Impact Wrestling – September 14, 2023 (1000th Episode)
By Thomas Hall on 21st September 2023
Date: September 14, 2023
Location: Westchester Count Center, White Plains, New York
Commentators: Matthew Rehwoldt, Tom Hannifan
It’s time for a special show as this is the 1000th episode. There have been all kinds of special guest stars announced and that we should be in for a lot of nostalgic fun. What matters here is having a great time while celebrating Impact’s long history. There have been some amazing moments throughout Impact’s history and looking back at them could be a blast. Let’s get to it.
We open with a rather cool and rather in-depth history of the show, which really does give me some flashbacks. I’ve been watching this show for a long time now and while it has had its bad moments, there have been some classic moments. The problems around here weren’t often because of the wrestlers and they deserve the credit for helping get them this far.
Opening sequence, with a mixture of old and new clips.
Here is Scott D’Amore to welcome us to the show and talk about how he kicked off the very first episode of this show. The next two weeks are going to be a celebration of Impact’s history and present. We’re starting with the Knockouts, including Gail Kim, who comes out for a chat. Kim thanks the fans for getting them this far and for making so many changes to the industry.
We get a video on the Knockouts throughout the years and yes, they were influential on the Women’s Revolution and where we are now.
Cue the Beautiful People (Velvet Sky/Angelina Love) for a special reunion. Love isn’t impressed by the video, because that video didn’t have enough of the Beautiful People. There were a lot of ugly people included, like the one in front of her right now. Velvet: “That’s you Gail!” Everything that wasn’t the Beautiful People looked like the before and after pictures from a dermatologist’s office, but just the befores!
Cue Gisele Shaw and company to welcome the Beautiful People back. She’s honored to have taken their spot and improved on it, which has Sky and Love cracking up. Shaw spells and defines the word improved so Love asks who is worth anything from this generation. Cue Jordynne Grace to put over both generations, but saying that the one constant through the years has been the “annoying, vapid b******.”
Cue Deonna Purrazzo to interrupt, with Grace assuming Purrazzo “is here to represent the annoying b******.” Purrazzo says she’s here to represent her generation but here is Trinity to interrupt. She’s here to represent the current generation and is on top right now. Purrazzo: “You can come talk to me when you’ve had three.” Gail Kim: “And you can come talk to me when you’ve had seven.” After that mic drop moment, here is Awesome Kong (everyone stops) with Raesha Saed as we take a break.
Back with a WELCOME BACK chant and Saed demanding silence from the fans. If anyone wants to fight, they can come after Kong, with everyone pointing at the others to say they’re first. Cue the returning Tasha Steelz to say you have to talk about her generation as well, which is why she’s going to be on Team Beautiful People (as apparently there is a Team Beautiful People).
She wants to face Kong next week in the ten Knockouts tag but here is Mickie James to interrupt. Mickie (with the country accent rolling) says she beat the one who beat the greatest, because she herself is the greatest. Hardcore Country is back and she’s the fifth member of Team Trinity, along with Grace, Kim and Kong. She’s ready for next week and the greatest fight in Knockouts history. Outside of Tara and OBD (maybe a few others like Madison Rayne), this was a who’s who of the Knockouts and they deserve a lot of praise, even if we’re now thirty minutes into the show.
America’s Most Wanted is in the back with Eric Young when Santino Marella comes in. We cut over to Shark Boy, who arrives after the breaking of a beer bottle. Shark Boy likes order, so Santino makes him a deputy Director Of Authority (and draws the sign of the Cross over him).
Feast Or Fired
Joe Hendry, Yuya Uemura, Johnny Swinger, Moose, Brian Myers, Kevin Knight, Kushida, PCO, Black Taurus, Chris Bey, Crazzy Steve, Alpha Bravo, Bhupinder Gujjar, Heath, Jai Vidal, John Skyler, Jonathan Gresham, Laredo Kid, Sami Callihan, Steve Maclin
There are four briefcases above the ring. Three contain title shots (World, Tag Team, Digital Media) and one contains a pink slip. PCO is the last entrant and hits a big flip dive onto a bunch of people as we get started fast. It’s a big brawl to start with people climbing and being pulled back down. Kid plants Knight and Taurus does the same to Kushida but then Kid turns on Taurus.
That’s not enough for Kid to pull down a case so Skyler tries instead. That’s broken up by Bey, who pulls down a case and, after diving onto a bunch of people and getting to the floor, he’s officially safe and gets to leave. We take a break and come back with Crazzy Steve getting a case and Moose walking away rather than dealing with a fork. With everyone else on the floor, Moose goes after a briefcase but Maclin breaks it up. Maclin lays Moose out but it’s time for a parade of strikes to the face.
Bravo has to beg Callihan not to massacre him before Knight and Kushida clear the ring. PC comes back in but heads to the floor, leaving Hendry and Uemura to beat up Kid. Uemura gets a case but throws it to Hendry, who tosses it back to Uemura, who gets to the floor. There’s one case left so PCO starts hurting people, only to have Vidal….I think flirt with him?
PCO chokeslams him but Callihan breaks up the climb. Taurus and Kushida take turns breaking things up before Heath and Maclin climb at the same time. Maclin gets the case, drops Heath and Callihan, but still can’t get to the floor. Everyone surrounds him but the returning Rhino runs in with a Gore, sending the case flying….into Moose’s hands on the floor to end the match at 13:36.
Rating: B-. I have no idea how to call this as it’s really not much in the way of a match. You have people slowly being eliminated and then when the fourth case is won, it just stops. It’s kind of like a ladder match but with staggered endings, but the real drama is in the reveals. Odds are they take place later, but the Rhino return at the end was a nice moment.
Chris Sabin is ready to win the X-Division Title back.
Here is the Desi Hit Squad to brag about their success. They want to know one team who has done more than them so here we go.
Team 3D vs. Desi Hit Squad
Ray cranks on Singh’s arm to start and it’s off to D-Von for an ax handle to said arm. A double clothesline takes the Squad down and it’s the belly to back neckbreaker to Singh. It’s too early for the 3D though and Singh slams Ray off the top. Raju hammers on Ray, who spears his way out of trouble. D-Von comes in to clean house and it’s What’s Up to Raju. It’s time to get the tables (appropriate for once) and the 3D to Singh (not through the table) finishes at 5:54.
Rating: C+. All things considered, this was a fine match and the nostalgia was strong with this one. D-Von was looking pretty awesome given how long he has been out of the ring and it’s great to see one of the best teams ever getting one last match. I know they’re more famous for their time in WWE/ECW, but Team 3D had a heck of a run in Impact and it’s more than an acceptable place for them to have this kind of a moment.
Post match Raju goes through the table, as someone had to.
The Rascalz annoy Josh Alexander by making a mess in the hallway. Violence is teased but the Rascalz back off.
Here is Josh Alexander for a chat. Alexander talks about how amazing it is for him to be in this company after 21 years of it going strong. He has been a fan for such a long time and he’s proud to say so. As for himself though, he never lost the World Title and it’s time to remedy that.
Cue World Champion Alex Shelley to say that’s enough. Shelley is tired of hearing about what Alexander used to be because Shelley is the World Champion. Alexander can thank him for having a place to get paid and send his kids to private schools and drive a great truck. Alexander is cool with thanking a legend like Shelley, who absolutely paved the way for people like him.
Shelley says Alexander is a mark for him but Alexander thinks he deserves a thank you of his own. It was Alexander who carried the ball for four years so Shelley could have a place to come back to. Yes Shelley has had a bunch of great defenses, but what about the World Title match he didn’t win?
Shelley says he’s the main character and Alexander is just a side quest. They both want the match so Alexander wants to do it right now. Cue the Rascalz to jump both of them (Shelley hadn’t said no to right now) but Alexander and Shelley fight back. The Rascalz jump them again….and this time Shelley walks off, leaving Alexander to get beaten down. That’s an interesting way to go and I think we have Bound For Glory.
Post break the Rascalz are rather pleased but Shark Boy comes in to make Trey Miguel vs. Josh Alexander next week. Santino Marella comes in to praise Shark Boy but Kenny King and Sheldon Jean come in to yell at Marella. King wants his Digital Media Title back, though Santino would rather see him face Eric Young next week instead.
Eddie Edwards/Alisha Edwards vs. Frankie Kazarian/Traci Brooks
The women waste no time in starting the brawl and all four are on the floor rather quickly. Back in and an Alisha cheap shot lets Eddie plant Kazarian as we take a break. We come back with Alisha slapping Kazarian, who gets cut off by Eddie rather quickly. Kazarian finally flips over Eddie and hits a Backstabber but it’s still not enough to bring Traci back in. Instead Eddie elbows him in the face and the long form beating continues.
Alisha’s middle rope crossbody hits Eddie by mistake but he manages to stay standing. Kazarian suplexes Alisha and rolls Eddie up at the same time, allowing Traci to come back in for a spear. An X Factor into a running knee sends Eddie outside, leaving Traci to hit Fade To Black for the pin on Alisha for the pin at 12:39.
Rating: C+. Traci’s return was the big deal here and for someone who was wrestling her first match in eleven years, she did just fine. This should be enough to wrap up the feud and it plays into the idea of the big milestone show. Frankie did most of the work here and there is nothing wrong with that, especially given the situation.
Post match Frankie has a surprise: Traci Brooks is going into the Hall Of Fame. Back in the ring, Traci is in tears as her son gets to celebrate with her and Frankie. That’s an awesome moment.
Lio Rush knows Chris Sabin is shook before their title match.
Here’s what’s coming next week.
We look at Tommy Dreamer winning the Digital Media Title at Victory Road, with a special assist from Heath.
Dreamer talks about what winning the title and promises to make it be about happy moments.
X-Division Title: Chris Sabin vs. Lio Rush
Sabin is challenging and we’re getting a commercial free overrun (fair enough on a special show like this). Rush has to chase him outside to start before Rush starts dodging back inside. A running kick to the face sends Sabin outside and Rush scores with a suicide dive (ala what he did before the match at Slammiversary). Back in and the Final Hour is broken up but Cradle Shock is blocked as well.
Sabin dropkicks the leg out and pulls him into a surfboard, with Rush giving us a heck of an agonized/annoyed face. Rush escapes and hammers away (pay no attention to the punches not making contact) before grabbing a choke. With that broken up, Rush hits a belly to back suplex for two and the frustration continues. Sabin gets an elbow up in the corner and hits a missile dropkick for the double knockdown.
The Cradle Shock is broken up with a rake to the eyes and Sabin bails to the floor, setting up a bottom rope Asai moonsault. A suplex on the ramp rocks Sabin again and Rush hits a spinning kick to the head for two back inside. Sabin runs the corner for a superplex to break up the Final Hour and they’re both down again. A powerbomb gets the same on Rush and Sabin pulls him into an STF.
Rush slips out and hits a fisherman’s buster for two but Sabin hits a heck of a clothesline. Cradle Shock gets two and yeah that deserves a shocked kickout face. Sabin loads up a super Cradle Shock but Rush rakes the eyes to knock him down. The Final Hour gets two and now it’s Rush’s turn to be shocked. Rush is furious as well but Sabin takes him down for some right hands. A superkick and Shell Shock sets up the Cradle Shock to give Sabin the pin and the title back at 16:02.
Rating: B. It’s a nice way to wrap up a special show and the good thing here is that Sabin winning the title isn’t some out of nowhere change. Sabin is a regular star around here and he has to be the most successful X-Division wrestler ever. This was a special balance between the nostalgia and the modern stuff, which happened to come after a pretty awesome match.
A bunch of wrestlers come out to celebrate with Sabin to end the show.
Overall Rating: B+. This was in no way a show about the wrestling, as instead this was ALL about the nostalgia and having fun while looking back at the company’s history. It’s rare for any show to make it this far and that made things all the more special. I had a great time with this show and that is exactly what this should have been. Heck of a show here and I’m really looking forward to part two next week.
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