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Impact recap: Executive Vice President tries to fight Bully Ray

Bully Ray has gone too far. That’s no surprise considering his past treachery in Impact history. There’s only one man to blame for Bully’s most recent heinous activity. No, it’s not Bully Ray. It is executive vice president Scott D’Amore. He’s the man who brought Bully Ray back to Impact. D’Amore had enough and tried to fight Bully during Thursday night’s episode of Impact Wrestling.

Bully towed the line doing things the right upon his return to Impact. He won the Call Your Shot gauntlet, called his shot fair and square at Josh Alexander for the Impact World Championship at Hard to Kill on January 13, then his true colors shined through by menacing Alexander’s wife as a despicable demonstration of power and mind games.

Bully delivered his first promo since his wicked acts at Over Drive to open the broadcast. As fans rained boos down upon the scumbag, Bully threatened to slap a kid in his fat face. Bully didn’t think he did anything wrong. He told the world what he would do, and he did it. It’s not his problem that Alexander is a moron. Bully put himself over as the smartest in the industry. During his Impact career, he ran Hulk Hogan out of the company, defeated Sting to make sure the Icon can never challenge for the Impact world title ever again, put Dixie Carter through a table, and screwed Brooke Hogan. He said that last part with a smile and a laugh. Bully is the worst of the worst and the baddest of the bad. Why would Alexander ever allow his wife to be in the same building as Bully?

Alexander was away from the Impact Zone dealing with family trauma from Bully’s actions, so it was Rich Swann who ran out to shut that scumbag up. Match time!

Bully worked a slow pounding pace. Swann rallied with speed for high-flying offense. When Bully was in trouble, he grabbed his chain to hit Swann. The referee called for the bell on a clear disqualification. The violence was just starting.

Bully hit Swann with a chair several times. He threatened the group of referees tasked with stopping this madman, and they cowardly backed down as Bully hit Swann with the chair again and again. Bully zip-tied Swann to the bottom rope. Finally Timmy Dreamer ran out. I’m leaving that typo in, because Dreamer took so long to arrive that he doesn’t deserve proper respect on his name. Dreamer confronted Bully. Dreamer was angry that he vouched for Bully, and Bully’s actions made Dreamer look bad. Bully was annoyed that Dreamer was choosing Swann over him, so Bully shoved Dreamer onto his ass.

D’Amore ran out in a rage yelling at Bully. D’Amore rolled up his sleeves acting tough and threw water on Bully. D’Amore shoved aside referees trying to fight Bully. D’Amore shouted that Bully is a piece of shit. Bully agreed as D’Amore spit in his face. Bully closed with a mic drop to blame D’Amore as the man who brought him back to Impact.

That scene was a roller coaster of emotion. Chaotic, intense, hilarious, slow. Starting the show with thirty minutes of Bully Ray was a bold decision. Frankly, his time dragged on a bit. Bully’s promo regurgitated the storyline points in a deliberate cadence for the ‘Kentucky fried idiots’ in attendance to understand. Even though Bully dropped some funny bully lines, it wasn’t the most riveting material as a viewer. For the match, Bully worked methodical. It was not the type of pace that excites for a PPV main event against workhorse Alexander.

On the positive, the segment as a whole had a strong purpose to remind viewers of all ages that Bully is a scumbag. In contrast, it paints Alexander as en epic hero for their clash at Hard to Kill. I found it quite amusing to laugh at D’Amore’s bravado. Let’s be real. He isn’t going to do squat physically in a fight with Bully. I do want to see it though. D’Amore has lorded his power over heels for a long time hiding behind his position to avoid a slap back. I also want to see Bully versus Dreamer in a singles bout. I’m not delusional in thinking it will be a high-quality contest. No, no, no. However, it will be a bout filled with intense drama to rile up emotion.

In other action from Impact Wrestling:

  • Trey Miguel spray painted the X-Division Championship as part of his heel turn. He’s also wearing pearl necklaces, but I can’t tell if that’s heel too or just an attempt at hip fashion.
  • Moose defeated Bhupinder Gujjar. The match came down to a battle of spears. Gujjar had Moose woozy for a Gargoyle spear, but Moose played possum to easily step aside. Moose charged for a spear, but Gujjar leapfrogged. Moose stepped short from colliding with the turnbuckles then charged again with success to spear Gujjar for victory. Afterwards, Joe Hendry appeared to kick-start a feud with Moose. Hendry saw through Moose’s gruff exterior as a cry for help. When Hendry gave a firm pat on the back for motivation, Moose responded with a punch. The two tussled, and Hendry set up Moose for a Gargoyle spear from Gujjar.
  • “Speedball” Mike Bailey is not concerned about Kenny King. Bailey will keep his focus on regaining the X-Division Championship.
  • Frankie Kazarian defeated Steve Maclin via disqualification. The bout was aggressive and competitive. Kaz hit a slingshot cutter, but Maclin placed his foot on the ropes to break the pinfall. Maclin rolled out of the ring to retrieve a chair. He showed no hesitation to hit Kazarian in the ribs. The referee called for the bell to DQ Maclin. Mr. Mayhem continued his violent outburst to DDT Kaz on the chair.
  • Tasha Steelz got testy with Savannah Evans about their loss to the Death Dollz. Evans pointed the finger at Steelz for being pinned, so Steelz sassed back to propose Evans versus Taya Valkyrie next week. Steelz sarcastically said she will sit back and learn from Evans.
  • Eddie Edwards is focused on the future. Honor No More is the past. Edwards has no regrets. When asked about PCO’s hand emerging from the rubble after their desert fight, Edwards brushed it off. He’s only focused on the future. Edwards walked away into Delirious for an awkward staredown.
  • Heath and Rhino agreed to give the Motor City Machine Guns their shot at the Impact tag titles. Rhino went off in a fury of competitiveness. He’s going to rip their faces apart, rip out their hearts, then rip them in half with a Gore.
  • Mickie James defeated Deonna Purrazzo. The Virtuosa aimed to end the last rodeo and send James packing into retirement. James had the last laugh. Purrazzo scored a roll-up and grabbed the tights. James reversed for her own roll-up and grabbed the tights to steal the win. James giggled with glee to beat Purrazzo at her own game. Afterward, Jordynne Grace entered the ring. James has proven herself well on the last rodeo. It’s time to fight for the title. Grace will defend the Knockouts Championship against James with her career on the line at Hard to Kill. (Full details here.)
  • Deaner killed Eric Young. The show closed with a cinematic murder scene. Young took Deaner back to where Violent By Design began in an abandoned prison. Young ordered Deaner to eliminate the sickness, which was failure. Young’s failure against Sami Callihan was holding the group back from its full potential. That meant Deaner had to eliminate Young. It wouldn’t be easy though. Deaner had to earn it in a exchange of fisticuffs. Deaner killed the sickness by stabbing a knife in Young’s chest. The twist was revealed. Young is the designer, and Deaner is the design. (Full details here.)

That was a busy episode of Impact Wrestling. Story exploration advanced on the road to Hard to Kill. Unfortunately, it was a rare week when the wrestling action wasn’t up to standard. Not to say the wrestling was bad. The matches were all on the sluggish side. Impact needed to inject an X-Division bout as a change of pace.

The top two stories are progressing nicely for Bully Ray and Mickie James in their quests for championship gold. Bully is in an explosive situation, and something is going to blow. D’Amore better not let him run roughshod any longer. Alexander returns to the Impact Zone next week, so that adds more intrigue. Alexander is a hot-head himself, and I suspect he won’t want to wait for Hard to Kill to get payback. James’ last rodeo was executed well to create upward momentum for a title shot. A showdown with Grace is going to be gangbusters.

Moose transitioned to star-making gatekeeper. Wrestling Bhupinder Gujjar was interesting matchmaking. Gujjar is a man on the rise, so this was a test to see how he stacks up against the best. Moose clowned him in the end, but Gujjar scored enough offense to show his potential. Adding Joe Hendry is a nice touch. Hendry just won the Impact Digital Media Championship. Surely, it’s too soon to drop the belt to Moose, right? I’m curious how that shakes out and if the feud propels Hendry to a higher level.

The murder of Eric Young was a shocker. The cinematic scene was strongly produced to tell an interesting tale. I’m curious how Impact will present Deaner going forward. He’s never been an imposing force in the ring. They have work to do to build Deaner up at a main event level, if that is indeed the plan.

Trey Miguel’s promo was mighty effective. I hate him already. Rhino was the show-stealer with his outburst of rage in graphic description.

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

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