IMPACT Wrestling Review – September 7, 2023

impact wrestling september 7 josh alexander

This week’s Impact Wrestling episode featured a big tag team main event while building to the Victory Road PPV.

(Note: This is being posted after the Victory Road PPV took place, but it was written without seeing that show yet. That review is coming soon.)

The opening video showed the highlights from last week’s show, where Alisha won a battle royal to earn a shot at the Knockouts’ Championship at Victory Road.

Impact Wrestling September 7, 2023 from the Rebel Entertainment Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Match #1: Deonna Purrazzo vs Dani Luna

We are straight into the action with Knockouts’ competition. Purrazzo faces the returning Jordynne Grace at Victory Road. Luna backs Purrazzo into the corner to start the match. She tries a side headlock but Purrazzo slips out and rolls her up for 2. Purrazzo tries the armbar early but Luna is right to the ropes to break it. Luna hit a scoop slam and a running back elbow. She nailed a Fallaway slam and a clothesline in the corner, then a running clothesline for a 2 count. Luna hit a pair of suplexes but Purrazzo blocked the third. Purrazzo escaped to the ring apron and they battled there, Luna hitting a couple of forearms but then Purrazzo nailed the arm ringer on the ring apron. Ouch. Back in the ring, Purrazzo hit a backstabber for a close 2 count. Luna blocked a corner attack and then nailed two forearm shots. She hit a running dropkick and attempted a powerbomb but Purrazzo wrenched at the left arm again. Luna fought out of it and hit the powerbomb with a pin for 2. She wanted the Luna Landing but Purrazzo slipped out the back and hit an Exploder Suplex for 2. Purrazzo was posing so Luna rolled her up for 2. Purrazzo looked frustrated so she hit a Russian Legsweep and locked in the Fujiwara Armbar and Luna tapped quickly. The match went 7 minutes.

Winner by submission: Deonna Purrazzo

Analysis: *** It was a good opener although the ending came quite abruptly, which puts over the impact of the armbar I suppose. Luna can wrestle, yet they only put her on the show every so often and never with any storyline behind her matches. I would say she’s in the top-6 of the division from what I’ve seen so far. I’d like her to get a push in the future, if Subculture are hanging around.

There was a creepy promo from the new person of Crazzy Steve. Steve snapped last week and ended up turning on his tag team partner, Black Taurus. They kept showing a mask, which is what he might wear from now on. It looked like the Scarecrow from Batman Begins. Steve talked about his partners leaving him alone and forgotten. He told Taurus that he would decimate him at Victory Road.

Analysis: That was really good. Steve with a new persona is interesting. I guess they’re having a match at Victory Road, so that’s good story progression but I would’ve expected a bit more time to pass before that.

Tommy Dreamer cut a promo on Kenny King. He takes on King at Victory Road for the Digital Media Championship, whilst putting his career on the line. Dreamer called King the opposite of everything he has ever been in his life. He talked about the significance of the building that they’re fighting in tomorrow night, as it was important to ECW. Heath walked in and said King has gotten too much in his head and he shouldn’t be putting his career on the line. Heath told Dreamer to take a step back and reassess things. Dreamer said it’s either going to be the end or a new chapter for Tommy Dreamer.

Analysis: It was the same promo he’s been cutting over the last few weeks about his career. I hope King wins but I’m doubting it now.

Match #2: Joe Hendry & Yuya Uemura vs Champagne Singh & Shera

Hendry and Uemura are nicknamed ‘JoYa’ and have ridiculous theme music and dance moves. I’d love it if Hendry snapped and turned heel. I think he could do some really cool things as the cocky heel that mocks the fans. Anyone, they are putting him in a comedy tag for now so that’s what we have. Singh and Uemura started the match, with Singh getting the upper hand with chops in the corner. Uemura fought back with a scoop slam and tagged in Hendry, who took down Singh with an elbow for a 2 count. Uemura tagged in and hit a running elbow for 2. Singh tossed Uemura throat first into the top rope and tagged in Shera. They hung Uemura on the top rope and Shera hit a running kick and a powerful scoop slam. Shera hit an elbow and tagged Singh back in. Singh hit a jumping Flatliner for 2. They exchanged forearms and Uemura hit a flying forearm to take Singh off his feet. He tagged in Hendry who hit a pair of clotheslines on Singh and a pump kick on Shera. Hendry hit a suplex on both of the heels. Singh hit a cheap shot on Hendry, so Shera took advantage with a big clothesline. Uemura came in and hit a dropkick on Shera. Uemura kicked Singh in the back of the head, then Hendry picked him up for Uemura to hit the One Hit Wonder for the win after 5 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Joe Hendry & Yuya Uemura

Analysis: **1/2 A predictable win for the new team, although Singh and Shera were allowed to put up a bit of a fight. That double-team finisher needs a bit of work though.

Steve Maclin cut a backstage promo on Josh Alexander. Bully Ray was by his side. Maclin faces Alexander and Bully fights PCO at Victory Road. Bully was acting all flustered because PCO has been tormenting him lately. Bully said he doesn’t want to fight PCO, he wants to fight Carl Oullet (PCO’s real name). He said both Maclin and Bully have had no luck with PCO- they listed burning him, smashing him with cinder blocks and using battery acid, none of which have succeeded. They got into a heated argument about who is in charge.

Analysis: It’s the paranoid side of Bully Ray kicking in, because he cannot put PCO away. Both matches should be great at Victory Road, for different reasons.

The Impact Flashback of the Week was Gail Kim defeating Awesome Kong for the Knockout’s Championship, but they didn’t list when it was from.

There was another video promo for Will Ospreay, who will appear on Impact in October. I’m not getting tired of those!

Gia Miller interviewed Josh Alexander backstage. It’s PCO & Alexander vs Bully & Maclin tonight. Alexander said at Victory Road there’s nowhere left to hide for Maclin, but tonight he’s going to make a statement.

Analysis: Short and sharp which is the best version of Alexander’s promos.

Match #3: Subculture vs Rich Swann & Sami Callihan

Andrews and Swann started the match. They tried to dropkick each other but clashed. Andrews hit a pair of arm drags and tagged in Webster. He hit a running dropkick in the corner. Swann reversed a Figure-4 attempt and knocked down Webster with a dropkick. Callihan tagged in and they hit a double-team sidewalk slam for a 2 count. Webster tried a shoulder block but Callihan didn’t budge. Callihan raked Webster’s eyes and tagged in Swann. Callihan targeted Andrews on the apron. Swann missed a springboard crossbody and tumbled out of the ring. Subculture hit a double-dropkick on Callihan, sending him to the floor. Webster hit the pinball wizard on both Callihan and Swann to the outside.

(Commercial break)

Subculture hit a double hip toss on Swann, then Webster hit a running shooting star press for a 2 count. Swann fought out of an armbar attempt but ran straight into a dropkick. Andrews tagged in and hit a running dropkick for 2. He stretched out the back of Swann, who slowly got to his feet. Andrews hit a back suplex for another 2 count. Webster tagged back in and targeted the back of Swann. Swann avoided a corner attack but Andrews dragged him to the outside. He tried to clothesline Swann, but missed and hit the steel ring post. Back in the ring, Swann hit an enziguiri on Webster and tagged in Callihan. Callihan was all over Andrews with 2 clotheslines. He hit his double-team Flatliner/DDT combo and got a nearfall on Andrews. Andrews avoided the Cactus Driver and tagged in Webster who hit a Falcon Arrow for 2. There was another quick tag to Andrews, who got clotheslined by Callihan. He countered a suplex attempt into Stundog Millionaire. Webster tagged back in and missed a 450 attempt. Both men were looking for a clothesline and took each other out. Swann and Andrews got the tags. Andrews sailed through the air but was caught by a superkick in mid-air. Webster blocked the superkick and nailed a headbutt on Swann. Callihan hit the Cactus Driver 97 on Webster. Andrews tossed Swann to the outside, where he landed on the ramp. Callihan hit an uppercut on Andrews, then Swann ran down the ramp and sailed over the top rope to hit a running cutter on Andrews. Swann hit the 450 splash to win the match after 9 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Sami Callihan & Rich Swann

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a very good tag team match that was under 10 minutes. Subculture have gone from champions, to not getting a rematch, to losing to Callihan and Swann in 2 weeks’ time. It’s not looking good for their quest to reclaim the titles.

Gisele Shaw and her friends cut a quick promo about the Tag Team Championships, and there was a video package from last week’s Knockouts’ battle royal that we saw in the opening to the show.

The Rascalz were next to cut a promo. The Good Hands cut them off pretty quickly and said they deserve a shot at the champions after helping them win the titles. Wentz said The Rascalz needed to focus on the Motor City Machine Guns but he was trying to weasel his way of giving them a shot.

Match #4: Non-Title Match: Lio Rush vs Kevin Knight

It’s time for Kevin Knight to lose the only match he has on the show for the next 6 weeks. That’s how it feels most of the time, anyway! They showed a picture-in-picture pre-taped promo from Knight saying how sweet it will be when Kushida knocks Rush off at Victory Road and then Knight can face his friend for the title down the line. Rush was laying down in the corner as Knight entered the ring, in his typical cocky manner. Knight took him down with a shoulder block and a big dropkick, that sent Rush to the floor. Rush grabbed his championship and tried to leave up the ramp. Knight grabbed him by the hair and pulled him back into the ring. He hit a big splash off the ropes and then an uppercut in the corner. Knight went to the next corner and hit another uppercut then stomped away on Rush. He hit a snapmare and a diving clothesline for 2. Rush wanted a break so bailed to the floor again. Knight stalked him and hit a few chops on Rush. Rush got a cheap shot in and rolled back into the ring. He hit a big chop in the corner and then another one. Knight fought back with an uppercut. He jabbed Rush in the corner and then hit a clothesline. Knight was attacking Rush in the corner so the referee broke it up. Rush raked the eyes of Knight when the referee was trying to restrain him. Rush hit a handspring kick that took Knight off the ring apron. He ran the ropes and smashed Knight into the barricade with a suicide dive. Rush repeated the move with even more force. The guard rail was pretty close and the fans in the front row jumped back a bit which was funny.

(Commercial break)

Rush hit a huge clothesline and scored a 2 count as we returned to the action. Knight was slow to get up so Rush blasted him with a forearm shot to the back of the head. Rush grounded Knight with a body scissors on the mat. Knight got to his feet with Rush on his back. He backed into the corner to break the hold. Rush jumped to the top but Knight was quick to spring up and hit a hurricanrana which sent Rush crashing to the mat. Knight avoided a clothesline attempt and hit one of his own. He nailed a splash in the corner and a flying clothesline for a 2 count. Rush blocked a Tornado DDT but Knight drilled him with a forearm against the ropes, then a dropkick. Knight missed a crossbody off the top rope so Rush hit a kick to Knight’s head. Rush hit the Final Hour frog splash for the win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Lio Rush

Analysis: ***3/4 That was a terrific match, but like most of the matches tonight I felt the finish was a bit flat. Rush hit a glancing kick and that was enough to set up his frog splash finisher. Knight could be a serious player if he was given a storyline or hung around in Impact long enough to have a serious feud.

Dirty Dango cut a pre-taped promo on a pier. Dango talked about Impact’s 1000 episodes and hoped he wasn’t around for the 2000th episode. He dedicated his match at Impact 1000 to Dixie Carter, where he will face Jake Something. He mocked Something and his simple promo skills. Dango asked Johnny Bravo how good his promo was and Bravo backed him up.

Analysis: These are always fun. Dango has done really well since turning heel.

There was a short video package for Jordynne Grace’s return. She has lost her last two encounters with Deonna Purrazzo, and they face each other again at Victory Road.

Knockouts’ Championship Contract Signing

There was a table in the ring, so you know what that usually means. Alisha Edwards and her husband, Eddie, made her way to the ring to meet Santino Marella. Trinity was out next to a nice ovation. Marella told Alisha to relax because she wasn’t happy at Trinity getting a better reception than her. Alisha said she couldn’t understand Marella and the stupid Canadians either. Alisha has a really painful voice and I wish Eddie was cutting this promo. She said that everyone thought that she was just a champion’s wife. Alisha said she won the battle royal and she’s been here a long time so she deserves this opportunity. She called herself the next Knockouts’ World Champion and signed the contract. Trinity signed the contract without any fuss. She said she couldn’t understand Alisha’s stupid accent. The crowd chanted ‘Boston sucks’. Trinity said in all serious she respected what Alisha’s done. She said she overlooked her with all the potential opponents she could face. Trinity said she could’ve gone anywhere but she picked Impact because of the competition. Eddie got the microphone and the crowd was booing heavily. He called themselves the power couple. Alisha ripped on Jey Uso because he can’t travel to Canada. Trinity ripped on Edwards for turning his back on Impact (and joining Honor No More) then she called Eddie Mrs. Edwards so Alisha threw her drink in Trinity’s face. Trinity hit a huge kick on Alisha and started punching her. Alisha fought back with right hands but Trinity tossed her into the corner. Trinity set up the table for a powerbomb but Edwards held Trinity back. Edwards hit a Blue Thunder Bomb on Trinity through the table! Hannifan was going crazy calling Eddie names. Alisha held the championship up, over the fallen Trinity. Frankie Kazarian ran down but the damage was done.

Analysis: That was a pretty average segment until the table spot which was well done. Alisha is not a great talker or a believable challenger to Trinity, but at least they have made her winning a possibility thanks to Eddie.

The commentators ran down the Victory Road card, which has a very good lineup considering there was less than two weeks of build to it.

The Motor City Machine Guns cut a promo on The Rascalz. Sabin called them an embarrassment. Shelley said they have a long way to go before becoming a respected tag team and that at Victory Road, they are taking the championships back.

Analysis: That should be a great match and it might be the main event.

Match #5: Bully Ray & Steve Maclin vs PCO & Josh Alexander

Bully Ray was looking behind him as he entered the ring in case PCO attacked him. I think there were some sound issues when Alexander entered because he had no theme music. Maclin and Alexander started the match off. They would’ve fought at Rebellion, but Alexander got injured and had to drop the title. Alexander went straight for the ankle lock but Maclin slipped out and tagged Bully. Alexander motioned to PCO and tagged him in, which didn’t suit Bully so he tagged straight out. Maclin pummelled PCO with right hands. PCO took Maclin down with a clothesline and stomped on him in the corner.

(Commercial break)

Maclin chopped away on Alexander in the corner as we returned to the action. Alexander fought back with an arm drag and focused on the left shoulder of Maclin. He nailed a suplex but Maclin kicked out before 1. Alexander took him to the corner with some chops. He tagged in PCO and they hit a double elbow strike on Maclin. PCO went over to Bully, who jumped off the ring apron. Maclin attacked PCO from behind. He hit a knee to the ring and choked PCO against the middle rope. Maclin ran the ropes but PCO cut him off with a clothesline and tagged Alexander back in. He hit a big boot on Maclin, who then blocked a German suplex and hit an elbow that knocked Alexander down. Bully tagged in and teed off with rights and lefts on Alexander in the corner. Alexander blocked a corner attack and hit a dropkick off the middle rope. He mounted Bully in the corner with right hands. Maclin came in and got nailed with a forearm. Bully blocked a German suplex attempt and went for the Bionic elbow but Alexander hung him up on the ropes. He ran the ropes but Maclin pulled the top rope down, so Alexander went crashing to the floor and into the guard rail. Maclin tagged in and tossed Alexander back into the ring for a 2 count. He stomped away on Alexander on the mat. Maclin nailed a suplex for a 1 count. He hit a backbreaker for 2. Maclin reached out to Bully and tagged him in. Bully hit a clothesline and another one. He missed a third one so Alexander nailed a German suplex. Both men tagged their partners in. PCO got the advantage with a clothesline on Maclin. He hit a running clothesline in the corner and a DDT. PCO sent Maclin off the ropes and he bumped into Alexander on the apron. PCO hit a lung blower on Maclin, then a legdrop across the neck from the top rope. PCO hit a cannonball through the middle ropes on Maclin. He stalked Bully around the ring. Bully went into the ring so PCO followed him. Bully wanted a handshake but PCO grabbed him around the throat for a chokeslam. Maclin broke it up and Bully hit a low blow on PCO, when the referee wasn’t looking. Bully rolled up PCO for the win after 10 minutes but I’m pretty sure Maclin was the legal man so they mucked that up.

Winner by pinfall: Bully Ray & Steve Maclin

Analysis: *** That was a solid main event that meshed the two feuds together well. Bully is playing the cowardly heel quite well, although I would’ve kept the physicality between he and PCO until Victory Road. Someone had to take a loss and PCO is probably the least affected here.

Impact went off the air with Bully motioning that he outsmarted PCO and Alexander.

Final Rating: 7/10

It was a very good episode of Impact this week that packed a lot of content into the night of wrestling. Every feud for Victory Road got either some in-ring or promo time (there were a lot of short promo videos tonight, which I am a fan of) and I am looking forward to this show a lot more than I was at Emergence even though it is the second straight monthly show without the World Championship being defended. There are just some more interesting match ups for me here and not having an 8-man tag like last month means more singles matches which I prefer.

The next Impact Plus monthly special is Victory Road, which took place on Friday, September 8th:

* Josh Alexander vs Steve Maclin
* Impact World Tag Team Championships: The Rascalz (c) vs The Motor City Machine Guns
* Impact Knockouts’ Championship: Trinity (c) vs Alisha Edwards
* Impact Digital Media Championship: Title vs Career: Kenny King (c) vs Tommy Dreamer
* Impact X-Division Championship: Lio Rush (c) vs Kushida
* Deonna Purrazzo vs Jordynne Grace
* Anything Goes Match: Bully Ray vs PCO
* Crazzy Steve vs Black Taurus

There is also the Impact 1000 special on September 9th (to air next week):

* Impact World Championship: Alex Shelley (c) vs Trey Miguel
* Team 3D vs ???
* Alisha & Eddie Edwards vs Frankie Kazarian & Traci
* Ultimate X Match: Participants TBA
* Feast or Fired: Participants TBA
* Dirty Dango vs Jake Something
* Awesome Kong, Gail Kim, Trinity, Jordynne Grace & one other Knockout vs Angelina Love, Deonna Purrazzo, Gisele Shaw, Savannah Evans and one other Knockout

Any feedback or comments are welcome. My email address is in case anybody wants to get in touch with me and my Twitter handle is @thomok6 as well. Thanks for reading!