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Impact Wrestling Under Tour 2023 HOT TAKE

June 27, 2023

Impact Wrestling was birthed in the United States and is now headquartered in Canada but this week, it will call the city of Wagga Wagga, New South Wales down under in Australia home.

The city of Wagga Wagga in Australia has a long, roving history that dates as far back as 1829, when the region that would eventually become this city was first explored. Today, rugby, football, soccer, tennis and many other spots are devoured by the citizens of the city, bringing forth the world-renowned Wagga Wagga Effect, which has spurned on countless stellar athletes from the region.

It is in the spirit of this famous hub of sports and the devout, devoted following of athletic greatness that FITE is proud to present Impact Wrestling Down Under as the Impact's most renowned stars take to the ring for combat excellence that will hit with the full force of the Five O

Clock Wave surging through the Murrumbidgee River. Impact's stars will face off during two major live international events, streaming across the world from Australia straight to your FITE devices on Friday June 30th and Saturday July 1st.

These events will not just have international ramifications for Australia, The United States, Canada and beyond but will feature important rematches, championship showdowns and dream encounters that will not only etch their way into time capsules across the world but will change the journeys of so many massive stars from Impact and beyond on the road to Slammiversary 2023.

FITE is proud to present the following main events from Wagga Wagga to the entire world at large!

Friday, June 30th

On Friday June 30th, Impact Wrestling's new reigning and defending World Heavyweight Champion will find a major obstacle en route to defending against Nick Aldis at Slammiversary in Canada. When Shelley touches down in Australia, he'll be facing down his past. After sparking a global celebration for his championship victory at Against All Odds, Shelley will grant the former World Champion Steve Maclin his championship rematch.

Steve Maclin has always been a diabolically driven individual, obsessed with leaving victims in his wake as he ascended to the upper echelon of Impact Wrestling. Having accomplished his goal by virtue of his victory over KUSHIDA and surviving the Saw-esque bloody massacre against PCO, Maclin seemed to have embedded himself into the deepest trench possible as World Champion, set to reign for an infinite amount of time.

That was until Alex Shelley, long considered one of the true pro wrestling wizards inside the ring and when it comes to strategizing, shocked the world by scoring the biggest singles victory of his life. Everything Maclin had schemed to achieve from his Impact debut had slipped away far before it was supposed to, and now Maclin has traveled all the way to Wagga Wagga to exact his ultimate revenge - by doing to Shelley what was done to Maclin.

Before, Maclin was just looking for victory. Now he's seething and seeking revenge, looking to return to greatness while emasculating and breaking down Alex Shelley. There is no doubt that among fans, Shelley is the moral favorite and it stays a clean, scientific contest, he may even have the advantage, but does anyone believe things will stay above board with Maclin involved? Could Bully Ray be waiting in the wings?

Alex Shelley walks the aisle as the Impact Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion but Steve Maclin stalks the halls, looking to achieve victory by any means necessary. This climactic battle will determine once and for all who will step into battle with Nick Aldis this July when Slammiversary emanates from Windsor, Ontario - Shelley vs. Maclin will go to war, live on FITE.

The new X-Division Champion Chris Sabin will step into battle as well, looking to extend his ninth title run in Wagga Wagga when he defends against not just one of the true innovators of that division, Frankie Kazarian but internationally renowned Australian star Robbie Eagles.

This X-Division Championship match harkens back to the earlier eras of Impact Wrestling, when the championship defined "no limits" because there are no limitations on what these men will do to each other and themselves in order to score the all-too-important championship victory. This bout features two men with a deep history and respect for the other, but at the end of the day, they are also two ravenously hungry competitors. The third man in the ring, the world traveled Eagles, who has shined not just Down Under but also in New Japan Pro Wrestling and now seeks to represent his home country by creating a massive international incident, seeking to walk out the new X-Division Champion, live on FITE.

Kazarian returned to Impact Wrestling seeking to take his game and his skills to the next level, as opposed to leaving himself complacent as he advanced his career to the next chapter. Sabin is seeking to maintain his position as the X-Division kingpin.

Australia will say Joe Hendry's name and he will appear, stepping into battle with former Impact Wrestling World Champion Eddie Edwards in a battle for Hendry's Digital Media Championship. With his battles against Moose, Matt Cardona and more, Hendry has found himself becoming more and more beloved by the Impact faithful and will certainly step into Wagga Wagga as the crowd favorite, but he can't discount one of Impact's most celebrated combatants.

Eddie Edwards has wrestled and brawled with an entire galaxy's worth of tremendous professional wrestling and fighters. From the streets of Boston to Tokyo, Japan, gold and victory has followed Edwards' outshining any setbacks or losses. Still, the bitterness and anger of a veteran who fights his heart out but doesn't believe he gets the respect he deserves has consumed the multiple-time former World Champion and he steps into the ring seeking not just validation, but a chance to shove all that angst back down the throats of the fans.

Hendry may be in for the most dangerous title defense of his life and no matter who emerges champion, the battle may damn their future, because the next night, the victor will have to defend the championship against former TNA & Impact Wrestling World Champion Moose.

Saturday, July 1st

On Saturday July 1st, the battles will commence once more with an incredible double main event emanating from Wagga Wagga to the FITE world at large. The evening will be topped with what can only be considered a golden dream match as Impact's four most prestigious male champions will step into the ring for a colossal tag team extravaganza - it will be Impact Wrestling World Tag Team Champions ABC, Ace Austin and Chris Bey defending their crowns against The Motor City Machine Guns, the reigning and defending Impact Wrestling World Champion Alex Shelley and X-Division Champion Chris Sabin.

This, FITE friends, is the stuff dreams are made up of. It's the type of 21st century futuristic pugilism that will define not just Impact Wrestling but professional wrestling at large. Sabin and Shelley, the two top singles champions in Impact today, will reunite once more as the legendary Motor City Machine Guns. They will bring all the legacy and excellence that they carry into the ring to do battle with Bey and Austin, who since combining their exquisite skills into the type of tag team tandem that breathes the same rarified air as the legendary Midnight Express, The Brainbusters, or…The Motor City Machine Guns themselves.

Bey and Austin, battle-hardened through their world travels including New Japan Pro Wrestling seem to have that intangible ability to know what the other is thinking and where one needs the other to be at all time. Their offensive maneuvers have broken down and defeated even the most prepared competitors, clearing their path to championship gold and the type of success that is rarely duplicated.

However, they charge along a path that has been cut by The Machine Guns. Already on the top of their game as in-ring competitors, can Shelley and Sabin slide right back into tag team mode, especially against one of the most formidable teams of 2023? It's easy to predict tag team greatness given the body of work each of these teams have already provided to fans across the world, but this generational battle is not just for Tag Team gold, but the legacy of what each of these teams will be going forward.

Could this be the Guns' last hurrah or will they become the first competitors since Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe to hold ALL of the championship glory in Impact for themselves? FITE fans will see who proves themselves as THE greatest, live as it all unfolds directly from Australia.

Wagga Wagga's Equex Centre will also provide the solution to the riddle that currently haunts the Knockouts division - what will the championship situation look like at Slammiversary? On Saturday July 1st, the reigning and defending Impact Wrestling Knockouts World Champion Deonna Purrazzo will once again attempt to prove her greatness when she steps inside the squared circle to face internationally acclaimed Quintessential Dive Gisele Shaw.

One of the true hellions of professional wrestling, Shaw is seeking to upend the road to Slammiversary. If she can score a non-title championship win over Purrazzo, Gisele will be added to Deonna's championship defense against Trinity in Windsor, changing the entire makeup of that first-time dream match and positioning herself potentially as the next Knockouts World Championship.

No stranger to gold as a former PROGRESS Women's Champion in the UK, Shaw is never-ending in her pursuit of victory, ready to take every path to victory, no matter how underhanded. Purrazzo is no stranger to getting her hands dirty inside and around the squared circle, but has always relied on proving her superior technical prowess in the ring. Certainly, this battle will see tempers flare and egos bruised, but in the end, the Slammiversary championship picture will be completely clear.

The wars won't end there. Not only will Moose challenge for the Digital Media title, but Steve Maclin and Frankie Kazarian will battle in an extremely interesting one on one contest. Each of these men have already carved their legacies forever into the annals of Impact Wrestling, but if there is one common thread between them, it is that neither is content with their past achievements. This bout will be a matter of respect as these two seek to have their hand raised and add to their Slammiversary momentum. Should Maclin score a World Championship victory over Alex Shelley, Kazarian would be his very first challenger, putting Kazarian into the pole position of possible scoring his first ever World Championship victory.

The city of Wagga Wagga, New South Wales down under in Australia will be home to the hardest hitting, gritty competition. Home to the most climactic championship matches and home to the greatest wrestling fans in the world - the FITE fans watching from across the globe, including you!

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.