Impact Review 9/3/23

My review of this week's episode of Impact Wrestling.

Impact Review 9/3/23

We open the show with Bully Ray making his way down to the ring. Bully Ray takes the mic and asks what people think Tommy Dreamer meant when he said “someone like me” in reference to the Busted Open Live Segment at No Surrender. He continued to ask the crowd, the ring announcer and the commentators. After this, Bully goes on to speak about Tommy tweeting, challenging Bully to a ‘Busted Open’ Match at Sacrifice. Bully tells the crowd that the match will never happen because of the injuries that Bully caused. Santino Marella comes out, reminds Bully that the injuries to Tommy are healing nicely, and he books the ‘Busted Open’ match between Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer at Sacrifice.

Bhupinder Gujjar comes out and challenges Bully to a match which Santino makes official!

Match 1: Bully Ray Vs Bhupinder Gujjar

At the start of the match, it looks like Bully is going to attempt a repeat of his beat the clock match by using the chain, but Bhupinder doesn’t let that happen. Bhupinder keeps getting knocked down by Bully, but he does not stay down, he keeps getting up wanting Bully to keep hitting him (kind of like when Dreamer asked Sandman to hit him again with the Kendo Stick back in ECW). Bhupinder manages to get a little bit of offence in, so Bully attempts to hit Bhupinder with the chain, but Bhupinder blocks! Bhupinder tried to pick up the chain but he is hit with a low blow, causing the DQ. Bhupinder wins by Disqualification. Not the best match for actual wrestling, but a really good match for pushing forward the story. Grade C-

After the match, Bully attacks Bhupinder, Dreamer comes out to make the save and to attack Bully. Dreamer is then attacked by Masha Slamovich! Bully then looks to be going back on the attack of Dreamer, but Mickie James comes out and hits Bully with a Kendo Stick. Bully attempts the attack on James, but she avoids and takes down Masha. Bully wraps his chain around Mickie’s throat but Dreamer makes the save with a steel chair! Bully and Masha leave the ring. Absolute madness after the match! Clearly we are heading for a big pay off match between Dreamer and Bully, but it also looks like we could get a mixed tag match too. It was definitely a good decision to involve the ladies in this, it makes it seems even more hate fueled.

Cinematic Segment: we see someone dragging a shovel along the Vegas desert – it’s PCO! He is calling for Eddie Edwards, reminding Eddie that he is still alive after Eddie tried to bury him. He continues shouting for Eddie to come fight him.

Backstage Segment with Rich Swann & Josh Alexander: Josh asks Swann if he will be one of his tag partners at Sacrifice. Swann agrees. Steve Maclin interrupts, tells Josh that he wants to be the other partner. Swann tells Maclin this isn’t his business and he has his title match at Rebellion. Maclin says he just wants to make sure Josh stays healthy and to scout the competition. Josh says he has been the champion for almost a year, so Maclin has had plenty of time to scout him so if he hasn’t done it by now, he is too late. He is also too late in becoming their tag partner as they already have someone else, Frankie Kazarian!

Match 2: Callihan w/ The Design Vs Rhino w/ Heath

A battle here between two big, powerful men. The crowd are behind Rhino. Neither man wants to give up the power advantage. The action gets taken to the outside and Rhino hits his hand on the ring post! There is a stand off between Heath and the Design on the outside. The match gets back into the ring, there is a lot of back and forth. Rhino goes for the Gore and Callihan blocks it with a kick. Callihan attempts the Cactus Driver, but appears to change his mind and hits a couple of clotheslines. Callihan bites the head of Rhino! While the ref is checking on Rhino, Callihan runs to the ropes and Angels grabs his leg! Callihan puts his head through the ropes and is hit with a chair by Kon. Rhino hits Callihan with a Gore to pick up the victory. A very good big man match. Great storytelling. Grade C+

After the match, the Design enter the ring and Deaner sits in a chair behind Callihan.

Backstage Segment: Santino and Dango are having a conversation which is interrupted by Trey Miguel. Trey tells them that he wants to cement his legacy, but he isn’t being helped by management. Santino tells Trey that he will have a match at Sacrifice against a hand picked opponent. Santino also mentions the 6 man match at Multiverse United for the X-Division Championship, but wonders whether Trey will be the X-Division Champion then. They are then interrupted by Johnny Swinger and Zicky Dice. Swinger says he is looking for an opponent to beat, Trey walks away. Swinger then asks if Dango will “do the job” for him. Dango tells Swinger his job is assistant DOA. Swinger and Dice leave and Santino tells Dango that he isn’t the assistant DOA.

Backstage: we see Jonathan Gresham and Kushida getting warmed up for theor match later.

Recap of during the break: Callihan and the Design in the ring. Deaner is holding up 6 fingers to show that was step 6 of the 7 deadly steps.

Match 3: Jordynne Grace Vs Alex Gracia

I’m not personally expecting much from this match, more thinking it’s going to be an out and out squash. Gracia managing to get in some offence against Grace. A very short match that is ended by Grace hitting the Grace Driver for the victory. I’m surprised that the match wasn’t a full squash which I expected, happy to see that Gracia was able to get some offence in. Grade D-

Backstage Segment: Moose walks into a room where Joe Hendry is sat talking to fans. Hendry acknowledges Moose and the Dan’s begin chanting “dancing Moose”. Hendry is then attacked from behind by Brian Myers. Myers and Moose continue the attack on Hendry. Myers tells Hendry that the Digital Media Championship belongs to him. Moose and Myers leave Hendry laying on the floor.

Backstage: Gisele Shaw and Mickie James are warming up for their Main Event Match.

Backstage Segment: The Bullet Club arrive to the arena and they come face to face with Josh Alexander, Rich Swann and Frankie Kazarian. Kazarian asks the Bullet Club for a match new week to get them ready for Sacrifice.

Match 4: Jonathan Gresham Vs Kushida

A handshake to start the match, a nice show of respect from these two. A very quick pace to the start of the match, a lot of back and forth. It then turns into a test of strength with each man trying to get the better of the other. This then evolves into grappling, with Kushida getting the better of Gresham, but Gresham manages to get to the ropes to break it up. Gresham then gets on the offence with the grapples which Kushida counters. Both men trying to apply the Hoverboard Lock. The pace is picked up again, both men favouring their left arms. Once again, the pace slows. Both men attacking the others left arm. The pace once again quickens and Kushida catches Gresham and manages to lock in the Hoverboard Lock and Gresham quickly taps out. A very impressive wrestling match, very technically sound. I was expecting the match to keep up the quick pace with Kushida, but it was good to see the grappling. Grade B

After the match, both men remain in the ring and shake hands, once again showing respect.

Cinematic Segment: Eddie Edwards being driven out to the Vegas Desert to find PCO.

In Ring Segment: Killer Kelly is in the ring. Says she is not happy with Taylor Wilde’s games, she then calls out Taylor Wilde. Wilde tells Kelly it’s not about her, it’s about the future. She tells Kelly to pick a card. Kelly refuses, so Taylor picks a card for her. Taylor draws the Tower Card which represents chaos, destruction, upheaval and change. From behind, Kelly is attacked by KiLynn King with a steel chair. Wilde and King stand tall over Kelly.

Cinematic Segment: PCO is still in the Vegas desert, hitting a rock with the shovel waiting for Eddie Edwards.

Backstage Segment: Killer Kelly is sat on a chair, she is joined by the Death Dolls. Rosemary tells Kelly that witches cannot be trusted and if Kelly needs the Death Dolls, she knows where to find them. Kelly tells Rosemary that she doesn’t need any help and walks away. Taylor Wilde and KiLynn King appear behind the Death Dollz, King tells Rosemary that if she wants them to stop practicing dark magic, then Death Dollz need to stop them. Rosemary offers a challenge, the Death Dollz will put the Knockouts Tag Team Championship on the line and says when Wilde and King lose, they will stop practicing the dark magic.

Cinematic Segment: Eddie Edwards is walking through the Vegas desert with a metal pipe, looking for PCO. PCO appears behind Edwards and attempts to hit Edwards with a shovel but Edwards gets out of the way. A brawl then ensues between the two, both struggling to get the upper hand. PCO manages to get the advantage and tells Edwards that he is going to bury him. Just as PCO goes to hit Edwards with a shovel, PCO gets hit with a car! Edwards makes it back to the car, gets in and tells the driver to go, leaving PCO on the floor. I am super invested in this rivalry! PCO is not human! 

Matches announced for next week:

- Jonathan Gresham & Mike Bailey Vs Decay (Crazzy Steve and Black Taurus)

- Steve Maclin Vs Heath

- Death Dollz Vs Coven (Taylor Wilde and KiLynn King) Knockouts Tag Team Championship Match

- Bullet Club (Ace Austin, Kenta & Chris Bey) Vs Josh Alexander, Rich Swann and Frankie Kazarian

Main Event: Mickie James Vs Gisele Shaw w/ Jai Vidal and Savannah Evans for the Knockouts Championship (Deonna Purrazzo on commentary)

Some grappling to start the match, Mickie thrown to the outside, Gisele attempts a baseball slide but Mickie moves and hits a neckbreaker on Gisele. Once the match gets back into the ring, Gisele is on the attack. Shaw puts Mickie into a camel clutch but Mickie makes it to the ropes. Mickie then goes back on the attack, she heads to the top rope but Gisele rolls out of the ring. Mickie changes course and flies into Vidal and Evans. The match heads back into the ring and Gisele has the upper hand, both women attempt the same move but end up clashing heads. Both women get back to their feet, Mickie attempts a Mick Kick but Gisele avoids it and hits Mickie with a superkick. Gisele attempts what appears to be a possible big boot but Mickie avoids it and goes for the Mick-DT but is distracted by Vidal who gets onto the apron. Deonna Purrazzo evens things up by pulling Vidal off the apron. Evans gets in the ring, the ref tries to get Evans out of the ring. Gisele tries taking advantage of the distraction with a roll up, but Purrazzo comes into the ring and pulls Gisele over so Mickie is pinning Gisele. Mickie picks up the victory with a little assistant from Purrazzo. A good match between the two women. Plenty of offence from Gisele, making her look like a credible threat to the title. A very good showing from all involved. Grade B-

Overall, it was a decent episode of Impact. A lot of storyline progression and decent matches. I’m looking forward to Sacrifice for the payoff of a lot of these rivalries.