Wrestling Review: Impact Wrestling, April 5 2019

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The build for the Rebellion PPV on April 28 continued on this episode of Impact Wrestling.

The show opened with extended highlights of last week’s Against All Odds special.

Petey Williams vs. Trey vs. Idris Abraham vs. Jake Crist vs. Aiden Prince vs. Ace Austin

This was described as a Scramble match, though it was really a Six-Pack Challenge. Josh Matthews noted how this was Lucha Rules, meaning that two wrestlers would be in the ring at once, but with someone diving to the floor essentially being an open tag out, though this wasn’t always adhered to. This was one huge spot after other, resulting in loads of moments that could be used for future highlight reels. The Canadian fans were well into the action (especially for natives Williams and Prince), and chanted “This is awesome!” However, my unintentional highlight was the camera accidentally picking up somebody (possibly Don Callis) saying, clear as a bell yet quietly, “That f—king killed him” after one of the many high spots. Williams won with a Canadian Destroyer to Crist from the middle rope to end a frenetic opener. Very good stuff here, and a nice return to X division action after no such matches on Against All Odds.

A pre-taped promo with LAX saw the faction discuss their various feelings on their feud with The Lucha Bros and their upcoming Full Metal Mayhem match. Also, Melissa Santos interviewed Taya Valkyrie, who refused to grant Jordynne Grace a Knockouts Championship rematch. Madison Rayne then returned to say that she had been somewhere worse than the Undead Realm, before saying that Taya’s victory was cheap. This somehow led to Madison arguing with Jordynne, before Taya’s suggestion of a #1 contender’s match between those two, an idea that both agreed to.

oVe vs. Rich Swann & Willie Mack

Having just wrestled and been pinned, Jake Crist was then on managerial duties in the corner of Sami Callihan and Mad Man Fulton. This had been building for some time, especially the fallout of (a now-clean-shaven) Swann vs. Callihan a fortnight beforehand. That said, Mack was arguably the standout performer here, pulling off impressive moves for a man of his size, such as a 619 and a huge standing dropkick, and later a standing moonsault. Willie’s size made it equally eye-catching when the taller Fulton was able to lift him for a suplex into a front slam. After being worn down by oVe, Willie tagged out to Rich, and Swann came in like the proverbial house on fire with plenty of kicks and flips, though Mack still had time to wow the fans with a flip of his own to the floor. In the end, Fulton assisted Callihan to hit a middle rope powerbomb (not sure if we were meant to hear several women laughing at oVe shortly thereafter), eventually leading to a Cactus Jack piledriver by Sami to Rich for the pin in another good match. Afterwards, the trio tried to continue pounding Swann and Mack, but a chair-wielding Tommy Dreamer (wearing a Bad News Brown t-shirt) ran in to make the save, with oVe wisely backing off.

An interview by Rolando Menendez with Johnny Impact led to John commandeering the microphone and threatening to “John Stossel” him. He was soon joined by Killer Kross, with Johnny promising him an Impact Championship match down the line. But Kross wasn’t confident that he could trust his new ally of sorts, noting that a heavy toll will be paid if Impact is lying.

This week’s vault match was Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn under Full Metal Mayhem from TNA Bound For Glory 2011, one of the company’s biggest shows ever.

We then had a video showing the immediate fallout of Allie’s death last week (yep), which included Rosemary returning from the Undead Realm to visit Allie’s gravestone and vowing to take matters into her own hands.

#1 Contender’s Match
Jordynne Grace vs. Madison Rayne

This was the bout set up earlier on, as well as being a part of Rayne’s return stint in Impact. It seemed like two eras were colliding here, as well as this pitting two very different performers against one another. Jordynne showed here that she is worthy of being in the ring with anyone in Impact’s female division, even a former five-time champion like Rayne. Jordynne again used her size to dominate proceedings, as fans chanted “Big Momma Pump!” During this match, you could again hear background comments from what may have been show directors, which shouldn’t have made air unless they were in some way enhancing the match (which they weren’t). Madison finally took control after avoiding a Vader Bomb and hit some big moves, though her forearm strikes weren’t up to much. Jordynne regained the advantage and hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for a close two-count, as well as surviving a Crucifix Bomb, before hitting the Grace Driver for the three to earn another title shot against Valkyrie (who attacked Grace from behind after the match, only to require a rescue job from Johnny Impact in order to be able to leave a lasting beatdown on Jordynne) at Rebellion. This was fine overall.

Oh, and Johnny motioned for a Starship Pain on Grace, only for Brian Cage to chase him away. Cage didn’t get a decent pop from an otherwise-hot Canadian crowd, with some crudely-inserted stock footage of excited fans. We also had a backstage conversation between Josh Alexander and Ethan Page.

Rohit Raju vs. Fallah Bahh

Gama Singh introduced Rohit Raju, accompanied by Raj Singh, for his bout against Fallah Bahh (who was not accompanied by KM, though his absence wasn’t explained). Don Callis suggested that Bahh had lost weight, and maybe he has, though it was hard to tell. This might actually be a compliment, given how agile Bahh is which belies his size. This was a basic showcase for Fallah, despite the numbers game favouring Rohit and some occasional offence for Raju. Also, in promoting some forthcoming shows at the old ECW Arena, Josh Matthews blatantly said “ECW”; which I thought was banned? (Don Callis: “I’ll show you the bathroom where I used to change if it’s still there.”) Even though Bahh dominated, Raju got the win with his feet on the ropes after shenanigans from his pals. Afterwards, Scarlett Bordeaux came out and helped Bahh to exact some revenge, including a Stinkface by Bordeaux on Rohit and Raj. Has a new alliance formed with Fallah and Scarlett?

After a vignette showing that Cody and Jake Deaner officially had Impact contracts, we had a video on the TNA/Impact career of Gail Kim, ahead of her upcoming battle against Tessa Blanchard (who ran down Gail’s legacy in a subsequent promo, calling her a “fraud”). Josh also announced that Su Yung vs. Rosemary, Moose vs. Wentz and Johnny Impact/Taya Valkyrie vs. Jordynne Grace/Brian Cage were confirmed for next week, along with Rich Swann vs. Sami Callihan for the X Division Championship at Rebellion.

LAX vs. Eli Drake & Eddie Edwards

The main event proved a stern test for LAX, as well as being another opportunity for the unusual Drake/Edwards alliance to make some noise. Konnan drilled Eli with a right-hand beforehand after Drake had told the “old man” to control his “boys”, which led to Konnan being ejected from ringside. This theoretically gave Eli and Eddie an advantage, but in reality, it only motivated LAX even more to deliver a beating on their opponents. This was a decent main event overall, and a way for Konnan’s army to build momentum ahead of their forthcoming Full Metal Mayhem scrap against The Lucha Bros. But the result wasn’t what you may have expected. After some nifty double team moves to a raucous reaction, LAX went to polish off Eddie, only for The Lucha Bros to rush to ringside on whom Santana dived. But the distraction allowed Drake to whack Ortiz with Kenny, leading to Eddie getting the pin. Afterwards, Pentagon Jr. and Felix destroyed LAX, with Pentagon driving Santana through a table to end the show.

The wrestling carried this episode with several good matches, in particular the opener. Combined with good promotion for Rebellion, it’s a good time to be a fan of Impact.