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Brace for IMPACT: Mickie James returning at Slammiversary; will more IMPACT roster slots open up?

Mickie James returning at Slammiversary

Mickie James returning at Slammiversary

Mickie James returning to IMPACT at Slammiversary

Mickie James is returning to IMPACT to be the special guest enforcer for the Queen of the Mountain match at Slammiversary. The legendary knockout has not appeared since April when she was attacked by Chelsea Green and written off television. Not sure why she wasn’t just added to the match as a competitor. It’s not like she is retired nor would she need to earn her way in. Having  James on the show adds some much-needed star power for the Nashville show, as ticket sales continue stagnate. As of June 10, less than 400 tickets were sold, which is about half the tickets available for the Fairgrounds. I’m not sure what their strategy was, but whomever at IMPACT in charge of promoting this event needs to switch the strategy up.
Thankfully, James will be hitting the local media market this week to help spread the word for the event.


IMPACT stars shine at NJPW Dominion

NJPW Dominion took place in Osaka, Japan  over the weekend, which featured IMPACT talent were on the card. Former IMPACT tag team champion Karl Anderson, with Doc Gallows by his side, defeated Tama Tonga to win the IWGP Never Openweight championship.  It’s been a long time since an IMPACT wrestler held a New Japan title, although who knows how much longer Anderson will be an IMPACT talent as The Good Brothers contracts are set to expire in July.

IMPACT X-Division champion Ace Austin was also on the winning side of a trios match with Bullet Club on the undercard, and he continued to impress.

Jay White, who is not exactly an IMPACT star but worked here for the last six months and is on IMPACT this week, won the IWGP World Heavyweight championship from Kazuchika Okada in the main event after pinning him with a Bladerunner.


More roster slots opening up?

On the June 2 episode of IMPACT! on AXS TV, it appeared that Rhino was written off tje show after being attacked by Honor No More. This week, it looked like the same thing happened to Heath, with his knee “Pillman-ized” several times by the group.

Last week, we also found out that Morrissey and Jay White would not be returning. Matt Cardona is also out for at least six months after having biceps surgery.  The Good Brothers are very possibly not re-signing either and may end up with NJPW, full-time.

With all these roster slots opening up, who should fill them? IMPACT announced Alex Zayne and Jack Evans for Slammiversary, who are nice additions to the X-Division. The only wrestler available that could sell tickets and pay-per-views would be Windham Rotunda, who is returning to the ring soon, according to his social media, though he has balked at IMPACT.

If I’m in charge at IMPACT, I make signing Johnny Gargano and Cesaro a top priority. Gargano was a top NXT star and doesn’t seem like someone who would thrive in the over-crowded AEW pool. Cesaro would immediately become a main event player, too.

Another star worth looking at is John Hennigan a.k.a. Johnny IMPACT. He has been Johnny Jobber in AEW lately, so he would definitely be welcomed back.


IMPACT! on AXS TV review

The June 9 episode of IMPACT! on AXS TV was anchored by two wild matches and a hilarious skit at the Briscoe Family chicken farm in Sandy Fork, Delaware.

PCO was back to playing babyface this week taking on Steve Maclin in a bloody, brutal affair which was one of the more compelling television matches of the year.

Then, to the surprise of no one, the main event between Honor No More and Frankie Kazarian & the Motor City Machine Guns was spectacular.

HITS:

  • The Good Brothers visiting the Briscoe Family chicken farm: I initially cringed at the thought of this skit, but I gotta hand to the Good Brothers, who were really funny. Anderson picked up a small child and kicked his Big Wheel over, which was hilarious. We also got to see Papa Briscoe make his debut. Eventually, the Briscoes defended their honor, with Mark Briscoes in the back of a pickup truck driven by brother Jay Briscoe; swinging a big pole.

  • Steve Maclin beating PCO in an insane match: If you were hoping for a technical match with great moves and smooth sequences, this wasn’t the match for you. PCO vs. Maclin was a botch-filled, brutal, bloody, beautiful disaster, and I loved it. At one point in the match, it looked like PCO dislocated his collar bone, but it was clearly an angle and PCO can apparently dislocate it on command like Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon 2. Go out of your way to see this match.

  • Josh Alexander vs. Joe Doering:  This was a minor hit with me because I think these two guys work well together. I’m not a fan of Alexander losing by disqualification here, unless, of course, they’re planning a big rematch between the two down the road. Ideally, every match and segment leading to the main event should be making both the champ and challenger look strong, and get heat on the heel. Neither happened here.

  • Honor No More, Kazarian, and the MCMGs putting on an instant classic: This match that is worth going out of your way to see, and was the best television match of the week. With the talent involved, there was zero-percent chance this was going to be anything other than awesome.

MISSES:

  • Rosemary vs. Tenille Dashwood: The match actually wasn’t bad, and Rosemary looks healthier then she has in a while; it was a bit clunky at times, but it was mostly OK. The Influence attacked Rosemary after she won, so Taya Valkyrie came to make the save, and as slow as humanly possible. Not sure if she knew she was doing a run-in since she was wearing the most uncomfortable clothes imaginable for a fight. And the post-match beatdown looked very amateur.
  • Moose and Sami Callihan: This feud just isn’t working for me. They have no chemistry, and their acting in these skits are bad. Thankfully, their upcoming match at Slammiversary should be pretty good.
  • “Cross the Line” intro: This is my second least favorite IMPACT intro song behind “We Own the Night.”


News:

  • Active duty and military veterans can get free tickets to Slammiversary on vettix.org.
  • Karl Anderson revealed on his Talk’n Shop podcast that Scott D’Amore was behind Ace Austin joining Bullet Club.

It’s whatever booker wants to put the son (of a) bitch in. People will say, ‘Why did you let this guy in?’ Guys, listen, you have to understand. The person that makes the show gets to put the fucking person in the damn Club. Scott D’Amore wanted Ace Austin in there. That’s not saying I didn’t want him in there, it’s a great shot for him. (h/t Fightful)

  • Moose vs. Sami Callihan has been added to Slammiversary and will be a Monsters Ball match.
  • Rich Swann will defend his Digital Media title against Brian Myers at Slammiversary, who is filling in for the injured former champion Matt Cardona.
  • Tickets for Against All Odds, and the IMPACT taping the next night at Center Stage in Atlanta for July 1–2 go on sale June 13.
  • IMPACT will be headed to Chicago, Il on August 12–13 and back to Dallas, Tx on August 26–27. Ticket and venue information have not been announced. Just looking at the schedule it would seem that August 12 would be a live IMPACT Plus special.

Ratings

The June 9 episode of IMPACT! on AXS TV  averaged 121,000 viewers with a 0.03 demo, slightly down from last weeks 116,000/0.03.  The episode was ranked #121 the Showbuzz Top 150, slightly down from #120 last week.


IMPACT Ratings 2022

Date Total Viewership Demo Notes
June- 9 121,000 0.03 Honor No More vs MCMGs and Kazarian; #121 on Showbuzz
June-2 116,000 0.03 Morrissey/PCO vs Maclin/Moose; #120 on Showbuzz
May-26 125,000 0.03 VDB vs. Josh Alexander/Briscoes; #130 on Showbuzz
May-19 119,000 0.04 Briscoes vs. VBD; #93 on Showbuzz
May-12 125,000 0.03 Gauntlet for the Gold; #116 on Showbuzz
May-5 108,000 0.04 Under Siege Go Home
Apr-28 107,000 0.02 Moose vs. Alexander; NFL Draft competition
Apr-21 112,000 0.03
Apr-14 123,000 0.04
Apr-7 89,000 0.02
Mar-31 149,000 0.04 Bullet Club vs. Motor City Machine Guns 2
Mar-24 100,000 0.02 Mickie vs. Tasha
Mar-17 68,000 0.02 Josh Alexander vs. Matt Taven
Mar-10 94,000 0.03 Sacrifice fallout
Mar-3 131,000 0.04 Sacrifice Go-home; #133 on Showbuzz
Feb-25 111,000 0.03 No Surrender fallout; #141 on Showbuzz
Feb-17 109,000 0.03 Bullet Club vs VBD; #131 on Showbuzz
Feb-10 117,000 0.03 W. Morrissey vs Brian Myers; #145 on Showbuzz
Feb-3 114,000 0.02 Bullet Club vs IMPACT
Jan-27 182,000 0.05 #104 on Showbuzz; PCO vs Chris Sabin
Jan-20 126,000 0.03 Josh Alexander vs. Charlie Haas; #147 on Showbuzz
Jan-13  111,000 0.03 Deonna Purazzo vs. Rok-C. #144 on Showbuzz
Jan-6 104,000 0.02 Hard to Kill “go-home” show

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