IMPACT Wrestling Victory Road
September 8th, 2023
By: John Siino
Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY
Commentary: Tom Hannifan & Matthew Rehwoldt
Rich Swann, Sami Callihan & Jake Something vs. The Design (Deaner & Kon) & Dirty Dango (w/ Alpha Bravo) (Dark Match)
Jake Something hit The Void on Deaner for the pin at 4:48 in a fun opener to get the crowd ready for the main show. This match should air in the next couple of days as a Digital Media exclusive.
Alan Angels vs. Guido Maritato (Countdown To Victory Road)
Alan Angels got on the mic and said he doesn’t know if any of these idiots here in New York have paid attention but he’s issued an open challenge to anybody, including someone who helped set up the ring tonight or one of those ‘dusty, crusty’ old veterans in the back who feel they have something to prove. Out came Guido Maritato who first wrestled here in White Plains as Little Guido back in 1999 for ECW against Super Calo. Bit of back and forth until Guido hit a leg drop off the ropes, but took too long to cover, getting a two-count. Angels used this down to get the referee to cover for him, as he raked Guido’s eyes and hit the Angels Wings to get the pin and the win.
Winner: Alan Angels by pinfall at 5:24
Anything Goes, Carl
We see footage of PCO walking in the parking lot of the Westchester County Center, but he gets run over by a car. Bully Ray comes out of the car and says ‘Anything goes, Carl, you ain’t making it to the match tonight’.
Moose & Brian Myers vs. ABC (Ace Austin & Chris Bey) (Countdown to Victory Road)
On the eve of IMPACT 1000, Chris Bey is having his 500th professional wrestling match. Bey and Moose start the match, with Moose overpowering Bey right into his corner, but Bey is able to use his speed to outmaneuver and dodge Moose. Brian Myers and Ace Austin come in, as the ABC start double-teaming on Myers in their own corner. Bey starts doing his ‘too sweet’ chops until Moose takes out Bey, while on the apron and gets tagged in by Moose. Now the heels start double-teaming on Bey, but using cheating tactics and keeping Bey downed. Eventually, Bey escapes and makes the hot tags to Austin who goes to town on Myers and Moose, including a springboard missile dropkick to knock Moose to the outside. Moose & Myers break up the ‘One Two Sweet’ attempt and power bomb Bey and Austin with one each. Bey is able to dodge a Roster Cut and roll up Myers for the surprise pin.
Winners: ABC (Chris Bey & Ace Austin) by pinfall at 8:48
IMPACT X-Division Championship: Lio Rush (c) vs. KUSHIDA
As soon as the bell rings, Lio Rush escapes to the outside and then starts running around the outside and inside as Kushida chases him around. KUSHIDA eventually is able to catch up and puts on the Hoverboard Lock into the ropes before kicking him in the arm and following with body slams for two. KUSHIDA keeps attacking Rush in the corner with strikes and kicks, but Rush is able to escape with a rake in the eyes. KUSHIDA continues attacking Rush’s arm, using the exposed metal piece of the turnbuckle to stretch it out. Rush is able to fight his way back out, clotheslining KUSHIDA off of him and mounting the back of KUSHIDA with clubs to the neck. Rush goes to grab his belt, but the referee stops him and tells him to put it back. Instead, Rush puts on KUSHIDA’s glasses and goes right after KUSHIDA. Rush ends up hitting a handspring kick to KUSHIDA knocking him off the apron, but when Rush dives onto him on the outside, KUSHIDA catches him into the Hoverboard Lock and brings it back inside where he puts it right back on. Rush fights it off and they kick each other down until they are laid out. They slowly start trading strikes, until they speed it up and throw in kicks as well until the referee gets struck. Rush uses this opportunity to hit the low blow followed by the Final Hour for the pin and the win.
Winner: Lio Rush by pinfall at 10:09, to retain
He’s Not Human
We see Santino Marella and the medical team checking on PCO in the back after he got run over by the car, as they tell Santino that PCO can’t compete tonight and must go to the hospital immediately. At this point, PCO sits up and screams for Bully and gets up to go look for him as Santino says ‘he’s not human’.
IMPACT Knockouts Tag Team Championship: MK Ultra (Masha Slamovich & Killer Kelly) (c) vs. Gisele Shaw & Savannah Evans (w/ Jai Vidal)
Masha Slamovich and Gisele Shaw start the match, with Masha taking Gisele down and working on her arm, before taking her down for a two-count and tagging in Killer Kelly as they start double-teaming on her. Kelly hits a Fisherman suplex for two before delivering some knees to the face, but as she runs the ropes, Jai Vidal holds the ropes and makes Kelly spill to the outside. Savannah Evans tags in and starts taking turns with Gisele, working on Kelly in their corner. Kelly is able to dodge Gisele and kick her off to make the tag to Masha who goes after both Evans & Gisele, but Gisele breaks up the pin attempt. Vidal gets on the apron to distract the referee, as Gisele & Evans keep going after Masha until Evans kicks Gisele in the face by accident. Masha elbows her way off of Evans and hits a kick to the face, followed by the Snow Plow to get the pin and the win.
Winners: MK Ultra (Masha Slamovich & Killer Kelly) by pinfall at 8:12, to retain
The Last of Carl Ouelett
We see PCO walking in the back looking for Bully Ray, but Bully shows up from behind him and starts attacking him with a steel chair screaming that he’s just a man. Bully starts pouring gasoline all over PCO and says tonight we have seen the last of Carl Ouelett and the last of the monster PCO. Bully goes to light PCO on fire, but PCO is able to spit some of the fluid right back into Bully’s eyes as he screams and runs away from it.
Black Taurus vs. Crazzy Steve
Halloween came early with Crazzy Steve’s entrance, which looks pretty fantastic in a live setting. Tom Hannifan getting up during this, cowering in the corner, and staying stunned and silent during this was a very nice touch after what Steve did to him a couple of weeks back. Black Taurus goes right after his former Decay friend right away and sends him to the outside, where Steve is able to take control Steve gets in Hannifan’s face and tells him to relax and to rejoice and witness the birth of something beautiful. Back inside, they start attacking each other in the corner, but Steve is able to drive Taurus on the ropes and clothesline him down for a two-count. Steve starts saying how he’s going to take Taurus’ eyes out and starts going right at them with rakes and kicks. Steve continues and hits a sick-looking Crucifix Driver for a two-count. Taurus comes back with a Samoan drop as both men are laid out. Taurus continues to stay on top of Steve including a backbreaker, but at this point, Steve starts pleading to Taurus and says he is sorry, as Taurus seems to fall for it just to get attacked from behind. Steve goes and grabs a fork from under the ring, but as the referee takes it from him, Steve gouges the eyes of Taurus and hits his tornado DDT for the pin and the win.
Winner: Crazzy Steve by pinfall at 9:04
Building Of A Dreamer
Gia Miller is backstage with Tommy Dreamer and says no matter what, Dreamer will make history here tonight in his hometown by winning the championship or having his last match. Dreamer says being full of emotions is an understatement, and it’s not a sad thing as for the first time he’s feeling something he hasn’t felt in a long time, and that’s nerve. He won’t let doubt creep into his head, and he will try and live his life to inspire. This is the building where a 10-year-old kid, fell in love with this thing called professional wrestling. This is the very building if there’s ever proof that you can follow your dreams, you are looking at it. For 42 years, he has loved this, and if he loses he will shake Kenny King’s hand. Dreamer won’t go down without a fight and he will celebrate his life and career in the building where he first fell in love with this, in front of his family, friends, and everyone who’s supported him. And it’s the last match, he’s happy that it’s here but if he wins, it’s another chapter for him.
IMPACT Digital Media Championship: Kenny King (c) (w/ Sheldon Jean) vs. Tommy Dreamer (Title vs. Career)
Huge hometown pop for Tommy Dreamer, as his twin daughters Kimberly & Brianna are seated front row. Dreamer is in full Terry Funk gear as well, as well as wearing his original ECW boots. Kenny King starts taunting and taking down Dreamer to start the match, but the crowd is 100% behind Dreamer here with the chants. They start trading elbow drop attempts until they come to a standstill. Sheldon Jean holds King on the ropes from getting attacked, just for Dreamer to clothesline him as well as himself to the outside. Dreamer takes a bottle of water from a fan and spits it in King’s face. Dreamer goes to hit a suicide dive but King stops him with a kick to the face. King goes to the top rope, but Dreamer knocks him down and to the outside. They start fighting on the ramp, where King hits a suplex. Back inside, they fight a bit on the apron, before King knocks Dreamer off right in front of Dreamer’s daughters and punches him while talking trash to them. Back inside, they head to the top rope, as Dreamer hits a superplex. King starts teasing Sweet Chin Music and says ‘I’m sorry, I hate you’, but Dreamer stops him and hits a cutter for a two-count. King follows with a Blockbuster for two, before they go back and forth with roll-up attempts. Dreamer hits a Death Valley Driver and the piledriver but King is able to kick out. Dreamer looks at his Terry Funk and teases doing a top-rope moonsault, but Jean gets on the apron and snaps back the top rope, causing Dreamer to fall off. As the referee is ejecting Jean, Heath runs out from the crowd and takes out King with the Wake Up Call. Dreamer follows with the DDT for the pin and the win.
Winner: Tommy Dreamer by pinfall at 12:14, to become NEW IMPACT Digital Media Champion
Deonna Purrazzo vs. Jordynne Grace
This is Jordynne Grace’s first match back in IMPACT since she lost to Deonna Purrazzo at Under Siege this past May. Deonna goes to shake Grace’s hand, but Grace slaps it away and starts attacking Deonna in the corner and takes her down with shoulder blocks and a suplex that sends Deonna to the outside. They fight outside against the apron, before taking it back inside where Deonna starts working on Grace’s hand and arm. Deonna uses the rope to kick Grace’s hand up under and continues to twist away as Grace tries to punch her way out. Grace starts hitting a flurry of body slams, including a driver for a two-count. Deonna takes control with a suplex and goes right to putting on the Fujiwara armbar that Grace is able to escape out of. They head to the top rope, where Grace hits a superplex followed by a Jack Hammer for two. They go back and forth until Grace hits the coup d’état for a two. They start trading shots while Grace is on the apron, before taking each other down with a double clothesline. Grace hits a powerbomb, but Deonna stops her with a German Suplex. Deonna gets out of the Muscle Buster and puts on head scissors into the armbar. A bit of back and forth until Grace hits the Juggernaut Driver for the pin.
Winner: Jordynne Grace by pinfall at 11:48
Anything Goes Match: Bully Ray vs. PCO
We start the match in the back, as Bully Ray is trying to leave the building but Santino Marella and security stop him. Bully screams that PCO is still alive as Santino says he knows and Bully has a match tonight. PCO shows up from behind and starts attacking Bully as they head out to the ramp. Bully tosses PCO down the ramp and screams if we know who he is. There are tables, trash cans, and a ladder all throughout ringside as Bully uses a trash can on PCO’s back. Bully starts tossing the tables inside the ring as PCO sets up chairs on the outside, but as PCO tries to get in the ring, Bully knocks him off the apron onto the chairs. Bully sets the tables on the corners and one on the outside, but PCO stops him with a trash can as they enter the ring, and the match officially starts. And as soon as it does, PCO goes crashing into one of the tables before Bully tosses him onto the other two in the corners, and through the fourth one that was on the outside. PCO stands up which scares Bully to try and escape but Santino and security are up the ramp to stop him. Bully pushes Santino, who takes out the Cobra and hits Bully with it. PCO starts attacking Bully with the trash can and goes and brings the ladder inside and suplexes Bully onto it. Bully stops PCO on the top rope and tosses him onto the ladder, followed by an elbow drop for two-count. Bully finds a Rubik’s Cube, but can’t solve it so he smashes it to pieces. I feel your pain. Bully brings more tables inside and sets them up, before finding a cowbell. PCO hulks up from trash can shots and punches Bully with it before choke-slamming Bully through a table for two. PCO gets a cheese grater and uses it down low on Bully and grates it back and forth as Bully screams ‘My balls!’ PCO puts Bully on the table and hits him with the Deanimator, but the table doesn’t break. PCO puts the table in the corner and whips Bully into it, smashing through it to get the pin.
Winner: PCO by pinfall at 9:46
Gia Miller is backstage with Scott D’Amore & Eric Young where they hype up Saturday’s IMPACT 1000 show. D’Amore says how they are IMPACT Originals and in the first-ever episode, the first thing you see is Team Canada waving the Canadian flag. Young says it was an honor to be on the first show and hypes up all the talent returning as D’Amore mentions how M*A*S*H, Friends, Cheers & The Simpsons haven’t gone to a thousand episodes.
IMPACT World Tag Team Championship: The Rascalz (Trey Miguel & Zachary Wentz) (c) vs. The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin)
Trey Miguel & Chris Sabin start the match, but they run the ropes as Miguel takes control before Miguel’s opponent for IMPACT 1000 and IMPACT World Champion Alex Shelley tags in. The Motor City Machine Guns start double-teaming on Miguel, as Zachary Wentz joins in. The MCMG takes The Rascalz to the outside, but they are able to hit them with double super kicks. Miguel & Shelley go back inside, as Wentz tags in and starts stomping away at Shelley in the corner. Shelley, with Sabin’s help, starts attacking and hitting dragon screws to Wentz for a two-count. Shelley starts twisting Wentz’s leg and working on it, before putting on the figure-four, but all four run in as Sabin puts one on Miguel as well. Wentz is able to springboard kick his way out and tag Miguel in. All four start going at it inside until Shelley clotheslines Miguel down. Sabin starts dragon-screwing away at The Rascalz before diving onto them on the outside. The Rascalz start going after Sabin as Wentz hits a double stomp on Sabin for Miguel to get a two-count. Miguel grabs a title belt, but as a referee takes it away, Wentz hits Sabin for the other one, but Sabin kicks out at two. Wentz gets the spray can, but Shelley takes him off the apron. Miguel follows this with a dive into everybody on the outside. Miguel grabs the title belt again, but they stop it as Sabin ends up hitting a DDT to Miguel on top of the title, but John Skyler of The Good Hands is there to pull the referee out. As Sabin & Miguel go back and forth, Miguel pushes Sabin into the ropes where Wentz is there to spray paint him in the face. Miguel follows this with a roll-up to Sabin for the pin and the win.
Winners: The Rascalz (Trey Miguel & Zachary Wentz) by pinfall at 13:51, to retain
IMPACT Knockouts World Championship: Trinity (c) vs. Alisha Edwards (w/ Eddie Edwards)
In the short time she’s been able to build to this match, Alisha Edwards has done a great job of getting the crowd to hate her and even the idea of her winning the championship. Great entrance for Trinity with everybody getting into it with the glow sticks making an awesome atmosphere. Eddie Edwards takes Dave Penzer’s mic away during the match introductions and says Penzer isn’t qualified to give the type of introduction that she truly deserves. Alisha gets on the mic and says she doesn’t care that they are booing her and can’t understand their stupid New York accents. Eddie continues which prompts a Boston sucks chant from the crowd. Trinity’s introduction prompts her to be showered with her glow sticks. Trinity goes right after Alisha in the corner and hits a split leg drop as the crowd chants Ucey. Alisha goes to her husband on the outside, but Trinity kicks them off of each other. Eddie tries to swipe Trinity off the apron, which gives Alisha the advantage to hit a neckbreaker for two. Alisha continues on the attack until Trinity catches her in the corner before hitting punches and a backstabber for two. They tussle a bit, as Trinity accidentally takes out the referee with a kick. Trinity puts the Star Struck on, but Eddie runs in and takes Trinity out. Eddie sets up a table and goes to put Trinity through it, but Frankie Kazarian & Traci Brooks run out to take out Eddie. Kazarian places Eddie on the table on the outside, as Trinity dives onto him off the top rope. Back inside, Alisha uses a Kendo stick on Trinity, but Trinity is able to kick out. Trinity follows with a kick, drives Alisha down and pins her for the win.
Winner: Trinity by pinfall at 8:58, to retain
Mike Tenay & Don West Are Hall of Famers
They announce that the original commentary team of Mike Tenay & Don West will be entering the IMPACT Hall of Fame at Bound for Glory in Chicago on October 21st. This prompts a TNA chant from the crowd as Tom Hannifan makes the statement;
“To provide the lyrics to the soundtrack that IMPACT Wrestling creates is to attempt to meet the standards set by Mike Tenay & Don West. One of the greatest commentary teams in the history of professional wrestling will make it home in the IMPACT Hall of Fame at Bound for Glory.”
Steve Maclin vs. Josh Alexander
Both of these men are coming off of injury and finally having the singles match that was set up months ago. They start the match trying to take each other down, Josh Alexander starts working on Steve Maclin’s arm, before taking him down with arm drags and holding him down. They start trading chops before Maclin clotheslines Alexander and himself to the outside. Alexander starts chopping Maclin against the barricade before driving him down on the apron with a brain buster. Maclin comes back by snapping Alexander’s arm and driving him into the ring post. They start trading strikes before Maclin hits a backbreaker for a two. Alexander follows this with ten back-to-back German Suplexes with the last one getting a two-count. Maclin tosses Alexander to the outside where he hits him with a dive, and follows this by using the ring steps to attack Alexander’s arm. Alexander goes to flip off the turnbuckle, but his arm gives up. Maclin takes advantage and hits the Angle Slam for a two and continues to work on Alexander’s arm. They trade forearms before they end up on the apron, where Alexander hits him with the low crossbody sending them to the outside. Maclin tries to put on the cross arm breaker, but Maclin punches his way out. Alexander follows with a backbreaker and puts on the ankle lock, but Maclin slaps his way out of it. Bit and back and forth before Alexander is able to put the ankle lock again, but gets driven into the corner. Alexander follows with a UFO powerbomb and goes to the top rope, but Maclin stops him and sets him up for the Crosshairs followed by the KIA, but the momentum knocks Alexander to the outside. Maclin goes for another scud missile dive, but Alexander catches him and drives him onto the ramp. Maclin hits Alexander with a chop block, but he is able to beat the 10 count. They start trading smacks on their knees until they are on their feet as Maclin hits two suplexes, and heads to the top rope but Alexander is able to get his boot up. A little more back and forth until Alexander hits the C4 Spike for the pin and the win.
Winner: Josh Alexander by pinfall at 18:45
We Are Just Getting Started
Alexander gets on the mic after and thanks everybody from the bottom of his heart, every single fan here tonight and around the world. They were the only thing that kept him going when he was home with a torn tricep and the only thing making him hungry to get in this ring because he missed them. After that way, he thinks he’s better than he was before he tore his tricep so he is back. He thanks everybody in attendance and around the world and says they will be back here Saturday night with not just the IMPACT roster but some of the very best Hall of Famers and legends from TNA all the way through now and says we are just getting started.
It’s always special to see a live show here at the Westchester County Center, but the overall feeling I got from the crowd tonight was that they felt the same. Nice mix of those who have been fans of IMPACT since the TNA days, ones who were not familiar with the product and wanted to see action in their hometown, and the regulars who attended all local wrestling shows that took the trip here to see IMPACT. Even saw some IMPACT faithful who made the trip to White Plains for this. None of the matches were offensive or dragged too long, and the crowd was mostly into it from beginning to end, and full of energy. The placement of a non-title match with Steve Maclin & Josh Alexander for the main event seemed to confuse some who might not be too familiar with the product or current wrestlers, as I can see some fans seem a bit confused and chant or shout for some TNA alumni not on tonight’s show, that they might have expected. For that reason, I expect Saturday’s IMPACT 1000 to have a more rowdy and excited crowd that is there for the names of the past.
The night belonged to Tommy Dreamer. The passionate promos going into this show, with the significance of this building and how much it means to him, his career, and his family resonated throughout each and every person that was in that building. His hometown of Yonkers is only twenty minutes away from White Plains, but everybody in the crowd was behind him as they always are for any wrestler that comes out of Westchester, and the list is pretty small with Dreamer, Eddie Kingston, Paul Heyman, Mandy Rose as a few who came to mind. They came ready for Dreamer though with signs and chants and having his family and friends all in the crowd made it feel very special for everyone and I’m sure it’ll be a night Dreamer will always remember, by winning a title in front of them in the building where he saw his first wrestling show at 10 years old.
On that note, I brought my 9-year-old son here tonight for his first-ever IMPACT show, and by him only being familiar with the WWE product I was interested in the impression the show and wrestlers would have on him. The personal and family feel that IMPACT gives to its fans definitely goes a long way, with the talent, staff, and fans all being very supportive and enthusiastic throughout the night made for a very welcoming and exciting night for him. He was into the show the entire night, and it was easy for him to know who to cheer for and who to boo, and was able to catch on to all the storylines and characters rather easily. For seeing the roster for the first time, the ones who made an impression were PCO, for his wild antics the entire night, and seeing how much he was willing to do and go through made it very exciting to watch and follow the saga throughout the night. The entrance and new presentation of Crazzy Steve, fit perfectly with the fall season and us counting down the days to Halloween, and seeing his and the MK Ultra entrances was awesome to see live and have that ‘spooky’ feel. Trinity’s entire entrance and match was a blast live, with everyone getting into it with the glow sticks and overall party feel.
Without a doubt, his favorite match to watch and wrestler of the night was Tommy Dreamer. Just telling him in a few sentences before the match that Tommy lives right here where we do, how much this building means to him, and the fact his career was on the line, made him ask me if he could squeeze his way to the front so he could personally encourage Tommy to win, meant everything to him. Seeing my son, watch each and every moment that happened in the match, and be so emotionally invested in the match and its outcome, definitely put me in the feels and brought me back to when I saw my first ever wrestling show live, in this very same building. Tommy Dreamer became a hero for a kid that night, and IMPACT Wrestling made a new fan who wants to continue to watch the product and will be lining up at the Fan Celebration tomorrow to meet the people who made that happen.
As we grow older we tend to be more interested in backstage antics, contract situations, and business decisions, but we tend to forget what got us to fall in love with professional wrestling in the first place, and that is the story. To captivate someone who just earlier in the day had no connection to anyone he saw tonight, really makes you sit and appreciate the art that goes into this sport. This is the reason we continue to associate ourselves with wrestling and no one can truly know and appreciate the feeling until you dive deep into it yourselves, and watching it live only makes the experience that much more immersive.
Professional wrestling is the true definition of magic.