Since winning the World Championship at Rebellion, Steve Maclin has had a target on his back. And, unfortunately for him, the one hunting him is the monster PCO, who Maclin will have to defend against in a couple of weeks at Under Siege. On Thursday night, Maclin was the predator, taking out Rhino. But he quickly became the prey,

The show opened with a great video package that ran down Rhino’s legendary career, mentioning him being the last World Champion in the original ECW, and his Impact World Heavyweight Championship reign from 2005.


Match 1: Masha Slamovich vs. Killer Kelly

This was a good smash-mouth fight between two women who could easily compete against men – and have during the Hardcore War at Rebellion. Early on, Masha hit an ugly-looking Tornado Kick right to the side of Kelly’s face – ouch! After some slugging it out, Kelly nearly got a pin after a Delayed Suplex.


But Masha caught Kelly in a Punt attempt and then dropped Kelly face-first onto the ring apron. They continued to battle it out, exchanging control a few times. Kelly hit a series of Headbutts that staggered Masha and then hit a few power moves for a 2-count. Masha hit an amazing Trash Compactor that looked like it would finish it, but Kelly kicked out. As the match progressed, the pace and the violence increased. Kelly locked in the Killer Clutch, but Masha climbed up the ropes and pushed herself backwards, landed on top of Kelly, then rolled backwards to hold Kelly down in a pinning combination for the 1-2-3. Kelly didn’t let go, though, and after the match was over, she clamped on the Killer Clutch until Masha passed out.

This was really good. These two are so different than any of the other Knockouts, and so alike to one another that it makes for great chemistry. A lengthy feud between these two would be most welcome.

Winner: Masha Slamovich

Sheldon Jean was in the dressing room, and Kenny King walked in. King told Jean that he had a star-making opportunity when he faces Nick Aldis tonight. King told Jean that he has to send Aldis a message.

In the back, Gia Miller interviewed Trinity whose outfit was right out the Attitude Era. She has made an open challenge for Under Siege. Trinity said that she will be watching the tag match featuring Deonna Purrazzo and Jordynne Grade tonight, because whichever one walks out of Under Siege as Champion, Trinity wants a shot at the title.

Jay Vidal ran in and gushed over Trinity, snapped a selfie, and ran away.


Match 2: Sheldon Jean vs. Nick Aldis

Kenny King joined the commentary table for this one. He started jawing at Aldis when the action spilled to the floor, which was early in the match. Jean used the distraction and an eye rake to surprise Aldis, and then Jean smashed Aldis into the ring post. But in the ring Aldis got his bearing, dropping Jean with a Michinoku Driver. After some jockeying for position on the top rope, Aldis won that skirmish, throwing Jean down to the mat and then hitting a Flying Elbow Smash. Aldis then locked on the  Cloverleaf and Jean had no choice but to submit.


This was a good showcase for Aldis and a good re-introduction for people who didn’t follow him after he left Impact six years ago. The match was fairly simple, but sometimes that’s all that’s needed.

Winner: Nick Aldis

Joe Hendry and Dango were in Dango’s detective bullpen going over the case of who attacked Santino Marella the other week. Johnny Swinger and Zicky Dice came in for an interrogation. Hendry said they had a motive as it was Santino who reversed Swinger’s first win in his quest for fifty. After some denials and cross-accusations, Dango had had enough and booked a match between himself and Swinger for later tonight. Swinger questioned Dango’s authority, so Dango called Santino and made it official.


Frankie Kazarian interview – part three

Gia Miller’s sit-down interview with Frankie continued. In this portion, he talked about exercising Option C to challenge Josh Alexander for the World Championship, and failing to win the title. Frankie said that the loss will always eat at him, because his goal was to be the World Championship. Gia noted that in the past few months, Frankie hasn’t been actively in the title picture, so questioned if that was still his goal. Frankie insisted that it is, and he wants to do everything he can to elevate the company, including helping out younger talent and anyone else who needs his help.


Match 3: Decay (Crazzy Steve and Black Taurus) vs. The Good Hands (Jason Hotch and John Skyler)

After a quick start to this one, the Good Hands slowed things down after employing some dirty tactics and they isolated Steve, hitting a variety of double-team moves. As they cockily posed over Steve with a handshake, Steve chomped down on both their hands, but he still wasn’t able to reach his corner for the tag. As Steve crawled to get the tag, Brian Myers was seen walking down the entrance ramp. Steve finally tagged in Taurus who dominated, including hitting a great move where he grabbed both Good Hands, putting him into position for a Scorpion Death Drop and then Chokeslamming the other onto him – that looked fantastic. Taurus then hit Hotch with a Pop-up Samoan Drop but Skyler broke up the pin. Steve dispatched Skyler but then ate a big Clothesline from Myers on the floor. Taurus tried to grab Myers who Whiplashed Taurus’ neck on the top rope. That left the big man prone for a Double-Team Blockbuster DVD by the Good Hands for the pin. After the match, the Good Hands celebrated with Myers, who appears to be their new mentor now.

This was a fine tag team match. Black Taurus always is impressive, and he continued the streak with this one. With the Good Hands now latching onto Myers, maybe this means the end of Bully Ray in the company for a while? They seem to be a good match with Myers in that none of them are particularly interesting to watch. At least together they may only bore people for one segment of the show, so I guess that’s good?

Winners: The Good Hands

The Flashback Moment of the Week was from No Surrender 2009 when Sarita and Taylor Wilde beat the Beautiful People to become the first Knockouts Tag Team Champions.

In the back, Champagne Singh and Shera were being dressed down by Steve Maclin for failing to protect him last week, resulting in Maclin getting GORE GORE GOREd by Rhino. Maclin then broke off their business relationship, and stormed off. Singh told Shera that they couldn’t afford to lose the relationship and started to think of a plan to renew their deal with Maclin.

Cut to Singh and Shera beating up Rhino’s best friend Heath in a backstage hallway. A bunch of security guards ran in and broke it up. Rhino ran in and tried to chase Singh and Shera but was told that his match was next. He was upset at what happened to Heath, but had no choice but to head to the ring.


Match 4: Rhino vs. Steve Maclin (c) – for the Impact World Heavyweight Championship

Rhino got the early edge and was setting up to finish off Maclin, but Maclin rolled to the floor. They brawled around the ringside area briefly, and when the action went back to the ring, Maclin clipped Rhino’s knee and grounded him. Maclin then worked over Rhino’s knee, punishing it with stomps, smashes, and stretch submissions. Rhino mounted a bit of a comeback after avoiding a Flying Headbutt attempt, even hitting a Superplex for a two-count. Rhino then hit a Spinebuster for another near fall. Rhino went for the GORE GORE GORE, but his knee gave out on him and instead he stumbled into another Chop Block by Maclin. Maclin waited for Rhino to get up and Maclin added insult to injury by hitting Rhino with a Gore of his own. That was enough to put the challenger down for good.


This was good, and exactly what it needed to be. It was pretty clear that Rhino wasn’t going to win the title on a random TV match. He made a good showing, but it was the right decision to give Maclin a decisive win.

Winner, and still Impact World Heavyweight Champion: Steve Maclin

After the match, Maclin attacked Rhino, knocking him to the arena floor. He got a steel chair and drove it into Rhino’s throat and then bashed Rhino’s injured knee with the chair repeatedly, before using a shovel-chair combo to Pillmanize Rhino’s leg (the shovel was used to send a message to PCO, who Maclin defends against at Under Siege).

Rhino had to be stretchered out of the arena, and Impact President Scott D’Amore was on-hand as the EMTs loaded Rhino into an ambulance. Maclin came out to gloat about what he’d done, enraging D’Amore. D’Amore said that since Maclin doesn’t like to play by the rules, his match against PCO was now going to be a No Disqualification match. Maclin went to open the ambulance door and do some more damage to Rhino, but instead, PCO jumped out of the ambulance and beat up Maclin. Maclin and PCO fought in the garage until Maclin ran off.


Match 5: Dirty Dango vs. Johnny Swinger (w/ Zicky Dice)

Joe Hendry came out, which is always fun, since it gives everyone a chance to sing and wave their hands along to his theme song. Hendry noted that his nose had been broken during his match against Sheldon Jean the other week. Joe introduced Dirty Dango.

Interference from Dice on the outside gave Swinger a temporary advantage. But Dango blocked a Stomp attempt and hit a Falcon Arrow on Swinger for the quick and easy pin.

Swinger is always a fun character, but his matches tend to be silly. Fortunately, as was the case here, they’re short enough that he doesn’t wear out his welcome.

Winner: Dirty Dango

The Design cut a pre-taped promo about Sami Callihan and his betrayal. Deaner said that if Callihan continues to walk the path away from The Design, he’ll only feel pain and suffering. And that goes for anyone who sides with Callihan. Deaner said that he has his Army of Violence and they will follow his orders and unleash pain and suffering on whoever Deaner commands them to. His army of yellow-hoodie-wearing thugs fell in behind Deaner, Kon, and Angels. But then two of them broke ranks and started attacking the others. They lowered their hoods and it was Sami Callihan and Rich Swann. Everyone brawled until security ran in and separated everyone.


Brian Myers was walking around backstage and was confronted by Moose. Moose said that the two of them are a tag team, so questioned by Myers is mentoring a different team in the Good Hands. Myers said he could do both. Moose told him to get his priorities straight and left. Myers said he would mentor the Good Hands all the way to the Tag Team Championship.


Match 6: Deonna Purrazzo and Jordynne Grace vs. The Coven (Taylor Wilde and KiLynn King (c) – for the Knockouts Tag Team Championship

The side story in this one is that Grace and Purrazzo have feuded over Purrazzo’s Knockouts Championship in the past and Grace has her final opportunity to dethrone Purrazzo at Under Siege.

As for the match, it was a pretty standard tag team match. Grace and Purrazzo started off dominant, but some shady tactics saw Purrazzo get slammed hard on the apron, allowing the Coven to isolate her in their corner. They used some deviousness to choke Purrazzo repeatedly – but skillfully did it behind the referee’s back, which is a lost art these days.

Purrazzo finally broke loose and made the tag to a fired-up Grace who muscled both Coven members, in particular sending Wilde hard to the floor.


But when Grace went to follow up, the Coven double-dropped Grace onto the apron. They then used some more double-team moves to put the hurt on Grace. But Grace caught Wilde on the top rope and hit her with a Muscle Buster which would have ended things, but King made the save. At this point, the women were fighting both inside and outside the ring.

In the fracas, Grace accidentally bumped into Purrazzo, knocking her to the floor. With Purrazzo out of commission, the Coven quickly capitalized, hitting Grace with a Hart Attack variation and getting the pinfall victory.

This was a pretty good tag team match. Purrazzo and Grace are both better in singles – Purrazzo in particular, because her methodical ground-based submission style doesn’t easily lend itself to the psychology of a singles match – but they both did fine here. The Coven’s gimmick isn’t great – mainly because it seems a bit cartoonish and unrelatable to real-life. But in the ring they’re fine and work well together. Impact does need to look at bringing in some more female tag teams to freshen up the division, though, and give them some people to feud with.

Winners, and still Knockouts Tag Team Champions: The Coven

After the match, The Coven attacked Grace who was still downed in the ring. Trinity ran in and made the save, beating up both Coven members, much to the crowd’s delight. After she took care of them, she and Grace shook hands. Grace left the ring, and Trinity glowed and danced in the ring to end the show.




Impact Wrestling - May 11th, 2023

Cicero Stadium - Chicago, IL

This week’s episode had a good mix of strong matches – the women’s opener in particular – and table-setting for the upcoming Under Siege show. Every match delivered, and angles were furthered effectively. Trinity as the show-closer made her feel like a big deal, even on a show where two championships were defended. That said, a point had to be deducted from the rating for not one, but two Brian Myers appearances.