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Impact recap & reactions: Mickie James ready to kick ass at No Surrender

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No Surrender is ready to roll Friday night, February 24. Mickie James versus Masha Slamovich for the Knockouts Championship and Josh Alexander versus Rich Swann for the Impact World Championship are the feature attractions. Impact already baked the cake for those matches, so they added some icing with hype packages during Impact Wrestling.

Mickie overcame the world to win the the Knockouts Championship in the climax of the Last Rodeo. Jordynne Grace pointed to footage that Mickie tapped out. The Mickster denies that claim. James has no problem with a rematch to prove the win was no fluke. Meanwhile, Masha stands in her way to scramble her brains. The Last Rodeo is over, but that doesn’t mean Masha can’t end Mickie’s career with her own hands.

Whew, this is going to be a fight. Slamovich doesn’t mess around in the ring. She is a destroyer. Mickie doesn’t take any guff either. She’ll be ready to kick ass. Masha needs this win to cement her status after coming up short against Grace in those title fights. It is a little odd that the video focused on all three. However this match ends at No Surrender, it leads me to believe a three-way is in our future.

On the men’s side, the message was two friends going to battle for Impact’s top prize. Both have returned from devastating injuries to reach the mountaintop as world champ. Swann plummeted hard mentally after losing the belt to Kenny Omega. Now, his mojo is back. Time to get the belt too. Alexander was sad to say that he’ll have to be the guy who breaks Swann again.

Honestly, this result seems like a lock for Alexander. The appeal will be putting on a great match. If Swann loses, that puts a ceiling on his success as long as Alexander remains champion. That means it could be possible that Swann goes through a character shift during or after the contest to keep him feeling fresh. I don’t expect Swann to go rogue, but tiny seeds may have been planted with his outbursts of late.

No Surrender kicks off with the free pre-show at 7:30 pm ET and the special event starting at 8 pm ET. The full card includes:

  • Impact World Championship: Josh Alexander (c) vs. Rich Swann
  • Knockouts Championship: Mickie James (c) vs. Masha Slamovich
  • Knockouts Tag Team Championship: Death Dollz (Rosemary, Taya Valkyrie, & Jessicka) (c) vs. The Hex (Allysin Kay & Marti Belle)
  • Impact Digital Media Championship: Joe Hendry (c) vs. Moose in Dot Combat Match
  • Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley, & Kushida vs. KENTA, Chris Bey, & Ace Austin
  • #1 contender four-way: Brian Myers vs. PCO vs. Steve Maclin vs. Heath
  • Frankie Kazarian vs. Kon
  • Tommy Dreamer & Bully Ray in Busted Open Live
  • “Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Jonathan Gresham (pre-show)
  • Deonna Purrazzo vs. Gisele Shaw (pre-show)

The show streams live on IMPACT Plus, YouTube for IMPACT Ultimate Insiders, and FITE.

In other action from Impact Wrestling:

  • Motor City Machine Guns defeated “Speedball” Mike Bailey & Jonathan Gresham. Bailey and Gresham teamed together as future opponents at No Surrender. They shared good teamwork and took the double tag champs to the limit for a fantastic match. Watch this one on Impact’s YouTube channel. In the end, Gresham accidentally clobbered Bailey. MCMG went to work on Gresham for a Dirt Bomb to win.
  • Deonna Purrazzo thanked Gisele Shaw for finally admitting she was the problem in all those tag team breakups. The Virtuosa stated that the best revenge is a broken arm.
  • Beat the Clock challenge. Tommy Dreamer and Bully Ray competed for the right to speak first on Busted Open Live at No Surrender. Dreamer handled Jason Hotch via super Death Valley Driver in 1:15. Later, Bully punched Bhupinder Gujjar with a chain to win in 30 seconds, while the Good Hands distracted the referee. (Full details here.) Backstage, Dreamer provided a pep talk to Gujjar about fulfilling his potential.
  • Allysin Kay defeated Taya Valkyrie. Rosemary, Jessicka, and Marti Belle were ringside. This was a cheeky affair with intensity. Taya rubbed her ass all over Kay’s face. La Wera Loca went for Road to Valhalla, so Marti created a distraction. Kay took advantage with a high kick and the AK47 finisher.
  • Rich Swann got hot at Josh Alexander when misunderstanding intent. Alexander wasn’t concerned about Swann’s accidentally kick last week. Water under the bridge. Alexander said that Swann doesn’t have it in him (to be a two-faced scumbag). Swann shot off at the mouth thinking Alexander meant he doesn’t have it in to beat him for the world title. Steve Maclin interrupted, so Swann popped him in the mush. Fisticuffs ensued. Maclin plans to win the #1 contender bout and await the winner.
  • Frankie Kazarian & Yuya Uemura defeated Deaner & Callihan. This match was step 5 in the Design’s process to test Callihan. Deaner barked orders demanding when to be tagged in. At the end, he ordered a tag from Callihan, then he dropped off the apron to leave Callihan hanging. Kaz took control to submit Callihan on a chickenwing submission. Backstage, Deaner explained step 5 is about loyalty. This agreement is a covenant, not a contract. Callihan confirmed his desire to proceed with the final two deadly steps.
  • X-Division Championship: Trey Miguel retained against Crazzy Steve in Monster’s Ball. Violent fight with forks, chairs, tables, trashcans, thumbtacks, Janice, and barbed wire. Trey earned the win after a rolling cutter off the apron onto a barbed wire board. (Full details here.)

This was a sneaky good episode of Impact Wrestling. With the No Surrender card already set, there wasn’t much work to do on that front. Instead, Impact delivered exciting action in the ring.

Motor City Machine Guns versus “Speedball” Mike Bailey & Jonathan Gresham was so creative with sequences I’ve never seen before. Definitely go watch this match. Bailey & Gresham were a great tag team. Since the singles title pictures are pretty much set right now, I hope that duo becomes one as an official tag team. They would tear the house down every single night. I mean they do that anyway solo, but chasing tag team gold would give them purpose for now.

Taya Valkyrie and Allysin Kay brought the ruckus. I wasn’t expecting such ferocity for a match with little meaning. The Callihan tag bout had an interesting story twist. Frankie Kazarian was amusing shouting trash talk during the match. Monster’s Ball delivered as advertised. It was violent without being gross, and there were a variety of fun spots with tribute to Abyss.

Share your thoughts on the latest episode of Impact Wrestling.

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