On the first wrestling show on a Thursday night in a long time, in advance of a major show coming up this Saturday, this is a big week for Impact Wrestling. Or, did you think I was talking about some other company?

But while some of the show was used to set up this Saturday’s Impact-Plus special Hardcore Justice event, the main event was a great setup for the upcoming title vs. title match between Impact Champion Rich Swann and AEW Champion Kenny Omega, who squared off at the Rebellion PPV on April 25.

Don Callis, the Impact World Tag Team Champions the Good Brothers, and AEW World Champion Kenny Omega were shown entering the building.


Match 1: Tenille Dashwood (w/ Kaleb), Alisha Edwards, and Nevaeh vs. Havok, Rosemary (w/ Crazzy Steve and Black Taurus), and Jordynne Grace

Alisha being on the heel team didn’t seem to fit, but with Kimber Lee gone MIA and Susan already having wrestled on the pre-show, I guess there was nobody else.

After some basic stuff early on, Jordynne nearly killed herself doing a dive onto Kaleb on the floor. She actually fell like a lawn dart and would have landed right on her head, but he was able to catch her and guide her down correctly – phew. The rest of the match was fine, with everyone getting a moment to shine. The big confrontation between former friends and partners Havok and Nevaeh came in a slugfest on the apron, despite Havok not being the legal person in for her side. It ended with Nevaeh dropping Havok with a Side Russian Leg Sweep off the apron and through a table that had been set up earlier in the match. After that, Rosemary hit the Red Wedding on Alisha to get the pin.

This was fine, with the table spot there to set the tone for the Weapons match these six will be having on Saturday. Tonight’s win and the stipulation seem to give the edge to Rosemary for that one, but I think they may surprise everyone with a less-predictable winner.

Winners: Rosemary, Havok, and Jordynne Grace

Gia Miller interviewed Matt Cardona who said he wasn’t bothered by Brian Myers rejecting his challenge. But since he still wanted competition, Cardona asked for a different match and he was granted one against Jake Something.

A shortened version of the punk rock teaser video from last week aired. This time, the mystery was revealed – it was for the return of Taylor Wilde to the company. Which is welcome news – will be good to see her back in the ring.

In the back, Deonna Purrazzo was tending to Susan who was still groggy after having been knocked out in her Before the Impact pre-show match against Jazz, when Jazz smashed Susan’s head on the ring steps before rolling her into the ring and pinning her.

Doctor Ross came in to check on Susan’s condition, and Susan appeared to glitch out, and the accompanying sound and lighting effects suggested Su Yung may be poking through the surface.


Match 2: Matt Cardona vs. Jake Something

This was a pretty even contest, with Cardona combating Jake’s power advantage with some quick hit-and-move offense. Until he got clocked with a Thesz Press and some big forearms that flattened Cardona. Something had the edge for a while, but Cardona refused to stay down, even after a big clothesline and a Powerbomb. Jake went for another Powerbomb, but Cardona reversed it into a hurancarana that sent both men tumbling to the floor. As they got up, Brian Myers ran down the ramp and sneak-attacked them both. Myers dropped Cardona hard onto the ramp, and then ran Something face-first into the ring steps, where his eye went right into the corner. With both men down, Myers grabbed a mic and told Cardona he accepted his challenge.

This was good while it lasted. The Myers-Cardona match is going to be the height of mediocrity. Nobody cares.

Winner: No contest

Backstage, XXXL ran into Trey Miguel and tried to intimidate him before their match later tonight. Trey insisted he wasn’t going to be teaming with Sami Callihan, and XXXL assumed he was just saying that because he was too afraid to face them.

A Violent By Design promo video aired. Eric Young gave Deaner a lecture about failure, and said that Deaner would not fail in his match tonight – for which the rest of VBD would not be at ringside – or he would have to face the consequences.


Match 3: XXXL vs. Sami Callihan and Trey Miguel

During the introductions, Trey didn’t come down to his entrance music at first, but when it replayed, he made his way to the ring. The commentators said it wasn’t a case of Trey choosing to team with Sami, but rather he just wanted to fight XXXL. Trey beat up both members of XXXL on his own and was faring very well until Sami tagged himself in, to Trey’s irritation. Sami and Trey would aggressively tag themselves in, and eventually this led to some pushing and shoving between them. But, dysfunctional or not, they still were able to hit simultaneous dives on XXXL. After that, Trey locked on the Hourglass on Larry D and got the tapout.

This was fine and really more of a way to continue the angle between Sami and Trey. With Trey’s former Rascalz partners, MSK, winning the NXT Championship last night, one wonders what might have been if he’d made the jump as well. Now, he actually seems lower on the card than before.

Winners: Sami Callihan and Trey Miguel

Chris Sabin, James Storm, and Chris Harris were gambling at Swinger’s Palace. Storm and Sabin said they had to leave to get ready for a match and gave their money to Harris to play with.


Match 4: Chris Sabin (w/ James Storm) vs. Deaner

Sabin started off at lightning-quick speed, but Deaner was finally able to cut him off. Deaner then punished Sabin with some nasty moves including trapping Sabin up in the turnbuckles and blasting him with a huge dropkick. The pendulum swung back and forth between them for a bit, with Sabin hitting technical moves and Deaner hitting some vicious shots. Deaner tried to cheat by using the ropes in a pinfall attempt but James Storm pointed it out to the referee who broke the count. Deaner protested and when he turned back around, Sabin scooped him up for a Cradle Shock and got the pin.

After the match, Eric Young appeared on the video screen. He told James Storm that he and Deaner had set the trip and Storm fell for it. The camera pulled back to show Chris Harris getting beaten up by Joe Doering. Before Storm could react, he got hit with a GORE GORE GORE by Rhino who sneaked into the ring behind Storm’s back. Then, Deaner hit a DeanerDT on Sabin. They made Sabin and Storm watch Doering and Young beat up Harris on the video screen, but Young cut the feed before he could use a chair on Harris.

The match was fun – really fast-paced – as were the post-match antics.

Winner: Chris Sabin

Ace Austin and Mad Man Fulton were in the back talking. Josh Alexander walked up to them, pleased that he would be getting a shot for the X-Division Championship in a Triple Threat match against Austin and TJP. TJP then came in and said he’d beat both of them like he has done in the past. They were going to fight, but Tommy Dreamer broke it up. He told each of Alexander and TJP to find a partner and the three teams would square off at Hardcore Justice. If there was true justice, Alexander would tap the AEW well and bring in Ethan Page for a night. Given Page’s criticisms of how Impact treated his exit, don’t hold your breath waiting for this to happen.

Tommy Dreamer intercepted Eric Young backstage. They had words and Young threatened to take Dreamer out for good. Dreamer challenged Young to bring VBD to Hardcore Justice against Dreamer and some of his friends, and Young accepted. Dreamer said he had lots of friends in the locker room to choose from, so that would suggest he won’t be bringing in any ECW originals… but who knows.

They did a career retrospective of Jazz with photos from her ECW and WWE days. She then said she was excited to be competing against Purrazzo for the title on Saturday, even knowing that if she loses, her career is on the line.

After that, Gia Miller interviewed Purrazzo who said she admires Jazz for setting the path for Purrazzo and other women. But that she represents the new generation and by beating Jazz, she will surpass anything Jazz has done. She said that she will not be accompanied by Kimber Lee or Susan for the match, because she wants to take Jazz out all by herself. Both of these promos were effective.

Tommy ran into Brian Myers backstage, and said that Jake Something had requested a match against Myers. Dreamer told Myers he’d booked him to face Jake in a Blind Games match, which is a hardcore match with both competitors wearing blindfolds.


Match 5: Willie Mack, Eddie Edwards, and Rich Swann vs. Kenny Omega and the Good Brothers (Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows) (w/ Don Callis)

Don Callis did the introduction for Omega and of course was great.

Omega and the Good Brothers attacked before the bell rang and they started off with him and Rcih Swann duking it out. A speedy opening segment saw Swann escape the clutches of the Good Brothers so a dive attempt by Omega backfired and he landed on them. Then Mack and Edwards each did their own dive, taking out one of the Brothers. Leaving Swann to hit Omega with a flying dive of his own to take the show into commercial.

Returning from the break and Swann’s side was in control. Apparently, AEW tag rules were in play because the referee wasn’t even bothering to count while they triple-teamed him. But shenanigans allowed Omega’s gang to steal the edge, and they isolated Eddie Edwards in their corner. Eddie got the hot tag to Mack who went to town on Anderson and Omega, hitting them both with a standing moonsault. But again some chicanery turned the tide, and Mack was grounded as the show went into the final ad break of the night.

Mack was still in trouble as the show resumed, as his opponents took turns beating him up. After several minutes, he was finally able to evade a double-team by Omega and Anderson and in the confusion he was able to tag in Swann.

Swann was a house of fire and hit anything that moved. The action got fast and furious and too quick to call. A parade of big moves sent bodies flying everywhere, with Omega ending that sequence with a huge V-Trigger on Mack. But Eddie was the legal man, and he was prone for a pin after a Triple Splash, but Swann made the save.

The ending moments saw Swann and Omega fighting it out in the ring. Omega tried for a One Winged Angel, but Swann floated over top and dropped Kenny with a boot to the head. He hit Omega with the 450 Splash and easily had him pinned, but Don Callis reached under the ropes and dragged Swann off of Omega to break the count. Despicable.

More fast action ensued, ending when Eddie hit Anderson with the Boston Knee Party and Swann finished him off with the Phoenix Splash.

This was really good. The match was very strong – much better than the match Omega and the Good Brothers had yesterday on Dynamite. What’s more, this really helped in the build between the upcoming match between Swann and Omega at Rebellion, with the commentators emphasizing that Swann had found a defense against the One Winged Angel, and if he can avoid getting hit with it, he could beat Omega. This was very effective.

Winners: Willie Mack, Eddie Edwards, and Rich Swann


Impact - April 8, 2021

Skyway Studios - Nashville, TN

Sometimes when Impact is trying to build to both an Impact Plus special and a PPV at the same time, their TV show feels overstuffed and stretched too thin. This episode shows that they can do it right. Here, they struck a good balance in pushing both events, while at the same time, putting on a solid show full of good matches – including a very good main event that was sensibly-booked, action packed, and did justice to everyone involved. This was about as good a show as Impact can get (losing points only because any Brian Myers and Matt Cardona is too much).