Impact Wrestling’s fifth monthly special of 2021, Under Siege, took place Saturday, May 15 at the Skyway Studios in Nashville, with a six-man scramble to determine the No #1 contender for Kenny Omega’s Impact World title in the main event.
Brian Myers def. Black Taurus (w/Rosemary and Crazzy Steve)
I may be in the minority but I’ve enjoyed Brian Myers’ run with Impact so far. A big part of that, illustrated again in this match, is that his shady finishes are always quite subtle. There’s always a ‘did he/didn’t he’ to the eye rake/loaded elbow pad rather than the subtlety hammer low blow down the hard cam.
By contrast, Black Taurus’ presentation in Impact over the last three months has been roundly disappointing. He’s capable of so much more and I’d love to see him have matches where he can put his foot down and really just go hammer and tongs with some of the other top X-Division guys. This was fine, very much a gentleman’s three that didn’t overstay its welcome. ***
Taylor Wilde & Tenille Dashwood def. Susan & Kimber Lee
It’s refreshing to see that just like the rest of us, Taylor Wilde likes to channel that Hiroshi Tanahashi energy and bust out the air guitar once in a while. Sadly, there wasn’t much to this match other than said air guitar at the beginning. Clocking in at just under four-and-a-half minutes, this was a nothing match, just a vehicle to advance this weird quasi-friendship between Wilde and Dashwood. **
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) May 16, 2021
No #1 Contendership for the Tag Team titles
Ace Austin & Madman Fulton def. XXXL, TJP & Petey Williams and Rohit Raju & Shera
This was a little on the slower (and longer) side than some of the recent multi-team matches I’ve seen but it had a good structure to it and I quite enjoyed it. It worked to everybody’s strengths, with TJP, Williams, Raju and Austin putting in the majority of the work and the bigger guys only coming in for spurts where they could deliver effective offense without blowing up too much or having too many rest holds.
XXXL, who are winless so far in 2021, were on the verge of victory before Fulton broke up the count, folding Romero with a lariat and then hitting the End of Days on Larry D. That allowed Austin to hit the step-up splash and secure the win. ***
It was announced later in the show that Austin and Fulton would be getting their shot at FinJuice’s tag titles on this week’s episode of Impact.
W. Morrissey def. Willie Mack
More people need to charge their opponents at the bell, they really do. Most matches on bigger shows are grudge matches and the wrestlers need to make you feel that. Bum rushing is the way to go.
It could be that I’m the high man here but I really dug this. As expected, Mack was the perfect babyface, coming out hot and fighting valiantly but eventually succumbing, all the while making Morrissey look like a beast. Morrissey’s control period was a little long and plodding but it was forgivable because it looked impactful. Mack fought back valiantly but an East River Crossing and a PK to the back of the head gave Morrissey his second singles win in Impact. ***
Post-match, Morrissey looked to go after Mack with a chair but was run off by the returning Rich Swann, who hadn’t been seen on Impact programming since dropping the World title to Kenny Omega at Rebellion. With Swann set to be out of the main event program for the next little bit, having a program with Morrissey is a nice way to go.
Impact Knockouts Tag Team Championship
Fire ‘N Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz) def. Jordynne Grace & Rachael Ellering (C)
Without doubt, this was the best women’s tag team match Impact has put together since officially resurrecting the division at the end of last year. You had good tag team psychology, clean work and a discernible story told throughout. That’s a winner in my book.
After a start that showed off Grace and Ellering’s power offense, Hogan and Steelz controlled Ellering, repeatedly cutting off her attempts to make the tag. Those cut-offs set the stage for Grace, who Fire ‘N Flava had labeled the weak link in the build-up to this match, to make the hot tag. Once she was in the ring, it all broke down, with Hogan hitting a sliced bread on Ellering off the ring post. That left Grace seemingly poised for victory, only for Steelz to headbutt her off the top rope and land a Frog Splash to reclaim the tag titles. ***1/2
The finish was a surprise and probably elevates the rating here, as I thought Grace would prove she wasn’t the weak link and get the pin. However, this sets the stage for a rubber match, probably at Against All Odds, and potentially the Grace heel turn that’s felt on the horizon for a long time.
Josh Alexander (C) def. El Phantasmo
I wrote in my preview that I thought Josh Alexander was among the best wrestlers in the company. After this match and another stellar performance, I think he just might be the top guy period.
On paper, this looked like a certified banger and both men delivered, producing something that wouldn’t have looked amiss in the main event of a Best of the Super Juniors show. They started off with grappling exchanges, they both got their big spots in as the pace naturally escalated and you had a series of believable nearfalls before the finish. Indeed, while I was convinced that Alexander wasn’t losing, the result of the previous match and the fact New Japan talent already have one Impact title in their possession gave El Phantasmo’s nearfalls real credence.
Alexander secured his second defence of the X-Division title with the ankle lock. It’s not presented as an instant kill for him, but instead, the hold that all paths converge towards – Alexander has varied, vicious counters for all attempts to block it and every move he hits sees him position himself to secure the ankle. Indeed, Phantasmo, who is much better when he focuses on work and not schtick, had worked over the gripping hand throughout, only for Alexander to swap arms at the end. Chef’s kiss. ****
Impact Knockouts Championship
Deonna Purrazzo (C) (w/Kimber Lee & Susan) def. Havok
Deonna has developed a set style for her title matches in Impact and this was a clear example of that style – she overcomes the babyface’s hot start, works over one or both of their arms, survives the comeback and then eventually puts them away. As no one else in the Knockouts division works a technical style, this isn’t a knock on her. Indeed, in many ways it’s a storytelling device – they all know what’s coming and so far none of them have been able to avoid it.
When all was said and done this was very solid, although some slowness in Havok’s offense and the niggling interference from Kimber and Susan knocks the rating down a touch. **3/4
Eddie Edwards & FinJuice def. Kenny Omega & The Good Brothers (w/Don Callis)
Going in, I had real concerns about us getting the return of t-shirt Kenny. In the end, those concerns were allayed but Kenny did appear to take the night off somewhat, with his interjections in the match at a relative minimum during the nearly 20 minutes this ran for. He was involved, and his interactions with Edwards were fun (and perhaps a sign of things to come), but the bulk of the work here was from The Good Brothers and FinJuice.
All in all, I did enjoy this but I couldn’t help thinking that it would have been better, and had a bit more drama to it, had it run a couple of minutes shorter and had a slightly higher pace. Still, that’s rating what I wanted to see and not what I did see. What I did see was good, a solid house show-style six-man where the good guys came out on top, Edwards pinning Anderson after a Boston Knee Party. ***1/4
No #1 Contendership for the Impact World Title
Moose def. Chris Sabin, Trey Miguel, Matt Cardona, Sami Callihan and Chris Bey
This was a complete balls-to-the-wall spotfest and that’s exactly what it needed to be. It did have all your usual scramble tropes with folk disappearing to the outside for prolonged periods but with six guys involved, it always kept moving and everyone got their stuff in. Essentially, this was a lot of fun.
Sami Callihan took advantage of the no disqualification rule to use a chair and low blow Matt Cardona, while Chris Sabin, Trey Miguel and Chris Bey flew all over the place. The Good Brothers withdrew Callihan from the equation, dragging him out of the ring and putting him down on the outside. That set the table for Sabin to win with a Cradle Shock on Cardona, only for Moose to pull the ref out. The big man then hit two diving chop blocks on Sabin’s surgically repaired knees, setting him up for the spear and the 1-2-3. ***1/2
Post-show it was announced that Moose will get his shot at Omega at the next monthly special, Against All Odds, on June 12.
Under Siege promised a lot on paper and it delivered, ending up as one of, if not the, best Impact show of the year so far. Aside from the Tenille Dashwood match, everything was basically three stars or above. The Knockouts Tag match overdelivered, the six-man tag was exactly what it needed to be, the main event was a great spotfest with the right result and Josh Alexander delivered a notebook-worthy X-Division title match against El Phantasmo.
Clocking in at just under three hours, this a show well worth your time.