Impact Sacrifice recap and reactions: Bragging rights for next world champ


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The Sacrifice show (Mar. 24, 2023) was hit by misfortune for the headline attractions. Josh Alexander and Mickie James were pulled from the card due to injury. The Impact roster kept trucking and put on an enjoyable show.

To recap the injury news, Alexander suffered a triceps tear and was forced to relinquish the Impact World Championship. The next world champion will be crowned when Steve Maclin wrestles Kushida at Rebellion on April 16. James’ Knockouts Championship defense against Jordynne Grace was canceled. That information is important context for the Sacrifice show.

Let’s jam through the Sacrifice results.

Kushida, Alex Shelley, & Chris Sabin defeated Steve Maclin, Frankie Kazarian, & Rich Swann. The story was Maclin using this as an opportunity to scout Kushida, and Maclin’s partners not trusting him. Kushida often worked for his Hoverboard Lock in creative counters. He eventually caught Maclin in the hold, and Maclin tapped quick. The question was if Maclin quit from pain or to save his health for the world title fight against Kushida. Whatever the answer, Kushida has bragging rights heading into Rebellion.

Busted Open match: Bully Ray defeated Tommy Dreamer. First Blood rules in effect. Bully was first to bleed, but the referee was knocked down when it happened. The match continued with the Good Hands helping Bully bloody Dreamer. They rolled Dreamer into the ring while Bully hid his wound under a towel. The ref noticed Dreamer bleeding, so the win went to Bully. (Full deatils here.)

Afterward, Bully wanted to powerbomb Dreamer through a table. NHL enforcer Darren McCarty from the Detroit Red Wings jumped the barricade. A hockey fight broke out. The numbers were too much for McCarty, and Bully powerbombed him through the table.

After that, Scott D’Amore made his return to confront Bully. D’Amore bought babyface backup. Bully ran away. Jason Hotch thought he could squeeze in a shot at D’Amore, but D’Amore hit back with a Canadian Destroyer.

Impact World Tag Team Championship: Ace Austin & Chris Bey retained against Shane Haste & Bad Dude Tito. Speed versus size matchup. Haste and Tito controlled the flow until Ace and Bay rallied with style. ABC isolated Tito for the Art of Finesse and the Fold 1-2 punch. Bullet Club kept the gold.

X-Division Championship: Trey Miguel retained against Lince Dorado. Slick flips from both men. Dorado kept up the pressure for a super rana and shooting star press. Trey wisely rolled out of the ring to avoid the pin. The champ rallied for a sunset powerbomb off the ropes. Both men dug deep to keep the action moving. They ran the ropes, then Trey changed direction to surprise Dorado on a hurricanrana pin to win.

Jody Threat coming soon. The new Knockout announced her arrival in a vignette.

Kenny King defeated PCO. Eddie Edwards was ringside holding a kendo stick. King took control with suplexes on the exposed floor. King landed a frog splash in the ring. The monster electrified and rose up. Edwards distracted the referee so King could hit PCO with a chair. That steel had no effect on PCO. The French-Canadian Frankenstein punched the chair into King’s face for the easy pin.

Deonna Purrazzo defeated Gisele Shaw, with the return from Tasha Steelz. Savannah Evans and Jai Vidal were ringside for interference. Purrazzo dodged Shaw’s running knee finisher to counter for an armbar submission. Purrazzo worked hard to trap Shaw in the Venus de Milo double armbar to win. Evans attacked Purrazzo after the match. Steelz’s music played as a surprise. The Boricua Badass aligned on the babyface side to clear the ring. (Full details here.)

Mickie James injury. James has a broken rib and was unable to defend the Knockouts Championship against Jordynne Grace. Director of Authority Santino Marella explained that Grace will wrestle the winner of Masha Slamovich vs. Deonna Purrazzo vs. Gisele Shaw vs. Miyu Yamashita (at Multiverse United on March 30) at Rebellion on April 16. If James is healthy, then that match will be a three-way. If James still isn’t cleared, then she will relinquish the title to the winner of the Rebellion match. (Full details here.)

Impact Digital Media Championship: Joe Hendry retained against Brian Myers. Santino overheard Moose’s plan to help Myers win, so he banned Moose from ringside. This ended up being a clean match. Myers climbed the corner and took flight. Hendry countered midair for a cutter. The champ finished with a chokeslam spinebuster.

“Speedball” Mike Bailey defeated Jonathan Gresham. Bailey and Gresham were given over 20 minutes to work, and they put on a dandy. It was a cool chess match of technique and strategy that also told a story. Sportsmanship deteriorated during the course of the fight. Gresham poked Bailey in the eye on a break, and he claimed it was an accident. Later, Gresham tied Bailey’s legs in a tight pretzel. When Bailey reached the ropes for the break, Gresham was unable to pry himself free. He called the referee for assistance. Bailey took that personal and shoved Gresham. Bickering led to more shoving, Gresham slapped Bailey, then Speedball exploded with rapid-fire kicks. For what it’s worth, Gresham seemed honest in those moments and not acting out with heel behavior.

The match progressed with Gresham focused on damaging Bailey’s legs. Speedball still had spurts of high-octane offense though. In the end, Bailey missed the Ultima Weapon double knee drop. Gresham went for the figure-four. Bailey quickly reversed the position for maximum pressure, and Gresham tapped out in defeat. That evens their personal series at 1-1 in Impact. For anyone that enjoys the Gresham style of wrestling, you’ll be satisfied with this match.

On to the Sacrifice pre-show.

Rosemary defeated KiLynn King. Taylor Wilde caused interference, so Jessicka roughed up the witch. That distracted King and set up Rosemary for a spear to win. This victory gives the Death Dollz some momentum against the Coven.

Eddie Edwards defeated Bhupinder Gujjar. Competitive contest. Gujjar went high risk for a flying splash. Edwards got his knees up to block. Edwards sprang for a Boston Knee Party to win.

Sacrifice was a good show for its level. Due to Alexander and James dropping out, the importance at the top of the card took a hit. The main event competitors still brought their best. The rolling setup from Chris Sabin for Kushida to launch into the air on a flying Hoverboard Lock was neat. The Busted Open match made full use of its chaos for an amusing finish. The aftermath was the best moment on the show. Bully Ray got on the newswire with his powerbomb of Darren McCarty, and Scott D’Amore’s Canadian Destroyer was electric.

The tag title bout and X-Division contest were full of athleticism. PCO and Deonna Purrazzo both had a modicum of revenge for feel-good wins. Add in the surprise of Tasha Steelz to keep the show fresh. I’d give the nod for best match to “Speedball” Mike Bailey and Jonathan Gresham.

Sacrifice is available for streaming through IMPACT Plus, YouTube for IMPACT Ultimate Insiders, and Fite TV.

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