When Rich Swann beat Moose this past Saturday to become the Unified Impact World Championship, he was on top of the world. But on Tuesday night’s episode of Impact, Don Callis tried to bring him down, telling Swann all the reasons why he would lose the title to AEW Champion – and Callis’ good friend – Kenny Omega in their upcoming title vs. title match. And all of those reasons could basically be summed up in three words: One. Winged. Angel.

That segment was the highlight of the week in a show that featured five matches that were fine, if sometimes puzzling in terms of booking decisions.


Match 1: FinJuice vs. XXXL

FinJuice’s newly-won Tag Team titles were not on the line in this one. As can be expected, this was a clash of styles, with FinJuice using their speed and double-team expertise to combat the size and power advantage of XXXL. They had some problems when Acey Romera threw his weight around, but were able to adapt and come back. In the end, they hit some more double-team moves, and after Acey was dispatched with a flying dive over the top, Larry D was put down with an Acid Drop and got pinned.

After the match, the Good Brothers came to the ring, making a bunch of excuses for their loss on Saturday. They asked for their rematch, and FinJuice said they would have to wait until FinJuice returned from Japan where they had commitments with New Japan. The Good Brothers were mad by this news and some punches were exchanged, but FinJuice outsmarted the former champs and skedaddled.

This match was a good showcase for FinJuice. But if they’re heading to Japan for a month, putting the titles on them now seems like a really odd decision. They’ve had basically no exposure to the Impact audience, and with a month away, can they really do a proper build for the rematch? And for all other teams, aren’t they just now treading water for a month, given that the next title match is already known?

Winners: FinJuice

A Sami Callihan hacker video aired, in which he questioned Trey Miguel’s passion. He said that Trey doesn’t have it in him to do what it takes to win, but Sami does. If this was a drinking game and you took a swig every time Sami said “Passion,” you’d be hammered right now.

The Good Brothers barged into Impact Executive Vice-President Scott D’Amore’s office and protested that FinJuice were going to take the titles to Japan. D’Amore blamed them for the loss, and said that the rematch would take place on April 24 at the Rebellion PPV.

As they were leaving, Tommy Dreamer came in. He basically told D’Amore “I told you so” about the decision to enter into the working relationship with Tony Khan and AEW. That relationship begot the New Japan deal when Khan opened the “forbidden door” leading to the New Japan guys coming in, and now the Tag Team titles are gone. D’Amore defended the decision, and spoke condescendingly to Dreamer about his past experiences “running a company into the ground with your buddy Paul E.” He said if Tommy thought it was so easy to put on a show, he could be responsible for booking the next Impact Plus special, Hardcore Justice, on April 10. Dreamer had already come up with a card, and showed it to D’Amore who was duly impressed and agreed to let Dreamer run with it


Match 2: Rhino (w/ Violent By Design) vs. Jake Something (w/ James Storm and Chris Sabin)

This was really short. Rhino was in control early with some big hits. Just as Jake was mounting a comeback, VBD decided to make their presence known by jumping on the apron, leading to a fight on the floor with Sabin and Storm. Jake took his eyes off Rhino to knock Deaner off the apron, and when he turned around, he got flattened with a GORE GORE GORE! and that was all she wrote.

After the match, the brawl continued in the ring, with VBD winning thanks to the numbers game. They stood tall as Sabin, Storm, and Something were all laid out.

This was really short, but in terms of presenting VBD as a force to be reckoned with, it worked well.

Winner: Rhino

In the back, the heel Knockouts (Tenille Dashwood, Deonna Purrazzo, Kimber Lee, Susan, and Fire N Flava) were squabbling over who would be the leader of their team. They stopped arguing long enough to agree to all be on the same page. Kaleb was there as well.


Match 3: Rohit Raju vs. Mahabali Shera

Raju bailed from the ring when Shera made his entrance, and then attacked from behind when the ref was checking Shera. Shera was having none of it, though, and struck back with a gross Press Chokelsam.

Raju then wrenched Shera’s arm over the top rope, and started attacking that limb. He continued going after Shera like a rabid honey badger, but when he went to the top, Shera caught him by the throat and hit a Chokeslam Backbreaker. Shera charged Raju for the killing blow, but Raju side-stepped him, and rolled him up, putting his feet on the ropes for the illegal advantage and stealing the win.

Good match, though having Shera lose his first singles match after turning babyface doesn’t really inspire confidence, even if Raju had to cheat to win. Perhaps Shera is too green for them to push really hard – but if that’s the case, then maybe they should have kept him with Raju for a while to help groom him?

Winner: Rohit Raju

The new Unified Impact World Champion Rich Swann was backstage and Willie Mack came up to him and congratulated him on his win on Saturday. Willie wanted to celebrate, but Swann said that he first had to go to the ring to do some business.

Swann went to the ring, carrying both titles. He said that although he doesn’t like Moose, he does respect him and the fight he showed on Saturday. But that he was happy and proud that he beat Moose. And now it was time for Swann to focus on AEW Champion Kenny Omega. He noted that he was still smarting over getting pinned by Omega in their earlier six-man tag match at Hard to Kill, and that he would get his payback on April 24 by beating Omega in their title-for-title match.

Don Callis’ music played, and he came to the ring. He hugged Swann warmly and told Swann how proud he was of him. Callis told him he was a big fan of Swann, and that he was the one who fought to sign Swann to Impact. He said that while Swann was injured, he was the one that made sure the company continued to pay him and that he personally called Swann to check in on him every week, because Swann was his guy. Swann acknowledged and agreed with everything Callis said.

Callis said that he helped Swann and gave him opportunities, because he saw Swann as his shiny new toy. But then said that he’s moved on from Swann to Omega, his bigger and better toy. He then started poking at Swann for getting pinned by Omega during their last match after Omega hit the One Winged Angel. He kept repeating how Swann got pinned after the One Winged Angel. He said that Swann was a once-in-a-decade star, but Kenny is a once-in-a-millennia star.

Callis reminded Swann that he was there for all of Omega’s big wins, including his matches with Okada, Moxley, and at Hard to Kill.  And that it was he whose voice would be heard yelling “One Winged Angel” before Omega pinned his opponent. Callis said that Swann would be part of history at Rebellion but that Callis has already written that history.


Don Callis was simply tremendous here.



Up next was the weekly paid ad from AEW owner Tony Khan and commentator Tony Schiavone. Khan hyped up tomorrow night’s St. Patrick’s Slam show, noting that the Good Brothers would be competing against Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston. And they ran down the rest of the card. Jade Cargill will be wrestling, so that should be… interesting?

In a hallway, Eddie Kingston and Matt Cardona were talking when Brian Myers walked in. Cardona asked Eddie to let him talk to Myers alone. After Eddie left, Cardona tried to clear the air with Myers. Myers said that he resented Cardona coming to Impact because he wanted to wrestle here on his own. He told Cardona to leave, and then stormed off, leaving Cardona looking sad.


Match 4: Tenille Dashwood (w/ Kaleb), Deonna Purrazzo, Kimber Lee, Susan, and Fire N Flava vs. Jordynne Grace, Jazz, ODB, Alisha Edwards, Havok, and Nevaeh

The story here was that the babyface team were operating as a cohesive team, and in the beginning, they worked together to pick apart their opponents one at a time. After everyone had a moment, the match fell apart with everyone coming in. Ten of the Knockouts were fighting on one side of the floor while Jordynne and Tasha Steelz were duking it out in the ring. They hit stereo dives wiping out everybody else to head into the commercial break.

When we came back, the action was back to normal, with Alisha Edwards trapped in the wrong side of town. Alisha got free after getting the edge on Susan, and got the tag to Jordynne, at which point the action renewed. As did the referee’s laissez-faire attitude to enforcing the rules. A tagless parade of finishers followed, culminating with Jazz’s pin attempt on Kimber getting broken up by all of Kimber’s teammates .Then everyone went to the floor again like it was 1988 and Jake Roberts brought Damien into the ring during a battle royal. Jazz and Kimber were the only ones left in the ring, and Jazz locked her into an STF, forcing Kimber to tap out.

This was a bit of a cluster – overstuffed and rushed, and the refereeing was abysmal. Presumably they wanted to use this as a way to establish Jazz as a potential challenger for Purrazzo. They could have done that in a much neater way.

Winners: Jazz, Jordynne Grace, Alisha Edwards, ODB, Havok, and Nevaeh

Gia Miller interviewed the new X-Division Champion Ace Austin, who was accompanied by Mad Man Fulton. Austin bragged about winning the title at Sacrifice, saying he got revenge on TJP for beating him and breaking his undefeated streak. Chris Bey interrupted and said that since he beat Austin last week before Austin won the title, he should get a title match. Josh Alexander then came in and said that he won their 3-way match at No Surrender so he should get a title match. TJP then came in. Austin told him that he was at the end of the line of contenders, but TJP said that he got word from Scott D’Amore that his rematch against Austin was booked for next week.


Match 5: Sami Callihan vs. Trey Miguel

Miguel raced in during his introduction and they tore into each other, both inside and out of the ring. They fought up the ramp, where Sami was going to Powerbomb Miguel, but Trey rolled over and hit Sami with a big kick. The quick action then went to the apron where Trey tried for a 619, but Sami caught him and locked on a painful-looking Boston Crab on the floor.

After a commercial break, Sami was in control in the ring, hitting Trey with kicks and stomps. He then threw Trey to the floor, jammed Trey’s foot into the ringpost metal bracing and kicked it, causing Trey to scream in pain. Sami then just beat Trey up for several minutes, whipping him from corner to corner, and alternating big moves and painful holds. He worked over the ankle he’d hurt earlier, and this really hurt Trey’s mobility.

Trey tried to fight back, but his ankle kept giving out, so he wasn’t able to sustain any advantage before Sami took control again, pressing the advantage through a second commercial break. Trey fought back, but when he went for a top rope stomp, his ankle gave out on him again, and Sami capitalized, resuming the beating.

Trey was able to escape a Cactus Special attempt, and hit a pair of Enziguris that rocked Sami. He then locked on his Hourglass Leglock, but Sami chomped on Trey’s ankle to break the hold. Sami hit a Powerbomb for a 2-count and then locked on an STF which he turned into a Crossface, that forced Trey to get to the ropes to escape.

Sami was going to finish Trey on the floor, but Trey hit a very unique Springboard Cutter off the apron which looked neat and bought him some time.

Trey then started getting angry and desperate. He hit a big Exploder type move, and then climbed up top, screaming frantically that he had to end the match. Sami used the ref as a human shield and used that advantage to sweep Trey’s legs, perching him on the top turnbuckle. Sami plucked him off the top in perfect position for the Package Piledriver, hit it, and got the pin.

This was fine, but it may have gone a bit long. The story they told with Trey, slowly getting more and more desperate, as if he had to prove it to himself and everyone else that he still had passion, may have been a bit too subtle because he never really fired up and so his desperation never felt earned. It will be interesting to see where they go with him after this. They could be leading to him surrendering to his dark side and join up with Sami, but that might be a bit too close to the VBD storyline. Or they could be possibly leading to him becoming more and more unhinged, leading to a “broken” type character. Time will tell.

Winner: Sami Callihan



Impact Wrestling - March 16th, 2021

Skyway Studios - Nashville, TN

Normally, Impact has at least one standout match per episode, but in this one, the highlight was easily the Don Callis segment.  While there is always a bit of a resetting and restarting that goes on after a big event, this episode felt a bit rudderless, as if they weren’t sure where some of the matches were leading to, which is why they may have felt a bit flat. With a month to go to build up for both Hardcore Justice and the Rebellion PPV, there’s still some time to get there, so hopefully this was just a blip on the radar.