IMPACT REPORT: Sami Callihan and Ken Shamrock’s contract signing

Impact featured the contract signing between Sami Callihan and Ken Shamrock, the debut of Mike Jackson, and the set up for Rebellion that starts next week.

Photo Courtesy: IMPACT Wrestling

iMPACT Wrestling #821
April 14th, 2020
Coca Cola Roxy, Atlanta, Georgia

By: Davie Portman

Commentary by: Josh Matthews and Madison Rayne

The show opens with a recap from last week including Kylie Rae and Suzie meeting for the first time, Ken Shamrock leaving a sit-down interview to track down Sami Callihan and Eddie Edwards walking out on Tessa Blanchard as she got attacked by Michael Elgin because she didn’t tag him in in their Tag Team Championship match against The North

Johnny Swinger opens this week’s show by cutting an in-ring promo talking about these “Young Bucks” that the world is talking about. He introduces “Young Buck” M Jackson to the ring and out comes…Mike Jackson.

Mike Jackson is a 70-year-old professional wrestler wearing a singlet covered in the American Stars and Stripes. Jackson says that he loves iMPACT Wrestling but there is one thing he doesn’t like about it and that is Johnny Swinger exploiting all the young talent in the back by getting them to carry his bags and make him coffee. He says that he isn’t a “Young Buck” but an “Old Buck” and he has come to iMPACT to give Johnny Swinger a “good old fashioned Georgia beat down!”

Johnny Swinger vs Mike Jackson

Swinger jumps the bell and attacks Jackson with a cheap shot however, Jackson manages to make a come back with an Arm Drag and catches Swinger with a Roll Up for a two count. There is a Hurricanrana from Jackson followed up by a Suicide Dive. In a highlight of the night, Mike Jackson gets Swinger into Old School and walks around the entirety of the ring on the top rope. The crowd is massively entertained by Jackson. Swinger comes back with an Atomic Drop and Side Russian Leg Sweep and maintains the advantage. Jackson fires back and hits a Neckbreaker, pulls his straps down, mounts the turnbuckle and rains down with ten punches to the head of Swinger. Swinger manages to roll up Jackson and keeps his feet on the ropes to get the dirty pin.

Johnny Swinger defeats Mike Jackson via Pinfall in 5mins20secs

Davie’s Thoughts: I was very entertained by this match. Seeing a 70-year-old man being able to pull off a Hurricanrana and Suicide Dive is extremely impressive. The match was relatively simple but didn’t need to be anything more than that. The crowd was eating up every single move and taunt that Jackson made and Johnny Swinger played his role as the heel perfectly. At five minutes this match did not outstay its welcome and was a great way to start the show. The only thing I could have done without was the bickering between Josh Matthews and Madison Rayne on commentary. Throughout the match, Rayne was mocking Matthews about his failed wrestling career and for me, it made the match difficult to listen to.

Ace Austin Promo

Ace Austin cuts a promo on Willie Mack backstage. He says that he always has an ace up his sleeve and the odds aren’t in Mack’s favor. He is confused as to why people call him a scumbag when Willie Mack has ditched his injured tag team partner and friend to focus on a singles career. Trey interrupts and calls Austin “the biggest scumbag in the locker room” and brings up games Austin has tried to play with his Mom in the past. Austin asks how Trey’s Mom is, which causes Try to jump him.

During the break, a load of stars lined up to congratulate Mike Jackson on his match.

We see Ken Shamrock arrive at the arena and Scott D’Amore is there to remind him that he must not touch Sami Callihan during their contract signing or their match will be called off.

The Rascalz vs XXXL vs Reno Scum vs TJP and Fallah Bahh

XXXL start the match by hitting numerous double team moves on Adam Thornstowe. Wantz gets tagged in and Reno Scum continues to tag in and out beating down on Wentz. Thornstowe hits a Standing Moonsault for a two count followed by Pity City (rubbing his face into the armpit of Luster). Del makes the hot tag who fires up with a series of kicks and a Running Elbow. He catapults Thornstowe into a Superkick from Wentz, drapes him across his knees as Wentz jumps off the top with a Double Stomp to the chest. TJP tags himself in and shows off all his athletic ability before being caught with a Cutter from Wentz. Fallah Bahh comes in and hits a Belly To Belly Suplex before the match breaks down and all the men are in the ring hitting their moves. There is a Double Splash from XXXL followed up by tandem Suicide Dives, which is super impressive considering both of these guys are over 400lbs. Fallah Bahh hits a Samoan Drop on Thornstowe and TJP follows up with a Frog Splash to get the win

Fallah Bahh and TJP win via Pinfall in 6mins56secs (plus commercial break)

After the match, The North gets in the ring to confront TJP and Fallah Bahh

Davie’s Thoughts: Fun match and I always find it impressive when I see guys the size of XXXL and Fallah Bahh hit these athletic moves. I would have personally liked to of seen more of TJP mix it up with The Rascalz as I think their styles mesh together very nicely.

Flashback Moment of the Week

This week’s Flashback Moment of the Week is from last year’s Rebellion PPV where Tessa Blanchard defeated Gail Kim.

Rohit Raju and Gama Singh

Rohit Raju is angry that he has to face Hernandez tonight as all he should be doing is focusing on his Four-Way X-Division Match at Rebellion. Gama Singh slaps him and calls him selfish and that he should be thinking about the team and not about himself.

#CancelCulture Promo

A video package airs from #CancelCulture saying that iMPACT is meant to be a safe place but it is currently polluted by the “toxic masculinity” of The Deaners. We see a recap of the match between Joseph Ryan and Cody Deaner, however, the video cuts away and we see Joseph Ryan in the production room. He complains to the producer and tells them to stop playing the video and show the footage he gave them.

A new video airs where we see RVD and Katie Forbes in their hot tub. RVD says that they are social distancing and they don’t feel safe around The Deaners. They then start to make out with each other as the segment ends.

Davie’s Thoughts: I can see a lot of people hating this gimmick however, I am a fan. Rob Van Dam has pretty much been a babyface his entire career but now he is playing himself turned up to eleven and I think it makes him very unlikable and that is great. The “D*ck Flip” version of Joey Ryan works for indie events but I don’t think works on weekly TV, therefore I think it’s a good idea to move away from that character and I think Joey is playing his new role very role. Down the line, they can eventually turn Joey back and that will be a great pop when it happens.

Rohit Raju vs Hernandez

Raju starts the match by trying to strike and move out of the way of the much bigger man. He goes for an Irish Whip but Hernandez is too strong. Raju goes for a Crossbody off the top but gets caught and is rocked by a baby before being dropped and hit with the Pounce. Hernandez hits the Crucifix Bomb for the win.

Hernandez defeats Rohit Raju via Pinfall in 1min20secs

Davie’s Thoughts: Complete squash match and I don’t see how it serves Rohit Raju going into his match at Rebellion.

Locker Room Talk With Madison Rayne

Madison Rayne interviews Johnny Swinger and asks him why it was so difficult to beat a 70-year-old man. Swinger says that Jackson cheated but he still managed to win. Kylie Rae enters and is very excited to be there. Rayne is trying to get her to say something bad about her Rebellion opponent, Kiera Hogan. Just as Rae is about to say something she doesn’t like, Kiera walks in. Kiera says that she will humiliate Rae at Rebellion and teach her a lesson. Kylie gets worked up and says that she isn’t very nice before storming out of the interview.

Eddie Edwards vs Michael Elgin from Qatar Pro Wrestling

We are shown a recap of Eddie Edwards against Michael Elgin for the QPW Middle Eastern Championship from February this year. Brian Cage interferes and takes out Edwards whilst the referee is down to allow Elgin to become the new champion.

Ace Austin vs Trey

The match starts with a very quick exchange between the two. Trey Dropkicks Austin out of the ring and hits him with a Hurricanrana on the floor. Trey hits a combo move of a kick to the midsection followed by a Neckbreaker, which looked great. There then seemed to be a slight bit of miscommunication as both men halted slightly whilst in the corner. Trey hits a Missile Dropkick but Austin comes back with a Springboard Spinning Kick. Austin throws a card at Trey and goes for The Fold but it’s missed. Trey hits Austin with Cheeky Nandos and follows up with a 619 to Austin still in the Cheeky Nandos position. Ace Austin wins by roll up and pulls the tights for the win.

Ace Austin defeats Trey via Pinfall in 6 mins 21 secs

Davie’s Thoughts: I thought this was a solid match and both men looked really good here. Trey has quite a few exciting moves and the 619 to Austin in the corner looked awesome. I think Austin is a naturally unlikable heel and is doing a good job as X Division Champion.

Willie Mack Promo

Willie Mack says that Austin shouldn’t play mind games with him as he is used to playing them himself. He says that he is coming for the X Division Championship and is going to beat some respect out of Austin.

Davie’s Thoughts: I like Willie Mack in the ring but unfortunately I feel he comes across as very uncharismatic and bland when it comes to his promos. His lines were also very generic, which didn’t help. I think this guy could be in a much better position in the scene if he could sharpen up his mic skills.

Taya Valkyrie w/ Johnny Bravo vs Tenille Dashwood

Dashwood goes after Taya right away with a series of Forearms, Kicks and a Neckbreaker across the second rope followed by a Seated Senton on the outside. Dashwood climbs to the top rope but Bravo interferes allowing Taya to hit a Superplex for a two count. Dashwood hits the Low Crossbody in the corner (formerly the Emma Sandwich) but gets hit by a big Spear from Taya for a two count. Taya follows up with Road To Valhalla but Dashwood gets to the bottom rope to break the count. This frustrates Taya who grabs a steel chair but Dashwood hits a Sunset Flip and pins her.

Tenille Dashwood defeats Taya Valkyrie in 8 mins 18secs (plus two commercial breaks)

After the match, Taya attacks Tenille with a chair and trash can. Taya starts to pile multiple steel chairs on Tenille when Jordyn Grace runs out for the save.

Davie’s Thoughts: Another good match for this week’s episode. I thought both women worked together really well and it was nice to see Dashwood work again (having personally not seen much of her since leaving WWE). This also sets up a few things as we have Jordyn Grace vs Taya down the line and Dashwood is now going to climb the ranks in the Knockout Division.

Tommy Dreamer and Rhino Promo

Tommy Dreamer and Rhino cut a promo on oVe challenging them to an Extreme Match next week on iMPACT. Dreamer says that they will be in New York City where he has lots of hardcore memories with friends of his, so imagine what he will do to his enemies. They are going to bring a friend of theirs to even the numbers and Rhino is going to rip them all in half.

Contract Signing

Josh Matthews is in the ring to oversee the contract signing between Ken Shamrock and Josh Matthews. Sami Callihan taunts Shamrock because of the “no contact” clause and says that their match is going to give Shamrock more buzz than he’s ever had in his entire career. Shamrock doesn’t say a word and signs the contract. Callihan continues to say that he is known for making stars and that when he hit Eddie Edwards face with a baseball bat it was the best thing that happened to him. Callihan then brings up Shamrock’s family and that causes Shamrock to get up ready to fight. Shamrock then flips the table after being called “the World’s most dangerous bitch” and this causes Sami to “hack” into the system and turn all the lights off. The lights keep coming back on to reveal multiple people surrounding the ring wearing masks with the hacker logo on it. Shamrock leaves to chase after Callihan and the segment becomes “cinematic”. Dramatic music is playing as Shamrock gets into a car to chase Sami however, the driver is also one of Callihan’s masked men. The show ends with Shamrock inside the car whilst many of Callihan’s masked men surround it.

Davie’s Thoughts: We have seen a lot of contract signings and “cinematic” matches recently and this week iMPACT decided to put the two together. I do get enjoyment from watching this style but I never take it entirely seriously. I feel they have been doing a good job with this feud and Callihan is fantastic at being a despicable heel, especially on the mic however, the final angle took the seriousness away from it.

Overall, I thought this was a pretty decent episode of iMPACT. I’m glad they focussed mainly on wrestling this week and less on the stupid backstage segments. All of the wrestling (apart from the squash match) were strong and I felt the final angle was executed well, despite it not being my cup of tea.

It’s also worth noting that the Rebellion PPV is now being split across two episodes of iMPACT Wrestling on AXS TV with Part 1 being shown next week on the 21st April.