As has been reported, Impact World Champion Alex Shelley was injured during the company’s recent UK tour. Fortunately, before he got hurt, he had a banger of a match against challenger Jonathan Gresham, which was the main event of Thursday night’s episode. If this match is any indication of what fans can expect from a Shelley title reign, then hopefully it will last a long time. Because the match was top-notch and one that is worth going out of your way to see. Overall, it was the capper of a pretty good episode that even a Brian Myers match couldn’t drag down.


Match 1: Tasha Steelz vs. Deonna Purrazzo

They started off with a handshake, and they showed a lot of respect throughout the early stages of the match, keeping things pretty scientific, with both women jockeying for position. The good-naturedness even was exhibited during their taunts, with Purrazzo returning a twerk taunt to Steelz, much to the crowd’s delight. But the friendly feelings would not last long. After exchanging submission attempts – with Purrazzo going for an Armbar and Steelz trying to beat Purrazzo with her own version of Purrazzo’s signature Venus De Milo – Steelz got visibly angry when Purrazzo locked on another Armbar and out of options, Steelz raked her eyes to force the break. Purrazzo got angry and shoved Steelz who, fully angered now, dropped Purrazzo with a Cutter, and then as soon as a groggy Purrazzo got to her feet, Steelz hit another one, and that was all she wrote.


Interesting to see Steelz get the definitive win here – this could mean the beginning of a push to her, potentially leading to a title match against Trinity down the road? Not sure where they are going with Purrazzo after a couple of big losses recently.

Winner: Tasha Steelz

Impact World Champion Alex Shelley cut a backstage promo, basically acknowledging the skills of his challenger tonight, Jonathan Gresham.

The Tag Team Champions, Ace Austin and Chris Bey were backstage celebrating still being champs after Bound For Glory when they beat the Rascalz. Director of Authority Santino Marella came up to them, but they were interrupted by Kenny King and Sheldon Jean who trash-talked the Bullet Club. Santino booked the two teams in a title match for next week.


Match 2: Tommy Dreamer (c) vs. Crazzy Steve – for the Digital Media Championship

The match started off physical, spilling to the floor within seconds, and with both men hitting hard shots on each other when the action got back into the ring. At one point, Tommy was going for corner punches, but Steve bit Tommy’s thigh to escape. Steve went on the attack, wrenching Tommy’s neck and trying to tear apart Tommy’s face. Dreamer caught Steve going up top and hit a Superplex to turn the tide. Dreamer was firmly in control, but then Steve dug his fingers into Tommy’s eyes to blind him and then strike when Tommy wasn’t able to see. Steve went under the ring and got a fork, with which he tried to stab Tommy in the eye. But Dreamer blocked the attempt and after hitting a Cutter on Steve, Dreamer picked up the fork and drove it into Steve’s face. The referee had no choice but to disqualify Dreamer after that, and called an end to the match. Afterwards, Dreamer picked up a bloodied Steve and pressed the fork into his head some more. The ref pulled Dreamer off of Steve who maniacally laughed his way back up the ramp.


Remember when TNA had that rule that a title could change hand on a disqualification that led to Abyss winning the title over Sting that one time? Good thing they scrapped that rule. Look for this feud to continue and eventually end in a Monster’s Ball match or Full Metal Mayhem. Should be a fun ride.

Winner by disqualification: Crazzy Steve

Still Digital Media Champion: Tommy Dreamer

In the back, Gia Miller interviewed Jonathan Gresham, who said he would beat Alex Shelley for the World Championship tonight.


Match 3: Brian Myers vs. Joe Hendry

Before the match, Joe took the mic and touted the rebranding. Not of the company name to TNA. Rather, he said that Myers will no longer be referred to as “Edge’s b****”, referring to the parody song that he wrote about Myers some time back. Instead, he will be referred to as “Adam’s b****”, reflecting Edge’s real name Adam Copeland, which he is now going by in AEW.


As much as I believe in Joe Hendry, life’s too short to watch a Brian Myers match. From the fast-forward view, Myers was in control for a bit, then Joe came back, including holding up Myers for a very long time in a nice delayed Vertical Suplex. Myers drove Hendry into the ring post to regain control, but Joe came back, hitting a trio of Fallaway Slams – but Myers kicked out. The match went back and forth, until Myers used the referee as a shield and poked Joe in the eyes. He hit a blinded Joe with a Roster Cut and got the dirty 1-2-3.

This was lengthy and felt longer because it was a Brian Myers match, even on fast-forward. Not sure where they are going with either one, but if the trajectory is Myers is going up and Hendry is going down, they got it wrong.

Winner: Brian Myers

They showed Eddie Edwards and Alisha Edwards walking up the stairs from the bowels of the building.

A video package aired for Will Ospreay. They will meet next week.

Backstage, Gia Miller interviewed Ospreay who put over Josh Alexander, but said that Josh wasn’t as good as he is.


Match 3: Eddie Edwards (w/ Alisha Edwards) vs. Eric Young

This was a pretty physical affair with both men hitting each other with hard shots. Young would get some momentum, but then distractions by Alisha on the outside would let Eddie capitalize and take over, hitting some ground-and-pound or otherwise punishing EY. Young dodged out of the way of a Moonsault attempt, and that opened the door for him to take over, hitting some big Clotheslines and a Power Slam. Young went up top and hit an Elbow Drop despite Alisha’s attempt at interference, but Eddie kicked out.

Alisha distracted Young again as he tried for a Piledriver, and Eddie struck, hitting a Blue Thunder Bomb, but this time Young kicked out. Alisha slid a chair in for Eddie to use, but the ref took it away. As the ref disposed of the chair, Eddie grabbed Young and set him up for a Singapore Cane attack by Alisha. But Eric ducked it and Alisha smashed Eddie with the weapon. Young then hit a dazed Eddie with the Piledriver and it was all over but the counting.


This was fine. The commentators stressed in this one that Eric Young – a TNA original – is looking to be the franchise player for the new TNA. Eddie seems to be treading water lately – perhaps he could benefit from some time away or something else to freshen up his character?

Winner: Eric Young

In the back, Moose congratulated Brian Myers on his win, but Myers wasn’t thrilled that Moose wasn’t out there to have his back. Even though he won the match. Myers sucks. Anyway, Moose implied that he wasn’t thrilled that Myers teamed up with Matt Cardona during the Call Your Shot Gauntlet match at Bound For Glory, but Myers said that he is the one who should worry about Moose’s loyalty as a partner, since Moose has a the Feast or Fired briefcase that guarantees him a World Title shot. As they argued, Heath walked in and challenged Brian Myers. Moose got into Heath’s face, and he challenged Heath instead. As Heath left, Moose turned to Myers and asked “How’s that for loyalty?”

Backstage, Gia Miller interviewed Sonny Kiss who made her debut at Bound For Glory. Kiss said she was disappointed that she didn’t win the Call Your Shot Gauntlet match to earn a Knockouts Title match. The champion, Trinity, walked in and was happy and excited to see Kiss. She said she would be happy to offer Kiss a title shot next week.


Match 4: Dirty Dango and Oleg Prudius (w/ John E. Bravo) vs. Nick Diamond and Storm Grayson

Oleg is the former WWE superstar Vladimir Kozlov, and the commentators noted this was his first match in 12 years. At the bell, Dango left the ring to join the commentary team. This left Oleg alone, but that wasn’t a problem. Because he basically beat the tar out of both the hapless jobbers, throwing them around like they were nothing and hitting them with power shots left, right, and centre. After about a minute, Dango went back to the ring, tagged in, and hit one of the jobbers with a Reverse DDT for the squash win.

This was a squash match, the point of which was to showcase Prudius as a brutal force. Mission accomplished.

Winners: Dirty Dango and Oleg Prudius

Jordynne Grace was cutting a promo celebrating her winning the Call Your Shot Gauntlet trophy, thereby earning a shot at any title of her choosing. Bully Ray walked in with an intimidating air about him, but instead of saying or doing anything threatening, he complimented the trophy and extended his hand to Jordynne. Before she could respond, KiLynn King walked in. She said that Grace’s win was pure luck. King said that if any Knockout was going to go up against Bully Ray, it should be her, one of Bully’s trainees. Bully told King to back it down a notch, and they had words. King asked Bully what was wrong with him, and Steve Maclin walked in and said that Bully was soft. He and Bully exchanged seething words, and Maclin repeated that Bully was soft before leaving. King asked Bully what was going on with him and then followed Maclin.

Somewhere in the back, the Rascalz – Wentz and Trey Miguel – introduced the world to the newest member of the group, Myron Reed. They will debut as a trio next week.


Match 5: Alex Shelley (c) vs. Jonathan Gresham – for the Impact World Championship

Shelley didn’t trust Gresham’s handshake attempt to start the match, since he knew that Gresham hasn’t been wrestling a “Pure” style with Honor as of late. He was right not to, as Gresham tried for a cheap shot after backing Shelley into the corner. So that’s the way it’s going to be, eh, Gresham?

After losing a chop battle, Gresham fooled both Shelley and the referee by pretending to prepare for another chop by unwinding his wrist tape and tearing it off. He threw the tape to the mat, and as the ref threw it out of the ring, Gresham feigned a chop to Shelley, but instead, tweaked him in the little Shelley.


That was dirty, but clever AF as the kids say. Gresham then used the unspooled wrist tape to choke out Shelley, hiding it from the ref. After that, he claimed to be stuck and would not release a Figure Four Leglock, even though Shelley had grabbed the ropes.

From there, Grehsam continued to take cheap shot after cheap shot on Shelley, keeping the champ in pain by targeting Shelley’s knee that had felt the brunt of the Figure Four earlier on. Shelley finally got some revenge by wrenching Gresham’s arm hard, and adding punishment to it by sending Gresham arm-first into the ring post.

With both men hurting, they both pulled out all the stops to try to get the win. Gresham kept trying to hit Shelley’s leg, while the champion tried to use his speed and dexterity to avoid Gresham and hit-and-move. At one point, Shelley locked on the Motor City Stretch, and a desperate Gresham literally used the referee as a lifeline, pulling on him to crawl his way to the rope to break the hold.

The pace accelerated here, with both men trying for quick rollups when not trying to hit a big move on their opponent’s injured body part in hopes to subdue them from the pain. After a slugfest in the middle of the ring, Shelley went for a Springboard move, but his leg buckled, and that allowed Gresham to hit some big moves, including a Flying Dive.

A dizzying-quick frenzy of pinfall attempts followed, electrifying the crowd who broke out the “This is awesome!” chants.

After another flurrious exchange, Shelley blocked another Figure Four attempt, then hit a Superkick and Shell-Shock to knock Gresham down and out for the 1-2-3.

This was really, really good, and could easily have been a PPV match as opposed to a TV main event. Gresham was great playing the heel, and as good as he was as a babyface against “Speedball” Mike Bailey  in their series of matches, this new-found dynamic suits him perfectly. This might have been Shelley’s best match as champion, too.

Winner, and still Impact World Champion: Alex Shelley



Impact Wrestling - November 9th, 2023

Cicero Stadium - Chicago, IL

The main event between Shelley and Gresham was really good, and worth seeking out. Everything else on the episode was pretty solid, even though some of the booking decisions might have been surprising, if not questionable. With Final Resolution not taking place until December, and Hard to Kill being a bigger focus as it will launch the rebrand to TNA, there are lots of weeks to fill as they start to build those events. In the meantime, episodes like this are always welcome ways to fill the time.