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9/23 Impact Wrestling TV Results: Moore’s review of Josh Alexander’s promo following his Option C announcement, Hikuleo vs. David Finlay, Rohit Raju vs. Chelsea Green, the latest appearance of Mickie James, Bound For Glory build begins

By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)

Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios

Aired September 23, 2021 on AXS TV

Highlights from Victory Road aired. The teaser focused on Josh Alexander’s intent to cash in his X Division Championship, via Austin Aries’s “Option C”, for a future World Title shot…

Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown were on commentary. Dave Penzer was the ring announcer…

Scott D’Amore’s entrance music opened up the show with D’Amore already in the ring. D’Amore talked about Josh Alexander confronting Christian Cage at the end of Victory Road and uttered two of the most powerful words in our sport “Option C” (wait what?). An “Option C” chant ensued. D’Amore said this automatically makes Josh Alexander the number one contender for the world championship at Bound For Glory.

John’s Thoughts: I’m not the biggest fan of this approach as it denigrates the X Title as inferior to the World Title, when I thought Josh Alexander’s mission statement was to elevate the X Title to world title status. That’s one reason I wasn’t the biggest fan of Option C ever, which comes off as Impact copying WWE’s Money in the Bank concept (which every wrestling company has done in some form since MITB became a thing). Can’t Alexander just wrestle a number one contenders match like everyone else, or we get a title vs. title match?

Josh Alexander made his entrance. Scott D’Amore told Alexander that he’ll have to relinquish the title in order to get the Bound for Glory title shot. D’Amore also said they were going to start a tournament next week to crown a new champion if Alexander gives up the title. Alexander got the mic and said that the X Division title and X Division “almost” means everything to him. He said it’s “almost” for a reason. He said 6 years ago he had regrets and was in a hospital bed recovering from a potentially career-ending neck injury.

Alexander said he’s not a man who sticks with regrets and feels that he can be more than X Division champion, but rather be the face of the company. Alexander said he needs the Impact World Championship to be the face of the company. Alexander was cut off by Christian Cage making his entrance. Christian said he hears what Josh is saying and he respects Josh. Christian said he understands that Josh “almost” lost his career, but Christian “DID” lose his career for 7 years. Christian talked about how he returned from retirement, scratched and clawed, and became Impact World Champion.

Christian said he’s not laying down for anybody and is going to defend this title. Christian said that if Alexander turns his title in now, there’s a chance he can end up with nothing. Christian said that Alexander is the face of the X Division now, and definitely after BFG there is no chance that Alexander is the face of Impact. Christian said that sadly Josh will be a face in the crowd if he makes that decision. Josh said all Christian did was make his decision easier. Alexander handed the title to D’Amore and then faced off with Christian.

Ace Austin and Madman Fulton made their entrance. Ace noted that he came “this close” to beating Christian and becoming the youngest world champion in Impact. Ace said staying quiet is not his style and he’s not done with Christian. Ace said that Josh Alexander is obsessed with him. Ace said he was obsessed with Ace both when Ace was X Champion and when Ace started going for the world title. Ace said that Josh is trying to call himself the greatest X Division champion of all time, but is now giving the title up. Ace said that he didn’t think that Josh was a quitter.

Ace said he’d never give up the title. Josh Alexander cut off Ace and said that Ace would have never got the opportunity to cash in the title because Josh was the one who took the title from Ace. A brawl ensued. Josh was taken down by Ace. Christian was about to hit Fulton with the Killswitch, but Ace hit Christian with the extendable staff to leave him lying…

John’s Thoughts: As much as I don’t like the concept of Option C, that was a solid segment to set up Christian vs. Josh Alexander for Bound For Glory given the usage of Option C. I liked that Ace Austin got to shine a bit with the world title wrestlers, though I can sadly see him as the punching bag for Josh and Christian heading into BFG. If anything, I hope Ace wins the X Division Title to start a strong run for him.

Gia Miller interviewed Willie Mack and Rich Swann about a big announcement they have. Swann brought up Alexander cashing in Option C. Willie Mack said he was putting his name in the hat for the X Division Championship tournament. Rich Swann said he was putting his name in the hat for the “Call Your Shot” battle royale to start his journey back towards the World Title. Brian Myers, Sam Beale, Zicky Dice, and Manny Lemons showed up. Myers said Swann and Mack seemed unfocused, going for different things.

Myers said he was also declaring his entry into the Call Your Shot Battle Royal. Beale thought Myers would team with him for the tag titles. Myers said he would go after the world title. Swann challenged Myers and one of his lackeys vs. Swann and Mack. Zicky Dice stepped up, but Myers said he was off to find someone else…[c]

Scott D’Amore, Josh Alexander, and “Dr” Ross Forman were checking on Christian. Ross said that Christian was not cleared to wrestle due to an eye injyry. D’Amore said Christian can get revenge on whoever he wants after getting cleared. D’Amore then booked Ace Austin vs. Josh Alexander as the main event of the show…

Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown checked in and ran through upcoming segments on this week’s show…

Hikuleo and Chris Bey made their entrance to the OG Bullet Club theme…

1. Hikuleo (w/Chris Bey) vs. Dave Finlay (w/Juice Robinson). Hikuleo pressured Finlay to the ropes early on and Finlay got the rope break. Hikuleo hip tossed Finlay, no selling a waist hold. Finlay tried to go after Hikuleo’s legs before Hikuleo ended up slowing down the pace with methodical offense. Hikuleo caught a flying Finlay and hit him with a Body Slam. Finlay came at Hikuleo a few times but couldn’t get him off his feet. Hikuleo hid behind the referee and used that to give Finlay a lariat heading into commercial.[c]

Hikuleo gave Finlay a walking power slam. Hikuleo worked on Finlay with methodical offense. Finlay got a moment of respite after hitting Hikuleo with a neckbreaker. Finlay hit Hikuleo with a crossbody. Finlay put Hikuleo in a sleeper. Hikuleo broke the hold with a hip toss. Hikuleo turned Finlay inside out with a lariat for a two count. Finlay reversed a chokeslam with a Stundog Millionaire. Robinson took down Bey at ringside by tossing him into the guardrail after Bey tried to distract the referee. Finlay picked up the pinfall win on Hikuleo after a backslide.

Dave Finlay defeated Hikuleo via pinfall in 7:42 of on-air time.

Hikuleo attacked Finlay after the loss. Robinson ran in to save Finlay, but Chris Bey ran in to give control back to the heels. Finlay sidestepped Hikuleo and dumped him to ringside. Robinson hit Bey with a Cannonball. FinnJuice went for a Doomsday Device but El Phantasmo ran out and shoved Finlay off the top rope. The Bullet Club guys left FinJuice lying. Striker noted that Phantasmo kicked Finlay with a loaded boot…

John’s Thoughts: Odd booking of the big man’s singles debut on Impact television. Clean loss. This also feels like a weird New Japan feud that US viewers are late to the party on. So far, they don’t have me intrigued. Bey still feels like he’s just the lame kid trying to hang out with the cool kids (and the Bullet Club aren’t even that “cool” in 2021). When Jay White was around for a bit things felt big, but I feel like his replacement Hikuleo is a huge downgrade. That said, El Phantasmo is really good and I’m looking forward to more of him in Impact. Hopefully they give him mic time to get his character over just like they did for Jay White during White’s short stint in Impact.

Eric Young, Deaner, and Joe Doering were in their dark room backstage. Young talked about how VBD’s attack on Rhino could be seen as them getting rid of Rhino, but he sees it as a lesson, as a way that Rhino can repent and become better. Young said that Rhino can’t just walk away and quit. Young said Rhino needs to do the right thing and think about why VBD attacked him. Young said they need an answer next week…

Gia Miller interviewed Matt Cardona and Chelsea Green about Cardona beating Raju at Victory Road and Green wrestling Raju tonight. Cardona said he’s a man of his word and that he beat Raju at Victory Road and injured Mahabali Shera. Cardona said he’s done. Green said she isn’t done. She said she may have been out for a few weeks but she’s back and here for retribution…[c]

Su Yung, Kimber Lee, and Brandi Lauren were backstage acting like weirdo zombie women. Lauren handed Yung a plastic belt. The segment ended with Lee and Lauren laughing while Yung was convulsing…

Rohit Raju made his entrance. Striker noted that Mahabali Shera was out with an injury. Chelsea Green and Matt Cardona came out next. Green’s theme sounds like it was sung by Downstait. Green is still sporting a hand brace…

John’s Thoughts: I’m assuming Green has a Downstait theme via Matt Cardona, who came from that era of WWE where Downstait was WWE’s main composers (around the 2000s). Downstait continue to do themes for wrestlers from that era. You may remember them for hits such as “I Came to Play” for Miz, or “I’m here to show the World” for Dolph Ziggler.

2. Rohit Raju vs. Chelsea Green (w/Matt Cardona) in an intergender match. Raju toyed with Green to start the match. Green came back with mocking slaps. Green took down Raju with a enzuigiri and a PK. Raju took down Green with a shoulder tackle after running the ropes. Raju took down Green with a lariat. Raju hit Green with a snap suplex for a two count. Green recovered and hit Raju with a series of Thesz Presses. Green planted Raju with a Snap German Suplex for a two count.

Raju suplexed Green to the mat. Green rolled up Raju for a two count. Green hit Raju with a spinning knee. Raju rolled up Green and tried to get his feets on the rope, but Cardona pushed the feet down. Green went for the Killswitch, but Raju blocked it. Suddenly, Raj Singh, the son of Gama Singh, ran out and tossed Cardona into the ringpost. The distraction allowed Raju to pick up the win with a Small Package.

Rohit Raju defeated Chelsea Green via pinfall in 4:05.

Green went to check on Cardona at ringside…

A replay aired of W Morrissey giving Alisha Edwards a power bomb at Victory Road. Matt Striker used his somber voice to recap the segment…

Eddie Edwards cut a promo backstage calling out Moose and W Morrissey for attacking his wife. Sami Callihan showed up to calm down Eddie. Eddie pointed out that Sami’s done worse to Alisha. Sami said he did, but Eddie made Sami pay. Sami said Eddie can sit and bitch about things or he and Eddie can make “them” pay…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Does this mean that Matt Cardona is not done with Raju now? My guess is that they brought back Raj Singh to be the replacement for Mahabali Shera who’s out with an injury. I’m willing to see where this goes. Last time they were a team they were comedy goofballs with Gama Singh. Hopefully Raju continues to be credible and not revert to his old goofball self.

Eddie Edwards and Moose started to brawl backstage. Eddie got the advantage after Sami Callihan and his bat showed up. Eddie and Sami left Moose lying with the kendo stick and bat. Sami and Eddie then left to find W Morrissey…

Willie Mack and Rich Swann danced to the ring. Swann was doing most of the dancing as usual. Brian Myers made his entrance with his goons. His “students” are now called “The Learning Tree”. Myers said Swann expected Myers to team with a current member of The Learn Tree, but they are too green. Myers introduced VSK as his tag partner…

3. Rich Swann and Willie Mack vs. Brian Myers (w/Sam Beale, Zicky Dice, Manny Lemons) and VSK. VSK managed to nail Swann with a dropkick early on. Swann came back with his own dropkick after trading counters with VSK. Mack tagged in and hit VSK with an assisted Flapjack. Myers tagged in. Mack hit Myers with an armdrag and shoulder block. Mack got a two count. D’Lo Brown noted that the West Coast-California style that Mack uses combine power with Lucha Libre. VSK tagged in and took Mack to the mat. Myers and VSK cut the ring in half on Mack with quick tags.

Swann tagged in, but took a DDT from VSK. VSK went high risk and dove into Swann’s superkick. Swann fended off Dice and Lemons. Beale tried to distract Swann, but Swann hit VSK with a diving DDT for the victory.

Rich Swann and Willie Mack defeated VSK and Brian Myers via pinfall in 5:12.

The camera focused on Myers looking frustrated after the match…

John’s Thoughts: Good win for Mack and Swann who could use a little bit of heating up. VSK has a lot of potential and I hope he gets a push one of these days. He’s someone who is a character-adjustment away from being a star. What does baffle me a bit is Zicky Dice bring brought in to Impact as a generic “extra” as a part of The Learning Tree. Dice is someone who showed a lot of personality in the NWA and his current role seems below him. I think that they should scrap Swinger’s Palace and turn Swinger and Zicky into an out-of-touch old-man tag team.

Speaking of Swinger’s Palace, they cut to this week’s Swinger’s Palace segment. Swinger was worried about Las Vegas closing down his illegal casino when they all go to Vegas for BFG. Swinger made John E Bravo write a letter to “D’Amore Daddy”. Swinger noted that D’Amore acquired the company from “Bob Carter’s Daughter” and that they should not move Impact to Vegas. Swinger invited D’Amore to Swinger’s Palace. Swinger signed the note as JJ Dillon…

Matt Striker hyped up Mickie James appearing after the break…[c]

Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson were sitting down in a room surrounded by Good Brothers merchandise. They talked about being on vacation after beating all the tag teams in Impact and AEW. Gallows pimped out Impact’s YouTube subscription as a way to watch more Good Brothers segments…

A Good Brothers hype video package aired…

Mickie James made her entrance to her Hardcore Country theme. Mickie thanked the crowd for the ovation. She said it is good to be back in the land of Hardcore Country. She said she wasn’t here for herself, but here to highlight the Knockouts Division and Deonna Purrazzo. She said a lot has changed since Empowerrr because Deonna has been disrespectful since then. Mickie asked Deonna to come out to confront her.

Deonna Purrazzo made her entrance with the Knockouts and Queen of Queens titles on her shoulders. Deonna said Mickie should dare say her name after the assault last week. Mickie noted that Deonna attacked her at NWA 73. Mickie said she sees through Deonna. Mickie said that she’s a fighter and Hardcore Country Mickie James, not Executive Producer Mickie. Mickie pointed out Bound for Glory coming up and how she wants to challenge Deonna for the Knockouts title there. Deonna pointed out how Mickie demanded her to face Melina at Empowerrr and she gave her that so she owes Mickie nothing. Deonna said that Mickie is just trying to become relevant again in 2021.

Deonna said people in other companies want to face Deonna now. Deonna said facing Mickie will do nothing for Deonna. Deonna said she never idolized Mickie because there’s a lot of woman ahead of Mickie in terms of wrestlers she idolizes. Deonna said respect is earned, not given. Deonna said hell no to Mickie’s challenge. Both women dropped the mics and title belts. Mickie and Deonna brawled. Security ran out to pull apart both women. On queue, Scott D’Amore made his entrance. D’Amore said wrestlers aren’t supposed to make matches, but they shouldn’t turn down matches either. D’Amore said that James is one of the pillars of the company and can get any match she wants. D’Amore booked Deonna Purrazzo vs. Mickie James for Bound For Glory…

John’s Thoughts: A bit rough in terms of logic (Mickie earning her title shot due to favoritism with Scott). I would have liked Deonna to have looked more confident in terms of facing Mickie James. That said the end result is still where we all want to get to and that’s at a Mickie and Deonna singles match. That should be a gem of a match. Unlike Melina, who is okay in terms of in-ring, Mickie can still go at a high level. Give both women 12+ minutes and allow them to steal the show!

The Impact Plus Flashback Match was Velvet Sky vs. Mickie James for the Knockoouts Title on a 2013 episode of Impact. ODB was the guest referee. James won the title…

Sami Callihan and Eddie Edwards tried to attack W Morrissey with their sticks. Scott D’Amore and security guards showed up. D’Amore booked Eddie Edwards vs. W Morrissey in a street fight for next week. Morrissey joked to Eddie “How’s your wife?”. The show cut to commercial with the guards trying to hold Eddie back…[c]

Gia Miller interviewed Gail Kim about being in charge of booking the upcoming Knockouts Knockdown show. Gail talked about booking a 8 woman tournament with four Impact and four non-impact wrestlers wrestling for future title shot. Tenille Dashwood, Madison Rayne, and Kaleb Konley showed up. Rayne said at the show, The Influence should be challenging for the Tag Titles at the all-Knockouts show. Gail Kim said that Rachael Ellering and Jordynne Grace also have a case for the title shot. Gail booked The Influence vs. Ellering and Grace in a number one contenders match next week. Dashwood said “we’ll take it”…

Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown checked in on commentary. They announced the following matches for next week: Jordynne Grace and Rachael Ellering vs. The Influence, Laredo Kid vs. Trey Miguel vs. Alex Zayne in an X Division Tournament match, and W Morrissey vs. Eddie Edwards in a street fight…

Entrances for the main event took place. Josh Alexander is no longer X Division Champion…

4. “The Inevitable” Ace Austin (w/Madman Fulton) vs. Josh Alexander. Alexander dominated the early part of the match with technical chain wrestling. Ace got the advantage after Fulton tripped Alexander. Alexander blocked whip and came back with a few forearms. Alexander hit Ace with a T Bone suplex. Ace gave Alexander a front kick. Alexander blocked a PK with an Ankle Lock. Alexander worked on Austin with methodical offense.

After a few minutes, Fulton got on the apron for the distraction. Ace caught Alexander with a few kicks and a bulldog for a two count.[c]

Ace worked on Alexander with methodical offense back from the break. Alexander went for an ankle lock, but Ace escaped with an enzuigiri. Ace went back to the methodical offense for a few minutes. Alexander came back with a front kick and German Suplex. Ace came back with a Flapjack. Alexander hit Ace with a Bridged German for a two count. Josh Alexander took down Ace Austin with a Yakuza Kick. Ace escaped a Jay Driller. Alexander hit Ace with a Fireman Carry Slam and German Suplex.

Alexander hit Ace with 4 consecutive German Suplexes. Ace escaped. Alexander gave Fulton a right hand. Austin baited Alexander and slammed Alexander’s face to the mat with a meteora. Alexander hit Ace with a jawbreaker and crossbody to Ace’s back. Alexander hit Fulton with a boot from the apron. Ace caught Alexander with a high cross kick. Alexander reversed The Fold into a Backbreaker Bomb. Alexander hit Ace with the Jay Driller for the victory.

Josh Alexander defeated Ace Austin via pinfall in 11:40 of on-air time.

Madman Fulton attacked Alexander after the bell. Ace held Alexander in place for a Yakuza Kick from Fulton. Christian ran out for the save. Chrisian and Alexander cleared the heels form the ring. Alexander faced off with Christian. This allowed Fulton and Ace to come back with the advantage. Ace and Fulton were about to hit Alexander with a Chokeslam Fold, but were distracted when The Fallen Angel Chrisopher Daniels made his entrance in formal attire.

Striker noted that Daniels hasn’t been in Impact in 7 years. Daniels cleared Ace from the ring and was about to hit Fulton with Angel’s Wings, but Ace pulled Fulton to ringside. The show ended with the babyfaces standing tall and Daniels’s theme playing…

John’s Thoughts: Really good television main event. I totally get that they are building towards the Christian vs. Alexander main event at Bound for Glory, but a part of me feels back for Ace Austin that he’s pigeonholed into being the “Jobber to the Stars” when it comes to world champions and champion contenders. I’m wondering if this guy will ever get a serious run at the title. Anyways, the post match stuff was fun with the return of Christopher Daniels to Television in General. While Frankie Kazarian was off playing ineffective Elite Hunter, Daniels has been off TV for a while, so his return had impact. He’s also a returning “TNA Original” which makes it a bigger deal today in Impact. Impact has done a solid job in recent weeks framing Christian as a “TNA Original” and they can do the same with Daniels.

Solid show. If you watched this show you should be satisified. Heck, Impact feels like a bigger deal than NXT 2.0 these days. That said, Impact is still missing something in terms of being must-see. AEW and Smackdown right now are the shows to watch and what can Impact do to differentiate themselves from the plethora of other options out there?

 

 

 

 

 


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