Friday’s episode of Impact Wrestling was the final episode before Sunday’s Bound for Glory card and the final show from the tapings in Las Vegas, Nevada at Sam’s Town Live.
Josh Mathews and Don Callis were calling the show.
MICHAEL ELGIN VS FALLAH BAHH
This was actually a really good match but was in front of a non-enthusiastic audience.
This was a much more serious style of match from Bahh, who played the big man that Elgin had to work hard to get off his feet. After three lariats, Bahh went down and was caught with a powerbomb out of the corner as Elgin got the win.
WINNER: Michael Elgin in 8:22
This was the best match on the show, both worked very hard and in a better environment, this would have gotten over more significantly. It was a dramatic change of pace from the style of match you’re accustomed to with Bahh. It was a strong win for Elgin going into his match with Naomichi Marufuji this Sunday.
JAKE CRIST VS CHRIS BEY
Bey landed a tope con giro, but Crist took control and grounded Bey inside the ring. Bey had a brief comeback landing a spinning elbow and came off the rope with a famouser. Crist caught with a spinning wheel kick and the spinning neck breaker from the top turnbuckle for the victory.
WINNER: Jake Crist in 8:22
The audience didn’t enhance any of these matches and felt like the talent were working in quicksand where a decent match was dragged lower because of the lack of heat. Bey was put over by Mathews and Callis and seems like someone they have their eye on, and he was just on 205 Live last week so is getting his name out there.
Ace Austin met with Alisha Edwards and convinced her to come out and celebrate when he wins the X Division title on Sunday.
There was a lengthy feature on the Ken Shamrock match with Moose with a sit-down involving Shamrock explaining how Bob Shamrock saved his life. That transitioned to his Twitter beef with Moose and into all the promos and angles between the two. This has been a pretty good promotion of the feud and they took the time on this show to set the stage for those catching up.
Taya Valkryie was in her dressing room and cut a promo on Tenille Dashwood. Taya said Dashwood was around when she had her first match and she was green, with the idea that’s how Dashwood still views her. But Taya went on to have success in Mexico and become a big star and Dashwood won’t be ready for the improvements she has made since being a rookie. It wasn’t brought up, but both trained at the Storm Wrestling Academy in Calgary but were not in the same class. This was a good promo from Taya and the strongest promotion of the match, which I’ve felt has been very cool until this segment.
JOSH ALEXANDER VS RICH SWANN VS RHINO
It’s a preview of the three-way tag title match at Bound for Glory with the partners in the respective corners.
Alexander beat on Rhino. Swann was involved as Rhino executed a Tower of Doom on them. The partners started to argue on the floor and led to Swann taking a back body drop on all three. Rhino hit the gore on Alexander, but Ethan Page pulled the referee to the floor. Rhino got into his face and Swann capitalized with a 450 splash off the middle turnbuckle and pinned Alexander.
WINNER: Rich Swann at 6:26
It was a rushed and clunky three-way, I have higher expectations for the pay-per-view match.
Sami Callihan was in a small room with the footage of Melissa Santos being attacked running on a laptop. Callihan cut the special effects and cut a serious promo about always wanting to be a professional wrestler, going to a “television wrestling company” and then he quit, but he didn’t fail because they failed him. He outlined all his feuds and mistakes he’s made but always wanted to be acknowledged as the best. After Sunday, when he’s champion, they will have to acknowledge he is the best. This was an excellent promo and the best one on the show plugging Sunday’s main event.
SABU VS ROHIT RAJU
This was for the fifth and final spot in the X Division Ladder match at Bound for Glory.
Sabu immediately started using the chairs and the referee had to ignore it, although issued warnings. Super Genie ran in and leaped off a chair onto Raju in the corner.
A table was set up on the floor that Sabu put Raju through, and both were counted out.
WINNERS: Double count-out at 4:16
Neither were added to the ladder match and I can’t fathom the idea of Sabu doing a ladder match after watching this match. This was pretty bad on several levels, not the least of which was the lack of rules even though it’s a Sabu match and you have to do all the shortcuts.
On Saturday’s All Glory show in Illinois, Impact announced they have added Ace Romero to the ladder match for the final slot and signed an Impact contract inside the ring.
Tessa Blanchard cut a promo about going into the ladder match as the lone female participant and will make history. She said she will win the X Division title and then is going for Sami Callihan, which seems like the ultimate showdown stemming from the Slammiversary outcome.
OVER THE TOP BATTLE ROYAL
This featured Eddie Edwards, Reno Scum, Jordynne Grace, Johnny Swinger, Kiera Hogan, Mahabali Shera, Raj Singh, The Deaners, Jessicka Havok, and Rosemary.
The winner would be #20 in the Gauntlet match on Sunday and the runner up would enter #1.
It was just a collection of eliminations including the women dumping Swinger out right away, Kiera Hogan was sent over the top and caught by Cousin Jake and he dropped her for the elimination, Rosemary eliminated Havok and Havok pulled her out.
It came down to Edwards, Shera, and Reno Scum with Edwards eliminating the tag team, who came back to distract Edwards and led to Shera hitting his version of the World’s Strongest Slam dumping Edwards onto the edge of the apron and out, which looked very painful.
WINNER: Mahabali Shera
It was a basic battle royal and it seemed telegraphed by the end that Edwards would start, and Shera would end the battle royal.
Outside of the Elgin vs. Bahh match, the wrestling was not too spectacular on this show and I’m ready for a new crowd at the next set of television tapings because this audience seemed burned out on the final two Las Vegas shows.
The promos were very good, in particular, the one from Sami Callihan and also teasing the eventual showdown with Tessa Blanchard, who seems poised to win the X Division title. I would also recommend the Taya Valkyrie promo, which wasn’t at the level of Callihan but she did a very good job pushing the match with Dashwood and adding a layer to their story, which was in desperate need of one.
The feature on Shamrock and Moose was effective in getting that story across and they hit on all the big matches for Sunday. As a go-home show for the pay-per-view, this gets a B and I feel they have put together a unique card for Sunday, it looks like a good line up and they should have a great crowd in Villa Park, Illinois.