Impact Wrestling Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 6
The journey to Under Siege on May 15 continued Thursday night on AXS TV as Impact Wrestling presented a show headlined by the last three qualifying matches for the six-way No. 1 Contender's match.
Would Rhino or Chris Sabin, Trey Miguel or Rohit Raju, or Moose or James Storm emerge victorious, cashing their tickets to the pay-per-view and a potential championship opportunity?
What did The Good Brothers' Doc Gallows have in store for Impact tag team champion Juice Robinson in singles action, and would Taylor Wilde continue her winning ways, all while looking like she never missed a single day of in-ring competition despite being on the sidelines for a decade?
Find out now with this recap of the May 6 episode.
No. 1 Contender Qualifying Match: Rhino vs. Sabin
Two former world champions clashed in the night's opening match, a No. 1 Contender's qualifier pitting Chris Sabin against Violent By Design's Rhino.
The presence of Rhino's cohorts helped turn the tide in his favor early as Deaner tripped Sabin up. The Man-Beast worked him over in the corner, then grounded him and worked on his head and neck.
Sabin soared through the ropes, wiping Rhino out at ringside. Referee Brandon Tolle kept Violent By Design from interfering, but he could not stop Deaner from thumbing the babyface in the eye.
Sabin recovered, though, and scored a roll-up victory to advance to Under Seige and the six-man No. 1 contender's match.
Sabin defeated Rhino
There really wasn't much to this. Sabin and "Cowboy" James Storm have an established history with Violent By Design, but other than some interference from the heels and Sabin being forced to overcome it, this was relatively one-dimensional.
However, it does set up a great match at Under Siege that already has Matt Cardona and Chris Bey involved, and just added Sabin to the fold.
With the rest of the field filled out Thursday night, it appears Impact may have a genuine Match of the Year candidate on its hands if it lives up to its potential.
Susan vs. Taylor Wilde
Taylor Wilde returned to the squared circle for just the second time in a decade, battling Susan as she continued her climb into Knockouts Championship contention.
Wilde took Susan to the arena floor with a big hurricanrana. When Kimber Lee attempted to interfere, Kaleb stopped her. Across the ring, Tenille Dashwood interjected herself in the action and delivered a neckbreaker in the ropes, allowing Wilde to score a German suplex for the win.
Wilde left the ring, wanting nothing to do with a partnership with Dashwood.
Backstage, Gia Miller interviewed Knockouts champion Deonna Purrazzo, who balked at the idea of ducking Wilde.
When Decay interrupted and Havok made her presence felt, Purrazzo pitched a match between Havok and Rosemary with the winner getting a title opportunity. She stepped out of the picture, leaving the two potential challengers to engage in a tense staredown.
Wilde defeated Susan
Much like the first match of the night, there wasn't much to this one. The focus was more on the presence of Kaleb and Dashwood rather the actual in-ring action, of which there wasn't much. Wilde scored the win, but her impending program with Tenille is taking precedence.
That isn't necessarily a bad thing, and it sure beats Wilde debuting in the championship picture and earning backlash from fans who don't believe she should get a title shot right away.
Havok and Rosemary have been around, but both are quality performers who can tide Purrazzo over until the inevitable showdown with Wilde.
No. 1 Contender Qualifying Match: Trey Miguel vs. Rohit Raju
Former X-Division champions waged war in the next qualifier match as Trey Miguel battled Rohit Raju.
Miguel outwrestled The Mocha Skinned Manimal early, but Raju weathered the storm and wiped his opponent out with a back elbow heading into the commercial break. Back on the air, Raju continued to reverse his way out of trouble and rock Miguel with hard-hitting strikes.
Raju targeted the left arm of Miguel, looking to take out one of his limbs and potentially force a submission.
Miguel fought back into the match, delivered an atomic drop and followed with a northern lights suplex. He turned the tables on Raju, applying a kimura that the heel just narrowly escaped. Rohit delivered a falcon arrow and applied a crossface, but Miguel rolled his way out of it.
After a small package attempt by Raju, Miguel trapped him in the hourglass submission for the win.
After the match, Jake Something emerged from the backstage area and wiped out both Raju and Shera before standing tall to escalate his rivalry with the pair.
Miguel defeated Raju
Miguel and Raju had a nice match that likely would have been even better without a commercial screwing up its rhythm. Their counters and reversals were great, their flow was undeniable and the finish was great stuff that put over the babyface's submission hold.
Something is a great young star and someone Impact could well build around in the future. Programming him against a wrestler as consistently great as Raju is the perfect usage of him at this point in his career.
Here's to a hot blowoff between Something and Raju soon.
Juice Robinson vs. Doc Gallows
AEW, Impact Wrestling and AAA champion Kenny Omega, Karl Anderson and Don Callis accompanied Doc Gallows to the squared circle for a singles match against tag team champion Juice Robinson.
The bigger Gallows overwhelmed his opponent with his size and ferocity early, but Robinson pounded away at him in the corner and cut him down with a corner cannonball. Gallows recovered and drove his forearm into the face of his opponent.
Gallows grounded Robinson but David Finlay fired up his tag partner on the floor, leading to a basement dropkick and DDT from Juice to Gallows for a near-fall. Robinson tried for Pulp Friction, but a distraction by Anderson and Omega allowed Doc to recover and deliver a sit-out powerbomb for the win.
After the match, the heels beat down the tag team champions and stood tall.
Gallows defeated Robinson
The Good Brothers will team with Omega to battle FinJuice and Eddie Edwards at Under Siege, so this was a nice preview of that match.
Gallows scoring the win after the interference from the heels was in-line with The Elite's recent underhandedness, while Robinson and partner Finlay lost nothing in defeat. They will have the opportunity to return to winning ways and may well knock off the seemingly unbeatable Omega in the process.
El Phantasmo Debuts
VSK made his Impact Wrestling debut in a battle New Japan Pro-Wrestling's El Phantasmo, who was also making his debut with the company.
VSK took the fight to Phantasmo, scoring a standing splash for a near-fall. Phantasmo raked the back and seized control, delivering a moonsault for two. VSK nearly scored the upset victory off a roll-up, and then rocked his opponent with a running boot in the corner.
Phantasmo struck VSK with a back mule kick and put him down with Sudden Death for the pinfall victory.
Phantasmo defeated VSK
This was a nifty little match for what it was.
Phantasmo entered with all of the pomp, circumstance and hype, and he certainly lived up to it. VSK, though, emerged as a potential breakout star for the company, thanks to the intensity and passion in his comeback.
Phantasmo should prove a fairly significant player in Impact in short order, though. The question is whether he follows in FinJuice's footsteps and earns championship gold sooner rather than later.
Rachael Ellering vs. Kiera Hogan
On the heels of a Knockouts Tag Team Championship victory, Rachael Ellering battled Kiera Hogan in tag team action. The second-generation star's partner, Jordynne Grace, watched from ringside, while Tasha Steelz backed teammate Hogan up.
Hogan rocked Ellering with a kick in the midsection and wrested control of the match, looking to avenge the loss from Rebellion. Ellering fought back and delivered a big running senton, but Hogan regained the upper hand and delivered a running kick in the corner for two.
Hogan made the mistake of rushing Ellering, who caught her and powered her to the mat with the Boss Woman Slam for the pinfall victory.
Grace stood alongside her partner with the tag titles raised high, while the former champions gathered themselves on the floor.
Ellering defeated Hogan
It has been so long since Hogan was a consistent singles star that it’s easy to forget she can go outside the confines of a tag team match. She was impressive here, really shining in a match most would have expected Ellering to dominate.
Instead, the daughter of Hall of Fame manager Paul Ellering fought from underneath and earned her first singles win with the company.
Ellering and Grace have the potential to be a great babyface tandem, but it still feels like only a matter of time before Fire 'N Flava regain the gold.
No. 1 Contender Qualifier Match: Moose vs. 'Cowboy' James Storm
The final of the six No. 1 Contender qualifying matches headlined this week's show as "Cowboy" James Storm battled former TNA world champion Moose in one-on-one action.
Storm downed Moose with a clothesline coming out of the break, but the heel responded and punished the right leg of his rival. He repeatedly slammed the leg into the guardrail at ringside.
Moose talked trash and paid for it as Storm punched his way back into the match. A low dropkick by Moose halted the comeback, with Storm's knee crumbling under him. He wrapped his opponent's knee in the ropes and caught it with a dropkick. He applied a toe hold for good measure.
Storm finally fought his way back into the match and downed Moose. He set up for the Eight-Second Ride but Moose trapped his knee. He added a Spear to the joint and applied a single-leg crab, looking for the submission win.
Storm fought out and finally hoisted Moose up for the Eight-Second Ride, only for his knee to give out. He still managed to rock Moose with a superkick, only for his leg to crumble. Moose took advantage of the opening and delivered the Spear for the win.
After the match, Moose trapped his opponent’s injured leg in the chair and stepped on it, doing further damage. Chris Sabin made the save as Moose celebrated his win to close out the show.
Moose defeated Storm
Storm as the valiant, grizzled veteran fighting through the agony was a great role for him, while Moose looked like an unstoppable killer who would do whatever was necessary to win the match.
His post-match attack reflected a more dangerous and determined performer than ever before and sets him up as the preeminent favorite to win the No. 1 contender’s match at Under Siege.
The question is whether Moose is a bit too obvious. Add in the fact that Kenny Omega and Don Callis have done whatever they can to stay away from him, and you have every reason to believe he may not actually win the six-way match on May 15.