By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in New Orleans, Louisiana at Alario Center
Aired March 3, 2022 on AXS TV
Highlights from last week’s Impact Wrestling show aired…
Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt were on commentary…
1. Eddie Edwards vs. Steve Maclin. Maclin rushed the ring to immediately brawl with Eddie. Eddie dominated for a bit. The bell rang after Maclin hit Eddie with a claymore and tossed him back in the ring. Eddie recovered but Maclin hit Eddie with a low suicide dive. Maclin kicked out at two when Eddie hit him with a Blue Thunder Bomb. Eddie worked on Maclin with methodical strikes.
Maclin no sold Eddie’s chops and came back with chops of his own. Maclin left Eddie lying after a diving axe handle strike. Eddie got Maclin to a knee with a series of forearms. Maclin came back with a backbreaker and lariat. Maclin hit Eddie with an Angle Slam. Eddie staggered Maclin on the top rope with a running boot.
Maclin managed to trap Eddie in a Tree of Woe followed by a spear. Maclin gave Eddie a backbreaker on the apron followed by an elbow drop. Eddie found a kendo stick and hit Maclin with it for the DQ.
Steve Maclin defeated Eddie Edwards via pinfall in 6:53.
Eddie pummeled Maclin with the Kendo stick. Eddie headed up the ramp when Team Impact members entered the ring. Maria Kanellis and the Honor No More faction joined Eddie at the top of the ramp. Maria said that the people in the ring now look angry because they believe in honor, the constructs of pro wrestling, and Impact Wrestling. Maria said they are brainwashed. Maria said that Eddie’s turn caused the Team Impact members to question their reality.
Heath [Slater] said that what Maria is saying sounds like delusional BS. Vincent said he knows about delusion, because he worked with delusional people. Vincent said that Heath thinking he can win the world title is a delusion. Heath dared Vincent to get to the ring to show how insane he can be. Tom Hannifan noted that the match was now official between Heath and Vincent…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Good match for the time given. I’m not too mad over the cheap finish. It establishes Eddie’s new heel persona while also protecting Maclin from taking yet another loss. I wouldn’t have had Maclin go over here clean either, because Eddie needs some steam behind him fresh off his heel turn.
2. Heath (w/Rhino, Rich Swann, Willie Mack, Chris Sabin) vs. Vincent (w/Maria Kanellis, Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, PCO, Kenny King, Eddie Edwards). Heath had the early advantage with methodical offense. Vincent got a breather after hitting Heath with a lariat. Vincent hit Heath with a spinning neckbreaker for a two count. Heath came back with an atomic drop. Hannifan hyped the season premiere of the New Japan show on AXS. Taven distracted Heath which allowed Vincent to nail Heath with a neckbreaker.[c]
Vincent worked on Heath with methodical offense. Vincent hit Heath with a Saito Suplex and Flatliner for a two count. Heath reversed a guillotine choke with a vertical suplex. Heath rallied back with lariats. Vincent avoided a corner punch and hit Heath with a Swanton for a two count. Heath reversed a Russian Legsweep with a Zig Zag for the victory.
Heath defeated Vincent via pinfall in 9:34 of on-air time.
Honor No More and Team Impact brawled after the match. Moose ran in and tried to hit Heath with a uppercut, but accidentally hit Matt Taven. Heath left Moose lying with a Zig Zag. Rich Swann counted a symbolic pinfall by Heath to Moose. Heath and Team Impact stood tall in the ring after clearing Moose and the Honor No More faction from it…
John’s Thoughts: Another good match involving Team Impact and Honor No More. A bit awkward storyline wise involving Heath because they are stretching him between being Eddie’s replacement in Team Impact while also having a random impromptu title match against Moose out of nowhere. I guess Impact was just in the awkward position to set up Moose’s next title contender (which also should tell ya that Impact really needs to build up strong babyfaces. You know they’re really reaching when two of Moose’s title contenders recently have been Zack Ryder and Heath Slater). Vincent looked good here but he seems to be a designated fall guy for Honor No More. Would be good to hear more from him because he does have unique promo delivery. Would be good to maybe hear from Mike Bennett to who Impact viewers know is a great promo (so far Maria Kanellis and Matt Taven have done a bulk of Honor No More’s promo work).
This week’s Impact Plus Flashback Match of the Week was Team 3D (Bully Ray and Devon) vs. The Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley) vs. Beer Money Inc. (Bobby Roode and James Storm) from TNA Sacrifice 2010. Sabin ended up picking up the win on Bully…
3. Masha Slammovich vs. Raychell Rose. Masha hit Rose with right hands. Rose came back with a high knee. Masha came right back with a Shining Wizard. Masha hit Rose with a modified power bomb. Masha hit Rose with the Russian Death Device for the victory.
Masha Slammovich defeated Raychell Rose via pinfall in 1:00.
John’s Thoughts: Another fun squash for Masha. Very cool to see Impact showing a lot of patience these days in building up new powerhouses (they’re doing a similar push for Jonah). As I noted in my thought earlier, Impact needs to take their time to build top stars so they aren’t just relying on mainstays of WWE’s undercard shows to carry their main events. One thing that is tough for Impact is the fear of wrestlers they build potentially leaving.
Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa cut a promo backstage. Tama said it’s not just business because Tama brought Jay White into Bullet Club. Tama said this was personal. Tama said things are going to get real personal. Eric Young and VBD randomly walked into the room and said he likes Tama’s energy. Tama reminded EY that they aren’t on the same side as VBD. Young proposed a business relationship between them and the GoD. The GoD glared at Young and walked off…[c]
Mike Bailey was doing yoga stretches backstage where he was approached by Ace Austin and Madman Fulton. Ace proposed a potential tag team with Bailey. Bailey said he and Ace could probably have a good chance to win the tag titles, especially since Ace and Fulton have failed in the past. This fired up Fulton who needed to be held back by Ace…
The Influence, Madison Rayne, Kaleb, and Tenille Dashwood, made their entrance. Rayne and Dashwood forced Kaleb to stand in a specific spot next to the ring because they didn’t want him interacting with the IInspiration…
4. Madison Rayne (w/Tenille Dashwood, Kaleb Konley) vs. Cassie Lee (w/Jessie McKay). Rayne dominated Lee with strikes. Lee came back with a double leg takedown. Dashwood got a cheap shot in when the ref was distracted. Rayne got a two count off a Northern Lights suplex. Lee pummeled Rayne with a plethora of kicks. Dashwood tackled Lee into the apron when Rayne distracted the ref.
Dashwood avoided a tackle from McKay, leading to McKay falling into the arms of Kaleb. This distracted Rayne. Lee hit Rayne with a Final Cut Brainbuster for the victory.
Cassie Lee defeated Madison Rayne via pinfall in 4:10.
Dashwood berated Kaleb at ringside who was defending himself, saying he was just trying to be a gentleman…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Will we finally get this IInspiration vs. Influence match that’s multiple months in the making (not due to hype, but due to an unfortunate series of scheduling issues)? If the show hasn’t been taped yet, then there might still be a chance that it might not happen. We’ll see. It does look like the fruit from all this might be Kaleb being shifted to the IInspiration. The match was solid for the time given. I’ve always said that Cassie Lee has the potential to be a huge singles star, but when given singles pushes it seems like she lacks confidence (whereas McKay isn’t as naturally gifted as Lee, but McKay exudes a ton of confidence which is why she’s had better singles success). I still hope that down the road Lee reaches her singles star potential. I do like her finisher because I’m always a fan of Dustin Rhodes’s Final Cut Suplex.
An ad aired for the Impact Plus Sacrifice show aired…
A promo package aired for Jake Something. Something talked about how people see him as a “top prospect” and “guy with potential”. Something said he doesn’t have time to just “have potential”. He said he has the look of someone who shouldn’t be an underdog. He said he’s the best he’s ever been. Something said he should be seen as Trey Miguel’s biggest threat. Something said “What’s my name” and said that “Something” is something that will ring in Trey’s head when Something becomes the new X Division Champion…
John’s Thoughts: Good promo for Something and nice to see him talk with some poise. Something is someone I would have considered strapping a rocket on as a top babyface, but they might be turning him heel at the moment. Impact successfully turned Josh Alexander into a top star by strapping the rocket on his back, so all it takes is patience. Big pushes do bite Impact sometimes too, because Josh is no longer with the company (at least at the moment) despite the huge push.
Mickie James joined Tom hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt at the announce table. Rehwoldt said he feels uncomfortable sitting next to Mickie because of Mickie attacking him before (when she feuded with Deonna Purrazzo)…
5. Tasha Steelz (w/Savannah Evans) vs. Chelsea Green. Tasha hit Chelsea with a knee to the gut. Tasha dominated Green with a series of strikes. Green hit Steelz with a knee and rollup for a two count. Green nailed Steelz with a kick. Tasha came back with a codebreaker. Mickie and Rehwoldt jawed on the headset with Rehwoldt blaming Mickie for treating Green with favoritism. Steelz got a two count off a Sunset Flip. Tasha dominated Chelsea with methodical strikes.
Green fought back with a back elbow. Tasha came back with a shoulder tackle. Steelz hit Green with a uppercut. Green came back with a running lariat. Green rallied back with a series of lariats. Green hit Steelz with a Lungblower. Green curb stomped Steelz into the bottom buckle for a two count. Steelz escaped a Green Unprettier attempt. Green hit Steelz with an elevated Flatliner for a two count. Steelz hit Green with a jawbreaker. Steelz hit Green with a bulldog for a two count.
Tasha distracted the referee which allowed Savannah to nail Chelsea with a big boot. Steelz hit Green with a frog splash for the victory.
Tasha Steelz defeated Chelsea Green via pinfall in 8:04.
Mickie berated Tasha for cheating to win while Tasha posed in the ring…
John’s Thoughts: I talked about Impact struggling to create male singles stars earlier, but Impact has done an amazing job capitalizing on Tasha Steelz’s Ultimate X win with Steelz carrying her end of the push really well too. Yes, Green is a generic white meat babyface at the moment, but that works for her to serve as cannon fodder for Steelz and Evans (Though, I would have doubled-down by having Tasha beat Green clean). Entertaining argument between Mickie and Matthew on commentary, which is a nice attention to detail given they were feuding when Rehwoldt was the stooge for Deonna Purrazzo. It seems like they’re laying it on thick with the Green and James pairing to the point where Green might have her expected heel turn on Mickie. I hope that once Green turns heel, even though she’s had success as Hot Mess Laurel Van Ness, I hope she instead turns to her heel X-23 character. The X-23 character that only me and about 400 other people saw have a great match against Pentagon Dark in a random Los Angeles warehouse.
Chelsea Green’s husband, Matt Cardona, was walking around backstage in street clothes with his Digital Media Championship. Security asked Cardona if he had a backstage pass and Cardona yelled at them, saying his “World Championship” should count as a pass. Cardona bragged to people backstage about beating Jordynne Grace. Cardona said nobody respects him and he might defend his title at other places…[c]
An ad aired for the New Japan on AXS show…
Entrances for the next match took place…
6. Jonah vs. Johnny Swinger. Swinger hit Jonah with a few eye rakes. Jonah blocked a legsweep and slammed Swinger to the mat. Jonah hit Swinger with a Tsunami Splash for the quick win.
Jonah defeated Johnny Swinger via pinfall in 0:49.
Jonah was about to hit Swinger with another Tsunami Splash, but the Honor No More theme played. PCO walked to ringside, acting like Frankenstein’s monster. PCO entered the ring and ate a headbutt from Jonah. Jonah body slammed PCO and gave PCO a Tsunami Splash. PCO “reanimated” himself by doing the Undertaker situp. PCO cleared Jonah from the ring with a lariat. The Honor No More theme played to end the segment. Hannifan noted that PCO is the first person to manhandle Jonah with ease…
The Bullet Club members were getting psyched up backstage…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Again, Kudos for Impact showing restraint in building up Jonah on their television. If Impact does want to bring some comedy back I do hope they do it with Johnny Swinger, who was actually one of their joke characters that actually had clever humor. PCO vs. Jonah should be a good big-man match.
An ad aired for the Impact Sacrifice show…
Gia Miller interviewed Deonna Purrazzo about being undefeated in her open challenges which Deonna is calling the “Champ-champ Challenge”. Deonna recapped her wins. Giselle Shaw showed up and said that Deonna is just living in the shadow of the Quintessential Diva. Deonna said Giselle is new here and if she sticks around enough she’ll find out what it’s like being in the ring with the Champ-Champ. Deonna left. Gia wondered if Giselle was going to accept Deonna’s open challenge at Sacrifice. Lady Frost showed up and said that Giselle can’t because Giselle is wrestling her at Sacrifice…
Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in on commentary and ran through the advertised Impact Sacrifice card. Hannifan also hyped up ticket sales for the April 23rd Rebellion PPV…
Bullet Club made their entrance to the original Bullet Club theme…[c]
Violent By Design made their entrance. The Guerrillas of Destiny got their own entrance. The GoDs stormed the ring to start a brawl. Security guards ran in to separate the two groups. Scott D’Amore walked out and said he made a bad decision making this match because there’s no way both sides will calm down. D’Amore said he promised the crowd a main event and that this will now be a NoDQ match…[c]
7. “Bullet Club” Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson, Jay White, and Chris Bey vs. Joe Doering, Deaner, Tama Tonga, and Tanga Loa in a no-dq match. The Good Brothers and GoD brawled in the ring. Rehwoldt noted that Tama must be the one that is hurt the most due to being one of the original BC members. White escaped a body slam from Doering. Doering no sold White’s strikes and hit White with a shoulder tackle. White managed to knock out Doering with a trash can lid.
Bey blocked a whip from Deaner. Bey hit Deaner with a sweep kick and then double stomped a trash can into Deaner. Doering press slammed Bey on the apron. More brawling ensued between the GoD and Good Brothers. White choked Doering with a chain. Doering escaped by flip slamming White. Both teams took turns hitting each other with signature moves. The Good Brothers and Guerrillas brawled to the back. Doering was left alone with White. Doering hit White with a body slam.
Deaner hit White with a headbutt. Bey broke up Deaner’s pin. A picture-in-picture showed the Good Brothers and Guerrillas continuing to brawl backstage. Doering set up a door in the corner of the ring which Hannifan dubbed “The Forbidden Door”. Bey sidestepped Bey, sending Doering into the door. White hit Deaner with a chair. White hit Deaner with the Blade Runner on a chair for the win.
The Bullet Club defeated Violent By Design and the Guerrillas of Destiny via pinfall in 9:32.
The camera cut to the Guerrillas and Good Brothers still brawling backstage to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: Really good brawl between two large groups. The Guerrillas of Destiny really add something to Impact’s stale tag division. Impact can have a fairly notable tag division if they can build it around Bullet Club, The Guerrillas, and maybe The Kingdom (?). One highlight from this match was every interaction between Joe Doering and Jay White. Doering is a hidden gem and it’s a shame that they keep him hidden in the stale Violent By Design faction. Unleash the beast! By the way? What happened to Eric Young? Did he just teleport into the void?
Impact continues its string of entertaining shows featuring the influx of New Japan and former Ring of Honor talent adding new life to Impact’s feuds. Along with that influx of talent, the show also managed to elbow out all of the dumb sport-entertainment segments that Impact used to do with dumb things like zombies, illegal casinos, random wads of cash, teleporting hackers, Crazy Eddie Edwards, in ring shootings, etc. Impact is a solid WWE alternative now. What also stood out was the series of squash matches to build up a handful of their new stars.