The final Impact Plus special of the year was headlined by a big tag team match with the Motor City Machine Guns facing Zack Sabre Jr. & Josh Alexander.
The wrestling world has been abuzz lately. For WWE, the focus has been around the returns of Randy Orton and CM Punk; the latter ensuring this fanboy popped out of his seat at the end of Survivor Series. AEW has received a bit of criticism lately, but is producing great wrestling each week with the Continental Classic. And Impact Wrestling is…well…trying their best to write 2023 into the history books.
I have not written a review/column in over three weeks. Firstly, there was the Thanksgiving Highlights Special. Then a fortnight ago was the silly comedy spin-off and last week was the AAA vs. Impact show which was entertaining but just a bunch of exhibition bouts with a sprinkling of Impact talent.
This show, Final Resolution, has possibly the worst build for any wrestling show that I can recall in my 22 years of watching. They just posted match posters to their Twitter account that have absolutely no storyline to them. This is despite there being a little bit of revival when the announcement that TNA was being brought back in January for Hard to Kill. However, I believe there won’t be any more regular Thursday shows in 2023, and little time to build to that show. There was some positive news with Will Ospreay and Kazuchika Okada announced for the tapings after Hard to Kill. But then Impact again shot themselves in the foot by booking Okada in a 6-man tag (what a WASTE!) and then we get Ospreay/Alexander part 2, which will be great again but I was hoping for a fresh matchup for the best wrestler on the planet. It seems to be one step forward and three back for Impact at present.
Once January gets here, it’s back to the TNA name and a bit of a reboot for the brand.
For this show, I will be writing a summary for each match and then play-by-play for the main event. That’s all you deserve at the moment, Impact Wrestling!
1. PCO defeated Jesse V (local wrestler) in 6 minutes (**)
2. Jack Price defeated Aiden Prince in 7 minutes (**3/4)
3. Frankie Kazarian defeated Sheldon Jean by submission in 6 minutes (**1/2)
Impact Wrestling ‘Final Resolution’: 9/12/23 from the Don Kolov Arena in Toronto, ON, Canada
There was a short opening video promoting some of the matches for tonight’s show. Seeing as there haven’t been any shows in three weeks, it was a bunch of patched together videos and generic clips. Bring on 2024!
Tom Hannifan and Matt Rehwoldt welcomed us to the show and we are straight into a Tag Team Championship match!
Match #1: Impact World Tag Team Championships: Bullet Club (c) vs Eddie Edwards & Brian Myers
This is a randomly assembled team of heel challengers, with Moose being busy with Rhino. I guess Myers needed a partner. The tag team scene is so disjointed at present that they can’t even have a full-time tag team challenging on a monthly show. That being said, Edwards is great and should be featured in a big match on every show. The crowd was very vocal from the beginning of this match. They were almost as loud as Alisha Edwards, who talked trash almost non-stop for the duration of the match. My goodness, her voice is annoying. I noticed during the match that outside the ring wasn’t fully covered in the floor matting so they have to do safe spots on the floor. I’m not sure what the reason for that was but it’s not a very good idea. Edwards and Myers worked really well together throughout the match. They almost got the win with a backpack stunner/ diving elbow drop combination on Austin. Bey saved Austin from a double suplex attempt. They tossed Edwards to the outside and Austin hit a double stomp on Myers for 2. Bey tagged back in and they took out Myers with the Fold/Art of Finesse finish. It was an odd finish as the camera cut to Edwards who was busted open on the floor and then the match just ended quickly. The match went 13 minutes.
Winners by pinfall AND STILL Impact World Tag Team Champions: Bullet Club
Match Rating: ***1/2
Post-match, The Rascalz returned and beat down Austin and Bey, which will lead to the obvious rematch at Hard to Kill.
Josh Alexander and Zack Sabre Jr. cut a quick promo on The Motor City Machine Guns. Sabre said it was about time Impact called him and got him in their ring. Sabre kept referring to Alexander as ‘Weapon Bollocks’ which was funny. Rehwoldt tried to be funny and called Sabre Australian, which is just insulting. I’m looking forward to that match later on.
Alisha Edwards, Eddie and Myers were still in the ring complaining about their loss. Alisha said she wasn’t leaving and Santino Marella couldn’t make her. Marella said that was fine, then she can face the hometown girl, Jody Threat!
Match #2: Jody Threat vs Alisha Edwards
Alisha doesn’t wrestle much but she did impress me in a little feud with Trinity a few months back. Threat is popular but doesn’t get as much of an opportunity as she probably should. Eddie and Myers got kicked out earlier in the match for interfering, so Threat hit a dive onto them from the top rope. Threat took care of Alisha pretty easily from that moment on and won with an F5. The match lasted 7 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Jody Threat
Match Rating: **1/2
Match #3: Impact Digital Media Championship: Tommy Dreamer (c) vs Deaner
Deaner hasn’t been on TV since Impact 1000 and Crazzy Steve just disappeared, so that’s disappointing. He lost a title match by DQ but still has his briefcase. Steve should be the one to dethrone Dreamer so I don’t think it’s time for Deaner to win tonight. This match followed the usual defence formula of Dreamer. He soaked up a lot of punishment from a quicker and fitter opponent and then waited for the mistake from Deaner (hitting himself in the face with the title!) and hit a DDT for the win after 10 minutes. It was very simple.
Winner AND STILL Impact Digital Media Champion: Tommy Dreamer
Match Rating: **1/2
The Rascalz cut a quick promo on Bullet Club until Santino Marella cut them off. Marella changed tonight’s match from Bailey vs Miguel to The Rascalz vs Bailey and a partner of Marella’s choice.
Match #4: The Rascalz vs Mike Bailey & ???
Bailey’s mystery partner was the debuting Trent Seven who was in NXT and NXT UK as a part of the terrific Moustache Mountain tag team with Tyler Bate. Miguel was screaming that Seven doesn’t even work here as he posed for the fans. That was funny. This was a fast-paced and really enjoyable match that got plenty of time (16 minutes). Seven predictably was on the winning side after hitting the Birming Hammer on Wentz, then Bailey hit Ultima Weapon for the win. Great to see Seven in Impact and hopefully he gets the chance to show what he can do.
Winners by pinfall: Mike Bailey & Trent Seven
Match Rating: ***1/2
Impact President, Scott D’Amore, came out after the match and offered Seven a contract which he promptly signed. Good stuff. One of the fans yelled out “Read it first!”. There has been some great fan interaction tonight. Also, for most of his promo, D’Amore sounded like Michael Cole at WrestleMania. He screamed that much.
Match #5: Jason Hotch vs Jake Something
At least they tried to remind us about how this match came about, with a video package. Something needed an easy win to build him back up and took care of Hotch within 7 minutes. Hotch got a fair bit of offense in, but never really looked threatening. Something hit Into the Void for the pinfall win.
Winner by pinfall: Jake Something
Match Rating: **1/2
Match #6: Moose vs Rhino
Moose is the number 1 contender for the Impact World Championship so that probably tells you the winner of this match. A fair amount of fans were chanting “Juice” to Moose’s theme as he came out. Again, this crowd has been pretty entertaining. Moose hit a low blow after about two minutes of action to lose by disqualification. That was very disappointing as I was interested in this match.
Rhino got on the microphone and challenged Moose to a Street Fight. Marella approved the match and it was restarted. Rhino hit a suplex on the ramp as Moose tried to run away. They used a few weapons throughout the match. Rhino hit a powerbomb off the top rope through the table but somehow Moose kicked out. Rhino went for a Gore but Moose hit him in the head with a chair. He recovered and body dropped Moose into a ladder in the corner, which snapped the ladder in half. Rhino brought another table into the ring and set it up in the corner. Moose gouged him in the eyes and tried to whip Rhino into the table, but Rhino reversed it and whipped Moose into the referee. Rhino hit the Gore but the referee was down. Another ref sped down to the ring and counted a 2 count. Moose staggered back into the corner against the table. Rhino set him up for the Gore but Moose pulled the referee in front of him and Rhino destroyed him with a Gore through the table! What a bump by that ref. Rhino turned around and Moose nailed the Spear. The original referee had recovered and counted the 3 for Moose. Overall, the match went about 10 minutes including the reset.
Winner by pinfall: Moose
Analysis: *** That was a fun brawl. The crowd still digs Rhino and he is still in good enough shape. The Gore is still over. They had some pretty good nearfalls here and I’ll give props to that second ref for bumping through the table. Fun match.
Match #7: Deonna Purrazzo & Gisele Shaw vs Jordynne Grace & Trinity
The continuous lazy booking of the Knockouts’ division is on display here, as champion and challenger tag for about the 10th time this year. Enough of the face vs. face rivalries. Purrazzo is on her way out and, as such, has barely won a match in the last three months. With Grace being the #1 contender, this result was fairly predictable too. This match was about as basic as you could possibly imagine. The finish was a bit sloppy with Trinity hitting the Full Nelson Bomb on Purrazzo and then Grace hitting a Sunset Flip pin, where Purrazzo’s shoulders weren’t pinned down to the canvas. The match went 10 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Jordynne Grace & Trinity
Match Rating: **3/4
Match #8: Josh Alexander & Zack Sabre Jr. vs The Motor City Machine Guns
It’s finally time for the main event on this very mixed show. They are billing this as ‘The Final Match in Impact Wrestling’ so that confirms there won’t be any more shows this year until the TNA name returns in January. This is a harder one to predict because one team has the World Champion and the X-Division Champion, whilst the other has the bigger singles names. Shelley won’t get pinned because he has a big match at Hard to Kill and Impact usually put over their big visitors so I’ll predict Sabre pins Sabin. Alexander and Sabin start the match off with a handshake. Sabre and Shelley quickly tag in. They engaged in some mat wrestling for a bit as they tried to outwrestle each other. Shelley tried a sneaky roll up for 2 early on. Sabre hit a headlock takeover and worked on the wrists of Shelley. They reversed front-face locks and Sabre tied Shelley up against the ropes. Sabre hit a snapmare but Shelley was quickly to his feet so Sabin tagged in and hit a hard clothesline, which was really the first big offensive move of the match. Alexander tagged in and hit a shoulder tackle. Sabin responded by attempting an armbar by tripping Alexander up on the mat. Shelley tagged back in and targeted the left shoulder of Alexander. Another quick tag in to Sabin who hit an elbow strike. He ran at Alexander who hit a Flapjack. Alexander wanted the anklelock but Sabin wriggled free. Shelley made the blind tag and took Sabre off the apron. They hit a double-team kick on Alexander. Shelley took too long to try and hyperextend the shoulder of Alexander, so he hit a suplex and tagged in Sabre. Sabre stomped on the left arm of Shelley repeatedly then tagged Alexander back in. Alexander teed off on Shelley with right hands. Shelley tried for a headbutt but it didn’t faze Alexander. Sabre came back in and he wrenched at the left knee and ankle of Shelley. Sabin ran in illegally and kicked Sabre to break up a submission hold. Alexander tagged back in and went back to Shelley’s left knee. Shelley tried to fight him off with elbow strikes to the face but Alexander was close enough to his corner to tag Sabre back in. Sabre hit a Big Boot to take Sabin off the apron. He hit another running kick on Shelley. Shelley backed Sabre into his corner and allowed Sabin to tag in. Alexander tried to come in and prevent a double-team but he got kicked down for his trouble. Sabin hit a neckbreaker on Sabre for only 1. Sabin hit a snapmare and then elbow strikes to the back of the neck. Shelley re-entered the match with a clothesline on Sabre. He crossed Sabre’s arms so he couldn’t break free and hit a backstabber. Sabin tagged back in and rolled Sabre up for 2. Sabin applied a front-face lock and backed Sabre into the corner. Shelley tagged himself back in and nailed a bulldog with some assistance from Sabin. He tried for another backstabber but Sabre was ready for it and wrenched at the neck of Shelley. Sabre hit one on Sabin, too. Sabre made the tag to Alexander who went to town on Shelley with German suplexes. Shelley tried to block it by holding the ropes but Alexander hit a third German. Alexander ran at Shelley in the corner but Shelley hit a Flatliner into the middle turnbuckle. Shelley tried for the Motor City Stretch but Alexander countered with a roll up for 2. Sabin tagged in and nailed Alexander with a missile dropkick, that luckily sent him back into his corner so that Sabre could make the tag. Sabin locked Sabre in the STF but Sabre was fighting it by making it to a knee. Sabin hit a Big Boot and then a Tornado DDT from the top rope for a close 2 count. Sabre hit a snap suplex and tagged Alexander. Alexander was next with a snap suplex and pinned Sabin for 2. Sabre tagged in and nailed Shelley with a Big Boot that took him off the apron. Sabin tried to fight them both off in the centre of the ring. Alexander came back in now and he and Sabre put Sabin to the top rope to hit a double superplex. Sabin fought them off and hit a crossbody off the top rope. Sabin nailed a DDT on Alexander, who rolled to the outside. Shelley opened the middle rope and Sabin hit a suicide dive to take out both Sabre and Alexander. Sabin hit another missile dropkick on Alexander for 2. Shelley and Alexander reversed each other’s finishers. Shelley backed Alexander into the corner and hit a Dragon Screw using the ring apron. The Guns locked in stereo Figure 4 Leg locks. Alexander crawled on his back to make the bottom rope and break the hold. Sabre rolled to the outside and Alexander tagged him in again. Sabin hit a crossbody but Sabre rolled through and hit a kick to the chest. Sabin responded with a super kick. Sabre fought out of the Cradle Shock and locked in an armbar. He had his left arm pinned behind his back, which was very clever. Shelley broke up the submission with a kick to the back of the neck. Alexander snuck up behind him and locked in the ankle lock. Shelley kicked Alexander off and he ran head-first into his tag partner. That broke up the submissions. Sabre hit some stiff kicks to the chest of Sabin but he caught him and they had a chop-off. Sabre hit a creative pin and the referee completely botched the count and stopped for about 2 seconds after 2 so Sabin could kick out. Sabin hit the Clothesline from Hell on Sabre. Alexander came in to fight them both but got plenty of kicks for his trouble. The Guns hit a double-team enziguiri in the corner on Sabre. They wanted a Slice Bread off the top rope but Alexander returned to pull Sabin down. Alexander rolled out of a backslide to destroy Sabin with a C4 Spike for the win after 29 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Josh Alexander & Zack Sabre Jr.
Analysis: ***3/4 That was a very good match that certainly didn’t feel like almost half an hour. It didn’t have any flat spots (except for that ref count) or extended ‘wrestlers in peril’ moments that you have in tag team main events. It was just 4 high-quality wrestlers performing at a high-level, with the more seasoned tag team performing more smoothly. However, all it took was one C4 Spike to win the match and I liked that ending because it wasn’t one of those matches that needed to have multiple kick-outs at finishers. It was one big, devastating move and it was all over. That puts the move over as deadly.
After the match, there’s a promo video for Alexander vs. Ospreay 2. That was the end of the show.
Final Rating: 6.5/10
The show was about what I expected going in and possibly slightly better than I hoped. There were too many matches that had either no build or just weren’t interesting. There was enough on the show to keep the die-hard Impact fans (or reviewers) watching though. The Trent Seven surprise was nice and he had a good tag team match with Mike Bailey who only works to a high standard in 2023. The Rascalz are always quality so those teams gelled well together. The opening Tag Title match was also very good, with 4 terrific performers. Even though it was tossed together, at least it had the quality to put on a decent match. The main event was the stand out, but even that wasn’t a classic or must-see match. It was very good, but I wouldn’t be disappointed if I had missed it. If you missed this show, it wouldn’t matter, just like the last month of Impact Wrestling. I hope the reboot of TNA brings a bit more effort and brighter decision-making in terms of scheduling. I might come back with a short end of year column if there’s any interest in that, before Impact comes back in the new year.
The next PPV is Hard to Kill on January 13, 2024. Here’s that card so far:
* Impact World Championship: Alex Shelley (c) vs Moose
* Impact Knockouts’ World Championship: Trinity (c) vs Jordynne Grace