It’s a frequent wrestling trope that people who are scheduled to face each other will team up before that match and things will blow up, leading to fisticuffs or even worse. But that wasn’t the case on Thursday night’s episode of Impact Wrestling when World Champion Josh Alexander teamed up with Frankie Kazarian, who challenges Josh at Overdrive on November 18th. Indeed, the two gelled very well and were able to not only defeat the team of Aussie Open, but also shake hands at the end of the match in a show of mutual respect. The match was the definite highlight on a show that was otherwise full of average to poor in-ring action and little other development for the upcoming Overdrive event.

The show started with a pre-taped promo from Eddie Edwards, who blames the dissolution of Honor No More on PCO. Edwards said that he won’t be ground into sand like the faction, and said there was no better place to settle their score than in the Las Vegas desert tonight.


Match 1: Kenny King vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey – X-Division Title Tournament match

The winner of this match will face Trey Miguel in the sem-finals of the tournament. In the other bracket, Black Taurus will meet PJ Black, who beat Yuya Uermura earlier tonight on the BIT pre-show match. Black, it should be noted, now looks like a pirate.

Early on, this was a pretty even matchup, with both guys demonstrating smart counters against each other’s offence. But King got aggressive and after sending Bailey face-first into the turnbuckle, followed that up with a Spinebuster and a big Suplex on the entrance ramp that had Bailey reeling.


King follows that up with a Half Crab on the floor and then worked over Bailey’s knee and leg. In the end, though, Bailey was able to escape the hold and roll up King for a surprising three-count.

This was okay, but the ending really came out of nowhere. The next round match against Trey should be a good one, so that’s fine. It will be interesting now to see what happens with King, now that he no longer has Honor No More to go back to.

Winner: “Speedball” Mike Bailey

In the back, World Champion Josh Alexander was talking with the Motor City Machine Guns. They warned him, like everyone else has been, that Josh should not trust Bully Ray.

Elsewhere in the back, Gisele Shaw was blamed by VXT (Deonna Purrazzo and Chelsea Green) for costing them their triple tag match last week, thanks to Shaw’s showboating, namely posing with Jordynne Grace’s Knockouts Championship during the match, which ultimately cost them the win. They were upset that the loss meant that they squandered the chance to retire Mickie James whose Last Rodeo stipulation would have seen her retire if her team had lost. Shaw wasn’t hearing any of it, and she decided to split from VXT. They were fine with that, and said they would now be able to concentrate on retiring Mickie – which Chelsea will get the chance to do next week when she faces Mickie in a match.


Match 2: Savannah Evans (w/ Tasha Steelz) vs. Jessicka (w/ the Death Dollz (Rosemary and Taya Valkyrie))

Jessicka was really playing the fun-loving babyface in this one, including paying homage to Dusty Rhodes with some punches and a Bionic Elbow. But after getting beaten up for a while, Evans dodged a Corner Splash, and Jessicka hit the corner hard, putting her into trouble. Evans took over with some power moves, including a nice Vertical Suplex on her larger opponent, and then a not so nice German Suplex.


Jessicka won a Headbutt exchange and then squashed a downed Evans with a Low Cross Body splash. On the outside, the Dollz beat up Tasha, but the distraction allowed Evans to sneak up behind Jessicka and hit a Full Nelson Slam for the win.

This wasn’t great. Evans is still limited in the ring generally, and at times it looked like they were working under water. It also made the babyface look stupid to lose the match when her teammates were easily beating up Steelz on the floor thanks to their non-babyface-like 2-on-1 advantage.

Winner: Savannah Evans

The Flashback Moment of the Week was from Lockdown 2013, when Bully Ray turned on Jeff Hardy and Hulk and Brooke Hogan, to win the World Championship and reveal himself as the leader of Aces & Eights.

A short vignette aired for Killer Kelly where she was backstage, intimidating a couple of girls who looked like local competitors.

They showed Eddie waiting for PCO in the desert.

Steve Maclin cut a pre-taped promo, complaining that he has not received a title shot, despite beating a number of major names, while others get title shots handed to them through politicking or by winning them through one-off stipulations. He said he was coming for Josh Alexander’s World Title.

In the back Matt Cardona and Digital Media Championsihp Brian Myers were predicting a Tag Team Title win for them at Overdrive on November 18th. This was a setup for a surprise Joe Hendry appearance, and he expressed interest in Myers’ title.


PCO and Eddie Edwards Desert Fight

PCO lumbered his way through the desert to where Eddie was waiting. They had a cinematic brawl, complete with background music. PCO dominated for a while, throwing Eddie all around the rocky ground and even into a small pit of rocks and shrubs. As PCO was going for the death blow, Eddie clocked him in the head with a small boulder and knocked PCO down. But not out. PCO monstered up and Chokeslammed Eddie onto the ground. He was going to squash Eddie’s head open with a rock, but Eddie got up and waffled PCO with a shovel. Eddie then took PCO’s body, rolled it into a shallow hole and covered him up with dirt and rocks before walking away.


If you don’t like cinematic matches, you wouldn’t have liked this one. If you do like cinematic matches, you probably wouldn’t have liked this one. It was pretty lame overall.

In the back, Taylor Wilde and Mickie James were talking about Mickie’s match against Chelsea next week. Taylor said that she wanted to be in Mickie’s corner next week to be an equalizer for Deonna Purrazzo who would likely interfere for Chelsea. Mickie appreciated the offer, but said she wanted to do this by herself, which Taylor respected.


Match 3: Eric Young (w/ Deaner) vs. Sami Callihan

Surprisingly, this was the first time these two have ever faced one another in a one-on-one match.

They started off hot right at the bell, fighting in and around the ring. The ref seemingly ignored to count while they were on the floor, because they fought out there for over a minute. Or maybe it was No-DQ? Because the ref didn’t seem to care when Sami bit Eric right in front of him. But if that were the case, why did Deaner wait for the ref to turn around before attacking Sami? This was confusing and the ref looked totally impotent out there.

When the match finally got back in the ring, Young won a toe-to-toe slugfest (though he ended up bleeding from a huge chop), but then Sami regained the advantage when Young missed a Moonsault. Before Sami could put EY away, the ring was surrounded by a bunch of VBD recruits in yellow hoodies. Sami tried to fight them off, but they swarmed him and beat him down. After he was laid out, two of them removed their hoodies to reveal themselves as Alan Angels and Big Kon (formerly WWE’s Konnor). Surprisingly, the crowd actually reacted to these two. After that, Young took a weapon of some sort and carved up Sami’s forehead.


This was a rare miss of a match for both EY and Sami, both of whom can put on much better. The particularly bad refereeing didn’t help, nor did the reveal of the new VBD members who both seem somewhat devoid of personality / charisma. Even with the bloody ending, this fell flat.

Winner by disqualification: Sami Callihan

Jordynne Grace went into her dressing room to find the wall plastered with photos of Gisele Shaw holding her title. Shaw wasn’t there, but her Executive Stylist and Content Creator was. He tried to take a picture of the moment, but Grace beat him up and kicked him out, telling her to give Shaw the message that she will face Grace’s wrath next week.


Match 4: Moose vs. Ace Austin (w/ Chris Bey)

This one was made amidst the growing tension between Moose and Bully Ray.

Moose hit a huge move early on, swinging Austin hard into the ring steps – ouch. Moose remained in control through the commercial break, and he pummeled Austin repeatedly, blasting him with chops and smashes for several minutes, using his power to shut down any attempts by Austin to come back.  Austin finally fired up and hit rapid fire fists, a Spin Kick, and a Stomp to slow Moose down. After a Roundhouse Kick, Austin went for The Fold, but Moose caught him and planted him hard. More desperation moves by Austin, but he got caught up top and Moose threw him hard off the top rope and hard to the mat.


Bully Ray walked down to the ring and Moose spent some time jaw-jacking with him. When Moose turned his attention back to Austin, Austin was ready and dodged a Spear attempt, and then rolled up Moose for the upset pin. After the match, Moose and Bully Ray yelled angrily at each other.

This was pretty much a squash match until the pin, so Austin’s win felt more like a fluke than a real win. It’s fine that happened to further the Moose-Bully storyline, but it didn’t really do Austin any favours.

Winner: Ace Austin


Match 5: Frankie Kazarian & Josh Alexander vs. Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher)

The story here was whether Josh and Kazarian – who will face each other at Overdrive on November 18th for Josh’s World Title – can get along use their respective extensive tag team expertise to gel enough to beat Aussie Open.

Early on, they did, and they looked like they teamed up regularly, easily handling Aussie Open. But some sneaky tactics by Aussie Open allowed them to smash Josh and Kaz against each other in a double-move, and take control of the match. They isolated Josh in their corner while Kaz could only look on from the apron.

After several minutes of getting beaten up, Josh was finally able to break loose and tag in Kazarian, who had some success, until he also fell into the clutches of a double-team move by Aussie Open. When Frankie tagged Josh back in, the match kicked into a higher gear, but as soon as Josh and Kaz would gain control, Aussie Open would hit some double-team moves to take it back.

The pace quickened in the last couple of minutes with a series of big moves and near falls. After a double slugfest exchange in the middle of the ring, Alexander and Fletcher fought it out and tumbled over the rope to the floor. With the ring cleared, Kazarian had the space to hit a Slingshot Cutter on Davis to get the 1-2-3.

After the match, Kaz handed Josh his World Title belt and the two shook hands in a show of mutual respect.


This was a really good tag team match. What was refreshingly good here is that for the most part, they actually treated this like a tag team match, with very few instances where all four men were in the ring making the ref look stupid. They actually respected the tag team rules, and the psychology of the match reflected that.

The mutual admiration between Josh and Kaz was well done and the resisted any temptation to go the easy route and tease any tension between the two. Or their wives, who were both shown at ringside watching the match. Hopefully they don’t crowbar a fight between the two of them before their title match, because this is an instance where the dynamic of a match between two solid babyfaces actually seems better than the alternative. Strong ending to the show.

Winners: Josh Alexander & Frankie Kazarian




Impact Wrestling - November 3rd, 2022

Sam's Town - Las Vegas, NV

Other than the main event, there was little to write home about this week’s episode of Impact, The cinematic “match” between Eddie and PCO was a dud, the rest of the matches suffered from some bizarre structure – really, the first match between Young and Sami was just an angle to introduce two non-needle-movers? This was a rare mis-step for Impact whose recent shows have been otherwise very strong. They have two more shows to go until Overdrive, so hopefully they can do a 180 from this one and get their momentum back leading up to that event.