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MPACT HITS AND MISSES
SEPTEMBER 21, 2023
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. AT WESTCHESTER COUNTY CENTER
AIRED ON AXS TV
REPORT BY JOHN LASLO, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
(1) RICH SWANN vs. SAMURAY DEL SOL vs. ALAN ANGELS vs. ZACHARY WENTZ vs. “SPEEDBALL” MIKE BAILEY vs. ACE AUSTIN vs. — Ultimate X match – MINOR HIT
It was great to see more of Samuray Del Sol. I feel like we haven’t seen as much with him as we normally would with a new signee. However, the length of time that Mike Bailey hung from the cables was a bit much, to the point where it stretched believability. Bailey just hung there while loads of things happened in the ring, making no attempt to get the X. I mean, it was an impressive piece of endurance, but that wasn’t the point of the match. I think that this was the Ultimate X match that I’ve enjoyed the least. The whole thing with Bailey took me right out of it. That aside, it was a really phenomenal work, everyone got in some really big spots and quite a bit of collaborative work.
ALAN ANGELS BACKSTAGE – HIT
Alright, cashing in the X for the X-Division Title shot next week? That’s a bit early, and Sabin is certainly racking up a few very fast and very short reigns. I would hate it if Alan Angels was the first step in a long long reign.
(2) JAKE SOMETHING vs. DIRTY DANGO (w/Alpha Bravo) – MINOR HIT
I wasn’t around for the “Fox Box” era. It’s a neat gimmick and makes it more sports like. It was just terribly executed. The graphics on the top and bottom of the screen were on top of the picture. Which means that during parts of the match, parts of the action were obscured by the timer graphic. I get why people are nostalgic for it; it is different and lends a different feel to the match, more like an MMA event. If they wanted to make it a more permanent thing, I hope that they can put the match between the graphics instead of the graphics overlaying the match.
I think if they want to continue this, they need to re-train the camera people to keep wider shots than they normally would to account for the graphics or put the whole picture between them. That shouldn’t be too hard, right? Tween Twitch Minecrafters can do it, so I assume Impact could (he says, knowing nothing about Twitch or television production). I did not understand what the point of Chase Stevens in the picture in picture was.
That said, it was a really great, high-intensity match. Something went at it with a speed you usually don’t see with a big hoss.
STEVE MACLIN AND RHINO BACKSTAGE – HIT
Rhino is one of those wrestlers who lives up to his name. He just charges in, and then it’s EVERYBODY’S problem. I love how riled up Rhino is, and a nice short program with him and Maclin is going to be great. It’s caveman vs. neanderthal. Just two brutish dudes who are going to pummel the ever living tar out of each other.
(3) ERIC YOUNG (w/Scott D’Amore) vs. KENNY KING (w/Sheldon Jean) – MISS
OkAY, cut short for interference. Sharkboy for the save of the night.
(4) ERIC YOUNG & SCOTT D’AMORE vs. KENNY KING & SHELDON JEAN – MISS
BOO, cut short, and yet again, Sharkboy to the rescue with another match.
(5) AMERICA’S MOST WANTED (James Storm & Chris Harris) & TEAM CANADA (Eric Young & Scott D’Amore) vs. KENNY KING & SHELDON JEAN & DEANER & KON – HIT
I mean, come on. This is what we wanted to begin with. We wanted America’s Most Wanted and Team Canada in the ring. There was no way that wasn’t going to happen since all of Team Nostalgia has had a match in the last 18 months. So Team Nostalgia against Team Four Current Competitors. Unsurprisingly, Eric Young did most of the work for Team Nostalgia, but each of them got a little bit of time. Chris Harris and Scott D’Amore did more offense than taking bumps, which is fine for a nostalgia match. I’ll say this, it was a more compelling match than the Team 3D match last week.
FEAST OR FIRED RESULTS – HIT
Okay, here’s my bias. I love Yuya Uemura. He’s great. I think that he’s got a great career ahead of him. Intellectually I KNOW that his expedition is over, and this was a great way to have him leave. It still doesn’t stop the hurting. I’ll miss you, Yuya.
That out of the way, this was a great way to set the path for everyone involved for the next few years. Crazzy Steve being an insane gargoyle digital media champion, or him just destroying Tommy Dreamer or Kenny King is a good choice to help him become the monster he needs to be. ABC getting the tag titles makes the world make sense again. Moose getting the World Title is a great way to get him back into the World Title picture. It was an excellent piece of booking for the next few months where Impact is going to have a skeleton crew.
Does Impact have a deal with Dave LeGreca or something? What am I missing with this guy? I understand that he’s on the Busted Open podcast, but is there something else I’m missing? If being a podcast host is the only requirement, I nominate Darrin Lilly and me to do the next one.
(6) JOSH ALEXANDER vs. TREY MIGUEL (w/Zachary Wentz) – HIT
I get that Trey Miguel currently has the Impact Tag Team Title belts, but man, he’s ready for the World Title scene. This was such a good match. Miguel was at the top of his game throughout. I was very surprised by Alex Shelley coming out to back up Alexander.
The post-match between Josh Alexander and Alex Shelley was really great. I really can’t wait to see Alexander vs. Shelley at BFG.
JONATHAN GRESHAM AND MIKE BAILEY BACKSTAGE – HIT
Speedball vs. Will Ospreay? Apparently, I have been extra good this year, and Santa is giving me a present a few months early. And I get another Jonathan Gresham vs. Speedball match? This is great. Life is good. Wrestling is good. Ain’t nothing better.
However, I get Gresham’s frustration. He’s had, what, five matches with Speedball already. I mean, I could watch those two go back and forth for days or weeks. However, Gresham’s frustration is palpable. There’s anger building up there. I don’t think we’re going to get a standard heel turn out of him, but there is going to be something where he snaps. I love the idea of him building up from the bottom.
THE RASCALZ WITH JOHN SKYLER BACKSTAGE – MINOR HIT
John Skyler has improved so much since he premiered. I feel for him and Jason Hotch. They got a way to go, though. The Rascalz vs. ABC will be good. I have a feeling that the Good Hands will be working for ABC to counter the Rascalz cheating behavior.
(7) AWESOME KONG (w/Raisha Saeed) & GAIL KIM & MICKIE JAMES & JORDYNNE GRACE & TRINITY vs. ANGELINA LOVE (w/Velvet Sky) & GISELE SHAW (w/Jai Vidal) & SAVANNAH EVANS & TASHA STEELZ & DEONNA PURRAZZO – HIT
Looking at this, this match is quite possibly the most main event talent that the Knockouts Division has ever put into the ring at the same time, and debatably the most high-level talent Impact has ever fielded. A grand total of EIGHT one-time world title holders involved, with a total of 29 reigns if my math is correct. And not to put too fine a point on it, but I think it is just a matter of time before Gisele Shaw gets her hands on the title.
That said, this was a great match, and our Impact regulars certainly got the most time and spotlights in this match, but really there were only two pure nostalgia draws – Gail Kim and Awesome Kong. I’m thinking that the back issues plot line in Netflix’s “GLOW” that Kong was involved in was more fact than fiction. Kong was really protected during this match, didn’t take many bumps, and didn’t even get that much offense. However, when she DID, it was like magic. Awesome Kong stepped into the ring and just bowled through everyone like they were dandelion seeds. I kinda wish that Savannah had been able to get the chokeslam on Kong; I think that would have been a nice passing the torch moment and given Savannah a nice feather in her cap. I doubt that would have been advisable, though.
Gail Kim had a bit of a better go at it, at least in the beginning. It was confirmed a little while later after the match that she got a concussion during the match. She did amazing up to that point. Still did pretty good after that point, as well.
It was great to see the Beautiful People back, and Angelina Love pulled a Rick Rude and appeared on two shows in the same night. I believe both of them were pre-taped though, so it’s entirely possible that she could have one upped it and appeared somewhere else as well. She got a fair amount of time in the ring.
There were a lot of rumors that multiple participants were involved in negotiations to get a long term contract with Impact. I would not be opposed to anyone of them doing more with Impact in the future.
FINAL THOUGHTS – HIT
Impact does nostalgia right. There’s still a lot of great wrestling and a lot of heart. It also served the purpose of patching up some storylines and driving their next few months. These next few months are going to be interesting. There’s a lot of contracts coming up, and Impact is going to go to a skeleton crew for tapings for a little while. So this is a really interesting time to be paying attention to Impact. Was this a grand love letter and goodbye to an era, followed by three months of filler until the next era? Was this the start of gearing up to bigger and better? I don’t know, you don’t know. In the end, history will show us, but we won’t know until we look back.
OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: Powell’s Impact Wrestling Hit List: Josh Alexander vs. Trey Miguel, Ultimate X, Knockouts tag match, Feast or Fired results, Eric Young vs. Kenny King, Jake Something vs. Dirty Dango