Impact Wrestling Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from July 15
On the final Impact Wrestling before Saturday's Slammiversary pay-per-view, Moose sought to send a message loudly and clearly to former world champion Chris Sabin in singles competition against Hernandez.
That battle of the big men was just one contest devoted to wrapping up stories and providing last-minute hype to the annual, company-altering event.
Did Moose pick up the win? Did Sabin respond?
Those questions and more lie in this recap of Thursday's episode of Impact on AXS TV.
Tenille Dashwood and Kaleb vs. Jordynne Grace and Rachael Ellering
The reunited Jordynne Grace and Rachael Ellering sought to put their differences with Tenille Dashwood and Kaleb behind them in the night's opening contest.
The babyfaces rolled early but Dashwood seized control of the match by downing Ellering and cutting her off from her partner. The hot tag to Grace sparked the comeback, complete with a big sit-out powerbomb to Kaleb for a two-count.
The action broke down late in the match, with all of the competitors getting in their signature offense, culminating in an assisted uranage by Grace and Ellering for the win.
Grace and Ellering defeated Dashwood and Kaleb.
If there were any concern that Grace and Ellering were not on the same page, they appeared to have erased it here with an impressive and emphatic victory over the biggest thorns in their sides of late.
The match was fun and energetic, with solid sequences late that proved the babyfaces could overcome the presence of Kaleb and still earn the victory. Dashwood's credibility was saved by way of Kaleb's pinfall loss, while the reunited besties set aside their losing ways in favor of a much-needed victory.
This was exactly what it needed to be and resulted in a hot start to the last show before Slammiversary.
Deonna Purrazzo Signs the Contract for Her Slammiversary Match
Deonna Purrazzo joined Scott D'Amore to sign the contract for her Knockouts Championship defense Saturday night at Slammiversary. She took exception to the secrecy surrounding her opponent, only for D'Amore to threaten no winner's purse or bonuses attached to the match if she refused to sign the legal document.
Purrazzo did, vowing to retain her title, just as she has against every other Knockout in the company threw at her.
D'Amore hinted at who the opponent might be before sarcastically reminding the champion she is The Virtuosa, so naturally she'll win.
This was all fun and stayed true to the characters at play.
D'Amore has the ability to manipulate overconfident heels into doing exactly as he wants them to while Purrazzo was the arrogant heel whose hubris got the best of her.
The meta dialogue here was great, as Purrazzo took a shot at Taya Valkyrie being relatively absent from NXT while D'Amore referenced Mickie James, The IIconics and Chelsea Green/Laurel Van Ness as potential surprise opponents for the heel.
Purrazzo is typically part of a major match on any pay-per-view, but with the intrigue and surprise surrounding her title defense Saturday, she figures to be one-half of one of the biggest, most anticipated matches on the Slammiversary card.
An honor befitting someone who is arguably the best pure wrestler in the entire company.
Havok vs. Tasha Steelz
Ahead of Saturday's Knockouts Tag Team Championship match, Havok battled Tasha Steelz while their respective partners, Rosemary and Kiera Hogan, watched from the arena floor.
Havok dominated early and right through the commercial break, overwhelming her smaller opponent with her size, strength and fury. Steelz, though, summoned the awareness that helped make her and Hogan two-time Knockouts tag team champions and downed her opponent.
Havok fought her way back into the match, though, and scored the clean victory off a tombstone piledriver.
Havok defeated Rosemary.
Havok and Rosemary are real threats to Fire 'N Flava's Knockouts Tag Team Championship reign, and this cemented that sentiment. Despite controlling a solid portion of the match, Steelz was unable to put away her opponent, succumbing to the size and strength disadvantage.
It is a disadvantage facing the champions with both challengers Saturday night.
While Fire 'N Flava should probably retain, we have seen the company take chances on teams other than Hogan and Steelz, only to revert back to them. Do not be surprised if Havok and Rosemary capture the titles as a feel-good babyface win, only to drop them back shortly thereafter.
Steve Maclin Squashes His Latest Opponent
Steve Maclin returned to the Impact Zone for a showdown with Kal Herro.
It did not go pleasantly for Herro.
Maclin squashed his opponent before grabbing a microphone and ominously declaring, "I'm done waiting."
Backstage, Father James Mitchell interrupted Rosemary, Crazzy Steve and Black Taurus as they attempted to convince Havok to join Decay. Havok's answer was left unclarified.
Maclin defeated Herro.
Maclin is going to wreak havoc in Impact Wrestling after Slammiversary, and fans got a taste of what is to come by way of his one-sided demolition of Mr. Herro.
As for Rosemary and Co. trying to recruit Havok, it makes for a fun little side story, but given Havok's long history with Mitchell, it raises a question of why she would ever trust him.
Then again, wrestling has a long history of babyfaces suddenly and inexplicably trusting heels who wronged them not all that long ago.
8-Man Tag Team Match
Six competitors will wage war in Ultimate X for the X-Division Championship Saturday at Slammiversary. They battled in an 8-man tag team match Thursday as champion Josh Alexander, Chris Bey, Trey Miguel and Petey Williams combated former champions Ace Austin and Rohit Raju and their muscle, Madman Fulton and Shera.
Staying true to the fast-paced, no-limits division, the action was non-stop and featured a ton of signature maneuvers down the stretch. Shera, the massive associate of Raju, wiped out Miguel with a backbreaker, only to fall prey to a schoolboy rollup by Bey for the win.
After the match, the babyfaces cleared the ring of the opposition, blasting Shera with a steel chair. Then, in further evidence of his refusal to join either side in the battle for X-Division supremacy, Bey blasted Alexander and Miguel with the same chair.
Williams, Miguel, Alexander and Bey defeated Shera, Fulton, Austin and Raju.
The match was a rather subdued affair given the talent involved, but it earned its grade for the post-match festivities.
Bey sticking it to the babyfaces after warning them for weeks that he was out for no one but himself was a great touch and puts him on an island come Saturday night. What that means for his odds of leaving one of Impact's premier events with gold remains to be seen.
What does not, though, is the likelihood that the six men in the Ultimate X match will tear the house down in Nashville. The talent is there. The stakes will be too. And when you add in the first live crowd in 18 months, you have the recipe for a Match of the Year candidate.
Brian Myers Makes Good on His Forfeit...But Gets the Last Laugh
After losing to Jake Something the previous week, Brian Myers made his way to the ring with Sam Beale to declare his foe a professional. He did that but then said Something is not a star.
A brawl broke out, with Something wiping out Beale and Matt Cardona teeing off on longtime friend-turned-hated enemy Myers. Before he could deliver the Broski Boot, Tenille Dashwood appeared and delivered a low blow.
She joined Myers and Beale in standing tall, triumphant over the babyfaces on this night.
This segment continued the feud between Myers and Cardona and Something while introducing the new element of Dashwood and what was a teased prior relationship between her and Cardona.
Whether or not you are a fan of the program, it at least advanced rather than staying stagnant, something that cannot be said about midcard programs in other promotions on national television.
Moose vs. Hernandez
Ahead of his showdown with Chris Sabin at Slammiversary, Moose squared off with Hernandez.
It was a short-lived match.
The former TNA world champion obliterated Big Mex with the Lights Out spear for the win, and afterward he attempted to do further damage with a steel chair.
Sabin made the save, driving his foe out of the ring and to the sanctuary of the ramp.
Moose defeated Hernandez.
This was relatively by-the-books, with nothing in the way of feud advancement. It reminded the audience that Sabin and Moose have a match on the pay-per-view and nothing more.
Thankfully, the match will likely be great, even if the creative was not.
Fatal 4-Way Battle of the Hosses
The Impact Wrestling tag team titles will be up for grabs in a Fatal 4-Way Match Saturday night, and in Friday's main event, all four teams were represented in a four-way battle of the hosses.
Willie Mack, Fallah Bahh, Doc Gallows and Joe Doering were the combatants.
The big men brawled around the ringside area, attempting to wear each other down en route to a momentum-shifting win. Late in the contest, with Gallows and Mack squaring off at ringside, big man Doering flattened Bahh with a lariat clothesline for the decisive victory.
Violent By Design stared down The Good Brothers as the show went off the air.
Doering defeated Mack, Gallows and Bahh.
This felt like a rather weak ending to the go-home episode of Impact. Yes, there was an exclamation point of a finish the previous week with the Sami Callihan-Kenny Omega contract signing, but perhaps the company should have saved that for this broadcast to hammer home the urgency of Saturday's pay-per-view.
Doering looked strong here and impresses more and more with every passing week. His win in this match continues the hot streak for VBD and positions them as the prohibitive favorite in the tag title match, which is exactly why it would not surprise anyone if Rich Swann and Mack to pulled off the win or The Good Brothers regained the titles.
In that regard, it was a successful segment, even if it was a weaker conclusion to the last episode before a major PPV.