Impact Wrestling – November 16, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 17th November 2023
Date: November 16, 2023
Location: Cicero Stadium, Cicero, Illinois
Commentators: Tom Hannifan, Matthew Rehwoldt
Things got more interesting last week as we are on the slow road towards Hard To Kill and the return of TNA. Last week saw a heck of a main event as Alex Shelley successfully defended the World Title against Jonathan Gresham. He’ll probably need a new challenger before he faces Moose in January though and we might find out who that is tonight. Let’s get to it.
Tag Team Titles: Kenny King/Sheldon Jean vs. ABC
ABC is defending. King and Austin start things off with the latter working on a hammerlock. Austin gets taken down for a headlock on the mat but is right back up with a headlock takeover of his own. The champs take King into the corner for some kicks to the head but Jean pulls Bey to the floor. A posting has Bey in more trouble and the beating continues back inside.
Bey avoids a charge though and it’s back to Austin to pick up the pace. A springboard spinning kick to the face gives Austin two on King but Jean is there to break up the 1-2-Sweet. Instead King grabs a tiger driver for two as everything breaks down. Jean’s pop up neckbreaker gets two on Bey, who is right back with a running flip dive onto King. The 1-2 Sweet retains the titles at 7:23.
Rating: C+. This was nice while it lasted but it didn’t last that long. There is only so much that you can get out of a match with just over seven minutes, even if ABC is as good as they are. King and Jean are a nice combination as well, but they were little more than a quick challenger of the week on the way to the champs’ next serious competition.
MK Ultra control the Knockouts division and are here to reshape your reality.
Moose vs. Heath
Brian Myers is here with Moose. They slug it out to start until Heath rolls him up for two. That’s enough for Moose to bail to the floor and Heath sends him into various objects. Back in and Moose sends him hard over the top for a crash, followed by some choking inside. Heath manages to hurricanrana his way out of a powerbomb attempt though and Moose is outside again.
There’s a dive to take him down and a leg lariat connects for Heath back inside. A powerslam gives Heath two but Myers offers a distraction, allowing Moose to hit the release Rock Bottom. Another one is countered but Myers throws the briefcase in and blocks the Wake Up Call. Moose spears Heath down for the pin at 5:56.
Rating: C+. That makes two matches that could have been something but then wound up getting off too soon. About six minutes is hardly enough time to get anywhere and that was on display here. I still like a lot of what Heath has been doing lately by playing it more straight and that could take him somewhere, wherever that may be.
Post match the beatdown is on until Rhino makes the save.
Post break Moose and Myers accuse Rhino of being jealous. Therefore, Moose vs. Rhino at Final Resolution.
Rascalz vs. Laredo Kid/Black Taurus/Juventud Guerrera
Lucha Rules with Konnan on commentary. Kid and Miguel get things going with the former snapping off a running hurricanrana. Taurus comes in for a superkick but the Rascalz take it to the floor. Back in and a double elbow drops Kid for two, followed by the choking on the ropes. Miguel hits Three Amigos for two, leaving commentary to wonder if that was a tribute to Eddie Guerrero or not.
Juventud dropkicks Miguel and Kid knocks him down for two more. A distraction lets the Rascalz snap Kid’s throat across the middle rope as the villains take over. Kid manages a sunset bomb to Miguel and Juventud gets the tag for a high crossbody. One heck of a clothesline hits Miguel (the other Rascalz are allowed to do something if they’re interested) and Taurus adds a pop up Samoan drop.
The 450 is broken up though and Kid gets catapulted into a superkick. A triple dropkick gets two on Kid with Guerrera making the save. Reed is back up with his running jumping cutter over the top to the floor (that always looks good), followed by a slingshot Codebreaker to Juventud. Another cutter hits Taurus but he’s back up with a spear. The spinning piledriver finishes Reed at 11:54.
Rating: B. This was exactly as advertised and they had a nearly nonstop match that went about twelve minutes. That’s not something you see every day and it was quite the showcase. I’m a bit surprised to see the Rascalz lose though, especially with Reed taking the fall. He only debuted last week and he’s already losing here, which isn’t a great first match. Those cutters looked very good, but then he got pinned a few moments later so there wasn’t much of an impact.
Steve Maclin/KiLynn King vs. Jordynne Grace/Bully Ray
Ray locks up with Maclin to start before Ray runs him down without too much trouble. Maclin takes over on the arm and hands it off to King to stay on said arm. That doesn’t last long either as Ray takes over on King’s arm and cranks away a bit as well. Grace comes in to fire off some forearms but King muscles her into the corner, which isn’t something you see very often.
That’s shrugged of as well and it’s back to Ray, who goes up for some reason. That earns him a distraction from Maclin so King can take Ray down for two. Ray spears Maclin so it’s back to the women with Grace taking over. A Vader Bomb gives Grace two and King accidentally kicks Maclin in the face as everything breaks down. The Juggernaut Driver finishes King at 6:50.
Rating: B-. I’m not sure why but this feud is kind of working for me. Ray is still bouncing back and forth between good and bad but he’s making it work well enough. It’s also nice to see King move into something more prominent as she’s good enough to hang in the role. At the same time, Maclin shifting into this kind of a role rather than in the main event suits him better, making this an oddly interesting story.
Post match Ray teases hitting Grace with the Call Your Shot gauntlet trophy but hands it over. Ray even shows respect, much to commentary’s shock.
Trinity vs. Sonny Kiss
Non-title. Feeling out process to start as they flip around to escape wristlocks. Neither can grab a hurricanrana or hit a dropkick, meaning it’s time for some dancing. They take turns with the wiggling in the other’s face before Trinity hits a high crossbody for two. Kiss is back with a spinning wheelbarrow slam for two, followed by a standing moonsault for the same. There’s a handspring elbow in the corner as the fans are split.
Trinity is back up with a springboard spinning kick to the face, followed by the splits splash for two more. The split legged moonsault gives Trinity two more and some frustration is setting in. Kiss is back up and puts Trinity on the middle rope for a running flip kick to the ribs (that looked good). Not that it matters though as Trinity is back up with a Bubba Bomb for the pin at 8:02.
Rating: C+. This was a way to get Kiss into a singles match and it worked well here, as the athleticism was certainly on display. That being said, with the Trinity vs. Jordynne Grace match all set for Hard To Kill, it’s hard to imagine Trinity losing a match on the way there. Good stuff here, even with a not so shocking ending.
The Motor City Machine Guns are ready for Josh Alexander/Zack Sabre Jr. at Final Resolution.
Will Ospreay vs. Josh Alexander
Ospreay’s IWGP UK (or United States) Title isn’t on the line. Alexander takes him down to start but a hurricanrana sends him outside. We take a break and come back with Ospreay chopping away in the corner, only to have Alexander knock him right back down. The ankle lock goes on before Alexander switches it over into a quickly broken Sharpshooter. Ospreay is back up with a running boot to the face and a backbreaker gets two.
It’s too early for the Oscutter so Ospreay sends him face first into the buckle instead. Ospreay’s hurricanrana is countered into a powerbomb backbreaker for two. That’s enough for Ospreay to roll outside and there’s the running crossbody to the back to put him on the floor. Back in and Alexander whips him into the corner a few times as Ospreay’s back is getting banged up.
We hit the chinlock but Ospreay bites the hands for a rather creative escape. Ospreay hits a handspring kick to the head and there’s a springboard forearm for two. Some chops in the corner just fire Alexander up and a spinning torture rack slam puts Ospreay down again. A super Regal Roll gives Alexander two more but Ospreay is right back with a sitout powerbomb.
The Cheeky Nandos Kick rocks Alexander again but Ospreay misses a corkscrew moonsault and bangs up his leg. Alexander is right back with the ankle lock and neither of Ospreay’s escapes last very long. Ospreay makes the rope for the real escape and a small package gets two. Now the Oscutter can connect for two but the leg gives out on the Hidden Blade. They bang their heads together and trade forearms until Alexander grabs Rolling Chaos Theory for two.
The ankle lock goes on again and Ospreay gets out again, setting up a Spanish Fly for another near fall. Ospreay hits another Oscutter and tries the Stormbreaker, which is reversed into a piledriver to give Alexander another near fall. The Hidden Blade and Storm Driver 93 give Ospreay two each so another Hidden Blade into the Stormbreaker finishes Alexander at 25:04.
Rating: A-. This was what you would have expected from these two and then some as they had a heck of a match. What mattered here was having Ospreay in an Impact ring and get in a big showcase match, which is why you put Alexander in there with him. It’s a little strange to see Alexander take another fall so soon after the Bound For Glory loss but at least it came in a great one. Outstanding match here and one of the best Impact has had in a long time.
Overall Rating: B. The show took some time to get going but eventually things got rolling and the great main event capped it off. It was a rather good show and makes me want to see more Impact, though I’m still scared to see what might happen when it’s TNA again. Anyway, I can certainly take an awesome main event and a slate of good matches up and down the card otherwise. Good show, as tends to be the case when Impact is feeling things.
ABC b. Kenny King/Sheldon Jean – 1-2-3 Sweet to Jean
Moose b. Heath – Spear
Black Taurus/Laredo Kid/Juventud Guerrera b. Rascalz – Spinning piledriver to Reed
Bully Ray/Jordynne Grace b. Steve Maclin/KiLynn King – Juggernaut Driver to King
Trinity b. Sonny Kiss – Bubba Bomb
Will Ospreay b. Josh Alexander – Stormbreaker
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