After weeks of anticipation and speculation, Impact finally has a new Impact World Champion and Impact Knockouts World Champion. Some time ago, Josh Alexander was forced to surrender the Impact World Championship due to torn triceps and Mickie James relinquished the Impact Knockouts World Championship after suffering a broken rib.

Tonight at Rebellion, Deonna Purrazzo faced Jordynne Grace for the vacant Knockouts World Championship while Steve Maclin fought KUSHIDA for the vacant World Championship.

Before the men’s showdown, Nick Aldis was announced as the guest commentator for the match, and he came out to a big ovation from the Toronto crowd.  Maclin earned the scorn of the crowd by denigrating the Canadian flag, after the crowd starting chanting for Josh Alexander. The crowd wasn’t the only frustration for Maclin, who got outwrestled and outsmarted by KUSHIDA, until a cheap shot gave Maclin the edge.

Maclin then methodically beat up KUSHIDA, inside the ring and out on the floor, earning him “Maclin sucks” and “F— you, Maclin” chants from the crowd, angered by his more deliberate pace.

KUSHIDA fought back, and hit a Northern Lights Bombplex for a close call. He followed that up with a big Boot to the Head, but whiffed on a Running Punt, allowing Maclin to take over once again with a Buckle Bomb and a Sit-out Powerbomb for a near fall. KUSHIDA caught Maclin in a top rope move attempt and brought him down the hard way, clamping on a submission hold upon Impact, but Maclin grabbed the rope to force the break.

Maclin dodged another Punt, tied KUSHIDA in the Tree of Woe and hit Crosshairs for a 2-count. KUSHIDA caught Maclin in another tome rope move and locked on the Armor, but Maclin escaped. Maclin hit a Death Valley Driver and another Buckle Bomb.
After some more reversals and counters, Maclin finally hit the KIA and that was enough to keep KUSHIDA down for three.

After the match, Maclin demanded that Impact President Scott D”Amore come to the ring and hand him the belt like D’Amore said he would if Maclin won the match. D’Amore came to the ring, but when Maclin started jawjacking at him, D’Amore shoved the belt into Maclin’s chest. Maclin then knocked D’Amore to the mat. He was going to do more, but a returning Nick Aldis came to the ring and confronted the new champ. Maclin and Aldis had a staredown for a bit before Maclin left.

This was a good, if unremarkable match. It felt like an extended TV match more than a PPV main event to crown a new champ. Still, Maclin has done a great job of earning a title, run so the outcome was right. The post-match tease of a possible Aldis run at the title is also very intriguing.

In the women’s face-off, they started this with a handshake, suggesting this would be a fairly-contested match. And it was quite technical in the early goings, with both of them showing off their in-ring prowess. Grace amped up the physicality with a Flying Dive to the floor, and then she took over, using her strength to ground and stifle Deonna.

She mocked the crowd by slapping Deonna’s back to match the beat of the crowd’s slow clap, and then held her up for 20 seconds on a delayed Vertical Suplex. Purrazzo eventually recovered, pushing Grace off the entrance ramp and then hitting a Moonsault off the ramp to the floor. They exchanged some moves and pinball attempts, including a nice Vertebreaker by Grace for a 2-count.

Deonna tried to use her submission game, but Grace had answers for each attempt. After a nice sequence of exchanges, they collided heads in a mutual Headbutt. Deonna was able to finally put on an Armbar but couldn’t convert it to Venus De Milo. Grace got up and they exchanged some more blows, with Grace nearly getting the win after a Spinebuster. And then again after a Grace Driver that many in the crowd believed was the end. Grace went for a Superplex but Deonna ended up sending her to the mat hard. Deonna then picked her up and hit a Tombstone Piledriver to take the win and the title.

The show ended with Deonna celebrating her win.

Deonna Purrazzo at the Rebel Entertainment Complex in Toronto, Ontario, on Sunday, April 16, 2023. Photo by Steve Argintaru, Twitter: @stevetsn Instagram: @stevetsn  MORE PHOTOS IN OUR GALLERY

This was a good match, as is always the case with Purrazzo. It wasn’t necessarily an epic like some of her past matches. But the story was well-told, their in-ring chemistry was good, and the outcome was the right one.

After the match, Deonna thanked the crowd who told her that she deserved it. Purrazzo said that the entire locker room deserved that chant, as did the crowd. She said that she and Maclin will usher in a new era of Impact Wrestling.

Impact Rebellion 2023 Results

Pre-show matches

1. Heath and Rhino vs Champagne Singh and Shera

This was a solid opener that saw some old-school tag team action – including Singh and Shera pulling out some classic cheating throughout the match. It was some of that chicanery that helped them win when Singh rolled up Heath and used the ropes to get some extra leverage to steal the pin.
After the match, Rhino got a bit of revenge with the GORE! GORE! GORE!
The crowd loudly booed the pin and enjoyed the post-match spot.

Winners: Champagne Singh and Shera

2. The Coven (Taylor Wilde and KiLynn King) (c) vs the Death Dolls (Rosemary and Jessicka) – for the Knockouts Tag Team Championship

This was another traditional match-up. The Coven isolated Rosemary for some time before she wa able to summon up some demon strength, escape, and finally tag in Jessicka who evened things up. After some back and forth, Wilde made a blind tag while Rosemary was beating up King. Rosemary Speared Kind and was confused when the ref didn’t count the pin. Wilde capitalized on her shock, hit a German and planted Rosemary with a Spinning Icebreaker for the pin.

Winners, and still Knockouts Tag Team Champions: The Coven

Main Show

1. Bullet Club (Chris Bey and Ace Austin) (c) vs. the Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley) – Ultimate X match for the Tag Team Championship

Early on, this one saw the guys climbing up the scaffolding or scaling the hanging X to try to retire the belts, only to see their efforts get thwarted. Later, it got to be more of a mix, with both teams aiming to incapacitate their opponents before going up. This was a pretty fast-paced affair with both teams getting some moments to shine. At one point, Shelley had both club members locked in a submission, but before Sabin could get too close to the ropes, they broke the hold and stopped him. Later, a nice sequence ended with a great Fosbury Flop by Austin onto both Guns on the floor.
At one point, all four were hanging on the ropes and got into a kick exchange, which the crowd loved. In the end, Bullet Club came up with a more elegant solution. As the Guns were down, Austin boosted Bey all the way up to the rope right near the intersection where the belts were hanging, saving him a climb and a shimmy. The Guns tried to stop him, but his placement advantage allowed him to grab the belts and pull them down to retain.

This was a fun one, though there wasn’t anything too crazy, stunt-wise. The ending seemed a bit abrupt, but the match itself was really good.

Winners, and still Tag Team Champions: Bullet Club

Steve Maclin cut a pre-taped promo, complaining about being in Canada, and saying that he is a master of adaptation. So having to face KUSHIDA instead of Josh Alexander is just another time he’ll have to do that. And it will end with him winning the title tonight.

Match 2: Dirty Dango, Joe Hendry, and Santino Marella vs. The Design (Angels, Kon, and Sami Callihan, and Deaner)

Sami turns on The Design and all is right with the world once again. Courtesy: Impact Wrestling.   MORE PHOTOS IN OUR GALLERY

Joe Hendry was a huge favourite here, receiving “We believe” chants before the match. He cut a quick promo insulting the Design before introducing Marella.

For not having wrestled full-time for nearly ten years, Santino looked like he hadn’t missed a beat. Not only did he use some of his impressive judo skills, but he also got the crowd happy by teasing the Cobra at one point, with Angels perfectly selling his fear of being hit with it (or bit with it?).
Highlights saw Santino hit a series of his classic moves, and Joe Hendry hit two opponents with an Overhead Release throw.

While most of the participants were down, the ref accidentally got hit and was taken out of commission. At that point, Sami had Santino in position for a Cactus Special, but Deaner stopped him and instructed Sami to hit Santino with a baseball bat instead.

Sami finally had enough of Deaner and clocked him with it instead, and left. Santino got up, and at the crowd’s urging, hit Deaner with the Cobra. A second ref ran in to make the count, and that was all she needed to do.

This was good, with Hendry and Santino in particular impressing the crowd. It might have been more interesting to see Sami not turn on The Design, but it would seem that this one is going to continue for time immemorial.

Winners: Santino Marella, Dirty Dango and Joe Hendry

Tommy Dreamer cut an emotional promo with his Hardcore War team. The live crowd was still cheering for Santino so the beginning was hard to hear. But when Dreamer started to cry, they listened more attentively. Essentially he said that he and his teammates all sacrificed a lot to do what they love. And that’s their motivation to beat Team Bully tonight.

Match 3: Eddie Edwards vs PCO – Last Rites match

A coffin was set up on the entrance ramp, and the objective was to dump your opponent into it and close the lid.

This was a hard-hitting slobber-knocker, full of chops, punches, and power moves, both in the ring and on the floor PCO hit the first Holy S— move of the match with a Somersault Guillotine Dive onto Eddie on the apron.

The pro-PCO crowd gave it to Eddie with “Boston sucks” chants and a song about how much Eddie sucks.

They had a chop exchange and then a huge slap fight that looked great. PCO won that and then hit the fugliest Buckle Bomb you’ll ever see, and a Moonsault.

The battle waged onto the entrance ramp where they both hit moves to try to end each other. Eddie hit a Full Nelson Suplex on the ramp – ouch! PCO wouldn’t stop, though. Alisha Edwards tried to help Eddie, but she got knocked off the ramp and to the floor. Finally, PCO clocked Eddie in the head with a shovel, put him in the coffin, and slammed the lid shut.

This was really fun. PCO continues to be a guilty pleasure. It’s amazing he can do what he does and not kill himself.

Winner: PCO

Match 4: Jonathan Gresham vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Trey Miguel (c) – Elimination match for the X-Division Championship

The opening minute saw them all jockeying for position ending in a three-way stalemate. Later, they did the more frequent formula of two men fighting while the other one was outside on the floor recovering.

A neat move saw Bailey hit Trey with a Twisting Suplex while having Gresham”s legs grapevined, so when he landed, it also ended up with a submission hold on Gresham.

Lots of great athletics on display in this one, including Trey hitting a picture-perfect Springboard Blockbuster onto Gresham from the entrance ramp into the ring.

The first elimination was really neat. Gresham had Bailey tied up in a Figure-Four Legwork. Miguel came off the top and hit a Meteora on Gresham and got the pin. Bailey then frantically untangled himself to avoid having to tap out.

Miguel and Bailey then really picked up the pace, with a flurry of chops and kicks on each other. Miguel went for a Sunset Flip Powerbomb on the floor, but Bailey blocked it and hit the Ultima Weapon. In the ring, he went for another one off the top, but Trey moved and Bailey hit the mat hard. Trey then rolled up Bailey, using the tights to get the cheap pin.

This was really good with everyone getting some highlight offensive moves. Trey cheating to win leaves the door open for more to come between him and Bailey, but a feud with any combination of these three would be great.

Winner, and still X-Division Champion: Trey Miguel

Match 5: Team Dreamer (Tommy Dreamer, Bhupinder Gujjar, Frankie Kazarian, Killer Kelly and Yuya Uemura) versus Team Bully (Bully Ray, Brian Myers, Kenny King, Masha Slamovich and Moose)

Moose and Kaz were the starters for their respective teams and the first of their three minutes was dazzlingly quick. Then things slowed down a but as weapons were pulled out, like a garbage can, which Moose used to good effect.
Brian Myers came in to help Moose double-team Kaz for the next two minutes. Bhupinder Gujjjar was in next, and he brought the hardcore, using a staple gun on Myers. Kenny King came in nea and the 3-on-2 advantage turned the tide yet again. Killer Kelly entered and used the staple gun to great effect on each of King’s forehead, Myers’ leg, and Moose’s little moose.

Masha Slamovich came in next, leading to a female fight before the men-folk started beating on them, too.

Yuya Uemara came in next and battled it out with Myers, allowing his group to recover.

Just in time for Bully Ray to come in and use a chain. After he’d hit all of her opponents, Bully menaced Kelly with the chain, but didn’t hit her with it before It was time for Tommy Dreamer to join the fray, brandishing a Singapore cane.

A more subdued moment saw all the men in a daisy chain of submissions, so the women just started blasting them all with chairs. They had a chair duel of their own, and then Kelly hit Masha with a Death Valley Driver on the chairs.

Finally, Tommy and Bully went at it toe to toe, but it got broken up when Moose accidentally Speared Bully. A parade of finishers followed, leading to Masha challenging Dreamer. She lost that challenge when he hit her with the Piledriver.

Bully’s minions, the Good Hands, ran in but Frankie dispatched them. Some tables were broken, a ladder got set up in the ring, and after some more carnage, it was down to Bully and Dreamer. Bully intimidated the referees into holding the ladder for him, but they revolted and took him down. Dreamer then finished him off, leaping off the ladder, Superfly-style, to put Bully through a table, and getting the 1-2-3.

This was a good brawl and the addition of the women gave it a really unique feel. There were some draggy moments, as it was pretty lengthy. But the payoff of a big Dreamer win over Bully was what people will remember.

Winners: Team Dreamer

Match 6: Steve Maclin vs. KUSHIDA – for the vacant World Championship

Winner, and new Impact World Champion: Steve Maclin

Match 8: Deonna Purrazzo vs. Jordynne Grace – for the vacant Knockouts World Championship

Winner, and new Knockouts World Champion: Deonna Purrazzo

TOP PHOTO: Steve Maclin as the new Impact World champion.


Steve Argintaru’s Impact Rebellion Photo Gallery