By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Las Vegas, Nevada at Sam’s Town Live
Aired November 3, 2022 on AXS TV
Highlights from last week’s Impact Wrestling show aired…
Eddie Edwards was outside in the dark, cutting a promo (with Impact’s stock errie music playing in the background. Eddie talked about PCO making Honor No More, no more. He said PCO grounded Honor No More into sand, everyone except for Eddie. He said if you want to ground Eddie into sand, what better place than the desert. Eddie said this ends tonight! The “We own the night” intro theme aired…
Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt were on commentary. Dave Penzer was the ring announcer. Hannifan ran through the “X factors” in the Mike Bailey vs. Kenny King match. Notable notes included Bailey not being able to invoke his rematch clause due to Kazarian quickly invoking Option C. The other note was that King won the X Division Title from RVD and Rockstar Spud in the past…
Entrances for the first match took place. Kenny King no longer comes out to the Honor No More theme. Hannifan cut to replays from the Before the Impact show where PJ Black beat Yuya Uemura to advance to the 2nd round of the tournament to face Black Taurus in the semi finals…
1. Kenny King vs. Mike Bailey in a 1st round match of the Impact X Division Championship Tournament. King and Bailey started off with arm wrenches. Bailey kept King at bay by keeping his kick chambered. Both men ended at a stalemate after trading rollups. King gave Bailey a cheap shot right hand. Bailey came back with a dropkick. Bailey hit King with rapid kicks into an enzuigiri. King walked up the ramp with Bailey dragging him back to teh ring.
Bailey caught King in a Indian Deathlock, with King broke with a rope break. Bailey gave King Muay Thai roundhouses. King slammed Bailey into the corner and then hit Bailey with a spinebuster. King gave Bailey a T Bone suplex on the ramp. Bailey beat the ten count, but was immediately tossed back out. King rolled up Bailey into a Single Leg Crab, but he had to let go due to it being at ringside. King gave a hip drop on Bailey’s left leg. Bailey tripped up King off the springboard.
Bailey caught king with a Tae Kwon Do kick combo. Bailey hit King with a standing Red Arrow for a two count. King blocked a 720 Cyclone Kick with a T Bone Suplex. King hit Bailey with a Tiger Driver for a two count. Bailey reversed a Tiger Driver on the ramp with a Frankensteiner. Bailey hit King at ringside with a top rope Triangle Moonsault. Both men traded rollups. King went back to the half crab. Bailey twisted his legs into a rollup for the win.
Mike Bailey defeated Kenny King via pinfall in 8:46 to advance to the semi finals of the Impact X Division Championship Tournament.
John’s Thoughts: Great opening match. These two men have good chemistry with each other (but who doesn’t have good match chemistry with Mike Bailey?). Bailey and King were two of my safest picks to win the Tournament because I can see either guy carrying the division with good singles matches. I’m curious to see if King costs Bailey his next match to start a non-title feud between the two. Of the other three, I would actually go with Black Taurus. He’s not the most ideal pick, but I’d rather not see them go back to the well with Trey Miguel, and PJ Black hasn’t even been introduced to the main Impact audience yet (Though if they did give Black vignettes, I would have wanted to probably see him win).
The Motor City Machine Guns were wishing Josh Alexander the best of luck in his upcoming match against Aussie Open. Chris Sabin then said just like everyone else, they are going to give Alexander some thoughts on Bully Ray. Sabin said he and Shelley beat Team 3D in their retirement match. Shelley pointed out that they didn’t retire obviously. Sabin said he had personal experience with Bully in that he beat Bully for the world title. Sabin said he’s sure Bully will backdoor and politic his way to the title. Shelley said if everyone is saying the same thing, there must be some truth to it. The guns left…[c]
An ad aired for the Impact Hard to Kill PPV in January…
Giselle Shaw was handing out printed photos of her randomly deciding to pose with the Knockouts Title last week. She handed some pictures to Chelsea Green and Deonna Purrazzo. Green berated Shaw for deciding to pose instead of ending Mickie James’s career. Purrazzo said that Shaw’s ignorance is why Tenille Dashwood and Madison Rayne broke up as a group. Shaw said she’s breaking up with VXT. Green said they’re breaking up with Shaw. Shaw left. Purrazzo said it’s fine and Green will have a chance to retire Mickie next week…
Savannah Evans made her entrance, accompanied to the ring by Tasha Steelz. Steelz took the mic and said that Savannah had an appetizer last week, and now they’re wondering who wants to be the main course. Jessicka took up Steelz on the challenge..
2. “The Cannibal” Savannah Evans (w/Tasha Steelz) vs. Jessicka (w/Taya Valkyrie, Rosemary). Jessicka and Evans traded forearms to start when standing face to face. Jessicka rallied with Dusty punches. Jessicka tossed Evans around the corners. Jessicka gave Evans some roundhouse kicks. Hannifan plugged Impact’s weird throwback show. Jessicka gave Evans a splash in the corner. Evans avoided a splash in the corner and gave Jessicka a snap DDT. Evans smothered Jessicka with punches and got a one count. [c]
Evans worked on Jessicka with methodical offense. After a minute or two, Jessicka avoided a tackle. Jessicka planted Evans with a German Suplex. Evans bit Jessicka in the face and gave her a German Suplex for the two count. Jessicka gave Evans a throat chop combo. Jessicka no sold strikes and gave Evans a Torpedo Headbutt. Jessicka gave Evans a buzzsaw kick.
Jessicka gave Evans a basement crossbody. Tasha tried to go for the distraction. Taya was attacked by Tasha. Rosemary surprised Tasha with a spear. Evans gave Jessicka a Yakuza Kick and Full Nelson Slam for the win.
Savannah Evans defeated Jessicka via pinfall in 7:40 of on-air time.
John’s Thoughts: A well wrestled encounter, but I’m surprised they had Evans sell so much, even though it looks like they might be soft-rebooting her a bit to be more dominant. The commentary team and Steelz were laying it on a bit thick with Evans having the new nickname “The Cannibal”, to the point where she even bit Jessicka in the face. What didn’t do Evans any favors here was her picking up the win with a distraction finish. If anything, it made Jessicka look good in defeat while making Evans look weak which seems to be contrary to what they want to do with Evans. Last week’s Steelz and Evans segment was better at putting heat on the duo rather than this.
This week’s Impact Plus Flashback Match of the Week was Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy in a steel cage match from Lockdown 2013. This was where Bully Ray turned his back on TNA by accepting a hammer from the acting leader of Aces and 8’s Brother D-Von, and hitting Jeff in the back with it. Bully won the world title…
John’s Thoughts: Between Bully and PAC this week, we’ve seen way more hammer assault attempts on TV than we need to. I only say this because given what happened in San Francisco last week, I don’t think hammer attacks are a thing that should be resorted on for entertainment at the moment? (I get that it’s a coincidence, but they could have played some other Bully recap, or just not show the Flashback Match). That said, I do like that they are making sure these flashbacks feed into their current storyline about Bully being a scumbag.
Killer Kelly was backstage looking for “something new to play with”. Kelly ran into a random person named “Sandra”. Kelly rubbed Sandra’s hair and said “fresh meat, that’ll do”. This left Sandra looking confused…
Eddie Edwards was shown pacing in the “Las Vegas desert” in front of rocks. Hannifan noted that he’s waiting for PCO to take him up on his challenge…[c]
An ad aired for the Impact Plus Overdrive show…
Steve Maclin was cutting a promo in front of a garage door. He said he’s sick and tired of everyone always skipping the line ahead of him. He noted that he has beaten the best in the company: like Jay White, Chris Sabin, Moose, and Sami Callihan. Maclin noted that Bully politicked his way into Call Your Shot and got a title shot. Maclin talked about Kazarian using Option C to also get a title shot.
Maclin noted that Bobby Fish was barely in Impact for 5 minutes, yet got a title shot when he asked. Maclin said he’s tired of waiting. He said he’s taking what he wants, the world title. Maclin said he’ll tag em, bag em, and bring mayhem for all…
John’s Thoughts: Good promo from Maclin, who also laid out a lot of Impact’s rushed booking. Maclin’s right. They did overbook things a bit when they have Kazarian and Bully running around with Money in the Bank clones at the same time. Kaz could have got a title shot without Option C, as Maclin noted that Bobby Fish did. Here’s hoping they give Maclin his due, because even though Steve “Cutler” came up through the NXT system, Maclin feels like an Impact home grown talent who deserves to be pushed.
Matt Cardona and Brian Myers were hyping each other up for going after the Impact Tag Titles. Myers joked that he didn’t know that Heath and Rhino are still tag teaming after all this time. Myers said Rhino is just dead weight because Heath was doing fine without Rhino when he was giving Honor No More sneak attacks. Myers said Heath will forget about Rhino so much that he wouldn’t have to “Say his name”. “Say his name, and he appears… I believe in Joe Hendry… clap clap”. Joe Hendry came out of a nearby freezer.
Hendry noted that The Major Brothers are concerned with the tag titles, but who’s showing concern for the Digital Media Title. Hendry said he cares about the title. Hendry started talking to the belt, saying that the belt’s father isn’t being present in his life, but if the belt believes, maybe Hendry can be a good father. Hendry left. Myers wondered who Hendry was. Cardona asked “why is he in the fridge?”…
John’s Thoughts: Look! Good comedy! Yes, it’s a bit similar to DDP and Bo Dallas in the past, but Hendry is charismatic in his own right ot make it his own. Despite being a tag team for several decades, Myers and Cardona feel fresh at this point too.
Eddie Edwards vs. PCO Cinematic Fight: Eddie Edwards was still in the desert, as errie music played in the background. PCO showed up with his Frankenstein Monster headgear on. He took off the headgear and yelled “EDDIE!!!”. Eddie and PCO rolled and brawled on the dirt as Impact’s stock action music played in the background. PCO had the upper hand for the most part. PCO put on his glove and put Eddie in the Mandible Claw. Eddie escaped by hitting PCO with a rock. Eddie suplexed PCO on a rock.
Eddie got in PCO’s face saying he ruined everything. PCO recovered and chokeslammed Eddie on a rock. PCO tried to crush a rock on Eddie, but Eddie defended himself by beating down PCO with a shovel. Eddie then shoveled some dirt on a knocked out PCO. Eddie left with PCO buried under some dirt and rocks…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Good brawl, but as usual, Impact detracted from it with some cinematic touches. Part of what hurt here was it was cut like a cinematic, but looked like live footage. On top of that Impact’s bad sound mixing went into play, where the music is louder than the action (either turn up the boom mics or turn down down the music mix). Yes, NXT had a cinematic recently, but that felt like the budget was better and the cinematic nature enhanced it instead of distract from it.
Taylor Wilde was wishing Mickie James the best of luck for her Last Rodeo match next week. Mickie pointed out that the catalyst for the Last Rodeo was Chelsea Green when Green picked up wins over Mickie to send Mickie home. She she needs to win this match for herself.
Wilde said she’s excited for their match together. Wilde offered to be in Mickie’s corner to cancel out Deonna Purrazzo, thus allowing Mickie to win or lose on her own merit. Mickie said she’s aware of what Deonna can do, but she needs to do this by herself. Wilde said she respects Mickie’s decision, and she’ll see her on the other side “I hope”…
John’s Thoughts: I don’t respect this decision. And it’s not just Mickie, it’s every “honorable” babyface that refuses even numbers. It doesn’t make them look honorable, it makes them look stupid and reckless, in my opinion. I’m pretty sure Mickie’s winning, since they’re already building towards Wilde and James. I just hate it when babyfaces look stupid when someone offers to cancel out cheating heels.
Eric Young and Deaner made their entrance. Young having his pre match Casey Jones mask. His opponent was Sami Callihan…
3. Sami Callihan vs. Eric Young (w/Deaner). Callihan hit Young with a pop up power bomb with the first move of the match. Young recovered at ringside and clawed Callihan in the face. Callihan clawed Young in the face. Callihan damaged his hand when he chopped ringpost after Young dodged a chop. Callihan recovered and tossed Young around. Callihan taunted Deaner to punch him. Callihan continued to claw and beat around Young.
Callihan hit Young with a Suplex at ringside. Callihan was about to give Young his Thumbs Up Pile Driver, but he was distracted by the referee who didn’t want Sami to hurt Young at ringside. This allowed Deaner to hit Callihan with a lariat, which the ref missed due to being scared of Sami. Callihan beat the ten count and walked into strikes from Young. Young and Callihan traded chops and slaps.
Young took down Callihan with a stiff lariat. Eric Young missed a moonsault (rarely see that from young). Callihan rallied back with clotheslines. Callihan was about to pile drive Young, but all of a sudden, ten or more of Eric Young’s VBD “cultists” showed up on the apron. Callihan tried to fight them off, but they dogpiled him for the DQ.
Sami Callihan defeated Eric Young via DQ in 6:11.
Deaner ordered the cultists to step away. All the cultists got on their knees behind Deaner. Deaner picked two of the cultists to stand. They removed their hoods to reveal that they were Alan Angels (oh boo!) and Konnor from the Ascension in WWE. Konnor is now known as “Big Kon”. Young clawed at Callihan with a mouthguard. Kon and Angels took off their sweaters to reveal VBD shirts. They all continued to put the boots to Callihan while making “V” signs with their hands…
John’s Thoughts: Poor Angels, dude goes from the lame ass Dark Order cult to the even lamer Yellow Order cult. Kon I don’t mind. A downgrade from Doering, but Kon can fit in well as an enforcer. I just feel bad for Angels because it looked like he had a goal of separating himself from his last disappointing cult, only to land in a new cult. I thought Angels looked great in his first few matches away from Dark Order. With the Schism attempting to reinvent themselves in NXT, Violent By Design my be the most annoying wrestling cult at the moment for me.
An ad aired for the Overdrive show…
Jordynne Grace entered her personal locker room, and this time it was plastered with Gisele Shaw’s posing photos. Local wrestler Jai Vidal showed up and introduced himself as Gisele’s personal content creator. Grace slammed him to the couch and challenged Gisele Shaw to a match next week. Grace was choking Vidal with her boot and said that he better be there next week to capture the moment on video. Grace let Vidal go and he ran away…
Entrances for the next match took place…
4. Moose vs. Ace Austin (w/Chris Bey). Ace used his quickness to avoid Moose’s moves. Ace swarmed Moose with kicks. Moose blocked Ace’s signature PK and then slammed him into the steel stairs. The show cut to regular commercial.[c]
Moose worked on Ace with methodical offense for a few minutes. Moose mocked the Bullet Club finger guns. Ace rallied back with a flurry of strikes. Moose ended the flurry with Snake Eyes. Moose went back to the methodical offense. Ace went back to his flurry with ground and pound. Ace caught Moose with a Buzzsaw Kick. Ace hit Moose with a stomp slam for a two count. Ace took down Moose with a hook kick.
Moose blocked a Fold with a Uranage. Ace blocked a spear with a back elbow. Ace hit Moose with a knee. Moose blocked a dive with a reverse Gorilla Press. Bully Ray walked to ringside to jaw with Moose. Moose told Bully he’d show him how to be a scumbag. Moose went for a spear, but was sent into the turnbuckle when Ace dodged. Ace rolled up Moose into a modified Jackknife pin for the win.
Ace Austin defeated Moose via pinfall in 7:43.
Bully and Moose got in each others’ face to end the segment…
John’s Thoughts: A great match before the light distraction finish, but I understand the point of the finish to continue to build up Bully’s “scumbag” storyline. I wouldn’t mind if they run this back with Ace getting a more definitive clean win. At this point, Bullet Club are holding Ace and Bey back and I think they should drop it now that they’re not featuring Bullet Club on Impact TV. It also doesn’t help that Finn Balor, AJ Styles, and presumably Kenny Omega are playing their Bullet Club leader personas all over other companies, to the point where Bullet Club Impact looks like the C-Team.
Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in from the commenatry table and announced the following segments for next week: Trey Miguel vs. Mike Bailey in an X Division Tournament Match, Brian Myers vs. Joe Hendry for the Digital Media Championship, Jordynne Grace vs. Giselle Shaw for the Knockouts Championship, and Mickie James vs. Chelesa Green in a Last Rodeo match. The commentary team then announced The Death Dolls vs. Tasha Steelz and Savannah Evans as well as Heath and Rhino vs. The Major Players for Overdrive, both in Title Defenses. Gisele Shaw interrupted the rundown to hand Hannifan and Rehwoldt some of her pictures…
Entrances for the next match took place…[c]
5. “Aussie Open” Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis vs. Josh Alexander and Frankie Kazarian. Kaz and Fletcher started the match with chain wrestling. Fletcher dominated the wristholds. Kaz and Kyle traded rollups to end up in a stalemate. Davis and Alexander tagged in. Hannifan noted that the only people who have had longer reigns than Alexander are John Morrison, AJ Styles, and Bobby Roode with Roode having the record at 256.
Alexander hit Davis with a top rope dropkick. Kaz tagged in and hit Davis with a slingshot leg drop. Hannifan noted that Kazarian’s and Alexander’s wives and kids were all at ringside. They were all sitting next to each other. Kaz caught Fletcher wit a Russian Legsweep for a two count.
Fletcher fought back with a forearm, Alexander came back with a shove. Alexander hit Fletcher with a series of chops. Davis caught Alexander with a kick to the back which distracted Josh enough to dump Alexander to ringside. Davis and Fletcher lifted their opponents and slammed them into each other.[c]
Davis hit Alexander with a walking Body Slam. Fletcher tagged in and hit Alexander with a few shortarm body slams. Alexander ended that rally with a small package for a two count. Fletcher kept the shortarm on Alexander. Fletcher slapped Kaz to fire him up and get the ref in his face so Davis could get a cheap shot in on Alexander. Fletcher hit Alexander with a Brainbuster for a two count. Josh’s family were cheering him on as he got the hot tag in to Kazarian who cleaned house.
Kazarian hit Fletcher with a flying axe handle. Kaz hit Fletcher with One Final Beat for a two count. Fletcher escaped a Chickenwing attempt. Davis tagged in and tossed him into a kick by Fletcher. Aussie Open hit Kaz with a modified 3D for a two count. Alexander tagged in and chopped down Aussie Open. Aussie Open punched each others’ fists when Alexander ducked. Alexander gave Fletcher a German Suplex. Davis prevented him from hitting another. Alexander gave Davis a Power Bomb for a two count.
Aussie Open swarmed Alexander with strikes in the corner. Kaz interrumped Aussie Open from hitting Josh with Coriolis, but was dumped to ringside. Fletcher gave Alexander a superkick when he had Davis in an Ankle Lock. Aussie Open hit Alexander with stereo superkicks. Davis hit Alexander with an assisted press slam for a two count. Kaz dove in to break up Davis’s pin. Fletcher was caught by a straight right from Josh. Kazarian tagged in.
Kaz hit Fletcher with a draping scissors kick. Alexander hit Fletcher with a crossbody to the back. Kaz hit Fletcher with a slingshot leg drop for a two count. Fletcher escaped a chicken wing. Fletcher tossed Kaz into Davis’s right hand. Alexander put Fletcher in an Ankle Lock while Kaz put Davis in a cross armed submission. Fletcher leg whipped Alexander into Kaz to break up both submissions. Both teams traded hockey punches in the ring. Alexander gave Davis a discus forearm.
Alexander and Fletcher took each other out with a suplex to ringside. Kazarian hit Davis with a rebound RKO for the victory.
Frankie Kazarian and Josh Alexander defeated Aussie Open via pinfall in 15:54 of on-air time.
Kazarian picked up the world title after the match and put it over the shoulder of Josh Alexander. Both men shared handshakes to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: Great tag team match that was given a lot of time. On one hand I feel bad that Aussie Open had to take the loss, but this was an example of “looking good in defeat”. While Kazarian and Alexander are the current singles main event program in Impact these days, they did a good job over the past few weeks also framing Alexander and Kazarian as “Tag team specialists” to make them seem like a tag team threat. Credit to Kazarian, Fletcher, and Davis, Impact Wrestling has really raised their profiles and made them stand out as stars.
I say this because Feltcher and Davis in other companies, like New Japan, come off as Wil Ospreay’s little buddies. Kazarian on the other hand, was in no-mans-land in AEW, and is getting a resurgence on Impact Wrestling. Impact in a ways is a fountain of youth. Look at Bully Ray having a main event run. Look at Christian’s stellar run over a year ago. This week’s Impact was solid as usual, though it did have some faults (like Alan Angels joining another undercard cult and Savannah Evans not lookng as dominant as she should). Slight faults aside, Impact is still a good source of in-ring action and solid storytelling. Like I said, their writing has made 51 year old Bully Ray Dudley a viable main eventer in 2022, and I’m not being crass. No Joke, if this is Scott D’Amore’s Magnum Opus we’re watching, then Tony Khan better bring over the Brinks Truck and bring in this guy to book their creative.