Thursday's Impact Wrestling will see an Impact Tag Team title match, an X-Division title match, a big announcement from former Knockouts Champion Mickie James, and a no. 1 contender's match for current Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace.
The Good Brothers will defend the titles against Honor No More's Mike Bennett & Matt Taven (aka The OGK) in an opportunity earned at Emergence. Maria Kanellis will not be allowed at ringside with The OGK after Karl Anderson defeated Bennett in singles action.
X-Division Champion "Speedball" Mike Bailey will defend against former titleholder Kenny King of Honor No More.
James will make an announcement about her future. She has been out of action for some time and has teased an in-ring retirement recently.
Former Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo will face the surging Masha Slamovich with a shot at the Knockouts title on the line.
Mascara Dorada (the former Gran Metalik in WWE) will make his Impact debut taking on indie standout Alex Zayne.
The BTI pre-show will see Bullet Club's Ace Austin & Chris Bey against JD Griffey & Exodus
The OGK (Mike Bennett & Matt Taven) defeated The Good Brothers to win the Impact Tag Team titles
Have mercy; this was boring.
This match opened with a brawl that left the Good Brothers in control. Gallows and Anderson then worked in tandem to isolate Bennett momentarily.
Taven took advantage for his team after receiving the tag, a change in momentum that Bennett helped to maintain with dirty offense. While working together, Honor No More beat down Anderson, eventually leading to a hot tag.
Gallows took out both of his opponents with power moves, setting up Taven for the Magic Killer. Bennett interrupted the move, but the Good Brothers held on to their momentum. It took Bennett throwing Gallows into the stairs and interpreting Anderson on the top rope to shift impetus. Once Gallows was neutralized, Honor No More hit Anderson with the Proton Pack to win the match and take the belts.
X-Division Champion Mike Bailey defeated Kenny King to retain
This was fine, extremely overbooked, but fine.
King took an early lead with well-timed strikes. A sudden rana from Bailey opened a door for King, but King rolled to the floor to slow any kind of Bailey advance. On the outside, King and Bailey went toe-to-toe, with King eventually winning out with an exploder suplex to the apron leading into a commercial break.
After the break concluded, King was still in control. Bailey answered King with a kick to the midsection, which he followed with a sequence of kicks. The referee got in the middle of the action, leading him being knocked down. King took advantage, landing a low blow. King landed a head kick just in time for a replacement referee to make the count; Bailey kicked out.
Bailey began to retake control. He attempted a sunset flip from the apron, but King sat down, turning the move into a pin. Maria Kanellis held onto King, leading to the three count.
After King was the presumed winner and new champion, it was revealed that the original referee noticed Kanellis's interference. He restarted the match and banned Honor No More from ringside.
Bailey hit King with a dive to the floor to start the restart. King landed a kick to the midsection, setting up for the Royal Flush. King hoisted Bailey onto his shoulders, but Bailey reversed, turning the move into a pin. Even after all the chicanery, Bailey retained his title.
Aussie Open interview
Aussie Open had a backstage interview, promising to show the strength of United Empire.
During the interview, shouting could be heard in the background. Once the interview concluded, the camera followed the sound. Steve Maclin and Moose were having a loud conversation relating to the upcoming Barbed Wire Massacre. Moose refused to answer any questions for the camera.
Mickie James promo
Mickie James started her in-ring promo by thanking the fans and Impact staff. She talked about the death of her sister, followed by her WWE release. James said the fans helped her make it through the hard times and doubt.
James moved on, covering the plot points of her most recent Impact run. After months of soul-searching away from the ring, James was overwhelmed with doubt. Even though she was unsure of her ability compared to the competition, she declared she would find out instead of giving up.
Mickie James announced an open challenge, a path for her to earn an Impact Knockouts championship match. James announced if she lost any match on her way to the championship match, or the championship match itself, she would retire.
This was a wonderful, emotional promo.
Josh Alexander Interview
Alexander opened his interview with kind words regarding Mickie James.
He moved on to Eddie Edwards, his next title challenger. Other than mentioning this would be a first-time encounter, not much was said. Instead, attention was paid to the Honor No More vs. Impact war. As Honor No More claims more and more Impact gold, tensions are only rising.
Edwards walked in on the promo but didn't jump Alexander, instead opting for a conversation. Edwards tried converting Alexander to the Honor No More way.
Before Edwards could complete his pitch, Heath jumped Edwards. Tommy Dreamer and D'Lo Brown pulled Heath off, leading into a commercial break.
After the commercial break, Scott D’Amore was calming Heath down while entertaining his hatred of Honor No More. He promised Heath a match with Eddie.
Heath found Alexander in the hall and apologized to him.
Mascara Dorada defeated Alex Zayne
Besides some impressive acrobatics, this was fairly mundane.
Before the match began, commentary mentioned that the winner would be first in line for an X-Division championship match.
Zayne and the debuting Dorada opened with a back-and-forth grappling sequence. The action spilled to the floor, where Zayne gained an early advantage. Zayne slowed the pace, connecting with drops and deliberate dives to cement his lead into the commercial break.
Once the break concluded, Dorada landed a crossbody and a pair of lariats to put Zayne on the backfoot. Zayne rolled to the floor, where Dorada landed an incredible senton from the middle of the top rope. Another dive left Dorada with a near fall.
Zayne connected with an elbow to daze Dorada. A top rope rana led into the Baja Blast; Dorada kicked out. Zayne then climbed to the top, but Dorada avoided the 450° and answered with a DDT. Dorada followed with a Dorada driver, leading to the win and securing a future match for Mike Bailey's X-Division championship.
Mickie James and Jordynne Grace backstage
Knockouts champion Jordynne Grace met Mickie James in the back, where they had a short conversation. Grace said she was excited James wasn't retiring and would be waiting for her eventual challenge.
Masha Slamovich defeated Deonna Purrazzo to earn a Knockouts title match
This match was almost good, but not something I would go out of my way to see. Masha is a very talented wrestler, but the mindless interference did nothing to help her.
The opening collar-and-elbow fell apart as Masha grabbed a hand of hair, and Purrazzo fired back with a rana. Masha didn't let Purrazzo gain a footing as she slammed Purrazzo to the floor with three hair-aided slams.
Purrazzo rolled to the floor where Chelsea Green, who accompanied her to the ring, offered her support. Masha challenged Green, buying Purrazzo enough time to catch a distracted Masha leading into the commercial break.
Once the break ended, Purrazzo had complete control on the mat. Purrazzo tried for a suplex, but Masha blocked it. Masha fought back into the match, landing a kick to the head after a backslide attempt. Masha landed a spin kick for a near fall.
Purrazzo and Masha traded strikes on the mat. Masha turned to headbutts to win the exchange but couldn't follow up. Purrazzo blocked the snowplow with a Russian leg sweep and an armbar. Masha found the ropes to break the hold. Purrazzo then slammed Masha into the corner post before landing three beautiful German suplexes.
Masha blocked Purrazzo's attempt to close, turning it into an air-raid crash into the corner for a near fall. Masha tried again for the snowplow, but Green provided a distraction on the apron. Purrazzo used the distraction to catch Masha with a Queen's Gambit; Masha kicked out.
Masha blocked an armbar and booted Green off of the apron. Masha then landed a snowplow and pinned Purrazzo to earn her title match at Bound For Glory.
Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace met Masha in the ring after the match. Grace presented Masha with a picture of herself with a large "X" painted over it.
This show was a drag. Other than the James promo, nothing about this show was remotely memorable. Bound For Glory is over a month away, so there isn't a need for urgency per se, but I can't imagine a new viewer sticking around after a show like this.
- Yuya Uemura debuts
- Aussie Open vs. Bullet Club's Chris Bey & Ace Austin
- Chelsea Green vs. Taya Valkyrie
- Eddie Edwards vs. Heath