Impact Wrestling Against All Odds 2023 HOT TAKE
"I do what I do because it is the right thing to do. I am a warrior, and it is the way of the warrior to fight superior odds." - Paul Watson
"I know of no higher fortitude than stubborness in the face of overwhelming odds." - Louis Nizer
"Never tell me the odds." - Han Solo
In the world of professional wrestling, the odds are stacked against you as a competitor from the very moment you train for the first time inside the ring. The odds of mastering this very unique art are incredibly small. The odds of gaining momentum and the attention of promotions that can fill your bank accounts and provide consistent opportunities are even smaller. The odds of making it are slim, but the odds of maintaining that success for a great period of time may be subatomic in size.
For the stars of Impact Wrestling, they are always running through the labyrinth of life, trying to achieve and maintain success. Every victory is shadowed by the next challenge. Every vanquished challenge is tempered by the next foe. Every foe is surpassed by the pressure competitors put on themselves. From every direction, in every hour, the greatest professional wrestlers in the world are always poised for battle, always Against All Odds.
This Friday June 9th in Columbus, Ohio will be no different. Impact's most cherished championships and most bitter grudges will be spotlighted as each competitor pushes themselves to the brink of their physical and emotional breaking point, seeking to break down and defeat the opposition. If they are successful, they will raise their arms in victory before preparing to fight another day. If they fall by the wayside, humiliation and despair are sure to swallow them whole as they scheme and strategize their vengeance at Slammiversary and beyond.
Live on FITE, Impact Wrestling's roster find themselves against All Odds, their careers standing on the precipice of greatness, but only if they find themselves in the winner's circle at the end of the night.
If there is one competitor who has epitomized the true grit that comes with greatness in Impact Wrestling, it is reigning and defending World Champion Steve Maclin, who somehow survived a true bludgeoning against PCO at Under Siege. With just a few weeks to heal and recover from one of the bloodiest, gutsiest World Heavyweight Championship matches in Impact history, Maclin has to change gears completely to battle and defeat one of the most celebrated in-ring competitors of this era, The Motor City Machine Guns' Alex Shelley.
Having shocked the world by capturing this championship match against a collection of former World Champions and more at No Surrender, the former X-Division and World Tag Team Champion stands atop the greatest stage of his singles career to date - a chance to become the ultimate champion in all of Impact Wrestling. Long celebrated as a technical wrestling wizard when it comes to the chess game that is grappling, submission and the finesse that comes with being a true master of the mat, Shelley has yet to ever challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship. At Against All Odds, he finds himself matched with one of the gutsiest, underhanded fighters in Impact history in Steve Mackin, providing Shelley with the potential to ascend to the throne and be celebrated in a way that even a beloved veteran like Shelley has yet to experience.
While Maclin has shown many sides of his aptitude as a champion already, for him to vanquish Alex Shelley means he will have to dig deep into every lesson he's learned on the battlefield, dating back to his earliest days training at the Monster Factory to every match he's fought in around the globe. Shelley may be greatly respected by die-hard FITE fans around the world, but there's no denying that 2023 has been Maclin's year thus far. If he can match The Machine Guns' Shelley inside the ring and walk out with the gold, the World Champion will level up yet again.
As the world waits with bated breath like on FITE to see who emerges as the undisputed champion, it will also know who the next challenger to the throne will be. Once again, Impact Wrestling will innovate with the first-ever presentation of the 8-4-1 bout. Eight lauded competitors, including five former World Champions will battle in an eight man tag. The winning team will immediately enter into a Four-Way battle against EACH OTHER with the final winner earning a future World Championship opportunity.
On one side, the malicious might of Bully Ray, the aristocratic grappling greatness of Nick Aldis, the pure heart of Heath and the majestic grappling of Jonathan Gresham will battle the fearless PCO, the versatility of Rich Swann, the sheer might and stunning agility of Moose and the relentless wrestling work ethic of Speedball Mike Bailey, all seeking the chance to advance forward by teaming with competitors they will quickly be at odds with should they achieve their goals - all in the name of becoming the most important champion in Impact Wrestling and beyond, live on FITE! Only one man will stand tall as the smoke clears from the battle at hand.
Speaking of shifting alliances, while they will be against the ring from each other this July at Slammiversary, Impact Wrestling Knockouts World Champion Deonna Purrazzo and the world renowned and beloved Trinity will team for the first time at Against All Odds, taking on devious Gisele Shaw and her muscle, Savannah Evans in a hotly contested grudge match. Since Trinity has arrived in Impact, Shaw and Evans, along with Shaw's favorite assistant, Jai Vidal, have taken it upon themselves to try and ruin the party, seeking to shatter the glow Trinity has brought to Impact in recent weeks.
With Evans competing in the biggest match of her career, she will bring all her might and savagery taught to her by the legendary George South, seeking to dominate Purrazzo and Trinity alike as Shaw brings her versatility and cunning to the warfront. This battle will not just set the stage for Slammiversary, but the ripple effects of this tag team encounter will be felt for months to come inside the Knockouts division and beyond. FITE fans will see legendary first encounters take place live before their eyes as the stuff of legends will be inscribed forever.
If there is an X-Division legend, it is truly Chris Sabin, the most celebrated athlete to ever compete in the division. As one of the most decorated competitors in Impact Wrestling history, Sabin has tasted the sweet success of champion many times over, as World Champion, X-Division Champion and World Tag Team Champion but when he enters the ring seeking to once again claiming a golden victory, it is as much as a matter of respect as it is about anything else.
After all, it was X-Division Champion Trey Miguel, who Sabin has charged with disrespecting the division, the title and everyone who has ever fought for the title, who spray painted Sabin in the face at Under Siege, desecrating the challenger just as Miguel had previously done to the actual X-Division Championship belt. Sabin, who has always portrayed himself as a true, pure wrestling competitor, is seeking revenge for his near-blinding and hopes to make history by not only embarrassing and humiliating Miguel, but by becoming the first-ever nine-time X-Division Champion. To do so, Sabin will have to be Better than his Best and dig deep to strategies that are barely legal in order to achieve hardcore heaven and turn back the scorching heat wave that has radiated from Miguel and the underhanded momentum that has been the calling card of his most recent X-Division Championship reign. It is all or nothing for each of these competitors. Live on FITE, their lives and careers will change forever.
If Sabin is looking to achieve his championship dreams, it is both Killer Kelly and Masha Slamovich who are looking to plunge the other into a nightmarish hellscape this Friday in a Knockouts Dog Collar Match. Having brawled and battled all over Canada seeking to destroy the other, these world-traveled combatants will be chained to the other until only one Knockout remains triumphant. With all legalities and pleasantries shattered, this may be the most explosive match to ever take place in the Knockouts division. Not for the faint of heart, these internationally renowned stars will be taking the fight to each other, linked by one steel chain and bad intentions. For all the talk around the world about the insanity of PCO vs. Steve Maclin at Under Siege, they may quickly be outdone by the Russian Dynamo and Portugal's most nefarious fighter, in grit, violence and malevolence alike.
As if these main events are not enough, Against All Odds this Friday live on FITE will see celebrated veteran Frankie Kazarian and Eddie Edwards squaring off in grudge match sparked by Edwards' deep-seeded disrespect, The Good Hands, Jason Hotch and John Skyler, getting the biggest opportunity of their lives as they challenge Impact Wrestling World Tag Team Champions ABC, Ace Austin and Chris Bey, plus the devious Dirty Dango, hot off his betrayal of Santino Marella, is seeking to win the Impact Wrestling Digital Media Championship from Scottish star Joe Hendry.
If you say Hendry's name, he'll appear but if you type FITE, some of the greatest in-ring professional wrestling in the world will appear on your device, streaming live as Impact Wrestling's greatest stars battle Against All Odds, once again guaranteeing that no matter who exits the ring, the ultimate victors are the FITE fans witnessing this greatness around the world.
This Friday, Impact Wrestling presents Against All Odds, live on FITE!
Mike Johnson is the lead reporter for PWInsider.com and has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He can be found on Twitter @MikePWInsider and MikeJohnsonWrites.com.