Impact recap: Mickie James cheap shots her tag team partner


Impact recap: Mickie James cheap shots her tag team partner

Mickie James and Jordynne Grace are set to collide in career versus title at Hard to Kill on January 13. What’s Impact to do to fill time before then? The good ole tension tag team match, of course. James and Grace teamed together against Tasha Steelz and Savannah Evans in the main event of Impact Wrestling. As expected, the competitive issues between James and Grace boiled over into an explosion.

James and Grace were sassing in the locker room prior to the bout. James’ insecurity showed by taking Grace’s words out of context about not being able to beat Steelz. James had a point to prove, and she told Grace to leave Steelz to her. The Last Rodeo retirement caveat was in play for this match if James took the loss herself. Grace wanted their PPV bout to go on as planned, so she told James that she’ll make sure the job gets done in the tag team contest. Tension was thick.

The match itself was a basic affair. James and Grace started fine as a team. Steelz and Evans isolated Grace. Hot tag to James, but the rally didn’t last long. Steelz and Evans then isolated James. Down the stretch, James hit a hurricanrana and a neckbreaker to create space. She inched toward tagging Grace. Evans charged over to knock Grace off the apron, but, at the same time, James sort of stopped short to change her mind about tagging out. James got her second wind to score offense. Evans weathered the storm for a belly-to-back suplex. Grace broke the cover to makes the save.

In the end, James escaped a suplex to shove Evans into Steelz. James was worn down, so Grace tagged herself in to secure victory. A spinebuster immobilized Evans, and a musclebuster finished Steelz for the win.

Afterward, James was bittersweet, since she didn’t pin Steelz herself. James bickered with Grace, who wasn’t taking any shit. Grace turned her back to exit, so James pulled her back around. More words were exchanged. Grace turned to leave, and James pulled her back again. Grace was not pleased at the physical contact. The champ shoved the challenger, and James responded with a Mick Kick to the jaw knocking Grace on her ass.

Even though that was typical tension building for professional wrestling, it sure was effective execution in this case. Grace’s expression of anger looked like she wanted to rip James in half. That type of energy has me hooked. The James retirement angle sells itself, and now this dynamic adds an extra layer of intrigue.

In other action from Impact Wrestling:

  • BTI pre-show: Taylor Wilde defeated KiLynn King. A neckbreaker did the job. Wilde had a new outfit but nothing substantial for her character change into the Wilde Witch.
  • Knockouts Tag Team Championship: Rosemary & Jessicka retained against Deonna Purrazzo & Gisele Shaw. Taya Valkyrie and Jai Vidal were ringside for support. Jessicka turned the tide with a Sick Kick, body slam, and running crossbody onto Shaw. Purrazzo broke the cover. All four were in the ring in a melee. Reverse Irish whips sent Purrazzo and Shaw colliding into each other. Rosemary dumped Purrazzo from the ring. Jessicka cracked Shaw with a backbreaker over her knee, then Rosemary blasted a spear. Jessicka pinned Shaw for victory. Later backstage, Purrazzo and Shaw ended their brief alliance to never team again.
  • Sami Callihan called out the Design (fka Violent By Design). Deaner viewed the sickness in Callihan, who mutilates his body for the love and admiration of the fans. Callihan wasn’t there to fight, but Deaner doesn’t do truces. So, what did Callihan want? The Death Machine recognized the power of the Design and requested to join the group. Deaner mulled it over. Access denied. Deaner punched Callihan with the microphone, then Angels and Kon stomped on the Death Machine. Deaner gouged Callihan’s eyes and hit an orgasmic DDT. Deaner take a seat on top of Callihan’s limp body.
  • “Speedball” Mike Bailey defeated Yuya Uemura. Very good match. Uemura tossed Bailey on a German suplex. Bailey channeled the pain to fire back for a cyclone kick. That stunned Uemura long enough for Bailey to land the Ultima Weapon finisher. Afterward, Kenny King sent a video message from CMLL in Mexico City to taunt Bailey.
  • The Motor City Machine Guns beat the challengers to the punch by offering an Impact tag title shot to Heath & Rhino, Matt Cardona & Brian Myers, and Chris Bey & Ace Austin for a four-way at the Hard to Kill PPV. When Cardona protested, Sabin set up a singles match against him to take place in two weeks.
  • Bully Ray’s evil scheme. Backstage, Josh Alexander sarcastically forgave Tommy Dreamer to get him off his back. Next, Bully crashed a tag team match to attack John Skyler and Jason Hotch. Bully tied Hotch to the ropes and threatened to crack his skull with a chair unless Alexander came out for the save. Alexander did that and freed Hotch. It was a ruse concocted by Bully. Hotch and Skyler helped Bully attack Alexander and tie him to the ropes. Dreamer ran out for the save, but the numbers game got him. Bully smashed a ladder on top of Dreamer. The violence sent Dreamer to the hospital. This was mind games to get in Alexander’s head prior to the Hard to Kill world title fight. Later backstage, Scott D’Amore added a Full Metal Mayhem stipulation to the PPV match, so that Alexander could unleash his fury to embarrass Bully at his own game. (Full details here.)
  • Steve Maclin versus Rich Swann ended in a double count-out. Maclin bullied Swann around the ring and took the action outside. Maclin ignored the referee’s ten-count and continued thrashing Swann on the floor. Once the result was official, Maclin grabbed the referee and shouted bleeped curse words. Security came out to intervene. Swann and Maclin continued fighting.

  • Eddie Edwards wants to concentrate on the future, but the past continues to haunt him with PCO, Delirious, and now Jonathan Gresham. Alisha Edwards stepped in to support her husband. Beat Gresham, then the Edwards family can move forward together.

After a super hot streak of shows, the action in this episode of Impact Wrestling veered down to average. Both women’s tag team matches weren’t anything special, and the Maclin match was more of a story tool rather than a high quality contest. There was one match to keep an eye on. “Speedball” Mike Bailey versus Yuya Uemura was quite good. Uemura is still in the developing phase for his position in the hierarchy, and he most likely won over lots of fans in this performance. If you enjoy either wrestler, then I recommend checking Impact’s YouTube channel to see if the match gets released for free viewing.

The story aspect of this episode was very strong. The tension between Mickie James and Jordynne Grace paid off with excitement. Bully Ray reached new depths of scumbagitude for his mind games on Josh Alexander. Sami Callihan requesting to join the Design was a twist I did not anticipate. Maclin and Rich Swann are ready to take their beef to the next level. All these things make me interested to tune in next week to see what happens.

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