Impact Wrestling – March 9, 2023: There’s Good And Bad

Impact Wrestling
Date: March 9, 2023
Location: Sam’s Town Live, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Tom Hannifan, Matthew Rehwoldt

We are on our way to a trio of shows with Sacrifice, Multiverse United and Rebellion, which makes for quite the packed series of builds. That got started last week with a little something for each show getting time, but they are going to have to do it again for the next few weeks. Let’s get to it.

Here are last week’s results if you need a recap.

Opening recap.

Here is Bully Ray to get things going. At No Surrender, Tommy Dreamer used the words “someone like me” (meaning Ray). What did he mean when he said that? Did he mean a two time Hall of Famer or half of the greatest tag team ever? Maybe a two time World Champion?

Ray wishes he knew what Dreamer meant, because he threw hot coffee into Dreamer’s face. Dreamer wants a Busted Open match at Sacrifice but there is no way Dreamer is making it there. Cue Santino Marella to call Bully “Bobby Ray” and say that Dreamer will be at Sacrifice. It was only a minor burn to his balls….er, eyeball so he’ll be fine.

Cue Bhupinder Gujjar to speak Hindi and issue a challenge for right now. Santino makes the match and we’re on. This Santino stuff is getting REALLY old as he’s still doing the same “gee I sure do talk funny” shtick, which can be charming for all of 12 seconds before you realize that he’s making the crowd chuckle over what was supposed to be a serious angle.

Bhupinder Gujjar vs. Bully Ray

Ray’s chain shot doesn’t work to start so he clotheslines Gujjar down instead. Gujjar gets up and yells a lot, seemingly inviting Ray to hit him. Ray’s right hands are shrugged off and Gujjar dropkicks him down. Ray catches him on top though and loads up the chain, which takes too long as well, allowing Gujjar to get in a shot of his own. Gujjar loads up the chain but gets low blowed for the DQ at 3:31.

Rating: D+. Remember when Gujjar was looking like he could be something? Well now he’s cannon fodder in the star making feud between Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer. This was hardly a high energy match and was much more about Ray trying to get out of having the actual match. Nothing to see here, but thank goodness Ray got his time in.

Post match Ray chains Gujjar in the back but Tommy Dreamer comes in for the save (Why didn’t he come out earlier?). Cue Masha Slamovich to hit Dreamer low but Mickie James makes the save. The women brawl until Dreamer gets up to chase Ray off with a chair.

PCO is next to a grave with a shovel and screams for Eddie Edwards to come fight him.

Josh Alexander comes up to Rich Swann and gets him on his team for a six man at Sacrifice. Steve Maclin comes in but Swann says this isn’t about him. Frankie Kazarian comes in and Maclin leaves, with Kazarian seemingly joining Swann and Alexander at Sacrifice.

Callihan vs. Rhino

The Design and Heath are here too. They trade shoulders to start and neither goes anywhere. The fight heads outside with Callihan raking the eyes and posting him to take over. A Russian legsweep on the ramp puts Rhino down again and the seconds get in an argument. We take a break and come back with Rhino hitting a TKO for two, followed by a belly to belly. A hard clothesline out of the corner cuts Rhino off but it’s too early for the Cactus Driver 97. Angels grabs Callihan’s foot though and Khan adds a chair to the face, allowing Rhino to hit the Gore for the pin at 10:11.

Rating: C. This was as good as a ten minute Rhino vs. Callihan match was going to be as there is only so much the two of them are going to pull off. Rhino is still able to have a watchable enough match and it is nice to see him get a win here. At the same time, the Callihan/Design stuff is still pretty horrible and it needs to wrap up soon. It won’t, but it needs to.

Trey Miguel interrupts Dirty Dango and Santino Marella in the back, asking what they’re going to do for him. That works for Santino, who makes Miguel vs. a handpicked opponent at Sacrifice, plus a six way match for the X-Division Title at Multiverse United. Johnny Swinger and Zicky Dice come in to see if Miguel is as tall as Sky Low Low. With Miguel gone, Swinger asks about facing Dango, who says he’s the assistant Director of Authority. Swinger and Dice leave, so Marella says that isn’t Dango’s job. Dango: “It’s not a job. It’s a way of life.”

During the break, Callihan was mad at the Design but was told that was step #6.

Jordynne Grace vs. Alex Gracia

Grace powers her into the corner to start as we hear about Grace competing as a bodybuilder. A German suplex out of the corner gets two on Gracia but the Grace Driver is blocked. Instead Grace grabs a torture rack spin into a powerbomb. Now the Grace Driver finishes Gracia off at 2:26.

Moose comes up to Joe Hendry, who is telling jokes to a bunch of fans. Brian Myers jumps Hendry from behind and the big beatdown is on.

The Bullet Club, complete with Kenta, come in to mock Josh Alexander/Frankie Kazarian/Rich Swann. The six man is set for next week. Alexander mocks Ace Austin and Chris Bey for being overly excited about being the Tag Team Champions, which doesn’t sit well with the champs.

Jonathan Gresham vs. Kushida

They go technical to start (yes really) with neither being able to get very far. Instead they shake hands and spin around a lot while fighting over arm control. Neither gets very far so Kushida takes it to the mat and rides him a bit. Gresham reverses into a hammerlock on the mat but Kushida gets to his feet, with Gresham still cranking away. It’s finally broken up and Kushida stomps on Gresham’s hand but Gresham is right back with another armbar.

Kushida’s armbar sends Gresham to the rope so Kushida dropkicks the arm to keep him in trouble. Gresham is right back with la majistral for two so he tries it again, only to get reversed into a cradle to give Kushida two of his own. Back up and Kushida sends him into the ropes, which bangs up Gresham’s arm again. The Hoverboard Lock makes Gresham tap at 10:04.

Rating: B-. This was the technical match that you knew it would be and it made Kushida look that much better because he beat someone on his level. Both of them are established names but Kushida is on his way to the World Title shot at Multiverse United so he needed the win here. Good match, and different from everything else on the show.

Eddie Edwards goes to the grave where PCO called him out. That sounds like a very bad idea.

Here is Killer Kelly to sit in a chair and call out Taylor Wilde. Cue Wilde, who says this isn’t about Kelly but rather the future. Kelly doesn’t think much of Wilde telling the future with cards, because she controls her own destiny. Taylor pulls out the tower card and it’s KiLynn King coming in from behind to chair Kelly down. A Death Valley Driver plants Kelly again. I’ve liked King in the past so this is interesting.

Still at the grave, PCO swings his shovel at a rock.

The Death Dollz teleport in to console Killer Kelly, with Rosemary telling her that she needs to grasp the darker realm. Kelly doesn’t seem convinced but says she can handle a 2-1 situation herself. With Kelly gone, KiLynn King and Taylor Wilde come in to make the Knockouts Tag Team Titles challenge. Rosemary is in, if King and Wilde agree to give up the dark arts if they lose. Deal.

Eddie Edwards arrives at the grave but there is no PCO. Then PCO pops up behind him but misses the big swing with the shovel. They fight a bit and PCO sends him into a rock. Eddie manages to grab the shovel but PCO drops him with a reverse DDT (as you do in a fight by a grave). PCO sends him into the grave but here’s a car to run PCO over. Eddie gets in the car and rides away but we never see who is driving.

Here’s what’s coming on various shows.

Knockouts Title: Gisele Shaw vs. Mickie James

Shaw, with Jai Vidal and Savannah Evans, is challenging and Deonna Purrazzo is on commentary. Mickie takes her down with a headlock to start but gets reversed into a headscissors. Back up and they fight over wrist control until Mickie sends her outside for a crash to send us to a break.

We come back with Shaw sending her into the corner to take over. Mickie’s Thesz press gives her a breather though and they slowly slug it out. Shaw gets the better of things and grabs a reverse chinlock to keep James down. Back up and Shaw charges into a boot in the corner, allowing Mickie to hurricanrana her out. The comeback is on but Mickie has to dive onto the goons on the floor.

Shaw gets in a cheap shot to take over again though and the chops have Mickie in trouble in the corner. A pull of the hair drops Mickie again but she explodes out of the corner for the double knockdown. Mickie strikes away and hits a flapjack as the referee seems to tell her how much time is left. The top rope Thesz press gets two on Shaw but Vidal’s distraction breaks up the MickieDT. Purrazzo breaks that up so Shaw grabs a rollup, only to have Purrazzo turn it back over so Mickie can retain at 17:00.

Rating: B-. This match got a lot of time and the ending seems to bring Purrazzo either into the title picture or in line for a showdown with Shaw (or perhaps both). For now though, these two had a good match, with Shaw holding up her end and James being her usual awesome self. It felt like a big time main event and that is a hard trick to pull off a lot of the time.

Overall Rating: C+. This show got better as it went on but there were definitely some rocky points. There are some parts here which just aren’t very good and give me no reason to want to see what happens in them from week to week. Stuff such as Ray vs. Dreamer and the Design/Callihan stuff is just there with few positives to either of them and it hurts to watch them. Then on the other hand you have the solid Knockouts division and the main event feuds, though a lot of that seems to be on hold until we get closer to the build to Rebellion. For now though, the bad stuff gets bailed out, as the positives are quite positive.

Bhupinder Gujjar b. Bully Ray via DQ when Ray hit him low
Rhino b. Callihan – Gore
Jordynne Grace b. Alex Gracia – Grace Driver
Kushida b. Jonathan Gresham – Hoverboard Lock
Mickie James b. Gisele Shaw – Rollup



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2 Responses

  1. Zach Williams says:

    Do you think the Callihan/The Design storyline should end because it’s predictable, boring, or both?

    • Thomas Hall says:

      More boring than anything else. I didn’t care about the Design when they had Eric Young and I’m certainly not going to care about them when they lose their biggest name. It’s as cliched of a cult deal as you can get, even down to the “seven deadly *insert thing here*’.

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