Since arriving in Impact Wrestling, Steve Maclin has been slowly yet surely climbing the ranks. After a series of squash wins resulting in a lengthy undefeated streak, he spent some time competing in the X-Division, but was never able to capture the title. That may all be changing, though, if his win at Victory Road – Friday night’s Impact Plus special event that aired on the company’s streaming site and YouTube subscription channel – is any indication. Indeed, Maclin put on a a potentially career-changing performance in the Barbed Wire Massacre match against Moose and Sami Callihan, taking a beating that left him bloody and battered, but picking up the win nonetheless. The match was a violent spectacle that gave all three men a chance to shine – though that could also have been the lights shining on the blood that coated their faces by the end of the match.

It was a very strong ending to an excellent show that featured some other solid matches, the debut of recent AEW departee Bobby Fish, and some interesting developments for the upcoming Bound For Glory PPV.



Victory Road Pre-Show Results

Pre-Show Match 1: The Bullet Club (Chris Bey, Ace Austin, and Juice Robinson vs. Jason Hotch, Shogun, and Jack Price

This was pretty much a dissection of the jobber trio by the Bullet Club. Apparently, the Bullet Club’s thing is back rakes, because each one of them had a variation on that “move”. The jobbers got a brief amount of offense, but in the end, the Bullet Club hit a triple-threat combination to get the win.

Not much to say about this one. Short, quick, and to the point.

Winners: The Bullet Club

In the back, Gia Miller interviewed Josh Alexander, Rich Swann, and Heath. They said that they were all on the same page tonight, and would bring the fight to Honor No More.


Pre-Show Match 2: Tasha Steelz (w/ Savannah Evans) vs. Killer Kelly

Steelz tried to play the stalling game up front, going to the floor whenever Kelly got close to her. Kelly finally offered her a free shot, and that enticed Tasha to come in, and the match was on. Kelly dominated early on, landing some huge kicks from every angle. Steelz finally caught one attempt and whipped Kelly’s knee into the mat. Steelz took over, stomping a mudhole into Kelly and using some ground-and-pound strikes, kicks, and even some vicious headbutts to hurt Kelly and keep her down. Steelz tried for a Steelz Stretch, but Kelly powered out of it, lifted up Steelz, and dropped her with a Muscle Buster Suplex, and followed that up with a big German Suplex. Kelly was looking to put Steelz away, but Savannah Evans reached in for the distraction.


Kelly tried for a Killer Klutch, but Steelz raked her eyes to escape, sending Kelly into the corner where, behind the ref’s back, Savannah jumped onto the apron and choked Kelly with a chain. Kelly broke loose and took the chain away and then proceeded to choke out Tasha with it. Though this was right in front of the referee, he didn’t immediately disqualify Kelly. Instead, he took the chain away and gave Kelly a warning. So Kelly attacked the referee, putting the Killer Klutch on him until a bunch of referees and officials ran in to save him.

This was bad on a lot of levels. If they were trying to make Kelly look like a major force, she took a pretty heavy beating from Steelz to the point that she didn’t look all that tough. Evans was lousy, actually pulling Kelly’s leg too early when the referee was staring right at her. The referee looked stupid for not calling for the DQ as soon as that happened, and then even more stupid later when he didn’t DQ Kelly for the use of the chain right in front of him. And the ending attack on the ref was broken up too early to have any gravitas. Kelly and Steelz are both good, but this match did neither of them any service.

Winner: No decision announced due to referee’s unconsciousness


Victory Road – Main Show Results


Match 1: “Speedball” Mike Bailey (c) vs. Delirious – for the X-Division Championship

The match wasn’t as fast-paced as many X-Division matches, and though there were some big moves, it wasn’t a spot-fest. The advantage exchanged several times, with both men getting in some good shots. At one point, Bailey tried to use a flurry of kicks, but Delirious kept running out of the way, which was neat.


Later, after Bailey hit him with a Flying Somersault on the floor, Delirious tried to nullify Bailey’s educated feet by biting one of them – gross. Then he went after Bailey’s back, slamming him on the apron, the floor, and smashing him with a Backbreaker in the ring. Delirious hit a Shadows Over Hell for a very close 2-count. Delirious locked on a Cobra Stretch and then hit a Belly-to-Back Suplex that nearly brained Bailey. But Bailey fired up and hit a Flamingo Driver to get the 1-2-3.

The match was good, but as is sometimes the case, Bailey’s selling wasn’t always great, and a couple of times he sprung back from big moves like they were nothing. Seeing Delirious was a nice treat. That being said, you have to wonder why he’s seemingly not associated with the new ROH. They could probably use his experience and expertise behind the scenes.

Winner, and still X-Division Champion: “Speedball” Mike Bailey

Commentators Tom Phillips and Matthew Rehwoldt announced that an E-bay auction is taking place to raise money to help Joe Doering in his fight against cancer. To bid, visit

Honor No More was in the back, laying threats down on the roster. Eddie Edwards continued his beratement of PCO until Vincent played peacemaker and calmed Eddie down, saying that even if Eddie didn’t trust PCO, he could trust Vincent.


Match 2: Honor No More (Vincent & PCO) vs. the Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley)

At the start, the Guns were individually having trouble dealing with the size and power of PCO, but some quick double-teaming surprised and frustrated him enough to tag in Vincent. He didn’t fare too well until he and PCO cheated, and in doing so, they trapped Shelley in their corner and proceeded to beat him down for a while. Some mistakes resulted in Vincent and PCO colliding a couple of times, allowing the Guns to recover and mount a comeback. Well, until PCO got back in and beat the tar out of Sabin with various punishing moves. Shelley eventually made the save, dodge an attack that sent PCO flying to the floor, and with him gone, the Guns were able to put Vincent down for the count.

Other than the refereeing, this was a really strong tag team match. At times, it seemed like the referee thought it was a Texas Tornado match, as he didn’t even attempt 5-counts much less enforce them, allowing both members of each team to be in there for as long as they wanted at any time. Otherwise, though, this was fine. Any PCO match is always fun to watch.

Winners: The Motor City Machine Guns


Match 3: Gisele Shaw vs. Mickie James

This match is part of Mickie’s “Last Rodeo” where she said she would retire the next time she loses a match. Shaw was aggressive early on, looking for a quick win, but Mickie used some basic fundamentals to slow the pace. Shaw hit a botched Tightrope Corkscrew Arm Drag that didn’t look good, and a Shoulder Breaker later on, that did.


She then worked over Mickie’s weakened arm and shoulder, alternating between moves and submission holds. But when Shaw took things to the floor, Mickie turned things around, trapping Shaw in the ring skirt and then hitting her with some big kicks. Shaw continued the assault, though, hitting a huge Somersault Dive that saw her windmill a kick right in Mickie’s neck and shoulder. Shaw nearly got the win after a Flatliner, but Mickie kicked out at 2-and-7/8ths. Shaw charged, but Mickie Flapjacked her and then hit a Flying Thesz Press for 2. After some more exchanges of big moves, Mickie ended things with a huge kick to the gut and a Mick-DT.

This may have been Shaw’s best match since coming to Impact, notwithstanding the aforementioned botch. She’s an effective heel and has the look and move-set that befit that kind of alignment. There wasn’t much question that Mickie would win this match, as the Last Rodeo storyline will undoubtedly end only when she earns a title shot. But for a stop along the way, this was a good one.

Winner: Mickie James


Match 4: Mia Yim vs. Laredo Kid vs. Trey Miguel vs. Alex Zayne vs. Kenny King vs. Yuya Uemora vs. Frankie Kazarian vs. Black Taurus

A Triple Threat Revolver match is effectively a Gauntlet Match, except there has to be three people in the ring at a time. When one of them is pinned or submits, someone else joins the remaining two. When it comes down to the last three, it’s a standard Triple Threat match, with the first person scoring a pinfall or submission winning the match. The winner of this one will challenge “Speedball” for the X-Division Championship at Bound For Glory.

It didn’t take long for this one to accelerate to the speed of a typical X-Division match, and within minutes, Kid hit a huge Moonsault off the top turnbuckle to the floor, and follow that up with a 450-Splash on a stacked up Yim and Trey. Still, it wasn’t enough, as he went down to a big move by Yim, who pinned him. Zayne was in next, and the three of him, Yim, and Trey had some neat exchanges. After some counters and reverals, Yim surprised Zayne with a roll-up pin to eliminate Zayne. King was in next, and Yim and Trey both tried to be the one to face him. For his part, he didn’t care which one it was, and when Yim stepped up, he hit her with a Float-Over Boot to the Head and a huge Spinebuster. But she got some revenge, hitting him with a Flying Dive to the floor. In the end, though, he won the war, when he rolled her up from behind when she was tied up with Trey.


Uemora, a New Japan wrestler, was in next. But by the time I figured out how to spell his name, he was eliminated after getting pinned. Kazarian was in next, and the crowd was glad to see his return. He played some of his greatest hits, but when he was looking to end King with a DDT, he got surprised with a Meteora from Trey. Kaz repaid the favour, though, by clamping on a Chicken Wing Clutch from behind when Trey was looking to end King, forcing Trey to tap out.

Taurus was the last participant to join the fray, just in time for the sudden death part of the match. As the three exchanged big moves, Matthew Rehwoldt had his own botch on commentary, saying that one of Kaz’s dreams is to win the X-Division Championship again to make it “an even five.” Math is hard. But it wasn’t hard for Kaz to know that hitting a Springboard Cutter on King would result in the 1-2-3. And that’s exactly what happened.


This was a very good match that ended just before it started to feel too long. Yim going through a number of the male opponents was an interesting choice, since she really hasn’t established herself as a main threat even in the Knockouts Division yet. Kaz winning is a treat, since he and Bailey should put on a banger at Bound For Glory. The ending also leaves it open for Black Taurus to have a claim on a title shot since he didn’t take the fall – and he and the winner of Bailey-Kaz should also be good.

Winner, and number one contender for the X-Division Championship: Frankie Kazarian

In the back, Taya  Valkyrie, Rosemary, and Jessicka approached Gail Kim to request a Knockouts Tag Team Championship match. But instead of Taya and Rosemary, they wanted it to be Taya and Jessicka. Gail said they could have the match at Bound For Glory. The champs, Deonna Purrazzo and Chelsea Green came in to trash-talk them, but that angered Jessicka who splatted them against the wall to the delight of Rosemary and Taya.


Bobby Fish makes his Impact Wrestling debut

Holy heck!  Recent AEW escapee Bobby Fish made his way to the ring. He noted that he had recently become a lightning rod of controversy, which surprised him, because he’s never thought  of himself as a problem. Rather, he’s a guy that simply does his job well. He said that after 20 years, he’s not interested in dealing with BS. He said that Impact can’t fire him for swearing, because he doesn’t work there. But even though he doesn’t work there, he’s always kept his eye on the locker room. And he’s not afraid to call out anyone in the back and pick a fight.

This brought out Raj Singh and Shera. Singh said that Shera is more legit than Bobby, and that all Fish has to do is name the time and place. Singh and Fish jaw-jacked each other, which of  course led to things getting physical. Fish dispatched of Shera and then locked a Fish Hook on Singh that had him tapping out until Shera made the save.

This was a good segment. It was clear that Fish was having fun here, even making fun of himself when the crowd called him out for flubbing a line a couple of times. The crowd was really hot for Fish.



Match 5: Honor No More (Mike Bennett, Matt Taven, and Eddie Edwards) (w/ Maria) vs. Rich Swann, Josh Alexander, and Heath

This started off as a fairly traditional tag match, with Team Impact establishing control, until some dirty tactics by HNM resulted in Swann getting cheap-shotted and driven into the ring post on the outside by the illegal men. HNM then took turns beating up Swann while Heath and Alexander could only look on, Eddie punctuating every blow with a dirty look at Alexander, who he challenges for the World Championship at Bound For Glory. After a lengthy beat-down, Swann was finally able to escape and make the tag to Heath. He was fired up, but some more HNM chicanery had him hurting, until he had to make his own hot tag to Alexander, who finally got a chance to get his hands on Edwards, blasting him with a hard Low Cross Body that sent Eddie hard to the floor. He then Powerbombed Eddie off the middle ropes right onto Taven and Bennett, which looked nifty.



Josh got distracted by Taven and Bennett, allowing Eddie to hit him with a Blue Thunder Bomb, and this led to a Pier Six brawl between both teams, during which Edwards and HNM were able to hit Alexander with some huge triple-team moves, with some assistance even from Maria. After some more fuster-cluckery, Alexander found himself taking on all three of HNM. Despite the odds, he did well. But eventually the numbers foiled him. He had taven in an Ankle Lock, but  Eddie blasted him with a Boston Knee Party. He then finished Josh off with a Drive By and pinned the world champ.

Like with the other tag match, the refereeing left a lot to be desired in this one. But the match itself was very good otherwise, and Edwards getting a pinfall on the champ is a smart build towards their upcoming match.

Winners: Honor No More

Mickie James dropped into Mia Yim’s dressing room and told her how impressed she was by her performance in the Triple Threat Revolver match. After some mutual admiration, Mickie said that she wanted Yim to be her next opponent. Yim agreed.


Match 6: Jordynne Grace vs. Max the Impaler (w/ Father James Mitchell)

Max the Impaler was hand-picked by Masha Slamovich as Grace’s opponent as part of their Pick Your Poison stipulation (Grace will get a chance to pick Masha’s opponent in a match between now and Bound For Glory where Grace defends the Knockouts Championship against Masha).

Grace struggled early on with the sheer size and power of Max, even getting caught in a Flying Dive attempt and getting slammed incredibly hard onto the edge corner of the apron – ouch!


Max toyed with Grace on the floor for an extended period, slamming her on the floor, choking her up against the ring post – actually lifting up Grace by her throat – and battering her against the ring barrier, steps, and side of the ring. Grace eventually turned things around, escaping a Powerbomb attempt and hitting Max with an Alabama Slam on the entrance ramp. In the ring, Grace fired off some huge strikes, eventually knocking Max down long enough to hit a Grace Bomb. But Grace’s follow up charging attack got thwarted by a huge Spear by Max that nearly cut Grace in half. Grace blocked a Suplerplex attempt and hit a Powerbomb. And then in a major feat of strength, Grace picked up Max and hit the Grace Driver for the pin.

That was a heck of a slobberknocker of a fight. It’s not often that Grace gets outpowered, but Max simply beat the heck out of her. Hopefully this isn’t just a one-off for Max, who could really shake things up in the Knockouts Division, or maybe even compete against many of the men!

Winner: Jordynne Grace

After the match, Grace took the mic and said that she had picked the opponent that Masha would have to face next week on Impact. Someone who is insanely violent. Grace said the opponent will be Allie Katch. And the match will be a Monster’s Ball match.

The commentators announced that Raven will be inducted into the Impact Hall of Fame at Bound For Glory


In the back, Gia Miller asked Moose for his final thoughts before heading into the Barbed Wire Massacre match. Moose said that he’s been in every other type of hardcore match the company puts on, so he has the advantage, despite Sami Callihan’s deathmatch experience and Steve Maclin’s real-life hardcore badassery from his days in the Marines.


Match 7: Moose vs. Sami Callihan vs. Steve Maclin – Barbed Wire Massacre match

Callihan paid tribute to Mick Foley, coming to the ring wearing a flannel shirt and a t-shirt resembling the classic Cactus Jack “Wanted” design. Maclin, meanwhile, had his face painted with a skeleton.

For the Barbed Wire Massacre set up, the ropes on three of the sides of the ring had barbed wire webbing and there were weapons wrapped in barbed wire in each corner, including two barbed wire doors.

It didn’t take too long for the violence to begin. Within the first ten seconds, Moose Speared Maclin through one of the doors, and then Sami hit Moose with the Cactus Driver.


A minute later, Moose hit a Flying Dive onto Maclin on the floor that looked ugly but brutal. On the floor, Sami whipped Moose into the ringside barrier and then blasted Maclin with a body splash. He set up a barbed wire table on the floor and then put Moose through it with a Death Valley Driver. But when he tried something on Maclin, he got heaved into the barbed wire webbing and then Maclin raked his face with a strand of wire, slicing Sami’s forehead open. Moose and Maclin took their fight into the ring where Moose cut up Maclin’s forehead with a barbed wire rolling pin, resulting in a drop of blood actually splattering onto the ringside camera lens.



Moose hit a Superplex on Maclin, but before he could capitalize, Sami – who had been recovering on the floor – slid in and hit him with a barbed wire “wet floor” sign. This led to a three-way punching exchange in the middle of the ring. Moose dropped Maclin with a Front Suplex onto the barbed wire ropes, and then Sami Suplexed Moose onto the ropes on the other side. Sami had another Suplex in his armory, this time, Suplexing Maclin onto a barbed wire chair.

Sami then had some fun and games, slicing Maclin’s head with a barbed wire wrapped N-64 game controller, and then putting the wrapped cord in Maclin’s mouth and yanking back. But a defiant Maclin refused to give up, flipping Sami the bird. But Moose wasn’t impressed and he threw Maclin back into the rope webbing, tying him up. Moose then hit a Uranage, planting Sami onto a barbed wire ball. Moose went for a Spear on Maclin, but ate a barbed wire chair and then took a KIA which would have spelled the end but for Sami breaking up the count.


Sami then dragged Moose to the floor and put him atop another barbed wire table, looking to put Moose through it with an attack off the apron. But before he could, Maclin attacked him from behind and laid him out. Maclin then took to the top turnbuckle and dove down onto Moose, smashing him with a barbed wire chair. The table didn’t break, so Moose took the full impact of the blow, which couldn’t have felt too good.

Maclin and Sami went at it with more barbed wire weapons, with Sami getting the edge thanks to a barbed wire bat. And he held the edge by Powerbombing Maclin through the second barbed wire door. Sami hit the Cactus Driver on Maclin, and it was one, two, thr— no! Maclin kicked out!

Sami went for another Cactus Driver, but Maclin hit him with a low blow to escape. A KIA onto the barbed wire door right afterwards sealed the deal and Maclin pinned Sami for the win.

This was really good. Deathmatches aren’t to everyone’s taste, but if you like them, you’d really have liked this one. The big moves looked impressive, the weapons were used well, and the blood and blood-generating spots were sufficiently cringe-worthy. Maclin has been slowly built up to a main event player, and this one is another notch in his belt. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him become World Champion by the end of the year at this rate.


Winner: Steve Maclin

Victory Road - September 23, 2022

Skyway Studios - Nashville, TN

With several strong matches, the shock factor of Bobby Fish, and the stellar main event,  this show was not one to be missed. It’s surprising that they would stack all of this on a monthly Impact Plus special instead of a PPV – especially with Bound For Glory coming up in a couple of weeks. But if they were trying to show the value-for-money of the subscriptions, this one certainly did the trick.