By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
Impact Wrestling Over Drive
Louisville, Kentucky at Old Forester’s Paristown Hall
Streamed November 18, 2022 on Impact Plus and FITE.TV
Tom Hannifan and Matt Rehwoldt provided commentary. Typical Impact set-up, with the ramp opposite the hard camera, and the lights are low so it’s hard to see if we have more than 300 or so fans in attendance.
Impact Wrestling Over Drive Pre-Show
1. Rich Swann beat Kenny King, Yuya Uemura, Bhupinder Gujjar, Jason Hotch, and Mike Bailey in a six-way at 8:05. Everyone was in the ring when we came on the air, so that saves some time. Swann and Gujjar traded some good offense. Bailey hit his speedball kicks to King’s ribs at 2:30. Hotch and Yoya traded blows. Yoya hit a German Suplex for a nearfall on Gujjar. Gujjar hit a plancha onto everyone. Bailey hit his corner moonsault onto the floor at 4:30. Swann hit his corkscrew press to the floor on everyone.
In the ring, Bailey missed his tornado kick in the corner. King hit a powerslam on Swann. Hotch rolled into the ring and hit a double neckbreaker. Gujjar hit a superkick on Hotch, then a jumping knee to the jaw. Bailey hit a top-rope Ultimo Weapon moonsault kneedrop. Swann and King glared at each other in the ring, but King bailed. Swann hit his handspring-back-stunner for the pin on Hotch. The announcers wondered why King left the ring and allowed Swann to get the pin. Intriguing.
2. “Motor City Machine Guns” Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin defeated Ace Austin and Chris Bey to become No. 1 contenders to the Impact Tag Team Titles at 13:24. Sabin and Ace started. The Guns hit their simultaneous kicks to chest and back, then a team suplex. Bey entered at 2:30 and he hit a European Uppercut to the back of Sabin’s neck and started working him over. They hit simultaneous clotheslines, and were both down at 4:30.
Shelley and Ace tagged in and traded blows. The Bullet Club began working over Shelley, making some quick tags in and out. Shelley nailed a Flatliner into the middle turnbuckle on Bey and he made the hot tag to Sabin at 8:30. Sabin hit a rolling fisherman’s suplex with a bridge for a nearfall on Bey. Sabin hit a second-rope crossbody block on both opponents. The Guns hit simultaneous German Suplexes, and everyone was down at 10:30.
The Guns hit a Magic Killer for a nearfall. Bey shoved Shelley into Sabin. Ace hit his punt kick on the ring apron. Bey hit a flip dive over the top rope at 12:30. In the ring, Ace hit his modified Pedigree on Sabin for a believable nearfall. Sabin hit his running stunner. Sabin got a Shelley-assisted jackknife rollup to pin Bey. That was fun.
Impact Wrestling Over Drive Main Card
1. Bully Ray defeated Moose in a tables match at 9:59. This is Moose’s first-ever tables match, but apparently the 89th for Bully Ray. Bully Ray carried his trophy to ringside. They jawed nose to nose at the bell, but Moose hit a low blow and his spear, just seconds into the match. Moose immediately got a couple tables and brought them into the ring. He turned around and Bully Ray hit him with a spear. They brawled on the floor, and Bully hit a suplex onto the thin mat at ringside at 3:00. In the ring, Bully Ray hit an intentional falling headbutt to the groin, and he started setting up tables.
Moose hit Ray with a chairshot to the back. Ray hit some chairshots. Moose hit his impressive dropkick as Ray was seated on the top rope. However, Ray hit a top-rope powerbomb and they were both down at 7:00. In a nice spot, Moose went for a top-rope move, but Ray caught him with a stunner. Bully charged at Moose, but Moose moved and Ray crashed into a table in the corner. Moose claimed he won, but the ref ordered the match to continue. Moose hit a spear through a table set up in the corner for the win. It went exactly how you’d expect, but I’ll add Bully Ray seemed inspired tonight.
* Backstage, Gia Miller talked via zoom with Tracy Brooks, who said she is back in Canada watching the show. Her son was on her lap.
* Video montage for the next match, with a lot of focus on Jessicka Havok partying.
2. “The Death Dollz” Jessicka Havok and Taya Valkyrie (w/Rosemary) defeated Tasha Steelz and Savannah Evans to retain the Knockouts Tag Titles at 8:33. Taya and Tasha started. Jessicka entered and hit a side slam. Havok and Evans traded hard forearm shots. Tasha and Savannah began working over Taya. Taya hit a clothesline at 5:30 on Evans, and they were both down. The heels kept working over Taya. Havok finally made the hot tag and she hit a series of punches on Tasha. Havok hit her rolling crossbody block on both opponents. Havok hit her Rikishi Driver piledriver for the win. Not terrible, but definitely underwhelming.
* Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley, Chris Bey and Ace Austin talked backstage. Bey and Austing talked about heading to New Japan to compete in Best of super juniors tag team tournament, Sabin and Shelley saying maybe they’ll get a title shot when they get back. Matt Cardona and Brian Myers came up and made fun of them, then left.
* Mickie James video montage.
3. Mickie James defeated Taylor Wilde at 12:11. Once again, if Mickie loses, she has vowed to retire. An intense lockup to open, then they traded deep armdrags. They both missed dropkicks and had a standoff at 4:00. Wilde hit a hurancanrana. They brawled to the floor, with Wilde ramming Mickie’s back into the ring apron, then getting a nearfall in the ring.
Wilde took control, tying her in a bow and arrow, and she was targeting Mickie’s lower back. MIckie fired back with several forearm shots. Mickie hit a Thesz Press at 9:00 and punches to the face. Wilde hit a running knee. Mickie hit a faceplant. Mickie missed a top-rope move. Taylor hit a German Suplex, and she applied a Camel Clutch. Mickie hit some kicks, then her leaping DDT for the pin. They didn’t seem to always be on the same page, and no one thought Mickie was losing here, so the match lacked suspense and drama.
* Deonna Purrazzo immediately walked down the ramp and into the ring. “Mickie, you selfish bitch!” she started. Deonna said Mickie is only here for herself, and Mickie is hellbent on ruining her career. She concluded by saying she’s looking to end Mickie’s career. Good promo.
* Video package showing Rhino and Heath winning the tag titles.
4. Rhino and Heath defeated “The Major Players” Matt Cardona and Brian Myers to retain the Impact Tag Titles at 11:25. Rhino and Myers started. The heels began working over Heath. Cardona hit a clothesline on the floor at 3:00. In the ring, Cardona hit a stunner. However, Heath shoved Cardona into Myers’ boot in the corner, but the heels stopped Heath from tagging out. At 8:00, Sabin and Shelly walked to ringside and sat down on chairs at the bottom of the ramp.
Rhino finally made the hot tag at 10:00 and he hit a belly-to-belly suplex on Myers. Myers hit a Flatliner on Rhino for a nearfall. The heels hit a team DDT for a nearfall, but Heath made the save. Sabin and Shelley stopped Cardona from sliding a chair in the ring. This distraction allowed Rhino to hit a Gore on Myers for the pin. A fairly dull match all around.
* Gia Miller interviewed Bully Ray backstage. Bully Ray said he should be going back to the hotel room to rest, but he’s going to stay here and watch the title match from the locker room. He doesn’t understand why Kazarian “has heat with him.”
5. Trey Miguel defeated Black Taurus (w/Crazy Steve) to win the vacant X Division Title at 15:34. Standing switches early, and Taurus leveled him with a shoulder tackle. (Am I the only one who has realized that Karrion Kross wore Taurus’ ring gear when he debuted in WWE?) They sped it up and traded shoulder tackles and had a standoff at 2:30. Trey hit a basement dropkick to the face. Taurus took control in the ring. He hit a powerslam for a nearfall.
Taurus tied up the legs into essentially a reverse Texas Cloverleaf, but Miguel reached the ropes at 6:00, and Trey was selling his lower back. Taurus hit a Samoan Drop for a nearfall. Trey hit some running Stinger Splashes, then a running Meteora double knees for a nearfall at 8:30. They began trading hard forearm shots. Trey hit an enziguri. They were both down and the crowd was into this. Trey hit a handspring-back-spin kick for a nearfall at 11:00.
They fought on the ropes in the corner, and Taurus hit a bodyslam off the top rope for a nearfall. Taurus missed a running knee in the corner. Trey hit his flip dive to the floor and turned it into a hurancanrana. In the ring, Trey hit his top-rope Meteora for a believable nearfall. They brawled back to the floor, but Taurus threw him back-first into the ring post at 15:00. However, in the ring, Trey sprayed some mist in Taurus’ eyes, and he hit a swinging neckbreaker for the pin out of nowhere. Good match.
* Frankie Kazarian was shown stretching out backstage. We flipped to Joshua Alexander’s locker room, where he kissed Jade Chung, and their son was there, too. A short video aired to highlight the next match.
6. Jordynne Grace defeated Masha Slamovich in a Last Woman Standing match to retain the Knockouts Title at 21:21. They jawed at each other at the bell, and they are the same height. They immediately brawled to the floor. Grace hit a delayed vertical suplex, dropping Masha onto the thin mat on the floor at 2:00. Masha applied a half-crab, almost turning it into a Stretch Muffler. Masha laid in several stiff kicks. Back in the ring, Masha hit a swinging neckbreaker. Grace hit a snap suplex at 6:00, and Masha struggled to get to her feet.
Jordynne tossed several chairs into the ring, as Masha sold an ankle and lower leg injury. Jordynne powerbombed Masha across an open chair at 9:00, and that looked devastating, but Masha got up. Masha slammed Jordynne onto a chair in the corner, and Jordynne sold pain in her shoulder, but she got up at 11:00. Jordynne got up and they traded more stiff blows. Jordynne hit a Homicide-style Copkillah backslide driver onto a metal garbage. They fought in the corner and it appeared Jordynne was going for a Musclebuster, but Masha escaped.
Masha hit a second-rope Canadian Destroyer, and they were both down, with the ref counting them both. Grace snapped the leg and applied a Figure Four Leglock in the center of the ring. They rolled onto the ring apron, then Masha fell to the floor at 17:00, with their legs still locked, before Jordynne let go. They brawled more on the floor. Masha placed Jordynne along her back and hit a piledriver. Masha set up a door bridge on the floor. Jordynne picked her up, climbed two stairs, fell backward, and hit a Musclebuster through the door bridge! Jordynne got to her feet just before the 10-count to win the match. That was a nice show of strength.
7. Joshua Alexander defeated Frankie Kazarian to retain the Impact World Title at 32:50. They charged at each other and had an intense lockup. Alexander immediately went for an anklelock. Kazarian applied a Fujiwara Armbar. They traded armdrags, and Kazarian focused on the left arm. Alexander hit a Mafia Kick at 5:00, and he tried to shake out the pain in his arm. Josh hit a backbreaker over his knee for a nearfall, then a pair of German Suplexes. Kazarian hit a hurancanrana to the floor, then a clothesline on the floor at 7:30, and he was fired up.
Back in the ring, Frankie hit a northern lights suplex for a nearfall. Frankie hit a swinging neckbreaker at 10:00 and a second-rope Hogan legdrop for a nearfall. Josh hit another German Suplex. Frankie hit an overhead belly-to-belly suplex, tossing Josh into the turnbuckles. Josh set up for the C4 Spike, but instead hit a butterfly suplex at 12:30. Josh hit a runing forearm in the corner, then another TEN consecutive German Suplexes, and they were both down at 15:30; Kazarian was essentially lifeless after the fourth or fifth one.
Kazarian got to his feet and went for a crossface chickenwing! Josh reached the ropes. Frankie went for a flying forearm but accidentally hit the ref at 17:00. The guys fought near the ropes and both crashed to the floor, right in front of Jade in the front row. Frankie got the title belt, but Jade begged him to not use it. Frankie decided to set down the belt and not use it. Back in the ring, Josh immediately applied an anklelock. Frankie went back to the chickenwing. Kazarian nailed a forearm that sent Josh’s mouthguard flying, then Frankie hit the Killswitch (Unprettier) for a believable nearfall at 19:30.
They fought on the ring apron. Josh hit his running crossbody block through the ropes. In the ring, Josh hit his swinging Blue Thunder Bomb for a nearfall at 21:30. Frankie again applied the Crossface Chickenwing, and the crowd popped and chanted “tap!” Josh escaped and applied the anklelock. Josh hit an Exploder Suplex. Frankie hit the Back to the Future/Electric Chair drop for a nearfall at 24:00. Josh set up for a Styles Clash, but Frankie escaped. Josh hit a piledriver for a nearfall, and the crowd chanted, “fight forever!”
Frankie nailed a Slingshot Stunner into the ring for a believable nearfall at 27:00. Frankie applied an anklelock! Josh reversed it and applied his own anklelock, but Kaz eventually reached the ropes. Kazarian hit a clothesline, and he hit a Styles Clash for a nearfall. They fought on the ropes in the corner; Josh set up for a C4 spike, but Frankie backdropped him into the ring. Frankie hit a top-rope legdrop, then went back to the Chickenwing at 31:30. Frankie hit a shotgun dropkick into the corner. Josh hit a hard forearm, then nailed the C4 Spike piledriver for the pin. That was absolutely excellent.
* Frankie sold being upset, but he shook Josh’s hand and left. Bully Ray hit the ring, got on the mic, and said he just witnessed an incredible professional wrestling match. He challenged Alexander to a title match at Hard to Kill on Friday, January 13. They shook hands.
It appeared the show was over, but Bully Ray attacked Josh with several LOUD chairshots to the back, right in front of Jade, who was screaming at Bully Ray to stop. Great drama to close out the show. “Why would you ever trust me?” he shouted. He zip-tied Josh to the bottom rope. He suddenly turned and grabbed Jade, and yanked her over the guardrail! He threatened to piledrive her on the cement floor as he glared at Josh. He eventually shoved Jade into Josh’s arms and yelled at him some more as he tried to protect his wife. The crowd booed Bully Ray as he walked away while Josh was cradling Jade.
Final Thoughts: A tremendous main event. They kept the crowd glued and into a match for more than 30 minutes. Granted, I never thought Frankie was going to win, but they sure did a great job building drama and telling a story. This will be considered for Impact’s best match of the year. The crowd reaction to Bully Ray was really good, but when he turned and grabbed Jade, the crowd just GASPED. It got intense in a hurry.
The show started out really slow, but the last three matches earned the top three spots. While I’m not a big fan of weapons, Masha and Jordynne had a heck of a hard-hitting match, and the finish felt fresh and innovative. Black Taurus always delivers even if he never wins, and that was third best here. The MCMG-Bullet Club pre-show match earns honorable mention.
Really, the drawback of the show was the lack of suspense, in that I don’t think anyone saw any of the match outcomes as a surprise. Wilde-James came in a bit below expectations, and the Rhino/Heath match stayed firmly in first gear. Jessicka’s current gimmick is doing absolutely nothing for me. The show clocked in at three hours.