With Under Siege taking place on Friday, Impact Wrestling used Thursday night’s episode to finalize the hype before everything comes to a head. And speaking of heads, PCO was certainly occupying space in World Champion Steve Maclin’s. And then he was occupying the same ring as Maclin – until Maclin ran away in fear at the sight of the French Canadian Frankenstein. And Maclin could only look on as PCO ended the show holding Maclin’s title belt – perhaps portending what might happen tomorrow night.

That show-closing segment wasn’t the only strong part of Thursday’s final build. Indeed, the show featured a fantastic opening match, interesting storyline developments, and showcase moments for all of the matches at Under Siege.


Match 1: “Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Chris Sabin

They started off with scientific exchanges, but as this one went on, the big moves started to come out more frequently and with more intensity. Sabin hit the first big move with a punt kick off the apron, then tied Bailey up in the ropes and hit a big Hesitation Dropkick. Bailey fired back with a Single Leg Running Dropkick that hit Sabin right in the face and followed that up with a Running Shooting Star Press. In a great-timed spot, Bailey went for a Handspring move, but Sabin hit him with a Low Dropkick right in the face when Bailey was upside-down. Other moves included Sabin hitting a Tornado DDT, Bailey avoiding a Cradle Shock and surprising Sabin with a Standing Moonsault Knee Drop.

The pace and aggression quickened and moves got even more intense, including a Springboard Moonsault from the top rope to the floor by Bailey, and a Powerbomb by Sabin that sent Bailey off the apron and hard to the floor. After a big exchange of moves leading to two-counts, the crowd was on their feet chanting “Fight forever!” Sabin ate a Liu Kang Special, but avoided the Ultima Dragon and Bailey crashed hard onto his knees.


Sabin then picked up Bailey, hit a Muscle Buster and ended things with a Cradle Shock.

This was stellar. Both guys shone really strong here and the audience really appreciated the match. The win here by Sabin gives him momentum going into his X-Division Championship match tomorrow. Bailey lost, but still looked strong – and if Sabin wins, he has to be considered for a title program coming out of this one.

Winner: Chris Sabin

A spotlight video aired for Trinity. She talked about her first few weeks in the company. She said she will beat Gisele Shaw tomorrow at Under Siege.

A video showed the history behind tomorrow’s World Championship match between Steve Maclin and his challenger, which will be contested as a No Disqualification match.

Then a pre-taped promo by Steve Maclin aired. He said that he took PCO out of the equation last week when Maclin left him laying last week screaming in pain. So tonight he would go out to the ring and announce who would be replacing PCO in the title match tomorrow.


Match 2: Kenny King and Sheldon Jean vs. Decay (Crazzy Steve and Black Taurus)

Nick Aldis joined the commentary team for this one, as he and Kenny King have a match tomorrow night.

Taurus was until control until he got cheap-shotted, and then Jean and King isolated him. Apropos of nothing, but I really want to see Impact hire Billie Starkz and pair her with these two as their manager so they can call that faction Billie Jean King. And maybe give her a tennis racket, a-la Jim Cornette. IYKYK, as the kids say. Anyway, the match rolled on. Taurus Suplexed Steve on top of King and then hit Sheldon with a big dive to the floor. Steve climbed up King to bite his face off, but King withstood the chomping, and hit Steve with the Royal Flush to get the pin.

After the match, King got the mic and boasted about his win. He then trash-talked Aldis who accused King of trying to make a name for himself off of Aldis’ name. Aldis said he would come into the ring and take on both King and Jean at the same time. Jean tried to stop Aldis from entering the ring so Aldis clobbered him. Aldis got into the ring to take on King, but King skedaddled.

All of this was pretty standard – nothing special, but it was fine. The King-Aldis match tomorrow could be a show-stealer.

Winners: Kenny King and Sheldon Jean

Jessicka was worried as the hourglass counting down how much time Rosemary had spent in the Underground was nearly out of sand – meaning Rosemary is in danger of being trapped there forever. She wasn’t able to monitor the time, as she had to head to the ring for her match, so she put the hourglass on the floor beside the doorway.


Match 3: Jessicka vs. Taylor Wilde (w/ KiLynn King)

Jessicka was clearly concerned about Rosemary’s fate, and it showed all over her face throughout this one. Wilde capitalized on her distracted state of mind – and the distraction from King on the apron – and quickly hit the Witch’s Wrath for the pin.

After the match, Wilde and King attacked Jessicka and started beating her up. But then the video screen turned on and it showed the hourglass on the floor beside the door to the Underground. The door opened and some colourful socks and running shoes were seen stepping out. Back in the arena, the owner of those shoes were revealed when Courtney Rush – Rosemary’s non-Demonic persona – made her way down the ramp. She hit the ring and took out Wilde and King. Jessicka didn’t seem to recognize who  Rush was at first, but she finally did, and was excited to see her. They hugged and celebrated in the ring.


This was a fun segment. With The Coven in the company, it was getting a bit crowded with dark and gloomy characters. So the change of Rosemary to Courtney Rush should be refreshing, while the feud for The Coven’s Tag Team Championship can still continue.

Winner: Taylor Wilde

In the back, Rush explained to Jessicka that the demon Rosemary had been possessing her body, but for some reason, Rosemary is now gone. She said that she was about to embark on an adventure, and invited Jessicka to join her. Jessicka agreed, and they were excited about this new direction for the Death Dollz.


Match 4: Angels (w/ Deaner and Kon) vs. Rich Swann (w/ Sami Callihan)

Swann started off by dizzying Angels with his speed and innovation, but Angels used the apron skirt in a creative way to trip Swann up, and then ran Swann into the ring post. In the ring, Angels was in control, but Swann fought back with his educated feet and then hit Angels with a Flying Somersault from the apron to the floor. He followed that up with a Handspring Cutter, but Angels kicked out.

Angels thwarted a top rope attack and then hit Swann with a huge Running Dropkick and a Draping DDT for two. Swann won a strike exchange, but got caught in another Handspring move and Suplexed out of the ring. Angels hit a big dive off the top to the floor and another dive back in the ring, but Swann kicked out. Angels went up top again, but Swann caught him with a couple of kicks and a Frankensteiner that took Angels to the mat. Swann then finished Angels with a 450-Splash for the 1-2-3.

After the match, The Design attacked Sami and Swann. Sami rolled under the ring and got a baseball bat, but the numbers were too much, and the Design nailed both he and Swann with the bat, leaving them laying in the middle of the ring. The Design stood over their bodies as the crowd booed.


This was a good match. They didn’t give any hints as to who Swann and Sami will have as their partner during the 6-man tag team match tomorrow. If it was a PPV, I’d expect a big name to come in as a surprise. But for an Impact Plus special, I’m guessing it may be an existing roster member. Bhupinder Gujjar isn’t in a match yet, so maybe him? Or – and here’s a wild theory – Eric Young recently teased on the Twitter that something might be up with him (he wrote: “Time to work!!!! When the world hands you lemons…… we’ll you know the rest! See you all again real soon! BIG CHANGE COMING!!!”). Could this be what he meant?

Winner: Rich Swann

In the back, Gia Miller interviewed Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo. Purrazzo said that she is fine after her collision with Jordynne Grace during their tag team match the other week, and that, since they’re friends, she was giving Grace the benefit of the doubt that it was only accidental. Alisha Edwards barged in and theorized that Grace had done it on purpose and said Deonna would see Grace’s true colours in their title match tomorrow night.

In a backstage hallway, Masha Slamovich and Killer Kelly were engaging in a backstage brawl. They fought their way into the stadium kitchen and then spilled into another hallway where Masha choked Kelly out with an electrical cord. Masha had a crazed look on her eyes as Kelly lay there unconscious.


Match 5: Alisha Edwards (w/ Eddie Edwards) vs. Jordynne Grace

Grace shrugged off some strikes by Alisha, then picked her up and spun her around for a while before slamming her down face-first. Grace followed that up with a Grace Driver for the quick and definitive pin.

It took you longer to read that sentence than it took for Grace to get the win.

Winner: Jordynne Grace


Why, Dango, Why?

A pre-taped video aired where Dirty Dango explained some of his motivations for his new mean attitude. This was done in a “reality style” interview with quick cuts and lines.

Dango said that none of the wrestlers today have that killer and competitive edge anymore. He said that the roster today are more concerned about getting likes on social media than caring about getting real reactions from the live wrestling crowd. He said that if any of them were men, he’d be concerned about saying this, but they’re not, so he’s not. He said he’s a big star and people pay to see big stars.

He said that he attacked Santino because he was tired of Marella’s tired comedy shtick. As for what he thinks about Joe Hendry, Dango said that he just wants to beat him for the Digital Media Championship because it’s a toy title, and it would be funny to beat fan favourite Hendry for it.

This was different. But it’s hard to say if it was effective or not, because Dango doesn’t really have that big star presence / name or career history to give his criticisms about the younger talent the necessary gravitas. We’ll see where this goes.

A video package aired for tomorrow night’s Six-Pack Match to become the number one contender for the World Championship, with comments from all the competitors: Moose, Eddie Edwards, Jonathan Gresham, Alex Shelley, Yuya Uemara, and Frankie KAzarian.


Match 6: John Skyler (with Jason Hotch and Brian Myers) vs. Chris Bey (w/ Ace Austin)

Bey used his speed to take the early edge, but Skyler avoided a Flying attack to the floor and ran Bey’s face into the ring post. In the ring, Skyler took control by grounding Bey with a couple of power moves and a headlock. Skyler hit a nice Slingshot Spear that cut Bey in half, but Bey kicked out of the pin – that looked good. Bey fought back and after a lengthy series of the two switching positions to set the other up for a German Suplex, Hotch climbed up on the apron for some reason, only to get taken out by Austin. Bey then kicked Myers, who wasn’t even trying to interfere, en route to hitting the Art of Finesse on Skyler for the pin.


This was fine, hampered only because the Good Hands and Myers continue to exhibit no charisma and that was on full display here.

Winner: Chris Bey


Steve Maclin names his Under Siege challenger

World Champion Steve Maclin came to the ring, intending to announce who his new challenger will be tomorrow, since he believes his attack last week has incapacitated PCO. Maclin said that he killed PCO. But since Maclin is a “fighting champion” he will still defend the title against the most-deserving up-and-coming star in Impact: Champagne Singh.

Singh – who, of course, has been used by Maclin as a lackey lately – came to the ring accompanied by Shera. Singh was perfectly cheesy here, using the Cody Rhodes terminology of wanting to finish his story. The crowd hated Singh here, booing him out of the building, as he tried to start reading off of a lengthy handwritten list of people who helped him “earn” the number one contender spot. This was pretty funny, as the list unscrolled and it was longer than he is tall.

His speech was interrupted by the entrance of Impact President Scott D’Amore who came to the ring. Singh assumed it was to formally sign the contract, but instead D’Amore told him and Maclin that there would be no such match.

Maclin said that he knows D’Amore doesn’t want him as champion and pre-accused that D’Amore would stack the deck against him in order to ensure Maclin loses the title. D’Amore conceded that he doesn’t want Maclin as champion, but rather “the best damn wrestler in the world.” D’Amore said that to find out who that is, you have to compete with the very best. D’Amore said that Shera is far from that.

D’Amore said that he would be fine with Maclin as champion if Maclin stepped up and proved himself as the best by being a true fighting champion, taking on all deserving challengers.


Maclin brought up how D’Amore threw the title in his face at Rebellion when D’Amore had promised to hand it to him respectfully. D’Amore acknowledged that he did so but apologized afterwards.

Still, he said if Maclin remains champion after Under Siege, he would shake Maclin’s hand and present him with the title respectfully after the match. Maclin refused that offer, saying that it was too late.

Instead, he demanded that, when he wins at Under Siege, that D’Amore will have to strap the title around Maclin’s waist. D’Amore agreed to the terms.

Maclin then pointed out that D’Amore had not named PCO’s replacement yet. D’Amore confirmed that, saying that’s because there is no replacement, and that Maclin will indeed have to defend against PCO. Maclin questioned why D’Amore thought PCO would be able to make it to Under Siege. D’Amore said “because he made it here tonight.”

The lights went out and when they turned back on, PCO was in the ring. He attacked Shera and Singh and beat them, sending Maclin scrambling out of the ring. PCO snatched the title away from Maclin who screamed “I killed you!” with a disbelieving look on his face. PCO held up the belt in the corner as Maclin could only watch on from the apron as the show came to a close.

This was really effective and a strong ending to the build for Under Siege.

We’ll have a full recap of the event tomorrow night – so check back right here in 24 hours!


Impact Wrestling - May 25th, 2023

Cicero Stadium - Chicago, IL

By themselves, the great opening match and the strong closing segment would have made this one a really strong “go-home” show. Fortunately, the rest of the show delivered, too, with good moments throughout to hype up tomorrow’s Under Siege event.