IMPACT Wrestling’s 100th episode celebration spilled over to a second week, with more nostalgia as well as the beginning of the build to the Bound for Glory PPV.
Technically this is the 1001st episode of Impact Wrestling but they’re celebrating the 1000th episode over two weeks so it’s still being billed as that. Those details don’t bother me as much as some other wrestling fans. Last week’s show was a lot of fun and got the highest weekly rating I’ve given in many months. I went away this weekend for the first time in a long time so I am a bit late with my review. I will go with a summary style to save some time.
Impact Wrestling 1000 (Part 2) 21/9/23 from Westchester County Center: White Plains, NYC
There was a video recap of last week’s show which included the in-ring return of Team 3D, as well as Chris Sabin winning the X-Division Championship for the 10th time.
Match #1: Ultimate X for a Future X-Division Championship match
Competitors: Mike Bailey, Zachary Wentz Alan Angels, Ace Austin, Rich Swann & Samuray Del Sol
We have had a few of these matches already this year but they are usually exciting and a lot of fun. Kushida won the last outing at Slammiversary but couldn’t cash in successfully. This is the 50th Ultimate X in Impact history. I was looking forward seeing what Del Sol could do here as he has been somewhat held back in his early Impact career. It’s also pleasing to see Austin getting singles shot, too. It was the usual, high-flying, crazy shenanigans we have come to expect from these matches. Angels and Wentz cleverly shook the cables as Del Sol was close to capturing the X but Austin kicked him off. Swann nailed a Poisonrana on Wentz as Angels and Bailey battled on the cable. Angels managed to hit a hurricanrana on Swann, down to the mat then Wentz sprayed the paint in Swann’s eyes. Bailey, Wentz, Angels and Austin all climbed on one of the cables each. Wentz sprayed the paint in Austin’s eyes as he reached for the X. Bailey kicked Wentz off the cable and he crashed to the mat. Bailey and Angels battled on the cable but Angels went low on Bailey. They both crashed to the mat but Angels recovered first. He climbed to the centre and unhooked the X then crashed to the mat. I think they mucked the low blow spot up and Angels wasn’t supposed to fall to the mat with Bailey. It was an okay start to the show but I expected more and also the match only went 10 minutes. Match Rating: ***
Winner: Alan Angels
Angels cut a quick promo backstage and said he was the face of the X-Division. He also said he was cashing in next week against Sabin.
Match #2: Dirty Dango w/ Alpha Bravo vs Jake Something
This match has been building nicely in the mid-card for a few weeks. They have brought back the ‘Fox Box’ for this match which apparently means there’s a judge (Chase Stevens) and a 10-minute time limit. The judge will render a decision if the time elapses. Dango tried stalling in the early moments and hid behind Bravo on the outside. He hit a cheap shot outside the ring and then a series of running clothesline in the corner back in the ring. Something fired back with a huge forearm and a spear in the corner. He launched himself into Dango and Dango crashed off the ring apron. Bravo accidentally hit Dango with the flashlight and Something hit the Void for the win after 4 minutes. It was short and a bit disappointing for the good build-up it had. Match Rating: **
Winner by pinfall: Jake Something
Steve Maclin was cutting a promo backstage on Rhino (after taking him out months back) when Rhino came out of nowhere and Gored him against a roller door. That was awesome. Santino Marella was admonishing Rhino backstage for taking out ‘Bob Mackland’ (!) and Rhino said he didn’t care what happened next to him.
Analysis: Lock in Maclin vs. Rhino soon.
Match #3: Eric Young w/ Scott D’Amore vs Kenny King w/ Sheldon Jean
Young came out to Team Canada’s theme and was accompanied by D’Amore. I hope there’s some creative plan for him soon as he is finally done with Deaner. King lost to Tommy Dreamer so there is no hope for him. This match only went about 30 seconds because Jean attacked Young from behind which caused a DQ. Shark Boy came out and announced a tag match. No Rating.
Winner by disqualification: Eric Young
Match #4: Scott D’Amore & Eric Young vs Kenny King & Sheldon Jean
As soon as the bell hit, Deaner and Kon attacked D’Amore and Young which caused another DQ. So much for that feud being over! I think a monkey is writing on Impact’s creative team tonight. No Rating.
Winners by disqualification: Eric Young & Scott D’Amore
Shark Boy then made an 8-man tag match and gave D’Amore and Young America’s Most Wanted as their tag team partners.
Match #5: America’s Most Wanted (James Storm & Chris Harris), Scott D’Amore & Eric Young vs The Design (Deaner & Kon), Sheldon Jean & Kenny King
No more DQs please! It was very much a standard multi-man tag match where the returning favourites hit all their big moves and D’Amore and Young finished off Jean with Sky High then a piledriver. You expect these kinds of matches on a celebration show and it delivered for the fans. The match went for 10 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: America’s Most Wanted (James Storm & Chris Harris), Scott D’Amore & Eric Young
There was a recap of Feast or Fired from last week where Chris Bey, Yuya Uemura, Crazzy Steve and Moose each won a briefcase. The highlight was Maclin getting Gored out of his boots and the briefcase flying out of the ring to Moose who caught it.
Dave LaGreca from Busted Open Radio had the results:
* Crazy Steve received a Digital Media Championship opportunity
* Moose received an Impact World Championship opportunity
* Chris Bey received an Impact World Tag Team Championship opportunity
* Yuya Uemura was fired
Analysis: They are probably the most expected results. I am happy that Moose will be back in the World Title picture. Crazzy Steve and his new character will get a nice push for the Digital Title and probably take it from Tommy Dreamer. Uemura and Joe Hendry were building a popular little tag team so we will see what the angle there is. Ace & Bey are back in the Tag Title picture which is fine with me.
Match #6: Trey Miguel w/ Zachary Wentz vs Josh Alexander
This is a main event on any Impact show being given away in the middle of special edition and it feels like a bit of a throwaway. Every time Alexander got on top during the match, Wentz interfered to hand the momentum back to Miguel. Towards the end Miguel reversed the C4 Spike attempt into a handspring superkick. He took far too long on the top rope, so Alexander launched him off and then hit a vicious clothesline that turned Miguel inside out. Alexander wanted a Death Valley Driver off the top but Miguel turned it into a hurricanrana. Alexander somehow turned a Meteora into the anklelock but Miguel rolled him to the outside. Wentz attacked Alexander from behind, so Alex Shelley showed up and took out Wentz with a shot to the face with his World Championship title. Back in the ring, Alexander reversed a Lightning Spiral attempt and destroyed Miguel with a huge C4 Spike to pick up the win after 9 minutes. Match Rating: ***1/2
Winner by pinfall: Josh Alexander
Alexander cut a sarcastic promo on Shelley who could’ve helped him last week or at Emergence. Shelley said he wanted to hurt Wentz and not help him. Alexander challenged Shelley to a match at Bound for Glory for the World Championship. That should be awesome.
John Skyler of the Good Hands compounded The Rascalz misery by coming into their locker room and demanding the Tag Team Championship shot that they owed them. Bey and Austin came in and showed off their Tag Team Championship briefcase and told Skyler to get in line. Miguel and Wentz snuck out as they were arguing.
* Mike Bailey vs Jonathan Gresham
* Tommy Dreamer & Heath vs Kenny King & Sheldon Jean in a Street Fight
* X-Division Championship: Chris Sabin (c) vs Alan Angels
* Yuya Uemura Goodbye Ceremony
Analysis: That’s a solid lineup. I highly doubt Sabin loses so I’m not sure why they are pulling the trigger on Angels so early.
Match #7: Trinity, Jordynne Grace, Mickie James, Gail Kim & Awesome Kong w/ Raisha Saeed vs Deonna Purrazzo, Tasha Steelz, Gisele Shaw, Savannah Evans & Angelina Love w/ Jai Vidal & Velvet Sky
It took 8 minutes for all the entrances to occur. That’s still less time than the Undertaker used to take to walk to the ring. All of these women are former World Champions except Evans and Shaw. Love and Trinity started the match. Trinity avoided a cheap shot in the corner but Love took her down with a shoulder block. She was posing over Trinity so Trinity tripped her up and hit a scoop slam. Trinity hit her splits pin for a 2 count. Love hit a jawbreaker and a clothesline. Grace and Purrazzo tagged in, but Purrazzo tagged straight out to Shaw. Grace hit a big clothesline and a scoop slam. She followed up with another one and a Jackhammer but the pin was broken up with Evans. Evans held Shaw and went for a kick but Grace ducked and Evans ate the kick. Mickie James tagged in and saw her first Impact action in almost 6 months. She hit a seated senton on Shaw from the top rope and Steelz tagged in. James hit a running kick and a big slap that sent Steelz to her corner. Purrazzo tagged in and ran into a Flapjack. James kipped up and went to the top rope but Steelz tossed her off and she went crashing to the mat. Purrazzo tagged Evans in and dragged James to the corner. Evans hit a legdrop and then pounded away on James with right hands. Evans hit a neckbreaker and tagged in Purrazzo. She took too long to get out of the ring so James had time to tag in Kim. Kim hit a number of clotheslines on Purrazzo and a back elbow. She hit a crossbody that almost didn’t connect. Shaw tried to interfere and she ate a double-team hurricanrana/arm drag from Kim that was much smoother than the crossbody. Nice recovery there.
Kim and Steelz were legal. Kim went to the top rope but Velvet Sky interfered and knocked Kim to the floor. Steelz got a few cheap shots on Kim too as the referee started to lose control of the contest. Steelz tagged in Love and she hit a sidewalk slam for 2. The crowd was chanting for Awesome Kong, who was yet to see any action yet. Love tagged Evans in next. Kim locked Shaw in an Octopus Lock but Shaw backed Kim into the corner to break the hold. They exchanged strikes in the centre of the ring and Evans took over with a backbreaker/ Flatliner combination. Evans went for the cover but James broke up the pinfall. Purrazzo tagged in and grounded Kim with a sleeper on the mat. Kim made it to a knee and fought Purrazzo with elbows. Purrazzo went for a crossbody and Kim for a clothesline and they collided together. Kim made the tag to Kong who hit a colossal chokeslam on Purrazzo. She took down Steelz with a clothesline and then faced off with Evans which was quite a sight. Evans fought out of a chokeslam but Kong took her down with a clothesline. Love and Purrazzo attacked Kong from behind and sent her out of the ring. James and Trinity worked in tandem to fight them off with Thesz Presses. Trinity flew to the outside with a crossbody on Purrazzo and Love. Grace put Kim on her shoulders and ran into Evans to take her out of the ring. Shaw and Grace fought on the top rope. Gail Kim flew from the top rope to take out about 8 Knockouts with a crossbody. I’m glad there were lots to catch her as she went at a very dangerous angle towards the floor. Back in the ring, Shaw turned around to a thunderous chokeslam from Kong. Kong picked up Shaw’s lifeless body and destroyed her with the Implant Buster for the win after 14 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Trinity, Jordynne Grace, Mickie James, Gail Kim & Awesome Kong
Analysis: ***1/2 That was a fun main event that was given a lot of time and allowed everyone to have moments to shine in the ring. Gail Kim was the ‘face-in-peril’ which was interesting because she hasn’t wrestled for a number of years. She hit some nice moves but also had a few rusty moments which turned out okay in the end. It’s still cool to see Awesome Kong hit those power moves after all these years. That’s probably what this Knockouts’ roster is lacking- a power woman who can dominate. They’re trying to push Evans but she doesn’t have the aura of Kong. It helps that she has great ring music and a great look too. The Knockouts’ division has been a huge part of Impact over the years and I’m glad they were celebrated tonight.
After the match, the women stood together in the ring with their arms raised while Mickie James stared at Trinity’s Knockouts Title. It was a tease of what’s to come.
Final Rating: 6.5/10
It wasn’t as good as last week’s show, but there were still enough nostalgic appearances and fun moments for me as a fan to relax and not be so critical of the product. The constant DQs in the middle of the show were annoying, however. The Knockouts’ main event was great, as was Miguel vs Alexander and we got the results of Feast or Fired which will build to some future championship matches. Shelley vs Alexander is now set for Bound for Glory and I am looking forward to that.
The next PPV is Bound for Glory on October 21st. Here is the lineup so far:
* Impact World Championship: Alex Shelley (c) vs Josh Alexander
* Will Ospreay vs Mike Bailey