After two long years, The Eliminator returned on June 19th with an emotional roller-coaster of a show, the repercussions of which will be felt in Impact Pro Wrestling for some time to come.
David Dunn welcomed the raucous crowd to the event with a huge announcement; after bringing the IPW roster to the stage, Dunn declared that he had accepted an offer from the Board of Directors to assume the role of General Manager of IPW, effective immediately. Dunn’s first act as GM was to present senior referee Conan Wood with a plaque to commemorate Wood refereeing one thousand matches in his career.
Before Wood could accept his honour, James Shaw grabbed the microphone and unintentionally talked himself and his stablemates in Church & State into defending their IPW New Zealand Tag Team Championship against the Knights Of Mayhem in a five on three Handicap Match which came down to Octane and Shaw with the latter pulling out the win to claim the titles for himself, Rufguts and Sabrina.
Next up, for the first time since 2019, The Eliminator Match took place. The Dapper Dynasty seized an early advantage as Will Stone, Reuben de Jong and Vinny Dunn entered at numbers one, two and five respectively and eliminating Zac Hayle, Liger, Kid Nova and Danny Octane in surprisingly quick fashion. Sam Black was able to withstand the Dapper’s assault when Manalanche appeared on the entrance screen to accept the Dynasty’s challenge to a Fans Bring The Weapons match allowing the Last of the 300 to dump Dunn and de Jong to the floor.
The ring filled with a formidable pool of talent including, Horus, JT Hollow and Rufguts. After a glitch on the big screen saw number 12 switch to number 13, Candy Lee entered the fray, looking to become the first woman to win The Eliminator. Matty Short and Tee Hawke followed before Church and State entered as a group at Number 16.
Hooligan Marcus Kool stormed to the ring next delivering a storm of violence, followed by the mammoth Viking warrior, Liam Erickson and Chalky Murdoch. Alex Savage entered at number 20 and went straight for Will Stone, whose marathon effort in the match was ended by Savage throwing his former tag partner to the floor. Stone would return to the ring, eliminating Savage to even the score.
The match then came down to the final three; Marcus Kool, Candy Lee and James Shaw. The trio exchanged a series of brutal strikes, culminating in all three collapsing to the mat. At this point the screen began displaying a new countdown which ended with a flicker between numbers 12 and 21 before Jake Shehaan made his shocking return, eliminating Lee and Shaw and moving into the standard one on one match with Kool, which the fresh leader of CTRL was able to win convincingly, winning the match and the Eliminator Contract!
Marcus Kool had little time to rest as he next faced off against Kinkade Cup holder, Horus in a match where only the CTRL member could use weapons. After going to war… and through several chairs, Horus emerged by the skin of his teeth with the Cup still in his grasp.
Frankie Quinn looked to continue her run at the top of the women’s division, putting the IPW New Zealand Women’s Championship on the line against Britenay, who looked to make history by becoming the first five time champion (female or male) in IPW history. It was not to be, however and following a personal and brutal contest, Quinn edged out the win. Following the match Quinn was blindsided by Amber Saint who dropped the champion with a DDT and made her championship aspirations clear!
In the main event the confident ‘Big Man’ Jamie Tagataese defended his IPW New Zealand Heavyweight Championship against a determined Charlie Roberts, who used the words of his detractors as fuel in this bitter and personal match. After escaping Tagataese’s attempt at the Warhammer, Roberts delivered a thunderous elbow from the top rope to the heart of the champion for the upset win to become the new IPW New Zealand Heavyweight Champion!
The exhausted Roberts celebrated the biggest moment of his career for a fleeting moment before Jake Shehaan ran to the ring, attacking the Alphalete and cashing in his Eliminator contract. One viscous piledriver later and Shehaan was a two time IPW Champion, grinning in menacing delight over the fallen Roberts.
Before CTRL could get their claws into the former champion, The Knights Of Mayhem ran to the ring for the save and to support their fallen and devastated friend, vowing revenge on the faction that in one night has once again become the most dominant faction in Impact Pro Wrestling!
Impact Pro Wresting returns on July 24th with Fans Bring The Weapons. Click for tickets.