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Impact No Surrender recap: A hoss fight for the ages

Good golly, Miss Molly. Moose and W. Morrissey beat the stuffing out of each other in a hoss fight for the ages at No Surrender. The world championship match was so damn awesome that it is a contender for Impact Match of the Year.

Make no mistake. This bout was not pretty or polished. It was a hoss fight in every sense of the meaning. The two behemoths savagely beat the shit out of each other, and it was so much fun to watch.

The war began with Moose roaring and charging for a shoulder tackle. Morrissey didn’t budge upon contact. Moose charged again for another stalemate. Fisticuffs erupted in the center of the ring. After a stalemate in clotheslines, there was a double roar, double clotheslines, and a double fall down to the mat. Moose showed off his big brain by making Morrissey believe another clothesline was coming. Instead, Moose went low for a spear. Moose collided for a second spear. Morrissey wisely rolled out of the ring to avoid pinfall. He laid flat on the floor taking deep breaths to sell the magnitude of Moose’s spears.

Morrissey recovered enough to leapfrog a spear and fire back with a big boot. Morrissey powerbombed Moose on the mat, but Moose rolled out of the ring sprawled out flat on the floor in pain. Morrissey kept up the pressure by Irish whipping Moose into the barricade. Morrissey did it again. On the third whip, Moose countered to hit a uranage through the timekeeper table.

Moose smashed Morrissey into the ring post. On the next attack, the cameraman unintentionally got in the way. That allowed Morrissey to surprise Moose with a big boot then powerbomb the champ onto the apron.

The match progressed with vicious chops. Morrissey clotheslined Moose so hard that the champ flipped into the air. Morrissey went to for another powerbomb, but Moose escaped over the top. Moose ducked a clothesline to run the ropes for a spear. Morrissey was down hard, but he was able to place his arm under the rope to break the pinfall. Morrissey regrouped to hit a pop-up powerbomb. This time, Moose was down hard, but he was able to place his foot under the rope to break the pinfall.

For the next big move, Moose superplexed Morrissey.

After a short breather, Moose kipped up with energy. Morrissey dodged a spear. Moose kept running the ropes and made contact for a spear as Morrissey was lifting his leg for a big boot. That was finally enough to keep Morrissey down for the three-count. And still Impact world champion... Moose!

This match delivered beyond expectations. Moose and Morrissey went full hoss and never dialed it down. The opening salvo made me giddy. It is joked about big men only having five moves. This match pretty much had ten moves combined, but that set the stage for big pops on displays of athleticism when Morrissey leapfrogged the spear and Moose hit the superplex.

It wasn’t just the physicality that made this match fantastic. The touches of strategy escaping the ring and using ropes to break covers showed there was a method to the madness. Since they were presented as equals throughout, the finish came as a surprise once the contest was over. The final sequence was timed great. It made it look like the result could have been different if Morrissey lifted his leg a split-second sooner for a big boot. I really wanted to see Morrissey become champ. At the end, I didn’t even care who won, because it was so damn entertaining.

Let’s run down the rest of the matches from No Surrender.

Honor No More defeated Team Impact. The sides for the main event were Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, Vincent, PCO, & Kenny King with Maria Kanellis as manager against Chris Sabin, Rich Swann, Rhino, Steve Maclin, & Willie Mack. Eddie Edwards was knocked out backstage earlier in the evening, so Mack was brought in as the replacement.

In invasion angles, there is always a stench of betrayal in the air. On this evening, Edwards was the stinkiest. He turned out to be a rat by screwing Impact. (Full details here.) Edwards arrived on the scene to hit Rhino with a kendo stick then blasted the rest of Team Impact. Honor No More picked up the win earning the right to stay in Impact.

The match was fairly long and maintained electricity throughout with a constant pace of action. Everybody had a chance to shine. The treacherous finish was executed well enough. Once the referee took a bump, it was clear shenanigans would be afoot. Edwards played it up right by getting the crowd amped to see Rhino spear Maria. Then, whack! Edwards stabbed Impact in the back. For long-time viewers of wrestling, the foreshadowing was noticeable, so it wasn’t a total shocker. Despite that, it worked as intended. The end result was Edwards creating buzz and intrigue to tune in for TV. That’s what is important.

Knockouts World Championship: Mickie James retained against Tasha Steelz. This was a feisty bout from Hardcore Country and the Boricua Badass. Savannah Evans was trifling with the champ, so Chelsea Green ran out to neutralize the threat. James shoved Steelz into Green leading to a bridging roll-up win for the champ.

Steelz had a solid game plan, but the unexpected arrival of Green messed things up. With how the finish played out, I guess this feud could be extended. However, it’s not like Steelz had a definitive moment putting James in deep trouble. James already offered Green a chance at gold, so maybe Steelz forces her hand to make it a three-way.

Impact World Tag Team Championship: Good Brothers retained against G.O.D. The big story of this bout was “Switchblade” Jay White turning on G.O.D. (Full details here.) He blasted Tama Tonga with a Blade Runner to hand the victory over to the Good Brothers. The champs still hit a Magic Killer to be sure before the pinfall. In the aftermath, White gave a Too Sweet to the tentative Good Brothers.

I don’t follow NJPW, so I don’t know if hints were present leading into the match. From my limited knowledge, this was absolutely shocking. The Bullet Club feud with the Good Brothers has been spread out over years, and this was finally the time to put a beating on Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows. With that much buildup, the swerve came hard, and it was awesome in a sense of unpredictability. I trust it will make sense and not be a cheap ploy for shock value. Time will tell on that.

As for the match, the intensity lived up as promised. G.O.D. talked a big game, and they backed it up. The Good Brothers didn’t wilt one bit under the pressure. It was two championship caliber teams going toe to toe.

Impact Digital Media Championship: Matt Cardona retained against Jordynne Grace. Cardona tried to play nice by offering a handshake to start the bout. Grace didn’t trust Cardona and popped him with forearm shots right away. That set the tone for the match. Grace pummeled Cardona early.

Cardona relied on slimy tactics, like pulling the referee in the way to stop Grace charging forward. Cardona also tried to hit Grace with a chair on a suicide dive. He held it up too early, so she kicked it in his face. In the end, Cardona got the desired result, even though, it didn’t quite play out as he intended. Cardona was going to use a chair on Grace. The referee advanced for the save, but Cardona scared him away. As Cardona extended his arms into the air for a big swing of the foreign object, Grace kicked him square in the groin. The referee called it by the rules and disqualified Grace.

This was a very fun bout. Due to Grace’s strength, it is hard to see her as an underdog in Knockouts matches. With Cardona, she was able to fully work as the fiery babyface trying to overcome a larger opponent. Cardona played his part well to make it easy to root against him. Bring on round three!

AAA or ROH Championship open challenge: Deonna Purrazzo defeated Miranda Alize. The surprise challenger was a cool pick for ROH fans. Alize was positioned as a rising star by making it to the ROH women’s tournament final losing to Rok-C for the title. That’s why it made a lot of sense for Alize to pick the ROH belt for this bout. Alize fought fiery, but Purrazzo was the better technician to slow down the pace and regroup when in trouble. Purrazzo won by dodging a Shining Wizard then cinching in an armbar for victory.

This was a decent bout, but the chemistry felt a little off. It worked out alright though to give the match a scrappy vibe. The finish was awkward with Alize tapping out before Purrazzo could lock in the double armbar.

“Switchblade” Jay White defeated Eric Young. This was one of those matches that illustrates the depth of quality on this card. Bragging rights were at stake for the two faction leaders, and they fought tooth and nail for victory. There were eye gouges, cheating tactics, rugged brawling, hard slams, and slick counters. It would have fit nicely in the workhorse era of the WWE Intercontinental Championship in the 80s and 90s. For the ending, the setup was sweet with both men reversing out of big moves. White showed why he’s a big deal by exploding for a half-and-half suplex and finishing with a Blade Runner.

It will be interesting to see how much Impact will use White for the near future. Due to his status with NJPW and AEW, he’s probably not going to lose any time soon. That would likely keep him out of the world title picture. Singles bouts with Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa would make sense, but those could also take place in a different company with the Forbidden Door on turnstile.

JONAH defeated Black Taurus. This was enjoyable hoss action. It started as two beasts power fighting, then it took a compelling turn when Taurus started using his luchador skills to gain control. JONAH had trouble dealing with the bull’s agility on a twisting crucifix bomb and a flying corkscrew senton. JONAH was the larger and more powerful hoss, and that was the deciding factor. His bread and butter move for this bout was an overhead press slam. He executed it several times with the last one off the turnbuckles. JONAH followed with a flying Thesz press and a flying splash to win.

JONAH continues to make a strong impression. I’m curious who’s next for the Top Dog. If he rumbles in the hoss fight division, then W. Morrissey would be a heck of a challenge. For TV purposes, maybe Impact can bring back Big Kon for a slugfest with JONAH.

X-Division #1 contender: Jake Something defeated Ace Austin, “Speedball” Mike Bailey, and Chris Bey in a four-way. Total non-stop action as expected to get the crowd pumping. Bey shined with his jumping ability, Bailey shined with his kicking ability, Jake shined with his powerhouse ability, and Ace was often surveying the situation to pick his spots. Ace thought he had an opening for the Fold on Jake, but the strong man caught him to counter for a Black Hole Slam in victory. Jake earned a shot at Trey Miguel and the X-Division Championship.

Jake has potential to be the next breakout from the X-Division. He consistently puts on very good matches against different styles of opponents. I think Jake needs to evolve beyond the Something last name in order to level up. The reason for using it made sense to take a stand for something, but it’s cheesy sounding without that context.

Bey was on fire showing off creativity and leaping ability. I’ll pick him as the star of the match. Enjoy this nifty clip of Bey styling with finesse.

Havok defeated Tenille Dashwood. This pre-show bout had an amusing mix of action and comedy. It was goofy at times, but it felt like they were still in a fight. In the end, Dashwood demanded a photo opportunity of hitting her finish. The IInspiration just so happened to call Kaleb Konley’s camera phone at that exact time. Havok took advantage of the confusion to win with a tombstone piledriver.

The result was a bit of a surprise considering the Influence are in line for a tag title shot. The loss didn’t make Dashwood look bad, because it was consistent with her self-absorbed character. The finish had a smart touch of continuing the tag title feud without the IInspiration even being in the venue.

Trey Miguel defeated John Skyler. Good pre-show choice for the first match of the evening to get the juices flowing. Both Miguel and Skyler hit flashy moves. Skyler had a cool powerbomb transition into a Boston crab. The X-Division champ prevailed in non-title action by knocking Skyler off the turnbuckles and following with a Meteora flying double knees for victory.

Grade: B+

No Surrender was a very good show. The results by themselves weren’t big news with no title changes, but Impact provided twist and turns with Switchblade and Edwards to produce intrigue. Moose’s stock was elevated as a super destroyer, and I’m eager to see who emerges as his next challenger.

Share your reactions for No Surrender. Which was your match of the night?