IMPACT Wrestling Review – August 31, 2023

impact wrestling august 31 sabin

This week on Impact Wrestling we saw the fallout from Emergence as well as the build to Victory Road and Impact 1000. There was a six-man tag team main event.

The opening video showed the highlights from Emergence, with the notable outcomes being The Rascalz winning the Impact World Tag Team Championships, the heel team winning the 8-man tag team war and Trinity successfully defending her Knockouts’ Championship over Deonna Purrazzo.

Impact Wrestling: 31/8/23: Rebel Entertainment Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Match #1: Battle Royal for the #1 Contendership to the Knockouts’ Championship

The winner faces Trinity for the Championship this Friday at Victory Road. The competitors were Jody Threat, KiLynn King, Alisha, Jessicka, Masha Slamovich, Courtney Rush, Killer Kelly, Savannah Evans, Gisele Shaw and Vanna Black whom I was unfamiliar with. Alisha was trying to make an alliance with Black early in the match. They were taken down by the Death Dollz. Alisha almost got eliminated by Slamovich but fell onto the ring apron and not onto the floor. Shaw and Evans were double-teaming King in the corner. Slamovich dumped Black over the top for the first elimination of the match. Evans powered Kelly over the top then Jai Vidal helped Gisele Shaw eliminate Slamovich. Rush and Shaw took each other out and then there were only 4 wrestlers left. Jessicka and King squared off but Evans took Jessicka down with a big boot. King tried a slam on Jessicka, who was too big, and bundled her over the top rope. Evans was fighting Threat and King on the apron. Threat nailed her with a dropkick to eliminate her. It was Threat vs King left. King blocked a running attack in the corner and hit the Neutralizer. Threat countered the King’s Curse and hit a pump kick then her running knees on the middle turnbuckle. Threat hit a German Suplex. Alisha snuck back in and dumped them both out of the ring to win the match.

Winner: Alisha Edwards

Analysis: ** It wasn’t very exciting because the spots were too slow. I hate the ‘sneak back in’ to win the battle royal angle by the cowardly heel. Lazy booking. Alisha barely wrestles and wins even less so I don’t see her being a threat to Trinity.

They showed highlights from the 8-man tag team match. They cut to Josh Alexander, Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin chatting backstage. Shelley told Alexander to focus on Steve Maclin this Friday and then they can talk about a title match. The Rascalz danced in singing the Motor City theme song, holding their new championships. Sabin challenged Wentz to a match and if he wins they get a shot at the Tag Team Championships.

Match #2: Crazzy Steve vs Mike Bailey

Steve is now a heel I think after his interview series with Tom Hannifan over the past few weeks. He acted all freaked out as Steve entered the ring and ripped off a weird mask. Steve went straight for the eyes of Bailey and wouldn’t let go so the referee called for a disqualification immediately.

Winner by disqualification: Mike Bailey

After the match, Steve grabbed a fork and tried to stab out the eyes of Bailey. He knocked the referee down but Bailey fought him off. Black Taurus came in to calm his tag partner down but Steve targeted the eyes of Taurus. Security ran down but Steve dealt with them easily. He left the ring with a sickening smile on his face.

Analysis: No match rating there because it was an instant DQ. Some interesting character work here from Steve. An evil heel character is a good fit for him.

Moose and Brian Myers gloated backstage over their win at Emergence. Eddie Edwards came in to talk about his win, too. Bully Ray told him to get lost as he had a problem to deal with in PCO. Myers said Bully had a problem with PCO, not Moose and Myers. Moose said he and Myers are no longer associated with Bully. Bully was disappointed and you could hear PCO screaming for Bully in the background.

Analysis: Just a short promo to remind us of Emergence and that Bully is on his own again.

There was another promo video for Will Ospreay appearing at Bound for Glory. That is going to be awesome whoever he faces.

PCO was trying to get at Bully but there was a door between them. Bully tried screaming back and that stopped PCO for a second. Bully said that this has gone on long enough. PCO said Bully tried to kill him. Bully said he was trying to kill the monster. He said he set PCO on fire because he cared for him and he put him through tables because he cares. What a friend! Bully retreated as PCO calmed down.

Analysis: Bully is trying to play mind games with PCO but he won’t fall for it.

Match #3: Kon vs Eric Young

Young is fresh off a victory over Deaner in a no-disqualification match from Emergence, which was very good. Hannifan said Deaner is too hurt to be here tonight. Let’s see about that. Young used his quickness to avoid Kon in the early going. He nailed a few right hands but Kon caught him a spinebuster for a 2 count. Kon hit a legdrop for 2. He took Young down with a hard right hand. Kon hit an uppercut in the corner. They exchanged blows and Young began to take the advantage until Kon effortlessly tossed him over the top rope.

(Commercial break)

Kon was dominant as we returned to the action. He pummelled Young with elbows in the corner. Young avoided an avalanche in the corner. He tried a clothesline but Kon was too big. He bounced off the ropes and nailed a Death Valley Driver but Kon kicked out at 2. Young went to the top rope but Kon got up quickly to meet him with a right hand. Kon wanted a superplex but Young bit at the forehead of Kon, then nailed his elbow drop from the top rope for another close 2 count. Kon fought out of the piledriver attempt and nailed a Full Nelson Slam for 2. Young ducked under a clothesline and sent Kon to the outside with a clothesline of his own. Young nailed a piledriver on the floor! Young rolled back into the ring and Kon stumbled back into the ring at 9. Young hit another piledriver to win the match after
9 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Eric Young

Analysis: ***1/4 That’s not a fresh match up but they worked well together and the crowd was firmly behind Young. It put over Young in a big way because he beat a bigger opponent who kept kicking out but he finally finished him off.

Lio Rush cut a promo on Chris Sabin. Rush said Sabin wanted a shot at his title, but why is he getting in the ring with Zachary Wentz? Rush said Sabin is insane if he thinks he can beat him and the outcome will be the same every time they face each other. Kushida turned up and challenged Rush to a match at Victory Road. That was it.

Analysis: Build or no build, that should be an outstanding match.

There was a video of Jordynne Grace training in preparation for her return to Impact at Victory Road.

Gia Miller was interviewing Deonna Purrazzo after her loss at Emergence. Purrazzo said she’s faced setbacks before but she remains the face of the Knockouts’ division. Purrazzo called out Grace for making the moment all about her. She reminded Grace that she’s never beaten her. Purrazzo challenged Grace to a match at Victory Road.

Analysis: They’ve had two average matches so far, I think that Grace will get the win in their third encounter. It will be good to have her back.

Match #4: Zachary Wentz w/ Trey Miguel vs Chris Sabin w/ Alex Shelley

The Rascalz captured the Tag Team Championships by defeating Subculture in a fantastic match at Emergence. This match was set up earlier in the night through a backstage confrontation. Wentz backed Sabin into the corner following the opening exchanges. He struck Sabin with a cheap slap then bailed to the outside. Miguel fixed his hair because he’s a good friend. Wentz nailed a cheap kick and hammered Sabin with elbows. Sabin fought back with a dropkick and a couple of arm drags. Sabin tried to lock in an armbar but Wentz got to his feet quickly. He went back to the knee with a kick but Sabin trapped his arm again in the centre of the ring. Sabin wrenched down hard on the left arm of Wentz, then tossed him shoulder first into the top turnbuckle. Wentz managed to throw Sabin out of the ring through the middle rope and hit a flying crossbody, although his arm was giving him some discomfort.

(Commercial break)

Wentz was in control and hit a running penalty kick for a 2 count. He tried to lock in an armbar but Sabin wriggled to the ropes to break the count. Wentz bounced off the ropes but Sabin caught him with an impressive dropkick. He landed a big boot in the corner and then a Tornado DDT from the top rope. Sabin covered Wentz but only got a 2 count. Wentz missed a kick, but then rolled through Sabin’s legs and nailed a superkick. He hit a half-Nelson slam for a close 2 count. Sabin quickly recovered with a running kick that turned Wentz inside-out. That was cool. Wentz got out of the Cradle Shock but then was trapped in the STF. Miguel jumped up onto the apron to distract the referee. Shelley knocked Miguel off the ring apron and Sabin took him out with a running kick. Sabin hit a suicide dive to take out both Miguel and Wentz. He hit a missile dropkick to Wentz’s back and followed up with the Cradle Shock for the win after 8 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Chris Sabin

Analysis: ***1/2 That was really good as expected. Another five minutes would’ve been great. Wentz has been so impressive since returning to Impact. I really like his offensive arsenal. Sabin definitely needed a win as he has been on a downward spiral since losing the X-Division Championship. This should lead to a Tag Team Championship match soon between the teams.

Immediately after the match, Miguel attacked Sabin in the ring. He collected his Tag Team Championships and went up the ramp with Wentz.

There were highlights of the Tag Team Championship match at Emergence where Miguel used the spray paint in the face of Mark Andrews which played a part in the result of the match.

Chris Bey and Ace Austin cut a quick promo backstage. Bey called them the best tag team in the world and that The Rascalz were only renting the championships. The Good Hands confronted them and told Bullet Club to keep their names out of their business. Bey challenged them to a match but Jason Hotch said not yet.

Analysis: These two teams have been having issues and The Good Hands never win so here’s hoping that changes soon.

Subculture and Dani Luna were with Santino Marella, requesting their championship rematch. He said he has already made a match for Victory Road: The Rascalz defending the titles against the Motor City Machine Guns. Sami Callihan and Rich Swann showed up and said that since The Rascalz screwed them in the tournament that they deserve a shot at the championships too. Webster said they still need their rematch. Marella made a match between Subculture and Swann/Callihan but didn’t make any stipulations which was odd. Joe Hendry and Yuya Uemura were next in Marella’s office. Hendry said Marella needed to listen to the fans and give them a shot at the titles. Marella thought that since they were a new team then they needed to build up some wins.

Analysis: That was a whole lot of not much going on. At least it shows that the tag division is strong. That Tag Team Title match at Victory Road should be fantastic.

Kenny King Promo With Tommy Dreamer

Impact Digital Media Champion Kenny King was in the ring with Sheldon Jean. He defeated Johnny Swinger (or at least gave everyone a toilet break) at Emergence. King put himself over as the best athlete in Impact. He listed all his wins as the champion so far. The fans were booing and chanting “We want Hendry”. King told them they didn’t. He started ranting about Tommy Dreamer, who then showed up. King beat him down after Dreamer was checking on Swinger after the match at Emergence. Dreamer was talking about a conversation between he and Swinger after the match, where he said Swinger’s father-in-law just passed away. He said Impact is 1,000 episodes old in two weeks’ time and that means that’s a lot of people who have stepped foot in the company, that have bled for the fans and deserve more respect than King showed. King summoned his inner Christian Cage and said he doesn’t care about Swinger or his father-in-law. He said Dreamer has gone soft and that he’s ashamed that he used to look up to him for advice. King called Dreamer a 370-pound leech who can’t get out of the spotlight. Dreamer said King always took shortcuts and he settles. He asked King how many main events he had been in. Dreamer listed some veterans that helped him along the way. Then he listed some veterans like Sting and Jericho who are still performing. King said Dreamer doesn’t have anything to offer him. Dreamer said that he has had a rough year with his wrestling father Terry Funk dying, his mum dying and diagnosis of skin cancer but maybe he can give something back to the business that continues to support him. Dreamer said he can take the Digital Media Championship off King and put his career on the line. He said that’s all that he’s got to offer and hope King accepts.

Analysis: That was a very long promo that was all over the shop for the most part, but got to the point in the end. No one really wants to see Tommy Dreamer wrestle in 2023 and we all want better opponents for Kenny King, but if this puts King on the show then I’m okay with it.

There was a promo for Awesome Kong’s return at Impact 1000. Gail Kim showed up and said that if Kong is coming back then Kim is coming out of retirement. She put a call out to any past Knockouts to fill the final sport on their team for the 1000th episode.

Analysis: I’m a sucker for mystery partners and nostalgia so I’m looking forward to this show. Kim was criminally underused in WWE and terrific in the ring in Impact.

Next week:
* Dani Luna vs Deonna Purrazzo
* Subculture vs Rich Swann & Sami Callihan

Analysis: Impact has three shows next week. I’m having trouble keeping up!

There was a quick promo for the return of Steve Maclin at Emergence.

Match #5: Moose, Eddie Edwards & Brian Myers vs Frankie Kazarian, Jake Something & SANADA

I must’ve missed the announcement of this main event during the show but if it means we get another SANADA match then I’m pumped for that. Edwards beat Kazarian in a Back to School match in Killer Kowalski’s gym at Emergence, whilst SANADA defeated Jake Something. Myers and Moose were on the winning team of the 8-man tag match. Kaz took down Myers early with a spinning heel kick. He tagged in SANADA and they hit a double suplex on Myers. Something got a quick tag and hit a short-arm clothesline on Myers. Myers rolled to the outside to regroup with his team mates. Something took out all the heels with a crossbody over the top rope.

(Commercial break)

Myers was in control of SANADA as we returned from the commercial. He tagged in Edwards who chopped away at SANADA. SANADA fought back with dropkicks all round and locked Edwards in the Paradise Lock. Myers ran in and SANADA tripped him up and he landed a low blow on Edwards. Edwards raked the eyes of SANADA and hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for 2. Moose tagged himself in and pummelled SANADA with right hands. Moose got in the referee’s face and tagged in Myers who hit a scoop slam on SANADA. There was another quick tag to Edwards who hit a scoop slam. He backed SANADA into the corner and chopped him hard. Moose tagged in and continued the chops. He stood on top of SANADA with an arrogant pin for a 2 count. Myers tagged back in and continued the punishment. He covered SANADA for another 2 count. Moose tagged back in and took Something off the apron. SANADA hit a hurricanrana and tagged in Kaz. Moose got to Edwards for the tag. Kaz came in on fire with a flying forearm then a scoop slam and his springboard legdrop. He nailed Myers with a legdrop as he tried to interfere. Kaz hit the Unprettier on Edwards for 2. Both men went for a crossbody but collided in the centre of the ring. Something and Myers tagged in for their teams. He took down Edwards with an avalanche. Moose ran in and Something nailed a huge pop-up powerbomb on Moose. He speared Myers in the corner. Moose lifted up Something and nailed a huge powerbomb. SANADA came back in and nailed the Shining Wizard on Moose but ran into a Roster Cut from Myers. Kaz hit the slingshot DDT on Myers back in the ring. Edwards ran in and then Kaz suplexed him over the top rope and both men went crashing to the floor. Myers measured Something for a spear but he ran into the Void and Something got the win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Frankie Kazarian, SANADA & Jake Something

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a really fun main event that packed a lot into 10 minutes. I’d like to see a match between Moose and Something because their power battles during the match were impressive. I’m still not sick of Edwards vs Kaz as they bring the intensity every time, even though their Emergence match was really short. SANADA mostly played the face-in-peril and really didn’t get much of a chance to shine during this match.

Impact went off the air with the face team celebrating.

Final Rating: 6.5/10

The second half of the show was really good this week. The first half had a pretty dull Knockouts’ battle royal, as well as a 10-second match between Crazzy Steve and Mike Bailey. After that, the matches picked up. Kon and Eric Young had a match that was better than I expected and then Sabin and Wentz clashed in an exciting singles match up. I thought the main event was strong and pitted a few of the feuds from Emergence together. With only a bit over a week until Victory Road, I thought they could’ve had more of the wrestlers there featured but Impact have done a terrific job of building a card that is better than Emergence in just the one night.

The next Impact Plus monthly special is Victory Road, this coming Friday September 8th:

* Josh Alexander vs Steve Maclin
* Impact World Tag Team Championships: The Rascalz (c) vs The Motor City Machine Guns
* Impact Knockouts’ Championship: Trinity (c) vs Alisha Edwards
* Impact Digital Media Championship: Title vs Career: Kenny King (c) vs Tommy Dreamer
* Impact X-Division Championship: Lio Rush (c) vs Kushida
* Deonna Purrazzo vs Jordynne Grace
* Anything Goes Match: Bully Ray vs PCO

There is also the Impact 1000 special on September 9th:

* Impact World Championship: Alex Shelley (c) vs Trey Miguel
* Team 3D vs ???
* Alisha & Eddie Edwards vs Frankie Kazarian & Traci
* Ultimate X Match: Participants TBA
* Feast or Fired: Participants TBA
* Dirty Dango vs Jake Something
* Awesome Kong, Gail Kim, Trinity, Jordynne Grace & one other Knockout vs Angelina Love, Deonna Purrazzo, Gisele Shaw, Savannah Evans and one other Knockout

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!