Friday, April 26th, 2019
*Ace Austin over Aiden Prince in 5:53
*Rosemary over Undead Maid of Honor in 2:14
*Killer Kross over Willie Mack in 7:57
*The Deaners over Halal Beefcake in 3:03
*Brian Cage & LAX over Johnny Impact, Pentagon Jr. & Fenix in 12:10
-This was the last episode before Sunday’s Rebellion pay-per-view and featured Brian Cage finally pinning Johnny Impact in the closing moments of the show in the six-man tag.
-The main event was all-action with Cage teaming with LAX against Johnny Impact, Pentagon Jr., and Fenix. There was a lot going on with the tag teams splitting off and utilizing the weapons ahead of the Full Metal Mayhem match, John E. Bravo getting involved and a referee bump after Taya Valkyrie attacked him, Cage was split open on the back of the head from what appeared to be from a Pentagon chair shot, and the visual of seeing Cage pinning the champion. It was a hot match, but the finish was more important than the match.
-I felt the Pentagon & Fenix vs. LAX program could have used one final promo from Konnan to set up Sunday’s finale to the program. Instead, they were added to the Impact vs. Cage mix and wasn’t its own distinct element of the show.
-Prior to the main event, Johnny Impact and Valkyrie explained how each was trained by Lance Storm and he attended their wedding to insinuate he will be a biased referee on Sunday. This led to Storm coming out and getting one of the louder reactions on the show and cutting a good promo about his ethics not being for sale and calling it down the middle. Storm could be an effective authority leader that only appears the odd time, has credibility with the audience and talent, and can still have a match if necessary one or two times a year.
-Killer Kross and Willie Mack had a good match ending when Mack built up to a standing moonsault and in executing the move he was caught in the Kross Jacket choke hold and Kross won by submission. Mack is the everyman that the audience naturally gets behind and appears to be the prototype for what WWE was attempting with Kevin Owens, right down to the stunner his finisher, prior to Owens turning this week. I enjoy Kross a lot, he’s a fresh character on U.S. television, has great promos, a different style and is a solid asset for this company.
-Moose ambushed The Rascalz backstage with the help of The North, Ethan Page, and Josh Alexander. This led to the announcement of a six-man tag added to Rebellion. Alexander has the chance to be a breakout star in 2019 for Impact and this is another solid match for Sunday’s card. Moose is great in his role, has lots of presence and confidence, and plays of The Rascalz effectively.
-Rich Swann traveled to the oVe Compound and met The Crist Brothers outside. Sami Callihan wouldn’t open the door, so Swann stood outside and explained that when Callihan’s mother died, he was there for him and he will have to see him Sunday. Callihan opened the door after he left and then slammed the door in frustration. The idea is they were very close at one point and now are at odds and will have to fight, teasing an eventual reunion by the end.
-Taya Valkyrie and Jordynne Grace did a segment where Grace was working out and Valkyrie attacked her in the gym. Because it went on for so long and they had to incorporate the gym equipment, I thought this segment was very awkward where they’re doing pro wrestling moves using weights and fell flat for me.
-Rosemary defeated the Undead Maid of Honor and then took her hostage from Su Yung.
-Ace Austin defeated Aiden Prince and then had a post-match brawl with Petey Williams, which is a match that could be added at either the pay-per-view or saved for television. Austin has a great character with the card gimmick and been spotlighted on MLW previously.
-The pay-per-view has had a strong build for the top matches, and you could argue Tessa Blanchard vs. Gail Kim feels as important as the Impact title match. Kim did a lot of local media in Toronto on Friday and I expect that match to be one of the strongest of the night on Sunday. Below is the updated card for Rebellion:
*Johnny Impact vs. Brian Cage with Lance Storm as the special referee for the Impact Wrestling title
*Pentagon Jr. and Fenix vs. LAX in a Full Metal Mayhem match for the Impact tag titles
*Tessa Blanchard vs. Gail Kim
*Rich Swann vs. Sami Callihan for the X Division title
*Taya Valkyrie vs. Jordynne Grace
*Moose, Josh Alexander & Ethan Page vs. The Rascalz