By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios
Aired April 15, 2021 on AXS TV
The recap video focused on the main event from last week’s Impact as well as the last match of Jazz from Hardcore Justice…
Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown were on commentary…
1. TJP vs. Josh Alexander. Alexander dominated with the early collar and elbow. Both men then used their heads in the subsequent test of strength. TJ and Josh went into ground game chain wrestling. Both men traded advantages with their submissions and bridges. Both wrestlers traded quick pin attempts, ending with Josh slowing the action down with a German Suplex. Alexander used his wide frame to block an Octopus Hold, ending with Josh slamming TJ with an electric chair slam.
D’Lo brown and Striker noted that Don Callis has been stressing the One Winged Angel as a devastating finisher. D’Lo talked about how the Kenny Omega is catching on with the mainstream crowd because he saw a random person wear a One Winged Angel shirt out in public (either that or they were a Final Fantasy fan because One Winged Angel was famous before Omega hijacked the name). Alexander locked TJ in a Gory Special. Alexander went for a baseball slide, but TJ reversed it into a Juji Gatame. Alexander broke TJ’s hold with a power bomb on the apron.
TJ went for the octopus hold again after a Superplex, but Alexander reversed the move into an ankle lock. TJ went to the rope for the break. TJ hit Josh with slaps in the corner followed by a stiff roundhouse. TJP hit Alexander with multiple Face Wash kicks against the bottom buckle. Josh reversed TJ’s detonation kick, but TJ transitioned to a cross armbreaker. Both men quickly countered each other’s submission moves.
Josh got out of TJ’s STF with a rope break to end their submission exchange. TJ planted Josh with a back suplex. Josh played possum and dodged a Mamba Splash into an ankle lock. TJ countered into a arm breaker. Josh deadlifted TJ and escaped the hold. Alexander hit Perkins with a Jay Driller for the victory.
Josh Alexander defeated TJP via pinfall in 11:49.
Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown checked in from their commentary set. Striker hyped up Impact’s “Wrestle Week” shows where AXS is showing a wrestling show every day in the week leading to the Rebellion PPV. Striker then ran through some advertised segments for this week’s Impact show…
John’s Thoughts: This was a fun and must-see match for a lot of people. Perkins being a solid hybrid wrestler made this a fun submission-based bout. It’s rare that you get two submission-based wrestlers in a world of high spots and strong style, so this match offered a different flavor of pro wrestling you don’t see every day. I’m intrigued with Alexander getting a win, because it seems like Impact hasn’t done much to showcase him as a big deal since Ethan Page left for AEW. Hopefully they get something out of Alexander because the guy is so talented and unique with his mat based style.
The vignette aired for the mystery returning wrestler. This time we saw her face and she said “let’s get Wilde”. This is of course for the return of Taylor Wilde…
Crazzy Steve, Rosemary, and Black Taurus made their entrance. The Good Brothers came out next. D’Lo talked about how the Good Brothers have lost their swagger ever since they lost the tag team titles…
2. Crazzy Steve (w/Rosemary, Black Taurus) vs. “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson (w/Doc Gallows). Anderson kicked out early on during Steve’s backslide. Anderson retreated to ringside heading into regular commercial.[c]
Anderson worked on Steve with methodical offense. Striker noted that Anderson and Gallows might have the advantage against Juice and Finlay due to Juice and Finlay not being used to rings in the US. Steve turned the momentum around by doing a leg scissors neck twist on Anderson. Steve got a two count after a running neckbreaker. Anderson recovered and planted steve with a spinebuster for the win.
Karl Anderson defeated Crazzy Steve via pinfall in 4:13 of on-air time.
John’s Thoughts: This match made sense as a Tune-up for the Good Brothers while the Impact Tag Titles are on ice in Japan. I wouldn’t mind Decay getting a push again since they have reverted back to their cool personas. Steve has a cool macabre look and Rosemary is cutting good promos again (not to mention, Rosemary’s “magic” is not a thing at the moment). I hope they aren’t just going to be undercard enhancement wrestlers because their cool gimmick can really bring in some viewers.
The show cut to this week’s Swinger’s Palace segment. Ace Austin and Madman Fulton showed up first to gloat about Austin potentially winning at the PPV. TJP showed up and John E noted that the odds are in the favor of TJP winning. Josh Alexander showed up next and brought Petey Williams with him to explain Josh’s odds. Williams was dressed in chain mail and doing his “Little Petey Pump” (Scott Steiner) persona. Petey did the “Steiner Math” promo…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A fun segment with Petey bringing back the Petey Pump persona for a segment. That said, I’m sure Twitch viewers wouldn’t have gotten as much nostalgia from this segment because Impact is so proud of the Steiner Match segment, that they play it almost every quarter hour during the commercial breaks on Twitch.
Eddie Edwards and Willie Mack were in the ring where Eddie addressed him and Mack being on the losing side against Violent By Design at Hardcore Justice. Eddie talked about how he and Mack are here to teach Violent by Design a lesson for leaving a legend in Tommy Dreamer lying at the Hardcore Justice show. Eddie said he’s looking for a fight because Violent By Design was messing with family in attacking Dreamer.
Eric Young, Rhino, Deaner, and Joe Doering made their entrance to the stage. Young talked about how seeing Dreamer lying was a good sight but he wanted to stuff his fist into Dreamer’s throat. Young talked about how he comes through with his promises and even took Eddie’s title from him as one of those promises. Young said Violent by Design didn’t leave Dreamer lying. Violent By Design was about to attack Mack and Eddie but was cleared from the ring when Chris Sabin and James Storm helped chase the heels out of the ring. James Storm took the mic and challenged Violent By Design to a match at Rebellion between VBD and the men in the ring…
Scott D’Amore ran into Deonna Purrazzo and Susan backstage while Deonna was still worried about Su Yung returning. D’Amore told Deonna that she’s not allowed to ruin Jazz’s retirement speech. Deonna said she wasn’t going to do anything anyway. The show cut to commercial…[c]
John’s Thoughts: The VBD vs. babyfaces match will definitely have to be altered a bit because of the Eric Young injury. That segment did have me a little bit intrigued. I’m just calling it a hunch, but I wonder if James Storm is turning heel, possibly even joining Violent By Design to prop them up while EY is out for seemingly the rest of 2021. I’m pretty sure this is leading to a heel turn of someone since they put a focus on Tommy Dreamer being attacked by a mystery assailant and it not being Violent By Design. I hope it isn’t Jake Something because it would be odd for him to turn heel before he even got a chance to do anything as a babyface.
Tenille Dashwood and Kaleb were shown sitting in the lounge backstage for Tenille’s new talk show, “All About Me”. This was filmed from the old Madison Rayne Locker Room Talk set. Gia Miller was the first guest. Miller noted that the set was Madison’s old set. Rather than let Gia speak, Tenille went on to brag about her social media success and how she’s a great wrestler. Tenille said Impact started the Women’s Revolution, but Tenille made it a big deal. Tenille talked about how she’s going to win the title from Deonna soon. Rather than let Gia talk, Tenille ended the segment…
Jazz and Jordynne Grace made their entrance with Matt Striker talking about how emotional of a moment it was to see the referee count the final three count of Jazz’s career. Jazz took the mic. Jazz said that she came back to Impact hoping for one more title run, but that couldn’t happen at Hardcore Justice. Jazz said she knew Deonna was going to give her a run for her money, but Jazz felt she had one more run in her. She talked about having that fire 15 years ago. Jazz said Deonna is a true champion and Jazz knows that Deonna is the present and future of women’s professional wrestling.
Jazz talked to Grace and said that she really liked getting that call from Grace and how she and Grace had tag team success. Jazz said they were even going for the tag titles. Jazz thanked Grace for the honor of teaming together. Jazz said Grace’s future is bright. Jazz talked about how she never had a history with Impact before this current run but the last few months on the Impact roster allowed her to leave wrestling with a bang. Tasha Steelz and Kiera Hogan made their entrance to interrupt and mock jazz. Tasha was throwing around tissues whiel Kiera cut the mocking promo.
Jordynne Grace said that Kiera and Tasha weren’t invited because they talk too much. Grace asked the tag champions to shut up because this is Jazz’s moment. Grace told Kiera and Tasha if they have something to say, then to say it in the ring. Kiera and Tasha were about to back down. A referee showed up and said that Scott D’Amore booked them in an impromptu match…
3. Impact Tag Team Champions Tasha Steelz and Kiera Hogan vs. Jazz and Jordynne Grace in a non-title match. The babyfaces dominated the match with everyone in street clothes. Jazz clocked Kiera iwth the Road Dogg punches. Jazz planted Kiera with a Michinoku Driver for the win.
Jazz and Jordynne Grace defeated Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz via pinfall in 1:22 in a non-title match.
Jazz called Kiera and Tasha disrespectful. Jazz said she came here tonight to finally say “this is it”. Jazz said she was announcing her retirement and was thanking all the fans over the years for their love and continuous support because without the fans there would be no “female fighting phenom” or “baddest bitch”. Jazz said she just wanted to thank everyone. The Impact Wrestling roster showed up to ringside with Gail Kim even being there. Dreamer got up on the apron and Jazz said that Dreamer is her godfather of wrestling. Jazz’s theme played and the wrestlers banged on the mat in honor of Jazz…
John’s Thoughts: The setup to Jazz’s retirement was horrible (with Jazz just randomly putting her career on the line even with Dreamer saying she didn’t have to). That said, the retirement segment was well done and I’m glad Jazz got to have a televised retirement as opposed to the un-televised retirement that a lot of us heard of, but couldn’t witness. Jazz was ahead of her time in terms of women wrestlers and would have fit in well with today’s more respectful form of women’s wrestling. Along with wrestlers like Molly Holly, Victoria, Mickie James, and others, Jazz helped pave the way for the current women’s wrestling we see today. The only thing I didn’t like was Jazz putting Grace in an awkward position by praising Grace’s rival in Deonna Purrazzo in front of Grace’s face. I just would have kept that line out because it made Grace look inferior to Deonna in Jazz’s eye.
Scott D’Amore was yelling at Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz backstage. D’Amore booked Kiera and Tasha in a title match against Jazz and Jordynne Grace. Kiera and Tasha walked off unhappy. Jazz and Grace met up with D’Amore. Jazz thanked D’Amore for the honorable gesture in booking the title match, but Jazz said she was going to honor past match stipulations by staying retired. Jazz said she will accept Grace getting the title shot instead and she has
The next match was a “pick your poison” match where Matt Cardona would pick Brian’s opponent. Cardona noted that he didn’t just pick somebody, he picked “Something”. Jake Something made his entrance…
4. Brian Myers vs. Jake Something (w/Matt Cardona). Something used his power to toss around Myers early on. Myers ran to ringside and had Something chase him to ringside. Myers surprised Jake with the Roster Cut in the ring for the quick victory.
Brian Myers defeated Jake Something via pinfall in 2:20.
Brian Myers took the mic and said it’s hard to see in one eye, but it’s harder to see in darkness. The lights flashed and Sami Callihan appeared behind Matt Cardona on the stage. The announcer noted that Callihan is Cardona’s “Pick your poison” opponent…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Mixed thoughts here. I really like Brian Myers beating a credible opponent clean. Myers is no longer Curt Hawkins and can actually dominate matches now. Good stuff with Myers. What I thought was a bit perplexing was them feeding Jake Something to Myers. Ever since Jake got the show dedicated to him with two matches a few months ago, you would think that Impact sees the guy as a potential face of the company? Instead, he’s been the random tag team partner to babyfaces and is even off TV some weeks. Does Impact not see that they have a future big star in Jake Something? I guess this beats being the Cody Deaner’s comedy sidekick at least? If Impact doesn’t do justice by Jake, I can see Jake as yet another future NXT Champion that Impact/TNA missed the boat on.
5. “Always Ready” Matt Cardona vs. Sami Callihan. Callihan dominated at ringside. Cardona slammed Callihan to the mat after the bell rang for a two count. Cardona pummeled Callihan with punches in the corner. Callihan retreated to ringside for a breather. Cardona caught Callihan at ringside with a Yakuza Kick and a running neckbreaker. Cardona worked on Callihan at ringside. Striker said people criticize Cardona for being weak because he’s a nice guy.
Callihan changed the momentum by dumping Cardona to ringside after pulling the top rope down. Callihan bit Cardona’s hand when Cardona tried to make a comeback. Sami hit Cardona with a T-Bone suplex heading into commercial.[c]
Callihan worked on Cardona with a cravate. Cardona escaped. Callihan took down Cardona with a running lariat. Cardoana got on the top rope and took down Callihan with a missile dropkick. Cardona hit Callihan with a Face Wash against the bottom buckle for a two count. Cardona hit Callihan with a boot wash kick to the back of the head against the second rope for a two count. Cardona went for the Ruff Ryder, but Sami reversed it into a power bomb.
Cardona used a reveral to get a two count off Callihan. Callihan hit Cardona with a back suplex for a two count. Cardona hit Callihan with a Frankensteiner. Callihan pulled the referee in front of him as a human shield. Callihan hit Cardona with a Pile Driver for the win.
Sami Callihan defeated Matt Cardona via pinfall in 9:07 of on-air time.
The camera zoomed in to Sami’s hand where he ripped off his loose finger nail (yuck!). Highlights from the match aired. Callihan took the mic and mocked Cardona’s “woo woo woo” catchphrase. Callihan said he had business to take care of. Callihan asked Trey Miguel to join him in the ring. Trey Miguel made his entrance and joined Sami in the ring. Sami said he’s not here for a fight, but rather he’s proud of Trey for showing he belonged in the main event of Hardcore Justice. Miguel said he doesn’t need Sami’s validation and he did what he had to do to pick a bone with XXXL.
Callihan said he thinks that anger is true power when used the right way. Callihan said that he can mentor Trey to use that rage to his advantage. Callihan asked Trey to shake his hand and he and Trey can take over “Everything”. Trey told Sami “absolutely not”. Sami said that nobody even wanted Trey on Hardcore Justice and he took out Tommy Dreamer in order to get Trey on the show. Sami asked Trey to shake his hand again. Trey tried to attack Sami, but Sami ended up beating up Trey, leaving him lying. Sami teased leaving, but got back to the ring to nail Trey with a lariat. Sami grabbed a chair and jabbed it in Trey’s face. Sami gave Trey an Exploder Suplex onto an open chair…
Matt Striker hyped up the Rich Swann and Kenny Omega press conference for after the break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: It’s cool seeing the old Sami Callihan as opposed to the magical hacker Sami (Zombie Callihan sucked too, but that was 6 years ago). I’m glad they gave Sami the win over Cardona. Sami’s a better asset to Impact and Cardona needs to find a way to stop being Zack Ryder. Cardona’s also wrestling without a contract I believe so Sami going over makes more sense. Well, I’m wrong about my Tommy Dreamer attacker theory. I’m okay with this somewhat. The impact is lesser than my “heel turn” plan, but at least this was logical because Sami’s goal was getting Trey on the card. I hope this isn’t the end of Sami trying to court Trey because that aspect of their feud has been very intriguing.
During the commercial break on Twitch, they aired Taylor Wilde getting the upset win and Knockouts title over Awesome Kong from back in the day…
The show cut to Juice Robinson and Dave Finlay cut a promo. Robinson talked about how Finlay has been having singles success in Japan recently and even made it to the semi finals of the New Japan Cup. Finlay talked about Robinson being a former New Japan US Champion. Juice and Dave hyped up their upcoming title defense against the Good Brothers at Rebellion…
Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown checked in from their commentary set. The commentators hyped up the Impact Wrestling Wrestle Week. The following matches were advertised for next week: Good Brothers vs. Decay, Tenille Dashwood vs. Susan, and Eric Young vs. Eddie Edwards. The commentators then talked about the following matches being added to Rebellion: Sami Callihan vs. Trey Miguel in a last man Standing match and Violent By Design vs. Eddie Edwards, Mack, Chris Sabin, and James Storm
Josh Mathews moderated the press conference between Swann and Omega. Omega wasn’t in the room. Rich Swann and Scott D’Amore represented Impact while Tony Khan and Jerry Lynn represented AEW. Swann was asked by a journalist what are his thoughts on his upcoming match. Swann talked about the next match being historic. Mike Johnson of PWInsider had a question via email which Josh Mathews read. Johnson wondered what would happen if one company ends up getting both titles. Khan took the question and said that both parties had made an agreement that the winner will appear on both shows. D’Amore reiterated Khan’s point that the double champion will be showcased on both shows. D’Amore said both of these companies are putting the fans first. Khan said an AEW referee will sanction the match because AEW has never had a non-finish in a match like this.
Suddenly Kenny Omega’s Little V entrance theme played as Kenny Omega and Don Callis joined the AEW side of the press conference. The next journalist asked Callis which side he was on AEW or Impact, especially with Callis being the VP of Impact. Callis said he feels like he’s in a roast. Callis then forced Mathews to stand aside while he got on the podium to do his usual gloating on behalf of Kenny Omega. After hyping up Omega, Callis introduced Omega to the podium. Omega said he’s used to this setting before a big match. Omega said its natural, and like any Sunday. Omega said he dressed in a suit because he takes this seriously.
Omega said he thinks that Rich Swann is nervous. Omega said Swann’s jacket looks like it came from the bargain bin at Target. Omega said he was put on the earth to make a change while Swann was here because Swann loves wrestling. Omega said he respects that from Rich. Omega said that while he thanks everyone for the press conference, Swann doesn’t belong here. Omega said Swann is just a means to an end. Omega said while the match he’s having with Swann is historic, people are not going to remember Rich Swann in the end. Omega said Swann is taking a part in history. Omega asked for a handshake, but ended up slapping Swann in the face. Security guards showed up to pull apart Omega and Swann to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: While there were minor flaws here and there, I really liked Impact doing a press conference for their upcoming world title match and kinda hope they do this more often. I remember praising Impact for doing this for the Moose vs. Ken Shamrock match because it made Impact look more credible. Can we get more stuff like this and less cornball comedy (To Impact’s credit, they’ve toned down a lot of their hokey stuff heading into Rebellion and relegated their comedy to Johnny Swinger, who’s a national treasure!). I’m surprised Tony Khan played it straight here because he’s been doing such a fun job playing the bratty heel over the past few months. Speaking of which, I hope Impact can find a way to continue to do the weekly Tony and Tony AEW paid ad segments again because that was a highlight of the show for the last few months.
Impact stopped airing the paid ads the last few weeks due to Impact moving to Thursdays. I guess it’s tougher to advertise the Dynamite card a week out because Dark and Elevation haven’t aired, but that would also help AEW in giving viewers a weekly cliffhanger to look forward to the following week. As for Omega, the content of his promo was okay, but it was a bit hard to absorb since he was sorta mumbling a mile a minute. Omega’s been really good on the mic since turning heel though, so I’ll just see this as a bit of a bad night. Anyways, this was a really good Impact show this week and Impact has been really good over the past few weeks heading into Rebellion. The only thing that would have helped them even more is if they didn’t have to book their Impact Plus shows at the same time because they’re really stretching their creative thin by doing so. I’ll have more thoughts on this show with my member’s exclusive audio review for the Impact Wrestling show (I’m filling in for Jason this week). I should have the audio out sometime tomorrow, hopefully in the morning.