4/5 Powell’s Impact Wrestling TV Review: LAX vs. Eli Drake and Eddie Edwards, Madison Rayne vs. Jordynne Grace for an Knockouts Title shot, Rich Swann and Willie Mack vs. Sami Callihan and Madman Fulton, six-way opener


By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Impact Wrestling on Pursuit (simulcast on Twitch TV)
Taped March 22-23, 2019 in Windsor, Ontario at St. Clair College

The show opened with a recap of last week’s show including LAX’s issues with the Lucha Brothers, Scarlett Bordeaux beating Glenn Gilbertti, Gail Kim announcing her return from retirement to face Tessa Blanchard, Madman Fulton joining OVE, Killer Kross beating Brian Cage with help from Johnny Impact and a bad referee decision, and Allie dying in the Undead Realm…

The Impact opening aired… Josh Mathews and Don Callis were on commentary. Mathews said they rocked New Jersey the night before with the United We Stand event…

1. Petey Williams vs. Trey Miguel vs. Idris Abraham vs. Jake Crist vs. Aiden Prince vs. Ace Austin in a six-way match. All six men were in the ring at once and Mathews noted that it was one fall to a finish. Austin used the Ace card that he brings to the ring to give Williams a paper cut between the fingers. Prince performed a top rope splash onto Abraham. It was frightening because Abraham had his head up and was facing the opposite way. It looked like he spotted Prince coming at the last moment and he seemed to be fine going forward.

Williams put Miguel in a Sharpshooter and released it when he spotted Crist coming to break it up so that he could suplex Crist. There was a big tower of doom spot. Miguel double stomped Crist, then rolled toward Williams, who gave him a Canadian Destroyer. Williams had the pin, but it was broken up by others. Fans chanted “this is awesome.” Prince performed a big flip dive onto three opponents, which left Williams to perform a Canadian Destroyer from the ropes on Crist before pinning him…

Petey Williams beat Trey Miguel, Idris Abraham, Jake Crist, Aiden Prince, and Ace Austin in a six-way.

Powell’s POV: The wild spot fest one would expect from a six-way X Division match. The fans were into the action and didn’t pick a favorite as much as they reacted to big spots. This was really fun for its style with some great athleticism. By the way, John Moore is out of town this weekend, so I’m filling in on the Impact coverage. It was originally going to be delayed, but I woke up early and so here we are.

LAX were hanging out at an undisclosed location. Ortiz told Santana that he was wrong and that people are going to get hurt. Santana said they have the Lucha Brothers right where they want them. He said sometimes you have to take an extra step to get your point across and asked, “Isn’t that how we got here?” Konnan, who had been texting, said they got there because “big mouth” Ortiz had to make a joke. Konnan got fired up, then fired up the duo about the Full Metal Mayhem match that will be held at the Rebellion pay-per-view… [C]

Mellisa Santos interviewed Taya Valkyrie on the interview set and asked if she will give Jordynne Grace a rematch after losing to her via count-out. Valkyrie said she saw firsthand what giving away opportunities did to her husband. Madison Rayne showed up. Valkyrie said she thought they lost Rayne in the Undead Realm. Rayne said she was somewhere much worse (oh no she didn’t!!!).

Rayne said a count-out is a loss. She said that being Knockouts Champion means being a defending champion, not taking notes from what your husband does. Grace showed up and accused Rayne of trying to cut in line. Valkyrie suggested they have a match against one another and the winner can have a title shot at Rebellion. “I don’t stand in line, new kid,” Rayne told Grace…

Powell’s POV: A good segment to reintroduce Rayne to the show and get her right back into the title chase mix. The jab at Ring of Honor couldn’t have been less overt. I’d love to hear her side of that story, but they did let her out of her deal early due to some apparent creative differences.

The broadcast team spoke at ringside and hyped a career retrospective on Gail Kim. They also hyped LAX vs. Eddie Edwards and Eli Drake as the show’s main event…

2. Sami Callihan and Madman Fulton (w/Dave Crist) vs. Rich Swann and Willie Mack. Fulton checked in and worked over Mack going into an early brea. [C] Swann performed a big flip dive onto the three OVE members. Swann went for a huracanrana on the ropes, but stopped to mimic Callihan’s catchphrase. In the meantime, Fulton reached up from ringside and held onto Callihan to block the move. A short time later, Callihan performed a piledriver on Swann and pinned him.

Sami Callihan and Madman Fulton beat Rich Swann and Willie Mack.

After the match, the OVE trio worked over the babyfaces. Tommy Dreamer came out and hit Crist with a chair. Fulton didn’t back down, but Callihan pulled him from behind and led him to ringside…

Powell’s POV: A good tag match that showcased Fulton as a monster even though the faction leader scored the pin over the guy he’ll end up challenging for the X Division Championship. I assume we’ll be getting a six-man tag match involving Dreamer before that happens.

Rolando Menendez interviewed Johnny Impact and noted that Brian Cage was not in the building and told him that people were saying Impact’s actions were heinous and disgusting. Impact said it was another non-question from his dirt sheet stooge. He asked Menendez if he’d heard of John Stossel. He said to ask a real question unless he wanted to be Stosseled. Mendez said it looked like Impact was enjoying and relishing all he’s done to Cage. Impact asked what’s the point of being smarter than everyone if you can’t rub it in someone’s face.

Killer Kross showed up and put his arm around Menendez. Impact called Kross “bro” and assured him he would get his title shot. Kross said he’s not Impact’s bro because the only thing Impact cares about is his title, “that woman” and his immediate conveniences. Kross said he will be getting a title shot at some point and there will be a toll to be paid…

Powell’s POV: This was really good. Impact came off grumpy and not like a guy who was trying to remember his lines as he often does. He seemed much more relaxed in that regard. And we learned that Kross isn’t aligned with Impact to the extent that he’s subservient to him. Rather, he wants the title belt. That’s an interesting one because while there’s no sign of Kross turning babyface, I continue to believe that whenever that time comes he will click in that role.

The latest Rascalz smoke circle segment aired and was labeled as taking place “last week”. Moose showed up along with his girlfriend “Melissa” who informed him that her name was actually Vanessa. He later referred to her as LaFonda. Moose took off Trey Miguel’s shades to reveal a black eye (which explains why this was billed as happening last week). Moose wanted to spice up the smoke circle area. They talked about having an underground fight club. Moose said they would have a big party after he kicks Zachary Wentz’s ass next week…

Mathews hyped upcoming events…

A Rosemary video aired. Kevin Sullivan told her that she made a deal with the devil. Rosemary was shown walking in a graveyard at Allie’s gravesite. Rosemary spoke to Allie and said they were going to get her back, but Kiera Hogan just had to follow her into the Undead Realm. Rosemary said her “father” knew he was never going to let Allie go. She said they could have done more and it’s time to take matters into their own hands… [C]

Powell’s POV: Make it stop. Impact has a terrific Knockouts roster. Why keep wasting half of it in this Undead Realm storyline nonsense?

3. Jordynne Grace vs. Madison Rayne for a Knockouts Title shot at Rebellion. Rayne slapped hands with fans at ringside prior to the match. Rayne went for a cross body block from the middle rope, but Grace held her ground and Rayne bounced off her. Mathews noted that Grace’s Wikipedia page claims she’s the daughter of Scott Steiner.

Later, Rayne applied a sleeper hold on Grace, who stood up and fell backwards onto Rayne to break it. Rayne reapplied the hold. Grace powered up again and backed into the corner. Grace hoisted up Rayne in torture rack position and twisted her into a powerbomb for a good near fall. Rayne came back with a crucifix for a two count. Grace caught Rayne with her finisher moments later and scored the pin.

Jordynne Grace defeated Madison Rayne to earn a Knockouts Title match at Rebellion.

After the match, Taya Valkyrie attacked Grace as she was leaving the ring. Valkyrie tossed Grace back inside the ring where Grace came back and set up for her finisher, but Johnny Impact came out and jawed at Grace on the apron. Valkyrie punched Grace and worked over. A “you suck” chant broke out. Valkyrie pulled Grace’s arms back and then kicked her from behind to drive her face into the mat. Impact went up top and did his countdown. Before Impact could perform a move, he was stopped in his tracks by Brian Cage’s entrance music. Cage came to the ring while Impact and Valkyrie fled… [C]

Powell’s POV: A very nice match and a strong post match angle. Rayne looked like she had something to prove after sitting in Women of Honor purgatory, but I’m happy they didn’t move Grace aside and rush Rayne back into a title match. The post match angle should set up a mixed tag between the two champions and their challengers.

The Josh Alexander video package aired… Ethan Page was shown watching the video on his phone and Alexander was in the ring with him. Page said the video made him look like a badass. Alexander said they didn’t make him look like a badass. He said he’s the Walking Weapon, and he said Page is “All Ego” Ethan Page. Alexander said they are the best wrestlers in the northern territory. Page said they need to remind them that they are the best tag team in the world…

4. Rohit Raju (w/Raj Singh, Gama Singh) vs. Fallah Bahh. Gama delivered his usual uninspired pre-match introduction for his team. Raju performed a nice running knee and then worked over the big man with punches. Bahh came back and went to the ropes, but Gama distracted the referee while Raj punched Bahh. Raju moved as Bahh fell from the middle rope, then covered him while using the ropes for leverage to get the pin.

Rohit Raju defeated Fallah Bahh.

After the match, Scarlett Bordeaux made her entrance. The Desi Hit squad got in her face. Bahh clotheslined them both and gave them an avalanche splash in the corner. He set up for a second avalanche when Bordeaux stopped him. She pulled up her skirt and slapped her ass while leading a “Bahh” chant. Bordeaux ran to the corner and slammed her ass into Raj, then rubbed it in his face. Bordeaux hopped on the back of Bahh and celebrated with him afterward…

Mathews hyped the Kim video and the main event… [C]

Powell’s POV: A rare win for a Desi Hit Squad member followed by a post match angle that put them right back into glorified jobber mode. That said, this was more about Bordeaux and Bahh than the DHS.

A dated Uncaged ad aired for some reason…

A man was shown chopping wood while banjo music played. Cody Deaner entered the room and showed the man his Impact Wrestling contract. The man said he was happy for him. Cody pulled out another contract for the man, who goes by Jake Deaner. Cody said they needed to sign them, but he didn’t have a pen. Jake pulled out one. Cody told Jake to let him do the thinking for the team. A graphic noted that the Deaners are coming soon and included the slogan “Just Giv’er”…

Powell’s POV: The video was fine and the Deaners might be a fun mid-card comedy act, but it feels a little late in the game to be using a knockoff Larry the Cable Guy slogan regardless of how long Deaner has been using it.

The broadcast team spoke at ringside. Mathews laughed and said it’s going to be a lot of fun when the Deaners come to Impact. Mathews said Alexander and Page will team next week, and Callis put over Alexander’s work and said maybe he’ll bring something out of Page. They also hyped Rosemary vs. Su Yung and Moose vs. Wentz from the Rascalz, and Impact and Valkyrie vs. Cage and Grace. They also announced Swann vs. Callihan for the Rebellion pay-per-view and then hyped Kim vs. Blanchard…

The Gail Kim video package aired. The narrator said that Kim’s feud with Awesome Kong put the Knockouts Division on the map, praised her work ethic and passion, and noted that she was the first Knockouts Champion and won the title seven times. The narrator also stated that she was the first woman inducted into the Impact Hall of Fame…

Powell’s POV: A good video package that chronicled Kim’s career in Impact nicely while also showing some clips from her feud with Blanchard.

Melissa Santos interviewed Tessa Blanchard on the backstage interview set and asked how it felt to be facing a legend at Rebellion. Blanchard said they want to paint Kim as a pioneer in the industry. She said Kim is one of the best in the world from her era. She said the bar was set low back then. “Sure, in the era of bra and panties matches, Gail Kim was great,” Blanchard said. “Gail really knew how to slap on a wristlock compared to all those girls.” She mentioned Madison Rayne as another Knockouts trying to come back to relive her glory years, and noted that it didn’t go so well for her in her match earlier. Blanchard said Kim isn’t walking into the era she left, she’s walking into Blanchard’s era. She said Kim isn’t a pioneer in her era, she’s nothing more than a fraud…

Powell’s POV: A strong heel rebuttal from Blanchard. She’s terrific at everything she does in Impact.

Ring entrances for the LAX vs. Eli Drake and Eddie Edwards match took place. Drake jawed at Konnan and tried to punch him. Konnan blocked the punch and hit Drake instead. The referee ejected Konnan from ringside. Konnan barked at Don Callis, who said he’s just the announcer…

5. “LAX” Santana and Ortiz vs. Eli Drake and Eddie Edwards. They cut to a break just seconds into the match. [C] Mathews noted that LAX went on a losing streak while Konnan was missing from their corner at one point. Mathews also spoke about how amazing the United We Stand show was. He said it was critically acclaimed and encouraged fans to order the replay (this was taped before that event).

Edwards performed a powerbomb on Santana and had him pinned, but Ortiz broke it up. There was a fun spot where Ortiz dove through the ropes and rolled up his own partner, leading to Santana leaping up and performing a cutter on Edwards, followed by an Ortiz performing a Codebreaker from the middle rope, then Santana throwing a superkick, and the two of them performing a slip slam of Edwards and Ortiz covering him only to have Drake pull him to the floor. Great sequence. An LAX chant broke out.

Santana went up top for a move when Pentagon Jr. and Fenix came out to ringside. Santana spotted them and dove onto them. With the referee paying attention to the action at ringside, Drake grabbed Edwards’s cane and hit Ortiz with it. Edwards performed a Boston Knee Party on Ortiz and then pinned him. Callis said it has to be considered an upset.

Eli Drake and Eddie Edwards defeated “LAX” Santana and Ortiz.

After the match, Pentagon Jr. and Fenix attacked LAX while Edwards and Drake rolled to ringside and then watched from the stage. The Lucha Brothers set up a table inside the ring. Pentagon Jr. powerbombed Santana through the table.

Powell’s POV: A good main event. That LAX sequence was a blast to watch. The post match attack by the Lucha Brothers felt like fair game more than heelish given all the brawls the teams have had. It took a little away from the Drake and Edwards win, but the Lucha Brothers vs. LAX feud is more important at this point. Overall, a good edition of Impact. They went light on the aspects that I don’t enjoy such as the Undead Realm, and the silly smoke circle gags are better when Moose is involved. There was plenty of good in-ring action and storyline development. An enjoyable show that continued the build to Rebellion.

Check below for a recent Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest PCO, who discusses today’s ROH and NJPW G1 Supercard event, taking crazy bumps at age 51, what he still wants to accomplish in pro wrestling, and much more.


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