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Impact recap: Challengers line up for shot at Mickie James and the Knockouts Championship

Josh Alexander isn’t the only Impact champion with challengers lining up. He has title bouts with KENTA, Kushida, and Steve Maclin on the horizon. The Knockouts division is getting in on the action with challengers lining up for Mickie James.

James was fresh off a slugfest victory over Masha Slamovich at No Surrender to grace the Impact Zone as still Knockouts champion. James did whatever it took to win, which included biting Slamovich’s tongue.

James turned her sights to a rematch with Jordynne Grace. The Mickster won the title amid controversy at Hard to Kill. Even though James clearly tapped out while in a submission, she claims that wasn’t her intention. The champ wanted to settle unfinished business to prove the win was no fluke. That plan was interrupted by the arrival of Gisele Shaw.

The Quintessential Diva was flanked by stylist Jai Vidal and security Savannah Evans. Shaw flapped her gums claiming that Mickie was dodging her. James pointed out that she already beat her. Shaw countered that she is a new version of herself, and she’s coming for the title.

James didn’t want to wait, but Shaw backed down. Enter Gail Kim as Impact management. Kim criticized Shaw for running her mouth and supported James’ desire for the match. Shaw was booked in a title bout for next week.

That news didn’t sit well with Grace. She was not pleased about Shaw jumping the line, so she took her case to Deputy of Authority Santino Marella. Grace made it clear that she is using her rematch clause to face the winner. Santino agreed and booked Grace’s title shot for Sacrifice on March 24.

I think it is safe to assume that James will get past Shaw. It is not so safe to assume that James will beat Grace for the second time in a row. They have a nice feud brewing with the competitive juices flowing. It is the kind of rivalry that deserves a rubber match. We’ll see if Grace can do her part to make it happen by winning the Knockouts Championship at Sacrifice to even the score at one apiece.

In other action from Impact Wrestling:

  • Impact World Tag Team Championship: Bullet Club defeated Motor City Machine Guns. Ace and Bey opened the show angling for a tag title shot. MCMG obliged for the main event. The Bullet Club’s gamble paid off when they won the titles. Ace and Bey rallied for the Art of Finesse Cutter and The Fold for victory. (Full details here.)
  • “Speedball” Mike Bailey defeated Shane Haste. The man formerly known as Slapjack in WWE made his Impact debut. Haste had a good showing, but Bailey turned it up a notch in the end to finish with the Ultima Weapon. (Full details here.)
  • Rich Swann came up short losing to Josh Alexander at No Surrender. Despite defeat, Swann is still focused on winning the Impact World Championship one more time. Raj Singh interrupted to flash his casino cash winnings. Swann felt like whooping ass, but Singh was more focused on hitting the roulette wheel again.
  • Angels and Kon were angry about Callihan’s screw-up at No Surrender. They suspected him of trying to infiltrate the group to destroy them from within. Deaner agreed and decided not to proceed with step 6. That was until Rhino butt in. He shouted about their mind games screwing with his head in the past as a member of Violent by Design. Rhino wasn’t going to allow the same to happen to Callihan without saying something. Callihan arrived on the scene to proclaim the Design is where he wants to be. Rhino decided it was time to knock some sense into Callihan. Deaner bought in to Callihan’s conviction, and step 6 would continue.
  • Kenny King defeated Kevin Knight. Knight showed flashy skills. It was not enough to overcome King’s veteran savvy. King closed with the Royal Flush for victory.
  • At the NJPW Battle in the Valley PPV, Kushida trapped Josh Alexander in the Hoverboard Lock during an 8-man tag. The match was won by Kevin Knight DDTing Adrian Quest while Alexander was still in the submission. Kushida was sending a message to the Impact champ prior to their title bout at Multiverse United: Only The STRONG Survive on March 30. Impact has the Sacrifice event on March 24, so Alexander proposed a trios match. Kushida, Chris Sabin, & Alex Shelley versus Alexander and two partners of his choosing. Steve Maclin interrupted. He has a title shot at Rebellion on April 16. Maclin wants Alexander to get past Kushida, so he could be the one to beat the longest reigning Impact world champion in history.
  • The Impact doctor provided an update on Tommy Dreamer after Bully Ray threw hot coffee in his face. Dreamer has minor burns and retinal damage. Bhupinder Gujjar grabbed Bully to stick up for Dreamer. Once they were separated, Bully smacked a cheap shot slap then ran away.
  • Brian Myers wasn’t interested in helping Moose with Joe Hendry. Moose convinced him with a pledge to help Myers take the Impact Digital Media Championship. Moose’s motivation is to humiliate Hendry.
  • Johnny Swinger felt that the ‘50 wins for a title shot’ gimmick was a raw deal. Santino pointed out that Swinger couldn’t even beat Barry Horowitz. The Director of Authority allowed Swinger to pick anyone on the roster for his next match.
  • PCO defeated Trey Miguel. The French-Canadian Frankenstein pounded the X-Division champion. Eddie Edwards ran in to hit PCO with a shovel. That resulted in a DQ win for PCO. The monster recovered and chokeslammed Edwards in the ring. Security separated the rivals, so PCO launched for a cannonball onto the bodies below. Eddie escaped to safety.

Impact has already announced a lot of big picture stuff for the near future, so this episode was filling in the details to make it happen in the week-to-week world of broadcast television. They spiced up the undercard with new tag team champions. Ace Austin and Chris Bey are deserving of the honor. The rest of the characters are fleshing out to find their spot for the three special events over the next six weeks.

Share your thoughts on the latest episode of Impact Wrestling.

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