We have one more sleep before Impact Wrestling presents its No Surrender event – and the tempers are flaring throughout the company. On Thursday’s “go-home” show, things came to a violent head in the form of a violent Monster’s Ball title match between Crazzy Steve and X-Division Champion Trey Miguel.

The opening shot of the episode saw Crazzy Steve and X-Division Champion Trey Miguel locked in their cells – in total darkness for the past 24 hours with no food and water – as is the preparation for that kind of match. They would check in on them at various points in the show. Miguel looked like he was folding under the hostile environment, but Steve seemed to be loving the squalor.


Match 1: Jonathan Gresham & “Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. the Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley)

The Guns’ Tag Team Championship wasn’t on the line for this one. Bailey and Gresham – despite scheduled to face each other tomorrow night – showed some good teamwork and chemistry, taking the fight to the champs. The Guns’ tag team excellence allowed them to come back, and they worked over Bailey for a while, until he used his educated feet to break loose.

The goodness of the match was somewhat marred after a tag to Gresham, as he fell into the “strong style” sequence where he and Sabin threw huge Forearms at each other, with neither one selling the impact.

A neat move saw Bailey hit a Suplex on Sabin while he had Shelley’s leg in a Grapevine, so when Gresham landed, Shelley was tied up in a submission hold.

After some more back and forth – including a nice dive by Gresham on Shelley on the floor – they squandered a great finishing sequence when Gresham had Shelley’s legs tied up and Bailey hit Shelley’s upper half with an Ultima Weapon, but Shelley kicked out.

Bailey and Gresham accidentally collided, and that left Gresham in a 2-on-1 situation. He couldn’t last too long with those odds, and they hit the Dirt Bomb that put Gresham down for the 1-2-3.


This was a good opener, though it may have gone a bit long.

Winner: Motor City Machine Guns

A video package aired for tomorrow night’s World Championship match between Rich Swann and champ Josh Alexander. They’re positioning this as a comeback story for Swann after he lost the World Championship to Kenny Omega in 2021 during the AEW-Impact crossover. But Alexander says he’s the best in-ring wrestler in the world, so he doesn’t think Swann can beat him.

They replayed the segment from last week’s BTI pre-show where Gisele Shaw and Jai Vidal attacked Deonna Purrazzo. Shaw tried to throw a bowl of chili on Purrazzo, but of course it was Jay who got the Kevin Malone treatment.

Then, Deonna cut a pre-taped promo against Shaw, saying that she is angry with Shaw for making Chelsea Green leave the company. She said she would be looking to break Shaw’s arm during their match tomorrow night.


Match 2: Jason Hotch (w/ John Skyler) vs. Tommy Dreamer– Beat the Clock Challenge

Dreamer and Bully Ray are holding a Beat the Clock Challenge to determine who gets to speak first during their face-to-face confrontation on tomorrow’s live edition of their Busted Open Radio show.

Hotch tried, but at the 1:15 mark, he got pinned after a Death Valley Driver off the top rope.


This wasn’t a complete squash, because Hotch did get some offence. But it was mighty close.

Winner: Tommy Dreamer (Time – 1:15)

They showed a video from earlier today where Joe Hendry was doing a Meet and Greet with some fans in the building. He defends the Digital Media Championship tomorrow against Moose. The fans unanimously believe in Joe Hendry.

A commercial aired for the new season of the Fight Network’s Diary show, which premieres on Monday night at 9pm (yes, against RAW). This season will see a number of Impact stars profiled on the show: Josh Alexander, Jordynne Grace, Rosemary, Trey Miguel, Gisele Shaw, and Bhupinder Gujjar. Don’tcha dare miss it.


Match 3: Taya Valkyrie (w/ Rosemary and Jessicka) vs. Allysin Kay (w/ Marti Belle)

This was a hard-hitting affair from the get-go, with both women smacking and smashing each other with extra fire. Taya eventually gained the advantage, using her powerful legs to deliver some big kicks and Running Knees in the corner.

Kay came back and had Taya in trouble, but Kay got too cocky when she backed off from hitting the Stinkface – saying that we would have to pay to see that – and this allowed Taya to recover and hit a Hip Attack in the corner and deliver a Stinkface of her own. Offended, Kay leveled Taya with a huge Forearm smash. Kay hit a Reverse Piledriver for a near-fall, but Taya escaped another big move and was going for her finisher, when Marti Belle distracted her by jumping on the apron.


Kay capitalized and hit the AK-47 for the pin.

This was strong, and the right outcome in advance of tomorrow night’s Knockouts Tag Team Championship match between Belle and Kay (collectively, Hex) vs. the Death Dollz.

Winner: Allysin Kay

Rich Swann and Josh Alexander were in the office of Santino Marella, Director of Authority for their contract signing. They actually started the scene with them wrapping up the signing, and Marella left quickly. Swann then approached Josh about inadvertently kicking him in the head last week. Alexander said to not worry about it, they’re friends, and he knows Swann doesn’t have it in him to take a cheap shot like that.

Swann got offended at the inference that he doesn’t have what it takes, saying that, over the years, he has come back from all sorts of injuries and adversity. And that he would bring the fight to Josh to regain the championship. And that he wants Josh to know that if he wins, it will be because he’s earned it, and not because Josh took his eye off the ball.

Steve Maclin barged in the room. He reminded them that he won the Number One Contender’s match and would be challenging whichever of them walk away with the gold tomorrow. He dismissed Swann’s chances, and Swann started swinging away at him. Alexander tried to break it up, but it took a team of Security guards to separate Swann and Maclin.


Match 4: The Design (Deaner and Sami Callihan) (w/ Kon and Angels) vs. Yuya Uemura & Frankie Kazarian

The commentators noted this is Step 5 of Sami’s “Seven Deadly Steps” that he has to go through to join The Design.

Deaner exerted his authority on Callihan, forcing him to start the match, and directing his actions throughout the match to prove his obedience to Deaner. Frankie and Yuya were faring well, but some dirty tactics let the Design take over, and they isolated Yuya in their corner.

After an extended beatdown, Deaner looked to end things with a Flying Headbutt, but Yuya moved and Deaner crashed hard. Yuya got the tag to Kazarian, and he was on fire, nearly getting a pin after a Springboard Legdrop on Sami. Yuya and Frankie then gave as good as they had been getting, hitting a series of moves on both opponents, including a big Slingshot DDT by Kazarian.

Sami blocked a Chicken Wing by Kazarian and hit a big Pop-up Powerbomb. He was looking for the Cactus Driver on Kaz, but Deaner waved him off and demanded the tag. But when Sami went to tag Deaner, Deaner pulled his hand away and dropped off the apron, leaving Sami confused and alone in the ring.


Seconds later, Kaz locked Sami in the Chicken Wing, and Sami had no choice but to tag out. After the match, Sami looked quizzical as to what had happened, but nothing came of it between he and Deaner.

This was fine. The Seven Sins deal is a bit confusing, and it seems like they may be making it up as they go along. Like, how is this loss supposed to help Sami?

Winners: Frankie Kazarian and Yuya Uemura

A video package aired to hype tomorrow’s Knockouts World Championship match between Mickie James and challenger Masha Slamovich. They played up the controversy from Hard To Kill, where it looked like Mickie tapped out in her match against Grace, but the ref didn’t see it. Masha said that even if Mickie’s “Last Rodeo” has come to an end, she will still end Mickie’s career.

In the back, Sami questioned Deaner as to what had happened earlier was Step 5. Deaner explained that Step 5 was to show that joining The Design is a covenant, and not a contract that someone can simply exit out of. Step 5 is about Sami proving that he would be loyal to The Design. Deaner questioned if Sami still wanted to be a part of The Design, and Sami said he did. Deaner said that he had – and still has – some doubts as to Sami’s true intentions, but he can help confirm them tomorrow when Kon faces Frankie Kazarian.


 Match 5: Bully Ray vs. Bhupinder Gujjar – Beat the Clock Challenge

Before the match, Bully Ray glared at celebrity chef Robert Irvine (aka Mr. Gail Kim) who was in the front row. That would be an interesting match-up.

At the bell, Gujjar was distracted by The Good Hands, Skyler and Hotch, who jumped up on the apron. As the ref dealt with that nonsense, Bully Ray went to the corner and, behind the ref’s back, he wrapped a chain around his hand. Gujjar went to get him, but Bully knocked him silly with a chain-wrapped chain in 30 seconds.


Winner: Bully Ray (Time – :30). Flawless victory.

In the back, Tommy Dreamer approached a despondent Gujjar. Gujjar apologized for losing the match, but Dreamer gave him a pep talk. He said that Gujjar should learn from this experience, and use it to motivate himself in the future. Gujjar was appropriately pepped.


Match 6: Trey Miguel (c) vs. Crazzy Steve (w/ Black Taurus) – Monster’s Ball match for the X-Division Championship

Weapons like tables, chairs, and barbed wire board surrounded the ring. Creepy sounds and laughs played over Trey’s entrance music, putting him in a panic. Mind games, you see. He was also unnerved by various fans who were wearing creepy masks in the crowd.

The commentators noted that other than the fact that a pinfall or submission must take place in the ring, everything else is legal.

Steve immediately went on the offence, taking Miguel to the floor and smashing his head against a chair that was sitting atop a table. Steve set up some chairs on the floor, but he was the one who ate them when Trey evaded a charging attack. Trey hurt his hands when a chair-swing went bad, and then he got Back-Body-Dropped on to a group of chairs.


More weapons got introduced, including garbage cans and chains. But before Trey could use one, Steve stopped him by Staple-Gunning Trey’s little monster balls. He then stuffed Trey into a garbage can and hit him with a Cannonball.

Somehow at some point, Steve got bloodied up, and his face was the proverbial crimson mask.

Steve tried to continue the assault, but Miguel used some technical mastery to regain the advantage. And then said screw technical mastery, and tried to impale Steve with a fork, though Steve was able to block it.

Trey then introduced some other shiny pointy objects, in the way of a bag of thumbtacks. But it was he who felt their tackiness, when Steve planted him with a Black Hole Slam.


This would have likely given Steve the win, but he opted to pick up Trey’s shoulder and continue the punishment. Gorilla Monsoon would be chastising him on commentary about that.

Miguel, his back impaled by many tacks, then repaid the favour, stomping Steve’s face into the tacks. Ouch.  Trey set up a table in the corner, but before anyone could use it, they collided again in the centre of the ring, putting them both back into the ocean of tacks.

Trey grabbed a metal spike, but then Steve went old-school and brought back Janice, the wooden plank embedded with nails. While Trey avoided Janice’s wrath, he couldn’t avoid a Death Valley Driver through the table in the corner. But Trey kicked out!


Steve hit a Canadian Destroyer off the middle turnbuckles, planting Trey’s head in the tacks. And then he proved how “Crazzy” he is by laughing and making snow angels in the tacks. That was great.

Steve then did use Janice, carving up Trey’s forehead, which was also bleeding by this point. Steve then motioned towards the barbed wire board on the outside. He looked for a Piledriver off the apron through the board, but Trey blocked it, and hit a Roll of the Dice, sending Steve face-first through the barbed wire board. That was awesome.


And that was enough to end Steve’s night, because Trey rolled Steve into the ring and covered him for the pin.

This was a good deathmatch, with high levels of violence. Steve is a really fun wrestler to watch, but it would be hard-pressed to see him as the face of the X-Division at this point. Trey, though, upped his game, and proved he can go in a hardcore style, and that only takes him up a notch.

Winner, and still X-Division Champion: Trey Miguel




Impact Wrestling - February 23rd, 2023

Osceola Heritage Park - Kissimmee, FL

While there was some good build to tomorrow night’s No Surrender, it was overshadowed by the main event – which, in hindsight, might have been better to take place on No Surrender.

Still, the No Surrender card looks really good on paper, and has the potential to have a couple of Match of the Year contenders.