Impact’s Under Siege event (May 15, 2021) featured Moose becoming #1 contender for the Impact World Championship, Kenny Omega’s squad going down in defeat, W. Morrissey setting up a feud with Rich Swann, and three championship bouts that rocked the house.
Line them up, and Deonna Purrazzo will knock them down. She continued to prove herself as the class of the women’s division against her latest challenger for the Knockouts Championship. This test was the powerhouse known as Havok. Despite being thrown around the ring, Purrazzo stayed focused to work the arm and earn the submission win.
Kimber Lee and Susan were ringside. Purrazzo charged with a pump kick at the opening bell. Havok ate the contact and laughed it off. Purrazzo unloaded a second pump kick then clotheslined Havok into the corner. Havok reversed an Irish whip to send Purrazzo slamming into the turnbuckles. Havok proceeded to toss Purrazzo around the ring. Lee dragged the champ out, so she could regroup from the mauling attack.
Purrazzo went to work targeting Havok’s arm. The damage prevented Havok from executing power moves with full force. Havok was still able to plant Purrazzo with a two-handed chokeslam. Havok attempted to get in the submission game with a Boston crab. She sat down deep, but Purrazzo was able to reach the ropes.
When Havok worked for a superplex, Lee and Susan hopped onto the apron as distractions. Purrazzo took flight for a crossbody, however, Havok caught her. Purrazzo escaped to score a takedown and transitioned to an armbar. Havok quickly got free then blasted Purrazzo with a huge knee. Purrazzo dodged a corner attack. She snatched Havok’s arm and ran up the turnbuckles creating momentum for a takedown into a Fujiwara armbar. Purrazzo coerced the tap to retain her title.
That was a nifty giant killer match. Even though the babyface alignment was reversed, it is hard not to appreciate Purrazzo using her skill to prevail. Utilizing the turnbuckles as an angle for the takedown was a genius stroke of strategy.
Impact has done a good job of keeping Purrazzo’s schedule fresh. Just when it looked like she cleaned out the division, Taylor Wilde and Rachael Ellering were brought in. There is also the possibility of new signings for Slammiversary when former WWE talent becomes available. Purrazzo’s title run has been excellent, and the future looks bright for intriguing matchups.
Josh Alexander showed the heart of a champion to retain the X-Division Championship. El Phantasmo, from NJPW’s Bullet Club, entered Impact with a lofty reputation. He backed that up to quickly earn an opportunity for gold. Alexander met the challenge head-on to prove he is a master of Canadian Strong Style.
A key moment occurred early when Alexander accidentally chopped the ring post as Phantasmo ducked. ELP went to work on the tender hand. The damage affected Alexander throughout for the rest of the bout. Whenever Alexander hooked the ankle lock, he had trouble keeping a tight grip due to his injured hand.
Both men countered key moves down the wire. ELP set up the double hammerlock slam, but Alexander escaped for a double underhook. Phantasmo countered into a back body drop pin. Alexander powered out with the double underhooks still intact. Phantasmo dropped low for a roll-over into a jackknife pin. Alexander kicked out then transitioned into an ankle lock. ELP frantically landed upkicks to Alexander’s face, so the champ picked ELP up for a powerbomb backbreaker across his knee. Alexander pounced for another ankle lock while stomping Phantasmo’s lower back. Alexander used a grapevine to keep control, so he could adjust his grip to tighten the pain. Phantasmo was forced to tap out.
Great match from both men. Alexander showed variety and smart strategy in his plan of attack. The little touches about changing his grip on the ankle lock were nice bits of storytelling. Phantasmo wowed with unique maneuvers, such as an airplane spin neckbreaker. It sounds like ELP is heading back to Japan, but I’m definitely interested in seeing Phantasmo compete again in Impact.
Knockouts Tag Team Championship
Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz of Fire ‘n’ Flava are back on top of the Knockouts tag team division. They regained the titles by defeating Jordynne Grace and Rachael Ellering.
The power advantage was on full display early as Grace and Ellering ran roughshod over Fire ‘n’ Flava. Hogan and Steelz used their speed and tag team tactics to cut off the ring and focus on breaking down Ellering. She eventually broke free for the hot tag to Grace, who ran wild all over Fire ‘n’ Flava. The match broke down with big moves leaving all four women on the mat in a dazed state.
Fire ‘n’ Flava thrive in chaos, and that’s where they turned the tide toward victory. Hogan connected on a Sliced Bread to Ellering on the floor.
Steelz headbutt Grace off the turnbuckles then landed a frog splash to pin her clean.
Fire ‘n’ Flava are one of the best tag teams in the game today. They work as a true team. I enjoy how they are always in position to cover each other’s back by breaking pinfalls or interfering to prevent finishing maneuvers. They deserve this win and the gold that comes with it.
I’m pretty sure this event was taped before Grace re-signed with Impact, so this result was her giving the rub on her way out. Now that Grace will be back, there definitely needs to be a rubber match. I also hope the non-factor story gets explored with Grace. Fire ‘n’ Flava had dismissed Grace as a threat, and that proved to be correct with Grace taking the pin.
Let’s jam through the rest of Under Siege.
World title #1 contender: Moose defeated Sami Callihan, Chris Bey, Matt Cardona, Trey Miguel, and Chris Sabin in a six-way. (Full details here.) Callihan was in control toward victory when the Good Brothers ran down to beat him up. That opened the door for Moose to take control. He hit two chop blocks to Sabin’s knee and followed with a spear for the win. Moose will cash in his title shot against Kenny Omega for the Impact World Championship at Against All Odds on June 12.
Yes! Moose versus Omega is going to rock. That was the outcome I most desired. It is curious why Don Callis would think Callihan is a tougher challenge than Moose. I suppose Callihan could remind Callis of the Jon Moxley feud in AEW. It would be smart to avoid a psychopath, however, poking the hornet’s nest is unwise as well.
As for the main event itself, it was tons of fun. The pace was hectic with action all over the place. Everyone got a chance to pull off a cool spot. Impact actually had me thinking they would swerve with Sabin as the winner. Moose pulling out the referee caught me by complete surprise. I like how they demonstrated Moose’s viciousness by attacking Sabin’s knee.
Eddie Edwards & FinJuice defeated Kenny Omega & Good Brothers. (Full details here.) The match broke down with Karl Anderson taking three heavy moves. Edwards closed it out with a Boston Knee Party for the win.
Decent match with a hot finish. For the most part, it felt more like FinJuice versus Good Brothers with Edwards and Omega as third wheels rather than Omega taking center stage in a prominent role. He only hit one V-trigger for crying out loud. I like the surprise of the result to keep the event from feeling predictable.
It will be interesting to see how the loss affects the Good Brothers. After another defeat to FinJuice, they are clearly out of the tag title picture. Their losses could start friction in their relationship with Omega. Callis has been clear about the Good Brothers dragging down the group’s value.
W. Morrissey defeated Willie Mack. (Full details here.) Morrissey pummeled Mack then closed with an East River Crossing slam and a running boot to the back of Mack’s head. After the match, Morrissey inflicted more pain. That led to the surprise return of Rich Swann to save his friend.
The match was solid with the classic story of trying to slay a giant. Emphasis on try, because Mack could not overcome the giant. Morrissey’s charisma shined through as a mean, nasty man. His pace was a little slow by modern standards, but the story was consistent and effective. Mack was great with his offensive flurries and selling pain with his eyes. Swann’s appearance was a pleasant surprise. I like the idea of a feud between Swann and Morrissey. Swann gets a fresh challenge in Impact, and Morrissey gets a chance to prove himself against Impact’s best.
Tag team #1 contender: Ace Austin & Madman Fulton defeated XXXL, Rohit Raju & Shera, and TJP & Petey Williams in a four-way. Constant action was everywhere with so many bodies involved. In the end, Fulton cleaned house on XXXL. He hit a swinging flatliner to Larry D then Ace used Fulton as a stepping stool to launch for a splash to pin Mr. D.
Fun match with a furious pace. The story was made interesting by the strategy between keeping tags between team members and outside teams trying to get into the action. Ace & Madman is the most legitimate threat to take the titles from FinJuice, so it is fitting that they were victorious.
Taylor Wilde & Tenille Dashwood defeated Kimber Lee & Susan. Kaleb Konley was ringside. Lee threw a temper tantrum to the referee over a two count on Susan’s pin. That’s when Konley interfered to kick Susan in the head. Wilde secured victory with a bridging German suplex. It was likely that Wilde was unaware of Konley’s illegal assistance. Wilde reluctantly celebrated with Dashwood for photos of their victory.
I like how Wilde and Dashwood were working out the kinks as a tag team. They weren’t a well-oiled machine in their first time together, like many thrown together duos often are. Wilde will no doubt have an issue with the cheating once she watches the tape, so that story has room to play out.
Brian Myers defeated Black Taurus. Rosemary and Crazzy Steve were ringside. Myers got schooled early by Taurus’ powerful lucha libre. Myers turned the tide by sucker punching Steve on the outside. When Taurus checked on his mate, Myers checked Taurus into the guardrail. That damage slowed the bull down, so Myers could operate. In the end, Taurus roared back, but Myers thumbed him in the eye. That caused temporary vision problems, so Myers could explode for the Roster Cut lariat to win.
That match had an interesting story of Myers using strategy to overcome Taurus physical advantages. It also played well into Myers as the most professional cheater. Taurus showcased his unique blend of power and agility.
Under Siege was a pretty entertaining event. The flow of strategy throughout the evening elevated the storytelling in the ring. All the title matches and #1 contender bouts excelled. The rest of the matches were solid for their purpose. There was a popping surprise with the return of Rich Swann, and story fuel ripe for fire when the Good Brothers attacked Sami Callihan. It is tough for me to pick the top standout. Deonna Purrazzo, Josh Alexander, and Fire ‘n’ Flava were all awesome in their championship victories. That shows the strength of the show.
Under Siege is avalailble for viewing through the Impact Plus app.
Share your thoughts on Under Siege. What was your favorite match? Who stole the night?