Overall, this was an enjoyable show from top to bottom. The crowd was active for the whole night. We had three standout matches, with the rest of the card failing to reach those heights. The main event lived up to the height, as it was a great rematch of their Against All Odds affair. The lighting on this show was really poor, as it looked hazy and we weren’t able to see the full crowd in good lighting. The Purrazzo and Shaw matches were both meh, but the tidbit of them both winning with the arm bars helps build to their match tomorrow, so I’m not mad about the match quality being less than stellar. ABC VS Moose & Myers was fun, and served as good build towards the four-way tag, as I’m excited to see those four share a ring again. The X-Division three way is also worth checking out, with most of the other matches just serving as filler for bigger storylines. For example, Edwards vs Hendry really served no purpose for either man’s story and just felt out’ve place for me. The show structure was still good though, as they did well in building towards the main event with the promo packages.
It’s an action-packed night of action in Impact first day of their two day event in Australia! We see a world championship rematch between Alex Shelley and Steve Maclin, a knockouts championship match , with Deonna Purrazzo taking on Steph De Lander. We also see the digital media title on the line, as Joe Hendry defends against Eddie Edwards, along with Sabin defending his belt in triple threat, against Kazarian & Eagles, along with much more
The show opens with Auntie Cheryl Penrith welcoming the fans to Wagga Wagga. She sounds quite nervous cutting the promo, but it really doesn’t mean much, as it’s just a short introduction.
GOOD Slex vs Adam Brooks
This match is between two of the local Australian talent, who have been in an apparent “decade long rivalry”. Slex has quite a fun entrance, with him getting a nice ovation upon coming out. Adam Brooks has a much more serious appeal, as he comes down with a stone cold expression on his face. They have a fast paced encounter in the beginning, with neither man gaining an advantage, showing how well the two know each other, as they reverse each others moves. Adam Brooks then hits the cheap shot, further cementing himself as the heel in this match. We then get a weird spot, where Slex saito suplexes Brooks on the apron, and then attempts to follow it with a suplex onto the apron, but Brooks lands weirdly, so it doesn’t end up looking very good. Later on in the match, they have a suplex spot, where the two men go crashing over the ropes from a suplex (which has poor camera work, which does slightly ruin the spot, but it gets “This is awesome” chants, so that makes up for it). The finish comes soon afterwards, as Slex counters the swanton from Brooks, and hits a “Slex-icution” (like execution, but his name, you get it?) for the win. This was a good match between two locals, there were some sloppy parts here and there, but nothing that really hindered the match that much. Got the crowd hot so you can’t complain about that.
Result: Slex by Pinfall via a Slex-icution
Bailey Higham WR Star Rating – 3.00 Stars
We then get a confident promo from the Guns, where they claim that they are the best tag team of all time (true). They hype their separate matches, and give us a reason to be excited for the upcoming title defences.
BELOW AVERAGE Gisele Shaw vs Erika Reid
“The Dreamtime voodoo witch” Erika Reid makes her debut here. Obviously the crowd are firmly behind her, as she is another one of the local competitors. After Erika gets early flurry of offence, Shaw then takes advantage and starts working over Reid’s arm. Shaw spends the majority of her time working over the left arm. During this period, the offence is slow and methodical, which makes sense as they are building up to Erika’s comeback. Reid finally finds her way back in with a DDT. She does her comeback one-armed, which I do appreciate, as she hits a combination of right-arm clotheslines. This is the last bit of offence we see from Reid, as taps out to a vicious arm bar from Shaw, which she really wrenches backwards. This match was some good momentum for Shaw for her title match tomorrow, as the arm bar one of the Virtuosa’s moves, so it creates some more tension for their match tomorrow. Decent match overall, nothing special in-ring wise.
Result: Gisele Shaw by Submission via armbar
Bailey Higham WR Star Rating – 2.25 Stars
Good promo from Maclin here, in-which he explains how he isn’t afraid to admit that he let his mission of facing Nick Aldis slip, because Shelley was the better man. He promises a different result in the main event.
AVERAGE Joe Hendry vs Eddie Edwards
Joe Hendry’s pre-match promo, he proclaims that he’s in a good mood, because of Impact’s debut in Australia. He then does his usual pre-match schtick, which is always good fun. While Hendry has never been incredible in the ring, his charisma helps him a lot when he wrestles, and it’s perfectly encapsulated here, when he smugly walks away from a dive from Edwards. Not a big fan of how Edwards’ character was presented in this match, I get that he’s a heel, but his character ark as of recent is that he’s a locker room leader that’s a bit of an unlikeable/awful guy. In this match he’s just playing the underhanded heel, when he could be doing much more. The finish is when Hendry catches Edwards with a Standing Ovation, when Edwards was going for the Boston Knee Party. Very average match here.
Result: Joe Hendry by Pinfall via Standing Ovation
Bailey Higham WR Star Rating – 2.50 Stars
BELOW AVERAGE Killer Kelly vs Aysha
Aysha comes out with a bit of the bubbly, as her character is that she’s a high class person. Aysha is frightened of Kelly right off the bat. She repeatedly backs into the corner when Kelly crawls at her. Kelly’s freaky demeanour, and versatile moveset always make for an interesting match. In the later stages of the match, Aysha chest, and spits some champagne in Kelly’s face, when the referee isn’t looking. Kelly ultimately gets the win with the Killer Clutch. This match was too one-sided to be a high rating, but I was entertained throughout, so that should count for something.
Result: Killer Kelly by Pinfall via Killer Clutch
Bailey Higham WR Star Rating – 2.00 Stars
GREAT Chris Sabin vs Frankie Kazarian vs Robbie Eagles – WATCH MATCH HERE
The crowd are firmly behind Robbie Eagles, as they loudly chant for Eagles, as they do his “Oi, Oi, Oi” chant. This was a well-paced X-Division match here. Every man got their moment/chance to shine, and it was an overall very enjoyable match, and the match of the night up until this point. Sabin hits Eagles with the Cradle Shock for the win.
Result: Chris Sabin by Pinfall via Cradle Shock
Bailey Higham WR Star Rating – 3.75 Stars
GREAT Moose & Brian Myers VS ABC
The purpose of this match is to build to the fatal four-way tag for the titles at Slammiversary. Because of this, this is a non-title match. The best spot of this match, was when Chris Bey went for his signature “too sweet” dive, but is caught by Moose in a powerbomb position and is spiked into the apron. This isn’t the only time when Bey and Moose stole the show this match, as right before his hot tag, Bey catches Moose with a cutter out’ve mid air. The finish had Bey outsmart The Most Professional Wrestling Gods, as he slips behind Myers, and gets in a schoolboy roll-up for the three count. This was a great tag match, between these two teams. It seems like the ABC can’t have a bad match. Moose & Myers suffer their first loss as a team, but it’s from a roll up so it’s not that bad.
Result: Chris Bey by Pinfall via roll-up
Bailey Higham WR Star Rating – 3.50 Stars
AVERAGE Steph De Lander vs Deonna Purrazzo
The first of two Virtuosa matches this weekend. When Steph De Lander enters, we get an enjoyable Heel hates their own homeland promo (which we do see very often, so I’m accustomed to it at this point). The story of this match is De Lander using her power advantage to overcome the Virtuosa, with Deonna trying to find ways around it. In the final stages of the match, De Lander grabs the mic and tells the crowd to shut up, which give Purrazzo the opportunity to get back into the match, and lock the arm bar in. Both Shaw and Purrazzo won with arm bars tonight, so you have to assume that’ll be a focal point of the match tomorrow. This match never really got going, it was slow-paced and didn’t really achieve much as a David vs Goliath match, as much as you’d want it to.
Result: Deonna Purrazzo by Pinfall via arm bar
Bailey Higham WR Star Rating – 2.50 Stars
AMAZING Alex Shelley vs Steve Maclin – WATCH MATCH HERE
This has a similar dynamic to their first match. Shelley goes for technical offence and Maclin goes for more power-focused moves. Shelley picks apart Maclin’s left knee, which ultimately contributes to his demise, as Shelley hits Shellshock for the win. This was 100% the best match of the night, great sequences throughout, and great selling from Maclin.
Result: Alex Shelley by Pinfall via Shellshock
Bailey Higham WR Star Rating – 4.00 Stars
Overall, this was an enjoyable show from top to bottom. The crowd was active for the whole night. We had three standout matches, with the rest of the card failing to reach those heights. The main event lived up to the height, as it was a great rematch of their Against All Odds affair. The lighting on this show was really poor, as it looked hazy and we weren’t able to see the full crowd in good lighting. The Purrazzo and Shaw matches were both meh, but the tidbit of them both winning with the arm bars helps build to their match tomorrow, so I’m not mad about the match quality being less than stellar. ABC VS Moose & Myers was fun, and served as good build towards the four-way tag, as I’m excited to see those four share a ring again. The X-Division three way is also worth checking out, with most of the other matches just serving as filler for bigger storylines, with not much really being advanced besides the women’s stuff. For example, Edwards vs Hendry really served no purpose for either man’s story and just felt out’ve place for me. The show structure was still good though, as they did well in building towards the main event with the promo packages.
Matches: 0.5/1 Stars
Show Structure: 0.75/1 Stars
Atmosphere: 0.75/1 Stars
Storytelling: 0.25/1 Stars
Production/Theme: 0.25/1 Stars
Overall Rating: 2.5/5 Stars
Photo Credit: Impact Wrestling – June 30 2023
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