Unless I’m covering Impact Wrestling at Gerweck.net, I generally don’t watch Impact events live or hardly at all. However, the main event between Josh Alexander and Tomohiro Ishii colored me excited! I put my money down for Under Siege and enjoyed an impeccable event worth more than the price of admission.
My problem with Impact has been with their presentation. Some of their matches are good, and some of their matches are dreadful. On paper, the main card lineup for Under Siege much of the same. I rolled the dice and decided to endure the bad to experience the good.
Newcomer Gisele Shaw defeated multi-time Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne in the opening contest. Shaw has shown some promise since her Impact debut, while Rayne, despite being a veteran, is hit or miss in the ring. The match was better than expected and served as a great opener to set the tone for the evening.
Chris Sabin pinned Steve Maclin in a fantastic match from bell to bell. Sabin is often not mentioned in the same breath as a Kenny Omega or Will Ospreay. It’s not time to put some respect on Chris Sabin’s name; it’s been time. Maclin exudes intensity and is consistently a strong performer. It’s not hard seeing Maclin as Impact World Champion someday.
Taya Valkyrie vs. Deonna Purrazzo was up next. Here comes the first weak link in the chain, so I thought. Purrazzo is a little overrated, and I’m not a fan of Valkyrie’s work. However, they told a good story that capitalized on Purrazzo’s very bad week of losing the AAA Reina de Reinas Championship and the ROH Women’s World Championship a few days later. Valkyrie retained the Reina de Reinas Title.
Mia Yim made her return to Impact as a dancing cat (just kidding) and put a halt to Purrazzo’s post-match attack on Valkyrie. Fightful.com reports that Yim has signed a six-month contract, which takes her through Impact’s preeminent event, Bound for Glory.
Ace Austin defeated Trey Miguel to retain the X-Division Title in a match that gave me pause. Ace Austin is a true ace in between the ropes as he can adapt to any style. I believed Trey Miguel was one of those high spot flippy wrestlers that is more sizzle than steak.
I was blown away by the precision and psychology of Miguel’s work. Many high flyers do moves that, while they’re spectacular, it’s easy to question why you would do them in a fight. Miguel did several moves better than most of the highly regarded ariel masters of the squared circle.
Miguel did a ninja flip off the top rope, landed on his feet, and transitioned seamlessly to the next series of moves. Others who do the same move need a few seconds to get their feet right before moving on. Miguel is wrestling’s version of Spider-Man.
Honor No More toppled Bullet Club in an action-packed 10-man tag that had the crowd in the palm of their hand. Faction warfare can be a sloppy affair at times, but not this time. Everyone played their part well and in service of the match.
Commentators Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldy enhanced the story. They mentioned Matt Taven’s ROH Title win and Jay White’s IWGP Title loss on the same night in Madison Square Garden when the two went face to face for the first time.
Under Siege was five for five with great matches, but the streak was about to end. Tasha Steelz vs. Havok for the Knockouts Title was sure to be the ugly duckling of the show. Havok’s work is not my cup of tea, and Steelz hits all the right notes but fails to play any music.
Nope, not on this night. The smaller Steelz used her heel bravado to ultimately outwrestle Havok with a springboard Bulldog and a Black Out to retain the title. Some will call this the worst match of the night, but there was nothing to complain about here.
This year, The Briscoes have been on a roll with stellar matches in multiple promotions. Add another one to the list as Mark and Jay Briscoe beat Violent by Design to become the new Tag Team Champions. This one made me forget where I was as the powerful trance of pro wrestling took over.
With one match remaining, it is possible that Impact Wrestling would go eight for eight. The odds were in their favor, with Josh Alexander and Tomohiro Ishii on top. Dueling chants of “Walking Weapon” and “Ishii” engulfed the Promowest Pavilion at Ovation.
Power moves, hard chops, and stiff clotheslines set the story’s foundation; can Alexander hit the C4 Spike. Ishii delivered a superplex for a near fall that I completely fell for. Alexander closed the match with a powerbomb and finally hit the C4 Spike to retain the world title.
If you haven’t watched Impact/TNA in a long time, Under Siege is worth going out of your way to see. Future independent wrestling promoters should study this show as an example of how to put on a well-paced eight-match card with different stipulations, promos, and more.
Despite all of the goodness this show provided, unfortunately, it won’t be remembered in the annals of great professional wrestling. Impact is the number three promotion in the country and a distant number three at that.
Still, Impact Wrestling has gotten closer to shedding its TNA shadow over the last couple of years. Saturday night was a giant leap forward as Under Siege was a perfect wrestling show.