Well, in the 15 hours since I wrote my Sacrifice 2023 preview, things have gone downhill for Impact Wrestling.

Let’s start with the very bad news: Josh Alexander is vacating the Impact World Championship because of a tricep tear requiring surgery.

Josh’s reign had been the longest, and without question best, in the promotion’s 21-year history. While he was likely dropping the belt at Rebellion next month, having his reign end this way absolutely sucks and throws a big spanner in Impact’s plans.

Steve Maclin will still be getting his Impact World Championship match at Rebellion, but instead of Alexander, he’ll be facing KUSHIDA for the vacant strap.

KUSHIDA was supposed to get a title shot at the New Japan cross-promotional show Multiverse United next Thursday. That is obviously no longer happening, with Impact saying that a replacement opponent will be announced in due course.

As for Sacrifice, Maclin replaced Alexander in the six-man tag main event. Storywise there is at least something there, as they tried to show you on the go-home show that Maclin was getting in the head of Alexander’s partners Frankie Kazarian and Rich Swann. Now those three will have to team up, so they can have that strange bedfellow’s narrative run through it, making it easier for Time Machine to go over.

The other issue is that the second biggest match on the show, Mickie James defending the Impact Wrestling Knockouts World Championship against Jordynne Grace, is also off. As per Impact, this is because James is injured and not in a position to compete.

They ran an angle on the go-home show that saw Grace accidentally spear James after James had been involved in a mixed tag match with Tommy Dreamer against Bully Ray and Masha Slamovich.

As such, it could be that canceling this match is very much a storyline beat (one that undoubtedly looks worse in the light of Alexander’s troubles) rather than a legitimate injury.

What Impact has said is that they’ll address the Knockouts title situation during the Sacrifice show, so whatever comes out there will inevitably impact (pun intended) the scheduled title four-way at Multiverse United.

Elsewhere, I had expected Impact to announce a couple of matches for the Countdown pre-show on YouTube. They haven’t, though, so I guess that’ll be a surprise on the night, and that means the current card is as follows:

  • PCO vs. Kenny King
  • Deonna Purrazzo vs. Gisele Shaw (w/Jai Vidal & Savannah Evans)
  • Jonathan Gresham vs. Mike Bailey
  • Busted Open Match – Tommy Dreamer vs. Bully Ray
  • Impact Digital Media Championship – Joe Hendry (C) vs. Brian Myers
  • Impact World Tag Team Championship – A-B-C (C) vs. TMDK
  • Impact X-Division Championship – Trey Miguel (C) vs. Lince Dorado
  • Steve Maclin, Frankie Kazarian & Rich Swann vs. Time Machine