By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV (Episode 999)
Taped in Toronto, Ontario at Rebel Entertainment Complex
Aired September 7, 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…
1. Deonna Purrazzo vs. Dani Luna. Luna dominated early on with a collar and elbow. Deonna came back with a rollup and armbar attempt. Luna got to the ropes for the break. Luna came back with a body slam, axe handle strike, and fallaway slam. After a basement lariat, Luna got a basement lariat. Luna hit two chained suplexes. Purrazzo dragged Luna to the apron and slammed her arm into the apron. Purrazzo hit Luna with a lungblower for a two count.
Luna rallied back with right hands and a front dropkick. Luna hit Deonna with a power bomb for a two count. Purrazzo got a two count off a T Bone Suplex. Both women traded strikes. Purrazzo hit Luna with a Side Russian Legsweep right into a Fujiwara Armbar for the win.
Deonna Purrazzo defeated Dani Luna via submission in 6:04.
Hannifan hyped up Purrazzo vs. Grace for Victory Road…
John’s Thoughts: Good match with Luna getting in enough offense to look credible. Because Subculture weren’t at a few recent tapings and they took the tag belts off them, makes me think that Subculture aren’t locked down to Impact for the forseeable future, which means it makes sense to put momentum behind Purrazzo. Purrazzo, meanwhile, is a bit stale in terms of character development. She’s still cocky, but they’ve been leaning her babyface (?). It would be cool to see her get more meaningful promo time because we know she’s good on the mic.
A Crazzy Steve promo aired. The visuals also focused on his new deformed mask. Steve said that the saying “you get what you deserve” has thrived through the ages because it’s the painful truth for most. Steve said there are people that think they deserve more, because the rules and regulations that everyone else lives by simply do not apply to them. Steve said he’s not like everyone else.
He said he’s not “Crazy”. He said he’s 100 percent aware of each and every single one of his actions. Steve said when he looked in Black Taurus’s eyes, he saw an ember of what was once a raging inferno. Steve said right then and there he knew that Taurus was going to do what everyone else did to Steve. Namely Abyss, Rosemary, and Havok.
Steve said they all left him abandoned, alone, and forgotten. He said at Victory Road he’s severing their friendship, decapitating Decay, and decimate the unholy alliance that was once Steve and Taurus…[c]
Tommy Dreamer cut a promo backstage. Dreamer hyped up Impact’s 1000th episode and noted that the Simpsons only has 750 episodes by comparison. Dreamer then hyped up his match against Kenny King. Dreamer talked about how his dad took him to meet his first love in 1980, a pro wrestling show. Dreamer talked about his father and mother supporting him for his entire career. He said his parents were sitting in the front row at his first WWF tryout and even though he didn’t make it to WWF, he made his parents proud.
Dreamer said his parents were also there when he main evented an ECW show in the same building. Dreamer said he main evented WWE-ECW in the same building with his children in the front row. Dreamer said 7 blocks away from that building he said goodbye to his mom at the hospital. He said his final words to his mom were “I love you” and his mom responded “I love you and I’m proud of you”. Dreamer was crying at this point. Dreamer said he was blessed to have his mom in his life. Heath interrupted, saying he was passing by.
Heath said he loves Tommy. Heath wondered why Dreamer was putting his career on the line just because Kenny King was talking junk? Heath said the locker room has faith in him, but Heath thinks Dreamer needs to step back and assess this because it doesn’t seem like the right path. Tommy said it’s either going to be the end, or another chapter for Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer walked away…
Joe Hendry and Yuya Uemura got a televised entrance for the next match. Hendry had new music ready for their tag team. Hendry and Yuya also did a bit of boy band-ish choreography for their entrance. In my opinion, the song wasn’t as catchy as Hendry’s past songs, but the crowd seemed into it. The theme focused on Yuya and Hendry’s “Joya” tag team name…
2. “Joya” Joe Hendry and Yuya Uemura vs. Champagne Singh and Mahabali Shera. Singh gave Yuya a knee and a few right hands. Yuya flipped out of the corner, gave Singh a few arm drags, and a body slam. Hendry gave Singh a knee for a two count. Yuya tagged in after Hendry gave Singh a spinning body slam. Yuya got a two count. Singh gave Yuya a flapjack on the top rope. Shera tagged in and hit Yuya with a draping big boot.
Shera gave Yuya a body slam and elbow drop. Singh tagged in and gave Yuya a Paydirt for a nearfall. Yuya got a window of opportunity with a flying lariat. Hendry rallied with lariats and kicks against both opponents. Hendry hit Singh with a suplex and did a kip up. Hendry gave Shera a delayed vertical suplex. Hendry led the crowd in a We Will Rock You clap for some reason. SIngh gave Hendry a big boot.
Yuya gave Shera a dropkick to send him to ringside. Yuya gave Singh a enzuigiri. Hendry gave Singh a Helicopter Spin and tossed him into Yuya’s cutter. Hannifan noted that they are calling the move the One Hit Wonder. Hendry picked up the pinfall.
Joe Hendry and Yuya Uemura defeated Champagne Singh and Mahabali Shera via pinfall in 4:29.
John’s Thoughts: It was fine. I feel like we’ve seen more exciting and energetic happy-go-lucky acts in the past though. Maybe this will grow on me. I’ll give it a chance because I like both wrestlers. One thing I thought was odd was Singh and Shera being given any sort of offense. I get that Hendry and Yuya are going to have to sell as babyfaces down the road, but have that selling come against more credible tag teams. Let them establish themselves with momentum first.
Steve Maclin was cutting a promo backstage with Bully Ray right behind him. Maclin hyped up his and Bully’s next two matches which are against PCO and Josh Alexander. Maclin assured Bully that the plain is laid out. Bully didn’t think so. Bully started paced around and said that he doesn’t think Maclin gets it. Maclin said they have everything they want in their two opponents. Bully said he doesn’t want PCO. He wants Carl Ouellet.
Bully noted that they’ve had no success with PCO. Bully said they put PCO through cinder blocks, tables, fire, and “battery acid”. Bully said Maclin has things easy with Alexander because Bully has to face a monster that nobody can take down. Bully reiterated that PCO came back after being lit on fire. Bully asked Maclin to be a good soldier. Maclin and Bully bickered a bit more over whether or not they are on the same page…[c]
Highlights from an old Gail Kim vs. Awesome Kong match aired. As per old TNA tradition, the replay cut in right in the middle of a REF BUMP!!! Rudy Charles ran out to count a few nearfalls. Gail Kim ended up winning after saving Rudy from a potential ref bump…
A hype package aired for Will Osprey. He will be at Bound for Glory as well as Impact’s UK tour…
Gia Miller interviewed Josh Alexander about teaming up with PCO against Bully Ray and Steve Maclin. Alexander said Maclin made a statement by returning at Emergence. He said he’s seeing red when he sees Steve because he and Steve have unfinished business. Alexander said he’s also familliar with Bully Ray. Alexander said he and PCO will make a statement to bring violence and Mayhem to Bully and Maclin…
Entrances for the next match took place. It also seemed like the volume on the entrance themes have been low all night…
3. Sami Callihan and Rich Swann vs. “Subculture” Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster. Swann and Andrews traded wristlocks early on. Both men traded stereo counters to end up at a stalemate. Hannifan noted that Mark Andrews was the winner of TNA British Bootcamp Season 2. Flash tagged in, which allowed Subculture to swarm Swann with kicks. Swann hit Flash with a dropkick and tagged in Callihan.
Callihan and Swann hit Flash with a sidewalk slam leg drop combo. Callihan raked Flash in the eyes. Swann tagged in. Subculture dropkicked Callihan to ringside. Flash hit both opponents with a top rope cannonball to ringside.[c]
Subculture hit Swann with three standing flips for a nearfall. Andrews hit Swann with a dropkick. Subculture cut the ring in half on Swann. Andrews accidentally hurt his hand on the ringpost and Swann gave Flash a enzuigiri. Callihan caught tag. Flash hit Callihan witn an assisted Falcon Arrow. Callihan dumped Flash to ringside. Andrews reversed a Suplex into Stundog Millionaire. Callihan avoided Flash’s 450 attempt.
Callihan and Flash took each other out with lariats. Swann and Andrews tagged in. Swann caught Andrews with a superkick. Flash caught Swann with a fakeout punch. Callihan wasn’t faked out and hit Flash with a piledriver. Callihan staggered Andrews with a right hand. Swann went to the ramp (which was the same level as the ring) and dove over the top rope to nail Andrews with a cutter. Callihan held up Andrews for Swann’s kick. Callihan hit Andrews with a Death Valley Driver. Swann hit Andrews with a 450 Splash for the win.
Rich Swann and Sami Callihan defeated Subculture via pinfall in 8:42 of on-air time.
John’s Thoughts: Another good showing for the Callihan and Swann tag team. Impact’s booking of all three Subculture members has me thinking that they’re not long for Impact? Maybe they can get one more loss out of Subculture for their contractually obligated rematch for the tag team titles. On the other end, they are heating up Swann and Callihan, a strong babyface duo that they can send after The Rascalz down the road.
A replay aired of Gisele Shaw and Savannah Evans eliminating Killer Kelly and Masha Slammovich last week from the women’s battle royal. The show cut to Shaw, Evans, and Vidal backstage for a promo. Shaw hyped up her and Evans going after the tag titles at Victory Road…[c]
Trey Miguel and Zachary Wentz were backstage, cutting a promo about themselves being strong champions. John Skyler and Jason Hotch showed up. Skyler asked for a tag team title shot. Wentz said that they are focused on The Motor City Machine Guns. Hotch said maybe they can get a shot after Victory Road. Wentz said it would be to everyone in the room’s best interest that The Rascalz remain champions after Victory Road. The Good Hands nodded and walked away. Tom Hannifan yelled that it sounded like obvious collusion…
Entrances for the next match took place. Kevin Knight got a picture-in-picture promo about how he would want to face his mentor, Kushida-san, for the X-Division title if Kushida beats Rush. Knight was wearing Doc Brown future goggles…
4. Impact X Division Champion Lio Rush vs. Kevin Knight in a non-title match. Rush started the match stalling by laying down on the top rope. Knight managed to dump Rush to ringside with a dropkick. Rush grabbed the title belt and tried to leave the match. Knight dragged Rush head first into the ring. Knight got a two count off a standing splash. Knight caught Rush with a sliding lariat for a two count.
Rush called for a time out at ringside. Knight kept the pursuit and gave Rush right hands. Rush turned the tables in the corner and gave Knight knife edge chops. Knight came back with strikes. Rush clawed at Knight’s eyes and dumped him to ringside with handstand boots. Rush hit Knight with two darting suicide dives.[c]
Rush dominated Knight for a few minutes. Knight escaped a long rear naked choke and hit Rush with a nice leaping Frankensteiner in the corner. Knight rallied with clotheslines. Knight hit Rush with a crossbody for a nearfall. Rush countered a DDT with a CQC combo. Knight got Rush to his knees with a dropkick. Rush avoided a springboard crossbody. Rush hit Knight with a spin kick and Final Hour for the win.
Lio Rush defeated Kevin Knight in 9:50 of on-air time.
Rush gave Knight ground and pound. Rush then put Knight in the Hoverboard Lock. Kushida ran out for the save. Rush quickly rolled to ringside when Kushida went for the Hoverboard Lock…
Impact cut to this week’s Dirty Dango and Alpha Bravo docu-style interview. The first question was “Are you excited for Impact 1000?”. Dango and Bravo were on a boat. Dango said whatever lake they were at smells like shit. Dango asked the cameraperson “Impact has a thousand f-cking episodes?”. He said he hopes he’s not around for Impact’s 2000th episode. Dango said when he thinks of Impact-TNA, he thinks of Abyss, Elix Skipper, Jerry Lynn, and Disco Inferno.
Dango said he thinks that James Storm is a stuntman now. Dango told the camera “We’re doing it Dixie!”. Dango asked Bravo if Dixie Carter was single? The next question was “How do you feel about facing Jake SOmething as a part of the Imapct 1000 celebration?”. Dango mocked on of Jake’s recent promos where Jake said he likes pro wrestling with a deep voice. Dango mocked people who say “this is my dream” promos.
Dango said promos matter to him and that’s why he’s with Bravo, because Bravo has the gift of gab. Dango asked Bravo where his shirt sleeves went? Bravo said “f-ck sleeves”. Dango said Jake Something is the epitome of what he and Bravo are teaching, the epitome of the Gratitude Era. Dango said he loves professional baseball, but that doesn’t mean the Red Sox are going to start Dirty Dango against the Houston Astros next week. Dango gave himself props for cutting a good promo…
Jordynne Grace was shown walking at a garage. Grace ripped up a Deonna Purrazzo photo that had the numbers 0-4 on it…
Santino Marella was moderating an in-ring contract signing. He introduced Alisha Edwards first, who came out with Eddie Edwards. Eddie and Alisha were drinking a bottle of Rose wine while walking to the ring. Santino then introduced Knockouts Champion Trinity, who made her entrance. Said that “Delisha” Edwards will sign first. Alisha said that Santino has a stupid accent. Alisha said that Santino is Canadian and she can’t understand any of the stupid Canadian accents in Toronto.
Alisha said they need to understand her, as well as Trinity. Alisha soaked in the cheap heat. Alisha talked about being in Impact a long time and everyone thought that she was “just a champion’s wife”. Alisha said she once thought she had to change Eddie, but she had to change herself. She said she beat 9 other knockouts in the Battle Royal to become number one contender. Eddie was being a cheerleader for his wife. Alisha signed the contract.
Trinity then signed the contract. Alisha felt disrespected that Trinity didn’t have the decency to respond. Trinity said she just couldn’t understand Alisha’s stupid accent. This drew an “ohhh” from the crowd. A “Boston Sucks” chant ensued. Trinity said she actually respects Alisha. She said she was looking forward to face great opponents in Impact she she showed up, and may have overlooked Alisha. Trinity said Alisha has caught her attention now.
Alisha talked about how Trinity has been handed everything since she came to Impact. Trinity said she could have gone to any company and she picked Impact. Trinity said she knew it wouldn’t be easy because Impact has the fiercest competition. Eddie tried to talk over and cut off Trinity. Eddie got more boos. Eddie told Trinity to not dare wave the Impact banner because he and Alisha have been in Impact longer than ever.
Alisha said she’s happy to have her husband have her back. Alisha wondered where Trinity’s man was (Jimmy Uso)? Alisha said that [Jimmy] can’t even be here even if he wanted to have Trinity’s back. Trinity pointed out how Eddie Edwards turned his back on the company via Honor No More, so he has no right waving the company banner in front of her. Trinity told Mr. Alisha to pipe down and fall back. Alisha threw wine in Trinity’s face. Trinity responded with a high kick.
Trinity and Alisha brawled a bit. The crowd asked for the “Table”. Trinity went for a power bomb, but Eddie ran in and saved his wife. Eddie then gave Trinity a Blue Thunder Bomb through the contract signing table. Hannifan yelled that Eddie was a son of a bitch. Frankie Kazarian ran out to chase away the heel couple…[c]
John’s Thoughts: I was actually afraid of that table spot because there was a whole chair set up right in the center. Credit to Eddie for not over-shooting. As for the segment, it was a good exchange that drew off what I assume is the Boston-Toronto sports rivalry for heat. I really like Alisha’s transformation as she has meant more than she has in her entire Impact career. That said, she’s a bit fresh off the turn to the point where I don’t see her having any chance at beating Trinity at Victory Road. They can always give her the “surprise” title win, but Trinity should be losing to someone Impact wants to give a meaningful push to (Alisha just too early and coming off too many losses).
A replay aired of Eddie giving Trinity a Blue Thunder Bomb through the table. Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in on commentary. Rehwoldt said that Eddie went over the line. The commentary team ran through the Victory Road lineup…
John’s Thoughts: Really good lineup for Victory Road. Only downside is Impact seems to really book these PPV-lite shows so close to each other so some of these matches don’t have the proper build. Like that Maclin vs. Alexander match and even the Alisha vs. Trinity one.
Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley were backstage for a promo. Sabin hyped up going after the Tag Team Titles at Victory Road. Sabin talked about how disrespectful the Rascalz are. Shelley said he and Sabin are the franchise tag team in Impact. Shelley said the Rascalz only hold the titles because the Guns let them. He said they are taking back the titles at Victory Road…
Entrances for the main event took place. Bully Ray was constantly looking over his shoulder acting paranoid…
5. Josh Alexander and PCO vs. Steve Maclin and Bully Ray. Bully tagged in to face Alexander. He tagged out when PCO tagged in. PCO blocked a hip toss and hit Maclin with a clothesline. PCO dominated heading into commercial.[c]
Alexander hit Maclin with a series of armdrags. Alexander hit Maclin with a few loud chops in the corner. PCO tagged in and scared Bully off the apron. Maclin hit PCO with a knee to the gut. PCO came back with a forearm smash. Maclin hit Alexander with a forearm smash when Alexander tagged in. Bully tagged in and ate a missile dropkick from Alexander. Alexander hit Bully with ten punches in the corner.
Alexander put Bully on the apron when Bully went for his Bionic Elbow. Alexander took himself out over the top rope when Maclin pulled the rope down. The heels cut the ring in half on Alexander. Alexander got a window of opportunity after hitting Bully with a German Suplex. PCO and Maclin tagged in. PCO planted Maclin with a DDT. Maclin dropped Alexander from the apron. PCO caught Maclin wtih a Lungblower and leg drop in the corner.
PCO hit Maclin with a Cannonball Tope. Bully tried to calm down PCO and asked for a handshake. The referee flinched when PCO missed a punch on Bully. This allowed Bull to low blow PCO for the rollup win.
Bully Ray and Steve Maclin defeated PCO and Josh Alexander via pinfall in 10:53 of on-air time.
Bully and Maclin posed at the top of the ramp to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: The match was worked well enough. I’m just starting to feel a lot of these multi-feud tag team main events are a bit redundant. Part of what made his match not feel as hyped was Maclin and Alexander’s feud not being heated enough due to Maclin just recently coming back from injury. They need to heat Maclin back up or else he’ll descend to the midcard. Bully Ray vs. PCO actually piques my interest more than Maclin vs. Alexander. Mostly because of the added story of Bully trying to pull the human Carl Ouellet out of PCO.
Impact did as well as they could to build towards Victory Road, but they only have so much time to give each match a proper build. One one hand, I think they could have deferred Alexander vs. Maclin and Purrazzo vs. Grace to a future PPV. On the other hand, why are they constantly booking these special shows so close to each other? Looking forward to the show nonetheless with the Tag Team Title match and Tommy Dreamer potential retirement having me most interested.