This week on Impact Wrestling, the Impact World Championship Contenders Tournament Finals close the show as Ace Austin and Trey Miguel look to relive their rivalry in the main event! Plus, new Impact World Tag Team Championship contenders are crowned. All that and more on this week’s edition of Impact Wrestling!
We are on tape from the Skyway Studios in Nashville, Tenn. Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne have the call for this week.
Kylie Rae & Susie vs. Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz
Steelz starts with Kylie. Arm wrenches are exchanged and Steelz snaps Kylie down. Susie waves at Kylie is confused when she gets tagged. Steelz taunts Susie until Susie slaps her. Hogan tags in and Susie and Kylie hit a double-team bulldog for a nearfall. Hogan worked in the corner, but she dives and tags in Steelz. Steelz shoves Susie for not shaking her hand and Hogan pulls Susie down by her hair. Susie isolated and worked down by Hogan and Steelz. Susie hits a hair bulldog to start the comeback and she gets Kylie’s bow back from Steelz to bring Kylie in for the hot tag. Kylie Special and superkick nearfall on Hogan. Susie in, but she gets superkicked and set up top. Kylie taken out and Steelz with a Frankensteiner to set up Hogan’s fisherman’s neckbreaker.
Winner by pinfall: Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz
Rating: 2.75 out of 5 stars
A really solid opener. Steelz and Susie worked really well together as characters, while Kylie Rae and Hogan carried the bulk of the work. Everyone looked great in a fun start.
Gia Miller with Ace Austin and Austin interrupts her to say that he is the type who only looks to the future. Austin’s future is becoming the number one contender tonight. Self-Proclaimed TNA World Heavyweight Champion Moose interrupts to tell Austin how prestigious the title he has is, saying men like Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam, and Sting had this title. Moose says if Austin wins tonight, he shouldn’t go after a second-rate title like the Impact World Championship. Moose tells him to come after the TNA World Heavyweight Championship and Austin says maybe he will.
Joseph P. Ryan (w/Dave & Jake Crist) vs. Crazzy Steve
Ryan punches Steve after Steve reaches for his manhood. Steve comes back with clotheslines and a big boot for a nearfall. Ryan drops Steve and works him in the corner. Ryan works Steve down, but Steve with a back body drop. Steve strikes back up. Ryan tries a punch and Steve bites the hand. Schoolboy into the bottom turnbuckle lands and Steve with a cannonball. The Crists get involved and Ryan hits a superkick.
Winner by pinfall: Joseph P. Ryan
Rating: 1.75 out of 5 stars
Garden variety stuff here with a finish you could see coming from miles away. Ryan’s character hasn’t really taken off and Steve just feels like a warm body booked during an emergency.
Post-match, Ryan asks if Jake and Dave Crist want to join #CancelCulture. Ryan needs a signal of virtue from Jake and to put #CancelCulture above everything else. Dave Crist begs off, but Jake Crist hits him with a spinning wheel kick to knock him out.
Rohit Raju vs. Chase Stevens
Raju clubs Stevens down to start. Stevens punches back, but Raju trips him up for a big boot that gets a nearfall. Stevens gets a short-armed clothesline for a nearfall and a suplex follows for another. Raju counters with a side Russian legsweep for a nearfall. Raju works Stevens down and hits a Flatliner for a nearfall. Raju tells Stevens the spotlight belongs to him and Stevens fires up to hit a scissors kick for a nearfall. Raju plays like Stevens hit him low and pulls the referee in front of him for a break. Raju hits a flying knee and a double stomp off the top.
Winner by pinfall: Rohit Raju
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
The booking here was the right idea, though Raju has never really been that spectacular in the ring and might just need a push out of necessity with what they have to work with. If they are feeding him to Rhino, then what are we really doing here?
Post-match, Rhino hits Raju with a Gore.
Gia Miller with Havok and Nevaeh. Miller asks what brought her to Impact and Nevaeh says Havok has been her friend for years and she has been watching from the shadows for Father James Mitchell. Nevaeh says the team of her and Havok has arrived.
Madison Rayne and Johnny Swinger host “Locker Room Talk” with Chris Bey. Swinger keeps answering Rayne’s questions for Bey and talking him up as his new tag partner and future champion. Swinger says they can be The Finesse and Bench Press Express and beat up Impact X Division Champion Willie “Mark” and Jake “Ham-and-Egger who looks like he should be chasing Burt Reynolds through the woods.” Bey says Swinger can help him beat Willie Mack.
Rayne and Swinger really grow on me in these segments, where I otherwise consider them low points of the show. Rayne’s dirty looks when she gets annoyed with Swinger hamming it up somehow make this all work.
Impact Plus Flashback Moment of the Week features Impact World Champion Drew Galloway losing to Bobby Lashley at TNA Slammiversary 2016.
Jimmy Jacbos with returning Impact Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace and she says she has been scouting all the new talent in the Knockouts division. Taya Valkyrie interrupts and fancies seeing Grace here. Jacobs says this is the first time we have seen Valkyrie in a month and Valkyrie says she would have never taken time off as Impact Knockouts Champion. Grace says she owes Valkyrie a title shot and challenges her tonight. Valkyrie says her schedule is super full tonight and it won’t work out. Grace says next week sounds great and Valkyrie screams for John E. Bravo.
Tag Team Contenders Match: The Rascalz (Dez & Wentz) vs. Fallah Bahh & TJP
The teams look to shake hands before the match, but Bahh gives the “no, no, no!” and elbow bumps are exchanged instead after Bahh tells them to wash their hands. Bahh lifts TJP behind him and tells TJP that he is starting the match.
Dez and Bahh start and Dez can’t move him on a takedown attempt. Bahh flips out and away from Dez and Dez almost lands a handspring kick. Reset brings in TJP and Wentz. Wentz gets TJP down, but TJP answers with a dropkick. The Rascalz double up on TJP and work him in the corner. Bahh runs in and crossbodies Dez. Bahh and TJP double-team gets a nearfall. TJP gets isolated for kicks by The Rascalz and a double stomp gets a nearfall for Dez. TJP worked on the Rascalz half of the ring. TJP evades out of the corner with a tornado DDT on Wentz. Bahh in on the hot tag with chops to Dez. Dez thrown like a lawn dart into Wentz and Bahh with a Samoan Drop on Dez for a nearfall. Double-team splash from TJP and Bahh gets a nearfall. Dragon screw lands on Dez for TJP. Dez strikes back for a cutter. Wentz in on the hot tag for the comeback. Catapult superkick and double-stomp gets a nearfall as Bahh makes the save. Bahh takes out both Rascalz to give TJP a frog splash. Dez gets the knees up and they exchange small packages before both teammates break it up.
TJP takes out Wentz and a handspring kick from Dez caught for a TJP keenbar and heel hook combo. TJP keeps dragging him back to the center of the ring Dez stands up and Wentz shoves him down, where Dez falls back into a bridge on top of TJP.
Winners by pinfall: The Rascalz
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Incredible tag contender match with the expected great in-ring work from TJP and The Rascalz. Bahh was a surprise as it looks like he has reached his peak in the ring and is in real control of the character, as well as being able to move around and display his athleticism. With everyone at their best, this will be hard to beat.
Post-match, the two teams hug it out.
Video package for “The Virtuosa” Deonna Purrazzo, coming next week.
Rosemary on a date with John E. Bravo and she tries to get him to take a bite of an apple to join her hive. Bravo says people put razor blades in those things and Rosemary unzips her top a little to encourage him. Bravo moves in, but gets a call from Taya Valkyrie about needing food and bails after telling Rosemary he had a great time.
Rosemary might be one of Impact’s most versatile performers because she fits hand-in-glove in this new comedic character as she tries to seduce the ultimate goofball.
“Unbreakable” Michael Elgin threatens the sound man and tells him to play his music. Elgin says it has been constant since he came to Impact Wrestling and he says he has been the rightful Impact World Champion for over a year. Elgin says he beat himself by letting Sami Callihan distract him last week.
Callihan’s ICU cuts the feed, but stops. Elgin says Callihan is nowhere to be found because he can’t get it done against him. Elgin says the first person to step through the curtain has to deal with him and he won’t leave the ring until he is declared Impact World Champion. Ken Shamrock hits the ring and the two brawl. Shamrock lands knees to the body that drop Elgin. Elgin leaves before Shamrock can lock in the Ankle Lock.
Elgin made Shamrock look great here and Shamrock has really stepped it up since the Callihan feud. This was a good return for Shamrock and actually made you want to see the match.
Ace Austin makes his way out for the Impact World Championship Contenders Tournament Finals, but The Rascalz find Trey Miguel laid out backstage. Austin says that it looks bad and he says everyone is being deprived of a five-star match, but he has to be declared the number one contender. Wentz storms out and referees have to hold him back. Impact Wrestling Executive Vice President Scott D’Amore comes out and says if Austin wants to be number one contender, we have a match.
Impact World Championship Contenders Tournament Finals: Ace Austin vs. Wentz
Wentz with a shotgun dropkick into the corner and a driver gets a close nearfall on Austin. Wentz loses his mind with ground-and-pound. Wentz drops Austin in the corner and lands a superkick. Wentz continues to pummel Austin as we break.
Austin gets tripped up by Wentz on the apron as he tries a superkick. Austin chokes Wentz outside and works Wentz down. Wentz fights up, but gets dropped onto the ramp by Austin. Austin tries to bring Wentz back in, but Wentz with knees. Austin sends Wentz into the barricade and stomps his hand into the steel steps. Austin tackles Wentz into the barricade. Wentz comes back by throwing Austin into the barricade and stomps him down. Wentz jumps off the steps and comes down into a spinning hook kick from Austin as we break.
Wentz kicks out of the corner, but gets hit with a slam from Austin for a nearfall. Austin works Wentz down around the ring. Austin gets his card out and slices the fingers of Wentz with it. Wentz strikes back, but Austin pulls him down by his hair. Wentz comes back with a springboard knee that puts both down. Wentz with a striking combo for the comeback. Wentz hits another knee and a spinning half-nelson slam gets Wentz a nearfall. A slap drops Austin. Austin with a small package nearfall, but Wentz with a superkick nearfall. Swanton lands on the knees of Austin. Austin spikes the head of Wentz into the mat and The Fold lands.
Winner by pinfall: Ace Austin
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
While the booking here was way out of left field, it delivered as you’d expect in the ring. Wentz being angry to kick it off added to it a little more, but not sure what the motivation would be.
A video package for Slammiversary 2020 closes the show which shows a former Impact wrestler watching his TV as it recaps all the former Impact stars released during the pandemic.
This was a good video package as far as intrigue, though it’s kind of a risky move to advertise a whole batch of WWE recent releases as a potential star for Slammiversary. Then again, unprecedented times!
Impact Wrestling: April 2, 2020
Skyway Studios, Nashville, Tenn.
Featuring two great contenders matches and some good comedy segments , this episode really hummed along, though Impact’s booking inconsistencies can show up in major ways during these shows.