With just two days until IMPACT Wrestling’s tour of Australia in conjunction with Oceania Pro Wrestling and the New South Wales Regional Events Acceleration Fund, a number of matches have been announced for both IMPACT shows, and for Sunday’s Australian showcase.
These matches are in addition to the previously announced main events, with Alex Shelley defending the IMPACT World Title against Steve Maclin on the Friday show, and Deonna Purrazzo defending the IMPACT Knockouts Title against Giselle Shaw on the Saturday show.
Friday 30 June
Deonna Purrazzo vs Steph de Lander
Australia’s own Indy Goddess Steph de Lander receives a massive (non-title) opportunity against IMPACT’s Knockouts Champion. SdL previously worked matches with IMPACT against Jordynne Grace and Purrazzo in January of 2023 – this is a big opportunity for her to shore up more work with a major company.
Slex vs Adam Brooks
Two legends of the Australian scene get an opportunity to ball out on the main show, which is a bit of a surprise – it wasn’t clear when the Australian showcase was announced that Australian wrestlers would get an opportunity on the main show. This is awesome though, and based on Slex and Brooksy’s history, which is inextricably linked through MCW and a brief ROH foray, this improves IMPACT’s show. Good on them for giving two Australian stars the chance to outshine their own talent.
If you’re looking into the history of Slex vs Brooks, have a look at their two MCW matches from 2020, immediately before the pandemic shutdown.
Killer Kelly vs Aysha
Speaking of Australians getting cool opportunities – this is incredible. I’m so happy for Aysha, and we know how hard she’s worked for this opportunity, especially over the last 12 months. It’ll be interesting to see what type of match they have – Killer Kelly has a history of wrestling hardcore matches, while Aysha has also done a little of that with DMDU and Wrestlerock. This could be a a really fun showcase for Aysha against a high profile opponent.
Gisele Shaw vs Erika Reid
Erika Reid receives an incredible opportunity here against the Quintessential Diva, in a fascinating clash in styles. To be honest, I’m a bit nervous about that clash, because I would really like Erika to show out here – she is someone who doesn’t receive the opportunities that she deserves in Australia, so this could be the start of something big if she succeeds.
Moose & Brian Myers vs ABC
Moose & Myers is a bit of a random pairing to take on the Ace & Bey Club, IMPACT’s Bullet Club sub-sect. All four guys are incredible though and, while this doesn’t appear to be for ABC’s tag titles, this match will be a lot of fun.
IMPACT Digital Media Championship: Joe Hendry (c) v Eddie Edwards
Hendry said on Twitter this week that this is a first time match against IMPACT Wrestling mainstay Eddie Edwards. Both men have been doing super fun and interesting character work this year, and while I’m not sure what that leaves me expecting from the match, I do fully expect that Hendry is going to be one of the stars of this tour.
IMPACT X-Division Title Match: Chris Sabin (c) vs Frankie Kazarian vs Robbie Eagles
Fresh of winning his 9th X-Division title at IMPACT’s recent Against All Odds show, Chris Sabin now defends against fellow IMPACT veteran in Kazarian, and New Japan/TMDK representative Robbie Eagles, who is making his IMPACT wrestling debut. I don’t expect Robbie to win, but the crowd is going to be behind him 110%, and at this stage of the three mens’ respective careers I expect Robbie to star here.
Saturday 1 July
Brian Myers vs Adam Brooks vs Robbie Eagles
A really exciting, high profile match between one half of the Major Players, and one of the biggest names currently on the indies in Brian Myers, the Australian legend Adam Brooks who has just been announced for Pro Wrestling NOAH’s N1 Tournament this August, and New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Robbie Eagles, hot off joining TMDK and starring in NJPW’s Best of the Super Juniors Tournament. I fully expect this to steal the show based on the incredible history between Brooks and Eagles, which includes a 2022 MOTYC from the final of PWA’s Colosseum tournament.
The VeloCities vs The Natural Classics
This is another incredible showcase of Australian talents, who have extensive experience together (including another 2022 MOTYC at MCW Vendetta), who could well steal IMPACT’s show – and good for IMPACT giving them the chance. Tome & Stevie Filip are currently dabbling as singles competitors in MCW, which I don’t love, cos as a tag team they’re stars. Meanwhile, De Silva and London are PWA tag champs, champs of the Italian ASCA promotion, regulars with New Japan TAMASHII, and are just begging to get more eyes on them to receive the overseas opportunities they deserve.
Steve Maclin vs Frankie Kazarian
Maclin recently lost the IMPACT World Title to Alex Shelley at Against All Odds, and has a rematch on the Friday Wagga show. Kazarian, meanwhile, challenges for the X-Division title on the Friday show, so there are potential implications to this match that won’t be clear until Friday. Both men are big names in IMPACT and this will be one of the marquee matches on Saturday.
Sunday 2 July – Australian Showcase
Luke Watts vs Matt Hayter features the top babyface of star of Canberra’s SLAM! Wrestling promotion taking on the ubiquitously entertaining Matt Hayter, who has spent time this year in the US, after spending 2022 turning himself into a star in Melbourne, having already dominated Adelaide.
Kingsley vs Lena Kross pits Kingsley from PWA & SLAM! against Kross, who has wrestled across Australia and with Japan’s SENDAI Girls promotion over the last year. I suspect this is a big deal for both women, who are receiving one of the biggest opportunities of their respective careers.
Anth Cava vs Syd Parker features Melbourne’s most beautiful, most underrated wrestler in Anth Cava, and I’m stoked for him that he’s receiving this opportunity. He has these great mannerisms that get him over immediately with live crowds, and he could steal this show. I haven’t seen a lot of Parker, but he is an experienced hand who can hopefully help provide a spotlight to Cava.
Aysha vs Frankie B is a new match up between Aysha, who is having a massive year across Renegades of Wrestling, Wrestlerock and NWA’s Australian tour, and Frankie B who is in the midst of the biggest push of her career as part of PPK in PWA. Both women are capable of really great, fun character work, I expect they’ll probably lean into that here.
Ricky South vs Jimmy Townsend includes two PWA mainstays, including Ricky South who has been PWA Champion for over a year. Townsend is starting to be a pushed star in PWA, winning the tag team PWA Premiership over the weekend with partner Mick Moretti, and is being booked with MCW as well. Ricky South is one of the most entertaining powerhouse wrestlers in the country. I expect they’ll wrestle a really fun clash of styles.
The Parea vs Top Tier will decide Oceania Pro Wrestling’s inaugural tag team champs, which seems to have come out of nowhere. After dominating Adelaide, The Parea are current BCW tag team champs, and are on their way to the MCW tag team titles, while Top Tier are a stable out of Queensland starting to receive national recognition. I expect The Parea will probably win the titles, but I hope Top Tier get a chance to show out and continue building a profile across the country.
Mick Moretti vs Jack Bonza has a bit of a story behind it on social media – not only have they spent the past decade dominating PWA as part of The Nations, but their story goes back to the TNA tour that never was in 2009, when both men took part in pre-cancellation tryouts. Moretti in particular is one of the top names of Sydney wrestling – he’s an amazing character wrestler, he’s great in the ring, he looks like he lives in a gym – he’s another guy who has worked hard for this opportunity, and I hope it gets some eyes on him.
Xena vs Erika Reid is super interesting, because it’s Xena’s first match back in Australia following an extended Stardom tour where she joined Club Venus… and finished up against the best female wrestler in the Syuri, which is wild. An extended tour of Japan also meant that Xena worked more matches in the last three months than she had in the previous three years – it makes her a really intriguing prospect from a viewer perspective, and presumably makes her an invaluable resource for the Australian women (& man) who get to work with her.
What’s on in Wagga Wagga – IMPACT Downunder
Note: Conrad Thompson’s shows were cancelled this week, with Thompson citing a medical issue.
Friday 30 June, 7pm – IMPACT Wrestling @ the Equex Centre
Saturday 1 July, 7pm – IMPACT Wrestling @ the Equex Centre
Sunday 2 July, 11am – IMPACT Wrestling Meet & Greet @ the Equex Centre
Sunday 2 July, 12.30pm – IMPACT Wrestling Australian Showcase* @ the Equex Centre
Sunday 2 July, 2pm – Conrad Thompson presents “The Business of Wrestling” with Scott D’Amore @ the Equex Centre, Wagga Wagga Friday 7 July, 7pm – Conrad Thompson Live @ The Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne
Tickets to all Wagga shows* are available at https://www.intix.com.au/event/impact-downunder
* The showcase show is free to IMPACT ticket holders
The Friday and Saturday shows can be purchased on Fite TV at https://www.fite.tv/watch/impact-under-tour-pack/2pd6i/