IMPACT! No Surrender 2023 Recap
My review of Countdown to No Surrender and No Surrender 2023.
No Surrender 2023 Review
Countdown to No Surrender
Match 1: Gisele Shaw w/Jai Vidal vs Deonna Purrazzo
The crowd are definitely behind Purrazzo in this match. Some back-and-forth pushing to gain control. The pace of the match begins slow but does quicken. A small amount of interference from Vidal – it’s expected. Shaw keeps on the offence following the interference. We have the occasional rest hold to slow the match down. Purrazzo tries to regain control of the match, but both ladies end up down after a double clothesline. Shaw avoids the Queen’s Gambit on a couple of occasions. Shaw even attempts her own version of the Queen’s Gambit but is blocked. A submission attempt by Purrazzo led to a rope break. Vidal onto the apron to distract the ref. Savannah Evan appears and attacks Deonna Purrazzo, which leads to Gisele Shaw picking up the victory. We end the match with Gisele, Vidal and Evans standing tall. Nice match, and a good start to the PPV. Grade C
Promo video was shown to hype Rich Swann vs Josh Alexander for the Impact World Championship.
Match 2: Jonathan Gresham vs Mike Bailey
A fast-paced match – which isn’t surprising with these two men. The crowd is clearly split on their support. A beautiful moonsault to the outside by Bailey. Picture perfect standing dropkick by Gresham. We get several near falls whilst Bailey is locked in a Figure 4. This leads to a rope break. Absolutely amazing display so far from both men. A chop and kick battle! Nice to show the strengths of both men. So much athleticism on display as well. Well-deserved “This is awesome” chants from the crowd. Gresham with the roll up for the victory. Slight letdown that the match ended with a roll-up, but a highly entertaining match nevertheless. Grade B+
No Surrender Main Show!
We open the show with Santino Marella heading to the ring. A lot of talk about Vegas. Santino then introduces Frankie Kazarian.
Match 1: Frankie Kazarian vs Kon w/Callihan & The Design. Santino on Commentary.
Deaner stays on the entrance ramp to watch the match. Kazarian isn’t a small man, but Kon looks huge in comparison! Kazarian is an incredible wrestler in my opinion, I’m hoping for a good match. Lots of power is shown by Kon with only small amounts of offence from Kazarian. Kon attempts a diving headbutt but misses. He did look very unsteady on the top turnbuckle. Kazarian applies the submission but distraction from Angels stops the submission attempt. We see Callihan get a chair, but he accidentally hits Kon instead of Kazarian! Kazarian manages to pick up the win. A good match clearly continues the story of Callihan and the Design. Grade C
Backstage Interview with Brian Myers.
Myers discusses the 4 way match later in the night. He also mentions being the longest reigning Digital Media Champion, and he hopes that Moose humiliates Joe Hendry as payback for him beating his friend Matt Cardona.
Promo video for Death Dollz vs The Hex.
Match 2: The Hex vs Death Dollz for the Knockouts Tag Team Championship.
Taya and Allysin start the match, clearly, no love is lost between these two from their match on Impact. A nice succession of tags from each team. The Pace of the match definitely slows down once Jessika and Allysin are in the ring together. Both are very powerful ladies. A lot of power is on display from Jessika. Some heel tactics from Hex to try and wear down Jessika. The pace quickens again when Taya and Allysin meet in the ring again. Big moves from all four women. A slightly overdone segment in a match, but sometimes it still looks good. Chokebomb to Allysin followed by the Sick Driver to win the match. Death Dollz retain! A competitive match seems to me like this will be the first of many tag team matches between these two teams. Not too bad. Grade C-
Promo video for the Dot Combat Match
Match 3 – Joe Hendry vs Moose for the Digital Media Championship
I will admit, I did start singing “I believe in Joe Hendry” when he was making his way to the ring. We get a Joe Hendry promo before the match starts. As soon as Moose enters the ring he attacks Hendry. I do think that the whole point of a Dot Combat Match is just to be a comedy match, but with the no DQ element that we wrestling fans seem to enjoy so much. Plenty of weapons to choose from in this match, a Sega Dreamcast, a keyboard, and remote control cars. You name it, it’s probably in this match. Painful-looking table spot! I bet having a remote control car thrown at your nether regions must hurt! Moose hits a Sky High but only gets a 2 count. Moose brings out the Thumbtack bag, but instead of Thumbtacks, we get keyboard keys. I was kind of hoping it would be Lego, that stuff hurts to step on. The keyboard keys are used a lot in the match. They are thrown at Moose and Hendry hits a superplex onto the keys. War of the chairs! Steel vs gaming chair – which will hurt more? A VR headset is placed on Moose and we see a return of Dancing Moose! Once that little silliness is over, Moose charges at Hendry who steps out of the way and Moose runs straight into the chair that he set up in the corner. Moose attempts a spear only to be countered by Hendry. Moose goes for the roll-up with a handful of tights, but Hendry kicks out. Hendry then goes for the roll-up with a handful of tights and gets the 3 count! Hendry wins and retains the Digital Media Championship. This was a fun match to watch, I wasn’t expecting a wrestling classic, but I enjoyed it a lot. Grade C
Backstage Interview with Mickie James. Mickie says she is keeping her eyes on the task at hand, and that is Masha Slamovich.
Promo video for Busted Open Live Segment.
Busted Open Live:
We are told that both men will get 60 seconds of uninterrupted time to speak. Bully Ray gets to speak first as he won his match on Impact in the fastest time. Bully doesn’t speak for most of his allotted time. Only uttering the words “I’m sorry” as his time runs out. Dreamer’s time starts, tells Bully it’s too late for an apology, they have gone too far now, and too much personal stuff has gone on for an apology. Bully’s time starts again. He agrees it has gone too far, and asks for the time constraints to be lifted so they can speak properly. Bully brings up a documentary he watched about the NOW and how death is inevitable. He speaks about how he would attend Tommy’s funeral, and how Tommy would attend Bully’s funeral. Bully says he is done. It ends here, they don’t have to hug, or shake hands or even do business together, but it’s done. Dreamer agrees to no hugs, and no handshakes as it has gone too far. But he is proud of Bully for admitting the issues and it must have been hard for “someone like him”. Bully proceeds to throw a cup of coffee in Dreamer’s face and hits him with the coffee pot. Demanding to know what Dreamer meant by “someone like him”. Chants of asshole echo around the arena. I’m hoping that this leads to a Loser leaves Impact match or something like that.
Backstage Interview with Rich Swann. It has taken 2 years to get back to the title picture. Interrupted by Steve Maclin. Maclin wants Swann to win, so he can beat him for the title. Swann says he isn’t focused on Maclin, and that Maclin should focus on the three other men in the No. 1 Contenders Match.
Match 4: 4-Way No1 Contenders Match. Steve Maclin vs Brian Myers vs Heath vs PCO.
This is a fast-paced match, with the usual ‘all team up to take out the big guy’ approach. PCO battles out of the assault from the other 3 men. Lots of high-risk moves onto the outside. PCO gets put under the ring – I’m guessing they thought he might just stay under there for the rest of the match? Different variations of the other 3 men battling it out between them. All four men are showcased very well in this match. It looked like PCO was going to get the win, but the pin was stopped by Eddie Edwards hitting PCO with a shovel! PCO gets up and is again hit with the shovel. Refs come out to remove Eddie Edwards from the match. PCO is on the outside of the ring, doesn’t look like he will be a factor in the match now. Heath hits his finisher on Myers, and Maclin then hits his finisher on Heath and pins him for the win. This was quite a good match, I didn’t know what to expect going into this match, but it was done very well and it didn’t make anyone look worse than the others. Grade B-
PCO is still on the outside of the ring when Trey Miguel’s music hits. Miguel is complaining about being left off the card, he feels disrespected. Questions if AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Chris Sabin or Kazarian were the X-Division Champion would it be left off the card? Mentions slaying Crazzy Steve and says that he would slay PCO, but it looks like someone beat him to it. PCO’ clearly not in the best of moods, grabs Trey by the neck, chokeslams him onto the ring apron and follows it up with a clothesline. I think Trey might regret running his mouth.
Backstage we see Rich Swann and Josh Alexander warming up for their main event match.
Promo video for Time Machine vs Bullet Club.
Match 5: Time Machine (Kushida, Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin) vs Bullet Club (Chris Bey, Ace Austin & Kenta)
This should be (I’m hoping) one of, if not the, best match on the card. In my opinion anyway. A trade-off of holds with plenty of back and forth. Nice teamwork from Kushida and Shelley. An evenly paced match, Time Machine with some trios moves, very well executed. Time Machine have a lot of offence in the match's early stages. There are a lot of frequent tags and more trios moves. The athleticism was on display by all the participants. There is a small comedy spot where Kenta feigns doing a high-flying move, just to exit the ring normally. Bullet Club is back on offence and the pace quickens again. Some of the moves done in this match are done so well and are fluid. All 6 men have got brilliant chemistry. The offence has equalled out, and the pace remains quick. The crowd seem to be very invested in this one. There are well-deserved “This is Awesome” chants. The Bullet Club manage to pull out the victory on this one. Absolutely brilliant match. All participants look strong, even in defeat. Grade A-
Promo video for Mickie James vs Masha Slamovich
Match 6 – Masha Slamovich vs Mickie James for the Knockouts Championship
I was expecting a brawling, more guttural fight in this match. Surprised to see a more chain wrestling start to the match. It then turns into quite a hard-hitting match. Mickie biting the tongue of Masha! That did not look pleasant. A nice reversal of the submission into a pin by Mickie. There have been some innovative moves from both women in this match, and plenty of near falls as well. Masha has been able to avoid or reverse all of Mickie’s attempts at the Mick-DT. Masha attempts the Rear Naked Choke twice and they are both in the ropes, so she takes advantage of the 5 count. Some moves from the top rope, more back and forth. Masha goes for the monkey flip but Mickie turns this into a pin and picks up the victory! Mickie pulled this win out by the skin of her teeth! Grade C+
Promo Video for Rich Swann vs Josh Alexander for the Impact World Championship
Main Event: Rich Swann vs Josh Alexander for the Impact World Championship
A very methodical type of match, looks to be very calculated between both men. Some mind games were played by both men in the early going. A nice mash-up of styles. This match has some good storytelling, the friendship of both men being put to one side for the greatest prize in Impact. Some well-placed reversals and a lot of athleticism. I wasn’t really excited about this match, I don’t know why, but it has definitely exceeded my expectations. With a kick out from the Phoenix Splash, Swann attempts a second Phoenix Splash and misses. Plenty of big moves that could end the match. Lots of back and forth. Either man could win this and it not be frowned upon. Alexander hits the C4 Spike to end the match. Alexander retains his Championship! A much better match than I anticipated. Grade B+
This was an enjoyable PPV. A lot of the matches I wasn’t excited for turned out to have a lot of highlights and be good. The matches I was excited about, were even better than I was expecting them to be. Honestly, this is why people need to watch Impact. It’s an underrated wrestling company and deserves more viewers!
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