Impact Wrestling had all the gold up for grabs in their Sacrifice special event last night (Mar. 13, 2021) on the Impact Plus app. The show featured a world title unification bout between Rich Swann and Moose, FinJuice pulling an upset to win the Impact tag titles from the Good Brothers, Deonna Purrazzo playing chess to ODB’s checkers for the Knockouts Championship, Ace Austin being crowned X-Division king, and Fire ‘n’ Flava using quicks and tricks to keep the Knockout tag belts.
Let’s run down the show from top to bottom.
World title unification: Rich Swann defeated Moose. (Full details here.) Swann entered with the Impact World Championship, and Moose entered with the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Both titles were on the line. The winner would unify the belts and earn a date with Kenny Omega to wrestle for the AEW World Championship in title versus title at the Rebellion PPV on April 24.
In the end, Swann outsmarted Moose. He dodged three consecutive spears to send Moose ramming into the turnbuckles. The last one saw Moose ram into a chair that he himself had set up earlier in the match. For the winning pin, Swann was able to leap over Moose for a crucifix takedown then transition to a high stack for victory. Swann retained Impact gold and won TNA gold to unify the world titles.
Impact Tag Team Championship: FinJuice defeated the Good Brothers to become new champs. (Full details here.) The Good Brothers had control down the stretch, but they couldn’t put FinJuice away. David Finlay and Juice Robinson had one more rally left, and they made the most of it. The duo double clotheslined Luke Gallows out of the ring, then Finlay connected on a slingshot plancha to take the big man out. FinJuice turned their attention to destroying Karl Anderson with a Doomsday Device to win the Impact tag titles.
Knockouts Championship: Deonna Purrazzo retained against ODB. Kimber Lee and Susan were ringside. They were ejected early when the referee caught Lee connect with a spin kick to ODB’s head.
The story was technical skill versus slugfest prowess. Purrazzo was frustrated early and played into ODB’s game. The Virtuosa relaxed to focus on what she does best. She locked in a Fujiwara armbar. ODB was able to escape, but her arm was weakened in the process. Purrazzo went back to the limb with an armbar in the ropes. She used the referee’s full count before releasing.
ODB rallied by tossing Purrazzo off the turnbuckles and hitting a powerslam. The champ showed heart to kick out. ODB went high risk for a flying attack. That’s when Purrazzo caught ODB’s arm for another armbar. The champ transitioned to the Venus de Milo double armbar. ODB was forced to tap out in defeat.
X-Division Championship: Ace Austin defeated TJP to become new champ. Madman Fulton was ringside to aid with coaching and save Austin from precarious positions.
Austin was close to victory and aiming for The Fold, but TJP collapsed before Austin could strike. The referee halted the action. When given the okay to continue, Austin planned to submit TJP. The challenger went for an octopus stretch, but TJP countered into a knee bar. Austin had a dramatic rope break where I really thought he would tap out.
TJP was on the attack. He was looking for a mamba splash, but Austin pulled the referee in the way. Austin used that distraction to explode for a spinning head kick to TJP on the turnbuckles. TJP was still able to leap for a flying crossbody. Austin rolled over the impact on the mat to pounce for a double head stomp driving TJP’s cranium into the mat. Austin hit The Fold to become new X-Division champ. Austin celebrated sitting atop Fulton’s shoulder.
Knockouts Tag Team Championship: Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz retained against Jordynne Grace & Jazz. Power versus speed. Fire ‘n’ Flava used creative tricks and teamwork to gain momentum. Grace had the hot tag to run wild like a bull in a china shop. She clobbered Hogan and went for the pin on a Vader bomb. Steelz made the save with a frog splash onto the pile.
Grace kept momentum with a double stomp. She went for a second Vader bomb, but Steelz pulled her of the ropes. Fire ‘n’ Flava came hard with a flying double stomp to neckbreaker combo. Grace kicked out.
The match continued with a closing sequence dominated by the champs. A head kick and fisherman’s swinging neckbreaker from Hogan secured the pin on Grace.
Hold Harmless: Eddie Edwards defeated Brian Myers. The stipulation meant no DQ hardcore with no legal liability. Ring wrestling to start with Edwards gaining momentum. He was the first to open the door for violence by setting up the ring stairs, but it backfired when Myers pulled Edwards legs out from under him to crash onto the steps.
Myers used trashcan lid offense to target the head and throat. Edwards rallied back for a superplex onto a pile of chairs.
Prior to the bout, Myers was seen handing a payment to Hernandez. It was only a matter of time before Super Mex interfered to save Myers. Hernandez had Edwards up for a Border Toss when Matt Cardona ran in for the save. A leg lariat from Cardona settled down the scene as both intruders exited to the back.
One painful looking spot came on a backpack stunner by Edwards off the apron through a table. The silent GIF cuts off the uncomfortable reaction by both men. Myers banged his head, and Edwards probably needed an ice pack for his tailbone afterward. The sound of broken wood added to the violent effect.
In the end, Myers’ master plan was used against him. He took out a foreign object to load his elbow pad for a clothesline, but Edwards exploded with slams to knock the object loose. Edwards picked it up to load his knee pad for Boston Knee Party and the win.
Joe Doering & Deaner defeated James Storm & Chris Sabin. Eric Young and Jake Something were ringside on opposite sides. The close involved a few near pinfalls. Sabin hit a fisherman suplex to Deaner then Storm followed with a flying elbow drop. Deaner kicked out on the cover. Doering crushed Sabin on a running crossbody then Deaner followed with a flying headbutt. Sabin kicked out on the cover.
Sabin put Deaner down with an enzuigiri. On the cover, Young put Deaner’s foot on the ropes to break the pin. That riled up Jake to attack Young. Deaner sent Sabin running into the referee. With the ref unconscious, Young entered the ring to set up a piledriver. Jake ran in to blast Young with a hefty clothesline. On the floor, Doering took out Storm using the ring steps and Young disposed of Jake with a neckbreaker. Odds were against Sabin at 3-on-1.
Rhino! The big man sprinted down as a surprise appearance. He ran the ropes for a shocking heel turn to Gore Sabin. Deaner covered Sabin, and the referee recovered enough to count three. Rhino aligned himself with Violent by Design.
Tenille Dashwood & Kaleb Konley defeated Havok & Nevaeh. Referee manipulation played a role in the finish. Nevaeh had Dashwood trapped in a roll-up, but Konley distracted the referee to prevent a count. Havok’s protest grabbed the attention of the referee. Konley made use of the distraction to turn the ladies over so Dashwood was on top. That’s when the referee noticed and counted the win for Dashwood.
Crazzy Steve & Black Taurus defeated Reno Scum. On the floor, Luster the Legend caught a flying Steve with plans to ram him into the ring post. Rosemary blocked the way and spit GREEN MIST into Luster’s face.
In the ring, Taurus knocked Adam Thornstowe down with a headbutt. Steve followed with a running cannonball in the corner. Taurus finished Thornstowe with a spinning Taurus driver.
Notes: A scene in Swinger’s Palace casino led to the announcement of a 12-women tag match Tuesday night on Impact Wrestling. Alisha Edwards and Tenille Dashwood had words, so Scott D’Amore made the huge contest. It will be Deonna Purrazzo, Kiera Hogan, Tasha Steelz, Kimber Lee, Susan, & Dashwood versus Jordynne Grace, Jazz, ODB, Havok, Nevaeh, & Edwards.
The main event for Sacrifice had a lengthy build with huge stakes for Rich Swann and Moose. The match delivered a satisfying conclusion to a solid show. The action told a good story of little man using his heart and intelligence to overcome the bruising big man. Moose was impressive as a destructive force, and credit to Swann for making the heavy moves look spectacular. Just focusing on the story of their feud, it was nice to see Swann overcome to slay the beast. His will and determination has made him one of the more memorable champions in Impact history.
One thing I didn’t like was the chair spot at the end. The referee had intervened earlier to prevent Moose from smashing Swann into the steel. Since the referee made such a big deal about it, it bugged me that he didn’t remove the chair for the wrestlers’ safety. It was then that I suspected Moose would get his comeuppance with that same chair later in the match, and that’s what happened.
Outside of the story feud, I am a little disappointed Moose didn’t win. I really wanted to see him wrestle Kenny Omega. I’m sure Swann will have a banger with Omega, but I don’t see it being much different than Omega’s high-octane performances against luchadores. Moose would have presented an interesting puzzle for Omega to solve. Omega has yet to battle a man with Moose’s blend of size, power, and athleticism in AEW.
FinJuice winning the Impact tag titles was quite the surprise. The Good Brothers had been such a dominant force that I thought there was no chance they would drop the belts to NJPW outsiders. The title change mixes things up in a good way. The Good Brothers didn’t have any credible contenders left, so now FinJuice can open up the division for fresh matchups.
The remaining three championship bouts all excelled in their own way. Deonna Purrazzo continued her streak of entertaining title defenses. I’m a little surprised in a positive way that her style meshed so well with ODB’s rugged attack. Credit to ODB for bringing her A-game. Ace Austin and TJP had the typical thrilling X-Division contest. Austin’s clean win does a good job to re-establish his credibility as a champ. I like that Madman Fulton acted more like a manager than a cheater. I’m glad to see Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz retain. They have so much charisma as a package in the ring, and I want to see how high they can rise.
Eddie Edwards and Brian Myers have a case as show-stealers. I was not expecting their match to be so riveting. It was an amusing call for Myers to take his own medicine with the foreign object from the Boston Knee Party. Rhino’s heel turn was an odd surprise. It came out of nowhere and doesn’t make much sense at the moment. I hope Heath’s kids weren’t watching. Rosemary’s GREEN MIST will always make me pop.
Share your thoughts on Impact’s Sacrifice special event. Who stole the show?