Originally published at IMPACT WRESTLING REPORT: Michael Elgin vs. Sami Callihan
May 19th, 2020
Skyway Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
By: Davie Portman
Commentary by: Josh Matthews and Madison Rayne
The show opens with a recap of last week’s Impact featuring Round 1 Tournament Matches and Michael Elgin attacking Ken Shamrock backstage. It is confirmed that due to the attack Shamrock is not medically cleared to compete in the tournament and has been replaced by Ace Austin. We also see highlights from Moose vs Suicide for the “TNA Championship”, with Suicide getting a visual pin as the referee was knocked down.
1st Round Tournament Match
Ace Austin vs Rhino
The match starts with Rhino using his strength to out power Ace Austin. Rhino sets up for the Gore but Austin dives to the outside and takes his time before returning to the match. Rhino goes after him and hits a Vertical Suplex on the floor. Rhino then introduces a steel chair to the match, however Austin Dropkicks him and hits a cool looking Nip-Up and Handstand Matrix Escape on the apron. Austin shoves Rhino face-first into the ring post and attempts to get a count-out victory but Rhino gets back into the ring on nine. Austin hits the Disaster Kick for a two count. Rhino hits the Mini Gore in the corner but Austin comes back with a Single Leg Lariat for a two count. Austin goes to the top but gets hit by a Superplex from Rhino for a two count. Austin and Rhino both fight over the steel chair. The referee takes the chair away and as his back is turned Austin hits Rhino with a cane and follows up with The Fold for the win.
Ace Austin defeats Rhino via Pinfall in 10 mins 45 secs
Davie’s thoughts: Good opening match to the show. I was a bit confused as to why Rhino introduced the steel chair into the match. I know he’s an ECW guy but it wasn’t a No DQ match and just made him look stupid and eventually lead to him losing the match. I don’t think a babyface should be made to look stupid during a match and unfortunately, it seems to happen quite a lot. Ace Austin was the right person to win and should have a good match with Hernandez in the second round.
Josh Matthews Interviews Moose
Josh Matthews has a second attempt at a sit-down interview with Moose. He says that it has been three weeks now that Moose has been walking around claiming he is the “TNA Champion” and asks when it’s going to end. Moose simply says that it will end when someone beats him for the Championship and until then he is the true World Heavyweight Champion. Matthews brings up the visual pin Suicide had on Moose last week and says that Suicide would be the champion if the referee wasn’t down. Moose says that he is a fighting champion so will have a rematch against Suicide tonight. He then acts insulted by Matthews’ line of questioning and walks out before he does something that will get him fined.
Davie’s thoughts: I am enjoying this version of Moose. His promo has improved a lot and I’m finding the “TNA Champion” story very entertaining. However, I did find this sit down interview very similar to last week’s and would like to see them start trying some other things with this fake title reign.
Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz
Kiera Hogan approaches Tasha Steelz backstage and tells her that she was impressed with her performance last week against Kylie Rae. Kiera says that she wished she had someone who took her under their wing when she started but people used her instead. Hogan offers to take Steelz under her wing and says she will guide her in the right direction. Steelz accepts and they discuss how they are going to “snatch those b**ches together”.
Davie’s thoughts: I like this a lot. Kiera Hogan impresses me week after week both in the ring and on the mic. Last week was the first time I had seen Tasha Steelz work and she impressed me and showed the same level of attitude that Hogan displays. I think these two are going to complement each other and hopefully give both women a bit more direction in the Knockouts Division.
Dave Crist w/ oVe vs Crazzy Steve
At the start of the match, it is announced that Crazzy Steve has signed a new contract with IMPACT Wrestling. Steve drops Crist right away and sends him into the corner following up with a series of Clotheslines and a Rolling Cannonball. Steve hits a Plancha on the outside as Joseph P Ryan comes out to observe the match from the stage. As the referee is distracted, Madman Fulton strikes Steve and Crist follows up with a big Clothesline for a two count. Crist follows up the attack with a Driving Knee into the side of the head of Crazzy Steve followed up by a Falcon Arrow. Crazzy Steve then hits a Diving DDT off of the second rope for the win.
Crazzy Steve defeats Dave Crist via Pinfall in 4 mins 9 secs
After the match, Fulton shoves Crist and asks him “where’s your head at”. The two then shove each other back and forth and Jake Crist tries to break them up. Fulton grabs them both by the throat and yells that he is better than both of them and quits oVe.
Davie’s thoughts: This match seemed to end before it got going. The finish came from nowhere as Dave Crist was on the attack at the time. The main purpose of the match was to build to the angle at the end with the split of oVe. I think it’s about time they pulled the trigger on the breakup as it seemed inevitable and hasn’t been a story that has particularly interested me. I think Dave and Jake Crist will be fine together in the Tag Division but Fulton may struggle on his own. I feel he is someone that will need a manager of some sort if he is going to continue being a prominent part of the show.
Rosemary and John E Bravo
Rosemary is still at the bar talking to Taya’s toy dog. She tells the dog that she is bored since Taya has left her alone. John E Bravo enters and tells Rosemary that he isn’t interested in playing riddles. Rosemary apologizes for being rude to him last week but has noticed that he likes being treated mean. Bravo says that Taya is only mean to him because she likes him. He then calls Rosemary a weirdo and leaves.
Davie’s thoughts: I feel like a broken record when reviewing these segments but I don’t understand what is going on here. Is this meant to lead to a feud between Rosemary and Taya or Rosemary and Bravo? I feel that they are being so ambiguous with the Rosemary character that it ends up just becoming confusing. Maybe it’s just me. Hopefully, we will start seeing some clearer direction in the coming weeks.
XXXL vs TJP and Fallah Bahh
Acey Romero and Fallah Bahh start the match with some heavy-hitting blows followed by an impressive sequence where both big men show off their speed climaxing with Bahh hitting a Splash onto Romero. TJP goes for a Sunset Flip onto Larry D but gets caught. Larry D goes to sit on TJP but he quickly gets out of the way and makes the tag to Fallah Bahh. Bahh hits a Splash onto Larry D whilst TJP is on his back. Larry D hits a Spinebuster to TJP for a two count. TJP walks off the back of Acey Romero to hit a DDT to Larry D. Bahh does his “Hulk Up” spot where he no-sells three punches to the head and takes both members of XXXL down. Larry D climbs to the second rope to hit a Splash onto TJP but Bahh knocks him off and hits a Samoan Drop. TJP follows up with a Frog Splash for the win.
TJP & Fallah Bahh defeat XXXL via Pinfall in 10 mins 11 secs (plus a commercial break)
Davie’s thoughts: I thought this was a pretty good tag match. All three of the big men can move well for their size and are fun to watch. The match always felt fresh as it would go between “Big Lads Wrestling” to TJP adding some speed and athleticism to the match. I think TJP & Fallah Bahh is an entertaining tag team and I look forward to seeing them challenge for the titles again once The North are allowed back in the United States.
“TNA Championship” Match
Suicide vs Moose
Once again Moose gets David Penzer (ring announcer) to declare that the match is for the TNA Championship and he gets the referee to hold up the title. Moose also wants to be announced as “Mr. Impact Wrestling”. Moose goes for the No Jackhammer Needed Spear right away but gets Leapfrogged by Suicide. Moose gets sent to the outside and Suicide attempts to hit a Plancha but gets caught. Suicide comes back by shoving Moose into the ring post and follows up with a Somersault from the apron but gets caught and rag-dolled into the barricade. For a long portion of the match, Moose is dominating and throwing Suicide all over the ring. Suicide makes a comeback with a huge Clothesline, picks Moose up for a Rolling Senton, and hits the Lionsault for a two count. Suicide catches a Boot from Moose and hits the Codebreaker followed by a Superkick. He goes to the top rope and hits a Diving Crossbody but Moose rolls through and grabs the tights to get the win.
Moose wins via Pinfall in 11 mins 7 secs
Davie’s thoughts: As much as I am enjoying the recent presentation of Moose I felt that this week’s match and the interview were very similar to last week’s. This week’s match was a bit more one-sided, with Moose dominating for most of the match but Suicide getting the odd hope spot. The dirty finish made me think that we might be getting this match one more time but I think it’s time to move on to the next feud for Moose. Assuming that Tessa Blanchard could be out for a while, I think it’s logical that the winner of the tournament feuds with Moose for the “TNA Championship” until she is back.
Michael Elgin Promo
Michael Elgin cuts another promo saying that people hate him when he says he is the best. He says that the same thing happened to Muhammed Ali and Connor McGreggor when they claimed they were the best but after time they learned to appreciate them. He says that after time people will appreciate and love him too. Elgin then calls out Shamrock and Callihan again. He says that Sami talks a lot but “words don’t hurt…Michael Elgin does.” Elgin finishes by reiterating that he will be Impact Champion.
Chris Bey and Johnny Swinger
Chris Bey approaches Johnny Swinger backstage and tells him that he’s proud of him for standing up for himself against Willie Mack last week. Bey reminds Swinger that there is more than one way to win and even if he doesn’t win the title he can still teach Willie Mack a lesson. Swinger promises that he is going to win and after he does they can both party at the Landing Strip.
X Division Championship
Johnny Swinger vs Willie Mack
Johnny Swinger jumps Mack from behind as he is taking off his shirt and chokes him with it. Swinger follows up with Elbow Drops across the throat and gets a two count. Swinger hits the Swinging Neckbreaker and goes for the cover but Mack gets his foot on the ropes. Unaware of the rope break, Swinger thinks he has won, grabs the title and begins to celebrate. As he realizes the match isn’t over he attempts to hit Mack with the title but gets caught in a Samoan Drop. Mack follows up with the Standing Moonsault and retains the title.
Willie Mack defeats Johnny Swinger via Pinfall in 3 mins 19 secs
After the match, Swinger Chop Blocks Mack and starts to beat down on him. Chris Bey runs out and continues the attack on Mack.
Davie’s thoughts: This was never going to be anything more than a squash match but was a good way to start the feud between Chris Bey and Willie Mack. I see a lot of potential in Chris Bey. His matches so far have been really good and he proves to be a confident promo and shows a lot of charisma. I think Willie Mack vs Chris Bey could be a really good feud!
The North at Battle Arts Academy
We are back in Canada at the Battle Arts Academy with Impact Tag Team Champions, The North. Josh Alexander is angry and doesn’t know what they are still doing there. Ethan Page tells him that he has rented the place out for the month and it is very cheap. He holds up Santino Marella’s wrestling boot and says “These washed-up wrestlers will do anything for money”. A referee in a wheelchair comes into the room and tells them that they do have a challenger. Cody Deaner enters and challenges them to a Tag Team Championship match. The North reminds him that he doesn’t have a partner but Deaner says that he and “Wheels” will take him on. Assuming that Deaner meant the referee in the wheelchair, The North accept the challenge. Deaner says that it will take place next week at the Deaner Compound. After The North leaves Deaner reveals that the referee isn’t the “Wheels” he was talking about.
Davie’s thoughts: I’m very excited about this match next week. Both Cody Deaner and The North have been incredibly creative and entertaining vignettes over the last few weeks since they have been unable to work in the US. I think the three of them together should be able to produce something really good next week and we may even have a title change. I am expecting something cinematic, ridiculous, and very entertaining.
1st Round Tournament Match
Michael Elgin vs Sami Callihan
Right at the start of the match, Sami Callihan is selling his ankle following his match with Shamrock a few weeks ago. Michael Elgin points right at the ankle and says that that’s what he is going to target. Callihan slaps Elgin, which fires him up and he stomps away at the ankle in retaliation. Callihan rakes the eyes and follows up with a DDT for a two count. Elgin is then sent to the outside after receiving two Pump Kicks to the face. On the outside, Elgin smashes Callihan’s leg over the barricade. He then tries to pull Callihan’s ankle against the ring post but this gets countered and he goes face-first into it. Back in the ring Elgin puts both hands behind his back and invites Sami to hit him. Callihan hits him with a Forearm but it doesn’t phase Elgin. Elgin hits a Forearm of his own, which knocks Callihan to the mat. Callihan comes back with a huge Clothesline but both men get knocked down. Callihan gets a near fall after hitting a Tope Suicida and a big overhead Suplex. Elgin targets the ankle again and starts to bully Callihan with repeated Clotheslines. Callihan comes back with a Back Suplex followed by a Running Forearm for a two count. He then goes for the Cactus Special but it gets countered by Elgin who deadlifts him for a Buckle Bomb. Callihan Backslides Elgin for a two count. This fires up Elgin who hits a Backfist and goes for the Elgin Bomb but Sami slips out. Elgin hits one more Backfist followed by the Elgin Bomb for the win.
Michael Elgin defeats Sami Callihan via Pinfall in 15 mins 18 secs
Davie’s thoughts: This was a helluva match and easily match of the night. In my mind Michael Elgin and Sami Callihan are two of the best Impact has to offer and they did not disappoint here. It was hard-hitting and filled with great storytelling with Elgin targeting the ankle of Sami Callihan. Since the Shamrock feud, it seems as Callihan has moved into more of a tweener role, and Elgin is now the number one heel. I definitely recommend watching this match if you are looking for something to watch this week.
Overall a really strong show. Impact feels like it’s going in a good direction with the tournament, X Division Championship scene, Moose and his “TNA Championship” run, and the Tag Title match next week. Michael Elgin will be facing Trey in the next round of the tournament, which should be a really good match and Ace Austin and Hernandez should also be a decent matchup. I feel Impact has been slowly improving every week and I hope they keep up this good run.
7 Santino Boots out of 10