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Impact Over Drive recap: Bully Ray calls his title shot with honor then turns full scumbag

Once a scumbag, always a scumbag.

Bully Ray’s stripes don’t change. After winning the Call Your Shot gauntlet to earn a world title shot at the time of his choosing, Bully claimed that he wanted to change his evil legacy and do things the right way to close his career. Bully told champion Josh Alexander that there would be no funny business on the cash-in. When Bully calls his shot, Alexander will see it coming a mile way. Bully lived up his word on that at Over Drive, but then he immediately flushed the goodwill down the toilet for a heinous attack.

Bully’s evening at Over Drive began with victory in a table match against Moose. For the closing sequence, Bully charged for a tackle, Moose dodged away, and Bully crashed through a table in the corner. The referee ruled that the match would continue since Billy ran into the table himself without contact from Moose. Moose set up another table in the corner. He went for an Irish whip. Bully reversed it. Moose stopped short from colliding with the table. As Moose turned around, Bully delivered a rough tackle through the wood. Bully was declared the victor.

Good pace climaxing at the end. The drama started strong with Moose hitting a low blow and spear, teased some table spots, then smashed the finish with emphasis. It was an important win by Bully to establish him as legit to newer fans and show older fans that he is still capable of beating the top stars in Impact.

With that business behind him, Bully was fully focused on watching the world title fight while icing his groin.

Fast forward to the main event of Over Drive as Josh Alexander defended the Impact World Championship against Frankie Kazarian. The two put on a fantastic match eclipsing 30 minutes of straight action. 15 minutes in, Alexander executed ten consecutive German suplexes.

A short while later, ref bump! Alexander ducked a running strike from Kaz, who then collided into the referee. Kaz hit a slingshot DDT on the apron to send Alexander crashing to the floor. Kaz made sure to check that the ref was still down. He grabbed the title belt to use with bad intentions. Alexander’s wife and young son were sitting ringside. Jade Chung guilted Kaz not to win that way nor act violently in front of the kid. Kaz relented and dropped the foreign object. This part of the match felt cheesy, but it had a strong purpose when Bully arrived on the scene later.

The match progressed to heavy moves and near falls. Kaz borrowed a trick from an old friend for the Styles Clash. Alexander kicked out.

On the finish, Kaz worked for pinning predicaments. Alexander bridged out to surprise Kaz with a C4 spike piledriver. 1, 2, 3. Alexander retained the gold.

Alexander and Kazarian put on a show. If this ends up being Kaz’s last match in Impact, he went out with a bang. It was the type of performance that will make Kaz fans proud to support the man. At 45 years of age, he showed time hasn’t slowed him down. Since he’s not being used much in AEW, maybe this effort will encourage a spot in ROH if that ever gets up and running as a separate entity. Kaz still has many bangers left in the tank, and he deserves a stage to strut his stuff.

Back to the Bully story. Alexander and Kaz shared mutual respect in the ring after the bout. Kaz exited, and Bully entered. He gave props to the incredible professional wrestling match we all witnessed. Down to business. Bully reminded Alexander that he would call his shot fair and square. Bully challenged Alexander for the Hard to Kill PPV on January 13. Alexander shook Bully’s hand to accept.

As soon as Alexander let his guard down, Bully attacked with a steel chair. Someone had good sense to remove Alexander’s son for this part, so he didn’t have to view the traumatic theatrics. Chung pleaded with Bully to stop the violence. Unlike Kaz making the honorable choice, Bully ignored her cries and kept pounding Alexander. Scumbag status solidified. It got even worse after that.

Bully zip-tied Alexander to the bottom rope then lifted Chung over the guardrail. Alexander broke free to save his wife, so Bully placed her into a piledriver position with threats of executing the move on the concrete floor. He used her as a bargaining chip for Alexander to pass over the title belt. Bully exited with the gold in hand.

That was some serious storytelling. Bully played nice guy the whole time until it was time not to be nice. Once Alexander agreed to be his target, chaos exploded. Bully reverted back to his old unscrupulous ways by dragging Alexander’s wife into the mix. Bully went from receiving a nostalgia pop to serious scumbag heat on the road to Hard to Kill.

Let’s jam through the rest of Over Drive results.

Knockouts Championship last woman standing: Jordynne Grace retained against Masha Slamovich. Grace damaged Slamovich’s knee on a suplex into the ropes. Grace noticed the pain and focused her attack on the leg. The match progressed into power moves galore. Grace powerbombed Slamovich onto an open chair.

Slamovich blasted an Air Raid Crash onto an open chair.

Grace stunned Slamovich with a spinning backfist to set up a vertebreaker onto a trashcan.

The winning move came on a musclebuster from Grace through a door hanging off the apron held up by a trashcan. Grace stood up to beat the count. Slamovich did not.

Slobberknocker. Grace and Slamovich were wrecking machines. It’s interesting that Grace out-classed Slamovich in this contest. She pretty much dictated that pace throughout. Slamovich fought defensively as a result, and that’s not her strength. The door was a fitting object for a finish as Grace symbolically slammed the door shut on this feud with her performance.

X-Division Championship: Trey Miguel defeated Black Taurus. Both men worked their way to the tournament final for a shot at the vacant title. Trey was in trouble after being powerbombed into the ring post. Back in the ring, Trey sprayed Taurus in the face with paint. The referee had inexplicably turned his back at the most convenient moment. I guess the ref was admonishing Crazzy Steve at ringside? Trey struck with a Lightning Spiral to steal the win.

Whoa. I did not see that cheat coming. Trey turning heel has my interest. I was growing tired of his current presentation. This certainly freshens up his story and has me curious for what’s next. The action delivered as expected for an X-Division title match. It was competitive, creative, and didn’t foreshadow a winner.

Impact World Tag Team Championship: Heath & Rhino retained against Matt Cardona & Brian Myers. The Motor City Machine Guns earned #1 contender status and brought chairs for a front row seat. The Major Players isolated Heath. Hot tag to Rhino. Cardona and Myers came back with a double implant DDT. Heath made the save on the pin then dumped Cardona from the ring. Cardona grabbed Chris Sabin’s chair, and Sabin snatched it back. Heath disposed of Cardona on the outside. On the inside, Rhino gored Myers to win.

Heath and Rhino took care of business. Even though MCMG didn’t interfere, they knew the Major Players couldn’t resist a short cut. Their mere presence was a distraction for Cardona and Myers. Of all the teams involved, the Impact champs felt like the third fiddle. Hopefully Heath and Rhino keep the titles long enough to hit the pay window for a swimming pool for Heath’s kids.

Mickie James defeated Taylor Wilde. The next time James loses then she will retire. Respect to start, intensity increased, tensions rose. Wilde blocked a Mick Kick for a waistlock. James landed a back elbow. Wilde grabbed a waistlock again. James went for the back elbow strike, but Wilde ducked with her head down. That put Wilde in position for James to crush a jumping DDT for victory. The last rodeo continues.

Good solid wrestling in a classic style of James match. This wasn’t built up enough to believe Wilde had a genuine shot at beating James, but the action entertained nonetheless.

After the contest, Deonna Purrazzo entered the ring to say her piece. “Mickie, you selfish bitch!” She sees through James as only out for herself. Purrazzo is looking to end James’ career.

Knockouts Tag Team Championship: Taya Valkyrie & Jessicka retained against Tasha Steelz & Savannah Evans. Jessicka’s power was the game-changer. After Steelz twerked with flavor, she leaped for a springboard cutter. Jessicka caught Steelz to counter for a tombstone piledriver. Taya kick-started the move with a kick to Steelz’s head.

Fun match driven by personalities. The Death Dollz are on a roll, and I don’t see any teams in Impact who can stop them.

Heading over to the free pre-show.

Tag team #1 contender: Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley defeated Chris Bey & Ace Austin. Sabin went for the Cradle Shock on Bey. Bey slipped out the back for a waistlock. Shelley came from behind for a crucifix takedown. Sabin went over the top for a jackknife pin to win.

The Motor City Machine Guns are one of the most exciting tag teams in the game today. Their style never disappoints. Bey and Ace are quickly becoming a quality tag team in their own right. They shine in the charisma department as well. It won’t be long until the Bullet Club claims gold in Impact, if they stay together as a duo. And maybe I’m wrong, but it looks like Bey was thicker in upper body development. If Bey can add size and maintain his athleticism, he could be a main event player sooner than later.

Rich Swann defeated Yuya Uemura, Kenny King, Bhupinder Gujjar, Jason Hotch, and “Speedball” Mike Bailey. Six-way free-for-all scramble. Gujjar lifted Hotch up on a fireman’s carry. Bailey leaped from behind to land the Ultima Weapon knee drop onto Hotch. When Bailey went for the cover on Hotch, King kicked Bailey in the mush to break the pin. King and Swann were going to duke it out, but King inexplicably bailed. That left Swann with easy pickings for a handspring cutter on Hotch to win.

Hot action to get in the mood with a tease of mystery. It’s good seeing Swann building a win streak. He is main event caliber but has been on the back burner since losing the Impact World Championship. It’s time for Swann to rise again.

Share your take on Impact’s Over Drive special event.

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