There was a lot of great wrestling during WrestleMania week. One match that flew under the radar was Josh Alexander defending the Impact World Championship against Kenta. This contest aired as taped content (from February 25) during Impact Wrestling. The match has extra importance now as the final title defense for Alexander before relinquishing the championship due to injury to end his 348-day reign.
Impact posted the match available for your enjoyment. The written recap continues below the video.
This contest was champion versus champion, even though, only the Impact World Championship was on the line. Kenta entered holding the NJPW Strong Openweight Championship.
Kenta played mind games early and often to gain an advantage. Alexander focused on suplexes and slams to soften Kenta for the ankle lock. When Alexander went for a German suplex, Kenta grabbed the ropes to prevent the maneuver. In the process of defense, Kenta ripped off the turnbuckle pad.
Kenta had momentum down the stretch for a draping DDT off the ropes. He followed for a running boot, a running dropkick, and a flying double stomp. Alexander kicked out on the cover.
Somehow @Walking_Weapon kicks out of a HUGE Double Stomp from @KENTAG2S!#IMPACTonAXSTV pic.twitter.com/eadtfLiczH— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) March 31, 2023
Kenta went for the GTS finisher. Alexander elbowed out before execution, but Kenta flattened him with palm strikes. Kenta went for the GTS again. This time, the knee strike was blocked by Alexander to counter for an ankle lock. Kenta rolled through to escape and sent Alexander colliding face-first into the exposed turnbuckle. Kenta went for the pin. 1, 2, Alexander kicked out.
Kenta continued with a Busaiku Knee. Alexander kicked out again. Kenta lowered his knee pad for the GTS. Alexander was able to escape once more. Strikes were exchanged. Alexander caught a kick to counter for the ankle lock. Kenta rolled over to send Alexander toward the exposed steel. The Impact champ would not fall for the same trick twice. Alexander stopped short and flipped to script to snake eyes Kenta onto the unpadded turnbuckle. A ripcord elbow paved the way for Alexander to finish with the C4 spike piledriver. Victory went to Alexander.
C4 SPIKE!@Walking_Weapon #IMPACTonAXSTV pic.twitter.com/eXZAGoHh7Y— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) March 31, 2023
Alexander defeated Moose on April 23, 2022 to win the Impact World Championship. The list of challengers fallen by the wayside includes Moose, Tomohiro Ishii, Eric Young, Joe Doering, Alex Shelley, Eddie Edwards, Bobby Fish, Frankie Kazarian, “Speedball” Mike Bailey, Bully Ray, Rich Swann, and Kenta.
What were your favorite moments for Josh Alexander’s world title reign?