IMPACT Wrestling Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from July 1
On the road to Slammiversary on July 17, Sami Callihan had the opportunity to send a message loud and clear to AEW, Impact Wrestling and AAA Grand champion Kenny Omega as he teamed with dysfunctional partners Moose and Chris Sabin to battle Omega and The Good Brothers in the night's blockbuster main event.
That match headlined an AXS TV broadcast that also saw Chris Bey choose a side in the war for all things X-Division, the latest in the partnership between Jordynne Grace and Rachael Ellering, and former world champion Rich Swann in action.
What went down, what does it mean for the company as it embarks on a journey to one of its signature events and how did each match/segment grade out?
Find out with this recap of the first Impact of July.
Eddie Edwards vs. Kojima
The scheduled match between friends and allies Eddie Edwards and Kojima never happened as W. Morrissey admitted to attacking Edwards in the backstage area. This brought out Brian Myers and protege Sam Beale, who ended up attacking the respected Japanese competitor.
Jake Something made the save, clearing the heels from the ring. A referee appeared and started a tag team match. Something dominated the action, overpowering the competition before Myers rocked him with a jumping knee to the face.
The heels beat him down and cut him off from his partner for the majority of the contest. Kojima exploded into the match and despite some last-gasp offense from Myers and Beale, put the latter away for the pinfall victory.
Kojima and Something defeated Myers and Beale
Morrissey had teased in previous weeks that a feud with Eddie Edwards was on the horizon, so it's not surprising that he took the former world champion out before the match. Theirs is a feud that will bolster the Slammiversary card and help with Morrissey's development into a main event attraction in Impact.
The match that followed that angle was fun, advanced Something's rivalry with Myers, and gave the legendary Kojima a rare win in this run with the company.
All things considered, this was a solid way to kick off a show that only figures to get better with a blockbuster tag team main event.
Rachael Ellering vs. Tenille Dashwood
While she continues to repair her friendship with former tag team partner Jordynne Grace, Rachael Ellering sought to exorcise Tenille Dashwood from her life in a rematch of their first encounter.
A focused, tenacious Dashwood dominated the action, looking to prove her worth while avenging the personal humiliation of being turned down for partnership. Ellering fought back, withstood a late attempt at a distraction by Tenille's social media manager Kaleb and scored the win with a rollup.
After the match, the beaten Aussie attacked Ellering, only for Jazz and Grace to make the save and clear the ring of the heels. Grace reunited with Ellering as Josh Matthews put the Knockouts tag team division on notice.
Ellering defeated Dashwood
This was as good as we have seen Dashwood in quite some time. Her facial expressions and emotions were on-point and hammered home how frustrated and angry she was with Ellering for not wanting to partner with her.
Ellering has been a nice addition to a talented division, and her story with Grace has been well executed. Even though they reunited here, it still feels like a friendship teetering on the brink of implosion. I still expect Grace to break up with her teammate and embark on a run as a heel.
TJP and Fallah Bahh vs. Rich Swann and Willie Mack
The match pitting Rich Swann and Willie Mack against TJP and Fallah Bahh ended in chaos as tag team champions Violent By Design attacked, laying all four men out and leaving them in a heap.
Eric Young, Joe Doering, Rhino and Deaner stood tall over their beaten foes to end the segment.
This was never about delivering on the advertised match but further establishing VBD's reign of terror in Impact Wrestling. They earned momentum by way of their win over Kojima and Eddie Edwards a week ago, and here they sought to send a message to two teams with great potential to dethrone them.
This seems to point at a three-way match for the tag titles at Slammiversary, but it will be interesting to see how much of the lengthy history between Swann and Young is brought back to the forefront now that they find themselves at the center of a dispute.
This worked, but it is not something Impact can do often. Advertising two matches on the same show alone, then not delivering them, is not a way to endear itself to fans.
Petey Williams vs. Chris Bey
With Chris Bey refusing to choose sides in the war for X-Division dominance, he squared off with "Maple Leaf Muscle" Petey Williams in singles competition.
Bey controlled the match early, but the veteran Williams fought back, turning his opponent inside out with a suplex and flattening him with a running knee. Petey tried for the Canadian Destroyer, but Bey countered into an inverted TKO neckbreaker for a near-fall.
Bey fought off another Canadian Destroyer attempt, delivered The Art of Finesse and earned the hard-fought victory.
After the match, Ace Austin, Madman Fulton, Rohit Raju and Shera made their way to the ring to beatdown Williams. Josh Alexander and Trey Miguel made the save while a conflicted Bey watched from the stage. He joined in, choosing the babyface side and helping them clear out the heels before standing tall.
Bey defeated Williams
Bey is such as star. The handling of his dilemma was perfect, all the way down to him stalling on the stage before making the save and really shining as the red-hot babyface who took out everyone from Raju to Fulton. Had this story played out in front of an audience, The Ultimate Finesser would have been one of the hottest wrestlers on the entire show.
Not all that long ago, it felt like Alexander would retain handily at Slammiversary. If not him, Miguel was the next most obvious winner. Now, Bey could easily win the match and no one would second-guess the decision.
That is a testament to the booking of the division heading into one of the biggest shows of the year.
Steve Maclin in Action
Steve Maclin returned to the Impact Zone for a match with Manny Smith.
The unforgotten son impressed with a huge Angle Slam, tied his opponent in the tree of woe and obliterated him with a nasty strike. A back elbow from Smith fired Maclin up even more, leading to an unforgiving barrage of elbow strikes to the face and a pinfall victory seconds later.
Maclin defeated Smith
Maclin has been aggressive and physical in his two Impact Wrestling performances to date, showing some of the in-ring intensity that was muzzled in WWE.
This was an impressive victory and the intrigue created by Josh Matthews and D'Lo Brown on commentary, neither committing to him as a babyface or heel, helps set him apart. At least for now. Eventually, he will have to be presented as one or the other. When he is, he will have the opportunity to further showcase the potential that went unnoticed in McMahonland.
Sami Callihan, Moose and Chris Sabin vs. Kenny Omega and the Good Brothers
AEW, AAA Grand and Impact Wrestling champion Kenny Omega teamed with The Good Brothers in Thursday's main event against Chris Sabin, Moose and top contender Sami Callihan.
The heels isolated Sabin, working the smallest competitor in the match over in search of a one-sided victory. When Sabin finally did create separation and tried for the tag, Moose walked away, playing up his rivalry with the Motor City Machine Gun. Sabin tagged Callihan in, instead, and The Draw unloaded on the competition.
A low blow slowed his momentum and Sabin tagged back in. The dissension between Sabin and Moose led to a breakdown in the action, Omega rocking Callihan with a V-Trigger and The Good Brothers earning the win for their team with the Magic Killer on Sabin.
The Elite defeated Sabin, Moose and Callihan
This group of talent was never going to have anything less than a good match, but the issue was not the in-ring product. Instead, it was the predictable outcome that anyone could have called the moment it was announced.
We knew Moose and Sabin weren't going to get along in the name of Impact Wrestling. The brawl between them two weeks ago was too intense for them to set aside their differences here. So why did Tommy Dreamer, veteran of one of the industry's most intense rivalries, think Sabin and Moose would be able to coexist?
He set his team, including Callihan, up for a loss, whether he meant to or not.
It made no sense creatively and really only dragged things down, unfortunately.