The road to Rebellion continued with this episode of Impact, which promised a mixed tag main event involving Impact’s top male and female players right now.
Moose vs. Wentz
After the usual recap of last week’s developments, we opened with the latest chapter in the feud between Moose and The Rascalz. Moose was extravagantly dressed in what Don Callis described as “an $8,000 robe”. As noted, Wentz was representing The Rascalz (whose T-shirts bear a strong resemblance to those of The New Day) as part of an ongoing feud between Moose and the trio, though this time Wentz’ fellow teammates stayed at ringside (which they didn’t when Trey battled Moose a few weeks back). This followed a similar formula to other bouts involving Moose and The Rascalz, with the larger Moose toying around with Wentz to mock the size differential, only to be caught up by the speed and skill of his smaller opponent. That being said, Moose is no slouch in the athleticism department, as evidenced by the impressive high running dropkicks into the corner. The odds were firmly against Wentz, despite having his Rascalz buddies at ringside to provide moral support, but a huge dive over the top rope led to him making a fiery comeback. Moose reversed the momentum by throwing Wentz onto the other Rascalz on the floor, and a massive Spear earned him the victory. This was watchable enough, though I preferred Moose vs. Trey from three weeks earlier.
A video aired which hyped up Rob Van Dam’s upcoming return to Impact, following his one-off appearance at the United We Stand special alongside Sabu. Madison Rayne also discussed her loss against Jordynne Grace last week, only to be interrupted and insulted by Tessa Blanchard. Madison reminded Tessa that she is 2-0 against her, but wasn’t afraid to face her again. Their match was confirmed for later in the show.
Rosemary vs. Su Yung
This was the immediate fall-out of Rosemary’s visit to the Undead Realm a few weeks ago, which resulted in Su Yung killing Allie (I kid you not). This was a meeting of two incredibly creepy characters, as evidenced by their horror movie-style entrances. Rosemary did represent the fallen Allie by bringing her friend’s collar and chain to the ring for this showdown. Rosemary ran right at Su in the corner, while also batting away the Undead Bridesmaids who climbed onto the apron to try and slow down a Rosemary out for her own sadistic method of revenge. Su allowed Rosemary to send herself into the ring post which gave her the advantage, including a half-Boston crab over the front of the top rope, and from there, Yung concentrated on weakening Rosemary’s left leg. She then put on her gnarly stained right glove to try and set up a Mandible Claw, but Rosemary battled back with a reverse DDT. After a spear by Rosemary, all of the Undead Bridesmaids climbed to the apron, but she was assisted by Kiera Hogan, though it didn’t impress Rosemary, leading to the Bridesmaids attacking both to cause a disqualification. Yung then applied the Mandible Claw, while the Bridesmaids forced Hogan to watch a Panic Switch by Yung. Su then also hit Kiera with a Panic Switch. Somehow, Su Yung was then declared the winner by the ring announcer (?). This is Marmite wrestling content which you’ll either love or hate, but it certainly helps Impact to stand out from the competition.
We had a brief spotlight on the United We Stand special, and Ace Austin discussed how Aiden Prince had taken away his chance to claim victory in last week’s six-way match, setting up a future match.
The vault bout for this week was from TNA No Surrender 2008 between Angelina Love and Taylor Wilde.
Killer Kross sat alongside Willie Mack, asking him if he liked jazz music. Kross’ bizarre logic led to him suggesting that Rich Swann was simply using Mack, and even used the old Sean O’Haire line of “I ain’t telling you anything that you don’t already know.” We also had another vignette on The Deaners, ahead of their upcoming debut as a team.
The North vs. Sheldon Jean & El Reverso
Speaking of debuts (well, sort of), this marked the first time that Josh Alexander had appeared, but he was doing so in tandem alongside an old compadre from the Canadian wrestling circuit in Impact regular Ethan Page. Sheldon Jean and El Reverso were their assigned opponents, and given the hype for Alexander in recent weeks, along with Ethan’s known skills, the outcome was inevitable (especially for an opponent with as generic a name as El Reverso). Incidentally, with this episode of Impact being taped in Canada, it made for an ideal location for Josh’s debut (fans chanted “Walking Weapon” in his favour as the bell rang). This was a basic showcase of The North, acting as an exhibition match as opposed to a squash. Alexander’s powerbomb backbreaker looked particularly impressive. After an attempted flurry by Sheldon, Ethan hit a top rope elbow to culminate a fine double-team sequence, but Reverso moonsaulted both to give hopes of an upset. But it didn’t happen, and further double-team offence by The North led to Ethan pinning Reverso for the win. Afterwards, The North noted that they plan to take over Impact’s tag team division.
Madison Rayne vs. Tessa Blanchard
Gail Kim noted beforehand that she would be at ringside to watch this bout, and so it proved as she marched out prior to the match starting to join Josh Matthews and Don Callis on commentary. Madison looked good here, and was able to have full crowd support following her face vs. face battle with Jordynne last week. As for Tessa, she was also able to maintain strong control of her opponent, but she was also prone to being distracted multiple times by Kim on commentary, just by her mere presence as opposed to Gail saying or doing anything in particular. Gail did note reluctantly that Tessa reminded her of her younger self, though Blanchard’s attitude was a deterrent to Kim being able to fully praise her. Josh reminded us that Tessa shouted “This is my house!”, which presumably means that she’s a Paige fan. After some close near-falls between the two, including a double Slingshot into a suplex and a separate top-rope suplex by Tessa, Blanchard resorted to a steel chair, which Gail pulled away from Blanchard (fans booed), which led to Madison rolling up Tessa for the pinfall win.
Backstage, Eddie Edwards and Eli Drake requested a title shot against doubles champs The Lucha Bros. Before they could reply, though, LAX ran into the room, leading to a brawl (though we cut to a commercial break extremely quickly). Also, Melissa Santos interviewed Johnny Impact and Taya Valkyrie, with Johnny noting how good Brian Cage is, saying he’s an athlete that only comes round every 1,000 years, but that his problem is that he’s also a “dumbass” who only comes round every 1,000 years. Valkyrie then hinted that Cage and Jordynne Grace could make a good couple in a sarcastic manner.
A video produced by oVe led to Sami Callihan sending a “special message” to Rich Swann on the streets, saying that he saved his life by giving him a home, only for Swann to supposedly stab them in the back. Sami said that he would take away his most valuable possession, the X Division Championship, as well as sending him back to where he originally found him. There was also an odd backstage segment, which led to Scarlett Bordeaux agreeing to tea with Fallah Bahh next week, along with Josh announcing Mad Man Fulton vs. Tommy Dreamer and The Lucha Bros vs. Eddie Edwards & Eli Drake for the April 19 episode.
Johnny Impact & Taya Valkyrie vs. Brian Cage & Jordynne Grace
It was time for the main event, as the so-called power couple of Impact squared off against their two Rebellion opponents in mixed tag action. Johnny’s entrance video including a shot of “Johnnywood” and his own personal star on the Walk Of Fame adds to his narcissistic heel persona, while Don wondered if Johnny has worn a T-shirt at any point since he turned heel on Cage. Brian wanted Johnny to start this match (since the rules dictated that the men could only fight the men and the women could only fight the women), but Taya mocked him with her own arrogant taunts. This only meant that Jordynne would start, and she pounded Valkyrie in the early going. Johnny refusing to accept a tag from his own wife to avoid wrestling Cage was amusing, though Jordynne made the decision for him by tagging in Cage. Impact backed off from Brian as much as he could, until he was able to distract Cage long enough to gain an advantage. Cage rebounded with power bombs, including a backdrop that saw Johnny land on his front. The women tagged back in, with Johnny tripping Jordynne up to assist his wife. But a big babyface comeback was on the cards, and it came about when Jordynne tagged back out to Cage. After dives to the floor by both Jordynne and Brian, we had a swerve from referee Johnny Bravo as he chop-blocked Cage, allowing Johnny to pin him for a quick count (which proves that the “botch” from a few weeks back was intentionally biased officiating). Cage was screwed, and some fans even hurled bottles at the referee, as a beatdown commenced, leading to the three-person being confirmed. The senior Impact referee is now on side with the two top champions, which should be interesting to follow in the coming weeks.
This was a fun, productive episode of Impact. Some strong performances, along with the announcement on television of RVD returning, and important storyline developments made this a fun edition, and one with Rebellion implications.