Friday, April 19th
*Fallah Bahh and Scarlett Bordeaux over Desi Hit Squad in 8:27
*Dez over Moose in 8:22
*Madman Fulton over Tommy Dreamer in 7:59
*Madison Rayne over Taya Valkyrie in a non-title match in 1:03
*Pentagon Jr. and Fenix over Eddie Edwards and Eli Drake to retain the Impact tag titles in 5:12
–This is the second-to-last episode before the Rebellion pay-per-view from the recent tapings in Windsor, Ontario. Josh Mathews hammered home the fact the show was sold out, which it was.
–The main angle on the show saw Eli Drake attack his partner Eddie Edwards after the two lost their tag title match to champions Pentagon Jr. and Fenix. It was a short match, ending when Fenix and Pentagon hit the spiked package piledriver and Pentagon pinned Drake. Mathews was ready to sign off from the show when Drake attacked Edwards and beat him with the kendo stick, including one shot to the head. Don Callis was yelling for security for fear that Drake would “kill him”. One week after this was taped, Impact announced Eli Drake was being released, two months before his contract was set to expire, so this will have one week of follow up.
–The tag match featured Santana and Ortiz of LAX getting involved and trying to cost the champions the match, which made no sense as they are scheduled to challenge for the titles at the pay-per-view. After the match, they brawled to the back and are set for a Full Metal Mayhem match at Rebellion.
–The feud between Johnny Impact and Brian Cage leading into the main event of Rebellion has been Impact’s best work. They started the show with a great video package recapping the feud that dates to January at Homecoming and piecing together the segments. This included Johnny Bravo serving as the referee for all the matches leading up to his heel turn. Bravo is now Impact’s errand boy and was cleaning his pool during an interview segment at Impact’s home. Cage demanded Don Callis and Scott D’Amore do something to even the playing field and they installed Lance Storm as the special referee for the title match at Rebellion.
–Madison Rayne pinned Taya Valkyrie in a non-title match with Jordynne Grace distracting Valkyrie and Rayne rolled her up. Valkyrie cut a good promo before the match, inciting the Canadian audience for being an apologetic country and mocking Tim Hortons, which led to a chant for Timbits. She added that it sucked to be back in Canada as she is from British Columbia.
–Tessa Blanchard traveled to Robert Irvine’s restaurant to “get into the head of Gail Kim” and vandalized the restaurant, attacked the staff and poured food onto them. Blanchard was very good in the segment and carried it away from being over-the-top and silly. At 23-years of age, she is already a star and is going to have a tremendous future. Kim responded that she is not pressing charges, Blanchard is an entitled brat and acknowledged she was the same and is going to press her own charges against Blanchard at Rebellion.
–Madman Fulton, formerly Sawyer Fulton of Sanity in NXT, defeated Tommy Dreamer with a side slam into a flatliner. Fulton is a big guy and they tried to get size across throughout the match. Dreamer cut a promo noting he trained with Fulton’s uncle with Johnny Rodz and both were inspired by madmen (Paul Heyman and Sami Callihan). It was an average match with the emphasis on the post-match beatdown of Dreamer, who was saved by Willie Mack and Rich Swann, who proceeded to be attacked by oVe and Callihan.
–The best sequence of any match came during Dez’s win over Moose. Moose caught Dez off a tope con giro attempt, turned and launched him at Wentz and Trey on the floor and did it seamlessly. The program with Moose against The Rascalz has been entertaining and the four work well with Moose as a solid base for the flying style of the Rascalz.
–Rosemary is feuding with Kiera Hogan regarding who is to blame for Allie’s death. Rosemary choked Hogan with a chain and left her gasping for air. I enjoyed the way they handled Allie’s removal from the show, but these segments still feel out of place on the show. As a whole, the knockout’s division is strong but it feels like Rosemary, Hogan, and Su Yung are off on their own in a separate world, literally.
–The stories they are building up for Rebellion all seem to be clicking and they have put a lot of care into the details of the main event. Impact’s strength is its ability to tell long and drawn out stories with a wide array of characters. I am not the biggest fan of the “undead realm” portion but you have a wide universe of characters and I prefer that approach than everyone fitting into a narrow box.