Date: July 21, 2022
Location: Old Forester’s Paristown Hall, Louisville, Kentucky
Commentators: Matthew Rehwoldt, Tom Hannifan
We’re on a fresh taping cycle and on the way to the next special. That means we need a new #1 contender and thank goodness that means someone outside of Violent By Design. The main event of this week’s show is Alex Shelley vs. Chris Sabin for a shot at Josh Alexander and the World Title. Let’s get to it.
The opening video looks at the history of the Motor City Machine Guns, both together and against each other. They’re both ready for the chance to be #1 contender.
VXT vs. Mia Yim/Jordynne Grace
VXT is Deonna Purrazzo/Chelsea Green, who were absolutely needing a team name. Grace and Purrazzo start things off with Purrazzo taking her to the mat but getting reversed into a headscissors for a standoff. Back up and Grace runs her over with a shoulder before sending Purrazzo into the top turnbuckle over and over. Yim comes in for some rollups to Purrazzo and armdrags to Green.
It’s already back to Grace but everything breaks down, with Purrazzo offering a distraction so Green can take over on Grace. Some rams into the corner get Grace out of trouble and the hot tag brings Yim in to clean house. Grace has to save Yim from a double suplex and there’s the big dive to drop VXT on the floor. Back in and Purrazzo Downward Spirals Yim to set up Green’s Stomp for two but Yim grabs a double Stunner. There is no Grace though and VXT hits a kind of double suplex for the pin on Yim at 9:12.
Rating: C. You have to establish the new team with a win here and they did just that by having them pin the #1 contender. Granted this might be more about issues between Grace and Yim, which is a story that needs to be told as well. Nice job on the two birds with one stone shot, and the match wasn’t half bad either.
Post match Yim isn’t pleased with Grace. Good thing they have a title match coming up in a few weeks.
Honor No More wants the Tag Team Titles and aren’t surprised that Impact keeps moving the goalposts on them. They’ll take out Heath instead, because he keeps attacking them one at a time. Eddie Edwards wants to know where PCO was when Heath was attacking Vincent last week. There is no more room for mistakes.
Here’s what is coming tonight.
X-Division Title: Deaner vs. Mike Bailey
Deaner is challenging and has Joe Doering with him. Bailey unloads on Deaner in the corner and kicks him in the chest for a knockdown. The Ultimate Weapon misses but Bailey is right back with a Boston crab instead. Deaner gets out and bails to the apron, only to get kicked in the face. Bailey gets caught in the ring skirt though and Doering runs him over with a shoulder as we take a break.
Back with Deaner sending him into the corner, setting up the running dropkick to the back of the trunks. Bailey fires off the rapid kicks to set up the running corkscrew shooting star press for two. Something like a powerbomb plants Bailey for two more and it’s time to chop it out. Bailey gets the better of things and kicks him in the chest and then the head, only to miss the moonsault knees onto the apron. Deaner’s running flip neckbreaker in the ropes takes Bailey down but he slides back in for a heck of a moonsault to drop Deaner on the floor. Back in and the Ultimate Weapon retains Bailey’s title at 12:24.
Rating: C+. Another pretty solid defense for Bailey, but I still can’t get into him with that cheesy grin and bow. You can tell that he’s being presented as a star though and that is more than a lot of the champions. I’m not sure who is going to take the title from him, but giving him a weekly match where he gets to show off a bit is not a bad idea.
Ric Flair Flashback Moment of the Week: Sting beats Ric Flair on Impact in 2021.
VXT wants in the Knockouts Title match so Gail Kim gives them just that: a Knockouts Tag Team Title match.
Eric Young confirms Violent By Design’s loyalties to him and tells them to eliminate the sickness.
Madison Rayne vs. Masha Slamovich
Gisele Shaw is here with Rayne. Slamovich rips the face mask off of Rayne and throws her down, setting up the Snowplow for the pin at 1:14. Total squash, again.
Post match Slamovich gives Shaw an envelope, with a picture of herself covered in what looks like blood.
Bhupinder Gujjar still wants a Digital Media Title shot against Brian Myers. That works for Myers, but apparently Vincent has been talking trash about Gujjar so they can fight each other instead.
Killer Kelly says she is always watching you. A man comes up and Kelly says no one knows when to shut the F up.
Bullet Club vs. Honor No More
That would be Ace Austin/Chris Bey vs. Matt Taven/Mike Bennett with Maria Kanellis. Taven and Austin start things off and fight over wrist control until Taven takes him down into a chinlock. That earns Taven a kick to the head and a legdrop, only to have him come back with a dropkick. Bey and Bennett come in to chop it off until Bey snaps off a dropkick for two.
Taven comes back in off a blind tag though and a middle rope dropkick takes Bey down. It’s back to Austin to kick people in the head before sending Taven outside for a shot from the apron. Taven is thrown inside, leaving Bennett to kick Austin down and take over again. The Purple Thunder Bomb gets two back inside and Bennett grabs the chinlock. Austin fights up and avoids a charge in the corner, allowing the hot tag off to Bey to clean house.
A torture rack neckbreaker gets two on Bennett as everything breaks down. Austin gets sent outside and Bennett brainbusters Bey, only to miss Aurora Boreallis. Maria gets on the apron for a distraction so Austin pulls her down, with the distraction letting Bennett get in a low blow to Bey. Cue Heath with a Wake Up Call to Taven though and Austin runs in with the Fold for the pin at 10:32.
Rating: C+. I’m not sure what there is to say about a match like this, as it is all over the place near the ending until one of them gets a pin. The Heath deal was a fine enough way to go and follows the story that they have been telling in recent weeks. Other than that, Honor No More loses again, which is almost a trend for them lately.
Steve Maclin isn’t worried about Sami Callihan but the lights go out and Callihan attacks him. Cue Moose to help with the beatdown but Callihan turns the lights out again and disappears. Sami actually having a device to turn the lights off makes this at least a bit more plausible than the normal light powers.
Rosemary and Taya Valkyrie can’t get Jessica to put the Havok mask on but she’s not down for it. Jessica has an idea and leaves, with Rosemary freaking out over her not being herself. Taya thinks it’s cute, which has Rosemary contemplating violence.
Josh Alexander is ready for Chris Sabin or Alex Shelley, but he knows there are a lot of people waiting on him after Emergence. This includes Rich Swann, who pops in and asks for a title match. That’s currently taken, so Swann gets the debuting Kushida next week in what might be a #1 contenders match but D’Amore isn’t quite clear.
Here’s what’s coming on future shows.
Chris Sabin vs. Alex Shelley
The winner gets the World Title shot at Emergence and somehow this is Shelley’s first ever #1 contenders match. They shake hands and hug to start because this is all about competition. It’s a technical off (as you might have expected) to start with Sabin’s rollup giving us a standoff. Sabin spins around him into an armdrag before another cradle gets two. Shelley needs a breather on the floor as Josh Alexander is watching backstage.
Another rollup gives Shelley two for a change and we take a break. Back with Sabin grabbing a neckbreaker and another one gets two. The neck crank goes on to keep Shelley in trouble and the chinlock goes on. Another neckbreaker gets another two as Sabin certainly has a target. Back up and Shelley takes the knee out and we go to another break.
We come back again with Shelley tying up the legs before working on the arm for a change. Shelley ties Sabin up so much that Sabin is hooking his own leg (that’s a new one) before going with a more basic leg crank. Sabin slips out and grabs a DDT for a needed breather to go back to the neck. A tornado DDT gives Sabin two more but Cradle Shock is countered.
Shelley kicks him in the knee and drives said knee into the mat to cut him down again. A belly to back sets up the Border City Stretch, with Sabin having to go to the ropes. Sabin is back up with a jumping enziguri and another kick drops Shelley for a double knockdown. The Clothesline From Hell, Michigan misses so they trade superkicks. Now the Clothesline can connect but the Cradle Shock is blocked again. Shelley hits Sliced Bread for two and Shell Shock is good for the same. The Border City Stretch goes on and Sabin taps at 24:13.
Rating: B. Yeah this worked, as it’s nice to have the kind of chess match that you get from people who know each other so well. You can have all of the flips and dives that you want, but this was more about the technical side of things as the two of them tried to pick the other apart until one couldn’t hang on. Shelley winning is an interesting way to go, but it isn’t like there was a bad choice from the pair.
Post match Sabin raises Shelley’s hand but Violent By Design runs in for the beatdown. Kushida comes out for the save and checks on the Guns to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. Pretty solid show here as they set things up for the future and did enough to make me want to stick around next week. Kushida debuting at the end was nice, though MY GOODNESS ENOUGH WITH VIOLENT BY DESIGN. They’re the weakest part of the show by a good while and there is nothing to suggest that they are going away anytime soon, which is hurting some of the good will Impact has had going for it lately. Fix that and Impact is one of the better weekly shows going, but there are still some holes to fix.
VXT b. Mia Yim/Jordynne Grace – Double suplex to Yim
Mike Bailey b. Deaner – Ultimate Weapon
Masha Slamovich b. Madison Rayne – Snowplow
Bullet Club b. Honor No More – Fold to Bennett
Alex Shelley b. Chris Sabin – Border City Stretch
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