Impact Wrestling Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Analysis from July 28

Erik BeastonJuly 29, 2022

Impact Wrestling Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Analysis from July 28

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    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    Impact Wrestling continued its road to Emergence with another jam-packed episode of its Thursday night show, headlined by the in-ring debut of Kushida. The former New Japan Pro-Wrestling and NXT standout battled former world champion Rich Swann in the main event.

    That match, plus the latest between Honor No More and Bullet Club as well as developments in the Knockouts division, filled out a strong two hours of television ahead of the August 12 live-event spectacular.

Eddie Edwards vs. Ace Austin

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    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    Honor No More and Bullet Club wrote the latest chapter in their rivalry Wednesday night as former world champion Eddie Edwards battled former X-Division champion "The Inevitable" Ace Austin.

    Austin outwrestled Edwards early, but a momentary distraction by Kenny King allowed the wrestler formerly known as the heart of Impact Wrestling to attack from behind and seize control of the match.

    The defacto babyface, Austin fought back into the match, but a distraction in the form of King and Bullet Club's Chris Bey distracted him just enough for Edwards to counter Austin with an overhead suplex into the corner.

    Edwards countered an attempted Fold with a pop-up powerbomb. Austin frustrated him by kicking out of the Tiger Driver but ultimately succumbed to the Die Hard Driver moments later.

    IMPACT @IMPACTWRESTLING

    TIGER DRIVER! <a href="https://twitter.com/TheEddieEdwards?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheEddieEdwards</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/The_Ace_Austin?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@The_Ace_Austin</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IMPACTonAXSTV?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#IMPACTonAXSTV</a> <a href="https://t.co/nGyYIwm8Wx">pic.twitter.com/nGyYIwm8Wx</a>

    This was a strong opening contest that highlighted one of the best ongoing feuds in the company while giving two elite performers the opportunity to have a match with each other. Austin has rarely been given the opportunity to play the role of babyface in Impact, so for him to be in that position here this week was refreshing, if nothing else.

    A better match than expected between two guys who are technically heels, Edwards went over to provide Honor No More some credibility. Considering the fact that Vincent is losing to Bhupinder Gujjar on Before The Impact, they can use as much of that as they can get.


    Result

    B


    Top Moments

    • Bey and King fought out of the Impact Zone after being ejected from the arena by the official.
    • Chants of "This is awesome!" rose throughout the building from fans appreciative of the main-event quality opener.
    • Edwards countering The Fold into the popup powerbomb was a great spot and proved to be the definitive one.
    • Backstage, Heath vowed to lay out every member of Honor No More to get revenge for the beating both he and Rhino endured at their hands.
    • Also backstage, Alex Shelley warned world champion Josh Alexander that while he may be champion, the No. 1 contender is possibly the best and most technical challenger he has ever faced.

Laredo Kid and Trey Miguel vs. Johnny Swinger and Zicky Dice; Killer Kelly Returns

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    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    Trey Miguel and Laredo Kid have been competitive rivals of late, but they partnered up Thursday night to battle Johnny Swinger and Zicky Dice.

    The match went about as well as one would expect, with Miguel and Kid scoring the win via the former's Meteora finisher.

    IMPACT @IMPACTWRESTLING

    .<a href="https://twitter.com/TheTreyMiguel?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheTreyMiguel</a> took out <a href="https://twitter.com/ZickyDice?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ZickyDice</a> with a Dive! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IMPACTonAXSTV?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#IMPACTonAXSTV</a> <a href="https://t.co/s0LXtFz1hC">pic.twitter.com/s0LXtFz1hC</a>

    It was an inoffensive bout that meant little but did pop those who enjoy Swinger's work, like this writer. It at least got Miguel and Kid on-screen without resorting to a repetitive X-Division match that would have only served to dish out a loss to someone who did not need it.

    Former Knockouts champion Tasha Steelz was out shortly after and introduced a match between two Ohio Valley Wrestling stars designed to be a showcase for the young competitors.

    Tiffany Nieves scored the win over Jada Stone, but the post-match arrival of Killer Kelly was the real purpose for this segment.

    Kelly obliterated a trash-talking Nieves with a pump kick then put her to sleep with a modified sleeper. She added a cannonball and added a double-underhook facebuster to send a message to the rest of the Knockouts division.

    IMPACT @IMPACTWRESTLING

    .<a href="https://twitter.com/tiffanynieves_?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@tiffanynieves_</a> was in the wrong place at the wrong time! <a href="https://twitter.com/Kelly_WP?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Kelly_WP</a> has arrived in <a href="https://twitter.com/IMPACTWRESTLING?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@IMPACTWRESTLING</a> and is ready to take out anyone in her path! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IMPACTonAXSTV?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#IMPACTonAXSTV</a> <a href="https://t.co/ooVtPvRIHL">pic.twitter.com/ooVtPvRIHL</a>

    Everything about Kelly's presentation has been fantastic to this point, and this was no different. It would have been nice if the crowd had reacted a little louder than they did, but she is a new arrival, and she will earn their respect and excitement sooner rather than later.

    A feud with Steelz would be an excellent place to start.


    Results

    Miguel and Laredo Kid defeated Swinger and Dice; Nieves defeated Stone


    Grade

    C for Miguel and Kid's win; B for Kelly crashing the OVW showcase


    Top Moments

    • Swinger and Dice breaking out their black, studded, leather masks a la Demolition was a great callback to the retro nature of the former's character and a nod to the Swinger's Dungeon gimmick, too.
    • Steelz taking exception to Kelly's arrival, claiming she didn't submit an application for the showcase, was a great bit of mic work.
    • A fantastic video package highlighting Alex Shelley's journey to the Impact World Championship aired, with input from the likes of Chris Sabin, Jimmy Jacobs, Sami Callihan and Kushida.

Josh Alexander vs. Shera

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    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    After a backstage brawl between the two on last week's show, Impact World champion Josh Alexander battled "The Indian Lion" Shera, who was accompanied to the ring by Raj Singh.

    Despite a game Shera and attempted outside interference from Singh, Alexander managed to roll to a fairly convincing win via his trademark ankle lock.

    IMPACT @IMPACTWRESTLING

    Brutal Crossbody to the back! <a href="https://twitter.com/MahabaliShera?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MahabaliShera</a> is down!<a href="https://twitter.com/Walking_Weapon?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Walking_Weapon</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IMPACTonAXSTV?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#IMPACTonAXSTV</a> <a href="https://t.co/CJtFwhX41i">pic.twitter.com/CJtFwhX41i</a>

    The match was rather nondescript. The effort was there, but it was too short to mean anything. Despite a competitive performance by Shera, The Walking Weapon earned the win that everyone expected.

    No harm, no foul, but it could have been better utilized.


    Result

    Alexander defeated Shera


    Grade

    C


    Top Moments

    • Backstage, Moose insisted to Gia Miller that he has no alliance with Steve Cutler, despite repeated instances of Cutler assisting him in his recent matches.
    • Also backstage, Honor No More confronted Impact EVP Scott D'Amore about its Heath problem. In the midst of their complaining, they realized Mike Bennett was nowhere to be found, teasing that Heath may have gotten to him, too. 
    • Sami Callihan attacked a protesting Singh following the match, for no real rhyme or reason. Just cuz, apparently. 
    • Elsewhere, Honor No More attacked the production truck in an act of revenge for D'Amore ignoring their demands. D'Amore announced a match against Bullet Club for Emergence. If Honor No More wins, they get a title shot at The Good Brothers. Lose, and they must disband forever. 

Rich Swann vs. Kushida

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    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    For the first time in their acclaimed careers, former world champion Rich Swann battled Kushida one-on-one.

    Early back-and-forth action gave way to Kushida targeting the arm of Swann in hopes of applying his signature armbar. Swann kept up with his opponent, never allowing him to gain a sustained offense.

    He pounded away at Kushida in the corner and ruthlessly chopped his chest. The Timesplitter fought back, but the former world champion cut him off with a wicked kick that netted him a two-count.

    Kushida recovered and, ultimately, applied the Hoverboard Lock for the submission win in a great, hard-fought match.

    IMPACT @IMPACTWRESTLING

    Hoverboard Lock from Kushida!!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IMPACTonAXSTV?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#IMPACTonAXSTV</a> <a href="https://t.co/S3fdutf0Ce">pic.twitter.com/S3fdutf0Ce</a>

    We have always known Kushida was capable of matches like this. Even at his most frustrated in NXT, he was still routinely delivering bangers against everyone from Johnny Gargano to the still-learning young stars of NXT 2.0.

    Being paired with a former world champion and being allowed to beat him immediately announced to the world that Kushida is a special star and will be treated like one. It also helps him regain some of the credibility he lost in the states by way of his booking at his previous stop.

    Swann should be spared some of these losses because it further devalues him and makes that world title reign feel longer and longer ago, but he is over enough with fans to bounce back relatively quickly.


    Result

    Kushida tapped out Swann


    Grade

    A


    Top Moments

    • Kushida ferociously trapped Swann in the armbar and rolled around the ring trying to force a submission, but Rich forced a rope break.
    • Swann's Phoenix Splash, landed or missed, is still a beautiful move that he tends to break out in these special matchups.
    • Kushida going to the Hoverboard Lock instead of back to the armbar was a great call and a nice bit of in-ring psychology and storytelling to boot. 
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