IMPACT WRESTLING REPORT: Blanchard & Edwards vs. Elgin & Valkyrie

Davie Portman reviews this week's episode featuring Tessa Blanchard & Eddie Edwards taking on Taya Valkyrie & Michael Elgin from the Las Vegas tapings.

iMPACT Wrestling #818
March 24th, 2020
Sam’s Town Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

By: Davie Portman

Commentary by: Don Callis & Josh Matthews

The show starts with a recap of last week’s angle between Sami Callihan and Ken Shamrock where Callihan was revealed to be the hacker and interrupted Shamrock’s big announcement by throwing a fireball at him.

Number One Contendership For The X Division Title

Willie Mack vs Chris Bey vs Acey Romero vs Daga vs Rohit Raju vs Jake Crist vs Cousin Jake vs Trey

The opening contest is an 8-Man match to determine the Number One Contender for Ace Austin’s X-Division Championship. Most of the men are on the outside and they take it in turns to go at each other one on one in the ring. Acey Romero hits a huge senton to Mack but is taken down by a Double Dropkick from Chris Bey and Trey who both kip up at the same time. Trey and Bey have a fun back and forth showing off their speed and matching each other’s maneuverers. Trey goes for a handshake but Bey kicks it away and kicks him in the back of the head. Rohit Raju enters the match and hits a Spinning Neckbreaker followed by a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. Cousin Jake enters and hits him with a Spear into the corner. Willie Mack hits a Tope Con Hilo to the outside and leaves Daga and Trey in the ring. Both men are fast and work a Lucha Style, so this was a lot of fun to watch. Chris Bey enters and we have some fun Three-Way action between the three men. Daga hits a Gutwrench Powerbomb but Raju breaks up the pin. Romero is now in the ring and Daga tries to pick him up but he is far too heavy. Romero drops him with a Scoop Slam and goes to the top rope. This is where we have a huge Tower of Doom spot followed by a splash from Daga. Mack hits an impressive looking Pop-Up Forearm. Raju goes for a Satellite DDT to Cousin Jake however this is reversed into a Rikishi Driver. Daga shows off his strength by catching Mack into a Suplex. Trey hits a Low Pe, Bey, and Raju hit a Tope Con Hilo and Tope Suicida, Cousin Jake hits a Plancha to the outside. Then the huge Acey Romero follows up with a Tope Suicida! In the ring Cousin Jake hits the Black Hole Slam to Crist but Mack breaks up the pin with a Splash off the top rope for the win.

Willie Mack wins via Pinfall in 10 mins 43 secs

Davie’s Thoughts: I really enjoyed this opening match. I felt it was a great combination of styles as there was a mixture of “Big Guys” and Cruiserweights. I was most into the match when Bey, Try and Daga were going at it and showing off their speed. Acey Romero is a huge guy and any time he went to the top or hit a Tope was pretty scary, yet exciting to watch. I wasn’t too surprised with the outcome as Willie Mack set up a feud with Ace Austin last week.

Backstage Dave Crist is trying to motivate Madman Fulton when Jake interrupts and says that they need to win their tag team match tonight against Rhino and Sabu to get Sami Callihan back in their group. Dave says that Sami has been away from them for weeks and that he doesn’t care about them, however, Dave disagrees and thinks that Callihan is testing them. They all agree that they need to get back on track and start winning again.

Moose vs Chase Stevens

Moose jumps Stevens before the bell however Chase makes a comeback. There’s a great looking Release German Suplex from Stevens followed by an Axe Kick for a one count. Moose then hits the Jackhammer Spear for the win.

Moose defeats Chase Stevens via Pinfall in 1 min 13 secs

After the match, Moose continues to beat down Stevens with a steel chair. He wraps the chair around Stevens’ head and goes to stamp on it, however, Scott D’Amore interrupts by telling him that if he has a problem with TNA, he should turn around. Moose turns around and gets knocked down by a Missile Dropkicks from Suicide. Suicide sends Moose out of the ring before the segment ends.

Davie’s Thoughts: I enjoyed the angle last week setting up this feud however, the match was pretty much non-existent. I think this was a shame as Chase Stevens looked good in the very little he had to do and I’m sure would have been able to pull off a proper match against Moose. The angle at the end was fun with Suicide showing up and I assume this sets up a match between the two at next week’s TNA Return show.

Rosemary and Raven

Rosemary is at a bar with Taya and her friends when she is interrupted by Raven who tells her that two years is nothing. He says that the longer it goes on, the better it gets and references his feud with Dreamer. He calls it orgasmic and that they will be in wheelchairs still torturing each other in years to come. Rosemary disappears and Raven says he should be a psychiatrist.

I have absolutely no idea what Raven was going on about here and I find this whole Rosemary story very confusing. I’m getting the same feeling I get when I watch a Bray Wyatt promo. What Raven was saying sounded kind of cool, but it didn’t really make any sense. I thought this segment was pretty bad.

Ace Austin and Willie Mack

Ace Austin approaches Mack backstage and congratulates him for his big win. Mack doesn’t think that Austin is being sincere and he tells him that he is going to take his X Division Championship. Johnny Swinger shows up and says that he is upset that their tag team is now over but he wants Mack to win the title so that he can face him down the line for the X Division Championship.

Reno Scum (Adam Thornstone & Luster The Legend) vs The Rascalz (Dez & Went)

Reno Scum jumps the bell and attacks The Rascalz. There is a really cool looking Tag Team Catapult into a Death Valley Driver from Reno Scum for a two count. Scum are hitting all kinds of double team moves on Dez and isolate him in their corner. At one point they rub his face into their armpit, which is disgusting. Thornstowe hits a standing moonsault for a two count. Dez manages to make the hot tag to Wentz who fires up and hits a PK to Luster for a two count. Dez and Wentz double team Luster and hit a Stomp to his back for a two count. Thornstowe then pushes Wentz off the top. Luster hits a huge Clothesline to Dez followed by the Deathstomp for the win.

Reno Scum defeat The Rascals via Pinfall in 4 mins 38secs

Davie’s Thoughts: I thought this match was pretty solid. The Rascalz are a lot of fun to watch and I can see them being bigger stars down the line. The crowd was getting behind their hope spots and Reno Scum was playing the heels well. I especially like a lot of Reno Scum’s double team maneuvers. Their finisher, The Deathstomp, is where one guy holds the opponent down with a leg lock as the other jumps off the top rope with a stomp. It looked pretty impressive and deadly and was the right finish for the match.

#CancelCulture Vignette 

The following video has been paid for by #CancelCulture. They go on to say that the ring is supposed to be a safe place however the “toxic masculinity” of The Deaners has polluted it. Cody Deaner needs to be canceled and Katy Forbes needs to now be in safe space away from the ring. The video ends with the voice of FDR saying “The only thing we have to fear is…”, however, the “feat itself” has been replaced with “#CancelCulture”.

The Deaners Respond

We see The Deaners on their farm in a video that feels very reminiscent of Letterkenny. They are questioning why they’re getting canceled and what it means to be canceled. They list off some of their favorite shows from the past that has been canceled including Dukes of Hazard, Happy Days and Full House. They smell themselves and admit they have “toxic masculinity” and admit to wanting to look at Katy Forbes inappropriately. They realize that the only way to not get canceled is by beating #CancelCulture.

I quite enjoyed these two vignettes. I think The Deaners are pretty funny and should continue with the Letterkenny gimmick. They are the complete opposite of what #CancelCulture is doing and that’s why I think this feud could work quite well.

Sami Callihan Promo

We see Sami Callihan in an undisclosed location “hacking”. He says that his attack on Ken Shamrock is all part of a bigger picture and he has a plan on taking over everything. That plan starts when he goes one on one against Ken Shamrock. The blood of Ken Shamrock will be on iMPACT Wrestling’s management for making the match.

Not much was really said here and I hope they have actually planned out what that bigger picture is because right now, it just feels like it could be empty words.

OVE (Dave Crist & Madman Fulton) vs Rhino and Sabu w/ Super Genie

This match is being wrestled under “Old School Rules”, which from what I gathered just means anything goes. Sabu hits a stiff right hand to Crist early on and backdrops Crist onto Fulton on the outside. Fulton catches Crist, however, Sabu follows up with a baseball slide knocking the two men down. All four men start brawling on the outside and Rhino clotheslines the ring post after Crist ducks. In the ring Fulton Press Slams Crist onto Sabu for a two count. Sabu uses the steel chair on Fulton and throws it into his face. He then steps off the chair to launch himself over the top rope to take out Fulton. Crist then hits Rhino with a Low Blow and gets into the face of the referee. Crist goes to use the chair however the ref takes it off him. Crist goes to hit the ref but he ducks and is then met with a Gore from Rhino for the win.

Rhino and Sabu defeat OVE via Pinfall in 8 mins 12 secs

Davie’s Thoughts: This was by far the weakest match on the show. I know there is a nostalgia pop anytime you bring out the old ECW guys, however, I don’t want to ever see Sabu in a ring again. He looks old, slow and sloppy and I worry that he is going to seriously hurt himself or someone else. This match was also five minutes too long and was pretty hard to watch.

Undead Realm

Su Yung climbs into a coffin to get to the Undead Realm. She grabs a noose and is met by Havok with James Mitchell. Mitchell says that someone has to go and it has to be Su Yung. Havok pulls out a crowbar and Yung pulls out a machete. They begin to fight each other and the screen flashes every time they strike with their weapon. Havok chokes Yung with the crowbar but she reverses and tries to choke out Havoc with the noose. A statue behind them then comes to life and attacks Su Yung with a baseball bat. Yung slashes at the statue’s stomach with the machete and kills him. Havok then strings Su Yung up with the noose and puts a fishing hook in her mouth. Yung fights back with a Mandible Claw to Havok. Yung goes to stab Havok with the machete but Mitchell stops her. He congratulates Su Yung and tells that she has proven that she was the one who was meant to be with him all along. He calls Havok a disappointment and says they are both more trouble than they are worth. Mitchell calls out his Minions and the Statue comes back to life and two zombie girls push Havok and Yung on to their knees. Mitchell banishes them to the Undead Realm and they both turn up in the middle of a desert.

Davie’s Thoughts: I appreciate that iMPACT is trying to be different here but this really isn’t what I like in my wrestling. The acting was bad, the action was bad and the story was nonsensical.

Taya Valkyrie & Michael Elgin vs Tessa Blanchard & Eddie Edwards

Elgin and Edwards start the match and quite quickly tag in Tessa and Taya. Taya hits a big Spear to Blanchard for a one count and tags in Elgin. Blanchard attempts to pick up Elgin but he is far too heavy, so she ta in Edwards. Whilst Taya is on the apron she kicks Edwards in the back and pulls Blanchard off the apron. The two start to brawl on the outside. Elgin hits a beautiful Pop-Up Powerslam onto Edwards and goes to follow up with the Elgin Bomb, however, it gets reversed into a Blue Thunder Bomb. Blanchard is back in the match and hits a Cutter on Taya for a two count. Elgin attempts a Powerbomb on Tessa Blanchard off of the top rope but it gets reversed into a Hurricanrana. Blanchard tries to make a desperate tag to Edwards but he has been knocked off the apron. Taya tries to take the advantage but Blanchard hits her with a Samoan Drop and makes the tag. Edwards fires up with a great looking Over Head Belly to Belly. Blanchard and Edwards hit tandem Suicide Dives to the outside. Blanchard goes to jump off the top rope but gets caught by Elgin who Powerbombs her onto the back of Edwards. Elgin goes for a clothesline on Edwards but he ducks and Elgin connects with Blanchard. There’s a nasty looking back fist to the neck of Edwards followed by a Buckle Bomb. Taya hits a Crossbody off the top taking out Blanchard as Elgin hits the Elgin Bomb on to Edwards for the win.

Taya Valkyrie & Michael Elgin defeat Tessa Blanchard & Eddie Edwards via Pinfall in 13 mins 39secs (Plus commercial break)

Davie’s Thoughts: This was a pretty solid match however, I felt that it never really reached that next gear. All four performers are very capable and I like seeing the men and women not holding back when facing each other. The Powerbomb to Blanchard onto the back of Edwards was a clear example of this and I thought it looked great. This is another match I felt could have done with a little bit less time.

Undead Wasteland

Rosemarie finds Su Yung and Havok in the desert and she tells them that she can undo what James Mitchell did to them. All they need to do is trust her. Rosemarie puts her hand out and the other two women put their hands in to join her. They get transported back to James Mitchell who is acting as if this was his plan all along. He tells them that they both passed the test, but they don’t believe him. Su Yung pulls out a knife and goes to stab him however, Havok stops her and stabs him herself. Mitchell then wakes up in a heaven-like place where he sees kittens and Abyss and says “Who booked this s**t?”…yes indeed.

Davie’s Thoughts: My match of the night was easily the opening Eight-Man Match however, the rest of the show really dragged for me. Maybe some people find the Undead Realm stuff entertaining however, I actually feel embarrassed watching it. iMPACT seems to have a lot of talent there but things aren’t fully clicking for me. I think you have enough talent there where you shouldn’t have to be putting 55-year-old Sabu in the ring. If the show could focus more on actual wrestling I think it would be a much better product.