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Impact Wrestling 7/9/23 Review

This is episode number 999!!!! I am so happy that Impact has gotten this far and I wish them even more success going forward.

Tonight is the last stop before Victory Road, what shenanigans will go down tonight?

The action begins with an exclusive match on BTI.

Ace Austin w/Chris Bey vs Jason Hotch w/John Skyler

Ace hits Jason in the corner with a series of strikes. Ace attempts a springboard but Jason trips him up to gain control. Jason hits a hard Irish whip into the corner turnbuckles. Moments later, Chris prevents Jason from using the ropes for leverage during an abdominal stretch. Ace builds some momentum with a hip toss, followed by a side Russian leg sweep. Jason shuts him down with a backbreaker. Ace gets his knees up on a top rope elbow drop from Jason. Ace hits his signature springboard kick, followed by The Fold. John tries to get involved but Bey neutralises him as Ace scores the pin.

Why are these guys on what is essentially the pre-show? These guys deserve to be on the main card - regardless of if it is a normal episode of Impact or a PPV. A good match, not their best but why should these guys bust their arses when this match isn’t as widely viewed. Grade C-

Impact Wrestling begins now!

Match 1: Deonna Purrazzo vs Dani Luna

Deonna goes for the Fujiwara Armbar early but Dani gets to the ropes. Dani hits a Fallaway Slam, followed by a running clothesline. Deonna gains control with an Arm Wringer into the ring apron. Back in the ring, Deonna hits a Backstabber for two. Dani connects with a dropkick, followed by a powerbomb. Dani rolls Deonna up for another near fall. Deonna locks in the Fujiwara Armbar to win by submission.

A decent opening match. There didn’t really seem to be any doubt on Deonna winning this one with her having a big match against the returning Jordynne Grace at Victory Road. Grade C

Promo Video:

Crazzy Steve says that he is not like everyone else. He says that he is not crazy. He says that he is 100% aware of every one of his actions. Steve says that when he looked into Taurus’ eyes last week, he saw that Taurus was going to do to Steve what everyone else has done to him, leaving him abandoned and alone. Steve vows that at Victory Road, he will sever, decapitate and decimate the unholy alliance that was once Steve & Taurus.

Backstage Segment:

Tommy Dreamer is giving a very emotional promo about his upcoming Title vs Career match at Victory Road. He talks about all the significant moments that have happened in his life. He even talks about how he said goodbye to his mum only 7 blocks away and that he was blessed to have her.

Heath interrupts Tommy. Heath tells Tommy that he loves him, but he questions why Tommy is putting his career on the line against Kenny when all he is doing is talking trash. Heath tells Tommy that everyone loves and respects him, but maybe he should take a step back, swallow his pride and re-assess. Tommy says that Heath is right. Tommy says that it's either going to be the end, or finally something for him and another chapter he gets to write in the book of Tommy Dreamer.

Match 2: Champagne Singh & Shera vs JOYA (Joe Hendry & Yuya Uemura)

Singh dumps Yuya onto the top rope. Shera then hits a running big boot, followed by a powerslam. Singh hits a Flatliner out of the corner. Yuya creates separation with a diving clothesline, then makes the tag to Joe. The pace quickens as Joe goes on the attack. Joe powers up Shera for a delayed vertical suplex. Yuya joins Joe and they hit the One Hit Wonder on Singh to pick up the win.

Another predictable match ending. It was a bit of a let down match to be honest. This one could have been better in my opinion. Grade D

Backstage Segment:

Steve Maclin and Bully Ray are backstage. Steve Maclin says that he and Bully are getting everything they wanted and planned. Bully goes to say something, but he isn’t able to finish his sentence. Bully tries again, this time he says that Maclin doesn’t get it. Bully says that Maclin has everything he wanted. But Bully doesn’t want PCO, he wants Carl Ouellet. Bully says that neither of them have had any success with PCO. They have used cinder blocks, tables, fire, battery acid down PCO’s throat. Bully says that Maclin has it easy, but Bully has to fight a monster that nobody can keep down. Bully says that he lit PCO on fire and he still came back. Bully tells Maclin to do him a favour, to trust him and be a good soldier. Bully asks Maclin what word he is stuck on. Maclin says “trust me”. Maclin says that Bully is stuck in his own head but Bully still wants Maclin to trust him. Bully tells Maclin to not play “my games”, but Maclin hears this as “mind games”. Maclin says that he isn’t playing mind games and that he will follow Bully’s lead. Bully says “not mind games, MY games!” Maclin again says that he will follow Bully’s lead, but if he has to take care of himself, then he will. Maclin says that he hopes Bully has his six.

Backstage Interview:

Gia Miller is backstage with Josh Alexander. Josh says that Maclin made a statement when he returned at Emergence. Josh said that he saw red when Maclin returned because they have unfinished business. Josh says that tonight he teams with the French Frankenstein PCO and they are going to make a statement and bring violence and mayhem to Maclin and Bully.

Match 3: SUBCULTURE (Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster) vs Sami Callihan & Rich Swann

The early advantage goes to Rich and Sami as they hit Webster with a leg drop sidewalk slam combo for two. Sami attempts to launch Rich off the ropes but Webster ducks out of the way. Webster soars with a Pinball Wizard off the top rope, taking out Rich and Sami on the outside. Rich fights out of the corner and causes Andrews to clothesline the steel ring post. Rich creates separation with an Enzuigiri to Webster, allowing him to tag in Sami. Webster hits an assisted Falcon Arrow on Sami. Andrews connects with Stundog Millionaire but Sami avoids the follow-up 450 Splash from Webster. Rich gets a running start from the top of the ramp for a big cutter on Andrews. Rich finishes him off with the 450 Splash to win.

A good match from these two teams. I’m not liking that SUBCULTURE are on a losing streak now, especially considering that they were the champions and they were very dominant on the independent scene. Let’s hope that this is going to build them back up in a big way. Grade C+

Backstage Segment:

Gisele Shaw, Savannah Evans and Jai Vidal are backstage. Gisele says that they were screwed over at Emergence as two other teams were added to their Knockout’s Tag Team title match. Gisele says that she needs a round of applause (Savannah & Jai both clap twice but are stopped by Gisele). She says that in the Battle Royal last week, they took care of MK Ultra. She says that they are showing that they are the real deal and a threat. Gisele tells MK Ultra to hold onto their titles tightly, because at Victory Road, they are going to take what's rightfully theirs.

Backstage Segment:

The Rascalz are backstage talking about the history of the tag team titles. They are then interrupted by the Good Hands. The Good Hands says that they believe they deserve a shot at the Impact Tag Team titles. The Rascalz laugh at this. The Good Hands say they aren’t joking. They again repeat that they “deserve” a title shot. The Rascalz say that they have to focus on the Motor City Machine Guns. The Good Hands say that maybe after Victory Road, they can talk about it. The Rascalz say that maybe it is in everyone's best interest that the Rascalz come out of their match as champions if the Good Hands want that title shot.

Match 4: Lio Rush vs Kevin Knight (Non-title match)

Kevin has Lio reeling in the early going following a dropkick to the outside. Lio tries to retreat with his X-Division Title but Kevin throws him back in the ring. The fight spills to the outside once again as Kevin hits a series of chops to the chest of Lio. Lio delivers a thumb to the eye to halt Kevin’s momentum. Lio dives through the ropes on two occasions, sending Kevin crashing back-first into the steel guardrail. Kevin picks Lio off the top rope with a leg scissor. Kevin then hits a dropkick but misses the follow-up springboard crossbody. Lio connects with Final Hour to pick up the win.

Not a bad match at all. This one surprised me. I know that Kevin Knight is an incredible athlete, and he really showed that in this match. I think this made Lio Rush work harder to not be upstaged. A decent match. Grade C

After the match, Lio attacks Kevin and locks in KUSHIDA’s HoverBoard Lock. KUSHIDA comes out to help Kevin Knight and chase off Lio Rush.

Video Segment:

Dirty Dango and Alpha Bravo are discussing Impact 1000. Dango says that he hopes he isn’t there for the 2000th episode. He then says that they are doing this for Dixie and asks if she is single. Dango then talks about his match at Victory Road against Jake Something. Dango says that Jake Something is the epitome of the “gratitude era”.

In Ring Segment: Knockout’s World Championship Contract Signing

Knockouts World Champion Trinity and #1 Contender Alisha Edwards are in the ring to sign the contract for their Knockouts World Title match at Victory Road. Alisha disrespects the Canadian audience in Toronto before turning her attention towards Trinity. Alisha says that she’s not just a champion’s wife anymore. For a long time, she thought that she needed to change her husband, Eddie. But it was her who needed to change. Alisha signs the contract before Santino Marella hands it over to Trinity. Trinity admits that she overlooked Alisha upon her arrival in Impact Wrestling, but Trinity says that Alisha has earned this Knockouts World Title opportunity. Trinity praises Impact Wrestling for having the fiercest competition in all of professional wrestling. Eddie Edwards interjects and tells her not to wave the Impact banner because he and Alisha have been at Impact longer than anyone. Alisha says that her man, Eddie, will be in her corner at Victory Road but the same can’t be said for Trinity. Trinity reminds Eddie that he turned his back on Impact when he was the leader of Honor No More. Alisha then throws champagne in Trinity’s face. Trinity hits Alisha with a roundhouse kick and a brawl breaks out between the two women. Trinity is about to put Alisha through a table when Eddie blindsides her. Eddie puts Trinity through the table with a Blue Thunder Bomb. Frankie Kazarian comes out to make the save, chasing off Eddie and Alisha Edwards.

Backstage Segment:

The Motor City Machine Guns are backstage. They say that Victory Road is almost upon them. Chris Sabin says that the Rascalz have embarrassed themselves, Impact and the titles for far too long. Alex Shelley says that the Rascalz have a long way to go to become the franchise team and says that the Motor City Machine Guns will take the titles at Victory Road.

Main Event: Bully Ray & Steve Maclin vs Josh Alexander & PCO

Josh and PCO are in control during the early stages of the match. PCO goes after Bully on the apron but he retreats, allowing Maclin to gain the momentary advantage. PCO comes back with a running fist to Maclin, before making the tag to Josh. Josh hits a big boot. Maclin targets the previously injured left arm of Josh, then makes the tag to Bully. Josh hits Bully with a series of strikes in the corner. Maclin pulls down the top rope, sending Josh tumbling to the floor. Maclin hits Josh with a backbreaker for a two count. Josh creates some separation with a German suplex to Bully. Josh makes the tag to PCO and the pace of the match quickens. Maclin knocks Josh off the apron but gets caught with a Lungblower from PCO. PCO dives through the ropes, taking out Maclin on the outside. Bully tries to reason with PCO but he doesn’t listen. Bully delivers a low blow to PCO while the referee’s view is obstructed. Bully rolls up PCO for three.

Not the best match, but it was OK. This match seemed to just make the matches at Victory Road feel more important. Having Bully & Steve Maclin win by nefarious means seems to imply that the winners at Victory Road will be Josh Alexander and PCO respectively. Grade C

Overall, an OK episode of Impact. I’m hoping that Victory Road is an amazing PPV to make up for this episode and then we get the amazing spectacle of Impact 1000. That one should be the most amazing episode of Impact in recent history.

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