Impact is gearing up for their historic Rebellion PPV on Sunday, April 25 where Kenny Omega will duel Rich Swann in title versus title with the AEW World Championship, Impact World Championship, and TNA World Heavyweight Championship on the line. One man will leave with all the belts as king of both AEW and Impact.
To help hype the occasion, Jim Ross passed through the Forbidden Door to provide analysis for the special, “This is Rebellion.” Also along those company lines, leave it to Tommy Dreamer to steal the show by expressing his desire to slap Tony Schiavone.
“This is Rebellion,” explored the relationship between AEW and Impact, profiled the personal paths of Omega and Swann, and offered wrestling analysis heading into the big bout.
AEW and Impact are making history by working together to have one world champion lord over both promotions. An arrangement of that magnitude is difficult to pull off in a way to keep everyone happy. Ross added insight that he believes this Forbidden Door relationship has been positive for both sides.
Ross: “Well, I think the AEW/Impact relationship is still evolving. I’m not sure where it’s going to go. I know that Tony Khan, the owner of AEW and my boss, is a very, very open-minded and is still a major wrestling fan. The blunt of that story is the fact that personally I like controversy, I like excitement, unpredictability.
And I don’t think anybody can debate the point that since the AEW/Impact relationship... And I don’t even know if it’s really a relationship. It seems like it’s an entanglement. The thing it’s done for us at AEW is given us the opportunity to see some Impact talent on our shows, namely the Good Brothers. And they’ve made our show better. So as far as I’m concerned, all the corporate stuff, I could care less. It means nothing to me. What I care about is what I see in the ring. And what I’ve seen in the ring from this entanglement has been very positive.”
On the other hand, Tommy Dreamer has doubts about ego and politics getting involved.
Dreamer: “We have had a decent relationship. I feel at times it is one-sided towards AEW. Our talent has been represented there and with Don Callis and with the Good Brothers, all of Kenny Omega’s friends. There’s a lot more very, very talented men and women here in Impact Wrestling that could be spotlighted on their show. When AEW wrestlers come to Impact Wrestling, our announcers put them over. They talk very, very highly of them. There’s very little mention of Impact when they’re over on AEW.”
Then came the shotgun blast of a threat for Tony Schiavone’s surly digs at Impact.
Dreamer: “Tony Schiavone, I would like to slap his fat face for the things that he says on the air. And some days, you will get that. You will get those receipts. You don’t need to be disrespectful when you’re trying to have a working relationship, and that’s why I’m trying to say I’ve seen this before. And it all goes awry. I don’t think in the end of this all it will work out well.”
Hot damn, that warning came out of nowhere. It’s not unwarranted though. Schiavone and Khan have been making Impact look like schmucks in their paid commercials. It was only a matter of time before someone from Impact vocally aired their displeasure over the ridicule and mockery. Kudos to Dreamer for being the one to stand up.
As far as politics go, Ross agrees that it has been an issue in the past. However, this is a new age with a new leader in Khan.
Ross: “Well, the reason that we haven’t seen from major wrestling companies a title versus title match is really simple. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist. That’s a bad cliche, but you don’t have to be overly bright, a Mensa member to figure that out. Politics. Politics can be the scourge of our earth. You can hear about it ad nauseam in other areas of politics.
Wrestling promoters have major, major egos. They all want to be the best, and that’s cool. But the promotions didn’t want to work together, not understanding that the more you work together the more you can build your fan bases respectively. So, I think it is nothing more than politics. And apparently, I can’t speak for the management at Impact, but I can certainly speak for Tony Khan. He’s not big into politics. He’s big into competition and quality pro wrestling.”
Back to the main matter at hand, Ross provided analysis on each man. Ross values Omega as a star.
Ross: “I think Kenny Omega is one of the best wrestlers in the world. I’m not wild about his personality these days, but they don’t pay me to judge personalities. They pay me to call wrestling matches. His wrestling matches are damn sure fun to call, because he’s really, really good, and he’s very innovative, and he’s got signature moves that he’s made his.”
Good ol’ JR put over Swann as an intriguing test for Omega.
Ross: “I think Rich Swann is loaded with courage. He’s never going to be 6’4”, 6’5” or 260. Okay? That just ends. But he’s amazingly athletic, he’s driven, he wasn’t raised with a silver spoon in his mouth. I can appreciate that. He came back from a devastating injury, a severely broken leg. And he hasn’t apparently lost a step. So, I think he’ll be one of the most interesting challengers for Kenny Omega’s AEW title.”
When it came time for a prediction, Ross toed the company line by picking Omega.
Ross: “I love Rich Swann’s story. I love his comeback. I love the fact that he’s not going to quit on you. His fans are going to see the very best that he can bring. And I think that’s a lot. It had just may be enough to become the AEW world champion. Somebody’s leaving with two belts. That’s how I look at it. It’s real simple. But, I am an AEW guy. I’m proud to be on the AEW team. Whether I like Omega personally or not is irrelevant. I do think that he is as good at his game, at his skill set, at his profession as anybody in the entire world in any company. So with that said, I’m going with Omega to leave with two titles.”
Strong sell job by Ross in the idea that Swann will bring the best he can bring. I believe that it is as close to 100% as it can be that Omega comes out victorious. That doesn’t mean the bout won’t be worth watching. Both men have the pride with an aim to deliver a five-star match. I have faith that Omega versus Swann will be a banger.
Get in the mood for Omega versus Swan in title versus title at Rebellion with Impact’s countdown for most historic title matches in the company’s history.
5. Noah GHC Heavyweight Championship: Eddie Edwards vs. Hijo del Fantasma - Impact Wrestling (Nov. 9, 2017)
4. NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship: Ken Shamrock winning Gauntlet for the Gold Battle Royal - NWA-TNA PPV#1 (June 19, 2002)
3. Inaugural TNA Knockouts Championship: Gail Kim winning Gauntlet Battle Royal - TNA Bound for Glory (Oct. 14, 2007)
2. Impact World Championship vs. TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Rich Swann vs. Moose - Sacrifice (Mar. 13, 2021)
1. All or Nothing (TNA World Heavyweight Championship, IWGP Heavyweight Championship, TNA X-Division Championship, & TNA World Tag Team Championship): Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe - TNA Hard Justice (Aug. 12, 2007)
Did the analysis from Jim Ross increase your excitement for the title versus title main event at Rebellion? How else would you like to see Ross used in the Forbidden Door relationship between AEW and Impact?
Rebellion airs at 8 pm ET on Sunday, April 25. It is available for viewing through PPV and Fite TV.