This week’s episode of Impact accomplished a few things: as a standalone episode, it delivered with some strong matches; it helped move forward several ongoing storylines quite effectively; and it helped build anticipation for the upcoming Against All Odds special.

But as good as it was, the feeling coming out of it wasn’t necessarily how good this episode was – but rather how good next week’s “BTI” free pre-show will be, since that is where they (bizarrely) have chosen to showcase what could very well be one of the best matches of the year, a 60-minute Iron Man match between TJP and the X-Division Champion Josh Alexander. But, since we have a week to go before that one, let’s go through what happened tonight.

The show kicked off with a video recapping last week’s show when Rhino cashed in this Call Your Shot trophy, which he won in the Bound For Glory Battle Royal, leading to he and his Violent By Design partner Joe Doering beating FinJuice to win the Tag Team Championship. A VBD promo followed in which Eric Young said the win was “by design.”

Sami Callihan came to the ring and said that the Good Brothers cost him the number one contendership when they interfered in his match at Under Siege, because they knew their buddy Kenny Omega would not have a plan for Callihan. He called out Omega to face him right then and there. But it wasn’t Omega who appeared, but rather Moose, who ended up winning that match. Moose told Sami to stand back and stand by, because until Against All Odds, Omega is Moose’s problem, and Moose’s alone. Sami said that the Good Brothers and Don Callis are more worried about him as a threat to Omega than they are Moose. This brought out the Good Brothers, who tried to sidle up to Moose. Moose wasn’t buying what they were selling, and fisticuffs ensued.


After the Good Brothers were dispatched by Moose and Sami, they ran into Don Callis backstage and were irate at what had happened. Callis asserted his authority as one of the company’s Executive Vice-Presidents, and made a match for later: the Good Brothers vs. Sami and Moose.

Returning from the commercial break, Gia Miller asked Don Callis if the match was official, and he confirmed it. Scott D’Amore came up to him, commenting on how unusual it was for Callis to get involved in pretty much anything. He was further surprised to hear Callis say that he had to go get Kenny Omega ready, since Omega wasn’t scheduled to do anything tonight to Scott’s knowledge.


Match 1: TJP and Fallah Bahh vs. Petey Williams and Josh Alexander

The Canucks had some difficulties with Bahh’s size and bad comedy, but were able to turn things around after some miscommunication between Bahh and TJP. They gained control over Bahh with a nice double-team Body Press, and maintained that control through a commercial break. Bahh eventually was able to come back, after sitting down hard on Josh’s chest, squishing the X-Division Champ.


A fresh TJP was tagged in, and he took over, using his speed for a hit-and-run attack. He eventually fell victim to a double-team attack, but Bahh saved him from defeat. Bahh and TJP fought back, dispatched Petey, and then hit Alexander with a Samoan Drop / Mamba Splash combo to get the win in what has to be considered an upset.

This was a good match. TJP pinning Alexander should put him in line for a title match against Alexander, and that has the potential to be great. Here’s hoping.

Winners: TJP and Fallah Bahh

Backstage, Gia Miller held a sit-down interview with W. Morrissey. Morrissey was foul and bitter, and he railed against phoniness in the business, people who pretend to care but really don’t, fans who say they appreciate him but didn’t support him when he was off-camera. He criticized Rich Swann and Willie Mack and said that their friendship is false, and that both of them are uncaring and phony. He finished his comments and stared angrily into the camera, and then got blind-sided by a Superkick by Swann. The two of them brawled until security pulled them apart. Very good promo by Morrissey.

A video aired, hyping the Knockouts Division, with comments from several of them and Gail Kim. After that, Gia interviewed Rachael Ellering, Tenille Dashwood and Kaleb, Rosemary, and Havok in advance of their match. Taylor Wilde wasn’t there, so Kaleb suggested they find a replacement. Rachael suggested Jordynne Grace, who seemed peeved that she was only seen as a substitute.


Match 2: Fire N Flava (Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz), Deonna Purrazzo, Kimber Lee, and Susan vs. Rachel Ellering, Jordnne Grace, Havok, Rosemary, and Tenille Dashwood (w/ Kaleb)

Early on, the babyfaces shone, easily outwrestling their opponents. Some mistiming by Ellering and Grace led to Grace being trapped in the wrong part of town, and during the commercial break, she was beaten down by pretty much every member of the opposing team. Grace wouldn’t give up, though, and eventually was able to return to her corner and get the tag to Rosemary. She turned things up a notch until Fire N Flava used some sneaky tactics.

The referee lost all control after this, and things picked up. Havok hit a Tower of Doom spot.


Later, Fire N Flava pushed Grace onto Ellering who was covering Purrazzo at the time, so it broke up the pin. Susan threw a shoe at Havok but she missed and hit Fire N Flava instead, leading to a brawl between partners and Fire N Flava fought with Lee and Susan. This left Purrazzo alone in the ring, and she fell to a Demon Drop by Rosemary and got pinned.

This was fine, with lots of stories happening here, including a potential title feud between Fire N Flava and Lee/Susan. Having two champions get pinned in tag matches to set up a number one contender is a bit of a familiar trope, and not sure that having the heel champ succumb to a 5-on-1 situation is the best way to garner sympathy for the babyface – but since Rosemary is an evil demon, it’s a bit forgiveable here. I like the slow, teasing buildup of a Grace-Ellering breakup. With all of these stories going on, could this be leading to a future Knockouts-Only special on Impact Plus?

Winners: Havok, Jordynne Grace, Tenille Dashwood, Rachael Ellering, and Rosemary

The Flashback Moment of the Week was from 2016, when Eric Young won the King of the Mountain Championship, stealing a pin over Bobby Roode in glorious fashion.

Backstage, Josh Alexander made no excuses for being pinned by TJP in their earlier match. TJP came up to him and said that Alexander should give him a title match, and Alexander told him that their history of matches would suggest TJP can’t beat him in a one-on-one contest. Scott D’Amore came up to them and told them that he could watch those two wrestle all night long. Or at least for an hour – and he booked a 60-Minute Iron Man match for them, which will take up the entirety of next week’s BTI pre-show.

The thinking behind this is is bizarre. This could easily have been saved for Against All Odds or even a PPV – something to monetize this, instead of showing it on a free pre-show. This has Match of the Year candidate written all over it. Giving it away just seems like a wasted opportunity.

They showed a video, running down the lengthy friendship between Rohit Raju and Jake Something, and how it has evolved into enmity. They will have a Tables match next week. This was really effective, and made this seem like a big deal.


Violent By Design came to the ring.  Eric Young said that they use violence to their advantage. He ran down the history of how he found his members: he brought in Joe Doering after seeing how Doering had cut a swathe of violence throughout Japan the likes of which will never be seen again; he allowed Deaner to join to become his true self; and he helped resurrect Rhino’s killer instinct. And that was all done “by design.” And that their plan to dethrone FinJuice for the Tag Team Championship was “by design.” He said they will dominate the wrestling world, including Mexico, Europe, and Japan.

The lights went out, and Satoshi Kojima came out. He walked down the ramp and into the ring, where he went face-to-face against Joe Doering. The commentators noted the history between these two in All Japan Wrestling. Apparently that history will resurface, based on the fact that Kojima looked into Doering’s eyes and said only three words: “Against. All. Odds.” It looks like they will be in action against one another at that show.


The presentation of this was simple but very good. Even if you’re not familiar with Kojima, Doering has been booked so strong that presenting Kojima as a strong opponent for him makes the match seem big-time marquee.

They showed Brian Myers’ attack on Matt Cardona from last week. Gia Miller interviewed the company’s in-house orthopedic surgeon Dr. Ross (his nametag read “Dr. E. Forman”, so presumably his name is actually ERoss, but the “e” is silent), who said that the attack resulted in a broken orbital bone for Cardona, putting him out of action for 12 weeks. Myers barged in and said that 12 weeks wasn’t enough, he wanted to take Cardona out for good. Sam Beale happened to walk in during Myers’ ranting, and Myers said he was going to teach Beale how to be professional.

Backstage, VBD were cutting a promo. Doering had just accepted Kojima’s challenge when Crazzy Steve and Black Taurus walked into the shot, as they were trying to make their way to the ring for a match. Deaner and Steve had words.


Match 3: Decay (Crazzy Steve and Black Taurus) vs. Johnny Swinger and Hernandez (w/ Alisha Edwards)

Decay pretty much dominated Swinger, but Hernandez was the equalizer, using his strength to great effect. There was some comedy with Swinger, which was pretty funny. In the end, Swinger tried to put Steve away with a Piledriver, but Steve reversed it into a Back Body Drop. Steve then hit Swinger with a Flying DDT for the pin.

This was short and pretty much a squash. Which is fine, because it works with these characters – Swinger is pretty much comedy these days. I’d like to actually see Taurus and Hernandez have a real match at some point, because physically they could probably match up well.

Winners: Decay

Backstage, cameras caught Don Callis instructing the Good Brothers to drive a wedge between Sami and Moose. Callis said that he trusted them to make it happen, so he didn’t even need to watch the match.


Match 4: Moose and Sami Callihan vs. the Good Brothers

The story of this one was that Sami and Moose weren’t able to work well together. They would blind tag themselves in and argue with each other. In one moment early on, Moose picked up Sami and slammed him onto one of the Brothers, which Sami didn’t appreciate.


Later on, Sami and Moose escalated their tension by chopping one another in order to tag in. The Good Brothers capitalized on this, and were able to isolate Sami in their corner and put the hurt on him for several minutes. Sami was finally able to escape and make the tag to Moose who blasted both Brothers, rocking them with power moves and even some aerial assaults like a beautiful run up the corner to hit Gallows with a Moonsault. Just when it looked like Moose was going to end things, Sami tagged himself in. The two of them argued and started shoving each other, which eventually ended up with them hitting big Pump Kicks on one another. Moose had enough of that noise, and left Sami to get double-teamed by the Brothers, who put Sami down with the Magic Killer. After the match, Moose hit Sami with the Light Out (Spear), and then warned Sami to stay out of his business.

This was more of an angle than a match, but it worked well at telling the story they were going for. Moose really can do some impressive things, and his eventual match with Kenny Omega has potential to be a career highlight for Moose.

Winners: the Good Brothers



Impact Wrestling - May 27, 2021

Skyway Studios - Nashville, TN

Overall, this episode was solid, with solid in-ring action and strong advancement of storylines. If it suffered anywhere, it’s because after next week’s Iron Man match was announced, this reviewer couldn’t help compare everything on this show to how good he thinks next week’s BTI will be. An unfair way to assess this week’s episode, to be fair, but what are you gonna do?