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Impact Wrestling: Rebellion
by Samoa Rowe
April 25, 2021
From Skyway Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, behind closed doors. Our hosts are Matt Striker and D'Lo Brown, and Mauro Ranallo for the main event.
Ace Austin © (with Madman Fulton) vs. TJP vs. Josh Alexander
Chaotic start with Ace cartwheeling into a head scissors on TJP, and Alexander using his brute strength to interrupt. Ace uses crafty athleticism to score a dive onto both challengers. Ace tries to cut TJP's hand with a playing card, but the ref disarms him. Ace removes TJP, but Alexander sneaks behind him for rolling Germans. Straight jacket suplex by Alexander gets 2 on Ace. TJP interrupts a butterfly suplex, allowing Ace to monkey flip him into Alexander's arms for a kick. Springboard knee strike by Ace drops Alexander and he meets TJP on the top rope, only for Alexander to superplex them both! Ace removes Josh, but TJP slams him out of the buckles. Frog splash by TJP, but Alexander blocks the cover with an ankle lock. TJP reverses into a kneebar, but Josh locks Ace's ankle while stuck. TJP switches to an octopus but Ace interrupts with a running blockbuster for 2. TJP face washes both opponents with his boot, but Fulton trips him. Alexander Finlay Rolls TJP onto Ace and hits a jackhammer for 2. Ace hits a messy arm drag off the buckles that Alexander reverses into an ankle lock. Fulton interferes again, so TJP leaps onto him. That leaves Alexander to hit Divine Intervention on Ace for the title at 11:14! Nonstop action, and it's cool to see a bruising technician like Alexander win the X-Title, ***¾.
Winner and new X-Division Champion: Josh Alexander
Eric Young rallies the Violent by Design troops, including a newcomer off camera.
James Storm, Chris Sabin, Eddie Edwards, and Willie Mack vs. Violent By Design (Rhino, Joe Doering, Cody Deaner, and ???, with Eric Young)
??? is revealed to be W. Morrissey, formerly known as Big Cass in WWE. Young sits himself on the stage to watch his henchman go to work. Rhino gets outworked, so he tags in Deaner, who runs into Edwards' overhead suplex. Morrissey rights the ship with a tag, already earning his keep, and VBD cut Storm off in their corner. Quick hot tag to Willie Mack, who runs wild through Deaner. The match breaks down, and Sabin hits a slick tope suicida. Sabin and Mack hit Deaner with stereo tree of woe dropkicks. Eddie hits Deaner with a Tiger Driver, and Mack nails a splash, but Morrissey breaks up the pinfall. Morrissey tags himself in, and sweeps Sabin on the apron. Morrissey blocks Mack's dive with an uppercut. Sabin superplexes Deaner onto everyone gathered around on ringside (waiting patiently to catch them, but I digress). Mack then hits Doering with a stunner, and squares off against Morrissey, who hits a big boot, but then doesn't seem to remember what he's supposed to do. He finishes Mack with a spinning sidewalk slam at 10:10. They packed a lot of action into a wild second half, just a few clunky moments and maybe some butterflies in Morrissey's stomach ding this slightly, **¾.
Winners: Violent by Design
Brian Myers vs. Matt Cardona
Cardona offers his old friend a handshake, but Myers flips the bird. Cardona grumpily cleans the ring, but Myers trips him up. Cardona recovers with a neckbreaker reversal at ringside and hurts himself too. Myers snaps Cardona's back into the (unnecessary) guard rail and goes on offense. Cardona answers with a desperate missile dropkick. Myers slips out to avoid the running boot, but Cardona cleverly improvises with a low boot through the ropes. Cardona hits Radio Silence (Rough Ryder) onto the ramp, and appears to injure his own hip in the process. Myers rolls to safety and hits a spear at ringside. Myers' flying elbow gets 2. Cardona maneuvers into an Unprettier for a great nearfall. Cardona then leaps into a terrible landing that appears to destroy his knee. Officials check on Cardona and it looks as though the match could be called off. Myers offers his sympathy, only to then hit a hard clothesline. Myers finishes with a lariat at 9:42. This was totally cooking with great pacing and well defined heel/face dynamics until the (legit?) injury took the wind out of their sails, **¼.
Winner: Brian Myers
Backstage interview with Tony Khan, who is just oozing dorky confidence. He's brought along Aubrey Edwards to ensure that Kenny Omega doesn't get screwed tonight. Scott D'Amore suggests that they have two referees for the main event, and Khan plays along with phony pleasantness. Impact's ref is Brian Hebner and TK amusingly jabs that "Brian wouldn't screw anyone." I'm as nervous as anyone about the prospect of Khan falling in love with himself as an on-air performer, but this was gold.
Impact Knockouts Tag Team Championship:
Fire N Flava (Keira Hogan and Tasha Steelz) vs. Jordynne Grace and Rachel Ellering (with Jazz)
Ellering outwrestles Steelz to force an early tag. Hogan goes for a headlock, but Ellering just stands straight up to lift her into the air. Grace tags in and slams Hogan for a quick 2. Grace serves up some hard Irish whips, but Steelz assists to allow Hogan a roundhouse kick. Fire N Flava hit stereo superkicks in order to hit a double suplex. Grace takes a beating but hits a spinebuster to buy space for a hot tag. Ellering runs wild through Fire N Flava, planting Hogan for a second rope leg drop. Grace leaps off Ellering's back for a corner clothesline, and Ellinger Drapes Hogan on her knees for Grace's senton. Steelz breaks the cover, and Fire N Flava hit a sequence of mirrored offense, complete with stereo missile dropkicks. Grace answers by suplexing them both. Grace launches Steelz over the ropes, but she catches Ellering with a cutter on the way down! Grace makes her pay with a tope suicida! Hogan hits a crossbody off the top rope to ringside. Jazz helps revive Grace so she can shoulder block Hogan in the ring. Ellering hits a fisherman buster to claim the gold at 9:26! Overwhelming enjoyable match, ***¼.
Winners and new Impact Knockouts Tag Team Champions: Rachel Ellering and Jordynne Grace
Last Man Standing:
Sami Callihan vs. Trey Miguel
Miguel fires a shotgun dropkick, but Sami scoops him up and slams him straight to the concrete for a sickening bump. Sami follows with a much safer scoop slam at ringside. Trey answers with Sliced Bread #2 off the ring post. Trey fakes a dive and hits a hurricanrana instead. Trey misses a slick tope suicida and torpedoes into the guard rail! Trey is a glutton for punishment. Sami tries to run over Trey with a production box but has to settle for a powerslam onto the Box-Like Structure. Naturally, Sami tries to rip Trey's mouth open with a wrench. Trey might not be able to meet the 10 count, but rather than wait around, Sami fills the ring with chairs and a table. Sami misses a wild wrench shot and Trey plants him onto a pile of chairs. Sami pleads for mercy but then reverses a power slam through table legs! Sami attempts a super piledriver through the table, but it doesn't break! I hope Miguel is getting a nice bonus in his pay tonight. Sami looks for a table powerbomb off the ring steps, Miguel blocks, so Sami applies a testicular claw and nails a piledriver onto the steps. Sami thinks he's won but Trey crawls onto the apron for a running bulldog through the table! Sami slips while pulling himself up and fails to meet the 10 count, so Trey wins at 15:24! This felt more lively than most Last Man Standing matches, as they kept it fairly short and avoided the usual tropes that drag these matches down. Miguel's victory should move him up a few notches in the Impact pecking order, ***½.
Winner: Trey Miguel
Before we can appreciate how gutsy Trey's win was, they cut straight to a backstage interview with Impact World Champion Rich Swann, who cuts a good, sincere promo that casts tonight's main event as historic and the biggest match for both himself and Omega. Swann has the home-court advantage and will not let his family and fans down.
Impact Tag Team Championship:
FinJuice © (David Finlay and Juice Robinson) vs. The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows)
The Good Brothers look naked without tag team gold and have to be considered the favorites here. FinJuice enjoy a hot start and fluster Anderson with quick tags. Gallows tags in, but FinJuice target his arm with tandem offense. They block a double chokeslam and hit a tandem bulldog. The Good Brothers take control of Finlay when Gallows pump kicks him at ringside. Finlay takes a beating but comes back with a flying elbow. Robinson storms in on a hot tag and lands a back senton on Anderson and dive onto Gallows. Robinson lights Anderson up with jabs and an atomic drop. Running cannonball into the buckles by Robinson gets a good 2 count. FinJuice hit Anderson with a running boot/legsweep combo for 2. They hit Anderson with the tandem flying leg drop, but Gallows makes the rescue. They look for a Doomsday Device, but Gallows breaks it up again, and Anderson hits Juice with a neckbreaker. Good Brothers hit Juice with their tandem neckbreaker for another 2. They look for the Magic Killer, but Finlay interrupts, and Juice sneaks an inside cradle to win at 10:29! Rock solid tag team affair with surprising results, ***¼.
Winners and still Impact Tag Team Champions: FinJuice
Backstage interview with Don Callis outside Kenny Omega's dressing room. He takes all the credit for giving us a champion vs. champion match and allowing us to witness living history. Don scoffs at Swann's claim that he's doing this for family, because he's referring to the Impact locker room, and there's no lower form of life than a professional wrestler. Don practically raised Kenny, they are more than family. Oh, and Kenny is the greatest wrestler of the last 3,000 years, so Swann won't be able to handle him. Fun promo.
Impact Knockouts Championship:
Deonna Purrazzo © (with Kimber Lee and Susan) vs. Tenille Dashwood (with Kaleb with a K)
They start by urgently exchanging holds, and Tenille slips away from an armbar and hands Purrazzo on the ropes. Tenille goes for rapid pin attempts, but Purrazzo hangs her over her back. Purrazzo applies a straight jacket chinlock, but Tenille smashes free and they trade hard blows. Tenille uses a Tarantula to set up a high crossbody for 2. Purrazzo answers with rolling German suplexes! Tenille comes back with a butterfly suplex into the buckles and running low crossbody! Purrazzo kicks out, so Tenille curb stomps her and applies a Muta lock. Kimber Lee hops on the apron, but Kaleb knocks her down. Kaleb throws Susan off his back but Lee sends him into the ring post. Meanwhile, Purrazzo escapes and misses a diving head butt. Tenille nails a running boot to the head, but Kimber Lee interrupts the cover. Tenille fights off Purrazzo's friends, but returns for an exploder. Purrazzo can't quite get the armbar, and they trade forearms. Purrazzo finishes with the Queen's Gambit at 9:48. This felt a bit strapped for time as they packed 15 minutes' worth of action into just ten minutes, **¾.
Winner and still Knockouts Champion: Deonna Purrazzo
Susan and Kimber Lee try to put the boots to Tenille, but TNA alumni, Taylor Wilde, makes a surprise return to clear the ring. Taylor makes it clear she has her sights set on the Knockouts title.
Hype video for this summer's Slammiversary pay-per-view. We see footage of city streets and quick shots to SAMOA JOE and others (maybe Mickie James?).
AEW/Impact World Championship:
AEW World Champion Kenny Omega (with Don Callis and The Good Brothers) vs. Impact World Champion Rich Swann (with Eddie Edwards and Willie Mack)
Callis provides amusing ring announcements for Kenny and lists all the great champions in history (and Greg Gagne) who are insects compared to Omega. Mauro says this match has a level of bad-assery that you can see from space. Now, it's up to Swann and Omega to deliver the goods, and they aggressively trade holds. Omega steps over Swann's back in arrogant fashion. They lock up again, Kenny slaps the face and hides in the ropes. Swann rejects a knuckle lock and flips into a face slap. Swann clears the ring and hits a Phoenix Splash off the second buckle. Swann briefly enjoys the advantage but Kenny blocks a rolling splash with his knees. Omega nails a back suplex onto the ring frame. Omega back drops Swann onto the apron, Swann tries to block with a handstand, but his head gets spiked onto the frame anyway. Buckle bomb by Omega and suplex gets a series of close nearfalls. Kenny ruthlessly goes to work on the neck and back. Swann blocks the Kotaro Crusher and nails a mule kick and rolling frog splash for 2! Kenny's double axe handles have little effect and Swann slaps back. Swann hits a head scissors takedown and Frankensteiner for only 1! They battle on the top rope and botch an ambitious super powerbomb counter and take a rough landing. Swann nails a high elevation frog splash for only 2! Omega absorbs some shots but counters into a sick Doctor Wiley Bomb! Omega hits the first V-Trigger of the match but can't hit One Winged Angel! Another V-Trigger by Kenny, and they head back to the top rope and botch an ambitious electric chair countered into a sunset flip bomb spot. These botches would probably take the wind out of the sails of any live crowd, but they are able to get past them in the empty studio setting. Omega pops up for a pair of snap Dragon suplexes! Swann counters with a Stunner, but accidentally hits Brian Hebner with a back handspring cutter thanks to Kenny. Aubrey Edwards checks on Brian and has to disarm Kenny of a chair. Kenny argues and eats Swann's back handspring cutter, but reverses the cover for a great nearfall! Omega misses a V-Trigger and eats a Swann Song and spinning Michinoku Driver! Kenny kicks out! Swann is gassed but lands on his feet in a missed Phoenix Splash, but Kenny hits a V-Trigger! Omega can't hit One Winged Angel but settles for a German for 2! J-Driller by Kenny but Swann kicks out! Kenny pulls down his kneepad for a pair of extra nasty V-Triggers. Swann collapses to avoid a third V-Trigger, and Kenny poses with him in front of Edwards and Mack, and then hits another V-Trigger. Swann defiantly punches back, but Omega V-Triggers again, only for Swann to muscle into a vertical suplex. Swann misses the Phoenix Splash! V-Trigger by Kenny and One Winged Angel finishes a dazed Swann at 23:00! Kenny is the Impact Champion! Man, take away those two bad top rope botches, and this is absolutely a five star match. The drama of the final stretch with Kenny sadly overwhelming Swann with his ruthless offense was something to behold, ****¾.
Winner and new Impact World Champion: Kenny Omega
Final Thoughts: This was a great pay-per-view and I felt happy to watch this TWICE in 3 days. Impact Wrestling has shaken off the TNA stigma and are something entirely new. Highly recommended.
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