Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over twelve years now and have reviewed over 6,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Date: July 17, 2021
Location: Skyway Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Matt Striker, D’Lo Brown
This show has become the highlight of the Impact Wrestling calendar as I have had a better time with it than Bound For Glory for a long time now. With some luck, that can continue this time around as the show is pretty well stacked. We have the main event of World Champion Kenny Omega defending against Sami Callihan in a No DQ match, plus a few mystery spots to be filled. Let’s get to it.
Pre-Show: Knockouts Tag Team Titles: Fire N Flava vs. Rosemary/Havok
Fire N Flava are defending and commentary talks about how nice it is to have fans back. Havok misses a charge at Steelz to start but is right back with a swinging sitout Rock Bottom for two. Hogan comes in to slap Havok in the face and shout a lot, which goes as well as you might expect. It’s off to Rosemary for a t-bone suplex into the Upside Down, much to the fans’ delight.
Hogan sends Rosemary outside and dances a lot as Striker laughs about knowing one of the debuting wrestlers. Back in and Rosemary finally runs Steelz over to hammer away, only to be taken down for more dancing. Hogan hits a running shoulder in the corner as commentary reminds us that the pay per view starts in about seven minutes. In other words, don’t worry about the chance that this match is going long.
Rosemary avoids a charge and brings in Havok to clean house. Steelz’s running hurricanrana is countered with a buckle bomb but Havok misses a charge into the post. That lets Hogan hit a running kick to the face, leaving Steelz to dive onto Rosemary and Decay at ringside. Rosemary comes back in to distract Hogan, allowing Havok to get back up. The choke doesn’t work on Havok, who pulls Hogan into the Tombstone for the pin and the titles at 8:10.
Rating: C. Perfectly watchable opener here and nothing more than that. What matters here is getting the titles off of Fire N Flava, who have held them quite a while already. Rosemary and Havok might not be the long term solution as champions but it is nice to see someone new getting a shot. Good way to get the crowd warmed up too so well done.
The opening video features Sami Callihan looking off as we see clips of the company’s history. I know Impact is kind of a joke in wrestling, but they do have a rather deep history, including Sami winning the World Title. He wants it back tonight.
X-Division Title: Chris Bey vs. Ace Austin vs. Josh Alexander vs. Trey Miguel vs. Petey Williams vs. Rohit Raju
Alexander is defending in Ultimate X, with commentary saying that wrestling skill has little importance here. It’s a big brawl to start (as it should be) with Bey going for the belt early and getting caught just as fast. Alexander is left alone so Austin comes back in and gets German suplexed. Raju goes up top and jumps for the belt, only to crash down. Bey comes in and hits a big running flip dive back to the floor. Williams follows with the slingshot hurricanrana and Miguel hits some kind of a running DDT.
Raju and Austin go up at the same time until Austin gets shoved down onto the pile for the huge moonsault crash. That leaves Raju to bust out a grappling hook and climbs up, taking WAY longer than it would have had he just gone as usual. Williams makes the save, sending Striker into a more complicated than necessary metaphor about Williams being the foundation of the division. After Williams clears Raju out, here is Bey to take Williams down as well. Bey and Miguel wind up going for the belt at the same time, though Miguel is a lot further away.
An attempt at a hurricanrana doesn’t quite work so Miguel kind of spears Bey down instead to drop everyone. A Tower of Doom is loaded up but they have to stop to prevent Raju from pulling the title down with a hook. Everyone else is down so Raju grabs a chair and tries the hook again, only to get dropkicked down by Miguel. Williams comes back in for a Sharpshooter on Miguel, with Raju adding a Crossface for the tap. That means nothing so Alexander goes up, only to get caught hanging upside down with the belt behind him.
Therefore, Bey is fed up to him for an ankle lock as Alexander is still hanging from the X. It makes no sense but DANG that is an awesome visual. At the same time, Bey chokes Austin, who headlocks Williams, who still has Miguel in the Sharpshooter. Raju lets go and chairs Alexander down to get everyone a needed breather. Austin goes up and tries for the belt but slips a bit, allowing Bey to dive off the top with a cutter to put them both down again. Williams is back up with the Canadian Destroyer on Raju and a running version drops Miguel.
That lets Williams go up but Bey Bey get son Alexander’s shoulder to cut him off…and gets planed with another Canadian Destroyer. Well that worked. Alexander isn’t having any of this Destroyer stuff and gives Williams the C4 to knock him silly. Raju breaks up Alexander and Miguel’s slugout, meaning it’s a Downward Spiral to plant Miguel off of Alexander’s shoulders. That lets Raju go up but Miguel makes the save and takes him down.
Alexander superplexes Miguel down though, meaning he and Bey can go up at the same time. They wind up hanging upside and pull the belt down at the same time, only to have Austin springboard in and…completely crash without grabbing the title. The distraction lets Alexander knock Bey down and retain at 15:46.
Rating: B+. Yeah this was pretty awesome with everyone trying something and a bunch of insane spots. The match isn’t supposed to have much of a story or flow to it and that’s perfectly fine. This is the company’s version of the ladder match and they nailed it here, though I have no idea who takes the title from Alexander at this point. Whoever does is going to let him move up to the main event scene though, as there is nothing left for him to do.
We run down the card, which still does not feel necessary at a pay per view.
Don Callis rants about how unfair it is for Kenny Omega to be put in a No DQ World Title match. Callis goes on about how Omega is great enough to beat Sami Callihan and how he has been around for everything Omega has done. He’ll be here tonight for the One Winged Angel that beats Callihan and then his work here will be done.
We recap Matt Cardona and a mystery partner vs. Brian Myers/Tenille Dashwood. This is really Cardona vs. Myers with the women being added to prevent it from being another singles match.
Matt Cardona/??? vs. Brian Myers/Tenille Dashwood
Oh of course it’s Chelsea Green, which they didn’t actually try to hide in the first place. Sam Beale and Kaleb With A K are here with Myers Dashwood. Green is still in the arm cast but she’s going anyway. It’s a brawl before the bell until we settle down to the guys starting fast. A faceplant staggers Myers and Cardona clotheslines him to the floor. Cardona misses the dropkick through the ropes but clotheslines Kaleb With A K and Beale anyway.
That lets Myers grab a Downward Spiral onto the ramp to knock Cardona silly though and the villains take over. Back in and Dashwood adds some choking, allowing Beale to get in a right hand from the floor. We pause for a heel photo op and Myers slaps on the quickly broken chinlock. Instead Cardona reverses the suplex into the neckbreaker, only to have Dashwood break up a potential tag.
The Roster Cut is cut off by a spear though and it’s off to Green to beat up Dashwood. Green has to stop to slap Myers though and gets neckbreakered over the middle rope. Dashwood tries to hit Cardona low….but hurts her arm because she he is wearing a cup. Said cup goes onto Myers’ face, allowing Green to hit her own Canadian Destroyer. Cardona flip dives onto the guys, leaving Green to hit Dashwood low for a change. A jumping Unprettier gives Green the pin at 5:57.
Rating: D+. Not much to this one, though it wasn’t like the surprise was really supposed to be a surprise. Impact all but flat out said it was going to be Green and she was the only option that would have made sense here. Green is going to be a fine addition to the division, especially if she is going to be working for Ring of Honor at the same time.
We recap W. Morrissey vs. Eddie Edwards. Morrissey is a monster who hurt Edwards’ partner Satoshi Kojima and Edwards is the heart of the company who is standing up to him. That needed a full recap video?
W. Morrissey vs. Eddie Edwards
Eddie isn’t about to be shoved down by a much bigger Morrissey so the slugout is on. A fall away slam sends Edwards flying and it’s already time to choke on the ropes. One heck of a big boot puts Edwards on the floor but he counters another big boot and sends the leg into the post. Back in and Eddie hits a Stunner over the ropes, only to have Morrissey send him hard into the barricade. A reverse curb stomp plants Eddie back inside and there are some forearms to the chest in the ropes.
Eddie manages a suplex and starts chopping away in the corner. They head outside, where Morrissey catches a suicide dive, setting up a chokeslam onto the apron. Morrissey takes him up the ramp but gets backdropped, setting up the Boston Knee Party to rock Morrissey again. Back inside and Morrissey is fine enough to hit a release F5. Morrissey takes him up top for a superplex but gets reversed into a sunset bomb.
Eddie finally has an opening and catches Morrissey with a running knee, plus the Blue Thunder Bomb for two more. Morrissey is back with a kick to the chest for two but a jackknife rollup gives Eddie another two. A missed charge sends Morrissey outside, where he unlaces his boot, allowing him to pull out a chain. One shot to the head rocks Eddie and a powerbomb gives Morrissey the pin at 11:01.
Rating: B-. I’m not surprised that this was good but I’m surprised that Morrissey is working well as a monster. Morrissey did not have the best reputation coming into Impact and it is nice to see him far exceeding what was expected of him. He really is feeling it at the moment and this is a good sign for his future. Beating a former World Champion makes anyone look better and it certainly does with Morrissey.
Moose talks about making mistakes which cost you in the end. It might be driving a hundred miles an hour without your seat belt on or going all in with a bad hand, or it might be asking to face him on the big stage. Chris Sabin made a mistake and tonight he faces the consequences.
We get a vignette for the Drama King, which is the former nickname of Aiden English.
A fan has won a contest to be here and is excited for the rest of the show, but here are Shera and Madman Fulton to interrupt. Cue Scott D’Amore to say normally he would be upset by this, but let’s have a match instead.
FinJuice vs. Shera/Madman Fulton
We start fast with Robinson hammering away on Shera. A hard clothesline drops Robinson but Fulton tags himself in. Arguing ensues and it’s a double flapjack to drop Fulton. Shera is sent outside so an assisted Stunner can put Fulton down for the pin at 1:18. Well that was quick.
We recap Moose vs. Chris Sabin. Moose is a bully who wants to show that he is the big star but Sabin is standing up to him.
Moose vs. Chris Sabin
Sabin starts fast to start and strikes away but gets caught with a running elbow in the corner. That doesn’t seem to make much of a difference as he is right back with some dragon screw legwhips. Moose’s leg is slammed into the apron but he is fine enough to catch Sabin on top. Sabin snaps off another dragon screw legwhip and the Figure Four makes the leg even worse. A grab of the throat gets Moose out and he is right back with Snake Eyes for a breather.
Moose tosses him outside with ease and he sits Sabin on the apron for some loud chops (egads). The third chop is teased but Moose flips off the crowd instead. That wakes Sabin up but Moose knocks him right back down and takes it back inside. Moose rips at Sabin’s face so Sabin bites his way to freedom in a smart move. The fall away slam cuts Sabin back down but he avoids the middle rope moonsault.
Sabin sends him outside for a drive into the barricade and the tornado DDT connects for two back inside. With nothing else working, Sabin goes up top, only to have Moose run the ropes for a super fall away slam with a floatover to land on top of Sabin. They head outside again with Sabin charging into an apron bomb, followed by some swings into the barricade to knock him silly. That’s good for nine but Sabin is right back in with a victory roll for the surprise pin at 11:58.
Rating: B. Now this was about all you could ask for. They knew the story they were telling coming in and then had good execution on the rest of the stuff. They didn’t need to do anything complicated here as Moose is a monster and Sabin was fighting from underneath. The match was well put together and both guys were feeling it. Rather well done.
We recap the pre-show title change.
Rosemary is VERY happy with the title win and says Decay is family. Some things fade away, but eventually, all things decay. DECAY! DECAY! DECAY! I think we got it after the second DECAY.
We recap the Tag Team Title match. Violent By Design have the titles and everyone else wants them, meaning it’s a bunch of four way brawls to set up the title match.
Tag Team Titles: Violent By Design vs. Rich Swann/Willie Mack vs. Good Brothers vs. Fallah Bahh/???
Violent By Design (Joe Doering/Rhino) are defending and Bahh’s mystery partner is….No Way, minus the Jose but with the Conga Line (mainly made up of Swinger’s Palace). Swann and No Way start things off and, after a quick show of respect, they shout a lot. Anderson isn’t having this and tags himself in to run No Way over. Bahh comes in to run Anderson over and drop No Way down onto him for a bonus.
Mack and Swann take No Way’s place for a double back elbow. That doesn’t make much of a difference as Anderson takes Swann into the corner so Gallows can come in and hammer away. The big boot gets two and we’re already in the chinlock. An elbow drop gets two and Anderson comes back in to mock the fans (which must be nice after such a long time). Gallows hits a fall away slam into the corner and more posing ensues.
The beating continues as Anderson grabs a quickly broken chinlock. It’s already back to Gallows, who knocks Bahh and Mack off the apron but misses an elbow. An enziguri puts Anderson down and Swann reluctantly brings No Way back in. House is cleaned, including a lifting Downward Spiral for two on Anderson. The spinebuster cuts that off though and it’s Doering making the save, even wisely dragging Anderson to the corner for the tag.
The slugout with Gallows is on (again) but everyone else comes in to make it a big brawl. Swann is left alone to kick Bahh in the head but Doering comes back in to clothesline No Way for two. It’s back to Rhino but Anderson hits a quick Gun Stun, setting up the Magic Killer to give the Brothers the pin and the titles at 10:34.
Rating: C. You can only get so much out of a match with this many people and so little time. Throw in the debut of No Way being its own thing and the limits are even harder. The Good Brothers winning the titles might not be the most pleasant thing, but it does make the most sense. Violent By Design was fine, Swann and Mack will get the titles eventually, and No Way and Bahh were thrown together. The Good Brothers are a main event team and they should be champions as a result.
We recap Deonna Purrazzo’s reign of amazingness. She has run through everyone in front of her and that means she needs a fresh challenger. It’s mystery opponent time.
An Invicta FC (MMA) champion is here.
Knockouts Title: Deonna Purrazzo vs. ???
Purrazzo is defending against…..Thunder Rosa, who is a heck of a surprise. We get the THUNDER ROSA/VIRTUOSSA dueling chants to start and they lock up hard to no avail. The technical exchange on the mat doesn’t work either and we have our second standoff. Both try armdrags and glare at the other for daring to go for it. Rosa counters a Gory Stretch into a sunset flip for two and Purrazzo isn’t pleased.
Two more quick near falls have Purrazzo backed into the corner, where she sends Rosa to the apron. Purrazzo comes back with Divorce Court to put the arm in trouble, but Rosa’s feet are fine enough to hit a middle rope missile dropkick. A running dropkick in the corner sets up a butterfly suplex for two on Purrazzo, who pulls her into a quickly broken Fujiwara armbar. Purrazzo grabs it again but has to settle for a quick suplex instead.
Rosa comes back with an AA for a delayed two, followed by a top rope double stomp to the back (EGADS) for the same. They slug it out and trade kicks to the head until Purrazzo grabs a victory roll for two. Back up and Purrazzo knocks her down again, setting up the Queen’s Gambit (cradle piledriver) to retain at 10:47.
Rating: C+. This felt like it was becoming a great match but it didn’t get the chance to go that far. What we got worked but there is a good chance that this was a one off for Rosa. It was smart to get one of the biggest available names for Purrazzo rather than going with what would have felt like a predictable (yet good) Mickie James match. Nice stuff here, but it could have been better with more time.
Post match Mickie James is back to a big WELCOME BACK chant (and Striker saying “THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOU HAVE DONE FOR PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING” because he has to be a pest every time). Purrazzo says this is her division, but Mickie invites her to NWA Empower (their version of Evolution). Purrazzo: “Why don’t you do everyone a favor and grab your trash bag and go home?” Mickie kicks her in the head to send Purrazzo running.
Bound For Glory is October 23 in Las Vegas, featuring wrestlers from New Japan, AAA and more.
We get a long video on Kenny Omega defending the World Title against Sami Callihan. Omega is the evil champion but Callihan is taking away the rules, which scares Omega and Don Callis. Impact is sick of Callis and Omega and are allowing the crazy Callihan to have a shot. Callihan is ready to make this a violent fight and the match is No DQ.
Impact Wrestling World Title: Kenny Omega vs. Sami Callihan
Omega, with Don Callis, is defending and it is No DQ. Callis lists off Omega’s greatness, including saying he is the King of the Deathmatch and better than Terry Funk. Callihan jumps Omega to start and hits the Cactus Special for an early two. As Callis joins commentary, Callihan sends in a bunch of chairs but Omega blocks a fork to the head. Omega’s sunset flip is blocked and Callihan busts out a pizza cutter to slice Omega open.
Another rake across the head makes it even worse and a Death Valley Driver sends Omega outside. Callihan follows but gets caught with a trashcan to the head, allowing Omega to grab some weapons of his own. More shots put Callihan down and the moonsault with a trashcan onto the leg keeps him in trouble. The chair is wedged in the corner so Omega loads up….the One Winged Angel, which is countered into a rollup. The kickout sends Callihan head first into the chair though and he’s busted open too.
Omega grabs a fork to stab the head, as well as the inside of the mouth. They head outside with Callihan chopping the post, meaning Omega can load up the table. The Snapdragon off the apron is broken up, as is the piledriver from the apron. Instead, Callihan piledrives him through the table and throws in a piece of plywood. A trashcan to the head rocks Omega again and a side slam onto the top of the open can makes it worse.
Callihan sends him hard through the board in the corner for two and it’s time for a chair wrapped in barbed wire (Callis: “Never would have happened when I ran this place!”). Omega manages a V Trigger though and another one gets two. A bunch of stuff is piled up in the middle of the ring and Omega hits a superplex through all of it. Another V Trigger sets up a failed One Winged Angel attempt and Callihan Tombstones him onto the barbed wire chair for two.
Omega rolls outside and throws salt in Callihan’s eyes, causing Callihan to take the referee out. The blind Callihan gets belt shotted and piledriven but there is no referee. Cue the Good Brothers but Eddie Edwards and Chris Sabin cut them off. Callihan hits a package piledriver for two so it’s time for the bag of thumbtacks. Callis gets up for a distraction so Omega can throw tacks in Callihan’s eyes. Another V Trigger connects, followed by another V Trigger with tacks on the knee. Omega puts the tacks in Callihan’s mouth for another V Trigger and the One Winged Angel onto the tacks retains the title at 27:33.
Rating: B. I’m never sure what to give something like this but the violence was good, as it was supposed to be. The match didn’t feel like the nearly half an hour it got, but the V Triggers and the easy kickoff off the Tombstone onto the chair were a bit much. I liked what we got and while there wasn’t much drama, I’m not sure how much there could be in something like this.
Post match the lights go out and we’ve got New Japan’s Jay White (Bullet Club leader) to stare down Omega. Striker: “Social media is exploding right now!” Omega and the Good Brothers throw up Too Sweet as FinJuice runs out…and the show ends. White would beat down David Finlay and leave to end the night.
Overall Rating: B+. I tend to say this every time but it tends to be the case every time: Impact is at its best when it focuses on the in-ring product instead of everything else going on. This has been the case for a long time now and it is not a bad thing. They can make this stuff work well as they did here and they have some momentum going forward into the new TV cycle. Keep this up and they might be able to get somewhere, though I have no reason to believe it will last. Heck of a show here and worth a look if you have the chance.
Josh Alexander won Ultimate X – Alexander pulled down the title
Matt Cardona/Chelsea Green b. Brian Myers/Tenille Dashwood – Unprettier to Dashwood
W. Morrissey b. Eddie Edwards – Powerbomb
FinJuice b. Shera/Madman Fulton – Assisted Stunner to Fulton
Chris Sabin b. Moose – Victory roll
Good Brothers b. Fallah Bahh/No Way, Rich Swann/Willie Mack and Violent By Design – Magic Killer to Rhino
Deonna Purrazzo b. Thunder Rosa – Queen’s Gambit
Kenny Omega b. Sami Callihan – One Winged Angel onto thumbtacks
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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