Powell’s Impact Wrestling Hit List: Josh Alexander and Bully Ray, Jordynne Grace and Mickie James vs. Tasha Steelz and Savannah Evans, Rich Swann vs. Steve Maclin, Mike Bailey vs. Yuya Uemura, Rosemary and Jessicka vs. Deonna Purrazzo and Gisele Shaw for the Knockouts Tag Titles

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Impact Wrestling Hits

Josh Alexander and Bull Ray angle: As someone who looked forward to seeing the team of John Skyler and Jason Hotch, I was a little disappointed when Bully Ray came out prior to their scheduled match. Everything pointed to Skyler and Hotch serving as Bully’s whipping boys, particularly once Hotch was zip-tied to the ropes. It was truly surprising when the duo turned on Josh Alexander after he ran out to save them. The formula for Bully is to add more heat by the week, and I enjoy the clever ways that the company does that. I just hope this wasn’t actually the end of the build to the Hard To Kill main event. Scott D’Amore announced that he was sending both men home until the pay-per-view, but ideally they will still have some creative ways to work them into the remaining shows.

Mike Bailey vs. Yuya Uemura: This looked good on paper and lived up to expectations. With Bailey recently going just shy of an hour with Impact World Champion Josh Alexander, Uemura gained something in defeat by having such a competitive match with Bailey. My only complaint is that the finishing sequence was odd in that Bailey took a German suplex on his head and then just popped right up and threw a kick. I’m not a fan of dangerous suplexes and it’s frustrating when the person taking the dangerous move makes the risk feel useless by not bothering to sell it.

Jordynne Grace and Mickie James vs. Tasha Steelz and Savannah Evans: There was some good storytelling in the match involving the Knockouts Champion Grace and her tag team partner James, who will challenge her for the title at Hard To Kill. The strong broadcast team of Tom Hannifan and Matt Rehwoldt helped tell the story that James avoided tagging in Grace at one point during the match. Grace eventually tagged herself in and ended up pinning Steelz despite James telling her prior to the match that she wanted Steelz for herself. Things boiled over afterward with James taking out Grace with a super kick. This easily could have been a mutual respect babyface vs. babyface match, but I like that they’ve generated some major tension between Grace and James.

Rich Swann vs. Steve Maclin: A quality match between two wrestlers who both need wins. The double count-out finish was underwhelming in the moment, but it created the need for a rematch and the post match brawl was intense. Swann announced that he re-signed with Impact for two more years, so hopefully the company will start to do more with him given that he’s been spinning his wheels since he dropped the Impact World Championship. It would also be nice to see Swann shake up his act a bit by becoming less happy go lucky. Perhaps this feud with Maclin will inspire that shift in his character.

Rosemary and Jessicka vs. Deonna Purrazzo and Gisele Shaw for the Knockouts Tag Titles: A good show opening title defense for the champions. Purrazzo and Shaw made it clear afterward that they are done teaming together, so I’m curious to see how the next challengers will be. Is it as simple as going back to Tasha Steelz and Savannah Evans or will a new team emerge?

Impact Wrestling Misses

Sami Callihan and The Design: Callihan’s request to join the heel faction was a surprising development. The problem is that whether Callihan is with The Design or against them, neither scenario feels all that intriguing at the moment. Here’s hoping that this story finds its groove.


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