By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV (Episode 1,004)
Taped in Memphis, Tennessee at Graceland Live
Aired October 12, 2023 on AXS TV
Highlights from last week’s Impact Wrestling show aired. The Impact We Own the Night theme aired… Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt were on commentary. Dave Penzer was the ring announcer… Entrances for the opening Tag Title match aired…
1. “The Rascalz” Trey Miguel and Zachary Wentz vs. Rich Swann and Sami Callihan for the Impact Tag Team Championships. Swann shook up Trey with a kick. Callihan tagged in and put Trey in a reverse Figure Four. Trey got to the rope for the break. Rich tagged in and gave Trey kicks and snapmares. Callihan tagged in and gave Trey a fishook after Swann’s snapmare. Swann tagged in and hit Trey with a Rolling Thunder splash for a nearfall.
Callihan tagged in and raked Trey’s back. Trey tagged in Wentz. The Rascalz swarmed Callihan with quick moves like suplexes, Jawbreakers, and standing flips. The Rascalz hit Callihan with stereo dropkicks and wishbones to give Trey a two count. Callihan avoided a dive and turned Trey inside out with a lariat. Swann tagged in and sent The Rascalz into the corners wiht kicks.
Swann hit Trey with a Frankensteiner that sent him into Wentz. Swann hit both Rascalz at ringside with a flip dive. Swann hit both men with another flip dive. Wentz staggered Swann with a knee on the top rope and hit him with a superplex. Wentz took Callihan off the apron with a superkick. Wentz hit Callihan with a running Plancha heading into regular commercial.[c]
Miguel put Swann in a grounded Octopus Hold. Trey rolled up Swann for a two count. Trey went right back into methodical offense. The Rascalz used tags to cut the ring in half on Swann. Swann got a window of opportunity after a Knee Plus. Callihan got the hot tag. Callihan hit Wentz with a chokeslam. Callihan hit Trey with a reverse Choke Slam for a two count. Callihan and Swann hit the Rascalz with stereo Ten Punches in the Corner and face bite.
Everyone took each other out with simultaneous clotheslines. Trey and Rich traded fatigued strong style right hands. Trey turned inside out from a right hand, but flipped right into an enzuigiri. Wentz tagged in. The Rascalz hit Swann with LAX’s old Street Sweeper (Blockbuster Bomb). Swann kicked out at two. Trey went to ringside to grab the spray paint can and Tag Title Belt.
Trey used the belt to grab the referee’s attention while she puts the belt away. Trey accidentally sprayed Wentz in the face with the paint. Swann gave Trey a spin kick. Callihan and Swann hit a double team Spike Pile Driver on Wentz. Wentz kicked out of Callihan’s pin at two. Callihan was shocked Wentz kicked out of the finisher. Miguel crotched Rich. Wentz hit Callihan with a low blow. Trey tagged in and hit Callihan with Hot Fire Flame for the win.
The Rascalz defeated Sami Callihan and Rich Swann via pinfall in 13:55 of on-air time.
Hannifan noted that Rascalz vs. Bey and Ace for the Tag Titles was now set for Bound for Glory…
John’s Thoughts: A splendid tag team match in what may be Sami Callihan’s last match in Impact Wrestling (his “Swann” song maybe? Sorry for the bad pun). It has been well known that Callihan’s contract has been up for a few weeks and there’s a good chance he joins his long time tag team partner and friend Jon Moxley in AEW. Callihan is one of the un-sung heroes who carried Impact on his back from a wrestler’s perspective (whether it be as the leader of the OVE faction, or as a perennial main evneter). Sucks we didn’t get to see more of the Swann and Callihan tag team because they showed instant chemsitry that I didn’t expect. The Rascalz looked strong here too, especially kicking out of Swann and Callihan’s double finisher.
A replay aired from a few weeks ago from the Memphis Street Fight a few weeks ago. The show cut to Kenny King and Sheldon Jean backstage. King talked about how Scott D’Amore and Santino Marella are ducking out on him and not giving him his contractually obligated rematch at the Digital Media Championship. King said he was jumped two-on-one to lose the title to “Tubby Dreamer”.
Jean said he was confused as to why Heath is attacking them for no reason. King said when you’re on top the ops (enemies) will always be comin’ after you. King said he’s coming after Heath now. King said that Heath will soon have a health problem, and will only be eating beans and sardines when King is done with him. King said Heath is going to have to atone for his sins and the sins of the father are going to leave Heath’s kids broke…[c]
Gia Miller interviewed KiLynn King about losing last week’s ten person tag. Gia pointed out that it was clear that King couldn’t get along with her tag partner Jody Threat. KiLynn said that Jody Threat was a cancer in the division by being selfish and a fraud. King said that Jody preaches integrity, but has none. She said she can’t get along with Jody because Jody attacked Taylor Wilde with a tire iron.
Santino Marella showed up and noted that it sounds like King is deflecting with the tire iron situation. Santino said someone else probably attacked Wilde. King quickly revealed that she attacked Taylor Wilde with a tire iron. King said after they lost the tag team titles, Taylor became dead weight to her. King said she cut off that dead weight. King said it’s no longer “Long live the coven” but “long live the king”. King left the interview set…
John’s Thoughts: Did we miss the segment where Wilde was left lying next to a tire iron? Anyways, I like this development because they’ve done everything they could do with the cheesy witch faction. KiLynn King is a potential star in the making, having stellar singles matches with wrestlers like Trinity and Deonna Purrazzo already. Here’s hoping they reward her for having those great matches. I also hope that kayfabe wise, King knocked the witch out of Taylor Wilde, and Wilde ends up being her old plucky babyface self. That witch thing was just bad and completely random. It sucks too when you have Isla Dawn in the other company playing a better version of a witch (and Dawn was bad at one point too, she had to tweak things).
Entrances for the five way match for the first and last spots in the Call Your Shot Battle Royal aired. As usual, Dirty Dango took a mic from Alpha Bravo, and delivered his “man do I hate pro wrestling” line, but before he could say “pro wrestling” he was cut off by Jake Something making his entrance. The match started in picture-in-picture…[c]
2. Eric Young vs. Jake Something vs. Jordynne Grace vs. Dirty Dango (w/Alpha Bravo) vs. Champagne Singh for the first and last spots in the Call Your Shot Battle Royal. Back from Break, Dango and Singh put the boots to the male babyfaces. Grace hit both heels with punches. The heels slammed Grace to the mat. Singh dumped EY to ringside when he tried to rally. Dango and Singh then started to shove each other while attacking Grace.
Dango and Singh got on the same page. Jake recovered and caught Singh with a hip attack. Dango dumped Jake ot ringside. Grace tried to rally back, but Dango and Singh had the numbers advantage. Dango put Grace in a sleeper. Singh put Grace in a sleeper when Dango knocked Young off the apron. Singh and Dango hit a double delayed vertical suplex on Grace. Singh turned on Dango by crotching him off the top rope.
Grace blocked Singh’s suplex. Grace hit Dango with a German Suplex and whipped Singh into him. Grace hit Singh with a chop and jackhammer. Jake hit Dango with a right hand and corner tackle. Jake power bombed Dango. Singh threw Jake out of the ring and pinned Dango for a two count. Singh punched Jake on the top rope Grace showed up to hit Jake and Singh with a Tower of Doom.
Dango broke up Grace’s pin with a Last Dance. Young slammed Dango to the mat and hit him with an elbow drop. Bravo broke up Young’s pin and flashed a flashlight on him. Young no-sold the light and Hannifan joked that it looked like Bravo was acting like he was in the show “Cops”. Young clocked Bravo with a right hand. Singh clocked Young in the back of the head to knock him out.
A random man showed up walking down the ramp in all black and sunglasses. First thing that went through my mind is, “did Dijak get released from his WWE contract?” because the man looked like the splitting image of “Hard Justice” Dijak. Hannifan noted that the man was “Oleg Prudius” (which is the real name of Santino’s old tag partner Vladimir Kozlov). Prudius took down Singh with a lariat.
Oleg took off his glasses (now he looks less like Dijak and more like Kozlov). Oleg climbed on the apron. Jake tried to tackle Oleg, but Oleg no sold the tackle and gave Jake a headbutt. Dango pinned Jake for the win.
Dirty Dango defeated Jake Something, Eric Young, Jordynne Grace, and Champagne Singh via pinfall in 11:44. Dango will be the number 30 entrant in Call Your Shot. Jake Something will be number 1.
Dango held up Oleg Prudius’s arm. The commentators assumed this meant that Oleg Prudius was aligned with Dirty Dango…
John’s Thoughts: Match quality wise, that was better than I expected with it being both a multi-person mid-card match that was also an intergender match (intergender matches usually lead to unrealistic and awkward spots). Dango and Singh being aligned in the middle of the match helped carry that sequence. I did get a chuckle out of Oleg Prudius showing up looking like Dijak’s long lost uncle. As much as he reminds me of bad and boring matches against Triple H, I don’t mind seeing how he does as an enforcer for Dirty Dango rather than being pushed as a botched main eventer.
Crazzy Steve was backstage in a dimly lit room. He was singing about “The angel of death [being] in Tommy Dreamer’s room”. Steve said he was amazed and disgusted at Tommy for what he did last week. Steve yelled “how dare you try to dictate my actions!”. Steve said that’s why he stabbed Tommy in the back with a fork. He said that he stabbed Tommy in the back before Tommy can stab his. Steve said he’s not going to be Tommy’s friend, but Tommy’s angel of death.
Steve then talked about Black Taurus. He said he and Taurus are no longer friends. He said in the briefcase there’s something bigger than them. Steve said he’ll face Taurus in a no-DQ match next week. He said he’s not just going to beat Taurus, but teach Taurus about pain and misery…
John’s Thoughts: Wowzers. Steve continues to be a highlight of Impact ever since his dark metamorphosis. Yes, he’s dark and brooding, but dark and brooding with ethos and a purpose. This guy spent years as both a goofy clown and Heath Ledger copycat? Who knew he had such great acting chops to come up with his own original character (derived from his real life).
A split screen was shown of Eddie Edwards and Frankie Kazarian, where they were warming up in preparation for their “Killer Impact Match”…
Gia Miller interviewed Speedball Mike Bailey and asked him where his head was at after his recent issues with his friend Jonathan Gresham. Bailey talked about being focused on Will Ospreay and the last thing he needs is to argue with a friend. Bailey said he’s making an open challenge to anyone next week that thinks they’re at the same level as Will Ospreay…
Entrance for the next match took place…
3. Tasha Steelz (w/Deonna Purrazzo) vs. Courtney Rush (w/Jessicka). Steelz put Rush in an armbar. Rush reversed it into a hammerlock. Both women traded standing switches. Hannifan noted both women came up in wrestling through the Northwest US indies. Rush caught Steelz with an Exploder Suplex. Rush hit Steelz with a Stinger Splash. Purrazzo distracted Rush which allowed Steelz to avoid a dive and nail Rush with a superkick.
Steelz hit Rush with the Three Amigos. Steelz then twerked in Jessicka’s face. Rush rolled up Steelz for a two count. Hannifan plugged Impact’s throwback show in November. Both women took each other out with lariats. Rush went for a tag, but it wasn’t a tag match. Rush recovered and hit Steelz with a body slam. Rush hit Steelz with the Bionic Elbow and Sharpshoter.
Steelz grabbed the bottom rope for the break. Steelz caught Rush with a Codebreaker for a two count. Steelz avoided a spear, which sent Rush into the ringpost. Steelz hit Rush with a cutter for the victory.
Tasha Steelz defeated Courtney Rush via pinfall in 7:08.
Knockouts Tag Champions Masha Slammovich and Killer Kelly were shown watching the match backstage via picture-in-picture…
The announce teamed hyped the “Killer Impact Match” as the main event of this week’s show…
John’s Thoughts: A good singles match. Courtney Rush is in her best ring shape and ring conditioning since her unfortunate injury at AAA many years ago. As excited as I was for her fresh take on Courtney Rush, Impact has placed her in an enhancement role. I hope she gets shifted out of that because I think she has the uncanny ability to connect with the crowd. Tasha Steelz and Deonna Purrazzo make a credible team, but I feel like both women are stronger singles wrestlers. We know Deonna can carry the division, but before Tasha’s hiatus she was one of the rising stars in all of women’s wrestling with her stellar singles work.
A hype package aired for the Alex Shelley vs. Josh Alexander match at bound for glory…
Highlights aired form a recent New Japan Show where Josh Alexander teamed up with the Motor City Machine Guns against Hiroshi Tanahashi, Okada, and Tomohiro Ishii for the Never Openweight Six Man Tag Belts. Tanahashi picked up the win over Shelley with a High Fly Flow while Ishii held on to Alexander’s leg to prevent him from breaking up the pin…
Bully Ray met up with Steve Maclin backstage. Bully talked about how Maclin called him soft a few weeks ago, and called him soft again last week. Bully said “cool” and calmly patted Maclin on the chest before leaving. Maclin also said “cool”…
Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in from the announce table. Hannifan reminded that Mike Tenay, Traci Brooks, and the late Don West will all be inducted in the Impact Hall of Fame on the Bound for Glory pre-show. Hannifan then ran through the currently advertised Bound for Glory Matches, including a newly announced Monsters Ball match. The following matches were advertised for next week: Trinity and Mickie James vs. Gisele Shaw and Savannah Evans, Rhino and PCO vs. Moose and Myers, Heath vs. Kenny King, Mike Bailey vs. Samuray Del Sol, and Crazzy Steve vs. Black Taurus in a no-DQ match…
Entrances for the next match took place. There was about half an hour left at the top of the hour…[c]
The best of three falls match got a score graphic on the top left of the screen. Hannifan noted that in a “Killer Impact” match, the first fall is via pinfall, the 2nd fall is via submission, and the third fall is Last Man Standing. So a 3 Stages of Hell match…
4. Eddie Edwards vs. Frankie Kazarian in a Best of 3 Falls “Killer Impact” Match. Kazarian got a two count after a draping leg drop and slingshot sunset flip. Eddie recovered and worked on Kaz in the corner with chops. Kaz tried to fight back, but took a clothesline from Eddie. Eddie gave Kazarian a chop in the corner. Kazarian hit Eddie with a body slam. Eddie dodged a leg drop and hit Kazarian with the Boston Knee Party to pick up the pinfall.
Eddie Edwards defeated Frankie Kazarian via pinfall in 3:27 to go up 1-0.
Penzer announced the Submission stipulation for the next fall. Eddie hit Kaz with a suplex while also giving Kaz trash talk. Eddie worked on Kaz with methodical offense. Eddie caught Kazarian with an inside out suplex. The show cut to regular commercial [c].
Eddie fended off Kazarian with chops. Kazarian went for a Chickenwing but Eddie escaped. Eddie backdropped Kazarian to ringside. Rehwoldt noted that Kaz took a face bump on the apron on the way down. Eddie worked on Kazarian with chops. Kazarian continued his methodical offense on Kazarian. Kazarian’s chest was hamburger meat and bloody after all the chops.
John’s Thoughts: Wowzers! Frankie Kazarian must be doing an ode to Eddie because he as an American Wolves claw mark on his chest without the fake tattoo.
Back in the ring, Kazarian fought back with alternating hands. Kazarian gave Eddie a kick into a discus lariat. Kazarian put Eddie in a straitjacket submission. Eddie fought out with a few boots. Eddie put Kazarian in a Boston Crab. Kaz broke it with a rope break. Eddie hit Kazarian with a Backpack Stunner. Kazarian no-sold the stunner and went right into a Chickenwing on Eddie for the submission fall.
Frankie Kazarian defeated Eddie Edwards via Submission in 12:25 of total match time to tie the match 1-1.
Penzer announced the thrid fall as Last Man Standing. Kazarian dumped Eddie to ringside and caught him with an impressive Plancha Rana. The show cut to picture-in-picture. [c]
Back from break, Kazarian was going to town on Eddie with a trash can. Eddie sent a running Kazarian into the timekeeper chair. Eddie beat teh ten count first with Kazarian doing so next. Eddie caught Kazarian with a Belly to Belly suplex. After Kaz beat the count, Eddie hit him with another Belly to Belly. Kazarian beat the count at 8. Kazarian yanked Eddie in the ring for a cutter.
Eddie got to his feet and fell to the ring to break the count. Kazarian worked on Eddie with strikes. Kazarian grabbed a cookie tray and table from under the ring. Kazarian smashed the cookie tray on Eddie and then set up the table. Eddie recovered and hip tossed Kazarian to the steel stairs. Kazarian recovered and hit Eddie with an Unprettier on the Steel Steps.
Kazarian thumbed Eddie in the eyes and put him on the table. Alisha Edwards showed up and hit Kazarian with the kendo stick while he was on the top rope. Eddie piled chairs in the center of the ring. Eddie hit Kazarian with a superplex on the chairs in the center of the ring. Eddie set up another table against the steel steps.
Kazarian caught Eddie with a Low Blow at the top of the stage. Kazarian hit Eddie with a Styles Clash on the stage. Alisha raked Frankie on the eyes. Kazarian blocked a Tornado DDT and gave Alisha a running power slam through the table. Hannifan yelled “That’s for Traci Brooks!!!”. Security and referees ran out to check on Alisha.
Eddie and Kazarian brawled on the apron. Kazarian hit Eddie with a sick looking Fade to Black (Deadeye) from the apron through the table at ringside. Kazarian and Eddie fumbled around a bit and Kazarian was only able to get to his feet a second to break the count before falling again.
Frankie Kazarian defeated Eddie Edwards via Last Man Standing in 28:55 of total match time to win the Killer Impact Match 1-2.
Both men struggled to get to their feet. Frankie was able to get to his feet to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: Well, if you have this never-ending feud that’s gone thorugh many stipulation matches, you might as well make the last one all hell’s letting loose. That was a war. An interesting decision to not hype up this match a lot. Also odd that if Eddie and Kazarian had this match in them, why not do something like an injury angle to Kaz to drag this match to Bound for Glory, because this was definitely PPV worthy. All in all though good match (only nitpick, was I didn’t like the usual first fall ending in a few minutes gimmick that usually happens in these matches).
Kazarian bleeding from the chest was a different and nuance take of the crimson mask, which made this stand out too. It also reminded me of Eddie Edwards’s old fake claw tattoo from back in the day (the ones Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo are using now). A lot of people this week are distracted with all the NXT and AEW petty fan wars. If you want to get away from that, hang out on the tv viewing island of Impact Wrestling.
It’s a solid wrestling show week to week. Arguably, the storytelling is better than AEW’s [bare-minimum] storytelling. I’d say look at characters like Crazzy Steve, Jonathan Gresham, Alex Shelley, even old timers like Tommy Dreamer and Bully Ray, effort is put into character and storyline development that makes you want to see where these stories end up. On top of that, use this week as an example, you get those top quality workrate matches too. Go out of your way this week to watch the bookends of this show with two strong in-ring performances.