Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Date: April 28, 2019
Location: Rebel Sports Complex, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Don Callis, Josh Matthews
It’s back to pay per view for these people after some rather uninspiring television (though the go home show was good). The wrestling has been more than adequate but there’s very little that makes me want to watch this show. Now, that doesn’t mean this show will be bad, but rather than I haven’t been thrilled getting here. Let’s get to it.
The opening video asks what a rebellion is and how important it is to fight, all over clips of the feuds on the card. Not bad at all, as the recap videos have gotten better as of late.
Petey Williams vs. Jake Crist vs. Aiden Prince vs. Ace Austin vs. Cousin Jake vs. Eddie Edwards
Bonus match because a six match card wasn’t going to work. One fall to a finish and Jake is one of the Deaners. The brawling is on to start with Eddie hitting a suicide dive on Jake but getting taken down by a slingshot hurricanrana from Petey. Prince gets a running charge for a dive but Crist cutters him out of the air and onto the pile for the massive crash that would have taken Prince out even without the cutter. Petey Russian legsweeps Crist into the Sharpshooter with Deaner making the save.
That allows Austin to start his handspring into a kick on the apron but Crist is right there with another cutter from the top. A suicide DDT drops Deaner but it’s Petey up with a slingshot Codebreaker to Crist as he lands on Eddie for a cool crash. Prince’s 450 gets two on Crist with Prince making the save, earning himself a kick in the head from Austin. Eddie is back in with a tiger driver for two on Austin with Deaner making the save. That earns him a Canadian Destroyer from Williams but Austin dives in for the rollup pin at 4:59.
Rating: C+. It felt like an Impact match but I like keeping something like this short. There’s no need to have them go through spot after spot when you can just do the crazy spot fest until someone gets the pin. Austin has needed a win and this is a good star for him. I could see him going somewhere and anytime I could see more magic, I’m rather pleased.
The announcers preview the rest of the card that you already bought.
Impact Plus is coming as a replacement for the Global Wrestling Network. Good, as the thing was a mess from the start so a relaunch is a good idea.
Sami Callihan is sick of Rich Swann smiling at him and not meaning any of it. Tonight the Death Machine is coming for Swann in an OVE Rules match. He’s going to break Swann’s legs because he loves him like a brother.
Rohit Raju vs. Scarlett Bordeaux
This was set up earlier today as a replacement for the live Smoke Show. Raju has both Gama and Raj Singh with him like Scarlett has Fallah Bahh. Scarlett starts fast and takes over in the corner until a trip puts her down. That earns Raju a walk over his back so he takes Scarlett outside for a Russian legsweep into the barricade.
Back in and Scarlett is fine enough to chop away, setting up a headscissors into a Crossface to put Raju in even more trouble. That’s broken up so Scarlett snaps off a German suplex to send Raju to the floor, meaning a big dive follows him out. Back up and Raj crotches her on top, allowing Raju to load up a Stinkface. Since you don’t do that to Scarlett, it’s a low blow into the belly to back kneeling piledriver to give Scarlett the pin at 5:03.
Rating: D. I love Scarlett’s character for a variety of reasons, but having her do the same match over and over again is going to take away the appeal in a hurry. This was Raju being a cocky jerk who got in trouble for being stupid. The problem is that’s how most of her matches are likely to go and you can only do that for so long. It didn’t help that the match wasn’t very good and was another bonus match, which kind of goes to show you how thin the card is so far.
We recap Moose/The North vs. the Rascalz. The Rascalz made fun of Moose for his bad luck with women, meaning it was time for Moose to destroy all of them. The numbers got the better of him though and Dezmond Xavier stole a win. Therefore, it’s time to bring in some help.
Moose/The North vs. Rascalz
The Rascalz gets smart by rapid firing in and out against Moose with kicks to the legs and slingshot hilos. Moose pops to his feet though and hands it off to Josh Alexander to suplex Dezmond for two. A backbreaker gets two and Ethan Page adds a swinging version for his own. Dezmond sends the North into each other but Page is fine enough to run him over and prevent the hot tag.
Everything breaks down and it’s the big shoving moonsault to the floor so Wentz can take out Page. Miguel’s running flip dive is pulled out of the air by raw Moose power, meaning a swing into the barricade. Dezmond isn’t done though and uses Josh’s back as a launchpad to take Moose out. Back in and Alexander puts Miguel and Dezmond on the same shoulder at the same time in an impressive power display.
That’s broken up and it’s a 619 into a top rope Meteora into a Swanton into the Final Flash from Dezmond onto Alexander. Thinking quickly though, Page Border Tosses Miguel onto both of them for an impressive looking save. Wentz gets thrown over the top onto Miguel, leaving Dezmond to take a series of kicks to the face. The Burning Hammer into the whip spinebuster sets up No Jackhammer Needed to finish Dezmond at 9:22.
Rating: B. This was a lot of fun, though they were kind of in trouble with the booking. You don’t want the new team in the North losing and Moose can’t take another fall, but the Rascalz really need to stop losing. It’s the lesser of two evils, and thankfully it came at the end of an entertaining, fast paced match. More of the usual from the Rascalz in other words.
Johnny Impact and Taya Valkyrie aren’t worried about their title defenses.
We recap Taya Valkyrie vs. Jordynne Grace. Taya is the confident champion but Grace pinned her in a non-title match and then cost her a match against Madison Rayne. Grace is a monster but Taya doesn’t seem scared.
Knockouts Title: Jordynne Grace vs. Taya Valkyrie
Jordynne is challenging and charges straight at the champ to start. They head outside with Taya being powerbombed onto the apron. Back inside and a middle rope backsplash gives Grace two. Taya snaps the arm across the top rope though and starts wrapping it around the steel. That’s only good for a one so Taya hits a Bubba Bomb to set up a cross armbreaker. Grace is in the ropes in a hurry so Taya pulls her back down into a hanging DDT for two.
Taya grabs something like a cousin of the Rings of Saturn but gets driven hard into the corner for the break. One heck of a clothesline gives Jordynne two and a Michinoku Driver gets the same with the arm not holding up enough for the pin. Taya goes up and is quickly caught in a Muscle Buster for a pair of very close twos. A pinfall reversal sequence gives us more near falls but the arm is too bad for the Grace Driver. Taya pulls on the arm again and it’s the Road To Valhalla to retain the title at 8:59.
Rating: C. The story was there but the ending felt rather flat with Taya just winning clean after the arm work. It makes sense, but I was expecting more from the monster Grace. The match was fine enough, though I’m not sure who is supposed to challenge Taya now. Madison Rayne? Is that where we’re going now? Or maybe a face Tessa? I’m not sure how that would go but it would be different.
Gail Kim is ready for Tessa Blanchard tonight.
We recap Sami Callihan vs. Rich Swann. Callihan’s family took Swann in as a kid and Swann considered Sami family. Then Sami went nuts and they split, with Swann declining an invitation to join OVE. You don’t do that to Sami, so he’s coming for the X-Division Title.
X-Division Title: Sami Callihan vs. Rich Swann
Sami is challenging and anything goes. No dancing from Swann here so you know he’s taking this one seriously. An exchange of shots to the face goes to the champ and it’s already time to head to the floor. Swann staple guns him in the head and the weapons are thrown inside. Back in and Swann’s sunset flip is broken up by a staple gun to the mouth.
A Broski Boot makes it even worse for Swann and his suicide dive is knocked out of the air with a metal shot to the head. The Cactus Special on the apron should be the pin but here’s it’s not even enough for a cover. Instead Sami puts a piece of barricade between the ramp and the steps, which we’ll get back to later. Back in and Swann gets out of a Razor’s Edge, only to be suplexed through an open chair for two.
Swann again isn’t dead and swings away with a cookie sheet. That earns him a spit to the face, which Swann licks off and drops Sami for two more. Wet floor signs to the head have Sami down on the ramp and a Lethal Injection makes it even worse. The fans chant HOLY S*** at that, but not at the suplex through the chair earlier? Those are some weird standards. Now it’s time for the bridged barricade, with Sami going with a groin claw into a Cactus Special onto said barricade….for two.
With that out of the way, it’s time for a big bucket of Legos. A super hurricanrana brings Sami down onto those but since they don’t mean much more than pain, he’s right back up with powder into Swann’s face. That means a super Cactus Special onto the Legos for two and now it’s a barbed wire baseball bat. Swann spits at him, hits Sami low, and, after an I Love You from Sami, hits him in the head with the wire. A Crossface with the barbed wire bat makes Sami tap at 16:03.
Rating: C+. They lost me hard here with one big spot after another that not only didn’t finish the match but didn’t really seem to cause that much damage. A super piledriver should finish someone off and here it just gets two? After a piledriver on a barricade? The other problem was the Legos, which seem like something you would see in a comedy match, but then a few seconds later it’s a barbed wire baseball bat. You can’t jump from one tone to another like that so fast and it didn’t work.
Tessa Blanchard talks about how much respect she has for Gail Kim, who was here before the Revolution. Then Gail made it personal and tonight Tessa is finishing it. TULLY BLANCHARD comes in and says make him proud.
We recap Tessa vs. Gail. Kim cost her the Knockouts Title in January because Tessa wouldn’t respect her as guest referee, sending Tessa into a legal battle to get rid of Gail. It worked to a degree, but Gail came out of retirement for this match. It’s a good build, though I’m more than a little worried about Tessa losing.
Gail Kim vs. Tessa Blanchard
They stare each other down until Tessa starts slugging, earning herself a stomping in the corner. Tessa is right back with a running hurricanrana to send Gail outside, setting up the big dive. Gail pulls her into the post but gets caught with a Codebreaker out of the corner for two. A powerslam gives Gail two of her own but the Black Widow is countered into a backbreaker.
The trash talk starts rolling, with Tessa even yelling down at Gail’s husband in the crowd. Gail misses a charge and falls out to the floor, setting up a double posting for a double knockdown. Tessa takes her time getting up and gets caught in the Hartbreaker around the post, which still doesn’t make a ton of sense. Back in and Gail fires off forearms to set up a spinning high crossbody.
With the required YOU STILL GOT IT chant going, Tessa shoves Gail to the ramp, where a spinning full nelson faceplant sends her crashing down to the floor. That’s not quite enough for the countout and Tessa is stunned. The slingshot suplex is countered into Eat Defeat for two so Gail goes up. With Tessa following up, she gets caught in a dragon sleeper so it’s a bite to the elbow for the break.
You don’t see that one everyday, which is also the case with the super gorilla press drop to send Gail right back down. Magnum gets two so it’s off to a cobra clutch Crossface for something new. Gail gets her foot on the ropes but that doesn’t count this time as Tessa rolls into the middle of the ring for the clean tap at 16:03.
Rating: B+. Match of the night here with Tessa getting the signature win and continuing to look like the best female wrestler in the world (and one of the best anywhere). They beat each other up here and thankfully they went with the right ending. Tessa is looking like the next megastar though and hopefully Impact knows it.
Post match they hug, as Tessa might be on her way to a face turn. Gail gets the big sign of respect.
An angry Brian Cage promises to rip Johnny Impact’s head off tonight.
We recap Johnny Impact vs. Brian Cage. Johnny barely survived at Homecoming and kept dodging giving Cage a rematch, eventually turning heel because he’s tired of the fans thinking they know everything. He then got senior referee Johnny Bravo in his pocket, so tonight it’s Lance Storm as guest referee. That’s going to be fine because Storm is Canadian, meaning he has values. And he hosts a podcast with the company’s boss.
Impact Wrestling World Title: Brian Cage vs. Johnny Impact
Impact, with Taya and Bravo, is defending and Lance Storm is guest referee. Cage comes out with the Terminator gear, which didn’t do so well for him last time. They continue a trend tonight by starting fast with Impact being driven into the corner and walking into a German suplex. The F5 gets two less than a minute in and it’s the apron superplex for two more as Cage is on fire to start.
Another apron superplex is countered into a German suplex from the champ and some knees to the face have Cage in trouble. The standing shooting star is countered with raw power and Cage shows off the standing moonsault for another two. Johnny rolls to the ramp and comes back with a Spanish Fly to the floor (which caused Cage to go to the emergency room after the show).
A running knee to the face busts Cage open and we hit the chinlock as he tries to get some feeling in his back again. Cage Hulks Up and shrugs off an enziguri but a springboard spear gives Johnny two. Taya and Bravo set up a table at ringside as Johnny gets two off the Moonlight Drive. They head outside with Johnny putting him on the table and calling a very loud spot.
Cage pops up and powerbombs him through the table but has to go after Bravo. The distraction lets Impact hit Cage with the belt (right in front of Storm, who “didn’t see it”). Instead Taya pulls Storm to the floor so Johnny can baseball slide him from behind for the expected ref bump.
Back in and Johnny throws the title to Taya and plays dead, leaving Taya to take a powerbomb from Cage. After that rather unnecessary portion, Impact hits Cage with the title and misses Starship Pain (as always) so Bravo can run in for two. Storm superkicks Bravo and Cage does the same to Johnny, setting up a Falcon Arrow called the Drill Claw for the pin and the title at 13:17.
Rating: B-. Oh yeah that injury sucked the life out of Cage, who spent most of the rest of the match stumbling around and taking right hands to the face. What we got was still good, but the weakened Cage was hard to ignore. They did get the ending right though, as Cage had to win the title after being screwed out of it so many times.
Post match Cage celebrates….and Michael Elgin debuts (good thing they have his Twitter handle ready for his name graphic). Elgin powerbombs Cage and counts his own pin before walking away. I’m surprised Elgin was brought back into a major promotion but maybe things have blown over.
Slammiversary is in Dallas on July 7.
Konnan fires LAX up for their title match in the main event. He didn’t want it to come to this but now that it has, they’re coming out guns blazing. Konnan can still cut a fired up promo.
We recap the Lucha Bros vs. LAX, which started as a dream feud with the Bros winning the titles in Mexico. LAX turned on them and tonight it’s Full Metal Mayhem (TLC) to blow everything off once and for all (or as close to Impact can get to doing that).
Tag Team Titles: LAX vs. Lucha Bros
The Bros are defending and it’s TLC but you win by pinfall or submission. The champs try some dives to start but get knocked out of the air as LAX starts fast. Some tables are set up against the barricade and the Bros are right back with running flip dives through said tables to take over. They get inside for the first time with kicks to Ortiz’s face setting up the wheelbarrow splash for two.
Santana comes in and gets caught in a trashcan with a double superkick. A table is set up in the corner but Ortiz rolls Santana up, sending him into a cutter on Pentagon. The top rope Codebreaker from Ortiz sets up the double belly to back faceplant but Fenix dives in for the save. Santana is back up and stomps Fenix down in the corner. Two chairs are set up in the corner and Fenix gets caught in a hanging cutter/top rope double stomp combination for the latest near fall (no save this time).
Santana kicks Pentagon over the barricade and it’s time for the ladder. Everyone gets back in for the slugout before sitting down in four chairs. They slug it out again, though this time in a little more comfort. LAX gets the better of it and bust out the forks. The Bros get back up so some chairs are pelted at their heads, only to have LAX collapse as well. LAX gets up again and put Fenix on top before setting up six chairs in front of the corner.
Pentagon makes the save and it’s the spike Fear Factor onto the chairs….for two. My goodness it’s bleeding over from the X-Division Title match. The Bros load up a regular spike Fear Factor (If the one onto a chair doesn’t work, the regular one certainly will!) but Fenix makes the save, allowing Santana to drive Pentagon through the chair. The fans want and receive a ladder, plus a table on the ramp.
Fenix pops up though and grabs a Spanish Fly off the ladder through the table to make Ortiz vibrate. Back in and it’s a Pentagon Driver to put Santana through a chair for two more so Pentagon loads up two more tables. That’s not enough so we’ll add thumbtacks but since that takes WAY TOO LONG, Santana is awake enough to slug it out with him on top of the ladder. Ortiz gets back up and grabs Pentagon, allowing Santana to stab him in the head with fork. That’s enough for the powerbomb through the tables and the tacks to give LAX the titles back at 20:51.
Rating: A-. While a lot of the stuff has been done before, they went with the right idea here: let two talented teams and four talented guys go nuts with whatever they can find. Sometimes you don’t need to go for the storytelling and need to just shoot for the carnage, which is what they did here. I can overlook some of the near falls as this was a heck of a fight, though they need to go do something else as they’re not topping this anytime soon.
Post match everyone pulls themselves up and Konnan orders them to hug. The big show of respect, including some minor members of the locker room (and Taylor Wilde) coming out to celebrate) ends the show.
Overall Rating: B. As is almost always the case, this promotion is much, much better when there’s less focus on the stories. The action was good (well mostly good) and they made the right call with the Tag Team Titles main eventing. It’s a solid show up and down with two very good matches, though they need to have the TV to back it up, which is always the issue. For now though, a very good show that is worth seeing, if you fast forward a little here and there.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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