Date: May 12, 2022
Location: Promowest Pavilion, Newport, Kentucky
Commentators: Tom Hannifan, Matthew Rehwoldt
We’re done with Under Siege and that means we need a new #1 contender. Josh Alexander successfully defended the World Title against Tomohiro Ishii so now it’s time for something new. That means the return of the Gauntlet For The Gold, a huge gauntlet match, to crown a new #1 contender. Let’s get to it.
Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt are in the ring to hype up the Gauntlet For The Gold.
Video on Gauntlet For The Gold.
Ultimate X Qualifying Match: Chris Bey vs. Kenny King
The winner is in the Ultimate X X-Division Title match at Slammiversary and Maria Kanellis-Bennett is on commentary. King takes him down with a headlock to start but gets armdragged into an armbar. A dropkick puts King on the floor, where he gets knocked down again for a bonus. Back in and King hits some running knees in the corner for two, followed by a snap powerslam for the same.
The neck crank goes on for a bit before King misses a springboard spinning legdrop. Bey’s torture rack neckbreaker gets two but King grabs the Chin Checker into the tiger driver for two. That has Maria VERY fired up and in full cheerleader mode but Bey cuts her off with a slingshot DDT for two of his own. Standing Sliced Bread plants King and Bey goes up, only to have Maria offer a distraction. The Royal Flush sends King to Slammiversary at 8:35.
Rating: C+. Good choice for an opener here as there was almost no way that this wasn’t going to work. King is someone with enough of a resume around here that he is going to tie into the history and feel like a viable challenger so the win is a good idea. Bey losing is a bit weird, but maybe he can get back in there some other way.
Gisele Shaw and Alisha Edwards don’t seem to get along before their Knockouts Tag Team Title shot. Yes, another thrown together team.
Knockouts Tag Team Titles: Influence vs. Alisha Edwards/Gisele Shaw
Edwards and Shaw are challenging and it’s Edwards rolling Rayne up for some near falls to start. Everything breaks down early and stereo Thesz presses have the champs in trouble as we take a break. Back with Edwards beating on Dashwood until a Rayne distraction cuts her off.
Dashwood grabs a neckbreaker for two and the champs take turns choking in the corner. Rayne’s neckbreaker gets two of her own but Edwards gets over for the hot tag to Edwards without much trouble. House is cleaned, including a spear for two on Shaw. Edwards tags herself back in though and it’s the double Stroke to retain the titles at 11:07.
Rating: C-. With the IInspiration gone, I continue to not exactly see the need for these titles to exist. Until some more teams are built up, they are glorified vanity trophies for the Influence and no one else. As usual, there just isn’t that much depth to support them and it shows more and more every time they get to face another thrown together tag team.
Violent By Design promises to get the Tag Team Titles back next week. For tonight though, Eric Young is winning the Gauntlet For The Gold.
Here is Gail Kim for a chat. She is excited about the 20th anniversary Slammiversary, which means we need something historic. This time around that is going to mean the first ever Queen Of The Mountain match. The five names participating are Tasha Steelz, Chelsea Green, Jordynne Grace, Deonna Purrazzo and….here are Steelz and Savannah Evans to interrupt.
Steelz can’t believe how much Kim is doing to take the title from her but she knows that Evans is going to be the fifth entrant. Actually no, because the fifth entrant is…..MIA YIM! That sends Steelz over the edge but the lights go out and Yim, with minions, is here for the save. Purrazzo comes in to help beat Yim down but Taya Valkyrie and Grace make the real save.
Rich Swann is ready for Gauntlet For The Gold but he also doesn’t think much of Digital Media Champion Matt Cardona.
Bullet Club vs. Tomohiro Ishii/Josh Alexander
Jay White/El Phantasmo for the Club. White and Alexander start things off but we’ll go with Phantasmo before anything can happen. Phantasmo actually takes him to the mat, which isn’t ok with Alexander. That means Phantasmo gets sent into the corner for the tag to White, who gets to face Ishii. White gets run over with a shoulder but it’s too early for the brainbuster. Instead White runs him over and gets to pose a bit, as he likes to do.
The choking on the ropes ensues and it’s back to Phantasmo, only to have Ishii get fired up. Some double teaming slows Ishii down though and it’s White chopping him in the corner. Ishii finally gets in a shot of his own though and the hot tag brings in Alexander to run over Phantasmo. Everything breaks down and the C4 Spike hits White, with Phtantasmo making the save. It’s back to Ishii, who German suplexes Phantasmo and Alexander decks White. The sliding lariat sets up the brainbuster to finish Phantasmo at 10:32.
Rating: B-. Pretty good match here, as the Bullet Club takes a hit. That being said, losing to the World Champion and a star like Ishii is hardly a devastating loss. White vs. Alexander has to be at least a candidate for the Bound For Glory World Title shot assuming it is still a possibility and keeping the two of them mostly apart here was a good idea. Alexander’s roll continues though, and I’m not sure who is supposed to stop him.
The Briscoes, the new Impact Tag Team Champions, are ready for Violent By Design again next week.
Here’s what’s coming next week.
Gauntlet For The Gold
Royal Rumble style, twenty entrants, two minute interval to start then ninety seconds each (weird), regular match when it gets down to two. Chris Sabin is in at #1 and Alex Shelley is in at #2 by the power of coincidence. A battle over wrist control doesn’t get either of them anywhere as commentary talks about the history of Gauntlet For The Gold. Neither can get the better of anything and it’s Eddie Edwards in at #3.
The Guns wisely start in together on Edwards but he clothesliens both of them down in a bit of a surprise. Vincent, also of Honor No More, is in at #4 to give us a mini tag match. Oddly the Guns get the better of things when their odds are worse and it’s Steve Maclin in at #5. The Guns are dropped again and it’s Maclin working with Honor No More (though he doesn’t seem happy to do so) until Shark Boy makes his return at #6.
The Chummer hits Maclin and the Guns are back up to help clean house. A double Chummer hits Honor No More and we take a break. Back with Shark Boy gone, Raj Singh having come in at #7, Trey Miguel having come in at #8 and Bhupinder Gujjar coming in at #9. Gujjar beats up and elimiantes Singh, because that is the only reason these two exist around here.
Shera is in at #10 and slugs it out with Gujjar with Shera getting the better of things. W. Morrissey is in at #11 and gets to clean house, including eliminating Shera and Vincent. Eric Young is in at #12 and hits Morrissey with a hockey mask, setting up the piledriver. Young blocks Gujjar’s skinning the cat attempt and tosses him out and Maclin hits Miguel with an Irish Curse.
Johnny Swinger, in a mini Wrestlemania III ring cart (as powered by Zicky Dice in a hilarious bit) wacks to the ring like a Bushwhacker, is in at #13, gets tossed, and wacks his way out as we take another break. Back again with Black Taurus having come in at #14, Heath having come in at #15 and having to be saved by Rhino at #16. The Gore hits Edwards and he gets tossed out as we see Shelley being eliminated during the break.
Moose is in at #17 and tosses Taurus and Rhino in short order. Heath slugs away at Moose and gets tossed as well but it’s Rich Swann in at #18 to get the numbers back up a bit. Swann hits Moose with a Lethal Injection but Young slows him down with a low blow. Matt Cardona’s….music plays, as Matthew Rehwoldt is in at #19 to toss Swann from behind. PCO is in at #20 and gets to clean some house, including eliminating Rehwoldt.
Morrissey and PCO get the big slugout (with Morrissey TOWERING over him) until Maclin tosses both of them in an impressive feat. That gives us a final four of Moose, Young, Maclin and Sabin, with Moose being the only one standing. Then the lights go back and it’s Sami Callihan (who returned at Under Siege) to get rid of Moose. Rage seems to be implied as we’re down to three.
Maclin and Young start stomping on Sabin in the corner but he’s back up with a double clothesline. Sabin manages to send Maclin to the apron though and some dropkicks put him down,meaning it’s Sabin vs. Young in a regular match for the title shot. Young knocks him down and hits the top rope elbow for two, plus a clothesline for the same. Sabin is back with a tornado DDT for the same but the Cradle Shock is countered into a piledriver to give Young the pin and the title shot at 36:34.
Rating: C+. The best thing that you can say about a match like this is that it didn’t drag and they managed to make it work here. They even had some comic relief with Swinger and Shark Boy in there to make things a bit more fun. As for Young winning….I guess it works, though it doesn’t exactly feel like something that should be headlining what is often their best show of the year. Maybe it winds up working, but it isn’t exactly exciting.
Overall Rating: B-. This show was built around one match and that match wound up doing rather well. That is a rare change of pace for Impact, as they rarely come out hot after a bigger show. Hopefully they can keep that up, as Slammiversary could be quite the success if they put everything together well. They have a main event set, and while it could be good, they might have their work cut out for them to make the card feel that important. It can be done, but it won’t be the easiest trick.
Kenny King b. Chris Bey – Royal Flush
Influence b. Gisele Shaw/Alisha Edwards – Double faceplant to Edwards
Tomohiri Ishii/Josh Alexander b. Bullet Club – Brainbuster to El Phantasmo
Eric Young won Gauntlet For The Gold last eliminating Chris Sabin
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