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Brace For IMPACT: W. Morrissey & Jay White gone; Ace Austin joins Bullet Club

W. Morrissey & Jay White

W. Morrissey & Jay White leave IMPACT

W. Morrissey leaves IMPACT

W. Morrissey, the former Big Cass in WWE, has finished up with IMPACT Wrestling. Morrissey debuted at Rebellion in 2021 as a mystery partner for Violent By Design after returning to the ring a few weeks prior for Doc Gallows’ Lariato Pro in tremendous shape. The big man had been out of the ring for several years battling alcoholism, anxiety, and depression following his release from WWE in June of 2018.

Morrissey’s IMPACT debut was the beginning of a career resurgence. He looked physically much better than he ever looked in WWE. Long gone was the mid-card comedy Cass, whose claim to fame was being a tall heater for a goofy rapper and spelling out “soft” as S-A-W-F-T. IMPACT’s Morrissey is Vince McMahon’s dream wrestler, an intense, athletic, shredded big man that can work and cut promos.

Morrissey’s run had several great moments and matches including headlined the No Surrender pay per view in February 2022, getting a title shot against Moose.  The match is without a doubt the best of his career and was very much reminiscent of a WWE main event title match.  Another great moment was during an April IMPACT episode, he addressed a Philadelphia crowd that witnessed him 3 years prior have a seizure due to withdrawals, letting them know that he is sober and the healthiest he has ever been.

On the May 4 episode of Dynamite, Morrissey made his AEW debut as a representative of IMPACT. Despite losing to Wardlow, he impressed a lot of people within both WWE and AEW. The match served as a showcase of the new and improved “Big Cass”. My prediction is that he is heading back home to WWE and will become a top star there.

Jay White also done with IMPACT—for now

PWInsider is reporting that Jay White has also finished his current run with IMPACT. With New Japan bringing back more foreigners now that COVID restrictions are loosening up, the schedule is too tough to make it work. The report states that the door is open for White to return as long as his NJPW schedule allows it.

White debuted at Slammiversary in July 2021, but only wrestled in two tag matches during the taping following the event. Switchblade returned back in January 2022 and has been on almost every episode ever since. He had tremendous matches against Eric Young, Chris Sabin, and Alex Shelley, but other than that he mostly wrestled in tag team matches. There were some teases that we may get to see him get a title shot but he stayed in the mid card his entire run.

IMPACT bringing in the New Japan talent has been fun to see but the reality is their priority will always be the company they are contractually obligated too. Which makes it tough to tell stories. White easily could have been a top star but because he was just here waiting for Japan to open back up, IMPACT could never get fully behind him.


IMPACT! on AXS TV review

The June 2 episode of IMPACT! on AXS TV was an overall fun watch but other than two matches, nothing really worth going out of your way to see. IMPACT is continuing its bipolar storytelling with PCO as he was a heel with Honor No More in hour one and was unaffiliated with them and a babyface in hour two.  Tom Hannifan probably had his finest night on commentary with a rotating cast of guest commentators. Mia Yim, Steve Maclin, Blake Christian, and PCO all shined this week.

HITS:

  • Throwback intro video:  This week they took us back to 2005 and knocked it out of the park. It’s so refreshing that they are celebrating their TNA roots instead of mocking them. TNA had its share of bad, but they had so many awesome moments too and they should be celebrated.

  • Mia Yim defeating Savannah Evans: The match was nothing special, but Yim came across as such a star here. Great pickup by IMPACT.

  • Honor No More taking out Rhino: Again, the match was nothing too special but the angle, with Honor No More beating down and injuring Rhino’s knee was great. Rhino did an amazing job getting sympathy from the crowd and the heels come across as evil. Very effective storytelling.

  • Chris Harris’ return: Wildcat returned via a short vignette in the back, with him sticking up for Shark Boy who was being bullied by Eddie Edwards. Love the Wildcat.
  • The Briscoes and Good Brothers brawl: The Good Brothers annoyed me so much in this segment that I literally got excited when the Briscoes came out to confront them. So what they did worked. IMPACT could use a quality control officer as the Good Brothers are back as heels again just weeks after turning babyface.
  • Kenny King and Blake Christian tearing it down: This match was awesome and is worth going out of your way to see. King won and kept his Ultimate X spot, but Christian is the one that came across as a star. They really need to sign this guy.

  • Steve Maclin and Moose beating PCO and Morrissey: This was another very good television main event. All four guys looked great, with PCO stealing the show in several spots. Maclin got the pin over Morrissey in the big man’s final IMPACT match.

MISSES:

  • The Influence and Rosemary: These segments are usually pretty bad but the acting this week was particularly dreadful. Rosemary can’t get those tag titles off the Influence soon enough and end this feud forever.

News:

  • Ace Austin was revealed as the newest member of the Bullet Club at the Best of the Super Juniors finale. With the news that Jay White has finished up with IMPACT and that the Good Brothers could be done soon too, Ace Austin will be keeping the Bullet Club brand in IMPACT going. Austin just re-signed a multiple year deal here and could very well become the face of the company very soon.

  • Matt Cardona had surgery on his bicep on Tuesday and is expected to be out of action for quite some time.
  • Jack Evans, whose contract was not renewed with AEW, will be returning to IMPACT at Slammiversary and will be entering the Ultimate X match. Evans is crazy, so this should be interesting.
  • Scott D’Amore matched $13,474 worth of donations to Don West’s GoFundMe, which was set up to help him battle his latest setback from brain lymphoma.

  • IMPACT announced that Eddie Edwards, The Kingdom, Vincent, and PCO of Honor No More will take on an “IMPACT Originals” team of The Motor City Machine Guns,  Frankie Kazarian from AEW, and two mystery partners. There are dozens of possibilities, but if I had my choice, I’d love to see America’s Most Wanted reunite. If Chris Harris can’t wrestle, I still want to see James Storm return, with maybe Christopher Daniels as the other partner.
  • IMPACT released its first ever Pride shirt. The shirts are available at impactwrestling.com and a portion of all Pride shirt sales will be donated to the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA), an international sports organization dedicated to providing opportunity and access for the LGBT community to participate in organized softball competition in safe environments.

Ratings

The June 2 episode of IMPACT! on AXS TV  held up quite nicely against game 1 of the NBA Finals. The show averaged 116,000 viewers with a 0.03 demo, slightly down from last weeks 125,000/0.03. Great number for the station considering the competition. The episode was ranked #120 the Showbuzz Top 150, up from #130 last week.


IMPACT Ratings 2022

Date Total Viewership Demo Notes
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

Brace for IMPACT, hosted by JD Oliva and Mike Gilbert, is part of the Fight Game Media Network free feed. You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts and Spotify as well as find it wherever you listen to podcasts.

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