By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios
Aired March 23, 2021 on AXS TV
The cameras showed that AEW World Champion Kenny Omega and Impact Executive Vice President Don Callis were entering the lobby of Skyway Studios. The show then cut to a recap video package of last week’s show…
Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown were on commentary…
1. Impact Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo (w/Susan) vs. Jazz in a non-title match. Deonna took down Jazz early on with a side headlock. Jazz countered with a waistlock and pin attempts. Once both women got up, Jazz clocked Deonna with a running forearm. Susan distracted Jazz which allowed Deonna to nail Jazz with a pump kick. Jazz dumped Deonna to ringside for a breather.
Jazz rallied with a few clotheslines and a kick for a two count. Deonna went for a Fujiwara armbar, but Jazz rolled through and hit Deonna with a facebuster. Susan put Deonna’s foot on the bottom rope for the rope break. This caused Grace to be pissed off and go after Susan. Susan ended up taking down Jordynne with a shoe, which sent Grace into the ringpost (what?). Susan ended up hitting Jazz with the shoe which allowed Deonna to pick up the rollup win.
Deonna Purrazzo defeated Jazz via pinfall in 6:24 in a non-title match.
The show cut to The Good Brothers talking to a bunch of random people backstage. Eddie Edwards walked into the room and told the Good Brothers that they aren’t welcome in the locker room because they aren’t one of the boys. The Good Brothers ended up agreeing to leave. The Brothers ran into Rosemary, Taurus, and Crazzy Steve. Rosemary laughed at Gallows and Anderson for losing the titles and having the titles stuck in Japan at the moment. Gallows and Anderson ended up walking away…[c]
John’s Thoughts: An okay match, but Jazz can’t go in singles matches like she once used to be able to do, so I kinda hope this is the end of the feud between Deonna and Jazz. Grace vs. Deonna would be a great feud since we know they can steal the show. As for what really stood out, Grace and Jazz did end up looking a bit lame here, both getting dispatched by Susan’s shoe. Susan being full of herself for destroying Jazz and Grace with a shoe did crack me up, I have to admit.
A faux-ad aired of Johnny Swinger’s “Swinger’s Palace”, which is his “illegal” locker room casino…
Rohit Raju was gloating to himself backstage. Raju ran into Rohit Raju who was sleeping under a tarp and chairs. Apparently he’s homeless now. Raju pointed out Bahh being down on his luck and rubbed it in his face. Bahh threatened to put his fist down Raju’s throat. Bahh walked away and Raju ended up tossing around the tarp…
Matt Sriker and D’Lo Brown checked in on commentary and ran through upcoming segments on the show…
2. Ace Austin (w/Madman Fulton) vs. TJP for the Impact X Division Championship. TJ and Ace started off the match with a stalemate. Ace stomped TJ to the mat during a Test of Strength. TJ got a bridge which allowed him to bring Ace down with his signature headscissors. TJ slid between the buckles to avoid a splash in the corner. TJ dumped Ace to ringside after doing his spiderman rope reversal.
Ace caught TJ in the face with a kick. Ace caught TJ with a back kick. Ace hit TJ with a slingshot slam heading into break.[c]
TJ reversed a heel hook with a knee drop on Ace’s knee. Ace took back control with an abdominal stretch. Ace converted the move into a butterfly stretch. TJ used a kip out to reverse the move into his own abdominal stretch. Ace escaped and gave TJ a clothesline. Ace flapjacked TJ into the top buckle. TJ gave Ace multiple face wash kicks on the bottom buckle. Ace reversed a detonation kick into a spinning roundhouse. Ace got a top rope Fame Asser on TJ for a two count.
TJ caught Ace’s kick and then gave Ace a reverse suplex. TJ put Ace in an Octopus Hold. TJ turned the move into a armbar to prevent Ace from getting to the ropes. Fulton put Ace’s foot on the bottom rope for the rope break. TJ locked Ace in a rope assisted Octopus Hold. Fulton distracted TJ when he went for a Mamba Splash. Ace ended up reversing the Mamba Splash into a Small Package for a two count.
Ace got a double stomp on the head of TJ. After trading reversals, TJ hit Ace with a detonation kick. TJ Perkins hit Ace Austin with a Mamba Splash. Madman Fulton broke up the pin for the DQ.
TJP defeated Ace Austin via apparent DQ in 9:52 of TV Time.
Fulton and Ace attacked TJP after the match. Josh Alexander ran out and cleared the heels from the ring with a steel chair…
John’s Thoughts: A solid X Division title match, but I’m not a fan of the finish as it’s a screwball finish meant to stretch out a TJP and Ace Austin feud that doesn’t really have steam behind it. I think they should be going stronger with Ace out of the gate, and not pitting him back into chicken mode. TJP is also cold on his end as a character and really needs an overhaul.
Gia Miller interviewed Matt Cardona on his thoughts about being in Impact. Cardona talked about how he likes it because of how it’s his lifelong dream to be a pro wrestler. Cardona then talked about his “Always Ready” tagline. He talked about how he is used to hitting rock bottom and it’s sweet when you overcome that adversity. Gia talked about Cardona’s thoughts on Brian Myers claiming that Cardona is riding his coattails. Cardona said he’s not riding Brian’s coattails and is here to be in “the land of opportunity”. Cardona said Myers needs to put up or shut up. Cardona challenged Myers to a match…[c]
John’s Thoughts: One funny thing to notice is that Gia Miller on the pre-show has a very thick country accent while on the main Impact show she tries her best to hide it (even though it sneaks out here and there). I would just go with the country accent because I don’t see anything wrong with that. Anyway, I’m Not a huge fan of Gia mentioning that Cardona and Myers are good friends outside of Impact and even host an action figure podcast together. It kinda kills their feud when you make it look fake on Impact.
Trey Miguel was tossing around bags and chairs backstage. Larry D and Acey Romero didn’t like Trey tossing their bags. Dreamer walked in and wanted to book Trey against XXXL in an exploding barbed wire match. XXXL rejected the idea and walked away. Dreamer joked that Impact did a great job the last time (in the Omega vs. Moxley match) with the sparkler things. Trey told Dreamer that he wants another chance against Sami Callihan. Dreamer tried to advise Trey against facing Callihan and told Trey to not let someone get in his head (Dreamer’s possibly refereincing his feud with Raven again)…
Fallah Bahh and Rohit Raju made their entrances for the next match. Striker compared Bahh being homeless to Tony Atlas being homeless at one point of his life…
3. Rohit Raju vs. Fallah Bahh. The commentators talked about Kenny Omega walking around backstage. Raju dominated Bahh early on. Raju then fired up and no-sold Raju’s punches. Raju took Bahh back down and gave Bahh a roundhouse to the temple for a one count. Raju locked Bahh in an armbar. Bahhh got to his feed and hit Raju with a series of clotheslines. Bahh hit Raju with a twisting slam. Bahh went for a Banzai splash but was tripped off the top rope.
Raju hit Bahh with a double stomp for a two count. Bahh gave Raju a headbutt. Raju came right back with a jumping knee. Raju reversed a Banzai Drop into a small package with a hand full of tights for the victory.
Rohit Raju defeated Fallah Bahh via pinfall in 3:48.
The show cut to Gia Miller standing outside of the locker room of Kenny Omega. Callis and Omega left the locker room. Callis told Gia that she will find out their thoughts on Rebellion at the same time as everyone else, when they get to the ring…[c]
John’s Thoughts: I still get surprised every time they give Raju a win, mostly because he’s been treated as an enhancement scrub for so long. So far so good and it looks like they are protecting him somewhat following his successful X Division title run. Rohit Raju reminds me of a young heel Christian Cage in terms of how he plays the character, and Raju continues to shine when the spotlight is given to him. Raju is one of those guys I say every week (along with people like Jake Something or Ace Austin) that Impact should attempt to build their company around.
It was time for this week’s Tony and Tony AEW Paid Advertisement with Tony Schiavone and Tony Khan. Don Callis and Kenny Omega joined Tony and Tony in front of an AEW backdrop. Omega kept cutting off Khan every time he kept trying to hype matches. Callis and Omega walked off with Callis claiming he wasn’t paid to be on this paid advertisement. Khan said Callis and Omega are getting paid, they get paid by Khan. Tony Schiavone ran through the advertised Dynamite card…
Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson were shown knocking on Kenny Omega’s locker room door…
Kenny Omega and Don Callis made their entrance to Omega’s Little V Mills entrance theme. Omega mocked the production crew for not giving him a proper treatment. Callis said Omega can get rid of the staff because Impact is Omega’s home. Callis then talked about how he talked to Rich Swann last week. Callis talked about how Swann is a great human being. Callis then said he told Swann that Swann’s problem is that he can have a lot of good things happen to him in life, but the one thing he can’t get out of his head is the One Winged Angel from Hard to Kill.
Callis talked about how nobody has kicked out of the One Winged Angel. Omega talked about how he’s figured out that the AEW title just isn’t enough for him. Callis ran though legendary wrestlers and said that Omega is better then them. Omega made sure to throw in a “Better than Ibushi!” line. Callis said he’s going to suck all the talent out of Impact as long as it supports Kenny Omega. Callis said he had people put together an Adademy Award level vignette for the One Winged Angel move. The One Winged Angel montage aired with Callis and Omega giving their comments.
After the video, Omega continued to gloat about his success. Omega said he understands that Swann wants to etch his name in history, but Swann will just be a footnote in a history making moment, with Omega becoming Impact champion. Omega said when he stepped foot in Imapct it was the greatest moment in the history of Impact, but for Omega it was just any tuesday. Omega said at Rebellion he’s going to get two more titles, the Impact and TNA titles. Omega said noone is taking the belts from him unless he slips on a banana peel or dies from a deadly virus.
Omega said what people are about to see is history. Omega told people to watch Rebellion and enjoy it. Callis said he and Omega are going to continue to enact their plan which they have been doing for years. Callis said he and Omega are going to make history…
John’s Thoughts: A little bit longer than it probably should have been, but it’s better than nothing and I continue to like Callis and Omega’s promos since Omega has turned heel. I actually like Omega’s presentation in Impact more than AEW (you can also say the same thing about Omega’s presentation in AAA) where they treat him like a big deal and he’s allow to cut match-selling pro wrestling promos. Here’s hoping for a fun face-to-face involving Omega and Swann in upcoming weeks.
The show cut to a Violent By Design vignette at Eric Young’s “jail”. Young was interrogating Rhino this time. Young said he didn’t have to create the monster in Rhino because Rhino is already Violent by Design. Young said all he had to do is awaken the monster, the war machine. Young talked about “the sickness” that polutes the minds of people. They showed water being poured over Rhino. Young said Rhino is baptized in the waters of change. Young said the world doesn’t belong to “you”. Rhino said, “it belongs to us”…
John’s Thoughts: This was a good step in terms of re-introducing heel Rhino, but at the same time that’s mostly because these Eric Young jail vignettes are so well produced. Where I am a bit weary is at the range of the heel Rhino character. Heel Rhino over the years has just been a generic angry guy who likes to say gore. Hopefully he isn’t just going to be a generic angry guy who doesn’t say gore. I want to think he he can freshen things up, but he’s seen his freshest characters when he’s a wholesome goofy babyface.
Gia Miller interviewed Havok and Naveah backstage. Neveah said she was happy that she was on the winning side recently and that might inspire her and Havok to go after the tag titles. Tasha Steelz and Kiera Hogan showed up and said they’d challenge Havok and Nevaeh again, but not for the titles.
Kiera and Tasha walked out. Tenille Dashwood and Kaleb showed up. Havok told Dashwood that she rejected her offer to team up. Dashwood said she was here to offer to team with Nevaeh. Havok intimidated Kaleb and Tenille and they walked off. Striker noted that Dashwood was trying to stir the pot…
4. Trey Miguel vs. Acey Romero (w/Larry D). Acey ended up running through Trey early on and the show cut to a commercial break.[c]
Trey caught Acey with a Scorpion Kick and diving neckbreaker. Striker noted that Acey and Larry can’t challenge for the Impact tag titles due to the titles being stuck in Japan. Trey hit Acey with a spin kick for a two count. Acey sent Trey flying with a pounce for a two count. Trey reovered and hit Acey with a diving meteora for the victory.
Trey Miguel defeated Acey Romero via pinfall in 4:37 of on-air time.
Larry D attacked Trey after the match. Acey joined in on the beatdown. After the random hacking graphics flashing on the screen, Sami teleported behind XXXL and attacked them with his bat. Sami cleared Acey and Larry from the ring. Sami then pushed a button on his phone and teleported away, with Trey continuing to sell Sami’s teleporting…
Gia Miller interviewed Rich Swann about his thoughts on Kenny Omega and Don Callis’s promo. Swann called it jive talk and said that they are trying to play mind games. Swann said they don’t know that Swann had to fight through adversity his whole life. Swann said he had to fight through injuries and a potential early retirement. Swann said he’s going to give Omega his props for Hard to Kill where the One Winged Angel laid out Swann. Swann said every time he’s in the ring with Omega without the Good Brothers and Moose around he got the best of Omega (When did this happen?). Swann ended the promo with is “all night long” catchphrase…
John’s Thoughts: Well, Sami’s still teleporting. I mean, when did hackers ever get magic powers? What mythology has established this? Joking aside, I guess they’re teasing a potential teamup between Trey and Sami which might be able to work, but it also reminds me of how Sami Callihan and Ken Shamrock came to be. Is Trey going to be Sami’s new rage monster? I don’t think so, but it’s oddly similar.
Gia Miller interviewed Chris Sabin and James Storm. Miller talked about Storm next match being his 1000th match in Impact Wrestling. Storm addressed Violent By Design coming after him and Storm said he’s seen everything there is to see in Impact. Storm challenged Eric Young to a match at any time and any place. Scott D’Amore showed up and called Sabin and Storm pillers of Impact. D’Amore said next week he’s booking James Storm vs. Eric Young on Impact for Storm’s 1000th Impact match…
John’s Thoughts: Storm also had stretches of time where he was away from the company, so I had no idea that he would be the one who had the most matches in Impact. Good for James! That’s quite the acomplishment with one company. Hopefully Impact isn’t kayfabing us with the statistics (you can’t help but have that thought as a wrestling fan).
Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown checked in from their commentary set where they announced the following segments for next week:James Storm vs. Eric Young in Storm’s 1000th Impact match, Havok and Naveah vs. Kiera and Tasha, and a Kenny Omega appearance…
5. Eddie Edwards vs. Karl Anderson (w/Doc Gallows). Eddie and Anderson started out with chain wrestling. Eddie dumped Anderson to ringside with a lariat. Eddie then hit Anderson and Gallows with a suicide dive heading into commercial.[c]
Doc Gallows sat in a chair to convince the referee that he wasn’t getting involved. Anderson beat up Eddie around the ring. Anderson worked on Eddie with methodical offense inside of the ring. After a few minutes of selling, Eddie came back with a few lariats and chops. Eddie reversed a vertical suplex from Anderson with his own front Suplex. Eddie hit Anderson with a Gamengiri and Backpack Stunner for a two count. Eddie hit Karl with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count.
Eddie and Anderson had a fighting spirit forearm exchange in the center of the ring. Anderson gave Eddie an uppercut and Eddie came back with a headbutt. Anderson hit Eddie with a leaping Yakuza Kick for a two count. Eddie reversed a Gun Stun into a rolling elbow. Eddie rolled up Karl for the two count. Using the kickout for momentum, Anderson sent Eddie running right into a chair that Gallows held up. Anderson picked up the win after a spinebuster.
Karl Anderson defeated Eddie Edwards via pinfall in 10:29 of on-air time.
Impact Tag Champions David Finlay and Juice Robinson appeared on the big screen standing in front of the New Japan press conference backdrop. Finlay talked about how dominant he and Juice have been in Japan. Juice joked that the Good Brothers don’t like carrying their own bags which means they must be relieved that their bags are 10 pounds lighter without the Impact Tag belts. Finlay said they are going to hit the town and have a few drinks. Juice ended the promo by saying “Kanpai” (“cheers” in Japanese). Impact closed…
John’s Thoughts: This match was good while it lasted and I wouldn’t mind seeing this match given 4 or 5 minutes (but only if Eddie would finally give up on his stupid ring gear and crazy character). Anderson is in the best shape of his career and is looking very solid in the ring these days. I wouldn’t mind seeing Anderson get a singles run, whether it be in Impact, New Japan, or AEW. Of course, this match was there to keep Anderson and Gallows busy while FinJuice are holding the titles away from Impact for a month.
This was an easy to watch show. I feel like over the past few weeks Impact has has more meaningful TV as opposed to filler content. It still isn’t the most compelling wrestling television out there, but the two hours breeze by (unless you’re watching via Twitch, then you’re forced to watch classic TNA matches in between commercial breaks).
“Raju ran into Rohit Raju who was sleeping under a tarp and chairs.”