Two of Impact Wrestling’s stalwarts headlined this week’s show, which included some announcements for matches at the Emergence Impact Plus special.
Impact Wrestling 27/7/23 from St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario, Canada
The opening video recapped last week’s show where Impact World Champion, Alex Shelley, and former champion, Josh Alexander, faced off. There were also highlights of Nick Aldis’ run in Impact – which is coming to an end shortly- but tonight he faces off with the returning Eric Young.
Tom Hannifan and Matt Rehwoldt welcomed us to the show and pumped up the Multiverse United and Emergence specials which both happen in August. Here comes Trinity for the opening tag-team contest.
Match #1: Trinity & Dani Luna vs The Coven (Taylor Wilde & KiLynn King)
Luna impressed me last month in a singles match against Jody Threat, but that’s all that she’s wrestled in Impact so far. Trinity and King started the match off, with King backing Trinity into the corner with her strength. King hit a back elbow and slammed Trinity face-first on the mat. Trinity avoided a clothesline and hit a kick to the ribs, then a swinging neckbreaker for a 1 count. She hit a splash in the corner and tagged Luna in. King took her down straight away, but then missed a big kick and Luna rolled her up for 1. King hit a big forearm, but Luna bounced off the ropes with a twisting elbow. King tagged Wilde, who was caught by Luna with a Fallaway Slam. Luna hit a snapmare and a diving clothesline for 2. Wilde avoided a German Suplex which allowed King to slam Luna’s neck down on the ropes and Wilde covered for a 2 count. King tagged back in and hit a clothesline in the corner and a diving neckbreaker that resembled Charlotte Flair’s Natural Selection. King scored a 2 count and then nailed a suplex. She tagged Wilde back in, who hit a running punt. They scored with a double-team back suplex for 2. Wilde stood on Luna’s neck against the middle rope, then the referee admonished her so King continued to choke Luna against the ropes. There was another tag to King but Luna avoided a corner clothesline and reversed a clothesline into an inside cradle for 2. King hit a big clothesline then taunted Trinity, who hasn’t been in the match since the opening minute. Wilde tagged in again and speared Luna in the corner then nailed a running kick to the back. She stacked Luna up for a 2 count and tagged King in once again. King hit a couple of scoop slams and pinned Luna, who kicked out at 2. The two women traded forearms, then Luna reversed a suplex into one of her own to finally tag in Trinity. Trinity took down King with a clothesline and then hit a Samoan Drop on Wilde. She nailed Wilde face-first into the middle turnbuckle and tagged in Luna. Luna hit a German Suplex and tagged Trinity back in, who scored with a crossbody but King broke up the pinfall. King slammed Luna hard into the top turnbuckle. They tried a double-team on Trinity, who sent both King and Wilde crashing into each other. Luna took King over the top with a clothesline. Trinity hit a Full Nelson Bomb and pinned Wilde with a bridge to win the match after 9 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Trinity & Dani Luna
Analysis: ***1/4 Good action here with Luna spending most of the match in the ring as the face-in-peril and the Coven working together well as usual. Luna and Trinity worked well as a team towards the end, and Trinity getting the pin was no surprise as she continues to be booked strongly as Knockouts’ Champion.
As soon as the match was over Deonna Purrazzo’s music hit and she made her way to the ring to face Trinity. Purrazzo grabbed a microphone and went into the ring. The crowd was chanting for Trinity. Purrazzo said the rematch was on for Emergence. That was it.
Analysis: I hope Purrazzo isn’t being paid by the minute. I’m hoping the rematch will be slightly better than the Slammiversary effort, which was a little underwhelming.
There was a highlights video from last week where Lio Rush refused to join in with Bully Ray’s beatdown. Brian Myers and Moose confronted him backstage. Myers said no one leaves them hanging. Rush questioned them aligning with Bully. Bully snuck up behind Rush and started abusing him. Rush was tiny compared to the other three. Bully said they were all aligned because they can trust each other. Rush said he’s not here to make friends but Moose said they weren’t after friends. Moose threatened Rush and Bully said he’s either with them or against them, and he will need an answer by the night’s end.
Analysis: I read that Rush was injured and will be out of action for the short-term, which would be a shame as he’s on a roll here in Impact.
There was highlights of Dirty Dango’s victory over Santino Marella last week, after interference from Johnny Bravo. It was an average match that obviously wasn’t the end of the feud. Dango cut one of his Q&A promos, running Marella down. Dango said he went on a date with Marella’s daughter then he called him Dad. That was funny. Bravo looked like a skinny Big Bossman in his sunglasses and security gear. Dango said he was after someone to watch his back and Bravo answered the call.
Analysis: These are good promos, unlike anything else on the show. I like them.
Match #2: Loser Leaves Impact: Johnny Swinger vs Zicky Dice
Swinger came to the ring with Dice even though they are fighting each other. That fits the storyline. I have to apologise for writing ‘Ziggy’ Dice on every review when his name is ‘Zicky’. What kind of name is that anyway?! Dice went back up the ramp and then came out to his own entrance. Please make this match short. There were some legitimate ‘Let’s Go Swinger” chants. Swinger did the Finger Poke of Doom and went to pin Dice, who played dead and rolled him up for 2. Swinger raked the eyes of Dice and then Dice did the same. They stumbled around the ring and then Swinger hit a headbutt. Dice hit a knee to the ribs and a scoop slam for 2. Swinger went out of the ring for a break. He said he was done and wanted to be counted out. He started to walk up the ramp sadly. Dice asked the referee to stop the count and then went to stop Swinger from leaving. Swinger said it was Dice’s time and he should go in the ring cart. Swinger turned on him and clotheslined him out of the cart. He rolled him back in the ring and pinned Dice with his feet on the ropes for the win after 2 ½ minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Johnny Swinger
Analysis: -* My goodness, that was horrendous. Five minutes of wasted TV time between two jobbers who get next to no reaction. Get off my TV.
They showed a clip of tonight’s BTI with Yuya Uemura & Joe Hendry defeating Kenny King & Sheldon Jean. Santino Marella was with the winning team. Marella congratulated Uemura on pinning King. Uemura started picturing himself as champion which wasn’t what Hendry had in mind. Marella made a Triple Threat match next week for the Impact Digital Media Championship: Hendry vs Uemura vs King.
Analysis: King should win that. There was a little tension there from Hendry. I wouldn’t think that they would turn him heel because of how popular he is, but there were a few things there that alluded to it.
Nick Aldis cut a promo backstage. He said that Eric Young is making a mistake by having his return singles match against Aldis.
Analysis: Just a 30-second promo to build the main event up a bit. It should be a great match.
Match #3: Gisele Shaw w/ Jai Vidal & Savannah Evans vs Masha Slamovich w/ Killer Kelly
This match came about after a short altercation backstage last week. Simple story-telling. Perhaps Evans and Shaw will be the first challengers to MK Ultra. They circled the ring as the fans chanted “Masha’s Gonna Kill You” at Shaw. They traded wristlocks and Slamovich grounded Shaw by the hair. Slamovich tripped Shaw against the middle rope and exploded with a clothesline for 2. Slamovich head butted Shaw repeatedly whilst trapping her in a submission. Shaw slowly made it to her feet and hit a kick to the ribs. Slamovich ran the ropes but Shaw bundled her out of the ring.
Back to the action and Shaw was in control with a series of running uppercuts in the corner and another off the ropes for 2. Shaw stomped away at Slamovich on the mat. She tossed Slamovich into the corner but Slamovich blocked a splash with an elbow. Shaw fought back with a double-stomp for another 2 count. She tried to lock in a sleeper but Masha fought out with elbows to the ribs. Shaw choked her out in the corner with her foot but Slamovich came back with a running knee in the corner and a spinning heel kick for 2. Slamovich wanted the Snow Plow but Shaw blocked it and hit a backbreaker for a close nearfall. Shaw pulled down her knee pad in preparation for her finisher but Slamovich nailed her with a big boot for 2. Vidal got up on the apron but Kelly tossed him to the floor. Evans nailed Kelly from behind to take her down. Shaw tried to sneak a roll up but Slamovich slipped out of it. Shaw nailed her with the running knee for the win after 6 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Gisele Shaw
Analysis: *** I would’ve liked another 4-5 minutes but it was pretty good for the short time length, with the break thrown in. Shaw needs some wins and that was a big one, so it might propel her team to a Tag Team Championship match.
There was a highlights video for Jake Something after he returned to Impact at Slammiversary.
Hannifan hyped up the 3-show Impact UK Invasion Tour in October. The capacities of those arenas are between 1200-2500 so hopefully they have no issues selling out. Great to see them expanding to Australia and (back to) the UK this year.
Frankie Kazarian was backstage with his wife Traci Brooks who wanted a fight with Alisha Edwards. Kaz tried to calm her down and reminded her that she’s not a wrestler anymore. They left the arena and that was it.
Analysis: I think that will lead to a mixed tag match after Alisha attacks Traci or something to set it up.
Match #4: Moose & Brian Myers vs Alex Shelley & Kushida
This is leading to a multi-man match at Emergence instead of Shelley defending his championship which doesn’t enthuse me at all. I understand holding off Shelley vs Alexander, though. Moose dominated Kushida early on in the contest by spearing him into the corner. He nailed Shelley with a forearm to take him off the apron. Moose hit a big boot on Kushida and then wanted a powerbomb but Kushida slipped out and locked in a knee bar. Moose reached the ropes so Shelley kicked his arm off. Kushida tried to lock in the Hoverboard Lock but the power of Moose was too much and he nailed a scoop slam. Myers tagged in and stomped away on Kushida. Shelley made the blind tag off the Irish Whip and he held Myers who hit a running kick on Myers. Kushida hit a handspring kick on Moose, knocking him off the apron. Shelley trapped Myers in the corner and tagged Kushida back in. Kushida targeted the left arm of Myers and tagged Shelley back in. Shelley hit an Atomic Drop and Kushida nailed a dropkick on Myers. Myers bailed to the floor and Shelley followed him, so Moose nailed a clothesline.
Moose had Shelley trapped in the corner with clubbing blows as we returned to the action. He sent Shelley hard into the top turnbuckle, then tagged in Myers. Myers covered for a 2 count. He grounded Shelley with a sleeper hold on the mat. Shelley slowly got to his feet. He tried for a Russian Legsweep and turned it into a pin and that was enough for the 3 count after only 5 ½ minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Alex Shelley & Kushida
Analysis: ** That was disappointing and seemed ridiculously rushed at the end. Shelley was being dominated and just tried a simple pin which was all he needed to win it. It made Myers look very weak.
Bully Ray hit the ring straight after the match and grabbed Kushida. Moose and Myers started stomping on Kushida. Josh Alexander, in all blue, ran down for the save but he as triple-teamed too. Lio Rush came down and attacked Shelley, joining Bully Ray and friends. Chris Sabin’s music hit and he returned after his injury at Slammiversary. Sabin tossed Bully outside. Rush was alone with the 4 face wrestlers. Sabin nailed Rush with a superkick and tossed him to the outside.
Analysis: There’s the build to the multi-man match. Rush was pulled from an MLW event due to injury but he might make Emergence as this show was taped about 10 days ago. The injury is said to have him out for about a month.
The Impact Flashback of the Week was from 2014 where Eric Young defeated Magnus to become the new Impact World Champion. His maniacal, heel run was his best work in Impact. He spent a lot of years as a goofy, non-threatening face.
There was a clip from last week with the Rascalz poking fun at Mike Bailey in the parking lot. Wentz made fun of Bailey’s martial arts and challenged him to a match.
Match #5: Mike Bailey vs Zachary Wentz w/ Trey Miguel
Bailey hit a hip toss and a big kick to the chest as the match was fast-paced in the opening exchanges. Bailey ran the ropes and Miguel held his leg, allowing Wentz to hit a neckbreaker against the ropes. Wentz hit a senton from the ring apron back into the ring and did an arrogant cover for a 1 count. Wentz trapped Bailey in the corner with a few shoulder thrusts. He hit a running knee against the turnbuckle and then another one which sent Bailey to the mat, for a 2 count. Bailey reversed a half-and-half suplex attempt and Wentz ran into a dropkick. Bailey took Wentz down with another kick to the chest and hit a running Shooting Star Press for 2. Wentz avoided 2 kicks, but not the 3rd. Miguel put his leg on the rope to avoid Wentz being pinned. Bailey had words with Miguel and then hit a pump kick then sent Wentz over the top rope. Bailey hit a springboard moonsault from inside the ring to the outside. Miguel got in Bailey’s face, then Wentz hit a backbreaker on him on the ring apron. Wentz tossed Bailey inside the ring. Bailey countered the Headlock DDT and nailed another kick to the head, then a superkick. Miguel pulled Wentz out of the way of the Tornado Kick so the referee banished Miguel from ringside. This allowed Wentz to spray paint in the eyes of Bailey and nail the Headlock DDT for the win after 6 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Zachary Wentz
Analysis: *** That was another short match, but far more entertaining match than the previous one, with a finish that made sense. Wentz and Miguel continue to build momentum whilst Bailey really hasn’t had a proper feud since his series with Jonathan Gresham.
Next week on Impact:
* Impact Digital Media Championship: Kenny King (c) vs Joe Hendry vs Yuya Uemura
Analysis: That’s it so far. That will be a good match but I’m hoping there’s a bigger main event.
Match #6: Eric Young vs Josh Alexander
Young’s entrance video had snippets of a jail cell, hinting at an explanation of how he came back from ‘the dead’ against Deaner, which he has alluded to in interviews since returning to Impact. He was wearing his Iron Man-style mask and was pumped. He got a great reception. Aldis finishes his run in Impact during these tapings, hence appearing in a main event here and hopefully another match on the next show. Young tried an armbar early in the match and took down Aldis with a shoulder block. Aldis nailed a clothesline and almost sent Young into the referee. He tossed Young over the top rope but Young held on. Young tossed Aldis over the top and he also hung on. Young nailed a right hand and wanted the piledriver but Aldis wriggled free.
Back to the action and Young missed a baseball slide so Aldis trapped him in the ring banner and slammed his face on the ring apron repeatedly. Aldis slammed Young back-first into the steel ring post. Aldis set up Young up on the ring apron and hammered him with an elbow strike. Back in the ring, Aldis covered for 2. He nailed a clothesline and Young kicked out at 2 again. Aldis tried another pin off the suplex, but again Young popped out. Aldis raked the eyes of Young and hit a Pumphandle overhead throw for another 2 count. Aldis tried locking Young in a sleeper. Young made his way to his feet and hit a jawbreaker. He blocked a corner splash with a back elbow. Young hit a series of clotheslines and a flying forearm. He connected with a belly-to-belly toss for 2. Young scaled to the top rope but Aldis was quick to cut him off and hit the superplex for 2. Aldis wanted an axe handle but Young caught him with an Atomic Drop right in the ‘National Treasures’ (good one, Rehwoldt) but Aldis came back with a Michinoku Driver for another close nearfall. Young went for a crucifix pin but Aldis got out at 2. Aldis launched Young into the top turnbuckle and locked him in the King’s Lynn Cloverleaf submission. Young was almost in the centre of the ring. He crawled towards the ropes but Aldis pulled him back. Young dragged himself over and finally reached the bottom rope, frustrating Aldis. Aldis tried a Figure-4 but Young turned it into a cradle for 2. Young quickly picked up Aldis and nailed the piledriver for the win after 9 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Eric Young
Analysis: ***1/4 That was a solid main event but not at the match length that I was hoping for. A 9-minute main event between two of Impact’s biggest names over the last ten years was a little disappointing. However, it made sense with some post-match shenanigans to come.
Kon and Deaner attacked Young straight after the match. Kon hit a big chokeslam but Deaner told him to do it again. He hit another chokeslam in the middle of the ring. Deaner screamed for one more, which Kon obliged with. Deaner demanded that Kon deliver Young to him, so Deaner destroyed him with the Antidote. Deaner sat on top of Young as Impact went off air.
Analysis: An emphatic beatdown to signify that this feud is (unfortunately) alive again. I was hoping Young could start fresh but they probably have to address it at some point. Us wrestling fans do get treated as fools with the lack of continuity in some storylines, but Impact wants us to remember this obviously. Hopefully Young can get some back up and that this doesn’t drag on too much for the rest of the year.
Final Rating: 6.5/10
It was a wrestling-heavy show, in terms of having 6 matches, but none of them exceeded 10 minutes in length. I would’ve rather they scrapped the stupid Swinger match or even Moose & Myers vs Shelley & Kushida because that was only 5 minutes with a terrible finish. Cut it back to 4 matches and you can stretch two other matches out for an extra 5 minutes to make them better. The main event between Aldis & Young, along with the opening Knockouts’ tag team match were the best matches on the night. I liked the combination of Trinity and Luna, and it was good to see that Deonna Purrazzo is back and after another match with Trinity for Emergence. I’m hopeful that this match headlines Emergence, because the proposed multi-man match doesn’t cut it as a monthly-special main event for me. The main title/s should always be closing the show, unless it is a special attraction match. The ‘Will he or won’t he?’ decision for Lio Rush wasn’t given much build and he joined the heels in beating down the face team, then we saw Chris Sabin return after Rush destroyed him at Slammiversary. Hopefully, Rush is cleared in time, but it won’t really matter as he’s only 1/8 of the match. The main event saw Aldis and Young wrestling a simple match that was easy to watch, with the right finish. The post-match beatdown showed you that they’re going to continue this storyline that was supposed to end when Young left Impact, but now that he hasn’t actually been murdered then they better address it.
The next Impact-Plus special is Emergence on August 27th. Here’s the card so far:
* Impact Knockouts’ Championship: Trinity (c) vs Deonna Purrazzo
* Josh Alexander & Time Machine vs Moose, Brian Myers, Bully Ray & Lio Rush (this might change due to Rush’s injury)