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Himanshu’s Impact Wrestling Review 02.02.23

February 2, 2023 | Posted by Himanshu Doi
Impact Wrestling Deaner Sami Callilhan Image Credit: Impact Wrestling
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Himanshu’s Impact Wrestling Review 02.02.23  

Hey there, IMPACT fans! It’s Thursday and that means it’s time for another episode of IMPACT Wrestling. I’m Himanshu (you can follow me on @Himanshu_Doi) and you know how this works. Tonight, IMPACT World Champion Josh Alexander joins forces with No. 1 contender Rich Swann, Frankie Kazarian & Yuya Uemura to battle the team of The Design & Sami Callihan in an 8 Man tag team main event, the Bullet Club pairing of Chris Bey & Ace Austin takes on the team of Kevin Knight & Kushida, newcomer Sheldon Jean goes one-on-one with Decay’s Crazzy Steve and Gisele Shaw battles Savannah Evans in Knockouts action. So let’s jump right in!

As a reminder, the GoFundMe for Larry’s daughters is still active and if you can make a donation, that would be awesome. Thank you so much to everyone who’s done so thus far.

IMPACT Wrestling

Match 1: Ace Austin and Chris Bey vs Kushida and Kevin Knight

Kevin Knight and Chris Bey start as Bey chops Knight in the corner but Knight gets out of another one and hits a standing frog splash on Bey. Knight goes for a crossbody but Bey hits a dropkick on Knight for a two. Tag to Ace Austin and he gets a double arm wringer on Kevin Knight with Bey. Knight gets out of the opposite corner and tags to Kushamida who clears house. Kushida reverse the Art of Finesse into an armbar but Bey reverses it into a pin for two. Knight and Bey climb on Ace and Kushida’s shoulders and get into a slap fight. Bey is on the top rope as Ace clears Kushida out of the ring. Kevin Knight kicks Ace out of the ring and looks for a crossbody but Chris Bey hits an Art of Finesse from the top rope onto the apron. Bey and Ace hit an Art of Finesse followed by the Fold for the win.

Result: Ace Austin and Chris Bey def. Kushida and Kevin Knight by pinfall
Rating: ****½
Himanshu’s Hot Take: Great match. It’s great to see Ace Austin and Chris Bey being built up as a legit tag team. I’d like to see Kevin Knight be a regular in IMPACT when he’s not working the NJPW Strong shows.

Sami Callihan is backstage with The Design. Cody says step three was to bring the title to The Design. Sami Callihan came close but failed and he said there will be consequences. Cody knows how Sami feels. No mercy was given to Cody, but Cody is going to give him and opportunity at redemption which is step four. He said tonight, Sami must win.

A promo aired for Steph DeLander’s debut next week.

Match 2: Gisele Shaw vs Savannah Evans

Shaw and Evans face off and Shaw pushes her away before Evans hits a forearm on her. Evans throws Shaw from the corner with a toss as we go to commercial.

Back from commercial and Shaw and Evans exchange forearms before Evans hits a Samoan Drop on Shaw. Shaw hits a spinebuster followed by a Fisherman Suplex for two. Vidal distracted the referee as Shaw raked Evans’ eyes followed by a knee strike for the win.

Result: Gisele Shaw def. Savannah Evans by pinfall
Rating: ***
Himanshu’s Hot Take: Savannah Evans has shown great improvement in the ring of late and she continues to show that here.

Gisele Shaw gets a mic and tells everyone to shut up. She says a lot of people call her the black widow of IMPACT Wrestling because she destroys every tag team she touches. She doesn’t care because Tasha Steelz, The Influence or Chelsea Green is gone because of her. She says she is not meant to be in a tag team. She is meant to destroy every tag team in her way because the spotlight will always shine on the quintessential diva.

Kenny King finds two random people backstage and tells them he exposed Mike Bailey. He comes across Johnny Swinger and Zicky Dice. Zicky says if Kenny wants a fight he will get it. Kenny said he’s going to Santino and will ask for one. Swinger isn’t happy but Zicky tells Swinger to trust him.

Santino tells Kenny that he will face Johnny Swinger. Maclin comes up to Santino and says he beat the No. 1 contender for the World Championship, so it is only fair that he gets a shot at the title. Santino says he can’t, but he has an idea. There will be four matches to determine places in a 4-way match at No Surrender for the No. 1 contendership for the World Title. Dirty Dango comes up and asks to be in the qualifying match. Santino says he’s already in it.

Match 3: Crazzy Steve vs Sheldon Jean

Sheldon Jean takes down Crazzy Steve with a calf kick and is playing to the camera before Steve takes him down and twists his neck with his feet. Steve gets Jean in the corner and hits a cannonball. Steve hits Belladonna’s Kiss for the win.

Result: Crazzy Steve def. Sheldon Jean by pinfall
Rating: **
Himanshu’s Hot Take: Decent match. I don’t know if Sheldon Jean is signed or not but he is solid. I wouldn’t be against him getting a longer run in IMPACT.

After the match, Trey jumps Black Taurus and is attacks Steve but Steve bites him and spray paints Trey Miguel’s logo on his chest.

Gia Miller is backstage with Jordynne Grace and Jordynne says she has a rematch clause for the Knockouts Title. She says Steph DeLander is coming to IMPACT and she will face Steph next week.

Backstage, Santino finds Raven and asks him for advice. Raven tells Santino to make him champ. Santino says he will consider it and walks away. The Yeti comes up to Raven and asks if the Flock is coming back together. Raven tells him to calm down. The Yeti says Raven hurts his feelings when Raven is mean to him and that he cries at night.

Bully Ray comes out and the fans chant “You tapped out”. Bully Ray says he’s starting to get the feeling that people there don’t like him. He feels like the wrestlers don’t like him, the management doesn’t like him, the fans don’t like him, he would go so far as to say that the entire wrestling business doesn’t like him. It was obvious that the guy in charge doesn’t like him. He says he wasn’t invited in the Six-shooter match. He reminds Santino of what happened to Scott D’Amore. He says Tommy Dreamer doesn’t like him and he doesn’t like Tommy Dreamer either. He says they don’t like each other even on Busted Open. He says Dreamer has been lying to you all these years. He says Tommy Dreamer is the biggest phony the business has ever seen. He says Tommy wants to be liked by everybody. He says Tommy Dreamer is nothing but a snake. Mickie James’ music hits and she comes out. Mickie says he ruined her celebration last time so it’s fair that she returned the favour. Mickie says it’s true he doesn’t get along with Dreamer. She says he has the audacity to call Tommy Dreamer a politicking snake when that was his MO. She says last time she told him to get out of her ring, now she’s asking him to get out of IMPACT. Bully asks what’s wrong with her and says he will take a shot at her so he tells her to be careful. He says he’s done worse to most women in this business. He says he could’ve taken the high road but he’s going to take the low road. Mickie slaps Bully Ray. Bully hits her with a scoop slam and goes for a piledriver as the Good Hands look for a table. Dreamer comes out with a kendo stick and clears the ring. Dreamer says he and Bully Ray is 30 years in the making. Tommy says the Good Hands jumped him last week and he challenged them to a tag team match as he teams with Mickie James. Santino comes out and says Tommy doesn’t have the authority to make matches, he does. He says they will fight the Good Hands next week, but Bully Ray is barred from ringside.

Killer Kelly backstage promo and she says she already beat Taylor Wilde but Taylor is obsessed with her. Taylor comes up to Kelly and said they should get together. Kelly doesn’t understand and The Death Dollz show up and Rosemary says she understood what Taylor said and challenged them to a match.

Match 4: Kenny King vs Johnny Swinger

King backs Swinger in the corner. Swinger tells something to Zicky who distracts Kenny and Swinger looks to take advantage but King hits the Royal Flush for the win.

Result: Kenny King def. Johnny Swinger by pinfall
Rating: SQUASH
Himanshu’s Hot Take: Quick and short, as you would expect. It was recently announced that Kenny King signed a long-term contract with IMPACT so I’m looking forward to seeing more of him after his feud with Mike Bailey.

Kenny King says after the match that the entire locker room is on target.

Masha Slamovich is backstage as Bully Ray comes up to her and says Mickie has been highly disrespectful to her of late. He says he knows she is going to take care of Mickie. He says if he was Mickie, he would never disrespect Masha. Masha says something in Russian and walks off.

Matt Cardona is backstage and gathers people to show a song that he came up with. The song was about how he was going to take Hendry’s mom on a date. By the end of it, nobody was watching except one guy. He said the song was bad. Matt Cardona says Hendry called him Edge’s bitch. Another guy came up and said he liked that song. Cardona is irate.

Match 5: Josh Alexander, Frankie Kazarian, Rich Swann and Yuya Uemura vs The Design and Sami Callihan

Rich Swann and Cody start off but Cody tagged to Sami. Sami pops him up into a forearm and tags to Alan Angels. Swann takes Angels down with a head Scissors and tags to Yuya who hits a dropkick on Angels. Both tag out and Alexander and Cody face off. They exchange slaps before Cody bites Alexander. All men face off against each other and get into a fight. The Design retreats to the outside before Swann hits a Swanton on them as we go to commercial break.

Back from commercial and Kazarian is in the ring and he hits a scoop slap followed by a springboard leg drop. Swann gets the tag and Angels hits a power slam on him and tags to Cody. Cody grabs Swann and tags to Kon who stomps Swann in the corner stretches his mouth open. Tag to Sami and he grabs Swann’s leg and tags to Cody who sets up Swann in the corner and hits a dropkick for two. Tag to Angels who stomps Rich in the corner and hits a neckbreaker for two. Tag to Kon who flips Swann around followed by a missile dropkick for two. Tag to Cody who gets Swann’s leg in a leg bar while he tags to Kon who hits a leg drop for two. Tag to Callihan who grabs Swann’s leg but Swann gets out of it and tags to Josh Alexander. Alexander clears house and gets Kon in an Ankle Lock. Kon pushes him off and Uemura tags himself in and hits a dropkick on Kon. Tag to Callihan who gouges Yuya’s eyes. He goes for a piledriver with the “Thumbs up” but Cody stops him. Kon hits Kaz with a spinebuster. Uemura hits a side slam on Kon. Sami Callihan hits a piledriver on Uemura for the win.

Result: The Design and Sami Callihan def. Josh Alexander, Frankie Kazarian, Rich Swann and Yuya Uemura by pinfall
Rating: ***¾
Himanshu’s Hot Take: Great match as you’d expect from all these guys. Sami needed the win here to follow on from the loss last week at the hands of Rich Swann. It was also great to see Yuya Uemura get to be in the main event with some of the top stars in the company.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Solid episode of IMPACT. A great match to open and close the show. Ace Austin and Chris Bey are getting a big push in the tag team division and I'm here for it. Kevin Knight can be a great addition to the IMPACT roster in the absence of Kushida. Sami Callihan gets the win as they continue to build the story of his joining The Design. Matt Cardona is doing some great stuff with Joe Hendry and Bully Ray continues to cut solid promos and draw heat. The tag match opening the show is my match of the night.

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Impact Wrestling, Himanshu Doi