This past Friday, the Bullet Club took aim on the Motor City Machine Guns, hitting their target when Ace Austin pinned Chris Sabin in their six-man tag team match. The win gave the Bullet Club a new confidence that they could beat the Guns and capture the Impact World Tag Team Championship if given an opportunity. And on Thursday night’s episode of Impact, that confidence was proven to be well-founded. And the end result is that – after wrestling a stellar match in Thursday’s main event – Ace Austin and Chris Bey are your new tag team champs.

Bullet Club / Motor City Machine Guns confrontation

The Bullet Club – Ace Austin and Chris Bey – came to the ring to cheers. They named their team the ABC – The Ace & Bey Connection. They ran down their individual career highlights in Las Vegas, and trumpeted their win this past weekend over the Motor City Machine Guns and KENTA. They continued to brag, saying they have overtaken the Guns as the best tag team in the world. This brought out the Guns, who were sporting their Impact World Tag Team Championship belts. ABC said they were looking for a title match at Sacrifice, but the Guns said why wait and made the match for later tonight.

In the back, Gia Miller was with “Hysterical” Shane Haste, who will be part of the upcoming Multiverse United Impact vs. New Japan event that takes place on March 30th. Haste takes on “Speedball” Mike Bailey tonight. Haste cut a pretty bad, mush-mouthed promo against Bailey.

Gia Miller interviewed Rich Swann, who said he obviously wasn’t pleased about coming up short in his World Championship match this past weekend, but that he wasn’t going to quit. He was interrupted by Raj Singh and Shera who hijacked the camera by throwing some cash around to the cameraman. Singh boasted about hitting it big at the casino. Swann got into Singh’s face and challenged him to a match, but Singh refused, saying he had to go do some more gambling.


Match 1: Shane Haste vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey

Haste, if you are unaware, used to be known as Shane Thorne and Slapjack in WWE. He has some size, but that didn’t really help him against Bailey early on. He finally caught Bailey on the floor and dropped him with a big Spine Smash on the apron. He worked over Bailey, including hitting a Snapfire Sheik Suplex, and otherwise manhandling him with painful big moves.


Bailey eventually fought back with a huge Missile Dropkick and some more attacks with his educated feet. Shane got dumped to the floor at one point, and Bailey hit him with a huge Moonsault to the floor. Haste fought back and even hit a Dynamic Bomb, but Bailey kicked out, which was surprising. They exchanged some more big moves, but in the end, it was Bailey with a Tornado Kick and the Ultima Weapon for the 1-2-3.

This was fine. Not sure the definitive loss makes me interested in seeing Haste again, so not sure this wasn’t counterproductive to selling the Multiverse show. But if you cared enough about Haste to know about him before this match, you’re probably going to watch that event regardless.

Winner: “Speedball” Mike Bailey

Somewhere in the building, Angels and Kon were complaining to Deaner about Sami Callihan hitting Kon with a chair at No Surrender and costing Kon the match. They suspected that Callihan was attempting to play Deaner for a fool by pretending to want to join The Design. Rhino barged his way in, and told Deaner that he wouldn’t allow him to screw with Sami’s head the way Violent By Design screwed with Rhino’s. Sami came in and started arguing with Rhino, saying he needs the guidance from The Design, and this led to a challenge from Rhino to face Sami tonight. Deaner said this constitutes Step 6 on Callihan’s path.


Match 2: Kenny King vs. Kevin Knight

Knight is another New Japan Pro-Wrestling star, who the commentators noted is famous for his high-flying style. The first sign of that came pretty early in the match when he dove over the top to hit King with a Flying Press. But King slowed him down shortly thereafter, and he grounded Knight with some basic wear-down moves, including a Backbreaker that looked really good.


Knight used some quick defensive dodges to confuse King, but that was short-lived and King put him down again, finally grounding Knight for good with the Royal Flush.

This was pretty good, though again the NJPW star didn’t really get a good platform to impress the crowd. King thwarted many of Knight’s high-flying moves, and the ending left no question as to who was dominant. At this point, the NJPW side of the Multiverse show is looking mighty lame.

Winner: Kenny King

A highlight video played from NJPW’s Battle in the Valley from last week, culminating in a faceoff between Kushida and Josh Alexander. After that, Gia Miller interviewed Alexander who will be defending his title against Kushida at Multiverse United. Alexander challenged Kushida to a six-man tag match at Sacrifice: Kushida and the Motor City Machine Guns against Alexander and any two partners he can find. Steve Maclin – who Alexander is scheduled to defend the title against at Rebellion in April, assuming he beats Kushida at Multiverse – walked in. Maclin told Josh to be sure to beat Kushida, because Maclin wants to beat Alexander, and not anyone else, for the championship.

They showed a replay from Bully Ray’s vicious assault of Tommy Dreamer from No Surrender, when Bully threw a pot of hot coffee in Dreamer’s face, Jeff-Spicoli-style. Backstage, Dr. Ross informed the Director of Authority Santino Marella and Dirty Dango that Dreamer has suffered some retinal damage and burns, but that he will be okay. Bully Ray came in and asked Dr. Ross about Dreamer’s condition. Ray said that if Dreamer is expected to live, Bully can make sure he doesn’t. As Bully left, he was confronted by Bhupinder Gujjar. Bully insulted Gujjar, who fired up, saying how much he respects Dreamer, and he shoved Bully against a wall. Bully talked him down, but then took a cheap shot at Gujjar, slapping him in the face, and running away while security held back a crazed Gujjar.


Mickie James promo

Knockouts World Champion Mickie James came to the ring. Mickie said that since she had beaten Masha Slamovich, she was now going back to address Jordynne Grace’s claim that Mickie tapped out during their last match and that Grace should have won but the ref didn’t see the tap-out.

Instead of Grace coming out, though, Gisele Shaw’s music hit, and she came to the ring flanked by Jai Vidal and Savannah Evans. Shaw said that Mickie only wants to face Grace again because she’s afraid to face Shaw. Mickie reminded Gisele that she beat her during the Last Rodeo. Gisele said that she’s no longer the same person, and that she has improved so much since then that she was actually able to beat Deonna Purrazzo on the No Surrender pre-show. Shaw said that she will be waiting for Mickie to finish up with Jordynne. But Mickie said there was no need to wait. Shaw refused to wrestle right then and there, saying she wasn’t prepared to compete tonight. This brought out Impact executive Gail Kim, who made the match official.

In the back, Brian Myers was boring a crew member, when Moose walked up to him. Moose said that they had a Joe Hendry problem. Myers said that he’s not interested in helping Moose win the Digital Media Championship. Moose said that Myers misunderstood. He is going to help Myers beat Hendry. That way, Myers gets the title back, and Moose helps embarrass Hendry. Win-win. Myers was intrigued by this arrangement.

Dirty Dango was laying down crime tape for some reason. Jordynne Grace crossed the line to confront Santino Marella about Gisele Shaw getting a Knockouts Championship match next week. Marella explained that Gail Kim had made the match, which didn’t sit well with Grace. She said that she wanted to invoke her rematch clause against the winner of Mickie-Gisele at Sacrifice, and Santino agreed.

She left and Johnny Swinger walked in along with Zicky Dice. Swinger is still looking for the first of his fifty wins required for him to get a title shot. Santino told him to pick anyone on the roster to compete and Santino would make the match official.


Match 4: Trey Miguel vs. PCO

Miguel’s X-Division Championship was not on the title for this one. His health and safety might have been, though, which is why he tried to avoid the clutches of the monster early on. Didn’t work, though, and PCO basically threw him around, and battered him from pillar to post, both inside and outside the ring. But when PCO went for a Somersault Dive through the ropes, Trey moved, and PCO splatted hard on the floor.


Miguel hit a volley of kicks, but PCO monstered up and took over again, punishing Trey with a Legdrop to the back of the head off the turnbuckles. Before he could put Trey down for good, Eddie Edwards ran in and attacked PCO with a shovel. But PCO was unfazed and hit Eddie with a Somersault Dive from the ring to the floor. PCO threw Eddie into the ring and planted him with a Chokeslam. A bunch of security guards ran in to break up the fight, but they got wiped out by a PCO Moonsault off the top to the floor. The chaos allowed Eddie to make his escape.

PCO is so much fun to watch, and while it would be intriguing to see him compete as the X-Division champ, he doesn’t really need it at this point. At some point, he and Eddie are going to have to end their feud with a big blowoff death match, and that has the potential to be great.

Winner, by disqualification: PCO


Match 5: The Bullet Club aka ABC (Ace Austin & Chris Bey) vs. the Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) (c) – for the Impact World Tag Team Championship

Not surprisingly, this one started off quick, with both teams impressing with flashy moves. The Guns may have a decade or so more years under their belts, but they were able to keep up with the pace of the Bullet Club, which is impressive in and of itself. That said, they did get the worst for wear early on, when ABC hit stereo Flying Dives onto the champs. After that, ABC isolated Shelley and took turns hitting him with strikes and smashes. But the Guns are no strangers to shrewdness, and they were able to outsmart ABC and hit some double-team moves behind the ref’s back. The Guns then went to work, cutting off Bey and working over his arm with painful precision.

Bey continued to fight back, though, and at one point it looked like he had broken loose after causing both Guns to damage their hands with errant chops to the ring post. But the veteran champs were still able to isolate him and continue the punishment. Bey finally escaped and got the tag to a fresh Austin who repaid the Guns for their beatdown of his partner.

ABC took over, nearly getting the pin on Sabin after some fancy double-teaming. And then the pace of the  match really hit the highest gear, with both teams unloading their respective arsenals on their opponents. The action went back-and-forth: Bey hit a pair of big Cutters, the Guns hit a Dropkick Doomsday Device. This was great.

Shelley hit Bey with the Shell Shock and then rolled him into the Border City Crossface for a submission attempt. In the meantime, Sabin hit Austin with the Cradle Shock, and it looked like the end was near for ABC’s quest for the gold. But the Bullet Club wouldn’t be denied. They hit Sabin with a Double Boot to the Head, sending him to the floor. Then they hit an Art of Finesse – Fold combination on Shelley that put him down for the 1-2-3. The Bullet Club celebrated and posed with their newly-won titles to end the show. #AndNew


This was great, and a really strong match to kick off the next chapter for Bey and Austin. The Guns looked really good in defeat, but it may be telling that the crowd seemed to be behind the Bullet Club throughout. Go out of your way to watch this one.

Winners, and new Impact World Tag Team Champions: ABC





Impact Wrestling - March 2nd, 2023

Sam's Town - Las Vegas, NV

With two big shows coming up in March – Sacrifice and Multiverse United – this week’s episode seemed like it was trying to squeeze in a lot of builds. And the definite winner was the Sacrifice show, as neither of the matches featuring NJPW talents really made them seem as must-see.

That said, the promotion for Sacrifice was well done, through the myriad of promos.

But, ultimately, this show was all about the great main event between the Guns and the Bullet Club. That one is worth seeking out, and accounts for a lot of this week’s 4-star rating.