With four shows to go until the next PPV, this week’s Impact takes place in that awkward period where they have to start new feuds that can be built up so they’re at their peak intensity in time for the PPV. Like a snowball at the top of a hill, that takes a while to start rolling – in the beginning, it can feel a bit slow and sluggish. With the exception of a hot X-Division Championship match, that’s a lot of how this week’s Impact felt.

Before the opening credits, they aired a short clip of Don Calls and Kenny Omega entering the building.


Match 1: Jazz (w/ Jordynne Grace) vs. Deonna Purrazzo (w/ Susan)

Purrazzo’s Knockouts Championship was not on the line in this one. Jazz was in control for much of this match. Not only was she out-powering Deonna, but surprisingly, she also had an answer for all of the champ’s technical moves. Jazz hit a Facebuster, but Susan grabbed Purrazzo’s leg from the outside and put it on the bottom rope to break the count. Jordynne and Jazz got into a scrap on the floor, and Jazz and Deonna got involved. During the melee, the referee didn’t see Susan whack Jazz in the head with a shoe. If he did, he would have disqualified Purrazzo, but since he didn’t, he counted the 1-2-3.

This was okay, though the shoe spot was lame, as they tend to be. Naturally, this was just setting the table for Jazz eventually getting a title match.

Winner: Deonna Purrazzo

In the locker room, the Good Brothers were regaling a bunch of jobbers with stories about their halcyon days when they were champions. Eddie Edwards crashed the party and noted that ever since losing the titles, they are now dressing with the rest of the boys. But, he said, they aren’t the boys in that most of the locker room can’t stand them. They said they’d go hang out in Kenny Omega’s locker room instead. As they left, they ran into Decay who laughed at their plight.

A fake ad aired for Swinger’s Palace. This was funnier and better-produced than the fake ads with Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone.

Backstage, Rohit Raju was strutting around all braggadocious like and literally stumbled over Fallah Bahh who apparently is now homeless after losing all his money at Swinger’s Palace. Rohit trash-talked him, and Bahh threatened him with violence before storming off.


Match 2: Ace Austin (c)  (w/ Mad Man Fulton) vs. TJP – for the X-Division Championship

They started off with some really nice technical wrestling, with TJP just a step ahead of Austin. Until he wasn’t and instead his face got stepped on by two big kicks by Austin. But Austin couldn’t capitalize, and TJP countered a top rope move with a Super Facebuster. The momentum somehow changed during the commercial break, and Austin was in control when we returned. After that, the match picked up the pace considerably, so lots of things happened, including: Austin hit a flying kick and a legdrop off the top for 2; Fulton’s interference saved Austin from a nifty submission hold by TJP; Fulton delayed TJP from jumping off the top, allowing Austin to get his knees up when TJP went for the Mamba Splash; and both men clotheslined each other, knocking both of them down.

In the end, TJP hit a GTS and a Mamba Splash and we would have had a new champion, but Fulton ran in and attacked TJP before the ref could count to three, leading to a disqualification. Austin and Fulton tried to beat up TJP after the match, but Josh Alexander ran in with a chair to make the save.

This was really good, with the match picking up a lot of steam as it went on. Like the first match, the next logical progression is a tag team match, and ultimately we’ll see either a three-way match for the title, or Josh vs. Austin for the title.

Winner: TJP

Still X-Division Champion: Ace Austin

Gia Miller interviewed Matt Cardona, and you could hear the ratings drop. The most interesting thing about this was Cardona’s spiffy purple pleather jacket. He challenged Brian Myers to a match signifying the end of their friendship.

Trey Miguel was throwing a tantrum backstage and ended up arguing with XXXL. Tommy Dreamer came up to Miguel and broke it up. XXXL left, and then Dreamer told Miguel that he couldn’t let someone get into his head (like Sami Callihan has been doing lately) or else it would be detrimental to Miguel’s career. Dreamer got a good knock at the AEW Barbed Wire Death Match sparkler debacle. #NeverGetsOld


Match 3: Rohit Raju vs. Fallah Bahh

The story in this one was that Raju would keep finding a way to avoid getting squashed by Bahh. First he stopped short when Bahh went for a Low Cross Body and Bahh hit the mat hard. Later, he moved out of the way of a Banzai Drop. In the end, Bahh had him down and was going for a Tenta Drop, but Raju rolled out of the splash zone, and then rolled up the big man in a Crucifix for the win.

This was short, but the speed vs. size story was well-told.

Winner: Rohit Raju

Backstage, Gia Miller tried to get some words from Kenny Omega and Don Callis, but they said she could find out when they made their remarks in the ring.

Before they go there, though, they joined AEW owner Tony Khan and commentator Tony  Schiavone for their weekly paid ad. Omega said that he would beat Matt Sydal on Dynamite tomorrow and left. Then the Tonys… Tonies? Khanovani? SchiaKhani? Chaka Khan? Whatever. They ran down the rest of tomorrow’s card.

The Good Brothers knocked on Omega’s dressing room door, but there was no answer. They didn’t know he was heading to the ring apparently, because they speculated on whether he was ignoring them because they were no longer champions. Upset by the thought, they left.

Kenny Omega and Don Callis went to the ring. Sadly, they gave a mic to Kenny Omega which immediately brought this down several notches from the normal vocal gold that Callis can spin. The main message here echoed Callis’ lecture to Swann last week: that if Omega hits the One Winged Angel, he’ll beat Swann. They aired a video package of Omega hitting the OWA, mostly on Jon Moxley, in AEW, and the one that he hit on Swann during their 6-man tag team match.

Normally, emphasizing the one move so much would end with Swann kicking out of the move during their match in a historic turn of events. But in this case, given how Swann’s been booked, this will likely end with him getting pinned after the OWA.

Callis on the mic is magic. Callis and Omega on the mic is tragic.

A Violent By Design jailhouse video aired. Eric Young said that he didn’t have to create a monster in Rhino, but rather he only had to reawaken the War Machine within him. Young baptized Rhino in the holy waters of change, and now the world belongs to them.

Gia Miller interviewed Havok and Nevaeh who said they were going to roll with the momentum from their win last week and challenge Fire N Flava for the Knockouts Tag Team titles. FNF barged in and said they could have a match but they haven’t earned a title shot yet. They left and then Kaleb and Tenille Dashwood came up to Havok and Nevaeh and suggested that Nevaeh dump Havok as a partner and team with her instead.


Match 4: Acey Romero (w/ Larry D) vs. Trey Miguel

This was the classic battle of spped vs. size. Trey did well when he hit and moved, but any time he got caught by Romero, he would get flattened, including with a big Sidewalk Slam to take us into the ad break. A nice move saw Romero literally bowl Miguel over and then squash him with a giant Splash to the back. Miguel was able to get some space with a Scorpion Kick and then hit a Flying Neckbreaker that dropped Romero. Miguel chopped down Romero with a series of kicks, but when he went for a springboard move to follow up, he got Pounced right out of the air – that looked great.


They actually replayed that spot about half a dozen times. But then Miguel went back to kicking the legs until Acey was on his knees and prone for a Springboard Cutter. That dazed him, and Trey finished him off with a Meteora for the pin.

After the match, Larry D blindsided Trey and they started beating him down. Sami’s hacker video played and the lights went off. When they came back on, Sami was back in the ring with a baseball bat. But instead of joining in the attack on Trey, he surprisingly went after XXXL and saved Trey. Trey went to question him, but Sami hit his phone, and disappeared in the instantaneous flickering of the lights.

This was a fun match. The twist at the end, with Sami saving Trey, was curious, and it will be interesting to see where this eventually leads. A heel Trey doesn’t seem to work on paper, but it beats treading water like he has been since his return.

Winner: Trey Miguel

Gia Miller interviewed Rich Swann to get his thoughts about what Callis and Omega said earlier. Swann said that he’s come back from too much to be thrown off his game by some mental games. He acknowledged that the OWA put him down for the count during the 6-man tag match. But he reminded Omega that when it was simply him and Omega in the ring 1-on-1, he always got the better of Omega. He said he had a few defenses against the OWA, but Omega won’t have any defense for what he’s going to bring.

Gia Miller interviewed Chris Sabin and James Storm, who just had his 999th match with the company. Storm said that he wanted to have his 1,000th match next week against Eric Young. Impact Executive Vice-President Scott D’Amore walked in and said that the match was on.


Match 5: Karl Anderson (w/ Luke Gallows) vs. Eddie Edwards

Eddie took the early advantage, out-wrestling Anderson on the mat, and hitting a big Flying Dive that wiped out both Good Brothers on the floor, which flowed into a commercial break.

He was still in control when the show resumed, but a distraction by Gallows led to Edwards taking a nasty tumble off the top to the floor. Curiously, the referee didn’t send Gallows to the back after that, but instead set up a chair for him at ringside and told him to sit down in it and stay there.

Anderson then worked over Eddie, whipping him from corner to corner, blasting Eddie with a couple of elbow shots and clotheslines, and sapping Eddie’s strength with a tight chinlock. But Eddie found his second wind, and fought his way out of trouble, including catching Anderson with a Crescent Kick when he was heading up top, and then plucking Anderson off the top and hitting him with a Backpack Stunner, for a close fall, and a Blue Thunder Bomb with the same result. They exchanged big shots and near falls for a bit. In the end, Eddie had Anderson stacked up for a rollup pin, but Anderson pushed him off with his legs, sending Eddie into the ropes. The ref was out of position, so didn’t see Gallows whack Eddie in the head with the chair he was supposed to be sitting on. Eddie staggered right into a Spinebuster for the pin.

After the match, the Good Brothers’ celebration was cut short by a video of FinJuice that popped up on the entrance screen. FinJuice boasted about being the Impact Tag Team Champions and noted that they’ve been winning all their matches during their tour in Japan, and said that the Good Brothers will get their chance to regain the gold at Rebellion. This was a lame and underwhelming way to end the show.

Winner: Karl Anderson


Impact Wrestling - March 23rd, 2021

Skyway Studios - Nashville, TN

With apologies to Dean Martin, here’s what I was thinking during what should have been the highlight of this episode: “When Don’s on the stick but he’s drowned out by schtick, that’s Omega. When Don cuts a promo, but you must say “just no” to Omega.  Kenny sings, doesn’t say a thing, get out of the ring, you’re the king of bad talking. You’re so lame, no one else to blame, treat it like a game, hit the road and start walking.”

Otherwise, the X-Division was a great highlight. The rest of the matches were fine, but since they felt like only the starting point for what’s to come, nothing felt truly special. A rare off-week for Impact.