Date: April 24, 2022
Location: Majed J. Nesheiwat Convention Center, Poughkeepsie, New York
Commentators: Matthew Rehwoldt, Tom Hannifan
It’s back to pay per view for Impact and this time they have made me want to see what they have to offer. The main event is a long awaited showdown between Moose and Josh Alexander for the World Title, after Moose took the title at Bound For Glory and then went after Alexander’s family. The rest of the card looks pretty good too so let’s get to it.
Pre-Show: Eddie Edwards vs. Chris Bey
Bey is replacing an injured Jonathan Gresham. There are no seconds here for a change and the fans are behind Bey, complete with the TOO SWEET/HOWEVER YOU SPELL THE WEIRD BARKING THING THEY SAY AFTER TOO SWEET chants. Feeling out process to start with Bey grabbing a headscissors but getting taken down with a shot to the face. An overhead belly to belly suplex drops Bey again but he fires off some kicks to send Edwards outside.
There’s the big running flip dive, sending Rehwoldt into a weird Inception reference. Edwards hits a running knee for two, only to have Bey come back with a running clothesline. Some YES Kicks rock Edwards but he’s back with a failed tiger driver attempt. A Backpack Stunner gets Edwards out of trouble for two but his Blue Thunder Bomb is countered into a cutter for two. The Art of Finesse misses though and Edwards’ tiger driver gets two. The Diehard Driver is enough to finish Bey at 9:22.
Rating: B-. This is the right way to open up a show, as they had a hard hitting, fast paced match until one of them got caught with a big move to shut them down. They had some bigger names in this one than you would see in most Kickoff Show matches and it was a good, back and forth match. Edwards beating Bey is a big win as Bey has had some moments lately, though hopefully Bey doesn’t have to start from scratch again.
Pre-Show: Knockouts Tag Team Titles: Influence vs. IInspiration
The Influence is defending and jumps the IInspiration before the bell. We settle down to McKay vs. Rayne to start but it’s quickly off to Lee to send Rayne into the corner. Dashwood comes in to send Lee face first into the mat as we’re told Rebellion starts in about seven minutes. Good thing they didn’t waste time letting us think this might be some epic match.
Lee manages a rollup for two on Dashwood and they knock each other down for a double breather. The double tag brings in McKay to go after Rayne but has to send Dashwood into her in the corner. A bulldog Rayne face first onto McKay’s knee for two but Dashwood sends the IInspiration into each other. The Spotlight kick gets two on Lee, who kicks the belt out of Rayne’ hands for two. The Idolizer is broken up with a spear and the Clap (double Stroke) retains the titles at 6:35.
Rating: C. It doesn’t help that this is the Knockouts tag division for all intent and purpose but they were given no time here and the clock made it even more obvious. You can only get so far when you’re going home as soon as things start cooking and that caught them here. I’m not sure who comes after the titles next, but this is about it for the IInspiration going after the belts for the time being.
The opening video talks about how everyone has a spirit in them that wants to rebel and win, which they’ll try to do tonight.
Steve Maclin vs. Jay White vs. Chris Sabin
These three have been fighting back and forth for a few weeks. Stat during the entrances: White has competed in 3 triple threats, Maclin has competed in five, and Sabin has competed in SIXTY EIGHT. Dang that’s a bit nutty. Maclin has a skull painted on his face for some unexplained reason and it’s White bailing to the floor to start. Sabin gets run over with a shoulder and punched down, only to send Maclin to the apron.
White pulls him down and Sabin runs both of them over on the floor to pick up the pace a bit. Back in and Sabin hits a spinning crossbody to drop White but Maclin hits some backbreakers to take over. They all head outside with White dropping Maclin ribs first onto the apron and taking Sabin down as well. Back in and White suplexes Sabin into Maclin in the corner for two but Sabin kicks both of them down.
A double high crossbody leaves Sabin the only one standing before he chops away at both of them. The tornado DDT gets two on White but Maclin drops Sabin as well to put everyone on the mat. White’s swinging Rock Bottom gets two on Maclin but the Tower Of Doom is broken up.
Sabin knocks White into the Tree of Woe and missile dropkicks Maclin, who puts Sabin in the Tree of Woe as well. Maclin spears White but misses another to Sabin, sending Maclin flying out to the floor. That leaves Sabin to counter the Blade Runner into a rollup for two (how he beat White at Multiverse of Matches) before hitting the Cradle Shock….but Maclin rolls Sabin up for the pin at 12:05.
Rating: B-. At some point you have to pull the trigger on someone and Maclin has come a pretty long way in recent months. Having him pin Sabin is a big enough deal but giving him a win over White (even without pinning him) means even more. I’m glad to see Maclin getting a chance after having his chance cut in WWE through no fault of his own, and it seems like he’s making the most of it too. Good for him and a pretty sweet opener.
We run down the rest of the card.
Josh Alexander arrived with his wife and son, with the former talking about how important tonight is for him. Scott D’Amore comes in and gives Alexander a bit of a pep talk.
We recap Taya Valkyrie vs. Deonna Purrazzo for the AAA Reina de Reinas Title. Valkyrie returned at Multiverse of Matches and challenged Purrazzo for the title, but also wants revenge for Purrazzo beating her for the title in the first place.
Reina de Reinas Title: Taya Valkyrie vs. Deonna Purrazzo
Purrazzo is defending and the fans are behind Valkyrie to start. An armdrag into the corner doesn’t get Valkyrie very far so she runs Purrazzo over for two instead. The Shinsuke Nakamura sliding German suplex drops Purrazzo but she manages to pull Valkyrie head first into the post. Back in and a clothesline gives Purrazzo two and it’s a Downward Spiral into a Koji Clutch. Valkyrie powers out and bails to the floor for a breather, setting up a Russian legsweep to drive both of them back first into the apron.
They get back inside where Valkyrie hits her own clothesline for two but Road To Valhalla is broken up. The standing moonsault connects but Valkyrie goes straight to the rope to escape the armbar. Purrazzo goes up and dives into a sitout powerbomb, setting up an STF. That sends Purrazzo to the ropes for a change but she is right back with a kneebar. With that broken up, Valkyrie slips out of the Queen’s Gambit and hits the Road To Valhalla for the pin and the title at 9:02.
Rating: C+. They had to take at least one of the titles off of Purrazzo sooner or later and you had to know Valkyrie was getting the AAA title as soon as she showed up at Multiverse of Matches. Purrazzo had a heck of a ride up to the top but had to come down eventually. Next up will probably be dropping the Ring of Honor Women’s Title and that is the way this should go. If nothing else, it is nice to have Valkyrie back though and hopefully she sticks around with Impact for a bit.
Tasha Steelz isn’t worried about Taya Valkyrie or Rosemary, the latter of whom doesn’t know what is coming for her tonight.
We recap the X-Division Title match, which is more about Mike Bailey vs. Ace Austin with champion Trey Miguel trying to remind us that he is there too.
X-Division Title: Mike Bailey vs. Ace Austin vs. Trey Miguel
Miguel is defending. Austin talks too much trash to start and gets double teamed down, allowing Bailey and Miguel to take turns kicking him in the back. A missed dropkick makes it even worse for Austin, who is sent outside. Austin is able to break up Bailey’s handspring but Miguel takes Austin down with a suicide dive. Bailey takes down both of them with a springboard moonsault but Miguel strikes away back inside.
The big stomp to Bailey’s back is cut off as Austin powerbombs Miguel onto Bailey instead. That doesn’t work well for Austin as he is sent outside, leaving Miguel to avoid the Ultimate Weapon. Now it’s Bailey being sent outside so Miguel counters the Fold into a rollup for two (how Miguel beat Austin on Impact), leaving Bailey to hit a great moonsault to Austin. Miguel isn’t having that and dives onto both of them on the floor, giving them a much needed breather.
Back in and Bailey uses Miguel to set up a German suplex to Austin. Bailey’s double knees take both of them down, leaving Bailey to hit Austin with the Ultimate Weapon for two as Miguel makes the save. Some rollups get two each and it’s Miguel hitting the top rope Meteora for two on Bailey with Austin pulling the referee out. The Fold hits Miguel to give Austin the pin and the title at 10:24.
Rating: B. As expected, this was all action with the three of them not stopping for the ten minutes that they had. Austin getting the title back is interesting, but it is hard to imagine Bailey isn’t champion by Bound For Glory at the very latest. Total sprint here and I had a good time with it, as you kind of had to expect, even with the changes to to Jonathan Gresham’s injury.
Honor No More says they’ve had a great night so far and they’re ready to win the Tag Team Titles.
We get a vignette for EGV, complete with some binary code.
Jonah vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Battle of the monsters time and they go nose to nose to start. Ishii fires off forearms but Jonah knocks him back with just one. Jonah eventually runs him over and then hits the Vader standing splash to drop Ishii again. Some elbows to the neck let Jonah send him into the corner for some forearms to the head and the chinlock goes on.
Ishii fights up and starts his growling but Jonah forearms him back into the corner. That’s broken up again but Jonah is way too big for the brainbuster. Ishii wins the slug out in the corner and they slug it out again until Ishii goes after the knee to take him down. Back up and Ishii sends him into the ropes for a German suplex, setting up a hard lariat for two.
The sliding lariat is blocked though and it’s a shoulder to drop Ishii for a change. The Jonah Bomb gets two and a hard clothesline is good for the same. One heck of a spear cuts Ishii down but he avoids the Tsunami. Now the sliding lariat can connect for two and the brainbuster finishes Jonah at 14:35.
Rating: B-. Ishii isn’t at his former speed anymore and this is a formula that has been done many times, but my goodness they beat each other up here and I was surprised by the ending. Jonah continues to be an absolute beast and it gives Ishii a big boost to beat him. I’m not sure if that is the right move, but dang it was a fun monster fight.
Violent By Design is ready for all comers.
Tag Team Titles: Gauntlet Match
Violent By Design is defending and there are eight teams in total. The Major Players are in at #1 and Jordynne Grace/W. Morrissey are in at #2, because irony tends to be strong in gauntlet matches. Grace hits Myers in the face a few times and manages a suplex from his knees (egads) before handing it off to Morrissey vs. Cardona. With that not working, Grace comes back in as Morrissey gets in a chase on the floor. The melee lets Cardona roll Grace up for the pin at 2:17.
Hold on though as Morrissey chokeslams both of them and Grace hits the big dive through the ropes. The powerbomb through the table is broken up by a Green low blow but Morrissey is wearing a cup. That means Green is powerbombed through the table and the fans seem to approve. The Good Brothers are in at #3 and the Magic Killer finishes Cardona at 6:36 (total). Zicky Dice/Johnny Swinger are in at #4 and, after Dice hits Swinger by mistake, the Magic Killer finishes Dice at 8:41.
Willie Mack/Rich Swann are in at #5 and jump the Brothers to start in a hurry. Swann headscissors Anderson to properly start fast and it’s Mack adding a corner splash. Anderson rips Swann’s face though and it’s Gallows coming in to miss a charge into the corner. A big boot cuts Swann off though and Gallows hits those weird weird punches in the corner. Gallows suplexes him down and grabs a chinlock, with Swann jawbreaking his way to freedom.
The hot tag brings in Mack to clean house, including the Samoan drop into the standing moonsault for two. Anderson is back up with the spinebuster for the same and everything breaks down. A pop up right hand gives Mack two on Anderson but Gallows catches him on top. With Swann down, the Magic Killer finishes Mack at 19:20. Mike Bennett/Matt Taven are in at #6 and it’s a Gun Stun to rock Bennett early. A suplex to Taven is loaded up but Bennett trips Anderson down, allowing Taven to get the pin at 21:48.
Hold on though as the Brothers go after the rest of Honor No More so Taven dives….and hits his teammates. That means a Magic Killer on the floor leave Taven down as Heath and Rhino are in at #7. We start with Bennett getting punched in the corner but Maria’s distraction lets Bennett discus forearm his way out of trouble.
Taven hits a middle rope dropkick for two and Bennett puts on a chinlock with a knee in the back. Back up and stereo crossbodies put both of them down and the hot tag brings in Rhino. A double superkick staggers Rhino and Heath runs into him by mistake to make it worse. The Proto Pack is loaded up but Rhino Gores Taven down for the pin at 25:58.
Violent By Design is in at #8 to complete the field. Young clothesline Rhino down for a fast two and it’s a double kick to the head so Doering can come in. A double clothesline gives Rhino a breather and it’s heath coming in to kick Young in the face. The Wake Up Call connects but Deaner puts the foot on the rope for the save. Everything breaks down and Heath powerslams Young off the top for a change of pace. Doering breaks up the Gore though and it’s a piledriver to finish Heath and retain the titles at 33:02.
Rating: C+. This was long and there were parts where it felt like they were stretching, but Good Brothers vs. Mack/Swann was a good match in the middle of the whole thing. I’m not sure they needed to do the eight team thing when some of the teams were either thrown together or a joke, but the match needed to fill a quota so here we are. The division does have a bit of depth though so there might be something for the future.
We recap Tasha Steelz vs. Rosemary for the Knockouts Title. Steelz won the title last month and Rosemary won a battle royal to get the shot. They have some history so this is a bit personal.
Knockouts Title: Tasha Steelz vs. Rosemary
Steelz, with Savannah Evans, is defending and Havok is here with Rosemary. They start fast with Rosemary taking her into the corner and then throwing her right back out, complete with some screaming. The Upside Down goes on so Steelz bails out to the floor, where she slaps Havok for some reason.
Havok goes after her instead so that’s enough for an ejection. The distraction lets Steelz get in a cheap shot on Rosemary and the beating is on, including something like the Rings of Saturn. Rosemary makes the rope so there’s a Codebreaker to drop her again. A bite to the trunks slows Steelz down and a reverse DDT gives Rosemary two.
Steelz is back with Stratusfaction and the Blackout gets two, only to miss a frog splash. Rosemary sprays some mist in the face though and a spear connects for a VERY close two, meaning it’s time for Rosemary to be frustrated. She goes back up but this time it’s a running springboard cutter right back down. Steelz grabs a Michinoku Drive to retain at 11:44.
Rating: C+. Rosemary is a good person to have in the division because you can put her into any spot and she’ll be at least enough of a threat to make the match interesting. Steelz wasn’t about to lose the title so soon though and now she has a good first victory under her belt. Rosemary had some nice spots in there and that’s about all you can ask for here.
Slammiversary is coming to Nashville on June 19.
Long recap on Josh Alexander vs. Moose for the World Title. Moose stole the World Title at Bound For Glory with the Call Your Shot title match. Then Alexander had to go through the roster, got sent home, and then came back to go after Moose. That caused Moose to go after Alexander’s family, including spearing Alexander’s wife at an independent show. Now the title match is on, after a heck of a video to recap a months long feud.
Impact Wrestling World Title: Moose vs. Josh Alexander
Alexander is challenging and his son comes out with him in Alexander cosplay. They go nose to nose to start with Alexander taking him down for some knees to the ribs. The very early ankle lock sends Moose bailing out to the floor, where he yells at Alexander’s family. Alexander comes out after him and Moose gets in a cheap shot to take over for the first time. Back in and Alexander gets sent hard into the corner, where he ducks a chop and chops away.
That doesn’t work for Moose, who hits a heck of a dropkick to take over before dropping Alexander face first for two. They head outside again where Alexander gets in a posting, only to be sent hard into the barricade. Back in and Alexander snaps off a belly to belly suplex to put both of them down. Some running boots to the face rock Moose to send him outside again, setting up a running crossbody through the ropes to drop him again.
Back in and the C4 Spike is blocked so Alexander rolls ten straight German suplexes. Moose gets in a shot of his own though and the Sky High gets two. A pump kick staggers Alexander but he counters a crossbody into the ankle lock. The rope is grabbed so Alexander kicks him in the head, which just wakes Moose up. They chop it out until Moose hits a Rock Bottom for no avail. Back up and Alexander wins a slugout, setting up a C4 Spike for a very close two.
Another C4 Spike is blocked and Moose bites Alexander’s head. That’s enough to set up a top rope superplex for two more and Moose is frustrated. The spear is countered into a Styles Clash of all things and the ankle lock goes on. Moose rips the turnbuckle pad off to escape, allowing Moose to kick him low. Now the spear can connect for a VERY close two so Moose takes off the top turnbuckle as well. A buckle bomb into the exposed turnbuckle looks to set up another spear but Alexander cuts it off. The C4 Spike is enough to give Alexander the pin and the title at 23:50.
Rating: B. They got the result right, it came after a hard fought match, and Alexander is the champion as he should have been a long time ago. This felt like a pay per view showdown and Alexander won because he is the better man. Much like the previous match, I’m not sure how much drama there was here, but it was a great way to close up the show.
Alexander’s family comes in to celebrate with him to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. As has been the case for a little while now, Impact can deliver on the big stage. That’s what they did again here and I liked what we got almost all the way up and down the card. Nothing on here was really anything close to bad and they got the ending right. While their TV can be hit or miss (though it has been more hit lately), the company’s pay per views are usually quite good and this is the latest entry on that list. Check this out if you haven’t been with Impact in a bit as it’s a rather good show.
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