Mickie James has a date with Knockouts champion Jordynne Grace in career versus title at Hard to Kill on January 13, and tensions are rising. The Mickster has been getting lippy, as evidenced during the official contract signing during Impact Wrestling.
.@JordynneGrace vs @MickieJames goes down on Friday, January 13th at Center Stage in Atlanta, GA at #HardToKill and tickets are ON-SALE NOW!— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) December 16, 2022
Hard To Kill: https://t.co/RUIWRhTPR4
Two Day Combo: https://t.co/9WlXd3qsDz pic.twitter.com/Itf7ZQzVaq
Scott D’Amore conducted the proceedings in a backstage office. Grace was handed the pen first. She’ll do her talking in the ring. Contract signed. James took exception assuming Grace assumed victory as a forgone conclusion. James continued with an attitude to say she’s had moments in her career Grace could only dream of. James will have one more moment winning the Knockouts Championship. Contract signed.
The scene didn’t end there. Enter Tasha Steelz with Savannah Evans by her side. Steelz wanted a piece of James. The Last Rodeo was supposed to go through everyone in the locker room. James hasn’t wrestled Steelz in that stretch. The Boricua Badass wants her chance to retire Hardcore Country. James didn’t back down. She has plenty of time on her hands before Hard to Kill to kick Steelz’s ass.
Grace stepped in. She wants to make sure James makes it to their PPV bout. James shot back at Grace thinking she can’t beat Steelz. Grace had enough of James’ sauciness and stated facts that Steelz has beaten James twice. D’Amore restored order to book a tag match. James & Grace versus Steelz & Evans was set for next week.
I can’t tell if James has an oversized ego, she’s shielding insecurity, or the pressure of retirement is getting to her. Either way, her recent attitude toward Grace is off-putting. James has been too defensive about statements when there was no intention from Grace as trash-talk. It has me rooting for Grace to finish the Last Rodeo.
In other action from Impact Wrestling:
- Eddie Edwards defeated Delirious, plus the return of Jonathan Gresham. Edwards countered a submission for a roll-up to win. Edwards continued with an assault after the match and tried to remove Delirious’ mask. Gresham made a surprise appearance for the save. Backstage, Gresham revealed that he signed a contract with Impact. Gresham versus Edwards was announced for Hard to Kill. (Full details here.)
- Bully Ray defeated John Skyler, plus Tommy Dreamer drama. Prior to this bout, Dreamer tried to apologize to Josh Alexander for vouching for Bully. Alexander declined and suspected Dreamer as part of Bully’s con job. Bully won his match quickly with a piledriver. After, Dreamer confronted Bully in the ring to end their friendship. Bully didn’t care and revealed he used Dreamer all along as a dupe to advance his evil plans. Dreamer challenged Bully to fisticuffs, but Bully exited the ring with a laugh. (Full details here.)
- Matt Cardona & Brian Myers defeated Crazzy Steve & Black Taurus. Trey Miguel attacked Steve before the match. The Major Players capitalized by picking on Steve to win via double-team neckbreaker.
- “Speedball” Mike Bailey is on a quest to be the best. He will happily have a match with Kenny King, but he won’t play King’s games.
- Sami Callihan defeated Angels. Deaner and Kon were ringside. Angels landed a frog splash. Kick out by Callihan. Angels went for a second frog splash, but he missed the mark when Callihan moved. The Death Machine pounced for a package piledriver to win. Afterward, The Design attacked Callihan. Deaner designed a blueprint for Kon to hold Callihan up for Angels to land a spinning head kick. Deaner sat on top of Callihan’s limp body as if it were a cushy seat.
- Gisele Shaw and Jai Vidal approached Deonna Purrazzo with a proposition. Purrazzo still has a Knockouts tag title shot in her pocket, but Chelsea Green is not here anymore. Shaw requested they team together to challenge the Death Dollz. Purrazzo reluctantly agreed.
- Taylor Wilde is now a witch. (Full details here.)
- Joe Hendry & Bhupinder Gujjar defeated Johnny Swinger & Zicky Dice. Moose tried to ambush Hendry, but Hendry say it coming and backed away up stage. Gujjar was left alone. He still won with a Gargoyle spear to Swinger. The pre-show setup for this match was funny to watch. Swinger is on his quest to win 50 matches and earn a world title shot.
- Jason Hotch and John Skyler formed a new tag team.
- Steve Maclin was trained to do everything by the book in the military. Getting everyone home was the reward. In Impact, there is no reward. He’s beaten former world champions and still can’t get a title shot. Maclin plans to change tactics. He will get his chance at gold by any means necessary.
- Impact World Tag Team Championship: Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley defeated Heath & Rhino to win the titles. Sabin leaped over a Gore from Rhino to counter with a sunset flip pin for victory. The Motor City Machine Guns are the new champs. (Full details here.)
Impact has done a good job producing intriguing television in the dead time heading toward Hard to Kill. It would have been easy to phone it in during the holiday lull, but Impact has gone full steam ahead instead. Last week was the epic 59-minute match between Josh Alexander and “Speedball” Mike Bailey. This week was a tag title change for the Motor City Machine Guns, heated drama between Tommy Dream and Bully Ray, returns, new characters, and new partnerships. Impact has a current vibe of must-see TV (or at least to check the news right here on Cageside Seats) not to miss any surprises.
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