Impact Wrestling Date: February 23, 2023 Location: Osceola Heritage Park, Orlando, Florida Commentators: Matthew Rehwoldt, Tom Hannifan
It’s the go home show for No Surrender and the card is set up. There is one thing though that we need to cover, which involves who gets to talk first in a live edition of Busted Open Radio. Therefore, we have a Beat The Clock Challenge between Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer. Let’s get to it. A Bending Machine
Motor City Machine Guns vs. Jonathan Gresham/Mike Bailey
Non-title and Gresham takes Shelley down by the leg to start. Bailey comes in and kicks away at said leg, with Gresham and Bailey taking turns on it. Shelley manages to knock Bailey outside though and it’s the Guns taking over for a change. Back in and the limping Shelley strikes away at Bailey, who comes right back with the bouncing kicks to Sabin.
Gresham and Sabin slug it out until Gresham does one of those stupid looking deals where he sends the Guns together and kicks Sabin, making him dragon screw legwhip Shelley. The Guns are back up with a Death Valley Driver/neckbreaker combination, followed by a Magic Killer for two on Gresham. Gresham suplexes Sabin and brings Bailey back in for the kicks, plus an Indian Deathlock to Shelley.
With that broken up, Shelley escapes Skull And Bones, leaving Gresham to Figure Four Shelley. That’s broken up as well and the Guns are sent outside for the double dive. Back in and Gresham gets the Figure Four again, with Bailey hitting the moonsault knees to Sabin. Bailey gets knocked down though and Sabin powerbombs him onto Gresham for the save. Gresham hits Bailey by mistake and the Guns strike away (gee Shelley’s knee healed up fast), setting up the Dirt Bomb for the pin on Gresham at 12:56.
Rating: B. This was the fast paced and all action match, though Bailey’s horrendous selling issues were spreading around here. The Guns did their thing and won as they should have, with Gresham and Bailey continuing to have their issues. It was the kind of fast paced match that you should open a show with, but my goodness sell the leg already.
Video on Rich Swann vs. Josh Alexander, with Swann wanting to get back to the top of the mountain. Alexander isn’t so sure, but does want Swann to get a title shot.
We look at Gisele Shaw and Jai Vidal getting chilied by Deonna Purrazzo on Before The Impact.
Deonna Purrazzo mocks Gisele Shaw for being bad luck and promises to break her arm at No Surrender. B****.
Beat The Clock Challenge: Tommy Dreamer vs. Jason Hotch
John Skyler is here with Hotch and promises that Dreamer is going down to one good hand. Dreamer misses a charge into the corner to start and a neckbreaker gives Hotch two. Hotch goes up top but gets caught in a super Death Valley Driver for the pin at 1:15. Well that was quick.
Joe Hendry had a meet and greet earlier today and the fans are behind him against Moose at No Surrender.
Taya Valkyrie vs. Allysin Kay
Jessika, Rosemary and Marti Belle are here too. They fight into the corner to start with Valkyrie getting the better of things and grabbing something like a reverse Koji Clutch on the mat. With that broken up, Valkyrie hits a spear for two as Kay can’t get much going so far. Kay gets kicked down in the corner to set up the running knees for two.
We take a break and come back with Kay whipping Valkyrie into the corner for a change, only to miss a charge. Valkyrie hits her hip attack, earning herself one heck of a right hand. A not so great blue Thunder Bomb gives Valkyrie two and we hit something like an STF. The rope gets Kay out of trouble and she reverses a sunset flip into a sunset driver for two. Belle offers a distraction so Kay can nail a kick to the head. With Rosemary dealing with Belle, the AK47 finishes Valkyrie at 10:34.
Rating: C. It’s good to give Kay, who is already a former Knockouts Champion, a reheating as she hasn’t been around in a long time. You need to have her built back up to make the Hex a reasonable threat to the Death Dollz and they made that work here. Valkyrie was working here and dominated most of the match too, making Kay look better in the process.
Santino Marella emcees a contract signing between Josh Alexander and Rich Swann. Alexander says Swann doesn’t have it in him, sending Swann into a speech about how he was hurt before but came back through all of his injuries. He’ll win the title tomorrow, but here is Steve Maclin to say he’s getting it anyway. Referees break up the ensuing fight.
Deaner/Callihan vs.Yuya Uemura/Frankie Kazarian
The rest of the Design is here too. Deaner has Callihan start with Kazarian and tells him to do the right thing. Callihan decks Kazarian to start so now Deaner is willing to fight for himself. Kazarian strikes his way out of trouble and brings Uemura in for an armbar. Callihan comes back in and Deaner gets in a cheap shot from the apron to take over. With the chinlock broken up, Kon pulls Kazarian off the apron to prevent the tag but Deaner misses a Swan Dive.
That’s enough for the tag to Kazarian as the pace picks way up. The springboard spinning legdrop hits Deaner but Callihan is back in with a suplex. Kazarian rolls between them and brings Uemura back in as everything breaks down. With Deaner down in the corner, Callihan tags himself back in and sends Uemura outside. A spinebuster drops Kazarian but Deaner tells Callihan to stop the Cactus Driver. The distraction lets Kazarian grab the chickenwing for the win at 9:43.
Rating: C+. Fast paced match here but egads the Callihan/Design stuff is falling flat. It feels like something we have seen so many times and there is no reason to care about whatever they do. Callihan still feels like something of a star, but the Design is as much of a dollar store version of the evil cult as you can get. Just get on with Callihan turning on them and move on already.
Video on Mickie James defending against Masha Slamovich at No Surrender, with Jordynne Grace looming over the whole thing.
Callihan wants to know how that was Deaner’s step #5, with Deaner saying it was about loyalty. Callihan is still in this, and tomorrow night, he can prove himself at No Surrender. Just remember: the Design chooses him, not the other way around.
Beat The Clock Challenge: Bully Ray Vs.Bhupinder Gujjar
The clock is set at 1:15 and Ray hasn’t even bothered to put his knee pads on properly. The Good Hands immediately come in for a distraction so Ray can hit Gujjar with a chain for the pin at 30 seconds to win the challenge. I’ll take something short from Ray and Dreamer as this sets up the two of them talking at No Surrender.
Post break Tommy Dreamer gives Gujjar a pep talk.
Here’s what’s coming on various shows.
X-Division Title: Trey Miguel vs. Crazzy Steve
Steve, with Black Taurus, is challenging in Monster’s Ball and they’ve both been held without food, water or light for twenty four hours. There are weapons at ringside because we need to ramp up the violence. Steve chops away to start and takes him to the floor for the hard right hands.
We take a break less than a minute in (as that has now swept through wrestling) and come back with Steve being sent face first into some chairs on the floor. A big chair shot only hits post though and Steve sends him into the chairs instead. Back in and Miguel hits a fast running dropkick to take over again, meaning it’s time for a chain. More weapons are thrown in but Steve staple guns Miguel low for a breather. Steve Cannonballs into Miguel, in a trashcan, in the corner as we take another break.
Back again with Miguel grabbing a swinging neckbreaker for a breather of his own. A fork (yes a fork) to Steve’s face is blocked but Steve is busted open anyway. It’s time for the bag of tacks (of course) but Steve blocks the Lightning Spiral. The Black Hole Slam onto the tacks gets two on Miguel, with Steve pulling him up at two. That takes too long though and Miguel kicks away, setting up a stomp to the back to send Steve into the tacks.
It’s table time (because of course) but instead a double clothesline puts them both into the tacks again. With nothing else working, Miguel pulls out a metal spike, only for Steve to pull out Janice (a 2×4 with nails sticking out). With Miguel terrified, Steve Death Valley Drivers him through the table in the corner for two.
Steve gets caught on top though and a chair to the head puts him in more trouble. A quick Canadian Destroyer onto the tacks rocks Miguel again though and a delayed cover gets two. Janice to the forehead busts Miguel open even more but he gets in a low blow. A Roll of the Dice through a barbed wire table (with Miguel hitting back first) knocks Steve silly and retains the title at 22:31.
Rating: B. Your taste in hardcore/violent wrestling is going to determine everything here. There wasn’t much of anything new here but they did beat each other up and it felt like the big finish to the feud. Miguel gets to prove he can go in a different direction and looks stronger as champion as a result. The ending left a good bit to be desired, but they had a very violent match on the way there.
Results Motor City Machine Guns b. Jonathan Gresham/Mike Bailey – Dirt Bomb to Gresham Tommy Dreamer b. Jason Hotch – Super Death Valley Driver Allysin Kay b. Taya Valkyrie – AK47 Frankie Kazarian/Yuya Uemura b. Callihan/Deaner – Chickenwing to Callihan Bully Ray b. Bhupinder Gujjar – Right hand with a chain Trey Miguel b. Crazy Steve – Roll of the Dice through a barbed wire table