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Impact Wrestling UK Invasion Coventry (Night 1) review

By 30 October 2023Featured, News

By Sam Smith

Grado Impact UK

Impact Wrestling’s first night in Coventry was a fun show that celebrated the return of TNA and teased more UK shows to come in 2024.

Here’s what went down on day 3 of Impact Wrestling‘s UK Invasion in Coventry:

Frankie Kazarian vs. Leon Slater

It was revealed at the start of the show that Kaz would be doing double-duty on night one of Impact’s time in Coventry as the World Champion Alex Shelley had sustained a minor injury during Newcastle’s Turning Point show.

The Heavy Metal Rebel came out to an excited crowd, injecting the show with a shot of star power to kick things off. He was then followed by Leon Slater, one of the UK’s fastest rising stars. While the match started friendly, it soon became more aggressive as both the upstart and the veteran struggled to get the better of each other with the crowd being treated to some high flying action as well as some technical moves that impressed onlookers.

The crowd was divided on whom they wanted to win, but it was Kazarian who scored the victory after catching Slater in a well-timed submission hold, forcing the younger man to promptly tap out. Kaz invited Slater back into the ring and applauded his opponent and before the music of Impact President Scott D’Amore hit.

The boss thanked UK fans for their passion and excitedly spoke about the return of TNA as well as the abundance of British talent in the industry today. He then pulled out a contract from his jacket and signed Leon Slater right there in the ring, much to the crowd’s delight.

Frankie Kazarian

Frankie Kazarian did double duty in Coventry night 1.

Emersyn Jayne & Jordynne Grace vs. Dani Luna & Deonna Purrazzo

The momentum continued with a fast-paced tag match between two rather interesting pairings. Deonna and Luna were the defacto heels in this bout, with the Subculture star following the former Impact Knockout Champion’s lead at times, especially when it came to turning a blind eye to cheating.

Jordynne Grace and Emersyn Jayne however, we able to overcome The Virtuosa and her tag team partner and score the win. Grace, Luna and Purrazzo all looked like huge stars here, but the shining light of this match was Emersyn Jayne, who after this match, made a lot of new fans.

Rich Swann vs. Amir Jordan

As both Swann and former NXT UK star Amir Jordan danced to the ring, chants of “Dance off!” echoed around the arena before both men obliged, showing off more moves before the match began.

Both wrestlers used a variety of aerial moves to get the better of the other, both visibly having fun and wowing the crowd at the same time. While the plucky Jordan put up a good fight, there was never any question that the former Impact World Champion was going to score the win.

Brian Myers vs. Grado

One half of The Most Professional Wrestling Gods, Brian Myers was booed on his way to the ring, calling out the rowdy Coventry crowd as he went before Madonna’s Like a Prayer blasted from the speakers – which can only mean one thing.

Grado earned the biggest pop of the night as he did his signature strut to the ring to face Myers – who’s been on a winning streak throughout the UK tour. This was a hilarious match which played on Grado’s popularity with the UK crowd as well as his status as a slightly older and more grizzled version of the performer he used to be.

Grado comically asked for help to get his leg over the top rope while popped the crowd, before doing some familiar gags which made the whole room laugh out loud. Myers was unable to lift Grado for a German suplex due to the Scotsman’s weight, allowing Grado to exhale and use his belly to escape Myer’s grasp.

As both wrestlers brought the match home, Grado parodied Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair’s legendary, “I’m sorry, I love you” moment as he went for the superkick to finish off Myers. However, the wily heel was able to dodge and reverse the move, flooring Grado and scoring the pin – shocking the audience.


Grado received a hero’s welcome.

Moose vs. Rhino

The Impact team billed this match as Battle of the Beasts and despite Moose being the heel, his bombastic entrance earned as many cheers as it did boos. Rhino was also given a heroes welcome by the Coventry crowd, and chants of “Moose!” and “Gore!” soon melded into chants of “Goose!” along with ripples of laughter.

After the levity of the last match, this was a violent slugfest where both behemoths pitted the Spear versus the Gore in an effort to take down the other man. Rhino fought valiantly but was eventually floored and pinned by the self-proclaimed “Mr. Impact Wrestling.”

Eddie Edwards vs. Joe Hendry

Whoever was set to face Joe Hendry on the UK tour was destined to face a torrent of boos from the UK crowd and in Coventry it was Eddie Edwards who bore the brunt of their wrath. Edwards played the role of the vicious and dastardly heel in this match as Hendry was clearly the people’s prince. Chants of “We believe!” echoed and Hendry even chopped Edwards in time with his theme song as the crowd sang it to him.

This was easily the most hard hitting match of the night as both Edwards and Hendry chopped and slammed each other to a brutal crescendo. The room shook when each man hit the mat during a couple of spots, really selling the epic nature of the clash. As with Grado and Myers and Rhino and Moose, the heel scored the victory, with the fan favourite losing definitively, much to the shock of the crowd.

Trinity vs. Gisele Shaw

Gisele Shaw versus Trinity was something the crowd had been excited for and both women looked like huge stars. Gisele is being positioned as the next big supervillain in the Knockouts Division and she’s incredibly well suited to the role. However, there was never any risk of Trinity losing the Knockout’s Championship to her tonight, but the story between the two feels like its just getting started.

Trinity’s star power was undeniable as the master of all things neon danced her way to the ring to face her opponent. While Trinity had fun at Gisele’s expense, this only fulled the heel’s determination and desire to inflict pain on the champion. However, while Trinity overcame Gisele here, she’d be wise to not take her lightly again. Something may be brewing for the future.

Giselle Shaw

Giselle Shaw looked like a threat to Trinity’s championship dream.

Eric Young & Josh Alexander vs. Chris Sabin & Frankie Kazarian vs. Subculture (Flash Morgan Webster & Mark Andrews)

While the crowd was disappointed that the champ, Alex Shelley was out of action, they soon forgot about this when Frankie Kazarian returned for his second match of the night. Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster were also a welcome sight, the former NXT UK and indie stars getting a lot of love from the Coventry audience.

However, it was former champion Josh Alexander and his tag-team partner for the evening, Eric Young who received the loudest reaction. In fact, the crowd chanted for Young throughout the match. While things started friendly, all three tag-teams gradually became more intense with rivalry turning to outright aggression soon enough.

The three-team tag match did a good job of showcasing every talent, with some wrestlers demanding to face certain others to see who was the better man. The action was frantic and fun, using every performer to their strengths before the deadly alliance of Alexander and Young scored the victory.

After this Kazarian addressed the audience, celebrating the return of TNA, the UK crowd, and talent old and new – especially Josh Alexander, who he described as the “future of TNA.”