Josh Alexander and TJP make history
Not only was it one of IMPACT’s greatest matches, but last night’s Iron Man Match between X-division champion Alexander and TJP was officially the longest match in the history of the company. For me, this is was IMPACT’s match of the year so far, surpassing Kenny Omega vs. Rich Swann at Rebellion.
Alexander was able score a fall within the first 20 minutes, and the rest of the match was based on him holding the lead. In the final seconds, Alexander had an ankle lock applied while laying on the mat with his legs grapevined. Perkins powered up into a back bridge pin and tied things up just as time expired. It was an incredible moment, with the talent at ringside cheering both on. The match went into overtime, where Alexander hit his double under-hook piledriver for the win.
Alexander is on a legendary title run, and the current X-Division is as good as its ever been. According to PWInsider, the increased focus on the division is by design, and they are looking to elevate Alexander to the level of Rob Van Dam when he was ECW TV champion back in 1998–2000.
Live fans will return at Slammiversary
IMPACT Wrestling announced in a press release that they will be selling tickets for the upcoming Slammiversary pay-per-view (which ends my two-week #FansForSlammiversary campaign). The announcement came just two days after their head of PR, Ross Forman, told Fight Game Media that no decision had been made regarding live attendance. Last week, it was reported that a source in the company felt that Skyway Studios was not large enough to hold an event with fans, but this is where the event will be held.
According to the press release, a limited number of tickets will go on sale June 4. All tickets will be a part of a “Super Premium VIP Ticket Plan” which will feature several additional perks. Fans began to revolt against the company and with other small promotions like MLW and NWA announcing live attendance for their shows, so it felt like IMPACT almost had to make the announcement.
Update: The tickets sold out in 20 minutes.
Steve Maclin (Cutler) debuts
On tonight’s episode, Steve Maclin, formerly known as Steve Cutler in WWE, made his long-rumored debut. Maclin was a member of the Forgotten Sons tag team with partner Wesley Blake, who WWE recently released, as well. Maclin appeared in a vignette and his new character is reminiscent of the Netflix version of The Punisher, logo and all. The vignette was of a prominently-placed Jameson bottle sitting on a table that he began to drink from with Sinatra-esque music playing.
IMPACT! on AXS TV review
This week’s episode of IMPACT! on AXS TV was the complete opposite of their last one. Tonight was stacked from top to bottom with debuts, big matches, plus a questionable closing show angle.
The show opened with the final ten minutes of the Alexander vs. TJP Iron Man match, which reminded me of the IMPACT! debut on Thursday nights back in April of 2006. That show opened with Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels during their bloody brawl for the X-Division title. It was a perfect way to start an episode.
Iron Man match: Again, one of the greatest matches in company history. I do wish that the full match aired on the main show as opposed to BTI, but still, it was an excellent match that everyone should go out of their way to watch.
Jake Something vs. Rohit Raju in a Tables Match: This was a hit despite that the match came off a tad flat after following an all-time classic. I feel like this match’s placement was unwise. The bout was designed to make Jake in to a babyface monster and by the end, they succeeded. Something no-sold a chair shot to the face and speared Raju through a table. Hopefully this is the beginning of a push for him.
Fire ‘n’ Flava vs. Grace and Ellering: This was the rubber match between the two teams. It was shorter than their Under Siege match but was still pretty good. Grace was pinned again here, which may likely lead to a heel turn and break-up soon. I thought both teams looked pretty good.
Kojima vs. Deaner: A hit just because it’s Satoshi Kojima. The match itself was nothing special. Kojima won with the lariat, as expected. Eddie Edwards got involved and was Kojima’s backup against Violent By Design. He kept an interfering Joe Doering away from the ring with his kendo stick.
Myers and Same Beale: I thought segment was funny. Myers appears to be teaching Beale how to become a professional wrestler. It was nothing special but I laughed. Interested in seeing where this goes.
Morrissey/Rich Swann angle: IMPACT is doing an excellent job of presenting Morrissey like a monster. After Swann came out dancing like a goof before their match, Morrissey viciously attacked him. Security came down and he attacked them until Willie Mack made the save.
Moose vs. Callihan: The match was good up until the Good Brothers and Kenny Omega attacked both men, forcing the DQ. The finish left a sour taste, and felt like it spoiled the rest of last night’s show. Afterwards, D’Amore said that since Callihan won, he was thinking of adding him in to the match with Omega and Moose at Against All Odds. Tony Khan will be on next week to be a part of the decision. Three-ways for world titles are so bad.
X-Division guys bickering: After Alexander poured his heart in to an amazing promo about being IMPACT’s King of the Mountain, he walked off and the rest of the division began whining like wimps about wanting a title shot. Not a great follow up. Of course, it set up another multi-man match at Against All Odds to determine the number one contender.
- WWE released Braun Strowman, Aleister Black, Buddy Murphy, Ruby Riott, Lana, and Santana Garrett this week as part of their continuing “budget cuts.” Next week, we’ll do a deep dive to see who IMPACT might possibly target.
- According to Sean Ross Sapp, Lady Frost worked a match at the last set of tapings. No word on if she was signed. Frost has recently worked AEW Dark, as well.
- TJP had to have surgery on his nose after the last set of tapings.
- Dave Meltzer reported that the negotiations between WWE and New Japan were ongoing, but striking a deal to become exclusive partners is unlikely. If they do ever reach a deal, it would be a huge blow to IMPACT.
- Kylie Rae, who is apparently still under contract to IMPACT, will work the upcoming NWA pay-per-view, Our Shadows Fall, this weekend. She teams with former Knockouts champion Taryn Terrell to take on Melina and Thunder Rosa. This would be Kylie’s first televised match since no-showing Bound for Glory.
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