By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Albany, New York at the Albany Armory
Aired October 13, 2022 on AXS TV
Highlights from last week’s Bound for Glory PPV aired… Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt were on commentary. Dave Penzer was the ring announcer…
Impact World Champion Josh Alexander made his entrance for an in-ring promo. Alexander took a minute to soak in “Walking Weapon” chants. Alexander told the crowd he loves them too. Alexander talked about how Eddie called his match with Alexander a war and Alexander agrees. Alexander said what Eddie needs to understand now is that the war is over because Alexander is standing here beaten but not broken, still Impact World Champion. Alexander said even though he’s champion he still makes mistakes.
He said the biggest mistake was last year, when he should have been ready for a person to “call their shot” at Bound for Glory. Alexander said he’s not waiting this time for that person, but instead he’s calling out that person, Bully Ray. Bully Ray made his entrance with his Money in the Cup trophy (I’m kidding, it’s the Call Your Shot trophy). Alexander said he’s a student of the business and know the Bully from back in the day would not hesitate to capitalize on any chance to get ahead.
Alexander talked about how Bully not calling his shot when he had Alexander vulnerable. Alexander asked “why”? Bully said “why?” is a huge word, like “why didn’t I cut your throat”, “why didn’t I stab you in the back”, “why didn’t I blast you in the head with your championship”. Bully said Bully Ray would have done all that. Bully said he was in TNA/Impact longer than any wrestling company, longer than ECW, longer than WWE, longer than ROH, longer than New Japan. Bully said he stabbed Sting in the back, Hulk Hogan, Brooke Hogan, Dixie Carter, the fans, and even Brother D-Von. All got their throats slashed and backs stabbed.
Bully said through all that there was success. He did become one half of one of the most decorated tag teams of all time, Two time Impact World champion, and Two time Hall of Famer. Bully said what’s different now is he wants to do things the right way. Josh said it’s tough to trust Bully based off his reputation. Bully said he’s not stupid and he knows the boys are getting in Josh’s ear, telling him not to trust the Bully because he’s the typical pro wrestler that screws people over. Bully said those people stab him with forks in the side and knives in the back.
Bully said all those boys throw their shade in the shadows, whereas he’s here to man up to Josh right in his face. Bully said there are a lot of people who get the label “there’s nothing bad to say about that guy”, meanwhile Bully has the label of “nobody has a good thing to say about Bully”. Bully said he wants for just once to leave a good taste in someone’s mouth about what he’s accomplished in this industry. Bully said he’s not going to do this, cash in the trophy on a vulnerable opponent like Moose did when Josh’s wife and son were in the ring. Bully said he’s telling Josh straight up that Josh will see him coming, even a mile away. Bully said it’s going to be so straight up that Josh will even get a match opening handshake out of it. Bully said you know why, because “I’m Bully Ray”.
Steve Maclin made his entrance. Maclin said this is the first time he’s confronted Josh face-to-face. Maclin said there’s nothing Bully can do to make him trust Bully. Maclin said Bully shouldn’t even be in a match with such magnitude in 2022 and there must have been backstage politicking involved. Maclin said it’s obvious that Bully will politic and stab people in the back. Maclin noted that Bully rode on a lie for over a year when he screwed people as the leader of Aces and 8’s. Maclin said the one thing you can trust about Maclin is he doesn’t politick, and he comes at you straight forward. Maclin said when Josh won the title at Rebellion, Maclin beat two former world champions.
Maclin noted he beat two other former world champions a few weeks ago. Maclin wondered how many more former champs he has to beat before he can get a shot at the top. Moose made his entrance to interrupt Steve. Moose said he’ll give it to Maclin for his big match wins. Moose told Maclin to step aside because everyone else in the room now is a world champion and world champions need to conduct business. Moose said he was shocked Bully didn’t call his shot. Moose said that he modeled his last few years in Impact after Bully’s example. Moose said Bully is a scumbag, but that’s ok because Moose likes scumbag. Moose said he’s a scumbag too. Moose said he saw Bully as Savage, despicable, and a man that would do anything to win a match.
Moose said Josh and his family know how evil Moose can be, and “who do you think I learned that from”, Bully. Moose said he didn’t get a chance to congratulate Josh since their rivalry and he congratulates Josh for having such a strong year. Moose said that Josh only got pinned by two people (Moose and Eddie Edwards). Moose said what’s different with Moose’s win is that Moose beat Josh in record time, faster than anyone has won the world title, 10 seconds. Bobby Fish made his entrance to interrupt. Fish said he sees everyone out here, and nobody is spilling lies.
Fish said he does agree that by taking Bully’s example, Moose is a scumbag. Fish said that Maclin is calling Fish a locker room politician, and that isn’t a lie. Fish then said that Bully is a scumbag. Fish said what should hold merit is that while Bully is a scumbag, he didn’t scumbag Josh. Fish said that he’s here to decide what he’s going to do. He said he put on his ring gear and since Josh Alexander is a champion that never backs down from a challenge. Fish said those other three guys in the ring can complain about calling shots and stuff, but Fish is going to the source. Fish challenged Alexander to a world title match in his home town of Albany.
Josh said he sees a whole lot of talk going on now (yep, 22 minutes worth). Josh said that the challenge is accepted. Josh Alexander’s entrance theme played to end the segment. Tom Hannifan noted that with all the people in this segment, the world title picture seems very crowded…
John’s Thoughts: Wow, that was 22 minutes. That said everyone involved delivered good to great mic-work (though I would have argued that Bobby Fish’s portion should have been pushed to backstage segments where he’s confronting each world title contender throughout the show). I had my doubts about Bully being a world title contender given his age and ECW-level milage, but Bully is a master-class on the microphone and he sold me on this future feud with Josh as a story of redemption for himself and his “Bully” reputation. AEW can use a guy like Bully to write promo segments into their show, and WWE could use someone like Bully to teach a promo class at the Performance Center. Good stuff. I thought throwing in Steve Maclin would have been overkill, but Maclin was great. That promo from Maclin was needed to wipe away the stain of losing to Bully, and I thought he did a good job revamping his ethos. Then I thought that Moose would have been overkill, but Moose did a decent job elevating himself back to world title contention, while also stirring the pot. As I said Fish was probably the person who didn’t have to come out, but that also tells me Fish might just be in Impact for a cup of coffee.
The show cut to a replay of the “Before the Impact” show. The Motor City Machine Guns defeated Raj Singh and Mahabali Shera…
Gia Miller congratulated The Machine Guns on their win, but said that the Guns would have preferred to enter this interview as the Tag Team Champions. Chris Sabin agreed. Sabin said the simple answer is because Taven and Bennett cheated. Alex Shelley said right now he can’t “split time” (a play on his and Kushida’s tag team name). Shelley said what the Guns can do is effect the future by asking Scott D’Amore for another shot at the tag titles. The guns left the interview set.
Before they could enter Scott D’Amore’s office, The Guns saw Heath [Slater] and Rhino exit it. Sabin said they were asking D’Amore about getting their title shot. Heath said that was too late because he and Rhino are getting their shot next week. Rhino said they made a promise at the beginning of the year to be tag champions by the end of the year. Rhino said Honor No More tried to prevent that promise from coming to fruition, but Rhino is back now, and he and Heath are going to be new tag team champions. Heath said that The Guns will for sure get their title shot, just it won’t be against “The Kingdom”, It’ll be against he and Rhino…
John’s Thoughts: Oh lord, Heath. I like his work, but we’re still going back to their 2016 Smackdown tag team run? I was so excited two years ago when Heath had that main event match and promo against Drew McIntyre on Raw, to the point where I was excited to see what he does on his own in Impact. It seems like, for now at least, he’s totally content with being the Three Man Band guy with cheese and crackers Rhino.
Entrances for the first match of the night took place (about 30 minutes into the show)…[c]
Savannah Evans beat up Kelly before the match. For some reason, the ref agreed to ring the bell when Steelz told her to (aren’t you supposed to asked the beat up wrestler “do you want to continue”?)
1. Tasha Steelz (w/Savannah Evans) vs. Killer Kelly in a no-DQ match. Steelz put the boots to Kelly before she could even take off her leather jacket. Kelley avoided a chop and pummeled Steelz with stiff right hand and a power whip to outside. Evans attacked Kelly again at ringside which allowed Steelz to get a two count. Steelz got a headbutt which Kelly no-sold and asked for more. Kelly ate another headbutt, which Kelly also liked. Steelz hit Kelly with a gamengiri and seated shotgun dropkick for a two count. Steelz brought a chain into play. Kelly put Steelz in a camel clutch. Steelz escaped and hit Kelly with a pump kick for a two count. Kelly reversed a headlock into an Alabama Slam for a two count.
Kelly brought a chair into the ring. Tasha hit Kelly with a back kick to cause her to drop the chair. Kelly blocked a Stratisfaction attempt. Kelly hit Steelz with shortarm lariats. Kelly hit Steelz with a running knee for a two count. Kelly hit Steelz with an Air Raid Crash for a two count. Kelly put Tasha in a chickenwing, but Evens broke it off. Kelly fended off both Steelz and Evans. Kelly won a tug a war over the chair with Steelz, where the chair momentum went right into Savannah to take her out of the picture. Steelz hit Kelly with a superkick. Tasha fish hooked Kelly’s mouth by pulling the chain into it. Kelly turned the tide and choked Steelz. Kelly then converted to a chain assisted Killer Clutch. Steelz tapped out.
Killer Kelly defeated Tasha Steelz via submission in 6:52.
John’s Thoughts: A great hardcore match in that this stands out in being very different from the hardcore matches that we see in pro wrestling. The key here is that they didn’t overdo the weapons and this hardcore match was more about being stiff and practical (and I give extra praise for not seeing someone pour out a bag of thumbtacks, because I feel like that sequence gets shoehorned into matches way to much). I’m happy they gave Steelz the win at Victory Road and Kelly gets her heat back here. Kelly is someone Impact should lock up because ever since her character reboot, she has finally lived up to the potential many saw in her (they should also lock her up, because I wouldn’t be surprised that WWE might be paying attention to her given how high it seemed Shawn and Hunter were on her when she was in NXT US and UK).
Johnny Swinger and Zicky Dice were bragging in front of a few local mascots. Swinger claimed to have eliminated more ham and eggers in the Call Your Shot match than “The Moose”. Dirty Dango showed up looking like the discount version of Orange Cassidy (he’s blonde and was wearing denim). Dango called Swinger and Dice skittles and said that they deserve fashion citations (because he used to have a Fashion Police gimmick). Swinger said that you can’t just strut in his territory and mock his fashion sense.
He said he learned from Ricky Martel. Dango said they deserve to be in handcuffs. Swinger and Dice invited Dango to see the handcuffs in Swinger’s Dungeon and Dango said they’re into weird stuff. The camera then got distracted with Security Guards trying to drag out some of Eric Young’s yellow jacket cultists. Sami Callihan showed up and beat up the cultists. Sami yelled in the face of one of the guy’s that he’s coming for the Violent by Designer, Eric Young…[c]
Scott D’Amore congratulated Josh Alexander for defending his title at Bound for Glory and how he has a long list of challengers ahead of him. D’Amore said accepting Fish’s challenge was a boss move. D’Amore then said that maybe Moose and Maclin were speaking some truth when they said not to trust Bully. Alexander said it’s so weird that everyone in the world, even people he hasn’t met, have warned him about Bully. D’Amore said he knows that Josh hears the rumors, but D’Amore is someone Josh trusts and has experienced Bully’s deception first hand. D’Amore said he injected the poison in TNA when he hired Bully and D-Von back in 2005, and bringing him back now.
D’Amore said Impact is all about opportunities. D’Amore said that no matter what Bully says, Bully is only looking out for the best interest of Bully. D’Amore said even if it seems like Bully has turned a new leaf, Josh needs to keep his head on a swivel starting tonight because Bully can come from anywhere. D’Amore shook hands with Josh and wished him luck in the main event…
John’s Thoughts: Impact is doing a great job tonight establishing the legend of Bully Ray, and particularly the legend of Bully Ray’s evil. Hey, no joke, with this build Bully Ray would have been a much better challenger for Josh other than Eddie Edwards at Bound for Glory.
Everyone was already in the ring for the next match…
2. Kenny King vs. Black Taurus (w/Crazzy Steve) vs. Yuya Uemura vs. Alex Zayne vs. Trey Miguel vs Laredo Kid. Taurus hit a pile of wrestlers with a dive at ringside, leaving King and Zayne one on one in the ring. Zayne managed to counter a cartwheel into an armdrag. King came back with a back scratch to Zayne. King leapfrogged over Taurus to cause Taurus to tackle Zayne. Kid punched King in the back of the head while he was gloating. Yuya and Trey backdropped Kid into the pile of wrestlers at ringside. Zayne and Miguel hit the pile of wrestlers at ringside with flip dives.[c]
Everyone tangled each other up in the corner. King hit everyone, mainly Zayne, with a diving Blockbuster. Everyone took turns hitting signature moves on each other. King hit Trey with a Gordo Kick and spinebuster for a two count. Trey hit King with a forearm and Michinoku Driver for a two count. Yuya hit King with a diving crossbody and Kid with a double hook suplex. Taurus picked up the large Yuya with a pop up Samoan Drop.
Zayne rolled off Kids Back to hit Taurus with a Franksteiner while seamlessly German Suplexing Kid on Taurus. Trey hit Zayne with a Scorpion Kick followed by a sick looking swinging backbreaker driver for the win.
Trey Miguel defeated Alex Zayne, Kenny King, Black Taurus, Yuya Uemura, and Laredo Kid via pinfall in 5:20 of on-air time.
Trey celebrated heading into break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Decent filler spotfest. That said, the less of these the better. Good to pull one of these once in a while, but at one point these homogeneous cruiserweight spotfests as a weekly fixture were overdone (It hinders character development because the multi-man aspect homogenenizes the individuals to highspot performers). I’m a bit surprised they went with Trey Miguel here, if only because we’ve been to the well many times with Trey. This could have been a spot for someone like Kenny King, Laredo Kid, or Black Taurus to pick up momentum.
Impact X Division Champion Frankie Kazarian was shown arriving from the parking lot. He walked up to Speedball Mike Bailey who thanked Frank for a good match at BFG. He said he didn’t plan to lose the title but Frankie is a legend who gave it his all to win. Speedball said that also brought out the best in himself, which will only make things better the next time they face in the ring. Kaz shook Bailey’s hand and thanked him. Trey Miguel showed up to also congratulate Bailey and Kaz for a good match. Trey said since he won the last match, that should put him in line. Kaz said he used to call himself the future, and the future looks good. Kaz said Bailey and Trey need to wait to see what happens next…
Entrances for the next match took place. The Death Dollz have new entrance music with their video walling having a creepy doll motiff..
3. Deonna Purrazzo, Chelsea Green, and Gisele Shaw vs. “The Death Dollz” Rosemary, Taya Valkyrie, and Jessicka. Jessicka started with the Dusty Bionic Elbow combo on Shaw. Green tagged in and missed a tackle. The Dollz traded quick tags for tandem offense. Valkyrie hit Green with a corner meteora for a two count. Purrazzo tagged in. Taya hit both VXT members with a lariat and did her Wera Loca chant. Rosemary tagged in and hit Purrazzo with a bit and Tarantula. Taya tagged in and hit Purrazzo with a few kicks.
Purrazzo hit Taya with a lungblower. Green tagged in and hit Taya with a curb stomp for a two count. The heel team traded tags to cut the ring in half on Taya. Taya fended off Purrazzo to bring in Rosemary for the hot tag. Rosemary hit Shaw wtih an Exploder Suplex for a two count. Shaw hit Rosemary with a Backbreaker Flatliner combo. Rosemary dodged knee strike and hit Shaw with a spear. Purrazzo broke up the pin. Taya and Jessicka beat up VXT. Jessicka hit Green with a elbow drop. Purrazzo caught Taya with a superkick and then cleared Jessicka from the ring. Rosemary hit Purrazzo with a spear. Shaw caught Rosemary with a knee to the back of the head for the win.
Gisele Shaw, Deonna Purrazzo, and Chelsea Green defeated The Death Dollz via pinfall in 5:43.
John’s Thoughts: A nice, short, and sweet six person tag match. Good work as usual from Impact’s knockouts division. I’ve actually been impressed with Giselle Shaw in her recent matches. She was rough her first few months, but over the last few matches she’s had she’s been very impressive. Hopefully this win means they’re building momentum for Shaw because Shaw would be a welcome newer face up on the card.
Tommy Dreamer met up with Bully Ray and said he noticed Bully has lost weight. Bully joked that it looks like Dreamer has gained weight. Dreamer said everyone is talking about how untrustworthy Bully is, but people don’t know the real Bully. Dreamer said that Bully helped Dreamer get a job in Impact, WWE, and Busted Open Radio. Dreamer said he knows Bully has a bad reputation, but he wants Bully to do the right thing. Dreamer said as much as Bully will deny it, when he sees a goal, he’ll change on a dime.
Dreamer begged Bully to not make him look like a fool for trusting him. Bully asked Dreamer who is his best friend in the business. Dreamer said “me” (wait? Not D-Von Dudley?!?). Bully said he never made Dreamer look like a fool, dating back to when Dreamer got Bully his first job in the business. Bully said he understands the world doesn’t trust him, but the one person he can count on to trust The Bully is Dreamer. Dreamer said he told everyone to their face that he wants to do things the right way. Bully then asked Dreamer if they wanna tag team for old time’s sake. Dreamer agreed. Bully joked that “The Fat and the Furious” ride again…
Bobby Fish was shadowboxing backstage…[c]
John’s Thoughts: This is my opinion, but I think they’ve done a stellar job building up Bully Ray on this episode. They are really driving it deep that Bully can’t be trusted. I kinda want him to turn heel because they are doing a good job making that potential heel turn sting hard. Him actually playing it straight too would also be a good payoff given how the world seems go be against him. Moving past Bully, Impact really needs to take the playbook they are using with this Bully Ray story, in terms of character development, and try to replicate it with a new star, like a Steve Maclin, like a Speedball, like a Heath, like a Bhupinder.
An ad aired for the January 13th Hard to Kill PPV…
Maria Kanellis, Mike Bennett, PCO, and Vincent were having a meeting backstage. PCO was gritting his teeth acting like a Frankenstein Monster. He was also repeating some of Maria’s words. Maria said Honor No More was built though adversity. He said that even though Eddie and Kenny lost recently, their message remains the same. Maria said the tag team titles symbolize success. Taven said that Scott D’Amore is constantly trying to screw them over and hasn’t even shaken his hand the ten months he’s been in Impact. Taven called Heath a red haired Melvin (there’s the shoehorn) and called Rhino a hobbling hippo, saying that they don’t deserve to get a title shot so easily.
Taven said Honor No More had to earn a title shot while they just show up and get a shot. Taven then wondered where Eddie Edwards was. PCO yelled “EDDIE” and looked confused, because PCO looks confused by default. Bennett said Eddie will be back soon and it’s up to the rest of Honor No More to spread their message. He said Honor No More is family and they’ll do right by Eddie by retaining their championships next week…
Matt Cardona made his entrance as he jawed with fans. Hannifan noted that Brian Myers always complains about Bhupinder Gujjar on the Major Brother Action Figure podcast, hosted by Brian Myers, Matt Cardona, and Mark Sterling…
4. “Alwayz Ready” Matt Cardona vs. Bhupinder Gujjar. Cardona retreated to the ropes and pie faced Gujjar. Gujjar fought out of the corner himself, but right into knees from Cardona. Gujjar came backwith a dropkick. Gujjar hit Cardona with a corner splash and sweep kick. Gujjar hit Cardona with a slingshot elbow for a two count. Cardona rolled to ringside for a breather. Cardona tossed Gujjar into the apron when he went ringside. Cardona gave Gujjar a neckbreaker. Bhupinder beat the ten count.
Cardona pummeled Bhupinder when he went back in the ring and hit him with a neckbreaker. Bhupinder dodged a missile dropkick. Bhupinder rallied back with right hands, a lariat, and a flying Jalepeno. Bhupinder hit Cardona with a V-Trigger and Samoan Drop for a two count. Bhupinder set up for his 2nd rope spear, but he got distracted by Brian Myers showing up and flashing his Major Players shirt to him. This allowed Cardona to trip up Bhupinder and hit him with the Ruff Ryder Leg lariat for the win.
Matt Cardona defeated Bhupinder Gujjar via pinfall in 4:21.
Rehwoldt said it was nice to see the best friends back together. The show cut to Josh Alexander warming up backstage…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A good and simple approach to reboot the Major Players back in Impact. I wouldn’t mind seeing Chelsea Green put in the group because they had a good ECW Impact Players vibe to them. Glad to see Matt Cardona back in wrestling too because he was having the ride of his life, really dominating all the promotions he was in, only to have an injury put his run to a halt.
A Jordynne Grace promo aired, with B-roll footage of Masha and Grace’s match at Bound for Glory. Grace noted that people have been afraid of Masha for a year, but Grace has spent every single minute of the year to prepare for this encounter. She said she knows that Masha will be a champion someday in Impact, but it’s never going to be at Grace’s expense…
The show cut to Mickie James being interviewed by Gia Miller about how the last rodeo is continuing due to James winning at BFG. Mickie congratulated Jordynne Grace for defeating the undefeated Masha Slammovich and she can’t wait to face Grace if Mickie can climb up the card. Deonna Purrazzo, Chelsea Green, and Gisele Shaw showed up to run down Mickie like mean girls. Green talked about being the last person to beat Mickie, sending Mickie into depression. Mickie dared Green to end the last rodeo. Purrazzo cut in and ducked out, saying that they can’t because they have a tag title match coming up. They left. Mickie joked to holla at ya girl after they lose the tag title match…
Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in from the commentary table. They sent the show to the tag team that responded to the Tommy Dreamer and Bully Ray challenge. Juice Robinson, Chris Bey, and Ace Austin cut a promo backstage accepting the challenge. Of course, they had to end their promo with a Too Sweet. They cut back to the commentators who announced the following matches for next week: Bullet Club vs. Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer, Rich Swann vs. Eric Young, The Kingdom vs. Heath [Slater] and Rhino. They hyped Will Osprey vs. David Finlay for the New Japan AXS replay show…
Entrances for the next match took place…[c]
5. Josh Alexander vs. Bobby Fish for the Impact World Championship. Alexander dominated the initial collar and elbow. Fish played a bit of footsies with his kickboxing. Alexander dominated the next sequence with a side headlock takedown. the camera showed Jen and Jet, Josh’s family, in the front row. Fish went for a sleeper, but Josh slammed him in the corner. Fish used an axe handle to get a two count on Josh.
After trading counters, Josh hit Fish with a suplex. Fish avoided the back crossbody and used a roundhouse to trip Alexander off the apron. Fish gave Alexander a Dragon Screw on the ramp.[c]
Fish hit Alexander with a slingshot senton for a two count. Fish followed up with a Muay Thai kick combo and basement lariat for a two count. Fish worked on Alexander with ground and pound. Alexander defended the leg that Fish dragon screwed. Fish hit Alexander with a suplex for a one count. Fish and Alexander traded stiff strikes back and forth. Alexander blocked a calf kick into a lariat to give himself a breather. Alexander and Fish traded strikes with Alexander landing the haymaker. Alexander reversed a kick into a T Bone suplex.
Fish blocked a C4 and hit Alexander with a high kick combo and Saito Suplex for a two count. Fish worked on Alexander with Muay Thai Clinch knees. Fish blocked a suplex and gave Alexander an exploder of his own. Alexander reversed a Muay Thai Roundhouse into the Ankle Lock. Fish used a leg whip to send Alexander to ringside. Alexander went to the top, but a roundhouse to the shin tripped up Josh. Alexander shoved Fish off the top rope.
Alexander hit fish with a moonsault. Fish kicked out, but right into an ankle lock. Fish adjusted his body to put Alexander in a Triangle. Josh deadlifted Fish into a backbreaker bomb. Josh hit Fish with a C4 Spike. Bobby Fish did not no sell this finisher (I’m just kidding around).
Josh Alexander defeated Bobby Fish via pinfall in 12:46 of on-air time to retain the Impact World Championship.
Impact X Division Champion Frankie Kazarian entered the ring to confront Josh. Kaz congratulated Josh for his last two title defenses in less than a week. Kaz said he’s not just here for congratulations, but as a professional courtesy. Kaz said Josh can add one more challenge to the list, Kazarian, invoking Option C. Josh and Kaz shook hands. Hannifan closed the show saying that Kazarian has no relinquished the X Division title…
John’s Thoughts: A great main event match between Josh and Fish. What made this match stand out well was Josh primarily fighting grapplers and pro wrestlers in terms of in-ring style. Bobby Fish has the Muay Thai and Jujitsu background which meshed well with Josh’s amateur style. Fish being rushed to the title shot tells me he’s just here for a cup of coffee with the promotion, but in the short time he was here, we got a great match out of it. What I’m not a huge fan of is Kaz cashing in his title shot right after winning the X Title. Bailey vs. Kaz was such a great match at BFG. I questioned the title change back then, but the match was so good that I wanted to see what story would come out.
Why invoke Option C? It makes the title change feel wasted, because it was at the expense of Mike Bailey’s amazing title defense run (which Impact teased paying off with Bailey potentially facing Chris Daniels). On top of that, earlier in the show, Bobby Fish made it clear how easy it is to get a title shot from fighting champion Josh Alexander, to the point where I actually would have just had Kaz challenge Josh without ditching the title, or not having the title with Bailey still champ (Given how Josh invoked Option C, I would have rather seen a young X Division wrestler like Bailey, Bey, Ace, or others cash in). Overall though, solid episode of Impact. Yes, there was a lot of talking and character development, but character development is a great and necessary component of episodic programming. The best part of tonight was the constant story thread of Bully Ray’s trustworthiness, which really built up the eventual payoff really well. Today’s storytelling was really efficient.