A few weeks back, I went over some of the worst matches IMPACT Wrestling delivered this year and there were certainly a few more I could’ve mentioned but I think ten was fair enough and I don’t watch wrestling simply to talk crap about it like most people. As a counterbalance for the number of terrible matches I went over in the previous list, let’s take the time to talk about some of the greatest bouts that took place this year for IMPACT. Considering the amount of bell-to-bell, stone-cold classics that this company produced this year, this list was extremely hard to narrow down, but after much deliberation… Here is my list of the 10 Best IMPACT Wrestling Matches of 2023.

    Honorable Mentions:

    • Crazzy Steve vs. Trey Miguel ( Feb 23rd, IMPACT!)
    • Alex Shelley vs. Josh Alexander (Bound For Glory)
    • Mickie James vs. Jordynne Grace (Hard To Kill)
    • Josh Alexander vs. KENTA (March 30th, IMPACT!)
    • Eddie Edwards vs, Frankie Kazarian (Oct 12th, IMPACT!)
    • Alex Shelley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (Multiverse United 2)
    • Deonna Purrazzo vs. Gisele Shaw ( IMPACT Down Under & Sacrifice)
    • Mike Bailey vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (Multiverse United 1)
    • Johnathan Gresham vs. Trey Miguel vs. Mike Bailey (Rebellion)
    • Chris Sabin vs. Trey Miguel (Under Siege & Against All Odds)
    • Will Ospreay vs. Eddie Edwards (Turning Point)
    • The Good Hands vs. ABC (Against All Odds)
    • Josh Alexander vs. Yuya Uemura (December 14th, IMPACT!)
    • Trinity vs. Gisele Shaw (Under Siege)
    • The Ultimate X Match (Slammiversary)
    • Nick Aldis vs. Alex Shelley (Slammiversary)
    • Deonna Purrazzo vs. Trinity (Emergence)
    • Steve Maclin vs. Josh Alexander (Victory Road)
    • Alex Shelley vs. Johnathan Gresham (Oct 9th, IMPACT!)
    • Rich Swann vs. Josh Alexander (No Surrender)
    • Motor City Machine Guns vs. Josh Alexander and Zach Sabre Jr. (Final Resolution)

    Best Impact Wrestling Matches of 2023
    10. Bully Ray vs. Josh Alexander: Full Metal Mayhem (Hard To Kill)

    While the majority of Bully Ray’s output this year hasn’t been his best work, he did at least start the year off with great in this Full Metal Mayhem match for the IMPACT World Heavyweight Championship in the opening contest at January’s Hard To Kill PPV…Still surprising to think that a world title match opened a Big Four pay-per-view.

    Moments like Bully Ray’s sneak attack to kick off the match to Alexander fighting back using everything from steel chains, cheese graters and thumbtacks to Bully yelling out ‘Holy S##t’ after getting whacked in the back with a chair to Josh crash landing back into the ring onto some thumbtacks after being pushed off the ladder.

    The match isn’t perfect, as the camera crew do miss a spot or two, plus the overbooked nature of having The Good Hands, Tommy Dreamer, and Jade Chung aka Mrs. Alexander involved did make the match feel like it was going long towards the end, but that moment of payback by Josh’s wife is simply amazing.

    While the rest of Bully’s matches in 2023 would never live up to this kind of hype, it’s still a fantastic way to kick off a pay-per-view and this list.

    Best Impact Wrestling Matches of 2023
    9. PCO vs. Steve Maclin: No Disqualification Match (Under Siege)

    Steve Maclin reached some of the highest points of his career with the biggest being him winning the IMPACT World Championship at Rebellion in a solid bout against KUSHIDA leading to some of the wildest moments in recent IMPACT History.

    And speaking of wild…Sweet Jesus this match between Maclin and PCO is the type of carnage that would make old-school ECW fans explode with excitement.

    In his second title defence, the former forgotten son fought the French-Canadian Frankenstein in the main event of Under Siege in a no-disqualification title match. This bout wastes no time into going full gear as the weapons are soon brought into the mix and that shot with a cookie sheet by PCO was beyond gnarly…I mean Maclin got busted open in the first few minutes of the match end it looked like this:

    Outside of Maclin haemorrhaging blood out of his head, the match is so violent and brutal that it genuinely makes it hard to watch and that’s without mentioning the spot where Maclin staples PCO’s mouth shut, before the former ROH star attempts to pull them out individually as commentators, Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rahwoldt adequately describe how brutal the match continues to be.

    Maclin comes out on top and easily puts on one of his best performances in the ring and considering his competition with the likes of Trey Miguel, Chris Sabin and Jay White that say something.

    Also bonus points for the events that happen after the match with Maclin and a returning Bully Ray ending the show in one of the best cliffhanger moments in recent pro wrestling history.

    Best Impact Wrestling Matches of 2023
    8. Johnathan Gresham vs. Mike Bailey (May 4th, IMPACT!)

    2023 was a year of great rivalries for IMPACT: Edwards vs. Kazarian, Rascalz vs. ABC, Sabin vs. Miguel/Lio Rush, Gisele Shaw’s on-and-off matches with Purrazzo and Trinity, Alexander vs. Maclin heck even Bully Ray vs. Scott D’Amore was great (minus the Slammiversary match), but by far the best rivalry in terms of work rate in almost every match has to go to Mike Bailey vs. Johnathan Gresham.

    Their bouts at No Surrender and Sacrifice almost made this list, however, I’m going with the match which occurred on the May 4th edition of IMPACT primarily because unlike their previous matches this one wasn’t interrupted by outside interference, frequent moments of respect that stall the match and it made it onto the official card, unlike their No Surrender encounter.

    A quick flurry offence starts things off with both men trapping each other in headlocks and then later armholes with Gresham and Bailey both trying to assert dominance but their previous run-ins make it easier for either man to predict what the other is going to do.

    Gresham, like so many other technical wrestlers, is a master of joint manipulation as he spends countless moments wrenching and bending the arm and fingers of “Speedball” while also using his strength to at times overpower his opponent. Bailey meanwhile uses all of his speed and his striking ability to slow down Gresham right up until the unexpected conclusion with Gresham rolling Bailey into an abdominal stretch where he hyperextends Speedball’s compromised arm leading to the finish.

    When arguing which wrestlers had the best rivalry of 2023, Gresham vs. Bailey should certainly be in the discussion and this match is an example of why.

    Best Impact Wrestling Matches of 2023
    7.  Jordynne Grace vs. Deonna Purrazzo (Rebellion)

    Deonna Purrazzo and Jordynne Grace are pretty much the Gail Kim and Awesome Kong of the current Knockouts Division as their matches have been held up as some of the greatest in all of modern women’s wrestling; This of course made it a tough time when it came to choosing which of their three high profiled matches was going to make onto this list, but after much consideration I went with their main event title match at Rebellion.

    It had been three years since Purrazzo and Grace faced each other in one-on-one competition and a whole lot had changed with Purrazzo winning the Ring of Honor Women’s Championship and the Reina De Reinas Championship while Jordynne won the Knockouts singles and Tag Titles and even became the inaugural Digital Media Champion whilst completely transforming her body in pure muscle.

    Following Mickie James’ vacating of the title due to injury, the stage was set to see Grace and Deonna square off for the first time in front of a live crowd and they didn’t disappoint: Purrazzo being the technical genius she is, targeting Jordynne’s left arm among other parts of the body to wear her opponent down and Grace being a literal ‘Flurry of Raw Power’ as she counters Deonna’s offence with power move after power move while at the same being super fast in the process.

    It’s such a back-and-forth contest, that you genuinely don’t know who will win or if the move they’re hitting will be enough to finish it only for the kickout to happen and you explode with excitement that it’s not over yet…By the final bell, Deonna became a three-time Knockouts World Champion ending the 2023 edition of Rebellion once again on top, but this time with her and husband Steve Maclin as World Champions.

    Best Impact Wrestling Matches of 2023
    6. Team Dreamer vs. Team Bully: Hardcore War (Rebellion)

    Well, what’s this you might be saying: A gang warfare-inspired match that involves Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer, it’s taking place on pay per view and it goes over 25 minutes….from that setup, it should be something you immediately avoid watching, but it good lord this match is f###ing incredible just look at the lineup.

    You’ve got Tommy Dreamer leading the charge with his team of fellow veteran Kazarian, young up-and-comers Yuya Uemura and Bhupinder Gujjar and the voyeuristic, Killer Kelly against Bully Ray’s team of killers in the form of Moose, Brian Myers, Kenny King and Masha Slamovich.

    It’s one of the best matches on a pay-per-view that’s filled with awesome matches, I mean I can’t go over all the highlights of the match, but here are a few:

    • Gujjar slicing Myers with a Cheese Grater
    • Kelly uses a stable gun on King, Myers and Moose before turning it on herself… because she is crazy
    • Masha is doing a Swanton bomb to the outside whilst incorporating a steel chair into the mix
    • Dreamer hitting Masha with a Dreamer Drive & later a piledriver in the middle of the ring
    • Kazarian hitting a Springboard Cutter to the outside…and so much more

    Seriously, it’s just a fun match to watch and makes me hope that TNA brings back the Lockdown pay-per-view so we can get a similar match but inside a steel cage.

    Best Impact Wrestling Matches of 2023
    5. The Motor City Machine Guns vs. ABC: Tag Team Ultimate X Match (Rebellion)

    As we’ve seen already on this list, Rebellion 2023 might just be one of the best pay-per-views of the year as the majority of the show was stacked with great action which was bolstered by an awesome Knockouts main event and perhaps the only good match to involve Tommy Dreamer and Bully Ray in the entire calendar year.

    However, the early signs of this show being a banger could easily be traced back to the opening Ultimate X Tag Team match which kicked off the show as Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley team up to take on The Bullet Club’s Ace Austin and Chris Bey for the IMPACT World Tag Team Championships.

    2023 was break out year for IMPACT’s tag team division and that’s best exemplified in Ace Austin and Chris Bey becoming one of the best tag teams in the company; While their victory over the guns to win the belts on an episode of IMPACT! was impressive, this match was their coming home party as they proved they could hang with one of the best in tag team wrestling.

    Shelley and Sabin’s strategy of picking apart both members of the ABC so they wouldn’t be able to grab the titles was brilliant and the amount of adversity and pain the champions had to go through helped to make it all the more exciting.

    It’s a fantastic way to establish a new team as the next big thing, a wonderful tag title match and it rightfully deserves to be on a list like this.

    Best Impact Wrestling Matches of 2023
    4. Alex Shelley vs. Steve Maclin (Against All Odds)

    Following the events at Rebellion, many speculated that the main event of this year’s Slammiversary PPV would see Steve Maclin defending his title against a returning Nick Aldis, but just in case fans didn’t think that would be a worthy main event for a big four pay per view, Impact had you covered with this first-ever one-on-one match between Steve Maclin and Alex Shelley for the IMPACT World Championship.

    Many fans certainly didn’t go into this match expecting a title change but, we did get one and that was just the cherry on top of a great main event match with Shelley and Maclin going all out with their offence with Maclin being more of the aggressor and Shelley using his speed and experience to outsmart the champion.

    In the final few moments of the match where Shelley attempts a Shell Shock before he reverses into the exposed turnbuckle and hits with Maclin’s K.I.A. only for Alex to kick out on two and then use Steve’s momentum and the exposed turnbuckle and then finally hits the Shell Shock for the one..two..three was a feel-good moment for one of wrestling’s most underrated athletes.

    Best Impact Wrestling Matches of 2023
    3. Will Ospreay vs. Josh Alexander (Nov 16th, IMPACT!)

    Will Ospreay might just be 2024’s best wrestler of the year due in no small part to the amount of incredible matches this man has had over the last several months with guys like Kenny Omega, Tetsuya Naito, and Zack Sabre Jr. to name but a few.

    His brief return to IMPACT in the fall of 2023 saw the ‘Aerial Assassin’ have three phenomenal matches with some of the company’s best; One was with Eddie Edwards in the main event of Turning Point, and another took place on pay-per-view…but more on that later, and then there’s this: Will Ospreay’s first ever in-ring encounter with former IMPACT World Champion, Josh Alexander.

    Talking place in the main event (naturally) on the November 16th edition of IMPACT! ‘The Walking Weapon’ and ‘The Billy Goat’ faced off in a dream match for the ages which you tell from the crowd reaction as chants of ‘This is Awesome’ are being made before either man does anything.

    The action is amazing with moments of chain wrestling, counters on top of counters, before it breaks down into slugfest with both men repeatedly clobbering each other with chops, headbutts and elbows to the face and head, l, especially like the moment where Josh nails Ospreay with a elbow in the corner that drops ‘The Billy Goat’ to the mat before Alexander shouts the words “This is my House”.

    Alexander’s aggression with moments of quickness compared to Ospreay’s lighting speed and hard-hitting style made this a must and the amount of close calls in this match made you unsure who would emerge victorious which is usually the sign of good storytelling and even greater wrestling.

    Ospreay ends up picking up the victory, but just after the show goes off the air the newly signed AEW star mentions that he wants to return so he can wrestle inside a TNA Wrestling ring…and fans will get the chance to see Ospreay and Alexander square off once again as their rematch and the return of Kazuchika Okada inside a TNA ring has been announced for TNA’s Snake Eyes tapings in Las Vegas a day after their first pay-per-view of 2024, Hard To Kill.

    Best Impact Wrestling Matches of 2023
    2. ABC vs. Subculture (Under Siege)

    Under Siege might just be one the best IMPACT (soon to be TNA) Plus Specials of all time as this yearly event has produced arguably some of the greatest matches in recent company history and this IMPACT World Tag Team Title match is a perfect example of that.

    On this night, Ace Austin and Chris Bey square off against Subculture’s Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews in a first-ever match…and remember how I mentioned that the ABC’s bout with the guns at Rebellion was their coming out party as a tag team on the rise well this was the same but the team that being were clamouring about was Subculture.

    Both Webster and Andrews fly around and outside of the ring for most of the match and this leads to Ace and Bey having to use a lot of team moves and cutting the ring in half to slow down Subculture’s momentum and even then it becomes easier said than done.

    Honest to god if you made it a drinking game for the number of moonsaults and planchas that occur in this match, you’d probably end up with a hangover as the action is simply all over the place in all the right ways and I especially popped for the flying season by Morgan Webster from the ring post onto the outside and the double poison-rana spot by Chris Bey.

    This match had me and the crowd invested from the very beginning and in the end, it made me want to see more of what Subculture could do in the ring…That could also be said for another wrestler in my final entry who is.

    Best Impact Wrestling Matches of 2023
    1. Will Ospreay vs. Mike Bailey (Bound For Glory)

    It had to be… and not just because it’s the first match since Unbreakable 2005 to get a Five Star Rating match from Dave Meltzer, but simply because this match is a barnburner of a contest and much like the previously mentioned match Ospreay had with Alexander, the crowd was excited with chants of ‘Holy Shit’ ringing out before things even got underway.

    When the action does kick off, it starts strong and it does not stop as Bailey and Ospreay pull all the stops to try and put away the other with Speedball delivering kick after kick after kick rocking “The Bill Goat” and at times firing him up with own counter moves while Ospreay himself levels Bailey with an ungodly amount of knife edge chops and even does a Phenomenal Forearm and a freakin Styles Clash which of course pops the crowd as if they needed any help with that.

    As the match goes on both men’s endurance are at an all-time high with moves like the Hidden Blade, Ultimo Weapon, Tornado Kick in the Corner, Meteor Rain and a Storm Driver 97 all being used and yet somehow none of that can keep each other down until Ospreay ends it with a Storm Breaker to score the win in his first match with the company since 2016.

    Genuinely going over the spots and moves in this match doesn’t do it justice you simply must go on and watch it for yourself as it will make you a fan of both men and makes it unquestionably the best IMPACT Wrestling match of 2023.