By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in London, Ontario at Western Fair District Agriplex
Aired June 8, 2023 on AXS TV
Highlights from last week’s Impact Wrestling show aired… Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt were on commentary. Dave Penzer was the ring announcer…
Entrances for the opening match took place. During the entrance of the Good Hands, Brian Myers took a mic. Myers said he doesn’t know why Subculture were allowed to skip the line in terms of a Tag Title shot. Myers said all giving them a title shot was buy ABC some time before the Good Hands take the titles off them.
Skyler took the mic and called the Canadian crowd “subhuman”. Skyler said nobody has to worry because after Against All Odds, the tag titles will be in “Good Hands”…
1. Chris Bey (w/Ace Austin) vs. Jason Hotch (w/Brian Myers, John Skyler). Hotch slammed Bey to the mat early on. Bey came right back with an armdrag. Bey hit Hotch with a leg sweep and double stomp for a two count. Both men traded right hands in the corner. Bey got the ten hands in the corner. Bey hit Hotch with a lariat after being shoved back. Bey worked on Hotch with methodical strikes.
Hotch reversed a suplex. Hotch sent Bey to ringside after shoving him off a springboard. Ace and Skyler squared off at ringside. Hotch dropped Bey back ot ringside with a dropkick. Hotch got a two count. Hotch body slammed Bey. Bey avoided a splash and gave Hotch a boot. Bey took down Hotch with a standing axe handle. Bey hit Hotch with a springboard Flatliner for a two count.
Bey kicked out of a rollup. Hotch reversed a cutter into a beautiful Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count (Looked really good). BOth men rolled each other up for two counts. Hotch caught Bey with a pump kick. Bey came back with a flip kick. Hotch got a two count off a Backslide. Hotch went for a La Magistral Cradle, but Bey adjusted his weight to get Hotch’s shoulders on the mat. Bey picked up the win.
Chris Bey defeated Jason Hotch via pinfall in 7:37.
The Good Hands and Myers put the boots to Ace and Bey due to the numbers advantage. Myers gave Ace a Roster Cut. Hotch and Sykler gave Bey a Samoan Drop-Blockbuster. Hannifan noted they call that move “The Favor”. The Good Hands and Myers stood tall with the tag title belts to end the segment…
John’s Thoughts: A well worked match. Part of me feels like they’re going to the ABC vs. Good Hands match a bit too soon. Heck, for some reason Impact booked two Impact Plus specials in three weeks. The Good Hands being treated as good hands routinely tells me there’s no chance they pick up the belts. I kinda wanna see them pick up the belts just to mix it up. I also wanna see Ace and Bey mix things up because they are gaining nothing from being Bullet Club fanboys.
Gia Miller caught up with Heath and asked him how he’s doing after we haven’t seen him in a while. Heath said he’s doing peachy, but Rhino is not doing well due to getting attacked by Steve Maclin. Heath vowed to become a world champion after winning the 8-4-1 match. Heath said tonight he’s going after Champagne Singh for jumping him…[c]
The show cut to the latest Dirty Dango docu-style interview. Dango complained about the building next to them where they were doing the promo looking like it was infected by asbestos. The first question was “Why the change in demeanor?” (which was asked via a graphic). Dango said he only played the role of jester because he was getting paid a shit ton of money. He talked about how he took that money and put it in his Chase Bank Account.
He talked about how he’s in a place of his life now to live off the profits from his investments. The next question was “What has the reception been so far?”. Dango said wrestlers are texting him “what a cool promo” or “I like your edgy stuff”. Dango said he hates that because he doesn’t want to be talking with wrestlers while at home. Dango digressed by talking about how the producers of this interview don’t want him chewing gum on set.
Dango said he’s a great employee and he won’t even give a fuss on social media or anything, just as long as the pay checks cash. Dango talked about suffering through a show at some shit armory, and having to shake hands with sweaty and awkward 18-35 year old males for four hours. Dango was shown randomly giving autographs to some “fans” who loved his match at Under Siege. Cut back and Dango pointed out how a 5XL shirt won’t cover up the bad smell of the fans in that armory.
Dango said those fans need to respect themselves and take a shower for once. Dango said the fans are all weird. He said they all seem like the same creepy nerds that buy wrestling tapes. The camera did a quick cut where Dango was suspecting those random fans that approached him of trying to profit of his signature. The next question was “Will you win the Digital Media Title this time”. Dango said he could care less about winning that “Toy title”.
Dango said it would be easier to buy a replica Digital Media Title, but unlike the rest of the locker room, he brings girls home. Dango said the last thing in the world he would want is to bring a girl home and have her see some wrestling replica title on the wall. Dango said that was chick repellent. Dango said Harley Race wouldn’t have a toy title on his mantle.
Dango said he doesn’t put a lot of thought into wrestling, but he put a lot of thought into what he’s going to do once he beats Joe Hendry for the Championship. He said he’s going to take the actual toy title and sell it on eBay. He said he’s going to then take his earnings and use it on a Hawaii trip with a girl…
John’s Thoughts: If you are actually ever going to want to make the most out of your investments, using Chase Bank would be the best and easiest way. Anyways, loving this new Dango! Why couldn’t he do this on NXT and turn on Tyler? It’s been a long time coming. No Way Jose? Heath? Other wrestlers that cling to failed WWE gimmicks? Look at Dango and Steve Maclin as true salvation.
Entrances for the next match took place…
2. Heath vs. Champagne Singh (w/Shera). Heath hit Singh with a few corner forearms. heath then fended off Shera with punches. Shera held Heath’s leg which allowed Singh to trip up Heath. Singh played to the crowd a bit for boos. Singh worked on Heath with methodical offense. Heath came back with a power slam. Heath picked up the win after a Zig Zag.
Heath defeated Champagne Singh via pinfall in 2:51.
The show cut to Deaner, Big Kon, and Angels, The Design, for a promo. Angels talked about how he never trusted Sami Callihan from Day 1 (So he’s Jey Uso now? I kid). Angels congratulated Sami for fooling all of them. Angels held up barbed wire and said that Sami will pay at his home town in blood. Kon talked about Jake Crist and Rich Swann bleeding in their last match.
Kon said if there’s a war Sami wants, there’s a war Sami gets. Deaner held Sami’s bat towards the camera and asked Sami to bring all the brothers to the battlefield. Deaner said The Design are going to do nothing by take from Sami. Deaner said that The Design will take “Everything” from Ohio vs. Everything.
John’s Thoughts: I like everyone in the faction, I just hate the way they book The Design. At least I get to see Angels every few weeks get booked well at the Hoodslam promotion in Oakland (He’s doing really fun stuff there tag teaming with Brooke Havok, someone to also look out for). Deaner’s whole “Take” line makes me weary of Jason Powell’s prediction that someone from OVE will turn on Sami and join The Design. I kinda hope Madman Fulton, if he’s “The Monster”, would turn because I see more potential in Jake Crist as a future upper card prospect, and don’t want to risk him being dragged down by The Design’s poor booking.
Digital Media Champion Joe Hendry made his entrance for one of his pre match promos. Hendry talked about how his upcoming opponent was the man that broke his nose, “Reality Star” Sheldon Jean. Hendry said Jean is hanging out with “Reality Star” Kenny King.
Hendry said that in order for Jean to stick around in Impact Wrestling, he just needs to say the words “[I] Believe”. Hendry then propped himself up and said that “We believe in Joe Hendry”. Sheldon Jean and Kenny King made their entrance. Hannifan reminded viewers that Jean was a part of Big Brother Canada, Season 8 (which got cut short due to COVID)…
3. Impact Digital Media Champion Joe Hendry vs. Sheldon Jean (w/Kenny King) in a non-title match. Hendry hit Jean with a delayed Body Slam. King swiped at Hendry’s leg which allowed Jean to nail Hendry with a pump kick. Jean hit Hendry with a pop up neckbreaker.[c]
Jean put Hendry in a Guillotine Choke. Hendry reversed the choke into a suplex. Hendry gave Jean rapid right hands. Hendry hit Jean with a cutter. Hendry hit Jean with a Fallaway Slam and did a kip up. King got on the apron for the distraction. Jean got a right hand in, but Hendry came right back with a pop-up Power Bomb. Hendry hit Jean with a delayed Uranage for the win.
Joe Hendry defeated Sheldon Jean via pinfall in 3:12 of on-air time.
Joe Hendry called out his Against All Odds opponent, Dirty Dango. Dirty Dango made his entrance. He has new emo sounding music. Dango shhhh’d the crowd. He said he hates pro wrestling, and hates wrestling fans even more. Dango said they don’t pay him enough to work on his day off, so he’s not getting in the ring with Joe.
Dango said they already have a match booked for Against All Odds, so he’s going to take his $300 dollar shirt and head to the back. Joe said he didn’t call Dango out to wrestle, but to show Dango a music video that shows why Dango is so grumpy all of a sudden. One of Joe Hendry’s custom music videos aired on the tron.
The song talked about how Dango has been wearing a $2 shirt in his interviews recently and he’s been mocked on Social Media. Hendry sung that Dango went from pinning Chris Jericho in his debut to cosplaying as a police officer with Tyler Breeze every week.
Hendry sung that Dango got rejected by Summer Rae and Eva Marie when he tried to get laid on Total Divas. Hendry named the song “Divas Reject”. King and Jean jumped Hendry from behind. Santino Marella ran out to the ring. Sheldon Jean got in Santino’s face. Joe Hendry recovered and backed down Jean. Santino took out the cobra sleeve and knocked out Jean with the Cobra. The babyfaces stood tall to end the segment…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Fine enough angle. We’ve seen better from Hendry in the past. I kinda hope that he drops the inspirational speaker thing and reverts to his hyper positive karaoke man gimmick we saw from him in WhatCulture and his first Impact run. I’m pretty sure he can do parody songs of licensed music via fair use. His parody songs were better and the crowd can react to them better. On the bright side, this has led to Dango reinventing himself, so that’s a net plus. Here’s hoping that Joe Hendry finds the magic he had 8 or so years ago when I saw this guy as a future big time entertainer because of his confidence and good singing voice.
A Gisele Shaw promo aired. It was stylized and she was hanging out with Savannah Evans and Jai Vidal in an empty warehouse. Shaw talked about taking Jordynne Grace out with three knees to the face, and Grace will be out “indefinitely”. Shaw then called out Trinity and said this is her house and rent’s due bitch.
Shaw said she isn’t moving aside because the spotlight is her’s. She said at Against All Odds she’s not going to take back the spotlight, but she’s going to put the conceited Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo back in her place. Shaw said the spotlight did, is, and will always be on Gisele Shaw…
Entrances for the next match took place. Hannifan plugged Impact’s 1000th show in September…
4. “The Coven” Taylor Wilde and KiLynn King vs. “The Death Dollz” Jessicka and Courtney Rush for the Impact Knockouts Tag Team Championships. Jessicka used her power to dominate Wilde early on. Rush and King tagged in. Rush went for a Sharpshooter, but King got to the ropes quickly. King gave Rush a kick and snake eyes. Wilde gave Rush a cheap shot. King hit Rush with a Final Cut for a two count.
Wilde put Rush in a Crossface. Jessicka tagged in and hit Wilde with a drop slam. Wilde tossed Jessicka into the corners and tagged back in King. King hit Jessicak with a meteora. Jessicka blocked one cutter, but King followed up and hit a Cutter on Jessicka for a two count. Wilde and King cut the ring in half on Jessicka with tags in the corner. Jessicka got a window of opportunity with a lariat.
Rush got the hot tag and King also tagged in. Rush hit King with a huracanrana and bulldog. King used boots to shove away Rush. Rush locked Wilde in a Sharpshooter. Wilde tapped out, but King distracted the referee. Rush went after King, but ate a right hand from her. The Coven hit Rush with a Big Boot-Power Bomb combo to give Wilde the pinfall win over Rush.
The Coven defeated The Death Dollz via pinfall in 6:23 to retain the Impact Knockouts Tag Team Championships.
John’s Thoughts: A good match to set up a run-back very soon. Yes, Rush loses her “first” match on Impact, but the visual submission gives her an out (I was struggling a bit not typing “Rosemary” because with her hair covering her face I just see the same person with color all over her). I like the booking of the Impact Knockouts Champs. As much as I hate Wilde’s lame witch cosplay, Wilde and King have been great in the ring. More importantly, they win a lot. Other companies do tag teams a disservice by having them eat more losses than they should, either “non-title” or singles matches.
An Alex Shelley hype package aired. Shelley talked about how throughout the years there were forces that prevented someone like him from getting a world title shot. He said it took time, but he did change those forces. He talked about getting his first world title shot last year against Josh Alexander. He said it was gut-wrenched when he lost after going into the match with so much confidence.
Shelley said he’s watched others like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle, Sting, and Jeff Jarrett win world championships and he started in TNA with all of them. Shelley said Impact’s core beliefs were best encapsulated in Josh Alexander as world champ. Shelley said losing to Josh wasn’t a loss, but a learning experience. Shelley said Josh taught him the caliber of wrestler you have to be to reach the top.
Shelley said on a different note, he’s cultivated generations of wrestlers and continues to cultivate new stars. He said he’s cultivated world champions. Shelley said look at the following list: Tyler Black-Seth Rollins, Okada, Johnny Gargano, The Young Bucks, Jay White, Jonathan Gresham, Chris Sabin, Trey Miguel, etc. Shelley said at one point does he need to do one for himself. Shelley said this time he’s going to be world champion.
Shelley said he isn’t saying Maclin is a bad champion. Maclin is just being vile and sadistic. Shelley said it doesn’t matter how much plasma Maclin bleeds on the canvas, Shelley will prove that Maclin is not a better wrestler than him and not world championship material…
John’s Thoughts: Of the two Motor City Machine Guns, Shelley is always the one who showed the ability to kill it on the mic when he has to. Good promo. Shelley continues to show that when you give him the ball to run with, he’ll run his ass off. As he talked about, “forces” prevented him from reaching the top. Those forces were mostly injuries that snake bit him. Happy to see him avoid injury the last three years, leading to him having a fun run around the world as both a top tier singles wrestler and tag team wrestler. Hopefully he does get his gold watch run, because merit-wise, he deserves the title more than a lot of people who got their gold watches.
Gia Miller interviewed Steve Maclin and asked him what he thinks his chances are defending the title against a very motivated Alex Shelley. Maclin said he understands that Shelley is motivated after 20 years of not winning a world title. Maclin said he understands that Nick Aldis is coming after him. He said even Heath is motivated to win the title.
Maclin said he knows people are coming from all directions, even people alongside him. Queue Bully Ray showing up. Bully said Maclin doesn’t have to worry about all those name, he has to worry about Bully. Bully said good thing is, is that Maclin will only have to worry about Bully at Slammiversary. Bully gave Maclin a friendly pat on the shoulder and walked off the interview set…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Nick Aldis is my favorite to get the Slammiversary match if Aldis is in for the short term, but I wouldn’t fully rule out Bully Ray. Yes, it is a bit wonky because both are heels, but Bully and Maclin have history when Bully pinned Maclin for (what I like to call) the Money In the Cup trophy at Slammiversary last year. If we get Maclin vs. Bully at Slammiversary somehow, I wouldn’t doubt that it would be an entertaining feud. Notably because I’m that damn confident that Bully Ray would make it work on the mic (Sadly, with Slammiversary in Windsor, I’m guessing we get Bully Ray vs. “Badass” Scott D’Amore in some fashion).
Footage from Before the Impact aired where Masha Slamovich beat up Tara Rising and some woman named “Sparks” with a chain wrapped around her fist. Masha choked “Sparks” with the chain. Masha cut a promo in Russian. The only words in English she said were “Killer Kelly” and “Dog Collar Match”…
Entrances for the upcoming non-title match took place. A replay from the finish of the X Division match at Under Siege was shown. Sabin had the visual pinfall on Trey, but there was a REF BUMP!!! Trey raked at Sabin’s eyes and sprayed paint at him for the win. Hannifan plugged the Slammiversary and post-Slammiversary tapings in Windsor, Ontario. Hannifan said the only match announced so far is Deonna Purrazzo vs. Trinity for the knockouts title…
5. Impact X Division Champion Trey Miguel vs. Bhupinder Gujjar in a non-title match. Bhupinder dominated the early chain wrestling sequence. Bhupinder took down Trey with a running elbow strike. Bhupinder sent Trey to ringside with enzuigiris. Trey used a Stunner to block a suicide dive. Trey hit Gujjar with a lionsault. Trey dumped Gujjar to ringside several times. Trey prevented Gujjar from entering the ring for a bit.
Gujjar skinned the cat and rallied back on Trey. Gujjar hit Miguel with a flapjack. Trey avoided Gujjar’s Frog Splash. Trey hit Gujjar with a CQC and double stomp combo. Gujjar avoided a meteora dive. Trey hit Bhupinder with a Scorpion Kick and Lightning Spiral for the win.
Trey Miguel defeated Bhupinder Gujjar via pinfall in 4:20.
Trey took the mic and said he’s a generational talent and the greatest ever to do this. He said when he says that people tell him “yeah, but”. Trey said Sabin used to be that good, but that was in the past. Trey talked about defending the title in Ultimate X, Monsters Ball, and against the legendary Chris Sabin. Sabin said he’ll do it again at Against All Odds and there will be no more “yeah, buts”…
John’s Thoughts: I chuckled after timing that match at 4:20 given the Rascalz stoner gimmick. The televised shows have some strong mid-card champions in Orange Cassidy, Trey Miguel, and Wes Lee. Props to both Rascalz members holding it down with good reigns. Trey is doing things different as a heel though and I like his current run. Last time he was X Champ he barely got TV time, and now he’s making the most of it. Compared to Orange and Wes, he is still a step back, but I’m looking forward to see him step up. Hopefully he defends the title at Against All Odds and gets a strong singles match at Slammiversary (my fear, is that Impact will do what they usually do and have some sort of multi-person spotfest at the big show).
Gia Miller interviewed Johnny Swinger and asked him if he’s ever going to win 50 matches let alone get on the board with one. Swinger called Gia “Vanna” (White?). Swinger asked Gia to name better wrestlers in the golden era than him. Gia said Big John Studd. Swinger said he slammed him. Gia said Mike Jackson? Swinger said he still owes him transportation. Johnny said his dad Don Swinger called him “Swing Daddy”. Gia said his dad called him “daddy”. Swinger said his dad told him “Swing sonny, when the going gets tough, you find someone to pass the heat to”.
Swinger said via the power of JJ Dillon, he found out it’s the referee’s fault. Swinger said he’s going to assign his own stooge, Zicky Dice, to be a ref. Gia said she thought it was all about getting a fair shake. Swinger said a milk shake sounds good and he’d like to share one with Gia Miller at the landing strip. Gia walked off disgusted…[c]
Gia Miller interviewed Deonna Purrazzo and Trinity in a sitdown interview. Trinity said she came to Impact to prove herself against the greatest women’s wrestlers in the world, The Knockouts. Deonna said that’s a beautiful endeavor, but many have tried and failed when going after the Knockouts title against her.
Gia brought up Gisele Shaw knocking out Jordynne Grace last week and putting her out of commission “indefinitely”. Trinity said it’s a dangerous environment with Savannah, Shaw, and Jai running around. Deonna said what is true is that both she and Trinity have beat down Shaw and Evans already. Deonna said she beat Shaw multiple times, so Shaw is just walking into a game she already lost.
Gia talked about them facing Shaw and Evans and if that would be a scouting opportunity. Deonna said she is using it to scout Trinity. Trinity said they do have bigger fish to fry at the moment in Shaw and Evans. Gia asked them if they can coexist. Deonna said as a champion, she can put her ego aside for a win. Trinity said Deonna has nothing to worry about now, she has to worry at Slammiversary. Gia wished both women luck…
Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in from the commentary table. Both men ran through the advertised Against All Odds card. Rehwoldt sent the show to Kevin Kelly’s weekly New Japan on AXS plug…
Entrances for the next match took place…
6. Rich Swann and Moose vs. Jonathan Gresham and Nick Aldis. Swann and Gresham started the match out. Swann took down Gresham with a dropkick. Aldis tagged in. Swann hit Aldis with a few hurcanranas. Swann wiggled away to avoid a Cloverleaf. Moose tagged in and kicked Nick in the gut. Moose tackled Aldis in the gut several times. Aldis avoided Moose and hit him with a hip toss. Aldis took down Moose with a Thesz Press.[c]
Gresham and Aldis traded tags to cut the ring in half on Moose. Moose got a tag after giving Gresham a body slam. Swann tagged in and got a one count on Gresham. Gresham rallied with forearms. Moose got a cheap shot on Gresham, which Swann didn’t like. Moose forced a tag and sent Gresham throat-first into the turnbuckle. Moose tagged in Swann and held Gresham for Swann’s back kick.
Swann hit Gresham with a corner lariat. Moose and Swann cut the ring in half on Gresham while also showing animosity with each other. Gresham managed to tag in Aldis who took down Moose with a lariat. Aldis hit Moose with a Michinoku Driver. Aldis hit Moose with an Elbow Drop for a two count. Moose got a small package on Aldis for a nearfall. Gresham and Swann tagged in. Swann knocked Aldis off the apron with handstand boots. Both men traded rollups.
Swann hit Gresham with a cutter for a nerafall. Gresham power bombed Swann but Moose tagged in. Moose hit Gresham with a Power Bomb for the victory.
Moose and Rich Swann defeated Jonathan Gresham and Nick Aldis via pinfall in 9:27.
Moose, Swann, and Gresham bickered. Moose took down Swann and Gresham. Moose raked Aldis in the eyes. Heath ran out to dump Moose to ringside. Heath and Aldis traded punches. Swann was about to go for a dive, but Bully Ray ran out slammed Swann to the mat. PCO ran out and traded right hands with Bully Ray. After dumping Ray to ringside, PCO hit most of the people with a Suicide Cannonball. Bully, Aldis, and PCO were standing to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: Your usual “preview” match before a PPV with a post-match brawl involving all the competitors. The only reason this felt a bit Deja Vu is that we got a similar “reluctant partners” match to preview the number one contenders match three weeks ago. I have no clue why Impact decided to book a PPV-lite within three weeks of each other. No time for any sort of build. At least Shelley got to cut that efficient promo the one week he had.
A decent episode of Impact. Nothing bad at all. The weak point of this week is them rushing to build towards Against All Odds just three weeks after Under Siege. There wasn’t even enough time this year to make a Phil Collins joke. I just looked up the card, apparently Madman Fulton is already advertised for the event. They didn’t even get a chance to reintroduce him on this week’s show and that’s needed after how much time he’s been off TV.