On Thursday’s episode of Impact, Josh Alexander surrendered the X-Division Championship for the right to face World Champion Christian Cage in four weeks at Bound For Glory. Or, as it is referred to in the company, he exercised ‘Option C’. But will another C —  as in C for Christopher Daniels, who returned to the company at the end of the show — somehow become involved in the title situation? The questions start to mount as the road to BFG begins.


Option C segment

The show started off with Impact Executive Vice-President Scott D’Amore in the ring. He ran down what happened at the end of Saturday night’s Victory Road event, where Josh Alexander announced his intention to exercise ‘Option C’, meaning that he will surrender the X-Division Championship in exchange for a World Championship match against Christian Cage at Bound For Glory.

Alexander came to the ring, and D’Amore reminded him that there is no turning back once he surrenders the title. So he cautioned him that if he had any doubt, to not take the risk. Alexander said that after his neck surgery six years ago, he didn’t think he would ever wrestle again. But he fought to get his career back, and nothing was going to stop his drive. And that he felt he could be the face of the company as World Champion.


This brought out Impact World Champion Christian Cage. Cage said that while Josh almost lost his career, Cage did lose his, for over seven years. And he fought to come back and that fight led him to the world championship, which he would fight to keep.

Christian tried to convince Josh to keep his X-Division Championship lest he lose their match and end up with nothing. He had a good line, saying that if Alexander faced Christian at BFG, he wouldn’t become the face of the company; he’d just become a face in the crowd. Alexander thanked Christian for making his decision easier, and officially surrendered his title.

Ace Austin and Mad Man Fulton came to the ring. Austin trash-talked both Christian and Austin, and then Fulton sucker-kicked Josh right in the face, taking him out. Austin and Fulton then smacked Christian in the face with Austin’s staff. The damage done, Austin and Fulton headed back up the ramp.

This was good, and everyone played their part well. Alexander’s promo in particular was really good, especially for anyone who knows his pre-Impact career story.

Gia Miller interviewed Rich Swann and Willie Mack, who are now wearing matching jerseys with Souljas written on them. So either that’s their new team name, or else the Souljas is a thing that someone as un-hip as me doesn’t know about. Swann said that he will be entering the Call Your Shot Gauntlet match at Bound For Glory to earn a World Title shot. And Mack said he will be in the hunt for the X-Division Championship. Brian Myers and his Learning Tree stable barged in, and said he was going to be in the Call Your Shot match as well. Swann challenged Myers to pick one of his students for a tag team match later tonight.

D’Amore and checked in on Christian who was in Dr. Forman’s office to get his eye looked at after the shot by Austin. Alexander came in and asked D’Amore to book a match between Alexander and Cage versus Austin and Fulton. Dr. Forman wouldn’t clear Christian to compete, so D’Amore said that Alexandre would face Austin later tonight. And Cage would get his opportunity for revenge at another time.


Match 1: Hikuleo (w/ Chris Bey) vs. David Finlay (w/ Juice Robinson)

Matt Striker made a neat observation about how these two’s fathers – Fit Finlay and Meng – had some classic hard-fought battles in the past. The story of this one was really the strength versus speed, with Finlay doing what he could to stick and move. Until a distraction by Bey on the outside left Finlay vulnerable to a huge kick by Hikuleo that knocked Finlay right into a commercial break. Back from the ads, and Hikuleo was firmly in control with a huge powerslam followed by a big vertical suplex.


Finlay tried to fight back, but was on the wrong end of a huge clothesline that knocked Finlay head over teakettle. Hikuleo tried to finish him off, but Finlay reversed the move and hit a big stunner that, well, stunned Hikuleo. Bey tried to get involved but was dispatched by Juice on the outside. Meanwhile, Finlay capitalized and rolled up Hikuleo for the pin.

After the match, the two teams brawled in the ring and FinJuice were able to dominate. They were going to hit Bey with the Doomsday Device, but Bey and Hikuleo’s Bullet Club teammate Phantasmo ran in and gave them the assist. He took out Juice with a straight-arm punch to the crotch, and then Bey dropped Juice with a huge knee to the head that looked like it really connected hard. The Bullet Club then triple-teamed Finlay who Phantasmo ended with a loaded kick to the face. The Bullet Club celebrated their chicanery while FinJuice were laid out.

This was good. Hikuleo is monster-sized compared to FinJuice, so his power-based offense looked really good. That knee shot looked scary, so hopefully Juice is okay. The ongoing Bullet Club stuff has too much backstory that isn’t particularly clear for people who aren’t familiar with it and only are exposed to it through these Impact appearances. So in a way, it’s a bit disjointed from the rest of the things going on in the show. But at least the matches have been entertaining enough, even if you don’t care about the angles themselves.

Winner: David Finlay

A Violent By Design promo video aired. Eric Young said that what they did to Rhino last week doesn’t have to be the end of Rhino’s tenure in VBD. And that if Rhino repents for his actions, they will welcome him back into the fold. They want his answer next week.

Gia Miller interviewed Matt Cardona and Chelsea Green. Green will be facing Rohit Raju later tonight. Green said that she was going to take out Rohit tonight, just like Cardona did with Shera, who Cardona has put out of commission.

Su Yung, Kimber Lee, and newly-turned demon Brandi Lauren did a short promo video. They are evil and are looking to collect souls. This was 41 seconds that could have been better utilized by doing pretty much anything else.

Match 2: Rohit Raju vs. Chelsea Green (w/ Matt Cardona)

This was a battle of Green’s quickness, technique, and heart against Rohit’s strength, cunning, and dirty tactics. The advantage went back and forth a few times. Rohit tried to use the ropes for leverage to steal a pin, but Cardona swatted Rohit’s hands of the ropes so Green was able to kick out. As the match continued, Raj Singh ran out from the back and attacked Cardona from behind, throwing him hard into the ringpost.


Chelsea looked over at Cardona to see if he was okay, and Rohit rolled her up from behind for the pin. After the match, Rohit and Raj celebrated.

There have been a lot better intergender matches. This one was adequate, but really it was more as a way to set up the reunion of the Desi Hit Squad than anything else..

Winner: Rohit Raju

They replayed the moment from this past weekend’s Victory Road when W. Morrissey powerbombed Alisha Edwards. Eddie, her husband, left the match to tend to her after that, leaving Sami Callihan alone against Morrissey and his partner Moose.

Backstage, Eddie Edwards was fuming about Morrissey’s actions. Sami Callihan came up to him, but not to confront Eddie for walking out on him. Rather, to motivate Eddie to get revenge, with his help. They stormed into Moose’s locker room and assaulted him with weapons, not stopping until he told them where Morrissey could be found.


Match 3: Willie Mack and Rich Swann vs. Brian Myers (w/ the Learning Tree) and VSK

The Learning Tree are Myers’ trainee flunkies. But Myers said they were too green to compete, so he introduced VSK as his partner. Swann and Mack are now wearing matching trunks, so it looks like they may be in the tag team division for a while, notwithstanding their earlier promo where they are both looking at singles gold.

Swann and VSK had a nice exchange early on, and VSK also fared well against Mack. Some outside interference from the Learning Tree helped  Myers and VSK isolate Mack, but eventually the big man was able to punch his way loose. Swann finally got back in and used some razzle dazzle on VSK to nearly get the pin. VSK went for an aerial move, but got caught with a Swann kick to the face on the way down. Myers tried to get involved but Mack hit him with an enziguri. In the midst of this chaos, Sam Beale tried to help out Myers and VSK, but instead of throwing Swann off the top, he accidentally launched him right onto VSK who, after absorbing that blow, didn’t have the strength to kick out.

This was a bit sloppy at times, but didn’t over-extend its welcome. The Learning Tree stable is bad, but it’s the most interesting thing to happen involving Myers since he’s been in Impact. Low bar, yes, but Sam Beale is at least entertaining.

Winners: Willie Mack and Rich Swann

In Swinger’s Palace, Swinger was still upset that Impact was going to be heading to Las Vegas where his casino wouldn’t be able to compete with the real ones. A Swingerella suggested he try to convince Scott D’Amore to not move the show there. Swinger wrote a note to D’Amore, asking him to meet next week. As usual, Swinger was funny here.

In the back, Mickie was walking, ready to head to the ring. That’s it.

In their dressing room – or maybe a hotel room – the Impact Tag Team Champions the Good Brothers said they were on vacation. They said they deserved a break since they’ve beaten every team they’ve faced from Impact and AEW. And they said any team they face in the future will lose as well. They followed this up with a highlight promo video too.


Mickie James / Deonna Purrazzo segment

Mickie James came to the ring to a good reception by the crowd. She said that things between her and Deonna Purrazzo have gone from respectful to heated, but she wanted to clear the air. She called out Deonna, who came to the ring. Purrazzo was angry that Mickie attacked her last week, but Mickie said that was only in retaliation for Purrazzo’s attacking her at NWA 73. Mickie challenged her to a Knockouts Championship match at Bound For Glory on Oct 23.

Purrazzo said that wrestling Mickie does nothing for her, and that Mickie is at the bottom of the list of contenders and would need to earn an opportunity to face her. Mickie, naturally, didn’t appreciate this, and the two brawled until a bunch of security ran into the ring to separate them.

Scott D’Amore came out to the entrance ramp and said that the match was indeed going to happen at Bound For Glory.

This was good, though it would have been nice to see the brawl  go a bit longer. Deonna always seems nervous when she’s talking – not sure if that’s just her speaking voice or if she really has the jitters. It’s like she’s a completely different level of confidence when she’s in the ring.

The Flashback Moment of the Week was from the May 23, 2013 episode, when Mickie James beat Velvet Sky for the Knockouts Championship. I’m not sure what I miss more: seeing Velvet Sky, or hearing Mike Tenay on commentary.

Backstage, Eddie Edwards and Sami Callihan tried to swam Morrissey with weapons, but the security team intervened and blocked their path. D’Amore came in and shouted everyone down. He booked an Anything Goes Street Fight between Eddie and Morrissey for next week.

Gia Miller interviewed Gail Kim who is producing the Knockouts Knockdown show on October 9th. Gail announced that there will be a tournament on the show featuring four Impact Knockouts and four other top female talents from outside the company, with the winner getting a future Knockouts Championship match.

Tenille Dashwood and Madison Rayne (now going by the team name “The Influence”), accompanied by Kaleb, came up to her. They suggested they get a Knockouts Tag Team Championship match at the show. Gail said they would face Jordynne Grace and Rachael Ellering next week and the winning team will get the title shot against Decay at the show.


Match 4: Ace Austin (w/ Mad Man Fulton) vs. Josh Alexander

Fulton made an impact (pardon the pun) early on, interfering from the outside to trip up Alexander in the opening minute. Alexander stayed focused, though, and was able to take the advantage on Austin through his strength advantage and some solid technical mat skills – including a nice delayed vertical suplex.

Subsequent distractions from Fulton were more effective, and soon Alexander found himself on the wrong end of some Austin kicks and a fast diving bulldog. Austin was still in control after the commercial break, and he punished Alexander with more kicks and stomps and some well-placed body punches. Alexander finally got some distance after winning a German suplex attempt exchange, and after that, he flattened Austin with a huge running pump kick and he followed that up with a flying knee.

Alexander hit a quartet of Germans and then tried for the C-4 Spike, but Austin used the ropes to evade it, and nearly got the pin after hitting Alexander with a rope-assisted head stomp. Alexander avoided another attack and then hit a huge low cross body on Austin, sending him flying to the floor. But before he could capitalize, another distraction by Fulton allowed Austin to knock Alexander silly with a spinning boot to the head. Luckily for Alexander, he landed on Fulton, thereby saving him from a hard landing on the floor.


Austin tried to end things, but Alexander caught him, hit a gross-looking neckbreaker and then planted Austin with the C-4 Spike for the pin.

After the match, Fulton attacked Alexander from behind and put the boots to him. Christian Cage ran in for the save. Alexander didn’t appreciate the assistance and confronted Cage, and as they argued, they were both laid out by Fulton and Austin. They were looking to destroy Alexander with a Chokeslam-Fold combo, but “Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels made his return to the Impact Zone and made the save. Daniels soaked in the adulation of the crowd while Alexander and Christian stared uneasily at each other, to bring the show to an end.

This was a strong match, which is pretty customary whenever Alexander is in there. Daniels’ return was a cool surprise to end things, but only time will tell if his return will play a meaningful role in the coming weeks, or if it was just a one-off throwaway. Hopefully they can use him effectively to help stretch out the Cage-Alexander storyline; there’s lots of time to go before that match, so they need to do what they can to keep interest from waning before it happens.

Winner: Josh Alexander

Impact Wrestling - Sep 24th, 2021

Skyway Studios - Nashville, TN

With a few weeks to go before Bound For Glory, this show was all about starting new stories that can culminate at that show. In the case of Alexander-Cage, and Purrazzo-James, this show worked great. In terms of the other stuff, though, nothing else really resonated. But there’s still a month to go before BFG, so lots of opportunity to plant seeds and grow them before then.