Thursday's Impact on AXS will see the aftermath from last Friday's Bound for Glory and kicks off with Impact World Champion Josh Alexander.
Alexander defeated Honor No More's Eddie Edwards to retain the title and he will likely have some thoughts for what's next in his championship reign.
Two bitter rivals will go to battle in a no DQ match as Killer Kelly takes on Tasha Steelz. Steelz beat Kelly by DQ in their first meeting and eliminated her from last Friday's Call Your Shot gauntlet match.
With a new champion in Frankie Kazarian, the X-Division will take center stage in a scramble match between Black Taurus, Trey Miguel, Yuya Uemura, Alex Zayne, Laredo Kid and Kenny King.
The Death Dollz (Taya Valkyrie, Rosemary & Jessicka) take on VXT's Deonna Purrazzo, Chelsea Green & Gisele Shaw while former Digital Media Champion Matt Cardona faces Bhupinder Gujjar.
The BTI pre-show will feature the Motor City Machine Guns against Shera & Raj Singh.
The Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) defeated Raj Singh & Shera
Fun preshow tag match here, with MCMG remaining a highlight of Impact every week.
A good portion of this match was Shera and Singh getting the heat on MCMG until Sabin was eventually able to get a hot tag and run wild. Shelley soon joined in and a series of double team moves were hit on Singh before Shera came in and attacked Sabin. MCMG hit a flatliner and dropkick combo on Singh before Sabin hit the Cradle Shock on Singh for the pinfall.
The live stream on Impact Insiders via YouTube experienced technical issues as they were using Re:Stream to broadcast the show, and it was not working as intended. There was a delay, preventing a live recap this week. The latest update indicated they were going to try alternative streaming software that would take about 20 minutes to setup up, and if that fails, they will upload the entire episode for free for everyone after the airing.
--Impact opened with a highlight video of Bound for Glory, including Bully Ray winning the Call Your Shot Gauntlet, Jordynne Grace retaining her title, and Josh Alexander defeating Eddie Edwards.
--Josh Alexander made his way down to the ring to open the show. The fans chanted for Alexander as he talked about the war he had with Eddie Edwards before calling Bully Ray down to the ring.
Bully Ray came out to explain why he didn’t stab Josh Alexander in the back like he did everyone else in his career. Ray claimed he was going to cash in the right way, face to face, this time. He didn’t want his legacy to be no one saying good things about him, and just once he was going to do the right thing. Ray promised to look him in the eye and announce it beforehand, and he wasn’t going to screw him like others have.
Steve Maclin stepped onto the ramp with a mic. Maclin said the only thing him and Josh Alexander can agree on is that he can’t be trustworthy. Maclin said Ray must have politicked to get into the Gauntlet, and that he was even more dangerous in the back than he was in the ring. The crowd responded with silence, so it seemed this talk of backstage politics really didn’t resonate.
Maclin did say he would be coming for Alexander face to face, and he beat several former world champions, so he wanted a shot. I don’t know why they would have Maclin lose on the Gauntlet if they wanted him to be a contender here.
Moose entered and told Maclin to sit this one out because he was standing in the presence of world champions. Moose said he modelled his career after Ray, and that Ray is a scumbag like him. Bobby Fish came out and confirmed that Moose was a scumbag for modelling his career after Bully Ray. Fish made a locker room politician reference, to utter silence.
Fish agreed that Bully Ray was a scumbag, but that he didn’t act like one when he decided to not call his shot. Fish said that while Bully Ray, Moose, and Maclin figured out what they wanted to do, he wanted to fight Josh Alexander tonight. Alexander agreed.
I don’t know how to feel about all this worked shoot stuff. I think the idea of Bully Ray not being trusted can be compelling without all the worked shoot stuff about backstage politics. His on-screen character is untrustworthy enough without all that Russoriffic stuff.
Killer Kelly defeated Tasha Steelz (w/ Savannah Evans) in a no DQ match
This match was a bit sloppy, but at least came full circle with that terrible finish from a few weeks ago.
Savannah Evans pulled Kelly to the floor and attacked her before the start of the match. This didn’t last long though, as Kelly send Steelz crashing into the middle turnbuckle and then the floor. Kelly tried to kick Steelz while on the apron, but Evans caught the kick and dropped Kelly face first on the apron.
Steelz headbutt Kelly, but Kelly sat up smiling after each blow. A chain was brought into the match, but Steelz drove Kelly backwards into the turnbuckle before hitting a pump kick before locking on the rings of Saturn. Kelly fought out with an Alabama Slam. Kelly brought a chair into the ring. Kelly hit a Death Valley driver for a 2-count.
Evans ran in at this point and held Kelly by the arms, but Kelly fought out. Steelz grabbed the chain and put it in Kelly’s mouth, but Kelly fought out and locked on the Killer Clutch with the chain on Steelz, bringing the bad DQ finish full circle.
-Johnny Swinger invited Dirty Dango to his dungeon. Eric Young’s minions (as they are wearing yellow sweaters) screamed that they were violence. Sami Callihan beat them up. Okay.
--Josh Alexander and Scott D’Amore talked about Bully Ray’s actions, and how Alexander should probably listen to Maclin and Moose, because Bully Ray only ever does what is in his own best interests. He warned Alexander to have his head on a swivel, looking over his shoulder constantly.
Trey Miguel defeated Alex Zayne, Laredo Kid, Kenny King, Black Taurus, & Yuya Uemura
Zayne and King were the last two in the ring after the opening attacks, but King chopping the back of Zayne hard, but it only made Zayne angry. Taurus speared Zayne on the floor. Soon thereafter there was a blockbuster by Kenny King on Alex Zayne and set off a chain of reverse DDTs on everyone in the ring at the same time. You need to see this spot to believe it.
King hit a huge spinebuster on Miguel for a 2-count as Laredo Kid broke it up. Taurus was hit by a hurricanrana Taurus, and rolled into a German suplex on Laredo Kid. That was amazing. Trey Miguel hit a page turner on Zayne for the 3-count. I don’t understand having Black Taurus win the matches he has in recent weeks and having him lose here, but Impact is going to be Impact.
--Frankie Kazarian and Mike Bailey complimented each other on their match from Bound for Glory. Trey Miguel walked up and indicated he wanted to challenge for the title given his win moments ago. Kazarian said he liked both men and that you never know what the future holds. Bailey and Miguel looked on confused.
VXT (Deonna Purrazzo & Chelsea Green) & Gisele Shaw defeated Death Dollz (Taya Valkyrie & Jessicka) & Rosemary
The psychology of this match was weird as there was no heat segment on the babyfaces, and constantly tagging in and out with little momentum for any of the wrestlers, but the action was pretty non-stop, so I give it a thumbs up.
Shaw wanted nothing to do with Jessicka and tagged out to Chelsea Green. Valkyrie and Jessicka double teamed Green in the corner, crushing Green with a meteora in the corner. Green basically stood up and tagged out to Purrazzo, so that was weird. Valkyrie and Rosemary took on Purrazzo, with Rosemary biting and choking Purrazzo on the ropes.
Purrazzo was able to rake the eyes of Valkyrie and tag out to Green, who hit a curb stomp into the bottom turnbuckle. Shaw hit a twisting suplex for a 2-count and tagged out to Purrazzo. Valkyrie shoved Purrazzo back to the corner and Shaw tagged in. Rosemary hit a capture suplex on Shaw. Shaw managed to hit a knee strike when Rosemary’s back was turned and scored the pinfall.
--Tommy Dreamer was backstage with Bully Ray, and Dreamer asked Ray to not make a fool of him for trusting him. Ray said that Dreamer got him his first shot in New York, and that he never made a fool of him then, and he won’t now. Dreamer then suggested they team up, and Ray agreed.
--Honor No More were backstage with Maria leading the conversation saying that when one member of the group succeeded, they all did. Taven indicated that he was upset that Rhino and Heath were getting a title shot next week, because they keep getting obstacles thrown in their way. Mike Bennett said that he was going to keep carrying the message of Honor No More until Eddie Edwards came back.
Matt Cardona defeated Bhupinder Gujjar
This was very bad, but not because of Matt Cardona. Gujjar missed several spots and simply forgot what to do several times. Cardona could be in line for an eventual main event heel run, but it seems there are others ahead of him, which is fine.
Gujjar hit a dropkick early on Cardona before taking him out at the knees and botching a slingshot… something? It became an elbow, but I’m not sure what it was going to be. Either way, that looked bad. Cardona hit a neckbreaker on Gujjar on the floor. Cardona hit a Rude awakening in the middle of the ring for a 2-count.
Gujjar hit a clothesline on Cardona and then a flying shoulder tackle. Gujjar did a ripcord knee strike but forgot to do the ripcord part, so Cardona just spun around with no pulling of his arm. Cardona hit the radio silence soon thereafter as Brian Myers joined Cardona in the ring to celebrate.
--Mickie James was with Gia Miller and talked about how she had a lot of women on the roster she wanted to face before challenging Jordynne Grace. VXT and Gisele Shaw came up to James and said that James should respect them because Green beat her. Looks like Chelsea Green vs. Mickie James would happen soon, but VXT said they were more concerned with getting their tag team gold back first.
--Bullet Club cut a promo about how Ace Austin and Chris Bey would face Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer next week.
Josh Alexander defeated Bobby Fish to retain the Impact World Championship
This match was awesome. Josh Alexander is fantastic, and Bobby Fish is tailor made to wrestle someone like him. This was a great main event to the show.
Fish and Alexander went right after it, wasting no time in their match tonight. Alexander went for a crossbody to the floor on Fish, who ducked and then took the legs out of Alexander on the apron. Fish did a dragon screw that sent Alexander crashing into the ramp while targeting the leg.
Fish attacked Alexander in the corner, but Alexander kept the fight going. This was very hard hitting and really great. Alexander hit a lariat on Fish after catching a kick. Alexander dropped Fish with a straight right before throwing him across the ring. Alexander went for the C4 Spike, but Fish fought out, hit a head kick, and then a Saito suplex for a 2-count.
Alexander got dumped to the floor after an ankle lock attempt. Fish cut Alexander off as he went to the top rope, kicking the knee out from under him. Alexander shoved Fish off the top rope before hitting a moonsault on Fish, but as Fish kicked out, Alexander grabbed the ankle and locked one on. Fish locked on a triangle choke, and Alexander turned it into a powerbomb backbreaker before hitting the C4 spike for the pinfall. Fantastic match.
--Frankie Kazarian came down to the ring and congratulated Alexander on his win against Fish and Edwards at Bound for Glory. Kazarian then vacated his X-Division title to cash in for a title shot down the line, exercising option C.
Well, that renders Mike Bailey’s run meaningless. I am not a fan option C, as it can often bury the X-division title, making it only useful as a cash in opportunity, and thus making everyone else that holds it without cashing in look stupid. The title itself isn’t desirable outside of being able to cash it in, and that makes the whole X-division look weak. Impact really can’t help themselves sometimes.
As I said in the recap as well, I am not a fan of this worked shoot nonsense that doesn’t get over anyway. We don’t need to hear about Bully Ray pulling backstage politics, because his character is slimy enough. Saying he was more dangerous backstage the way Maclin implied makes it seem like he was saying “What happens in the ring is fake, and what is backstage is the real story” which is not something you’d ever hear on a movie set.
You’d never see something like that in a movie or TV show. The occasional *wink wink* insider reference is fine, but building storylines from that never works, and it got near utter silence here. The stuff about his character being untrustworthy got some reaction though, so that is what you should run with.