Reviews

Impact Wrestling Review (June 23, 2022)

impact wrestling june 23 alexander deaner

This past Sunday saw Impact Wrestling celebrate 20 years as a pro wrestling company with the Slammiversary PPV and this week’s episode of Impact Wrestling was the fallout from that show.

You can read my Slammiversary review here. It was a solid outing that culminated in the main event where Josh Alexander successfully defended his Impact World Championship against Eric Young. In the other main bouts, the Good Brothers defeated the Briscoes to become new World Tag Team Champions, Jordynne Grace won the first ever Queen of the Mountain match to become new Knockouts Champion, and the Impact Originals won a 10-man war against Honor No More. With only one week until the next Impact Plus special ‘Against All Odds’ on July 1st, this weekly show should quickly establish the main matches for that show.

This is my first, of hopefully many, weekly reviews of Impact and I’m happy to be here. Let’s get to this week’s show!

Impact Wrestling: June 23, 2022 from Nashville Fairgrounds, Nashville TN

The show opened with a video recap of Slammiversary and the highlights from the main matches. Hannifan and Rehwoldt welcomed us to the show as Honor No More (HNM) made their way to the ring as soon as the show aired. Maria Kanellis joined the commentary booth as the heel stable yelled at the cameraman, stole their gear and talked trash to the fans. Eddie Edwards had a mic in hand. He apologised for interrupting the ‘never-ending celebration’ that occurs in Impact Wrestling. He understands that everyone loves the TNA nostalgia. Edwards says there’s a reason the company left Nashville. They wanted to achieve something bigger than in a place like this. He put over his stable as the one bright spark in Impact Wrestling. He ran down the Impact originals. According to Edwards, they didn’t win the match Slammiversary (“You suck” chants from the fans), just like HNM didn’t lose. Edwards turns his attention to PCO, as PCO took the pinfall loss on Sunday. Vincent interrupts Edwards. He says he didn’t bring the monster to Impact Wrestling, he brought him in for HNM. Vincent trashes D’Lo Brown for interfering in the match. He also trashed Earl Hebner for coming in and counting the pinfall. Taven takes the mic and complains that the match was set up. He says that Impact has had 20 years of mediocrity until HNM came. Taven says Ring of Honor would’ve been dead in 2019 if it wasn’t for him and his run as champion. He says he didn’t kill ROH, he saved Impact Wrestling.

Thankfully, the music of America’s Most Wanted hits and out comes James Storm and Chris Harris. They made an appearance at Sunday’s PPV by drinking a beer with the Briscoes and the Good Brothers at the conclusion of their tag team title match. Storm reintroduces himself and Harris. He says his time in wrestling was about earning the respect of his peers and the fans. That’s what they have done for 25 years in wrestling. Storm says they come from a time when wrestlers looked like wrestlers and not bums. Storm said if HNM were as good as they say they are, they would’ve taken the loss and learnt from it. The problem is that they suck. Kenny King asks what year it is. Everybody knows that there’s nothing more useless than a washed-up, drunk-ass cowboy, than maybe his half-dead, half-lame, domestic pussycat Chris Harris. Harris then takes the mic from Storm. He mocks Kenny that his words were hurtful. He warns him that if King keeps mouthing off, then Harris will make him cry harder than he did on the Bachelorette. Harris says that even though he has broken down a bit over the years, he is proud of everything that America’s Most Wanted accomplished in the ring 20 years of hard work, 20 years of being a backbone of TNA/Impact. Harris runs down the great list of tag teams that they feuded with. Harris thinks what HNM might have forgotten, is that they made a few new friends at Slammiversary. The Good Brothers’ music hits, as they walk out with their newly won Tag Team Championships. The Good Brothers and AMW storm the ring and begin a brawl with the heels. HNM quickly gains the ascendancy as Gallows is choked out in the corner by PCO and Vincent. Harris left the ring and watched on at ringside. Hannifan said that Harris promised his family that he would never fight again after retiring due to injury. Taven and Edwards stalked Harris at ringside. The Briscoes rushed the ring to save Harris and took out Edwards and Taven. The Briscoes and Good Brothers cleared the ring after giving Vincent the Magic Killer in the middle of the ring. HNM retreated as the Good Brothers’ music played.

Analysis: My goodness, that was a long segment. It felt like the opening of every Monday Night Raw for the past 10 years. It took 15 minutes to get to that point when it could’ve easily led to a brawl in five minutes. It’s understandable that HNM would try to come up with excuses for why they lost Sunday at Slammiversary. Some of the dialogue from AMW was cheesy. They talked about being stalwarts in Impact for 20 years, when they haven’t tagged together since 2006 and Harris has barely been seen on Impact since January 2008. They were a great tag team, but let’s not let facts get in the way of some good nostalgia! Anyway, it will probably lead to a big tag team match in the future but it was just far too long which is unusual for Impact.

Gisele Shaw runs into Alisha backstage. Alisha is disappointed that Shaw didn’t have her back last week in a match against Masha Slamovich. Alisha tells Shaw that she’s going to find a tag partner to take down Shaw.

Honor No More is backstage and confronts Scott D’Amore. Edwards screams at him, asking if he saw what just happened in the ring. D’Amore says that just like at Slammiversary, they bit off a little more than they could chew. D’Amore says that if the Slammiversary loss was a fluke, then they can have another chance at winning at Against All Odds in a ten-man tag against the Good Brothers, the Briscoes and ‘The Cowboy’ James Storm. D’Amore says that while they are here they can help him with the main event: Edwards, Bennett and Taven vs. the Briscoes and James Storm.

Analysis: That could’ve been done in the ring and they could’ve shaved five minutes off their rambling promo to save time. I like D’Amore as the face authority figure who doesn’t get bullied into decisions.

Back to ringside and Hannifan and Rehwoldt run through the announcement of the main event for this evening as well as the big match for Against All Odds, on Friday July 1 from Atlanta, Georgia. They also announce that Josh Alexander will defend his Impact World Championship against Joe Doering at the Impact Plus special.

Analysis: That will be a win for Alexander. It’s not the most exciting main event, but it does continue the feud between Alexander and Violent by Design. It’s difficult to build a meaningful feud when you have 12 days between championship defenses. Tonight, Alexander takes on Deaner.

Match #1: Chelsea Green w/Deonna Purazzo vs Mia Yim

Purazzo joins the commentary team for this match. Yim with an early inside cradle for 1. Green misses an attack in the corner, then stomps Yim face-first into the canvas for 2. Yim takes a breather on the outside, Green runs the ropes and hits a dropkick through the ropes. They take the action to the commentary table and Yim blocks a suplex, before hitting her own. Both ladies are feeling the effects from the ladder match.

(Commercial)

The action returns with Green kicking out of a pinning combination. Yim tries to lock in a surfboard stretch submission which Green turns into a pin for 1. Green chokes Yim out on the ropes and uses her allowed 4 count. Green stomps away at Yim in the corner. Green talks trash whilst choking Yim out with her foot. She ships Yim into the corner hard twice. Yim recovers and applies the Tarantula submission on the ropes. Yim with a hard right boot and tries to springboard from the outside in, but Green meets her with a dropkick. The action spills to the outside where Green slams Yim face first on the commentary table. Green rolls Yim into the ring for a 2 count. She applies a reverse chinlock as the crowd spurs Yim on. Yim fights out but Green drops the elbow for a 2 count. Both women exchange blows and Yim takes advantage with a Pele style kick followed by 2 clotheslines and a missile dropkick. Another dropkick sends Green into the corner. Yim follows up with a cannonball in the corner, followed by a close 2 count. Green avoids Eat Defeat, hits a modified Codebreaker, then a Curb Stomp for a succession of 2 counts. Green is getting frustrated and Yim takes advantage with a back suplex with a bridge for 2. Yim with a succession of hard kicks to the chest, Green catches, they reverse blocks and Yim hits a sitout powerbomb for a close 2 count. Yim climbs to the top, Green distracts the referee so Purazzo can take advantage and send Yim flying off the top. Mickie James runs out to even up the odds and takes out Purazzo with a Lou Thesz Press. Back in the ring, Yim hits Eat Defeat for the win at 9:08!

Winner by pinfall: Mia Yim

Analysis: *** A solid outing as they were pushing the fact that both women would be affected by the fallout from Sunday’s grueling match, especially Green who took a brutal bump through two tables. Yim looks to be getting pushed to a title match, although Rehwoldt said Steelz has a contractual rematch so we will see where that goes. I’m all for Mickie and Purazzo renewing their rivalry. Purazzo and Valkyrie’s feud never really hit the heights that I hoped for.

Backstage, Gia Miller interviews the former Knockouts Tag Team Champions, The Influence. Madison Rayne has medical tape over her nose. Gia says that even though they have a contractual rematch, due to Rayne’s injury that probably won’t be happening soon. Rayne and Dashwood argue about the fact that they bumped heads, leading to their loss on Sunday. Gisele Shaw interrupts and offers to fill in for Rayne. Dashwood questions why they would want help from someone they have already beaten. Shaw reminds them that she’s beaten Rayne before and maybe she lost their tag match because she didn’t have the right partner. Dashwood is against the idea but Rayne says that if Shaw could take out Rosemary or Taya, then maybe they would reconsider.

Analysis: Shaw is an annoying heel who wants to be a champion. The Knockouts tag team division is pretty light on at the moment.

There’s a video recap of the Slammiversary pre-show, where Shark Boy won the reverse battle royal.

Match #2: Bhupinder Gujjar & Shark Boy vs Johnny Swinger & Zicky Dice

It’s time for the lower mid-card tag match as Swinger looks to gain revenge on Shark Boy who pinned him on the PPV pre-show. Swinger is used in comedy spots and to put over other talent, Shark Boy is there for nostalgia whilst the other two are barely used. Shark Boy takes down Dice with a hop-toss and a thumb to the eye. He tags in Gujjar who is 5-0 since January. He takes out Dice with a running elbow and a dropkick. He tags Shark Boy back in and execute a double-team spinebuster on Dice. Dice calls for a timeout but Shark Boy pulls him back in. Shark Boy hits 10 punches in the corner then bites Dice. Swinger with the distraction and Dice hits a hard clothesline on Shark Boy, followed by a Scoop Slam. Dice tries a top rope clothesline but Shark Boy hits his own clothesline and makes the tag to Gujjar. Gujjar hits a Samoan Drop for 2. The face team Irish Whip their opponents into each other. Shark Boy hits the Stunner on Swinger, Gujjar with a Spear on Dice for the win at 3:50.

Winners by pinfall: Shark Boy and Bhupinder Gujjar

Analysis: ** It was probably better than I expected it to be as I have very little interest in any of the 4 men. Gujjar had some impressive moves towards the end of the match. Not sure “What a matchup!” was necessary from Tom Hannifan on commentary. I’m glad it was kept short.

After the match, Deaner and Joe Doering of Violent by Design hit the ring and take out Shark Boy and Gujjar. Doering hits Dice and Swinger with big right hands too. Doering hits Gujjar with a weak-looking fireman’s carry takeover then a clothesline. Deaner calls out Josh Alexander.

(Commercial)

Josh Alexander answers the call and makes his way to the ring. They show a recap of after the match at Slammiversary when Deaner and Doering attacked Alexander. Deaner asks Alexander how it feels to stand in the ring from his demise, the undefeated Joe Doering. Deaner says that Alexander should embrace the fear and reminds him that he lost to him the last time that they were in the ring. Deaner says that at Against All Odds, Violent by Design will achieve its mission of bringing the gold back home. Alexander says the family seems to be thinning out. He asks where Eric Young is. Alexander puts over how hard he has worked to become World Champion. Alexander says no one has seen or heard from Young since Slammiversary and the same thing is going to happen to Doering next Friday. Doering takes a cheap shot at Alexander and Deaner joins in but Alexander fights back. He goes for a C4 Spike on Deaner, but Doering runs the ropes and hits Clothesline from Hell on Alexander. Deaner and Doering continue to beat down Alexander until security guards try to stop them. Doering throws a few of the security over the rope, Alexander recovers and sends both the heels out of the ring. Doering attacks some more security. Doering and Alexander stare each other down.

Analysis: That was a strong segment that was needed with only a week until their match at Against All Odds. Eric Young usually does the bulk of the talking for VBD, but Deaner did a really good job here to try and put over Doering as a legitimate threat. Doering has a similar look to the Butcher from AEW, but is far less talented in my opinion. The next match started straight away.

Match #3: Josh Alexander vs Deaner

This is not for Alexander’s Impact World Championship. The match starts off with a quick pace and Alexander is in control. He has Deaner in the corner and hits multiple punches. Alexander with a big backbreaker for 2. Deaner fights back with a chop but Alexander picks him up over his shoulders. Deaner fights off to get to the ropes. Alexander runs through Deaner, sending him to the outside. Deaner tries to retreat and hits a thumb to the eye, followed by sending Alexander into the ring post. Back in the ring and Alexander hits a Northern Lights Suplex for 2. Deaner grabs Alexander’s headgear to get an unfair advantage. He pummels Alexander with forearms to the back in the corner. Deaner with a big kick to Alexander’s neck into the turnbuckle. Both men exchange counters before Alexander gets the advantage with 5 German Suplexes! Alexander measures Deaner for the C4, but Deaner wriggles out. Alexander applies the anklelock in the corner until the 4 count. Deaner goes for the Deaner DDT but Alexander reverses into the anklelock and Deaner taps out after 5:23.

Winner by submission: Josh Alexander

Analysis: **1/2 That’s about as good as you’ll get from a 5-minute match. Deaner put up a good fight and Alexander made the big face comeback after sustaining a beatdown before the match. Alexander has such a good moveset and the fans are always fully invested in whatever he does. I imagine this match will be better than the one against Doering but maybe we will be pleasantly surprised.

Gia Miller is backstage with Frankie Kazarian. She asks how it felt being part of the winning team at Slammiversary. Kazarian said it was one of the best moments in his career and a night he will never forget. He said that for a normal person that would be enough for closure. Kazarian said he’s not normal. He puts over his rivalry with Chris Sabin. Next week they will battle it out one last time.

Analysis: That will be terrific. Kazarian hasn’t been used much in AEW. I liked his short run as the Elite Hunter but that fizzled out. Sabin always gives us top-notch matches, too.

Tasha Steelz and Savannah Evans respond to a quick Jordynne Grace promo, where in order to take her title someone is going to have to outwork her, which she doesn’t see happening. Steelz says she will take back her Knockouts Championship at Against All Odds. Steelz says Grace might not even make it to Against All Odds after facing Evans next week on Impact.

Analysis: That’s a fresh match up and should be a good contest next Friday.

Match #4: Sami Callihan vs Jack Price

Jack Price didn’t get an entrance so that tells you who is winning. Callihan and Moose had a violent, weapons-filled Monsters Ball match at Slammiversary which Sami won. Price was the co-winner of the 2022 Gut Check competition. They lock up and Callihan plays some mind games in the corner. Callihan takes down Price with a big clothesline. He hits a harder running clothesline whilst Price is down in a seated position. Callihan hits the Cactus Driver 97 to squash Price in 1:28.

Analysis: * Just a quick match to put over Callihan and remind us how dangerous he is.

Post-match Moose hits the ring, as Callihan is posing on the turnbuckle. Moose spears Callihan. Moose takes a steel chair and hits Callihan in the back 4 times on the outside of the ring. Moose slams Callihan through a table at ringside with a Uranage.

Analysis: It allowed Moose to get his revenge as he was out of his element in Monsters Ball. It looks like this feud will continue which is fine with me.

Backstage the Briscoes, AMW and the Good Brothers are getting ready for the 6-man tag main event. Gallows lets the Briscoes know that despite their rivalry, the Good Brothers have their backs. Chris Harris tries to come to ringside with James Storm, but Storm says no.

Analysis: They’re trying to show how personal this rivalry is for Chris Harris by teasing that he will get involved physically. The fans will probably pop big when he eventually does.

Sami Callihan is backstage yelling at Gail Kim, trying to find Scott D’Amore to end this feud with Moose. Gail asks what could be more violent than Monsters Ball? Sami said he had a phone call from an old friend of his, inspiring him. He proposes a Raven’s Clockwork Orange House of Fun match for Against All Odds.

Analysis: That match hasn’t been seen since 2012 and not since 2009 in Impact. There are usually weapons hanging from chains above the ring. It can be a Falls Count Anywhere match or, in the past, you could win by putting your opponent from a scaffold through two tables. It will be interesting, that’s for sure.

The commentators run through the card so far for Against All Odds:

– Impact World Champion Josh Alexander defends against Joe Doering
– Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace defends against Tasha Steelz
– Moose vs. Sami Callihan in Raven’s Clockwork Orange House of Fun match
– Honor No More vs. Impact Tag Team Champions the Good Brothers, The Briscoes & James Storm

Next week on Impact:

– #1 Contender match for the X-Division title: Chris Bey vs Steve Maclin vs Laredo Kid vs Trey Miguel.
– Alex Zayne vs Ace Austin
– Gisele Shaw vs Rosemary
– Chris Sabin vs Frankie Kazarian

Analysis: That’s a really solid lineup for next week. Sabin vs Kazarian will be terrific.

Match #5: Eddie Edwards, Matt Taven and Mike Bennett vs. Mark and Jay Briscoe, and James Storm

There are still 15 minutes left in the show, so there’s plenty of time to have a solid main event. HNM make their way to the ring first, followed by the Briscoes and James Storm accompanied by his beer.

It’s Mark Briscoe and Taven to start things off. Taven tags out quickly and Bennett is legal. Bennett and Mark Briscoe trade chops. Briscoe takes advantage, sending Bennett into the corner followed by a clothesline. Mark tags in Jay who hits a big kick on Bennett in the corner. Jay with an uppercut and a headbutt then stomps away on Bennett in the corner. Bennett wrenches the arm of Briscoe and tags in Edwards. Taven gets in Briscoe’s face, whilst Edwards takes a cheap shot on Storm in the face corner. Jay Briscoe takes advantage of this and hits a big boot, tagging in Storm. Storm is on fire and takes down Edwards with a neckbreaker. Taven and Bennett come in and Storm sends them both over the top rope. Both Briscoes dive over the top rope to the outside, taking out the heels.

(Commercial)

Back from the commercial and Storm and Edwards are legal. Storm is sent over the top but holds on and comes back in. Taven distracts him and Bennett sends Storm into the steel guard rail and then face-first into the steel post. Edwards takes control again and rolls Storm into the ring for a 1 count. Edwards tags in Taven who hits a side Russian leg sweep followed by a lionsault for 2. Taven tags Bennett back in, who sends Storm to the corner. Bennett hits a dropkick into the knee of Storm. He tags Edwards back in again. The heels are isolating Storm effectively. Edwards applies a front headlock on the mat to Storm. Storm eventually makes it to his feet and makes the tag, but Bennett and Taven have the referee distracted. Taven tags in and chops Storm down in the corner. Edwards chokes out Storm, then tags in. Edwards sends Storm into the corner followed by a clothesline. He spends far too long taunting the fans and Storm hits a backstabber in the corner. Storm makes the tag to Mark Briscoe and Edwards tags in Taven. Briscoe is on fire and he takes Bennett out with an Exploder Suplex. Double team running neckbreaker by the Briscoes for 2. Taven sends Jay Briscoe to the outside and the referee is checking on Bennett in the corner, which allows Edwards to hit a big kick to the face of Mark, followed by a double team sitout powerbomb for a close 2 count. HNM are setting up Mark for a triple superkick but Storm makes the save with the Last Call on Edwards. Mark Briscoe with the Death Valley Driver on Bennett. He climbs to the top rope to finish Bennett off but Taven distracts him. Bennett and Taven with the Broton Pack on Mark Briscoe for the three count after 12:12.

Winners by pinfall: Honor No More

Analysis: ***1/2 A really entertaining main event match up with plenty of action. Storm was used sparingly in the match, but what he did do was enjoyed by the fans. Bennett and Taven, as well as the Briscoes, look so smooth on double team offence. It’s great seeing the Briscoes back on TV weekly. Putting over Honor No More was the right call, after their loss at Slammiversary.

After the match, Honor No More celebrates their win inside the ring and continue the beatdown on the Briscoes and Storm. PCO, King and Vincent join in until the Good Brothers try to make the save, to no avail. Edwards hits a Tiger Driver on Mark Briscoe, as the chairs come into the ring. The heels put a chair on the ankle of Mark Briscoe and take turns in smashing his ankle with steel chairs. Impact goes off the air with Honor No More celebrating their work.

Analysis: This could lead to Mark Briscoe being removed from the match as there are only eight days until the Impact Plus special, Against All Odds. Maybe Chris Harris will lobby to be the replacement.

 

Final Rating: 6/10

The main event probably saved the show from being in the ‘disappointing’ category. It was a fun brawl, running with the multi-man tag match theme that Impact have been running with a lot in 2022. James Storm still has a role to play so it’s good to see him still out there enjoying himself and popular with the fans. With less than two weeks between feature shows, Impact did do a good job in putting together half a card on the show tonight. Whilst my expectations for Alexander vs Doering is low, there’s enough on the rest of the card to pique my interest.

If you are looking to skim through the show, then the women’s match and the main event are worth watching. The beginning of the show dragged on far too long with a ‘promo-off’ between Honor No More and America’s Most Wanted. I understand building to the main event match, but we see enough 15-minute opening promo segments on WWE TV so we don’t need it infiltrating Impact!

I’ll be back next week with the go-home show for Against All Odds. Here’s my email address kristian.l.thompson@gmail.com in case anybody wants to get in touch with me and Twitter is @thomok6 as well. Any feedback or comments are welcome: kristian.l.thompson@gmail.com