At the stroke of midnight, we got confirmation of Big LG and Machine Gun Karl Anderson, that the Good Brothers signed with Impact Wrestling. This was fantastic marketing since it could probably be argued that the Good Brothers have a larger reach currently than the whole of Impact Wrestling. Most Facebook groups, dirt sheet stories and Twitter posts were in reference to their signing or topics from their latest episode of Talk’n Shop.
Since they are a tag team, we knew they wouldn’t be the fourth person in the main event. So it’s not like we still don’t have mysteries to uncover and free agents to see pop up.
I’m just happy that as soon as I saw The Rascalz put out an Open Challenge, I anticipated the Motor City Machine Guns to return there. So once the following gif came across my screen…I may or may not have popped like a small child.
Don’t judge me, just enjoy.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) July 19, 2020
- The Rascalz (Dez & Wentz) vs Motor City Machine Guns: Guns wins via Dirt Bomb @14:15 – ****
- Old School Rules TNA Heavyweight Championship: Moose (c) vs Tommy Dreamer: Moose retains via No Jackhammer Needed @11:20 – *** 1/4
- Knockout’s Gauntlet: Tasha Steelz vs Kylie Rae vs Taya Valkyrie vs Havok vs Katie Forbes vs Madison Rayne vs Kiera Hogan vs Rosemary vs Susie vs Nevaeh vs Alisha Edwards vs Kimber Lee : Kylie Rae wins @19:20 – ***
- X Division Championship: Chris Bey vs Willie Mack (c): Bey wins via Art of Finesse @10:00 – * 1/2 – TITLE CHANGE!!!
- Impact Tag Team Championship: The North (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander) (c) vs Ken Shamrock & Sami Callihan: The North retain via Tandem Inverted Mat Slam @15:55 – ***
- Knockouts Championship: Jordynne Grace (c) vs Deonna Purrazzo: Purrazzo wins via Rings of Saturn @15:10 – *** 1/2 – TITLE CHANGE!!!!
- Vacant Impact World Championship Elimination 5 Way: Eddie Edwards vs Ace Austin w/Madman Fulton vs Trey vs Rich Swann vs Eric Young: Eddie Edwards wins via Diehard Flowsion @24:25 – **** 1/2 – TITLE CHANGE!!!!!!!!!
The Rascalz (Dez & Wentz) vs Motor City Machine Guns
Rascalz issue the open challenge, and the Guns answer the challenge! This was a fun match, where it wasn’t classic MCMG, but it told the story of the current team dominating early and showing off a lot moves the Guns used to do. But as the match continued, you saw the Guns slowly start coming together.
A few tandem spots gave MCMG a way back into the match, but once Wentz tagged in Dez we saw a whole new level of athleticism. Shelley proved he learned from Kevin Nash during the Paparazzi Productions days since he was on a whole different level of arrogance. We saw some classic tandem moves from the Guns, including the Cravat/Sliding Dropkick combo. Guns finish things off with Dirt Bomb, and that seems promising. Promising from the angle of, I doubt the Guns would win if it was a one off.
I am beyond happy the Motor City Machine Guns are back.
TNA Heavyweight Championship: Moose (c) vs Tommy Dreamer
Dreamer comes out with a “Moose Suck Eggs” t-shirt. Old School rules indeed. Moose changes the title strap to white and comes out looking like a million bucks.
This match showcased Moose’s ability really well. He hit a beautiful dropkick, lined up a dive perfectly to make Dreamer’s counter look amazing and this was really impressive. Any issues with Moose’s wrestling ability or motivation should have been assuaged after this. Dreamer had a few moments where the hardcore rules helped him out, including a White Russian Leg Sweep, but when he introduced tacks, it didn’t turn out well.
A nice camera angle had Moose pushing Dreamer’s face slowly towards the tacks, had a nice suspense level before Dreamer tried to fight up to his feet; but Moose dropped him and then hit the Spear to retain the TNA title.
Knockout’s Gauntlet: Tasha Steelz vs Kylie Rae vs Taya Valkyrie vs Havok vs Katie Forbes vs Madison Rayne vs Kiera Hogan vs Rosemary vs Susie vs Nevaeh vs Alisha Edwards vs Kimber Lee
Now Impact gauntlet matches tend to be royal rumble rules, so it’s not a new opponent after elimination, it’s a new person after a time frame. The amusing thing here was that John E. Bravo came out at different points dressed as Taya and Rosemary to try and help both of his favorite women, but it started to blow up a bit. Taya got jealous and that sowed the seeds of discord between her and Rosemary.
After a few eliminations it came down to Rosemary, Taya and Kylie. Rosemary had Kylie in the Upside Down, Taya tried to eliminate Kylie, but ended up eliminating Rosemary “accidentally”. The accident seemed to take Taya’s head out of it for a second, even though it boiled down to a 1 on 1 match with the last two. So Kylie counters Taya’s attempt and picks up the win after a Superkick.
Kylie earning a shot at the championship after tonight is great. Kylie is money.
X Division Championship: Chris Bey vs Willie Mack (c)
Well, talk about a disappointment. These two never really got going well and it all fell apart towards the end. The early moves from Bey didn’t seem to really hit flush, every move was a little off and the finish was terrible. Not only did Bey shrug off the Stunner too easily, he botched his Springboard Crucifix Bomb and the Art of Finesse (Springboad Cutter), looked like crap.
In a match with two people talented enough to steal the show…the Heath and Rohit little segment was a better match. And that lasted 40 seconds.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) July 19, 2020
Impact Tag Team Championship: The North (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander) (c) vs Ken Shamrock & Sami Callihan
Josh Alexander and Ken Shamrock start off, so we get a decent little bit of amateur style wrestling. Sami wants in and they do the stiff slapping tags, to kinda get across the point that they don’t really get along.
From this point, we get a really solid match. Sami bumps often for both members of The North, Ethan Page gets across the fact that he’s more than just a big mouth; the match is generally enjoyable…until the dissension kicks in. After a few saves, Shamrock and Callihan were guarding pinfalls decently, we even got a double Ankle Lock moment. But when Ethan Page pushes Sami into Shamrock, Shamrock thinks Sami did it to be a dick. So there’s an awkward back and forth, they still pull off a decent tandem move that ends with Sami hitting the Piledriver.
The referee counts the near fall, even though Shamrock is the legal member of the team, and this leaves Shamrock confused for a few beats of the match. So a combination of them not seeing eye to eye, the referee losing track of the legal man and just a weird spot in the match…turned the finish awkward. Shamrock was rather impressive and didn’t really look like he was holding the match back.
Knockouts Championship: Jordynne Grace (c) vs Deonna Purrazzo
Jordynne starts things off quick, and Deonna powders out to slow the tempo. This repeats a few times before Jordynne just hits the Dive and takes it to Deonna. Deonna is on the back foot for a good portion of the match, but eventually catches Jordynne and manages to stomp down on an arm, so she can get some of her gameplan working.
After softening up the arm, Deonna was able to focus strikes, suplexes and general offense on opening up Jordynne’s defenses and taking some of the power away from her. This was punctuated when Jordynne caught Deonna coming off the ropes for a Michinoku Driver, but BARELY executes it. There was a lot of solid jockeying for position and it was anyone’s match for a good portion of time. It took Deonna pulling off the Rings of Saturn, instead of her usual Fujiwara Armbar to force Jordynne to verbally quit.
Very good clash of styles, and aside from questionable arm selling at times, it was really solid and the energy was always present.
Vacant Impact World Championship Elimination 5 Way: Eddie Edwards vs Ace Austin w/Madman Fulton vs Trey vs Rich Swann vs Eric Young
Elimination Order: Trey pinned by EY – EY pinned by Rich – Rich pinned by Ace – Ace pinned by Eddie
So our 4 way with a surprise turned into a double surprise birthday cake! Rich Swann was our fourth contender and the crowd went mild (if there was one), but thankfully D’Amore and Callis pulled out some Canadian tricks. Because right before the match got started and everyone rage quit from the show, new music for the World Class Maniac hit…ERIC YOUNG IS BACK! I guess he’s a maniac because he…lost…his SAnitY? Eyyy…okay I’ll stop.
Anyway, so we get the originally scheduled five way, with an actual surprise. Then it turns into an old fashioned TNA X Division “oh my god moves and I’m covering my head”, kind of match. Trey tried to focus on Ace, but Fulton managed to make his presence known. So in a rare display of competence, we see a referee take control of the situation. He ejected Fulton and said if Fulton didn’t leave, he’d eliminate Ace. So Ace quickly made Fulton comply cause he can’t throw this chance away.
Again, this was an X Division style match, so there’s more moves than you can shake a stick at. EY hits the Piledriver on Trey to make sure his dumbass was eliminated first. Now hopefully he never sniffs the World title picture until he puts some bass in his voice and stops using potatoes and eggs in promos. Seriously, who signed off on that?
Eddie has Ace on the top turnbuckle, but EY rams Rich into them causing them to fly off into a nicely placed table. EY hits The Edge of Sanity, but this isn’t WWE, so that’s not a finish. Rich plays dead to counter two attempts at the Piledriver, and on the third attempt, he cradles EY for the flash win. This causes EY to get enraged and he snaps. Beating Rich with a chair, wrapping it around his ankle to re-injure the ankle he just returned from and just be an evil bastard heel.
Ace being an opportunistic heel takes advantage of the situation. Rich does a good job putting up a fight with one leg, but falls to The Fold. Which then leaves us with Eddie and Ace, the first really big feud that Ace had when he was trying to bang Alisha. Some great moments here, Ace kicks out of a Boston Knee Party, Eddie kicks out of a Fold; so both men need to go deeper into the playbook.
Eddie catches Ace with another Knee Party, and pulls out a move I haven’t seen him do since his run as GHC Heavyweight Champion, the Diehard Flowsion! Eddie Edwards is the new champion!
After the match, Fulton attacks, the Good Brothers walk down to the ring, act as though they’re gonna join with Ace and Fulton, but instead Ace eats a Gun Stun, Fulton gets wiped out by Gallows and Eddie feeds them Ace again for Magic Killer. Beers get thrown into the ring with Talk’n Shop koozies around them, and we fade to black.
We then get one more promo before the Impact Wrestling logo hits to signify the end of the show:
Ladies and gentleman…
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) July 19, 2020
Overall Score: 8.5/10
Okay now, this was, the best PPV of the year so far. With the exception of Willie Mack and Chris Bey being beyond disappointingly bad, everything else paid off and was great. The Machine Guns returning and then declaring they will have a Tag title match on IMPACT!, is a great way to keep people invested in the product. Good Brothers debuting as faces is great since people are excited and will want to support them, so you have to make them good guys for now. Heath doing his Free Agent shtick again, putting the ball in Rhino’s court to try and get him a job is a nice call back for fans who watch more than one product.
Hell, Deonna Purrazzo winning after we knew Kylie was the new number one contender makes complete sense because Deonna is established as hateable, Jordynne was sort of in between. Eric Young’s return and then subsequent destruction of Rich gives him an easy angle filled with fun matches and a great dynamic. Moose proving everything Dreamer said during his promo wrong, and proving that he’s tremendous when he puts in the effort (plus that white strap TNA title tho).
Lastly, EC3 with the last second confirmation vignette was great as well. You didn’t need a big attack angle or anything, it was just perfect. Literally this show was just so damn logical, sensible and had great moments for most fans new, old and indifferent. Bookended by great matches, with a lot of possible angles for the future. Hell, and for all we know, they might have saved some things for IMPACT!