By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios
Aired April 21, 2020 on AXS TV
[Hour One] Impact started off with a narrated introductory video to hype up the Rebellion show…
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne were on commentary and there were no fans in the arena due to the current stay in home mandates…
1. “OVE” Jake Crist, Dave Crist, and Madman Fulton vs. Tommy Dreamer, Rhino, and Crazzy Steve. Steve had a toy monkey dangling from a chain around his neck. Jake and Dreamer started off with basic chain wrestling. Jake used his agility go get a wristlock locked in on Dreamer. Dreamer flipped out and locked in his own wristlock. Jake slammed Dreamer and mocked Dreamer for not being agile. Dreamer teased a kip up, and failed several times. Steve and Rhino helped Dreamer up. Dreamer took down Jake with a hip toss.
Steve tagged in and hit Jake with an elbow drop. Fulton tagged in to fight Steve. Josh Mathews noted that Tessa Blanchard is at home “in Mexico” and couldn’t make the Rebellion show. Dave tagged in and Rhino dominated him. Steve tagged in to work on Dave. Steve hit Dave with a cannonball. Fulton tagged back in. Rhino tagged in to challenge Fulton. Fulton dominated with tackles and strikes in the OVE corner. OVE traded quick tags to isolate Rhino a bit, but Rhino fought out and gave Dave clubbing blows.
After Steve tagged in, Dave regained control. OVE went back to the isolation and quick tag game, to cut the ring in half on Steve. Dreamer tagged in but was slammed by Jake. OVE then went on to isolate Dreamer. Rhino managed to catch the hot tag where he cleaned house with soft shoulder blocks. Rhino gave Dave a tackle and Belly-to-Belly. Fulton and Jake broke up the subsequent pin. Dreamer took Jake out to ringside with a lariat. Fulton caught Steve and threw him on Jake and Dreamer. Rhino gave Fulton a lariat to send him to ringside. Rhino gave Jake a Gore for the win.
Tommy Dreamer, Rhino, and Crazzy Steve defeated OVE via pinfall in 9:33.
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne checked in from a commentary table where they introduced the viewers to Rebellion. Josh hyped up the advertised matches for night 1. Josh noted that Shamrock vs. Callihan was the main event and was now a “unsanctioned” match. Josh also announced that Tessa Blanchard is in Mexico and can’t defend the title. Josh said Eddie Edwards also couldn’t make it. Josh said Elgin was the only person at Rebellion.
Josh Mathews then cut to a skype interview with Eddie Edwards. Eddie said it was not an easy decision to decide to not make it to Rebellion. Eddie said everyone knows how important wrestling, Impact, and being champion is to him. Eddie said what was most important to him now is family and that’s what led to his decision to not make it to Rebellion. Eddie said this decision is going to linger in his mind, even after Rebellion. Eddie said Elgin of all people should understand Eddie’s dedication. Eddie said he’s going to come back better than ever. Eddie said he’s looking forward to watching Rebellion Part 1 and 2. Josh handled the outro to the interview…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Really good to see Crazzy Steve back in wrestling. I was never sure why the guy never got a prominent role in another company since he’s really good at playing the Heath Ledger Joker character in a wrestling context. I fear for his Impact career though given the creative team’s affinity for bad sci-fi superpower writing. That aside, the opening match wasn’t anything to write home about. We’ve seen Tommy Dreamer and Rhino beat OVE several times at this point to where this doesn’t really add anything to the story. I like that there is a story behind the losing streak, but this match against Dreamer and Rhino again (w/Steve) doesn’t really add much to the mythos. Another note, I have live twitch numbers on my phone and they’re currently 2,200.
A very nervous looking interviewer named Gia Miller interviewed Michael Elgin about his thoughts. Elgin joked about not knowing who Miller is. Elgin recapped his Ring of Honor and New Japan careers. Elgin pointed out his championship exploits in NJPW. Elgin talked about coming to Impact to follow in the footsteps of people like AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, or Chris Sabin (yes he was a champion too). Elgin said Tessa found herself stuck in Mexico. Elgin said Tessa is a US citizen and is just ducking out. Elgin said he thought Eddie was going to be “old Eddie” but even Eddie has found excuses. Elgin said Rebellion was supposed to end as everyone expected, with Michael Elgin as World Champion…
John’s Thoughts: I’m curious to see what they do if Tessa couldn’t make it to both Rebellion and television tapings? I kinda hope they go with an interim or vacant title (which would protect Tessa both ways). The reason I say that is Impact already lived though Brian Cage’s injury as world champion where Impact was left without a champion for about half a year.
2. “The Rascalz” Zachary Wentz and Dezmond Xavier vs. “Team XXXL” Larry D and Acey Romero vs. TJ Perkins and Fallah Bahh. Perkins and Dezmond started off the match with quick chain wrestling and cruiserweight moves. Dezmond managed to take down Perkins with a dropkick. Perkins locked Dezmond in an Octopus Hold. Zach tagged in and the Rascalz took down Perkins with roundhouse kicks. Dezmond knocked down the other teams and Zach got a two count. Wentz locked Perkins in a Muta Lock.
Perkins made it to the bottom rope for the break. Wentz worked on Perkins with methodical offense with a bit of quickness sprinkled in. Bahh tagged in and gave Perkins a splash. Larry broke up the pin heading into commercial.[c]
Larry gave Fallah a spinebuster for a two count. Larry hit Bahh with a superkick for a two count. Acey tagged in. XXXL took down Bahh with a shoulder block. Acey hit Bahh with a running splash for a two count. Josh reminded viewers that Bahh and Perkins were Filipino. Larry took down Bahh and then locked in a headlock. Once Bahh got to his feet, Larry clocked Bahh with a running forearm. Perkins broke up the pin. Larry went back to the rest holds. Rayne was mocking the wrestlers for not being consistent with when they’re entering the ring. Bahh managed to land a Belly to Belly on Larry. Acey tagged in and XXXL regained control heading into commercial. [c]
Romero was manhandling Bahh around the ring. Larry and Romero traded tags to play isolation on Bahh. Bahh hit Larry with a Samoan Drop which allowed him to tag in Perkins. Perkins hit Larry with a dropkick. Larry shrugged off TJ’s crossbody. This allowed The Rascalz to tag out Perkins and tag themselves in. Zach went for his moonsult finisher, but Perkins pulled Dez away before the shove. Madness ensued with each wrestler executing their signature moves on each other. Acey hit Dezmond with a Pounce which allowed Larry to get a two count on Dezmond.
Zach pulled the rope down to send Acey outside. Zach hit Larry with two Superkick and a springboasrd Cutter. Dezmond hit Larry with a Spiral Tap for the victory.
The Rascalz defeated Team XXXL and Perkins and Bahh via pinfall in 11:31 of on-air TV Time.
The North cut a promo from Canada, with a multi-cam setup. Page bragged about not being stuck, but rather being on Vacation. Page said Canada was made to be on top of America via geography. Alexander talked about defending the titles against the best in the world. Alexander said The North are going to find the best teams in Canada to defend against…[c]
John’s Thoughts: I can’t say this match did much for me. The big reason being is that this was the exact match we got last week on Impact, sans Reno Scum. In fact, this was a bit slower than that match when XXXL were in the ring. The finish doesn’t do much for me either. I’m all for putting momentum behind the talented Rascalz, but it same off as meaningless parity here. The Rascalz never win, but Acey and XXXL just showed up so this was not a big win nor upset. Plus, it kinda wipes away the momentum it looked like they were putting behind Bahh and Perkins. I’m actually looking forward more towards whatever team Page and Alexander are going to face in Canada because it feels a bit fresh there.
The new interviewer interviewed Willie Mack and Rich Swann. Swann was in street clothes. Mack was sounding a bit uncertain, but Swann cut off Mack and told Mack to forget about their last tag team title shot. Swann gave Mack some inspiration and he talked about how proud he is to have Mack as a tag parther. Swann said that Mack is going to break Ace Austin and he and Mack can celebrate “All night Long” (Because Swann’s gimmick is built around the Lionel Richie song)…
[Hour Two] A recap video aired to spotlight the Ace Austin and Willie Mack feud…
3. Ace Austin vs. Willie Mack for the Impact X Division Championship. Josh asked Madison Rayne how it felt to be a TNA Original from the original Wednesday night PPV era. Rayne told Josh to do his homework and that she wasn’t in TNA that far back. Ace was stalling for the first few minutes. Mack managed to clock Ace with a right hand. Ace went back to stalling at ringside. Ace got a two count on Mack off the rollup. Mack went back to the ring hands and Ace went back to the stalling at ringside. Mack followed and gave Ace a chop. Mack punched Ace around at ringside.
Twitch viewership 6:05pm PST: 2,600 viewers (More than the 1,500 average in past weeks)
Ace avoided a cannonball form Mack and hit Mack with a roundhouse. Ace put Mack in the Tree of Woe and gave him rapid roundhouse kicks. Mack surprised Ace with his signature Samoan Drop and moonsault combo. Mack went for ground and pound on Ace. Ace countered and hit Mack with a shortarm kick for a two count. Ace dominated Mack around the ring with chokes and strikes. Mack turned Ace’s huracanrana into a power bomb for a two count on Ace. Mack and Ace traded forearms with Mack dominating.
Mack hit Ace with a forearm and pump kick combination. Mack then hit Ace with a imploding cannonball. Ace blocked a Stone Cold Stunner with a handstand. Ace hit Mack with The Fold. Mack kicked out twice for the false finish. Ace pulled out his card and threw it at Willie. Mack countered The Fold with a pop up RKO for a two count. Ace rolled awa to avoid a Five Star Frog Splash. Mack followed through and hit Ace with Coast to Coast. Ace rolled away from Mack’s Frog Splash to make him crash and burn.
Ace tried to get a pin with his legs on the ropes, but the referee caught Ace and didn’t count. Mack caught Ace with a back elbow on the top rope. Ace slipped out and crotched Mack on the top rope. Mack slammed Ace’s face on the top of the turnbuckle. Mack hit Ace with the Six Star Frog Splash for the victory.
Willie Mack defeated Ace Austin via pinfall in 13:25 to win the Impact X Division Championship.
Rich Swann showed up at the top of the ramp to dance to Mack’s theme. Swann held up Mack’s arm when Mack made it to the top of the ramp…
Ken Shamrock was shown shadowboxing at the interview set…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Not only was that a good match, but it was the first match of the night that didn’t feel like filler. I’m okay with the title change because Ace can easily bounce back, Mack could use the title boost, and this show could use a notable headline. Good stuff (and too bad we will never get that Mack vs. Cage match that those two can wrestle MOTY’s in their sleep). What was a bit of a detractor in this match was Josh Mathews. For some reason, he was being very dorky and a bit heelish towards his wife, then he had to shift to calling it straight once the false finishes started happening.
Rich Swann was congratulating Willie Mack backstage. Swann called this title win a vindication and icing on the cake after everything Mack did in the industry. Swann also told Mack that even though Mack is X Division Champion, that isn’t going to stop them from going after the Tag Titles. Suddenly, Johnny Swinger interrupted and said the Mack and Pack connection’s memory will live in the memories of the Mizzarks forever. Mack said they weren’t even a team. Swinger said Mack promised a title shot to his best friend, Johnny Swinger.
Swann tried to blow Swinger off and said he and Mack had to party. Swinger said he’s the perfect person to party. Swinger went to get some things. Mack said not to worry about Swinger’s carny thing and he and Swann could just leave in the other direction…
A hype package for Kylie Rae aired…
4. Kylie Rae vs. Kiera Hogan. Kiera shoved Kylie a few times early on. Kylie overpowered and womanhandled Kiera after a wristlock slam. Kylie locked Kiera in a STF which Josh noted that Kylie has beaten people with before. Rayne noted she calls her STF, Smile to the Finish. Kiera mocked Kylie for talking to an empty arena. Kiera asked for a test of strength, but then kicked Kylie in the gut. Kylie hit Kiera with knees and stomps in the corner. Kiera hit Kylie with a rising palm off the slingshot. Kiera hit Kylie with a step up leg drop for a two count. Kiera hit Kylie with a roundhouse kick heading into commercial. [c]
Kiera sidestepped Kylie and then hit Kylie with a basement dropkick. Madison Rayne said Kylie Rae reminds her of Taylor Wilde (In the past, I’ve actually said that babyface Kiera Hogan has reminded me of Taylor Wilde). Kiera tossed Kylie around the ring and gave Kylie a forearm. Kylie came back with her own forearms. Kylie caught Kiera with a superkick and Kiera came back with a superkick. Kiera and Kylie had a strong style exchange.
Kylie dominated with rallying tackles. Kylie hit Kiera with an armdrag into a superkick for a two count. Kiera clocked Kylie with a high kick for a two count. Kylie reversed Kiera’s backbreaker with a suplex. Kylie came back with a uppercut. Kylie hit Kiera with a cannonball for a two count. Kiera hit Kylie with a superkick and ground and pound punches. Kylie came back and then locked in her STF finisher on Kiera. Kiera tapped out.
Kylie Rae defeated Kiera Hogan via submission in 9:18 of on-air TV Time.
Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne checked in from the commentary table. Madison joked about being the reason Kylie won because Kylie was on Madison’s talk show. Josh Mathews said some of the matches advertised for tomorrow. Josh also said we will find out “The Future of the World Championship” next week (whatever that means)…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A really good women’s match and it seemed like that was the best women’s match in Impact Wrestling in months (which is not too hard to do because Tessa Blanchard and Taya Valkyrie have been in the men’s division for a while). While I’m not the biggest fan of Kylie’s Bayley routine, I do like her in ring style more than Bayley as it’s way more snug and aggressive. Kylie might have a good future as an aggressive heel? This was also the strongest Kiera has looked in a while despite taking the loss because Kylie’s match blueprint allows for her to fight from behind. I still hope Impact gets behind Kiera Hogan someday because she has so much untapped upside that even Don Callis has praised on commentary.
A video package aired hyping up Ken Shamrock vs. Sami Callihan. The package had Callihan’s ICU hacker motif…
Sami Callihan made his entrance to his non-OVE (and Shotzi Blackheart’s Impact) theme. Callihan had his usual chest-protector gear, just with a different jacket that he wears and takes off to the ring…
5. Sami Callihan vs. Ken Shamrock in an unsanctioned match. Callihan gave Shamrock a suicide dive before the bell. Callihan told the camera “I see you! I see EVERYTHING!”. Callihan beat up Shamrock at ringside. Shamrock no sold Callihan’s chop and gave Callihan stiff punches. Shamrock gave Callihan roundhouse kicks when Callihan was on the ground. Shamrock beat up Callihan around ringside. Callihan got a bit of breathing room after shoving Shamrock against the ringpost.
Shamrock came back with strikes. Shamrock tossed Callihan into the barricade. Shamrock gave Callihan a high flying tackle at ringside. Callihan and Shamrock brawled to the back.[c]
John’s Thoughts: Ah, I was kinda hoping they wouldn’t interrupt the main event with a commercial. This match has been very good so far, especially given the low expectations due to Shamrock’s age. I please hope they don’t go to the cinematic camera back from break because Impact is the absolute worst company at cimematic wrestling (They were good at one point when they were doing things with LAX or Disco Inferno, but for some reason the current cinematic producer feels the need to insert cheap and illogical CGI)
Ugh, speak of the devil. They cut to their gawd damned cinematic camera and decided to play stock music in the background for some reason. Callihan threw powder at Shamrock and beat him up with a trash lid. Callihan wrapped a chain around his hand and then beat up Shamrock with it. Callihan then wrapped the chain around the head of Shamrock and then yelled at Shamrock to call him the world’s most dangerous man. Callihan was about to hit Shamrock with a trash can, but Shamrock recovered and beat up Callihan with ground and pound punches.
Suddenly Jake Crist, Dave Crist, and Madman Fulton beat up Shamrock. Fulton hit Shamrock across the back several times with a trash can. OVE kept telling Shamrock “look at us”. Callihan did his thumb thing, but then betrayed his boys. He hit Fulton in the back with a baseball bat. This shocked the Crist brothers and allowed Callihan to beat them up with the bat.
Some cheesy western music played. Callihan asked Shamrock to take the fight outside. They continued to do the cinematic cam and even added a drone shot (not as good as Jeremy Borash’s roving Drone shots though). Callihan and Shamrock brawled alongside a Semi production truck. Sami had Shamrock in a sleeper. Shamrock slammed Callihan against the truck to escape the hold. Shamrock locked Callihan in the ankle lock. Instead of tapping out, he passed out. The referee called the match off.
Ken Shamrock defeated Sami Callihan via ref stoppage 10:44 of on-air TV time.
The camera showed a passed out Sami Callihan on the asphalt as Impact closed and transitioned to the AXS Top 10 show…
John’s Thoughts: Mixed thoughts leaving this match in the middle for me. There were parts that I really liked, but Impact felt the need to implement cinematics out of obligation and not to enhance the match. The biggest and most vestigial and gratuitous part of the match was the music. In fact, it kinda detracted because it gave the match a less serious tone. This came off like a crappier version of Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa due to them overproducing it (Though Ciampa vs. Gargano was too long, so Callihan-Shamrock does have that plus). That aside, the in arena part brawl was really good and I’m surprised at how good Shamrock is at this age. I like him being a pure striker as opposed to the primary grapplers we usually see from MMA-wrestling hybrids.
I was really happy to see Sami Callihan turn on OVE in that sequence as it continue to keep that storyline up in the air. It wasn’t a babyface turn, I think, because I think it was moreso Callihan not showing his hand just yet. I say that, and they give Callihan the babyface pass-out finish; but that has me intrigued as to where they end up. When you extract the unnecessary cinematic cheese from this match, this was actually a good match. Overall, Rebellion was a solid show and a TV show that Impact should be aiming for more often. Maybe limit the show to one crap ass joke to pop Scott D’Amore in the back, but I really liked this no-nonsense show that progressed a few storylines. If they want to in the future, they can also utilize the time they gave the filler throwaway matches to open the show, and utilize that time for vignettes and promos.