After 200+ days of hiatus, Impact Pro Wrestling finally returned to Mt Albert War Memorial Hall for IPW Strikes Back!
The night kicked off with tag team action when Liger and Matty Short, aka Short Tempered, took on the Dapper duo of Will Stone and Vinny Dunn. It was an explosive encounter, and in a shock ending Short pinned former multi-time champion Dunn for the win. After the match there seemed to be tension between the Dapper Dynasty with Stone being visibly agitated with Dunn, but this appeared to be quickly resolved.
Unfortunately the much anticipated match between Spartan and Ringo Ryan was unable to go ahead as Ryan was unable to compete, however Spartan was still in action taking on Nu Blood’s Zac Hayle. Hayle showcased his chops as a singles competitor, but Spartan’s experience proved too much hitting the spear for the win.
The next match was a battle of the Savage’s as Niwa set out to destroy Alex Savage. Niwa’s manager Dion McCracken was noticeably absent from his corner, however Will Stone took it upon himself to fill in, much to the dismay of Savage. Despite the distraction, Savage scored the upset victory – but both Savage and Stone suffered in the end courtesy of brutal powerbombs from a furious Niwa.
Both Kid Nova and Saint Finn were looking to gain momentum for 2022 at each other’s expense. Finn remained on the offense for most of the match, showcasing a more aggressive side. Nova did manage to impress with a Coast to Coast, but it was a brutal Crucifix Bomb that scored Saint Finn a win for the Divine Light.
The IPW New Zealand Women’s Championship was on the line in fatal fourway action when the current champion Amber Saint was forced to defend her championship against three former champions in Frankie Quinn, Britenay and Candy Lee. IPW General Manager David Dunn was quick to eject Jake Shehaan from ringside, leaving Saint to seemingly fend for herself. All the competitors shone in this action packed match, with the crowd seemingly split with who they were behind. Ultimately one of CTRL’s newest recruits Sabrina proved to be the IT factor, taking out Frankie Quinn and dragging Saint over for the win.
But that wasn’t all in the women’s division – as after almost 6 years away, Megan-Kate shocked the fans by returning and taking out Britenay, Frankie and Candy with her signature bat! Megan-Kate has seemingly put the women’s division on notice and we’re sure she’ll make her intentions clear in the near future.
Kinkade Cup action kicked off the second half of the night when reigning champion Horus took on Moody, who made his IPW return after a two year absence to hone his craft in the UK. The match was contested under CTRL rules, meaning there were no disqualifications for Horus. Despite an onslaught of CTRL minions and chairs, Moody seemed to have the cup firmly in his grasp until Jake Shehaan clocked him over the head with the IPW New Zealand Heavyweight Championship, allowing Horus to take advantage and retain.
In what was a hotly anticipated grudge match, Charlie Roberts looked to seek retribution against the Knights of Mayhem by teaming up with former foe Jamie Tagataese to challenge for the IPW New Zealand Tag Team Championships. Both teams went to war with one another, and after hitting Rufguts with their finishing maneuvers Roberts and Tagataese thought they had captured gold – however Referee Conan Wood restarted the match after spotting Rufguts’ foot on the ropes. This gave the Knights the opportunity to attack the challengers with their championships, losing the match via disqualification but retaining their tag team belts.
The main event of the evening saw IPW New Zealand Heavyweight champion Jake Shehaan defend against a former multi time champion in the leader of the Divine Light, James Shaw. David Dunn was quick to eject Amber Saint and Saint Finn from ringside after they had a confrontation, ensuring it to be a fair fight. Both of these men threw everything they had at each other, including each other’s moves and over 60 chops. In the end Shehaan hit Shaw with the Purge Piledriver to keep the Heavyweight Championship in CTRL.