The past 24 hours have not been kind to Impact Wrestling. Its World’s champion, Josh Alexander, suffered a triceps tear which required surgery. He will be out of action for quite some time so he has relinquished the championship. Alexander was supposed to defend the championship against Steve Maclin at Rebellion. Now, Maclin will face Kushida to determine a new champion. Alexander was also supposed to team with Frankie Kazarian and Rich Swann against Time Machine tonight. Maclin took Alexander’s place.
Impact’s Knockouts Champion Mickie James suffered a cracked rib so her match against Jordynne Grace tonight was also cancelled. In a backstage segment with authority figure Santino Marella at her side James said she cannot defend the title at Multiverse United either but hopes she can at Rebellion.
The cheery on top of all this bad news for Impact Wrestling was that NHL enforcer and four-time Stanley Cup champion, Darren McCarty, was used and abused by the dastardly Bully Ray. Ray took on fellow ECW alumni Tommy Dreamer in a Busted Open match, which was the same as a First Blood match.
ECW! ECW! ECW! Sorry, I just had to.
Bully attacks Dreamer from behind as he made his entrance smashing him with a steel chair. Dreamer bounces Bully’s head off the steel steps. Dreamer throws chairs into the ring and amazingly has a replica ECW Heavyweight Championship belt with him.
Bully and Dreamer hold a chair battle in the middle of the ring. Dreamer hits Bully with the championship belt in the face. Dreamer crumples up a pop can and rakes Bully’s head with it but Bully doesn’t bleed. Bully crotches Dreamer on the barricade. Bully reaches over the barricade and drinks some of Darren McCarty’s beer, throws it in his face and shoves him. After Bully goofs on a step-ladder in the ring Dreamer DDTs him. Dreamer empties a bag of thumb tacks in the ring. Bully though finds a cheese grater under the ring. Dreamer blocks the grater with punches and a Bionic Elbow. Dreamer knocks out the official by accident and then nails Billy with the grater in the head.
The crowd calls for tables as Bully stands up on the floor. He is clearly busted open. Dreamer has to fight off the Good Hands as they swarm him. One of them hands Bully a towel so he can wipe some of the blood from his head. Bully throws thumb tacks into Dreamer’s face. He presses Dreamer’s head into a pile of the tacks. Dreamer retrieves the cheese grater. Both hardcore icons battle for control of it.
Bully causes Dreamer to pause by saying his daughters wouldn’t want to see him do this to anyone. With Dreamer conflicted, Bully punches Dreamer in the “lower abdomen”. Bully smashes Dreamer’s arm into the tacks and his head off a steel post. The Good Hands roll a busted open Dreamer into the ring. The official sees him and declares Bully the winner.
After the match, McCarty leaps over the barricade. Security stops him from entering the ring by holding him back against the barricade. Bully demand they let him go. Security complies. McCarty enters the ring. Bully and McCarty start pounding each other but The Good Hands tackle McCarty from behind. Bully and The Good Hands put McCarty through a table.
Scott D’Amore comes out. He takes off his jacket and rolls up his sleeves. He is ready to fight. Bully dares him to come down to the ring. D’Amore waits for his back-up, a bunch of Impact faces who chase Bully and Good Hands from the ring. Damore catches one of the Good Hands giving him a Canadian Destroyer as the fans go wild.
The best match of the night though and perhaps one of the best of the year was Jonathan Gresham versus Mike Bailey who put on a stunning technical clinic that was far too fast-moving to call.
Strangely enough things go to the floor when both men roll out of the ring. Gresham hits Bailey in the eye. He apologizes and shakes Bailey’s hand. Gresham ties Bailey up like a pretzel rolling him around on the mat. Bailey escapes a submission with a rope break. Gresham slaps Bailey on the chest and invites him back to the middle of the ring. Gresham has Bailey in a leg lock. Bailey reaches the ropes. Gresham cannot break when he is supposed to. He claims he cannot get his legs loose. Finally, the official does.
Bailey doesn’t buy Gresham’s apology this time though. He batters Gresham from pillar to post and to the floor. Gresham methodically works on Bailey’s ankles and legs. Gresham just smiles. He is having fun. Bailey takes Gresham down to stop the onslaught. Bailey unleashes kicks and a shooting star press for a two count. They get to their feet and trade shots, their legs barely holding them up after all the damage.
A figure four has Bailey desperately trying to reach the ropes. He almost gets pinned as he lays back to ease the pressure. Bailey rolls both men to the ropes. Bailey shoves Gresham into a steel post on the apron. Bailey leaps into the air driving both knees into Gresham’s face. Gresham picks up Bailey driving his knee into the ring apron. They battle to get back into the ring. Bailey barely beats the count back in. Bailey missed The Ultimate Weapon. Gresham puts Bailey in the figure four. Bailey reverses it and Gresham submitted to end the real main event of Sacrifice.
Impact Wrestling Sacrifice 2023 Results
Eddie Edwards versus Bhupinder Gujjar
Bhupinder is the hometown hero here. There are dueling chants for Eddie and Bhupinder. An inverted atomic drop and a suplex has Bhupinder dazed and confused. Bhupinder weathers the storm to dump Eddie on his neck and hit the Ripcord Knee Smash. Bhupinder takes too long to get to the top rope. Bhupinder kicks out of a superplex and a Tiger Driver. Bhupinder goes to the top rope again. Eddie blocks a splash with his knees and pins Bhupinder with a Boston Knee Party.
Winner: Eddie Edwards
Rating: 6 / 10
Frankie Kazarian and Rich Swann express their support for Josh Alexander. Kazarian says he had the same injury, treated at the same hospital by the same doctor. They both feel Josh will return and be at the top of his game in no time but they will soldier on without him tonight.
Kilynn King versus Rosemary
Impact is still pushing the narrative that Taya Valkyrie was a victim of “black magic”. Kilynn clotheslines Rosemary over the top rope to the floor. Rosemary hits a flying forearm off the ring stairs. Taylor Wilde grabs Rosemary from the floor. Kilynn kick her off apron with a big boot. Rosemary puts Kilynn in the Upside Down submission. Kilynn catches her though and slams her off the top rope. Kilynn and Rosemary trade forearms and chops in the middle of the ring. Both go down after executing kicks to the head on the other. Wilde tries to interfere again. Jessicka takes her out on the floor. Kilynn is distracted. Rosemary gets the win.
Rating: 7 / 10
Jonathan Gresham vs. Mike Bailey
Winner: Mike Bailey
Rating: 8.5 /10
Moose interrupts Brian Myers’ interview backstage. He promises that Myers will become a champion again. Santino appears. He laughs at Moose for “stooging himself out”. He bars Moose from ringside.
Joe Hendry (c) vs. Brian Myers – Impact Digital Media Championship Match
Joe Hendry claims he is going to give Myers an education tonight. Myers bails out to the floor early on. Hendry bashes his head off the ring apron several times and then slams him on the floor. Myers gets control with a flatliner. He rains down punches onto Hendry. The crowd starts chanting for Hendry. They believe in him. They really do. Myers takes over for quite some time. Myers almost scores the win with a sit-out slam. A spinning back elbow puts Hendry back in control. He slams Myers with a fallaway slam and hits him with a cutter off the ropes for a two count. A spear also scores Myers a two count. Myers climbs to the top rope. As Myers dives off the top, Hendry catches him with a stunner and a Standing Ovation for the win.
Winner: Joe Hendry
Rating: 6 / 10
Backstage, Knockouts World Champion Mickie James explains that she has a broken rib and cannot defend the championship tonight or at Multiverse United. She hopes she can at Rebellion.
Deonna Purrazzo vs. Gisele Shaw
It starts out fast and furious with both women laying into each other. Shaw rolls out of the ring to avoid Purrazzo’s Venus de Millo. Deonna slides outside the ring taking out Shaw. Savannah Evans clocks Deonna knocking her on the floor. Shaw rains down punches on Deonna and slams her back into the ring. The women brawl on the floor. A flying uppercut off the ropes almost pins Deonna. Deonna is caught in the corner. Shaw labels her over and over then stomps on her for a two count. Deonna finally fights back with a neckbreaker to slow down Shaw who has been on fire the entire match. Shaw fights off the Venus de Millo by gripping her own wrist but later submits.
Evans attacks Deonna from behind. Tasha Steelz dances to the ring. She doesn’t seem in a hurry to save Deonna. The former partners chat in the middle of the ring. Steelz hauls off and punches Evans. Steelz DDTs and stuns Vidal. She then throws him out of the ring.
Winner: Deonna Purrazzo
Rating: 7.5 / 10
PCO vs. Kenny King
King clobbers PCO before the match starts. Eddie Edwards distracts PCO so that he and King can double-team him on the floor. PCO hits a suicide dive on King on the floor. PCO grabs his head and has some kind of malfunction. He does a suicide dive on nobody landing on the arena floor. He gets up, runs back in the ring and hits King with one. King tears up the ringside mats revealing the arena floor. King crushes PCO with a suplex and Blue Thunder Bomb on that floor. King almost pins PCO with a Frog Splash from the top rope. Edwards has the official’s attention. King hits PCO with a steel chair in the back. PCO no-sells it. King takes another swing. PCO punches the chair into King’s head for the victory.
Rating: 7 / 10
We see some shots of Toronto Canada and Jody Threat is coming soon.
Maclin butts heads with Frankie and Rich backstage. “Everyone is talking about Josh but what about me?” he complains. Frankie and Rich are stunned at Maclin’s selfishness. Maclin says he has served with people he hasn’t seen eye-to-eye with and still got the job done. He will do so again tonight.
Trey Miguel (c) vs. Lince Dorado – Impact X Division Championship
Dorado comes down to the ring in a robe and a sailor’s hat on. He is from the “lucha lounge”, apparently. Both men take some time to feel each other out countering each other’s moves. Dorado loses it a bit kicking Trey right in the face. Trey wraps Dorado up clawing at his mask and his eyes. Dorado clotheslines Trey onto the apron, drop kicks him and gives him a twisting splash on the floor. Dorado lands moonsault after moonsalt starting from the bottom rope. He misses the last one from the top rope though. Both men battle on the top rope. Dorado sends Trey crashing to the mat. He lands a Shooting Star Press but Trey rolls out of the ring. Trey hits an impressive Sunset Powerbomb. Trey ends up rolling Dorado up for a pin.
Winner: Trey Miguel
Rating: 6 / 10
Bullet Club (Ace Austin and Chris Bey) (c) vs. TMDK (Bad Dude Tito and Shane Haste) – Impact World Tag Team Championship Match
In an interview before the match, Haste calls Austin and Bey “Micro Mini Bullet Club”. Bey is forced to tag out when Tito throws him around like a rag doll. Haste does the same thing to Austin ramming him from one corner to another. Bullet Club double team Haste with a Click, Click, Boom. Tito drops Austin with a Blue Thunder Bomb without even leaving his feet. Austin is put into the Tree of Woe while Tito stands on his groin. Ouch! TMDK traps Austin in their corner. Bey is hot-tagged in. He is fired up. He splashes Tito on the floor but flies about 10 feet past him after hitting him. He comes up holding his wrist or his shoulder. Tito almost pins Austin with a powerbomb. Tito dives through the ropes onto Bey. Tito splashes Austin from the top rope and almost pins him. Bullet Club double-team Tito for the win with the Finesse and the Fold.
Winners: Bullet Club (Ace Austin and Chris Bey)
Rating: 7 / 10
Tommy Dreamer vs. Bully Ray – Busted Open Match
Winner: Bully Ray
Rating: 7 / 10
Frankie Kazarian, Rich Swann and Steve Maclin vs. Time Machine (Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, and Kushida)
The story of the match is that Swann and Kazarian are treating the match like a friendly rivalry while for Maclin it is all-out war. Not sure why this is the main event over the other matches on the card. The crowd’s reaction is tepid most of the time. Sabin and Frankie go back and forth. Nice to see the Impact originals face off. An interesting blend of styles as Kushida and Maclin lock up. Kushida cannot put on the Hoverboard Lock though. Kazarian at one point tries to talk Maclin down, contain his temper. Maclin yells at Frankie saying he is just trying to win the match. Swann is cut off from his partners. Time Machine takes Swann apart while Frankie and Maclin look on unable to do anything. Frankie is hot-tagged in bulldozing all of Time Machine. He takes them down all by himself. Kushida kicks out of two stunners and a 450 Splash by Swann. Time Machine eventually wins when Kushida makes Maclin submit to the Hoverboard Lock. Maclin and Frankie argue on the floor.
Winners: Time Machine (Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, and Kushida)
Rating: 7.5 / 10
Impact Wrestling Sacrifice
Jonathan Gresham and Mike Bailey made it so hard for anyone to follow their incredible match. Deonna Purrazzo versus Gisele Shaw was an unexpected barn-burner. I was impressed by the energy and speed of both women. Not a bad event but that main event really let the card down and the mediocre matches did so as well. Impact is still lacking that star power. The energy is so inconsistent because of it. It is so evident too when you see Bully Ray and Dreamer work the crowd as veterans and brand names and then see others not generate that kind of interest or energy. The tone is so off-kilter.