Impact Wrestling – August 17, 2023: I’m Working Too Hard
So I reviewed this last week as usual and for some reasons completely forgot to publish it. I’m not sure how that happened but here you go.
Date: August 17, 2023
Location: Cicero Stadium, Cicero, Illinois
Commentators: Matthew Rehwoldt, Tom Hannifan
We are three days away from Multiverse United and ten days away from Emergence so we should have some building to do this week. That should make for a pretty easy path forward tonight and there are more than enough stories to go around. There might even be room to announce some more matches so let’s get to it.
KiLynn King vs. Deonna Purrazzo
No entrance for Purrazzo (odd) and Taylor Wilde is here with King. Purrazzo’s arm cranking doesn’t work to start so she rolls King up for two and tries the Fujiwara armbar. With the rope saving King, Purrazzo snaps off a running hurricanrana to send her outside, setting up the baseball slide. Back in and King loads up a Tombstone but flips her forward into a kind of reverse sitout powerbomb (always thought that would be a good finisher, with or without the sitout) for two.
King kicks her out to the floor, where Purrazzo Russian legsweeps her into the apron. Back in and a forearm off doesn’t go very far so Purrazzo grabs another quickly broken Fujiwara armbar. A kick to the face gives Purrazzo two but King’s DDT gets the same. Purrazzo Downward Spirals her into a Koji Clutch, which King stacks up for another near fall to break it up. King’s Neutralizer gets two more but the King’s Curse is countered into the Venus de Milo for the win at 8:29.
Rating: C+. King’s work is impressing me as she has the size to stand out and does well with just about anyone. She could be something on her own, as she has already proven herself in the tag team with Wilde. Then you have Purrazzo, who is a rather polished star and I could go with seeing her face anyone on the roster. Nice roster here, and it’s nice to see something other than the usual fast paced opener for a change.
Trinity is shown watching from the back.
Kenny King isn’t worried about Johnny Swinger challenging for the Digital Media Title. We won’t talk about him, so we’ll talk about Heath wanting to come after the title too. King will just beat them both up.
Bully Ray interrupts Santino Marella and wants protection from the madman who is PCO. He is scared of facing Black Taurus in a No DQ match tonight but Brian Myers and Moose come in, with the former wanting to face Alex Shelley tonight. Moose calls Kushida a coward so Kevin Knight (mentored by Kushida) pops in. He gets a match with Moose as a result and here is Shelley, who will face Myers for the World Title next week.
Killer Kelly vs. Savannah Evans vs. Jessicka
Their respective partners are all at ringside. Jessicka and Evans argue as Kelly crawls around, earning herself a big shove down. Back up and Kelly takes over on both of them before getting two on Jessicka. Evans snaps off a German suplex to Kelly but Jessicka grabs a release side slam for one. The choke goes on Jessicka, who slams Kelly down without much trouble. Evans drops Jessicka but Kelly AA’s Evans onto her for the fast pin at 3:50.
Rating: C. They didn’t have much time for this one but it helped boost up the four way Knockouts Tag Team Titles match at Emergence. There isn’t much else that can be done to set up a match like that one so this worked out well enough. I’m not sure about having one of the champions win, but Kelly winning is a nice thing to see.
Dirty Dango mocks Jake Something for crawling back to Impact after working on “outlaw mud shows”. Maybe after they have a match, Something can go back to working the VFW halls for another year or so. These continue to sound like Jim Cornette as an annoyed wrestler and that works well.
Moose vs. Kevin Knight
Moose powers him around a few times to start but misses a chop in the corner, allowing Knight to chop away. The chokebomb gives Moose a fast two and he steps on Knight’s head for the good old heel embarrassment. Knight slips out of a powerbomb and hits a superkick, only to dive into a release Rock Bottom. Moose slowly stomps away and adds some slaps, which fire Knight up for the running forearm. That’s fine with Moose, who LAUNCHES him over the top and we take a break.
Back with Knight getting in a shot to the knee and snapping off a super hurricanrana. Another kick to the face sends Moose outside, where another hurricanrana takes him down again. Knight’s springboard flip dive drops Moose again as the fans seem to be divided. Back in and Knight gets some rollups for two, followed by a Code Red for the same. Moose isn’t having that and hits a powerbomb into the spear for the pin at 14:11.
Rating: B. I got into this one by the end as Knight was fighting with everything he had against the powerhouse Moose. That is a match type that has worked for the better part of ever in wrestling and they had a good match here by playing with the same idea. Knight is someone who has impressed almost every time he is out there so put him out there a bit more often.
The Rascalz are ready to win the Tag Team Titles and get another step tonight. The Bullet Club comes in to accuse them of sending the Good Hands after them. Santino Marella comes in to make Good Hands vs. Bullet Club for next week.
Kon vs. Eric Young
Deaner is here with Kon. Young’s right hand in the corner doesn’t work to start as Kon drops him with a shot to the face. Kon sends him to the floor for a shot from Deaner, setting up a nerve hold back inside. Young fights up and hits a backdrop (with commentary implying is a big deal) into a Death Valley Driver for two. A spinebuster cuts him off and Kon loads up the chokeslam, only to have Young slip out. The piledriver is loaded up so Deaner comes in for the DQ at 4:47.
Rating: C. The more I see of the Design, the more obvious it is that they are not very good. Kon is a generic big man and Deaner is one of the worst master villains I can remember. Why these guys have been going on for so long is beyond me, but I’d assume we are heading for the big blowoff where Young defeats them for good. It can’t come soon enough, as this stuff isn’t working.
Post match the beatdown is on, including a DDT onto a chair.
We get a new music video on Joe Hendry and Yuya Uemura, who are now a team.
We get part two of the sitdown interview with Crazzy Steve, who was raised in an abusive home. His dad yelled at him a lot until one day he fought back and dealt with him. His mom had a lot of health issues but was his biggest fan. Then one day, after twelve years in the business, he got to Impact Wrestling. Three weeks before he signed though, his mother took her own life. So why talk about all this now? More on this later. I’d like to know myself so they’re doing this right.
Chris Sabin is ready to get his hands on Lio Rush at Emergence and then he’s coming for the X-Division Title. Samuray del Sol comes in to say he wants Rush too, but for now he has to settle for facing Sabin next week.
Bully Ray vs. Black Taurus
No DQ and Taurus runs him over a few times to start fast. Right hands in the corner send Bully outside so Taurus hits him with a slingshot dive. Bully gets in a shot of his own and we take a break. Back with Taurus unloading with a chair inside before sending Bully face first into a ladder in the corner. Taurus plants him again and hits a twisting senton for two. Another one is loaded up but only hits ladder, allowing Ray to steal the pin at 8:04.
Rating: C. The violence didn’t have a chance to get cranked up and the break in the middle of a match that wasn’t that long in the first place didn’t help things. The Ray vs. PCO showdown should be a heck of a spectacle, but this wasn’t exactly a great way to get me ready for it. Give it more time and less of a break and it could have been better, but this didn’t work so well.
Post match PCO is here so Bully puts him through a table…to no avail, sending Bully running.
Eddie Edwards is mad at Frankie Kazarian for hitting Eddie’s wife Alisha with a kendo stick last week. Frankie comes in to say it was an accident and a match seems to be made for next week, amid the pull apart that is.
Here’s what’s coming on various shows.
Tag Team Titles #1 Contenders Tournament Finals: Sami Callihan/Rich Swann vs. Rascalz
The Rascalz are sent outside in a hurry to start and Callihan hits Miguel with a Death Valley Driver onto the apron. Thanks to the power of modern wrestling, Miguel is back up in less than ten seconds for Swann’s big running flip dive. The Rascalz poke them in the eyes and hit stereo middle rope moonsaults to the floor.
We take a break and come back with Callihan being knocked to the floor so Swann can get double teamed with some rapid fire kicks. A kick to the chest gives Miguel two but Swann gets over to Callihan for the hot tag. The pace picks up but it’s a Codebreaker into a neckbreaker into a running shooting star press for two on Callihan. The catapult is countered into a piledriver to drive Miguel into Wentz in a rather unique spot.
Swann comes back in to pick it back up, with an ax kick into a side slam getting two on Miguel. The catapult/middle rope double stomp works on Swann and a 619 connects in the corner. Callihan is back up for the save and all four are down. Some knees to the head rock Miguel but Wentz makes a save of his own. The referee is distracted so it’s spray paint to Callihan’s eyes. Swann is sent outside and it’s Hot Fire Flame to finish Callihan at 14:02.
Rating: B-. I get that it’s their thing and all that jazz, but I’m rather sick of the spray paint ending. It’s been done to death and the Rascalz aren’t even the only people using it in wrestling at the moment. That being said, it was a heck of a match as the tag division continues to roll. The Rascalz getting the titles from Subculture wouldn’t be a shock and I could go for Swann and Callihan getting an early shot if the title change takes place.
Overall Rating: B. This was one of their stronger shows in a bit, with good action throughout and some stuff being set up for Emergence. It’s nice to see things getting back on track after a few weeks that weren’t as good as they had been coming in. Impact can be a heck of a treat when it’s on and they certainly were this week, so well done all around.
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