IMPACT Wrestling: Under Siege 2023 Review

impact wrestling under siege review

Every title is on the line with Maclin-PCO in the main event, Purrazzo-Grace one more time and plenty more as Impact returns to Canada for Under Siege.

Impact brought a strong card to Ontario, for their monthly special ‘Under Siege’. My interest in the show was high, as the product is strong of late and I was expecting a better match this time out from Deonna Purrazzo and Jordynne Grace. The Tribal Chief of TJR Wrestling, John Canton, was in attendance, so look for him at the bottom of the entrance ramp throughout the show. With a huge weekend of wrestling, and my intentions to watch 4 PLEs/PPVs throughout, I will go summary style for the show and play-by-play for the two major championship matches. I’m sure my loyal fan base will forgive me. Onto the show!

On the pre-show, Joe Hendry defended his Impact Digital Media Championship by disqualification against Dirty Dango. Santino Marella made his return at the end of the match. It was disappointing to see this on the pre-show, as this storyline has been given plenty of TV time as of late.

Under Siege Main Show: Western Fair District Agriplex in London, Ontario, Canada

There was the obligatory opening package that focused on the dastardly actions of Impact World Champion, Steve Maclin, and his maniacal challenger PCO. They meet in a No-Disqualification match tonight!

Match #1: Nick Aldis vs Kenny King w/ Sheldon Jean

This match has had a nice build to it, with King rising to the challenge to face Aldis in his return match to Impact. King is the perfect opponent in this situation, as he bumps well and always makes things look so effortless. King tried for a count-out win early after taking out Aldis on the outside with a corkscrew plancha. Obviously, that wasn’t enough so this very evenly-matched contest continued. Aldis almost got the win with a Pumphandle Fallaway Slam, which is a unique move. He hit his top-rope elbow drop, then Sheldon got involved so King tried a cheating pin with his feet on the ropes. King hit a big spinebuster for 2. King went for a hurricanrana off the top, but Aldis caught him with a rough-looking powerbomb. Aldis locked in the King’s Lynn Cloverleaf and King tapped out. The match lasted 10 minutes.

Winner: Nick Aldis

Analysis: ***1/2 A great opening contest where the offense was really sharp throughout. King is so talented, but rarely gets a meaningful push. Aldis continues his journey to the World Championship.

Aldis celebrated the win on the ramp nut the camera panned to a brawl in the crowd between Killer Kelly and Masha Slamovich. Kelly choked Slamovich out on the seating rail. They were brawling in the stairwell and Kelly kicked Slamovich off the railing, onto the concrete floor. Slamovich dumped Kelly over the guard rail and to the ringside area. Kelly fought back with a suplex on the floor. She tossed Masha into the ring and grabbed a steel chain. She choked Slamovich out with the chain as officials and security tried to break it up.

Analysis: That was great and furthers the storyline. It was unexpected on this show but that’s fine, of course.

Jordynne Grace had a quick interview with Gia Miller about what it would mean if she loses to Deonna Purrazzo tonight.

Match #2: Handicap Match: Sami Callihan, Rich Swann & ? vs The Design

Callihan finally turned on The Design last month at Rebellion. He is one partner short for this match, so we will see if he is able to find a friend. It happened to be Jake Crist, who hasn’t been in Impact for 2 years, where he was in Callihan’s OVE stable. That choice made a lot of sense, although it wasn’t made to be a big deal as he didn’t even have a separate entrance. Crist showed his athleticism early with a spring moonsault on the outside. The face team tried to triple-team Kon with super kicks but he still wouldn’t go down. Kon took another 2 super kicks and then clotheslined Crist and Callihan, whilst he had Swann on his back attempting a sleeper hold! Deaner and Callihan finally faced off, which has been brewing for months. Crist and Angels got involved though, so Crist and Callihan hit stereo Death Valley Drivers. Kon hit a double chokeslam on Callihan and Crist. Huge Frog Splash by Angels, but Callihan kicked out at 2. Awesome double springboard cutter by Swann on Kon and Deaner. The win came when Swann when for the springboard cutter again on Angels, who blocked it, but Swann rolled through for the pin after 10:30.

Winners by pinfall: Sami Callihan, Rich Swann & Jake Crist

Analysis: ***1/2 That was pretty exciting for a Design match. Adding Crist to the mix added to the athleticism to the contest, as he flew all around the ring. Callihan got his revenge with a Cactus Driver on Deaner and with his team winning the match. This might be the end of the feud- we can only hope!

Santino Marella was interviewed backstage. Marella said he has had enough of Dango jumping him from behind and called him something that had to be bleeped out!

Match #3: Trinity vs Gisele Shaw w/ Jay Vidal & Savannah Evans

For no good reason whatsoever, Trinity made her wrestling debut on Impact 2 weeks ago, instead of on this much bigger monthly special. That being said, it was a terrific match against KiLynn King. Trinity had yellows streaks in her hair, to complement her all-yellow ring attire. Trinity had to fight the outside interference throughout, but overcame the odds to chalk up the submission win after 10 minutes. Shaw continues to be a stepping-stone for her opponents, despite being very talented.

Winner by submission: Trinity

Analysis: ***1/2 Another good match from Trinity as she starts her Impact career.

Subculture made their Impact debut in a backstage interview and confrontation with The Good Hands. This should’ve been done 3 weeks ago instead of the night of their introduction to the Impact audience. Mark Andrews was a popular underdog competitor in the X-Division in a previous stint in Impact. He and Webster tagged together in NXT UK. This was an exciting match from the beginning. There was plenty of high-flying antics and springboard shenanigans. Webster did a ridiculous dive from the top rope to the outside, where his legs landed against the guard rail. Webster and Andrews hit the Reverse Rana/ running knee combo finisher on Bey but Austin broke it up at the last moment. Bey tried for a Falcon Arrow but Andrews reversed it into the Stun Dog Millionaire. Webster hit the flying senton for another close 2 count. The crowd were really into this match the whole way through. Austin saved Bey from another double-team move, then Bey hit an insane double poisonrana on Subculture, spiking them both on their heads. What a ridiculous move. Bullet Club followed up with The Art of Finesse and The Fold for the win after 14 minutes.

Winners AND STILL Impact World Tag Team Champions: Bullet Club

Analysis: **** What a way to introduce yourselves to the Impact fans! That was a fantastic match, where everything just looked so crisp. You could be forgiven for thinking these teams had fought on multiple occasions- they just looked like they had worked together many times before. This was Impact’s best tag team match possibly of the year.

Match #4: Impact X-Division Championship: Trey Miguel (c) vs Chris Sabin

This match has been more about the history of the championship, rather than a feud between the two wrestlers. It’s been 10 months since Miguel has been pinned, so he has momentum on his side. Sabin targeted the legs of Miguel throughout, in order to restrict his high-flying offence. Miguel came close to winning with a perfect Meteora from the top. He hit an awesome sliding DDT on the ringside area, tossed Sabin into the ring and then looked for another Meteora but Sabin moved. Sabin hit a Canadian Destroyer and a Clothesline from Hell. He hoisted Sabin up but Miguel raked the eyes, so Sabin put the referee up on his shoulders. The referee thankfully rolled off Sabin’s shoulders but Miguel drop kicked Sabin into him. Sabin hit the Cradle Shock but the referee was incapacitated. Miguel rolled to the outside and sprayed the paint in Sabin’s eyes. Miguel went back into the ring and rolled Sabin up for the win after 19 minutes.

Winner AND STILL X-Division Champion: Trey Miguel

Analysis: ***3/4 That was great but the finish was so super cheap even for a heel the calibre of Miguel. It just felt like a bit of a letdown after the quality of the match up until then. Miguel’s reign continues and I am glad of that.

Match #5: #1 Contender’s Match: Eddie Edwards vs Moose vs Frankie Kazarian vs Jonathan Gresham vs Alex Shelley vs Yuya Uemura

This is a one-fall match, not an elimination match, with the winner facing the Impact World Champion at Against All Odds, which is only two weeks away. With Maclin pretty much locked in to beating PCO later, my thoughts were that the winner was most likely to be Kaz or Shelley in this match. This was a chaotic match, where everyone had their moment to shine in terms of offense throughout. The finish came when Moose hit the spear on Edwards, Uemura took down Moose with a German suplex and Shelley capitalised on Uemura’s taunting of Moose to hit the Shell Shocked on Uemura for the win after 12 minutes.

Winners: Alex Shelley

Analysis: ***1/2 That was the right call, especially if Maclin is retaining as expected. There are only two weeks until Against All Odds, and Shelley will slot back into the main event position easily.

Match #6: Impact Knockouts’ World Championship: Deonna Purrazzo (c) vs Jordynne Grace

I thought this match would headline the show, so I’m a little surprised here. They had the big match introductions before the bell rang. If Grace loses, she doesn’t get another championship match as long as Deonna is the champ. They locked up and Grace held the ropes for a break. Grace didn’t want to get sucked in to any submissions so she took Purrazzo down and pummelled away with right hands. Grace charged at Purrazzo on the apron, but she moved and spiked Grace on the neck. Purrazzo punted Grace in the chest and hit a cannonball from the ring apron to the floor. Back in the ring, Grace blocked a suplex attempt. Purrazzo wanted a head scissors but Grace caught her and hung her up on the ropes. Grace scored the first nearfall of the match up. Grace with a snap suplex and cornered Purrazzo. She hit a back suplex as she started to dominate the match. Grace backed Purrazzo into the corner with forearms. Purrazzo avoided a corner attack but ran into a German suplex and Grace got another 2 count. She hoisted Purrazzo to the top rope and set up for the Muscle Buster. Purrazzo fought out of it but Grace clotheslined her over the top rope. Grace tossed Purrazzo back into the ring at the count of 7. They exchanged chops in the centre of the ring. Grace took the advantage with forearms but Purrazzo caught her in the ropes with a clothesline. Purrazzo hit a Russian Legsweep and tried for the Fujiwara Armbar but Grace rolled out. Purrazzo hit an Exploder suplex for a 2 count. Grace whipped Purrazzo into the corner and hit a spinning powerbomb for a 2 count. Purrazzo blocked the Grace Driver and hit a devastating piledriver for a close 2 count. Grace backed out of the Queen’s Gambit and hit a powerbomb/Jackhammer combo for 2. She put Purrazzo onto her shoulders and tried to climb to the top rope. Purrazzo slipped out and hit a powerbomb off the top rope. Purrazzo hit the Queen’s Gambit but Grace kicked out. Purrazzo started to work over the arm and hit a Flatliner. Purrazzo hit a big kick to the face. She tried for the Queen’s Gambit again but Grace countered into a reverse piledriver for 2. Purrazzo rolled out of the Grace Driver and got a 1 count. They talked trash in the centre of the ring and exchanged forearms. Grace hit 2 scoop slams but Purrazzo fought right back with right hands. Grace ascended to the top rope but Purrazzo followed. Purrazzo hammered Grace with headbutts and hit the Queen’s Gambit off the top rope for the win after 15 minutes. The camera angle for that was really poor so you didn’t see the impact of the move. They showed a replay afterwards and Purrazzo hit the move perfectly.

Winner by pinfall AND STILL Impact Knockouts’ World Champion: Deonna Purrazzo

Analysis: ***1/2 It was pretty good but still didn’t hit the heights that it was capable of. The finish kind of just happened, as good as it was. I felt they had another 5-10 minutes left in the tank. That’s probably the end of Grace in Impact for the time being. She has been the best woman in the division of the past year, in terms of match quality, and had a terrific title reign.

Match #7: No Disqualification match for the Impact World Championship: Steve Maclin (c) vs PCO

This was an unexpected match for Maclin’s first Impact Plus special as champion, but the crowd continue to back PCO, as ridiculous as he appears at times. He was out first, followed by Maclin and they had the big-match introductions with Dave Penzer. The crowd was firmly behind PCO, as expected. Maclin charged at PCO with right hands as soon as the bell rang. PCO returned fire by clotheslining Maclin over the top rope. PCO ran the ropes and nailed Maclin with a cannonball through the middle rope. PCO stalked Maclin around the ring. He bounced Maclin’s head off the steel steps. He tried a suplex but Maclin rammed him into the guard rail. John Canton at ringside nodded in approval. Maclin suplexed PCO into the steel steps and then went hunting for weapons. He smashed PCO over the head with a baking tray. PCO was unfazed and tried for a chokeslam but Maclin launched him over the top rope and PCO landed hard. Maclin went for a suicide dive but PCO caught him with a shot to the head with the baking tray. Great selling by Maclin there and he was busted wipe open. PCO nailed Maclin over the head with a trash can. PCO punched Maclin repeatedly to open the wound further. Maclin told the referee that he was bleeping bleeding, as if we couldn’t tell. Maclin hit a low blow on PCO, even though he’s not human. Maclin smashed PCO over the back with a steel chair. Maclin assaulted PCO with about 10 chair shots to the back and ribs. He tossed some more weapons in the ring and set up the trash can in the corner. Maclin set up PCO in the Tree of Woe, except the trash can fell out of the ring and the fans let him know. Maclin dived off the top rope and landed on PCO with the steel chair. Maclin covered but PCO kicked out after 2. Maclin got a new trash can and set it up in the opposite corner. He very gently set PCO up in the Tree of Woe and drop hit the running spear against the trash can for another 2 count. Maclin’s blood was all over the ring mat at this point as he retrieved a staple gun. Maclin started stapling PCO’s face and it appeared as if he had stapled PCO’s mouth shut. Maclin charged at PCO who side-stepped him and Maclin crashed into the ring post. PCO got some pliers and started pulling the staples out of his face! You could see the staples clearly stuck in his mouth. Maclin grabbed a sledgehammer and cracked PCO over the head with it. PCO was bloody now and for some reason the camera at ringside had blood on the screen. Maclin got 2 concrete slabs. He smashed PCO over the head with these 2 weeks ago. Maclin set the slabs up on the back on PCO. He grabbed the sledgehammer and destroyed the concrete over the back of PCO. PCO was writhing in pain on the mat so Maclin pinned him but PCO kicked out at 2. PCO sat up and started the comeback. PCO hit a clothesline in the corner and a DDT. PCO hit a lung blower off the second rope and nailed Maclin with a legdrop to the back of the neck. He set Maclin up on the ring apron and hit the Deanimator. PCO climbed to the top again but Maclin through a chair to the head of PCO. Maclin launched PCO off his shoulders, spine-first into the ring apron. That would not have tickled. Maclin smashed PCO over the back with the steel chair again. He looked for something else under the ring and found some concrete blocks. Maclin tossed 5 of them into the ring. PCO snuck in and connected with a reverse DDT. The fans chanted for PCO some more as he set up the cinder blocks in the corner. PCO went outside and got a few more blocks. This is not going to end well. There was a big line of blocks organised in the corner so PCO draped Maclin over them and went to the top rope. He took too long so Maclin hit a Death Valley Driver on top of the blocks and the KIA on the concrete for the win after 15 minutes.

Winners by pinfall AND STILL Impact World Champion: Steve Maclin

Analysis: ***1/2 That was violent and spotty but I enjoyed it. At no point did I think PCO would win, but he entertained us in his usual maddening way by destroying himself for the fans. That bump onto the concrete blocks at the end was brutal as was the staples. That won’t go down as a classic match but it was a fun brawl that utilised the No-DQ rules perfectly.

After the match, Maclin demanded that Impact President Scott D’Amore present him with his championship, as he promised. D’Amore made his way to the ring. He presented Maclin with the championship and extended his hand. Maclin walked off on him and then Bully Ray appeared in the ring behind D’Amore. Bully Ray started choking D’Amore out with a strap around the neck. D’Amore passed out as D’Amore watched. Bully told Maclin to get the tables. Maclin threw a table in the ring and set it up with Bully. Bully took the lighter fluid. Matt Rehwoldt left the commentary booth to confront Bully and Maclin. Bully sprayed the fluid in Rehwoldt’s face and sucker punched him. Rehwoldt had Maclin’s blood all over him. PCO appeared back in the ring so Bully pushed him. PCO took down Bully with a right hand but Maclin nailed him with the title belt. Maclin smashed PCO’s face with a cinder block. Out came the Motor City Machin Guns to confront Bully. That makes sense because Shelley just won a World Title shot. Maclin and Bully dealt with them easily. Bully sprayed the table with the lighter fluid and set it on fire. Maclin hoisted D’Amore on top of Bully’s shoulders and he destroyed him with a powerbomb threw the flaming table! Bully told D’Amore that he’s never leaving and he’s taking the whole company down with him. Some officials rushed down with some bottles of water, which I’m not sure is what D’Amore needed, and Under Siege went off with Bully Ray raising Maclin’s hand.

Analysis: Well, that was crazy. Bully is back which is great. He needed a strong appearance after losing to a non-wrestler at Rebellion. The feud with D’Amore continues and it will be interesting to see if he aligns with Maclin, which I doubt because Maclin has the title, and which way this will head. At least some wrestlers tried to help the authority figure here, which often is ignored. A mad way to end a fun night of Impact Wrestling.

Final Rating: 7.75/10

Final Thoughts:

That followed the general rule of an Impact Plus special: 3.5+ star matches that all went around 12-15 minutes and entertained for three hours. Most of the card (as usually is for these non-PPV shows) was pretty predictable but enjoyable nonetheless. I really enjoyed the Tag Team Championship match as the standout. I can’t help but feel that with some build up and introduction, Subculture would’ve felt like more of a big deal. I wonder if they’re just on a one-match agreement here, because the tag team scene needs some regulars moving forward. Purrazzo and Maclin both defended their championships in decent matches, as did Trey Miguel in a solid outing with Chris Sabin. He continues his great work as a heel.

The next Impact Plus special is Against All Odds on June 9th. Here’s what we know so far:

* Impact World Championship: Steve Maclin (c) vs Alex Shelley

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!