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Impact recap & reactions (June 15, 2023): Nick Aldis turns heel

Nick Aldis is a crafty fellow. He’s been playing the respectful lad since returning to Impact. Once his goal of winning the world title was within reach, his true colors came out. Aldis turned heel during the latest episode of Impact Wrestling (June 15, 2023).

Alex Shelley sat on top of the world after winning the Impact World Championship from Steve Maclin at Against All Odds. The new champ was humble in glory.

The Impact Wrestling broadcast opened with the Motor City Machine Guns celebrating success. Shelley stood in the ring as world champion, and Chris Sabin proudly held the X-Division Championship for the ninth time.

Shelley had been a mentor to others in their quest for world titles, and now it was his turn to prove to himself that he could achieve the same. It is a new era in Impact, the Machine Gun era.

Enter #1 contender Nick Aldis. He didn’t come out to step on their moment. They truly do deserve it. When Aldis started in Impact, it was Shelley who reached out with a helping hand. Aldis reminded the world that he isn’t the same wrestler as back in those days. The National Treasure has ascended to a higher level. Aldis then congratulated Shelley on finally reaching his level. Despite the competitive trash-talk, Aldis seemed genuine when saying Impact has a world champion they can be proud of.

The segment broke down from there. Trey Miguel, Kenny King with Sheldon Jean, Gisele Shaw with Savannah Evans, Trinity, and Deonna Purrazzo all come out to say their piece. Santino Marella wrapped up the segment using his Director of Authority powers to book a 10-person tag team main event.

Shelley, Sabin, Aldis, Purrazzo, & Trinity stood on one side. Trey, King, Jean, Shaw, & Evans stood on the other side. Shelley was the game-changer cleaning house down the stretch. The match erupted in chaos with moves all around. King and Jean had the advantage on Shelley, but the world champ ducked causing King to accidentally kick Jean. Aldis rushed in to clear the path for victory. Aldis dumped King on a Michinoku driver, then he stood guard as Shelley secured the win with a Shell Shock on Jean.

Up to this point, everything seemed hunky-dory between Aldis and Shelley as friendly rivals competing for Impact’s top prize. That’s when Aldis took advantage of the situation. He had Shelley’s trust, so this next moment came completely by surprise. Aldis took the title belt to praise Shelley. Instead of handing it over, Aldis clocked the champ with the championship and stood over him shouting.

At the time, I wasn’t sure if this was a full blown heel turn or more of a tweener lesson for Shelley to keep his head on a swivel. Never forget Steve Austin’s advice, “Don’t trust anybody.” Aldis chimed in on social media to make it perfectly clear. A heeling he will go, “Jeez finally...all this pretending to like people and spirit-of-competition stuff was getting exhausting.”

A bad attitude from Aldis adds sizzle to the Slammiversary main event.

Let’s blitz through the rest of the results from Impact Wrestling.

  • Steve Maclin blamed Scott D’Amore for losing the world championship. That result should have been thrown out when he hit his head on the exposed turnbuckle. He was also enraged that the rematch will take place in Australia.
  • The Design did not come to fruition losing to oVe. Deaner put the blame on Angels. Angels shot back that it was Deaner who hit him with a baseball bat. Kon silenced the bickering to point out Sami Callihan’s plan to destroy them from within. The Design didn’t want to play into Callihan’s plans. They vowed to establish dominance over Impact.
  • Rich Swann defeated Moose. Competitive speed versus power battle. Moose sized up for a spear, but Swann sidestepped and scored a roll-up to win.
  • Heath’s time in Impact has been a roller coaster. Without Rhino, he’ll have to go solo for awhile. Heath cautioned the roster not to sleep on him or else they’ll get a Wake Up Call.
  • Brian Myers suggested that Moose join him to go after the Impact tag titles.
  • Bully Ray filed an official complaint about Scott D’Amore hitting him with a chair at Against All Odds. Bully is a victim, and he demanded justice. D’Amore arrived to announce he is taking a leave of absence from his position of power. A smile crept across Bully’s face. D’Amore surprised Bully with a takedown and punches. Maclin ran in to pound on D’Amore. PCO flashed on the scene to even the odds. D’Amore announced that he had previously booked himself and PCO in a tag match against Bully and Maclin for Slammiversary. (Full details here.)
  • Frankie Kazarian lipped off to Bully and Maclin. Eddie Edwards entered with a kendo stick watching Kaz’s back. They don’t see eye to eye, but they have a bond from being trained by Killer Kowalski.
  • Ace Austin & Chris Bey defeated Decay. The tag champs handled business with the Art of Finesse and the Fold combo. Backstage, the Motor City Machine Guns shook hands with ABC out of respect for carrying the tag division.
  • Bhupinder Gujjar was interrupted by Dango. Insults were exchanged.

This episode of Impact Wrestling had a lot of talking. Thankfully, most of the segments resulted in direct story movement. The gears are turning to set the stage for Slammiversary. Two moments in particular stood out above the rest.

Aldis turning heel is an interesting move. Impact already has Deonna Purrazzo versus Trinity for the Knockouts Championship on the PPV, so Shelley and Aldis acting the same would feel redundant. No need to worry about that any longer. Aldis’ heel turn adds more intrigue at predicting the winner. I don’t believe Aldis is locked in to a long-term deal, so he could end up being a speed bump in Shelley’s run. On the other hand, Aldis winning the belt and gloating as champion would set up a big money bout for when Josh Alexander returns from injury.

The interaction between Bully Ray and Scott D’Amore was fantastic entertainment. It was comedic with Bully playing the victim. He hit all the right notes on delivery as a scumbag manipulator. D’Amore brought the surprise in taking a temporary leave of absence, then he brought the thunder tackling Bully. It was like watching a schoolyard fight. D’Amore had enough and stepped up to the bully.

Share your thoughts on the latest episode of Impact Wrestling.

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