With Multiverse United having taken place last weekend, Impact has just a couple of weeks to cultivate the seeds that have been planted for the Rebellion Pay-Per-View which takes place in just over a week. Thursday night’s episode did a good job of building up the matches on that event, and in particular the World Championship match between Steve Maclin and KUSHIDA, who gave us a bit of a preview of what to expect in the show’s strong closing segment.


Match 1: The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) vs. TMDK (Shane Haste & Bad Dude Tito)

This was a battle of size vs. speed, with the Guns doing some flashy moves and dives up front. But a double-team saw Sabin get hit with a Spinning Blue Thunder Bomb that looked great, and then a huge Cannonball on Shelley that looked even better. TMDK then worked over Shelley for several minutes, hurting him with power moves and more double-teams. Shelley finally escaped and tagged in a fresh and fired-up Sabin, who cleaned house and nearly got the win after a great Sprinboard Tornado DDT on Haste. The Guns used their tag team acumen to come back, and after some flashy offense, they managed to confuse Haste and leave him prone for a deep rollup for the pin.


This was a very good match, though I have to admit, I was a bit distracted. Tito had a leg brace that looked to be tied around a button or a peg that seemed to have been implanted in his leg. I know that couldn’t have been it, but I kept a close eye on it, trying to figure out how that worked. I was baffled, so if you know, please drop me a note.

Winners: The Motor City Machine Guns

In the back, the Bullet Club (Ace Austin & Chris Bey) were waiting for the Guns who are owed a Tag Team Championship rematch. The Guns proposed it be an Ultimate X match, and Austin and Bey agreed.

In the dressing room, Eddie Edwards approached Kenny King. Eddie asked for Kenny’s support when Eddie took on PCO later tonight. King refused, because he was upset with Eddie leaving him high and dry against PCO at Sacrifice.

In the back, a stooge told Impact President Scott D’Amore that Josh Alexander and his family had arrived to the building.

Tommy Dreamer then came up to D’Amore and asked him if he would team up with him in his feud with Bully Ray. D’Amore said that while he loves and respects Dreamer, he isn’t a wrestler anymore, and has to focus on running the company. He said Tommy will have to go into this Hardcore War with Bully Ray by himself.


Match 2: Jonathan Gresham vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey

X-Division Champion Trey Miguel joined the commentary team for this one, as the winner will get a title shot at Rebellion. This is the third match between Gresham and Bailey, with the series tied at one win each.

As their tied record would suggest, these two were very evenly-matched, and twice in the opening minutes, they wrestled themselves into a stalemate. The match saw a lot of counters and reversals, with neither man able to sustain an advantage for very long before the other had an answer. Gresham nearly got the win after an Octopus rollup, and the Bailey nearly did after a Flippy-Doo Powerslam. Gresham locked on a Figure-Four Leglock, but Bailey reversed it, and finally they both rolled to the floor to escape each other’s hold. There, they both came close to accidentally hitting Miguel who was none too pleased by the close calls.


They got back into the ring to continue their battle, but Miguel was having none of it. He left commentary and then scaled the ropes to blindside both of them with a Missile Dropkick, forcing the referee to throw out the match. He took some cheap shots on both of them, and was planning on tagging them with his spraypaint can, but they both got up and he chickened out.

This was a really good match while it lasted. Based on the result, logic would suggest the match at Rebellion will become a three-way, which is stellar on paper.

Winner: None

The Design were in their stairwell lair. Deaner told Sami that he was surprised Sami had made it this far in the recruitment process. Deaner chastised Sami for costing them the match at Sacrifice, and this upset Sami. He yelled that he sacrificed himself for the rest of them. Sami said that he’d done everything to prove his commitment, from shaving himself to taking beatings from a bunch of people, including the rest of the Design. He said he wants to move to Step 7. Deaner said that Step 7 was the most difficult of them all: he would have to remove any other authority in his life, since there is no authority other than The Design. Despite the crypticity of the message, Sami said he would figure out what he needs to do, and go do it.

In the back, Bailey and Gresham were complaining to the Director of Authority Santino Marella about Trey Miguel’s actions. Trey came in, proudly trumpeting what he’d done, and this brought in Santino’s assistant Dirty Dango. After some conferring with Dango, Marella said that Miguel wouldn’t get away with his ploy to try to avoid facing Gresham or Bailey, and made the Rebellion match a three-way match. But to make sure that there would be no dispute as to a winner, he made it an Elimination Three-Way match. Trey wasn’t happy that his plan backfired.


Match 3: Jody Threat vs. Tara Rising

This is Jody’s debut as a contracted Impact wrestler. Threat pretty much beat up Rising from pillar to post. Rising tried to mount a comeback, but this just angered Threat who beat her up some more. After hitting Double Knees to Rising’s back, Threat put her away with the F-416 for the dominant win.


Great debut for Threat, who looked really strong. The way she was presented, she’s almost dominant in a Masha Slamovich kind of way. That could be an interesting matchup down the road.

Winner: Jody Threat

During the last match, they cut to a shot backstage where a bunch of security guards were checking on Santino Marella, who had been laid out by an unknown assailant. After the match, they cut back to the scene, where Santino was recovering under the eye of a concerned Dango. Scott D’Amore came up to them and Dango told Scott that The Design was behind the attack. D’Amore noted that they had planned to take out the authority, so concluded this was what they meant.

Dango wanted to get revenge so asked D’Amore for permission to take on The Design. D’Amore said that it would be foolish to challenge them alone, so Dango proposed he team up with Joe Hendry. D’Amore still cautioned against it. Marella then said he had to show The Design that they can’t mess with him. So the match was made for Marella, Dango, and Hendry to take on The Design. This had a bit too much comedy – as is often the case with Marella and Dango – for what should have been a serious angle.

Backstage ,Gia Miller interviewed Tasha Steelz who returned to Impact at Sacrifice. Gisele Shaw, with Jai Vidal and Savannah Evans, barged in and trash-talked Steelz for getting involved in her business at Sacrifice. Steelz and Shaw exchanged words, and Steelz made the challenge. Shaw scoffed at the idea of Steelz facing the three of them alone, but Steelz said she was up for it.


Match 4: Bully Ray & the Good Hands (John Skyler and Jason Hotch) vs. Tommy Dreamer, Yuya Uemura, and Darren McCarty

McCarty, of course, is the former Detroit Red Wings enforcer, who in his day was as scrappy as ever. Just ask that cheap-shotting coward Claude Lemieux.

This one was very good when Uemura was in there with Skyler or Hotch, and slowed down a bit when Dreamer was in there. Bully Ray avoided getting in until Dreamer was in trouble, but after he got under Dreamer’s skin by talking about his daughters, Dreamer hit him with a big DDT. Dreamer tagged in Mccarty who beat the tar out of the Good Hands, with Yuya hitting cleanup with an aerial dive on them to put them on the sidelines (yes, I’m mixing sports metaphors).


Bully was scared to fight Darren Mac and instead left it up to Hotch to eat a McCarty Stunner for the hat-trick (1-2-3).

In the overtime period (i.e. after the match), there was a bench-clearing brawl. Kenny King and Frankie Kazarian came in and started fighting, and they were followed by Masha Slamovich and Killer Kelly. And it looks like we may have fleshed out the teams for what could be the first intergender Hardcore War at Sacrifice.

Winners: Tommy Dreamer, Yuya Uemura, and Darren McCarty

A video package aired celebrating the record-setting World Championship reign of Josh Alexander. Unfortunately, because of an injury, he will have to relinquish the championship tonight.

They showed photos from Jordynne Grace’s big win at a bodybuilding competition this past weekend. It’s pretty amazing how she’s transformed her body over the past few years. She will compete for the Knockouts World Championship at Rebellion.

They showed highlights from this past weekend’s Multiverse United match that saw Deonna Purrazzo win a 4-way match to earn a Knockouts Championship match at Rebellion. If the champion Mickie James recovers from injury in time, the match will be a 3-way between Purrazzo, James, and Jordynne Grace. If Mickie can’t compete, it will be Purrazzo and Grace one-on-one.

A pre-taped promo by Deonna Purrazzo aired. She said that she is prepared to win the championship no matter who she has to face. She said she will create a new and better Age of the Virtuosa.


Match 5: Eddie Edwards vs. PCO

The two started with a slugfest and then they kicked and smacked the bejeezus out of each other. PCO hit a Frankensteiner off the top, which looked great. The fight spilled to the floor where the violence continued. Eddie hit a release German Suplex on the floor and it looked like PCO landed on the top of his head, but he’s not human and he popped back up to hit a huge Lariat. Wow!

Eddie hit a Superplex and then a Sliding head Kick that slowed but didn’t stop PCO. They then exchanged chops that sounded brutal, and slaps that sounded worse. PCO was still unfazed and dumped Eddie to the floor before hitting him with a Flying Cannonball Dive and a Chokeslam on the apron.


PCO then hit a De-Animator (flying cannonball off the top rope on to the apron), but zombied around the ring instead of going for a pin. PCO went for an Avalanche but Eddie pulled the ref in his way and Eddie squished the ref. PCO went for a PCO-Sault, but stopped when Eddie’s wife Alisha ran to the ring and begged for mercy. But that was a ploy, as when PCO paused, Alisha blasted him in the head with a Singapore cane. Eddie then grabbed PCO from behind and hit him with a Buckle Bomb. He dropped PCO and hit a Boston Knee Party for the pin. He and Alisha celebrated the big win, but made a hasty exit when PCO sat back up and angrily stalked them all the way up the ramp.

PCO chased them through the back and out the door into the parking lot. Alisha and Eddie scrambled into a car and took off before PCO could get his monstrous hands on them.

This was a good hard-hitting slobberknocker. When they say that PCO isn’t human, it’s hyperbole of course. But then you watch one of his matches and see what he can absorb and still keep going, and you think that’s not just a catchphrase.

Winner: Eddie Edwards


Josh Alexander relinquishes the World Championship

Steve Maclin and KUSHIDA – the two men who will compete for the vacant title at Rebellion – were in the ring along with Scott D’Amore. After noting the unfortunate circumstances that will end Josh’s title reign, D’Amore introduced Josh Alexander, who came to the ring, his arm in a sling, with his wife Jenn and son Jett.

Josh said that all he’d ever wanted was an opportunity and when he finally got it, he made the most of it. That he did everything he could to live up to that opportunity. And that included his plan to become the best wrestler in the world. Unfortunately, he tore his tricep and he’s out indefinitely. So he will have to now go back to being an Impact fan. And that he will be watching Rebellion to see who of KUSHIDA or Maclin will become the new champ.

He complimented KUSHIDA and said that he could force Maclin to tap out. He then told Maclin that he wished he could face him because he respects what Maclin can do in the ring. Then he warned both of them that when he’s able to come back, he will take the title from either of them if they’re still champion at the time.

With that, Josh relinquished the championship, as the crowd chanted “Than you, Josh.”

Before he could, Jett grabbed the title. Josh and Jenn took it back and then Josh handed it to Scott, while Jett looked sad.

Maclin then took the mic and told D’Amore to hand it over to him, since he would have beaten Josh for it anyway if the match had taken place. Maclin said that Josh fears him and that the injury is Josh’s way of not having to lose to him. Maclin then directed his comments to Jett directly, saying that he should know that his father is a coward.

This incensed D’Amore who grabbed the mic and yelled at Maclin. D’Amore said that if Maclin wasn’t a coward, he wouldn’t have waited until Josh was hurt to challenge him. That he would have accepted one of Josh’s many open challenges. Or he would have accepted Josh’s challenge from two weeks ago. He called Maclin a cowardly SOB and that he would not hand Maclin the title unless and until Maclin earned it. D’Amore then reminded Maclin that KUSHIDA made him tap out a couple of weeks ago.

Maclin said that he may have tapped out, but that’s because he’s smarter than to risk injury in a match with nothing on the line. That it was a tactical strategy to ensure he was at 100% when he competed for the title. And that he would beat KUSHIDA when it mattered – at Rebellion, for the title. KUSHIDA got in Maclin’s face, and Maclin put his hands on him. KUSHIDA tried for the Hoverboard Lock, but Maclin ran out of the ring. KUSHIDA hit him with a Flying Somersault Dive over the top, and brought the belt back into the ring. He handed it to D’Amore while Maclin could only look on bitterly from the ramp.

This was really good. Alexander and D’Amore were on fire during this one, but everyone played their part perfectly. The only question is how they can step up this one on next week’s go-home show.




Impact Wrestling - April 6th, 2023

St. Clair College - Windsor, ON

With injuries to the World and Knockouts Champion, Impact has done a great job of pivoting to put together a solid lineup for the upcoming Rebellion show. This episode did a good job of building that event, with some good matches and a very strong closing segment. Maclin and KUSHIDA wasn’t the match people expected to see, but the ending promo did a good job of making people want to see it.