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Impact recap & reactions (July 13, 2023): Knockouts melee on go-home to Slammiversary

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Slammiversary is here Saturday night, July 15. Thursday night’s program of Impact Wrestling (July 13, 2023) acted as the go-home with final touches on Nick Aldis challenging Alex Shelley, a Knockouts melee ending with Deonna Purrazzo and Trinity erupting in fisticuffs, a tease for Scott D’Amore’s mystery partner, and more.

The Slammiversary card includes:

  • Impact World Championship: Alex Shelley (c) vs. Nick Aldis
  • Knockouts World Championship: Deonna Purrazzo (c) vs. Trinity
  • Bully Ray & Deaner vs. Scott D’Amore & mystery partner with special enforcer Darren McCarty
  • Impact World Tag Team Championship: Ace Austin & Chris Bey (c) vs. Moose & Brian Myers vs. Rich Swann & Sami Callihan vs. Subculture
  • X-Division Championship: Chris Sabin (c) vs. Lio Rush
  • Ultimate X: “Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Jonathan Gresham vs. Kushida vs. Kevin Knight vs. Alan Angels (winner earns an X-Division title shot)
  • Frankie Kazarian (with Traci Brooks) vs. Eddie Edwards (with Alisha Edwards)
  • Knockouts World Tag Team Championship: Taylor Wilde & KiLynn King (c) vs. Masha Slamovich & Killer Kelly
  • Impact Digital Media Championship: Joe Hendry (c) vs. Kenny King on the pre-show
  • Courtney Rush, Jessicka, & Jody Threat vs. Gisele Shaw, Savannah Evans, & Jai Vidal on the pre-show

The Slammiversary PPV will be available for streaming through Fite TV and other PPV outlets.

Alex Shelley is ready to defend the Impact World Championship against Nick Aldis. Shelley never quit on his dream, and he f—king did it. The world title is proof. Shelley changed things in wrestling the way he wanted them done, and the next generation followed his lead.

When Impact reached out for Aldis to return, he made it clear that his intention was to go after the world title. Impact had no issues with that. Aldis is a proven world champion, and it’s only natural that Impact would want him in the mix. Aldis respects Shelley for past tutelage, but Shelley isn’t special. Aldis believes Impact wants the National Treasure to be their world champion. The pressure is on Shelley to prove he is not a transitional champion. Beating Aldis will legitimize Shelley’s run with the title.

Both of those interview packages are well done, and I recommend watching them if you are interesting in this match. Shelley is portrayed as the underdog hero. Even though Aldis is the cocky heel, he does have some solid points about the Motor City Machine Guns rewriting history from their perspective.

Deonna Purrazzo and Trinity will clash for the Knockouts Championship. They have been friendly over the past months leading to this showdown, but tensions are rising as they get closer to combat. Purrazzo wrestled in the TV main event to prove why she is the queen. An open challenge was answered by Jody Threat (full match). Threat had momentum down the stretch, but Purrazzo countered an F5 into an armbar. The Virtuosa transitioned to the Venus de Milo double armbar for victory.

Chaos broke loose in the aftermath. Gisele Shaw, Savannah Evans, and Jai Vidal ran in to thump Purrazzo and Threat. The Death Dollz ran in to smash the heels. The Coven swung the advantage back to evil. Masha Slamovich and Killer Kelly came after the witches. It was a donnybrook wrapping all the Knockouts feuds together. Last on the list was Trinity, who cleaned house. The scene ended with Trinity and Purrazzo bumping back to back. Both reached down to pick up the Knockouts belt. Purrazzo cracked Trinity with a punch, and the the fight was on. Security broke it up as the show closed.

Bully Ray needed a new partner after Steve Maclin suffered an injury. Deaner volunteered. He has had beef with D’Amore ever since arriving in Impact. Deaner claimed that D’Amore always viewed him as a Jeff Jarrett guy and negatively impacted his career over the years. Bully accepted Deaner as his partner. It turned out that D’Amore needs a new partner as well after PCO was lit on fire by Bully and Maclin. Impact aired a post-credits scene teasing the mystery person with hints of death and Team Canada. (Full details here.)

Ace Austin & Chris Bey are defending the Impact World Tag Team Championship in a four-way against Moose & Brian Myers, Rich Swann & Sami Callihan, and Subculture. The Rascalz tried to get in on the action. Zachary Wentz cheated with a foreign object to beat Bey on a headlock DDT. The Rascalz were under the assumption that the singles win earned them passage to the Slammiversary match, but Director of Authority Santino Marella put the kibosh on that. Santino never agreed to such. (Full details here.)

Moose wanted to work on his chemistry with Myers, so they wrestled Swann & Callihan. Myers distracted the referee for Moose to hit a low blow on Callihan. Moose speared the Death Machine to win.

Subculture had a promo about winning the title for the people that don’t fit in.

Nine-time X-Division champion Chris Sabin will defend the gold against Lio Rush. This is the match I’m looking forward to most at Slammiversary. The pace should be blazing. Rush delivered a promo to hype the bout. He doesn’t give a damn about Sabin’s success. The Bad Child is in Impact to build his own brand by winning championships.

Sabin responded about how Rush cut the line to a title shot, but Rush will be humbled when Sabin still holds the gold.

“Speedball” Mike Bailey, Jonathan Gresham, Kushida, Kevin Knight, and Alan Angels are competing in the Ultimate X spectacle to earn an X-Division title shot. Bailey and Knight had a preview of sorts by meeting for a singles contest (full match). The action was fire, and Bailey pulled out the win with his whirlwind kick and Ultima Weapon knee drop.

Alan Angels showed a new side to his character by splitting away from the Design. He is going to spread his wings as a celestial to win Ultimate X.

The feud between Frankie Kazarian and Eddie Edwards wasn’t addressed on this episode. They share a bond as former students of Killer Kowalski but realized they make better enemies than friends. When Alisha Edwards interfered to help Eddie beat Kaz last week, Kaz decided to bring in Traci Brooks to watch his back at Slammiversary.

Masha Slamovich and Killer Kelly have bonded over violence, and they are coming for the Coven to win the Knockouts tag championship. Impact aired a very sleek promo video that is worth watching for the style. Masha and Kelly are bound by circumstance and united with the purpose of winning the titles.

Joe Hendry is defending the Impact Digital Media Championship against Kenny King on the pre-show. Hendry created a music video mocking King’s past as a stripper. That came into play when Hendry & Yuya Uemura defeated King & Sheldon Jean. King wrestled wearing a shirt to cover his torso. When Hendry set up a powerbomb, King wriggled free but lost his shirt. King had a traumatic flashback to his stripper days and ran away backstage. Jean was all alone and ate a Standing Ovation slam from Hendry to finish the match.

The other pre-show match was set up through social media video. Courtney Rush, Jessicka, & Jody Threat are booked to wrestle Gisele Shaw, Savannah Evans, & Jai Vidal. Shaw mocked Threat’s fashion sense. Threat doesn’t like bullies, so she stepped up with the Death Dollz for a fight.

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