Oh yeah they do pay per views around here. Impact is in a promising place for a change as they move to AXS TV later this month and have one big show to get through first. There are some good looking matches on the card and that means the show should work. This company’s pay per views have a tendency to be pretty good and this is their biggest of the year so hopefully the trend holds. Let’s get to it.

Rascalz vs. Dr. Wagner Jr./Aero Star/Taurus

This is one of those matches that should follow a pretty logical path but you never can tell with this company. The idea here is simple: take an Impact trip and have them face three luchadors, but it might not be as obvious as it seems. The Rascalz lost a trios match last week on Impact, so would it be that crazy to see it happen again? Given the amount of international guest stars this show has, they certainly seem to be important around here.

The confidence seems a bit low here:

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I’ll take the luchadors to win here as I really do think Impact would rather use them as jobbers for the three international stars. What this does for Impact going forward isn’t clear, but I guess they don’t think their shows will work people from outside the company to make them watchable. That has been the case around here for far too long and it seems to be the case here, as the Rascalz lose.

Call Your Shot Gauntlet Match

So this is a match where the winner gets the title shot of their choosing. That’s a fine idea, but there is one problem here: it isn’t clear who all is in the match. We know a few names though and that should be enough to make some sense of the thing. The problem though is there is always the chance of some kind of a surprise twist, which won’t make a lot of sense but they’ll go with it anyway.

A battle royal to set up a battle royal:

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I’ll take Tessa Blanchard to win here as it still seems that Impact wants her to be World Champion. She clearly still has issues with OVE and that means putting her against Sami Callihan and the newly won World Title. It’s the kind of thing that they seem to want to go for and while it wouldn’t be the biggest stretch, it might be too much too soon. I can see the thinking there though and I’ll go with that over some wild card winner, which is equally possible.

Ken Shamrock vs. Moose

So yeah, this is something that is taking place too, because we need that seventeen year old nostalgia for someone who was in the company for….what a few months or so? I’m not sure how bad this is going to be but there is a chance of VERY bad, which is about what you have to expect at this point from Shamrock. He has wrestled a handful of matches this year so he won’t be entirely rusty, but this still has the potential to be a terrible result.

I hope he’s ready:

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For the sake of my sanity, I’ll go with Moose winning, because Shamrock should only be here for the sake of putting him over. I’m not sure how much value there is in that or why it needs to take place on the biggest show of the year, but it could be passable if they keep it to about five minutes. This doesn’t come off as a good idea, but as long as they avoid disaster, fine enough.

Tag Team Titles: The North(c) vs. Rich Swann/Willie Mack vs. Rob Van Dam/Rhino

Much like Moose vs. Shamrock, this is a case where they’ll be fine if they don’t do something stupid. I really wasn’t feeling the idea of Van Dam and Rhino getting a title shot but as long as they don’t walk out as champions, it really doesn’t hurt anything. The North have turned into a treat and one of the better tag teams going today, which I never would have bet when they first showed up.

They’re already fighting:

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You could go in two different directions here but the more I think about it, the more I think the North retains. Swann and Mack winning would make for a better moment, but I don’t think that’s where they are going. The match should be entertaining and you can have the ECW guys get in their stuff in the right spots. Put this together well and you could have a heck of a supporting match on your hands.

X-Division Title: Jake Crist(c) vs. Daga vs. Tessa Blanchard vs. Rohit Raju vs. Sabu vs. Ace Austin

This is a ladder match and WHAT THE HECK DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS ONE??? Of all the people in the world, we need Raju and Sabu in this thing? Was there any need to have those two in here instead of just going with the other four and having a fun match as a result? Sabu will likely get in his big dive and the people can chant ECW and hopefully he doesn’t die. Now with the nostalgia out of the way, we can move on to something else.

This screams bad idea:

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I think I’ll go with Austin here, as he is someone they seem intent on pushing. Give him the title so they can continue the Edwards vs. Austin feud for the title, if nothing else so we can get more Austin creepiness. It’s either going to be him or Crist, as I don’t want to see Blanchard win the title like this. If they want to make her a big deal, a future pinfall makes a lot more sense than having her win a ladder match, which can come off as luck more than skill.

Knockouts Title: Taya Valkyrie(c) vs. Tenille Dashwood

I’m really not sure what to expect with this one as Valkyrie has held the title for a long time but I can’t picture Dashwood being the one to take it from her. Dashwood is the kind of star who should be the big breakout deal but ever since her debut outside of WWE, the spark just hasn’t been there and I’m not sure they’ll make her champion here.

Monsters and challengers afoot:

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So yeah I’ll go with Valkyrie retaining, but I don’t think she’s going to keep the title that much longer. There are a lot of Knockouts stories going on in Impact at the moment and they don’t all have to do with the title. Havok seems to be next in line and I don’t think Valkyrie gets by her. Dashwood can be awesome, but she seems to be living off of her reputation at the moment and that isn’t great.

Michael Elgin vs. Naomichi Marufuji

It’s another guest star here as Marufuji is a big deal in Pro Wrestling Noah and since Elgin has a long career in Japan, this is what we’re getting. The match is likely to be very good, though it brings up the most common problem with this kind of match: why should I care about Marufuchi? Other than “he’s from Japan”, there isn’t much to go on with him here and it shows badly.

This could be a heck of a fight:

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There is no reason to go against Elgin here as Marufuji is only here to put him over. The match is likely to be hard hitting and entertaining, but I just can’t imagine anything other than an Elgin Bomb for the pin. Elgin came into Impact red hot and has cooled down a bit, but he should be fine enough to get the win here. If nothing else, he’s the one sticking around and why have him lose otherwise?

Impact Wrestling World Title: Brian Cage(c) vs. Sami Callihan

Now this one is actually intriguing as the story of Callihan attacking Cage’s new wife is something that has some legs to it. Cage is a physical freak and should be able to destroy Callihan, but with the OVE lackeys and Cage being so furious, maybe they can pull off some kind of a surprise here. If nothing else, it’s nice to see Cage actually defend the belt after he won it six months ago.

It’s going to get very ugly:

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That being said, I think I’ll go with Callihan winning here. They’re setting up the Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude formula from Summerslam 1990 as Callihan has defeated Cage before, but this time around I think Callihan takes the title. Cage has barely done anything with it due to injuries and scheduling issues, so giving it to Callihan, who has been built up for a long time, makes a lot of sense.

Overall Thoughts

There really are a lot of guest stars on this show and I’m not seeing that as a good sign for the future. It’s like they don’t believe in their own talent enough and that isn’t exactly encouraging. What matters here though is getting a good show out there so we can move into the AXS TV era on a high note, and there is a good reason to believe that they could pull it off. Things will have to go right in a very specific way, but there is a path here and that’s as good as anything else. I’m curious about this one and that hasn’t been the case with Impact for a long time.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. His latest book is KB’s Complete 2004 Monday Night Raw Reviews.

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