VENUE: The Factory (Dallas, TX)
COMMENTATORS: Tom Hannifan & Guests
VIEWING METHOD: TV (DVR)
Impact Wrestling this week features an ROH World Championship match as Jonathan Gresham defends against Steve Maclin in a Pure Rules match. Charlie Haas also makes his in-ring Impact debut on the episode, the latest roadblock in Josh Alexander’s path back to the Impact World Championship.
- IMPACT WORLD CHAMPION: Moose
- IMPACT KNOCKOUTS WORLD CHAMPION: Mickie James
- IMPACT X-DIVISION CHAMPION: Trey Miguel
- IMPACT DIGITAL MEDIA CHAMPION: Jordynne Grace
- IMPACT WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Good Brothers (“Big LG” Doc Gallows & “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson)
- IMPACT KNOCKOUTS WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The IInspiration (Cassie Lee & Jessie McKay)
- Chelsea Green vs. Tasha Steelz (**)
- Decay vs. The Influence (*)
- HANDICAP MATCH: W. Morrissey vs. The Learning Tree (SQUASH)
- PURE RULES: Jonathan Gresham [c] vs. Steve Maclin for the ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (***)
- Heath & Rhino vs. Joe Doering & Doc Gallows (*1/2)
- Josh Alexander vs. Charlie Haas (**1/2)
-Knockouts World Champ Mickie James joins Hannifan on commentary, as D’Lo Brown is still recovering at home following last week’s attack.
Chelsea Green vs. Tasha Steelz [w/ Savannah Evans]
Green almost won Ultimate X at Hard to Kill but Steelz ripped the X from her hands and dropped to the canvas to come out victorious, earning herself a future title opportunity.
Green wastes no time, hitting Steelz with a dropkick right at the bell. Steelz takes some punishment, then goes on the offensive following a well-placed Codebreaker, stopping her onslaught to talk trash to James at ringside. Steelz belts Green with a European uppercut followed by a penalty kick for the 1…2…Green kicks out. Green surprises Steelz with a pair of roll-ups, but Steelz kicks out of both. The two trade forearms and knock each other silly with a double headbutt. Steelz goes for a crucifix, Green blocks it, so Steelz changes gears and connects with a cutter for the 1…2…not yet. Green mounts a comeback, connecting with a middle buckle crossbody and a flatliner-style throw for the 1…2…Steelz kicks out and Green can’t believe it. Steelz kicks Green and follows up with a crucifix bomb for the 1…2…3!
Tasha Steelz defeated Chelsea Green via pinfall (4:24)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Good win for Steelz as she heats up for her impending Knockouts Title opportunity. Hannifan and James made it a point on commentary to mention that she did it cleanly too, with Evans staying out of it despite being at ringside. Nice touch. (**)
After a replay we go back to the ring where Steelz congratulates James on retaining her title at Hard to Kill; Steelz is glad James is done playing with Barbie dolls because now she’s stepping onto the wrong side of the street. Steelz vows to send James back to Virginia and to the NWA as a failure; James brushes it off so Steelz then says she’ll send James back to her own son as a failure which raises the ire of the champ. Evans gets in her way, Steelz tells Evans to let her go and the two start brawling. James almost hits Mick-DT but Evans gets involved to break it up. Chelsea Green returns to even the odds and they clear the rings, James hitting Steelz with the Mick Kick.
-EARLIER ON BTI: Jordynne Grace beat Lady Frost to retain the Digital Media Championship but was wordlessly confronted by Matt Cardona after the match, signaling that he wants a shot at the gold.
–Gia Miller interviews Matt Cardona. Cardona says he came to Impact to be the World Champion, which he almost did at Hard to Kill. He says there is more than World Championship and officially challenges Grace, mentioning the fact he’s the original champion of Digital Media (aka the internet).
-An ROH highlight reel of Charlie Haas plays, hyping him up ahead of tonight’s match for those who may have not seen him wrestle before.
Decay (Rosemary & Havok) vs. The Influence (Tenille Dashwood & Madison Rayne) [w/ Kaleb with a K]
Hannifan announces that The Influence will challenge The IInspiration for the Knockouts World Tag Team Championship on next week’s episode, finally getting the shot they were supposed to have at Hard to Kill.
Rosemary gets distracted with Kaleb, allowing The Influence to throw Havok out of the ring and surprise Rosemary with a kick. The Influence throw Rosemary into the post and referee Brian Hebner throws up the X. Officials tend to Rosemary and refuse to allow her to compete; Havok rushes into the ring and tells the ref to start the match, turning this one into a handicap contest.
After a commercial Kaleb joins Hannifan on commentary as The Influence use their numbers advantage to go on the offensive against Havok. Havok gets distracted with Dashwood, Rayne hops on her back but gets thrown off. Havok squashes Rayne in the corner and drops Dashwood when she tries to interfere. Havok catches a crossbody, Dashwood comes off the top with a crossbody of her own for the 1…2…Havok kicks out. Rayne hits a cutter, Dashwood follows with a Spotlight Kick, and they connect with a double Stroke for the 1…2…3.
The Influence defeated Havok via pinfall (3:35)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Kaleb and Hannifan made me laugh on commentary but the match itself stunk. (*)
–The IInspiration (Cassie Lee & Jessie McKay) throw some shade at The Influence via satellite from Orlando, hyping next week’s title defense. Lee says they won’t get what they want this time, McKay asks Dashwood how she can trust a tag team partner who retires every year. Lee says if anyone is trying to copy anyone it’s The Influence trying to be them.
–Josh Mathews segues into a trailer for the film The King’s Daughter which comes out tomorrow.
–”Speedball” Mike Bailey’s moment of zen is interrupted by Ace Austin and Madman Fulton, who happily welcomes them. Austin says they got off on the wrong foot and Fulton says Bailey needs friends like them in Impact Wrestling, briefly interrupted by John E. Bravo who’s looking for his wife. Austin gives Bailey his card and tells him he knows where to find him.
W. Morrissey vs. The Learning Tree (“Outlandish” Zicky Dice & VsK) [w/ “The Most Professional Wrestler” Brian Myers]
Dice “challenged” Moose for the World Title last week, losing in quick fashion to the shock of no one. Morrissey tried to get his hands on Moose after the match but Dice and VsK ran interference, getting attacked instead. Now it’s time for Morrissey to officially kick their asses all over again as Myers watches from the announce desk.
Learning Tree charge, Morrissey drops them with a double clothesline. Big boot to Dice, double goozle, Learning Tree escape. VsK gets a knee strike in, Morrissey responds with a kick of his own. Splashes for both men plus a bodyblock that turns VsK inside out. Morrissey chokeslams Dice and powerbombs VsK, pinning both for the 1…2…3.
W. Morrissey defeated The Learning Tree via pinfall (1:10)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Reminded me of a Sid Vicious squash circa WCW 1991, all it’s missing is The Learning Tree leaving on a stretcher. (SQUASH)
Morrissey once again tells Moose he won’t stop until he gets a World Title match, and vows to find the champ since he won’t face him like a man. Morrissey gets stopped by Scott D’Amore, who says Moose is not in the building. D’Amore tells Morrissey he’ll get his shot at No Surrender. A stagehand interrupts and tells D’Amore they’re trying to get a hold of him on his headset. D’Amore, distressed at what he’s hearing, rushes off.
–Matt Taven, Vincent, PCO, Mike Bennett, & Maria Kanellis try to enter the Factory, tickets in hand, but get stopped by Scott D’Amore. D’Amore says they have an open door policy and will allow them to come in…but in a box far away from the ring, escorted by security, and only for the ROH World Title match.
“The Octopus” Jonathan Gresham [c] vs. Steve Maclin for the ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Bobby Cruise handles the introductions and Ian Riccaboni joins Hannifan on commentary, as is now customary for ROH Title defenses in Impact. Riccaboni once again says he does not condone the actions of Taven & crew.
Maclin ignores the Code of Honor and burns a rope break being sent into the ropes. Gresham and Maclin jockey for position, Maclin forces Gresham into the ropes to burn one of his breaks as well. Gresham grabs a hammerlock, Maclin quickly gets to the ropes and is down to one break. Gresham offers his hand, Maclin levels Gresham with a closed fist and gets a warning from the ref (one more and he’s DQed). Maclin continues the offense, connecting with a butterfly backbreaker for a two-count. Gresham tries to escape a waistlock but can’t escape so he gets to the ropes, leaving him with one rope break left as well. Maclin throws Gresham into the corner, Gresham takes a weird bump that sends him flying face-first to the canvas, Maclin follows up with an Angle Slam and a Boston Crab. Gresham escapes via rope break, using his final one of the match. Maclin softens the back with stomps and locks in a Camel Clutch. Gresham nearly taps but breaks Maclin’s grip and connects with a chop. Maclin tells Gresham to bring it, absorbing shots and connecting with a scoop slam. Maclin slams Gresham two more times and covers for the 1…2…not yet. Gresham kicks Maclin away and connects with a springboard moonsault. Maclin catches a kick, Gresham shoves him away and follows up with a missile dropkick, but hurts his back more in the process and Maclin immediately goes for a Boston Crab. Gresham escapes and counters Maclin into a roll-up for the 1…2…kickout. Gresham charges, Maclin puts him in a tree of woe and connects with a running spear for the 1…2…Gresham kicks out!
Gresham tries a drop toehold, Maclin blocks it so Gresham hyperextends the knee instead and Maclin desperately gets to the rope for his final break. Gresham drops Maclin with running forearms but Maclin kicks out of the lateral presses at 1, Maclin connects with a pair of clotheslines for the 1…2…Gresham kicks out! Maclin attempts Mayhem For All but his knee buckles, Gresham almost gets a nearfall then traps Maclin in a Figure Four! Gresham and Maclin trade open hand slaps, Maclin knocking Gresham out momentarily for the 1…2…Gresham wakes up and wrenches in the Figure Four, the pressure all on Maclin’s knee. They get to the ropes, Gresham uses the ropes for extra leverage for the 1…2…3!
Jonathan Gresham [c] defeated Steve Maclin via pinfall to retain the ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (10:17)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Inventive finish to a decent match, with Maclin managing to look good in defeat and Gresham getting another strong win as he keeps ROH alive leading into the relaunch in April. That corner bump Gresham took halfway through the match was really weird and I’m not sure if that was on purpose or not; I could’ve just missed the point but to me that was just…odd. Overall though I enjoyed this! (***)
Taven & company are ushered away from the balcony by security as soon as the match concludes. Gresham tries again to shake Maclin’s hand but an angry Maclin once again brushes him off.
-IMPACT PLUS FLASHBACK MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Taylor Wilde & Sarita beat The Beautiful People to become the first-ever Knockout Tag Team Champions (No Surrender 2009).
-The “Ring Of Honor Five” say goodbye to the security guards as they exit the building.
Heath & Rhino vs. Joe Doering & “Big LG” Doc Gallows [w/ “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson, Eric Young, & Deaner]
Anderson joins Hannifan on commentary, the latter reminding the former he was the one who got pinned at Hard to Kill.
Rhino sends Gallows into the corner and works him over with strikes and mini-Gores. Gallows fights out with uppercuts but gets sent to the floor with a back elbow. Doering tries to enter the ring but Heath sends him crashing to the floor as well. Both teams standoff as the show goes to commercial.
Heath & Rhino work Gallows’ arm as the show returns from the break. Deaner distracts Rhino, allowing Gallows to drop the Man-Beast with a big boot. Doering tags in and the makeshift duo hit a double shoulderblock. Gallows continues working Rhino over as Young LOSES HIS DAMN MIND over the crowd chanting Rhino’s name. Rhino and Gallows slowly run into each other and crash to the canvas, the latter apparently bleeding somehow. Heath gets the tag, lighting Doering up with a series of forearms and sending him to the floor with a clothesline. Gallows sneaks a tag, Heath connects with a jawbreaker but gets leveled with a clothesline from Doering. Deaner trips Rhino to prevent a Gore and hits Heath with the flag, Gallows & Doering hit a double chokeslam for the 1…2…3!
Doc Gallows & Joe Doering defeated Heath & Rhino via pinfall (5:10 shown)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Well that was certainly a match that took up about 5:10 of TV time bell to bell. Gallows & Doering are interesting from a visual standpoint but it’s pretty obvious they’re running on fumes at best at this point in their career so it was up to Heath & Rhino to work around them. They tried. (*1/2)
–Chris Sabin joins Hannifan on commentary for the main event.
“The Walking Weapon” Josh Alexander vs. Charlie Haas
Haas made his surprise Impact debut last week, challenging Alexander to a match. Alexander was initially resistant, wanting to focus on his path back to the World Title, but a Haas cheapshot changed his tune leading to tonight’s match.
Alexander and Haas do some RASSLIN’ to start, trading holds and jockeying for position. Haas drops Alexander with a shoulderblock, Alexander trips him up and goes for the Ankle Lock, but Haas escapes and rolls him up for the 1…2…Alexander kicks out and they reset. Alexander stuns Haas with an elbow followed by a big boot, sending Haas scrambling to the floor to regroup as the show goes to commercial.
Show returns and Alexander once again sends Haas crashing to the canvas. Alexander floats over Haas, Haas superkicks the back of the knee, giving him a body part to start working on. Haas slows things down with an Indian Deathlock, belting Alexander with a forearm when he tries to pry himself loose. Alexander and Haas trade shots, Alexander escapes the hold and connects with a rolling senton, Haas surprises Alexander with a crucifix for the 1…2…not yet. Haas kicks the middle rope into Alexander’s knee, Alexander surprises Haas with a German suplex, hanging on for a second. Haas breaks the grip and counters with a pair of German suplexes. Alexander breaks and hits his third German, Haas grabs the top rope to force a break. Haas charges, Alexander connects with another German, trying to bridge for the 1…2…Haas kicks out and Alexander’s knee gives out. Haas goes after the leg, Alexander kicks him away. Haas charges in the corner and trips, CRACKING HIS HEAD INTO ALEXANDER OR THE ROPE but either way that looked brutal. Haas grabs a single Crab, Alexander kicks his leg out and applies the Ankle Lock. Haas rolls through for the 1…2…Alexander kicks out, reapplies the Ankle Lock, and grapevines the leg to force Haas to tap.
Josh Alexander defeated Charlie Haas via submission (7:47 shown)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: I’m glad Haas got the spot after the hell he has been through, he deserved to be rewarded. Match itself was perfectly acceptable chain wrestling, and apparently Haas hurt himself for real at one point but you wouldn’t have known it as he didn’t lose a step. (**1/2)
Alexander and Haas shake hands and hug in a show of respect. Haas raises Alexander’s hand in victory…and they are attacked by THE RING OF HONOR FIVE (Matt Taven, Vincent, PCO, Mike Bennett, & Maria Kanellis). Sabin leaves the announce desk to try and help but the DAMNED NUMBERS GAME and all that. Rich Swann, Willie Mack, Heath, & Rhino all run out to give Impact a numbers advantage but the ROH folk keep fighting back. Finally Eddie Edwards runs out with Kenny, clearing the ring and making the ultimate save. The ROH group leave through the crowd as the Impact stars recover, crowd chanting “IMPACT WRESTLING”.
The Ring Of Honor Five reappear in the balcony, Maria with a mic. Kanellis says they used to believe in Honor but change is upon them and now they’re HONOR NO MORE. Oh boy is that their faction name? That’s goofy. The two groups stare each other down as the episode concludes.
A decent episode of Impact Wrestling this week. I dug Alexander/Haas and Gresham/Maclin the most wrestling-wise, and the official announcement of Moose/Morrissey for No Surrender got me hyped up. Morrissey has been working his ass off, man. The ROH Invasion stuff was…okay I guess, I’m still not really buying that team as much of a threat and the “Honor No More” thing was really lame. Eddie Edwards getting involved could be cool though given his long history with ROH, should they bring that up.
- MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Jonathan Gresham vs. Steve Maclin
- MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Matt Taven offering the security guard his arm to escort him to the balcony. Made me laugh.