Josh Alexander is no longer the Impact world champion. Due to a torn triceps injury, the Walking Weapon was forced to vacate the title. Alexander did that on Thursday’s episode of Impact Wrestling (Apr. 6, 2023).
#IMPACTonAXSTV starts NOW! pic.twitter.com/5Lyz9YB0K5— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 7, 2023
The new world champion will be crowned at Rebellion PPV on April 16 when Kushida and Steve Maclin wrestle one-on-one for the title.
Scott D’Amore conducted the proceedings for Alexander to officially relinquish the Impact World Championship ending his 348-day reign. Alexander was joined by his wife and young son. Kushida and Maclin were also in the ring to hype the Rebellion match.
Alexander entered with his arm taped heavily in a sling. He thanked D’Amore for signing him to Impact. Alexander busted his ass, took risks, and burned the candle at both ends to show his appreciation for the opportunity. He knew his work ethic would set him apart, and that mindset helped him become the longest reigning world champion in Impact history.
.@Walking_Weapon is in the IMPACT Zone to relinquish the IMPACT World Championship.@SteveMaclin @ScottDAmore @JadeChung11 #IMPACTonAXSTV pic.twitter.com/wLjNRRpZhe— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 7, 2023
Alexander had a warning for Kushida and Maclin. If they can hold the championship long enough, then he will be back to take the title he never lost. Just as Alexander was going to hand the belt over to D’Amore, his little boy ran over to grab the championship that meant so much to his father. Alexander then handed over the gold to officially end his title reign.
.@SteveMaclin is rubbing salt in the wound! @Walking_Weapon @JadeChung11 @ScottDAmore #KUSHIDA#IMPACTonAXSTV pic.twitter.com/o3Ct4sbzBP— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 7, 2023
Maclin stepped in demanding he be awarded the world championship right now. He claimed Alexander was ducking him by using the injury as a way out. Maclin tried to provoke a fight with Alexander, so D’Amore stepped in to call Maclin a cowardly son of a bitch. D’Amore reminded Maclin that he recently tapped out to Kushida in the Hoverboard Lock submission. Maclin argued that it was a tactical retreat to remain 100% healthy for Rebellion. Tensions rose, Maclin and Kushida got face to face, and chaos erupted.
Kushida quickly surprised Maclin with the Hoverboard Lock. Maclin escaped and grabbed the title belt on his way out. Kushida followed with a dive to the outside. Kushida took the belt back and stood tall to close the show.
Who will leave #Rebellion NEW IMPACT World Champion!?@SteveMaclin #KUSHIDA#IMPACTonAXSTV pic.twitter.com/bs8PKAY2I3— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 7, 2023
Kushida versus Maclin for the Impact World Championship is set as the main event of Rebellion on April 16.
How well do you think that segment played out to close one chapter and start anew?