MISSISSAUGA, ON — It is somewhat poetic that the last pay-per-view to be held under the Impact Wrestling banner is Final Resolution 2023. Just before Impact is set to begin its revival as TNA Wrestling (Cross the Line!), SLAMWrestling.net was on-site to witness the historic event.
A sold-out Don Kolov Arena at the Battle Arts Academy in Mississauga, Ontario, were greeted with an action-packed card featuring 11 matches. On the marquee was the dream tag team collision of Motor City Machine Guns facing off against the “Walking Weapon” Josh Alexander and NJPW’s Television Champion Zack Sabre Jr.
Before the show, fans had the opportunity to meet Impact Tag Team Champions ABC (Ace Austin & Chris Bey) as well as the “Virtuosa” Deonna Purrazzo. It was especially fitting to meet the Virtuosa, as this event was reported to be her final date with Impact Wrestling. The merch stands laid quite bare aside from the hot selling new “TNA, We’re F***ing Back t-shirts.” And if you weren’t feeling those, then you could treat yourself to a $40 Don West brown bag (Oh man, those were the days… RIP Don) or a $50 Final Resolution mystery bag with three random t-shirts.
Fans filled in quickly as the relatively tight-knit Don Kolov Arena was a majority general admission venue with just a few rows of guaranteed seats.
Opening the show were three pre-show matches, the first pitting PCO versus Jessie V. The Canadian, PCO, got the crowd hot behind him very strongly, as he bruised his way to a victory against Jessie V. In the second pre-show match, Jack Price faced off against Aiden Prince in a solid affair which saw Price pick up the W. And in the final pre-show match, Frankie Kazarian took on Sheldon Jean, where the veteran Kaz got the better of the younger Jean.
The Impact crew then got the main PPV running with a great opener featuring the Impact Tag Team Champions ABC defending their titles against Eddie Edwards and Brian Myers. It’s worth giving a round of applause to Alisha Edwards, who made the crowd heated while doing her little heckling manager role. She truly became public enemy #1 in the Don Kolov Arena. On a more scary note, her hubby Eddie Edwards had a bit of a rough ending to the match, as a miscalculated spot to the outside bleachers cut him up quite badly. Shortly after, ABC retained their belts but it was not without some extra battle scars, as the Rascalz came out to ambush them.
Back to villainess Alisha Edwards, she got on the mic to boycott the Final Resolution PPV, seeing as her boys just ate a loss. Director of Authority Santino Marella then had her face hometown favorite Jody Threat in an impromptu match, which Threat won. Following this was the Digital Media Championship match between Tommy Dreamer and Deaner, which saw the hardcore legend Dreamer retain his title.
Match seven of the night was expected to be Trey Miguel of the Rascalz against “Speedball” Mike Bailey, however, the fans were treated to another impromptu match. It became a tag team match (Teddy Long style, playa) as the Rascalz faced off against Bailey and a surprise partner, who was soon revealed to be Trent Seven. And this pleasant shocker gave fans in the Don Kolov Arena the opportunity to christen the duo, Speedball Mountain, which they chanted throughout the contest.
In a highly entertaining match, Bailey and the veteran Englishman Seven used their hard-hitting styles to overcome their Rascalz adversaries. Following the match, Impact President Scott D’Amore came to the ring to formally introduce and declare Trent Seven as the newest signing to the TNA Wrestling roster. Seven signed his new contract on the sweaty back of his tag partner Mike Bailey, guess you can call him Sweatball instead?
Match eight saw Jake Something face off against the cocky Jason Hotch. Hotch came to the ring proclaiming Something could not make it to the match as he suffered pre-match injuries courtesy of an attack, yet Jake showed up and came ready for a fight. The crowd was really behind Jake throughout the match, chanting away as he muscled through to victory.
The next match-up was the battle of two beefy brutes, seeing the “War Machine” Rhino against big, bad Moose. Right away, Moose wanted nothing to do with the War Machine, as he took the cowardly approach in the match to low-blow Rhino and hand himself the DQ loss. But the master of the gore was having none of it and called Moose back in the ring for a good old-fashioned street fight. Moose was like “Nah, I’m good” but he had to go back for battle as DOA Santino said his title match at Hard to Kill was as good as gone should he take another cheap way out.
As you can expect out of these two burly boys, they put on a wild street fight, which saw Moose go through a ladder and Rhino mistakenly handing a gore to the official in the match and ultimately costing himself the match as Moose was able to capitalize.
In the following match, it was another tag team contest but this time it was a Knockouts showcase, as Gisele Shaw and Deonna Purrazzo faced Jordynne Grace and the Impact Knockouts Champion Trinity. The Impact crew and personnel handed out glow sticks to the crowd just before Trinity made her way out to the ring. There was a hot crowd response to the match, as dueling chants of Virtuosa and Trinity rang wild. Nevertheless, Trinity and her Hard to Kill opponent Jordynne Grace picked up the win. Post-match, there was a bit of a shoving battle between frustrated teammates Shaw and Purrazzo. Deonna offered a handshake to break the tension, but Gisele had other plans to break her instead, as she attacked Purrazzo in the middle of the ring.
Seeing as the fans speculated this was Deonna’s final time with Impact Wrestling, they stood in applause as the Virtuosa departed the ring.
Finally, it was time for the concluding Impact Wrestling main event everyone in the Don Kolov Arena was waiting for. Motor City Machine Guns made up of Impact X-Division Champion, Chris Sabin and Impact World Champion, Alex Shelley, against the duo of mat technicians, Josh Alexander and Zack Sabre Jr.
Man, was the crowd loving themselves some Walking Weapon because I swear to you that is all they chanted throughout this match. Funny enough, it was Alexander himself who got the crowd going with some “Oh, Zack Sabre Jr.” chants. Great to see the mat magician ZSJ in an Impact ring to put his submission mastery on full display. The team of ZSJ and Walking Weapon beat the champion duo of MCMG, a very big win possibly hinting at Josh setting his sights on the future TNA World Championship. Match of the night in my opinion, narrowly beating out the Rascalz-Speedball Mountain affair, making it a fitting end to the Impact Wrestling era and a worthy main event for the Final Resolution PPV.
A video package aired on the entrance ramp hyping up a rematch between Will Ospreay and Josh Alexander for TNA Snake Eyes in Vegas in January. Following this, Josh got on the mic to send the crowd home happy as he spoke about the start of his Impact run beginning at the Don Kolov Arena and ending at the same venue. Then Coach Scott D’Amore came to the ring to call out the whole Impact Wrestling roster in celebration and appreciation, as they honored longtime ring announcer David Penzer in a very worthy sendoff.
D’Amore closed out the ring time with a blunt declaration that TNA Wrestling is “F***ING BACK!” as he dropped the mic to close Final Resolution for the crowd. And just like that, one chapter closes as Impact Wrestling is officially history, but TNA Wrestling has the chance to build on its already storied history with a new era. All in all, a great live experience and expecting nothing but big things from TNA Wrestling come 2024… hats off to ya Impact Wrestling, it was nice knowing ya!