By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios
Aired March 16, 2021 on AXS TV
Highlights from the Impact Plus Sacrifice show aired…
Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown were on commentary…
1. Impact Wrestling Tag Team Champions “FinJuice” Juice Robinson and Dave Finlay vs. “Team XXXL” Larry D and Acey Romero in a non-title match. Larry and Juice started off the match. Juice hit Larry with the Road Dogg punches and dropkick. Finlay tagged in and FinJuice hit Larry with a double team bulldog. Juice and Finlay traded tags to keep Larry under control. Larry blocked a double flapjack in order to get Acey tagged in. Acey shrugged off a double bulldog and came back with a tackle against both FinJuice members.
John’s Thoughts: Is it just me or does “FinJuice” sound like a drink that TNA Legend Shark Boy would be selling?
Acey tripped up Juice with a wrecking ball roll and followed up with a running crossbody to the back. Juice managed to avoid an elbow drop. Finlay and Larry tagged in with Finlay cleaning house. Finlay hit Larry with a diving uppercut. Juice and Finlay dropkicked Acey to ringside. Juice and Finlay hit Larry with a double flapjack. Juice took out Ace at ringside with a plancha. Finlay hit D with an acid drop for the victory.
FinJuice defeated Team XXXL via pinfall in 3:31.
Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows made their entrance. Anderson said their loss shouldn’t have counted because the loss was Gallows’ fault. Gallows pointed out that Anderson took the pin though. Anderson talked about being exhausted due to having to home school his kids at home over zoom with the help of his hot asian wife. Gallows demanded a rematch. Juice agreed to a rematch. Finlay said that FinJuice has to travel back to Japan for a month and will be back for the rematch in April. The Good Brothers tried to attack FinJuice, but Finlay and Robinson escaped the ring and backtracked up the ramp…
Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown checked in from their commentary set. Striker said he’s not sure what it means to have the Impact Tag Titles stuck in Japan for a month. Striker then announced Rich Swann vs. Kenny Omega in a title vs. title match at Rebellion. The commentary team then ran through the upcoming segments for this week’s show…
A Sami Callihan hacker promo aired. For some reason, the video was distorted and you could only see his head next to random computer text. Sami recapped Sam Beale turning on Trey last week. Sami ended the promo by saying he was going to make an example of Trey and teach Trey how it is to really be passionate…
John’s Thoughts: I feel Impact can do a better job with XXXL other than being walking forgone conclusions. I did think Acey looked pretty good for his limited offense here, but at the same time it’s well established that XXXL will lose every match to talent that matters. I’m curious as to what Finlay and Juice taking the titles overseas will mean for the Impact tag division. Maybe they’ll air some tag defenses involving New Japan talent on Impact Wrestling? On the other hand, Impact doesn’t have much of a tag division itself. XXXL and Reno Scum are job teams, Fulton and Ace are back in singles matches, and the Machine Guns are on ice now due to Alex Shelley’s injury.
Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows barged into Scott D’Amore’s office about Finlay and Robinson taking the titles to Japan. D’Amore said it’s not his fault that the Good Brothers lost. D’Amore said it’s final that FinJuice are going to defend the title in Japan for a month and come back. D’Amore then booked the rematch between FinJuice and Good Brothers for Rebellion. The Good Brothers seemed content with this and ended up leaving.
Tommy Dreamer showed up in D’Amore’s office saying that Impact has a problem with the tag titles held hostage in Japan for a month. D’Amore talked about how he’s content working again with a company that once hated Impact for years, now finally deciding to do business again. D’Amore joked about Dreamer and Paul Heyman running ECW into the ground. D’Amore then went into one of his random emotional rants. D’Amore transitioned to talking about the upcoming Hardcore Justice show. Dreamer said he already has the show booked and he showed D’Amore a notecard. D’Amore said he liked the card that Dreamer booked and he’s allowing Dreamer to be the commissioner of the show…
John’s Thoughts: I think D’Amore has been doing a solid job as the babyface authority figure, but I didn’t like how he talked about how FinJuice will be defending the title in Japan for a month only to assume that they will come back to the US to defend it against Gallows and Anderson. I think it would have been intriguing if they at least teased the thought of another team like Los Ingobernables, Guerillas of Destiny, or another New Japan Team possibly ending up beating FinJuice and coming to the US. Instead, this just frames it as the Impact title belts are going away on vacation for a month.
Eric Young, Rhino, Joe Doering, and Deaner made their entrance. Rhino carried his “Call Your Shot” Trophy to the ring (At one time, he declared that he was cashing that in for a tag team title shot, but Heath Slater got injured)…
2. Rhino (w/Eric Young, Joe Doering, Deaner) vs. Jake Something (w/James Storm, Chris Sabin). Rhino dominated Jake in the corner and took down Jake with a shoulder tackle. Young was barking orders to Rhino from ringside. Rhino worked on Jake with methodical offense for a stretch. Something recovered and fended back Rhino. Deaner tried to get the distraction from the apron, which led to a brawl with the wrestlers at ringside. Rhino caught a distracted Jake with The Gore for the win.
Rhino defeated Jake Something via pinfall in 2:06.
Rhino caught Chris Sabin with a Gore after the match. Violent By Design stood tall in the end after beating down the babyfaces…[c]
John’s Thoughts: That finish made total sense in that they need to start building up Rhino fresh off his recent heel turn. They also protected Jake a little bit by having all the moving pieces at ringside. That said I wouldn’t have put Jake Something in this position. Jake is coming fresh off a show built around him which had him looking really good in the main event scene. Jake is someone that Impact can build around. Heck, once the Kenny Omega experiment is over, I wouldn’t mind someone like Jake Something (or even better, Ace Austin) being the next World Champion.
During the break, an Impact’s Wildest Moments replay aired of Brian Urlacher tossing around Don Callis and Jonny Fairplay…
Tenille Dashwood and Kaleb were shown talking to the rest of the heels they were teaming up in an upcoming match. The heels ended up bickering with each other over who should be the leader…
Entrances for the next match aired. I think Mahabali Shera has lost is first name. Rohit Raju has the words “Mocha Skinned Manimal” written on his tights for some reason…
3. Rohit Raju vs. Shera. Raju tried to use his quickness early on, but he was stopped quickly by a big boot. Shera hit Raju with a Uranage for a two count. Raju ended up tripping Shera up and then putting the boots to Shera in the corner. Shera came back with a series of lariats. Raju came back with a few V Triggers and a meteora in the corner. Raju hit Shera with a cannonball in the corner.
Shera went for a dive, but he dived right into a choke from Shera. Shera chokeslammed Raju on his knee for a backbreaker. Raju came back by sidestepping Shera. Raju rolled up Shera and got his feets on the ropes for the leverage pin, picking up the victory.
Rohit Raju defeated Shera via pinfall in 4:05.
Willie Mack congratulated Rich Swann backstage for beating Moose for the TNA World Championship. Rich Swann was carrying the TNA and Impact belts over his shoulders. Swann said he really wants to party, but now is not the time to party. Swann said he has to take care of some business in the ring…[c]
John’s Thoughts: That was certainly a surprising match result that surprised me in a good way. Impact has been known to go overboard with Shera in the past combined with Raju being a well established fixture in the Impact undercard for years. I thought this was going to end up with Raju losing in two minutes to boost Shera. Not only did they give Raju a ton of offense, but he got the victory (albeit heels can’t get clean wins). I’m not confident that Impact will totally do right by Raju in the end, but I really hope that they don’t “Jake Crist” him by pushing him back down to the undercard after a successful X Division Championship run.
Rich Swann made his entrance with the Impact and TNA title belts. He’s back into dancing mode (at least he’s not wearing his weird white suit and space goggles, but I wouldn’t mind him evolving his entrance a bit). Swann joked about being held down by a bunch of gold right now. Swann said Sacrifice was one of the hardest things he’s gone through in his life. Swann said he’s gone through many trials and tribulations and has even made sacrifices.
Swann talked about Impact having some of the best talent in the world. Swann said he doesn’t like Moose as a person, but he respects Moose. Swann then bragged about beating Moose to become a “double champion”. Swann said he partied on Sunday and Monday til today. Swann then said he has a monkey on his back named Kenny Omega. Swann said that Omega paid him the last time they were in the ring together and it’s all come back around. Swann said that he’s coming back on April 24th to represent Impact Wrestling against another company’s world champion.
Swann said Moose, Chris Sabin, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows won’t be at ringside. Swann said it’s Omega and Swann one-on-one. Swann said on April 24, we will see who the real best wrestler in the world is. Suddenly the Pachelbel Canon in D played . It was Don Callis making his entrance. Callis walked to the ring and then hugged Rich Swann. Callis said he’s very proud to be in the ring with Swann during this special night. Callis talked about how he signed Swann with a lot of confidence. Callis then said he made sure that Swann still got paychecks sent to his family while injured.
Callis said even tough people were against it, he fought for Swann to be in the main event of Bound for Glory. Callis then talked about how Swann is his guy and “shiny toy”. Callis then brought up, as he usually does, his history with the Golden Sheik. Callis compared Omega to a shiny new car that he’s moved on too. Callis then brought up Swann’s wife (the unnamed Susan/Su Yung) about how she gives him support at home. Callis said even though he has a supporting wife at home, he still can’t get his mind off the One Winged Angel. Callis said that the reality is that while Swann is a star, Omega is a god.
Callis brought up his role as the Invincible Hand. Callis brought up being there for Omega when Omega beat Okada, Jon Moxley, and Rich Swann. Callis talked about how he got to yell “One winged angel!” each time on commentary. Callis said that Swann is about to be in a historic match at Rebellion, but sadly the history was written for Swann at Rebellion. Callis pat Swann on the back and left to his entrance music. The camera focused on Rich Swann looking nervous…[c]
John’s Thoughts: I’m not a huge fan of them keeping the TNA belt in play (especially after D’Amore establishing the belt as Moose’s “prop” last week). That said, I did like the segment. Because Omega probably isn’t going to be on Impact every week, my guess is that Impact Vice President Don Callis will be his surrogate on week-to-week television. So far, I liked Callis here. He wasn’t his usual over-the-top wrestling manager. He still managed to name drop Golden Sheik again, but it was in a very intricate promo that had Callis speaking in a methodical tone, which made Callis more menacing than he usually is. I still think that Omega is coming out of the title match with all the belts (maybe that’s why they’re keeping the TNA belt alive, as a prop for Omega), but I wouldn’t mind this being an entertaining story en route to that match.
It was time for this week’s Tony and Tony AEW Paid Advertisement with Tony Sciavone and Tony Khan. Khan said Sciavone was probably opening the forbidden doors to many pubs this week for St. Patty’s day. Khan ran through some matches advertised for this week’s St. Patrick’s Day Dynamite show. Khan threw in the jab that Impact doesn’t know how to book cards this good…
Eddie Edwards thanked Matt Cardona backstage. Brian Myers walked in on them and joked about them conspiring against him. Cardona asked Eddie to leave to he can chat with Myers. Myers talked about how he came to Impact Wrestling to do things on his own and Cardona’s is ruining it. Myers told Cardona to get lost and he walked away…
John’s Thoughts: In all honesty, I totally agree with the Brian Myers character here. Myers was doing a stellar job building in-ring credibility and separating himself from the jobber Curt Hawkins identity. Cardona showing up has put a stop to that and just keeps Myers stuck in a story with Zack Ryder for no good reason.
4. Deonna Purrazzo, Kiera Hogan, Tasha Steelz, Susan, Kimber Lee, and Tenille Dashwood (w/Kaleb) vs. Havok, Nevaeh, Jazz, Jordynne Grace, ODB, and Alisha Edwards. Alisha Edwards caught Tenille with a stinkface in the corner. The babyraces then traded tags to keep Susan under control. Nevaeh caught Lee with a blockbuster once Lee tagged in. Havok and Kiera tagged in with Havok womanhandling Kiera. Jazz and Deonna tagged in with Jazz punching Deonna out.
Everyone else then took each other out with kicks and strikes. Tasha and Grace then gave everyone at ringside a suicide dive heading into commercial.[c]
The heels traded tags to cut the ring in half on Alisha Edwards. Alisha ended up tagging Grace. Grace hit Lee with a Michinoku Driver (which is the Grace Driver without the Pumphandle) for a two count. Alisha ended up giving Lee a Stundog Millionaire (which prompted Striker to make a 3:16 reference). The rest of the women ended up running in and hitting moves on each other. After everything calmed down, Jazz made Kimber Lee tap out to a STF.
Jazz, Havok, Nevaeh, Jordynne Grace, ODB, and Alisha Edwards defeated Kimber Lee, Deonna Purrazzo, Kiera Hogan, Tasha Steelz, Susan ,and Tenille Dashwood via pinfall in 9:10 of on-air time.
John’s Thoughts: Did they just throw the entire women’s division roster in a random TV Filler match? You know they’re digging deep in the division when there’s an Alisha Edwards in-ring sighting (I’m kidding). I’m not a huge fan of this presentation as it makes the creative team look very lazy. Impact, right behind NXT, has 2nd strongest women’s division in the world and they can’t find any stories to write with this deep roster? Just give the mic to Deonna Purrazzo and have her tell these stories. Is Gail Kim still on the creative team, because I remember her being a part of Impact’s best stories of all time.
Gia Miller interviewed Ace Austin and Madman Fulton. Ace talked about all being right in Impact now that he’s X Division Champion. He said he’s the youngest person to become two time champion. Ace talked about how he came into Impact undefeated until TJP made his impact return and ended that streak. Ace talked about returning the favor by taking the title from TJP in the end.
Chris Bey and Josh Alexander interrupted and made claims to a future title shot. TJP showed up and said “Dad’s here”. Ace told TJP to stand in the back of the line. TJP said Scott D’Amore awarded him a rematch for next week. TJP said when you’re the best, you can cut in front of the rest…[c]
John’s Thoughts: I really like the attention to detail in terms of Ace Austin bring up his initial undefeated streak in Impact. Is it just me or does babyface TJP always come off as extremely douchey? I know it’s not just me because this seems to be a normal thought on social media and the running Twitch chat. Turn this guy heel because this guy has main event heel potential and has for years. Companies just really like to push Perkins as a face for some reason? I’m also not saying this as a person who hates TJP too because I’ve always been a defender of my fellow Los Angeles Laker hometown fan.
A generic ad aired for Impact Hardcore Justice which will happen April 10 on Impact Plus…
Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown checked in from their commentary set. Striker mockingly laughed at the thought of Tommy Dreamer booking Hardcore Justice. The following matches were advertised for next week: Ace Austin vs. TJP for the X Division Title, Deonna Purrazzo vs. Jazz in a non-title match, Karl Anderson vs. Eddie Edwards…
5. Sami Callihan vs. Trey Miguel. Trey had the advantage early on with aggressive strikes. Callihan ended that momentum with a running lariat. Trey came back with a superkick. Miguel gave Callihan a dive at ringside and then dragged Callihan up the ramp. Callihan recovered. Miguel escaped Callihan’s power bomb attempt. Trey caught Sami at ringside with a Tiger Feint Kick and low kick from the apron. Callihan blocked a huracanrana and then locked Trey in the Liontamer heading into commercial.[c]
Callihan tossed Miguel to ringside. Callihan worked on Miguel with methodical offense for a few minutes. Trey got a moment of respite after hitting Sami with an enzuigiri. Trey went for a springboard but his leg gave up on him due to Sami’s focus on Trey’s leg. Miguel hit Sami with a double stomp after a victory roll to lead to the next commercial.[c]
Trey nailed Sami with a fired up lariat. Trey hit Sami wtih an Atomic Drop and cutter. Trey went for a dive but Sami got out of the way. Sami hit Trey with a rope-assisted Final Cut for a two count. Trey reversed a power bomb into a roll up. Trey caught Sami with a swinging DDT for a two count. Miguel went for his Hourglass Submission, but Sami escaped by biting Trey’s ankle. Sami grounded Trey with a shortarm lariat. Sami hit Trey with a power bomb. Sami then turned the pin attempt into a Boston Crab.
Sami rolled right into a Crossface Submission. Trey got to the bottom rope for the break. Matt Striker talked about Sami Callihan being from “the last house on the left” (a reference to his billing in Lucha Underground, which was also based off the horror movie). Trey caught Sami with a springboard move, which took out both men. Sami regained control after tossing Trey into the steps.
Trey caught Sami with a Scorpion Kick into a Swinging Backbreaker. The commentators said they thought Trey was a bit off. Sami pulled Brian Hebner in front of him to prevent Miguel from diving. Sami tripped up Trey and then hit Trey with the Package Piledriver for the victory.
Sami Callihan defeated Trey Miguel via pinfall in 16:48 of on-air time (this was closer to 25 minutes with commercials).
Sami Callihan celebrated his win to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: A good match with Sami Callihan getting a much needed win. I did like that Impact pushed Trey Miguel as a big deal out of the gate during Trey’s return, but I think that Impact also needs to rebuild Sami Callihan who has been ice cold since feuding with Tessa Blanchard a while back. Impact was in a good place when they had Sami Callihan at the top of the card, so it would be good to elevate him back to a main event level (though he hurts his case every time he brings back the “hacker magic”). While the match was good, I thought the pacing was cut off a bit with the two commercial breaks (and if you’re watching via Twitch, that means you get more Impact Plus Flashback matches). I also thought they could have done more during the show to present this as a main event, but all Impact did was give Sami a generic promo. That said, they probably aren’t done with this feud yet and I like that Sami is starting to get his edge back.
This episode was a tale of two segments, everything else was filler. The Sami vs. Trey match was solid and the only other meaningful segment was the Don Callis and Rich Swann segment. Everything else was pretty much missable. I bring it up most weeks, but I continue to think that Impact needs to bring in some fresh ideas in their creative team because they seem to be running on autopilot right now. I am looking forward to seeing what Callis and Swann do over the weeks to build towards the Omega match. I also continue to think that Impact really needs to put the keys in the hands of people like Jake Something, Ace Austin, Rohit Raju, and even Deonna Purrazzo as pillars that this company can rely on.