Just before their historic match this Sunday at Rebellion, the Unified Impact World Champion Rich Swann was paid a visit tonight by the former TNA World Heavyweight Champion Moose, who offered him so advice ahead of his marquee matchup.
Before Moose came down to the ring, Swann called out his opponent for Sunday, the AEW World Champion Kenny Omega, for his classless slap during their press conference on last week’s show. Unfortunately, Omega could not make an in-ring appearance before his big showdown. He did, in fact, make time to taunt the Impact World Champion by telling him to enjoy the next three days because the landscape is going to change when he becomes the new face of Impact. After he concluded his message, that was when Moose came out.
Moose started by congratulating Swann for his winning efforts against him at Sacrifice last month, where he became the Unified Champion. Moose then proceeded to mention why he came back specifically tonight. It was because he wanted to offer some words of wisdom to Swann before his career-defining matchup.
Moose said if there’s one man he knows who can prevail over Omega, it’s none other than Swann himself.
“At Rebellion, you’re going to be going up against a man who calls himself ‘The God of Professional Wrestling.’ You should be well prepared for this match because you just faced ‘The Wrestling God,’ Moose,” Moose stated sternly. “Yeah, Kenny Omega pinned you, and you slipped one on me, but who really hurt you? Who showed you what pain really feels like? We both know the answer to that question.
“And we both know that I’m stronger than Kenny Omega. I’m bigger than Kenny Omega. I’m faster than Kenny Omega. And I’m more skilled than Kenny Omega. But Kenny does have something that I didn’t have at Sacrifice: Three stooges who would do whatever he tells them to do. So, Rich Swann, at Rebellion, good luck.”
Before leaving the ring, Moose warned Swann if he were to fail under the bright lights this Sunday, there will be some insufferable consequences. Swann promised Moose he’ll retain his Impact World Title and bring home the AEW World Champion. But he’s more excited to recreate the same ending he had with Moose just last month: a pinfall victory.
Moose, the former TNA World Heavyweight Champion, went on a hiatus after Swann successfully claimed his title while retaining his Impact World Championship in the main event of Sacrifice last month.
Impact Wrestling Results: Winners, Grades, Highlights and Reaction from April 22
Just 72 hours before a high-stakes Rebellion pay-per-view in which its world
champion Rich Swann will put his title on the line against AEW world champion Kenny Omega in a title vs. title match, Impact Wrestling hit the AXS TV airwaves with a show devoted to putting the final touches on the build to Sunday’s extravaganza.
Tenille Dashwood sought to build momentum ahead of her Knockouts Championship match with Deonna Purrazzo as she battled Susan, Jordynne Grace looked to silence the Knockouts tag team champions as she battled Kiera Hogan in singles competition, and two former world champions waged war as Violent By Design’s Eric Young squared off with familiar foe Eddie Edwards.
Who emerged from those matches with big wins ahead of the biggest Impact pay-per-view in recent memory?
Find out now with this recap of the April 22 episode.
The Good Brothers vs. Decay
Ahead of their shot at regaining the Impact Tag Team Championships from FinJuice Sunday at Rebellion, The Good Brothers’ Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows battled Decay’s Crazzy Steve and Black Taurus.
The former titleholders grounded Taurus, working him over in the heat portion of the match. A missile dropkick by the horned luchador allowed him to create separation and make the hot tag, even as he nursed an apparent hamstring injury.
Steve exploded into the match, taking the fight to the opposition. He trapped Anderson in a submission but Gallows broke it up. Taurus attempted a save but was unceremoniously dumped to the floor.
Back inside, Gallows used his power to thwart a tornado DDT and joined Anderson for the Magic Killer to put Steve away and pick up the win.
After the match, the victors cut a promo thanking FinJuice for refocusing them before
vowing to regain their titles.
The Good Brothers defeated Decay
This was a fun little sprint of a match that showcased how solid a team Steve and Taurus have developed into while putting The Good Brothers over ahead of their championship clash this weekend.
The promo after the match was straight fire; a money promo from both Anderson and Gallows. They denounced the idea of FinJuice mistaking their fun times and beer drinking for a team that has lost a step. It sets the stage for them to prove themselves as the dominant force in tag team wrestling.
A refocused, re-energized Good Brothers team is hella dangerous and both Juice Robinson and David Finlay may find that out Sunday. If nothing, that promo heightened the stakes and set the tag title match up to be The Good Brothers’ redemption rather than a triumphant return from Japan for the champions.
Tenille Dashwood vs. Susan
The No. 1 contender to the Knockouts Championship attempted to send a message loudly and clearly to Deonna Purrazzo when she battled The Virtuosa’s associate Susan in a singles competition.
Susan outwrestled the top contender, seizing control of the bout heading into the commercial break as both Purrazzo and Kaleb (with a ‘K’) watched on from the floor.
Susan continued to work over her opponent, trapping Dashwood in a full nelson. Tenille fought out but an alert Susan dragged her back to the mat. Dashwood fought back, dumping Susan on her head and adding a crossbody in the corner.
Tenille delivered a neckbreaker in the ropes and added a Spotlight kick for the pinfall victory.
After the match, Dashwood cut a promo in which she (correctly) took credit for the current state of women’s wrestling and said Purrazzo wouldn’t be where she is without her. The top contender told Purrazzo to shine up the title for her.
The Virtuosa exited, staring Dashwood down the whole way.
Dashwood defeated Susan
Most of the match took place during the commercial break, but what didn’t was a spirited match that was more of a showcase for Dashwood than anything. There was a spot or two that were a little scary, including the suplex into the corner that folded Susan up and landed her on the head.
Still, Tenille was impressive and heads into her first real opportunity to impress in a championship match in quite some time.
Her line about being responsible for women’s wrestling as we know it was accurate in that she and Paige sparked the women’s revolution during their time in NXT, raising the bar for all that would follow. Oftentimes forgotten because of her comedic persona in WWE or injuries and hiatuses that have prevented her from truly dominating, she has earned the exposure this match with Purrazzo will bring her.
Hopefully, she performs up to the level of the competition because The Virtuosa has been one of the very best wrestlers in the entire company, and one of the elite women’s wrestlers in the business, over the last year.
Shera vs. Jake Something
Reunited with Rohit Raju, Shera hit the ring for a match with one of Impact’s other promising young stars, Jake Something.
Shera attacked from the opening bell, wearing Something down with ferocity and intensity, much to the delight of Raju on the floor. Jake tried to fight from underneath but Shera cut him off with a big right hand to the face.
Something finally mounted sustained offence but a well-timed distraction from Raju allowed Shera to catch him with a Sky High for the pinfall victory.
Shera defeated something
Jake Something looks and feels like a star of the future. An intense, big, strong babyface with a great look, he inexplicably finds himself on the losing end of matches with the likes of Brian Myers and Shera instead of building momentum through wins.
Yes, Shera has a great look, too, but he has yet to show the spark between the ropes that Something has in far fewer opportunities in major North American promotions. Even the presence of the great Raju has not made him more interesting, begging the question what will?
Unless the goal is for Something to feud with the duo and avenge the loss, this felt very much like the wrong call, no matter how dirty and underhanded it was.
kenny omega vs rich swann
A pissed-off Impact world champion Rich Swann made his way to the ring, one week after being disrespected and slapped by AEW world champion Kenny Omega. He told Omega he didn’t want to wait until Rebellion, challenging him to meet him in the ring.
Omega and Don Callis appeared via video.
Callis said they would be on Impact every week after Omega wins the company’s title. Omega touted his championship reigns and said Rebellion will be the first day of his world takeover.
Suddenly, the arena darkened and Moose made his way to the ring in his first appearance since losing the TNA world title to Swann at Final Resolution. He said he wasn’t there to hurt Swann but, rather, congratulate him.
Moose told Swann it was he that showed the champion what pain is really like. He said he is bigger, stronger, and more skilled than Omega. The Cleaner has something he didn’t when they wrestled: three stooges willing to do whatever he wants.
“You better not lose those titles or you’ll be paying the ultimate consequences to me, “Moose warned.
Swann vowed to retain, then pin Moose one more time.
Not only did this promo segment provide the final bit of hype for Swann-Omega, it reintroduced Moose as an opponent for Swann after Retribution. Win or lose, Impact Wrestling will continue to churn out a show every week and Swann will have to remain busy. Bringing back Moose, having him offer some back-handed advice and support, and tease the renewal of his rivalry with the champion was a nice touch.
Swann was appropriately intense, fired up after last week’s press conference, and Omega was the arrogant, overconfident AEW champion he has been throughout his appearances on Impact Wrestling.
Despite having no help from AEW outside of the presence of Omega in the first place, Impact has done a phenomenal job of hyping the importance and historical nature of Sunday’s pay-per-view main event. Kudos to Callis, Scott D’Amore, and the rest of Impact management for putting together the main event that feels every bit as enormous as it is.
Kiera Hogan vs. Jordynne Grace
Upon her retirement, Jazz vowed to provide Jordynne Grace with an appropriate partner for her shot at Fire N Flava’s Knockouts Tag Team Championship at Rebellion. First, Grace battled one-half of the champions, Kiera Hogan, in singles competition Thursday.
Grace took the fight to Hogan from the opening bell, powering her down with a spinebuster and adding a torture rack. Hogan fought out of the submission and downed Grace. She failed to take advantage as Grace remained a step ahead of the champion.
As Grace flattened Hogan and covered her, Tasha Steelz entered the ring, breaking up the fall and drawing a disqualification.
Fire N Flava attacked Grace, beating her down until Rachael Ellering made her Impact debut by making the save and joining Thicc Mama Pumo in sending the champions to the floor.
Grace defeated Hogan via disqualification
The arrival of Ellering enhances an already strong women’s division. A talented wrestler with a storied pedigree, she has yet to receive that opportunity on a major stage to prove herself. She competed in the Mae Young Classic and appeared in All Elite Wrestling but never caught on there or in WWE.
With Impact officials always looking for fresh new faces to compete for both the Knockouts singles and tag team titles, adding someone with the notoriety and above-average ring skills to the mix is exactly the right call.
Even if Ellering and Grace fail to win the titles, which would be a considerable upset given the debut here, the daughter of legendary manager Paul Ellering could very easily emerge as the next challenger to Deonna Purrazzo in a battle of competitors let down by WWE’s developmental system.
Eric Young vs. Eddie Edwards
It was not all that long ago that Eric Young and Eddie Edwards routinely tore the house down in a war over the Impact world title. Thursday, ahead of a monster eight-man tag team battle, the former champions reignited their rivalry in the night’s main event.
The match headed to commercial break, the final of the evening, and came back with Edwards grounding his opponent and working a front chancery into a side headlock. Young fought out and hung Edwards up in the ropes as he seized control.
He dropped Edwards with a shotgun elbow and followed with a picture-perfect neckbreaker for two.
Edwards fought back, landing a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Young answered with a Death Valley Driver for a two-count of his own. Reversals and counters gave way to a double underhook powerbomb for yet another two.
Young sought to buy himself some time but the tenacious Edwards launched himself through the ropes with a tope suicida. All hell broke loose on the floor, with Deaner, Joe Doering, and Rhino pairing off with James Storm, Chris Sabin, and Willie Mack.
Back inside, Young scored a small package rollup for the win. The brawl continued between all eight competitors as Matt Striker went into hype mode for Sunday’s Rebellion.
Young defeated Edwards
Young and Edwards have wicked in-ring chemistry, resulting in strong matches in nearly every outing. This was no different. It built slowly and steadily before exploding with a wild, chaotic burst of energy that brought about Young’s tainted win and put over the eight-man tag this Sunday.
Edwards loses nothing in defeat because he likely would not have lost had all hell not broken loose on the floor. Young continues to build momentum for Violent By Design as Impact builds its latest heel faction. Best of all, an underserved-yet-star-studded match receives a little spotlight before it takes to the ring Sunday.