Impact Wrestling
Under Siege 2023
May 26, 2023
Western Fair District Agriplex
London, Ontario, Canada

Watch: FITE

Impact Wrestling’s latest live special, Under Siege, takes place this Friday (May 26) in London, Ontario, Canada. Their first trip to the city is headlined by Steve Maclin making his second Impact World Championship defense against PCO in a No Disqualification Match.

Countdown to Under Siege
Impact Wrestling Digital Media Championship
Joe Hendry (C) vs. Dirty Dango

Joe Hendry is currently the longest-reigning Digital Media Champion in Impact history, boasting a run 87 days longer than the next best at the time of writing. I’m still a firm believer in Edinburgh’s finest, but it’s undeniable that the further away from his title win, the more he’s moved away from the stuff that makes him cool. We’ve not had custom entrance music in a couple of months, although I hope that returns here, and instead he’s cutting these pre-match promos that are either fine or just not very good. Be cool, Joe, be cool!

Hendry and Dango had formed a little bromance in recent weeks, but that all ended when that dastardly rogue Dango attacked Santino Marella. Well, we didn’t know he’d attacked him but at the end of his investigation (a genuinely enjoyable hark back to his WWE Fashion Police gimmick), it turned out he was the assailant, and he then jumped Hendry to set up this match.

I would personally prefer a title change to freshen things up a bit, but I suspect Hendry retains. Prediction: Joe Hendry

The Design (Deaner, Angels & Kon) vs. Sami Callihan, Rich Swann & TBA

I was very vocal in my Rebellion review about how much I hated the handicap match that saw Sami Callihan, after months of seeking membership, turn his back on The Design.

Even though it was an arduous waste of time to get there that I’m not sure helped anyone get over, the storytelling since Rebellion has actually been quite good. The Design has had a new energy and purpose to them, while they’ve taken a different road with Sami Callihan, trying to humanize him a bit more in sit-down interview segments alongside Rich Swann.

My suspicion is that Swann gets taken out on the go-home show, leading to the reformation of OvE on this show. Dave Crist is still consigned to the bin of history (and was carefully edited out of all the OvE footage shown during the interview segments), but I think they could bring back Jake and Madman Fulton and run the two groups against each other in this six-man. Prediction: The Design

Nick Aldis vs. Kenny King

Plain and simple, this is a simple bit of booking to give Nick Aldis a win over a recognized opponent on a live show before moving him into the World title picture for Slammiversary.

There’s honestly not a ton more to it than that. I’m sure you can all imagine how solid and professionally worked the match will be, and it’ll do the job it needs to. Prediction: Nick Aldis

Trinity vs. Gisele Shaw (w/Savannah Evans & Jai Vidal)

This match is more or less a carbon copy of the one before. Alright the setup was slightly different, with Trinity having an open contract for an opponent and whatnot. Still, the fundamental booking premise, that of giving the big new babyface a win before they move into the title picture for the next PPV, is exactly the same.

In terms of the match, there’s an element of the unknown going in. Trinity showed out well in her in-ring Impact debut, and it would be remiss to ignore just how much Shaw has improved since joining the promotion last year. She can be a bit hit and miss though, so even though I’ve got reasonable expectations of how good this could be, there is the chance of some rough moments if the chemistry isn’t there.

I also wonder if they work a different finish to Aldis/King. Shaw, before missing the last blocks of tapings, was in a program with Tasha Steelz that still felt it had room to run. I ponder whether they have Trinity win here but work a post-match angle that sets up a tag match for Against All Odds between Shaw & Evans and Trinity & Steelz. Prediction: Trinity

Six-way match to determine the No #1 Contender for the Impact Wrestling World Championship
Alex Shelley vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Moose vs. Frankie Kazarian vs. Yuya Uemura vs. Jonathan Gresham

The winner of this match will get their shot at Against All Odds in two week’s time in Ohio.

As Steve Maclin, a heel, is definitely retaining in the main event, that cuts the potential winners down to your four babyfaces: Alex Shelley, Frankie Kazarian, Yuya Uemura, and Jonathan Gresham.

You can rule out Uemura because as much as I’d love him to win, he’s got to be there as the pineater, hasn’t he? Of the other three, Kazarian has had the most direct spotlight in recent weeks with a very well done interview series that has set the stage for one or two things down the line. I don’t think he wins here though as the preview six-man tag saw him and Eddie Edwards have some issues in a way that sowed seeds for a future feud.

Alex Shelley is a viable option because they’ve spoken a lot on commentary about him being the best wrestler in company history never to win the World title, and Chris Sabin is off doing his own thing with the X-Division title.

I can’t look past Gresham, though. He and Maclin had a couple of matches last year when Gresham was ROH champion, so there’s a built-in story there. You’ve got your next contender when you also factor in him winning the series with Mike Bailey. Prediction: Jonathan Gresham

Impact Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
ABC (Ace Austin & Chris Bey) (C) vs. Subculture (Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster) (w/Dani Luna)

Mark Andrews is back in an Impact Wrestling ring! That’s what I’m talking about.

I was admittedly very surprised when the promotion dropped the announcement of this match on social media, but I’m looking forward to it. Austin and Bey are one of my favorite teams in the world, and they should mesh brilliantly with the energy of Subculture, who will definitely be keen to prove something in their first TV matches in over 18 months.

The only thing giving me pause for thought is Austin and Bey’s recent booking on TV, which seemed to be setting up a title challenge for The Good Hands (Jason Hotch & John Skyler). I hope it’s not interference but I wouldn’t be shocked if there’s not an angle here that perhaps leads us to a multi-team title match at Slammiversary. Prediction: ABC

Impact Wrestling X-Division Championship
Trey Miguel (C) vs. Chris Sabin

Without a doubt my most anticipated match of the night and probably the one I’m least sure of the booking on.

Trey Miguel’s second run with the X-Division has had more substance than his first, but it’s also felt a bit odd in that it tended to zag when I expected it to zig and so on. Should he win here, however, he’ll move into second for the most days as champion in company history.

The man first on that list? Chris Sabin. As Garrett Kidney is often keen to point out, Chris Sabin is better than your favorite wrestler, and he’s been having some fantastic singles matches over the last year or more. I’ve not seen his encounter with Mike Bailey on the Under Siege go-home show, but if it’s a patch on their match for Prestige in March, it’ll be great.

Miguel winning this match gives his run credibility, and it hopefully gets him the in-canon respect he feels he’s lacking. A Sabin win feels more interesting, though, and that’s the outcome I’m rooting for. Prediction: Chris Sabin

Impact Wrestling Knockouts World Championship
Deonna Purrazzo (C) vs. Jordynne Grace

Attached to this Rebellion rematch is a stipulation that if Jordynne Grace loses, she cannot challenge for the Knockouts title while Deonna Purrazzo remains champion.

Those stips are usually quite forced, but here it makes sense – Purrazzo is 3-0 against her in singles matches in Impact, so if she beat her again here, she’d have nothing to prove from facing her again. I also wonder if this stipulation is something they’d have done with Grace and Mickie James, tying it back to the finish of their match at Hard to Kill.

Either way, this should be good. Their match at Rebellion was the best of the three they’ve had so far, and with this meeting having a bit more to it in terms of story and build, I’m expecting good things once again. Purrazzo retaining seems a lock, as her against Trinity at Slammiversary is one of the biggest matches the company can book. Prediction: Deonna Purrazzo

No Disqualification Match – Impact Wrestling World Championship
Steve Maclin (C) vs. PCO

Regular readers of my musings for Voices of Wrestling will know that I’m driver, ticket inspector, guard and manager of the Steve Maclin as World Champion train.

I’ve also said for months that PCO was getting the title shot here, as he was never going to be more suitable than coming off winning his feud with Eddie Edwards. That tapping you can here is my jogging on my victory lap, don’t mind me.

The No DQ stipulation they’d added here will help PCO because rather than forcing him into working a traditional main event match that probably wouldn’t be much cop, they’re giving him the keys to the castle in terms of wacky bumps, big spots, and plunder.

This will be fun, if nothing else, but ultimately it’s just a speedbump defense for Maclin as he builds up to the bigger spot against Aldis at Slammiversary. Prediction: Steve Maclin