IMPACT WRESTLING REPORT: #1 contender's tournament begins

Originally published at IMPACT WRESTLING REPORT: #1 contender's tournament begins

IMPACT Wrestling

May 12th, 2020

Skyway Studios, Nashville, Tennessee

By: Davie Portman

Commentary by: Josh Matthews and Madison Rayne

The show opens with a video package hyping up the first-round tournament matches to determine the Number One Contender for the Impact Championship, however, it quickly gets interrupted by Moose who demands the “TNA Voice of God” to promote him. We then go into a Moose highlight reel with the voice-over calling him the “only true Undisputed Champion on the planet”. Throughout the video, there are clips from interviews with former TNA wrestlers including Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, Bobby Roode, Hulk Hogan, Bully Ray, Jeff Hardy, and Jeff Jarrett cut together to make it look like they are all talking highly of Moose.

Davie’s thoughts: This opening video was excellent. The use of old TNA footage to be made to look like all these legends were praising Moose was incredibly funny. I am really enjoying this delusional TNA Champion act Moose has gone right now and this opening video worked perfectly.

Number One Contender Tournament

Round 1

Madman Fulton w/ Dave and Jake Crist vs Hernandez

Early in the match, Fulton hits an impressive Vertical Suplex from the apron into the ring followed immediately by a second Vertical Suplex and a Splash for a two count. Fulton follows up with another splash to the back of Hernandez’s neck as he is draped over the second rope. Jake Crist distracts the referee at one point allowing Dave Crist to interfere. Hernandez comes back as he moves from a Diving Headbutt attempt from Fulton and follows up with a Slingshot Shoulder Tackle, Splash, and Senton. Hernandez hits a Chokeslam and goes for the cover but Dave Crist puts Fulton’s foot on the rope. Dave and Jake try to interfere again and Hernandez pulls them both into the ring and takes both of them out. Fulton climbs to the top rope but gets knocked off by Hernandez who follows up with a Top Rope Splash for the win.

Hernandez defeats Mad Man Fulton via Pinfall in 8mins55secs

After the match, we see Fulton backstage throwing a tantrum over his loss. Dave Crist asks if he is mad because he’s not championship material and it makes Fulton even angrier. Jake Crist breaks the two of them up as Crazy Steve comes in. Crazy Steve calls them all sheep, which makes Dave Crist angry and sets up their match for next week. Joseph P Ryan comes in and is offended by the word “crazy”.

Davie’s thoughts: This was a pretty dull match. They seem to be continuing a losing streak for oVe. Unfortunately, I really do not find Madman Fulton interesting as a wrestler so I’m finding it pretty hard to be invested in this story. I fully expect Crazy Steve to defeat Dave Crist next week and create even more of a fracture within oVe.

Michael Elgin Promo

Michael Elgin again shows his frustration about the Number One Contender Tournament. He is questioning why he has to prove himself when he is already the Number One Contender and has been proving himself for sixteen years. He says that if beating people isn’t good enough he might have to go back to sending people to the hospital.

Kylie Rae vs Tasha Steelz

Kylie Rae starts the match attempting to shake hands with her opponent but Tasha Steelz refuses. Rae gets out of a pin attempt by applying a Leg Scissors round the head of Steelz, who manages to headstand out of the hold. Steelz then gets Rae in the same Leg Scissors hols and Kylie bridges and flips out of it. Steelz drops Rae face-first on the top turnbuckle, mocks her smiling pose, and follows up with three Short Arm Clotheslines for a two count. Steelz attempts to lock in a Sleeper but Kylie manages to break the hold by running back first into the corner. Kylie then follows up with the Kylie Special for a two count. Steelz gets a near fall after hitting a Crossbody off the top rope. Steelz attempts a Springboard Bulldog but gets countered into the STF by Rae who wins by submission.

Kylie Rae defeats Tasha Steelz via Submission in 6 mins 56 secs

After the match, Suzie finds Kylie Rae backstage and introduces herself again (forgetting that they met the other week).

Davie’s thoughts: I thought this was a pretty good match between the two. I really enjoyed the mat wrestling at the beginning and Kylie Rae proves to be a really fluid wrestler with some great transitions between her moves. I would love to see Rae matched up against more technically gifted opponents as that part of her game is where I think she is the most impressive. I think it’s only a matter of time before we see Kylie Rae in the title picture.

Rohit Raju Promo

Raju cuts another promo on why he shouldn’t be overlooked in the tournament. He talks about how he has seen people come and go and get their big breaks in Impact but he has been there three years and never got a break. He thinks he is a joke to management and everyone doubts his ability. Raju says that all that disrespect will go away when he beats Trey in tonight’s tournament match and he will finally get what he deserves – the Impact World Championship.

Kimber Lee vs Havok

Kimber Lee charges Havok at the start of the match but gets thrown to the ground. Havok attempts a splash in the corner but Kimber Lee moves and they begin a Chop exchange. Kimber Lee attempts a Hurricanrana but gets caught in a Sit-Out Powerbomb for a two count. Lee fights back with a Spinning Heel Kick followed by a Step-Up Enziguri. Lee starts to work a more aggressive style as she continuously chokes Havok with her boot in the corner and performs an illegal Octopus Stretch in the ropes. Nevaeh is once again seen in the stands watching on during Havok’s match. Lee hits a Swanton Bomb for a two count. Havok starts to make a comeback by hitting a Swinging Slam for a two count and then spots Nevaeh in the stands. Whilst the referee is distracted, Kimber Lee puts on a pair of brass knuckles and punches Havok to pick up the win.

Kimber Lee defeats Havok via Pinfall in 5 mins 19 secs (plus a commercial break)

Davie’s thoughts: Not a bad match at all. Kimber Lee’s kicks look pretty impressive. The finish of the match allows this feud to continue and also added more intrigue as to why Nevaeh is there.

Kiera Hogan Vignette

The same vignette from last week ran for Kiera Hogan. She says that she has watched other try to take control of her and guide her over the years. She has watched them make a mistake and learned from them. “I’m Kiera Hogan and I am the hottest flame.”

Locker Room Talk w/ Madison Rayne and Johnny Swinger

This week’s guest on Locker Room Talk is Ken Shamrock. Shamrock immediately sends Swinger out of the room by telling him to get him some water. Rayne brings up that Shamrock has had issues with the likes of Moose, Sami Callihan, and Joey Ryan since returning to Impact Wrestling. Shamrock says that he has had issues with those men in the past but now he is focused on going after the Impact Championship. Michael Elgin then interrupts the interview and smashes Shamrock in the head with a chair. He then places one chair across his face whilst smashing it with another whilst saying “That Championship is mine, Ken.”

Davie’s thoughts: I thought this was a pretty decent angle. The attack looked brutal and now puts Shamrock’s status for his tournament match against Rhino next week in doubt. This places Elgin firmly in the number one heel spot on the show and I like that we are now seeing a more vicious side of him. From his promo earlier in the night and this attack, I expect to see him taking out more members of the tournament as the weeks go on.

Sami Callihan Promo

Sami Callihan cuts a promo on Michael Elgin. He says that he has known him his entire career and Elgin is always trying to walk in his footsteps. Next week the footsteps of Callihan and Elgin converge and he will do whatever it takes to win.

Number One Contender Tournament

Round 1

Rohit Raju vs Trey

Both men are trading Wrist Locks and getting out in interesting ways at the start of the match. This escalates as Trey runs the ropes and gets out of a Wrist Lock with a beautiful Arm Drag. Trey catches Rohit in an Electric Chair and throws him onto his face. Trey impresses by dodging a lot of attacks with cartwheels and flips. Trey hits a very nice looking Wheelbarrow into a Face Buster to the Knee followed by a ZSJ-Esque Neck Snap. Rohit comes back with a Scoop Slam and Elbow Drop for a two count. Trey fights back with a Neckbreaker, followed by a cool looking Matrix Escape into a Pele Kick for a two count. Rohit hits a Yakuza Kick followed by a Reverse DDT for a two count. Trey hits the Cheeky Nandos followed by a 619 into the corner. As Trey leaps off the top rope he gets hit with a flying knee to the face from Rohit. Rohit hits a Swinging Neckbreaker, picks Trey up to hit him with another move but gets caught with a Small Package to give Trey the victory.

Trey defeats Rohit Raju via Pinfall in 10 mins 23 secs

Davie’s Thoughts: This was my match of the night. Both these guys have wrestled a few times over the past weeks in multi-man matches and you can see their chemistry has started to develop. Trey is especially impressive as he showcases an exciting array of moves and has great charisma.

Cody Deaner in “Kwaranteen”

Cody Deaner has sent in another video about how he is coping during quarantine or as he calls it – “Kwaranteen”. He says that it is easy to have problems with mental health during these times and he deals with it by going for walks in nature and talking to his friend. We see him say hello to his neighbor, who gives him the finger. He says that he calls other wrestlers as they are a tight-knit community. We then see him on the phone, cutting a promo on another wrestler before saying “I love you too man”. Cody says that the hardest part of quarantine is not being able to wrestle so he lets his energy out in other ways. This leads to a montage of Cody Deaner going for runs, line dancing in the middle of the road, and doing yoga in the woods all whilst still wearing his jeans. He then says that “Sometimes you just gotta wrestle” and we get another montage of Cody wrestling no-one, a tree, and a stuffed raptor.

Davie’s thoughts: Cody Deaner continues to be incredibly entertaining with these segments. This kind of comedy in other hands would not work but I feel he performs it really well and pulls it off. The line dancing in the middle of the road was my personal highlight.

The North Defend The Impact Tag Team Championships

The North is unable to cross the border into the United States during the global pandemic, they have promised to continuously defend their titles in Canada. We are back at the Battle Arts Academy in Mississauga. Ethan Page apologizes to Josh Alexander as he knows he was upset about the caliber, skill level and appearance of their opponents last week. This week Page has hired the most “trustworthy, honest and unbiassed person in pro wrestling” to pick their opponents. George Menezes is back and introduces two more nerdy looking jobbers. George starts to hype up The North and steals lines from Rocky to introduce Page. He calls Page “the man of one-thousand and forty-eight-million holds”, which Alexander thinks is ridiculous but Page says he has more holds than Malenko and Jericho.

The North vs The Shoes

The jobbers are arguing about who should be in the ring, Alexander wants no part of the match and tags in Page. Page immediately knocks out one of the jobbers with a Superkick. He then realizes that this is a title match and should be more of a fight so he picks up the knocked out jobber and pretends to be beaten up by him. Page pretends to struggle to make the tag to Alexander and then uses the jobber as a puppet to “Superkick” him. During the match, there are canned audience chants of “This is Awesome”, “Holy S**t” and “Impact Wrestling”. The North hit a couple of double team moves, completely laying out The Smoes and picking up the win.

The North defeat The Smoes via Pinfall in 2 mins 21 secs

Davie’s thoughts: I found this very entertaining. The North has managed to take a bad situation and keep themselves relevant by shooting these comedy segments each week. Page worked really well here essentially wrestling a rag doll. I can see this story eventually building up to where they are surprised by having to defend against a legit team.

Rosemary and John E. Bravo

Rosemary is still at the bar looking at the tarot cards and trying to work out what they mean. On the table is a stuffed dog to represent Taya and a stuffed bunny to represent Allie. John E. Bravo comes in and says that he also misses Taya. Rosemary looks at the cards again and becomes angry as she realizes that they represent Bravo.

Impact Flashback Moment of the Week

AJ Styles vs Matt Hardy – Victory Road 2011

Chris Bey and Johnny Swinger

Chris Bey approaches Johnny Swinger backstage and tells him that he has been a big fan of his work for a long time. Bey starts to stir the pot as he says that Willie Mack has been dissing Swinger by saying he was the weak link of their tag team and will never be able to beat him for the X Division Championship.

Swinger approaches Mack and challenges him to a championship match. Willie Mack agrees and sets up the match for next week.

Next Week on Impact

Willie Mack vs Swinger – X Division

Michael Elgin vs Sami Callihan

XXXL vs TJP and Fallah Bahh

Rhino vs Ken Shamrock (if Shamrock is cleared)

Suicide vs Moose

As Moose is making his entrance he forces the ring announcer to declare that the match is for the TNA Championship.

Suicide attempts to steal the win early with a Schoolboy and Backslide pin attempt. He sends Moose to the outside with a Hurricanrana and follows up with a Baseball Slide. Moose comes back as he throws Suicide into the barricade. Suicide climbs to the top rope but gets caught by Moose who throws him causing Suicide to backflip to the canvas. Moose catches Suicide with a right hand and a Big Boot sending him to the outside. He follows up with an Apron Bomb, which takes out Suicide. The referee starts to make the ten count but Moose keeps breaking it up to deliver more punishment. Suicide gets tossed back into the ring but fires back with a Tope Suicida. Moose attempts a Pop Up Powerbomb but this gets countered into a Hurricanrana. Suicide demonstrates impressive strength by lifting Moose onto his shoulders to deliver a Rolling Senton followed by a Lionsault for a two count. The referee accidentally gets knocked down by Moose. Suicide catches Moose with a Codebreaker and goes for the pin but the referee is down. Moose attempts the Spear but it gets countered into a Code Red for a slow two count. As the referee is distracted, Moose hits a Low Blow followed by the No Jackhammer Needed Spear for the win.

Moose defeats Suicida via Pinfall in 12 mins 30 secs (plus a commercial break)

Davie’s thoughts: The quickness of Suicide matched well with the power of Moose leading to a pretty entertaining main event. I am actually quite enjoying this delusional “TNA Champion” version of Moose and hope it leads to something bigger down the line. Will it eventually get to the point where they recognize Moose as an official TNA Champion?

Overall I found this week’s episode of Impact pretty entertaining. Aside from the opening match, I thought all the wrestling was solid with my match of the night being Rohit Raju vs Trey. Cody Deaner and The North continue to be very entertaining as they make the most of a bad situation. The Elgin attack on Shamrock looked great and adds another layer to the Number One Contender storyline. However, my highlight of the week has to be the opening video package that Moose hijacked. I highly recommend going out of your way to watch it as it was comedy in wrestling done well.

6.5 Line Dancing Deaners Out of 10