After a really fun show on Night 1 of IMPACT Downunder, we’re back for night 2. Unfortunately the lighting issues haven’t been resolved.
We have the same intro video as last night, and the same commentary team working remotely.
Oceania Pro Wrestling Championship (vacant): Adam Brooks vs Robbie Eagles
Another chapter here to one of the most storied rivalries in Australian wrestling, with its most recent page written in the final of the PWA Colosseum tournament in October 2022 in an Australian MOTY contender.
We didn’t know this would be a title match coming into the show – it makes it a bit curious that both men ate pins last night. This match was also supposed to feature Brian Myers, which isn’t addressed by commentary.
It’s mostly mat-based to start, with Robbie getting the better of the early exchanges. Brooksy manages to take over when he resorts to power-based violence, and we get a longish heat spot.
Robbie ends that with a brutal shot to the back of Brooksy’s head and neck, then Robbie wrecks him with kicks. Brooksy is selling his knee and hits a TKO, dropping Robbie to the outside.
Back in the ring they’re trading shots, and telling a story of how well they know each other, reversing some big moves from each other until Robbie hits a poison-rana. Robbie follows up with a standing Sliced Bread for a two-count, which Robbie turns into a Ron Miller Special, but Brooks makes the rope.
Robbie continues working the knee, and attempts a 450 splash to Brooksy’s knee, however Brooksy gets the knees up and hits a Swanton Bomb to become OPW’s first ever champion.
The finish was a little out of nowhere, and we’ve seen them have better, longer matches – but this was bloody great. What an excellent way to start the show, and what a way to show out in front of an international audience. I think this was probably better than anything we saw on night one.
Winner and NEEEW Oceania Pro Wrestling Champion: Adam Brooks
They run through the card here, and aside from the main event Knockouts Title match between Deonna Purrazzo & Gisele Shaw, most of the card is different to what was announced during the week.
Promo from Gisele Shaw. She says a lot of people have tried unsuccessfully to dethrone Purrazzo, including Shaw herself. But tonight will be different – she’s a high flyer, she’s a striker, she’s a powerhouse, and she’s learned. Tonight she’s going to be a technical wrestler, and she proved it last night when she tapped out Erika Reid. She says Purrazzo should hold onto the title tight, because Shaw is leaving Wagga with the title, and is going to break her arm – “bitch”.
Natural Classics (Stevie & Tome Filip) vs The VeloCities (Paris de Silva & Jude London)
The Classics are announced as being part of the Rogue Army – interesting that they’re drawing some elements of Australian wrestling canon and not others.
In any case – you could repeat a lot of what I said about the previous match. These two teams have a long and storied history, they’ve competed in Australian MOTCs against each other, and this is another great opportunity for some wildly good Australian wrestlers to show out.
We start out super hot as the VeloCities get rid of Stevie and hit some fast-paced double team offence to Tome. This is ongoing until Stevie gets involved from the outside, allowing himself to tag in and take over against de Silva. Now it’s the Classics with fast-paced, hard hitting offence.
Jude eventually tags himself in and he’s a house of fire taking out both Filips, before hitting a springboard stunner for a crazy long two-count. It falls apart though when Tome catches Jude on a Suicide dive, while Stevie gets the knees up on a frogsplash from de Silva, and the Natural Classics hit their tag team neckbreaker for three.
This was another really fun, fast paced match that is showing up IMPACT’s roster. I would’ve loved them to have another 5 minutes, but this was still really great.
Winners: The Natural Classics (Tome & Stevie Filip)
Purrazzo cuts a promo and congratulates Shaw for her one submission win. But a technician? Purrazzo is the greatest technical wrestler in the world and a three-time Knockouts Champion, and she promises that Shaw won’t be leaving with her title.
Next up is a Slammiversary ad.
IMPACT Digital Media Championship Match: Joe Hendry (c) vs Moose
This title match came out of nowhere – it wasn’t announced beforehand. It’s cool for the live crowd to be seeing high stakes matches though. Hendry comes off a win against Edwards on the Friday show, while Moose teamed with Brian Myers in an excellent losing effort against ABC.
Hendry takes the mic and says that once again he’s in a good mood, because the hospitality in Wagga Wagga has been excellent. He talks about going to the zoo, and lists off a bunch of animals saying he thought he’d seen it all. But last night he went to Wagga’s Victoria Hotel and he saw some real nature on display there, including a dancing Moose. (The crowd chances “Dancing Moose.”)
Hendry says he wasn’t so much dancing to a song as to a chant – “We Believe”.
Slow start as a face off is followed by some tests of strength. After no-selling a delayed vertical suplex from Hendry, Moose ends up bailing to the outside, where Hendry proceeds to plant Moose’s face into the ring apron (the hardest part of the ring!) repeatedly.
As they re-enter the ring Hendry takes too long, and Moose kicks the middle rope for a nut-shot to Hendry. He starts clubbing Hendry and flipping birds, and eventually gets a nearfall with a urinage.
Hendry Hulks up out of clubbing shots from Moose and hits a running cutter for a two-count. He hits 10 punches to Moose in the corner followed by a fallaway slam, which precedes a series of reversals from both men, then a dropkick and a powerbomb from Moose for a two-count. Hendry again fights out and hits a pop-up powerbomb for another nearfall.
I have my first (momentary) streaming issue of the two nights so far, and we’re back with Hendry hitting a vertical suplex and both men laid out. We then get some production glitches with replays and captions inserted incorrectly.
After a clubbing battle, Moose attempts a backslide, then a roll-up, but he’s caught holding Hendry’s tights. As Moose argues with the ref Hendry rolls him up for the three-count.
Winner and STILL IMPACT Digital Media Champion: Joe Hendry
We see a video of “Indie School” in Wagga, which is introduced as a school for children with mental health challenges, where some IMPACT stars visited this week.
We also see a cultural visit where a couple of IMPACT superstars met with an Indigenous dance group.
Eddie Edwards vs Slex
Slex adds yet another name to one of the most impressive resumes in all of indie wrestling. He’s coming off a win against Adam Brooks last night, while Edwards lost the Digital Media Championship Match to Joe Hendry.
It’s a slow start as the crowd chants at Eddie, so he bails to the outside and starts arguing with the crowd.
As we get started on the mat though, we see the early phases of an agile good guy vs a powerful, ruthless bad guy story. Edwards punishes Slex with a sidewalk slam to the ring apron (the hardest part of the ring!) followed up by another slam on the outside. As he rolls him back into the ring though, it’s not enough to keep Slex down.
So Edwards proceeds to put the boots to Slex, then throw him into the corner to attack his spine. Slex wins the proceeding suplex battle though and manages to hit a Slexecution followed by an attempted Business Bomb – his back is too weakened though, and Edwards hits a Blue Thunder bomb for a close nearfall.
Edwards backs Slex into the corner, but Slex fights his way out, and with Edwards on the middle rope Slex is able to hit the Business Bomb for 2. Edwards then bails and eats a tornado DDT followed by a moonsault, and Eddie again kicks out at two.
Slex climbs the turnbuckle, but is cut off with a backpack stunner followed by a Tiger Bomb for two. Edwards then hits his “Boston Knee Party” – a Shining Wizard – for the three count.
Probably just an ok match. The first half probably leaned a bit too closely towards house show fare, but the end was really good, and I was happy that Slex got a good chance to shine.
Winner: Eddie Edwards
Another tourism video, and some more minor issues with the stream.
Then we get another Slammiversary ad.
Killer Kelly vs Steph de Lander
Steph lost to Purrazzo last night, while Killer Kelly beat Aysha.
SDL takes the mic and says she can’t believe she has to spend another night here. And while she lost last night, she’s not a loser – she’s better than everyone in the crowd and everyone at home, and she’s certainly better than “that weird freak” Killer Kelly.
De Lander is using her power to dominate, with a long heat spot essentially from the start of the match. Momentum eventually switches when Kelly fights out of a bear hug and starts delivering strikes of her own.
As SDL misses a dive to the outside she eats a penalty kick, but Steph then goes on to hit a couple of really rough looking kicks. Kelly kind of reverses out of nowhere though and locks in the Killer Clutch, which de Lander eventually fights out of before delivering her sit-out F5 for a three-count.
Interesting match – I love that they gave the home-town crowd a home-town win against one of the IMPACT roster. But having SDL dominate 75% of the match was a weird way to do it.
Killer Kelly looks like she’s entering into a feud for the Knockouts Tag Team Titles alongside Masha Slamovich. But that literally started on tv this week. So this was the right result I thought, Kelly can eat this loss with no issues.
Winner: Steph de Lander
We get a promo from Frankie Kazarian who says he was supposed to be fighting Steve Maclin tonight. He hasn’t forgotten what Maclin did to him after he won the X-Division title last year. He says Maclin attacked him unprovoked, but Kaz doesn’t forgive or forget. He explains that Maclin went down with an injury in last night’s main event, so instead he’s wrestling Brian Myers, who he hasn’t wrestled yet. Kaz says his rage is focussed on Eddie Edwards, but that will have to wait, because tonight Kaz will beat Myers’ ass, and he’ll do the same to Edwards on Thursday. “It may get ugly tonight, but let’s get ugly together.”
This was a notably rubbish promo, it was just trying to get across too many points at once, and as a result it didn’t make any of them very well.
Brian Myers vs Frankie Kazarian
Myers teamed with Moose last night in a losing effort – but a really good match – against ABC, while Kazarian was the odd man out in the X-Division Title three-way match.
Myers starts by powdering to the outside. Once he enters the ring ready to engage, Kazarian does the same. To be honest, there’s some repetition of house show tropes starting to happen that is starting to frustrate.
Once we start properly, they work the mat and Kazarian grabs a side headlock that he works forever. As Myers eventually manages to fight his way out of it, Kazarian bashes his face on each of the four top turnbuckles, and follows up with a real ugly DDT.
Myers finally manages to gain some ascendancy when he escapes to the outside and trips Kazarian, who is on the second rope. Myers then chokes Kazarian across the middle rope and works a headlock of his own. Kazarian fights out but is immediately tripped up, and Myers continues the assault.
We’re back with headlocks, and the crowd has had enough of this. They aren’t booing the heel and his restholds, they’re booing a slow, plodding match.
Kazarian momentarily fights his way out of the headlock, but is met with a DDT… and another headlock. Are they kidding me?
Sorry, I stopped writing about this match at this point, I wasn’t doing it to myself any more. This was easily the worst thing on either of the two shows so far. (And if we get anything worse I may not finish this review!)
A terrible match ends with a terrible finish as Kazarian semi-grapples a Chicken Wing and Myers quickly taps out.
Winner: Frankie Kazarian
(Loser: The rest of us… Kazarian did warn us it would be ugly I guess)
We get a preview video of the Motor City Machine Guns vs ABC match. MCMG want to hold all the gold, ABC are supremely confident after winning the belts from MCMG and being former X-Division champions.
IMPACT Wrestling Tag Team Title Match: ABC (Chris Bey & Ace Austin) (c) vs Motor City Machine Guns (Impact Champion Alex Shelley & X-Division Champion Chris Sabin)
ABC beat Myers and Moose in a really fun match last night, while Shelley defended his title against Steve Maclin, and Chris Sabin retained his X-Division title in a really good match against Kazarian and Robbie Eagles.
Pen’s down for this one, I expect this to be incredible – it always is.
Really, really good match. It started slow and technical, and built in speed throughout. The story being told – and probably the difference in the end – was the difference in levels of cohesion between the teams, with Shelley and Sabin currently focussed on their singles gold.
It didn’t reach the level of those crazy Dragon Gate-inspired MCMG matches of the last 15 years, nor did it reach the heights of their previous matches, but this was a really fun match to have on the show.
They finish with handshakes, hugs and a curtain call.
Winners and STILL IMPACT Wrestling Tag Team Champions: ABC (Ace Austin & Chris Bey)
We get a video previewing the main event. Nothing too exciting or extraordinary about the video, but they did an excellent job of making this feud seem like a “thing” irrespective of what’s currently happening on tv.
IMPACT Wrestling Knockouts World Championship Match: “The Virtuosa” Deonna Purrazzo (c) vs “The Quintessential Diva” Gisele Shaw
Purrazzo is coming off a win last night against Steph de Lander, while Shaw tapped out Australia’s Erika Reid.
Yet another match starts with the heel powdering to the outside, before Shaw heads inside to lock up. And they trade side headlocks (don’t do it to me again ladies!) They break up, stare at each other again, then trade leg-scissors, before Purrazzo attacks the hand and fingers of Shaw. Shaw twists her way out, and it’s another stalemate.
A Greco-Roman knuckle lock leads to a couple of near falls for Purrazzo before Shaw again uses her flexibility to escape and roll up Purrazzo, before switching that into a leg lock. Purrazzo again counters and grabs her own hold, and so far it’s a really fun mat wrestling contest.
Shaw tries to change her approach, grabbing the hair of Purrazzo, before the Virtuosa manages to find an armbar, albeit with Shaw in the ropes. Shaw proceeds to attack the arm of Purrazzo on the mat and in the ropes, and when Purrazzo tries to recover she instead eats the steel ring post – she’s getting beat up as Shaw twists her around the ring post. Gisele throws her inside and covers, but it’s still only enough for two, as Shaw returns the favour by attacking Deonna’s wrist and fingers.
Purrazzo fights her way out with forearm strikes and manages to send Shaw into the ringpost, and both women are down with the ref counting Shaw on the outside. Purrazzo is selling her arm big time, including being unable to lock in the Fujiwara armbar. Gisele takes the opportunity and locks in an armbar of her own, but Purrazzo gets her feet to the ropes.
It looks like ending suddenly when Purrazzo hits a flatliner and a Koji Clutch, but Shaw again fights her way out, leading to both women trading “yeah/boo” strikes. Shaw hits the Shock and Awe for a near fall, and Shaw again goes for the armbar, a kick and a nearfall, then the armbar again. This time, Purrazzo reverses into the “Venus de Milo” double armlock, and Shaw has to give up. (An outstanding name for this move if you’re familiar with the sculpture!)
A really solid match, a really solid main event. It told the story of Gisele Shaw trying to out-technical Purrazzo, and while Shaw was able to hang with Purrazzo and look a million bucks with her technical wrestling, it just wasn’t quite enough against the Virtuosa. It could’ve moved a bit faster, but overall I really liked this as a main event.
Winner and STILL IMPACT Wrestling Knockouts World Champion: “The Virtuosa” Deonna Purrazzo
Final Thoughts: This show felt quite different to last night. Everything last night just felt really consistently ok-to-good. Tonight we saw some excellent (the tag title match and the OPW Title match), we saw some very good (the main event and the Natural Classics vs Velocities), some “weird” (SDL vs Killer Kelly) and some diabolically bad (Myers vs Kazarian) – it was much less consistent, but the good stuff tonight was much better than the good stuff last night.
Sadly they didn’t fix the production issues – the lighting was still terrible, and the mic in the ring and the crowd mic were hit and miss. In addition to that I had some streaming issues with Fite tonight. Nothing major, but enough to be noteworthy. Even though I only noted two occasions where it actually dropped out, I probably had another 5-6 instances where the resolution was dropping right out, or it would rewind a little bit then skip forwards again. Once again, we’ve all seen far worse, but it was just enough to annoy me a little.
Once again, I thought this was a really fun way to spend an evening watching wrestling. In terms of being value for money, I’d say it was, although I wouldn’t say that either show was an overwhelming home run.
I’m disappointed that tomorrow’s Australian showcase isn’t part of the IMPACT package on FITE, cos I’m pretty confident it’ll be the blowaway show of the weekend.
How to watch: Both tonights and last nights shows are available to stream through Fite TV at https://www.fite.tv/watch/impact-under-tour-pack/2pd6i/