I've fallen behind on my Impact Wrestling viewing, but honestly, that's okay. For viewership and enjoyment, yes. Not so well for posting a review for readership long after it's noteworthy or relevant. But whatevs, that's just where I am in life. Wrestling is much more fun removed from the restraints and influence of the criticism and impact (no pun intended) of the current time. That's just me. You can probably thank social media.
Moving on, No Surrender 2023 continues Impact's progress into the new year. The product is still solid and consistent with a nice blend of characters and wrestlers moving in and out of the main event scene, along with a fresh batch of a resurgence of characters and occurrences. Nothing says that more than Rich Swann vs. Josh Alexander.
No Surrender was a solid event, but it does leave me extremely interested in where the product is going, or should I say planning, for 2023. I don't want to say that Alexander's title reign has run its course (because it hasn't), but I'm curious what the next BIG angle is for the company.
With all that said, some quick notes on No Surrender 2023:
- Impact's pre-show happenings always can't miss. Gisele Shaw defeating Deonna Purrazzo was an interesting note that surely will spark something on Impact's to come. Also, Mike Bailey and Jonathan Gresham feel like an eventual main event down the road with a story-driven behind it.
I very much enjoy Gresham's style of wrestling. It's so unique that it feels almost like a novelty to see him in the ring.
- Kon and Kazarian felt random in the story, and even more so less of a click to kick off this event that we've seen from Impact Wrestling. Nothing against either guy, but it just wasn't there. For me, I think it's the look and character of both individuals. Kon to me, despite wanting to reinvent himself, still looks and feels like that guy from the WWE.
The slingshot cutter is really cool. Unfortunately, the cutter has lost all kinds of respect as a finishing move.
As I've said many times in the past, I'm so excited Kazarian is back. I would like to see him be more than just the guy with a longstanding history. Call me crazy, but a heel Kazarian would be a fresh shake-up.
- Are the Hex done with the NWA? I should probably knock out a post on the NWA someday - what a disaster. Nonetheless, this was a good contest. My issue with the Women's Tag Team championships (in all promotions) is that it is often women thrown together. I like the idea of the Death Dollz running the Freebird rules, and The Hex as a unit.
- Joe Hendry continues to be so charismatic. The damn song is so catchy. This feud is definitely showing some range for Moose. The Sega Dreamcast was a nice touch.
- The feud between Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer has been good - I'm just not sure I care for the payoff. I know that sounds weird, and this can be changed depending on whatever they are leading up to, but the segment felt like it should be on Impact. Also, I just don't know if Tommy Dreamer is the guy I want to see give the Bully Ray character what he deserves. I like Busted Open a lot, but I'm concerned about where this is all going.
Yet, with all of that said, Bully Ray continues to be a genuine asshole every step of the way since his return has been enjoyable.
- PCO is such - SUCH - interesting wrestling to talk about. Everything about him should get slammed in modern pro wrestling (work rate, age, look, etc...) but the dude's character and believability in it, make it so much fun and such a joy to lose yourself in.
The Four-way was just Maclin's time. Give all the credit to Impact Wrestling for resurrecting and creating a viable character in Maclin.
- Trey Miguel is beginning to get very interesting for me.
- The six-man tag match was the best match of the night, and that's saying a lot considering what followed this one. "Trios" wrestling has become the biggest pitfall in pro wrestling right now (just my opinion) but this really served the concept well. Great action, great logic and psychology, and an awesome finish.
- Mickie James seems like a big deal whenever she's in Impact Wrestling and she's definitely bound for Hall of Fame status in the coming years. This match between James and Masha Slamovich intrigued me as Slamovich has taken her share of losses as of late. The roll-up win was a nice way to keep her strong. I knew we were getting to Grace vs. James once again, so the direction of Slamovich really has me intrigued. She seems to constantly be on the outside looking in.
Oh yeah, the biting-the-tongue spot was just absolutely insane. Nice nod to Hanifan and Rehwold for tying it back to vintage James.
- Did you have any doubt that Rich Swann vs. Josh Alexander would deliver? Awesome match.
The C4 Spike remains of my favorite finishers in pro wrestling today.
Like Slamovich, I'm curious to see where Swann moves next.
Photo Credit: Impact Wrestling