Impact Wrestling – July 13, 2023: Land This Thing
Date: July 13, 2023
Location: Center Stage, Atlanta, Georgia
Commentators: Matthew Rehwoldt, Tom Hannifan
Slammiversary is this weekend and that means it is time for the hard sell show. Impact has done well with these in recent months and it would be nice to see them do it here for one of their biggest shows of the year. Alex Shelley vs. Nick Aldis is likely going to get a lot of the focus so let’s get to it.
With Steve Maclin injured, Bully Ray has selected Deaner as his replacement for the Slammiversary tag match.
Zachary Wentz vs. Chris Bey
Trey Miguel and Ace Austin are here too. Feeling out process to start with Wentz taking him into the corner for some screaming. Wentz gets taken to the mat for a stomp to the back but Bey is sent crashing out to the floor. Bey fights out of an arm crank and runs Wentz over in the corner, setting up the kick to the head. A Code Red gives Bey two but Miguel superkicks Austin. The distraction lets Wentz do….something (commentary wasn’t sure either) and a headlock driver finishes Bey at 6:44.
Rating: C+. This was Wentz’s return to the spotlight and he looked fine enough out there. Granted the Rascalz were always more of a team than individuals in Impact so seeing Wentz on his own was a little strange. The good thing is that this does not seem to add the Rascalz to the Tag Team Title match, which already has enough challengers.
Dirty Dango attacked Santino Marella on BTI.
Santino and Scott D’Amore were in the back when the Rascalz pop in to say they want in the Tag Team Title match. That seems to be a no so the annoyed Rascalz leave.
Kevin Knight vs. Mike Bailey
They start slow until Bailey snaps off a headlock takeover. Back up and Bailey armdrags him into an armbar but Knight armdrags his way to freedom. A splash gives Knight two but he misses a springboard crossbody. Bailey sends him outside for the middle rope moonsault and we take a break. Back with Knight knocking him to the floor and hitting a dive of his own as we take a break.
We come back with Bailey in trouble but he manages a faceplant to take over. The moonsault knees connect but Knight jumps to the top for one heck of a superplex. They go to the pinfall reversal sequence for two each until Knight grabs a sitout spinebuster for two. Back up and Bailey sends him into the corner for the tornado kick into the Ultimate Weapon to finish Knight at 13:30.
Rating: C+. It continues to amaze me how much better Bailey is when he reels things in. He is capable of doing some great athletic stuff and making it look effortless, and as long as he doesn’t get to ignore a knee injury, he’s quite good. Knight is someone I’ve seen multiple times now and he has something, but he has to be around for a bit for anything to take hold.
Masha Slamovich and Killer Kelly are ready to take the Knockouts Tag Team Titles from the Coven.
Here is Joe Hendry for a chat. He’s here to help people, such as Stripper Kenny. For tonight, he and his partner can help take care of King.
Joe Hendry/Yuya Uemura vs. Kenny King/Sheldon Jean
The fans tell King, wearing a sweatshirt, to take it off as he starts with Henry. Uemura and Jean come in, with the former grabbing some headlock takeovers. Jean takes Uemura into the corner and the double stomping is on. That’s broken up with a kick to the head and Uemura gets over to Hendry for the tag.
House is quickly cleaned including a fall away slam into a nipup, followed by an RKO to King. Hendry even TAKES OFF THE SWEATSHIRT, leaving King embarrassed. The shirt is thrown at him (setting up an argument about whether that’s a foreign object) so King leaves, meaning it’s an enziguri into the Standing Ovation to finish Jean at 5:33.
Rating: C+. Sweet goodness Hendry is fun. There’s something about him that makes you want to watch whatever he is doing and it works every time. I’m not sure how high he’ll go in Impact, but that smile and that charisma make you want to see what he is doing. Mocking King for being a former stripper is bit of a stretch, but dang if Hendry isn’t trying to make it work.
Flashback Moment Of The Week: Chris Sabin wins the X-Division Title at Slammiversary 2013.
Lio Rush is ready to win the X-Division Title.
Chris Sabin knows Rush is very talented, but he gets why Rush isn’t wanted in any locker room.
Moose/Brian Myers vs. Sami Callihan/Rich Swann
Swann kicks Myers around to start before Callihan comes in for some shots to the face. A rake to the eyes allows Moose to come in but it’s way too early for the powerbomb. Instead Callihan low bridges him to the floor, where Swann flip dives onto both of them as the villains are in early trouble. Back in and Moose knocks both of them to the floor as we take a break.
We come back with Swann fighting out of a chinlock and rolling Moose up for two, only to get dropped hard. A kick to the head allows Swann to get over to Callihan for the hot tag, meaning house can be cleaned. Everything breaks down and Myers kicks Moose in the face by mistake. Swann cutters Myers but Moose shoves Callihan into them to break up the cover. A 450 gives Swann two with Moose managing a kickout without a save. Myers pulls Swann out and the distraction lets Moose hit a low blow. The spear finishes Callihan at 13:58.
Rating: C. That’s the right way to go, as you need Myers and Moose to feel like a threat. They certainly have the talent between them, but at some point they have to actually win some matches. This was a good start, though I’m not sure how likely they are to win the titles at Slammiversary. Granted the same could be said about Swann and Callihan, but they have a bit more history together.
Subculture is ready to win the Tag Team Titles for the people who don’t fit in.
Angels is ready to win the X-Division Title.
Here’s what’s coming on various shows.
Video on Nick Aldis, who wants the World Title back. Alex Shelley knows where the title will wind up and he can give it up on his face or on his back.
Here is Deonna Purrazzo to say people have forgotten who she is so it’s Champ Champ Challenge time.
Knockouts Title: Deonna Purrazzo vs. Jody Threat
Threat is challenging and gets taken down with a headlock takeover to start. Back up and Threat fires off some corner clotheslines for two but Purrazzo knocks her right back down. The stomping keeps Threat down and we take a break. We come back with Purrazzo working on the arm and hitting a knee to the face. A Russian legsweep sets up the Fujiwara armbar, sending Threat over to the rope.
Threat gets in a shot of her own and it’s a double knockdown for a breather. Back up and Threat snaps off a suplex before forearming Purrazzo in the jaw. A top rope cannonball sets up a hard clothesline for two but the F Bomb is broken up. Purrazzo pulls her into the Fujiwara armbar but Threat rolls out again. Threat plants her down for two but the F Bomb is countered into the Venus de Milo to retain the title at 9:17.
Rating: C+. Threat isn’t someone who feels like a top star, but she hadn’t lost until now and that made her more of a realistic possibility to take the title. At the same time, Purrazzo won a match she should have won. This was a match that was put together well and Purrazzo had to work to get the win, so nice stuff all around.
Post match Savannah Evans, Gisele Shaw and Jai Vidal come in for the beatdown so here are the Death Dollz to even things up. Cue Masha Slamovich and Killer Kelly, followed by Trinity to make it an even bigger brawl. Referees try to break it up, leaving Trinity vs. Purrazzo in the big staredown to end the show.
A long Slammiversary preview wraps it up.
Scott D’Amore is on the phone and says this time PCO can’t come back to life, so he wants to know if the person on the phone can. D’Amore grabs a Team Canada jacket to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. Not the best show this week but it more or less held things in place as we get to Slammiversary this weekend. Ending things with the women was an interesting choice as that’s a big match that hasn’t gotten a ton of attention. What matters is Slammiversary is set and if Impact can make everything work, we should be in for a heck of a pay per view.
Zachary Wentz b. Chris Bey – Headlock driver
Mike Bailey b. Kevin Knight – Ultimate Weapon
Joe Hendry/Yuya Uemura b. Kenny King/Sheldon Jean – Standing Ovation to Jean
Moose/Brian Myers b. Sami Callihan/Rich Swann – Spear to Moose
Deonna Purrazzo b. Jody Threat – Venus de Milo
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