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IMPACT WRESTLING TV REPORT
MAY 25, 2023
CHICAGO, IL AT CICERO STADIUM
AIRED ON AXS TV (RECORDED)
REPORT BY DARRIN LILLY, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Tom Hannifan, Matthew Rehwoldt
-Recap of last week’s events.
(1) “SPEEDBALL” MIKE BAILEY vs. CHRIS SABIN
Hannifan talked about Sabin competing in the NJPW Best of the Super Juniors tournament. Sabin got the upper hand early. They exchanged strikes on the floor. Sabin tied Bailey upside down in the ropes and dropkicked him. Sabin kicked and punched Bailey. Sabin made a comeback with kicks and a standing shooting star press. Sabin dropkicked Bailey from the top rope, then gave him a running kick and a DDT. Bailey did a rana into a pin attempt. Bailey gave Sabin the double knees. Bailey went for the tornado kick, but Sabin cut him off. They exchanged punches. Sabin gave Bailey a series of knees and a powerbomb for a two count.
Bailey rolled to the outside. Bailey did a moonsault from the top rope to the floor. Sabin caught Bailey’s foot on the tornado kick. Sabin powerbombed Bailey from the apron to the floor after a sunset flip. They fought on the top rope. Sabin gave Bailey a back suplex off the top rope. The fans got to their feet. Sabin clotheslined Bailey. Bailey countered the Cradle Shock followed by a standing Spanish Fly. Fans chanted Fight Forever. Bailey superkicked Sabin. Bailey finally connected with the tornado kick. He missed Ultima Weapon. Sabin gave Bailey a Muscle Buster and a Cradle Shock to get the pin.
WINNER: Chris Sabin in 12:00.
(D.L.’s Take: This match started off good and escalated to excellent. The fans were super into it and were on their feet at the end. Great win for Sabin headed into the X Division Title shot. Bailey continues to turn in tremendous performances.)
-Trinity video package. She talked about being excited and happy about her debut. She talked about the fans accepting her and it brought her to tears. She talked about Deonna Purrazzo and Jordynne Grace fighting for the title. She talked about Gisele Shaw and said she was a drama queen. She said she would hit Shaw upside the head like she did to Jai Vidal. She addressed Shaw and said “Let’s Dance”. [c]
-Steve Maclin video. There were highlights of him including his title victory and attacking Scott D’Amore. The feud with PCO was shown as well. This was followed by a promo with Maclin. He said PCO wouldn’t be his opponent at Under Siege, so he would announce a new opponent tonight.
-Nick Aldis walked to ringside and greeted fans. He joined the announce team.
(2) DECAY (Black Taurus & Crazzy Steve) vs. KENNY KING & SHELDON JEAN
Steve and Jean started the match. Steve got the early upper hand. Taurus and King went in next. Taurus shoulderblocked King to the mat. [c]
Taurus fought off a double team from King and Jean. Jean dropkicked Taurus and punched him. Jean gloated. Fans chanted for Taurus. King and Jean kept Taurus in the corner. King powerslammed Taurus. Jean gave Taurus a neckbreaker. Taurus gave Jean a headbutt and tagged to Steve. Steve clotheslined Jean and gave him a cannonball. Taurus suplexed Steve onto King, then did a dive on Jean on the outside. Steve bit King on the head. King slammed Steve to the mat and got the pin.
WINNERS: Kenny King & Sheldon Jean in 11:00.
After the match, King said this is what happens when you get in the ring with him. He was happy that Aldis had a front row seat. King said he would put his boot up Aldis’ pompous ass. Aldis stood up and said that King can’t keep his name out of his mouth because he is trying to make a name for himself by beating Aldis. He said that King is trying to be a man instead of a little bitch. He challenged King to a fight right now. King ordered Jean to attack him. Aldis quickly disposed of Jean. Aldis got in the ring, but King got out of the ring and started singing “Tomorrow” from Annie.
(D.L.’s Take: King and Jean did well as a team. Aldis and King did good mic work to build anticipation for their match at Under Siege. It sounds like a broken record, but Taurus and Steve continue to be underutilized.)
-Jessica was shown backstage with the hourglass running out. Hannifan said she would have to go it alone tonight in her match. [c]
(3) JESSICKA vs. TAYLOR WILDE (w/KiLynn King)
Wilde charged Jessicka at the bell and attacked her with punches. Jessicka made a comeback but was distracted by King. Wilde slammed Jessicka and got the quick pin.
WINNER: Taylor Wilde in 1:00.
The Coven attacked Jessicka after the match. On the big screen, the hourglass was shown. The camera showed someone walking from backstage to the ring, but only showed their sneakers. The screen said “Courtney Rush”. She emerged from the back and made the save. King pulled Wilde from the ring. [c]
(D.L.’s Take: Rosemary wrestled as Courtney Rush before her Impact days. She seems to have a new punk rock persona. An intriguing twist for the Death Dollz).
-Jessicka was backstage and told Courtney she was confused. Courtney explained that she is Rosemary but didn’t know why she was here. Courtney asked Jessicka if she wanted to go along on an adventure. They celebrated teaming together.
(4) RICH SWANN (w/Sami Callihan) vs. ANGELS (w/The Design)
Swann took Angels to the mat early. Angels chopped Swann. Swann came back with a dropkick. Angels used the ring apron to trip Swann. Angels pulled Swann outside and sent him into the ringpost. Sami checked on Swann. Back in the ring, Angels continued his offense. Swann made a comeback with kicks and a neckbreaker. Swann did a senton from the apron to the floor. In the ring, Swann gave Angels a cutter for a two count. Angels knocked Swann off the rope and followed with a dropkick and DDT for a two count. Fans chanted for Swann. They exchanged strikes. Swann connected with a kick. Angels suplexed Swann. Angels did a moonsault from the ropes to the floor. Angels did a splash for a two count. Fans chanted for Swann again. Swann did a rana on Angels and followed with a 450 splash for the pin.
WINNER: Rich Swann in 7:00.
The Design attacked Swann after the match, but Sami made the save with a bat. The Design got the bat away. Swann tried to fight back but got knocked down by Deaner with the bat. Deaner hit Sami with the bat, gave Sami the thumbs up/thumbs down, and hit him again in the face. The Design stood over Sami and Swann.
(D.L.’s Take: The match was really good and a good post-match angle as well).
-Gia Miller interviewed Deonna Purrazzo backstage. Deonna said she was feeling okay. She said she believed that Jordynne Grace hitting her was a mistake and gave her the benefit of the doubt. Alisha Edwards walked in and talked about the backstabbing snakes in the back. She said Deonna would see Jordynne’s true colors. [c]
-Footage of Killer Kelly and Masha Slamovich fighting backstage. Masha choked Kelly with an electrical cord.
(5) JORDYNNE GRACE vs. ALISHA EDWARDS (w/Eddie Edwards)
Alisha punched Grace, but she no-sold the punches. Grace gave Alisha a spinning slam and a Grace Driver for the quick pin.
WINNER: Jordynne Grace in 1:00.
-“Why, Dango, Why” video. This segment was largely a video of Dirty Dango that looked like it was shot outside behind the building. He said the wrestlers today were in the Gratitude Era and not the Attitude Era. He said the wrestlers just want to take pictures with people. He said he didn’t really need to wrestle. He said the boys today are more excited about their social media than the crowd reaction. He said the wrestlers won’t say anything to his face but they might Tweet about him. He said he was money even if he doesn’t love the wrestling business. He said he takes more pictures in the back than with the fans. He said he saw Santino pull out the Cobra and thought it was 2010 with them still doing comedy, so that’s why he attacked him. He said Joe Hendry was just another stooge and he had a toy belt. I wasn’t sure at first, but this wasn’t played for laughs and it looks to be a total shift in Dango’s character. [c]
-Video package focusing on the wrestlers in the six-way number one contender’s match at Under Siege.
(6) CHRIS BEY (w/Ace Austin) vs. JOHN SKYLER (w/Jason Hotch & Brian Myers)
Bey took Skyler to the mat. Skyler regrouped on the outside, but got kicked by Bey. Skyler used a distraction to throw Bey into the ringpost. [c]
Bey made a comeback. Bey gave Skyler a DDT for a two count. Bey missed an elbow drop and got speared by Skyler for a two count. Ace knocked Hotch off the apron. Bey rolled up Skyler, but Sklyer kicked him off. Bey was able to kick Myers and give Skyler a cutter for the pin.
WINNER: Chris Bey in 10:00.
(D.L.’s Take: Good match, but a big chunk was taken out with a commercial).
-Hannifan pitched to Kevin Kelly for a preview of tonight’s NJPW show.
-Hannifan and Rehwoldt ran down the card for Under Siege.
-Steve Maclin was shown backstage walking to the ring. [c]
-Steve Maclin walked to the ring for his promo. He stood in the ring and took the mic. He declared that the match against PCO wasn’t going to happen. He said he killed PCO. He said he would defend the title against an opponent of his choosing at Under Siege. He introduced “the most deserving, upcoming talent”, Champagne Singh. Singh and Shera walked to the ring. Singh said it was time he finished his story. The crowd booed and he got mad at them. He said his long and winding road to the Impact Title would conclude at Under Siege. Fans chanted “Shut the hell up.” He had a list of people he wanted to thank. He pulled out a comically long list. He started with his father, then Scott D’Amore’s music cut him off.
Scott got in the ring. Scott said the match between Maclin and Singh wasn’t happening. Maclin said that Scott would stack the deck against him again. Scott said he wanted the best wrestler in the world as champion. Scott said you find out who is the best by competition. He said Singh was far from the best. He said he was fine with Maclin as champion as long as he proves himself. Maclin talked about Scott throwing the belt at him when he won it. Scott said if Maclin still has the belt after Under Siege, he would shake his hand and respectfully hand him the belt.
Maclin refused the offer. He said when he keeps the title at Under Siege, Scott would wipe the smile off his face and Maclin would be the boss no matter what title Scott has. He said Scott would understand his place and put the title around Maclin’s waist. Scott took off his glasses. Scott said if Maclin wins, he will put the belt around his waist. Maclin said that Scott needs to name PCO’s replacement. Scott said there is no replacement, because Maclin would defend against PCO. Maclin asked how Scott could be sure if PCO would make it.
Scott said that PCO is here tonight and he appeared in the ring. PCO took out Shera and Singh and took the belt from Maclin, who fled the ring. PCO took out Shera and Singh again. Maclin tried to get the belt, but PCO stepped on it. Maclin went up the ramp as PCO held the title in the ring while his music played.
FINAL THOUGHTS: An effective go-home show. The Sabin vs. Bailey match was stellar. The rest of the in-ring action was kept short for the most part. Really good video packages and promos to hype Under Siege matches. Fresh character development for Dirty Dango and Rosemary. Under Siege should be a good one.