Friday, June 14th, 2019
*Ethan Page & Josh Alexander over Rob Van Dam & Sabu
*Jessicka Havok over Masha Slamovich
*Raj Singh over Cody Deaner
*Madison Rayne over Jordynne Grace
*Killer Kross over The Sandman
*Michael Elgin over Willie Mack
–The Slammiversary pay-per-view is three weeks away, so that has been the central focus of the show. In the main event, Michael Elgin defeated Willie Mack with the Elgin Bomb. It was a good main event and provides a strong win for Elgin going into his Impact title match against champion Brian Cage in Dallas. I like the simplicity of Elgin coming in, getting the credit for taking out Cage, and just winning all his matches as he heads into the title match.
–After the match, Elgin injured Mack with a powerbomb into the post after promising to send Mack to the hospital, just like he did Brian Cage. Johnny Impact and Rich Swann got involved, who are having their own title match at Slammiversary. Elgin attacked both and had a strong presence to end the show.
–The women’s match involving Madison Rayne and Jordynne Grace was a very good television match and one of the better matches involving Rayne. Kiera Hogan was on commentary and was tired of constantly being abandoned by her friends and has an issue with Grace. Grace was distracted by Hogan on commentary and was hit with the Cross Rayne (Cross Rhodes) for the win. Hogan is a great personality and has yet to be one of the top featured females but has lots of upside and enjoyed her work on commentary, as well.
–There was a part in the match with Raj Singh and Cody Deaner towards the end, where Gama Singh grabbed his chest and insinuated, he was having a heart attack. It was not played seriously, but I still felt it came across badly given the timing of these tapings happening a few weeks after Silver King died. It also makes the announcers look silly as they continued calling the match while a guy is supposedly having a heart attack in front of them.
–Moose is proclaiming he will end the ECW era and feuding with the former stars leading into his match with Rob Van Dam at Slammiversary. The ECW nostalgia feels extremely long in the tooth, especially on this show where it didn’t feel the audience was all that nostalgic for them. The tag match served its function with Van Dam being brought back and they had The North get a clean win, pinning Sabu and benefiting them. The use of The Sandman did nothing for me and he was submitted in 90 seconds by Killer Kross. They are at least using the older guys to put over the current stars, but no one seemed to care. They are linking The Sandman with Eddie Edwards with the kendo stick connection.
–LAX was confronted by The Rascalz at the bar to set up a tag title match for Slammiversary. They got into a fight with LAX getting the better of the exchange followed by Laredo Kid popping up, checking one of their pockets and leaving with LAX. Prior to The Rascalz appearing, Konnan went to call Laredo Kid’s name before he was interrupted and then he showed up minutes later, after the fight.
–Jessicka Havok is back and is paired with Father Jim Mitchell, who cut a strong promo after Havok defeated Masha Slamovich with a tombstone. They are part of a unit with Su Yung with Havok being groomed for a future title shot. Their women’s division is solid with a lot of variety and personalities, it’s the biggest strength of the company.
–Tessa Blanchard is feuding with oVe and will face Jake Crist next week as they build towards Blanchard and Sami Callihan.
-Overall, it was an average episode of Impact Wrestling. I wouldn’t say any program is hitting it out of the park and there is a large void when it comes to fan engagement regarding the promotion in their current broadcast situation. The strengths are week-to-week stories that tie together in the end and make sense, some very good talkers that are not handcuffed and the roster is a talented one. The atmosphere at the Melrose Ballroom didn’t enhance the show for me and that’s a tough vibe to overcome, regardless of the match quality. If you’re going back, I’d recommend Rayne vs. Grace and the main event as matches worth seeing.
Next week’s show will feature:
*Michael Elgin vs. Rich Swann vs. Johnny Impact
*Taya Valkyrie vs. Su Yung for the Knockout’s title
*Tessa Blanchard vs. Jake Crist
*Moose vs. Tommy Dreamer