Vladimir Kozlov made a surprise appearance on Thursday night’s episode of Impact Wrestling (Oct. 12, 2023). The former WWE strongman previously made an unexpected entrance into the Impact Zone for a comedic reunion with Santino Marella earlier in the year. This time, Kozlov got physical and joined the side of Dirty Dango.
Dango was competing against Jordynne Grace, Champagne Singh, Eric Young, and Jake Something in a five-way bout to determine the #1 and #20 slots in the Call Your Shot Gauntlet at Bound For Glory on October 21.
The closing sequence started with Grace at the base of a Tower of Doom with Jake at the peak to take the full force of impact. As Grace pinned Singh, who was the middle cog in the Tower of Doom, Dango leaped for a flying leg drop onto the pile. Young body slammed Dango and landed a flying elbow drop. It seemed like victory was certain, however, Alpha Bravo pulled Young out of the ring to break the three-count.
Fisticuffs broke out on the floor when Young popped Bravo. That’s when Kozlov entered on stage walking down to the ring. The Impact commentary team referred to the man as his real name, Oleg Prudius.
Kozlov clotheslined Singh then rammed Young into the ring post. He locked eyes with Jake for a hoss showdown. Dango took advantage to shove Jake into a headbutt from Kozlov. Dango scored an inverted DDT drop to win and celebrated with Kozlov and Bravo.
Dango earned the 20th spot in the upcoming gauntlet bout with a prize to call a shot at any title at any time. The odds are heavily in Dango’s favor, especially with Kozlov as his enforcer.