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Impact recap: Jordynne Grace stands up to Bully Ray

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Bully Ray is, well, a bully in Impact. Many try to stand in his way, and many meet their demise. Tommy Dreamer and Mickie James aren’t scared of that scumbag, but they are also reluctant to open the world of pain he brings. One person who has no qualms in kicking ass is Jordynne Grace. Thicc Mama Pump stepped to Bully ready to fight.

The scene revolved around a tag team bout between Dreamer & James versus Bully & Masha Slamovich (full match video). Intergender rules were in effect, so it was fair game for all involved. The big tease of the match was Bully getting physical with James. She didn’t back down, but she was also reluctant to engage the larger foe. Bully slammed James and assisted Slamovich in advantageous situations.

James and Dreamer rallied with boogie woogie elbows. Dreamer set up Bully in a precarious Dudley Boyz position for a flying chop to the crotch from James. Bully shouted in pain, “My balls!”

Dreamer and James worked the crowd to yell, “Get the tables!” They slid the table in the ring, but it backfired. Masha attacked with a suicide dive onto James. As the referee was occupied with the table, Bully scored a low blow on Dreamer. The scumbag king finished Dreamer for a piledriver to win.

The action didn’t end there. Masha convinced Bully to put James through the table. As Bully placed James in a powerbomb position, Grace ran in for the save. She hit Bully in the back with a kendo stick, but Bully didn’t flinch. Grace stood tough and zipped open her warm-up jacket like a badass. There was no fear in Grace’s face.


Grace went backwards into the ropes to charge forward for a spear. Bully ole’d, and Grace tackled James by accident. The intention from Grace was to protect her investment, so to speak. She was lined up to challenge James for the Knockouts Championship on Sacrifice, and she didn’t want James to risk any unnecessary damage. That didn’t happen so smooth.

Life has a funny way of making things work. News broke that James was injured and unable to compete at Sacrifice. The way that scene played out, Grace can step right in to replace whatever storyline plans were there for James’ feud with Bully. Grace might even be a better option in the ring because of her hoss stature. Imagine the crowd erupting when Grace body slams Bully.

Also on the breaking news tip if you missed it, Josh Alexander had surgery on a triceps tear. He relinquished the Impact World Championship. Steve Maclin will wrestle Kushida for the vacant title at Rebellion on April 16. Keep that in mind when reading the rest of the results from Thursday night (Mar. 23, 2023.)

In other action from Impact Wrestling:

  • Kushida, Chris Sabin, & Alex Shelley defeated Deaner, Angels, & Kon. Time Machine was picking up steam, so Callihan entered the ring to protect Deaner and block the Motor City Machine Guns. MCMG kicked Callihan out of the ring and hit an aerial attack onto Deaner and Kon outside. Kushida caught Angels in the Hoverboard Lock for the submission win.
  • The Coven are no charlatans. The proof is in the results. Taylor Wilde and KiLynn King are champions.
  • Raj Singh won a bunch of money in Las Vegas to become Champagne Singh.
  • Eddie Edwards tried to end business with PCO, but the monster keeps coming back. Eddie and Kenny King hadn’t spoken much since Honor No More fell apart. That changed at Jay Briscoe’s funeral. Eddie and Kenny realized they are family, and family is about making sacrifices. King is stepping up to fight PCO at Sacrifice.
  • Deonna Purrazzo defeated Savannah Evans. Technique versus power. Evans muscled Purrazzo around the ring, but the Virtousa stayed sharp with strategy. It appeared that Purrazzo was intent on a Gotch piledriver, so Gisele Shaw hopped onto the apron as a distraction. The referee intervened. On the opposite side of the ring, Jai Vidal grabbed Purrazzo. Evans charged, Purrazzo moved, and Evans booted Vidal. Purrazzo ran across to pump kick Shaw. A crucifix bomb from Purrazzo pinned Evans for victory. Afterward, a 3-on-1 beatdown ensued.
  • Jessicka stormed off upset about the title loss. She opened a magic coffin, but Taya slammed it shut. Taya warned Jessicka not to get involved with magic. Hands reached up from the coffin and pulled Taya into the Undead Realm. That was Impact’s way of writing Taya off as she exits to AEW. (Full details here.)
  • Brian Myers & Moose defeated Joe Hendry & Dango. Moose speared Hendry and cleared the path for Myers to hit the Roster Cut lariat for victory.
  • The main event angle revolved around hyping Josh Alexander versus Steve Maclin. Rich Swann felt like Maclin’s comments were getting in his head. He went to find Alexander to get it off his chest. Swann found Maclin shuffling through Alexander’s bag. Maclin claimed that Alexander was already aware of this. When confronted by Swann, Alexander denied knowledge of Maclin’s meddling. Alexander went to the ring to call out Maclin. He respects Maclin’s climb up the ranks, but he loses respect for the constant complaining about getting a title shot. Alexander accused Maclin of stalling due to fear of failure. If Maclin can’t win the title, then he will be a forgotten son. Maclin came out with a rebuttal. He’s been scouting Alexander and biding his time for the right moment. Alexander is a fighting champion and wanted to settle it now. Maclin stayed true to his game plan to have the match at Rebellion.

Impact Wrestling was a decent outing for entertainment. The character work was a lot of fun on this episode. Seeing Taya dragged to the depths of the unknown was an amusing way to close her chapter in the Impact Zone. I enjoy how Impact embraces the ridiculous in these situations. Nothing in wrestling is ever permanent, so it leaves a door for Taya to return one day in the future. Impact has done interesting work with Taylor Wilde for the Coven. The repackage for Champagne Singh has my attention. There is always a need for obnoxious rich men in any wrestling locker room.

Lots of little hints played out for the stories. It was cool how Impact planned ahead to plot Maclin’s promo with the backstage images of him watching Alexander compete in the ring. Unfortunately, that storyline will be put on the back burner due to Alexander’s injury.

The updated card for Sacrifice includes:

  • Steve Maclin, Rich Swann, & Frankie Kazarian vs. Kushida, Chris Sabin, & Alex Shelley
  • Knockouts Championship: Mickie James (c) vs. Jordynne Grace (Knockouts Championship situation to be addressed on the show)
  • X-Division Championship: Trey Miguel (c) vs. Lince Dorado
  • Impact World Tag Team Championship: Ace Austin & Chris Bey (c) vs. TMDK (Shane Haste & Bad Dude Tito)
  • Impact Digital Media Championship: Joe Hendry (c) vs. Brian Myers
  • Busted Open match: Tommy Dreamer vs. Bully Ray
  • Deonna Purrazzo vs. Gisele Shaw
  • ”Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Jonathan Gresham
  • PCO vs. Kenny King

Sacrifice will stream live at 8 pm ET on March 24 through IMPACT Plus, YouTube for IMPACT Ultimate Insiders, and Fite TV.

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