By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV (Episode 1,005)
Taped in Memphis, Tennessee at Graceland Live
Aired October 19, 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 aired…
1. “Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Samuray Del Sol. Both men started the match with a respectful fist bump. Both men then started the match with a respectful lucha stalemate. Samuray went for right hands which Bailey responded with a kick. Samuray hit Bailey with a corkscrew crossbody. Samuray dumped Bailey to ringside by pulling down the ropes. Samuray hit Bailey with a seated springboard moonsault at ringside. Samuray got a two count.
Bailey blocked a whip and hit Samuray with rapid flutter kicks. Bailey hit Samuray with an axe kick combination followed by a standing Shooting Star for a nearfall. Samuray blocked a cyclone kick. Samuray did a nice Matrix dodge to a thrust kick. Bailey and Samuray took each other out with running dropkicks. They took each other out with the same move at ringside.
Samuray took Bailey own with a jump kick at ringside. Bailey recovered and hit Samuray with a corkscrew moonsault at ringside. Samuray did a handstand to hit Bailey with double boots to block Ultima Weapon. Samuray hit Bailey with a top rope Victory Roll for a two count. After Samuray led a lucha chant, both men traded rollups for nearfalls. Bailey caught Samuray with a standing Spanish Fly for a two count.
Bailey caught Samuray with a chambered thrust kick. Samuray blocked a Tornado Kick. Samuray gave Bailey a Yakuza Kick. Bailey came back with his own Yakuza Kick. Bailey hit Samuray Del Sol with Ultima Weapon for the win.
Mike Bailey defeated Samuray Del Sol via pinfall in 8:53.
John’s Thoughts: The usual Mike Bailey great match, which we haven’t gotten as often as we used to since Mike Bailey started working for various companies alongside his Impact run. I personally like Bailey’s matches because he’s a good styles clash with his Tae Kwon Do moveset. Ultimately he’s one of the hardest workers in the business. That said, it would have been cool to build up Will Ospreay in a feud to maybe sell more PPV buys. That said, Ospreay has developed a name for himself with hardcore fans where just putting him on the card is a draw.
The show cut to the latest Dirty Dango docu-style interview. The first question was “how are you enjoying Memphis”? Dango had Alpha Bravo and Oleg Prudius by his side. He said he woke up in the morning to go to the gym, but realized how ghetto and dirty the gyms are in Memphis so he decided to stay at the hotel and get room service. A random person passed by Dango and he assured them that he wasn’t filming a promo or anything.
Dango brought up Shannon Moore, Sonny Siaki, and Evan Karagias as the Flying Elvises. Dango said that a dancing gimmick with flaired up pants would never get over (the joke being that this is Fandango saying that). The next question was “why did you align yourself with Oleg Prudius last week?”. Dango told Alpha Bravo that he wasn’t fond of Bravo not succeeding in his interference last week. Dango said he agrees that mistakes do happen, but when they repeatedly happen the situation needs to be audited.
Dango jokingly gave Bravo light slaps. Dango said his plan in last week’s five-way was to lay low like the veteran he is, and then unleash the Russian Assassin Oleg Prudius on everyone. Dango said Oleg not only fought John Wick, but defeated John Wick and sent Wick to Italy. Damgo said Oleg is the reason Keanu Reaves isn’t doing a movie until 2028 (I looked it up because I was curious, Prudius was actually a stunt double for the John Wick movies, and most likely fought Keanu during the movies).
Dango said he loves Bravo because in-war, Bravo is the type of person who would jump on the grenade for you. Dango said he jumps on grenades at war and and the club. Dango said Oleg “is the grenade”…[c]
A hype package aired for the Alex Shelley vs. Josh Alexander match at Bound for Glory…
Chris Bey and Ace Austin cut a backstage promo to hype up their match against The Rascalz at Bound for Glory…
Back at the ring, entrances for the next match took place…
2. Kenny King (w/Sheldon Jean) vs. Heath. Both men traded shoves and right hands to start the match. King then dominated a collar and elbow. Heath rallied back with right hands with Heath dominating the next collar and elbow. King ran to ringside to recoup. Heath worked on King with strikes at ringside. Heath gave Jean a right hand after Jean tried to get involved. The distraction allowed King to land a few strikes on Heath.
Heath gave King a suplex back into the ring. Heath dumped King back to ringside with a lariat, also taking himself out. Heath sold a leg injury off the fall. Both men broke the ten count. King focused his offense on Heath’s injured ankle. Heath dumped King to ringside for a breather and then hit King with a dive. King went back to the attack on Heath’s injured ankle. Both men took each other out with simultaneous lariats.
Heath rallied back and hit King with a Power Slam for a nearfall. King tried to roll heath with a leverage pin, but the ref saw the feet on the ropes. Heath came back with a spinebuster for a nearfall. Heath knocked Jean off the apron which allowed King to hit Heath with a spin kick and Royal Flush for the win.
Kenny King defeated Heath via pinfall in 8:33.
John’s Thoughts: A good match. That said, Heath is currently wandering around Impact without an actual story. He’s sorta just the guy who’s attacking undercard heels for some reason. At this point, he definitely needs to pull a Steve Maclin and Dirty Dango to recreate himself for relevancy. King meanwhile, looks like he’s getting wins to set up for his next loss to a up and coming babyface, which is his role these days.
Hannifan hyped Crazzy Steve vs. Black Taurus for after the break…[c]
A Frankie Kazarian promo aired. The promo was shot after Kaz’s match with Eddie Edwards last week. Kazarian talked about how Eddie took him to death and back in that match. Kazarian said he loves Eddie Edwards and they’ve shared that bond training with Killer Kowalski. Kazarian said Eddie has to accept that after he beat the hell out of Eddie. He said he and Eddie are equals and will take Impact to new heights, together. Kaz ended the promo by saying that Eddie has no choice but to respect Frankie Kazarian…
Entrances for the next match took place…
3. Crazzy Steve vs. Black Taurus in a no-DQ match. Taurus dominated early on with clotheslines and corner strikes. Taurus hit Steve with a shoulder breaker. The match cut to picture-in-picture.[c]
The show cut back with Steve dominating the match. Steve had set up a bunch of open steel chairs in the ring and at ringside. Taurus blocked a suplex and gave Steve a headbutt. Taurus hit Steve with a Military Press slam on some open chairs for a nearfall. Taurus gave Steve sling blades. Steve came back with a drop toehold on the trash can. Taurus went for an Alabama Slam, but Steve hit Taurus with a huracanrana and cannonball for a nearfall.
Steve backdropped a running Taurus into the open chairs at ringside. Steve told Taurus that he’s going to teach him about pain. Steve took a fork out of the Feast or Fired briefcase. Taurus blocked from being stabbed and tried to stab Steve with the fork. Taurus dropped the fork after Steve begged for mercy.
Steve raked the eyes of Taurus and slammed the briefcase into Taurus’s throat by tossing Steve and the briefcase into the turnbuckle. Steve picked up the pinfall win after a diving spike DDT.
Crazzy Steve defeated Black Taurus via pinfall in 9:47.
Steve crawled to the camera and said he’s going to get the Digital Media Championship, even if he has to pry it from Tommy Dreamer’s cold dead hands…
John’s Thoughts: The match was a bit randomly booked as I thought Steve mowed through Taurus already. That said, this was a solid match and I thought it did it’s job in giving Crazzy Steve some in-ring credibility which he could use after the character reboot. If I remember correctly, Steve isn’t on the Bound for Glory card, is he? I would have found a way to get Steve vs. Dreamer on the card because Steve deserves it after developing this new persona, which is a evolution over Mick Foley’s “Mankind” persona.
A hype package aired where various wrestlers talked about how they were going to win the Call Your Shot Battle Royal…
Moose and Myers as well as PCO and Rhino were shown in different shots heading to the ring from backstage…[c]
A Bound for Glory ad aired…
Gia Miller interviewed Trinity and Mickie James. Both women were wearing cowboy hats. Gia asked them if they can co-exist as tag team partners on this week’s show even though they’re opponents in 48 hours at Bound for Glory. Trinity said it’s no problem because she and Mickie are brought together by the spirit of competition.
Mickie said at Bound for Glory she has respect for a sister like Trinity, and she also has respect for the Knockouts Championship. Mickie said no matter what happens, may the best woman win, just like the best are going to win tonight. Trinity and Mickie left the set with Gia saying “Go girls!”…
Entrances for the next match took place. Moose and Myers are calling themselves “The Most Professional Wrestling Gods, with Moose’s intro being spliced into Myers’s entrance theme. Moose is also carrying his World Title shot briefcase around. Hannifan noted that the upcoming match was a preview of the Monsters Ball match at Bound for Glory. Hannifan also reminded viewers that all the wrestlers will also be locked in sense deprivation rooms without food, water, or light for 24 hours before the match…
4. “The Most Professional Wrestling Gods” Moose and Brian Myers vs. Rhino and PCO. Rhino gave Myers a shove early on and asked “who’s the man”. Myers baited Rhino with a test of strength and gave Rhino a kick to the gut. Rhino came back with a tackle and shortarm shoulder tackles. Hannifan advertised Eddie Edwards vs. Will Ospreay at one of their upcoming UK shows. Moose and PCO tagged in.
PCO no sold a shoulder tackle from Moose. Moose gave PCO a rake to the eye. Both men traded chops to the chest. PCO took down Moose wiht a knee to the gut and Side Russian Legsweep. Rhino tagged in and took down Moose with an assisted lariat.
Rhino slammed Moose’s head into the top buckle for about a minute. Moose rolled to ringside, but was tossed back into the ring. Moose gave Rhino a big boot after the distraction from Myers. The show cut to regular commercial.[c]
Moose and Myers cut the ring in half on Rhino after the break. After a minute or two, Rhino tagged in PCO after giving Moose a suplex. Myers also tagged in. PCO caught Myers with a lungblower and leg drop for a nearfall. PCO took himself and Moose out with a lariat to ringside. PCO gave Myers a Scorpion Death Drop. Moose dragged Myers away to avoid a PCO-Sault. Rhino gave Moose a Belly-to-Belly.
Steve Maclin appeared and tossed Rhino into the ringpost while the referee was distracted by Myers. Bully Ray got in Maclin’s face to prevent him from attacking Rhino. PCO gave Maclin a cannonball dive. Hannifan wondered why Bully would protect Rhino? Moose caught PCO with a spear for the win.
Moose and Brian Myers defeated PCO and Rhino via pinfall in 11:03 of on-air time.
A Killer Kelly and Masha Slammovich promo aired. Masha said some things in Russian. Kelly hyped up their upcoming match against Tasha Steelz and Deonna Purrazzo…
A Bound for Glory ad aired to hype up the Mike Bailey vs. Will Ospreay match…
Rhino caught up with Bully Ray backstage to tell Bully that despite what Bully just did, he doesn’t trust Bully or need his help. Rhino left and Bully said “you’re welcome”…
John’s Thoughts: A good match to give Moose a win while he’s holding the future world title shot, but also good in continuing Bully Ray’s current storyline. Bully is interesting in that character-wise, he’s always at the top of his game. Him showing a bit of humanity is an interesting story, because the viewer is conditioned to see him as a scumbag, especially since he paid off the scumbaggery in a similar story when he pulled the wool over Josh Alexander’s eyes last year at this time.
Scott D’Amore was moderating a split screen interview between Alex Shelley and Josh Alexander. D’Amore said they are doing this split-screen because the last time Alexander and Shelley got in the ring, things got physical. Alexander said it’s not his fault because his hands are clean and it was Shelley who attacked him. Shelley said it was just an IOU for Alexander knocking his block off with an elbow. D’Amore calmed down both men and talked about how he coached both men and are their friends.
D’Amore said that Josh Alexander vs. Alex Shelley might be the biggest match in Bound for Glory history (uhm? Probably not). Shelley cut off D’Amore when he tried to ask Alexander a question, saying that maybe the World Champion should be asked a question first. Alexander said he’s not trying to take anything away from Shelley, the rightful world champion. Alexander said that he respects that Shelley has his fingerprints all over the industry.
Shelley said it was typical Walking Weapon, to tell people what they already know. Shelley said if he’s the face of the company, why is Josh the one giving the Rah Rah Impact speech on the 1000th episode? Shelley said he built this company on his back and has been on more episodes of Impact than Alexander. Shelley said Alexander had just come back from a six month vacation. Alexander said he’ll take Shelley calling his injury a vacation, but it’s rich that Shelley is saying that after many times leaving and coming back to Impact.
Shelley said he’s been out winning world championships everywhere else. Shelley said he built Impact. He said Impact is his house and he can come and leave any time he pleases. Alexander said Shelley shouldn’t be surprised when someone takes his spot. Shelley said he currently owns that spot with the world championship around his shoulder. Alexander said Shelley’s only holding that title for 48 hours longer. Shelley said that’s big talk for someone who’s trying to talk his way out of this match.
Shelley talked about how Alexander was trying to give himself excuses by facing Kon before the world title match, even though he knows Kon will stack the deck against him with Deaner at ringside. Shelley said Alexander was just trying to put an asterisk around Shelley’s win at Bound for Glory. Shelley said he could see through the shit, and he made sure that nothing happened to Alexander at Kon and Deaner’s hand. Alexander said Shelley can claim to worry about Alexander’s physical well being, but he’s worried about Shelley’s mental well being.
Alexander said Shelley is showing paranoia and is going insane. Shelley said if Alexander has to say something, say it like a man. Alexander said he understands the pressure of the championship and can see Shelley buckle under the pressure. He said Shelley can’t get over the idea of being a “transitional champion”. Alex Shelley abruptly walked off and Scott D’Amore ordered the production truck to cut to break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Good interview segment and good usage of the split screen format. Some flaws were D’Amore calling this the biggest match in BFG history and Shelley talking about winning world championships around the world (most people remember Shelley as being a tag wrestler in Ring of Honor and New Japan). That aside, this was great. Shelley is doing a good job with his “lawful evil” aligned character and it was smart to point out him being paranoid over being a transitional champ. I’m actually not sure who goes over at BFG. Josh Alexander never gets pinned clean. Shelley might actually go over to push himself into a more definite heel character. We’ll see.
Alex Shelley managed to find where Josh Alexander was being interviewed, and went on to choke him. D’Amore pulled Shelley away and got in between both men. Shelley walked off, blaming D’Amore of favoritism with Josh Alexander…
Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in from the commentary table. They ran through the advertised Bound for Glory and pre-show card. The pre-show will include the Hall of Fame inductions of Traci Brooks, Mike Tenay, and the late Don West…
Entrances for the next match took place. Shaw and Evans jumped Trinity and James before the bell, but the babyfaces came back with stereo Thesz Presses. The crowd gave Trinity and James “whoop dat trick” chants (somewhere out there, Trick Williams is smiling). The show cut to picture-in-picture…[c]
5. Mickie James and Trinity vs. Gisele Shaw and Savannah Evans (w/Jai Vidal). Back from break, James and Trinity cut the ring in half on Shaw. Trinity got a two count after a splits leg drop. Hannifan talked about being longtime friends with Trinity and vouched for how good she is as a person. Trinity hit Shaw with a standing stink face (ode to her father in law, Rikishi). Trinity did a booty shake into a leg drop for a two count.
Vidal pulled Shaw to ringside to block a Pedigree. Trinity hit Vidal and Shaw with a Plancha. Evans pulled Trinity’s hair which allowed Shaw to land a lariat on Trinity. Shaw and Evans cut the ring in half on Trinity for a stretch. Trinity hit Shaw with a enzuigiri for a window of opportunity. Shaw knocked James off the apron to prevent the tag. The heels isolated Trinity again.
Trinity managed to get the tag, but Shaw distracted the referee, so he didn’t see the tag. The heels went back to their isolation offense. Trinity rallied back and managed to get a window of opportunity after a Disaster Kick on Evans. James and Shaw tagged in with James cleaning house. James hit Shaw with a huracanrana and flapjack. James hit Shaw with a seated Senton. Evans broke up the pin and Shaw got a two count on James.
Evans hit James with a backbreaker and SHaw hit James wiht a boot. Trinity hit Shaw with a slingshot Codebreaker. Trinity and James gave Evans kicks. Mickie gave Evans the Mick-DT for the win.
Mickie James and Trinity defeated Savannah Evans and Gisele Shaw via pinfall in 12:03.
James held up Trinity’s arm in victory, but teased a bit of respectful tension by not letting go of the Knockouts title in Trinity’s hand. The show closed…
John’s Thoughts: A good match to heat up the Trinity vs. Mickie match at Bound for Glory. This isn’t the first time, I do question why they keep throwing Gisele Shaw in main events when she barely wins matches? She’s Impact’s Miz in that most of her matches against credible opponents are foregone conclusions. I really think she needs to be rebooted. That said, this was good usage of her and Evans because Trinity and Mickie need one of those speedbump matches.
A decent go-home show with the big hype coming from the Josh Alexander and Alex Shelley split screen interview. That said, it doesn’t feel like BFG is “Impact’s WrestleMania”, but that’s mostly because Impact is easily flying under the radar of a lot of wrestling fans (and people should be checking this show out because they are doing good no-nonsense wrestling booking here. The storytelling and character development is better than AEW’s and on-par with some of WWE’s solid booking). I’ll be by Saturday with my live review of Bound for Glory.