IMPACT Wrestling Review – April 27, 2023

impact wrestling april 27 deonna purrazzo jordynne grace

This week’s Impact was headlined by a Knockouts’ Championship match, as we continued the build towards the Under Siege event on May 26th.

Impact Wrestling 27/4/23 from Rebel Entertainment Complex in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The opening video focused on Deonna Purrazzo’s Knockouts’’ Championship victory and the displeasure that the Coven had at Purrazzo claiming the immediate future of Impact as the ‘New age of the Virtuosa’. Purrazzo defends her title against Taylor Wilde tonight. We also saw highlights of last week’s main event segment where new Impact World Champion Steve Maclin claimed he would defend his title against any Canadian, which led to Impact President Scott D’Amore naming PCO as Maclin’s opponent for Under Siege.

We are straight kicking off tonight’s show with a huge Knockouts’ clash.

Match #1: Masha Slamovich vs Jordynne Grace

These two wrestled in my favourite women’s match of 2022 at Bound for Glory so I was happy to see them on tonight’s card facing off again. Slamovich, who has been aligned with Bully Ray of late, entered first followed by Grace who was unsuccessful in regaining the Knockouts’ Championship against Purrazzo at Rebellion. They locked up with Slamovich hitting a quick snapmare to kick things off. Grace followed up by targeting the left arm and hit a shoulder block. Grace tried a wrist lock but Slamovich rolled through. Grace held onto the wrist as Slamovich tried to break free. Slamovich showed some uncharacteristic athleticism (she’s usually all about the power, so I mean that in the nicest way possible!) to flip out but was met with some stuff palm strikes in the corner from Grace. Grace bounced Slamovich off the top turnbuckle a couple of times and hit a running knee attack. Grace followed up with a running uppercut in the corner and a Vader Bomb for a 2 count. She wanted the Grace Driver but Slamovich avoided it and tripped her up against the middle rope, throat-first. Slamovich targeted the neck of Grace with a series of snapmares and then a running knee to the face for a 2 count. Grace blocked a suplex attempt and hit one of her own. Slamovich wasn’t down for long as she hit a stiff kick to the head and then taunted the crowd. Slamovich grounded Grace to the mat and wrenched at her face. She used Grace’s hair to lock in a modified Camel Clutch and also pulled at the nose of Grace. Grace got to her feet with Slamovich still on her back, but she was able to back her into the corner and then collapsed her weight on top of Masha to break the sleeper hold. Slamovich avoided a corner attack but Grace sent her to the ring apron area. Slamovich wrenched down on Grace’s neck against the middle rope again to get the advantage. Grace tried a move from the top but Slamovich took her legs out and went for a neckbreaker from the middle rope but Grace held on. Grace missed a Vader Bomb so Slamovich climbed to the top but was cut off. Grace hit an uppercut against the top rope and then the Muscle buster but Slamovich kicked out at 2! She does that move so well. Grace hit a power slam and Slamovich tried to kick her way out of it so Grace hit another slam and then spiked her with a Michinoku Driver for a close 2 count. Slamovich blocked the Grace Driver and they traded elbows. Slamovich tried a pin but Grace turned it into a sleeper with Slamovich down on the mat. Slamovich flipped out of the sleeper and turned it into a pin for another close 2 count and then locked in a sleeper of her own! Grace struggled to her feet so Slamovich pummelled her in the ribs and then hit an awesome-looking trapped German suplex with a bridge for 2. Grace blocked a suplex and tossed Slamovich onto the top rope. She hit her with a few chops and wanted the Muscle buster again but Slamovich slipped off her back. Grace tried a Death Valley Driver but Slamovich rolled her up for 2. They traded pinfall attempts to no avail. This went back and forth a few times until Grace sat down in the pin and finally got the 3. The match went 12 minutes with no commercials.

Winner by pinfall: Jordynne Grace

Analysis: ***3/4 A perfect way to open the show. These two click really well and this was no exception. The finishing sequence was done to show how even the match was, but it probably stopped it from becoming a 4-star match or higher in my opinion. Grace stays strong after losing the big title match a few weeks ago and I’m not sure what’s next for Masha.

There was a video package of Nick Aldis’ return at Rebellion.

Let’s Hear from Steve Maclin

Impact World Champion Maclin made his way to the ring to a chorus of boos. Maclin said that he made a tactical retreat last week, but people have the audacity to call him a coward. He said that he’s a man of his word and he’s challenging PCO for the World Title right now! We all know how these things go. PCO’s music and he made his way down to the ring but was attacked from behind by Champagne Singh and Shera, the hired goons. Shera tossed PCO into the ring and they beat him down as Maclin walked up the entrance ramp. PCO easily took them down with a double clothesline. Santino Marella’s music hit and he got a nice reaction. Marella said PCO and the people of Toronto want to see a fight! Singh tried to buy Marella off with a bribe but all he got was a match with PCO now, with Shera banned from ringside.

Analysis: That didn’t really fit Maclin’s “I’m no coward” speech but it was heelish move trying to pay for PCO to get taken out before Under Siege. At least they are trying something with Singh and Shera, but in reality they just aren’t believable as a threat after so much jobbing. Obviously it didn’t work so we have this match set up for now.

Match #2: PCO vs Champagne Singh

Singh tried to talk his way out of the match as the bell rang. PCO took him down with a clothesline then they both went flying over the top rope after another clothesline. PCO hit a Cannonball through the ropes to the outside. PCO tossed Singh back into the ring and tossed his gloves to the fans. This allowed Singh to get the upper-hand when PCO rolled back into the ring. Singh hit a running dropkick to the head of PCO. He dropkicked PCO into the corner and hit a Flatliner but PCO kicked out at 1. Singh took some money out of his tights and stuck it in PCO’s mouth for some reason, then PCO sat up and pummelled him with right hands. PCO hit a clothesline in the corner and a DDT. Singh blocked a corner attack but PCO fought back with a lung blower. PCO rose to the top rope and hit a legdrop onto the neck of Singh. He set Singh up on the ring apron and hit the Deanimator. Singh took his time to get to his feet then rammed PCO into the steel ring post. Singh mocked PCO with a zombie dance. PCO blocked a gut buster and hit a reverse DDT. He went to the top and nailed Singh with the PCOSault for the win after 5:30.

Winner by pinfall: PCO

Analysis: ** That was okay and did the job of continuing to build momentum for PCO. We know Singh didn’t stand a chance but he got a little bit of offense in. PCO needs top-tier talent to bring out his best matches, so his lack of speed and age can be shown up against less-lights such as Singh in this instance. PCO is still very watchable, mostly for the fact you are worried that he might get seriously injured during the next crazy spot he does.

This week’s Impact Plus Moment of the Week was from a match between Magnus (Nick Aldis) and Christopher Daniels from February 2013. It wasn’t a special match, but just another way to feature Aldis on the show. The comparison between this and today’s crowd is sadly staggering.

There was a pre-taped promo with Deaner, Angels and Kon. Deaner screamed about Callihan turning on them at Rebellion. Deaner wanted to know why Callihan betrayed them. Deaner said Callihan wasn’t a machine, because machines don’t feel pain. He said he’s going to inflict a world of pain on Callihan and tonight Kon and Angels will do the same to Chris Bey and Ace Austin.

Analysis: A lot of Impact fans acknowledged that this storyline had gone on for far too long but now it has a new angle with Callihan now going against the Design so we will see how that goes.

Taylor Wilde and KiLynn King were playing with their cards again and read a poem about Deonna Purrazzo. They flipped over one card and were confident that their spell would work tonight.

Analysis: I’m all for gimmicks and entertainment, but these magic gimmicks are getting tiring.

Match #3: Johnny Swinger w/ Ziggy Dice vs a Mystery Opponent

This stupid storyline continues, where if Swinger gets 50 wins he gets a World Title shot. He currently has zero. Dice got the mic and said that Marella has permitted Swinger to fight someone off the roster, as long as Swinger and Dice paid their expenses. Dice said there was a language barrier with this opponent so he was going backstage to retrieve him. Some cheesy Lucha music hit and the TitanTron revealed the opponent to be El Dinerico. It was obviously Ziggy Dice in a mask. Swinger tripped him up on the mat and then rolled him up for a 3 count. Awful.

Winner by pinfall: Johnny Swinger

Analysis: – 10 stars Awful. Just like I said above I’m all for wrestlers trying gimmicks and making us laugh but this stuff isn’t funny (to me) and it just a waste of time.

Backstage, Swinger was celebrating with Dice who had removed his mask. Santino Marella walked up and he was furious that they tried to pull the wool over his eyes. Marella ruled the result as invalid. Good.

There were highlights of Kenny King beating Channing Decker on Before the Impact earlier in the night. Decker was bummed backstage but thanked King for the opportunity. Decker shook his hand. King said he appreciated letting him whip him in front of his hometown. He walked on and met another rookie in Sheldon Jean. King talked down to Jean but offered to be his mentor. Jean wondered what was in it for King. King talked around the question and walked off.

Analysis: King is too good to not be consistently involved in a storyline so this is at least something for him.

Match #4: Non-Title Match: Bullet Club vs The Design

Kon and Angels will wrestle for The Design in this match, with Deaner at ringside. Angels and Bey start the match and Angels is aggressive early. He hits a neckbreaker and gets a quick 2 count. Austin tags in and they hit a double Russian Legsweep on Angels, before he rolls to his corner to tag in Kon. Bey goes after Kon before he can enter the ring. Bullet Club hit a double-team uppercut in the corner, but Kon swats Austin away with a huge right hand. Bey jumps on Kon’s back but Kon runs the ropes and clotheslines Austin, with Bey still on his back. Kon landed awkwardly on top of Bey who rolled to the outside. Kon hit a big clothesline in the corner on Austin and tagged Angels in. Kon hit a back body drop, then Angels hit a legdrop off the 2nd rope for a 2 count. Hannifan mentioned that something was happening backstage and they cut to Santino Marella who had been attacked again backstage. Last time it was The Design, but they are all at ringside now for this match up. The commentators speculated that it could’ve been Sami Callihan. They cut back to the match and Kon had Austin trapped in the centre of the ring and nailed an uppercut. Kon demolished Austin with elbow strikes in the corner and tagged Angels in. Angels pummelled Austin with kicks in the corner and mounted him with left hands. Angels chopped away at Austin in the corner and then hit a big running chop. He tried to whip Austin across the ring, but Austin held the ropes and then took down Angels with a clothesline. Austin stretched out to Bey for a tag but Angels held his leg, then hit a half-and-half suplex. Angels missed a corner attack so Austin countered with a flying kick of his own and finally tagged Bey in. Bey dropkicked Kon off the apron and hit a flying crossbody on Angels. Bey hit the Code Red on Angels for a close 2 count. Bey wanted the Art of Finesse but Kon caught him by the throat as he tried to springboard off the ropes. Angels took advantage with a Legsweep off the middle rope but Austin broke the pin up. That was great. Kon ran at Austin but tumbled to the outside. Austin sent Angels crashing into Kon and then Bey took down Kon with a dropkick. Austin hit a suicide drive but Kon still wasn’t knocked off his feet. Bey hit one of his own and Kon staggered into the guard rail. They wanted a double-team but Deaner jumped up onto the ring apron to block this. Kon and Angels crept in from behind and attacked them. All of a sudden Callihan ran down to ringside and took out Deaner. Callihan went back through the crowd as Bullet Club took down Kon with a double suicide dive. They nailed him with a double kick then destroyed Angels with the Art of Finesse and Fold combination back inside the ring for the win after 9 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bullet Club

Analysis: *** There was decent action there with lots of interference. Some of Kon’s work looked really stiff so kudos to Bey and Austin for some good selling there. I’m not a fan of cutting away during matches to see backstage footage but if it fits the storyline then I’ll permit it.

Dirty Dango and an Impact doctor checked on Santino Marella backstage. Marella said he was attacked from behind and couldn’t identify his attacker. Marella was able to pull out some of his attacker’s hair. The doctor warned Santino that he had now had two serious head injuries in a matter of weeks and he should take some time off. The goofy Dango took the piece of hair and said he was now the Detective of Authority, drawing on his Breezango past.

Analysis: There’s a mystery attacker angle now. We shall see where that leads.

Backstage, Rosemary and Crazzy Steve had a reunion. Rosemary asked Steve where he had been. She obviously doesn’t see him during the show. Jessicka was being hyperactive and Steve and Rosemary told her to shut up. Steve said that Rosemary had to talk to Father James Mitchell if she wanted to solve her problems with The Coven.

Analysis: At this point, I’d almost take another Johnny Swinger match over anything to do with the Death Dollz.

Match #5: Jody Threat vs Seleziya Sparkz

Sparkz is a newcomer but at least her ring name is better than Tara Rising. Threat has had a few matches now but I’m looking forward to her taking on some bigger names, as it’s hard to judge the level she is at when she’s wrestling jobbers. Threat backed Sparkz into the corner as the match began. She took Sparkz down to the mat in the centre of the ring. Threat tried to lock in an armbar but Sparkz made it to the ropes quickly. Sparkz took advantage with some clubbing blows to the back. Threat bounced out of the corner and dropped Sparkz with a shoulder. She ran at Sparkz, who sent her over the top rope and onto the ring apron. Threat was able to bounce Sparkz’ head off the top turnbuckle and hit a seated senton from the top rope. Sparkz blocked a corner attack with a back elbow, but couldn’t block the barrage of clotheslines from Threat. Threat hit a Pump Kick and then a double knee strike against the middle rope. She nailed a German Suplex and her F416 finisher for the win after 4 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Jody Threat

Analysis: ** Another basic match to put over Threat. The crowd liked her as a fellow Canadian.

There was a vignette for Killer Kelly that put over her contribution during the Hardcore War at Rebellion.

Gia Miller had a sit-down interview with Frankie Kazarian. He recounted how he got into Impact (TNA) Wrestling in the beginning. There was a shot of him tagging with CM Punk in the earlier 2000s. Miller asked how it was being a young superstar in the early years of Impact. Kaz recapped some of the big names he wrestled but also discussed the power struggles that led to some of the younger talent being overlooked. Kaz said he saw a lot of ugliness creeping in, which took a toll on him emotionally over the years. He talked about leaving Impact in 2014 and the constant changing in management. There were clips of Hulk Hogan and Dixie Carter. Kaz said he was sick of being shoved aside and the best thing to do was to walk away, which he did.

Analysis: That was cool. It was only short, as they will air ‘Part 2’ next week but it touched on some history in Impact which I’m not sure a lot of 2023’s audience will be familiar with. A lot of it could’ve just gone straight over people’s heads, especially when he talked about management and power struggles (think Hogan, Bischoff, Nash, Carter etc. making it all about them in the early 2010s). Insights like this are different though, so it was good to see.

Next week:

* Yuya Uemura & Bhupinder Gujjar vs Moose & Brian Myers
* Steve Maclin, Champagne Singh & Shera vs PCO & 2 partners of his choosing
* Alisha Edwards vs Jody Threat

Analysis: Not the greatest line up thus far, but there’s a major surprise coming which I have seen spoilers of online.

Match #6: Knockouts’ Championship: Deonna Purrazzo (c) vs Taylor Wilde w/ KiLynn King

This is Purrazzo’s third run as champion, whilst Wilde has been champion once. They lock up and come to a stalemate. They trade wrist locks and Purrazzo wrenches at the left arm of Wilde. She tries a leg scissors headlock but Wilde rolls out of it, also avoiding another arm submission. Wilde grounded Purrazzo with a snapmare and a sleeper but the champ got to her feet. Wilde took out the legs of Purrazzo and got a quick 1 count. Wilde gained the upper hand with a knee to the ribs. Purrazzo avoided a running kick and rolled Wilde up for a 1 count. Purrazzo with an arm drag after she caught Wilde’s kick attempt. Purrazzo went back to the left arm and bounced off the rope with a shoulder tackle. King held the leg of Purrazzo as she tried running the ropes again. Wilde took advantage with a clothesline against the ropes and another running one to follow up. Wilde was taking time to gloat so Purrazzo took her down with Fujiwara armbar. Wilde’s momentum sent her out of the ring and she escaped the hold for now.

(Commercial break)

Back from the break and Purrazzo hit a big boot which sent Wilde to the outside. Purrazzo missed a baseball slide and followed up with a clothesline attempt but Wilde ducked, so Purrazzo took out King. Wilde tossed Purrazzo back into the ring and mounted her with strikes. Wilde covered and got a 2 count. She tossed Purrazzo into the corner and hit a clothesline. She went for another one but Purrazzo blocked her with an elbow. King distracted Purrazzo again so Wilde hit a backbreaker. Wilde grabbed Purrazzo by the hair and tossed her across the ring. She choked Purrazzo in the corner by using her foot. Wilde tossed Purrazzo again by the hair. She stood on her hair and pulled Purrazzo’s arms so the referee finally started the 5 count to admonish her. Wilde hit a combination of knee strikes and blows to the back. She chopped Purrazzo across the chest and took down Purrazzo with a head scissor takedown, leading into a crossface. Purrazzo wrenched at the fingers of Wilde to break the hold. She tried to lock in the armbar but Wilde rolled to the ropes. Purrazzo tried a backslide and got a 2 count. She floated into a side headlock but Wilde rolled over into a pin of her own for 2. They both tried for a running crossbody but crashed into each other in the centre of the ring. Both women exchanged right hands in the middle of the ring. Purrazzo hit a series of clotheslines and a Russian Legsweep. Purrazzo went back to the Fujiwara armbar but again Wilde countered into a rollup for 2. Purrazzo tried for the Venus de Milo but Wilde reached the ropes with her feet. Wilde fought out of the Queen’s Gambit and hit the Wilde Ride for a 2 count. Purrazzo fought out of the Witch’s Wrath and locked in the Venus de Milo. Wilde’s arms were trapped so she told the referee that she quit so Purrazzo was declared the winner after 15 minutes.

Winner by submission AND STILL Knockouts’ Champion: Deonna Purrazzo

Analysis: *** That was a good main event match up, but I felt that the end came too abruptly. Wilde had been able to fight out of the submissions all match, yet she meekly gave up after only a few seconds in the Venus de Milo. It puts the move over but I would’ve liked to see a bit more fight as she had given all match.

After the match, KiLynn King took Purrazzo down from behind as she was celebrating. The Coven beat Purrazzo down until Jordynne Grace ran down for the save. Purrazzo tossed Wilde to the outside and Grace got rid of King. Grace pointed to the Knockouts’ Championship and she shook Purrazzo’s hand. Purrazzo held her title in the air as Impact went off air.

Analysis: After this it was announced that Grace vs Purrazzo will take place at Under Siege. I didn’t feel their match at Rebellion hit the heights that it was capable of, so I’m hoping this one is better. The stipulation this time is that if Grace loses, she will never get another shot whilst Purrazzo is champion.

Final Rating: 5.5/10

It was a mixed bag this week. Another 5.5/10 which was only saved by 2 matches. The rest of the show was a struggle to get through at times. The opening and closing contests were both really strong, and it was good to see women’s bouts featured on the card again (3 tonight!). Some tapings they just go without a women’s match or even in-ring segment and this can hurt the momentum of the featured storylines. The middle of the show was filled with squash matches, but I did enjoy the Design/Bull Club match as it furthered the storyline with Sami Callihan. This week they featured Nick Aldis again, just through video packages, and there was a sit-down interview with Frankie Kazarian which was effective because we don’t see those kind of things often on Impact. There was some more progression in the PCO/Maclin storyline but I’m not 100% invested in it being a great feud, as I see it as a formality that Maclin will be successful in his first title defence. PCO is fun to watch but I don’t buy him as a credible championship threat.

The next Impact Plus special, Under Siege, is on May 26th. Here is the card so far:
* Impact World Championship: Steve Maclin (c) vs PCO
* Knockouts’ World Championship: Deonna

Any feedback or comments are welcome. My email address is in case anybody wants to get in touch with me and my Twitter handle is @thomok6 as well. Thanks for reading!