By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios
Aired April 8, 2021 on AXS TV
[Hour One] A recap of last week’s show aired… Kenny Omega, Don Callis, Doc Gallows, and Karl Anderson were shown walking backstage… The broadcast team of Matt Striker and D-Lo Brown checked in during the opening match introductions and hyped the Hardcore Justice show for this weekend on Impact Plus…
1. Alisha Edwards, Nevaeh, and Tenille Dashwood (w/Kaleb) vs. Havok, Jordynne Grace, and Rosemary (w/Crazzy Steve, Black Taurus). Grace performed an early Jackhammer on Edwards and covered her for a two count. A short time later, Grace performed a suicide dive onto Kaleb.
Late in the match, Havoc and Nevaeh fought on the apron. Nevaeh got the better of it and performed a Russian leg sweep from the apron and both women crashed through a table on the floor. In the ring, Rosemary caught Edwards going for a dive, then hit her Red Wedding finisher and scored the pin…
Havok, Jordynne Grace, and Rosemary beat Alisha Edwards, Nevaeh, and Tenille Dashwood.
Powell’s POV: A solid six-woman tag. There wasn’t as much focus on Havoc and Nevaeh as I anticipated given their recent split. Grace was spotlighted early and then Rosemary shined in the end. By the way, I’m filling in for John Moore, who has the day off after covering the last two nights of NXT Takeover specials. His Impact reviews will return next week.
The broadcast team hyped the Hardcore Justice show for Sunday at 2CT/3ET. They listed the two previously announced matches and said that Tommy Dreamer would be booking more matches during Impact. They also hyped the Impact main event…
Gia Miller interviewed Matt Cardona, who said he didn’t come to Impact to fight Brian Myers, he came to Impact for himself. Cardona said he asked Scott D’Amore for a match. He said D’Amore didn’t give him someone, he gave him (Jake) Something… [C]
A vignette aired with the rock club theme. A woman was featuredin the video and she wrote “Let’s Get Wilde” on a mirror. A graphic listed whatever this as coming soon and sometime in April…
Powell’s POV: The return of Taylor Wilde?
Deonna Purrazzo checked on Susan and asked if she was okay. A doctor arrived and said her time has come. Graphics flashed to apparently show that she was having mental issues…
2. Matt Cardona vs. Jake Something. After some back and forth action, Cardona hit a running boot to the face of Something and covered him for a two count. Something came right back with a powerbomb for a near fall. Cardona fought back and went for his finisher, but Something caught him in powerbomb position. Cardina countered into a huracanrana that sent both men to ringside. Brian Myers ran out and attacked both men to end the match.
Matt Cardona fought Jake Something to an apparent no-contest.
Myers’ beatdown included running Something’s eye into the corner of the ring steps. Myers took the mic and sat down next to Cardona, who was selling on the ramp. Myers said he has reconsidered and now accepts Cardona’s challenge to a match at Rebellion. He said Cardona would be another victim of the Roster Cut (his finisher)…
Powell’s POV: A back and forth match between two babyfaces. It turned out to be a platform for Cardona to attack both men. I assumed he would go after Cardona, but I was surprised to see him go after the eye of Something. The broadcast team made a fuss out of the eye spot in the moment, but it seemed like they just moved on after that.
Team XXL members Larry D and Acey Romero approached Trey Miguel backstage and gave him grief about teaming up with Sami Callihan to face them. Miguel mocked them for not watching television because he told Callihan last week that he wouldn’t be his partner. Larry D told Miguel that he sounded like he lacked passion and has become a chump… [C]
A Violent By Design vignette aired. Eric Young said there are important battles in every great war. He said their movement will move forward because they believe in it too much to fail. Young acknowledged that he lost to James Storm last week, but he said Deaner failed. Young said Deaner accepted the necessary consequences. Young said Deaner would go it alone and he knows that he won’t fail because. He said Deaner would prove himself…
3. Sami Callihan and Trey Miguel vs. “Team XXXL” Larry D and Acey Romero. Miguel ended up coming out when his music played and teamed with Callihan. [C] Strike said Miguel was reluctantly taking part int he match. Miguel took a swing at Callihan at one point, but Callihan ducked it.
Miguel made an aggressive tag into the match. Romero slammed the heads of Miguel and Callihan together after they bickered with one another. Callihan and Miguel ended up performing stereo suicide dives. Miguel ended up putting Larry D in his submission finisher and got the win.
Sami Callihan and Trey Miguel beat “Team XXXL” Larry D and Acey Romero.
Afterward, Callihan tried to raise the hand of Miguel, who pulled his arm away and headed to the back. Callihan celebrated the win without him inside the ring…
James Storm, Chris Sabin, and Chris Harris were at Swinger’s Palace. Storm and Swinger were leaving. Harris got up to go with them. Storm handed him his chips and told him to win them some beer money. Harris told him not to do that. Storm laughed and said guilty as charged, which Harris liked… [C]
Powell’s POV: I’m enjoying whatever is happening between Callihan and Miguel. They broke from the usual feud formula and it’s nice to watch something that feels unpredictable. Meanwhile, how is Disco Inferno not a fixture at Swinger’s Palace?
4. Chris Sabin (w/James Storm) vs. Deaner. The Violent By Design faction did not accompany Deaner to the ring.
[Hour Two] There was a cool spot where Deaner placed Sabin’s neck against the middle rope and then dropkicked him from behind, which led to a two count. Later, Sabin rolled Deaner into a pin, but the referee stopped the count because Sabin’s foot was under the bottom rope. Deaner draped Sabin over the top rope and then hit him with double knees. Deaner was caught trying to use the ropes for leverage when he went for a pin. Deaner barked at the referee and then turned back and was hoisted up for what turned out to be Sabin’s finisher, which resulted in the pin. Striker compared the move to Kenny Omega’s One Winged Angel.
Chris Sabin pinned Deaner.
Eric Young appeared on the big screen and said Deaner did the right thing because winning and losing was not important. He said the trap was set and now the blood is on Storm’s hands. The camera pulled back and showed Joe Doering choking out Chris Harris. In the ring, Rhino tried to spear Sabin, but Storm pushed Sabin out of the way and took the Gore himself. Deaner put Sabin down with a DDT while Brown said it was a trap.
Powell’s POV: Deaner is doing a nice job in his new persona. He had to shake up his move set from his old gimmick and he’s made the transition nicely. I like the way the heels carried out a logical plan and that Young was positioned as the mastermind.
Backstage, Josh Alexander informed Ace Austin, who was with Madman Fulton, that he and TJP would face him for the X Division Title in a Triple Threat at Rebellion. TJP showed up and boasted over beating both men in previous matches. Austin needled them about not being on the same page the last time Alexander and TJP teamed up. Tommy Dreamer showed up and told TJP and Alexander to find partners for a three-way tag match against Austin and Fulton at Hardcore Justice… [C]
Eric Young was walking through the backstage area when Tommy Dreamer told him that justice comes for everyone sooner or later. Young assumed that Dreamer retired. Dreamer told Young that he’s full of shit. Young said The Sickness is real and no one has it more than Dreamer. They had a staredown. Dreamer told Young to bring his friends and he’d bring his own for a match at Hardcore Justice. Young told Dreamer to remember that he brought this on himself…
A Jazz feature aired. She spoke about starting her career in 1996 (photos were shown). She said she was approached a year later by someone who told her that Junkyard Dog had opened a school in Louisiana. She said she took a Greyhound and went to JYD’s school. She spoke about going to an ECW tryout. She assumed they weren’t looking for someone who looked like her, but she had a match with Jason Knight and that’s where it started. She said she went to WWE and it was different because she wrestled men in ECW. Jazz spoke about teaming with Jordynne Grace and trying to win the Knockouts Tag Titles. She said they didn’t win those belts, but now she has her eyes on a bigger prize in the Knockouts Championship. She noted that she wants it so bad that she is putting her career on the line. Jazz said she will become the Knockouts Champion…
Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo was interviewed by Gia Miller. She said watching Jazz’s career highlights reminded her of being a girl and watching women set the stage. She said there would be no her if it wasn’t for women like ODB and Jazz. She said that what Jazz built in the past is crushed in the rubble of what she’s been able to build in Impact. Miller brought up Kimber Lee and Susan helping her. Purrazzo said she would walk into Hardcore Justice by herself and give back by retiring Jazz… [C]
Powell’s POV: The Jazz segment was too brief, but the two segments combined provided decent hype for the title vs. career match between Purrazzo and Jazz at Hardcore Justice.
Backstage, Tommy Dreamer stopped Brian Myers, who boasted that he’s the new Innovator of Violence. Dreamer said no, but Myers is pissing people off. Dreamer booked Myers against Jake Something in the first ever “blind games match.” Dreamer said it was a blindfold match. Myers threw a fit and said it was stupid…
Powell’s POV: Myers isn’t wrong. As bad as blindfold matches are, I suspect that the novelty does appeal to casual viewers. But the build to this blindfold match is ridiculously rushed. Jake Something was only shown selling his eye injury for a few seconds, and then they booked the match later in the same show.
The broadcast team ran through the updated Hardcore Justice lineup. Austin can actually select a partner of his choosing, just as TJP and Alexander can in their three-way tag match. They added Mahabli Shera vs. Hernandez in a “Chairly Legal” match to the list of previously advertised matches…
Ring entrances for the main event took place. Don Callis came out after five wrestlers were in the ring. Callis gave an over the top introduction for AEW Champion Kenny Omega, who wore his title belt to the ring…
5. Kenny Omega and “The Good Brothers” Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson (w/Don Callis) vs. Rich Swann, Willie Mack, and Eddie Edwards. Striker said he can’t say anything negative about Omega aside from his relationship with Callis. Brown called him an arrogant punk. Striker asked who is better. Brown said we’d find out if Rich Swann is better at Rebellion. Gallows was working over Mack heading into the final break. [C]
The heel trio isolated Mack. Swann took a hot tag and got the better of all three opponents and picked up a near fall on Omega. Edwards tagged in and the heels performed a backdrop neckbreaker combo on him, which Striker said was a callback from the Tokyo Dome. Omega performed Blue Impact on Edwards for a near fall.
Edwards avoided a V-Trigger and then performed a snap German suplex on Omega. There was a series of rapid fire big moves involving each wrestler that concluded with Omega putting Edwards down with a V-Trigger. Omega put Gallows on his back and then Anderson piled on and they all fell onto Edwards. Swann leapt from the top rope onto the pile to break up the pin. Striker said it was another Tokyo Dome callback spot.
Edwards tagged in Swann, who hit a couple of strikes on Omega, who ducked another shot and then performed a dragon suplex. Swann escaped a One Winged Angel attempt and then put Omega down. Swann performed a 450 splash on Omega and had him pinned, but Callis pulled Swann off.
Anderson checked in and hit a distracted Swann with a boot to the head and got a near fall moments later. Anderson and Gallows set up for the Magic Killer, but Edwards broke it up. Swann performed a Lethal Injection on Anderson. Edwards followed up with a Boston Knee Party on Anderson. Swann performed a Phoenix Splash on Anderson and then scored the pin.
Rich Swann, Willie Mack, and Eddie Edwards beat Kenny Omega, Doc Gallows, and Karl Anderson.
Powell’s POV: A good main event. It’s a little strange that Omega didn’t win his first match on the Impact television show. Rather, it was Swann’s night to shine by escaping the One Winged Angel, nearly pinning Omega, and going on to win the match for his team. Impact is doing a nice job of building to the Omega vs. Swann title vs. title match, and hopefully they can amp it up over the next couple of weeks. Overall, a solid show with a notable main event. My audio review of this episode will be available later today.