By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in New Orleans, Louisiana at Alario Center
Aired March 10, 2022 on AXS TV
Highlights from last week’s Impact Plus Sacrifice show aired, which included multiple title changes and Josh Alexander announcing that he’s signed a multi-year contract with Impact Wrestling…
Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt were on commentary…
Josh Alexander made his entrance for a promo. Alexander soaked up “New World Champ” chants from the crowd. Alexander told the crowd that he’s been obsessed with the words said by the crowd ever since Bound For Glory when Moose took the title from him at the end of that show. Alexander pointed up the many obstacles lined up in front of him since that loss and how he’s moved them all out of the way up to the point where Scott D’Amore sent him home. A fan in the crowd yelled that Impact is his home. Alexander said that he knows that Impact is his home and he’s happy to be staying.
Alexander said it also wasn’t bad to be sent home because it gave him time to spend time with his family. Alexander noted that it was a reality that he might not have ever stepped foot in an Impact Ring again and thus never giving him a chance to get his title back against Moose. Alexander said the sobering moment for him during his time off was having his son in the ring with him at the end of Bound For Glory at his happiest moment of winning the title and immediate lowest moment of quickly losing the title. Alexander noted that at home his son has constantly told him “when are you going to get your hands on Moose, [and] when are you going to get your title back?”.
Alexander said he can look in the camera now and give his son an answer because at the Rebellion PPV on April 23 Moose vs. Josh Alexander for the world title will be happening and allow him to get his revenge. The Honor No More faction of Eddie Edwards, Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, Maria Kanellis, and Kenny King made their entrance. Tom Hannifan noted that PCO wasn’t with the faction today due to suffering an injury at the Impact Plus event. Eddie Edwards sarcastically cheered for Josh Alexander returning to Impact and for Impact always giving him a star treatment.
Eddie ranted to the fans saying that he’s going to say whatever the hell he wants to say. Eddie kept trying to mock Josh, but kept yelling at the crowd for booing him. Eddie noted that Josh has been handed everything since day 1 when Josh joined the company and now Josh is even anointed the face of Impact Wrestling. Eddie said Josh needs to tell his son, Lucas, that he was handed everything in Impact. Alexander said the next time Eddie puts Lucas’s name in his mouth, then that would be the last thing Eddie will be able to say comfortably. Josh said current Eddie is not the Eddie that Josh has grown to know in Impact, the Eddie that was the heart and soul of Impact.
Josh reminded Eddie that the X Division title was everything to him and that he risked it all just for a chance for the world title at Bound For Glory. Josh said he put everything on the line just to bring the world title home to the Impact locker room and the fans. Eddie yelled that the fans will turn their back on you in a heartbeat and how current Eddie is an example of that. Eddie said the new Eddie is constantly making excuses. Josh said Eddie got his chance at the title at Turning Point and failed. Josh said Eddie is making excuses and becoming complacent which is why he’s hanging out with goons now.
Matt Taven called Josh a “Melvin” and said you can’t talk to Eddie like that because he’s a Two-time Impact World Champion and former Ring of Honor World Champion. Taven said he’s a former World Champ too. Taven said the difference between Matt and Eddie as world champs and Josh as world champ is that Eddie and Matt didn’t lose their titles prematurely in front of their wives. Josh said that he agrees that their world title reigns have been different because when Matt Taven was world champion, Taven’s company went out of business. Josh said he’s knocked down Minoru Susuki, Jonah, and Charlie Haas since Bound For Glory and it shouldn’t be a problem to take down six more Honor No More goons.
Honor No More surrounded Josh Alexander. Alexander managed to have a bit of a rally, even hitting Vincent with a German Suplex. Honor No More got the advantage with the numbers game after Taven nailed Alexander with a Yakuza Kick. Rich Swann, The Mack, Rhino, and Heath [Slater] ran out to brawl with Honor No More. Scott D’Amore marched out with a microphone to calm everyone down. D’Amore said he hopes that Impact could go smoothly for once, but tonight is not one of those nights. He said the crowd is ready for some action. D’Amore said he agrees with Eddie that Eddie wasn’t handed anything. He said he’s offering Eddie an opportunity to wrestle Rich Swann. D’Amore said he’s also handing Kenny King an opportunity to wrestle Willie Mack right now. D’Amore said that Honor No More will be banned from ringside all night long…
John’s Thoughts: A great promo exchange between Josh Alexander and Eddie Edwards. Alexander has proven over the past year that he’s a great overall top babyface of a company and he came off well as the face of Impact here. Eddie Edwards is in week two of cutting promos in his new persona and I’d argue that Eddie is currently the best he’s been character-wise in his career. Eddie’s an amazing heel with great heel logic. Alexander and Eddie sparred very well with their words with neither man fumbling. One thing Impact really has to be happy about, and I’m happy to see it, is that they have two gems like Josh Alexander and Eddie Edwards locked down to feature huge in the company because it’s always been a fear in Impact that after someone gets hot, they immediately bounce to WWE or AEW. Impact is also benefiting from WWE and AEW not necessarily gobbling up free agents as well.
1. Willie Mack vs. Kenny King. King wanted to start the match with a Code of Honor handshake, but Mack slapped it away. King came back with punches. King hit Mack with a corner splash and a few kicks. King got a two count. King worked on Mack with Methodical offense. Mack made a comeback with a shoulder block. Mack hit Kenny with a wrecking ball kick and plancha. Mack punched around Kenny at ringside. King used a tiger feint to add momentum into a punch. Mack came right back with a backdrop at ringside.
Kenny grabbed the referee to use as a shield which allowed him to hit Mack with a drop toehold. King hit Mack with a gamengiri. King gave Mack a body slam and springboard legdrop for a two count. Mack recovered and hit King with a body slam. King dodged a standing moonsault. King put Mack in a armbar. King put Mack in a Steiner Recliner. King went for a hip attack, but Mack rotated his body and lifted his foot up, sending Kenny crotch first into Mack’s boot. Hannifan noted that the referee might have allowed Mack to land the low blow due to him being tired of Honor No More’s dirty tactics.
Mack hit King with a spinning heel kick. Mack hit King with his signature Samoan Drop and Moonsault combo for a two count. Mack and Kenny traded forearms. King got the upper hand with a power slam for a two count. King hit Mack with a Northern Lights suplex for a one count. Mack dodged a Swanton Bomb and gave King a Stone Cold Stunner. Mack hit King with a Six Star Frog Splash for the win.
Willie Mack defeated Kenny King via pinfall in 8:34.
John’s Thoughts: Interesting booking here. I’m all for Mack deserving a singles push, but the Honor No More guys have just started wrestling in Impact and they rarely get clean wins. Kenny King being one of the newer additions too, which you would think that they would protect him somewhat. PCO takes a handful of losses, Vincent takes a lot of losses, and the OGK usually have tainted wins. I wonder if the plan, now that Ring of Honor is bought by AEW, is to quickly dissolve Honor No More in terms of their connection to ROH? That would make some sense, but I wouldn’t mind Eddie Edwards keeping his current persona in a new non-ROH faction. It’s also strange that they’re rushing to Rich Swann vs. Eddie Edwards when they teased it as a big match last week.
Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in from the commentary table. They ran through upcoming advertised segments…
Moose met up with Scott D’Amore backstage and said that D’Amore has to do something about Josh Alexander due to Alexander going behind D’Amore’s back to both get a contract with Impact and Impact title shot. D’Amore said Moose is right about things like that driving him crazy. D’Amore pointed out that Alexander lives less than half an hour from Anthem’s offices and that D’Amore was the person he dealt with to get the contracts. D’Amore said he’s excited for Alexander signing with Impact and signing a title match contract.
D’Amore said he needs Moose to sign the title match contract to make the match official. Moose asked D’Amore that he thought it was odd not to have a formal in-ring contract signing given how big the match is. D’Amore said he doesn’t think Moose should be in a hurry to face Josh Alexander due to how focused and determined Alexander is to get the title back. D’Amore said Moose needs to return the contract to him signed in a week or else D’Amore will have to strip Moose of the world title…[c]
Trey Miguel joined Hannifan and Rehwoldt at the commentary table. Miguel joke that he and Rehwoldt wrestled each other the last time they met. Rehwoldt treated it as water under the bridge…
2. Ace Austin vs. John Skyler vs. Crazzy Steve. Ace tried to form an alliance with Skyler but Skyler wasn’t buying it. Steve took down both Skyler with punches. Steve hit Skyler with a cannonball. Ace avoided Steve’s cannonball. Steve came back with a neckbreaker. Steve hit Skyler with a neck wrench. Ace avoided the neck wrench. Skyler swatted Steve out of the air for a two count. Steve dumped Skyler to ringside and hit him with a plancha. Madman Fulton distracted Steve which allowed Ace to nail Steve with a Kick.[c]
Rehwoldt asked Miguel if he wants to face anyone in particular. Trey noted that a champion is supposed to welcome all comers, but due to his past issues with Ace he wants to face Ace Austin again. Skyler hit Steve with a slingshot spear. Skyler hit Steve with a sitout power bomb for a two count. Steve and Skyler brawled to the top rope. Steve shoved Skyler off and Ace nailed Steve with a gamengiri. Ace hit Skyler with a disaster kick for a two count. All three men brawled in the corner. Steve bit Skyler on the face, but while he was hanging on Skyler Ace hit Steve with a Doomsday Fold for the victory.
Ace Austin defeated Crazzy Steve and John Skyler via pinfall in 6:43 of on-air time to earn a spot in the Rebellion PPV X Division Title Match.
Trey and Ace jawed from a distance…
John’s Thoughts: A decent match, but I feel like it’s the same ol’ story with Impact and Ace Austin. You look at this match coming into the show on paper and you know who’s going to win given that Skyler and Steve are weekly enhancement talent on Impact (in fact, I wrote these thoughts before the first bell even rang). On top of that, they always give Ace Austin a win heading into some random multi-man X Division match only to have him just be the “good hand” in that match. Ace is an established gatekeeper in Impact and I feel like he’s more than that. He showed a ton of potential as the wife chaser, X Division champion, and even his brief stint in the tag division, but after proving his worth he’s been relegated to just being a gatekeeper in the homogeneous X Division multi-person matches. I wonder when his contract is up, but if he does sign further, Impact should consider elevating him to a higher spot on the card because of how much he has proven himself.
Gia Miller interviewed Bhupinder Gujjar. Gujjar said beating John Skyler twice in a row has been good, but he’s here for more. Gujjar said he’s not here to be given handouts. He said he’s earned everything in his life. Raj Singh showed up and asked Bhupinder why he hasn’t been answering his calls. Larry D showed up ranting about how he doesn’t work for Impact anymore and is just visiting due to Impact being in the area. Larry yelled saying that he deserves to be here more than Raj and Bhupinder. Raj tried to confront Larry, but Larry punched him in the face. Bhupinder got in Larry’s face and Larry walked off. Raj said that this is why he and Bhupinder need to team up, but Bhupinder walked off continuing to blow off Raj…
John’s Thoughts: Eh? Bhupinder is still pretty vanilla and as generic as hell. Nothing against the guy. He has a good look and looks like he has all the potential in the world, but he’s just not ready for TV yet. I just bring it up given that there are a lot of other people on the Impact roster who could use the TV time due to being TV ready. Heck, where is my weekly Johnny Swinger segment (not the bad casino segments, but segments that feature Swinger as opposed to a “Joke featuring Johnny”). Bhupinder Gujjar is Impact Wrestling’s Von Wagner.
Violent By Design were backstage with Eric Young cutting one of his usual Sanity-esque promos. Eric Young and Joe Doering held the tag titles that they won from The Good Brothers…
Entrances for the next match took place. The heel team all consisted of new women’s champions. A picture-in-picture showed that Madison Rayne ordered Kaleb Konley to stay backstage. Hannifan and Rehwoldt wondered if Kaleb actually was trying to help Lee and McKay win and it accidentally led to the Iinspiration winning…
3. Madison Rayne, Tenille Dashwood, Tasha Steelz, and Savannah Evans vs. Mickie James, Chelsea Green, Cassie Lee, and Jessie McKay. McKay had the advantage over Rayne. Evans tagged in and dominated Lee. The heel team traded quick tags to cut the ring in half on Lee. Lee escaped the corner by nailing Steelz with a enzuigiri to tag in Mickie James for the hot tag. James cleaned house. Steelz managed to suprise James with a cutter out of nowhere. The announce team noted that Green was sporting a wrist injury.
James tried to tag out, but Kaleb ran out and tripped Green from the apron. Green gave Kaleb a low blow. Steelz tried to hit Mickie with a Stratisfaction, but James reversed it into a Mick-DT. Mickie picked up the win over the Knockouts Champion.
Mickie James, Chelsea Green, Cassie Lee, and Jessie McKay defeated Tasha Steelz, Savannah Evans, Madison Rayne, and Tenille Dashwood via pinfall in 5:50.
Rayne and Dashwood berated Kaleb at ringside due to him not following their orders of staying in the back…
John’s Thoughts: Solid usage of an 8 person tag to put some steam back behind all the babyfaces that lost their titles last Saturday. I would usually be all for putting more heat on the heels and the heels moving on, but there is still potential for all the babyface to continue feuds with their heel counterparts. I thought it was a great decision to not only put the titles on the Influence (mostly due to Kaleb Konley doing a great job making that feud interesting), but Impact deserves a ton of credit by pushing Tasha Steelz strong ever since Ultimate X (Can Ace Austin get the Tasha Steelz push now? I kid, I kid). One thing that has me curious is the Chelsea Green injury. I’ve been watching Green matches since 2015 and ever since 17 she’s been snakebitten by wrist injuries to the point where she was forced off TV for large stretches of time due to the injuries. I know she’s tried to wrestle in the past with the injury (usually leading to her getting worse injuries) but I wonder if it’s a kayfabe injury this time and it’s going to lead to hear whacking Mickie in the face with it so Green could feud with Mickie due to the logical heel alignment with her husband Matt Cardona?
Jonah cut a cinematic promo. Jonah talked about how people say the Canadian Frankenstein PCO is seen as not human. Jonah said he doesn’t fear monsters because monsters fear Jonah. Jonah said the top dog broke PCO’s neck at Sacrifice and Jonah proved that PCO is human…
Jay White, Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson, and Chris Bey made their entrance to the original Bullet Club theme. Hannifan noted that Jay White defeated his mentor Alex Shelley at Sacrifice (wouldn’t Chris Sabin also count as White’s mentor too due to White being a part of Sabin and Shelley’s “Search and Destroy” faction?). Hannifan also noted that the Good Brothers lost the tag titles to Violent By Design’s Eric Young and Joe Doering. Karl Anderson introduced each individual of the Bullet Club. Gallows said they are the OG Bullet Club. Gallows said something was missing, the tag team titles. Gallows said he wasn’t going to plug merch or their podcast.
Gallows said he’s putting the tag team division on notice. Gallows said he’s putting the Briscoe Brothers on notice due to them having a match at an upcoming WrestleCon show. Gallows said the Good Brothers are going to become 8 time tag team champions after beating VBD. White took the mic and said he took care business by taking care of his mentor Alex Shelley. White said that Shelley failed to take down his student and current best wrestler in the world. White asked Shelley to come to the ring to Too Sweet him.
Shelley said he’s not calling Jay “Jay” and instead calling him Jamie. Shelley said he’s also not going to Too Sweet Jamie. Shelley talked about Jamie living with him at the New Japan Dojo and living with him when he was barely making any money with Ring of Honor. Shelley said he agrees that he and Jamie went through a 20 minute war at Sacrifice and he respect that. Shelley said that Jamie has changed into the best wrestler in the world. Shelley said he thought that he was exempt from Jamie’s disrespect and it hurts him more than injuries that Jamie won’t shake his hand.
Jay said the mistake Shelley has is not truly knowing Jay White and knowing what he did to get to where he is now. He said he’s the switchblade, the last rock and rolla, King Switch, and the man who sold out Madison Square Garden. He said he’s the real leader of Bullet Club. White digressed and told Tama Tonga through the camera that he’s the true leader of Bullet Club. Shelley said that while White may be King Switch, Shelley is the king of a generation. Shelley said you can ask the Rainmaker that Okada’s career has Shelley’s fingerprints all over it. Shelley said his fingerprints are all over the founders of AEW, the Young Bucks. Shelley said he has a lot of influence in wrestling and Jay White happened because of Alex Shelley.
Chris Bey gave Shelley a “bruh”. Bey said that Shelley isn’t intelligent because he doesn’t know that he’s standing alone against the four most dangerous men in the business. Bey asked Shelley if he’s lonely. Bey said that the adult were having a conversation. Shelley said everybody knows that when Shelley is in Impact Wrestling he’s never alone. Chris Sabin made his entrance to join Shelley on the stage. Shelley talked about how the Machine Guns are the best tag team in Impact. Sabin asked for a match between the Guns and Bey and White. White took the mic and said that he’ll oblige. Sabin said he’ll oblige whooping dat ass next week…
Josh Alexander met up with Scott D’Amore and said that he deserves to wrestle Eddie Edwards and not Rich Swann due to Eddie having issue with him. D’Amore noted that Swann has the match now, but someone else has an issue with Alexander, Matt Taven. D’Amore booked Josh Alexander vs. Matt Taven for next under the condition that Alexander focuses on the World Championship once he’s done with Taven…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Great exchange between Shelley and White and the most context Bullet Club has had in Impact so far. Odd that they didn’t do this promo before the Shelley vs. White match because that match has no context to most viewers. I’m pretty sure it’s “most viewers” because that context was spread amongst multiple companies. I was only aware of the context due to White teaming with the Machine Guns, Lio Rush, and Jonathan Gresham in ROH. It’s good to hear that Bullet Club gets a chance to talk now because the El Phantasmo, Hikuleo, and Chris Bey version barely got a chance to say anything. Shelley also never ceases to impress and I was always surprised he never had an extended singles career. I was rooting for him ever since he was Kevin Nash’s cameraman and he showed so much personality.
Gia Miller interviewed Deonna Purrazzo and asked her if she feels remorse for re-injuring the wrist of Chelsea Green. Deonna said she had a momentary lapse of judgement when she showed mercy. Deonna said Green should know better than anybody that when you step in the ring with Deonna Purrazzo that Purrazzo is the fujiwara armbar specialist and arms get broken. Giselle Shaw showed up to confront Deonna. Lady Frost showed up to argue with Giselle. Deonna said she’s tired of their bickering and she’ll defend her title against both Shaw and Frost next week…
John’s Thoughts: Again, Deonna really shines when she show no fear. This is the type of heel a lot of up and comers should strive to be and not just fall back on the lazy chicken heel personality that most wrestlers adopt by default. Again, they’re using Green’s wrist in a storyline. I really hope it’s storyline because She’s been off TV so much since 2017 due to the chronic wrist injuries.
Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in on commentary. Hannifan clarified that if Deonna loses, even if she isn’t pinned, she’ll lose both the ROH and AAA Women’s titles. Rehwoldt sung the praises of Deonna. They announced the following matches for next week: Deonna Purrazzo vs. Lady Frost vs. Giselle Shaw for the ROH Women’s and AAA Reina De Reina’s title, Rhino vs. Steve Maclin, Josh Alexander vs. Matt Taven, and Bullet Club (Bey and White) vs. The Motor City Machine Guns. Matt Rehwoldt hyped up matches on the New Japan AXS show…
Rich Swann made his entrance to the ring. He actually didn’t dance to the ring this time. Eddie Edwards came out to the Honor No More Theme. Rich Swann hit Eddie with a flip dive and the two brawled at ringside heading into commercial…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Random thought, maybe the key to get Rich Swann to take his entrance seriously is to take away his dumb “Welcome to the Party” theme (and no, the solution is not to give him his old Lionel Richie All Night Long theme). Eddie reinventing himself has always reaped wonders for him…
Maria Kanellis joined Hannifan and Rehwoldt on commentary. Hannifan noted that Maria calls herself “The Executive” of Honor No More. ..
4. Rich Swann vs. Eddie Edwards (w/Maria Kanellis). Swann hit Eddie with a huracanrana and dropkick. Swann came back with a punch. Eddie hit Swann with an Atomic Drop and Belly to Belly. Maria asked Hannifan what they call Alexander. Hannifan said “The Walking Weapon”. Maria said she was glad that Alexander can walk. Eddie worked on Swann with methodical offense. Swann tried to rally back with punches but Eddie punched back. Swann backdropped Eddie on the apron and hit Eddie with a Tiger Feint Kick. Rich crash and burned when Eddie sidestepped a cannonball.[c]
During the break, Eddie tossed Rich into the steel steps. Eddie hit Swann with a backpack stunner. Swann caught Eddie with a Gamengiri on the apron and then hit him with a huracanrana to ringside. Both men beat the ten count. Eddie and Rich traded fatigued strikes. Rich dropped Eddie with a rolling lariat. Swann hit Eddie with a kick combination. Swann hit Eddie with a running mule kick for a two count. Swann hit Eddie with a roundhouse and leaping Frankensteiner for a two count. Swann went high risk, but Eddie crotched him. Eddie hit Rich with a backpack stunner for a two count.
Eddie quickly transitioned to a half crab. Swann got to the ropes but Eddie gave Swann a thrust kick to the gut. Swann rallied with a series of punches. Both men traded various kicks and knocked each other out. Maria sung the praises of Eddie Edwards finding himself. Swann reversed a Tiger Driver into a rollup for a two count. Swann reversed a blue thunder bomb into a huracanrana. Eddie reversed a Lethal Injection into a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. Eddie hit Rich with a Tiger Driver for a two count.
Rich caught Eddie with a back kick. Swann caught Eddie with a cutter and Lethal Injection for a nearfall. Rich hit Eddie with a thrust kick. Eddie avoided a Phoenix Splash and turned Rich inside out with a lariat. Eddie hit Rich with the Boston Knee Party. Eddie hit Swann with the Emerald Flowsion for the victory.
Eddie Edwards defeated Rich Swann via pinfall in 14:40 of on-air time.
The rest of Honor No More joined Eddie in the ring to hold Eddie’s Kendo Stick in unison to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: Great PPV level match by two guys you know can wrestle great matches. Why the hell have they been hiding Rich Swann from singles matches ever since he lost the title to Kenny Omega? Swann was pumping out great match after great match during his time in the main event, and all of a sudden he just forms a midcard tag team with Willie Mack and settles with trading wins and loses with Violent By Design. This is the Rich Swann we need more often. Maybe he can take a page out of the Eddie Edwards playbook by reinventing himself a bit. Not in terms of alignment, but maybe dropping some of the happy-go-lucky aspects of his gimmick.
Eddie Edwards, over the span of two weeks, has gone from one of my most annoying pro wrestlers to watch to one of my favorites. Yo! Eddie’s great! I’m so happy Crazy Eddie is dead and buried, at least for now. The guy has a good character now, he cuts good promos, and still has great matches. Throw in an new entrance theme and you have someone I’m happy to see on TV whereas I was sick of seeing Crazy Eddie get random pushes for no reason. It made sense for them to have Eddie beat Swann clean as he is fresh in his new persona and it gives Honor No More a clean win.
As much as that win gave Honor No More a clean win, Eddie’s already a made man in terms of wins and losses. I think they need to establish someone like King, Taven, PCO, Bennett, or Vincent in order to give this group credibility. Like I mentioned, it’s odd that even their monster PCO can’t eek out clean wins. That gripe aside, Honor No More has breathed new life into Impact by squeezing out all of the dumb stuff Impact used to showcase. Good show again. RIP Crazy Eddie. Hopefully stuff like the Zombies, Undead Realm, Teleporting Hackers, and underground casinos stay dead too.