Impact Wrestling's first episode in a post-Raw-Underground wrestling landscape is struggling to find its way in a world much different than 48 hours ago. Can Impact succeed? We'll see her in part two of our Impact report. We get a promo for Brian Myers, and then Eddie Edwards comes to the ring. Looks like his opponent tonight will be Sami Callahan. Except, Rob Van Dam assaults Callahan at the top of the ramp while Katie Forbes twerks in approval. Van Dam and Forbes leave. Callahan shrugs off medical attention and goes to the ring anyway.
Sami Callahan vs. Eddie Edwards – Impact World Championship Match
Callahan slaps Edwards before the bell. After the bell, Edwards hits a tiger driver and gets a two-count. As he beats down Callahan, Josh Matthews brings up the baseball bat thing. Callahan dodges a charge by Edwards and tosses him outside the ring, then hits a dive on him. He tosses Edwards back in the ring, but Edwards gets up and hits his own dive on Callahan. They fight outside, then on the apron. Callahan hits a piledriver on the apron. Edwards is out on the floor. Callahan rolls out and struggles to pick Edwards up. Instead of tossing him inside, he tosses him into the ring barrier. The ref stops the count to check on Edwards. Callahan beats him up at ringside some more and tosses him in the ring. He hits an elbow drop that gets a two-count.
Callahan works a chin lock on Edwards and gouges his mouth. Kayfabe or not, I would not let Sami Callahan stick his fingers in my mouth. Another headlock from Callahan. They trade kicks, run the ropes, and hit a double clothesline on each other. Both men are out as the ref counts. They get to their feet and trade blows. Edwards gets the best of it. He hits another tiger driver and gets a two-count. He tries for another, but Callahan backdrops him. Callahan kicks him in the face and gets a brainbuster, but Edwards kicks out. They trade blows again. Callahan hits a Go to Sleep and a running forearm. Edwards kicks out of the pin.
Edwards makes a comeback. He hits a third tiger driver and Callahan kicks out. Does Edwards know any moves besides the tiger driver? Callahan hits a piledriver (same critique). Edwards gets his foot on the rope on the pin. Callahan rolls outside and grabs a chair. He brings it in the ring. Callahan thinks better of using the chair. He tosses it outside. Edwards the Boston Knee Party, then another for good measure, and gets the pinfall.
Winner: Eddie Edwards
Ugh, more Wrestle House. Kylie Rae is with John E. Bravo, who has packed a bag and is trying to leave. Rosemary goes looking for him with Taya Valkyrie. They find Kylie Rae, who tells them he left. They want to know if its Kylie's fault. Kylie says she just talked to him about taking hints. Rosemary screams. Tommy Dreamer makes a match. Impact goes to commercials.
Kylie Rae vs. Rosemary
Taya Valkyrie is the referee. Rosemary assaults Kylie to start. Kylie fights back and gets a headlock takedown. They grapple on the mat. Kylie gets the upper hand. She steals Rosemary's nose. Rosemary is very upset by this. She complains to Taya. Taya tells her its a lie. Rosemary is fired up. She takes Kylie down and puts the boots to her. Rosemary chokes Kylie on the ropes. Kylie fights back. She hits a running forearm in the corner and a cannonball. She tries a pin but Taya counts very slowly.
Kylie politely argues with Taya. She picks up Rosemary, but Rosemary has recovered. She hits some punches and a spear. Taya counts fast this time, but Kylie still kicks out. Rosemary wants to finish her, but she becomes distracted when Bravo starts chanting for her. She's happy, but she gets superkicked and pinned, even with the slow count.
Winner: Kylie Rae
Bravo climbs in the rap to check on Rosemary. She says she thought he left. He says he came back. He says he knows what's going on, but he feels torn. He likes Rosemary a lot, but Taya has done a lot for him. If she finds out about them… Rosemary suggests Taya doesn't have to know. Taya starts berating Bravo about not being a good enough lackey. She chases him from the ring. Rosemary says they'll be here as long as it takes.
Karl Anderson talks to Doc Gallows on the phone in the hallway. He says he'll get him out of jail soon. Ace Austin walks out of a doorway and talks trash. Anderson attacks, but Madman Fulton attacks Anderson from behind. They beat him down. Fulton holds Anderson while Austin beats him with a stick. Impact goes to commercials.
Hernandez is complaining about Rhino to Reno Scum. He wants them to help him get his money back from Rhino and he'll give them a cut. His mustache is ridiculous.
Chris Bey comes out, followed by his tag team partner, Rohit Raju. TJP and Fallah Bah come out. Last week, Raju instigated this match in an attempt to ingratiate himself with Bey.
Chris Bey and Rohit Raju vs. TJP and Fallah Bahh
Bey and TJP start things off with a more acrobatic than usual version of the feeling each other out spot. They're pretty evenly matched across multiple exchanges. Bey misses a big dropkick and TJP wrenches his arm. Raju comes in as TJP tags in Fallah Bahh. They take out Raju and send him out of the ring. Chris Bey comes back and gets tossed out too. Impact goes to commercials.
Bahh and TJP are in control over Chris Bey after the break, but not for long. Raju takes out Bahh on the outside and Bey takes control. He tags in Raju who hits some kicks and a quick pin attempt, then starts working TJP's arm. TJP wants the hot tag, but Raju won't let him reach. Well, he can totally reach, but he's not supposed to make the hot tag yet so he pretends he can't. Raju brings him back to his own corner and tags in Bey. Bey hits a big elbow in the corner and slaps on a rest hold. TJP donkey kicks his way out. He hits a tornado DDT on Bey. TJP gets the hot tag as Bey tags in Raju. Bah takes down Raju with shoulder tackles and chops him into the corner. He hits a big splash, but when he goes for another, Raju responds with a knee.
Bey and TJP tag in. TJP hits an inverted atomic drop and a springboard crossbody. TJP hits a suplex and rolls up into a back suplex. He goes to the top, but Raju distracts him. TJP misses a Swanton. Bey hits a spin kick. Raju hits a reverse STO. Bahh breaks up the pin, but Raju shoves him out of the ring. Raju holds TJP as Bey goes for a springboard cutter, but TJP breaks free, shoves Raju out of the ring, and gets an armbar on Bey. Bey taps out.
Winner: TJP and Fallah Bahh
Impact goes to commercials. Afterward, Madison Rayne tells us Havok and Neveah will face Tasha Steelz and Kiera Hogan next week in a No DQ match. Josh Matthews tells us Jordan Grace will face Kimber Lee. And Eddie Edwards will put up the Impact World Championship in an open challenge again. Now, it's time for Rich Swann to speak.
Impact Main Event Promo – Rich Swann
Swann hobbles to the ring on crutches. A very depressed-looking Rich Swann has an announcement to make. With hard work and dedication and heart, love, and support, Swann was able to become a professional wrestler. He was able to look at those naysayers, those doubters, and live his dream. Many of us know that, in January, Swann got one of the most severe injuries in his career, bringing out everything in his ankle and breaking a bunch of bones. When he went to the doctor, they told him he'd be walking with a limp for the rest of his life. Walking with a limp means no more wrestling. So Swann went home and busted his ass as hard as he could, worked as hard as he ever could, to prove that doctor wrong. Months went by. Swann would come to Impact. He got the itch. He could feel himself heeling, getting stronger. He went back to the doctor, who gave him an MRI, and the doctor admitted he might be wrong. Rich was ready to go. It was unbelievable. How did he do it? Heart, willpower, and motivation for Slammiversary.
Swann saw there was a vacant spot for the Impact World Championship match, and he knew he was ready to claim that spot. As soon as he got the okay to go, bam, inserted in the main event. The biggest PPV for Impact: Slammiversary. In that match, Swann gave it his all. He gave it his heart. He pinned Eric Young. And from there he thought he was gonna go on and compete more with Ace Austin and Eddie Edwards, but jealousy and hate ruined that. Eric Young got jealous and the seven months of Swann sitting at home all came back when Young put his leg in the damn chair and stomped it repeatedly. Fast forward, Swann is right back at square one, where he was seven months ago. Right back in that same doctor's office.
And the doctor said, "Rich, this time, it's a little different. If you're to get back in that ring, your life may change. With the injury you have, won't live a normal life if you continue to put your body through what you're putting it through. That brings Swann to his decision. He has to think about his family and his future. He's gonna have to retire. He wants to thank everybody who ever supported him, all the boys in the back, all the girls in the back, who come out every single week, bust their ass, and make the company what it is. He wants to thank the production team and the commentaries, from the bottom of his heart. It's been a good fifteen years and he hopes that he made a lasting impact in this company and this industry. He says, "I love you all."
Josh Matthews calls it heartbreaking. The Impact locker room comes out and pounds on the apron in tribute to Rich Swann. Swann is in tears. The wrestlers applaud. Swann starts to exit the ring with help from The Rascalz. More applause. Eddie Edwards and Willie Mack help him to the floor. They tell Swan they love him. Swann walks up the ramp. Josh Matthews states the obvious, calling it the longest walk in the career of Rich Swann. It's literally taking him twenty minutes to get up the tiny Impctt ramp.
Of course, Eric Young runs out when Swann makes it to the top, knocks him down, and beats him with his own crutches. Then he runs away when the locker room charges. Swann screams in agony. Impact goes off the air.
Hahaha, great ending. I don't mean to laugh, I just love a good old-fashioned heel attack. In truth, that was a fantastic promo by Swann and the attack, even though we all could feel it coming, was also perfect. Swann started by getting everyone invested in his story of personal struggle, overcoming his injury, the excitement of getting a shot at the Impact World Championship. Then he brought up Eric Young and what Young did to him, and what he took away, with appropriate anger. But then he says he has to retire. He slowly walks up the ramp. Then the attack. This is wrestling feud 101 right here, but it was executed perfectly and it's another one of those cases where I really miss the live crowd because they would have been totally hooked by this, and the reaction would have been intense. But alas…
I know it seems crazy to say this when this episode of Impact dedicated a not-insignificant amount of time to something called Wrestle House, but after the silliness last night, Impact was a refreshing example of the fundamentals of wrestling. Good matches, feuds built on the basic concepts of pro wrestling feuds that work, and that excellent, emotional promo to end the show. Impact had a couple of weeks after Slammiversary, which maybe we can attribute to finding their footing with all their roster changes, but they're back on track this week with an episode where I didn't even hate Wrestle House all that much.
This post is part of a multi-part series: Impact Wrestling Report for August 4th, 2020.
- Impact Wrestling 8/4/2020 Report Part 1: Johnny Swinger's Lucky Day
- Impact Wrestling 8/4/2020 Report Part 2: The Agony of Rich Swann