By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
Aired April 14, 2022 on AXS TV
Highlights from the Impact Wrestling show that aired two week’s ago aired…
Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt were on commentary. Dave Penzer was the ring announcer…
W Morrissey was already in the ring with a mic. Morrissey noted that he was happy to be in this specific arena again. Morrissey noted that the last time he was here he wasn’t in control and at the lowest point of his entire life. He said he had to be carried out of the arena by EMTs. He said he had nowhere to go and nobody to go to. Morrissey said it’s different now because he’s here, clean and sober. He said he’s also in the best damn shape of his life.
Morrissey said he can also finally admit that he’s not alone, and that’s because of all the fans. He thanked the fans for showing him support. Morrissey said he was given a 2nd chance, given opportunities, and he will take advantage of all those opportunities. Brian Myers made his entrance to interrupt W. Myers said that Morrissey was handed an opportunity that the people in the back could only dream of. Myers said Morrissey has been pissing away his opportunities.
Myers said that he’s pissed off at Morrissey trying to ruin his commentating career every week. Myers said that if W keeps messing with him, W will end up half dead on the floor again just like before. Morrissey tried to punch Myers off the apron, but Myers dropped to ringside and said that he doesn’t want to fight today. Morrissey then cut Myers off at the pass up the ramp, and eventually got his hand on Myers, giving him a back suplex onto the ring apron.
Morrissey tried to power bomb Myers through a table, but Chelsea Green ran out to distract Morrissey. Matt Cardona showed up and hit Morrissey with the Digital Media Championship. Myers took off his shirt to reveal that he and Cardona were wearing “Major Players” shirts (a non-copyright rename on their old WWE Major Brothers name). Myers dragged Morrissey to the apron by wrapping his shirt around W’s neck. Green slapped W and the Major Brothers power bombed W through the wooden table.
John’s Thoughts: Mixed thoughts on the segment overall. I actually thought 80% of the segment was great. I just raised a bit of an eyebrow once Matt Cardona ran out and confirmed that we’re getting the latest retread of the Hawkins and Ryder tag team. Morrissey was great. This was the Mea Culpa and character that we’ve been waiting for ever since they turned him babyface and he delivered his heartfelt story well. A lot of people can relate to being in a dark hole of depression like Morrissey was in, so it was good to invoke that to make the 7 footer relatable. Myers was good in his retort. Only thing that disappointed me was Myers and Cardona confirming that they were bringing back their Major Brothers gimmick. Hey, maybe they’ll win me over. Calling them the Major Players and adding Chelsea to the act does give me “Impact Players” vibes. Does Lance Storm have a hand in this?
Tom Hannifan and Matt Rehwoldt checked in from the commentary table. The commentators ran through the advertised Impact Rebellion PPV card…
John’s Thoughts: Impact’s Rebellion PPV lineup looks really good. Impact is back to being one of my favorite shows to watch and review again, namely because the injection of Ring of Honor has gotting rid all of their stupid TNA stuff for the time being to the point where we’re getting a good wrestling alternative. Impact so far has benefited more from Ring of Honor than AEW. Impact became good. AEW just got more title belts and watered down their show a bit with branding confusion (I’m sure AEW will fix that, but for now Impact is benefiting the most from working with the dead ROH promotion).
Deonna Purrazzo made her entrance for her latest Champ Champ Open Challenge. Highlights aired of Purrazzo defeating Faby Apache as well as Taya Valkyrie making her Impact return at the Multiverse show. Willow Nightingale accepted the challenge and picked the ROH Women’s Championship (Yes, the loser of the Martinez vs. Nightingale match at Supercard of Honor is getting the world title shot). Hannifan explained that if Nightingale wins, she’ll probably get a unification rematch with Mercedes Martinez for the undisputed Women’s Championship…
1. Deonna Purrazzo vs. Willow Nightingale for the [Lineal] Ring of Honor Women’s Championship. Rehwoldt continued to cheerlead for Deonna to keep up with his gimmick as the Drama King. Purrazzo pressured Nightingale to the corner. Nightingale gave Purrazzo a superkick for a two count.[c]
Purrazzo had the advantage back from the break. Nightingale got a breather after hitting Purrazzo with a bulldog. Nightingale got the advantage after a Pounce. Nightingale hit Purrazzo with a cannonball for a two count. Purrazzo reversed a DVD into a pump kick. Purrazzo hit Nightingale with a standing moonsault. Purrazzo tried to pin and submit Nightingale but Willow rolled through. Willow hit Deonna with a Bay Breaker for a two count. Purrazzo power bombed Willow when Willow went high risk. Willow reversed a Gotch Pile Driver with a backdrop.Nightingale hit Deonna with a Rebound Lariat, but Deonna powered through and locked Nightingale into a Rings of Saturn. Nightingale submitted.
Deonna Purrazzo defeated Willow Nightingale via submission in 4:58 of on-air time to retain the Lineal Ring of Honor Women’s Championship.
Hannifan noted that Purrazzo was 7-0 in her open challenges…
John’s Thoughts: Really fun match, especially the back and forth in the end. That said, this whole Lineal and Interim ROH Championship is a bit odd to wrap my head around. Deonna’s doing everything right. She’s being built well as the Queen of the Hill. Usually you make interim championships because the champion is unable to defend the title, yet Deonna defends the title every single week. If they wanted to indirectly port the women’s title to AEW, couldn’t they have done what they did with Minoru Suzuki to port the title to Samoa Joe? Again, it’s also odd that the loser of the Nightingale vs. Martinez match ended up getting the title shot and not Martinez.
Highlights aired from the Nick Aldis and Mickie James vs. Matt Cardona and Chelsea Green match from the Multiverse show…
Gia Miller interviewed Mickie James on defeating the Cardonas at the Multiverse show and if it means she’s closed the door in the feud between her and Chelsea. Mickie said she hasn’t moved on and things are just getting started between her and Chelsea. Mickie said Chelsea claims that Mickie treated her like a litte sister. Mickie said she didn’t and respected Green, but will now kick Green’s ass like she’s Green’s big sister. James then mocked Cardona and Myers for playing with wrestling action figures.
Chelsea Green showed up and told Mickie that she doesn’t need help to kick Mickie’s ass. Both women brawled with Mickie shoving Green to the floor. Matt Cardona showed up to hold Mickie in place so Green could smash her with a right hand punch and hand cast (or it might have been a water bottle?). Green, Cardona, and Myers stood over the fallen Mickie chuckling…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Impact Players? Men attacking women? 2300 Arena? Maybe this is a subtle ode to ECW? Are Dreamer and Storm booking this show? That said, I’d take this over those weird Dixie Carter ECW tribute shows; and I’d certainly take this over 2021 Teleporting Zombies Impact.
An ad aired for the Impact Rebellion show…
Gia Miller interviewed Tasha Steelz who had Savannah Evans with her. Miller brought up the number one conder to the women’s title, Rosemary, being dark and mysterious. Tasha assumed that Gia was referring to “The Realm” (Oh no! Don’t bring back that damn Realm!!!!). Tasha said she understands that she understands that Decay likes to do mind games. She said she has a long history with Rosemary when Rosemary and Havok took the tag titles away from her [and Kiera Hogan]. Tasha said she’s the champion now and is ready for whatever mind games Rosemary has in store.
The lights flashed and Decay showed up on the LCD Monitor. Rosemary ended up saying her “Decay, decay, decay” catchphrase as Havok, Taurus, and Steve laughed…
Entrances for the next match took place…
2. Ring of Honor World Champion Jonathan Gresham vs. Rocky Romero in a non-title match. Romero and Gresham started off the match with a Code of Honor handshake. The match started off with a chain wrestling stalemate. Romero dropped Gresham with a dropkick and did an Eddie Guerrero shimmy. Gresham grounded himself and hit Romero with an armdrag. Gresham left Romero lying with a strike combo heading into commercial.[c]
Eddie Edwards was shown watching the match on a monitor backstage. Romero hit Gresham with a twisting Air Raid Crash. Both men traded shoftarm chops. Romero got the advantage with forearms. Gresham and Romero traded lariats and chops, which ended with both men being knocked out. Both men avoided each other’s strikes. Romero hit Gresham with a hruacanrana at ringside. Romero hit Gresham with Sliced Bread #2 and a PK. Gresham gained momentum after hitting Romero with a moonsault.
Gresham caught Romero with a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Gresham rolled up Romero into a Dragon’s Lair pin for the win.
Jonathan Gresham defeated Rocky Romero via pinfall in 6:43 of on-air time.
The picture-in-picture showed Eddie Edwards watching the match on a backstage monitor. Romero acknowledged Gresham as the ROH Champion and both men shared a Code of Honor handsake…
A sitdown interview package aired of Josh Alexander, who recapped his feud with Moose. Alexander also brought up how Scott D’Amore became an obsticale despite Alexander using his rage and emotions to his advantage. Alexander brought up D’Amore putting wrestlers like Charlie Haas, Jonah, and Minoru Suzuki in between him and the title. Alexander said he finally has a chance to wrestle Moose and he will become the champion again.
Clips of Moose intimidating Josh’s son as well as giving Josh’s wife a spear. Josh said that his family will be at Rebellion to see Josh get his revenge. Josh said Moose thinks he’s wrestling a pro wrestler, but he’s in a fight for his god damn life. He said he’s taking everything that Moose holds dear from him. Josh said he needs the Impact Championship…
Mike Bailey was striking a punching bag. Ace Austin showed up and implied that since Madman Fulton is injured, he hopes that Bailey has his back in the match also involving Trey Miguel at the upcoming PPV. Bailey gave Ace a vague “I know exactly what you mean” to leave Ace perplexed…
Entrances for the next match took place. Tom Hannifan hyped ticket sales for upcoming live events. Hannifan also noted that Chris Sabin was the first person to pin Jay White in Impact. Hannifan also noted that Steve Maclin is on a quest to take down everyone that doubted him when he was a part of Team Impact against Honor No More…
3. Steve Maclin vs. Alex Shelley (w/Chris Sabin). Shelley got the upper hand in a right hand exchange. Shelley took down Maclin with a side headlock. Maclin recovered and took down Shelley with a back elbow. Shelley recovered and kicked Maclin from the apron. Shelley worked on Maclin with methodical offense. Once Maclin recovered, Maclin hit Shelley with a suicide dive. Maclin worked on Shelley with the methodical advantage. Shelley fired back with chops and an atomic drop. Maclin hit Shelley with a Backbreaker for a two count.
Maclin put Shelley in a Tree of Woe and hit him with a spear for a two count. The camera zoomed in to show scars and bruises on Maclin’s chest and back. Shelley got a moment of respite after a dropkick. Shelley hit Maclin with a superkick and Sliced Bread #2 for a two count. Maclin escaped a Shell Shock attempt, but Shelley gave Maclin an STO into the buckle. Maclin recovered and hit Shelley with a Knee Plus at ringside.
Shelley and Sabin jawed with each other. Sabin sidestepped Maclin’s diving lariat. Sabin and Maclin continued to jaw at each other. Shelley took advantage of the distraction by shoving Maclin into the ringpost. Shelley hit Maclin with Sliced Bread #2 at ringside. Maclin avoided Shelley’s double stomp and tried to roll up Shelley with a leverage pin, but Sabin broke it up by pushing Maclin’s feet off the ropes. Shelley took advantage of the distracted Maclin by hitting Maclin with Shell Shock for the victory.
Alex Shelley defeated Steve Maclin via pinfall in 10:03.
John’s Thoughts: A decent match that was more about forwarding the feud between Sabin and Maclin than anything. On one hand, I like them giving Shelley a singles win over a credible opponent while protecting Maclin by having his mind be focused on Sabin. At the same time, I’m not the biggest fan of Steve Maclin continuing to lose a majority of his matches in recent months. Thankfully, the guy has been so good that he’s been able to shrug off the losses while not losing steam, but he won’t be able to shrug them off if losing just becomes the norm for him.
Clips aired from Before the Impact where Madison Rayne defeated Jessie McKay after hitting her with Cross Rayne. Kaleb Konley continues to be conflicted with his allegiances. This time, he tossed a chair in the center of the ring where both Rayne and McKay could get it. After the match, Rayne and Dashwood fired Kaleb for his continual betrayal moments. After Kaleb started to rant in the ring, W Morrissey walked out and power bombed Kaleb through the table…
John’s Thoughts: I believe this was the way to write Kaleb Konley off TV. Caleb has since announced via Twitter that he’s leaving Impact Wrestling again. Darn. I was actually very entertained by Caleb in his latest Impact run. I didn’t care much for “Suicide” or being a part of Trevor Lee’s “Cult of Lee”, but Caleb has become very fun and the most entertaining part of the whole Influence tag team. I wish the best for whatever he decides to do next because he is talented. I don’t have high hopes for the Influence, because putting more focus on Tenille Dashwood isn’t the best thing in terms of her anti-charisma (Dashwood is actually very good when she’s not talking much. See her most successful runs as Emma, Evil Emma, and as a part of the Lifeblood stable in ROH).
Madison Rayne walked into Giselle Shaw in a random hallway. Shaw said she’s sad for Rayne’s loss earlier. Rayne said she won her match. Shaw said she’s talking about losing Kaleb from the Influence. Rayne said everything was fine because Kaleb was fired. Rayne reiterated that everything was fine. Shaw walked away saying “We’ll see about that”…
A Moose sitdown interview package aired where we got Moose’s take on his feud with Josh Alexander, stemming from Moose cashing in his Call Your Shot trophy on Alexander after Alexander won the title from Christian Cage at Bound for Glory. They showed a Moose gym montage. He said he’s not just bragging on Social Media about being the best, but he’s putting in actual work to be the best. They reaired the clips of Moose intimidating Josh’s son and spearing Josh’s wife. Moose said Josh may one of the best wrestlers today, Josh is one of the lesser challenges that have been put in front of Moose during Moose’s title run. Moose said at Rebellion Josh will find out why Moose is a 5 star athlete and why Moose is the Most Dangerous Man in Pro Wrestling. Moose said that day, Josh will find out why Moose is a wrestling god…
John’s Thoughts: Good duality of promos between Josh and Moose. Moose really shines in these sportslike video packages and interviews (as evidenced in Moose’s feud with Ken Shamrock).
Eddie Edwards, Matt Taven, Maria Kanellis, Mike Bennett, PCO, Kenny King, and Vincent were all in the ring. Eddie said he feels the energy in the building because he’s in the building where ECW was born. An EC Dub chant started. Eddie said Philadelphia also birthed Ring of Honor. An ROH chant started. He said he also remembers the Philadelphia fans which people call the most passionate fans in pro wrestling. Eddie said Honor No More instead thinks that the Philly fans are fickle, spoiled, entitled, and ungrateful little brats. Mike Bennett calmed down Eddie and called Eddie a good friend.
Bennett said that while this building is the birthplace of ECW and ROH, this is also the birthplace of Mike Bennett. He said this building is where he made his ROH debut. He said what was a common thread is that the fans turned their backs on ROH, ECW, and Mike Bennett. Taven said they lived by a creed that they were the best in the world. Taven said that the fans felt like they were a part of a community but when more gentrified companies showed up, the fans flocked to them like Melvin Lemmings. Taven said the real Matt Taven fans never left when ROH made bad decisions to go down a dark path. Taven said that Honor No More is here to stay.
Taven’s promo was cut off by the OG Bullet Club theme. Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, Chris Bey, and Jay White made their entrance. White said Honor No More are doing a lot of talking and claim to be the best. He said everybody knows that’s not true. White said everyone knows that Bullet Club is best. Gallows said people need to send out Bullet Club thank yous. Gallows said The Kingdom needs to thank the Bullet Club because the Good Brothers kicked The Kingdom’s ass in Japan. Karl Anderson let out an innocent “Hi Maria!” (A reference to the match where Anderson got distracted by Maria shaking her ass on the apron to distract Anderson).
Anderson said Honor No More keep talking about “Shiny New Toys” while Honor No More is coming off the like toys nobody wants to play with. Anderson said the Bullet Club are the coolest toys in the tool box (I mean? Maybe 6 years ago?). Anderson led the crowd in a Too Sweet chant. Maria said the too sweet can go up her ass. Maria said that Honor No More is “4 Life”. Bey said they can trade lines with each other, but it might be better to just fight about things. Both factions ended up brawling in the center of the ring. Both teams took turns landing strikes on each other. PCO hit everybody at ringside with a cannonball. Jonah then made his entrance for his match against PCO…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Hey look! They finally let Mike Bennett speak again. Great mic work from Honor No More. We knew that Bennett and Taven are great talkers (and I still feel Impact isn’t giving Bennett the mic time that she shined with so much in his first Impact run). Eddie Edwards continues to astonish me with his growth since his bland promos in Ring of Honor back in the day. I’m astonish that he’s totally shed the dumb ass Crazy Eddie persona. Bullet Club was fine too and I liked Anderson’s reference to him getting distracted by Maria’s booty, but who are we supposed to cheer for? I’m guessing Bullet Club, but they still have unfinished business with the babyface Motor City Machine Guns and were cheating in matches against them. On top of that, the Good Brothers are still very damaged coming off their runs as AJ Styles and Kenny Omega’s stooges.
4. Jonah vs. PCO. PCO hit Jonah with an Old School into a Punch. PCO dragged Jonah to ringside where both men traded chops. PCO got the advantage by sending Jonah into the ringpost and hitting him with a neckbreaker. PCO put duct tape around his neck for some reason. Jonah recovered and hit PCO with a dive from the apron.[c]
Jonah hit PCO with a corner splash. Jonah worked on PCO wiht a back bear hug. Jonah hit PCO with a northern headbutt and forearm. Jonah hit PCO with a Buckle Bomb which PCO no-sold into a lariat. PCO and Jonah traded Fighting Spirit strikes. Jonah managed to lift PCO and hit PCO with a Pile Driver. Jonah kicked out at one to the shock of Jonah. PCO hit Jonah with a spike DDT. PCO hit Jonah with a Crossbody for a two count. PCO hit Jonah with three diving headbutts in a row for a two count.
Jonah avoided a PCO-Sault from PCO. PCO recovered and went back to the top rope. Jonah rolled to avoid a cannonball which sent PCO into the apron. Jonah recovered and tossed around PCO at ringside. Jonah tossed PCO back in the ring and gave PCO a Tsunami Splash for the win.
Jonah defeated PCO via pinfall in 9:15 of on-air time.
PCO quickly sat up after the pin. Jonah put PCO back down with ground and pound. PCO was then twitching on the mat. Jonah hit PCO in the back with a steel chair after PCO sat up again. Jonah pummeled PCO with chair strikes. When PCO started ot power up again, Jonah put the chair over PCO and hit PCO with another Tsunami Splash. This time PCO stayed down. Jonah’s theme played and Impact closed…
John’s Thoughts: Good match between big men. It is fun seeing Jonah being more vulnerable than usual because he’s usually the one overpowering and intimidating his opponents. PCO’s signature no-selling gave Jonah a mountain to overcome, which is the story you usually see told by smaller underdogs. PCO continues to have good matches despite his old age. I think he’s really getting over with the Impact crowd too. Honor No More has a bit too many faces at the moment and I wouldn’t mind if PCO splintered off to have a babyface run. Speaking of Honor No More, they take yet another loss. The only guy who wins matches from that faction is Eddie Edwards.
Impact continues to be one of the more enjoyable pro wrestling shows to watch on a weekly basis. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty damn good week to week. Again, I’m relishing in this current state of Impact. Tasha Steelz did freak me out a bit when she mentioned Rosemary’s damn Undead Realm. Keep that crap away from this good wrestling show, please. Interesting aspect of this week’s show, is they didn’t overload the show with in-ring action. There was a good mix of good promos and angles to forward storylines. Best part, no stupid, waste of time, esoteric comedy segments.