By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Orlando, Florida at Osceola Heritage Park
Aired February 9, 2023 on AXS TV
Highlights from last week’s Impact Wrestling show aired…
The show cut to Matt Cardona entering the Arena where he was stopped by a door guard. Cardona informed the guard that he was in the Matt Cardona vs. Joe Hendry main event. The guard escorted Cardona to a private dressing room.
The guard then mistakenly called Cardona “Joe Hendry”. Cardona verified he was Matt Cardona and he was escorted to the Cardona private locker room, which was a storage room…
1. Dirty Dango vs. Brian Myers for a spot in the four way Number One Contenders match at No Surrender. Dango pressured Myers to the corner to start the match. Dango then taunted Myers by humping the air. Myers came back with a shoulder tackle. Dango came back with a wheelbarrow armdrag. Dango hit Cardona’s elbow with a delayed knee drop.
Dango got a two count after a suplex. Dango put Myers in an armbar. Hannifan and Rehwoldt noted that both men have been in the same companies with each other for years (Going all the way back to FCW developmental). Dango worked on Myers at ringside with methodical offense. Myers got a moment of respite after shoving Dango into the ring post.
Myers worked on Dango with ground and pound followed by methodical offense. Dango got his moment of respite after running head first into the head of Myers. Dango rallied back with chops and a few European Uppercuts in the corner. Dango hit Myers with a side Russian leg sweep. Dango led the crowd in claps and hit a standing dropkick for a two count.
Dango hit Myers with a Falcon Arrow for a two count. Dango caught Myers with an axe handle dive. Myers came back by crotching Dango in the ring apron. Myers hit Dango with a Roster Cut at ringside.
Brian Myers defeated Dirty Dango via pinfall in 6:48 to earn a spot in the four way Number One Contenders Match at No Surrender.
John’s Thoughts: Good and dominant win for Myers. The right guy went over here, and it’s the guy that reinvented himself after being treated like a fool in WWE. Meanwhile, not to hate on the guy because I’m a fan of his work, Dirty Dango doesn’t really stand out these days because he feels like he’s doing a lazy derivative of both his Fandango and Dirty Curty characters. He’s impressed me so many times in WWE to the point where I really want to see him take a lesson from Matt Cardona, Brian Myers, and Steve Maclin. Just try something new.
The show cut to a Gisele Shaw and Jai Vidal skit. They were bullying random staff members in the dining area by messing with their food. Deonna Purrazzo showed up and got in Shaw’s face to berate her about putting her friend, Chelsea Green’s, name in her mouth during that promo last week. Purrazzo said that makes this personal. Vidal tried to distract Deonna so Shaw could throw a bowl of chili in her face, but Purrazzo saw it coming and she tossed the chili into Shaw.
Director of Authority, Santino Marella got between the bickering women. Santino said it’s clear that both women have issues and they can solve those issues at No Surrender. After Purrazzo left, Santino used his finger to taste some of the chili that was on the face of Shaw. Santino said it needs a bit of salt…[c]
Gia Miller interviewed the X Division Champion Trey Miguel on his thoughts on Crazzy Steve and Steve’s goals. Trey said Steve doesn’t have a goal and is just a “dog chasing cars” (A quote from Heath Ledger’s Joker). Trey said Steve’s middle name is “ass” which makes him Crazy Ass Steve.
Trey said he paint tags something to say that he owns it, but Steve thinks he owns Trey even though he got the paint on him. Trey said he’s done with Steve. The lights went off. After they came back on, the TV monitors flashed Trey’s symbol. Trey’s symbols were then covered as a man, presumably Steve was laughing in the background…
John’s Thoughts: I’m really liking the new heel Trey. Talk about reinvention. He seems to be more of a character as opposed to a person playing a character. I liked that the creepy effect they used here was more practical. Hacking TVs makes more sense than voodoo magic. That said, Trey did sell it a bit much, but that’s no big deal.
The Good Hands, John Skyler and Jason Hotch, made their entrance with a mic. Skyler introduced their team. He said people take “The Good Hands” as a backhanded compliment, but the hand is actually a useful appendage, unlike the state of Florida.
Skyler said if he were running the show he’d make sure Impact never tours in Florida. Skyler said they need to take care of this fast so they can leave this cesspool. Tommy Dreamer and Mickie James made their entrances…
2. Tommy Dreamer and Knockouts World Champion Mickie James vs. “The Good Hands” John Skyler and Jason Hotch in an intergender tag team match. Mickie flipped over Hotch with a wrist hold and armdrag. Dreamer tagged in and hit Hotch with a tandem clothesline and tandem elbow drop. Hotch recovered and hit Mickie with a knee to the gut.
Skyler tagged in and took an armdrag from Mickie. Dreamer dumped Hotch and Skyer to ringside and hit both men with a diving double lariat. Mickie got to the top rope and hit both opponents with a crossbody. Hannifan noted that the two Busted Open Radio Hosts seem to have good chemistry in the ring. Dreamer put Skyler in a Texas Cloverleaf. Hotch broke up the submission.
Hotch and Skyler worked on Dreamer with tandem moves, where they also did their wrestler’s handshake. Skyler and Hotch cut the ring in half on Dreamer. Dreamer caught Hotch with a Cutter after Skyler tried to taunt Dreamer. After Hotch tagged in, Mickie cleaned house off a hot tag.
Mickie hit Hotch with a huracanrana and flapjack. Mickie hit Hotch with a top rope seated senton. Skyler broke up the pin by pulling Mickie’s hair. Mickie caught Skyler with a Mick Kick. Mickie hit Hotch with a Mick DT while Dreamer gave Skyler a DDT at the same time. Mickie pinned Hotch for the win.
Mickie James and Tommy Dreamer defeated The Good Hands via pinfall in 6:21.
While Mickie and Tommy were celebrating, Bully Ray ran into the ring and knocked out Dreamer with a blow to the back of the neck. Bully provoked Mickie which allowed Masha Slamovich to come from behind and hit Mickie with a spinning back fist. Masha left Mickie lying after hitting the Knockouts Champion with a Snow Plow…
John’s Thoughts: Fun and harmless intergender match. Maybe Hotch and Skyer should be credited with being “good hands” because they made this match less awkward as most intergender matches that we see. Especially for Skyler, I still hope that we see more from them than just being fall guys. This match had me hopeful that we’re getting a mixed tag situation with Masha and Bully teaming up as opposed to the singular Bully vs. Dreamer ECW/Busted Open Radio feud.
Johnny Swinger and Zicky Dice caught up with Santino Marella. Swinger called Santino “Sammartino”. Swinger said he’s ready for that title shot that Scott D’Amore promised him. Santino said he knows that Swinger will be awarded a world title match if he can win 50 matches in a row.
Dirty Dango showed up claiming he’s Santino’s deputy. Dango denied Swinger the title match. Santino said that Dango is not the deputy, but the request is indeed denied. After Santino and Dango left, Dice hyped up Swinger and left saying he knows the perfect person Swinger can beat to start his streak. Swinger was left alone in his WrestleMania 3 Ring Cart. Swinger asked, “Can a guy get a push around here? I mean the one that counts”…
An ad aired for Impact’s four-show Chicago season pass tickets…
A Rich Swann video package aired. Swann said the most important time of his career was when he beat Eric Young to become World Champion. He said one thing that disappointed him was he couldn’t share that win with the fans, because he was champion during the empty-arena 2020 COVID pandemic. He said nonetheless, he tried to inspire people around the road.
He talked about how he beat Chris Bey, Sami Callihan, Tommy Dreamer, and Ken Shamrock in title defenses. He said he unified the Impact World Championship with the TNA Championship (Which via storyline, Moose may or may not have pulled that title out of the garbage). Rich said they came to him with his biggest opportunity yet, a chance to win the Impact and AEW World Championship.
Rich said he tried his best but he got his ass whooped by Kenny Omega. Rich said that loss messed with his mind. He said he was down. Rich talked about how he’s thought about the Impact Championship during every match he’s had the last two year. He said he watched the title change hands from Kenny Omega, to Christian, to Josh Alexander, who brought the title back home.
Swann said it does hurt him a bit that even though Josh is his friend, he wanted to be the one to bring the title home. Swann talked about winning the 6 person elimination match. He said he sees the moment that he’s been waiting for two years. He said he has his mojo back. Rich told Josh that he’s going to get his championship back…
John’s Thoughts: That’s the Rich Swann we’ve been waiting for for years. It’s a tough sell to say that he was obsessed with the title while he was trading wins and losses in the tag team mid-card with Willie Mack as a partner, but maybe we can just chalk it up to some serious internalizing. This was a good package and Swann came off as genuine. He also either has a different haircut, or the new demeanor just makes him look different. Either way, good character reset and I hope we see Rich Swann stay in the main event. Now if he’d only give up on the whole Lionel Richie dancing routine, but I’m pretty sure that’s not happening because we’ve been asking for that for years.
Steph De Lander (Former NXT Wrestler Persia Pirotta) made her debut Impact Entrance, where she cut an in-ring promo. She said the entire division is shaking in their boots because she’s here. She said she’s the “Powerhouse Predator” Steph De Lander. Steph said it’s going to be a fall from grace when Grace loses to the new girl in Impact. She said she’s SDL and “I’m your worst nightmare”…[c]
Jordynne Grace made her entrance…
3. Jordynne Grace vs. Steph De Lander. Steph used her height advantage to leverage Grace into the corner. Grace came back with a chop. Grace hit Steph with a forearm. Grace awkwardly dumped Steph to ringside. Grace hit Steph with a wrecking ball kick. Steph tripped up Grace and hit Grace with a face wash on the apron for a one count.
Steph tackled Grace in the corner several times. Steph tackled Grace in the corner for a two count. Hannifan noted that Grace had a Knockouts Title match rematch clause. Steph hit Grace with a snapmare and basement lariat for a two count. Grace hit Steph with a forearm. Steph hit Grace with a suplex, which Grace no-sold. Grace rallied with right hands and flexed in front of Steph.
Grace hit De Lander with a spinning backfist. Grace hit De Lander with a Bridged Deadlift German Suplex for a two count. Steph fought out of a Grace Driver, but was tackled to the corner. Steph caught Grace with Snake Eyes and a Big Boot. Grace backdropped De Lander and hit the taller De Lander with a Grace Driver for the win.
Jordynne Grace defeated Steph De Lander via pinfall in 5:01.
John’s Thoughts: Impressive win for Grace who gained something for dominating the taller De Lander. Steph De Lander was someone who was really hitting her stride in NXT, even drawing a bunch of social media numbers with her feud involving Indi Hartwell, Dexter Lumis, and Duke Hudson (albeit those numbers probably came from the horny male demographic due to all the French Kissing involved between the feuding couples). It was weird that they released her because that came out of nowhere. Anyways, facing Grace is an upgrade over a lot of the green prospects at the Performance Center, and she looked fine. I wouldn’t mind seeing her in Impact as she’ll only make one of the strongest women’s divisions in the world even stronger.
Matt Cardona was pleading his case to a staff member that he deserves way more than just a broom closet as a dressing room. Cardona said he’d rather dress in the parking lot than the broom closet. The staff member said he totally understands Cardona. The staff member led Cardona to the parking lot and said that’s what Cardona asked for. The staff guy then closed the door with Cardona yelling that he doesn’t even have his clothes bag…[c]
An ad aired for the New Japan Battle for the Valley in San Jose, CA…
Gia Miller interviewed Josh Alexander for his thoughts after seeing the Rich Swann video package. Josh said he agrees that Rich is a great champion and even carried the company during the toughest times. Josh noted that his run is historic too. He said he’s used to challengers every night and Rich is another one. Josh said Rich is a friend and he’s happy that Rich fought his way to get back here.
All of a sudden Kenny King showed up to rant. King accused Josh of playing nepotism by giving title matches to friends like Rich Swann. King said that Josh Alexander is over here playing tickle-butt with his homies. King said it’s cool that Josh is padding stats, but if Josh wants a credible threat to the title, Kenny King’s name better come out of Josh’s mouth.
Josh said he beat Moose, Bully Ray, and Eric Young in title defenses and none of those guys are friends. King said Josh is only champion because his wife, Jen Alexander, wears the pants in the family. Josh said that King needs to win a contenders match like Rich to earn a title shot.
King’s ranting was stopped when Rich Swann showed up. Swann mocked King for whining all of the time. Swann asked King to get his name out of his mouth unless he wants to get popped in the face. Swann popped King in the face. King said he’s not going to fight back so he won’t get jumped by two friends. Swann said he’s down to go one-on-one with King now. King backed down saying he’d see Swann when he sees him…
John’s Thoughts: Random Kenny King moment, but that’s his role as the heel gatekeeper to keep Rich and Josh warmed up. I’m assuming Rich and Josh will get their wins over him eventually. What I do also hope is that they keep Jen Alexander’s name out of everyone’s mouth, because I feel like they’ve overexposed her a bit as a plot device to Josh Alexander’s title feuds.
Entrances for the women’s tag team match took place. Tom Hannifan plugged the Impact Wrestling and New Japan crossover show happing during WrestleMania week…
4. “The Death Dollz” Rosemary and Taya Valkyrie (w/Jessicka) vs. Killer Kelly and “The People’s Witch” Taylor Wilde in a non-title match. Kelly fended off Taya with kicks. Taya came back with a draping roundhouse in the corner. Rosemary tagged in and hit Kelly with an exploder suplex in the corner. Rosemary put Kelly in the Tarantula. Wilde randomly pulled out tarot cards in the corner and tagged herself in.
Rosemary took down Wilde with an axe handle strike. Wilde came back with a backbreaker. Kelly tagged back in with Rosemary having the ring cut in half on her. Rehwoldt noted that Wilde was randomly pulling out tarot cards. Rosemary and Taylor took each other out with a headbutt. Taya and Kelly tagged in. Taya rallied with right hands and a strike. Taya hit Kelly with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count.
Kelly escaped a Road to Valhalla attempt and hit Taya with a PK. Kelly hit Rosemary with a PK. Kelly wanted a tag but Wilde was distracted pulling out Tarot Cards. Wilde pulled out a devil card, which distracted Kelly. Taya hit Kelly with a Road to Valhalla while Rosemary assisted with an X Factor to give Taya the win over Kelly.
The Death Dollz defeated Killer Kelly and Taylor Wilde via pinfall in 6:05.
After Wilde and Kelly left, The Sinister Minister, Father James Mitchell made his entrance. Mitchell noted that it’s been a long time since he’s seen Rosemary. He said that Jessicka also reminds him of somebody (Havok). Mitchell said that Rosemary hasn’t payed respect to “My Boss” (Satan), who’s Rosemary’s father. Mitchell said that his boss isn’t happy which is why he’s been sent to put a hex on Rosemary.
All of a sudden, former Knockouts Champion Sienna and former Doll House member Marti Bell made their Impact Returns to blindside Taya, Jessicka, and Rosemary. Sienna now goes by her real name, Allysin Kay. Kay and Belle are now known as “The Hex”. Kay and Belle left Rosemary lying after hitting her with a knee and body slam combo…
John’s Thoughts: Odd tag team match. Not only was it short, but they had Kelly take the pin while Wilde was just acting odd? I guess the feud between them continues? Not that I care much because of Wilde’s crappy gimmick. What I am intrigued by is the returns of Belle and Kay to Impact. I’ve heard good things with their tag team run and this can only boast the Impact roster by having them in Impact.
Eddie Edwards walked up to Shera and Raj Singh. Eddie said he was just giving advice to Shera that he needs to take care of PCO. Raj said it’s going to cost Eddie extra to get Shera to take care of Eddie. Eddie said “whatever it takes”…[c]
Kushida shared a hug with his long time friends The Motor City Machine Guns. Shelley bragged about how they’ve become the Impact Tag Team and New Japan Strong Tag Team Champions while Kushida has been away from Impact. Chris Bey and Ace Austin showed up Ace talked about how they have gotten better since the last time they faced the Guns due to their run in Japan. Ace also noted that the Major Players cost them their last match. Bey bragged about how he and Ace beat the Major Players recently. Bey proposed a Time Machine vs. Bullet Club six person tag with Kenta on the team of Ace and Bey. The Guns accepted…
Entrances for the next match took place…
5. PCO vs. Shera (w/Raj Singh) for a spot in the four way Number One Contenders match at No Surrender. Shera started the match no-selling strikes until PCO kept at it and dumped Shera to ringside. PCO hit Singh and Shera with a Cannonball Dive through the ropes. PCO choked Shera and Singh at the same time. Shera shoved PCO into the apron to escape. Shera tackled PCO in the corner and hit PCO with a suplex. PCO did the Undertaker sit up while also bleeding from the head.
Shera escaped a choke in the corner. PCO hit Shera with a scorpion death drop. PCO hit Shera with a PCO-sault for the victory.
PCO defeated Shera via pinfall in 3:12.
John’s Thoughts: Well? Easy work day for Shera.
Gia Miller interviewed Matt Cardona who was pissed that he had to dress in the parking lot. Cardona said that it’s personal because Hendry has given him bad luck. Cardona walked over to Hendry’s private dressing area. Brian Myers walked out of the area, eating a shrimp cocktail. Myers said that he couldn’t turn down the free shrimp cocktails. Myers clapped along with a few staff members who were singing Hendry’s theme. Cardona walked away in anger. Myers said Hendry’s theme is catchy…[c]
Frankie Kazarian met up with Sami Callihan backstage to tell Callihan that he’s baffled that Callihan is trying to join the Design despite being a pillar of the company. Deaner, Kon, and Angels showed up. Deaner said you have to go through him to talk to Callihan. Kazarian randomly challenged Kon to a match at No Surrender…
Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in from the commentary table. They ran through the advertised No Surrender card. Chris Bey vs. Kushida, Kenny King vs. Rich Swann, Eddie Edwards vs. Heath, and Steve Maclin vs Rhino were advertised for next week. The last two matches being number one contender qualifiers. Hannifan sent the show to Kevin Kelly for the New Japan on AXS plug…
Entrances for the next match took place. Joe Hendry took a mic before the match. He said he’s in a good mod because not only is he in the sunshine state, but he defeated a dancing Moose. He said he’s excited to defend the title against Matt Cardona, who’s also known as “Edge’s Bitch”. Hendry said after hearing that, you will only be hearing “I Believe… I Believe in Joe Hendry”…
6. Joe Hendry vs. “Alwayz Ready” Matt Cardona for the Impact Digital Media Championship. Cardona immediately hit Hendry with his finisher, the Ruff Ryder Leg Lariat, to start the match. Hendry kicked out at two. Cardona went for a Broski Boot, but was backdropped to the corner. Hendry gave Cardona a chop and tossed Cardona back in the ring. Hendry hit Cardona with a spinning body slam and delayed vertical suplex, with a squat added.
Cardona tried to call for a time out, but was tossed back in the ring. Cardona tripped Hendry on the apron and gave him a neckbreaker at ringside.[c]
Cardona worked on Hendry with methodical offense. After a few minutes, Hendry got a chance to turn it around wiht a Suplex to escape Cardona’s guillotine choke. Hendry caught Cardona and hit him with a swinging Power Slam for a two count. Cardona pulled the ref in front of him to hit Hendry with a DDT. Cardona hit Hendry with a Broski Boot for a two count. Hendry blocked a Broski Boot and tripped Cardona. Hendry hit Cardona with a Press Slam for a nearfall.
Hendry hit Cardona with a Cutter. Cardona broke the pin with a rope break. Cardona hit Hendry with another Ruff Ryder for a nearfall. Hendry reversed a dive into a power bomb for a two count. Brian Myers ran out to distract the ref with the digital media title. Myers tried to hit Hendry with the Roster Cut, but he accidentally hit his tag partner Cardona. Hendry dumped Myers to ringside and hit Cardona with a Chokeslam for the victory.
Joe Hendry defeated Matt Cardona via pinfall in 8:37 of on-air time to retain the Impact Digital Media Championship.
Moose ran in to try to spear Hendry, but Hendry did a sidestep and Moose speared Cardona. Hendry dumped Moose to ringside. Hendry said that it’s not about him this week, but more about Matt Cardona, so they should play his new hit song instead. Hendry’s catchy “Edge’s Bitch” song played. The show closed with Cardona looking stunned in the ring, soaking in “Edge’s Bitch” chants…
John’s Thoughts: Fun match to end a night of Matt Cardona ribbing. Speaking of which, was this Matt Cardona’s last night in Impact Wrestling or something? I had that feeling based off the gags they were playing all night and how the whole show was dedicated to ribbing him. On one hand I hope not because he’s been good since bringing his indie character over to Impact. Part of me hopes he doesn’t go to WWE (Unless he’s bringing his GCW character over there). We’ll see.
Not much of a noteworthy edition of Impact, but a fun and entertaining episode of Impact nonetheless. As I continue to stress, this show is a good weekly alternative with solid writing. The highlight of this week’s show probably being Rich Swann’s promo about going after the world title.