clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Impact recap: World championship tension rises with wives glaring and Bully Ray lurking

Josh Alexander is set to defend the Impact World Championship against Frankie Kazarian at Over Drive (full card) on Friday night (Nov. 18). The feud was built on respect and remained peaceful despite competitive juices flowing. Tensions increased during the Impact Wrestling broadcast when wives butt in and also with Bully Ray lurking to call his shot at an instant cash-in.

Scott D’Amore oversaw the official contract signing in the back office. Wives Jade Chung and Traci Brooks were also in the room. Alexander put his name on the dotted line first. He respects Kazarian inside and outside of the ring. The feeling was mutual for Kaz, and that’s why he felt bad that he would be taking the world title from Alexander. Kaz advised that Alexander prepare his family for the hardship and disappointment that lies ahead in defeat. Chung added her two cents that Kaz needs to prepare himself for losing. Brooks glared over at Chung. Kaz shot back, “All due respect, nobody was talking to you.” That caused Alexander to get heated with bravado to protect his wife. Kaz stepped away before feelings escalated.

Ever since Impact made a point to show Chung and Brooks on screen supporting their husbands, I’ve had a feeling that the ladies were going to throw down. Based on the contract signing scene, I’d say we might see that at Over Drive as their husbands fight for the world title.

Kaz wanted cooler heads to prevail, so he approached Alexander to apologize. No matter the result, the respect will not change between them. Enter Bully Ray with the Call Your Shot trophy. He reiterated that he’ll be straight up when calling his shot. No funny business. Kaz smirked and laughed at Bully’s words. He’s known Bully way too long to trust anything coming out his mouth. Kaz warned Alexander not to trust Bully either. Alexander spouted off about everyone telling him what to do. He’s not stupid. He knows a target is on his back as champ. Alexander will be ready when the moment arises. Kaz told Alexander to speak with Tommy Dreamer to smarten him up on Bully.

Alexander did just that. Dreamer spoke about viewing things with clearer eyes as we age. He believes Bully in his desire to change the public perception of his scumbag legacy. Dreamer trusts that Bully is a changed man.

Dreamer’s words must have hit deep with Alexander. After Steve Maclin defeated Dreamer in Old School Rules (full details here), a brawl erupted involving Dreamer, Maclin, Bully, and Moose. Alexander ran out to help the grizzled veterans to clean house with suplexes on Maclin and Moose. Alexander and Bully joined together for a double chokeslam on Maclin through a table.

With Alexander’s guard down, Bully picked up the world title with creepy vibes that he might strike Alexander. The champ eyed Bully, so Bully backed down. However, Bully was real slow to let go of the gold.

With so much drama in the Impact Zone, it’s kind of hard being world champ. There is an abundance static hovering in the air. Uncertainty on who to trust is everywhere. That makes for intriguing times as a viewer.

In other action from Impact Wrestling:

  • X-Division Championship tournament semifinal: Black Taurus defeated PJ Black. Black was crafty, but it was Taurus’ power that earned the win. At the end of a striking exchange, Black ran into a headbutt from the bull. Taurus pounced for Destination Hellhole for victory. Taurus advances to the final versus Trey Miguel at Over Drive.
  • Chris Bey & Ace Austin defeated Motor City Machine Guns, Aussie Open, and Raj Singh & Shera. Four-way tag team action. Bullet Club made their move when Bey leaped onto the pile of bodies on the outside. In doing so, he tagged in Ace on the Too Sweet hand gesture. Ace and Bey picked Kyle Fletcher out of the pack for the Art of Finesse cutter and The Fold to finish.
  • Taya Valkyrie defeated Tasha Steelz. Jessicka was missing after boozing all over Las Vegas. Taya substituted in her place. Taya sashayed away from a pump kick to lift Steelz for Road to Valhalla. Steelz wriggled free downward but not completely out of Taya’s clutches. Taya sat down for a stack pin to win. Afterward, Savannah Evans attacked Taya. Rosemary evened the odds, but the tag champs were thrashed. That’s when Jessicka arrived wearing a beer helmet to kick ass. Jessicka peppered punches with boogie woogie dancing.
  • Jordynne Grace challenged Masha Slamovich to Last Knockout Standing for the Knockouts Championship at Over Drive. Slamovich responded in her first interview. She spoke in Russian with English subtitles on screen. Slamovich ridiculed Gia Miller’s questions as idiotic and childish. When asked what to expect from the match, Slamovich answered, “Death.”
  • Rich Swann defeated Laredo Kid. High-octane action. Swann picked up momentum on a springboard cutter and followed with a 450 splash to win.
  • Mickie James wanted to set things straight with Taylor Wilde before their match at Over Drive. James asked Wilde not to meddle in last week’s match against Chelsea Green, but Wilde couldn’t allow cheap interference from Deonna Purrazzo to end Mickie’s last rodeo. Besides, Wilde wants to be the one to retire Mickie.
  • Death Machine’s Double Jeopardy: Sami Callihan defeated Eric Young. Once a wrestler caused his opponent to bleed, then that wrestler was eligible to win via pinfall or submission. Deaner, Alan Angels, and Big Kon jumped Callihan on stage before the match to make him bleed. As the fight progressed, Callihan bit Young and hit a Death Valley Driver on the apron to open a wound. In the end, Callihan prevailed with a piledriver for victory. Afterward, Violent By Design stared at their fallen leader. It felt like they might beat up Young for failing, but nothing happened. (Full details here.)

The Impact Zone is in a state of unpredictability at the moment. That’s a good direction heading into Over Drive. Of the seven matches on the card, I only feel certain of two results. Josh Alexander retaining and Mickie James winning seem like locks. Bully Ray is likely to put Moose through a table, but that is no guarantee. Bully doesn’t necessarily need the win with the Call Your Shot trophy in hand. In fact, losing could increase the drama of a cash-in screwjob if Bully feels like he might not be able to beat Alexander on fair ground.

I’m favoring Jordynne Grace to be the last woman standing over Masha Slamovich, however, Impact needs to be careful not to destroy Slamovich’s badass aura. Losing again to Grace so soon puts a ceiling over Slamovich, and that’s why I believe the title could change hands here to set up a rubber match at the Hard to Kill PPV in January.

Both tag title bouts are pick’ems. The fan favorites should retain, but never count out wily tricks from the bad guys. That leaves the X-Division Championship. Even though Trey Miguel has only held the title once, it feels like he’s been in the picture for a very long time. Crowning Black Taurus would inject freshness into the division. Crazzy Steve showed he can handle the talking for his Decay pal by the way he acted as hype man for Taurus’ introduction. No matter who wins, fans know the matches will rock.

As for the action on this episode of Impact Wrestling, there were a variety of styles from flips, hard hits, and bloody brawls. The Old School Rules bout showed that Tommy Dreamer can still entertain, aside from his ugly flying elbow drop in that bout. Death Machine’s Double Jeopardy was interesting in theory. In execution, it was basically another hardcore match. The spots to bleed weren’t even all that brutal.

I do appreciate Violent By Design teasing disgust toward Young. EY talks large with delusions of grandeur. That’s part of what enticed Alan Angels and Big Kon to join the crew. When Young failed to back it up against Callihan, it left me wondering if the new group was damaged beyond repair before getting a chance at traction. I’m glad Impact recognized that and used Deaner, Angels, and Kon with a cliffhanger.

My favorite clip of action came courtesy of Mark Davis bursting with powerful hoss offense.

Share your thoughts on Impact Wrestling. What were your favorite matches and moments?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats