IMPACT WRESTLING REPORT: Willie Mack vs. Ace Austin vs. Chris Bey

Originally published at IMPACT WRESTLING REPORT: Willie Mack vs. Ace Austin vs. Chris Bey

IMPACT Wrestling

May 5th, 2020

Skyway Studios, Nashville, Tennessee

Empty Arena

By: Davie Portman

Commentary by: Josh Matthews and Madison Rayne

Sami Callihan, Ken Shamrock and Michael Elgin Promo

The show opens with Sami Callihan coming out. He gets on the mic and says that he had the fight of his life against Ken Shamrock, but he is still standing. He claims that he never tapped but the referee stopped the match because he thought he needed help. He doesn’t want help from anybody and that’s why he did what he did to oVe. Callihan feels that he still has some unfinished business with Shamrock and calls him to the ring.

Shamrock comes out and says that he has fought a lot of guys in his career and has tapped out most of them, but Sami didn’t tap. He calls Callihan a tough SOB and lists people he has tapped out including The Big Show, Bas Rutten, and The Rock. Shamrock says that they have two choices right now, they can either go back outside and fight or they can shake hands and go after the Impact Title. Shamrock offers his hand for Callihan to shake and Michael Elgin comes out.

Elgin says that he has made it quite clear that he is the rightful Impact Champion and if there was a crowd, they would be cheering about how good he is. He calls Callihan out on his gimmicks of flipping people off, using staple guns and steel chairs but all Elgin needs to do is wrestle to impress people. Elgin reminds them that he was set to go on to beat Tessa Blanchard and Eddie Edwards, so the line starts behind him. Callihan says that Elgin would have choked like he always does, so he responds by delivering a forearm to his face. Shamrock then takes down Elgin and Sami goes for his Thumbs Up Thumbs Down but Elgin escapes. Shamrock and Sami are left in the ring and Callihan “hacks” the system and disappears.

Davie’s Thoughts: I thought this was a really strong segment to open the show. All three men sounded great on the microphone and Michael Elgin especially impressed. I like how they are now teasing that there may be a slight alliance between Shamrock and Callihan as they have both earned each others respect. I thought this was a great way to marry your two main events from Rebellion and not have the main event scene suffer from the absence of Blanchard and Edwards.

Chris Bey Promo

Chris Bey cuts a confident promo backstage claiming that he should have a shot at the X Division Championship following his win at Rebellion. He says that after he wins the title, he will rename the X Division, the “Finesse Division”.

Willie Mack Promo

Willie Mack says that he is riding high after his title win and that Rich Swann knows how to party. He didn’t expect someone to come after his championship so quickly, but he is a fighting champion so he will defend against Chris Bey later tonight.

oVe (Jake Crist & Madman Fulton) vs XXXL

The match starts with a lot of shouting between Madman Fulton and Larry D. Larry D manages to slam Fulton to the mat and tags in Acey Romero who follows up with a Senton. Jake Crist is tagged in who is thrown all over the place by Romero. Larry D gets tagged back in and makes a series of pin attempts after delivering a Leg Drop to Crist. Fulton manages to get Romero up for a Rolling Senton, which was very impressive considering the size of Romero. oVe takes the advantage as they start to double team Romero in the corner. Romero starts to fight back with a Back Body Drop and Spinebuster and makes the tag to Larry D. Larry D hits an X Plex to Crist for a two count. Crist comes back with a series of four beautiful looking kicks to the head but gets Backdropped to the outside. Larry D follows up with a Tope Suicida. Back in the ring, Crist comes off the top rope with a Neckbreaker to Larry D but Romero breaks up the pin. As the referee is distracted, Dave Crist tries to interfere but receives a Right Hand from Larry D. Larry D then delivers another Right Hand to Jake Crist and picks up the win.

XXXL defeat oVe via Pinfall in 10 mins 49 secs (plus commercial break)

Davie’s thoughts: This wasn’t a bad opening match for this week’s show. XXXL is pretty fun to watch considering the size of these two men, however, I really feel they need to start showcasing a bit more personality. Jake Crist is easily the best worker in this match and should have been used more. I’m always impressed with how good his kicks look. Fulton doesn’t really do anything to me. I don’t really see much improvement at all since he was in Sanity many years ago. He is just another big guy. The commentary were playing up the fact that oVe seems lost since their leader, Sami Callihan, turned his back on them so I expect to see a bit of a losing streak storyline happen for these guys until they “find themselves”.

Flashback Moment of the Week

This week’s “Flashback Moment of the Week” is Mick Foley vs Kurt Angle from Victory Road 2009.

Locker Talk with Madison Rayne and Johnny Swinger

This week on “Locker Room Talk”, Madison Rayne invites Havok to be interviewed. Rayne mocks sympathy as she brings up Havok’s loss to Rosemary at Rebellion. Havok threatens Rayne and reminds her what happened to the last person who “got under my skin”. Rayne asks Havok what Nevaeh was doing at Rebellion. Havok says that Nevaeh is an old friend, but she doesn’t know what she was doing there. Kimber Lee then enters and says that she is ready to rise to her place at the top and challenges Havok to a match.

Davie’s thoughts: I hate these segments. The sound is always bad. The promos are always bad, and I never really fully understand what anyone is talking about. Looks like we’re getting Havok vs Kimber Lee.

Cody Deaner Update

The next segment is a video sent in by Cody Deaner who is updating us on his situation during the global pandemic. He explains that when he heard about the pandemic, he didn’t even make it back to the Deaner compound but instead just parked exactly where he was and made it his new home. His trailer doesn’t have any running water, but he has an arrangement with one of his neighbors. We then see a man yelling at Cody for stealing his water and being on his property. Cody tells us that he is ok with social distancing as he is a “lone wolf” and we see a clip of him drinking a beer and talking to wrestling figures. He says that it has been pretty hard financially and we see him trying to sell merchandise at the rode side as a man yells at him to “Get the hell off my property”. The video ends with him saying “I’m Cody Deaner and I’m doing my part to help others flatten the curve.”

Davie’s thoughts: This is the kind of stuff that I am enjoying during this “empty arena” era. Seeing people who aren’t working at the events, be creative at home to keep themselves relevant to the audience. I enjoyed The Deaner’s videos before the pandemic and I thought this was pretty funny. Cody Deaner is endearing and naturally funny and I feel if he continues doing this sort of stuff, he will be absolutely fine when he is ready to return to wrestling after this pandemic is over.

Johnny Swinger vs Suicide

At the start of the match, Swinger insists that the referee checks Suicide for foreign objects. As the referee is checking him, Swinger jumps Suicide. Swinger attempts to rake the back and eyes of Suicide, but obviously it is ineffective due to his full-body leather costume. Suicide sends Swinger to the outside and launches himself on top with a Plancha. Swinger continuously uses dirty tactics throughout the match. He goes for a Headbutt to the groin, but Suicide gets out of the way and follows up with a series of Palm Strikes. Suicide then climbs to the top and hits the Swanton Bomb for the win.

Suicide defeats Johnny Swinger via Pinfall in 3 mins 41 secs

Davie’s thoughts: Technically sound, quick match. I don’t particularly have any interest in either guy right now or this was purely there to fill some time.

Ace Austin Promo

Ace Austin is angry that Chris Bey called his shot for an X Division Championship match and it was granted. Austin then lists off all the people he has beaten in the past and says that he is contractually owed a rematch. He inserts himself into the title match now making this evening’s main event a Triple Threat Match.

Moose Interview

Josh Matthews has a sit-down interview with Moose and is questioning his claim of being the TNA World Champion. Moose says that he stepped into the ring at Rebellion because he didn’t agree with Elgin calling himself the new world champion. Moose lists off all the TNA Champions he has beaten over the past few months – Shamrock, RVD, Rhino, etc. and says that he is the true World Champion as the Impact World Champion is on vacation in Mexico. We learn that next week there is going to be a Number One Contenders Tournament for the Impact Championship, but Moose is removing himself from the field as he doesn’t give a damn about that championship. He calls it a second-class championship and he holds the most prestigious championship in wrestling today. When Josh Matthews says that he didn’t earn the championship, Moose gets offended and ends the interview.

Davie’s thoughts: I think this has been quite a clever way to create a World Champion whilst the Impact Champion is stuck at home during the pandemic. It also fits the story that they have been building over the last few months with Moose taking out all the old TNA wrestlers. Now we have a title that people can fight for as well as a tournament that can go on for a few weeks to determine a new number one contender. I think this is pretty smart booking and will probably lead to a unification match once Tessa Blanchard is able to compete again.

Joseph P Ryan vs Cousin Jake

This is a rematch from Rebellion continuing the feud between #CancelCulture and The Deaners. Ryan starts the match by killing time on the outside and not wanting to get in the ring. Jake eventually gets him in the ring and starts to beat down on him. Jake hits a big Clothesline and Ryan goes back to the outside for another time out. As Jake tries to get him back into the ring Ryan hits an Armbreaker over the top rope. Jake gains control by hitting a series of Clotheslines and a double-handed choke, followed by a big Irish Whip into the corner. Ryan gets a little bit of offense in but Jake hits him with a Discus Clothesline followed by a Deadlift Sitout Powerbomb for a two count. Ryan hits Jake with the Superkick for a two count. Jake goes to run into Ryan in the corner, but the referee is pulled in the way allowing Ryan to poke Jake in the eyes and roll him up for the pin.

Cousin Jake defeats Joseph P Ryan via Pinfall in 8 mins 45 secs

Davie’s thoughts: This felt like a carbon copy of their match from Rebellion with the same outcome. I enjoy both characters, but I really feel both lack something when not having the rest of their act available. The match itself was very basic and boring and really didn’t do anything for me.

The North Defend the Tag Titles in Canada

The following segment takes place from Santino Marella’s Battle Arts Academy in Mississauga, Ontario. As the North is unable to travel to the United States during the global pandemic they have promised to defend their titles in Canada. The ring announcer hypes up that they are at a sold-out venue. We hear canned crowd noise and see a few mannequins in an empty arena. The North enters and Ethan Page attacks one of the mannequins. Page cuts a promo saying that they are on an extended staycation at the greatest place on Earth – Canada. He claims that they are the best Tag Team in the world and are here to defend the titles. Josh Alexander says that he wants a match against Kurt Angle, but Page reminds him that “kayfabe, his 90 days aren’t even up yet”.

Two skinny, nerdy wrestlers then enter to canned chants of “you suck”. One of the wrestlers has dyed blonde hair, a pink headband, and is carrying a mask. When asked why he is holding a mask he says he’s like a comic book character, like Al Snow did with Avatar. Page calls him disrespectful to comic books and says that no one cares about Al Snow.

Impact Tag Team Championship

The North vs The Creeps

Josh Alexander asks where the referee is, and Page snaps his fingers and one appears. The entire match is shot cinematically with quick cuts of The North hitting chops and slams to chants of “This is wrestling”. Page gets the pin and the words “Winner” flash on the screen like it’s an arcade game.

The North defeat The Creeps via Pinfall in 43 secs

Davie’s thoughts: I thought this was pretty entertaining. I thought whoever played the ring announcer/commentator was excellent and the use of a canned audience in an empty arena was pretty funny. I hope we see more vignettes like this whilst The North is unable to wrestle in America. I really hope they fix some of the audio and video issues. The camera was out of focus throughout a lot of it and one of the jobbers really couldn’t be heard during his promo.


Rosemary is on her own with a deck of tarot cards. She says it was fun being back in the heat of battle and wants to see what kind of epic battle the cards have in store for her next. The screen then flashes, and a load of cards has been placed on the table. Rosemary tries to interpret them to figure out who she is going to face next.

Davie’s thoughts: Maybe there are people out there that love this character, but I never understand what is happening and do not find it entertaining in the slightest.

Rohit Raju Promo

Rohit Raju cuts a promo saying that now Moose has pulled out of the Number 1 Contenders Tournament he has got an opportunity for the taking. He in on his own path and he wants a seat at the main table. He closes the promo by saying “My mother called me son because I shine like one.”

Davie’s thoughts: Good promo from Raju. I don’t expect him to go far in the tournament, but I thought he sounded confident and had some clever one-liners. I like the idea of hearing a little promo from all the competitors in the field so we can get to know some of the lesser utilized talents.

Next Week

Hernandez vs Mad Man Fulton
Havok vs Kimber Lee
TNA Championship – Moose vs Suicide

X Division Championship

Chris Bey vs Ace Austin vs Willie Mack (champion)

As the referee is presenting the title at the start of the match, Austin grabs it and tries to use it on Mack before the bell rings. Mack fights back and hits a deep arm drag to Bey followed by a Hurricanrana to Austin. Mack follows up with a Standing Moonsault to both men. On the outside of the ring, Bey and Austin conspire to work as a team but Austin turns on Bey and throws him into the barricade. Austin takes down Mack with an Armbar and uses his playing card to slice between his fingers. Bey pulls Austin to the outside and gets some revenge by throwing him into the ring post. Bey goes for a Tope Suicida but Mack hits him with a Forearm. Mack then takes out both men with a Tope Con Hilo. Back in the ring, Austin gains control by rolling Bey up with a School Boy and Dropkicking Mack out of the ring. He follows up with a Leg Drop on Bey for a two count. Mack comes back in the ring and all three men start duking it out. Austin hits a beautiful combination of kicks to both men and Mack comes back with a big right hand followed by Running Clotheslines to each corner. Mack fires up with a Cannonball to Austin and an Exploder Suplex to Bey. Mack grabs Bey by the foot and flips him over before delivering the Stunner. He goes to the top to deliver the Six Star Frog Splash but Austin Headscissors him off the top and follows up with The Fold. Bey breaks the pin attempt and catches Austin with the Superkick. Austin comes back with The Fold to Bey and Mack breaks up the pin. Austin goes for a top rope Hurricanrana to Mack but he holds on and shoves him to the mat before following up with the Six Star Frog Splash for the win.

Willie Mack defeats Ace Austin and Chris Bey via Pinfall in 14 mins 44 secs (plus commercial breaks)

Davie’s thoughts: I thought this was an excellent match and by far the match of the night. All three men are really exciting to watch and seemed to have great chemistry with each other. Willie Mack very almost didn’t break up the pin in the final stretch, but other than that the match was very solid. Chris Bey is very exciting to watch, and I think he is going to have a great career ahead of him

Overall, I found Impact a pretty enjoyable show this week. I really enjoyed the opening segment between Shamrock, Callihan, and Elgin and I thought the main event more than delivered. The middle of the show dragged a bit with quite a bit of filler but that’s to be expected during this empty arena era of wrestling. If the vignettes could be more like The Deaners and The North and less like “Locker Talk” and Rosemary it would be a much better show for it.

6.5 Creeps Out of 10

Davie Portman is the co-host of the upNXT podcast with Braden Herrington on the POST Wrestling network.