Impact’s Rebellion PPV (Apr. 25, 2021) took the next step in their interpromotional epic crossover with AEW. The show featured three championship changes, Big Cass debuting in the Impact Zone, Taylor Wilde returning, and Kenny Omega reigning supreme over Rich Swann in the title versus title main event.
Let’s break down the card down from top to bottom.
AEW World Championship vs. Impact World Championship: Kenny Omega defeated Rich Swann. (Full details here.) The AEW, Impact, and TNA world titles were on the line. The match was contested clean for the most part. There was a chair shenanigan, but it wasn’t used and didn’t affect the finish at all. Omega and Swann rocked the house, then Omega transitioned to a higher gear as a wrestling god with V-triggers aplenty. One big question was whether or not Swann could kick out of the One Winged Angel. He managed to escape on a few occasions. In the end though, the answer was no. Omega pinned Swann off the One Winged Angel.
Great showing by both men. Swann was effective in the underdog role with heart and desire to be the best. The problem was that he wrestled a god. Swann hung tight as long as he could. Swann was never going to win this match, but he likely won over new fans tuning in solely to root for Omega.
Omega’s dominance when it mattered most was next level. His V-triggers were on point each and every time. The one where he lowered his knee pad and went full blast forced an, “Oh, [expletive]!” out of my mouth involuntarily. Omega knew Swann would be tough to put away, so he weathered the storm of each fighting flurry to unleash pain. Omega often gloats about being the best, and he certainly backed it up on this evening.
Knockouts Championship: Deonna Purrazzo defeated Tenille Dashwood. Kimber Lee, Susan, and Kaleb Konley were all ringside. Dashwood took the champ to the limit. Purrazzo slammed Dashwood with two consecutive German suplexes. On the third, Dashwood elbowed her way out to counter with a double underhook suplex into the corner. Dashwood followed with two running low crossbodies. Purrazzo kicked out on the cover. The challenger continued her attack with a curb stomp then a bridging chinlock. Lee and Susan responded by hopping onto the apron as a distraction for Dashwood to release the hold. Konley pulled Lee down, but Lee shoved him into the ring post.
Purrazzo came back with a pump kick. She went high-risk to miss a flying headbutt. Dashwood struck with her running single-leg dropkick finisher. Lee grabbed Dashwood’s feet to pull her off the cover. Dashwood occupied herself by blasting Lee and Susan with forearms. Back in the ring, Dashwood walked into an exploder suplex. Purrazzo went for an armbar, however, Dashwood rolled through to get free. A big boot and the Queen’s Gambit piledriver earned Purrazzo the victory.
After the match, the mean girls put the boots to Dashwood. Let’s get Wilde! Taylor Wilde ran down for the save. She hit a tornado DDT to Lee and a German suplex to Susan.
Dashwood came hard and looked the best she has since her return to Impact. She finally appeared as a legitimate title contender. The story was a bit odd. Purrazzo is a dominant champ close to cleaning out the division, and yet she looked weak needing to be saved by her cronies on various instances. This could be the start of a longer story. Impact mentioned how Purrazzo was never able to beat Dashwood on the indies. If Dashwood does not receive an immediate rematch, then she got a raw deal here. Especially since it looks like Wilde could leapfrog into a title shot.
Impact World Tag Team Championship: FinJuice defeated Good Brothers. (Full details here.) FinJuice used strategy to outmaneuver their adversaries. David Finlay saved Juice Robinson from a Magic Killer, then Juice rolled up Luke Gallows for victory.
Interesting match throughout with teamwork and strategy on display. The Good Brothers are out of excuses. They were supposedly motivated with the fire back in their bellies, and they still couldn’t get the job done. I don’t know where they go from here in the short-term. Impact doesn’t have a deep tag division.
The win by FinJuice opens up possibilities for unique matchups. Joe Doering and Rhino would be an intriguing pair of powerhouses. James Storm and Chris Sabin still have their eye on becoming champs. Ace Austin and Madman Fulton could also be thrown into the mix, since Ace lost his X-Division gold. Rich Swann and Willie Mack getting back together as challengers would be cool too. FinJuice’s quicker pace makes them entertaining dance partners for all comers.
Last Man Standing: Trey Miguel defeated Sami Callihan. Callihan controlled the flow for most of the match. He often pummeled Trey, who refused to lose and kept rising to his feet. Callihan inflicted tons of pain. He powerbombed Trey onto a production box, whipped him with a steel chain, and did some dental work with a giant wrench.
Callihan also powerbombed Trey off the turnbuckles onto a table. In the climax, Callihan crushed Trey with a piledriver onto steel steps. Callihan trapped Trey underneath the heavy steel as the referee began his ten count. Trey escaped from the backside and under the ring unbeknownst to Callihan. Trey charged off the apron for a running cutter through a table on the floor. Trey rose to his feet at 9, while Callihan slipped down to miss the 10 count.
In a vacuum, the match was enjoyably hard-hitting with a creative finish. It did the Last Man Standing stipulation justice. In terms of story fit, I’m a little lost. Trey has been shown to have anger issues. Callihan is flawed as the messenger, but his message wasn’t invalid. Trey’s win did not show me he learned to harness his anger into passion. He was victorious through heart and ingenuity. Those are qualities he already possessed. If this is the end of the feud, then I don’t see it taking Trey to the next level to main event status.
Knockouts Tag Team Championship: Jordynne Grace & Rachael Ellering defeated Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz to win the titles. Jazz made a surprise return as an official manager for the challengers. It’s cool to see Jazz remain with the company after retirement. This bout was all about power versus speed. Fire ‘n’ Flava were outgunned in strength, so they had to rely on quick tags and smart teamwork. The top sequence started with Grace popping up Steelz over the ropes, who reached out to hit a cutter to Ellering on the apron. Grace followed with a suicide dive onto both women. Hogan came in last with a flying crossbody onto her opponents.
In the end, Steelz took down Grace with a crucifix bomb on the floor leading to the finish between Hogan and Ellering. Ellering escaped from Hogan’s signature swinging fisherman’s neckbreaker to execute her own fisherman’s sitdown buttbuster for victory. Grace and Ellering became the new tag champs.
On the surface, this was a decent match with solid action. Ellering shined with innovative offense, and Fire ‘n’ Flava did their thing as tag team specialists using strategic teamwork. Digging deeper, the finish was flat. It kind of came out of nowhere with no crescendo being built. It felt like a way to put over Ellering. In my opinion, that’s not reason enough to have established tag champs lose to a first-time pairing. I also didn’t like how Steelz disappeared at the end. She was the one who scored a power move on Grace, so I don’t understand why she couldn’t break up the winning pin. Here’s to hoping Fire ‘n’ Flava recover quickly to become two-time tag champs. They are too entertaining to be left adrift at Swinger’s Palace casino.
Brian Myers defeated Matt Cardona. The Major Brothers got after it. They used aggressive floor fighting with Cardona hitting the Radio Silence leg lariat on the entrance ramp. Myers rallied with a spear on the floor and a flying elbow drop in the ring.
The finish was cheesy in a good way. Myers popped Cardona for a leapfrog, but Cardona injured his knee on the way down. Referees were discussing whether or not to call the match while Myers waited patiently. It looked like they might bury the hatchet with a handshake. Myers buried the hatchet all right. Right into Cardona’s back. Myers grabbed Cardona’s hand to set up for a blindside clothesline. The Roster Cut lariat finished Cardona for an easy pin.
That match was a perfect fit for Myers and his current character. I did not see his treachery coming and erupted in laughter. Myers is a selfish man that will make use of any advantage he can. Bludgeoning an injured Cardona would have been fine, but Myers took it one step further by luring Cardona into a false sense of security. To top it off, Myers was arrogant in victory. This also sets up interest in a rematch for Cardona to get his win back.
Big Cass, Joe Doering, Deaner, & Rhino defeated James Storm, Chris Sabin, Eddie Edwards, & Willie Mack. Yes, you read that first name right. Big Cass debuted in the Impact Zone with a stylized variant of his real name, W. Morrissey (Full details here). Cass was a replacement for the injured Eric Young. Young recruited him to strut his stuff in the spotlight. Success could lead to bigger things and possibly membership into Young’s Violent by Design faction.
Morrissey looked great both physically and in competition. It didn’t take long for him to be tested. Storm tossed Deaner into the corner with the intent of a tag to the giant. Morrissey commenced in kicking butt and rammed the opposing team off the apron.
The style for this bout was smash-mouth with a jolt of slickness from the quicker competitors. There was a general sense of chaos at all times due to the nature of an 8-man tag. In the end, Sabin hit a superplex to Deaner outside the ring knocking everyone down to the floor. Inside the ropes, Mack hit a stunner to Doering, who rolled out of the ring. Morrissey entered to plow Mack with a big boot and finish with his East River Crossing sitout swinging side slam.
Morrissey is a good fit in both Impact and Violent by Design, if they choose to have him. Impact can never have enough big men. Morrissey is 7-feet tall, and you can’t teach that. He can bang with the biggies, like Madman Fulton and Moose, or he can be the Goliath for smaller Davids, like Rich Swann and Trey Miguel. Not to mention all the rugged fellows in between, such as Edwards, Mack, Storm, and Callihan. There is a lot of potential for interesting times ahead.
As for Violent by Design, Morrissey fits their idea of the disease and sickness. His shtick as Big Cass played to the hurrah of the people, while he was struggling on a personal level. There is a lot of room to explore that path.
X-Division Championship: Josh Alexander defeated Ace Austin and TJP to win the title. This bout was a high-octane opener with cool suplexes, flips, and submissions. Madman Fulton was ringside and protected Austin as best he could from close pinfalls. TJP connected on the mamba splash to Alexander. That’s when Madman yanked TJP by the legs off the cover and out of the ring to protect Austin’s belt. In the end, Alexander went back to his well of ankle locks on Austin. Ace escaped and knocked Alexander into TJP. Alexander was able to counter Austin into a double underhook piledriver to win.
This match had some very cool moves. Alexander completed a double super slam with a superplex to TJP and a Russian leg sweep to Austin at the same time.
There were also a few unique submissions trains with an ankle lock, knee bar, and octopus stretch. The drama was high with all three men being at the ready to make the save on a finisher.
Honestly, there was no wrong call in booking any of the competitors as the winner. They would all make proud X-Division champions. That said, I’m very pleased Alexander earned the glory. His style is right up my alley with a variety of suplexes. I hope this is a stepping stone to the main event scene for him.
Overall, Impact’s Rebellion PPV was a high-quality show. Energy was popping from the get-go for the historic evening. The X-Division opener and world title main event were certified bangers. Big Cass on the warpath was a fun surprise. The rest of the bouts were all above average in entertainment. The results kept me on my toes. I went 2-6 in predictions with guessing Omega and Purrazzo correctly, and those were super obvious picks. This PPV was likely to leave Impact fans satisfied.
Share your thoughts about Rebellion. How do you rate it? Who stole the show?