Impact put on a fun show with Rebellion on Saturday night (Apr. 23, 2022). There were three title changes, the return of Taya Valkyrie, and Josh Alexander closing the show on a happy note. The best thing on the evening was a surprising tag team combination.
The Impact tag titles were on the line in an 8-team elimination challenge. Standard gauntlet rules were in effect. Matt Cardona and Brian Myers entered first as a surprise. The next team was the biggest surprise of the night. Enter W. Morrissey and Jordynne Grace.
The pair of powerhouses mauled the Major Players. They even had teamwork maneuvers locked and loaded. Grace picked up Cardona for a powerbomb, then Morrissey came in with a big boot to start the downward fall.
Unfortunately, the debut of Morrissey and Grace as a unit ended in defeat. When Morrisey chased Myers around the ring, Cardona was able to score a roll-up on Grace. That wasn’t the end of the action though. Morrissey and Grace issued a beatdown in the aftermath. Morrissey hit a double chokeslam then held the ropes open for a suicide dive from Grace.
When Morrissey wanted to put Cardona through a table, Chelsea Green struck with a low blow. Morrissey was not affected, because he was wearing an athletic cup as protection. Green went wild with comedic slaps on the 7-footer. At the urging of Grace, Morrissey powerbombed Green through a table.
Nobody expected Morrissey and Grace to unite as a tag team, but the world needs more of them. They make such a good pairing. I am immediately invested in seeing Morrissey and Grace win tag team gold. Their partnership also benefits by providing a unique direction to keep them fresh and away from the world title and Knockouts title pictures.
Backstage, Cardona and Myers were out of their minds during a post-match interview.
Things did not go as planned for the #MajorPlayers @TheMattCardona & @Myers_Wrestling (and especially @ImChelseaGreen )@SoSaysShernoff tried to get a word from the tag team after their match at @IMPACTWRESTLING #Rebellion…— FITE (@FiteTV) April 24, 2022
Watch now on @FiteTV: https://t.co/BKOEvdHtjO pic.twitter.com/PJfQchoL1a
The full order of matches for the tag title elimination challenge included:
- Matt Cardona & Brian Myers defeated W. Morrissey & Jordynne Grace via Cardona rolling up Grace
- Good Brothers defeated Cardona & Myers via Magic Killer to Cardona
- Good Brothers defeated Johnny Swinger & Zicky Dice via Magic Killer to Dice
- Good Brothers defeated Rich Swann & Willie Mack via Magic Killer to Mack.
- Matt Taven & Mike Bennett defeated Good Brothers via pinfall from Taven on Anderson when Maria Kanellis hooked Sweet Karl’s foot to prevent a kick out
- Heath & Rhino defeated Taven & Bennett via spear from Rhino to Taven
- Eric Young & Joe Doering defeated Heath & Rhino via piledriver from Young to Heath
Good Brothers versus Swann and Mack was the peak match of the bunch. Heath and Rhino making it to the final against Violent by Design was appropriate with the past story of Rhino’s brain washing. It gave a rooting interest for fans to cheer on Heath and Rhino to success. Violent by Design retained the championship. That’s the right call, since they have a lot left to offer. Impact’s tag team division is very strong at the moment. They can take numerous directions with top-tier teams. I can envision all of those squads holding gold in the future, with the exception of Johnny Swinger and Zicky Dice. Those two can go back to their sex dungeon for funny backstage segments.
Let’s run down the full card.
Impact World Championship: Josh Alexander defeated Moose to become the new champ. (Full details here.) The match told a intriguing story about Alexander channeling his emotion productively. He was cool early to dominate with technical wrestling. Moose gained the edge by taunting Alexander’s family. The Walking Weapon rushed over and left himself open for an attack. Later, Alexander went toe-to-toe in a chop fight with Moose. His bravado got the better of him as the larger man unleashed his power. In the end, Alexander’s heart carried him through two collisions with an exposed turnbuckle and a spear. Alexander struck back at the perfect moment to rally for victory. As Moose charged for another spear, Alexander jumped up to rock Moose with a knee strike. The C4 piledriver finished the job, and Alexander celebrated with his family.
This was a Match of the Year contender within Impact. The overarching story played out to satisfaction. I appreciate how the match developed in a way to give service to the past six months. There were a several badass moments as well, such as Alexander hitting ten consecutive German suplexes.
The chop fight was awesome and intense.
Add in dramatic submissions and believable near falls to produce a high-quality main event.
Impact Knockouts Championship: Tasha Steelz retained against Rosemary. Havok was ejected early. Steelz slapped her when Havok encroached on her space. Havok goozled in retaliation, and the referee took notice. Savannah Evans played a role trifling with Rosemary, but the Demon Assassin neutralized that threat with green mist. Rosemary then speared Steelz, but the champ kicked out. That mist to spear sequence had me sold on a title change. It wasn’t meant to be though. Steelz rallied for a springboard cutter as Rosemary was on the turnbuckles. The Boricua Badass finished with a sitdown suplex.
Steelz is racking up wins to establish herself as a main player. Mickie James and now Rosemary bit the dust. Rosemary always keeps things interesting, and this time with no exception with the green mist. She is due to carry the Knockouts Championship one of these days.
Tomohiro Ishii defeated JONAH. This hoss fight lived up to the hype. They went to town on each other with heavy strikes.
The story was the struggle to execute lifting slams. It was more on Ishii’s side since JONAH was larger, but JONAH had his troubles as well. JONAH gained momentum after a powerbomb, but he missed a Tsunami flying splash. Ishii pounced for a basement lariat. The Stone Pitbull finished by dramatically lifting JONAH for a brainbuster to win. That was no small feat, and the size difference made it a cool moment.
Count me satisfied with that hoss fight. Ishii is great at eating strikes and firing up. It makes me say, “Oh,” every time. I’m surprised in a good way that Ishii was victorious. JONAH has been on a monster run, so I wasn’t expecting Ishii to prevail. That should put the Stone Pitbull in title contention. A match with Josh Alexander would be intense.
Impact X-Division Championship: Ace Austin won gold in a three-way with Trey Miguel and “Speedball” Mike Bailey. This contest was a firecracker of total nonstop action. In the build up, Ace had been plotting to have Bailey by his side. When the match rolled around, Ace was the one on the receiving end of double-teams. He got a little payback by powerbombing Trey onto Bailey. Ace got the ultimate payback by winning the championship. He nearly ate the pin when Bailey connected on a 450 knee drop, but Trey broke the pin. When Trey executed his Meteora double knees finisher on Bailey, Ace pulled the referee’s leg to prevent the count. Ace pounced for The Fold on Trey to become a three-time champion.
This was an important win for Ace. He was veering downward as a big-talker without recent results to back it up. This changes all that. He’s back on top of the X-Division, and he did it without Madman Fulton’s help. Ace should give the division new life. The X-Division will always have entertaining matches, but Ace adds spice for stories. He runs his mouth in a manner that creates fan interest in seeing babyfaces prevail over him.
AAA Reina de Reinas Championship: Taya Valkyire defeated Deonna Purrazzo to become 4-time champ. (Full details here.) The match had passionate emotion throughout. Taya was a ball of fire, and the no-nonsense Purrazzo matched that ferocity.
Taya ended Purrazzo’s double champ reign with Road to Valhalla. The finish set up nicely to present both women on an even playing field. If they wrestled 100 times, I could see it going to a 50/50 split. Purrazzo had a deep armbar, but Taya reached the ropes. Taya had a deep cross-legged STF, but Purrazzo reached the ropes. When the Virtuosa tried to close with a Gotch piledriver, La Wera Loca escaped and finished Purrazzo with her finisher.
We’ll find out soon enough if this was a special appearance from Taya or if she hangs around a bit in the Impact Zone. She could defend the AAA belt or go after Tasha Steelz and the Knockouts Championship. If Taya sticks around, I hope we get a match against Mickie James at some point. Purrazzo lost one championship, but she still has the ROH women’s title. Her days carrying that gold are likely numbered once Tony Khan gets ROH running regularly. Mercedes Martinez is waiting as interim champ.
Steve Maclin defeated Chris Sabin and “Switchblade” Jay White in a three-way. Maclin brought the power, Sabin brought the speed, and White brought opportunism. Switchblade began the bout by staying on the outside and breaking up any pins. Once he was forced to get involved, the flow worked well spreading out the action between the three. Maclin had both men trapped in the Tree of Woe in opposite corners. He connected with a spear to White. Sabin crunched up when it was his turn, and Maclin went through the ropes crashing to the floor. Sabin and White danced with counters escaping the Cradle Shock and Blade Runner several times. It was Sabin who was able to hit his finisher. At the moment, Maclin swooped in from behind for a crucifix pin on an unsuspecting Sabin.
Huge win for Maclin in the PPV opener. His performance shows he belongs in the same class as Sabin and White in the Impact ranks. If this threesome continues, a round robin of singles contests would be exciting. Even though Sabin didn’t win, he still hit Cradle Shock on White. That is good for bragging rights as he can claim it would have been over. White has to be steaming and looking to get his win back again from Sabin.
Impact Knockouts World Tag Team Championship: The Influence retained against The IInspiration. Jessie McKay and Cassie Lee hammed it up early with iconic poses on the pre-show, but Tenille Dashwood and Madison Rayne came to fight. The champs also had a trick up their sleeve, even if it didn’t work. After Jessie surprisingly kicked out of Tenille’s dropkick finisher, Rayne slid a title belt into the ring. As the referee intervened, Madison slid the other tag belt into the ring. Unfortunately for Tenille, Cassie ducked the swing and unloaded a spin kick. 1, 2, kick out. That one had me thinking new champs. The Influence regrouped for a spear to Cassie and stunner to Jessie. They finished with a double-team head spike into the mat.
The Influence showed that that can win on their own without Kaleb Konley. I’m curious who will emerge as the next challengers. Impact’s women’s tag division is not very deep. A feud with Lady Frost & Gisele Shaw could be tempting, especially if Shaw acquires the services of Konley.
Eddie Edwards defeated Chris Bey. (Jonathan Gresham was replaced following reports of an injury.) Good match on the free pre-show worth checking out for Impact fans. Edwards used veteran savvy for the finish when he ducked away from the Art of Finesse springboard cutter to counter for a tiger driver. Bey kicked out, so Edwards used a Die Hard Driver to win.
Bey was a smart choice to fill-in on short notice. Not only did he give great effort, but this can advance the story in the feud between Bullet Club and Honor No More. Edwards regained momentum for his crew with victory.
Rebellion was a damn solid show. There were enough effective near pinfalls and unexpected results to keep viewers on their toes. The main event delivered to provide a happy ending.
The Rebellion replay is available through Fite TV. (Order here.)
We’ll close with the cool grindhouse hit list. My guess is Sami Callihan behind the piece of cinema. The timeline would fit for a return from injury soon.
Share your take on Rebellion. Which match stole the show? What were the memorable moments for you?