Steve Maclin has arrived as a star in Impact. Even though he entered the Under Siege event (May 26, 2023) carrying the Impact World Championship, the cloud of Josh Alexander’s injury hung over his reign. Maclin is in nobody’s shadow anymore after a bloody fight with PCO to retain the world title.
No DQ stipulation in effect for the main event. Maclin and PCO charged to the center of the ring for fisticuffs at the sound of the opening bell. The action carried outside for brawling on the floor. Maclin snapped a suplex to PCO onto the ring steps. The champ pulled out weapons from under the ring and whacked PCO several times upside the head. Maclin went for a suicide dive, but PCO intercepted with a cookie sheet swing on Maclin’s dome.
Maclin was a bloody mess gushing crimson all over the mat.
The wildest moment of the match came when Maclin stapled PCO’s mouth shut. The French-Canadian Frankenstein had to use pliers to pull the staples from his face.
Maclin knew he had to go to drastic measures to stop the monster. He brought out concrete slabs to place on PCO’s spine for a sledgehammer session. Even though PCO was in tremendous pain, he kicked out on the cover.
PCO fired up throwing punches. His attack continued with a DDT, Codebreaker, and flying leg drop. Maclin weathered the storm and threw a chair at PCO’s head. Maclin pulled PCO off the turnbuckles crashing down onto the apron.
Maclin put his next plan into motion by setting up a bed of cinder blocks in the ring. PCO rallied once more with a reverse DDT and placed Maclin atop the blocks. PCO climbed the corner. Maclin sprang up with urgency to snatch PCO for a slam onto the blocks. Maclin finally finished the monster with the KIA DDT onto the blocks for victory.
That match was insane. It is definitely worthy of being on the Impact Match of the Year list when the end of the year rolls around. Glory goes to the winner, so Maclin will receive the majority of praise for this badass bout. A lot of credit must also be shared with PCO for putting his body through all that pain. Also, shout out to whoever was the craftsman for the creativity of violence in this fight. It was consistent with the idea that PCO belongs in a monster movie.
The show didn’t end there.
Maclin called out D’Amore to place the world title around his waist. Once Maclin exited with satisfaction, Bully Ray choked D’Amore from behind and powerbombed him through a flaming table. Maclin assisted in the assault due to his disdain for D’Amore. (Full details here.)
Let’s run down the rest of the card.
Knockouts Championship: Deonna Purrazzo retained against Jordynne Grace. If Grace lost, then she would not be allowed to challenge for the title again as long as it is in the possession of the Virtuosa.
Purrazzo and Grace wrestled a tactical battle revolving on a variety of piledrivers. Purrazzo was never able to secure a tight armbar, and Grace could never execute her Grace driver finisher. The champ and challenger had to take the fight up a notch to earn victory. Purrazzo got the upper hand on the turnbuckles for an avalanche piledriver to win. (Full details here.)
#1 contender: Alex Shelley earned a world title shot. Shelley competed against Moose, Eddie Edwards, Frankie Kazarian, Jonathan Gresham, and Yuya Uemura. Chaotic pace of action. The closing sequence started with Kaz tricking Gresham into a slingshot cutter. Kaz secured a chickenwing submission on Uemura, but Edwards blasted Kaz with the Boston Knee Party. Moose speared Edwards. Uemura hit a German suplex on Moose and exploded with emotion pounding his chest. Shelley picked his spot with a superkick to stun Uemura, then Shelley finished with a Shell Shock to win. Shelley will get his shot at Maclin for the Impact World Championship at Against All Odds on July 9.
X-Division Championship: Trey Miguel retained against Chris Sabin. Trey brought his A-game on offense. Sabin worked the legs to ground the champ. Trey picked up steam to hit the Meteora, but Sabin kicked out. Trey hit a sliding DDT on the floor and went for a second Meteora. Sabin dodged the impact and lifted Trey for the Cradle Shock finisher. Trey gouged the eyes to escape. Sabin blindly picked up the referee for the Cradle Shock, then he realized his error and released. Trey took advantage to dropkick Sabin into the referee. Ref down! Sabin pounced for a Cradle Shock. Sabin had Trey pinned long enough to earn the win, but the referee was compromised. Trey rolled out of the ring to retrieve a foreign object as Sabin revived the ref. Trey sprayed paint in Sabin’s face and scored a roll-up to keep his gold.
Impact World Tag Team Championship: ABC retained against Subculture. The UK challengers consisted of Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster with Dani Luna on the outside. High-flying action throughout. Subculture was milliseconds away from victory on a running knee strike into a reverse rana combo to Chris Bey, but Ace Austin made the save in the nick of time. Later, Subculture went for the same finisher on Bey. This time, Bey countered for a double reverse rana. ABC closed with the Art of Finesse and The Fold on Andrews to win.
Trinity defeated Gisele Shaw. Trinity had Shaw scouted well and wasn’t fooled by her tricks in the ring. It was a different story with Jai Vidal and Savannah Evans interfering. They helped Shaw take control, and the Quintessential Diva slapped the taste out of Trinity’s mouth. Shaw followed with a sweet suplex.
Trinity rallied with speedy offense and the split-legged moonsault.
The match carried on as equals in the ring. Shaw hit a rope-hung DDT. Trinity kicked out. Shaw sized up her opponent for a running knee strike. Trinity ducked, clobbered Shaw’s goons, then went over the top on a sunset flip transition to the Starstruck submission.
Sami Callihan, Rich Swann, & mystery partner defeated the Design. Callihan brought in oVe mate Jake Crist as the surprise. Kon was the destroyer of the match, and Callihan’s team had to figure out how to topple him. Once they did, the path was clear to victory. Callihan executed a piledriver on Deaner. Angels made the save, but Swann rolled him up for victory. (Full details here.)
Nick Aldis defeated Kenny King. Sheldon Jean was ringside. King took the fight to Aldis in the first half. Aldis found his groove in the second half. When the National Treasure landed a flying elbow drop, Jean distracted the referee to prevent a three-count. Aldis clobbered Jean, then King scored a roll-up with his feet on the ropes for leverage. The referee noticed King cheating. The match continued. Aldis caught King in the air for a powerbomb and finished with a cloverleaf submission.
Killer Kelly brawling with Masha Slamovich. After the Aldis match, Kelly and Slamovich rumbled through the crowd fighting each other. This was not an official contest. They eventually made their way to ring. Kelly suplexed Slamovich on the floor and choked the Russian with a chain. Referees finally intervened to restore order. That bonus fight was a cool wrinkle to add to the show.
The free pre-show had a pair of bouts.
Impact Digital Media Championship: Joe Hendry retained against Dirty Dango. The new version of Dango entered to a rock theme wearing shorts and a sleeveless denim jacket. Dango stalled to start, but Hendry walloped him with a clothesline. Hendry dominated Dango all around the ring until Dango rammed Hendry into the ring post. Dango worked more of a chain wrestling style than his usual dancing offense. Hendry regained control, so Dango pulled the referee in front to block the champ. Dango got dirty with a hard low blow. The referee ruled a disqualification. Dango added extra punishment after the bell. Santino Marella ran in for the save. Dango scurried away with a smile and a hip thrust.
Later in the broadcast, Santino had some angry words for Dango. Sonna ma gun!
Death Dollz defeated The Coven. Non-title bout for the Knockouts tag champs. Courtney Rush (aka Rosemary) slapped on a sharpshooter to Taylor Wilde, but KiLynn King snatched Rush for a German suplex. That led to the witches isolating Rush and the inevitable hot tag to Jessicka. The Coven regrouped and had their eye on finishing Rush in a teamwork maneuver. Jessicka made the save with a huge shoulder tackle on King. Rush escaped Wilde’s grip to counter with the sharpshooter for victory. Death Dollz!
Under Siege was a pretty good show. What it lacked in news with zero title changes, it made up for with the wild angle to close. I like the rub by association Bully Ray gave to Steve Maclin in that instance. Maclin has been lacking that something special to make his title reign memorable. Now, Maclin is right on the same level of scumbaggery as Bully. Their actions make it easy to become emotional invested in seeing Maclin get his ass kicked. And Bully too for that matter. Thanks to the main event, Maclin showed how tough that task will be. No longer will he be viewed as being in the right place at the right time (due to Josh Alexander’s injury) to win the world title. This evening defined Maclin as a star in Impact.
The Knockouts Championship bout was in that epic style of piledriver slugfest. It wasn’t the cleanest in execution when working the turnbuckles, but the magnitude of the stipulation made it easier to overlook those instances. Deonna Purrazzo will likely move on to a showdown with Trinity. For Jordynne Grace, I have no clue what’s next in her Impact journey. She really sold the devastation of losing.
Speaking of Trinity, she had a strong showing with Gisele Shaw. Trinity took down a legit contender to build her way to the top. Nick Aldis is on a similar journey chasing the world title. He dispatched a quality opponent in Kenny King. Both Trinity and Aldis hit their signature spots in style. Just look at Aldis launching for distance on his flying elbow drop.
The #1 contender bout, the X-Division title match, and the tag title contest were all blitzes of action with amazing athleticism.
Share your thoughts on Impact’s Under Siege special event.