Impact Wrestling kicked off their UK tour in Glasgow with a big tag team match with The Motor City Machine Guns facing Josh Alexander & Eric Young in the main event.
Impact Wrestling 2/11/23 from the O2 Academy: Glasgow, Scotland
Last week’s show was a Bound for Glory highlights show so I had a week off from reviewing. You can catch my review of the PPV here. I gave it 8.25/10 with the incredible Will Ospreay vs Mike Bailey match being the highlight for me. They are bringing back the TNA name in January, starting at the Hard to Kill PPV. That got a bit of buzz online but I’m not sure how monumental it will end up being.
Tom Hannifan and Matt Rehwoldt welcomed us to the show, from the studio, because the UK shows have been taped. This week turned out to be a sort-of ‘highlights of the tour’ show and not one continuous presentation. It felt like one of those end of year WWE shows, on a low budget. They pumped up a ‘Glasgow Cup’ tournament, which they’re showing the final of first up tonight. They showed a shot of the venue, which looked like a theatre and presented pretty well.
Match #1: Glasgow Cup Final: Joe Hendry vs Frankie Kazarian
The ring announcer was a Scot, so that was cool to see they used someone local. He did a pretty good job. He wasn’t on the whole show. There was another American announcer who I wasn’t familiar with. Hendry was of course popular here, being from Edinburgh. He got on the mic before the match as the fans chanted for him and then for TNA. Hendry said the future was looking bright for this company and for Joe Hendry if he can win the match against a legend tonight. Kaz made his entrance to a nice reception. They locked up as the bell sounded and Hendry used his power to back Kaz into the corner. The camera angles were certainly different to the normal Impact presentation, with a lot more close-ups of the in-ring action. They did not use the hard-camera the whole time which probably had something to do with the arena set up. Or maybe they were trialling something different. Kaz slapped on a side headlock but Hendry bounced off the ropes into a shoulder block. No one gained an advantage here until Kaz used his momentum to take down Hendry with a shoulder tackle. He used a side headlock takedown to ground Hendry to the mat. The announcers mentioned a Mexico tour later this month so they’re certainly getting the brand out there this year. Kaz slipped out of a back suplex attempt but Hendry hit a dropkick to the knee. Hendry chopped Kaz to the tune of his theme music which is quite amusing. He hit a nice stalling suplex for a 2 count, the first of the match. Kaz reversed an Irish Whip but Hendry met him with an elbow in the corner. Hendry went to the top but Kaz shoved him to the floor as the crowd booed a little bit.
Kaz chopped Hendry around the ring for a bit before sending him back into the ring. He hit his scoop slam/ springboard legdrop combo for 2. Hendry reversed an Irish Whip but received an elbow from Kaz. Kaz hit a guillotine legdrop on the middle rope and hit a big clothesline back in the ring. Hendry tried to block the Crossface Chicken Wing and turned it into a suplex. Great spot. He caught Kaz with a Fallaway Slam and kipped up. Hendry pumped up the crowd a bit and went for the Standing Ovation but Kaz countered with a neckbreaker. Hendry managed to kick out at 2. Kaz bounced off the ropes but Hendry caught him with a modified Samoan Drop with Kaz falling face-first and then nailed a cutter for 2. Kaz recovered quickly and hit the Fade to Black out of nowhere for a close 2 count. He went to the top but Hendry cut him off with an uppercut and then nailed a Superplex. They slugged it out in the middle of the ring and then Kaz went for the backslide for the surprise win but Hendry kicked out. Hendry tried a roll up and got 2. He missed an attack in the corner so Kaz rolled him up for 2 again. Hendry used a side headlock takedown and turned it into a pin for the win after almost 14 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Joe Hendry
Analysis: ***1/2 That was a very competitive match that had some nice spots throughout. They gelled really well together. It made sense that Hendry win in his home country, but it was not a foregone conclusion since he was wrestling a big Impact name in Kaz.
Impact President, Scott D’Amore, presented the Glasgow Cup to Hendry after the match to the cheers of the crowd.
Moose, Brian Myers and Deonna Purrazzo cut a quick promo on Subculture, who they face next.
Match #2: 6-Person Tag Team Match: Moose, Brian Myers & Deonna Purrazzo vs Subculture (Mark Andrews, Flash Morgan Webster & Dani Luna)
Purrazzo faces Trinity for the Knockouts’ Championship on Turning Point which was Friday night. Luna faces Jordynne Grace there and the Subculture men face Josh Alexander and Eric Young. Myers and Webster started the match, but the crowd was getting on Myers’ nerves so he was slow to lock up and then cowered back to his corner. Eventually, Myers joined the match and Webster gave him an arm drag and then kicked him into the corner. Webster tagged in Luna who suplexed her team mates on top of Myers then covered him for a 2 count. Luna squared up to Myers but he didn’t want a bar of her so tagged in Purrazzo. They did a bit of counter wrestling and Luna hit a nice running back elbow. Luna hit a suplex for a 1 count. Purrazzo tagged in Moose and Luna was interested in locking up with him. Moose tossed her straight into the corner so Webster tagged himself in. Moose got the better of him too, so Andrews tagged in. He ducked an attack from Moose and tried some chops in the corner but they weren’t very effective. Andrews used his quickness to score with a dropkick, but Myers distracted him so Moose was able to recover and knock him off the top. Moose took down Andrews with a chop and tagged in Purrazzo who covered for a 2 count. She backed Andrews back into her corner and tagged Myers again. Myers hit a suplex for 2. The crowd was chanting some disparaging things towards Myers, that rhymed with anchor. Myers tagged in Moose again. Moose wanted a powerbomb but Andrews turned it into a hurricanrana. He tried leaping over the top of Moose to get to his corner but Moose caught him and drove him back into the heel corner. Myers tagged himself back in and locked a sleeper on Andrews. Andrews used a jawbreaker to break the hold. He tried a sunset flip pin but Myers reached out and tagged in Purrazzo, so Andrews couldn’t pin Myers. Andrews hit a jawbreaker on Purrazzo but still couldn’t make it to his corner in time. Myers tagged in again and went back to clubbing blows to the back of Andrews. He hit a scoop slam then took Webster off the apron with a cheap shot. Myers went for the spear but Andrews levelled him with an enziguiri. Andrews finally made the tag to Luna who hit a dropkick on the incoming Purrazzo. Purrazzo blocked a powerbomb attempt and hit a rolling forearm. She ran into a Fallaway Slam but Moose tagged himself in and destroyed Luna with a Pump Kick. Webster ran in and took down Moose with a moonsault. He hit a suicide dive on Myers on the outside. I think he was legal but I didn’t see the tag. Subculture used their collective strength to hit a triple powerbomb on Moose from the corner. They all stacked on top of Moose to score the pin but Myers saved the match up. Luna tagged in and Moose made it to Purrazzo. Purrazzo nailed a Side Russian Legsweep and floated over to the Fujiwara armbar in the centre of the ring. She was about to tap but Andrews broke the move up. He went to the top but Moose nailed a big kick from the ring to the top. Webster tried to stop Moose but Moose caught him with a number of chops. Moose hit a superplex on Webster but was instantly hit with a splash from Andrews! Myers hit an enziguiri on Andrews. Luna took him out with a diving clothesline. Purrazzo came back in but both women were thinking of a clothesline and took each other out. Andrews and Moose tagged in. Andrews countered a Uranage with an arm drag. Moose nailed a Big Boot and went for a suplex but Andrews countered again with Stundog Millionaire. The women fought from the inside to the outside. Moose went for a spear but Andrews rolled him up for 2. Moose hung Andrews up on the top rope and nailed the spear for the win after 15 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Brian Myers, Moose & Deonna Purrazzo
Analysis: ***3/4 That was an excellent, hectic match that was full of fast-paced action. There really weren’t any moments where the action slowed down or that it became uninteresting. I loved that they gave some of the power spots in the match to the women. Luna is very talented and I’d like to see more of her in the ring. We know how good Purrazzo can be. It’s not a surprise that her team won, seeing as she has a title match tomorrow.
Eric Young and Josh Alexander had a quick backstage segment where they teased using the Team Canada name.
The commentators hyped up the main event between The Motor City Machine Guns and Josh Alexander and Eric Young. They talked about Grado, who had a run in Impact previously. I never saw an appeal in him and unfortunately, now I have to review one of his matches.
Match #3: Grado vs Trey Miguel
Miguel bailed to the outside as soon as the bell rang. When he made his way back into the ring, Grado avoided a few of Miguel’s attacks which just made him more annoyed. Grado applied a sleeper hold but he was more interested in making ridiculous facial expressions and playing to the crowd, so Miguel slipped out of it easily. Grado took Miguel down with a shoulder tackle. He feigned running the ropes and tripped Miguel up for a 2 count. Miguel was getting furious now and nailed a forearm. He hit an uppercut in the corner. Grado mocked Miguel’s handstand in the corner so Miguel gave him a throat thrust which sent Grado to the outside. Miguel missed a chop so Grado nailed one of his own. Grado held Miguel and took him around the crowd so that some of the fans could chop him. That was pretty funny. Miguel bounced Grado’s head off the ring post because he was distracted by the crowd. Miguel tossed him back into the ring and covered for 2. He hit a series of kicks to the back, but Grado fought back with a clothesline that sent Miguel inside-out. Miguel shut down the Bionic Elbow but Grado ended up hitting it. Grado measured Miguel for a cannonball in the corner but Miguel nailed a superkick and then a moonsault for 2. Miguel missed the double stomp from the top and ran right into a Death Valley Driver but kicked out just before 3. Miguel hit a knee strike but Grado got an inside cradle for 2. Grado hit the Wee Boot for the win after 8 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Grado
Analysis: **1/2 It was okay as a match to keep the crowd happy as Grado is from Scotland. They enjoyed his comedy spots. Miguel rarely does anything that isn’t interesting so he did enough heel work here to keep it fun.
Eddie Edwards cut a promo on Will Ospreay, ahead of their match at Turning Point. He mentioned their work in Japan. Edwards said Ospreay might be the best in the world, but Impact is Edwards’ world and he’s the best here.
Analysis: That should be very good. I think Edwards at his peak would’ve pulled out a spectacular match with Ospreay but I’m sure it will still be great.
Match #4: Non-Title Match: Trinity vs Emersyn Jayne
I am not familiar with Jayne. She is a Scottish wrestler, though. Jayne rejected a handshake so she’s playing the heel here. Trinity sent her into the corner and grabbed a side headlock. She grounded Jayne to a knee. Jayne reversed it into one of her own and then nailed a shoulder tackle. Trinity kipped up but Jayne pulled her down by her hair. Trinity used her Matrix slide to avoid a clothesline. She hit the splits for 2. Jayne tried to suck up to Trinity by offering a handshake. She tried a cheap shot but Trinity ducked and nailed an enziguiri for 2. Trinity wanted a bulldog but Jayne held on and sent her into the middle turnbuckle. Jayne ran into the corner and hit a sliding German Suplex for 2. She nailed a suplex for another 1 count. Trinity wanted a crossbody but Jayne caught her with a Northern Lights suplex for 2. Jayne choked Trinity out using the ring ropes, until the referee got to the 4 count. Trinity blocked a shot and nailed her bulldog in the corner. She hit a couple of flying clotheslines and a single-leg dropkick. Trinity nailed a spinning bulldog which planted Jayne, then she hit the Rear View but Jayne showed resilience by kicking out just before 3. Trinity tried to drive Jayne face-first using her knees, but Jayne tossed her off and nailed a Falcon Arrow for 2. That was nicely done. Jayne got in Trinity’s face so Trinity kicked her in the head. She nailed her double knee driver in the middle rope. Trinity hit the Full Nelson Bomb for the win after 7 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Trinity
Analysis: **3/4 That was fine for a match to get a local talent on the show and keep Trinity looking strong. Some of Jayne’s offense was impressive. The crowd loved Trinity and she’s proving to be a very popular Knockouts’ Champion.
There was a quick highlights video of the UK tour, with comments from different wrestlers. I follow a lot of them on Twitter/X and they seemed to have a great time. The Impact locker room seems pretty tight-knit and I hope they can attract some bigger names before the relaunch in January.
Match #5: The Motor City Machine Guns vs Josh Alexander & Eric Young
I know Shelley is currently injured but I’m not sure which show he got injured on. He had to pull out of any indie appearance on the weekend which he was disappointed with. Shelley has pulled out of all matches up until November 12th. He didn’t wrestle much in this match so it could’ve happened then. Alexander and Shelley shook hands as the match began. There was a lot of grappling early on and counter-wrestling. They both tried to sneak their finishers in but they know each other too well to allow that, this early in the match. Shelley bailed to the outside for a breather. When he returned to the ring, he tagged in Sabin. Alexander asked the fans if they wanted to see Young, which they cheered for so he tagged in Young. Sabin took him down with an arm drag.
Back to the action and The Guns double-teamed Young and sent him to the outside. Alexander came in but Sabin hit him with a Big Boot. Shelley climbed to the top but Young tossed Sabin into him so that he came crashing down. Young tagged in Alexander and he nailed a boot to Shelley. Alexander battered Shelley with elbows to the back of the neck. Young tagged in again and nailed a clothesline on Shelley. He hit a big right hand on Shelley in the corner and tagged Alexander back in. Alexander locked in a front-face lock on Shelley on the mat. Shelley made it back to his feet and tried to moved Alexander towards his corner. Alexander took out Sabin with a right hand and then tried to lock the anklelock on Shelley. Sabin ran back in to break the hold but Alexander sent him to the outside. Shelley hit a headbutt and a Dragon Screw. Shelley took Young off the apron with a dropkick. Sabin hit a Dragon Screw on Alexander in the corner, illegally. Shelley hit his own Dragon Screw for 2. He tagged in Sabin, who stretched Alexander out in the middle of the ring. Sabin stomped on the knee of Alexander and then tagged the Impact World Champion back in. Shelley went for a leg lock and then trapped Alexander legs but he was able to reach the ropes and break the hold. Shelley locked in the Figure 4 but Young came in. Sabin cut him off and locked a Figure 4 in on Young! Young rolled over and made it out of the ring, whilst Alexander rolled underneath the ropes to break the hold. Alexander missed an enziguiri so Shelley kicked him in the shoulder. Alexander countered a suplex with a Fisherman’s suplex of his own. Young tagged in and rolled up Shelley for a close 2 count. He hit a Northern Lights Suplex for 2. Shelley ran right into a clothesline but he stood there for a few seconds which looked awkward. Young set up for the piledriver but Shelley back body dropped him. Shelley hit a Flatliner against the middle rope and tagged Sabin in. Sabin nailed a missile dropkick on Young, who went flying into his corner. Alexander tagged in and hit two German suplexes on Sabin. He nailed a flying forearm and went for the C4 Spike but Sabin hit a perfect hurricanrana counter. Sabin nailed a dropkick but Young broke up the pinfall attempt. Shelley and Sabin hit a Flatliner/missile dropkick combo for 2. Alexander slipped out of the Cradle Shock again and locked in the anklelock. Sabin almost made it to the ropes but Alexander dragged him back. Sabin tried to fight him off but Alexander turned it into a Sharpshooter! Sabin crawled to the ropes to break the hold. Alexander called for the Doomsday Device but Sabin fought off the shoulders of Alexander. He bumped Young off the top rope and nailed the Cradle Shock on Alexander. Instead of pinning, Sabin went back to Young. They fought on the top rope and Young bit Sabin on the forehead and shoved him down to the mat. Young hit his big elbow drop but wasn’t the legal man. He tagged himself back into the match but Sabin kicked out just before 3. Good refereeing there. Sabin reversed an Irish Whip and nailed a springboard Tornado DDT. Sabin destroyed Young with the Cradle Shock and kicked Alexander off the apron so that he couldn’t break up the pin. Sabin covered Young and won the match for his team after 20 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Motor City Machine Guns
Analysis: ***1/2 You’d think a 20-minute match with this calibre of wrestlers would gain a higher rating but there was just no heat to the match and it felt exactly like a house show main event. Young hasn’t seemed like a big deal at all since his return and was treated as such in this match, taking the pin. Alexander and Sabin are just brilliant- I’d love a feud between them sometime in 2024.
Hannifan and Rehwoldt thanked us for watching and put over Turning Point which is the monthly special that comes from the UK, too.
Final Rating for IMPACT Wrestling: 7/10
I was excited to get back into Impact this week after a week off, but it turned out to be a ‘best-bits of the tour’ rather than a normal weekly show. There were just a bunch of matches that had no build and a few quick taped promos. That being said, the wrestling matches that they did include were mostly very good. The 6-person tag between Subculture and Moose/Myers/Purrazzo was great and I’d recommend that from this show if you had limited time. I thought the main event was disappointing, in terms of quality. I’m not sure if Shelley vs Jonathan Gresham for the Impact World Championship will go ahead now, but it could’ve been taped already. It’s hard to follow sometimes when only some shows (the PPVs/monthly-specials) are live. I’ll be back tomorrow with a review of Turning Point.