This week’s episode of Impact Wrestling featured a stacked lineup only 24 hours out from Victory Road. After last week’s victory over the Good Brothers, the Motor City Machine Guns take on newcomers Aussie Open. The winners will take on Honor No More for the Tag Team Championships at Bound for Glory.
Speaking of Honor No More, Heath challenges one of their members to a street fight this week. Will another member of the heel faction receive a Wake Up Call, or is the Redhead Rebel about to be silenced? Also, tonight the contract will be signed before the barbaric Barbed Wire Massacre occurs. What carnage will we see when Steve Maclin, Moose and Sami Callihan step inside the ring together? We also have a Digital Media Championship Ladder Match and a 5 way X-Division match!
Last week on Impact Wrestling, Josh Alexander’s quest to become a double champion was thwarted as Heath inadvertently cost Alexander and Rich Swann the match after the referee spotted interference. Tonight, as Heath issues an ‘Honor No More Open Challenge Street Fight’, will Alexander forgive and forget, or will the tension between the pair continue to escalate? The Motor City Machine Guns put away the Good Brothers last week in the main event. This week they take on Aussie Open, with a shot at gold on the line. Will it be the veterans or the newcomers who get the next chance at Honor No More’s Tag Team Championships?
Impact Wrestling 22/9/22 from The Factory: Dallas, Texas
The opening video focused on Moose and Steve Maclin’s tag team woes from last week, after they lost to Decay in 90 seconds. They showed the brawl between Moose, Maclin and Sami Callihan that occurred after the match. There were also highlights of Honor No More retaining their Tag Team Championships via DQ, as the referee saw Heath hitting the Wake Up Call. Scott D’Amore then set up a 6-man tag team match for Victory Road.
Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt welcomed us to the show as we saw ladders surrounding the ring.
Match #1: Impact Digital Media Championship: Brian Myers (c) vs Bhupinder Gujjar
This is Gujjar’s 1st ladder match but he entered first looking confident, followed by Myers. Myers looked anxiously at his championship which hung overhead both competitors. Gujjar took control early with a series of uppercuts and a scoop slam. Gujjar hit a knee drop then continued to dominate Myers with a pump kick and then a knee lift. Gujjar hit a Samoan Drop then headed to the second rope for his spear. Myers lifted his knee and connected to Gujjar’s head as he sailed through the air. Myers went to the outside to retrieve a ladder but Gujjar drop kicked the ladder right into Myers’ face. Gujjar was slightly bloody on the nose as he retrieved a ladder and placed it into the ring. Myers hit a Uranage on Gujjar on the ring apron then set up the ladder in the ring. Myers began to climb the ladder but Gujjar stopped him and nailed a cutter off the ladder to a big response from the crowd. Gujjar went back to the turnbuckle and nailed the Gargoyle spear on Myers who went crashing into the ladder. Myers tumbled to the outside. Gujjar started climbing but Myers was able to recover and pushed the ladder down, as Gujjar fell face first into the ring ropes. Myers slammed the ladder hard on Gujjar’s head. Myers whipped Gujjar hard into the ladder which had fallen in the corner. The ladder then followed Gujjar and nailed him in the head. Myers nailed a big clothesline and taunted the fans. He went outside the ring again to bring in a second ladder. Gujjar was now bleeding quite a bit from his nose. Myers set up the ladder in the centre of the ring and Gujjar set up his opposite it. They climbed their respective ladders and continued to exchange right hands near the top of the ladder. Gujjar nailed Myers with a headbutt and Myers plummeted off the ladder to the ring below. Gujjar had one hand on the title but Myers cut him off. Myers hit a back suplex off the ladder and both men fell out of the ring. Myers got a third ladder and set it up against the ring steps. They brawled on the outside of the ring. Gujjar wanted a Samoan Drop, but Myers raked his eyes and destroyed Gujjar with a powerbomb on the ladder. Myers began to crawl back into the ring slowly as referees checked on Gujjar. Myers began the ascent to the title but Gujjar pulled him off and nailed a super kick, which sent Myers to the outside. Gujjar stumbled around a bit but began to climb the ladder until Myers nailed a low blow. Myers got some duct tape out and taped Gujjar to the ladder rung! Myers retrieved the title and won the match after 14 minutes.
Winner AND STILL Impact Digital Media Champion- Brian Myers
Analysis: ***3/4 I thought that was a thoroughly entertaining and creative ladder match and a great way to kick off the show. We know that when you think of classic ladder match wrestlers, these two won’t come to mind but the personal feel to the match due to the slow build up on TV, as well as some innovative spots led to a really solid match. I thought it may have been time for a title change, but Myers found a crafty way to win and can argue that he is now done with Gujjar as he stepped up to his challenge and vanquished him. This was the best match from both these wrestlers that I have seen from them in 2022.
After the match, they showed highlights of the big spots in the match and Myers stumbled up the ramp looking exhausted.
Backstage, Rich Swann was chatting with Impact World Champion Josh Alexander. Heath walked in and apologised from his actions from last week. He said he knows that they should be tag team champions but at Victory Road, they all need to be on the same page. Swann appreciates Heath’s apology and says he and Alexander have his back in the street fight tonight. Heath said thanks, but he needs to do this by himself tonight.
Analysis: Honor No More will have the numbers advantage so I’m sure Swann and Alexander will be out at some point.
The commentators ran down the lineup for Victory Road. I will possibly have a summary review up over the weekend.
They showed highlights of a Wrestling Revolver event from the weekend where Steve Maclin attacked Sami Callihan as he was cutting a promo. Wrestlers tried to separate them but it proved difficult.
Analysis: This has been a very personal and violent feud so far and the Barbed Wire Massacre should be quite the spectacle.
Match #2: Jordynne Grace vs Ziggy Dice
This match was set up last week after the Knockouts Champion felt disrespected by backstage comments from Dice and Johnny Swinger. Grace slaps Dice to kick the match off then hits a stalling German suplex. Grace hits the Grace Driver perfectly to win the match after 45 seconds.
Winner by pinfall: Jordynne Grace
Analysis: * Just a squash to put over the champ, as it should be over the comedy wrestler.
There was a video package putting over Grace’s opponent for Victory Road, Max the Impaler. I haven’t seen her in the ring before but she looks like a powerful wrestler, in the Awesome Kong mould.
Match #3: Black Taurus vs Mia Yim vs Trey Miguel vs Alex Zayne vs Laredo Kid
Cleverly, they went to a commercial break after Taurus’ entrance, so only he and Yim had a televised entrance. Yim retreated to the corner to watch as the other 4 combatants went at it early in the match. Miguel and Zayne faced off, countering each other and avoiding a series of strikes. Yim joined the action and took them both out with a drop kick. Taurus faced her but Yim wasn’t backing down and hit a series of right hands. Taurus was unfazed and destroyed Yim with a headbutt. Laredo Kid came in with a hurricanrana. Kid missed a corner attack so Taurus gained the advantage with an uppercut. Taurus hit an enziguri in the corner. Taurus went to the well one too many times and missed a corner attack, tumbling to the outside. Kid climbed to the top rope and jumped to the outside, connecting with a hurricanrana. Zayne and Miguel ran the ropes and performed synchronised diving flips on Taurus and Kid. Yim went to the top and took out everyone on the outside.
Kid and Zayne were striking Miguel in the corner as the action returned. Miguel fought back and performed a reverse DDT/Flatliner combo. Miguel got the first two count of the match. Miguel drop kicked Taurus off the apron. Miguel lifted Laredo Kid to the top rope and hit an enziguri. Zayne ran into the corner and somehow performed a hurricanrana on both of his opponents, sending them crashing hard to the mat. Zayne hit the Baja Blast on Taurus for 2. Yim ran back in but copped a super kick. Taurus nailed Kid with a Crucifix Bomb and then Miguel connected with a handspring enziguri as everyone was down on the mat. Yim continued to fight back into the ring and hoisted Zayne up for a powerbomb! Yim then nailed him with the Package Piledriver and covered but Kid and Miguel kicked her in the head to break up the pin. Taurus came back in with a big back breaker on Miguel then was met by a drop kick from Kid. Kid hit Zayne with a neckbreaker then climbed to the top. He missed a twisting moonsault as Zayne crawled out of harms way. Zayne tried the Cinnamon Twist but Kid put his knees up. Black Taurus mauled Kid with a spear and then nailed Destination Hellhole on Zayne for the win after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Black Taurus
Analysis: ***1/2 That was chaotic, but a lot of fun and in the end it was the power of Taurus that made the difference. He is a big chance to win the Revolver match at Victory Road. Everyone got their time to shine in the match but there were a few moments where some of the wrestlers were just down on the outside for a number of minutes at a time when there were two wrestlers squaring off in the ring. Yim more than held her own and showed her strength with some power moves on wrestlers far bigger than her.
There was a vignette for Violent by Design. The yellow hoodie squad was back and Eric Young said they were a part of this now. Young said they will be everywhere and asked the hoodies if they were prepared. They responded with “I am violence!” Young started to randomly strike some of the wrestlers and Deaner joined in, but the ones in yellow hoodies held the VBD pose as they were getting destroyed.
Analysis: Another strange promo but they are certainly building to something interesting. I hope!
There was another vignette for Joe Hendry. This one was focused on a husband who thought his wife was cheating on her and when he asked her to tell him the name, the Hendry song started up and the family started dancing.
Analysis: This was so goofy that I couldn’t help laughing. Hendry looks like he’s going to be a comedy wrestler by the looks of his introduction.
Match #4: Street Fight: Heath vs PCO
PCO was revealed as the mystery HNM member. The rest of HNM came up afterward and Eddie Edwards started screaming at PCO, telling him that this match is not going to happen. The fans booed. Heath said the fans want the match. Edwards talked down to PCO as Heath tried to goad him into the match. Edwards said that PCO belonged to him. Heath continued to taunt PCO and said he wasn’t a monster, he was Eddie’s lapdog. Vincent separated PCO and Edwards, and the match is on.
PCO took down Heath with a clothesline on the ramp and then a spinning neckbreaker. Heath hit a back body drop on PCO who landed hard on the ramp. Heath slammed PCO into the guard rail at ringside. They brawled amongst the crowd and Heath threw a drink into the eyes of PCO. PCO slammed a garbage bin on Heath’s back, then sent him back first into a wall. They were backstage now and PCO grabbed a trolley of steel chairs. PCO unloaded all of the chairs and threw them on a huge pile. Heath crawled up onto the stage and PCO followed but copped a DDT. Heath grabbed PCO and tossed him off the stage onto the pile of steel chairs! Heath walked down the ramp to survey the damage. The rest of Honor No More faced off with Heath as they surrounded the ring. Josh Alexander and Rich Swann ran down to back up Heath. Alexander and Edwards started to brawl. Alexander slapped the ankle lock on Edwards outside the ring. Inside the ring, Vincent cracked a steel chair over the back of Heath. He went for a second shot, but Heath dodged and hit the Wake Up Call on Vincent. PCO was still not moving as he lay among the mass of chairs. Just then, PCO sat up with chairs wedged to all parts of his body. PCO launched a bunch of chairs into the ring at Heath. PCO ‘hulked up’ and went into the ring. He hit a choke slam on Heath onto a steel chair. PCO set up another pile of chairs inside the ring. He measured Heath and applied the Mandible Claw. Heath was down on the pile of chairs so PCO went to the top rope but missed a Swanton and crashed into the chairs. Heath hit the Wake Up Call on the pile of chairs for the win after 10 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Heath
Analysis: ***1/2 That was a fun brawl, that was a bit muddled in the middle with all the outside interference, but got back on track towards the end. PCO is in his mid-50s and took at least 3 really painful-looking bumps throughout the match, all spine first onto steel chairs. He is really dedicated to entertaining the fans, that’s for sure. The win gives the face trio momentum heading into the 6-man Tag Team match which I expect Edwards to win for his team.
Match #5: Number 1 Contendership for the Impact World Tag Team Championships: Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis) vs The Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley)
The winner of this match takes on Bennett and Taven at Bound for Glory. It’s Fletcher and Shelley starting things off in the ring. Fletcher takes down Shelley with a shoulder block. Shelley returns fire with a series of chops and targets the left shoulder/elbow region. Sabin tags in and tries for an early pin but only gets a one count. Fletcher needed a break and tags in Davis. Davis tosses Sabin around the ring and backs him into the corner. Sabin hits a hurricanrana off the second rope. Shelley tags in blindly as Davis whipped Sabin across the ropes. They send Fletcher to the outside and Davis goes over the top too as he misses a running attack. Shelley tosses Davis back into the ring but misses a splash off the top rope. Davis clotheslines Shelley in the corner but Sabin is back in. Aussie Open perform their running collision double team move on both the Guns as we go to a commercial.
Fletcher has Shelley backed into the corner as we come back from the break. Fletcher has Shelley up for a delayed vertical suplex but makes his way back to his corner to tag in Davis, who takes over with the delayed suplex. Davis holds the move for a while then tags Fletcher back in, handing Shelley back over and Fletcher finally slams Shelley down for a 2 count. Davis tags back in and Shelley is fighting back on one knee. Davis misses a senton but rolls to his corner for the tag. Shelley avoids a clothesline from Fletcher and tags in Sabin. Sabin drop kicks Davis off the ring apron. He takes out Davis on the outside with a crossbody. Sabin hits a flying crossbody on Fletcher inside the ring for a close 2 count. Sabin measures Fletcher in the corner but Fletcher flips him over to the ring apron, Shelley quickly runs in and hits a clothesline on Fletcher in the corner. Shelley holds Fletcher whilst Sabin flies from the top with a drop kick and gets a 2 count. Sabin pummels Fletcher in the corner with forearms. Fletcher flips out of the corner and hits a Michinoku Driver as Sabin runs at him. Fletcher makes the tag to Davis. Davis spins Sabin around and Fletcher dives off the top rope for a cutter but Shelley breaks up the count. Fletcher hits a single leg drop kick to take Shelley to the outside. Fletcher tags back in and Davis hits a huge spinning powerbomb but Sabin somehow kicks out. More double team forearms from Aussie Open and they set up for Coriolis, but Sabin blocks it and hits a spinning DDT on Fletcher. Shelley is back in and the Guns hit a double team dropkick on Davis. Sabin holds Davis and Shelley hits the Skull and Bones for the win after 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Motor City Machine Guns
Analysis: ***3/4 I thought that was a great tag match and it really showcased what Aussie Open can do. Working with such a great team as the MCMG will do wonders for them and Shelley and Sabin made the Aussie duo look great tonight. I was impressed by the array of the heel team’s offense and some of their double team moves looked impressive. I didn’t think they would lose this early into their Impact run but the decision to book a bigger team at Bound For Glory, especially a face team against heel tag champions, does make sense.
Gia Miller interviewed Tasha Steelz about her match night against Killer Kelly. Steelz was confident and said that they were going to introduce Kelly to something right now. Steelz and Savannah Evans walked to the ring, when all of a sudden Evans disappeared. Kelly showed up and said that she heard Steelz wants to play games. Steelz said that they would play alright, but at Victory Road.
Analysis: Just a short segment to put over Kelly’s psychological edge and I think we were meant to think that she abducted Evans in that short time period. It has been a very solidly built secondary women’s feud, which I am happy about as Steelz has barely been featured since she lost the Knockouts Title.
Gisele Shaw cut a pre-taped promo on Mickie James. She put over Mickie’s title wins and classic feuds, but says that at Victory Road she hands over the torch to Shaw. Shaw says that although people will be upset that James will be retiring, it will give her time to spend with her family and then the spotlight will be back on Shaw.
Analysis: A confident promo from Shaw, but it will be a win for James at Victory Road.
The commentators ran down the Victory Road card (see the end of this review) as we prepared for the Barbed Wire Massacre contract signing.
Barbed Wire Massacre Contract Signing
Scott D’Amore was in the ring with a table set up for the signing. D’Amore says that with this signing, the competitors are releasing Impact of its liability for injuries (similar to an unsanctioned match I guess!). D’Amore introduces Moose first who ambles to the ring, in characteristic style. Moose takes a seat as D’Amore introduces Steve Maclin. Moose and Maclin almost clash as they get in each other’s faces. Callihan is out last but he is nowhere to be seen as his music hits. D’Amore accuses Moose of taking out Callihan. Moose takes the mic and tells Maclin that being in the ring with him will be tougher than his military career. Maclin says Moose doesn’t know the meaning of hell on earth. Maclin says he isn’t scared of him or barbed wire and that at Victory Road it will be mayhem for all. Callihan’s music hits again and now he is here, as the fans chant for him. Callihan says he’s sorry he’s late, but he couldn’t find his favourite chair. Callihan says he doesn’t care about the contact or the partnership between Moose and Maclin. Callihan says they both made a huge mistake when they took him out at Against All Odds and at Victory Road he will carve them both up. He pulls out a pen wrapped in barbed wire and goes to sign but Maclin gets the pen off the table and stabs Sami in the head with it. Moose and Maclin butt heads again but turn their attention to Callihan. Moose hangs Callihan upside down in the corner and Maclin runs towards him but Moose cuts him off with a spear. Moose sets up the table in the corner as Callihan staggers to his feet. Moose goes for a spear in the corner but Sami moves and Moose crashes through the table. A bloodied Callihan nails Moose with the Cactus Driver 97. Callihan signs the contract with his own blood and his music hits as Impact goes off the air.
Analysis: That was a very effective segment to build interest in the Victory Road main event. With Callihan standing tall at last, I’m thinking it’s time for a Maclin win. He hasn’t had too many high profile wins this year, so I think he should be the one leaving Victory Road with the W. The last few weeks have really built this feud up well after a slow start, and the intensity in the ring work and promos have been really high. I’m looking forward to the match, but I’m also looking forward to one of these men possibly challenging the winner of the Bound for Glory main event down the line. I’m not sure why Callihan didn’t come out when his music went the first time though. That was odd.
Final rating: 7.5/10
That was a really strong ‘go-home’ show before Friday night’s Impact Plus special Victory Road. Some of the matches and build up, such as the ladder match, didn’t have anything to do with Victory Road or Bound for Glory, but that was okay as the night was full of quality wrestling. It’s difficult when you have your PPV and monthly special very close to each other. After Victory Road, they only have two weeks to build to their biggest show of the year which only has 4 matches at the time of writing. I thought the opening ladder match set the tone for a great night of action. The 5-way X-Division match was a fun showcase for all involved and PCO vs Heath continued the Honor No More vs Alexander and friends feud perfectly. I thoroughly enjoyed the tag team contenders match and look forward to MCMG vs HNM at Bound for Glory. I was a little disappointed at the Knockouts only getting about three minutes of TV time between the three feuds, but they should all have good showings at Victory Road. In a way, it’s a stepping stone to the main PPV in two weeks time, where more major titles will be on the line.
Here’s the lineup for tonight’s (September 23) Victory Road special:
* Barbed Wire Massacre: Sami Callihan vs. Moose vs Steve Maclin
* Pick Your Poison: Impact Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace (c) vs. Max the Impaler
* Mickie James vs Gisele Shaw
* Josh Alexander, Heath and Rich Swann vs Mike Bennett, Matt Taven and Eddie Edwards
* X-Division Championship: Mike Bailey (c) vs Delirious
* Triple Threat Revolver (winner to receive an X-Division title match at Bound for Glory): Trey Miguel vs. Kenny King vs. Black Taurus vs. Alex Zayne vs. Laredo Kid vs. Yuya Uemura vs. Mia Yim vs. Frankie Kazarian
* Killer Kelly vs. Tasha Steelz
* The Motor City Machine Guns vs. Vincent & PCO
Here’s the Bound for Glory lineup for the PPV on October 7th:
* Impact World Championship: Josh Alexander (c) vs. Eddie Edwards
* Impact Knockouts Championship: Jordynne Grace (c) vs. Masha Slamovich
* X-Division Championship: Mike Bailey or Delirious vs. the winner of Triple Threat Revolver
* Impact World Tag Team Championships: Honor No More (Mike Bennett and Matt Taven) (c) vs. the Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin)