Thursday's Impact on AXS TV will be headlined by X-Division Champion "Speedball" Mike Bailey against the debuting Alan Angels, formerly of AEW.
This is Angels' first match since his AEW contract expired with the storyline being that he accepted Bailey's open challenge for the title.
This week's show is the follow-up to last Friday's Against All Odds and will begin the road to next month's Emergence.
In a no. 1 contender's match for a shot at Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace, former champion Deonna Purrazzo takes on Mia Yim.
Trey Miguel and Laredo Kid will look to rebound from losses last Friday when they go on-on-one while PCO takes on Black Taurus.
The BTI pre-show will see Gisele Shaw take on Alisha.
Following a recap of last Friday's Against All Odds, we got right into action with the eagerly anticipated X-Division title match that leaked on Saturday during the TV tapings.
X-Division Champion "Speedball" Mike Bailey defeated Alan Angels to retain the title
While referencing Angels being formerly of AEW and Dark Order, they didn't reference Bailey's open challenge and why Angels was getting a title shot on his first night in.
Bailey's rapid fire kicks are always impressive and tonight was no different, sending Angels to the outside followed by a moonsault. Angels worked as a slight heel and hit a frog splash on the outside of the ring to Bailey's back to get the advantage.
This was a very competitive match with Bailey landing a kick off an Angels jump off the top and a Angels spanish fly counter later in the match standing out.
Angels nearly got the win off a Halo Breaker, but Bailey kicked out. Bailey counter a Wing Snapper with an innovative pin attempt for two. A flurry of counters followed, including a Wing Snapper, but Angels missed a frog splash inside the ring. Bailey hit a spinning kick into the Ultimate Weapon (450 splash/knees into the back) to retain the title.
This was really entertaining. Angels made a great accounting for himself and would be a nice fit in the company's plans.
VBD attack & promo
After the match, Violent by Design's Doering and Deaner attacked both men and laid them out. The reason? Doering is pissed after losing to Impact World Champion Josh Alexander at Against All Odds.
Deaner called out Alexander and instead, Eric Young emerged in his first appearance since losing to Alexander at Slammiversary. He wasn't happy and admonished Deaner and Doering for what has been happening. He said "the sickness" has taken hold of both of them and that they were better than the fans.
He suggested he might purge them both before Deaner apologized and begged for another chance for both of them. Young said that from here on out, "this world belongs to me" and gave them that chance before walking away on his own.
- The unidentified Honor No More (namebar, anyone?) were backstage saying they weren't the problem, but Impact was the problem. Mike Bennett and Kenny King were heard from. Maria said there could be no setbacks and Eddie Edwards then said PCO has some tough decisions to make. Before he could talk, Edwards said they need to see it in the ring.
Why is this angle still going on?
- Deonna Purrazzo, alongside Chelsea Green, hyped up tonight's no. 1 contender's match between Purrazzo and Mia Yim. Gail Kim walked in, congratulated them on their win against Against All Odds, and told Green she will face Mickie James next week with everyone barred from ringside then and tonight as well.
Trey Miguel defeated Laredo Kid
Miguel is coming off a loss to Bailey against Against all Odds while Kid took an L against Black Taurus at the pre-show.
The story of the match was Miguel working through an injured left leg suffered against Bailey. He was limited in what he could do, but still managed to hit a rope-assisted moonsault before the break.
Kid nearly got the win off a Michinoku driver as Miguel failed on a springboard due to the leg injury. Miguel got the win off a Cross Rhodes counter.
This was a fine match as both are extremely talented. However, both guys have been around Impact for a while and need something interesting in the next few months.
- The co-promotion for Ric Flair's Last Match began as they will take a look back at various Flair/Impact moments. This week, we go back to January 4th, 2010 (my birthday!) during the infamous live Impact that went head-to-head with WWE Raw. Flair showed up in a limo. He interrupted the Kurt Angle/AJ Styles World title match...and that was it.
- Deaner and Doering were rampaging backstage looking for Alexander. They ran into Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley randomly and the two teams got into a brawl. Alexander appeared, as did security. Good thing they are always close by.
- An interesting vignette for Killer Kelly aired. She is coming soon to Impact:
- James Storm & Chris Harris (America's Most Wanted) were backstage and talked about their match at Against All Odds. Chris Harris indicated it might be their last ride while Storm said he has some unfinished business. Cameras then followed him into Steve Maclin's locker room, looking for Moose. Maclin thought last Friday it was his retirement match while Storm said he was in his prime, challenging him for a match next week.
PCO (w/ Vincent) defeated Black Taurus (w/ Crazzy Steve)
Discussed earlier, PCO was trying to prove to Honor No More that he is still behind whatever agenda they are pushing. Taurus is in that same position as Laredo Kid in that he's been in Impact a while and needs something.
PCO hit a pair of clotheslines over the top to both sides of the ring, punctuating it with a cannonball tope through the middle rope. He then hit a Deanimator to Taurus off the top rope while Taurus' head was under the bottom rope.
Taurus got back into this with a pair of sling blades, followed by an elbow drop. He was selling an injured arm and couldn't immediately get the pin though. He missed a twisting moonsault and PCO took advantage, hitting a reverse DDT and a slightly awkward PCOsault for the pin and win.
Honor No More all came out to congratulate him. They were intimidating Crazzy Steve and then Heath ran out from the crowd, took out King, and ran away. He is looking for revenge as HNM took out Rhino weeks ago.
- The Good Brothers, Chris Bey and Ace Austin were backstage and made fun of Honor No More. Austin said he was starving for action and the other guys decided they wanted to take on HNM next week after all.
- Digital Media Champion Brian Myers was walking backstage and came upon Johnny Swinger and Zicky Dice. They exchanged words before he encountered Bhupinder Gujjar who wanted the title. A frustrated Myers suggested Gujjar take on Swinger next week with the winner getting a shot at the title.
Rich Swann defeated Shera (w/ Raj Singh)
Before the match, an Against All Odds backstage confrontation between Shera and Swann was shown.
Swann hit a 619 on Shera and then took out Singh at ringside. Swann delivered a slew of kicks inside that finally took Singh out before hitting the 450 splash for the win.
Remember when Swann was Impact World Champion, lost the title to AEW World Champion Kenny Omega in a title vs. title match, never got a rematch, and was taken out of the World title picture altogether? Me too.
- The Influence's Tenille Dashwood and Madison Rayne weren't happy with Gisele Shaw about her effort last Friday at Against All Odds and for apparently doing something to elicit a death threat from Masha Slamovich, delivered via a picture with a red X on it.
- Taya Valkyrie was trying to calm down an upset Rosemary about Against All Odds. Rosemary felt like they were outnumbered and said they had to go to the undead realm for help. Valkyrie wanted to come and Rosemary tried to talk her out of it. Rosemary eventually agreed and said next week, "they find Havok."
Mia Yim defeated Deonna Purrazzo to earn a Knockouts title match at Emergence
These two were both part of the Queen of the Mountain match at Slammiversary and even had some issues before that. Purrazzo is looking for her opportunity to win a third Knockouts title while Yim wants to win her second.
This was their first Impact encounter, but they have squared off several times in the past during their tenures in WWE NXT and indies. This one got about 15 minutes or so, going through one commercial break.
Yim was rolling early, hitting a tope dive on the outside followed by some near falls back on the inside. Purrazzo regained the advantage and slowed down the pace, focusing on Yim's left arm for her submission finisher.
This was competitive in the last half with both pulling out all the stops. Yim hit a Code Blue for a near fall, both exchanged chops, biels into knees, and a Purrazzo Queen's Gambit that got two.
Yim hit a power bomb and her own package piledriver for two that the crowd thought was three. They both exchanged punches before Kim unleashed kicks, punches, another package piledriver and Eat Da Feet for the pin and win.
This was good, especially at the end, helped by their experience with each other and experience level in general.
Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace came out after the match and shook Kim's hand in a sign of respect. They will square off at next month's Emergence.
- Violent By Design vs. Impact World Champion Josh Alexander & Motor City Machine Guns
- Chelsea Green vs. Mickie James
- James Storm vs. Steve Maclin
- Masha Slamovich vs. Tenille Dashwood
- Honor No More vs. Bullet Club eight-man tag match