3/23 Impact Wrestling TV results: Moore’s review of Bully Ray and Masha Slamovich vs. Mickie James and Tommy Dreamer, Kushida, Alex Shelley, and Chris Sabin vs. Deaner, Kon, and Angels, Deonna Purrazzo vs. Savannah Evans, Moose and Brian Myers vs. Joe Hendry and Dirty Dango

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

Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Las Vegas, Nevada at Sam’s Town Casino

Aired March 23, 2023 on AXS TV

Highlights from the past month were shown of Steve Maclin’s interactions with Josh Alexander and his quest for the Impact World Championship. The Impact intro theme aired…

John’s Thoughts: Unfortunately, after this taping, Josh Alexander got a triceps injury that forced him to vacate the Impact World Championship. Best wishes to Josh and prayers for a successful recovery. Mickie James is also out for the upcoming Impact Plus show due to an undisclosed injury. A hit to Impact, losing their top two champions at the moment.

Entrances for the opening match aired…

1. “The Design” Deaner, Kon, and Angels (w/Callihan) vs. “Time Machine” KUSHIDA, Alex Shelley, and Chris Sabin. Kon no-sold Kushida’s forearms. Kon took down Shelley and Kushida with lariats after Shelley tagged in. Deaner tagged in and took down Shelley with a clothesline. Sabin tagged in and The Guns nailed Deaner with a double dropkick. Angels tagged in and worked on Sabin with strikes. Sabin rallied with chops. Angels hit Sabin with a dropkick and mocked The Guns’ hand sign.

Time Machine trapped Angels in the corner. Sabin hit Angels in the face with a hesitation dropkick. Shelley controlled Angels with shortarm chops. Time Machine cut the ring in half on Angels with quick tags and isolation offense. Time Machine dominated for a few minutes. Angels tagged in Deaner after hitting Sabin with a facebuster. The Design cut the ring in half on Sabin. Sabin got a two count on Deaner with a victory roll.

Kushida tagged in and caught Deaner with a crossbody and Pele Kick. Kushida and Shelley swarmed Angels and Deaner with tandel strikes. Kushida took Kon off the apron with a handstand kick. Kushida hit the Design at ringside with a dive.[c]

The Design cut the ring in half on Kushida. Deaner caught Kushida with a Yakuza Kick. Kon planted Kushida with a spinebuster. Angels hit Kushida with a splash for a nearfall. Kon tagged in and put Kushida in an Electric Chair. Angels and Deaner hit Kushida wiht a double Electric Chair. Shelley broke up Angels’ pin. Everyone took turns hitting signature moves on each other. Time Machine hit Angels with a triple team version of the Guns’s Muta Lock-Dropkick combo.

Callihan got in the ring and protected Angels by eating some moves. Sami was dumped to ringside. Kushida locked the Hoverboard lock on Angels. Sabin punted the arm of Angels to prevent the break. Angels tapped out.

Time Machine defeated The Design via submission in 14:18 of on-air time.

John’s Thoughts: A strong six-person tag with both teams taking advantage of the extra person on each team as opposed to regular tag matches. Time Machine was the expected team to go over given the fact that they’re in a showcase match at the Sacrifice show. I feel like the weird 7 deadly steps thing that Callihan has been doing has kept the rest of the Design from getting any in-ring time. Deaner and Angels in particular are very talented and should be presented in the ring more often.

The show cut to a promo by Taylor Wilde and KiLynn King, The Coven. Wilde said she took exception to Rosemary calling her a charlatan. King said the Death Dollz sealed their fate by agreeing to the tag team title match. Both women ended the promo by saying “long live the Coven”…[c]

A vignette aired for Shera and Raj Singh. Singh talked about how he and Shera are rich now due to having good luck in Las Vegas. Raj is now calling himself “Champagne Singh”…

Eddie Edwards and Kenny King cut a promo from the locker room. Eddie said he’s been trying to move past PCO. He said in order to put PCO in the past, he had to reach into his personal past. King talked about not talking to Eddie since Honor No More broke up. King said he reunited with Eddie recently at Jay Briscoe’s mother’s house to mourn Jay’s death.

King said in the middle of tragedy, he and Eddie realized that they will always be family. King said you need to sacrifice for family. King said that PCO was never family. Kenny King said that at Sacrifice he and Eddie will put PCO’s dead ass on ice…

Entrances for the next match took place…

2. Savannah Evans (w/Gisele Shaw, Jai Vidal) vs. Deonna Purrazzo. Evans tossed Deonna into the corners and gave her a corner splash. Evans slammed Purrazzo and gave her a boot for a two count. Purrazzo dumped Evans to ringside with a huracanrana. Vidal and Shaw distracted Deonna to allow Evans to tackle Deonna into the apron.[c]

Evans worked on Purrazzo with methodical offense. Purrazzo rallied back with chops. Evans blocked a Fujiwara Armbar and gave Purrazzo boots. Evans hit Purrazzo with a snap suplex. Purrazzo slammed Evans with a leg whip. Purrazzo no sold clotheslines. Purrazzo reversed a suplex attempt. Purrazzo hit Evans with a kick combination.

Purrazzo rolled Evans into a Fujiwara armbar. Evans got to the bottom rope for the break. Evans hit Purrazzo with a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. Purrazzo rolled up Evans for a two count. Purrazzo hit Evans with a Yakuza Kick. Vidal held Deonna in place while the ref was distracted, but Deonna ducked a big boot to cause Evans to give Vidal a big bood accidentally. Purrazzo beat Evans after a crucifix bomb pin.

Deonna Purrazzo defeated Savannah Evans via pinfall in 9:20 of on-air time.

Evans attacked Purrazzo after the match. Gisele Shaw joined in on the beatdown to leave Deonna lying. Evans hit Purrazzo with a Full Nelson Slam. Shaw hit Purrazzo with a running knee…

John’s Thoughts: A well-worked match with the expected outcome of Deonna defeating the lackey of her Sacrifice opponent. An interesting decision to turn Deonna babyface. She’s done everything there is as a heel in Impact, but Impact is a bit light on meaningful heels. I’m not at all interested in this feud that revolves around bowls of chili.

This week’s Impact Plus Flashback Match of the week was The Dudley Brothers vs. Beer Money vs. The Motor City Machine Guns in a triple threat number one contenders match from Sacrifice 2010. The Guns picked up the win after the Guns hit Bubba Ray with Skull and Bones, allowing Sabin to pick up the win…

The Death Dollz were angry at losing the tag team titles. Jessicka said that Rosemary should use her magic powers again to help them win. Taya Valkyrie cut in saying that Jessicka needs to stay away from “magic”. Taya said they need to come up with a plan. Jessicka said she was going to confront The Coven and their magic. Jessicka marched off. Jessicka randomly walked into a casket in the middle of a hallway.

Jessicka opened the casket and there was a bright light. Taya ran and closed the casket. Taya told Jessicka to stay away from the right light and the evil. Taya said Jessicka is one of her best friends and she wants to protect her. A random hand dragged Taya into the casket and the casket closed. Jessicka ran in fear…

John’s Thoughts: I guess that’s how they write off Taya? Impact is seemingly taking the Lucha Underground approach with recent write-offs by “killing” their characters. I guess shoving a person in a coffin is “killing” them?

Entrances for the next match took place…

3. Bully Ray and Masha Slammovich vs. Tommy Dreamer and Mickie James in an intergender tag team match. The crowd started the match off with EC-Dub chants and then went to “Bobby Ray” chants. Bully and Tommy charted the match. Bully demanded that Mickie tag in. Mickie tagged in. Bully yelled at Mickie that she shouldn’t have hit him in the face with a Kendo Stick. Masha demanded to be tagged in which Bully agreed.

Mickie rallied with right hands. Mickie hit Masha with a Thesz Press. Mickie hit Masha with a flapjack. Masha came back with a right hand and back kick. Bully tagged in. Mickie dodged an elbow drop and tagged in Dreamer. Dreamer caught Bully with a crossbody. Bully slammed Dreamer and body slammed Masha on top of him. Dreamer recovered and tagged in Mickie. Mickie was slammed to the mat after Bully yanked her hair.

Bully threatened to hit Mickie with a kendo stick, but the ref stopped him. Bully body slammed and mocked Mickie. Masha tagged in and hit Mickie with a few smapmares. Masha got a two count after a front kick. Mickie came back with a huracanrana and neckbreaker. Bully and Tommy tagged in. Tommy rallied with a clothesline and ten punches in the corner. Bully came back with a back elbow. Tommy hit Bully with a cutter for a two count.

Mickie hit Masha with a seated senton. Tommy and Mickie hit their opponents with stereo Bionic Elbows. Tommy and Mickie hit Bully with the Wazzup. Bully yelled “My balls!”. Bully and Mickie yelled to “Get the tables”. Masha took down Mickie with a crossbody dive after Mickie brought a table in the ring. Bully hit Tommy with a pile driver for the win.

Bully Ray and Masha Slammovich defeated Tommy Dreamer and Mickie James via pinfall in 9:23.

Bully Ray was about to give Mickie a power bomb into a table. Jordynne Grace hit Bully Ray in the back with a Kendo Stick. Jordynne Grace accidentally gave Mickie James a spear after Bully sidestepped. Bully left to his entrance theme while Tommy checked on Mickie…

John’s Thoughts: While I’m not a huge fan of this feud that revolves around Busted Open Radio, this was a fun little exhibition. Mickie and Tommy in particular were fun with their Dudley Boys throwback spots. I hope that the Tommy Dreamer and Bully Ray feud blows off at Sacrifice. I hope Bully sticks around a bit after Sacrifice because he was so good in his feud with Josh Alexander recently. Because of the scripted nature of pro wrestling, I can’t help but wonder if Mickie’s injury is legit or storyline, which would play into the accidental spear and last week’s segment where Grace didn’t want Mickie to get injured before her title defense.

Rich Swann and Frankie Kazarian were chatting in a lounge area. Swann said he doesn’t want to be the cannon fodder for Steve Maclin before Maclin faces Josh Alexander. Kazarian said he hopes that Swann is not distracted before their match at Sacrifice. Kaz said Swann definitely looks distracted and needs to talk wtih Josh. Swann agreed…

An ad aired for the Impact vs. New Japan Multiverse United show…

Rich Swann yelled at Steve Maclin who was going through Josh Alexander’s bag. Maclin claimed that he wasn’t going through Josh’s bag (despite him clearly going through it). Maclin said that Josh knows that Maclin is in his dressing room. Maclin left and Swann looked confused…

Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in from the commentary table. They ran through the advertised Sacrifice card. Hannifan hyped up the following segments for next week’s Impact: The Impact debut of Miyu Yamashita, Will Osprey vs. Homicide, and Josh Alexander vs. Kenta for the Impact World Title (despite it being “live” I assumed the matches are taped because Opreay and Alexander are currently injured). Hannifan and Rehwoldt also ran through the Multiverse United card. Hannifan sent the show to Kevin Kelly for his weekly New Japan on AXS plug…

Entrances for the next match took place. Joe Hendry cut a pre-match promo. Hendry said that tonight is special because he and Dango are teaming for the first time. Hendry said he has two magic words to give the crowd. Dango yelled “Suck it!”. Dango kept awkwardly interrupting Hendry. Hannifan joked that Dango has only been a part of one successful tag team (with Tyler Breeze)…[c]

4. Dirty Dango and Joe Hendry vs. Brian Myers and Moose. Hendry and Myers started off the match. Hendry dominated with shoulder tackles and a delayed Vertical Suplex. Dango tagged in for a two count. Moose tagged in. Dango taunted Moose with hip swivels. Dango went for 10 punches in the corner, but was tackle into another corner. Myers stagged in. Dango came back with a suplex and Tornado DDT on Myers. Dango wanted to do the DX crotch chop for some reason, but Hendry convinced Dango to do Hendry’s signature hand wave.

Myers and Moose dumped Dango to ringside. Moose and Myers cut the ring in half on Dango with tags and methodical offense. Dango got a window of opportunity with a corkscrew uppercut. Hendry and Myers tagged in with Hendry cleaning house. Hendry reversed a crossbody into a fallaway slam. Hendry hit Myers with a cutter for a two count. Myers came back with a Pele Kick. Hendry came back with a power bomb for a two count. Moose hit Hendry with a Spear. Myers hit Hendry with the Roster Cut for the win.

Brian Myers and Moose defeated Joe Hendry and Dirty Dango via pinfall in 9:35 of on-air time.

Josh Alexander headed to his dressing room where Rich Swann confronted him. Swann told Alexander that Steve Maclin was in his bag. Alexander had no idea and said he’ll deal with some business in the middle of the ring. Alexander left the dressing room…[c]

Josh Alexander made his entrance to the arena. A “walking weapon” chant ensued. Alexander said that Steve Maclin is finally the number one contender after all this time. He said he saw Steve a few years ago kick down the door in this company with a chip on his shoulder. He said Steve left a trail of bodies behind. Josh said he not only respects Steve as a pro wrestler, but also as a combat veteran.

Josh said he doesn’t respect Steve whining all the time about management holding him back. Josh said he also doesn’t respect Steve saying Josh is ducking him. He said he’s right here in the ring now and ready to answer all challenges. Alexander said he thinks Steve is ducking him, waiting for other opponents to wear Josh down. Alexander said this match will finally happen at Rebellion. Alexander said we’ll find out if Steve actually has “it”.

Alexander said that after Maclin loses, he’ll be back at the bottom. Alexander said Steve is afraid of being at the bottom. Alexander said that Maclin will be a man without a purpose and a “forgotten son” (the name of his old tag team with Wesley Blake and Gunner). Maclin made his entrance. Maclin said the forgotten son line was a good joke. Maclin said Josh was right. He said he could have come at any time to take the title.

Maclin said he could have taken the title shot when Mike Bailey and Bobby Fish did in recent open challenges. He said Josh is right about him being afraid to fail, afraid to be back at the bottom. Steve said he picked the right moment with no room for failure. He said he’s obcessed with winning the title. Steve called for the production truck to air footage. Clips were shown of Steve Maclin watching Josh Alexander during Alexander’s title defenses.

Maclin said he’s always been there, weather or not Josh knew. Maclin reiterated that he’s obcessed with winning the world title. Alexander said he underestimated Steve, but this changes nothing. Alexander said he’s a fighting champion. Alexander asked Steve to fight him right now in Las Vegas. Maclin declined the challenge. Maclin said if he’s going to beat Alexander, the longest reigning world champ in Impact history, he’s going to do it in Alexander’s home town, at Rebellion. Tom Hannifan closed the show saying that Alexander has to get through Kushida first at Multiverse United…

John’s Thoughts: A strong promo exchange to elevate Steve Maclin to the main event title picture. The stuff around Maclin being near Josh’s bag was weird and felt unnecessary. Maclin’s promo was good too and enhanced with the footage of him watching Alexander during Alexander’s title defenses. Unfortunately. Maclin won’t get to beat Alexander for the title at Rebellion due to Alexander’s recent injury. That said, it would add to the story to set up for a future Josh Alexander vs. Steve Maclin match down the road when Alexander is healed.

This week’s Impact was solid, breaking the pattern, for now, of every other week being a good show, and every other week being a meh show. The segments on this show did a decent job building towards the Sacrifice show, though I’m not the biggest fan of a few feuds heading in (The Busted Open stuff and the Purrazzo vs. Shaw chili bowl feud). Impact is going to have to shuffle the deck a bit with Mickie James and Josh Alexander out for the time being. I hope they do a good job. Now’s probably a good time to bring Scott D’Amore back on TV because I feel like he can enhance the show as opposed to Santino’s comedy (this week’s show was solid too because we didn’t get any distracting Santino comedy).



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