is in the same system and he wonders if she will be getting slapped around.
Santino says that he will take care of Dango at Slammiversary. Dango wants to question his work ethic, and what he gave to get here, and now talking about his daughter. Santino promises pain.
Frankie Kazarian is not happy about what happened last week in the tag team match against Bully Ray and Steve Maclin. Kazarian understands that accidents happen, but not twice in the same match. Eddie Edwards tries to calm him down, but they seem to agree that they make better opponents than they do partners.
Match 4: KiLynn King w/Taylor Wilde vs Masha Slamovich
King immediately goes on the attack as soon as the match. Slamovich quickly turns the tide as she pulls King down to the mat by her hair. Slamovich hits a running dropkick but King cuts her off mid-dive. King distracts the referee, allowing Wilde to attack Slamovich from the outside. King hits a big clothesline, covers Slamovich and gets a two. Slamovich creates some much-needed separation with a back suplex. Slamovich almost puts King away with a spinning heel kick. Slamovich dives through the ropes, colliding with King on the outside. Wilde throws Slamovich into the steel ring post when Killer Kelly appears on the ramp and neutralises Wilde with a steel chain. Slamovich hits the Snow Plow on King, covers her and gets the win.
This was a good, hard-hitting match. I like the coming together of Masha and Kelly, hopefully now this will set up a tag team title match at Slammiversary. Grade C
After the match, Kelly and Masha stare each other down. Slaovich then ties the chain that Kelly has, around her own neck and leads Kelly away using the chain.
We take a look back at Scott D’Amore’s career. D’Amore talks about how he rose up through the ranks and while he never became a big star, he was trained by some great names over the years. Various stars talk about how good D’Amore was, despite being around some awesome talent. He made a bigger impact as a trainer and coach though and we hear about the success of his students.
We also hear about how many wrestlers D’Amore helped when they had no money etc., with names like Alex Shelley and Kushida praising him. D’Amore says he wasn’t a big star, but he went up and down the road and lasted thirty years in this business.
Gia Miller is interviewing Scott D’Amore as he prepares to make his in-ring return. It was revealed earlier today on social media that NHL legend Darren McCarty will be the special enforcer for Scott D’Amore & PCO vs Steve Maclin & Bully Ray at Slammiversary. The interview is then interrupted by The Good Hands, who blame D’Amore for their downward spiral. They challenge him to a match, but D’Amore declines, but instead tells them that they can face PCO next week.
Match 5: Yuya Uemura vs Kenny King w/Sheldon Jean
Joe Hendry is in the production truck and says he has some kind of special video prepared. Feeling out process to start until Uemura takes King into the corner for some loud chops. King hides in the corner and a distraction from Jean lets King get in a cheap shot to take over.
King kicks Uemura in the chest and grabs a seated abdominal stretch to keep things slow. A spinebuster gives King a two count but Uemura is right back with a bulldog for the same. Uemura DDTs his way out of a suplex to leave them both down. King cuts Uemura off on top but a spinning kick to the head misses. Uemura unloads with forearms until King catches him with the Royal Flush for the victory.
I do enjoy watching Uemura wrestle, but he cannot seem to pick up a win lately. This was a good match between King and Uemura. King is definitely primed up for a Digital Media Championship match and having him win here will help his momentum. Grade B-
After the match, Joe Hendry comes out. He says that Kenny King deserves a tribute, and as luck would have it, he happens to have a special video all ready to go. The video looks at the career of Kenny King, but there is a year missing. 2013 is missing, turns out that was the year when Kenny King was a stripper!
In Ring Segment:
Here is Nick Aldis to explain his attack on Alex Shelley a couple of weeks ago. Out comes Shelley, Aldis getting on him for superkicking Jimmy Jacobs, making this an “unsafe” working environment. Instead, Shelley can go sit with the fans while Aldis talks. Shelly loves the idea of sitting among the fans.
Aldis talks about the ten person tag from a few weeks ago, when Chris Sabin was needing a tag. The only option was for Aldis to come in and clean house, but it had to go to Shelley instead. Aldis isn’t going to have the two of them hold Aldis down because they’ve done that for the last ten years around here. He got to the World Title faster than they did and that is because he represents the good things about wrestling.
Aldis says The Guns want to take wrestling to a dark place and that ends at Slammiversary, just like the transitional title reign. Shelley shouts “OH MY GOD JUST SHUT UP!” The two men begin a brawl on the outside. Aldis is about to hit Shelley with the Impact World Championship, but Chris Sabin comes out to make the save. Lio Rush comes out and jumps the Guns from behind and Nick Aldis rejoins the beatdown. Aldis and Rush hold up the Impact World Championship and the X-Division Championship to end the show.
A really good episode of Impact. I'm enjoying the building feud between Nick Aldis and Alex Shelley. I love that Masha Slamovich and Killer Kelly have apparently come together. We have the entertaining moments from Johnny Swinger with his unachievable Road to 50 and Joe Hendry’s new music video. Seriously, if you don’t watch Impact and just read the reviews, please watch! If you do watch, tell your friends to watch it. It is one of the better weekly wrestling programmes out there at the moment and it should have a bigger audience. Can’t wait for Slammiversary! Hopefully the Down Under Tour doesn’t drastically change things.