12/1 Impact Wrestling TV results: Moore’s review of Mickie James vs. Deonna Purrazzo, Bully Ray vs. Rich Swann, Frankie Kazarian vs. Steve Maclin, Moose vs. Bhupinder Gujjar

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

Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Louisville, Kentucky at Old Forester’s Paristown Hall

Aired December 1, 2022 on AXS TV

Highlights from Bully Ray’s feud with Josh Alexander aired, ending in Bully Ray attacking Josh Alexander at the end of the last Impact Plus show…

Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt were on commentary. Dave Penzer was the ring announcer…

Bully Ray made his entrance holding his broken Call Your Shot trophy. The replay showed that Scott D’Amore had punted the trophy at Overdrive to break it. Bully took his time making his entrance. Bully grabbed a mic and told the booing fans to shut up. Bully soaked up the boos. He said he is nervous, not for himself, but the fans. He said the people from Kentucky might not understand a New Yorker. Bully then threatened a random fan with a “F U Bully” sign, and also threatened a kid.

Bully recapped how he fairly won the Call Your Shot trophy, and noted that D’Amore destroyed the trophy. Bully takled about how he fairly called his shot in front of Josh’s face at Overdrive to set up a title match at Hard to Kill. He said he agrees with the morons in the crowd that Josh Alexander is a great wrestler comparable to Kurt Angle. He said Josh’s weakness is he isn’t as smart as Bully Ray. Bully said Josh doesn’t know who Bully Ray is. Bully bragged about getting rid of Hulk Hogan from Impact, forcing Sting to not be able to challenge for the world title, screwing Brooke Hogan, and putting Dixie Carter through a table.

Bully said Josh is an idiot for bringing his wife near Bully Ray after all Bully has done. Bully talked about how Josh is going to be gone for a few weeks to take time off to recover mentally. He said that’s fine, as long as Josh is there to lost the title to Bully at Hard to Kill. Rich Swann ran out and attacked Bully Ray from behind, beating him up around the ring. Bully tried to walk away, but Swann hit Bully with a dive. A referee ran out to call the match between Rich and Bully…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Good promo as usual from Bully to recap the events from a couple of weeks ago. Simple and effective. It recapped the viewers of Bully’s past, set him up as a heel against Josh Alexander, and put heat on the current iteration of Bully Ray.

1. Bully Ray vs. Rich Swann. Ray took down Swann with a clothesline. Ray worked on Swann with methodical strikes. Swann avoided a senton and hit Ray with a mule kick and standing splash for a two count. Hannifan plugged Impact’s partnership with Dazn. Ray tangled Swann in a Tree of Woe and continued with his methodical offense. Swann escaped a cravate with a Jawbreaker. Swann hit Ray with a kick and missile dropkick for a two count.

Ray hit Swann with a backdrop. Ray flirted with the female referee and told her to call him. This allowed Swann to avoid a senton and hit Ray with a splash for a one count. Swann got a two count off a crossbody. Ray grabbed a chain in the corner and hit Swann with it to invoke the DQ.

Rich Swann defeated Bully Ray via DQ in 5:45.

Ray chased the referee out of the ring and dumped Swann to ringside. Ray hit Swann in the back with a chair. Ray then tore up a “F U Bully” sign from a fan. Ray continued to methodically give Swann chair shots while also chasing away the referees. Ray zip tied Swann to the bottom rope.

Tommy Dreamer ran out to prevent Ray from hitting Swan with a chair again. Dreamer confronted Ray off-mic to talk about how he’s defended Ray in his Impact return. Bully shoved Dreamer to the mat. Scott D’Amore ran out and backed down Ray, causing Ray to exit the ring. D’Amore took off his jacket to reveal a salmon colored shirt. Bully backed down and dared D’Amore to come after him as Dreamer held D’Amore back.

D’Amore tossed water at Bully as Dreamer held him back. D’Amore then smashed the cheap Call Your Shot trophy on the floor. Bully took a mic and told D’Amore to remember who Bully is. D’Amore called Bully a “piece of shit” twice. Bully said D’Amore is right and they can agree on that point that Bully is a piece of shit. Bully reminded D’Amore that D’Amore hired this piece of shit. D’Amore chucked a chair at Bully when he walked away, which missed. Bully posed at the top of the ramp…

John’s Thoughts: Good match. I’m okay with the crap finish because they need to put heat on Bully while also making sure to not bury a future world title contender in Rich Swann (who is still owed his rematch according to their storyline). Bully looked good in the ring for his age. Of coruse, he’s even better than his early WWE days when he was out of shape. He wrestled a methodical pace, but not the boring-methodical that wrestlers like Bobby Roode or Triple H would get criticized for. What did crack me up a bit though is Scott D’Amore’s massive plot armor that makes him the biggest badass in the company who stands down to no heels.

An ad aired for Impact’s weird throwback episode that’s a ripoff of Southpaw Regional Wrestling. Thankfully it’s relegated to Impact Plus and not on the weekly AXS show…

The show cut to a stylistic Trey Miguel promo. He talked about how people aren’t happy with him these days. He said he doesn’t give a damn. He talked about how losing the X Division title hurt him so much the last time that he got a tattoo of it on his leg. He said he did what he does best and got the title back. He said the title has a lot of history and past, but look at it now, and you see the future. He sprayed green paint on it and tossed the can…

John’s Thoughts: Oh, since I didn’t watch the Impact Plus show, I had no idea he turned heel. I like this shift for Trey Miguel as he was doing nothing as a white meat babyface. Part of the reason I wanted Black Taurus to win was due to Trey Miguel being stale as a babyface, but I like that he’s changed things up. I also liked the production in that promo segment. A lot of times when Impact tries to be cinematic, they miss the mark. That was slick and they should do more promos like that (but not overdo it). The production values reminded me of Mustafa Ali’s promos when he decided to produce his own promos via DSLR.

Entrances for the next match took place…

2. Moose vs. Bhupinder Gujjar. Moose no sold a chop and delivered chops to Gujjar. Gujjar rallied with chots and got Mosoe to a knee with a few lariats. Gujjar blocked a Uranage and hit Moose with a lariat. Moose gave Gujjar a lariat and power bomb on the apron.[c]

Moose worked on Gujjar with methodical offense. Rehwoldt noted that Moose is trying to bounce back from his loss to Bully Ray. Gujjar tried to rally, but Mosoe ended it with a Uranage. Gujjar sent Moose into the buckle to avoid a spear. Gujjar hit Moose with innovative strikes and a Sling Blade. Gujjar tuned the horn but then ate dirt when he missed his 2nd rope spear. Gujjar leap frogged over Moose’s spear, but Moose turned around and delivered the spear for the win.

Moose defeated Bhupinder Gujjar via pinfall in 4:23.

Moose pummeled Gujjar after the match and dumped him to ringside. Moose took the mic and said he told everyone exactly who Bully Ray is. He then called the crowd “Kentucky Fried Idiots”. Moose bragged about predicting correctly, Bully Ray betraying Josh Alexander.

He said he didn’t lose at Overdrive, he won because he was correct the whole time about Bully. Moose said he doesn’t want to hear Bully Ray’s name. Because Moose said “say his name”, he appears, I believe in Joe Hendry. Joe Hendry made his entrance with the Digital Media title. Moose wondered why Hendry was here. Hendry said he thought Moose called him out because he “said his name, and he appears”.

Moose said he doesn’t have time for fun and games and Hendry needs to leave. Hendry called Moose a former champion, and said Moose is crying for help. Both men brawled with Moose grounding Hendry with a pump kick. Hendry got to his feet. Hendry avoided a spear and sent Moose into Gujjar’s 2nd rope spear. Hendry and Gujjar stood tall to end the segment…

John’s Thoughts: Good win for Moose and Bhupinder looked good in defeat. Aside from Gujjar’s awful finisher, his offense looked really good. Gujjar’s bad finisher looks even worse when it’s missed because he ends up faceplanting. He did make that move look good once when he springboarded, but when he telegraphs it looks very impractical compared to a regular spear (which Moose showed). Curious to see how Bhupinder does because he’s slowly improving while also being presented on TV every single week. Looking forward to Moose vs. Joe Hendry because of how fun Hendry is.

Gia Miller interviewed Mike Bailey about Kenny King. Bailey noted how King has cost him his last few matches. Bailey said he’s not going to be a former champion for long, but he has to get past Kenny King to do so…[c]

The show cut to a Mickie James promo where she talked about being on her “last rodeo”. She said she had to prove to herself that she could hang with the next generation. They cut to Donna Purrazzo who called Mickie a snake. She hyped up “Part 3” of Deonna Purrazzo vs. Mickie James. James said it’s “Game over” if she loses to Deonna…

Entrances for the next match took place. Hannifan hyped a holiday toy drive run by Matt Cardona and Brian Myers…

3. Steve maclin vs. Frankie Kazarian. Maclin manhandled Kaz around the ring. Kaz came back with a springboard elbow and strikes. Kazarian dominated with right hands on Maclin. Maclin got a moment of respite when he sent Kaz to ringside with an Irish Whip. Maclin dominated Kaz with a series of strikes. Kazarian tried to get a small package, but Maclin kicked out and rallied against Kza after a lariat.

Kazarian got a few rollups on Maclin. Kazarian blocked an Angle slam and took down Maclin with a flying axe handle. Kaaz hit Maclin with a meteora to the back. Maclin blocked a chickenwing, but took a body slam. Kaz hit Maclin with a springboard leg drop for a two count. Kazarian hit Maclin with a guillotine legdrop and got a two count off a rollup.

Maclin put Kaz in the tree of Woe. Kaz avoided a spear and hit Maclin with a draping RKO. Maclin got to the ropes for the rope break. Maclin rolled to ringside and then hit Kaz with a steel chair for the DQ.

Frankie Kazarian defeated Steve Maclin via DQ in 7:22 of on-air time.

Maclin rolled Kazarian in the ring and assaulted Kaz with the steel chair. Maclin gave Kazarian a Dirty Deeds DDT into the steel chair to end the segment…

John’s Thoughts: Good match while it lasted. The DQ finish is ok as long as it ends up leading to a feud between Maclin and Kazarian, which I hope Maclin goes over on. Credit to Kaz though. He’s getting that AEW paycheck, but rather than be buried on Dark and Dark Elevation like a lot of AEW undercard wrestlers, he’s being presented as a meaningful main eventer on AXS TV. I wouldn’t mind seeing more underutilized AEW wrestlers get Impact runs to see their characters presented by someone who isn’t Tony Khan.

The show cut to footage from the Knockouts Tag Team Title match at Overdrive where the Death Dollz won after Jessicka hit Tasha Steelz with the Sick-ishi Driver…

Tasha Steelz was pacing around backstage and berating Savannah Evans for not being around to help Tasha. Savannah noted that Tasha was the one who loss. Tasha told Savannah to prove herself in a match against Taya Valkyrie next week…

A clip was shown of Eric Young and Deaner meeting up at Violent By Design’s “prison”…[c]

An ad aired for Impact’s throwback parody show…

Gia Miller interviewed Eddie Edwards. Eddie talked about how he took care of PCO and he doesn’t want to talk about his personal life. Gia informed Eddie that lightning hit the ground and a hand came out of it, PCO’s. Eddie said he’s done talking about the past. He said he’s not ashamed of Honor No More and he led them because he wanted a better future for himself in Impact. He said he’s focused on the future. Eddie walked into former Ring of Honor head booker Delirious. Eddie walked away with Delirious glaring at him…

The Motor City Machine Guns approached Heath and Rhino backstage to challenge them for the Impact Tag Team Titles. The guns had tag title belts on their shoulders (New Japan Strong? I think those were the blue belts that Aussie Open had?). Heath said he’ll request the match with D’Amore. Rhino got in Sabin and Shelley’s faces and said he will rip their “f–king faces” and their “f–king hearts” which was censored. He ended his promo with a gore, gore, gore…

Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in from ringside. The follwoing segments were advertised for next week: Savannah Evans vs. Taya Valkyrie and Josh Alexander returning to the Impact Zone. Rehwoldt plugged NJPW’s AXS show…

Entrances for the next match took place…[c]

Dave Penzer did formal ring introductions for the last rodeo match…

4. Mickie James vs. Deonna Purrazzo in a “Last Rodeo” career threatening match. Deonna pressured Mickie into the corner. Mickie came back with a headscissors submission. Deonna escaped and gave Mickie an armbar. Mickie hit Deonna with an armdrag and put her in an armbar. Mickie and Deonna traded armdrags. Both women traded roullups. Deonna blocked Mickie’s Mick Kick combo.[c]

Mickie pressured Deonna in the corner with chops. Mickie also choked Deonna with her boot. Mickie hit Deonna with a Thesz Press and right hands. Deonna came back with a back elbow to recover. Deonna dominated for a stretch. Mickie caught Deonna with a huracanrana and basement kick for a two count. Mickie hit Deonna with a flapjack after she avoided a Mick-DT. Deonna shoved Mickie off the top rope.[c]

Deonna was dominating back from the break. Deonna hit Mickie with a brainbuster for a few two counts. Mickie put Deonna on the apron and dropkicked her. Mickie hit Deonna with a seated senton at ringside. Mickie staggered Deonna and hit her with a Missile Dropkick. Mickie hit Deonna with a neckbreaker for a two count. Deonna hit Mickie with a kick for a two count. Mickie avoided a Gotch Driver and hit Deonna with a thrust kick for a two count.

Deonna reversed a Mick DT into a Rings of Saturn. Mickie got a foot on the rope for the rope break. After trading rollups, Mickie got the win after a grabbing a hand full of tights.

Mickie James defeated Deonna Purrazzo via pinfall in 16:02 of on-air time.

Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace made her entrance with a mic to confront Mickie James. Grace talked about how Mickie has fought her way to the top. She talked about how it’s finally time for Mickie to get her title shot. Grace proposed a title match for Hard to Kill. Mickie nodded to agree to the match…

John’s Thoughts: Great match that was dragged down by the immense amount of plot armor Mickie has as this point of her Last Rodeo. What made Ric Flair’s career threatening matches work better were the fact that they saved his career threatening matches for PPVs that were spaced out, few and far between. We see Mickie wrestle near-weekly, which put Mickie in a stale formula. The only believable opponents Mickie has at this point are Masha Slammovich and Jordynne Grace and it looks like they’re going forward with the Grace match. Impact deserves a lot of credit for rehabilitating Jordynne Grace’s career, from being a tag team wrestler who lost all the time, to becoming a dominant top babyface.

The show cut to Eric Young and Deaner meeting at the Violent By Design prison. A remix of Johnny Cash’s “Cut you down” was playing in the background. There was a taped up knife on the center of the table. Young asked Deaner if he’d do anything to get rid of the sickness. Deaner said “anything”. Young asked Deaner if the sickness was in the room now, would he eliminate it?

Deaner hesitated, but agreed that he’d eliminate it. Young and Deaner then fought over grabbing the knife. Young and Deaner traded punches. Deaner held back Young’s hand from stabbing him. Young ended up jabbing a thumb in Deaner’s eye. Deander turned the tables and got his thumb in Young’s eye. Deaner pummeled Young with punches. Deaner asked Young why he was doing this? Young said that Violent By Design has been a failure since its inception (he’s kinda right about that). Young said Deaner is able to kill the sickness.

Deaner picked up the knife and mulled over it. Young begged Deaner to “eliminate the sickness”. Deaner jabbed the knife down off-screen, presumably stabbing and killing Young. Young’s last words were “I was the designer, but you are the design”. Impact closed…

John’s Thoughts: Welp, murder. Is EY on his way back to WWE? We’ll see. That was a very Lucha Underground way to write someone off. As a fan of Lucha Underground, I like those cinematics when it’s done well, and I thought this was done well. A little odd that they bounce between the shack and prison in terms of the VBD lair, but that’s not a huge issue. These VBD cinematics have been well done, and I hope that whoever is producing them can take those techniques and produce cinematics for more credible acts, like maybe Sami Callihan (who tends to be shoved in bad low-budget cinematics).

As much as Violent By Design has jumped the shark, I’m intrigued to see how they do now that Young is presumably out of the picture and Cody Deaner is in charge? Deaner’s transformation as been astonishing. The guy has had a similar career trejectory as Eric Young, starting off as the talented comedy figure, to becoming a serious and sadistic alpha male. Now that he’s outside of Young’s shadow, I hope to see this guy flourish even further. As for the rest of the show, good show as always. Impact continues to kill it weekly with a good alternative to the big two companies. They just need a way to somehow reach a larger audience because their biggest weakness is visability.

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