By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios
Aired March 30, 2021 on AXS TV
Highlights from last week’s Impact Wrestling show aired followed by the opening intro theme…
Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown were on commentary…
1. Impact Tag Team Champions Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz vs. Havok and Nevaeh in a non-title match. Havok ragdolled Kiera to start off the match due to the power advantage. Nevaeh tagged in and hit Kiera with a lariat for a two count. Kiera and Tasha ended up trapping Havok in their corner and then trading quick tags to keep up the double team moves. Tasha ended up slowing things down with a headlock on Havok.
Kiera tagged in and continued the methodical offense on Havok. After a few minutes of trading tags and methodical offense, Havok turned the tide by catching Tasha and hitting Tasha with a Fallaway Slam. Nevaeh tagged in and cleaned house. Nevaeh hit Tasha with a STO and suplex for a two count. Tasha caught Nevaeh with a Codebreaker, but Havok got the blind tag in. Havok hit Tasha with a sitout power bomb for a two count.
All four women hit each other with their signature moves to leave them all lying. Kiera hit Havok with a twisting backbreaker followed by a frog splash from Tasha on Havok. Kiera Hogan picked up the clean win over Havok.
Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz defeated Havok and Naveah via pinfall in 7:38 in a non title match.
Havok was disappointed at her loss, but was embraced and consoled by Nevaeh. As Havok was leaving the ring Nevaeh betrayed Havok by giving her a forearm to the back of the neck. Nevaeh left Havok lying to end the segment…
Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown checked in from their commentary set. The commentators ran through upcoming segments on the show while also hyping up Rich Swann vs. Kenny Omega at Rebellion…
John’s Thoughts: That was an interesting finish that completely caught me off guard, in a good way. First of all, TNA/Impact (WWE main roster has this problem too) over the years has seemed allergic to give heels clean wins so the clean win was a welcome surprise. I was about to write off this match as repetitive because we’ve seen these two teams wrestle on an almost weekly basis in 2020, and that’s not me being hyperbolic (Heck, Kiera’s been wrestling these two since WOW). This Havok and Hazard breakup may seem a bit soon, but I really like that the storytelling was nuance and intelligent. Neveah was the “weak link” yet Havok took the clean loss here. Perfect petty motivation for a newly turned heel.
Gia Miller interviewed James Storm (Gia’s still jumping back and forth between her southern and non-southern accent). Storm was hyped up for his 1000th match. Gia talked about how he wasn’t even supposed to have one match in Impact let alone 1000. Storm talked about the late Bob Ryder bringing in James Storm and Chris Harris to TNA and always vouching for America’s Most Wanted.
Storm said he was dedicating this match to his best friend Bob Ryder who was watching from above. Storm then talked about how he’s going to beat up Eric Young and is even bringing help. Chris Sabin and Jake Something walked on set as Storm’s support. Sabin said he had a surprise for Storm. In walked, “The Wildcat” Chris Harris. Harris and Storm hugged before the interview ended…
John’s Thoughts: Oh Hell Yeah! Braden F’n Walker! He should have told a “knock knock” joke off screen to surprise James Storm (I kid, I kid, but Harris’s failed WWE run has become meme legend). Joking aside, I liked the wholesomeness of that segment and the dedication to Bob Ryder. The icing on the top of that cake with Chris Harris showing up out of nowhere and I don’t know when’s the last time we’ve seen Harris in wrestling?
Gia Miller interviewed Deonna Purrazzo and Susan. Deonna bragged about beating Jazz recently and being unstoppable. Susan cut Deonna off and said that Jazz was “unknknockout like” in what she did to Kimber Lee last week. Jazz showed up and attacked Susan and Deonna. Jazz left Susan lying after a trash bucket shot…
Entrances for the next match took place. For some reason Larry D was dressed up in all Neon Green…
2. Sami Callihan vs. Larry D (w/Acey Romero). Sami quickly got control after dumping Larry to ringside. Sami went for a low tope but he was caught by Larry. Larry tackled Sami into the ring apron. D worked on Sami at ringside heading into commercial.[c]
Larry continued to dominate Sami at ringside. Sami rallied back with shortarm slaps. Larry came back with a lariat to take down Sami. Larry hit Sami with a body adjusted standing splash for a two count on Sami. Sami punched Larry on the top rope and hit Larry with a Death Valley Driver for a two count. Sami went for a pile driver on the apron, but he recovered because Sami took too much time doing his “Thumbs Up” thing. Sami reversed a fireman carry into a claw to the eyes on Larry.
Sami punted Larry in the chest when Larry was entering the ring. Sami then hit Larry with a modified draping Pedigree for the win.
Sami Callihan defeated Larry D via pinfall in 7:09 of on-air time.
Acey Romero attacked Sami after the match and left him lying. Striker wondered if Trey Miguel should have ran out to help Sami due to Sami helping him last week. After XXXL left, Sami was laughing in the ring. Striker said this may be a sign that Trey Miguel passed Sami’s test and is not soft.
The show cut to a video package showing Dave Finlay and Juice Robinson wrestling in New Japan (footage provided by NJPW/TV Asahi). Juice and Dave were carrying around the Impact Tag Team titles while in Japan…
Don Callis, Kenny Omega, Doc Gallows, and Karl Anderson were watching the FinJuice video in the backstage lounge room (the former Locker Room talk set). Callis said he thought FinJuice looked good in the video while the Good Brothers were salty over losing the titles. Callis said they should watch more of the One Winged Agnel video package. Callis then cheered up Gallows and Anderson by whispering something in their ear and sending them out to do something…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A good competitive match, but I’m not the biggest fan of Sami letting Larry D get so much offense in. I’m all for rebuilding XXXL’s credibility at some point, but I think it’s more important to rebuild Sami Callihan as a main eventer. Everyone beats Larry and Acey in 3 or so minutes including Trey doing so last week. What I do like is that Sami is starting to get his edge back, but we do know he still has a strange love for magic hacker wizard powers for some reason (I wonder if I’d take his Zombie Callihan character over Hacker Wizard Sami?).
Sami Callihan approached Trey Miguel backstage and said he understood why Miguel didn’t help him despite Sami helping him last week. Miguel said Trey showed him something when they wrestled in the main event a few weeks ago. Sami said he wanted to be Trey’s mentor especially after how he’s known Trey for many years (both men are from Ohio). Trey kept trying to yell at Sami to shut him up. Sami said he was going to ask Scott D’Amore for a match against Acey Romero next week and he wants Trey to be at ringside with him…
John’s Thoughts: Sami is a very interesting case in that he can be both a great main event wrestler while also being a great ringside manager (as seen though his initial work with OVE). This has me intrigued. Something I’m starting to notice is that Trey Miguel comes off as a bit whiny when he yells. I get he’s trying to show emotion, but he’s yelling/whining a bit too much. Maybe tone it down 25%?
3. Brian Myers vs. Suicide. Suicide dominated Brian early on and locked in an Octopus Hold. Myers came back with a lariat and cravate. Myers hit Suicide with a Falcon Arrow for a two count. Myers hit Suicide with a Paydirt. Myers then did the Edge Spear pose (which Striker referenced), which led to Myers hitting Suicide with the Roster Cut for the win.
Brian Myers defeated Suicide via pinfall in 2:56.
Myers said that Matt Cardona challenged him to a match, but Cardona actually wants the rub from Myers. Myers said it’s not happening because Impact Wrestling is Myers. Myers said he’s Impact Wrestling and that doesn’t include Cardona…
John’s Thoughts: The Roster Cut is a really fun name for a finisher, a reference to his WWE release. Myers was good here, but I’m still opposed to having him feud with Cardona. This feud is all about Cardona being a hanger-on and I can’t help but agree with heel Myers on this one. Cardona is just bringing back bad jobber memories of Ryder and Hawkins and it’s really putting the stank on Myers’ successful move-away from the Hawkins character.
Jazz was looking for Scott D’Amore but she ran into Tommy Dreamer. Jazz said she wants a match against Deonna Purrazzo. Dreamer talked about how he and Jazz used to be in ECW and how they used to have “Double Jeoperdy” matches in ECW. Dreamer said that at Hardcore Justice Deonna can put the title on the line while Jazz puts something on the line. Jazz quickly said she’d put her career on the line. Dreamer said Jazz didn’t have to do that, but Jazz objected. Dreamer then agreed to book Deonna vs. Jazz in a Title vs. Career match at Hardcore Justice…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Well, I guess this is the end of Jazz’s wrestling career. It booked a bit abruptly, but I think it’s okay because we’ve gotten way more than expected with Jazz coming out of Retirement to have her latest Impact Wrestling run.
It was time for this week’s Tony and Tony AEW Paid Advertisement segment wtih Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone. Khan and Schiavone ran through this week’s Dynamite card. Khan said that even though Kenny Omega is the best wrestler in the world, he’s a huge pain in the ass. Khan said that he’s almost sure that Omega is going to become the next Impact Champion. Khan said what Impact understand is that Khan has first booking rights on Omega and he’ll be able to book the Impact champion in anything he wants. Khan said AAA has already figured out that they can’t use their world champion Omega as often as they would want to. Schiavone repeated the plug for this week’s Dynamite segments…
The show cut to this week’s “Swinger’s Palace” segment where John E Bravo said that they were making a lot of money. Don Callis and Kenny Omega walked in and Swinger said that the “Guy from TNN” walked in (Cyrus in ECW was the TNN representative). Callis inquired about the betting lines for the Omega vs. Swann match. Swinger said the betting lines were 1:1.
Callis showed Swinger the One Winged Angel video. Swinger said the betting lines have “swung” in Omega’s favor. Callis then said he was betting 20 grand on Omega to win at Rebellion. Callis then said he and Omega had to leave due to the smell of the place…
Entrances for the next tag team match took place…
4. TJP and “The Walking Weapon” Josh Alexander vs. Madman Fulton and “The Inevitable” Ace Austin. Alexander had Fulton in a headlock. Fulton hit Alexander with a belly to back suplex, but Alexander kept the headlock locked in and maintained control. Alexander caught Fulton’s kick and Fulton came back with a headbutt. Alexander came right back with a crossbody. Ace tagged in after Fulton was whipped to his corner. Fulton kept Ace under control with amateur wrestling holds.
TJ entered the ring and the face team took down the heels with double leg takedowns. TJ and Josh then started arguing. TJ did a blind tag which peeved Alexander a bit. Ace then took control of TJ with a running elbow. Fulton tagged in and gave TJ an elevated sleeper choke in the corner, which he had to break after 5 seconds. Ace tagged in and jumped off of Fulton’s back for a roundhouse on TJ, leading to a two count.
TJ got a window of opportunity with a Tornado DDT. Josh and Fulton tagged in. Alexander hit Fulton with a series of elbows and forearms. Alexander hit Fulton with an impressive vertical suplex. Fulton reversed a double underhook with a backdrop and big boot. TJ recovered and shoved Ace off the top rope. Alexander and Perkins used strikes to take down Fulton. TJ gave Ace a few face washes in the corner.
Perkins hit Fulton with a Helluva Kick in the corner. Alexander accidentally gave Perkins a corner splash when Alexander went for a splash in the corner on Fulton. Ace hit Alexander with a double knee facebuster for a two count. TJ blind tagged himself in the match when Alexander slammed Ace. TJP hit Ace with the Mamba Splash. Alexander and TJ then shoved each other because Alexander didn’t know he took the blind tag. TJ was dumped to ringside and Ace rolled up Perkins for the win.
Ace Austin and Madman Fulton defeated TJP and Josh Alexander via pinfall in 9:10.
John’s Thoughts: Is it just me or does it seem like they’re doing so little with Josh Alexander to the point where it looks like he’s got one foot out the door due to Ethan Page being in AEW. I wouldn’t mind seeing Alexander in AEW if Impact doesn’t know what to do with him. Alexander, in all honesty, would be a huge get for AEW in that AEW is scarce in terms of mat based wrestlers. As for Impact storylines, I initially thought that they might be turning TJP heel because he’s been coming off as really douchey over the last few weeks, but TJ kinda comes off douchey character-wise a lot and a lot of companies always see this as a babyface that needs a push. So I’m not sure what they’re doing with TJP, but I do like that Ace and Fulton got the win here.
Don Callis met up with Willie Mack backstage, saying he’s a huge fan of Mack. Callis ended up showing Mack the One Winged Angel video package on his phone. Swann walked in calling the video a lame ass video package. Omega joked that Kenny Omega can’t wait to kick out of Swann’s finisher. Swann said Callis is not in his head. Swann then said that he’s not getting in Mack’s head either. Callis then said that Swann was threatening an executive in the company.
Swann said that if Callis wasn’t an executive, he’d smack the Ray-bans off of Callis’s face. Callis said that he’s going to step back from being an executive for 10 minutes and is willing to let Swann come at him. As both men were teasing a brawl, Omega, Gallows and Anderson attacked Swann and Mack from behind. Eddie Edwards ran in to help run off the heels…
John’s Thoughts: Don Callis has been really good over the past few weeks as Kenny Omega’s hype man. This thing where he’s showing everyone the video package helps in keeping Omega relevant throughout the show. This week’s Impact has been really good so far and more than the Omega segments I think those are complement with really good wrestling finishes in all the matches.
Rohit Raju ran into Hernandez backstage and assumed they were tag team partners. Hernandez said they aren’t tag partners and will only team if Rohit has the money in hand to pay for services. Hernandez told Rohit to get to stepping because he had no money…
The show cut to a Violent By Design backstage promo. Young talked about how Storm challenged the leader of the Violent By Design movement for his 1000th match. Young said Rhino and the rest of VBD have been baptized in the waters of change. Young said 1000 matches only means that Storm is too far gone to the disease. Young said the future of this company lies in the balance. Young said the world doesn’t belong to Storm, it belongs to “us”…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A really good promo as usual from Eric Young. What is a bit of a shame is that he has confirmed that he ended up leaving the last set of Impact tapings with a torn ACL that will have him out 6 to 9 months. I wouldn’t mind if they find a way to keep Young on TV due to his stellar promo work since his Impact return, but at the same time a torn ACL isn’t anything that should be taken lightly even if it just requires he hang around at ringside.
Tommy Dreamer was holding a meeting with the Knockouts locker room and noted that Jazz was putting her career on the line against Deonna’s title. Deonna stood up and talked about how she was going to end Jazz’s career. Deonna walked off. Dreamer asked Susan that he wants to know where “Su” is and Susan acted like she didn’t know who Su Yung was.
Dreamer then said he was booking a Knockouts Scramble match. Jordynne Grace and Havok liked the match. Kaleb then said that there shouldn’t be weapons next to Tenille’s face. Rosemary also liked the match. Alisha Edwards kept begging Tommy Dreamer to tell her the rules of the match. Dreamer yelled “Scott!” and “Eddie!”, joking that he never understands anything Alisha says…
Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown checked in from their commentary set. The commentators advertised Rich Swann, Eddie Edwards, and Willie Mack vs. Kenny Omega, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson for next week…
Entrances for the next match took place. Rhino is now wearing a denim jacket and VBD T-shirt…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Why is Cody Deaner required to cut his hair after his baptism, but Rhino allowed to keep his? Yes, Doering has long hair, but he came into the faction “evil” and didn’t need to baptize himself. I also understand that this might be only because Rhino not wanting to cut off the thing that’s been with him for so many years.
The show returned with 20 minutes left at the top of the hour…
5. James Storm (w/Chris Sabin, Jake Something, Chris Harris) vs. Eric Young (w/Joe Doering, Deaner, Rhino) in James Storm’s 1000th match in Impact Wrestling. Striker noted that a lot of those 1000 matches must have been against or teaming with Eric Young due to Young being just as much a veteran as Storm is in Impact. Striker noted that he thinks Storm is the greatest tag wrestler in Impact history. The match started off with chain wrestling, but Storm got the momentum after an elbow, knee, and leg drop on Young for a two count.
Young turned the tables on Storm with a backdrop on the apron. Young then knocked Storm off the apron with momentum in his favor heading into commercial.[c]
Eric Young had Storm reiling a bit after a suplex to the neck. Storm hit Young with a series of moves to get momentum back. Young escaped an Eye of the Storm attempt initially, but Storm went back to it and hit Young with the move for a two count. Young came back with a neckbreaker. Young hit Storm with an elbow drop for a two count. Young hit Storm with a back kick for another two count. Young was showing frustration over not taking Storm out. Young and Storm traded punches with Storm getting the upper hand after a lung blower.
Deaner got on the ropes to distract the referee. Storm knocked Deaner off the apron and then got a two count off a rollup on Young. After Young kicked out, Storm was dumped to ringside. Doering, Rhino, and Deaner brawled with Something and Sabin at ringside. Eric Young tried to grab his hockey mask to attack Storm with, but Chris Harris prevented him from doing so. James Storm clocked Young with a Last Call Superkick for the victory.
James Storm defeated Eric Young via pinfall in 10:19 of on-air time.
The commentary team thanked James Storm for 1000 matches in Impact. Storm knelt on the ramp and thanked Bob Ryder for everything he’s done for his career. Impact closed….
John’s Thoughts: A good match and the finish wasn’t the worst thing in the world. I did think that it was a tad bit overbooked for what was supposed to be a monumental match. I guess if you were going to do an Ode to TNA then you would overbook the finish, but I would have prefereed to see this match given more hype and used as a hook for a PPV. Even have a more conclusive ending there. At the same time this wasn’t bad, I just thought they could have gotten more out of Storm’s 1000th match.
I really liked this week’s episode of Impact and thought they did a better job with their in-ring storytelling compared to months-and-months of TV preceeding this show. It wasn’t a total shift or anything, but the match finishes and stories during the matches all led to story development. What Impact needs to do now is do more vignettes for their wrestlers. This show did have a good running thread of Don Callis roaming backstage, showing everyone his One Winged Angel video. That was a good way to keep Kenny Omega relevant on the show.
Peak Twitch Viewership: about 5,000 viewers (rounded up)