Saturday night’s Impact Plus special event, Homecoming, wasn’t necessarily positioned as a must-see event in terms of storyline development. Rather, it was a fun night full of unique matches that often seemed more like a celebration of – and a party for – the fans in attendance at Impact Zone. In that way, the show had to be seen as success, since there was a lot of fan service moments throughout, particularly during the Mixed Tag tournament to crown the Homecoming King and Queen. And the fact that the two non-tournament matches were also very good was simply icing on the celebratory cake.
Match 1: Hernandez and Alisha Edwards (w/ Johnny Swinger) vs. Deonna Purrazzo and the “Drama King” Matthew Rehwoldt – Tournament First Round match
The crowd gave the Drama King – formerly WWE’s Aiden English – a great ovation. He cut a decent promo before the match, ending with an operatic note. A funny comment from Matt Striker here, saying that the King didn’t need an “aide in English” referring to the King’s former WWE name.
In this match, intergender action would be allowed, and Purrazzo showed that she was able to compete with the guys, even those as strong as Hernandez, thanks to her wrestling acumen. Rehwoldt didn’t fare as well against Hernandez’ power, though. Alisha and Rehwoldt had some fun interactions, and he didn’t take it easy on her.
Hernandez and Wehroldt had the lengthiest sequence in the match, with Hernandez getting the better of things, courtesy of a huge Backbreaker. Then he hit a Flying Dive to the floor, and Alisha did the same.
In the end, though, the wrestling skills of the King and Queen got the job done, with Rehwoldt picking up the pin on Hernandez.
This was a good introduction for Rehwoldt, and a pretty good match to boot.
Winners: Deonna Purrazzo and “Drama King” Matthew Rehwoldt
Match 2: Matt Cardona and Chelsea Green vs. Petey Williams and Jordynne Grace – Tournament First Round match
Early on, this was a showcase for Grace’s strength, as she and Petey were able to throw around both opponents easily. But Cardona was able to take over when things went to the floor, dropping Petey with a Spinning Neckbreaker on the floor. The commentators played up Cardona’s more aggressive attitude, suggesting that his recent hardcore deathmatch experience (he beat Nick Gage for the GCW Championship last week) may be the cause.
The match was very even with the advantage exchanging back and forth a few times throughout the match, including both teams teasing hitting their opponents with Canadian Destroyers – Petey’s signature move that’s also used by Green. Later, Grace and Williams had their opponents in Steiner Recliners, but couldn’t hold them.
In the end, Cardona dispatched Williams, and Green hit Grace with the Unprettier to get the pin.
After the match, Steve Maclin ran into the ring, attacked Petey, and left him laying.
Winners: Matt Cardona and Chelsea Green
W. Morrissey cut a promo, saying that if Eddie Edwards believed he could beat him, Edwards would not have requested a Hardcore Match. Morrissey said that he can outplay Eddie at Eddie’s own game.
Match 3: Tommy Dreamer and Rachael Ellering vs. Brian Myers and (w/ Sam Beale) – Tournament First Round match
In a nice tribute to Ellering’s father’s old running buddies, they came out wearing Legion of Doom makeup and Road Warrior Animal’s t-shirt from Pro Wrestling Tees (which got a plug). Myers’ surprise partner – that Beale had arranged for him – ended up being the one and only Missy Hyatt. What?!?
Missy came out in street clothes and tried to explain to Myers and Beale that she wasn’t a wrestler and wasn’t under the impression that that’s why Beale had called her.
And even though she took her place on the apron, she did whatever she could to avoid being tagged or having any contact with her opponents. They did some comedy with Dreamer, who was reluctant to climb the ropes, so ended up hitting a move from the bottom turnbuckle instead.
A distraction from Beale allowed Myers to take over on Dreamer, but eventually Dreamer was able to come back and hit a Spicoli Driver to get some space. Myers tried to tag in Missy, but she refused, and walked away, leaving Myers to his own devices.
And speaking of devices, it was one of the Doomsday variety that put Myers down shortly thereafter.
This was fun, and even made Myers somewhat entertaining.
Winners: Tommy Dreamer and Rachael Ellering
A Violent By Design promo aired. Deaner was charged with getting redemption for the loss to Willie Mack and Rich Swann this past Thursday, by beating Willie Mack tonight.
Match 4: Rosemary and Crazzy Steve vs. Fallah Bahh and Tasha Steelz – Tournament First Round match
The Impact faithful loved Steve, chanting for him to bite Bahh’s face off, and really loved it when he tried. They also appreciated it when Steve invited Rosemary into the ring to do the same to Steelz. Bahh was reluctant to hit Rosemary, despite Steelz yelling at him to do so. She eventually used some dirty tactics to put Rosemary down, but he was still reluctant to hit a woman. Until, that is, Rosemary took a shot at him. But before he could retaliate, Steve came in and Decay took over.
Later, Bahh tried to save Steelz, but accidentally ended up squashing her with the Avalanche. Bahh was upset by this turn of events, and prone for a Jumping DDT by Steve that put him down.
This was a heavy on the comedy, but given the teams involved, that’s to be expected. For the most part, it worked and the crowd was really into it. For this kind of show, it was fine.
Winners: Rosemary and Crazzy Steve
Backstage, Maclin explained that he attacked Petey Williams because why not?
Match 5: Willie Mack (w/ Rich Swann) vs. Deaner (w/ VBD)
Mack was in charge early, beating Deaner at every step, but soon the numbers game caught up with him, and outsider interference by VBD let Deaner take control. But Willie was all fight, and he was able to catch Deaner in an aerial assault attempt and regain the advantage, hitting Deaner with some whirling dervishes, a huge Legdrop, and a Standing Moonsault for a near-fall.
They exchanged pin attempts after Deaner hit a modified Powerbomb and Mack hit a huge Pop-up European Uppercut. After that , Willie hit a Sit-Out Powerbomb that looked like it would be it, but Deaner kicked out at the last second.
Mack crashed and burned on an Air Mack attempt, but was able to still hit a Stunner. His pin was broken up, though, when Rhino reached into the ring and put Deaner’s foot on the ropes. Swann took out Rhino and Deaner, but Eric Young was still in play, and he clocked Mack in the head with the VBD flagpole. This stunned Mack and left him prone for a Deaner-DT and out for the count.
This was a good match – easily the match of the night so far. They really should have stayed with this faction being booked as unstoppable – them losing the tag team titles was not a good idea. Hopefully this will put them back on the winning track.
Gia Miller interviewed Matt Cardona and Chelsea Green. They said their relationship makes them a better team than one-night pairing, even if one of those opponents is the Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo.
Match 6: Matt Cardona and Chelsea Green vs. Deonna Purrazzo and “Drama King” Matthew Rehwoldt –Tournament Semi-Final match
In the early stages, Purrazzo made her intentions clear, going after Green’s injured arm, with the likely intent to lock on a submission. The pace of the match quickened very early, with action spilling to the floor where the two teams exchanged shots, including some springboard dives and kicks.
Purrazzo and Rehwoldt isolated Cardona for some time, hitting him with kicks and stomps and trying to wear him down.
Cardona finally got the tag to Green, who was a house of fire. The ensuing battle saw various exchanges of finishing moves. But in the end, it was Rehboldt on top again, hitting Cardona with his Front Face DDT to get the pin.
This was really good, particularly the last few minutes. It was pretty ironic to see two recent WWE departees competing for the chance to be the Impact Homecoming King and Queen. So far, though, both Rehwoldt and Green are being positioned strong, so that’s a good thing.
Winners: Deonna Purrazzo and Matthew Rehwoldt
Brian Myers and Sam Beale interrupted Gia Miller’s with Missy Hyatt to berate her for the loss. Hyatt schooled Myers about learning some of her history and he would have known she wasn’t a wrestler. After he stormed off, Missy played mind games with Beale, eventually clocking him with her loaded purse.
Match 7: Crazzy Steve and Rosemary vs. Tommy Dreamer and Rachael Ellering – Tournament Semi-Final match
The crowd was evenly-divided between these two teams, and the teams themselves appeared to be pretty even as well, given the repeated standoffs that happened in the opening minutes. At one point, the biting chants prompted the four of them to do a daisy chain of hand bites, which may have been a first in the industry.
When things got serious, Decay took over, trapping Rachael in the wrong corner and using their unorthodox offense on her. She eventually got loose and tagged in Dreamer who fared a bit better.
For a while, anyway, as soon he found himself being berzerkered by Steve. But Dreamer came back.
In the end, Decay broke up a Doomsday Device attempt when Rosemary hit Rachel with a Spear, effectively taking her out of the match. Dreamer got some revenge, hitting a Piledriver on Rosemary. But when he tried for a Spicoli Driver on Steve, Steve reversed it, and rolled up Dreamer for the pin.
This was another fun match, with a good blend of comedy and action. The Impact crowd really loves Rosemary and Steve.
Winners: Rosemary and Crazzy Steve
Gia Miller interviewed Eddie Edwards who said that he was going to take out Morrissey. Alisha came up and gave her husband a Singapore cane and told him to make sure he ends things tonight.
Match 8: Black Taurus (w/ Havok) vs. Josh Alexander (c) – for the X-Division Championship
This was a really interesting match-up for Alexander, because Taurus matched him in strength, and also had some dynamic acrobatic skills, which is a unique combination of skills. But Alexander still had the technical advantage, so it became him playing more of a defensive role than normal, countering Taurus and trying to tie him up and take him down when he could.
Taurus beat up Alexander for several minutes, with Alexander in more trouble and pain than we’ve ever seen him in before.
Taurus changed levels a few times, putting Josh down with big hits, locking on submission attempts, and even hitting a Flying Twisting Dive from the ring to the floor at one point.
But Alexander wouldn’t quit, and he went back to his textbook wrestling, at one point, hitting a quartet of German Suplexes (Suplii?) for a near-fall. Later, he hit a Low Cross Body to Taurus’ back, sending him flying from the apron. Later, a poem of a Moonsault got Alexander another two-count.
A Spinning Tornado Block and a Spear nearly got Taurus the win, but Alexander grabbed a hoof for a submission attempt, but Taurus was able to shove him off.
Taurus went up top, but got caught, and Alexander hit a Somersault Driver which looked great. They then had a slugfest in the middle of the ring and then exchanged more power moves. In the end, Alexander hit the more powerful ones, hitting a Powerbomb Neckbreaker and the C4 Spike that put Taurus down for good.
This was great. Alexander is so good no matter who his opponent is. And Taurus is so different, both in terms of style and presentation, that he’s always fun to watch.
Winner, and still X-Division Champion: Josh Alexander
Gia Miller interviewed Purrazzo and Rehwoldt, who said that they would be crowned Queen and King of Impact.
Match 9: Deonna Purrazzo and “Drama King” Matthew Rehwoldt vs. Rosemary and Crazzy Steve – Tournament Final match
Surprisingly, Steve started off this one by out-wrestling Rehwoldt, though he was still able to get in some bites, to the crowd’s delight. Rosemary had some success against Purrazzo, but couldn’t outwrestle the Virtuosa, and soon she was in trouble.
With the momentum on their side, Purrazzo and Rehboldt were able to control things for a while, until they both got taken to the Upside-Down. After that, the pendulum swung Decay’s way.
But that was short-lived. And after Rehwoldt snapped Rosemary’s neck over the top, she was dazed and prone for a Queen’s Gambit by Purrazzo that ended things. After the match, Gia Miller presented Purrazzo and Rehboldt with their crowns and they celebrated their win.
This was good, though it seemed a bit uneven at times. Still, it was a good ending to a fun tournament overall. And with the right winners. It was a smart way to debut Rehwoldt as a big force, and Purrazzo should be continued to be booked as pretty much undefeatable since she’s the champ.
Winners, and Impact Homecoming King and Queen: “Drama King” Matthew Rehwoldt and Deonna Purrazzo
Match 10: W. Morrissey vs. Eddie Edwards – Hardcore Match
Morrissey charged Edwards at the bell, sending him to the floor. Edwards was able to grab a garbage can lid while out there, and smashed Morrissey a couple of times with it, but to little effect. He battered Edwards around ringside, but when he got back in the ring, he went for a big Avalanche and ended up hitting his head on the post.
Eddie used the opportunity to grab a table and set it up on the floor, and then grab the garbage can that went with the aforementioned lid. But he ended up eating the lid when Morrissey kicked it into his face. As Eddie crawled back in the ring, Morrissey got some more plunder from under the ring, in the form of some steel chairs and a chain. He used the chain to wrap up Eddie’s face, and then started choking him with it. Morrissey then stacked up the metal and set up Eddie for a Superplex.
But Eddie reversed it and dropped Morrissey on it with a Sunset Flip Powerbomb.
The fight went to the floor, and the weapons literally started to fly when a garbage can lid got Frisbeed into the crowd. The fight spilled up the ramp, but when Eddie charged Morrissey, he got caught and dropped back-first onto the apron – ouch!
Morrissey then brought out a ladder and bridged it on the apron and the ring steps. But he ate a Flying Dive before he could do anything with it. Eddie then got out a Singapore cane, but when he went up top to set up for a home run smash on Morrissey’s head, he got kicked off the top rope and through the table on the floor – that looked great. Shortly thereafter, Morrissey chokeslammed Eddie on the ladder bridge, which looked absolutely gross.
Eddie tried to pick himself up, and while he did, Morrissey set up another table in the ring – as if the ladder spot wasn’t damaging enough. Morrissey then zip-tied Eddie’s hands together, rendering him pretty much helpless. And certainly unable to defend himself from Singapore cane shots to the head.
But he should have tied up Eddie’s legs too. Because Eddie was still able to run, and shoulderblock Morrissey through the propped up table. That impact broke the zip-tie around his hands, so Eddie was able to retaliate with Singapore cane shots. Morrissey was pretty much done for after those, but Eddie wasn’t leaving any doubt. He grabbed the chain and wrapped it around his knee. And then hit Morrissey with the Boston Knee Party, knocking him down and out for the count – his first loss since coming to Impact.
This was a pretty fun brawl – nothing too crazy, but all the big spots looked good. Not sure that Morrissey should have lost, since if they had kept him looking unstoppable, he may have been well-positioned for a title shot against Kenny Omega as an undefeated challenger. But maybe they’re going to be putting Eddie up in the position of being Impact’s hero? Which makes sense, as he really has become the flag-bearer for the company in the past few years. Time will tell.
Winner: Eddie Edwards
Impact Homecoming - July 31st, 2021
Skyway Studios - Nashville, TN
A single night tournament full of unique pairings made for a fun show. The introduction of the Drama King was well-done, and his win and the pairing with Deonna Purrazzo gives the impression of him as a big star. The non-tournament matches were all well-done as well. A fun watch overall.