Impact Wrestling – June 22, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 22nd June 2023
Date: June 22, 2023
Location: Ohio Expo Center, Columbus, Ohio
Commentators: Matthew Rehwoldt, Tom Hannifan
Things took a turn last week when #1 contender Nick Aldis laid out World Champion Alex Shelley. This adds quite the wrinkle to their upcoming Slammiversary title match and I’m curious to see how all of that goes. Other than that, Scott D’Amore is ready to get his hands on Bully Ray next month. Let’s get to it.
OVE vs. Good Hands/Brian Myers
Before the match, Skyler says OVE stands for Ohio vs. Everything. Well he’ll take everything from tooth decay to an IRS audit over Ohio. Crist kicks Skyler down to start and hands it off to Callihan for a double spinebuster. Fulton comes in for a double chokeslam/World’s Strongest Slam combination (that was cool) to take the villains down.
A Myers distraction takes Crist down though and the Good Hands drop a double elbow for two. Myers comes in with a suplex for one and we hit the chinlock. Crist fights up so Skyler comes back in for a slam to cut it off again. A forearm finally gives Crist a breather and he nips up for the tag off to Callihan. Cue Moose to crotch Crist on top so Callihan and Fulton go after him. The distraction lets Myers hit the Roster Cut for the pin at 5:40.
Rating: C+. Rather formula based match here and the ending helps establish Moose and Myers as a team who could be something down the line. OVE feels almost like a blast from the past but they’re good enough for a spot like this. As long as they’re away from the Design, it’s kind of hard to complain that much.
Eddie Edwards comes up to talk to Frankie Kazarian and says Frankie can trust him tonight in their tag match. Kazarian doesn’t quite buy that so Eddie asks what he has to do. Eddie doesn’t need to worry about it but he swears on the grave of Killer Kowalski that he won’t do anything to Kazarian. That’s enough for Frankie, but he doesn’t seem completely convinced.
Sami Callihan is livid when Rich Swann comes up to him in the back. Callihan wants to know where Swann was and Swann says he was busy at Against All Odds. From now on, Swann has his back as his top priority. Callihan approves.
Here is Dirty Dango for a chat. Dango: “Man do I hate professional wrestling.” And that’s it before his match.
Dirty Dango vs. Bhupinder Gujjar
Dango shoulders him over to start and dances a bit, allowing Gujjar to come back up with a shoulder. Some dropkicks put Dango on the floor for a slingshot dive but the Gargoyle spear misses back inside. Dango hits a layout reverse DDT for the pin at 2:00.
Post match Dango grabs a phone and says something we can’t hear. Cue Santino Marella, with Gujjar sending Dango inside for the Cobra.
The Death Dollz run into the returning Nevaeh and aren’t sure if they should trust her. They don’t have much of a choice though, and it’s time to learn the parts of the story they don’t know. Courtney Rush loves an origin story….so the Dollz runs off without her.
Zicky Dice passes his test to become an official referee. The referee giving him his test treats it as a serious deal but Johnny Swinger gets rid of him. Swinger flat out says this is so he can cheat to get his fifty wins.
Mike Bailey/Jonathan Gresham vs. The Design
Gresham comes in off a very early blind tag to dropkick Angels in the back, allowing Bailey to kick him in the face. Kon comes in to wreck both of them though and Angels adds a half and half suplex. We take a break and come back with Gresham getting away to bring Bailey back in for the kicks to Kon. The bouncing kicks set up the kick to the head and a missile dropkick puts Kon down instead.
Kon is fine enough to muscle Bailey up from the mat for a slam though and the Design takes right back over. That doesn’t last long as Gresham comes in for the save, allowing Bailey to armbreaker Angels. With that broken up, Bailey moonsaults onto Kon on the floor. Back in and Bailey gets caught in a super Spanish Fly, but Deaner stops to yell at Angels. The distraction causes Angels to miss his frog splash, allowing Bailey to hit the tornado kick. The Ultimate Weapon finishes Angels at 9:28.
Rating: C+. This match did one important thing and that is getting us closer to the destruction of the Design. The team has LONG outlived its usefulness (which wasn’t much in the first place) and now they finally seem to be going away. Gresham and Bailey were good enough as a team, but I don’t need them becoming the next dream team to go after the titles.
Flashback Moment Of The Week: Magnus (Nick Aldis) beats Jeff Hardy in the Dixieland match to win the World Title on December 18, 2013.
Gisele Shaw and Gail Kim are going to be on the Amazing Race: Canada. We don’t have any clips or anything similar to hype it up, but it’s true.
Trinity isn’t happy with Gisele Shaw getting a Knockouts Title shot on the upcoming Australian tour but she’s fine with the Slammiversary match being a triple threat if it has to be. For now though, she’ll beat up Jai Vidal next week instead.
Nick Aldis has sent in a statement saying he won’t be here tonight due to fear of his own safety. Alex Shelley comes in and doesn’t buy it, saying he wants Aldis here. Aldis will be here next week so Shelley leaves, only to come back with a superkick when interviewer Jimmy Jacobs runs his mouth too much.
Taylor Wilde vs. Killer Kelly
Feeling out process to start and Kelly seems pleased with the thought of violence. A shot to the throat and a pump kick give Kelly two and a running kick to the chest drops Wilde again. King low bridges Kelly to the floor though and Wilde gets to kick away back inside. The surfboard goes on but is broken up just as fast, allowing Kelly to suplex her into the corner. They fight over a rollup for two each until Kelly pulls her into the Killer Klutch. That’s broken up as well so Kelly grabs a rollup for the pin at 5:08.
Rating: C. Nice back and forth match with Kelly getting a win for a change. I could go for her getting a stronger push as she has felt like someone who could go a lot higher rather quickly. For now at least she is getting a win and if she can find a partner, we could have some fresh challengers for the Knockouts Tag Team Titles. They certainly could use some new challengers so that’s certainly an idea.
Post match the beatdown is on but Masha Slamovich comes in to save Kelly. The villains bail and Kelly seems to approve.
We recap Scott D’Amore attacking Bully Ray last week, setting up the tag match with PCO and Steve Maclin at Slammiversary.
D’Amore says he is no longer the president so he takes off the fancy stuff before saying he isn’t what he once was. His prime, if he had one, wasn’t as good as Ray or Maclin, but he coached a lot of people over the years and is a five time Canadian Heavyweight Champion. He’ll break any rule or cross any line, and since he brought Ray into this company, it’s time he took him out. The sleeves are rolled up and now he’s ready for war. Good promo here, as D’Amore sounds like a man who has to do something.
Here is Joe Hendry to say….extraterrestrials have made contact with Earth. It makes sense to do it now because he is Digital Media Champion. Those aliens are trying to say the two most important words: WE BELIEVE.
Digital Media Title: Joe Hendry vs. Yuya Uemura
Hendry is defending and here are Kenny King and Sheldon Jean to interrupt. The former sits in on commentary as Hendry works on a headlock. Some armdrags have Hendry down, causing him to bow in respect. We take a break and come back with the camera on King before looking at Uemura fighting out of a chinlock. A belly to back suplex gives Uemura two but Hendry is back up to strike it out. Hendry rolls through a high crossbody and it’s the Standing Ovation to retain the title at 9:07.
Rating: C. This didn’t have time to get very far as the break and then the camera sitting on King didn’t do it any favors. King vs. Hendry is fine for a likely title feud and it wouldn’t shock me to see King get the title. At some point he has to win something new and the Digital Media Title would work well. As for Uemura, he continues to be a completely fine hand in the ring, though he needs to actually win a few matches at some point before the impact fades.
Slammiversary and Australian shows rundown.
Bully Ray/Steve Maclin vs. Frankie Kazarian/Eddie Edwards
Alisha Edwards is here with Kazarian/Eddie. Maclin and Eddie start things off with Maclin dropping him off a running elbow. Eddie is fine enough to pull him over for a slingshot legdrop from Kazarian. Maclin sends him into the corner where Ray crotches Kazarian against the post and we take a break.
Back with Kazarian being knocked into the corner again as the slow being is on. A suplex gives Maclin two and we hit the reverse chinlock. With that broken up, Eddie comes back in to chop away and a double suplex drops Ray. Eddie’s suicide dive hits Ray and Kazarian’s slingshot hurricanrana takes Maclin down on the floor. Back in and Maclin knocks Eddie to the floor where Ray grabs a chair. Instead Ray chases Alisha off and it’s Maclin chinlocking Eddie again.
An Irish Curse gives Maclin two and Ray comes back in to punch him down. Eddie gets up and crossbodies Maclin for a double knockdown. The tag brings in Kazarian to pick up the pace as everything breaks down. Kazarian drops Maclin for two as Eddie and Ray come in (sans tags) to rake each others’ eyes. Ray shoves Eddie into Kazarian, who is right back with the chickenwing. Eddie is back up and accidentally superkicks Kazarian, allowing Maclin and Ray to hit a belly to back neckbreaker for the pin at 15:31.
Rating: B-. Nice enough main event here, and I kind of like having the teams who don’t like each other not being able to win their first match against each a team of former World Champions. Eddie vs. Kazarian should be a fun match at Slammiversary assuming that is the way they go. Other than that, we had a back and forth match with the action doing well, though it never quite got to that next level.
The winners are happy and the losers aren’t to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. The main event helped but this show wasn’t quite up to the standards of the usual stuff they do around here. Slammiversary is about three weeks away and you can see a lot of the card from here, though that doesn’t make it the most interesting. The lack of Aldis after last week’s big turn didn’t help either and it wasn’t the most interesting offering as a result. It’s not bad, but more of a skippable show than usual this week.
Brian Myers/Good Hands b. OVE – Roster Cut to Crist
Dirty Dango b. Bhupinder Gujjar – Layout reverse DDT
Jonathan Gresham/Mike Bailey b. The Design – Ultimate Weapon to Angels
Killer Kelly b. Taylor Wilde – Rollup
Joe Hendry b. Yuya Uemura – Standing Ovation
Bully Ray/Steve Maclin b. Frankie Kazarian/Eddie Edwards – Belly to back neckbreaker to Kazarian
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