IMPACT Wrestling Review – August 24, 2023

impact wrestling august 24 shelley

This week on Impact we saw the final build towards this weekend’s Emergence show and a World Championship match in the main event.

Impact Wrestling 24/8/23 from Cicero Stadium, Chicago: IL

The show opened with PCO making his way to the ring to confront Shera and Champagne Singh after Singh cut a promo on BTI saying he was the greatest Canadian wrestler of all time. PCO entered the ring and took Shera out with a clothesline. He sent Singh to the outside and then nailed them both with the cannonball through the middle rope. The crowd was right behind him as he sent Shera into the ring post and then nailed Singh with a reverse DDT on the floor. PCO punched one of the ring crew and then choke slammed another one right on top of him. PCO grabbed a table and put Singh on it. He climbed to the top rope and hit the Deanimator through the table. Bully Ray appeared on the screen. It was not a flattering angle. Bully said PCO wished it was him going through a table. He said he’s not leaving his hotel room because Impact couldn’t guarantee his safety tonight. Bully wondered how PCO didn’t die after he set him on fire. He said he was going to be the one to take out PCO. PCO was screaming in the ring and ran backstage.

The commentators Tom Hanifan and Matthew Rehwoldt then welcomed us to the show officially and we went to the opening video. There was no recap of last week’s show, which saw The Rascalz win the #1 contender tournament over Sami Callihan and Rich Swann in a great main event. Deonna Purrazzo also defeated KiLynn King in a fantastic opening bout.

Analysis: That was a different way to start the show. I thought it was well done. It made it feel impromptu and that anything could happen. It’s leading to Bully vs PCO but that hasn’t been announced for Emergence so it might be further down the line.

Match #1: Non-Title match: Trinity vs Jody Threat

We had Purrazzo end Threat’s undefeated streak for no reason a few weeks ago and now we are going to have Purrazzo’s opponent for Emergence, Trinity, defeat Threat now. Not a great way to build her up. Threat got the first move in with an arm drag. Trinity slapped on a side headlock so Threat bounced her off the ropes but ran into a hip toss. Trinity nailed her jumping splits attack (surely there’s a name for that) for a 2 count. There was a bit of pushing and shoving which led to Threat slamming Trinity hard into the middle turnbuckle. Threat hit a splash in the corner and a suplex for a 2 count. Trinity fought back with right hands, which Threat returned, but Threat took her down to the mat with a hard chop. Trinity ducked a clothesline and hit a step-up enziguiri then a splash in the corner. She sent Threat into the middle turnbuckle, but Threat avoided a diving attack then nailed a hard clothesline. Threat hit her double knees with Trinity resting on the middle rope. Trinity held the ropes to avoid a German suplex but ran into a Falcon Arrow Driver for a close 2 count. Nice move there. Threat went for her F-416 finisher but Trinity countered into a facebuster for a nearfall. That was a very smooth counter. Trinity hit a Full Nelson sitout slam into a roll up for the win after 6 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Trinity

Analysis: *** It was good for the time given but it made Threat look a little weak with Trinity winning rather abruptly in the end. This is where the argument for a midcard women’s championship would make sense, so the second-tier of women can still have high-profile matches but don’t have to do the job to the champion.

Jake Something cut a short promo on Sanada, ahead of their match at Emergence and then there was an ‘In Memory of Terry Funk’ video. I met Funk at WrestleCon in 2015 and got a photo with him. He was very nice to the fans. I’ll admit at not being a life-long ‘Funker’ as I’ve probably only watched a handful of matches of his over the years, but I appreciate that he was a very respected figure in the industry. Rest in Peace, Terry.

There was a recap video of Impact vs NJPW: Multiverse United 2 from last weekend. There was little build up to the show (certainly none on Impact) and I didn’t get around to seeing it. I found it odd that they used this show for Josh Alexander to return to the ring, but it was in a multi-man match so it was a safe way for him to return and not do much.

Gia Miller was backstage with Josh Alexander and asked him about his return from injury. He said the last 5 months of rehab have felt like a lifetime and giving up the one thing that he worked his whole career for hurt. Alexander said that he felt back where he belonged at Multiverse United and that even though Emergence is in his immediate future, his focus is still on regaining the Impact World Championship.

Analysis: A short, confident promo from Alexander. He does better in these interview-style promos than independently in the ring although he’s not bad.

Match #2: Deaner w/ Kon vs Laredo Kid

Deaner taunted Kid in the early goings and got in his face. Kid outwrestled Deaner and told him to bring it. Kid hit a head scissors and then a tilt awhirl backbreaker. Deaner avoided a baseball slide and Kid nearly ran into Kon. Kid turned around right into a clothesline from Deaner. He tossed Kid back into the ring and abused the fans a bit. Deaner used his knees to wrench the neck of Kid. He slammed Kid neck-first into the middle turnbuckle. Deaner followed up with a neckbreaker for a 2 count. He tossed Kid back into the corner and starting slapping him. Kid blocked a running attack with a kick and nailed a dropkick. He hit a nice Michinoku Driver for 2. Kid climbed back to the top and it looked like he might nail a moonsault but he flew to the outside to take out Kon instead. Kid somersaulted back into the ring but right into the Antidote from Deaner who covered for the win after 4 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Deaner

Analysis: **1/2 That was fine as a way to put over Deaner. His DDT finisher looked painful.

Afterwards, Deaner grabbed the mic and addressed Eric Young. He said when all this began Young was the creator and Deaner was his protégé. Deaner said all that got Young was a knife in the chest. Deaner said in this story, Young is no longer in control. He was going crazy and screaming at Young. Deaner said he says this will end at Emergence in a no-disqualification match. Hannifan sounded shocked at that for someone who is there every week.

Analysis: I thought they might drag it out to Bound for Glory in October but it seems like they’re keen to end the feud sooner rather than later.

There was a promo video for Johnny Swinger but half way through it cut out (I’m not sure what happened but I’m not complaining) and the camera went to PCO backstage who was looking for Bully Ray even though he said he was in his hotel room. PCO left the arena and walked out into the Chicago night.

Analysis: Maybe PCO isn’t a very good listener or he just knows heels lie?

Match #3: Bullet Club vs The Good Hands

The Good Hands cut their usual pre-match promo running down the hometown. John Skyler mentioned Michael Jordan leaving Chicago which is what they are going to do after they win here. Easy way to get cheap heat, I guess. Austin and Skyler started the match out. Skyler sent Austin back into the heel corner with a back elbow and tagged in Hotch. The Good Hands sent Austin over the top rope but he landed on the ring apron. Austin blocked a clothesline from Skyler and spring boarded over Hotch to tag in Bey. Bey hit a double stomp to the back of Skyler and an uppercut to Hotch for a 2 count. He tagged Austin back in and they hit a double-team Russian Legsweep for a 2 count. Austin chopped Hotch back into the corner and hit a snap suplex.

(Commercial break)

Austin and Skyler were the legal men when we returned to the action. Skyler sent Austin shoulder-first into the ring post, then Hotch nailed a cheap shot from the outside. Hotch tagged in and he and Skyler nailed a double-team elbow for a 2 count. Skyler made a blind tag and blasted Austin with a clothesline for 2. Skyler tried for a quick follow-up pin but Austin kicked out at 1. He targeted the left shoulder of Austin and wrenched down hard on it. There was another tag to Hotch, who kicked Austin hard in the shoulder. Hotch trapped Austin’s left shoulder in between his legs and stretched him out. Austin tried to fight back with right hands but Hotch kicked him hard in the shoulder again. Austin caught another kick attempt and returned serve with a spin kick which knocked Hotch down. He tagged Bey back in, who hit a slingshot elbow into the ring for 2. Bey tripped Skyler up and nailed a facebuster then a double-team Flatliner/DDT on both the heels. Skyler sent him to the outside but Bey held on. He hit a slingshot DDT for a 2 count. There was a quick tag to Austin. Skyler prevented the double-team Art of Finesse by pushing Bey into Austin in the corner. He whipped Bey against the ropes but Hotch held the ropes open so Bey went tumbling to the floor. Austin tried a roll up on Skyler and got a nearfall. Hotch got an illegal arm wrench on the ropes then they hit their double team finisher, The Favour, on Austin but Bey broke it up with a dropkick on Skyler which sent him into pinning effort. Hotch tried a reverse suplex on Bey, who fought out of it. He hit a springboard Fame Asser on Hotch and then took out Skyler on the outside with a flying senton. Bey took out Hotch with the Art of Finesse and Austin hit The Fold. Bey pinned Hotch for the win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bullet Club

Analysis: *** It was a simple tag match to give Bullet Club a win after being dumped out of the #1 contender tournament early. It also allowed them to get some revenge over the Good Hands who continue to lose.

Subculture, who are never there, cut a quick pre-taped promo talking themselves up ahead of their title defense against The Rascalz at Emergence.

There was another silly video package for the Joe Hendry/Yuya Uemura tag team. This was followed by a video package for the Trinity/Deonna Purrazzo feud.

Analysis: That was a good way to cover a few feuds in a number of minutes without needing anyone there live.

Match #4: Samuray Del Sol vs Chris Sabin

Del Sol was billed as being from Chicago which surprised me. The story here is that Lio Rush didn’t want to fight Del Sol, so Sabin stepped up as a challenger. Sabin has unfinished business with Rush, so told Del Sol to get in line. The crowd was behind Del Sol early on, with the ‘Lucha’ chants that followed him in WWE. They traded arm drag attempts in the early going. Sabin got a kick to the shoulder of Del Sol. He avoided a handspring elbow but Del Sol hit an arm drag off the ropes. He feigned diving to the outside to taunt Sabin. Sabin re-entered the ring and they locked up again. Sabin hit a hard elbow in the corner and then a dropkick to the knee. He targeted the left knee with stomps and then tried a leg submission but Del Sol was right by the ropes so the referee broke it up quickly. Del Sol tried an enziguiri but Sabin ducked and tried locking in the STF. Del Sol wriggled free quickly and got to the ropes. Sabin hit a hard running dropkick to the left knee again. He went back to the STF but Del Sol again stretched out and reached the ropes to break the hold. Sabin used the corner to nail a Dragon Screw. He covered Del Sol and scored a 2 count. Del Sol tried to get some feeling back into the left knee. He hit a head scissors but Sabin stopped his momentum with another dropkick.

(Commercial break)

Sabin was in control and hit a neckbreaker as we came back from the break. He locked Del Sol in a stretch submission on the mat. Del Sol leaned back on the move and used his momentum to get a 2 count. Sabin stopped the comeback with elbow strikes to the neck. He tried a headlock against the mat. Del Sol got back to his feet with a jawbreaker. Sabin hit a hard slap to the chest. He went for a knee strike but Del Sol rolled through and hit a spiking hurricanrana. Del Sol wanted to fly and hit a springboard crossbody for 2. Del Sol wanted Salida Del Sol but Sabin blocked it twice and then nailed a DDT. Sabin hit a DDT in the corner and then a big boot. Sabin hit a powerbomb for a 2 count. He floated over into the STF and this time they were in the centre of the ring. Sabin could see that Del Sol was inching to the ropes so he flipped over and hit a German suplex with the arms trapped for a 2 count. It appeared that the referee broke the pin up as he was checking if Samuray’s shoulders were down, so that was odd. Del Sol hit Salida Del Sol out of nowhere but Sabin rolled out of the ring. Del Sol hit a springboard senton on the outside. He missed a diving attack back in the ring, so Sabin hit a step-up enziguiri. Sabin nailed Cradle Shock for the win after 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Chris Sabin

Analysis: *** That was not the style of match that I expected before the bell sounded. Sabin wrestled a clever match, as he targeted the knee of Del Sol to ensure he couldn’t use his high-flying skills. Samuray was undone at the end by one too many aerial attempts and the veteran Sabin put him away. A good showing on debut from Samuray, but Sabin is on the Emergence card so he was never losing.

They aired the third part of the Crazzy Steve sitdown interview with Tom Hannifan. Steve ranted about being taken advantage by evil and said that if he can’t be the antidote then he would have to be the plague and then grabbed Hannifan’s hand, which led to Hannifan needing help. Security came in but Steve went berserk and started smashing the set. Then he spat green mist in one of the crews face and kept screaming “You tell them”.

Analysis: That was disturbing. I think a heel turn for Steve will be good. It was a bit Joker-esque in parts.

MK Ultra cut a pre-taped promo ahead of their Fatal-4-Way defense at Emergence. Masha spoke in Russian and Kelly translated.

There was a video package for the Frankie Kazarian/ Eddie Edwards feud then the commentators ran down the Emergence card which isn’t that interesting because the World Championship isn’t being defended.

PCO found Bully Ray’s hotel somehow and was screaming for Bully but he was nowhere to be found.

Match #5: Impact World Championship: Alex Shelley (c) vs Brian Myers

Everyone from the Emergence 8-man tag match is banned from ringside. Shelley successfully defended his title this past weekend against Hiroshi Tanahashi.

(Commercial break)

Dave Penzer did the big-match introductions as we returned from the commercial. Myers tied himself up in the ropes immediately so that Shelley couldn’t strike him. They tied up and Myers backed Shelley into the corner. He hit a cheap shot to Shelley’s ribs. Shelley surprised Myers with a roll up for a 2 count. Shelley tied Myers’ arm up in the ropes then Myers reversed it to send Shelley into the top turnbuckle. Shelley avoided a clothesline in the corner and hit a knee strike. He tried a crucifix pin for a 2 count. Shelley went for the Motor City Stretch but Myers was right by the rope to break it up. Shelley hyperextended the elbow of Myers again and did it a second time to the delight of the crowd. He hit a strait jacket backstabber and Myers bailed to the outside. Shelley sent him into the ring post and they battled on the ring apron. Myers took out the feet of Shelley, who crashed head-first into the mat. Myers dragged Shelley to the outside and rammed him into the ring apron.

(Commercial break)

Myers was in control with knee strikes to the back. He hit a scoop slam and scored a 2 count. Myers wrenched at the face of Shelley, who fought to his feet with shots to the ribs. Myers missed a spear in the corner and collided with the ring post. They exchanged right hands in the centre of the ring. Shelley took the momentum with a flying forearm that took Myers off his feet. He hit a running punt but Myers blocked Sliced Bread. Shelley sent him into the turnbuckle and then grounded Myers with the Motor City Stretch. Myers quickly turned it into a pinfall and got a 2 count. Myers nailed the Implant DDT for 2. He sent Shelley off the ropes and hit the spear. Shelley barely kicked out before the 3. Myers went for another spear but Shelley hit a superkick and followed up with Sliced Bread for 2. Shelley floated over and locked in the stretch again. He rolled over to the centre of the ring and Myers tapped out. The match lasted 11 minutes.

Winner by submission AND STILL Impact World Champion: Alex Shelley

Analysis: ***1/2 That was very solid main event match, where the outcome was never in doubt. I was glad to see Myers receive a title shot, even if it was just to have a big singles match before Emergence, and he put in a good performance as always. Shelley is operating at a very high level and rarely has a match that’s less than great.

Moose and Bully Ray showed up and started beating down Shelley as soon as the match was over. It was a 3 on 1 attack as Myers choked Shelley against the mat. Bully lured PCO away from the arena it seemed. Bully unloaded on Shelley with the championship. Kushida and Josh Alexander joined the fight. They cut to backstage where Lio Rush had taken out Chris Sabin and Sabin was down and out. Perhaps that was writing Sabin off Emergence, as it certainly plays to their storyline. Bully and Alexander were brawling in one corner, whereas Kushida and Moose squared off on the other side of the ring. Alexander was biting Bully in the head and the brawl continued as Impact went off the air.

Analysis: That was a predictable way to end the show that’s going to have a multi-man match headline the weekend. I wonder if that means Sabin won’t participate and maybe he gets replaced by PCO. Time will tell.

Final Rating: 7.25/10

That was another pretty good show from Impact this week. Anytime the World Championship is defended on a weekly show is a positive and I guess that makes up a little bit for it not being defended on the monthly show, which means my interest in Emergence is probably lower than any other Impact show I can recall in the last 12 months. They will bring the quality as usual, but it’s a waste not to headline a show with a main singles feud.
I enjoyed the match between Shelley and Myers. It was as expected, with Myers dominating a majority and then Shelley making the big comeback before the submission win. The post-match brawl was fun, too. Trinity and Jody Threat opened the show with a good match, too, even though it was short and predictable. There was no interaction between Trinity and Deonna Purrazzo ahead of Emergence, however the show did a very good job of highlighting all the main feuds for the weekend’s show, with lots of little video packages allowing each story to be told to at least some length.

The next Impact-Plus special is Emergence on August 27th. Here’s the card so far with my predictions in bold:

* Impact Knockouts’ Championship: Trinity (c) vs Deonna Purrazzo
* Impact Knockouts’ Tag Team Championships: MK Ultra (c) vs Savannah Evans & Gisele Shaw vs The Coven vs Death Dollz
* Impact World Tag Team Championships: Subculture (c) vs The Rascalz
* Josh Alexander & Time Machine vs Moose, Brian Myers, Bully Ray & Lio Rush
* IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: SANADA (c) vs Jake Something
* Impact Digital Media Championship: Kenny King (c) vs Johnny Swinger
* Back to School match: Eddie Edwards vs Frankie Kazarian
* No Disqualification match: Eric Young vs Deaner

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!