Impact Wrestling Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from July 22
"Switchblade" Jay White stunned the wrestling world in the closing moments of Slammiversary as he arrived in Impact Wrestling, confronting The Elite's Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers.
After refusing a "too sweet" from the trio, what did the NEVER Openweight champion and New Japan Pro-Wrestling star have to say about the Bullet Club alumni Thursday night on AXS TV?
His latest appearance from the company headlined a show that saw the Knockouts Tag Team Championships up for grabs, a huge mixed tag match and X-Division action featuring Chris Bey and Rohit Raju.
Chris Bey vs. Rohit Raju
Chris Bey and Rohit Raju concocted a plan to win the X-Division Championship at Slammiversary but fell short of doing so. After a backstage confrontation that included a mysterious Bullet Club t-shirt reveal, the former champions battled in the night's opening contest.
Raju seized the early advantage following a leg sweep, neckbreaker in the ropes and some well-timed interference from Shera at ringside. A missed corner cannonball by Raju allowed Bey to fight his way back into the match. Raju shut down his momentum, applying a crossface.
Bey escaped, delivered the Art of the Finesse and earned the hard-fought win.
After the match, Bullet Club's Jay White confronted Bey backstage and extended an offer to join the most storied faction in wrestling today. Bey seemed defiant at first but clearly took it into advisement heading into the break.
Bey defeated Raju
This was a good, hard-fought, quality wrestling match to kick things off.
Not only did it play up the plan from Slammiversary that failed to net either man the X-Division title, it showcased Bey, whose role on the show is growing with every passing week. The confrontation with White and the subsequent invite to join Bullet Club only supports the idea that Bey is going to be a bigtime player in Impact Wrestling much sooner than later.
Kudos for Raju for doing what he has done so often in recent months: showing up, showing out and unselfishly making his fellow competitors look fantastic when the time calls for it. He might be Impact's MVP because of the way he highlights himself while also propping up the performers he works with.
Mickie James in the Impact Zone
Mickie James returned at Slammiversary, answering Knockouts champion Deonna Purrazzo's disrespect with a Mick Kick. Thursday, she entered the Impact Zone and was quickly interrupted by The Virtuosa.
Before Purrazzo could say anything James reiterated her invitation for the August 26 Empower pay-per-view. The Knockouts champion responded, saying every company wants a piece of her. She refused the invite until James groveled and apologized for her actions at Slammiversary.
Gail Kim appeared and tried to smooth things over. James again asked Purrazzo, even extending her hand. Purrazzo accepted and the fans in attendance responded accordingly.
There wasn't much to the segment, to be honest, but it did get where it was going without any unnecessary curveballs or delays.
We have seen interpromotional cooperation between Impact Wrestling, NWA, AEW and New Japan Pro-Wrestling and Purrazzo appearing at Empower will only continue that trend. It will also set up potential dream matches for The Virtuosa, including a showdown with James for the Knockouts title.
In a day and age where WWE is criticized for its repetition and unwillingness to try new and exciting things to freshen up the product, particularly on its Raw brand, it is nice to see those four promotions engaging in healthy working relationships to ensure the best content for wrestling fans at large.
Of interest here was Purrazzo heeding the words of Kim, as if the Hall of Famer is the one person that can reason with her. It will be interesting to see if that relationship is one that expands and evolves over time because the potential and possibility, strictly from a character perspective, is certainly interesting.
Mixed Tag Team Match
The rivalry between former friends-turned-bitter enemies continued this week as Matt Cardona, Jake Something and Chelsea Green battled Brian Myers, Sam Beale and Tenille Dashwood in a six-person tag team match.
Cardona, Something, Myers and Beale teed off on each other early until a double neckbreaker by the Long Island Broski laid out his opposition. A desperation tag to Green sparked the babyface comeback, The Hot Mess outwrestling Dashwood at every turn.
Kaleb caused a distraction until Taylor Wilde returned to the company, pulling him off the apron. Green refocused herself, cleared Dashwood out of the ring and delivered an Unprettier to Beale for a rare intergender pinfall victory.
Green, Cardona and Something defeated Myers, Beale and Dashwood
This was awfully rushed, limiting its overall quality, but it was still a hell of a fun sprint.
Green brought tremendous energy in her second match back and looked motivated to prove her doubters wrong. She was crisp and on-point with all of her stuff before picking up a somewhat surprising pinfall on Beale. Considering he was the one performer in the match that could most afford a loss, it makes sense from a booking perspective.
Wilde returning sets up the conclusion of her feud with Dashwood and Kaleb, while freeing Green up to potentially challenge Deonna Purrazzo for the Knockouts Championship down the line.
If there is one thing Impact has wisely done over the last year, it has been keeping the Knockouts not immediately in title contention busy with other feuds and stories so as not to risk them falling into obscurity or meaninglessness.
Jay White Addresses His Impact Wrestling Arrival
NEVER Openweight champion and Bullet Club leader Jay White made his way to the ring and addressed his appearance at Slammiversary. He claimed he was there for David Finlay, that the second-generation competitor could not run and hide from him in Impact. He put over their match at New Japan Pro-Wrestling Resurgence on August 14.
Don Callis, The Good Brothers and Kenny Omega interrupted and an argument over Bullet Club bragging rights ensued. Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows entered the ring and demanded a "thank you" from White, only to engage him in a brawl when it did not come.
Chris Bey made the save and joined King Switch in clearing the ring to the approval of the fans.
With one promo, Impact accomplished three things: it explained Finlay attacking White Saturday night, set the stage for a battle of the Bullet Clubs and set Bey up to be the latest addition to the storied faction.
White looked uber comfortable and every bit Omega’s equal out there. While it was repeatedly mentioned that he is the new leader of BC, he has been in that role since attacking Kenny two years ago. He has battled the very best in New Japan Pro-Wrestling and is an elite in-ring performer. Acquiring him for whatever endgame Impact has in mind was a huge get.
A post-angle promo from Gallows and Anderson set up a tag team match for next week’s show, one that should bring eyes to the product. After all, it will be White’s first Impact match and the idea of Bey potentially accepting the Bullet Club invite should intrigue.
FinJuice vs. Ace Austin and Madman Fulton
Madman Fulton attempted to avenge his loss to FinJuice back at Slammiversary as he teamed with Ace Austin to battle David Finlay and Juice Robinson in tag team action.
The heels isolated Finlay from his tag team partner, cutting the ring off and beating him down. A hot tag to Robinson after the commercial break sparked a comeback that concluded with Robinson countering a slam attempt by Fulton into a rollup for the win.
After the match, Rohit Raju and Shera attacked the victors, making it a four-on-two assault. The heels stood tall to close out the segment.
FinJuice defeated Austin and Fulton
Most of the match took place during the commercial break, severely hampering its overall grade.
With that said, FinJuice brings such an energy to their performances that it easily stands out. Finlay takes the beating, Robinson sparks the comeback and the sprint to the finish is always fun. This was no different.
Raju and Shera beating them down after the match may not be the most exciting development but it makes sense within the context of the storyline given the fact that Shera was Fulton's partner at Slammiversary, when they were beaten and humiliated by FinJuice with relative ease.
Knockouts Tag Team Championship Match: Decay vs. Fire N Flava
Five days after losing the Knockouts Tag Team Championship to Havok and Rosemary of Decay, Fire N Flava's Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz sought to regain their gold in the main event of Thursday's show.
The former champs withstood the early onslaught of their opponents to down Rosemary and cut the ring off. They isolated her, beating her down for several moments until The Demon Assassin created separation and made the tag to Havok.
The powerhouse of the champs ran over the competition and a miscommunication spot between Steelz and Hogan brought about the end of Fire N Flava's championship aspirations as Decay successfully retained via pinfall on the latter.
Decay defeated Fire N Flava
A so begins the end of Fire N Flava.
With her own announcement earlier in the day that she is leaving Impact Wrestling, Hogan's miscommunication spot with Steelz appears to have set the stage for a breakup that will ultimately lead to her departure. It will be a huge knock for the women's tag team division, especially considering the lack of established teams to combat Decay.
With that said, the demise of Fire N Flava came at a time when Havok and Rosemary are building their credibility with fans and strengthening their young title reign. In that regard, it was majorly effective.
The match itself was better than the Slammiversary pre-show and has the new champs off to a hot start.