By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Join me for live coverage of Impact Wrestling Rebellion as the show airs on pay-per-view television and FITE TV tonight at 7CT/8ET.
Impact Wrestling Hits
Johnny Impact, Fenix, and Pentagon Jr. vs. Brian Cage, Santana, and Ortiz: A hot main event that showcased the Impact World Championship and Impact Tag Title matches for Rebellion. There were plenty of big spots and it was logical to show the challenger pinning the champion to close the go-home show. The big negative was Pentagon Jr. hitting Cage with an unprotected chairshot to the head. This insanity should have been eliminated from pro wrestling years ago. WWE has banned chairshots to the head and it’s time for other companies to follow the industry leader in this case. Ring of Honor is another company that allows this to happen and there’s just no excuse given everything we’ve learned about head trauma in recent years. It’s a shame that one needless swing of the chair took away from what was an otherwise very good match, but it left me very nervous about what Pentagon Jr., Rey Fenix, and LAX have in mind for their Full Metal Mayhem match on Sunday.
Lance Storm, Johnny Impact, and Taya Valkyrie segment: A good segment with Impact and Valkyrie attempting to use their real history to sway the special referee of Impact’s title match with Brian Cage. Impact’s mic work is much improved as a heel, and Storm did a nice job on his end of coming off like a respectable legend who will call the match down the middle.
Ace Austin vs. Aiden Prince: An entertaining match with some big spots. I was surprised to see Austin perform a heelish move during the match by using a playing card to give Prince a paper cut between his fingers, and even more surprised when he roughed up Prince after the match. Austin strikes me as a babyface who could appeal to a younger audience, but we’ll see how he does in his heel role. The most important thing is that he develops a persona of some kind because we haven’t learned much about him thus far.
Moose and The Rascalz: No laugh track, no cheap set, and no cable access special effects. The hallway meeting was an upgrade over the smoke circle. I also enjoyed the way that Moose flipped the switch by going from being nice to the trio before showing his mean streak once The North attacked them from behind. This sets up a what should be a fun six-man tag match for Rebellion.
Killer Kross vs. Willie Mack: An entertaining match and one of Mack’s better showings in Impact thus far. Kross going over was the right move, as he’s the guy in the main event mix, but Mack gained something in defeat.
The final push for Rebellion: There were constant reminders and plugs for Sunday’s pay-per-view. Whether it was video packages, promos, the video screen, or the broadcast team’s plugs, there was a good, steady push for Rebellion throughout the show.
Rosemary vs. Undead Maid of Honor: A minor Hit for being a straight up match without any supernatural nonsense.
Cody Deaner and Jake Deaner vs. Joe Coleman and Idiris Abraham: A minor Hit for the match being more straight forward than I expected after watching the Deaner vignettes. They seems like a solid mid-card comedy act. I’m just not sure how many mid-card comedy acts the company really needs at this point.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Taya Valkyrie and Jordynne Grace fight at the gym: A minor Miss. This needed a second take. Grace’s early forearms to Valkyrie’s face looked soft, and someone should have yelled cut when Grace backed very slowly into the bar of the gym equipment and then sold it. It got better as it went on and idea of the gym fight was a good one, but the early execution was clunky.
Rich Swann visits the OVE compound: This was surprisingly uneventful. The compound was a large shed and they didn’t make it feel unique to OVE in any way. The segment was also overproduced with Impact feeling the need to add the bad musical score. By the way, this was presented as if it was taking place in the moment, so why in the world would there be a musical score for something presented as if it were occurring live?
Eddie Edwards and Eli Drake: Kenny and Mikey? The Crazy Eddie character does nothing for me, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Drake does next now that he’s no longer with Impact.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Dave Lagana discussing Saturday’s NWA Crockett Cup pay-per-view, the NWA’s relationship with Ring of Honor, the future of the NWA, and more.