COMMENTATORS: Tom Hannifan & “Drama King” Matthew Rehwoldt
Impact Wrestling this week features:
- JONAH takes on PCO in a rematch from Sacrifice 2022 (best match on that PPV btw)
- ROH World Champion Jonathan Gresham taking on Rappongi Vice’s Rocky Romero
- Alex Shelley squaring off against Steve Maclin
- Deonna Purrazzo’s latest Champ Champ Challenge
- Honor No More makes new enemies in the form of the Bullet Club
- The best promo of W. Morrissey’s career to date
- IMPACT WORLD CHAMPION: Moose
- IMPACT KNOCKOUTS WORLD CHAMPION: Tasha Steelz
- IMPACT X-DIVISION CHAMPION: Trey Miguel
- IMPACT DIGITAL MEDIA “WORLD” CHAMPION: “Alwayz Ready” Matt Cardona
- IMPACT WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Violent By Design (Eric Young, Joe Doering, & Deaner)
- IMPACT KNOCKOUTS WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Influence (Madison Rayne & Tenille Dashwood)
- CHAMP CHAMP CHALLENGE: Deonna Purrazzo [c] vs. ??? for the ROH WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (**3/4) [RECAP]
- Jonathan Gresham vs. Rocky Romero (***1/2) [RECAP]
- Alex Shelley vs. Steve Maclin (***1/4) [RECAP]
- JONAH vs. PCO (***) [RECAP]
Show begins with W. Morrissey already in the ring, the 2300 Arena crowd chanting his name. Morrissey says it feels good to be back in “this” arena on his terms. Last time he was in the 2300 Arena he was not in control and had hit rock bottom, having nowhere to go and no one to go to. Morrissey has come back clean & sober, getting emotional when the crowd chants his name once again, and for the very first time in his life he can finally admit he’s not alone. Morrissey says he’s not alone because of the fans, and thanks them for the support.
After another round of “MORRISSEY” chants he’s interrupted by the music and presence of “The Most Professional Wrestler” Brian Myers. Myers says no one should feel sorry for Morrissey because he took a good thing and pissed it away, and says the fans should feel for sorry for Myers because he keeps destroying his commentary tables. Myers ushers Morrissey a warning: history will repeat itself and if he keeps messing with him Morrissey will end up half-dead on the arena floor. Morrissey swipes at Myers, Myers hops off the apron and says “another place another time”. Myers tries to escape but this time Morrissey gets his hands on him, suplexing him onto the apron and pulling a table out from under the ring. Morrissey goes for the BQE but Chelsea Green intervenes, leaving him open to a Digital Media Championship belt shot courtesy of Matt Cardona. They set Morrissey up on the apron, Green slaps him, and Myers & Cardona put the big man through the table with a double powerbomb.
- JON’S THOUGHTS: I was in no way ready for Impact Wrestling to open this week’s show with an emotionally charged promo from W. Morrissey about his path to sobriety but goddamn. That was tremendous, and the Major Players putting him through a table after was great heel heat. I wanted to punch ‘em in the throat and I’m just a nerd sitting on my couch. It’s gonna be SO GOOD when Morrissey finally puts Myers through a table, I hope it happens at Rebellion.
-Hannifan & Rehwoldt hype the current lineup for next Saturday’s Rebellion PPV. It’s looking pretty goooood.
–”The Virtuosa” Deonna Purrazzo makes her way out for the latest Champ Champ Challenge, a clip of Taya Valkyrie’s return at the Multiverse of Matches playing during the entrance. Valkyrie will challenge Purrazzo for the Reina de Reinas Title at Rebellion but Purrazzo’s opponent tonight is…Willow Nightingale! EYYYYYY!
CHAMP CHAMP CHALLENGE
“The Virtuosa” Deonna Purrazzo [c] vs. Willow Nightingale for the ROH WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Nightingale competed for the ROH Interim Women’s World Championship at Supercard of Honor two weeks back, coming up short against Mercedes Martinez, and is now answering Purrazzo’s open challenge to see if she can win the ACTUAL Women’s Championship. Smart move.
Purrazzo goes right to work, chopping Willow in the corner. Willow chops back, Purrazzo responds by clubbing her down to the canvas. Willow counters an Irish whip with a cartwheel and connects with a superkick for the 1…2…Purrazzo kicks out and takes a powder as the show goes to commercial.
Back live and the Virtuosa is now in control, dropping Willow with a pair of short-arm clotheslines for the 1…2…not yet. Willow charges, Purrazzo stuns her with a back elbow, Willow connects with a short range bulldog. Purrazzo hits the ropes, Willow sends her flying with a POOOOOOOOUNCE followed by a corner cannonball for the 1…2…Purrazzo kicks out. Purrazzo escapes Willow’s grasp and connects with a pump kick followed by a standing moonsault for the 1…2…Willow kicks out and Purrazzo immediately goes for an armbar. Willow escapes and connects with the Bae Breaker for the 1…2…Purrazzo kicks out! Nightingale escapes a Queen’s Gambit and connects with lariat…and PURRAZZO TRAPS HER IN THE VENUS DE MILO FOR THE SUBMISSION.
Deonna Purrazzo [c] defeated Willow Nightingale via submission to retain the ROH WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (4:55 shown)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Feel like I’ve said all the nice things there can be said about Purrazzo at this point, tbh. Another title defense, another good showing. Willow made a good foil for her and she continues winning people over everywhere she goes. It is IMPOSSIBLE not to like Willow, it’s almost infuriating. (**3/4)
-CLIP: Nick Aldis & Mickie James beat Matt Cardona & Chelsea Green at the Multiverse of Matches.
–Gia Miller congratulates Mickie James on her Multiverse win. James says that she’s just getting started with Chelsea Green, vowing to give her an ass WHoopin’. Green herself interrupts James and a brawl breaks out. James knocks Green down, Matt Cardona grabs James from behind and Green lays her out with her cast, Brian Myers looking on.
-After a commercial Miller is back on the job, this time with Tasha Steelz and Savannah Evans. Steelz brings up her history with Rebellion opponent Rosemary, including the fact that Rosemary took her Knockouts Tag Team Title back in 2021, but a year has passed and it’s different now. She’s interrupted by Decay (Rosemary, Black Taurus, Crazzy Steve, & Havok) on the big screen TVs, who laugh and say creepy things. Steelz is VERY MUCH over it.
Jonathan Gresham vs. Rocky Romero
Gresham and Romero have been backing each other up in their fights with Eddie Edwards & Honor No More, but now it’s time to RASSLE. Gresham & Romero shake hands and things get going, trading holds back and forth. Romero control the wrist, the two trade LOUD chops and Romero drops Gresham to the canvas with the heavier hit. Gresham ducks Romero, Romero blocks an O’Connor, Gresham fakes Romero out and kicks the shin followed by a dropkick to the face. ROH World Champ is in control as the show goes to commercial.
Back live as Gresham keeps hold of a hammerlock, wrenching it in every time Romero tries to escape. Romero tries to counter, Gresham follows him through and keeps hold as Eddie Edwards is shown watching the match on a monitor backstage. Romero finally escapes and drops Gresham. Romero grabs the wrist and they trade chops once more, crowd WOOing along. Romero changes it up to forearms and sends Gresham into the corner with a (red) right hand. Romero hits Forever clotheslines, Gresham chops back, Romero turns Gresham inside out and both men are down. That rocked. Gresham blocks Sliced Bread #2 and ducks an enzuigiri, Romero hits another to send him to the floor, Romero follows up with a rana. Back in the ring Romero connects with a Sliced Bread for the 1…2…Gresham kicks out, Romero hits a running knee for the 1…2…Gresham kicks out again. Gresham surprises Romero with a springboard moonsault and a forearm that sends Romero to the floor, Gresham follows up with a tope suicida, then rolls him back in and ties him up into a pinning combo for the 1…2…3!
Jonathan Gresham defeated Rocky Romero via pinfall (6:42 shown)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Thumbs up from me, that was a lot of fun to watch. Gresham’s offense just looks so damn effortless and I love he got the pin by tying Romero up. Octopus can win in a variety of ways. (***1/2)
After the match Romero eyeballs Gresham’s ROH Title, then they shake hands and Romero raises Gresham’s arm in victory.
-A video recaps the feud between Josh Alexander & Moose heading into their World Title match next Saturday at Rebellion.
–”Speedball” Mike Bailey’s punching bag workout gets interrupted by Ace Austin. Austin says Madman Fulton will not be making it to Rebellion due Josh Alexander breaking his ankle and it’ll just be “me and you”. Bailey responds by saying “me, you, and Trey” and says he knows exactly what he means before walking off. Austin doesn’t look pleased.
Alex Shelley [w/ Chris Sabin] vs. Steve Maclin
Sabin meets Maclin & Jay White in a triple threat match at Rebellion next Saturday, Maclin is looking to come into that match with the psychological advantage by beating Sabin’s long time Motor City Machine Guns partner.
Shelley grabs a side headlock, hanging on through a whip attempt. Maclin breaks out, Shelley takes him down with a shoulderblock and tensions escalate, both men throwing forearm bombs at each other. Shelley drops Maclin with a knee followed by a running kick to the spine. Shelley goes back to the side headlock, bringing Maclin to the canvas. Maclin escapes and connects with a back elbow, taking some time to mock Sabin just for the hell of it. Shelley sends Maclin to the apron and drops him to the floor with an elbow strike, following up with a slingshot stomp to the hand and a back kick; it looks like he wants to do more but Maclin is slow to his feet so he hops off and goes to work on Maclin’s hand. Shelley controls the wrist, dropping Maclin repeatedly with chops followed by an armbreaker to hyperextend his elbow. Maclin escapes and applies a sleeperhold, Shelley dumps him out to the floor and slides out, Maclin slides in and connects with a big ol’ tope suicida thru the middle and bottom rope (Hannifan calling it a SCUD Missile). Maclin rolls Shelley and connects with an Olympic Slam but doesn’t go for the pin. Maclin ducks a clothesline, countering with a uranage into a backbreaker for the 1…2…not yet. Shelley dodges Maclin in the corner and connects with a kick to the back of the shoulders, Maclin puts Shelley into a tree of woe and connects with a spear for the 1…2…Shelley kicks out. SCUD Missile, caught in the crosshairs, I’m sensing a theme with Maclin’s offense. Shelley eats a forearm and connects with one of his own, dropping Maclin. Shelley connects with a PK and a superkick to a kneeling Maclin, following up with Sliced Bread for the 1…2…Maclin kicks out! Maclin evades Shell-Shock, Shelley sends him crashing into the buckles with a Flatliner. Maclin pulls Shelley off the apron and connects with a Busaiku Knee on the floor. Maclin follows up with a slam on the apron, staring Sabin down the whole time and breaks the count. Sabin distracts Maclin, Maclin launches at him but he moves and he hits nothing but floor. Sabin & Maclin jaw jack, ref gets in between them, Shelley sends Maclin into the post then uses said post to hit another Sliced Bread. Shelley rolls Maclin in, Maclin dodges a double stomp and rolls him up, feet on the ropes, for the 1…Sabin knocks him off the ropes. Maclin gets distracted, Shelley hits the Shell-Shock for the 1…2…3!
Alex Shelley defeated Steve Maclin via pinfall (10:03)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Good match, Shelley continues killing it in 2022. Maclin has grown on me a lot too and I appreciate that his style meshes so well with whoever he’s wrestling. He can have a big boy match with Rhino and he can battle with Shelley and either way it’s believable and worth checking out. (***1/4)
-EARLIER ON BTI: Kaleb with a K slides a chair into the ring, Madison Rayne and Jessie McKay battle for it, Rayne uses it and gets the win. The Influence then FIRE Kaleb with a K, then W. Morrissey puts Kaleb through a table.
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Kaleb announced via Twitter that he has finished up with Impact Wrestling, making this his final appearance. I, for one, am heartbroken. Kaleb has been one of the best parts of the show every week and will be sorely missed. Also losing Kaleb removes one of the story beats in the Influence/IInspiration feud (which side is Kaleb on) which is a bummer because I was actually into that. I know, stop rolling your eyes. If Johnny Swinger leaves next I’m gonna scream.
–Gisele Shaw interrupts Madison Rayne’s phone call. Shaw mocks Rayne about losing Kaleb, Rayne reminds Shaw they FIRED him and tells her not to worry about The Influence they’ll be fine. Shaw responds with “we’ll see about that” and walks off in a huff. OMINOUS.
-VIDEO: Highlights of Moose’s career trajectory since last October’s Bound For Glory plus comments from the man himself regarding his focus and being the greatest champion in pro wrestling. End of the video focuses on Moose’s warning to Alexander heading into Rebellion, where he will prove why he’s the Wrestling GOD. I did not recap it well but this is GREAT.
Show returns to Honor No More (Eddie Edwards, Maria Kanellis, Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, Kenny King, PCO, & Vincent) already standing by in the ring. Edwards can feel the history in the 2300 Arena, the place where ECW was born (CUE THE EC-DUB CHANTS, of course). Edwards adds that Philly also birthed Ring Of Honor (CUE THE WAY LESS ENTHUSIASTIC ROH CHANTS). This brings Edwards to his final point, the fans of Philly: while some think they’re the most passionate, Honor No More knows the Philly fans are the most fickle in pro wrestling. Edwards calls them ungrateful little brats who only care about when they get their shiny new toy and gets FIRED UP from all the boos. Bennett takes over and says the 2300 Arena is ALSO where he made his ROH debut and admonishes the fans for turning their back on him (were they ever on his side?). It’s Taven’s turn; while the people turned on them, Honor No More never turned on each other, and says HIS fans knew that he was the only one with the balls to put ROH on his back when they made bad decision after bad decision, some of those fans having followed him into Impact. Taven says Honor No More is here to stay and succeed…
Before Taven can finish his catchphrase he’s interrupted by the Bullet Club (Jay White, Chris Bey, Doc Gallows, & Karl Anderson). White says everyone knows Bullet Club is best, not Honor No More. Gallows says there’s a lot of people in the industry who need to send them a thank you, including Honor No More, specifically The Kingdom (Taven & Bennett) for getting their asses handed to them in Japan back in 2015. Anderson calls Honor No More the old toys no one wants to play with anymore and the Bullet Club are the coolest toys in the toy box, and are simply Just Too…SWEEEET. Kanellis tells them their Too Sweet can go right up her ass and says Honor No More is 4 LIFE. Bey says that can go bar for bar forever but since they’re in Philly he asks Honor No More if they want to fight about it. Bullet Club enters the ring, outnumbered 5-4 by Honor No More, and THE BRAWL BEGINS. Everyone hits everyone and the fight moves to the floor…except for PCO, WHO TAKES THEM ALL OUT WITH A TOP ROPE CANNONBALL HELL YEAH.
The music of PCO’s scheduled opponent JONAH hits and out comes the big man, ready to battle with the monster as bodies continue writhing on the floor. F*CK YEAH THIS IS LIKE A MONSTER MOVIE.
- JON’S THOUGHTS: I was wondering what Honor No More was going to be up to since they’re not anywhere near taking over Impact or even going for the World Title. Bullet Club is a good choice and puts them in the babyface position which is a change but a good audible called by Impact. You can’t boo a group that has Chris Bey in it, that’s nuts. That final JONAH/PCO staredown before the commercial might be one of my favorite visuals from Impact in the past few years. HYPED UP.
JONAH vs. PCO
Ringside had been cleared out and the HOSSES HAVE COME TO RUMBLE. PCO locks knuckles with JONAH and comes off the top rope with a headbutt, JONAH backdrops PCO to the floor but he gets right back up and pulls JONAH out with him. They tour ringside, trading STIFF chops, JONAH charges but hits nothing but post, PCO following up with a neckbreaker. PCO clutches his neck and WRAPS IT IN GAFFER’S TAPE, JONAH bodies PCO from the apron and yells “TOP DOG” as the show goes to commercial.
JONAH remains in control as the show returns from the break, chopping and clubbing PCO in the corner. JONAH sends PCO into the opposite corner chest-first and follows up with a splash; PCO crumples to the canvas and JONAH shouts that “he IS human” before applying a seated waistlock. PCO tries to elbow out, JONAH drops him with a HARD forearm to the back of the head and neck. Jesus. JONAH tosses PCO into the corner with a buckle bomb, PCO absorbs it and drives JONAH to the mat with a lariat! Both men get to their feet and throw bombs, neither man giving an inch until JONAH hits a headbutt. PCO ducks a clothesline, JONAH catches him in mid-air and drives him onto his injured neck with a Tombstone BUT PCO KICKS OUT AT 1, MUCH TO THE SHOCK OF JONAH. PCO lights JONAH up with punches followed by a corner clothesline and DDT. PCO comes off the top with a crossbody for the 1…2…JONAH kicks out. PCO comes off the bottom buckle with a diving headbutt, then hits a second from the middle buckle. PCO asks the crowd if they want another from the top (they do), and connects with ANOTHER diving headbutt for the 1…2…JONAH stays in the match. JONAH dodges the PCOsault and crawls under the bottom rope, hanging off the apron; PCO sees an opportunity but MISSES THE TOP ROPE SENTON AND HITS NOTHING BUT APRON. JONAH drops PCO spine-first across the top of the barricade, sends him head-first into the post, then finishes it off with a TSUNAMI for the 1…2…3!
JONAH defeated PCO via pinfall (9:13 shown)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Not as good as their match at Sacrifice last month but if big dudes clubbing each other into dust is your thing this’ll scratch that itch. Man I f*cking love JONAH. Give him belts and main events and more opportunities to squash folks with Tsunamis. PCO had the crowd in the palm of his hand, absorbing a ton of punishment like it was nothing. JONAH had to go into overdrive to keep him down long enough to get the win. (***)
PCO sits up during JONAH’s celebration, JONAH clubs him down and grabs a chair. PCO sits up again, JONAH f*cks his day up with all of the chairshots. PCO starts waking up, JONAH lays the chair on him and hits ANOTHER TSUNAMI. JONAH makes sure PCO is down for real, and leaves the ring, talking trash as his theme plays.
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Has to be the way to write PCO out of Honor No More business because there is NO way people are ever going to boo this man and they need to get him out of that group. Helluva beatdown from JONAH, hoping he and W. Morrissey lock horns at some point. MORE HOSS SH*T.
Great episode of Impact Wrestling this week, absolutely no dull points whatsoever. Show started with a really good W. Morrissey promo that got me more emotional than I expected, and from there we got a host of good matches, a couple of really good videos hyping Alexander/Moose for Rebellion, the start of what could be a banger of a feud between Bullet Club & Honor No More, and the rise of the Major Players in Impact. Would not be surprised if Cardona adds the Impact World Title to his collection by the end of the year.
- FAVORITE MATCH: Alex Shelley vs. Steve Maclin
- FAVORITE MOMENT: JONAH and PCO stare each other down, separated only by the sea of bodies PCO left in his wake moments before. So cool.
- CHAMP CHAMP CHALLENGE: Deonna Purrazzo [c] defeated Willow Nightingale via submission to retain the ROH WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (4:55 shown) [RECAP]
- Jonathan Gresham defeated Rocky Romero via pinfall (6:42 shown) [RECAP]
- Alex Shelley defeated Steve Maclin via pinfall (10:03) [RECAP]
- JONAH defeated PCO via pinfall (9:13 shown) [RECAP]