1/19 Impact Wrestling TV results: Moore’s review of the Hard To Kill fallout edition with new Knockouts Champion Mickie James in the opening segment, Mike Bailey vs. Kenny King in a Pit Fight, Taylor Wilde vs. Killer Kelly, Deonna Purrazzo vs. Ashley D’Amboise

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

Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Atlanta, Georgia at Center Stage

Aired January 19, 2023 on AXS TV

The show started off with an “…in memory of” graphic for the late Jamin “Jay Briscoe” Pugh. Tom Hannifan offered prayers and thoughts on behalf of Impact Wrestling to Jay’s family, Mark, and the entire Pugh family…

Highlights from the Impact Hard to Kill 2023 PPV aired…

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

New Impact Wrestling Knockouts Champion Mickie James made her entrance. Mickie had a mic and thanked the fans. She said even though the Last Rodeo is over, Hardcore Country will live forever because there’s a new champion in the house. Mickie soaked in chants. Mickie was about to thank the crowd again, but she was interrupted by Bully Ray making his entrance. Tom Hannifan called Bully a “pile of trash”. Bully was showered with “You tapped out” chants.

Bully stood in front of Mickie and pointed at the ramp. Mickie tried to talk, but Bully said he didn’t say to talk, he is saying to leave. Bully kept insisting that Mickie leave. Mickie said it looks like the crowd wants to see another person, Bully, leave the ring. A “get out Bully” chant ensued. Mickie said that Bully can do everyone a favor and get out of “my ring”. Bully said Mickie is just wasting her time flapping her gums. He said it’s not Mickie’s ring.

Bully said Mickie wasn’t in the main event of Hard to Hill. When Bully tried to claim he was in the main event, the crowd showered him with “yes she was” chants. Bully noted that he’s the main event, not he and Josh Alexander. He said he sold the arena out, but the crowd are cheering Mickie. He said before he came to the company, no one wanted to talk about Impact. Bully said he made Josh Alexander popular on social media and the news outlets. He said if it wasn’t for him, Josh would be a nobody.

Bully said he’s now giving Mickie permission to talk. Mickie mocked Bully for always talking about himself. Mickie said the only news headline she’s been seeing is “you tapped out”. The crowd chanted on queue. Bully said he’s giving Mickie one more warning, and Mickie should know what happens if she doesn’t go away. Bully said Mickie needs to pick her next words wisely. Mickie said she honestly respects Bully, but when it comes to how Bully acts as a man, he has shown his true colors. Mickie said Bully is a bitter bully who throws temper tatrums when he doesn’t get what he wants.

Mickie said she’s well aware of what Bully does to women in the ring but if he wants Mickie out of the ring, then he’s going to have to take her out of this ring. Tasha Steelz and Savannah Evans made their entrance after Bully dropped his mic. Tasha said the flava was in the room in Atlanta. She said she’s not the biggest Bully Ray fan because Bully military press slammed her at Bound for Glory, but if Bully wants to go all ooops all up side Mickie’s head, she wants a front row seat to watch that.

Tasha confronted Mickie and asked Mickie what she’s actually celebrating about. Tasha took credit for starting the Last Rodeo and how Mickie can’t beat her (Mickie had lost the title last time to Tasha). Mickie shoved Tasha when Tasha got all up in her face. Bully encouraged Tasha and told her not to take that from Mickie. Bully said that Mickie is just a two-bit champion. Tasha said she doesn’t care about Masha and Jordynne being ahead of her in line officially, she’s going to come back and take the title that belongs to her.

Tasha offered to help Bully pop Mickie up side her head. Evans punched down Mickie. Tasha and Savannah put the boots to Mickie. Bully was about to get a table, but Jordynne Grace and Frankie Kazarian ran out to clear the heels from the ring. The Impact “Director of Authority” Santino Marella made his entrance. Santino said he is trying to figure out what match he needs to make up. Suddenly, Ernest the Cat Miller made his entrance.

Ernest said he’s here because he lives in Atlanta. He said he used to be a commissioner on WCW Nitro. Miller recommended that everyone around the ring now should have a match. Bully Ray tried to walk off. Bully said he doesn’t want to listen to WCW rejects like Miller. Santino called Bully “Bobby Ray”, and told him to get back to the ring or else get fired. Santino booked everyone in the ring in a six person tag team match. Miller ended the segment with his famous “Somebody call my momma” line (the line that would soon become the entrance themes of Brodus Clay and Xavier Woods)…

John’s Thoughts: A bit of a crowded segment with no real direction. Totally fine, because this is the segment coming off the end of Mickie’s big story. Sorta a bit of a reset. At the same time, this just felt like those old Smackdown episodes after a PPV where Teddy Long walks out and books everyone in a six person tag team match. It’s fun seeing Santino back on TV after all this time and I like him from a nostalgia perspective. I’m not sold on him getting involved with serious wrestlers like Josh Alexander, Bully Ray, Mickie James, Jordynne Grace, and other main eventers. Santino seems better fit to hover around the main program, but focus his time dealing with people closer to Johnny Swinger’s orbit.

1. Mickie James, Jordynne Grace, and Frankie Kazarian vs. Tasha Steelz, Savannah Evans, and Bully Ray in an Intergender Tag Team Match. Grace and Steelz started the match. Steelz managed to use strikes to pressure Grace to the corner. Grace came back with a simple and effective body slam Savannah Evans tagged in. Grace managed to hit Evans with a body slam. Grace asked for Bully to tag in, but Bully turned his back to her dismissively.

Evans took advantage of the distraction by tackling Grace to her corner. Bully Ray trash talked Grace while Evans was beating her up. Grace escaped a Full Nelson with a back elbow to bring in Mickie. Mickie hit Evans with slap and kick combinations.

Evans regained control by whipping Mickie into the corner. Bully continued his trash talk. Evans ended Mickie’s comeback with a lariat. Evans worked on Mickie with methodical offense. Bully Ray pulled Mickie’s hair for a cheap shot.[c]

Bully Ray tagged in and body slammed Mickie James. Bully continued his heavy trash talk to mock Mickie. Mickie slapped Bully. Bully body slammed Mickie. Bully tagged in Evans to pick up the scraps. The heels cut the ring in half on Mickie. Mickie escaped a sleeper from Tasha. Mickie hit Tashas with a huracanrana for a window of opportunity. Tasha caught Mickie with a pump kick for a two count.

The heels went back to quick tags to cut the ring in half on Mickie. Mickie tossed Evans to ringside and did a judo roll to tag in Grace. Grace took down Evans and Steelz with right hands. Grace hit Tasha with a meteora and diving elbow combo. Grace hit Steelz with a Vader Bomb. Bully broke up the pin. Grace lifted Bully in Fireman Carry. Bully escaped and hit Grace with a chop. Kazarian hit Bully with a few flying right hands to dump Bully to ringside.

Kazarian no sold Tasha’s punch, but sold Savannah’s. Kaz pulled Evans and Steelz at each other to stagger them. Grace dumped Evans to ringside for the lariat. Mickie hit Tasha with a top rope seated senton for the victory.

Mickie James, Jordynne Grace and Frankie Kazarian defeated Tasha Steelz, Savannah Evans, and Bully Ray via pinfall in 10:24 of on-air time.

Masha Slammovich made her entrance in street clothes with an envelope in hand. Masha handed Mickie the envelope which had her usual calling card in it, an 8 x 10 photo of her opponent with an X on it. Mickie kissed the photo and pie faced Masha with it. Mickie and Masha faced off in the center of the ring…

Kenny King was shown shadow boxing backstage…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Fun exhibition match. Intergender matches may not be for everyone, but this one was harmless and did its job in allowing Bully to get some cheap heat. Bully was great as usual with his trash talk. A bit surprised that Tasha took the pin here. I get protecting Evans and (if they’re presumably going to use him further) Bully, but they made sure to point out how Tasha wasn’t allowed a singles Last Rodeo match, only to have Mickie simply tear through her here.

Santino Marella and Ernest the Cat Miller were chatting backstage. Santino said he wants to book 6 former champions in a match called a “Golden Six Shooter Match” to find out Josh “Alexandro’s” next number one contender for a match at No Surrender. He booked Chris Sabin and Eddie Edwards in the match. He said he also had four animals in the match: A Rhino, a Swann, the Moose, and a Callihan. Santino asked Miller for advice. Miller said that Santino just has to follow his heart.

Santino then approached the former Fandango, now known as Dirty Dango. He’s back to his old black hair. Santino asked Dango for advice. Steve Maclin cut in to ask why he isn’t in the number one contender match. Dango asked if he could have a match against Maclin. Maclin said “you asked for it, pal”. Santino booked the match…

Deonna Purrazzo got a televised entrance for the next match. Her opponent was already in the ring…

2. Deonna Purrazzo vs. Ashley D’Amboise. Deonna toyed wtih Ashley to start the match with dominant offense. Deonna dominated for a few minutes with chain wrestling. Ashley came back with a series of armdrags. Deonna blocked a Sunset Flip and hit Ashley with a knee drop. Deonna put Ashley in a modified surfboard, bending Ashley deep. Ashley tackled Deonna to the corners.

Deonna came back with a back elbow and big boot. Deonna hit Ashley with a backbreaker. Deonna pinned Ashley, but intentionally broke up her own pin. Ashley dodged to the apron and hit Deonna with a high kick. Ashley hit Deonna with an innovative rolling neckbreaker. Deonna came back with a big boot and power bomb. Deonna hit Ashley with a Gotch Style Pile Driver for the win.

Deonna Purrazzo defeated Ashley D’Amboise via pinfall in 4:21.

Hannifan talked about how the knockouts title picture is busy these days…

John’s Thoughts: Good enhancement win for Deonna. Smart to have her in a showcase match to rebuild her for an eventual singles run. Hopefully they keep her away from the tag team titles for the time being because she feels way more valuable as a top singles star.

The show cut to Gia Miller who said she was on an investigation to find PCO below the arena. Gia recapped PCO getting buried by Eddie Edwards and returning at the PPV. Gia was investigating in the basement area of the arena. Gia found PCO in a random storage room. PCO was tweaking out and doing his usual PCO faces. PCO was banging on a cage yelling “Eddie!”. Gia yelped in fear…[c]

Trey Miguel sat down next to Ashley D’Amboise to congratulate Ashley for a good match. Ashley thanked Trey for the kind words. Trey said that the thanks smells like disrespect. Ashley pointed out how Trey defaced the X Division title by spraying it with paint. Trey called Ashley a “toots”. Some random old man showed up to confront Trey and told him to show respect to women. It was the 70 year old active indie wrestler “Action” Mike Jackson.

Trey said “what in the Pinochle in the park?”. Trey said that Jackson probably knows how to respect all kinds of women, even from prehistoric times. Jackson challenged Trey to an X Division title match next week. Trey agreed. Trey told Mike to practice his respect on Ashley…

Entrances for the next match took place. Hannifan noted how all the matches tonight have been women’s matches…

3. “The People’s Witch” Taylor Wilde vs. Killer Kelly. Kelly started the match with a Saito Suplex on Wilde. Wilde rolled to the ropes to avoid a leg drop. Hannifan noted both women were trading creepy smiles. WIlde put Kelly in a armdrag and hammerlock. Wilde escaped a Killer Clutch attempt. Kelly and Wilde traded Irish Whips and shortarm strikes. Wilde converted a Suplex into a Guillotine Choke.

Kelly tackled Wilde into the corner and hit her with a pump kick for a two count. Kelly and Wilde traded methodical offense. Wilde got a bit of a rally with running strikes and a Codebreaker. Wilde hit Kelly with a dropkick for a two count. Wilde double stomped and draped Kelly’s head on the apron. Wilde got a two count. Kelly no sold Wilde’s right hands and did her masochist mannerisms.

Kelly hooked both of Wilde’s hand and dropped her with headbutts. Kelly hit Wilde with a suplex into the turnbuckle. Kelly hit Wilde with a hesitation dropkick for a two count. Wilde reversed a Killer Clutch into a Wilde Ride (Bridged German Suplex) for a two count. Both women traded rollups for nearfalls. Kelly put Wilde in the Killer Clutch for the submission win.

Killer Kelly defeated Taylor Wilde via submission in 7:14.

John’s Thoughts: A good mirror style of match with two methodical wrestlers. Wilde’s latest character repackage still does nothing for me, and comes off as completely random. That said, she’s better than ever in the ring. I think she may be better than her run in the early 2000s in Impact. Good to see Kelly back in Impact after being gone from a few tapings. Kelly is interesting, because I can see her catching the eyes of WWE with her new voyeur gimmick. Hunter and Shawn used her a lot when she was in her generic MMA character, and this new voyeur gimmick is much more refined.

The show cut to footage from the Before the Impact show. Deaner ordered [Sami] Callihan to enter the ring to beat up Delirious, who had just had a match. Callihan reluctantly gave Delirious a Cactus Driver…

The show cut to Callihan leaning over a production crate looking nervous. Deaner and The Design were behind him. Deaner said joining he Design is a “7 step initiation” process. Deaner said Callihan passed the 1st step by shaving his head, and the 2nd in following orders earlier. Deaner said next week is step 3, when he competes in the number one contenders match. Deaner told Callihan to win the match and eventually bring the world title to The Design. Big Kon said if Callihan loses, there will be consequences…[c]

Santino was chatting with Josh Alexander backstage. Santino said the Six Shooter Match was like a palindrome because it’s like a gun and six shoot fighters (that’s not how a palindrome works). Josh said he’s ok with the match because he’s always down for a challenge. Josh left and said he’s happy Santino is here. Gisele Shaw and Jai Vidal confronted Santino.

Gisele talked about how she keeps getting betrayed by her recent tag teams. She said it wasn’t her fault her last tag teams broke up (Deonna/Green and Rayne/Dashwood). Gisele said she pinned the Death Dollz last week and deserves another tag team title shot. Santino said that’s fine, but Shaw needs a tag partner. Santino randomly called over Alisha Edwards who was passing by. Edwards said “ew”. Another random woman also refused to be Gisele’s tag partner. Santino said he’ll find a tag partner soon, but that’s hard because nobody likes Gisele. Jai said he likes Gisele…

Entrances for the next match took place. Hannifan noted that this is the first time both men faced in the ring (I looked it up, just because I remember reviewing it, Dango and Maclin have faced in NXT when Breezango was wrestling the Forgotten Sons. Even Hannifan forgot about the forgotten sons)..

4. Steve Maclin vs. Dirty Dango. Maclin took down Dango with a kidney punch and methodical offense. Dango blocked a Sunset Flip with a right hand and legdrop. Dango hit Maclin with an arm trap suplex. Dango chopped Maclin around the ring. Maclin came back with a jabreaker and clothesline for a two count. Maclin worked on Dango with methodical offense. Dango got a window of opportunity with a back suplex.

Dango rallied back with knife edge chops. Dango hit Maclin with running European Uppercuts. Rehwoldt noted that while he was wrestling Dango in Europe, Dango broke his nose and he hasn’t forgotten. Dango then did some hip thrusts while rubbing around his crotch area. This led to a telegraphed leg drop. Dango hit Maclin with a Falcon Arrow. Maclin rolled to ringside to avoid a Last Dance attempt.

Dango hit Maclin with a diving axe handle on the ramp. Maclin blocked a Tornado DDT with a backdrop. Maclin hit Dango with a Tree of Woe Spear. Maclin hit Dango with the Dirty Deeds DDT for the win.

Steve Maclin defeated Fandango via pinfall in 5:35.

John’s Thoughts: Nice showcase for Maclin and an example of one former WWE wrestler who has totally reinvented himself vs. another trying to re-live some of his past glory. To Dango’s credit, I do like that he went back to the black hair and is doing some of his old Dirty Curtis mannerisms, which was fun. He does come off a bit as the poor man’s Joey Ryan. Steve Maclin has been on a roll and they’ve done a decent job keeping him strong away from the title. Maclin is someone I’d consider as a candidate to end Josh Alexander’s long title reign.

Gia Miller interviewed The Major Players, Matt Cardona and Brian Myers about how Chris Bey and Ace Austin have challenged them to a match next week. Myers said both teams have been screwing each other over the last few months. Moose confronted them and talked about how Brian’s bad luck started ever since Joe Hendry beat him for the title.
Cardona said he understands that Moose is trying to manipulate them into doing his dirty work, but he agrees that Joe Hendry is acting like he’s the king of the internet. Cardona said “I’m the king of the internet”. Cardona said after they take care of Bullet Club, Cardona is going to take the Digital Media Championship back to where it belongs. Moose said he’ll hold Cardona to that…

“Speedball” Mike Bailey was shown shadowboxing backstage…[c]

Tommy Dreamer had a sitdown interview with his Busted Open Radio co-host Dave LaGreca. LaGreca said he’s honored to conduct this interview on Impact. Dave said this whole situation has been tough because he’s friends with both Bully and Tommy. Dreamer said he is still friends with Dave. Dreamer said he doesn’t talk to Bully anymore because Bully has been trying to get Tommy kicked off Busted Open.

Dave asked Tommy if there’s any way to mend their relationship. Tommy talked about how Bully keeps holding it over Tommy’s head that he got him his gigs in Busted Open and Impact, but not how Tommy got Bully in ECW and in a tag team with D-Von. Dreamer talked about using everyone. Tommy said he doesn’t want to deal with Bully’s negativity. Dreamer talked about how he doesn’t like lying because he sees how it effects people.

Dreamer said he may lose matches, but never the war. He said he and Bully will go to war. Dave LaGreca ended the interview…

John’s Thoughts: Uhm? I hope Bully’s run in Impact isn’t going to end with a blood feud with Tommy F’n Dreamer. Don’t get me wrong, both men were splendid on the mic when they went against each other a few weeks ago. That said, I hope if Bully is going to stay in Impact for a bit, that they have him feuding with some of Impact’s newer wrestlers. Bully going against Mike Bailey would be fun. Bully vs. Steve Maclin would make a lot of sense because Bully was the one who pinned Maclin to become the winner of the Money in the Cup. I’m looking forward to this Dreamer vs. Bully feud if Bully goes over and moves on to some new talent. Ugh, worst thing would be he moves on to feud with ECW’s Rhino.

Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in from the commentary table. They announced the following segments for next week: Trey Miguel vs. Mike Jackson for the X Division Championship, Major Players vs. Bey and Ace, The Death Dollz vs. Gisele Shaw and a mystery partner for the Knockouts Tag Team Championships, and the “Golden Six Shooter” Number One Contenders Match. Hannifan sent the show to a New Japan Replay commercial, narrated by Kevin Kelly…

The ring crew were shown taking apart the ring for the rope-less pit fight…[c]

An ad aired for the Impact Wrestling Rebellion PPV…

Entrances for the pit fight took place. Both men got entrance music, but no video wall. Kenny King wore boxer trunks, while Mike Bailey wore maneuverable Tae Kwon Do pants along with his black belt. Dave Penzer handled formal in-ring introductions. The referee was dressed as an MMA referee.

The referee laid out the rules. Sadly, the crowd gave him the what treatment (ugh, f’n wrestling fans). There were no pinfalls or DQ and you can only with via submission or knockout. Kenny King didn’t respect the customary fist bump…

5. “Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Kenny King in a pit-fight. King kept his distance from Bailey’s TKD. King got the first double leg takedown. King dominated the initial mount before the separation. King made sure to continue to avoid Bailey’s TKD. King dragged Bailey into his low guard. Bailey managed to convert to a rear mount. Bailey continue to do Tae Kwon Do jabs and stances while King converted to a Muay Thai defense.

Bailey gave King an armdrag to send him to ringside. Both men traded close quarters strikes. King got the takedown, sending Bailey to ringside with a boot. Bailey tried to get back in, but he ate a big boot from King. King tossed Bailey into the steel steps. King went for a Kimura, but Bailey blocked it. Bailey and King traded kicks. Bailey took the wind out of King with a palm to the sternum.

King came right back with a Judo drag into the elevated ramp. King hit Bailey with a drive by knee. Bailey was bleeding from the forehead at this point. King punched at Bailey’s wound. heading into break.[c]

Bailey tried to mount a comeback with rapid kicks, but King reversed it with an Exploder Suplex. King worked on Bailey with Muay Thai Clinch Strikes. King then hit Bailey with a Dragon Screw Legwhhip. King went for an Eddy Gordo handstand kick, but Bailey countered with a Sparta Kick. Bailey hit King with a rapid Tae Kwon Do Axe Kick combo. King blocked Bailey with the Octopus Stance. Bailey reversed the Octopus Guard into a Juji Gatame.

King deadlifted Bailey into a powerbomb to break the Juji Gatame. Bailey recovered and wrenched on King with a reverse Juji Gatame. Bailey worked on Kenny’s shoulders with strikes. King got a moment of respite after dumping Bailey to ringside with a Dragon Screw. King hit Bailey with an impressive Blockbuster at ringside. King dragged a chair in the ring.

Bailey hit King with a palm strike combo. Bailey missed a roundhouse and hurt his toes by giving the ringpost a roundhouse. King put Bailey in a Figure Four Leglock. Bailey managed to “reverse the pressure”. Both men tumbled to ringside. Bailey caught King with a thrust hook kick. Bailey ran to the stage, which was at the same level as the ring. Bailey hit King with a Karate Jump Kick.

Bailey climbed up the buckle-less ring post to hit King with a Spiral Tap. A TNA chant ensued (presumably in honor of AJ Styles? Why else would people chant TNA after a spiral tap?). Hannifan joked that there was Total Nonstop Action going on. King reversed Ultima Weapon with a nice punt kick. King gave Bailey a spinebuster on the apron. King hit Bailey with a Trouble in Paradise.

King followed up with a heel hook once Bailey showed that he was still conscious. King put Bailey in a heel hook as the crowd gave both men “This is Awesome” chants. Bailey broke the heel hook by chucking a chair at King. Bailey pummeled King with mounted strikes.

King survived a Juji Gatame attempt. Bailey hit King with a standing Ultima Weapon. Bailey went back to the mounted punches and King couldn’t defend himself. The referee separated both men to check on King. Bailey put a chair on King and hit King with a chambered curb stomp, con-chair-to style. The referee called for the bell before Bailey could deliver another Chambered Stomp.

“Speedball” Mike Bailey defeated Kenny King via Technical Knockout in 13:12 of on-air time.

Mike Bailey posed in victory to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: Awesome “real” type of match done in the martial arts “demo” style. It’s always a bit weird that for some reason wrestlers go into practical-demo mode when in a shoot-gimmick, but I can forgive that and suspend my disbelief. Maybe this type of match isn’t for all people (presumably those who prefer the more stunt-based pro wrestling style). I love this type of match to death given my personal background. As a person who has eaten chambered thrust kicks to the face, those things ain’t no joke. Since we don’t see it in wrestling ever, a chambered curb stomp would make a cool finisher. Chambered kicks in general are very underutilized in pro wrestling.

I love this even more seeing a fellow Tae Kwon Do practitioner like Mike Bailey perform some fun TKD demo moves. Kudos to King for holding his end of the bargain with some Jujitsu and Muay Thai to counter Bailey’s TKD and grappling. Not much this week in terms of storyline direction as it seems like most stories are hitting a reset after the PPV. That said, as usual Impact continues to be a satisfying weekly show that’s a great alternative to WWE and AEW.


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