On Thursday night’s episode of Impact, Taylor Wilde and KiLynn King – collectively known as The Coven – upset the Death Dollz to capture the Knockouts Tag Team Championship. The two self-professed witches went deep into their spellbooks to end the record-long reign of the Dollz by pinning Taya Valkyrie who teamed up with Rosemary on this night (they and their partner Jessicka employed the “Freebird Rule” in defending the titles). The title change wasn’t the main event of the program, but was really the biggest match of consequence on a show that otherwise served to continue the build for three upcoming shows (Sacrifice on March 24th, the Multiverse of Matches on March 31st, and the Rebellion PPV on April 16th) to mixed effects.


Match 1: “Speedball” Mike Bailey & Jonathan Gresham vs. Decay (Black Taurus & Crazzy Steve)

The unconventional offense of Decay stymied their opponents for a while, including Steve chomping down on Gresham’s hand and Bailey’s exposed foot.


But when they regrouped, Bailey and Gresham used their perpetual motion to come back and stun Decay. At one point, a nice double-team combo nearly had Taurus down, but Steve pushed himself into the situation in order to force the ref to break the count. Bailey and Gresham had found their footing by then, though, and in the end, Bailey was able to hit Taurus with the Ultimo Weapon. Grehsam held Steve back so he couldn’t break the count, and it was all over. After the match, Bailey and Gresham seemed to almost too-aggressively congratulate each other, but any tension soon dissipated.

This was fine, though the crowd seemed a bit subdued, likely because the face vs. face dynamic may have split them.

Winners: “Speedball” Mike Bailey & Jonathan Gresham

In the back, Gia Miller interviewed Rich Swann, Frankie Kazarian, and the World Champion Josh Alexander. They said that despite never having tagged together as a trio before, they would have no problem beating Time Machine and the Bullet Club in their upcoming matches against those teams. Steve Maclin barged his way into the interview and had nothing positive to say about Alexander’s choice of partners, angering Swann.

Gia then interviewed Gisele Shaw, who was accompanied by Jai Vidal and Savannah Evans. Shaw said that if not for Deonna Purrazzo’s interference last week, she would have beaten Mickie James and become the Knockouts World Champion. Shaw said that Purrazzo would pay for that when they meet at Sacrifice. Johnny Swinger and Zicky Dice walked into the picture and, thinking that Vidal was not a wrestler and only Shaw’s personal stylist, challenged him to a match. Swinger figured Vidal would be an easy victory, and mark his first of 50 wins he needs to earn a shot at the World Title.


Match 2: Steve Maclin vs. Heath

Maclin used his power edge to punish Heath, hitting him with some hard chops and a big Clothesline. But Heath was able to dodge a running attack and Maclin went through the ropes and hit the floor. That just angered Maclin, though, and he renewed his aggressive beating, smashing Heath’s head against the ring steps and the apron. Back in the ring, Maclin punished Heath with various strikes, stomps, and kicks, pausing only to yell angrily at the crowd. Heath tried to come back, but stumbled his footing when going up top. Maclin capitalized, trapping Heath in the ropes and hitting the Crosshairs, and following that up with the KIA for the 1-2-3.


This was good, but again the crowd was really quiet. Maybe because there was no doubt as to who was going to win this one. Heath is popular, but it’s clear that he’s not going to be a spoiler on Maclin’s path to his World Title match at Rebellion.

Winner: Steve Maclin

Somewhere in the building, the Death Dollz were planning to destroy The Coven (the new team of Taylor Wilde and KiLynn King) during their Knockouts Tag Team Championship match later tonight. Jessicka seemed really excited about The Coven’s tarot magic skills, and that scared Taya, who didn’t want Jessicka being exposed to magic, lest it trigger memories of her being Havok and resurrect that persona. So she said that she and Rosemary will handle the action and Jessicka could take the night off.

Somewhere in the desert, PCO was entering Las Vegas, on the hunt for Eddie Edwards.

In the back, Mike Bailey and Jonathan Gresham exchanged some passive-aggressive compliments at each other, as they agreed to have a match at Sacrifice.


Match 3: Johnny Swinger (w/ Zicky Dice) vs. Jai Vidal (w/ Gisele Shaw and Savannah Evans)

Vidal surprised Swinger by easily out-wrestling him right from the opening bell. A desperate Dice tried to interfere on Swinger’s behalf, but it was so blatant that the ref couldn’t miss it, and he ejected Dice from ringside. Swinger used the commotion to attack Vidal from behind and he quickly locked on a Camel Clutch. This time, Evans interfered, and again the ref saw it, and he threw both Evans and Shaw to back. They wouldn’t leave, so Deonna Purrazzo ran down to ringside and blindsided Shaw.


Security ran down to the ring and dragged Purrazzo off, and while Swinger watched that go down, Vidal surprised Swinger with a Flying Kick and got the pin.

This wasn’t great. The intensity shown by Purrazzo was a compete juxtaposition from the comedy style match, so it really didn’t fit well. Vidal didn’t really get a chance to show much for the crowd, so it’s hard to tell if he’s one to watch or not (though his current gimmick seems to limit him to a midcard comedy sidekick character). Not sure that this helped anyone.

Winner: Jai Vidal

The Design were talking about Sami Callihan’s seven-step journey to join the faction. Deaner was talking about Sami’s recent loss to Rhino and it seemed like he was going to say that the loss put an end to Sami’s steps, but before he could say that, Sami stormed in. He questioned why the Design would have caused him to lose to Rhino and blow his chances of joining. But Deaner said Sami shouldn’t assume that beating Rhino was the sixth step. Deaner said that step six was actually Sami taking punishment for costing Kon his match against Frankie Kazarian at No Surrender. Sami said he was willing to take whatever punishment was necessary, and Deaner said that was the right choice.

PCO made it to Sam’s Town, the building where tonight’s show comes from, and outside the building PCO screamed out for Eddie.


Backstage, Mickie James interrupted Tommy Dreamer’s conversation with some random fat guy, and she asked to speak with Dreamer alone. Mickie found out that Tommy had requested a tag team match next week pitting them against Bully Ray and Masha Slamovich. Mickie questioned if Dreamer should take on such a match when he has to face Bully Ray the next night at Sacrifice in a Busted Open match, but he seemed okay with it. Jordynne Grace then walked in and questioned Mickie on whether she should accept that match when she has to defend the Knockouts Title against Grace on Sacrifice. Grace warned Mickie that if she wasn’t 100% for their match, Mickie would tap out to her… again, alluding to their last match when it appeared that Mickie tapped but it wasn’t called. Grace left before Mickie could reply. Meantime, the random fat guy presumably waddled off to catering.


Eddie Edwards / PCO confrontation

Eddie Edwards came to the ring and got the mic. He said that ever since Honor No More disbanded, he’s had to reflect on his life. And upon this reflection, he’s decided to focus on the future, and leave everything from his past behind him. But PCO wasn’t letting things go, so Eddie had to end things with PCO, which is why he and an unknown accomplice hit PCO with a car and left him for dead in the desert. Clearly, Eddie was unaware that PCO had been searching for him all night. Which is why Eddie was surprised when PCO’s music hit and he shambled his way out to the entrance ramp.

Where he was blasted from behind with a shovel to the back of the head by a mystery assailant. Who, when the lights turned on, was revealed to be Kenny King. Eddie ran down to help King beat up PCO, but the monster got back up and assaulted them. They continued to hit him with shovels, chairs, kicks, and ran him into the ring steps, but PCO kept on getting up. Finally, they wedged him between the ring steps and ring post and it looked like he was in trouble. But he powered out of it and continued his zombie stalking. They hit him with big moves, and finally was able to put down the monster with a chair-assisted Boston Knee Party and then leaned a chair against his head and whacked it with a Singapore cane. They celebrated as PCO death-rattled in the middle of the ring.


In the back, former WWE superstar Vladimir Kozlov reunited with his old partner, the Director of Authority, Santino Marella. Dirty Dango walked in and was going to ask if he’d just seen Kozlov, Santino reminded him that the name was trademarked so you can’t “say his name.” Which was a great setup to kick into Joe Hendry’s theme song, and he popped out from out of nowhere. That was perfectly hilarious. Hendry said that he wants to give Brian Myers a shot at the Digital Media Championship at Sacrifice. He explained that it will give Hendry the opportunity to beat up Myers and get revenge for the double-team attack Myers and Moose gave him. Santino agreed to make the match official. Dango awkwardly fanboyed Hendry and offered to be his partner. Santino signed them versus Moose and Myers next week.


Match 4: The Coven (Taylor Wilde & KiLynn King) vs. The Death Dollz (Rosemary & Taya Valkyrie) (w/ Jessicka) (c) – for the Knockouts Tag Team Championship

The Dollz out-muscled the challengers early on, but when things spilled to the floor, the Coven turned things around by employing some sneaky tactics. They isolated Rosemary in their corner, taking hard – and in some cases, cheap – shots. But Rosemary scrambled out of trouble, and after incapacitating Wilde in the Upside Down, she tagged in a fresh Taya, who took over. Taya hit King with a Hip Attack and Double Knees in the corner for a very close fall. All four women started brawling, and the match hit a higher gear. Wilde pulled Rosemary to the floor and took her out of the equation. The Coven hit Taya with a big double-whammy combo, and then King planted Taya with a Reverse Pump-handle Driver to get the pin and capture the titles.


Despite a bit of shakiness at the beginning, this ended really strong. For the live audience, the title change probably made for a great surprise, and they reacted well to it. It’s unfortunate timing that Taya’s appearance on AEW Dynamite and the announcement that she’s signed with the company came yesterday, because that meant there was no surprise as to who would win for people watching tonight’s show. Still, it was a good match to go out on. And there is still room for this one to continue, albeit with Rosemary and Jessicka only.

Winners, and new Knockouts Tag Team Champions: The Coven


Match 5: Josh Alexander, Rich Swann, and Frankie Kazarian vs. the Bullet Club (Chris Bey, Ace Austin, and KENTA)

Everyone got a chance to shine early on, including Kazarian using his technical acumen against Austin and Swann, and Austin hitting a beautiful Springboard Dropkick on Swann. The tension in the room grew when Alexander and KENTA first faced off, suggesting this could be dream match for anyone who knows KENTA for anything other than his ill-fated run as Hideo Itami.


After a bit of back-and-forth from them, tempers flared, and the Bullet Club were soon all thrown to the floor, leading into a commercial.

Back from the break, and the Bullet Club were in control, taking turns beating Rich Swann, who absorbed a number of moves – including some massive kicks to the chest from KENTA – before breaking free and making the much-needed tag to Kazarian who dealt some damage before tagging in Alexander to do even more. And that is the longest sentence in history. The pace picked up, with big moves being hit by everyone, with a highlight being Swann hitting a Somersault Dive from the apron to Austin on the floor. In a stellar move, Bey went for a Springboard Dive onto everyone on the floor, but Kazarian sprang up from the corner and caught Bey with a Cutter out of nowhere, and they both landed on the pile.


More six-way brawling ensued. It looked like Alexander was going to end things with a C-4 Spike on Austin, but he paused, distracted by the sight of Steve Maclin lurking in the far corner of the building spying on the match. The momentary lapse got Alexander a huge Boot to the Head by KENTA, sending him out of the ring. The others continued to fight, and the Bullet Club’s tag team expertise was the difference-maker. Austin assisted Bey in giving Swann the Art of Finesse, and then Austin immediately followed that up with The Fold on Bey, which was enough to keep him down for the pin.

This was a very good match, and a very good showcase for the Bullet Club in particular. The possibility of Alexander vs. KENTA is an intriguing one, though he first has to get past Steve Maclin, who has been positioned as a legitimate threat to Alexander’s reign.

Winners: The Bullet Club



Impact Wrestling - March 16th, 2023

Sam's Town - Las Vegas, NV

With so many shows coming up in the next few weeks, there are a lot of plates that are being spun right now in Impact. As a result, it feels like no individual storyline is getting enough time – breath over depth, so to speak. Even tonight’s title change felt somewhat unearned in terms of a lack of build. That said, the match was good, and given the circumstances, it was probably the best thing they could have done. The main event was also strong, and those two matches were enough to make the show a decent watch.