Rhino has won numerous championships throughout his career. The ECW World Heavyweight Championship and the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship are the crown jewels of his singles success. The hardcore veteran had his chance to reach the mountaintop again when competing against Steve Maclin for the Impact World Championship. Rhino’s shot at glory ended in an ambulance ride to the hospital on Thursday night’s episode of Impact Wrestling (May 11, 2023).
Rhino roughed up the champ early. Maclin gained control by targeting Rhino’s surgically repaired left knee. Maclin missed a flying headbutt, and that opened the window for Rhino to rally. The challenger executed a superplex, but he clutched his knee upon impact. That brief hesitation on the cover allowed Maclin time to kick out.
HUGE Superplex from #Rhino!#IMPACTonAXSTV pic.twitter.com/6czHyYVilx— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) May 12, 2023
Rhino followed up with a spinebuster. He was slow again on the cover. Maclin kicked out. Rhino sized up the champ for a Gore. Rhino charged, but his knee gave out. Maclin capitalized for a Gore to use Rhino’s own finisher against him for victory.
.@SteveMaclin defeats #Rhino with a GORE!?#IMPACTonAXSTV pic.twitter.com/gVxyMYdDrs— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) May 12, 2023
Maclin wanted to make a statement after the match and continued attacking Rhino’s knee. Mr. Mayhem viciously smashed the joint with a chair and a shovel.
.@SteveMaclin is continuing the assault on #Rhino! #IMPACTonAXSTV pic.twitter.com/9Ry2fDXMwU— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) May 12, 2023
For what it’s worth, Heath had been attacked backstage by Champagne Singh and Shera, so the Redhead Rebel was unable to save for his best friend.
Rhino was taken away on a stretcher to an ambulance for passage to a hospital. Impact head honcho Scott D’Amore was livid with Maclin, so he doled out a modicum of revenge. Maclin’s world title defense against PCO at Under Siege was now turned into a No DQ contest.
Maclin went back to the ambulance to finish the job on Rhino. When he opened the doors, PCO burst out for a brawl in the alleyway. Maclin made a tactical retreat. There will be no running for Maclin at Under Siege on May 26.
BREAKING: During the break @ScottDAmore made @SteveMaclin vs. @PCOisNotHuman's IMPACT World Championship match at #UnderSiege NO DQ!— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) May 12, 2023
Get tickets and be there LIVE: https://t.co/JApLudB4MR pic.twitter.com/AEyUKIhRgG
Do you think a No DQ stipulation favors Steve Maclin or PCO?