Impact Wrestling TV results (8/31): Moore’s review of Sanada, Jake Something, and Frankie Kazarian vs. Moose, Brian Myers, and Eddie Edwards, battle royal for a shot at the Knockouts Title, Kon vs. Eric Young


By John Moore, Staffer (@liljohnm)

Impact Wrestling TV (Episode 998)
Taped in Toronto, Ontario at Rebel Entertainment Complex

Aired August 31, 2023 on AXS TV

Highlights from last week’s Impact Plus Emergence show aired. Notable moments included The Rascalz becoming the new Impact Tag Team Champions, Lio Rush worked the 8 person tag team match, and Steve Maclin made his return from injury…

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

1. Battle Royal for a title shot at the Impact Knockouts Championship. Hannifan noted that the match included most of the regulars in the Knockouts division. Vanna Black was a non-regular in the match. The match started with the usual walking and punching to start these Battle Roayls. Alisha Edwards tried to form an alliance with Vanna Black. The Death Dollz hit Alisha and Vanna with stereo Bionic Elbows. More walking and Brawling ensued. Black was the first eliminated.

Savannah Evans eliminated Killer Kelly. Gisele Shaw took out Masha Slammovich. Courtney Rush and Gisele eliminated each other. The “final four” were Jessicka, Jody Threat, Savannah Evans, and KiLynn King. King dumped Jessicka to the ramp. King hit Evans with a draping knee dive. Threat followed up with a dropkick for the elimation of Evans.

The two red haired women traded Strong Style forearms in the center of the ring. King hit a high kick on Threat and followed up with a Neutralizer. Threat escaped a pumphandle move. Threat hit King with a meteora and German Suplex. King and Threat were trying to eliminate the other person. Alisha Edwards came out from under the ring to win the Battle Royal.

Alisha Edwards won the Battle Royal in 7:06 to earn a future title shot at the Knockouts Championship.

Alisha had an over-the-top celebration. A replay aired to show the spot where Alisha hid under the ring. Trinity was watching the match backstage…

John’s Thoughts: I have a love hate relationship with these basic battle royals. Sometimes they get creative with them, but most of the time is a bunch of pointless eliminations until four wrestlers are left in the ring. As usual, that was the pattern and it did get good once it got to Jody Threat and KiLynn King. I wouldn’t mind seeing King pluck out one of these title shots because she’s been very impressive as a singles. Alisha did the usual, hiding under the ring bit. No one takes her seriously as a title contender (She has a comprable win-loss record to Johnny Swinger), but now that she’s a full-fledged heel, I’m curious to see if she can make this feud with Trinity entertaining?

A replay from Emergence aired where Steve Maclin made his Impact return to target Josh Alexander. Rehwoldt noted that Maclin was targeting Josh’s injured arm. Moose picked up the win on Josh Alexander after a spear…

Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley were backstage and about to cut a promo on Lio Rush. They were approached by Josh Alexander who apologized to them. He took responsibility for the loss and said he shouldn’t have gotten distracted by Maclin. Alexander said his anger stemmed from when Steve Maclin stood in the ring a few months ago and called Alexander a coward when he relinquished the title, and did it in front of Alexander’s son. Alexander said that’s been eating at him for months and he needs to get his anger in check.

Alexander also pointed at Shelley’s world title and said he’s also set on getting that back. Shelley said he appreciates Alexander’s transparency, but he doesn’t like that Alexander is treating the title like it’s Alexander’s property. Shelley dared Alexander to call him a “transitional champion”. Alexander noted that he didn’t mean anything of the sort. Shelley told Alexander to ask Nick Aldis, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Brian Myers if he’s a transitional champion.

Shelley asked Alexander to go through Maclin to get to the title, because he wants to prove to Alexander that the title is no longer Alexander’s. Alexander agreed and left. Sabin tried to cut his promo on Lio Rush again, but Impact Tag Champions, Trey Miguel and Zachary Wentz showed up, mockingly singing the Motor City Machine Guns theme. They bragged about becoming new champions.

Shelley said The Rascalz need to grow up and act like champions. Sabin said they look like an embarrassment to the title. This led to Sabin challenging Wentz to a match, which Wentz said he was okay with. Shelley asked Sabin to please kick Wentz’s ass to end the segment…

John’s Thoughts: Good little promo segment to set up a little heat between a few wrestlers. Alex Shelley did a good job here showing he has a chip on his shoulder with the slight paranoia of other wrestlers looking down at him. I don’t think they’ll go this route, but if they want to breathe new life into the Alex Shelley character, they might consider having him turn heel and give him a run as heel champ?

A replay aired from earlier where Alisha Edwards won the battle royal. The show cut to backstage where Eddie and Alisha Edwards celebrated their win. Alisha continued to call out Traci Brooks and Frankie Kazarian, saying that she and Eddie are the new power couple. She also staked her claim to the Knockouts title…

Crazzy Steve made his entrance. There were a lot more theatrics and he wore what looked like a disfigured paper mache mask. He would end up taking it off by ripping at the jaw of the mask. Matthew Rehwoldt asked Tom Hannifan if Hannifan was ok because he went silent. Tom broke out of his silence when Mike Bailey made his entrance. The camera at the commentary table showed that Hannifan was nervous…

2. Crazzy Steve vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey. Steve immediately went after Speedball’s eyes with his thumbs. The referee quickly called for the DQ after Steve wouldn’t break the hold at 5.

Mike Bailey defeated Crazzy Steve via apparent DQ in 00:16.

Steve shoved the referee to the mat when the referee tried to pry Steve away. Steve pulled out a fork from his boot and yelled “I want your eyes! Mike!”. Bailey fended off Steve as Steve tried to gouge his eyes with a fork. Steve also threatened to stab the referee. Black Taurus ran out to try to talk some sense into Taurus.

Steve attacked his longtime tag partner and gave Taurus two thumbs to the eyes. Security ran out. Steve thumbed the eyes of one guard. The other guards cowered in fear after he threatened to attack them. Steve even made them flinch in stereo by faking them out. Steve backed up the ramp as Taurus glared at him from the ring…

John’s Thoughts: Wonderful segment! I was actually afraid we were going to get “just a well worked match” because they threw in their workrate guy Mike Bailey. Happy it played out this way. Nice symbolism with Bailey going after eyes because he himself is legally blind (Which I believe is true. Don Callis used to talk about that when he called color on Impact). Can’t wait until we get more of this new deranged psychopath. Huge assist to Tom Hannifan who continued to play his role in all of this well.

Brian Myers, Moose, and Eddie Edwards were backstage. Myers was gassing his team up for the main event. Moose talked about how Eddie Edwards and he used to be best friends. Eddie went on to brag about his wife winning the battle royal. Bully Ray cut in and asked to speak with Myers and Moose alone. Eddie agreed. Bully kept arguing about PCO being a problem. Moose didn’t like that Bully ditched him and Myers in their last two matches to run away from PCO.

Myers said that PCO is Bully’s problem, not a Moose and Myers problem. Moose said Bully has burned a ton of bridges in wrestling, and this is his latest bridge burned. Moose claimed their relationship with Bully was over. After Moose and Myers left, Bully innocently asked “What about the scumbags?”, which is presumably a tag team name he had for their trio. Bully ran away when he heard PCO yelling “BULLY!” in the distance…

A vignette aired to hype Will Osprey making his Impact return at Bound For Glory weekend. Hannifan also noted that Osprey will also be a part of Impact’s UK tour…

Bully Ray was shown holding back a door that PCO tried to go through. PCO finally said something different and said “you tried to kill me”. Bully said he wasn’t trying to kill him, but rather kill “the monster”. He said he did it because he cared about PCO. He said he doesn’t like what PCO is putting himself through for longevity in the business. Bully said “no more, Carl! I need the man back, not the monster”…

John’s Thoughts: Very interesting development. Carl Ouellet is his real name and most early 90s WWF fans remember him as Quebecer Pierre Carl Ouellet. If you look at my review last week, I was calling for layers to be added to the generic Frankenstein’s monster gimmick. It looks like they’re heading that direction, maybe? Yes, Bully is a scumbag who’s reaching, but he’s talented and should be able to make this entertaining.

Entrances for the next match took place. Deaner wasn’t around to accompany Kon…

3. “The World Class Maniac” Eric Young vs. Kon. Young kept his distance early on. Young managed to catch Kon with a few right hands, using his speed to avoid Kon. Kon managed to plant Young with a spinebuster. Kon got a two count after a leg drop. Kon worked on Young with his usual slow offense. Young rallied with right hands. Kon tossed Young to ringside.

Young powered out of a shoulder cusp. Kon used elbows to keep Young grounded. Kon yelled “This is for Cody!” at one point (Deaner, not Rhodes). Young sidestepped Kon to stagger him. Kon no sold lariats. Young managed to lift Kon into a Death Valley Driver for a two count. Kon staggered Young on the top rope with a right hand. Young bit Kon’s face to get him off the top rope. Young hit Kon with his signature elbow drop for a nearfall.

Kon came back with a Full Nelson Slam for his own two count. Young dumped Kon to ringside and hit him with a Suicide Dive. Young gave Kon a pile driver on the ringside floor. Kon ended up hobbling to his feet to break the ten count. Hannifan noted that only two people have kicked out of Young’s Pile Driver. Deaner got on his knees and asked Young, “Finish Me!”. Young gave Kon another pile driver for the pinfall win.

Eric Young defeated Kon via pinfall in 8:58 of on-air time.

After the match, Young got on his knees and pointed to the heavens…

John’s Thoughts: A better match than I expected; but that’s mostly due to my low expectations of Kon’s slow and plodding matches. This match did suffer from that at the beginning. The guy has always rellied on his tag partners like Viktor and Thom Latimer to put together the story of the match. The match did get better after the break when EY did his darndest to sell for the big man. Here’s hoping The Design is finally dead and buried, but I felt like I’ve also said that maybe a 100 times at this point.

Lio Rush cut a promo on Chris Sabin and mocked him for making a random match against Zach Wentz. Lio said Sabin is just shook. Lio said he can beat Sabin any time. Kushida showed up and held up his giant X. He said “Victory Road” to imply that he’ll cash in his title shot at the next Impact Plus show…

Jordynne Grace was shown at her home gym, doing cardio and pumping iron. For some reason, the vignette felt the need to show us that due to all the sweat, Grace also works out topless (weird detail to put in the vignette, but I get it). She finally covered her boobies with an Impact Wrestling shirt. The graphic said she’s returning at Victory Road…

Gia Miller interviewed Deonna Purrazzo on where her head was at after losing to Trinity at Emergence. She said she’s been through adversity before and will get past it. Deonna said she didn’t like that Jordynne Grace decided to steal her and Trinity’s spotlight in the all women’s main event (The referee was a woman too). Deonna noted that she’s beaten Grace multiple times. Deonna challenged Grace to a match at Victory Road…

Entrances for the next match took place…

4. Chris Sabin (w/Alex Shelley) vs. Zachary Wentz (w/Trey Miguel). Wentz dominated the early collar and elbow, while also stalling with the ropes every time Sabin would come after him. Both men mocked each other’s respective hand signs. Sabin managed to land a few hip tosses. Sabin kept Wentz grounded with armbars. Wentz dumped Sabin to ringside and gave him a Plancha.[c]

Wentz dominated Sabin with methodical offense. Wentz locked Sabin in a innovative submission which Sabin broke with a rope break. Sabin got a moment of respite after a dropkick. Sabin hit Wentz with an Atomic Drop and German Suplex. Sabin caught Wentz with a Yakuza Kick in the corner, which Rehwoldt joked about by saying “a hell of a kick” (Sami Zayn/Generico reference).

Sabin caught Wentz with a Tornado DDT for a two count. Wentz went for a CQC combo that Sabin though. Wentz hit Sabin with a superkick and slam for a two count. Wentz caught Sabin with a handspring knee and Sabin recoiled with a flying knee to leave both men lying. Both men traded standing strikes. Sabin managed to roll Wentz into an STF. Hannifan yelled, “For the Love of Lance Storm!!!”.

Trey tried to use the spray can for something, but he was dragged off the apron by Shelley. Sabin caught Trey with a PK. Shelley held the ropes to allow Sabin to hit both opponents. Sabin caught Wentz with a Missile Dropkick and Cradle Shock for the win.

Chris Sabin defeated Zachary Wentz via pinfall in 9:30 of on-air time.

Trey gave Sabin some cheap shots after the match. The Rascalz retreated once Shelley stormed the ring…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Well worked match between two technical high flyers. The Rascalz ain’t got no Janetty’s. Trey, Dez, Zach, and Myron, they can all go! No shame to Wentz for losing to one of the top babyfaces in Impact. What I do like is this potentially setting up a Motor City Machine Guns vs. Rascalz tag title feud. I don’t think we’ve seen the Guns face the Rascalz?

A replay from the tag team title match from Emergence aired. Ace and Bey had distracted the referee during an attempted spray paint finish. The Good Hands ran out to take care of Bey and Ace. Dani Luna hit The Good Hands with a crossbody…

The show cut to Ace Austin and Chris Bey congratulating the Rascalz for finally getting the tag team titles. Ace said he’s happy because it’ll be sweeter taking the titles off the ones that cost ABC the titles. Chris Bey made his usual Bey puns. The Good Hands showed up to confront Ace and Bey. Bey wanted to throw hands this week. Skyler backed down and said not now…

The South Wales Subculture trio showed up to Santino and demanded their tag team title rematch. Santino said he just booked Rascalz vs. The Machine Guns for Victory Road (Great match on paper!). Mark Andrews said he’s not taking anyting away from the Machine Guns, but Subculture were cheated out of their titles.

Sami Callihan and Rich Swann showed up and noted that the Rascalz screwed them over in the tag tournament. Santino joked that there was a lot of screwing going around. Santino said the Machine Guns vs. Rascalz is already set. Santino said since everyone here has some froggyness in their loins, why don’t we have Subculture vs. Callihan and Swann? Callihan said he liked it.

Rich Swann gave Rich Swann a fist bump. Yuya Uemura and Joe Hendry showed up to demand a title shot. Santino said Joe and Yuya might get there one day. Santino ended the segment by saying Joe and Yuya’s new “JoYa!” catchphrase…

Digital Media Champion Kenny King and Sheldon Jean were in the ring for a promo. King noted that Toronto hasn’t seen this much greatness in the ring since Kawhi Leonard said “I’m about to get my ass out of this poop butt ass town!”(Ok, that was a nice line. That’s me every time I leave boring ass Sacramento). Kenny King talked about being in the middle of a historic reign.

He talked about also taking care of “the joke” Johnny Swinger. King said that while Swinger is at home with a concussion, he should use that as a reminder to never challenge Kenny King again. King tried to lead a random “DMC” chant (Digital Media Championship. Not Devil May Cry). Tommy Dreamer showed up to confront King. Dreamer noted that that hours before Emergence, Johnny Swinger received a phone call that his dad passed away.

Dreamer said he came out to check on his friend after Swinger wrestled the match of his life. He noted that King kicked him. Dreamer said after Emergence Swinger thanked Dreamer for having his back, especially since he was going through a hard time. Dreamer talked about how he and Swinger then talked about how proud they were that the women were killing it in the main event.

Dreamer then also noted that right outside he saw Kenny King and Sheldon Jean not watching the main event and hanging at a bar. Dreamer said that’s a no-no. Dreamer noted that Kenny King at one point came to Dreamer, D’Lo and others, for advice. Dreamer plugged Impact’s 1000th episode. King cut in and started to speak emotionally, but then turned and said he would just take more booze shots because he doesn’t give a damn about what happened to Swinger.

King said he’s just doing what The Innovator of Violence would do. King said Dreamer would be hanging with girls and taking shots. King said he should be in Dreamer’s legendary spot, but Dreamer’s 370 pound ass is still hogging that spot. King said Dreamer is a tick, leach, and freakin’ vulture. He said he understands that Dreamer doesn’t want to give away his TV spot to a guy like Kenny King.

King said that he’s been a few important spots, but only because he deserved it. Dreamer then said it was time to “get real”. Dreamer said the problem is King always takes shortcuts and settles. Dreamer said he never would go to the bar when a hot main event is happening. Dreamer then asked King, “how many main events have you been in?”. Dreamer said he was probably in 12 main events when he was Sheldon Jean’s age.

Dreamer talked about how he gave up millions of dollars from WWE and WCW because he believed in something. He said he always listened to Terry Funk, Paul Heyman, Mick Foley, and every single veteran past and present, because they all helped Dreamer get to wear he is. Dreamer said he’s old and he’s proud to be 52. Dreamer noted that Sting is wrestling at 62, Chris Jericho at 53, PCO at “107”. Dreamer said if King wants that spot, he needs to step up and knock the veterans out of that spot.

Dreamer said he’s heard it all before, so he’ll make it easy for King. King said Dreamer doesn’t have a damn thing he wants in return for a match. Dreamer talked about having a horrible three months, being diagnosed with skin cancer, losing his wrestlig father Terry Funk, and losing his actual mom. Dreamer said the thing keeping him positive is his support system of wrestling fans that have followed him for over 30 years.

Dreamer said he also has the love for this which he had since he was 10 years old. He said he’s going to go to the back to ask Santino for a Career vs. Title match for the Digital Media Championship. Dreamer said if he loses, he’s a man of his word and it will be the worst year of his life because he’ll have to say goodbye.

That said, it will be in the building where he watched his first wrestling match with his dad as a kid and he hopes there’s a kid doing the same thing now to begin their wrestling dream. Dreamer said he hopes King will accept the challenge. Dreamer left as King and Jean discussed things…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Strong segment and lots to dissect there. I’ve grown numb to Tommy Dreamer’s pathos-loaded emotional promos (mostly because two years ago he would over do them even in small feuds), so it takes a lot to win me over. Dreamer manages to do win me over every once in a while, and he did here. In all seriousness, prayers out to Dreamer. Prayers out to Swinger. Loss is tough, especially when tough times pile up. Let’s not front on King either, who delivered one of his strongest career promos in response. Only thing holding this segment back is that stupid Digital Media Championship branding. They need to rebrand that thing ASAP. This promo actually would have worked better in WWE-ECW where Dreamer got his gold watch title win against Christian.

An Awesome Kong return vignette aired for the Impact 1000th show. The show cut to Gail Kim at the backstage area announcing that she’s also returning to team with Kong at the 1000th show. Gail Kim welcomed all knockouts past and present to stand on either side of the ring. A graphic aired that showed all the women stepping up. There was still one vacant spot on each of the teams…

Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in from the commentary table. They plugged the advertised Victory Road (September 8th) matches. The following segments were advertised for next week: Deonna Purrazzo vs. Dani Luna, Sami Callihan and Rich Swann vs. Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster, and Lio Rush vs. Kevin Knight in a non-title match, Josh Alexander and PCO vs. Bully Ray and Steve Maclin. Hannifan reiterated that Will Ospreay will be appearing at the Impact UK tour…

The show cut to a Steve Maclin promo. He talked about how time off makes him dangerous. He said being away allowed him to do what he does best, recon. He said he watched the battlefield of Impact Wrestling. Maclin then talked about how while Josh Alexander is back, Steve Maclin is back too. Maclin said he’s finally getting his high value target, the Walking Weapon…

Entrances for the next match too place. Apparently, Sanada is in a New Japan Stable named “Just 5 Guys”. (what in the lame ass generic names? Either that, or Sanada is just a huge fan of Five Guys Burgers and Fries). I haven’t been keeping up with New Japan, so I’m not aware…

5. Jake Something, Frankie Kazarian, and IWGP Champion Seiya Sanada vs. Eddie Edwards, Moose, and Brian Myers. Sanada and Myers started the match with Sanada getting the first slam in. After Jake tagged in, Myers rolled to ringside and called for a time out. Jake Something hit the heels with a dive. Dirty Dango and Alpha Bravo were watching the match backstage because they were keeping tabs on Jake Something.[c]

The heels used tags to cut the ring in half on Sanada. Sanada managed to hit all three opponents with subsequent dropkicks. Sanada put Eddie in that goofy ass Paradise Lock. Speaking of asses, Sanada gave Myers a drop toehold into Eddie’s ass while he was in the Paradise Lock. Moose yelled “That’s Illegal!”. Moose clawed at Sanada’s face when Eddie distracted the referee.

Eddie hit Sanada with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. The heels went back to quick tags to cut the ring in half on Sanada. Sanada managed to stagger Moose and bring in Kazarian after a few minutes of selling. Kaz cleaned house and then focused on Eddie. Kazarian gave Eddie an Unprettier for a two count. Eddie and Kaz took each other out with stereo crossbodies. Jake Something tagged in and cleaned house.

Something gave Moose a sick looking power bomb. Moose returned the favor with a power bomb on Something. Everyone took turns trading signature moves. Eddie and Kaz suplexed each other out of the ring. Myers set up for the Roster Cut on Something, but Something reversed it into Into The Void (Black Hole Slam) for the victory.

Jake Something, Frankie Kazarian, and Sanada defeated Brian Myers, Moose, and Eddie Edwards via pinfall in 10:00 of on-air time.

Alpha Bravo and Dirty Dango were shown watching the match backstage. Hannifan closed the show with more 1000th show hype…

John’s Thoughts: A fun television main event that actually showcased Jake Something more than the IWGP Champ. Sanada is always hot and cold, and it seems like he’s in one of his cold stints. I’m still chuckling over him being in a faction named after Five Guys Burgers and Fries. It seems like Impact wasn’t too hot on him either, because they seem, rightfully so, to be more excited of Will Osprey coming over to Impact than the IWGP champ.

Good episode of Impact as Impact continues to be a weekly enjoyable, and well booked pro wrestling show. For some reason, in recent months, it’s seemed like they have upped their game in terms of writing. There’s still comedy, that’s good, but they also are doing multi-layered storytelling. Bully and PCO is getting interesting, Tommy Dreamer and King have an epic verbal joust, Crazzy Steve has digivolved to another level, The Motor City Machine Guns are holding down strong feuds with everyone, Josh Alexander’s back, Maclin’s back, Jordynne Grace is back. This is one hell of a weekly television program.


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