With last weekend’s Bound For Glory in the rear-view, Thursday night’s episode of Impact was all about setting the table for what’s to come. Will old disputes continue on, or will new feuds be started? Will former champions get their rematches, or will new contenders jump to the front of the line? In the case of this show, it was a bit of Column A and a bit from Column B.


Moose promo / Josh Alexander and Minoru Suzuki confrontation

The show kicked off with the new Impact World Champion Moose coming to the ring.

He grabbed a mic, but before he could say anything, Eddie Edwards ran in attacked him, and they fought to the floor. Eddie hit Moose with a few Singapore cane shots, but Moose disarmed him with a big kick, and they brawled up the ramp until security ran out, broke them up, and pulled Eddie to the back.

Back in the ring, Moose acknowledged all the bad things he did to get the title, including taking away everything Josh Alexander worked so hard to win. But he didn’t apologize for any of it, because it got him the world title. He dropped some references to the Elite, Roman Reigns, the New Day, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch, and said that he was the greatest champion in all of professional wrestling. He warned the locker room that if the despicable things he did to win the title weren’t anything compared to what he would do to keep it.

As he bragged, Josh Alexander slid into the ring from behind and attacked Moose, and they got exchanged some hard shots before Moose scrambled out of the ring. Minoru Suzuki’s music hit and he came to the ring where Josh was standing. He and Josh – who was bleeding from his attack on Moose – went face to face, but then Josh turned his back on Suzuki to yell at Moose. This show of disrespect angered Suzuki and they brawled, bringing out a bigger security team to run in and separate them.

This was a good way to kick off the show. While it might be more logical for Alexander to try to avenge his title loss to Moose right away, judging from the crowd reaction, the Impact fans are more than happy with a detour for him to battle Suzuki.

Backstage, Gia Miller interviewed Moose, who said that he knows he has a huge target on his back, but he can handle it. Matt Cardona came up to him and said that he nearly beat Moose during the Call Your Shot Gauntlet match at Bound For Glory, but Moose reminded him that he didn’t get the job done. Moose turned to walk away, and Cardona slugged him – they brawled until security broke them up. Man, security needs to get paid a bonus tonight.


Match 1: Rocky Romero vs. Trey Miguel (c) – for the X-Division Championship

They never really explained why Romero was getting a title match after only making his debut in the Gauntlet match on Saturday, which he lost. But the announcers kind of justified it saying that Romero has 20 years of experience. The two wore such similar black and gold gear that they actually looked more like tag team partners than opponents. Miguel started off hot, hitting a Top Rope Moonsault to the floor, heading into the commercial break.

Back from the ads, and Romero was in control – they showed that during the break, he hit a Top Rope Arm-wrench Kneedrop onto Miguel’s shoulder. He thwarted a 619 attempt with a low Dropkick that sent Miguel to the floor, and then Romero ran to the floor and dropped the champ with a Hurancarana. He then threw Miguel into the ring and hit a huge Sliced Bread type move for a close 2-count.

Miguel finally broke Romero’s momentum with a Powerbomb, and then the two had a slugfest in the middle of the ring. Miguel hit a Jumping Knee and followed that up with the Meteora. But Romero rolled through and locked on a Single Leg Crab. A submission exchange and counters followed, and during this, Miguel’s mouth got busted open. After a standing skirmish, Trey hit a Brain Buster, then went back up to the top and hit another Meteora – and this time, it was enough to keep Romero down for the pin.

As Trey celebrated his successful title defense, Steve Maclin ran in and attacked him from behind, putting Miguel in the Crosshairs and leaving him laying.

This was a good match – probably Trey’s best since his return.

Winner, and still X-Division Champion: Trey Miguel

Gia Miller interviewed the new Digital Media Champion Jordynne Grace and Rachael Ellering. Grace said that she thought she was the perfect champion because she has a strong social media following. Tasha Steelz and Savannah Evans interrupted them, and Steelz boasted about eliminating Ellering during the Call Your Shot Gauntlet match. Ellering was having none of Steelz’ chirping and said they could settle it in the ring.

Steve Maclin cut a backstage promo, saying that he was undefeated and is owed the X-Division Championship. Impact Executive Vice-President Scott D’Amore confronted Maclin and said that nobody in this business is owed anything. But if Maclin wants to earn a title shot, he would get the chance next week.

After Maclin left, Matt Cardona and Eddie Edwards came up to D’Amore and said they both wanted a chance to face Moose. D’Amore said that Josh Alexander gets the first crack at Moose. But if they want, the two of them could team up with Alexander against Moose and two partners of his choosing.

Then D’Amore heard a commotion and looked down a hallway and saw Alexander beating up referee Brian Hebner. After D’amore pulled him off of Hebner, Josh said that he wasn’t angry about losing the title to Moose, but rather he was mad that Hebner called for the bell in that match before Josh’s wife and son were able to leave the ring, and they could have been hurt as a result. D’Amore agreed that Hebner had made the wrong call, but there was nothing they could do about that. So Josh would have to get his revenge in the six-man tag next week. D’Amore tried to talk Alexander down, and said that he couldn’t let his emotions run wild – for his sake and the sake of his family.


Match 2: Tasha Steelz (w/ Savannah Evans) vs. Rachael Ellering (w/ Jordynne Grace)

Oddly, these two opponents both wore the same colours, too. Maybe that’s a thing now. Rachael was aggressive from the get-go, hitting Steelz with some hard shots, including a Running Senton Splash and then a big STO. Steelz bought some space by snapping Rachael’s neck over the top rope and followed that up with some chops, slaps, and a Spinning DDT for two. When Steelz wasted time trash-talking, Ellering tried to take control, but a Code Breaker put her down again. After Ellering got back up, they both dodged big moves from the other. Ellering dodged better, though, got behind Steelz and rolled her up with a Backslide for the pin.

This was fine, though the backslide for the pin wasn’t the smoothest finish. Even more interesting than this one could be if we’re to see the powerhouses of Grace and Evans in a match at some point. They had a bit of a standoff in this one, but it didn’t get physical. A fight between the two could be fun.

Winner: Rachael Ellering

W. Morrissey cut a promo backstage. He was going to say that he was glad that Moose broke their alliance at BFG, because now he could go after Moose’s title. But before he could finish the line, Moose came up to him. Moose said that he only screwed over Morrissey because he knew that, given the chance, Morrissey would have done it first. Moose said that if Morrissey helps him take out Alexander, Edwards, and Alexander next week, then he’ll give Morrissey the first opportunity for the World Title. Morrissey agreed.

Gia Miller went into the locker room of the new Knockouts Tag Team Champions, the Iinspiration, for an interview. They said they were there to inspire people, and when Gia tried to probe more about what that meant, they cut her off and dismissed her.

Match 3: Joe Doering (w/ Violent By Design) vs. Heath (w/ Rhino)

Heath started off with some fire, but it got doused by a Low Cross Body by the giant Doering. Doering then used his power to punish Heath, including hitting Controlled Chaos.

Heath had no quit in him, though, and he eventually was able to knock the big man down. As he looked to take advantage, he got tripped up by Deaner from the outside, leading to Deaner and Rhino throwing hands on the outside. Their brawl spilled into the ring, and the referee had no choice but to throw out the match and call for the bell.

After the match, Eric Young came into the ring. Rhino thought about taking him out, but Young reminded him that he was injured, and Rhino hesitated. The pause left him vulnerable to an attack by Doering and he got waylaid. But then Young revealed that his injury was a ruse and he’s back at 100% – by attacking Rhino! And soon it was a 3-on-2 beatdown. Young slammed Rhino and hit him with a Flying Elbow, and then hit Heath with a Piledriver.

The match was fine for what it was, but this was really about the post-match developments, including the return threat posed by Violent By Design.

Winner: No Contest

A Good Brothers promo aired next. They put themselves over and crowed about retaining their Tag Team titles at BFG over the Bullet Club and FinJuice. Speaking of FinJuice, they came up to the Good Brothers, and said that they weren’t the ones who got pinned, and threw out a challenge for the titles. The Good Brothers said they would have to earn a title shot, and left.

Gia Miller interviewed The (KISS) Demon who made his return in the Call Your Shot Gauntlet match. Before he could say anything, Johnny Swinger came in and griped about a bunch of things. Things looked like they may get heated, but for the appearance of Crazzy Steve and Black Taurus, who the Demon said welcomed him back to the company. Scared by this frightening duo, Swinger bailed from the segment.

Mickie James promo

The New Knockouts Champion Mickie James came to the ring. She said that she hadn’t planned on returning to the company and winning the title, but when the opportunity presented itself, she couldn’t refuse. She thanked Purrazzo for the competitive match, but said that Purrazzo was nowhere to be seen since losing the match, so she would have to look elsewhere for a new opponent.

This brought out Madison Rayne, who was accompanied by Kaleb. Rayne said that doesn’t get the credit she deserves for what she’s done for the Knockouts Division, even though others like Mickie, Gail Kim, and Awesome Kong – who have jumped from company to company – get called the pillars of the Knockouts Division. Rayne challenged her to a title match next week, and Mickie accepted. Kaleb shoved and threatened Mickie, and she slapped him.

This did what it needed to do. Kaleb continues to offer not much.

Backstage, Gia asked Moose and Morrissey if they had found a third person to join them in the tag match next week, and they said they were working on it. They walked up to Minoru Suzuki and asked him if he would join them, and he agreed.


Match 4: Chris Sabin vs. Ace Austin (w/ Mad Man Fulton)

Sabin had new music this week, replacing the Motor City Machine Guns theme. They started off with some fast chain wrestling, with Sabin getting a couple of near falls with some nifty rollups, which frustrated Austin. Sabin locked on a painful-looking submission combo, kind of a blend between a Surfboard and a Dragon Sleeper – ouch. Austin was in pain, but was able to hit a Stun Gun that hurt Sabin, and this allowed Austin to take over.

He pounded Sabin and then locked on an Armbar – and went back into his bag of tricks by taking out some playing cards and slashing the webbing between Sabin’s fingers, which is just nasty.

A Legdrop for a near fall flowed into a commercial.

Austin was still in control after the break, and he hit Sabin with a variety of moves. But when he went for a Flying Legdrop, Sabin moved and Austin crashed hard. Sabin had a surge of adrenaline, and he fought his way back, hitting a big Running Corner Kick to Austin’s face, and nearly got the pin. They exchanged some more power moves, including trading Boots to the Head.

Sabin hit a Springboard DDT that looked good for a very close fall, but when he went up top to follow up, Austin caught him. Sabin pushed Austin down to the mat, but as he fell, Austin grabbed the referee and pulled him in. As the ref tried to disentangle himself from Austin, Fulton yanked Sabin down from the top. But the wily Sabin was able to break free, and ended up putting Austin over the top rope and directly onto Fulton, taking him down.

But not out. Because as Austin distracted the ref again, Fulton got up, and from the outside, pulled Sabin hard into the ropes face-first. This left him stunned and prone to The Fold by Austin who then covered Sabin for the pin.

This was a good match and the right way to end a show that had otherwise seen a lot of talking throughout.

Winner: Ace Austin