By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped March 18-19, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
Aired March 24, 2022 on AXS TV
[Hour One] Highlights from last week’s Impact Wrestling show aired… Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt were on commentary…
Josh Alexander made his entrance to start the show. Josh said he thought he was ready for everything Moose had to offer, but Moose was stupid for what he did last week when he showed up unannounced as Josh’s residence. Josh said there are certain lines you don’t cross, like showing up to someone’s house to intimidate their wife and child. Alexander said there’s no going back from that. Alexander said Moose pushed him over the edge. He said he’s more motivated than ever to kick Moose’s ass. He said as a husband and father he’s currently feeling pain, loss, and disappointment.
Alexander said that at the Rebellion PPV he’s going to make sure that Moose feels that same pain, loss, and disappointment. He said he’s going to take the one thing that means the world to Moose, the Impact World Championship. Josh said one thing Moose needs to understand that while Moose has no problem walking up in Josh’s home, Impact Wrestling is also Josh’s home. Josh said that the door is open and he needs to come on down right now. Moose made his entrance in street clothes. Hannifan noted that he is actually surprised that Moose walked out and didn’t stay in the back.
Moose said he doesn’t understand why Josh is so angry. Moose said Josh failed to protect his family last week and next week he’ll fail to take the world title. Moose said Josh should be thankful that Moose is a grateful human being because after Moose defends the title he might just show up to Josh’s home again to show Josh’s son what a real role model is, not a failure like Josh Alexander. This fired up Josh who rushed Moose. Moose was ready to clock Josh with the title belt but Josh had the upper hand with punches. Josh beat up Moose at ringside with Moose rushing to the back. Josh beat up Moose in the backstage area of 2300 Arena, with Moose in retreat. Josh was about to toss Moose over a balcony. Members of the Impact locker room managed to break apart the brawl, and Josh walked away peacefully…[C]
John’s Thoughts: Great opening segment and follow-up to Moose sending an ultimatum to Josh by showing up to his home in the stinger of last week’s show. Josh Alexander’s stock has risen immensely over the past year after his tag partner, Ethan Page, left. Over that time he’s developed a stellar in-ring resume, but now the guy is a really solid promo on top of the solid in-ring. I can see why wrestling companies, as eluded by Brandi Rhodes that one time, are really clamoring at signing him, but I’m glad he’s able to be the top dog and face of a company as opposed to possibly being lost in the shuffle in a saturated sea like AEW.
Scott D’Amore tried to calm down Alexander backstage. Alexander said he truly wishes he shoved Moose over the balcony after what Moose did last week. D’Amore said he understands that Josh is pissed and Josh has all the right to be due to Moose crossing the line. D’Amore said that Rebellion is coming very very soon and Josh needs to stay focused on that. Alexander cut off Scott and said that his emotions are in fact in check as long as Moose stays away from his family…
Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in on commentary. Hannifan hyped up Impact’s Wrestlecon Multiverse show. Hannifan and Rehwoldt ran through advertised upcoming segments…
Entrances for the next match took place. Tom Hannifan noted that at Wrestlecon, Impact will also be doing another one of their Throwback Throwdown shows…
1. Willie Mack vs. Laredo Kid vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey for a spot in the X Division Triple Threat at Rebellion. Everyone nailed each other with moves to start the match out. Mack cleared Bailey and Kid from the ring and then hit them with a flip dive heading into the break.[c]
Bailey escaped a Samoan Drop from Mack. Bailey hit Mack with flutter kicks and an enzuigiri. Speedball hit Kid with a pump kick . Bailey hit Mack with a corner splash and hit Kid with a Triangle Moonsault. Kid recovered and sent Mack to ringside. Kid hit both opponents with an impressive corkscrew front fall to ringside. Kid and Bailey brawled to the top rope. Kid hit Bailey with a Super Brainbuster. Kid hit Bailey with a Frog Splash for the two count. Mack hit Kid wit ha popup punch. Mack caught Bailey who dove at him and hit Bailey with his Samoan Drop Moonsault combo. Kid quickly broke up the pin with a splash.
Mack caught Kid and teased hitting him with a power bomb but coverted the bomb into a Razor’s Edge in honor of Scott Hall. Mack struck the Razor Ramon pose to draw cheers. Bailey broke up the pin with a standing Shooting Star. Mack rolled up Kid with Bailey jackknifing Kid at the same time for pins. Kid kicked out of both pins. Mack dumped Kid to ringside. Bailey staggered Mack with a rotating roundhouse. Bailey hit Mack with Ultima Weapon for the win.
Mike Bailey defeated Willie Mack and Laredo Kid via pinfall in 6:34 to earn a spot in the X Division Title match at Rebellion.
John’s Thoughts: One nitpick, when Kid hit that top rope brainbuster and Frog Splash, shouldn’t two high impact moves like that not just be sold like regular signature moves and rather as finishers? Nitpick aside, the match was well wrestled with a handful of fun pin breakups at the end. As good as the match was, Impact spoiled the finish of the match somewhat by airing those vignettes clearly showing that they are writing towards Ace Austin and Mike Bailey clashing at Rebellion, so the finish here wasn’t in doubt. Good match otherwise and it looks like Impact is continuing to protect Laredo Kid from taking pinfalls ever since he signed with the company. On a side tangent, I get a nostalgia chuckle seeing two Final Fantasy 6 references in Impact. Chris Sabin’s name “Sabin” and Bailey’s “Ultima Weapon”, both noted by both guys as FF references.
Jay White, Chris Bey, Karl Anderson, and Doc Gallows were standing backstage in front of a brick wall backdrop. Jay White talked about how the referees in New Japan and Impact seem to always be biased against Bullet Club. White said the referee screwed up in not stopping his count when White broke up the pin. White said he knows that Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin, White’s old mentors, would not be happy sitting on such a questionable win. White said he also knows that the Guns know that they can’t beat Bullet Club. White talked about how White and Bey are getting their rematch against Shelley and Sabin next week. White joked about his and Bey’s team being the “Jay and Bey Connection”.
Karl Anderson said it’s wrong that the Good Brothers aren’t tag team champions. Anderson said they are coming out of tonight’s Lumberjack match against Violent By Design. Bey assured Anderson that he and Jay have the back of the Good Brothers. Doc Gallows reiterated Anderson’s claim and led the Bullet Club members in a Too Sweet…
Highlights from the Before the Impact show aired where Mahabali Shera defeated Crazzy Steve via pinfall. Hannifan noted that Raj Singh has recruited Shera…
Raj Singh and Mahabali Shera were backstage. Singh talked about how he thought that he and Bhupinder Gujjar could have been a great team, but Bhupinder lost his chance. Shera yelled “THE INDIAN LION IS BAAAAAAACK!” (I think that’s what he said?)…
John’s Thoughts: Mahabali Shera has never been the most impressive wrestler, and this is dating back to Jeff Jarret’s Ring Ka King promotion, but if I were Raj I’d see this guy as a way better client then the very vanilla Bhupinder Gujjar. To be fair though, Shera has gotten better in the ring after his stint in WWE developmental.
Steve Maclin made his entrance. They cut to a Maclin promo where Maclin talked about how he took care of Rhino last week and how he’s taking care of Heath [Slater] this week. Maclin said he’s going to take down everyone in Impact one-by-one until there’s Mayhem for All. Heath and Rhino made their entrance next. Hannifan noted that Rhino has a lot of history with the 2300 Arena due to Rhino wrestling in ECW…
John’s Thoughts: Just saying, this upcoming match showcases a dichotomy of what to do and what not to do when leaving WWE after having a stale gimmick. Heath Slater really needs to take the example that Steve Maclin laid out by completely redefining his character. A bit tougher for Heath because he still “looks” like the same 3MB guy for the most part, but at the same time he has shown promise as a top tier affable babyface. Instead, he’s reliving his glory days as the first Smackdown Tag Team Champions with Rhino. Only God knows why he’s settling with this.
2. Steve Maclin vs. Heath (w/Rhino). Hannifan noted that Maclin used Rhino’s finisher to beat Rhino last week. Heath had the early advantage with a shoulder tackle and a series of Atomic Drops on Maclin. Maclin got the advantage after he slammed Heath’s face on the apron. Rhino approached Maclin as the referee checked on Heath. Maclin saw Rhino coming and ran himself into the steel steps, acting like it was Rhino who shoved him. This caused the referee to eject Rhino from ringside.
Rehwoldt noted that Maclin’s faking of the shove was an nod to Eddie Guerrero. Maclin hit Heath with a backbreaker. Maclin continued with methodical offense on Heath. Maclin hit Heath with a Tree of Woe Spear for the two count. Maclin yelled ECW Sucks. Maclin went for a dive but Heath got his boots in Maclin’s face. Heath hit Maclin with a corner splash. Heath hit Maclin with a series of punches and an Impaler DDT for a two count. Maclin blocked a Zig Zag. Maclin then rolled up Heath with all his body weight along with his feet on the ropes for leverage for the pinfall win.
Steve Maclin defeated Heath via pinfall in 4:49.
Heath protested to the referee after wards. As Maclin was acting cocky around the ring, Rhino returned. Rhino caught Maclin with the Gore to leave him and Heath standing tall…
John’s Thoughts: Mixed thoughts on Maclin using dirty tactics to get his win. On one hand, I like that it made him look cerebral. He was tactful in dividing and conquering by extricating Rhino and securing his win in the end without the referee catching him. On the other hand, I would have saved these dirty tactics for a bigger babyface on the card, like maybe a Jonah or someone. The biggest problem here is Heath is still not established as a credible threat. Heath said it himself last week that his character sucks as a singles wrestler.
The show cut to Tenille Dashwood’s All About Me talk show with Kaleb Konley as the co-host. Dashwood noted that Kaleb was actually the guest of the show this week (the way her talk show works is that her guests interview her). Kaleb wanted to know what vacation spot Dashwood and Rayne are going to with their new tag championships.
Dashwood said that Kaleb should ask a different question, like “what are you thinking now?”. Kaleb asked Dashwood about what she’s thinking. Dashwood wanted to know where Kaleb’s loyalty lies, with The Influence or the IInspiration. Kaleb acted nervous and avoided answering the question. Dashwood continued to grill him and noted that it was vague who he was helping at the last Impact Plus show.
Kaleb walked away abruptly, claiming to have neck spasms. Kaleb then stumbled his way onto Madison Rayne’s Locker Room Talk show with Johnny Swinger as the co-host. Swinger asked Kaleb to hurry up with the show because he needs to get back to his wrestling school where Tony Atlas is doing a footwork seminar (a joke on Atlas’s assumed foot fetish). Dashwood blocked Kaleb from walking off and noted that Kaleb is constantly trying to duck out on her and Madison.
Rayne reiterated Rayne’s question about loyalty. Kaleb said it’s clear that he is loyal to the IInspiration. Rayne and Swinger tried to hook Kaleb to a lie detector, but Kaleb ended up walking away from the set. Swinger ended the segment by saying he’s not used to lie detectors but more so he’s used to handcuffs that the Bossman introduced him to…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Dashwood still needs work in the charisma department, but otherwise it was fun comedy. During the time where The IInspiration and Influence were never able to have their tag title match for months, Kaleb Konley has emerged as a fun and intriguing character with his whole loyalty storyline. Looks like there might be a little juice still in this. Also fun to see Swinger able to provide his great comedy as opposed to being trapped in a crappy casino joke. I like Impact not going overboard with the comedy these days as it makes the spread-out comedy work as good levity breaks between action.
A video package aired to hype up Tomohiro Ishii making his Impact Debut… Jonah cut a promo, hyping up his upcoming match against Ishii. Jonah hyped it up as a battle between Kaiju Monsters…
Entrances for the tag title match took place. The Lumberjacks were already at ringside. Tom Hannifan noted that Eric Young has won 13 championships in his Impact career. Hanninfan noted that ahead of him are James Storm with 16 and AJ Styles with 18…
3. “Violent By Design” Eric Young and Joe Doering (w/Deaner) vs. “The Good Brothers” Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows in a Lumberjack Match for the Impact Tag Team Titles. The lumberjacks included Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, Crazzy Steve, Black Taurus, Rich Swann, Willie Mack, Rhino, Heath, Jay White, Chris Bey, Chris Sabin, and Alex Shelley. Doering and Gallows started off the match. Hannifan and Rehwoldt recapped how both men have had great battles in the past.
All four men ended up brawling in the ring. The Good Brothers dumped VBD to start with the lumberjacks tossing them back. Anderson and Young then traded blows. Anderson planted Young with a spinebuster for a two count. Young got a two count after a neckbreaker on Anderson. Doering tagged in and gave Anderson a boot. Doering worked on Anderson with methodical and creative offense. Anderson was able to tag in Gallows after hitting Doering with a jawbreaker. Gallows hit a series of tackles and flying shoulder tackle on Young for a two count.
Anderson tagged in and hit Young with an assisted neckbreaker. Young recovered and traded quick tags with Doering to cut the ring in half on Anderson. Gallows ran in and gave Doering a boot. The Good Brothers managed to hit Young with a Magic Killer. Deaner got on the apron to prevent the ref from counting a pin. Doering dumped Gallows to ringside with the Lumberjacks. Doering gave the pile of people a diving spear from the apron. Mike Bennett ran in and gave Karl Anderson a low blow. Matt Taven gave Karl Anderson a Climax. Eric Young picked up the pinfall win.
“Violent By Design” Eric Young and Joe Doering defeated “The Good Brothers” Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson via pinfall in 7:23 to retain the Impact Tag Team Championship.
Rehwoldt wondered if Honor No More helped Violent By Design win because they see them as a lesser threat compared to the Good Brothers…
John’s Thoughts: A decent tag team match for the time given. Gallows and Doering have great chemistry together and I would like to see more of their singles matches, especially after their hidden gem of a match last year. Interestingly enough, I would rather see all these guys as singles wrestlers because they have all become fairly stale as teams. Can we finally get our Joe Doering singles push please? This guy has been in Impact for a while, and we’ve seen teases of his greatness in small doses.
Gia Miller interviewed Knockouts Champion Tasha Steelz who was with Savannah Evans. Miller asked Tasha if she was going to follow Mickie’s lead by leaving Savannah Evans in the back. Mickie had ordered Chelsea Green to not join her ringside. Steelz mocked Mickie and Chelsea Green for being buddy buddy recently. Steelz said she’s a fighting champion and agreed to give Evans the day off…
Powell’s POV: John had something come up and had to tag out, so I’ll be handling the remainder of this week’s review. Unfortunately, I have a full schedule today and this was unexpected, so I won’t be able to do the Impact Hit List, but it will return next week.
4. Eddie Edwards vs. Rocky Romero. Both entrances were televised. Edwards and Romero traded chops. Edwards got the better of it by knocking Romero off his feet. Romero got up and fired back, but Edwards no-sold it and then knocked Romero down with another chop. Romero got up and teased another chop, then poked the eyes of Edwards instead. Romero sent Edwards to the floor and followed him. Romero leapt off the ring steps and took Edwards down with a huracanrana. [C]
Edwards turned Romero inside out with a clothesline inside the ring coming out of the break. A short time later, Romero sent Edwards to ringside and went for a suicide dive, but Edwards caught him and ran him into the ring steps. Back inside the ring, Romero came back by leaping from the middle rope and DDT’ing Edwards on the way down.
Romero stayed on the offensive and picked up a near fall. Edwards stuffed a Sliced Bread attempt and then caught Romero with a running forearm and a Blue Thunder Bomb. Edwards followed up shortly thereafter with a Tiger Driver. Romero rolled Edwards into an armbar attempt, but Edwards rolled onto him and got the pin.
Eddie Edwards defeated Rocky Romero.
Afterward, Edwards offered Romero a handshake, but then kicked him when he tried to accept. Jonathan Gresham ran out and worked over Edwards before chasing him out of the ring. Romero stood up and shoved Gresham, who tried to explain himself. Gresham offered Romero a handshake. Romero shook his hand…
Powell’s POV: A really well worked match. The match was laid out in a way that made Edwards look strong by winning the chop battle, but Romero also got to show good heart by picking up some good near falls along the way. The post match angle was well done and it makes sense for the head of Honor No More to start feuding with Gresham, who holds the original ROH Championship and will likely hold the actual ROH Championship belt coming out of next week’s ROH Supercard of Honor show.
Backstage, Johnny Swinger stood in front of the “Swinger’s Dungeon” door. Zicky Dice exited the room and told Swinger that it was intense and exactly what he needed. Dice handed him a roll of cash. Dice wanted to go back in the room, but Swinger stopped him and said they needed to do some one-on-one. Dice was concerned that Swinger meant it would happen in the (S&M) dungeon, but Swinger said it would happen in the ring. Swinger said they would be together where they would face two chumps in a “chump chump challenge.” Dice hoped the would return to the dungeon afterward… [C]
An ad aired for the Impact Multiverse of Matches for April 1. Hannifan and Rehwoldt spoke about the show at ringside and ran through some of the matches, which include an Ultimate X match, Eddie Edwards vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Josh Alexander and Jonah vs. Moose and PCO, Alex Shelley vs. Mike Bailey, Chris Sabin vs. Jay White, and Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. The Briscoes…
The following matches were advertised for next week’s Impact: Josh Alexander vs. Madman Fulton, Jonathan Gresham vs. Kenny King, Jay White and Chris Bey vs. “The Motor City Machine Guns” Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin…
Rehwoldt hyped Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito for the NJPW show that followed Impact on AXS…
Entrances for the Knockouts Title match took place. Mickie James came out with trashcan lids in her hands. Tasha Steelz came to the ring without Savannah Evans. Steelz pulled a baseball bat out of a can of weapons that were on the stage…
5. Tasha Steelz vs. Mickie James in a Street Fight for the Knockouts Championship. Steelz posed on the ropes. James threw a trashcan lid at her. James dominated the match and was working over Steelz on the stage when she was hit from behind by Savannah Evans. [C]
Steelz tried to choke James with a chain while both women were inside the ring coming out of the break. James returned the favor and slammed the head of Steelz into a chair that was wedged between the ropes. Steelz returned the favor. Both wrestlers were on their knees when they grabbed chairs and swung them at one another.
James got to her feet first, but Evans stood on the apron. Evans stuffed a kick from James and then grabbed her. James bit Evans’ hand and then powerbombed her from the apron onto a table set up on the floor (the table did not break). James returned to the apron and was immediately knocked off by Steelz. James landed on the most stubborn table in Philadelphia history, because it failed to break again.
Steelz followed James to ringside. James came back by hitting her with a trashcan. James rolled Steelz back inside the ring and then worked over Evans with the trashcan. James returned to the ring and was immediately hit with a cutter by Steelz, who covered her for a good near fall.
Steelz grabbed a small “no parking” sign and hit James with it twice. James blocked the third attempt, took the sign, and hit Steelz with it three times. James set up a chair in the middle of the ring. James ended up dropping Steelz face first onto the chair. James went to the top rope and performed a Thesz Press for a near fall.
Steelz poked the eyes of James, who then stuffed her crucifix bomb attempt. James hit her DDT finisher and had the pin, but Evans pulled her off from ringside. The referee argued with Evans (for no good reason since there are no disqualifications).
James leapt from the apron at Evans, who caught her and drove her into the ring post before tossing her back inside the ring. Evans also entered the ring and continued to attack James. Evans grabbed a chair and drove it into the throat of James while Steelz helped.
Chelsea Green ran out with a chair and entered the ring. Green set up the chair and then sat on it and encouraged Steelz and Evans to continue their assault on James. Steelz eventually performed a top rope splash and scored the pin.
Tasha Steelz defeated Mickie James in a Street Fight to retain the Knockouts Championship.
Steelz celebrated her win and headed to the back with Evans. Green sat on the chair and smiled while James was still down on the mat. Green started jawing at James, who got to her knees and emotionally asked Green why she would do this. James slapped Green, who slapped her back. James leapt onto Green and fired punched at her until Green escaped to ringside.
Matt Cardona entered the ring behind James and ended up putting her down with a leg lariat. Green had Cardona pull James up to her feet and then ran the cast on her left wrist into the head of James. Green removed the cast and tossed it on the ground, then made out with Cardona. They raised their hands together to close the show…
Powell’s POV: A strong main event between James and Steelz before the big turn. I really like Steelz as the champion, and James has been great for the Knockouts Division ever since she returned after being released by WWE. The Green turn was easy to see coming once Cardona turned. That said, the company showed patience by not having her turn on James immediately. The involvement of Cardona left me wondering if Mickie’s husband Nick Aldis might eventually show up for a mixed tag match. If James and Green are feuding with one another, it will be interesting to see how is next in line for Steelz.
Overall, this was another good episode of Impact. The company continues to provide a mostly straight forward pro wrestling product. The Swinger comedy relief is fine if limited to small doses, but the rest of the show is basic pro wrestling, which is great. I will have more to say about this show in our weekly Impact Wrestling audio review for Dot Net Members.
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