IMPACT Wrestling Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from August 4
IMPACT World Champion Eddie Edwards vowed, when he won the title at Slammiversary, to be a fighting champion.
He continued to make good on that promise Tuesday night on AXS TV as he defended his title in an Open Challenge. Which IMPACT star stepped up to the plate, eager to dethrone Edwards of his newly won prize?
Would Heath (formerly Slater) earn himself a contract by way of a victory over Moose for the imaginary TNA World Championship?
And what shocking, emotional announcement did Rich Swann have for the wrestling world on the heels of a debilitating injury, suffered back at Slammiversary at the hands of Eric Young?
Find out the answer to those questions and more with this recap of the August 4 broadcast of IMPACT Wrestling.
TNA Championship Match: Heath vs. Moose
A win for Heath in this week's opening match would earn him a contract with IMPACT Wrestling. To accomplish such a thing, he would have to defeat the self-proclaimed TNA World Heavyweight Champion, Moose.
A driven and determined Heath fired off a flurry of offense early but Moose turned the tide, sending him into the guardrail. Heath recovered and continued his onslaught, stunning the "champion" in a way few have managed to.
Moose dropped Heath across the top rope to halt his momentum, then delivered an impressive dropkick for a near-fall. The heel would control the match until Heath fought his way back into the match. He landed a nice ax kick ala Booker T and fired off some hard rights and a corner forearm.
Moose bumped the referee and Heath scored the Wakeup Call. Without an official to count the fall, Heath's pin attempt went uncounted. Just as the referee recovered, Moose delivered a cheap low blow and rolled Heath up for the controversial victory.
Moose defeated Heath
The commentary team of Josh Matthews and Madison Rayne did a fantastic job of putting over the gravity of the match for Heath. They sold him as an underdog fighting for the wellbeing of his children and the result was a match the viewing audience could invest in emotionally.
And fight he did.
Until Moose stole the win out from under him, robbing him of a better life for his family.
It was a great bit of heel work from Moose and the type of match that will only make Heath's eventual win and contract that much more meaningful.
A great way to kick off the show and the perfect way to highlight the characters involved.
EC3 Addresses the IMPACT Fan Base
EC3 returned with his latest prerecorded statement.
He vowed to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship and burn its legacy, including stars the likes of Sting, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Jeff Jarrett and Kurt Angle, to the ground.
"Moose...you've been warned," he said.
EC3 has been on fire with these pretaped promos, really giving the audience a glimpse inside his mindset as he returns to the company that made him a star.
Claiming the moments he achieved in TNA set him up for failure, then vowing to burn down the history of that promotion's title, was a great touch and adds another reason for targeting Moose.
Short, sweet and to the point, this is an example of what promos can be when they are not overproduced by Vince McMahon's merry bunch of writers.
Jimmy Jacobs Sits Down with the Motor City Machine Guns
Jimmy Jacobs welcomed Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley for a sit-down interview.
The Motor City Machine Guns discussed their journey back to IMPACT Wrestling and what brought about their reunion. They turned their attention to the tag team division and when they mentioned The North, Josh Alexander and Ethan Page interrupted.
Alexander suggested they were victims of preferential treatment for the Machine Guns and Page erupted in anger, claiming the Machine Guns beat them at 40 percent.
Shelley offered a rematch right away, but Page denounced that idea. Alexander said they would get their title shot on their time, then finished by saying they would have their rematch in three weeks at Emergence.
It was nice to see Shelley get the mic time that he has strangely been denied for a large portion of his career. He came across well and should probably get the opportunity to talk more often.
Throw in some over-the-top rage by future breakout star Page and you have a solid promo.
Unfortunately, it was just a promo to set up a match in three weeks when they easily could have announced The North was exercising their rematch. Had it been more, it would have been better graded.
Wrestle House Returns
This week's edition of Wrestle House saw Alisha Edwards try and teach Susie about men, only for the Knockouts to end up in a match with Johnny Swinger.
Hijinx ensued until Susie and Alisha scored a double pinfall for the win while Taya Valkyrie was overheard labeling the whole thing an embarrassment.
After the match, Kylie Rae approached Johnny Bravo about handling business with Rosemary and Valkyrie. He said he could take a hint as we headed to break.
Later, when Rosemary found out that Rae had caused Bravo to leave the house, she demanded a match with the No. 1 contender to the Knockouts Championship.
With Taya as the referee, Rae found herself at a numbers disadvantage. Rosemary attacked from behind, beating Kylie down. When she fought back, Valkyrie slow counted. Eventually, Rae played “got your nose” with Rosemary, who was utterly confused by this “sorcery,” as she labeled it.
Rae fought back, delivered a corner cannonball but again, only put her opponent away for two as Valkyrie refused to count the fall in a timely manner.
Bravo reappeared at ringside, cheering for Rosemary. It provided a distraction that allowed Rae to deliver the superkick for the pinfall win.
Rosemary suggested that Valkyrie did not have to know about their relationship, setting them up for further relationship fun and games in the weeks to come.
Wrestle House isn’t meant to be anything but fun. It is jam-packed with inside jokes and little storyline developments between characters whose time would be otherwise limited on these loaded episodes.
The saga between Valkyrie, Rosemary and Bravo has been great fun while Kylie playing the role of peacemaker is so on-point with regards to her character that it essentially writes itself.
This was a better offering than last week, especially the stuff involving the great Johnny Swinger. Hopefully, IMPACT can continue to build on the concept from here because the possibilities are limitless.
IMPACT World Championship Match: Eddie Edwards vs.
Eddie Edwards made his way to the ring for this week’s IMPACT World Championship defense. When it appeared as though Sami Callihan would accept the open challenge, Rob Van Dam came from out of nowhere and assaulted the hacker in retaliation for Callihan ruining Katie Forbes’ website reveal last week.
Callihan, beaten and battered, still limped his way to the ring for the match with Edwards.
After a hard slap from Callihan, Edwards unloaded on his longtime rival, punishing him for his latest indiscretion and the prior ones that once made theirs the most intense feud in IMPACT.
Familiar foes, they countered, sidestepped and reversed each other early, neither gaining a sustained advantage.
Callihan raked the eyes of Edwards, then delivered a piledriver on the ring apron, leaving the champion’s reign in despair. The aggressor slowed the pace of the match, working a more methodical pace against Edwards.
The champion fought his way back into the match but Callihan dropped him with a brainbuster for a two-count. A running forearm to the face, another near-fall for the challenger. Callihan landed a piledriver but Edwards just barely draped his foot across the bottom rope to break the pin.
The challenger introduced a steel chair to the fray, threatening the referee with the weapon and risking a DQ that would cost him dearly. Callihan thought twice about it but ran right into a Boston Knee Party, followed by a second to the back of the head as Edwards successfully retained.
Edwards defeated Callihan to retain
The match was a good, competitive one but the finish is what will have a last impact (pun intended).
Callihan has been a monster heel for IMPACT, the most despised and hated heel in the company for quite some time. Lately, he has undergone a change in heart and his depositing of the steel chair at ringside, refusing to use it against Edwards, was the latest in some great character work in regards to the antihero.
Kudos to Josh Matthews and Madison Rayne for pointing it out and getting that story across without making a spectacle of it. Their work together is wholly underrated, especially in terms of telling the newer members of the audience exactly what is going on and what the history between the performers is.
Edwards looked like a gutsy champion, again, and the result was a successful segment that may play a key role in Callihan’s narrative.
TJP and Fallah Bah vs. Rohit Raju and Chris Bey
X-Division Champion Chris Bey teamed with on-again, off-again "friend" Rohit Raju to battle TJP and Fallah Bah in the night's next match.
Matthews and Rayne put over the idea that Raju may be eyeing the X-Division title, thus being the reason for him getting so close to Bey.
The established team of TJP and Bah outclassed the opposition early, standing tall heading into the break.
The heels seized control after the break, Rohit working the left arm of TJP. Bey joined in but TJP created separation with a donkey kick and tagged Bah in.
The big man exploded into the match, running over their opponents until Raju dropped him with a kneel. TJP tagged back in, as did Bey, and the competitors cut a lightning-quick pace.
Just as it looked like Raju and Bey may take the win, TJP fought out of the former's grasp, caught Bey midflight and applied the arm breaker for the submission victory.
TJP and Bah defeated Raju and Bey
This was a super fun, energetic match that showcased everyone involved, most notably TJP and Raju.
The finish would seem to suggest TJP may be next in line to challenge Bey, but do not sleep on the possibility that this is leading to a bigger-picture showdown between Bey and Raju.
Matthews and Rayne put over Rohit as a better wrestler than he gets credit for, then the young competitor proved it throughout this showdown. Keep an eye on him as his stature on the show grows.
Rich Swann's Gut-Wrenching Announcement
Limping his way to the ring with the assistance of a boot and crutches, Rich Swann made his way to the ring to address the IMPACT Wrestling fans.
Swann relived a visit to the doctor after suffering his devastating ankle/leg injury. "You're probably going to be walking with a limp for the rest of your life," he recalled the doctor telling him.
Instead, he busted his ass and changed his doctor's mind, getting the "all clear" to compete in the Slammiversary main event. Like he had throughout his career, he relied on his heart and will power to get him there.
He relived the horrific attack at the hands of Eric Young at the pay-per-view and the warning by the doctor, that his life would change if he continued to insist on wrestling. That the injury was too significant for him to continue competing the way he has.
In the name of his family and doing what is right for them, he announced his retirement.
Swann thanked everyone with the company and said he hoped he made an impact on everyone in the industry. The IMPACT locker room surrounded the ringside area in a sign of respect, pounding the ring and giving him a round of applause.
The Rascalz, Willie Mack and Eddie Edwards helped a tearful Swann out of the ring and watched as he made the long walk up the ramp. Young came from out of nowhere, attacking Swann and bashing his injured limb with a crutch.
The babyfaces chased him to the back as Edwards yelled for help to close out the show.
Two observations: Swann pulled that promo off to perfection and Kimber Lee running to the back after Young was totally badass.
Swann is a guy we haven't seen much from in a long promo segment. He has always been a celebrated in-ring competitor, but he hasn't been given the opportunity to express himself on the mic nearly as much as you would hope.
He absolutely killed the promo here, getting the audience to bite on the retirement announcement while taking the emotional journey with him through his injury, return and re-injury. He was absolutely phenomenal here, in what may have been the biggest moment of his IMPACT run.
Young is such a delightfully contemptible heel and his attack on Swann was a great bit of booking. The inevitable showdown between him and the former WWE Cruiserweight Champion will be outstanding and, hopefully, every bit as intense and personal as it deserves.
Swann will be an enormous star because of this ongoing storyline. Hopefully, he can stay healthy enough to see it through to the end.