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Impact recap: Mickie James wins return match before being ambushed

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Impact Wrestling (Oct. 21, 2021) featured the Bullet Club in a screwy #1 contender finish, Mickie James returning to the Impact Zone ring, and one final showdown between Christian Cage and Josh Alexander on the go-home show to Bound for Glory.

Mickie James has a chance to place the cherry on top of her career sundae by winning the Knockouts Championship from Deonna Purrazzo at Bound for Glory on October 23. First things first though. James had to step into the Impact Zone ring for the first time in six years to fulfill her half of the Pick Your Poison challenge. Purrazzo passed by defeating James’ choice of Masha Slamovich a few weeks back at Knockouts Knockdown. James was up on Impact Wrestling to compete against powerhouse Savannah Evans.

At a pivotal point, James was on a roll with a flying double knees. That’s when Purrazzo decided to make her presence known with a full musical entrance. Evans made use of the distraction to smash with a full nelson slam. James regrouped to rally with two head kicks and a DDT to earn the victory. It was a tough outing, but James proved she still has the skills to win the Knockouts top prize.

Part of the story between James and Purrazzo was a no-contact clause leading to their PPV fight. That came about after Purrazzo visited James’ horse farm for cinematic brawl. After James’ win, Purrazzo sauntered to the ring to provoke James with a poke. It was all a ruse for the Drama King to attack from behind with a clothesline. Purrazzo grabbed James’ head to gab trash talk, but I’m not sure James was conscious enough to comprehend.

Backstage, Scott D’Amore wasn’t taking Purrazzo’s scheme lightly. He blew his stack over Purrazzo violating his decree with cheap antics. D’Amore threatened to strip Purrazzo of the title, but he preferred to see her lose it in an ass-kicking from James at Bound for Glory. D’Amore also added for good measure that he will suspend Purrazzo and the Drama King forever if he gets involved at the PPV.

Let’s rocket through the rest of the show from beginning to end.

#1 contender: Bullet Club vs. FinJuice fluky finish. (Full details.) The referee took a bump. The backup referee came out to continue the match. In the end, there was a double roll-up. Juice Robinson pinned Hikuleo as the legal men, and Chris Bey pinned David Finlay on the side. The issue was that both referees counted both pins at the same time. The revived ref assumed Bey and Finlay were still the legal men and was adamant that his call was correct. No official winner was declared, and the argument was taken backstage. Scott D’Amore eventually dictated that the tag title match would now be a three-way with the Good Brothers defending the gold at Bound for Glory.

Tenille Dashwood & John Skyler defeated Jordynne Grace & Fallah Bahh and Chelsea Green & Crazzy Steve in a triple threat. This tag match hyped the six finalists for the Impact Digital Media Championship. That bout will be contested on the Bound for Glory pre-show. Skyler shoved Bahh off the turnbuckles. Steve hit a DDT on Bahh, but Skyler pulled Steve out of the ring. Dashwood pounced for the Spotlight dropkick for victory.

Rhino’s silence. (Full details.) Rhino was set to address the Impact Zone about his choice between being best friends with Heath or rejoining Violent by Design. Before Rhino could speak, Heath interrupted. Heath tried to break through and even caused Rhino to crack a smile at being Uncle Rhino to Heath’s kids. Eric Young and VBD came in to sway Rhino back their way. Deaner attacked Heath. Rhino stepped in to remove Deaner, then Rhino exited the ring leaving Heath outnumbered for a beating. The mystery still remains whether or not Rhino will show up as Heath’s tag partner against VBD at Bound for Glory.

Minoru Suzuki will be in Impact soon.

Brian Myers was livid about recent losses, so he cut Manny Lemons and Sam Beale from the Learning Tree lessons.

Barrister R.D. Evans represented the IInspiration in their contract signing for the Knockouts tag title match against champs Rosemary & Havok. Rosemary wanted to sign the contract in blood, but she acquiesced to use a pen.

Trey Miguel defeated Alex Zayne. Trey rallied with a Meteora double knees for victory. Afterward, Steve Maclin attacked to make a statement about the X-Division Championship bout at Bound for Glory. El Phantasmo came in flanked by the Bullet Club to beat up both Maclin and Trey.

World title chit-chat. The main event segment was a final promo exchange between Josh Alexander and Christian Cage. Christian doubted the challenger’s ability to control his emotions when under pressure. Alexander lost his cool once again and shot for a takedown. Security failed at separating the two, so the locker room emptied for assistance.


Impact continues to befuddle me a bit with the main event feud. Josh Alexander was built up as a great babyface option to become the face of Impact. The profile piece about his rise in the industry and hardships suffered during his career was very good at creating a rooting interest in the challenger for Christian Cage’s Impact World Championship at Bound for Glory. This video is worth taking the time to watch.

However, Impact muddied the water by having Alexander lash out at harmless ribbing last week. This week, Alexander went low for a cheap shot double leg all because he can’t control his emotion. It makes Alexander look soft and gives credence to Christian’s talking points about cracking under pressure. That puts me in a difficult position as a fan. I want to root for the real person in Alexander, but the Alexander character is turning me off.

Hopefully it will all become clear after Bound for Glory. Maybe Alexander loses and still has more work to do in rising to the top. Perhaps Alexander swerves for a cheating win to go full heel. There are options for his behavior to make sense.

The current Bound for Glory lineup for October 23 includes:

  • Impact World Championship: Christian Cage (c) vs. Josh Alexander
  • Knockouts Championship: Deonna Purrazzo (c) vs. Mickie James
  • X-Division Championship: Trey Miguel vs. Steve Maclin vs. El Phantasmo
  • Impact World Tag Team Championship: Good Brothers (c) vs. FinJuice vs. Bullet Club
  • Knockouts Tag Team Championship: Rosemary & Havok (c) vs. IInspiration
  • Call Your Shot Gauntlet: Chris Sabin at #1, W. Morrissey at #20, Rich Swann, Brian Myers, Moose, and more to be announced
  • Violent by Design vs. Heath & Rhino(?)
  • Impact Digital Media Championship: John Skyer vs. Crazzy Steve vs. Fallah Bahh vs. Jordynne Grace vs. Chelsea Green vs. Tenille Dashwood
  • Awesome Kong inducted into Impact Hall of Fame by Gail Kim

Bound for Glory airs on PPV and Fite TV at 10 pm ET on Saturday, October 23. The inaugural digital title match and the Hall of Fame ceremony are scheduled for the pre-show kicking off at 9:30 pm ET.

Share your thoughts on Impact Wrestling. What was your favorite match? Who stole the show?