Impact Wrestling – July 20, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 22nd July 2023
Date: July 20, 2023
Location: St. Clair College, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Matthew Rehwoldt, Tom Hannifan
We are back after a middle of the road Slammiversary, where the big story was the return of Josh Alexander, as he confronted World Champion Alex Shelley to end the show. That should make for a big showdown going forward, and Eric Young is back as a bonus. Let’s get to it.
Long Slammiversary recap.
Here is Scott D’Amore in the ring to get things going. He is proud of everything that happened at Slammiversary in his hometown. Getting to stand in the ring with those people is something he will never forget, but as for tonight, he is acting Director Of Authority because Santino Marella is beating up Dirty Dango. We hear about more of the show until the Good Hands come out to interrupt. D’Amore tells them to come in if they have something to say so the Good Hands come in for some threats. That’s cool with D’Amore, who has some guys waiting to face them.
Good Hands vs. Sami Callihan/Rich Swann
Sami hammers on Skyler to start but the Good Hands actually take over, with Hotch hitting a middle rope moonsault to take the two of them out on the floor. We settle down to Skyler taking over on Swann but Hotch gets dropped, allowing Callihan to come in and pick up the pace. The Death Valley Driver gets two on Hotch with Skyler making the save. That earns Skyler a kick to the floor, setting up double knees to Hotch’s face. Swann and Callihan lift Hotch up under the arms for a rather high angle double spinebuster for the pin at 3:54.
Rating: C. The Good Hands got in more than I was expecting here but ultimately Callihan and Swann are a much prominent pairing. I could go for seeing the two of them getting into a bigger story and maybe this is the start of something like that. For now though, nice quick opener and rather different than the longer stuff that has mainly opened the show in recent months.
The Bullet Club are mad about losing their Tag Team Titles and promise revenge on the Rascalz too. Cue the Rascalz to mock them, meaning the brawl is on. Scott D’Amore comes in to say the Club already has a match tonight but the Rascalz can get out of here. With them gone, Johnny Swinger and Zicky Dice come in, with Swinger asking what he’s supposed to do now. D’Amore says the fifty wins deal is over, but if Swinger wins his next match, he’ll get a title shot. He can even fight Dice, and we’ll make it Loser Leaves Town!
Eric Young is back and has a story to tell but here is Nick Aldis to interrupt (and TOWER over Young). Aldis says Young can be his colleague in his war against the cretins and internet darlings who are ruining this place. Young isn’t sure about that so they’ll fight tonight instead.
Video on Jake Something, who looks like a star but has the name Jake Something so he’s under a ceiling.
Jake Something vs. Kevin Knight
Knight actually gets an insert promo, promising to show what he can do. Something shrugs off some shoulders to start and then shoulders Knight instead. Some clotheslines rock Knight again but he sends Something to the apron for a heck of a springboard dropkick. We take a break and come back with Something’s Hulk Up being dropped by a basement shoulder.
Knight hits a jumping splash for two but Something fights up and runs him over with another hard shot. Back up and Something turns him inside out with a clothesline but gets caught on top. Knight’s super hurricanrana is countered into a super sitout powerbomb for…two. Either Knight is winning or the producer is a moron. Something cuts him off with a forearm but Knight hits a forearm of his own, followed by a rather awesome pop up dropkick. A high crossbody gives Knight two but Something hits a Boss Man Slam for the pin at 13:39.
Rating: B-. They had me until that sitout powerbomb only got two. It’s a perfect example of a move that either should have been the finish or shouldn’t have been in the match. Knight got a lot in here and has the potential to be a star on his own, while Something has all of the physical tools you could need. Just get a better name and things should be just fine.
Courtney Rush vs. Savannah Evans
Jessicka, Jai Vidal and Gisele Shaw are all here too. Rush gets powered up against the ropes to start and her headlock is countered with a belly to back. Vidal grabs Rush’s leg so Evans can run her over and drop a leg or two. Back up and Rush charges into a spinebuster for two but gets in a shot of her own. Vidal grabs the foot again though, which draws out Jody Threat to carry Vidal to the back. Rush hits a spear for the pin at 3:56.
Rating: C-. The interference and everyone getting involved hurt this a lot and kept taking me out of the match. Rush winning is a good way to go though as she has needed some kind of momentum for a bit. Evans is a big, intimidating monster so beating her once in awhile is a great way to give someone a nice boost. Just cut down on the shenanigans.
Video on Trinity winning the Knockouts Title and how much it means to her.
The Coven isn’t impressed with Trinity but they also want the Women’s Tag Team Titles back from MK Ultra (Masha Slamovich/Killer Kelly).
We get a sitdown interview with Jonathan Gresham, who says if the X-Division is about no limits, it is now about no rules. In Ring Of Honor, he wanted rules…..so maybe this place isn’t for him.
Dirty Dango vs. Santino Marella
Santino grapples him down to start and tries for the armbar, which Dango has to block for a good bit. The threat of a leglock sends Dango to the ropes but this time he comes up with a shot to the face. Back up and Santino snaps off some armdrags but Dango pulls him throat first into the ropes. Some shots to the back have Santino in trouble and a whip into the corner keeps him down. Santino’s back gives out on a slam attempt but he avoids a twisting Swanton. The Cobra is loaded up but here is a guy in riot gear to break it up. Dango rams them together and gets the cheap pin at 5:55.
Rating: D+. This is a good example of a match that missed the point. Dango attacked and insulted Santino, who should have been out for blood. Instead, he was doing armdrags and hiptosses, plus the Cobra. Santino showed he can wrestle and grapple but then he just went into the traditional goofy stuff. Why should I care if he’s doing comedy in such a personal feud? This didn’t work and that’s rough to see.
It’s the returning Johnny Bravo.
Gisele Shaw and Savannah Evans run into MK Ultra and insults are exchanged. Jody Threat drops Jai Vidal off at their feet.
Alisha Edwards and Traci Brooks get into a brawl.
Tag Team Titles: Subculture vs. Bullet Club
Subculture, with Dani Luna, is defending. Webster armbars Austin to start until they flip to a standoff. Andrews comes in to flip around and annoy Bey’s arm. Back up and Bey hits a dropkick and it’s back to Austin for a headscissors. Andrews is back up with a northern lights suplex and we take a break.
Back with Andrews working on an armbar before handing it off to Webster. That doesn’t exactly go well as Austin quickly takes over. Webster is already back to Andrews to pick up the pace but Bey brainbusters him for two. Bey torture racks him so Austin can hit a kick to the head, setting up the torture rack neckbreaker for two more. Webster is back in with a headbutt to Bey so a poisonrana can get another near fall.
Back up and Bey sends the champs outside for the big running flip dive as we take another break. We come back with Andrews hitting his double Pele but the Club hits the Art of Finesse. The Fold is broken up though and the Stundog Millionaire drops Bey. Cue the Rascalz to take Austin out, leaving Andrews to roll Bey up to retain at 19:57.
Rating: B. This got some time and the action was rather good for the most part. Subculture has hit the ground running like few teams ever have around here and that is great to see. Beating the former champs, even after some shenanigans, will take Subculture a long way and now they can wait for their next challenges. Solid match here and I was getting rather into it by the end.
Here is Josh Alexander for his big return speech. Alexander talks about how he had to give up the World Title right here due to a freak injury. Now he wants to win the title that he never lost, and he is 100% medically cleared. Unfortunately he can’t come here and get his title back from Steve Maclin, so now the question is can Alex Shelley beat him.
Cue Shelley to say Alexander has a cool healing factor but let’s cut to the chase. Shelley is the champ but he has to know if he can beat Alexander so let’s do it. Cue Lio Rush to tease Option C so cue Kushida (#1 contender to the X-Division Title) to say no Option C until he gets his shot. Now cue Bully Ray but the distraction lets Moose and Brian Myers to jump Kushida, Alexander and Shelley. Rush teases laying out Shelley but leaves instead to end the show. It got more interesting by the end, but enough of the Option C stuff.
Overall Rating: C+. This show only gave me so much hope for Impact’s future, as this didn’t feel like the rather good stuff that they have been doing in recent months. It’s still a fine enough show, but something was missing here. There were good parts to the whole thing, including the ending and main event, but some of the stuff was rather weak and felt like a step in the wrong direction. Good enough overall, but hopefully they tighten things up again.
Rich Swann/Sami Callihan b. Good Hands – Double high angle spinebuster to Hotch
Jake Something b. Kevin Knight – Boss Man Slam
Courtney Rush b. Savannah Evans – Spear
Dirty Dango b. Santino Marella – Marella was rammed into a helmet
Subculture b. Bullet Club – Rollup to Bey
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