On Thursday night, Impact Wrestling felt the glow, as Trinity Fatu made her debut in the company and moreover, her long-awaited return to a wrestling ring. Getting a major star reaction, she made her presence known by declaring her intention to become the Knockouts World Champion. Her debut was the capper on an episode that was otherwise full of matches that ranged from good to absolutely great.


Match 1: Yuya Uemara and Bhupinder Gujjar vs. Brian Myers and Moose

The young babyfaces fared well early on, manhandling their more experienced opponents. After Yuya rocked Moose with a Flying Forearm, Moose stumbled through the ropes and to the floor. Uemara and Gujjar then threw Brian through the ropes and on to Moose, and they followed that up with Stereo Flying Dives on both Myers and Moose. Some cheating allowed the “Most Professional Wrestling Gods” –  as commentator Matthew Rehwoldt called them, playing off their respective monikers – to take over. Gujjar fired back though, and brought the fight to Moose. In a nice sequence, Moose avoided a Gargoyle Spear by Gujjar, then tried a Spear of his own, but Gujjar dodged that and hit Moose with a Slingblade that would have ended things if not for Myers breaking it up. Gujjar dispatched of Myers with a nice Springboard Kick, but as he landed, he was blindsided with a huge Spear by Moose, which put Gujjar down for the 1-2-3.


This was a solid match, and seemed to be really putting a focus on Gujjar, who fared better than most against Moose. They could be setting things up for a feud between the two?

Winners: Brian Myers and Moose

In the back, Gia Miller went up to Impact World Champion Steve Maclin who seemed to be plotting something with Champagne Singh and Shera. They will take on PCO and two opponents to be named later on. Maclin was confident in his team and predicted that PCO wouldn’t even be able to find two people who would team up with him.

They recapped Santino Marella being laid out by an unnamed assailant last week, leading to Dirty Dango trying to solve the mystery of who did it, with only a lock of the attacker’s hair as a clue.
Cut to Dango who had a suspect photo wall set up, with people like Tyson Tomko, former WWE ring announcer Tony Chimel, Burgess Meredith as the Penguin from the old Batman TV show, and was that George Michael?

He was joined by Joe Hendry who tried to teach Dango about how to conduct an investigation. Dango suspected that “Professor” Mike Tenay was the culprit, but Hendry tried to reasonably steer him away from that theory and focus on the evidence. Hendry noted that just before Santino was attacked, he’d upset Trey Miguel by putting him in a Triple Threat match, and after that, Trey threatened Santino. Dango made a dig about his former partner Tyler Breeze and hugged Henry for helping him.


Match 2: Sami Callihan vs. Deaner (w/ Kon and Angels)

On his way to the ring, Deaner took the  mic and told Sami that he’d made the biggest mistake of his life when he broke from The Design and hit Deaner with a baseball bat. Deaner said that was Sami’s second mistake: the first was accepting the match tonight. Because it wasn’t against Deaner, but rather against Kon. So, let’s change the heading to…

Match 2: Sami Callihan vs. Kon (w/ Deaner and Angels)

Sami used his frenzied attack to stun Kon, but he got flattened when Kon caught his foot on a Soccer Kick attempt and Kon dropped Sami face-first on the apron. Kon then took over, wearing down Sami with various hard moves and powerful shots.


He then wrapped Callihan in a Bear Hug that Sami could only escape from by raking Kon’s eyes. They exchanged huge shots in the middle of the ring, but Callihan got the better of Kon after hitting a Death Valley Driver. Sami went for the Cactus Driver, but Deaner and Angels caused the distraction. Sami dealt with Angels pretty easily, and then stared down Deaner who was standing on the apron. Deaner taunted Sami with his own Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down pose. But when Deaner hit Thumbs Down, a stream of yellow-hoodied Army of Violence members ran into the ring and swarmed Sami, forcing the ref to call for the disqualification.

At Deaner’s command, the Army parted, leaving a beaten Sami down on his knees. Deaner came into the ring and after a defiant Sami challenged him, Deaner clocked Sami in the face with a baseball bat, knocking Sami out. The Design celebrated their heinous actions as Sami lay unconscious in the ring.

This was a good slobberknocker of a match while it lasted. The pouring in of the Army into the ring was a cool visual, and the baseball bat shot – and Sami’s selling of it – were great. Clearly, this feud will continue.

Winner, by disqualification: Sami Callihan

Trey Miguel was in Dango’s war-room, denying to Dango and Hendry that he had anything to do with Santino’s attack. They checked Trey for any missing hair, and when they didn’t see any bald patches, they cleared him. This sketch was actually pretty funny. Maybe they should quit while they’re ahead?



In the back, Jimmy Jacobs asked Nick Aldis for his thoughts on PCO getting the World Title match at Under Seige on May 26th, and not him. Aldis said that he returned to Impact to be in the hunt for the World Championship, but was under no illusion that he would just be handed a title shot. He said he is ready to prove himself worthy of a title shot and would climb every rung of the ladder to get there. He was interrupted by Kenny King, who said he didn’t believe Aldis was looking to prove himself. Aldis said he was, and would prove himself in a match against King at Under Siege. King refused, saying that Aldis had to work his way up to facing Kenny.


Match 3: Alisha Edwards vs. Jody Threat

The commentators said Threat was looking to deliver some payback to Alisha for the way she tried to bully Tara Rising who Alisha beat in Toronto the other week. Threat physically dominated Alisha early on. But Alisha avoided a Double Knee attempt and when Threat got tied up in the ropes, Alisha capitalized, using her legs to bounce Threat’s head off the ring canvas.


Threat fought back and then did hit the Double Knees, following that up with a German Suplex that rocked Alisha. After that, Threat put Alisha down with the F-416 to get the dominant win.

This one went by pretty fast. It wasn’t a total squash victory for Threat, but it was pretty close. The crowd was into Threat.

Winner: Jody Threat

In the back, Gia Miller interviewed the Motor City Machine Guns. Sabin said that they are a successful tag team, but that doesn’t mean they can’t also have singles gold aspirations, as he will, when he challenges for Trey Miguel’s X-Division Championship at Under Siege. Gia asked Alex Shelley what that would mean for him, so he said he would go for singles gold himself: the World Championship.


Frankie Kazarian Interview

They aired the second part of Gia Miller’s sit-down interview with Frankie Kazarian. Last week, Frankie talked about his first run with TNA and his decision to leave. This week, he talked about where he went afterwards.

Frankie talked about his time in Ring of Honor between 2014 and 2018, and then going to AEW. He thought that being on the ground floor at that company would be a resurgence for him. But he realized after a few years there that it was time to bet on himself and strike a new path. He said that meant he would come back to Impact, where he had so much history, and bet on himself here.

This seemed really heavily-edited, so wasn’t as good as last week’s. They are airing the unedited interview online, so maybe check that out.


Match 4: Steve Maclin, Champagne Singh, and Shera vs. PCO, Rhino, and Heath

Singh cockily volunteered to start the match for his side and actually did surprisingly well against both PCO and Rhino. Until he didn’t. But some dirty tactics allowed his team to take over and isolate Heath in the wrong corner where they triple-teamed him. Heath finally escaped who made the tag to PCO, prompting Maclin to retreat, as he was doing what he could to avoid being in the ring with the French-Canadian Frankenstein. PCO blasted Singh with a Flying Somersault Dive to the floor and then his always ugly-looking De-Animator.


The ref lost control and only watched on as Singh and Shera tied up PCO in the Tree of Woe, leaving him prone for a Crosshairs by Maclin. But PCO broke loose and flattened Singh and Shera with a Double Clothesline, putting him face-to-face with a scared Maclin. PCO went after Maclin who rolled out of the ring in retreat – and when he hit the floor, he was hit by a GORE GORE GORE by Rhino. Singh found himself alone in the ring with PCO and tried to buy his way out of it. Instead, Heath hit Singh with a Wake-Up Call, and then PCO ended Singh with a PCO-Sault.

This was a fun one. Singh’s new character direction is working well for him and Shera, and you can’t go wrong with Heath and Rhino, who always entertain. It’s always incredible to see what PCO can do – seriously, he throws himself around like he’s Darby Allin, but he’s probably two-and-a-half times the size. He and Maclin should have a good match at Under Siege – though I can’t see him winning the title, likely because Maclin will find some weaselly way to keep it.

Winners: PCO, Heath, and Rhino

The Coven were doing some witchy stuff in a mysterious witchy place, and cast an evil spell against Deonna Purrazzo and Jordynne Grace.

Somewhere in the bowels of the building, Rosemary and Jessicka summoned James Mitchell to ask him to help gain access to the Unead Realm. He offered to take them there, but Rosemary wanted to know what the catch was, what he wanted in return. He denied wanting anything, and mind-gamed Rosemary into agreeing to go with him. Rosemary made Jessicka stay behind while she and Mitchell walked through the door to the Undead Realm.


Match 5: Jonathan Gresham vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey

Gresham was sporting a moustache in this match, perhaps channeling his inner Vince McMahon. They started with a hand-shake, but there seemed to be some tension between the two, even though there was also some obvious respect, earned through their previous battles.

They grappled on the mat for a while and then got into a standing grapple, neither man able to gain an advantage in the opening minutes. A series of fast strong Armdrags by Gresham took Bailey to the mat in what was the first real upper-hand of the match. He continued to press Bailey with some nasty arm- and wrist-twisting. But Bailey wouldn’t submit and he retaliated with some big kicks, including a Missile Dropkick that took Gresham down.



Then, Bailey went for his own submission attempts with an Armbar that he let go only to hit a Somersault Double Kneedrop, before doing his cheesy Bicycle Kick move. Bailey then hit a Springboard Moonsault to the floor. Bailey hung Gresham on the top rope and hit a Double Knees to Gresham’s back, and Gresham had to put his foot on the rope to break the count.

Gresham picked up the pace, using his technical mastery to repeatedly try to roll up Bailey for a pin, but Bailey kept kicking out. They had a series of counters and reversals that ended with Bailey nearly getting the pin after a Horizontal Somersault Slam that looked great.

Gresham went back to working over Bailey’s arm, so Bailey returned to his foot-based attack, hitting a Liu Kang special in the corner, but Gresham avoided the subsequent Ultima Weapon attempt. After another good exchange of reversals and counters, Gresham was able to get behind Bailey and lock on the Octopus, cranking the pressure on Bailey’s weakened arm, and forcing Bailey to tap out.



After the match, the two shook hands in another show of mutual respect.

This was excellent. These two have had a fantastic series of matches against one another, and this was no exception. They told a great story, the psychology of the match was rivaled only by how good they executed every move. Hopefully it’s not the last time these two face each other. Either way, it’s one you should go out of your way to watch.

Winner: Jonathan Gresham

In the back, Sami Callihan was talking to someone who was off-camera, saying that he knew he screwed up by trying to take on The Design alone and it got him beaten up by the Army of Violence. He said that the person owed him and should join him to help get payback on The Design. The camera panned over and it was Rich Swann, who said that he didn’t owe Sami anything. Sami said that the two of them have been family forever, ever since Callihan’s family took Swann in when they were young. Sami asked Swann to forget any issues they’ve had in the past, but to help him as a brother. Sami left, and Swann looked pensive about Sami’s plea for help.

They showed a clip that the commentators said took place in the back during an earlier break. Steve Maclin was complaining to Impact President Scott D’Amore about what Rhino did to him during the six-man tag team match. Maclin demanded D’Amore handle things. D’Amore said that Maclin can take care of the issue himself when he faces Rhino next week. And to make sure Maclin was especially motivated, D’Amore said that the match would be for Maclin’s World Championship. Maclin was naturally not pleased by the development.


Trinity debuts in Impact Wrestling

Trinity – aka Trinity Fatu aka formerly WWE’s Naomi – glowed her way to an Impact ring for the first time. The crowd gave her a huge ovation, even drowning out the commentators, and then chanted her name before she could start talking.

She looked genuinely choked up by the rousing ovation, and thanked the crowd. She said that it felt back to be in a ring where she could glow. She said she chose to come to Impact because the company had the most storied women’s division in the world. She said she wanted to be part of that legacy, naming several Knockouts from the present and past, and to become the Knockouts Champion.

This brought out the champ, Deonna Purrazzo, who was one of the women she’d named. Purrazzo grabbed a mic and welcomed Trinity to Impact Wrestling. Purrazzo said that Trinity had better realize that she came to Impact during the New Age of the Virtuosa. She took a dig at Trinity, saying that if she ever got a chance to wrestle Purrazzo for the title, that’s not something she could just walk out on. Trinity repaid the swipe, saying that if Purrazzo has to face Trinity, she’ll wish she got fired… again.

Things looked like they were going to get physical, but then Jordynne Grace’s music hit, and she came to the ring. Grace reminded them that she had a title shot against Purrazzo at Under Siege, and Grace planned on winning that match. Grace told Trinity that if she wanted a Knockouts Championship match, she’d have to come see Grace after Under Siege. Trinity said that she would go after whichever one of them was Champion after Under Siege. She left the ring, and while Grace and Purrazzo faced off in the ring, Trinity glowed and danced on the entrance ramp to end the show.




Impact Wrestling - May 4th, 2023

Cicero Stadium - Chicago, IL

The much-ballyhooed debut of Trinity – which the company had been trumpeting since last weekend when the show was taped – went over really well. The fans gave her a superstar reaction and putting her right into the title hunt – like they did with Nick Aldis who also recently returned – made her debut feel really important. The match between Speedball and Gresham was terrific, and in some ways may have been the best one of their series, though all of them arguably could claim that title. Those two segments were highlights of a very strong show. Some of the vignettes weren’t great, but there was still so much more good stuff on the episode to forgive that.