Reviews

Impact Wrestling Review – November 24, 2022 (Thanksgiving Special)

impact wrestling thanksgiving special

It was Thanksgiving in the United States on Thursday, so Impact Wrestling hosted a special edition that looked back on past Thanksgiving moments in the company.

Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt hosted the show. They said that Impact were thankful for having great fans and tonight they would look back on some great moments, as well as recap some of the recent happenings in Impact Wrestling. It would’ve been the perfect show to capitalise on the dastardly actions of Bully Ray and continue the momentum from Over Drive on Friday night, but it’s a big holiday in the US so the wrestlers will be happy to spend time celebrating with their families.

I will simply list the matches and winners because they decided just to show highlights of the matches and not the whole thing so a rating would not be entirely accurate. There was a lot of bad humour on the show, but if the matches sound like they interest you, you might like to catch a replay or find a stream of them.

Match #1: Thanksgiving 2008: Rhino defeated Sheik Abdul Bashir and Alex Shelley in a Turkey Bowl match

Bashir is Shawn Daivari who currently works in WWE as a producer. Rhino pinned Shelley after the Gore and made himself $25,000. Shelley, as the loser, had to don the turkey suit after the match. Mick Foley came out to face a reluctant Shelley. He said Shelley knew the rules going in and he needs to put the turkey suit on. Shelley took the mic and said that if he puts the turkey suit on then none of the ladies in the crowd are going to be happy. Foley doesn’t care about that. He puts over Shelley’s skills but tells him that if he doesn’t put the suit on, he will be fired. Foley gives Shelley to the count of 10. Foley starts the count and Shelley is looking at the turkey suit with disdain. Foley gets to 6 and Shelley starts to put on the suit. Foley makes some terrible turkey jokes. The fans begin to chant ‘Turkey’ which I think is what this segment is at the moment. Shelley completes the turkey suit and ring announcer Jeremy Borash announces him as the turkey of the year.

Analysis: They only showed a few minutes of the match, but it was more about the turkey stipulation which was silly but the fans enjoyed it. Foley firing up about firing Shelley over not wearing a turkey suit was ridiculous.

Several Impact stars and commentators give quick promos on what they are thankful for this year.

There’s a pre-taped promo with Violent by Design. Deaner asks Young if this is the end, after Young lost to Sami Callihan on last week’s show. Young says to get to where you’re going, you have to go back to where it all began.

Analysis: That was cryptic and the story of Young possibly being the weak link might play out over the next few weeks.

Rehwoldt and Hannifan joined us again and put over the brutality of the match between Sami Callihan and Eric Young from last week. They cut to a thanksgiving moment from 2007 where Kurt Angle was hosting Thanksgiving dinner. It was a pretty lame but funny segment that included a lot of chaos, and of course a food fight.

There was a recap from Friday’s Over Drive where Deonna Purrazzo challenged Mickie James, after Mickie beat Taylor Wilde. Mickie was then shown on a pre-taped promo where she accepted the challenge. The match will happen next week as part of the Last Rodeo.

Analysis: That’s a great match for next week. They had some terrific matches last year and I’m sure this will be another one of those.

(Commercial Break)

Rehwoldt and Hannifan were back in the studio to show highlights of another Turkey Suit Challenge.

Match #2: Turkey Suit Challenge: Robbie E vs Grado

Robbie is currently in NXT as Mr. Stone, but he was an entertaining lower-card heel in Impact in the Bro Mans stable. Grado is a Scottish wrestler who was in Impact from 2014-18. The match didn’t even go 60 seconds, as Grado pulled at the tights of Robbo to expose his underpants then Robbie stacked Grado up to win the match. Grado enjoyed the turkey suit and danced around as music played.

Analysis: I’m not sure why they picked this out of all the moments over the years. The match was so short and nothing about it is memorable. I never got into the Grado character.

There were highlights from the World Championship match between Josh Alexander and Frankie Kazarian from Over Drive. It was an excellent match and I reviewed it here. After the match Bully Ray challenged Alexander to a World Title match at Hard to Kill, then beat the stuffing out of Alexander and threatened his wife. It is worth watching if you have time as I thought it was a dramatic and excellent heel turn and post-match angle. They also showed extra footage from after the show, where Scott D’Amore confronted Bully at ringside and broke his trophy in comical fashion. Rich Swann also came down to protect Alexander and his wife.

Rehwoldt and Hannifan played up the disturbing nature of Bully’s attack. It will be Rich Swann vs Bully Ray next week.

The next segment featured Rockstar Spud, who was Drake Maverick on NXT and now writes for Raw. He was hosting a Thanksgiving dinner in the ring. He played a slimy heel character that aligned himself with EC3 on Impact. Spud invited all the winners of tonight’s matches to the banquet. It ended in a wild brawl when Kurt Angle invited his entourage down to face-off with Bobby Roode and his allies.

There were highlights from the X-Division 6-way match from the Over Drive pre-show, which Rich Swann won.

Next up, was a clip from 2017 where Eli Drake (LA Knight in WWE) hosted a Thanksgiving dinner around ringside. There was a 10-person tag match, where the wrestler that got pinned had to wear the turkey suit.

Match #3: Chris Adonis, Caleb Konley, Laurel Van Ness, KM and El Hijo Del Fantasma vs. Eddie Edwards, Richard Justice, Allie, Fallah Bahh and Garza Jr. In An Eli Drake Gravy Train Turkey Trot Match

There were only about 2 minutes of action shown. Adonis tried the Adonis Lock but Eddie Edwards rolled through and pinned him for the 3 count. After the match, Adonis had to wear the turkey suit.

Back to 2022, and Yuya Uemura and Delirious did a rambling promo that no one could understand. They are now a tag team.

Steve Maclin cut a pre-taped promo, saying the young men were being held down in Impact. Maclin says that Frankie Kazarian stole his title shot. Maclin says that Kazarian has just stepped into a war where he has no idea what’s coming.

Analysis: Kazarian vs Maclin is set for next week. It’s shaping up to be a huge show.

Match #4: TNA Turkey Bowl match: AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe vs. Chris Sabin

The ‘main event’ for the evening was the Turkey Bowl match from 2007. Styles was one-half of the Tag Team Champions with Tomko. The winner of this match won $25,000 and the loser had to wear the turkey suit. This was the first of these traditional matches that Impact continued to do over the years. Sabin clotheslined Styles out of the ring early on in the match. Joe and Sabin went at it and exchanged arm drags. The pace was furious early in the match and the crowd was loving it. Styles ran back in and completely missed an attack, flying out of the ring again. Sabin hit a kick to Joe that sent him outside. He ran the ropes and took out Styles with a suicide dive on the opposite side of the ring. Back from a commercial break and Styles and Sabin faced off inside the ring. Styles backed Sabin into the corner with right hands. Joe came back into the ring and stopped Styles with a series of jabs, until Styles poked the eye of Joe. Joe swept the legs of Styles then hit an enziguiri in the corner on Sabin. Joe ran the ropes but Styles cut him off with a forearm. Styles dropkicked Sabin off the ring apron. Styles battered Joe with right hands. Joe fought back with right jabs and then ran the ropes but Styles decked him with a drop kick. That match took another commercial break. When they returned, Sabin rolled through a pin attempt on Styles but Styles caught him and nailed him with the Styles Clash. Joe broke the pin up just before the 3 count. Joe picked up Styles and threw him into the corner. Styles jumped off the ropes, looking for an inverted DDT, but Joe caught him and dropped him on his head. Sabin broke up the 3 count and then they took another commercial break. I have to deal with the 2007 and the 2022 commercial breaks! Sabin hit a Tornado DDT on Joe and climbed to the top rope. Joe recovered quickly and cut him off. Sabin fought Joe off and shoved him to the mat. Styles pushed Joe into Sabin, which caused Sabin to get hung up on the ropes so Joe nailed him with an enziguiri. Sabin fell to the outside of the ring. Joe missed a clothesline on Styles, who then hit the Pele kick. Styles went for a running clothesline in the corner but Joe caught him and slammed him down with a Uranage. Joe hit the Muscle Buster to win the match and the $25,000. After the match, Styles refused to wear the turkey suit so Jim Cornette went down to the ring and told him to do it or he was fired. Styles complained that it didn’t fit but he eventually got it on. The crowd loved that. The segment ended with a face-off between the heel trio of Styles, Tomko and Angle, and Samoa Joe, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash.

Analysis: I won’t rate the match since there were so many commercial breaks in there but the action that was featured was terrific. Styles was in full heel mode here with Kurt Angle and the crowd despised him, even though he was majestic in the ring.

 

Final Thoughts

I was disappointed to see that it wasn’t a regular episode of Impact this week, but it’s understandable with it being Thanksgiving. If I wasn’t reviewing it, then I would’ve just skipped it. There were some random choices of segments included. The main event between Joe, Styles and Sabin was the only segment on the show that I really enjoyed. The video segments showing highlights from recent Impact shows were much better and I feel they should’ve used this show to include more of that and summarise the current Impact climate for the viewer. Next week looks like this:
* Bully Ray vs Rich Swann
* Mickie James vs Deonna Purrazzo
* Steve Maclin vs Frankie Kazarian

That’s 3 main event quality matches right there. That will make up for the quality of tonight’s show, so all is forgiven.

I’ll be back next week with a regular review of Impact. Any feedback or comments are welcome. My email address is kristian.l.thompson@gmail.com in case anybody wants to get in touch with me and Twitter is @thomok6 as well. I’ll be back for my regular weekly Impact review next week. Thanks for reading!