Impact Wrestling just emerged from Emergence, and is now on the road to Victory Road. With little time to get there – the event takes place on September 7th – Thursday night’s episode had a lot to do in order to establish that card and build up the angles to get us there. That was a tall order, but with a packed show, they managed to do it.

At the top of the show, they showed highlights from this past weekend’s Emergence special event. If you missed our report (feel free to check it out now… we’ll wait), there were a few key moments – notably, the crowning of new Tag Team Champions in the Rascalz, and the return to action of Steve Maclin.


Match 1: Knockouts Battle Royal – to determine the Number One Contender for the Knockouts Championship

Participants in this one were: Masha Slamovich and Killer Kelly (the only two to get a TV introduction), Savannah Evans, Gisele Shaw, Alisha Edwards, Jessicka, Courtney Rush, Jody Threat, KiLynn King, and Vanna Black.

MK Ultra teammates Masha and Kelly joined forces to eliminate Black. They double-teamed Alisha as well and flattened her, leaving her for dead on the apron.

They tried to do the same to Evans, but she and her teammate Shaw – with some help from their fashion consultant Jai Vidal on the outside – shocked them and eliminated them both in rapid succession. Rush hit Shaw with a big Running Clotheseline, but her momentum actually took her over the top rope as well and they were both eliminated.

Evans and King picked up Jessicka to try to double-slam her over the top, but Threat made the save. Jessicka then tried to charge King, but King low-bridged the top rope and Jessicka got eliminated. King and Threat joined forces to eliminate Evans, leaving Threat and King in the middle of the ring.

They had a slugfest and exchanged big moves before getting tied up in the ropes trying to eliminate each other. As they jockeyed for position, Alisha Edwards ran in from behind and dumped over both of them. They showed video replay that showed that after she was dumped on the apron earlier, Alisha rolled back into the ring, then rolled out underneath the bottom rope – so was not eliminated – and then hid under the ring until she could pick her moment and steal the win.


This was fine for what it was. They seemed to plant the seed for a title feud between MK Ultra and the Shaw-ntourage (Shaw & Evans), and they continued to build the tension between King and Threat, who King suspects took out King’s partner Taylor Wilde a few weeks back. Alisha winning was a shock, but an underwhelming one, as she’s pretty much a low-carder and nobody would expect her to be any sort of threat to Trinity’s title reign.

Winner, and new Number One Contender for the Knockouts Championship: Alisha Edwards

They showed Steve Maclin’s return at Emergene where he saved Bully Ray from PCO and then attacked Josh Alexander, trying to destroy Josh’s injured arm. This led to Josh getting Speared by Moose who pinned him to give his team the win.

Backstage, Impact World Champion Alex Shelley was with Chris Sabin who was just starting to cut a promo on Lio Rush when Alexander walked in. He wanted to clear the air about losing the match for them at Emergence. He apologized for being distracted by Maclin and chasing him out, which ultimately led to him getting pinned. Alexander said that it was because he was obsessed with getting revenge on Maclin, who he had to surrender the World Title to because of injury, and how Maclin mocked Josh in front of Josh’s family at the time. He said he was also obsessed on getting back the World Title. This got the attention of Shelley, who inferred that Alexander felt he was only a transitional champion. He said for Alexander to get the Maclin situation out of the way and then he could come back to Shelley about maybe getting a title shot.

Alexander left, and Sabin tried to resume his promo, but then the new Tag Team Champions, the Rascalz, barged in. The four of them started jawing at one another, leading to Sabin challenging Wentz to a match later tonight.

In the back, Alisha celebrated her win with her husband, Eddie Edwards. They threw some shade at Frankie Kazarian and Traci Brooks, saying that they were the true power couple of Impact. Alisha then told Trinity that she was coming for her title.


Match 2: Crazzy Steve vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey

This is Steve’s first Impact match after his series of interviews with Tom Hannifan that culminated with the emergence of a new, darker, more tortured version of Steve. He came to the ring to some snew spooky music and lighting and wearing a new scary mask that looked like a cross between Leatherface and the burnt-up Fiend. That was pretty dang cool. Helping sell this was commentator Tom Hannifan’s reaction, selling his fear of Steve, as he was the one who was on the receiving end of Steve’s craziness at the end of the interview series.

Steve attacked Bailey at the bell with a ferocious new attitude. Bailey dodged the attack, but then Steve backed him into the corner and dug his fingers into Bailey’s eyes. The ref made the count, but Steve refused to let go of Bailey’s eyes, and the ref had no choice but to disqualify Steve. Steve shoved the referee down to the mat, and then pulled a fork from out of his boot, screaming that he wanted Bailey’s eyes. He went after Bailey, looking to gouge out his eyes, but the referee pulled Steve off of Bailey.


Steve then menaced the ref with the fork, until Black Taurus – Steve’s Decay partner – ran in and stopped Steve, questioning his actions. Steve sucker-punched Taurus, took him down, and then started gouging out Taurus’ eyes. A team of Security guards ran in, and he went after them, too, taking one of them down and gouging out his eyes, while insanely foaming at the mouth like a rabid animal. Steve finally released the guard and left the ring with his victims laying.

This was a great introduction to Steve’s new persona. Looks like they are going to put him up against Taurus first, which should be a fun little feud. This was very effective.

Winner, by disqualification: “Speedball” Mike Bailey

A pre-taped promo aired from Moose, Brian Myers, and Eddie Edwards. They trumpeted their wins at Emergence. There seemed to still be some tension between Edwards and Myers, though Moose tried to play peacemaker. They mentioned Bully Ray and said they had issues with trusting him. Speak of the devil – Bully Ray came in and asked Eddie to leave, as he doesn’t’ really have any friendship or other connection with him, and he wanted to talk with his friends Moose and Myers. When Edwards left, Moose and Myers raised their concerns to Bully Ray, saying that Emergence wasn’t the first time he had abandoned them during a match. Bully blamed everything on their problem with PCO, but they reminded him that it was only he who had the problem with PCO. They told him that he had betrayed too many friends and that’s why they have all given up on him. And they were doing the same. After they left, Bully heard PCO screaming his name from off-camera, presumably in search of him, so Bully skedaddled.

It was announced that Will Ospreay will be wrestling at Bound For Glory on October 21st, and again the next night at the TV tapings. And he will also be appearing for Impact during the company’s UK tour on October 27th at Turning Point, which will air on Impact Plus on November 3rd.

In the back, PCO had cornered Bully Ray, who pushed against a door to prevent PCO from coming iinto the room and destroying him. Bully pleaded with PCO, saying that things between them have gone too far. Bully called PCO Carl, saying that all the things he did – putting him on fire, etc. – wasn’t to kill Carl, but rather to kill the monster PCO who resides in him. He said he did it because he cares about Carl and was worried about what Carl sacrificed of himself in order for the longevity. Bully said that he wanted the man back. PCO appeared to calm down and reflect on this, and Bully was able to lock the door between them and slink away.


Match 3: Eric Young vs. Kon

Cody Deaner wasn’t at ringside with his Design devotee Kon because he was too injured after his No-DQ match against Young at Emergence.

Young isn’t the smallest dog in most fights, but he was here. Kon used his strength and power advantage to hurt Young with various stomps, kicks, and strikes. At one point, Kon easily heaved Young right over the top rope like he was throwing out the trash.

With the crowd solidly behind him, Young found some energy and dodged a running attack that sent Kon hard into the corner. Young hit some shots and even got the big man up and hit a Death Valley Driver, but Kon kicked out. Kon also wouldn’t stay down after a Flying Elbow Smash.


Kon escaped a Piledriver attempt and hit a Full Nelson Driver, but this time Young kicked out, and then sent Kon to the floor where he got hit by a Flying Dive by Young. Young then hit a Piledriver on the floor, but Kon was able to Terminator-crawl his way up and back into the ring. Knowing he was out of fight, Kon pulled himself up to his knees and demanded that Young finish him the right way. Young hit another Piledriver, this time in the middle of the ring, and got the 1-2-3.

This was good, though the ending was a bit confusing – were they trying to turn Kon babyface with that ending? Was he trying to again become a willing sacrifice for Young? Not sure where this one will go.

Winner: Eric Young

X-Division Champion Lio Rush (no relation to Courtney) cut a backstage promo on Chris Sabin, questioning why Sabin is facing Wentz tonight if he’s so fixated on Rush. Rush speculated that Sabin knows that he isn’t ready to face Rush. And even if he thinks he is, he isn’t. KUSHIDA came in with his big red X, which entitles him to an X-Division Title match. He said he was cashing it in for a shot at Victory Road.

A video reel aired announcing the return of Jordynne Grace, who comes back at Victory Road.

Backstage, Gia Miller interviewed Deonna Purrazzo who was not happy about losing to Trinity at Emergence. She said that despite losing, Purrazzo is still the face of the Knockouts Division. Purrazzo was angry that Jordynne Grace chose Emergence to announce her return, which took away from the fact that Emergence featured the first ever all-women Knockouts World Championship main event. Purrazzo said that the company has moved on from Grace. Purrazzo challenged Grace to a match at Victory Road, noting that Grace has never beaten her in one-on-one competition, and said she won’t do it that night either.


Match 4: Zachary Wentz (w/ Trey Miguel) vs. Chris Sabin (w/ Alex Shelley)

They had some good technical exchanges in the first half of the match, which was a different pace then one might expect from these two. Things picked up, though, when Wentz hurt Sabin’s arm and when Sabin went to the floor, Wentz hit a huge Flying Dive. Miguel looked to get involved, but Shelley stepped up to him and Miguel backed away.

Back in the ring, Wentz went after Sabin, grounding him with a tight submission lock. But Sabin wouldn’t quit, fighting back when he could with a surprise Dropkick and some other power moves, including a Corkscrew DDT for a two=count. They exchanged some more big moves – with a great sequence seeing Wentz hitting a Reverse Handspring Jumping Knee only to eat a huge Running Dropkick right in the mush.

Sabin locked on an STF, prompting Miguel to jump up onto the apron, brandishing a spraypaint can, only to get pulled down by Shelley. Sabin then took out both Rascalz with a Flying Dive. He threw Wentz back into the ring and hit him with a Missile Dropkick to the back of the head and a Cradle Shock to get the pin.

After the match, Miguel ran in and clocked Sabin before dragging Wentz out of the ring, and they headed to the back.

This was a good match. The crowd seemed pretty quiet during this one for much of it, other than the for the dives and high spots, but they did get into the ending when Shelley and Miguel also got involved. With Shelley as the World Champ and Sabin looking to go for the X-Division gold, it’s probably not a good idea to also have them in the Tag Team Title hunt, too. You don’t want them monopolizing all the title programs, because what does that leave the rest of the roster to do? But it looks like they could be heading that way.

Winner: Chris Sabin

They showed the replay from the Tag Team Championship match at Emergence which had people speculating that the Rascalz may have paid off the Good Hands to take out ABC (Chris Bey and Ace Austin) and distract the former champs Subculture to allow the Rascalz to win the titles.

Cut to a pre-taped promo by ABC who said it would be even sweeter to take the titles away from the Rascalz. They said the Rascalz were only renting the titles, and they would need to pay up soon. Like they paid off the Good Hands. Just like Beetlejuice or Joe Hendry, when you say their name, they appear. The Good Hands came in and a challenge was made.

In the back, Subculture went up to the Director of Authority Santino Marella and asked for their rematch for the Tag Team Championship. Santino said that he had already signed the Motor City Machine Guns to face the RAscalz for the titles at Victory Road (clearly he didn’t read my comments above). Enter Sami Callihan and Rich Swann. They also wanted a match against the Rascalz. Santino said he wouldn’t change the Victory Road match. But instead, he made a match between these two teams.

After they all left, Joe Hendry and Yuya Uemara (aka JoYa) came up to Santino and they wanted a title shot, too. Santino said that they would need to earn a title shot and that would take time. This last part seemed to exist only so Santino could say JoYa, which became a thing at Emergence.


Kenny King / Tommy Dreamer confrontation

Digital Media Champion Kenny King was in the ring with his lackey/hype-man Sheldon Jean. King called himself the DMC (Digital Media Champion) and cut a promo insulting Toronto, and also Johnny Swinger. He said that Johnny Swinger should have learned to never challenge him again. King said that he also beat up Tommy Dreamer to teach him a lesson. The lesson being that the only three letters that matter are DMC (the implication being that the three letters that don’t matter are the ones that people chant for Dreamer: ECW).

This brought Tommy Dreamer to the ring. He said that Swinger got a call just hours before his Emergence match, informing him that his father-in-law had passed away. But he did the match notwithstanding the tragic news. Dreamer said he came out to check on his friend, and that’s when Kenny attacked him. Which is fine, because Dreamer’s been beaten up before and always comes back.

Dreamer said that later that night, he took a call from Swinger who was heading home to be with his family. And as he did, he saw King and Jean in the bar partying while the main event was going on. Dreamer said that to not watch the main event is a big no-no in the business. He said that King used to show respect to veterans, people who paved the way for him to even be in the ring.

King said that he used to look up to Dreamer, and that he used to look to Dreamer for advice. But that King deserves that spot now, and Dreamer is just standing in his way. Dreamer said that King’s problem is that he always takes shortcuts and that he always settles. Dreamer said that he never settled, he always respected the veterans, and that he can still go today despite his age. He said that if Kenny wants his spot, he should try to knock him out of that spot.

King said that Dreamer has nothing that Kenny wants. Dreamer got emotional and said that in the span of three months, he lost his mother, he got diagnosed with skin cancer, and he lost his friend and mentor Terry Funk. Dreamer said that the wrestling fans are his support system – their love and the chance to wrestle for them is the thing that he wants the most. So he offered King the chance to take that away from him. He suggested a match where Kenny puts up his Digital Media Championship against Dreamer’s career. Dreamer said that he hopes King accepts the challenge, and left the ring.

There were some moments here where they both seemed to lose track of where they were going, but the ending hit home really well, thanks to Dreamer’s real emotions coming through.

A video highlight package aired on Awesome Kong, who returns at Impact 1000. This was short but awesome.

A pretaped promo from Gail Kim aired, where she said if Kong was coming back to wrestle at Impact 1000, she would too. She challenged all Impact Knockouts past and present to be a part of a 10-Knockouts Tag Team match at the show.

The match participants were announced earlier today on the Impact Press Pass, and the match currently stands as: Trinity, Jordynne Grace, Awesome Kong, Gail Kim, and a Mystery Partner (w/ Raisha Saeed) against Deonna Purrazzo, Gisele Shaw, Savannah Evans, Angelina Love, and a Mystery Partner (w/ Velvet Sky and Jai Vidal).

Up next was a pre-taped promo from Steve Maclin. He’s targeting Josh Alexander, and challenged Josh Alexander to a match at Victory Road. He said it would be Tag ‘em, Bag ‘em and Mayhem for Alexander.


Match 5: Moose, Brian Myers, and Eddie Edwards vs. Frankie Kazarian, Jake Something, and SANADA

The heels tried some stalling tactics early on, prompting Something to make them pay for that with a huge Flying Dive to the floor that took them all out.


They showed Dirty Dango and his stooge John E. Bravo in the back watching the match, as the show went to commercial.

Back from the ad break, the heels were in control, thanks to some dirty tactics by Moose that allowed them to isolate SANADA in the wrong part of town. SANADA fought back, hitting everyone with Dropkicks and then he locked up Eddie in a Paradise Lock submission and then driving Myers’ face into Eddie’s buttocks. Before he could tag out, though, more chicanery by Moose had SANADA back in trouble.

For several minutes, Moose, Myers, and Edwards took turns beating up SANADA, but he wouldn’t stay down. But SANADA clawed his way back to his own corner and tagged in a fresh Kazarian, who was a house on fire, going after Edwards with particular fury. Kaz hit Edwards with an Unprettier, but Edwards kicked out. Kaz’ steam only went out after he and Edwards collided hard in the ring with simultaneous Cross Body attempts.

Things really picked up after Kaz got the tag to Something, and we saw a number of big moves hit by everyone on everyone else, including a huge Powerbomb by Something on Moose – which was paid back in kind – a Shining Wizard by SANADA, a Roster Cut by Myers, and a Suplex by Edwards on Kazarian that saw both of them fall to the floor the hard way. With the ring cleared after that parade of finishers, Myers went for a Roster Cut on Something, but got caught and sent Into the Void (Spinning Bossman Slam) and pinned.


This was a good showcase for Something – who really needs a name change – but everyone else also got a chance to shine. The last few minutes of the match were quite exciting with lots of big moves. Seriously, change Something’s name to…well, something else (as opposed to Something Else), because with a little bit more character, this guy could be a legit singles main-eventer.

Winners: SANADA, Jake Something, and Frankie Kazarian



Impact Wrestling - August 31st, 2023

Rebel Entertainment Complex - Toronto, ON

This was a packed show, but it served its purpose – to build and hype the Victory Road card – very well.  That it included some very good matches, and really strong promos was icing on the cake. With only a week to go until the event, this was the right way to start the short journey.