Multiverse Of Matches

Multiverse Of Matches
Date: April 1, 2022
Location: Fairmont Hotel, Dallas, Texas
Commentators: Tom Hannifan, Matthew Rehwoldt

This was a show that got my attention as it has a pretty nice card with a lot of things going on. The idea is that there are multiple companies coming together with some representatives for some matches we might not have seen before. That should be enough, even if this is just a side trip on the way to Rebellion. Let’s get to it.

I was in attendance for this show, sitting opposite the entrance in the fifth row center.

The opening video runs down the card.

X-Division Title: Jordynne Grace vs. Chris Bey vs. Blake Christian vs. Vincent vs. Rich Swann vs. Trey Miguel

Miguel is defending in Ultimate X and Swann busts out a Scott Hall pose for a great moment. It’s a group attempt to crawl across the ropes to start but that is all broken up. The audio gets a lot louder as Miguel is left alone, only to be pulled down by Swann and Bey. That means a three way exchange of strikes to the face with bey getting the better of things.

Grace is back in with a MuscleBuster to Bey but Christian clears the ring out again. Miguel takes Christian down though and goes up, only to get pulled down by Vincent. That earns Vincent a cutter from Swann, who is pulled down by Bey rather quickly. Bey plants Swann with the Art of Finesse so Christian goes up, only to drop does onto Bey with a Canadian Destroyer. Instead of climbing though, Christian hits a big flip dive onto the pile. It’s Grace going across the cables and using her legs, only to get knocked down by Miguel. That’s enough for Miguel to grab the title and retain at 7:25.

Rating: B-. This was one of those things where I’ve seen a bunch of Ultimate X matches over the years and a lot of them run together. The climbing was the focus here again as it tends to be, though it was a lot of two people do their thing and then some others take their place. Fun match, but if you’ve seen a few of these, you’ve seen them all.

Here’s what’s coming on the rest of the card as the structure is taken apart.

Earlier today, the Good Brothers promised to take the Briscoes out to even their career series.

Matt Cardona/Chelsea Green vs. Nick Aldis/Mickie James

Green turned on James and Cardona took her out, so James brought in Aldis for a battle of married teams. The girls get in a brawl to start but we settle down to Aldis pounding on Cardona on the mat and in the corner. Mickie comes in but gets taken down by Cardona’s clothesline to put her in trouble. It’s off to Green to choke in the corner and forearm away, setting up the chinlock to keep James down.

The Reboot misses for Cardona though and Mickie grabs a flapjack, allowing the hot tag off to Aldis. The clothesline comeback is on, setting up a Tombstone. There’s a top rope elbow but Green makes the save as everything breaks down. Cardona has to save Green from the King’s Lynn Cloverleaf but she gets sent outside anyway. Back in and stereo King’s Lynn Cloverleafs make Cardona and Green tap at the same time at 8:00.

Rating: C. I remember this being a bit longer in person but it still worked out well enough. There is a simple story here with the two married couples going at it over one of them being attacked a few weeks ago. Aldis continues to look like a star, though he might be a bit dull, and James has been a legend for years. Green has come a long way and Cardona…my goodness he has had a career renaissance in the last year or so and it has been a lot of fun to watch.

Aldis motions that he wants the NWA World Title back. Or maybe the Impact Digital Media Title.

Deonna Purrazzo doesn’t care that Mercedes Martinez won the Interim Ring Of Honor Women’s Title earlier tonight (at a different show) and she doesn’t care who answers her Champ Champ Challenge tonight.

Alex Shelley vs. Mike Bailey

Bailey was all over Wrestlemania Weekend and this is one of a handful of matches I saw from him. The fans aren’t sure who to cheer for here but both seem rather popular. They take about a minute to lock up with Shelley working on a wristlock. Bailey breaks that up fast and sends Shelley into the corner to give us a standoff. A whip into the ropes doesn’t get Shelley anywhere as bailey is back with his bouncing kicks to the arms into the enziguri.

Shelley is sent outside where he seems to injure and then fix his own shoulder. A jawbreaker works a bit better for Shelley and they head outside again with Shelley chopping away against the barricade. We pause for a Ric Flair strut and a top rope knee is driven into the chest back inside. Shelley hits a leg trap DDT for two and we hit the crossarm choke. Bailey fights up again and kicks him down, setting up the running corkscrew shooting star press for two.

Shelley pulls him down into the Motor City Stretch, sending Bailey over to the rope. They head to the apron (oh dear) where Bailey trips him down but misses his moonsault knees (freaking ow man). That lets Shelley hit a slingshot DDT, which mostly drives Bailey’s shoulder into the apron to knock him silly. A brainbuster on the floor drops Bailey again but he dives back in and sends Shelley outside.

That means a big springboard moonsault because selling isn’t a thing on this show. Back in and Shelley gets annoyed so the real fight is on. Bailey kicks him down and hits the Ultimate Weapon (standing moonsault double knees) for two. A quick Motor City Stretch attempt is countered into a rollup for two before Bailey bounces him off the rope for another rollup and the pin at 15:03.

Rating: B-. You knew you were going to get this kind of a match on the show and it worked well here, though Bailey taking those big moves and popping up to win a few moments later was more than I could reasonably take. That was a problem for him all weekend long and while it is the kind of thing that you have to expect, it still isn’t easy to see over and over.

The Influence isn’t worried about their Tag Team Title defense. Madison Rayne is reminded of one of her favorite quotes: “Everyone else sucks and we’re the Knockouts Tag Team Champions.” Who said that you ask? Tenille Dashwood of course. All three of the teams are going to hate each other or not get along so they should be fine.

Knockouts Tag Team Titles: Decay vs. Lady Frost/Gisele Shaw vs. Tasha Steelz/Savannah Evans vs. Influence

Influence is defending and there are actually no seconds here. Shaw and Frost are replacing the IInspiration, who are missing for no apparent reason. Rosemary and Steelz start things off but Steelz hands it off to Evans before anything happens. A dropkick to the leg takes Evans down so Rosemary can bite her head, only to get knocked into the corner. Evans hiptosses Steelz into her for two but Shaw tags herself in.

Something like Natural Selection gets two on Steelz and it’s off to Frost for Cryme Tyme’s old G9 of all things. Instead of covering, they let Steelz tag in Havok for the wrecking on Frost. Rosemary adds the spear before handing it off to Dashwood for the stomping. A northern lights suplex gives Rayne two and Steelz has to make the save after a neckbreaker.

Frost kicks her way to freedom so it’s off to Havok vs. Rayne, with no one interested in Rayne’s offer of a tag. Everything breaks down as we hit the parade of secondary finishers, leaving everyone down. Evans/Steelz and Decay fight to the floor, leaving Frost and Shaw to kick the champs down together. Frost gets knocked off the top though and a double Stroke is enough to retain the titles at 9:03.

Rating: C. What else were you expecting from a match like this? There are eight women fighting to get ring time and no one is going to get the chance to shine. The titles still don’t mean much and it is hard to imagine anyone but the IInspiration taking the Influence down. At least they weren’t out there long and the match wasn’t awful, but it isn’t like these things ever work that well.

Eddie Edwards is here representing Pro Wrestling Noah because they didn’t turn their backs on him. He is in his old school green and is ready to prove himself to Tomohiro Ishii.

Eddie Edwards vs. Tomohiro Ishii

Feeling out process to start with Edwards backing him up against the ropes to no avail. An exchange of shoulders (eventually) goes to Ishii but he is sent outside for the suicide dive. Ishii gets sent into the barricade but he is fine enough to hit a powerslam to drive Edwards into the floor. A DDT onto the apron rocks Ishii for two and Eddie is starting to get cocky.

That’s not a good idea against Ishii, who hits a suplex and unloads in the corner to take over. The Blue Thunder Bomb gets Eddie out of trouble for two and he kicks Ishii in the head in the corner. The Backpack Stunner is broken up so they trade snap German suplexes and clotheslines for a double knockdown.

Back up and Edwards starts striking away in the corner, earning a glare from Ishii and a YOU CENSORED UP chant from the crowd. Ishii hammers away but the sliding lariat is blocked and Edwards knees away. The Boston Knee Party is blocked and Ishii hits a running knee of his own. Edwards blocks the brainbuster and tries the Die Hard Driver but Ishii slips out. The big clothesline sets up the brainbuster to give Ishii the pin at 14:58.

Rating: B-. This felt like the match where they beat each other up until one of them just couldn’t get up again. That is a formula that will always work well enough, though it didn’t quite hit the highest point here. Ishii isn’t what he used to be but he is still good enough to get by on a combination of reputation and skill. If nothing else, it is nice to see a first time match that felt special, which is the point of this show.

We recap PCO/Moose vs. Josh Alexander/Jonah. This is double fallout from Sacrifice where Alexander returned to go after Moose and Jonah injured PCO. There is nothing wrong with combining two feuds and this should be a hard hitting fight.

Jonah/Josh Alexander vs. PCO/Moose

PCO jumps Alexander to start and knocks him into the corner. Alexander gets in a kick to the face though and it’s Jonah coming in, albeit after glaring at Alexander a bit (with commentary pointing out their previous issues). It’s off to Moose for the showdown with Jonah, but about ten shoulders won’t put Jonah down. One big shoulder does put Moose down, though Alexander tags himself back in to chase Moose around the ring.

PCO cuts Alexander off and it’s a double whip to send Alexander into the barricade. Back in and PCO drops his middle rope leg and Moose starts stomping on Alexander’s wrist. Alexander is able to grab a suplex on PCO but he’s back up to knock Jonah off the apron before the tag. The second attempt works just fine though and it’s Jonah coming in to clean house.

That doesn’t last long as the big backsplash misses and Alexander is already back in. Everything breaks down and PCO hits his big flip dive to the floor, setting up the Deanimator on Alexander. Back in and Jonah hits a superkick on PCO, leaving Alexander to blast Moose with a clothesline. We get the BOO/YAY slugout with Moose and Alexander until Moose bails from the threat of the C4 Spike. The Spike hits PCO instead for the pin at 12:48.

Rating: C+. Sometimes you need four big, strong guys to beat on each other for a little while. That is what we got here and it was entertaining while it lasted. That’s about all you can ask for here and they even built up Moose vs. Alexander at Rebellion. Throw in some fun interactions and this was about as good of a use of their time as they could have had.

Mickie James and Gail Kim are running something called Dresselmania II which seems to be some kind of charity deal. Cool.

Here’s Deonna Purrazzo for the Champ Champ Challenger.

AAA Reina de Reinas Title: Faby Apache vs. Deonna Purrazzo

Purrazzo is defending and defeated Apache to win the title in the first place. I had been hoping for Mercedes Martinez or Taya Valkyrie but this was certainly a surprise. Feeling out process with Apache taking her down by the leg and some legsweeps give them two each. A slugout goes to Purrazzo but Apache takes her down into the corner to stomp away. Purrazzo is back with some arm cranking but can’t get the cross armbreaker. Apache grabs a suplex into a legdrop as the fans aren’t sure what to make of her.

La majistral gives Apache two as Rehwoldt continues to sing Purrazzo’s praises. Something like a reverse Figure Four has Purrazzo in trouble until she gets over to the rope. Purrazzo is back up with a standing moonsault for two but Apache grabs the Fairy Tale Ending for her own two. The Fujiwara armbar is broken up and they kick each other in the face for a double knockdown. Back up and Purrazzo hits a German suplex but can’t get the Queen’s Gambit. With that not working, Purrazzo pulls her into the armbar for the tap to retain at 8:56.

Rating: C. The problem here is that the fans didn’t know Apache and they didn’t react tot he match as a result. While Apache is someone who was a threat to the title, you need something to care about and that isn’t the case with someone popping into the promotion for the first time. The match wasn’t bad, but it had almost no heat and that dragged things down.

Post match Purrazzo grabs the mic and says it doesn’t matter who what Mercedes Martinez won earlier tonight because she is the Champ Champ….and here is Taya Valkyrie to interrupt. The fans welcome her back and Valkyrie says Purrazzo should be worried about that Reina de Reinas Title. Valkyrie will see her at Rebellion.

We recap Jay White vs. Chris Sabin. They have met each other time after time and now it is Sabin’s chance to prove himself.

Chris Sabin vs. Jay White

White is a bit popular around here. A chop against the ropes wakes Sabin up to start and another hurts White’s own hand. Sabin grabs him by the arm and takes him down to the mat before grabbing an armdrag into a chop of his own. White is sent outside for the suicide dive and then gets dropped face first onto the apron. Back in and White catches him on top, setting up another chop out to the floor.

A pair of belly to back drops onto the apron have Sabin in more trouble and the half crab goes on back inside. With that broken up, White hits a backbreaker into a waistlock to stay on the back/ribs. Sabin fights up and hits a shot to the ribs of his own before another good one puts White down. Some elbows to the back of the head set up a missile dropkick to give Sabin two as his chest is a scary shade of purple.

White is back up with a snap DDT for two and a Saito suplex drops Sabin again. A swinging suplex gets two more and it’s White’s turn to be frustrated. The swinging Rock Bottom plants Sabin for another near fall and White is annoyed at the referee (the same one who allegedly messed up in the tag match last week).

Sabin counters the Blade Runner into a ram into the corner but White goes back to the damaged chest. That just fires Sabin up for some, ahem, machine gun style chops to put White down for a change. There’s the hard clothesline but the Cradle Shock is blocked. White tries the Blade Runner again, only to get rolled up to give Sabin the upset pin at 16:01.

Rating: B. I didn’t see that coming and I was actually surprised by the pinfall. White losing outside of anything but a big match is weird and Sabin winning a major singles match almost feels even weirder. It was a heck of a match though with both guys looking as smooth as they ever did. That’s the good thing about seeing people like these two getting in the ring and they made it work very well. Match of the night so far.

Post match Steve Maclin comes in to go after Sabin but White pulls him off. Maclin goes after Sabin again but gets hit low, leaving Sabin to celebrate.

Good Brothers vs. Briscoes

This is a few hours after the Briscoes had their instant classic against FTR. We get the Big Match Intros and you really can feel the energy when the Briscoes are in the ring. They just make things feel big and the charisma is off the charts. Mark and Anderson go to the mat to start but everything breaks down in a hurry.

Back in and Karl rakes Jay’s eyes to take over and we settle down with Jay being sent into the corner. Gallows stomps away and Anderson goes back to the eyes like a villain (I think?) should. The chinlock goes on for a bit before Jay is taken into the corner for some right hands from Anderson. That doesn’t last long either and the hot tag brings in Mark to clean house.

The Iconoclasm gets two on Anderson and Redneck Boogie (commentary didn’t seem to know the name) connects for the same. Everything breaks down and the reverse 3D gets two on Jay. Mark breaks up the Magic Killer and everyone is down again. It’s Mark getting up first and heading to the top but Chris Bey pops up to distract the referee. Cue Jay White to shove Mark off the top, setting up the Magic Killer for the pin at 9:45.

Rating: C+. They went fast here and a lot of that is probably due to the Briscoes being a bit gassed after their earlier match. What mattered here was giving the Bullet Club a win and it isn’t like the Briscoes lose much after a previous match and interference. They had a good match here though and the energy was high to end the night.

The Bullet Club poses on the stage to end the show.

After the show, the Briscoes called that a bunch of BOLOGNA (Mark’s word) and promised to be back in Impact.

Overall Rating: B-. This might not have been an instant classic, but it was a fun night and one of the shows I had been looking forward to leading up to the weekend. Impact continues to be good when they are able to focus on the wrestling itself and this time they were able to mix things up a bit and have a fun show. Rebellion is the show that mattered, but this was the lighter show and they made that work rather well.

 

 

 

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