If you read last week’s review, I hope you’re still not doing the turkey trot but you noticed this week’s episode would be action, and action only. The first round of the Knockouts Championship tournament will reunite Laurel Van Ness, KC Spinelli and Madison Rayne for a spot in the finals in 2 weeks. James Storm will square off with Texano, Matt Sydal with Tyson Dux, Taiji Ishimori with Global Forged winner Hakim Zane. Alberto El Patron and Johnny Impact will compete in a grudge match and LAX will a have a few things to tell… So let’s get ready for some action, because that’s what IMPACT is set to be about, the “Doctor Frenchy” Steph way.
Jeremy Borash welcomed us from backstage to present the 6 Knockouts with who will all be competing for the Knockouts Championship, KC Spinelli, Rosemary, Allie, Laurel Van Ness, Madison Rayne and Sienna. A preview of Johnny Impact vs. Alberto El Patron was aired, with their epic brawl backstage 3 weeks ago.
Knockouts Championship Tournament Triple Threat Match: Laurel Van Ness vs. KC Spinelli vs. Madison Rayne
Spinelli and Rayne faced off first but Van Ness quickly rolled Rayne around the ring in a tumbleweed. Rayne on the apron was sent to the floor by Van Ness drops her to the floor and attacked Spinelli. But KC replied with a discus clothesline sending her opponent across the mat, took and put LVN fur coat. LVN enraged and made Spinelli pay with stomps and kicks. Rayne rallied and attacked Van Ness with some kicks to the face, knees, clotheslines. Van Ness escaped by slowly rolling out of the ring. Rayne then worked on Spinelli but Van Ness came back with a missile drop kick.
Rayne reached the top rope to choke out Van Ness but was sent to the mat thanks to an iconoclasm by LVN. Spinelli then slipped under, put LVN in an electric chair position and dropped her right on Rayne. Spinelli went for her finisher but Van Ness countered to hit the Unprettier for the win. Laurel van Ness will meet in the finals the winner of Rosemary vs. Allie vs. Sienna match next week. Interesting… (Since Bound for Glory, my only thought has been, how old is the referee in the pic ? Because my 13-year-old nephew seems older than him…)
Hakim Zane vs. Taiji Ishimori
The winner of Global Forged Wrestling was supposed to have a match at Bound for Glory, it finally happened 3 weeks later. And surprisingly Zane took control of the match and of Ishimori with a shoulder block and a sweep kick. Ishimori rallied with a springboard but missed his second flight attempt. Zane yanked him to the mat to hit some kicks and elbows to the NOAH wrestler.
Zane continued with a side suplex Ishimori countered. But in the corner, Zane was able to hit an elbow, a big boot and a cannonball on him. Ishimori rallied with a handspring kick, Zane went for a hurricanrana but got caught and ate some knees to the face. Ishimori was able to reach the top rope and hit his signature 450 splash for the victory. Extremely disputed bout, Zane proved Scott D’Amore training was effective in the context of a match.
But it seemed like X-Division Trevor Lee and his friend Caleb Konley considered Ishimori as a threat. As they were not happy about losing the 6-man tag match 2 weeks ago where they teamed with Ishimori, the duo attacked him, Konley laid him down while Lee raised his Championship while smiling.
While James Storm explained to McKenzie Mitchell backstage that for him wrestling is about beer, pretty ladies, fast cars, and kicking Dan Lambert out of the Impact Zone, LAX in their laird were talking about all the things they could do to regain the Tag Team Championships and punish oVe and Sami Callihan. Something Homicide was ready to work on…
From Defy Wrestling, Sami Callihan vs. Randy Myers
Highlights from a no DQ or hardcore match for the Seattle Federation. Callihan threw Myers in to a load of chairs floor, fans even gave him more to use. In the ring Callihan continued with a kick to the back of the head and a few clotheslines, but Myers was not okay to relinquish. On the second rope, Callihan decided to bit his opponent (Turkey time was last week, Sami…) before coming for a sunset flip powerbomb, but Myers hung on. Callihan was not done, unloaded a kick to the face and a sit-down powerbomb. Myers hit a superkick but Callihan flattened him with a huge lariat for the win. Not impressive even if it was supposed to be…
While Alberto El Patron was talking backstage about his match and his desire to destroy Johnny Impact, KM was beating down people backstage to show American Top Team he could be a part of their group. ATT blew him off.
Texano vs. James Storm
There was a feeling of deja-vu in this match, related to the build-up of Bound for Glory. The Cowboys Battle started slowly with a move for move before Texano got our of the ring. Storm followed him and hit a big boot on Texano into the barricade. Texano tried to grab Storm’s beer, the referee stopped him, but Texano misted Storm with the brew foam.
Back in the ring to quickly head back to the outside as Texano sent Storm into the metal ramp and flipped him on it. Back in the ring, Texano hit a backbreaker turned into a single leg boston crab, but Storm reached the ropes. Texano hit a leg lariat and decided to charge but Storm unleashed his big boot. The Cowboy went for his Eye of the Storm but his back slowed him down. The third attempt was the good one but Texano was not done yet. The “other” Cowboy hit a Superkick and taunted Storm by putting on his hat. Storm hit his Superkick for the win.
As Storm was celebrating, the whole of American Top Team attacked him. Lashley wanted to charge, slammed him back-first into the ring and then into the steel steps. A member of the ATT who got a beer bottle upside the head asked for revenge but Storm superkicked him to the face. Lashley came back with a running power slam, but here came Moose with a chair.
Moose cleared the ring of all ATT guys, excepted for one who got a chairshot to the back. Lambert grabbed a mic (who let him do?) and talked. Until he said something interesting, next week it will be Moose & James Storm vs. Lashley & Dan Lambert, ATT’s secret weapon, he said (I’l under the table laughing, sorry). Something the ATT guys were not okay with…
Commercial for Park, Park, and Park Attorneys where Joseph Park introduced his cousin, Chandler Park (former EVOLVE and PWG Canadian wrestler Ethan Page).
While Johnny Impact told McKenzie backstage he would beat El Patron even with one healthy arm, The Princess Jimmy Jacobs stared at Chris Adonis and Eli Drake walking.
Tyson Dux vs. Matt Sydal
IMPACT Grand Champion was at the announce table as he recently trash talked on Sydal. The match started with a lot of quick back-and-forth action until Sydal hit a head scissors and a final cut leg drop. While EC3 was still saying Sydal couldn’t win the big one. Sydal locked Dux in the Muta Lock, Dux got out, Sydal went for a standing moonsault but Dux raised his knees up for Dux.
Dux attacked with big kicks and a stalled vertical suplex, then locked Sydal in a Boston crab but Sydal crawled to the ropes. Sydal rallied and hit loads of kicks into Dux’s legs and a kick to the head. He reached the top rope for a standing moonsault, and then for his Air Bourne, but Dux stopped him with double boots. Sydal replied with a knee to the face, headed to the top rope for the Shooting Star Press for the pin. EC3 and Sydal taunted each other. Could have been really better…
Grudge match: Johnny Impact vs. Alberto El Patron
This match could be the main event of a PPV. Alberto brought a chair to the ring but finally ditched it out. Many punches and kicks from Alberto to start the match. Johnny then unloaded a side Russian leg sweep, a diving clothesline, and punches the referee asked him to control. Johnny continued with knees to Alberto down to the floor and a corkscrew senton.Alberto recovered and threw Johnny into the barricade a few times, slammed Johnny’s face down to a chair before coming back to the ring. Alberto was telling the referee what to do…
Johnny was sent back to the floor but after the commercial break, he was back in the ring and Alberto hit a right off the top rope. We found out that during the break, Impact was put under the steel steps and Alberto double stomped on him, the red marks on his body were explained. Alberto tries another move off the top rope but missed and ate an enzuigiri. Johnny sent El Patron in the corner, charged but missed, Alberto went for a kick but missed too. Impact continued with multiple clotheslines, a leg lariat and a kick to the face to Alberto. Alberto replied with a kick to the head, Johnny kicked out and Alberto argued with the referee.
Alberto went for a cross arm breaker, Impact blocked and hit a springboard kick. He went for the Starship Pain but Alberto headed also up to the top and connected with a reverse superplex. Johnny was put in the tree of woe position, Alberto tried a double stomp but missed. Johnny hit a double stomp on Alberto’s back, tried an elbow from the top rope but bumped the referee. Of course, Alberto unleashed the forbidden low blows and punches before hitting a DDT. Johnny kicked out again and the referee was yelled at again by El Patron.
Alberto put Johnny into the Tree of Woe again, ripped his tape off his arm and shoved it in Johnny’s mouth. But, of course, Eli Drake appeared, not to attack Impact or El Patron, but to ally with El patron to finish Impact. But Alberto attacked Drake in the face and hit him with the title. Johnny still in the Tree of Woe hit Alberto in the back and brought him back to the ring. He finally hit the Starship Pain for the win.
Drake hit Alberto with the title and then attacked Johnny. Chris Adonis showed up and put down Johnny. Drake went to hit Johnny with the title, but Petey Williams’ music hit (Johnny and Petey met backstage before the match) and he came through the crowd. Williams hit a codebreak on Drake, nailed a suicide dive on Adonis outside. When Drake went for the Gravy Train on Williams, Johnny hit a superkick, allowing Williams to hit the Canadian Destroyer on Drake. The crow d was on fire, chanting, “Petey!”
Even if there was action, my feelings are mixed as it was more average action than anything else. Zane vs. Ishimori was impressive, but the rest of the card offered average matches. The storylines are not very clear, interferences are useless. I said I wanted action, but good one. IMPACT Wrestling can do way better… And if you agree with me, of course, I see you next Friday…
All pics, videos, and screenshots courtesy of Impact Wrestling.