Date: March 30, 2023
Location: Globe Theater, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Matthew Rehwoldt, Tom Hannifan
This is a special show as it is really a big pre-show for the Multiverse United show taking place later tonight. Since that isn’t enough to carry two hours, there are also a few bonus matches from previous TV tapings. Impact has been rather entertaining lately but sometimes you need to shake things up a bit. Let’s get to it.
We run down the Multiverse United card, which is pretty stacked.
Santino Marella comes in to talk about the card, because when you think dream matches with Impact vs. New Japan, you want that accent and jokes about how he can’t get his words right.
Video on Mike Bailey vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, with Tanahashi being Tanahashi and Bailey wanting to face one of the best ever.
Let’s look at one of those two in action. From new Japan Resurgence 2021.
IWGP US Heavyweight Title: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Lance Archer
Archer is defending and sends Tanahashi outside to start. It works so well that he does it again and we’re clipped to Tanahashi getting clotheslined to the floor as Jon Moxley (with a beer in a nasty flashback) is watching at ringside. Archer hits a running flip dive off the apron and Tanahashi is whipped into the barricade.
Back in and three straight running shoulders crush Tanahashi in the corner but Archer stops to yell at Moxley. We’re clipped again to Archer scaring the referee and getting in a low blow but Tanahashi fights out of the chokeslam. A backsplash sets up a middle rope flipping backsplash but Archer kicks him in the face as we take a break.
Back with Tanahashi slipping out of a Black Out (having apparently already taken one). Tanahashi fights back and hits Twist and Shout, followed by a Sling Blade for two as we hit fifteen minutes in (about 12 show, including a commercial). Archer fights back and loads a chair in the corner but of course gets sent into it instead. A Black Hole Slam gives Archer two and we’re clipped to the two of them on top. Tanahashi knocks him down and hits back to back High Fly Flows for the pin and the title at 15:44 shown (of 19:26 and again, minus about 3:30 due to commercial).
Rating: B. Tanahashi might not be what he used to be but even a banged up and old Tanahashi is still better than just about anyone in the world. He knows exactly how to wrestle a monster like Archer and it is nearly impossible to not enjoy something about him. Very engaging match here as I wanted to see Tanahashi make the comeback. I’m sure the longer version is even better, as it tends to be.
Rocky Romero loves seeing the promotions working together and is ready to win another title tonight.
We take a quick look at Trey Miguel beating Lince Dorado at Sacrifice.
Video on Minoru Suzuki vs. Kenta vs. the New Japan Openweight Strong Title. For some reason, Suzuki, who earned the shot by pinning Kenta in the New Japan Cup, seems mad.
The hosts pick Kenta, but think both of them can be violent when they’re angry.
Fred Rosser replaces Santino and is ready for his eight man tag tonight.
We look at how Chris Bey and Ace Austin won the Tag Team Titles.
We also see the Motor City Machine Guns beating Bey and Austin at Against All Odds.
We look at the Motor City Machine Guns beating Austin and Bey at Overdrive.
We look at Aussie Open beating Austin and Bey on Impact. You might want to present your champs in a better light.
Austin and Bey did beat The Mighty Don’t Kneel at Sacrifice.
Rosser picks Austin and Bey to retain the titles.
We recap the mess left behind due to Mickie James suffering a broken rib. She isn’t going to vacate the title, but it comes down to her health status at Rebellion. If she is healthy, she’s in a title match but if not, it’s Jordynne Grace vs. the winner of tonight’s four way match.
James joins us and is sad about not getting to compete but we do have something to cheer her up: the Knockouts are the feature in this month’s Pro Wrestling Illustrated (somehow for the first time ever. She puts over the division and says she wanted to face Miyu Yamashita tonight, which sends us to another exclusive match.
From Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
Miyu Yamashita vs. Killer Kelly
Miyu powers her around to start before firing off the kicks. A big one to the chest drops Kelly, who looks somewhere between stunned and happy. One fan: “Kelly’s gonna kill you!” Miyu sweeps the leg again and gets two off a running kick to the chest. Kelly is back with some knees, only to get blasted with a clothesline for two. Some arm trap headbutts have Al Snow smiling somewhere and Kelly suplexes her into the corner.
It’s too early for the Killer Klutch though and Miyu hits a running kick to the face for a double knockdown. They slug it out from their knees and fight to the floor with Miyu getting the better of things. Miyu’s springboard something is broken up though and Kelly gets two off a fisherman’s suplex back inside. Kelly manages to pull her into the Killer Klutch but Miyu slips out and kicks her in the head (Skull Kick) for the pin at 10:14.
Rating: B-. Kelly continues to be someone who feels like she could be a big deal if she was given the chance. She has a unique look and feels creepy at times, which is a lot more than some can say. At the same time, Miyu came off like a more polished star (as she is) and that kick at the end looked great. Fun, hard hitting match here between two skilled women.
Here’s what’s coming on New Japan on AXS TV.
Tommy Dreamer joins us to talk about his issues with Bully Ray, setting up their team Hardcore War at rebellion.
We look at Bully Ray getting into a hockey fight with Darren McCarty at Sacrifice, resulting in Ray and the Good Hands putting him through a table. Then Scott D’Amore and company returned, with D’Amore giving Jason Hotch a Canadian Destroyer. Still probably not the best thing for a retired boss to do.
We preview Jeff Cobb vs. Moose in the Multiverse United hoss fight.
Dreamer picks Cobb because he hates Moose. That’s rather to the point.
Moose joins us from the arena to say that Tommy Dreamer is jealous about only accomplishing a fraction of what Moose has accomplished. As for Cobb, Moose knows he’ll bring it but Moose knows how to win. For some reason Moose sounded somewhere between sleepy and old here.
Post break Scott D’Amore joins us and invites D’Amore to join his team at Rebellion. D’Amore thankfully declines because he’s the President of the company. With Dreamer gone, D’Amore talks about Josh Alexander’s injury and is glad to have Lio Rush take Alexander’s place against Kushida tonight. We look at Kushida Hoverboard Locking Alexander at a recent show, with the hosts speculating that had something to do with Alexander’s injury (nice touch). Since Alexander is hurt, let’s take one more look at him defending the title.
From Las Vegas, Nevada.
Impact Wrestling World Title: Kenta vs. Josh Alexander
Alexander is defending and backs Kenta (with a bad shoulder) into the corner to start. A quick ankle lock sends Kenta bailing to the ropes and he’s able to send Alexander face first into the buckle to take over. We take a break and come back with Kenta kicking away and looking down at Alexander like a heel should. Alexander fights up and gets knocked to the floor, followed by a neckbreaker to give Kenta two back inside.
Another comeback is cut off with the tornado DDT across the top rope. A top rope clothesline gives Kenta two and he knocks Alexander to the apron. Back in and Alexander managers to power him into the corner as we take another break. We come back with Alexander taking him down for two and they slowly get up. An exchange of hard shots to the face put both of them down, followed by another slugout.
Kenta manages a hanging DDT and a running basement dropkick in the corner. A top rope double stomp gets two more and Kenta rips off the champ’s headgear. GTS is countered into the ankle lock but Kenta reverses into a rollup. A running knee gets two on Alexander but he blasts Alexander with a forearm. The C4 Spike retains the title at 21:50.
Rating: B. This was the long form match between two guys who can beat each other up. Kenta can be a heel rather well and he’s come a long way since the Hideo Itami days. At the same time, it’s sad to see Alexander still being able to go in the ring here because he wouldn’t be able to defend/lose the title because of his injury. Either way, good match here which would have been a lot of fun for the live crowd.
Scott D’Amore is sad about Alexander, who has to show up next week to vacate the title.
One more Multiverse United rundown ends the show.
OverallRating: B-. This was a weird show as the wrestling worked well and it was nice to see something new, but the rest of the show was literally a big discussion about/commercial for Multiverse United. The bonus matches helped but you very easily could have skipped this one and not missed much. At least it was just a one off and we get the big show later tonight, so it’s hardly some horrible idea.
Hiroshi Tanahashi b. Lance Archer – High Fly Flow
Miyu Yamashita b. Killer Kelly – Skull Kick
Josh Alexander b. Kenta – C4 Spike
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