Which barriers to break? When fate decides for you and makes things be impossible, you can make them possible. Be careful, don’t compel, let things happen, let the situation put itself together. Show the world that saying you are Hard To Kill is not just words, it’s a state of mind and a goal. Make your Revolution, create the Rebellion. Impact Wrestling hasn’t tried to lie to their fans, they took the time to envision what was possible and they made it happen. The PPV has become a free 2-night event. A treat for the Impact fans, a gift for the wrestling fans in general. Over the last weeks, I have said, watch more wrestling. Tonight, I say, watch more Impact Wrestling.
The major question was: can this 2-night Rebellion be the Rebellion we were expecting to watch? This night is made of 5 matches, and the X-Division title is on the line. Who are the survivors and the winners of that first night? How many ‘I told you” or “I saw it coming”? It’s time to find out but your French Enygma Steph way…
- Tommy Dreamer, Rhino & a mystery partner vs oVe (Madman Fulton, Dave & Jake Crist)
I told you the stakes of that match were pretty low but the identity of the mystery opponent was probably more important than it. If someone, somewhere, bet even a penny on Crazzy Steve, he would a millionnaire right now. I was absolutely not expecting him to be this mysterious man but, to be honest, it was a very good surprise. I can hear some of you say, but who is Crazzy Steve? The Decay, the team of Abyss, Rosemary and Crazzy Steve, disbanded just a week or two before I took the helm of this review. Their war against The Broken Hardyz led to a series of extreme matches with a culmination at Total Nonstop Deletion. The stable was creepy and cool, which explained the doll he was wearing around his neck.
The match itself was ok, neither hardcore nor old-school, which could have had more spice to it. It was probably not the best opener for the show, a spot usually made for X-Division matches. Dreamer struggled but Rhino and Steve helped him pretty well. Fulton attack’s on Rhino was ferocious but Rhino replied viciously on Dave. He tagged in Steve who hit some clotheslines before powdering when Fulton was tagged in. Rhino was really the key to the match as he was able to master all three guys, for a moment. After an assault from Jake on Dreamer, Rhino was back in the ring controlled Dave Crist. All broke down, Dreamer and Jake to the floor, Fulton dumped Steve, and Rhino hits the Gore Dave for the win. The Old School Hardcore Boyz defeated The New Kids On The Block. Not the right stuff for oVe as their losing streak continues.
- Meanwhile, at home and backstage…
Eddie Edwards, from home, explained to Josh Mathews why he could not be there. Edwards said anyone who knows him knows how much pro-wrestling, Impact Wrestling and becoming the World Champion means to him. He explained he is home to protect his family and doing the best for them leads him to the decision not to be apart of Rebellion. He was ware that he lost his chance at the title and said he will have to live with that. He added he is aware Michael Elgin has some things to say, but also that he knows the competitor Edwards is. In the end, when he will be back to Impact Wrestling, he will be hungrier than ever and work at regaining that chance again.
Michael Elgin explained to new Impact interviewer Gia Miller he was not concerned by the situation around the World Title match. He told her his path through Canada, USA and Japan. Wrestling for him is about greatness, Championships and compete with greatness. He came to Impact Wrestling to become World Champion, a title men like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle or Chris Sabin held but he wants to surpass so when people are going to think about World Champion, they will think of Elgin first. He stated Tessa Blanchard is stuck in Mexico, but in fact, she is afraid to drown in the deep end. For him, Eddie Edwards found an excuse not to come as he had no chance to win. Michael Elgin stated Rebellion will end as it was supposed to, with him being the World Champion.
I’m sorry to all the fans of @IMPACTWRESTLING that I wasn’t there tonight. These times effect each one of us in very different yet very significant ways. I encourage everyone 2 stay home & that includes myself. Great job to everyone who competed tonight. #WeAreAllInThisTogether
— Tessa Blanchard (@Tess_Blanchard) April 22, 2020
- XXXL (Acey Romero & Larry D) vs TJP & Fallah Bahh vs The Rascalz (Wentz & Dez)
When this match was announced on Monday night, it suddenly became clear that The North would not be defending the Tag Team titles, something that was confirmed just after this match. This match was nothing more than the copy of the 4-team match that happened last week, without Reno Scum. The same teams, but not the same stakes as TJP and Fallah Bahh are officially the number one contenders. So take the same guys, but don’t do the same thing.
TJP and The Rascalz made most of the beginning of the match. After the break, Larry was trading with Bahh and things kind of slowed down. TJP, Dez or Wentz are innovative high-flyers. when Larry, Fallah or Acey will develop a more classical repertoire. After another break, Bahh hit a Samoan drop on Larry and tagged in TJP. The Rascalz sent Romero into Larry, TJP cut off the push-sault and Bahh hit a crossbody. Dez cut him off, Romero hit the pounce. XXXL isolated Dez and hit some double team moves but TJP dumped Romero. Wentz fired back and hit the springboard cutter. Dez hit the spiral tap for the win. The match was good, The Rascalz mastered it from the beginning to the end. They now make us ask the question of which team is the legit contender for the Tag Team Championships.
- Meanwhile, at home or backstage…
The North was stuck in Canada. Ethan Page stated that the fact the border is closed is like an extended vacation in the greatest country in the world, which makes Canada on top of America. Josh Alexander said, if they are not going to defend the titles at Rebellion, they will very soon. The didn’t become the longest-reigning Tag Team Champions in the history of Impact Wrestling not to be defending the titles against the best. Alexander added they are going to find the best Canada has to offer and give them an opportunity at the belts.
Backstage, Willie Mack was with Rich Swann and told Gia Miller Rich has been with him since he first got to Impact Wrestling. Him going against the X-Division Championship was a dream come true but he knew it was supposed to be for the Tag Team titles. Rich Swann interrupted him and said the tag team belts are behind them. He was happy for his friend and would be even happier to see Mack become X-Division Champion. Swann knew how hard Willie Mack busted his ass to prove himself. He added Mack will break Ace Austin tonight, get the Championship and then they will celebrate all night long. He told Mack to go out there and become one of the best X-Division Champions Impact Wrestling has ever seen.
- Impact X-Division Championship: Ace Austin (c) vs Willie Mack
This is the moment that we deserved, said Josh Mathews. Those purple eyes looking at us with such a determination there was suddenly no doubt in everyone’s mind Willie Mack would become the new X-Division Champion. Willie Mack had the attitude and the look of a champion, he was oozing confidence backstage. The Mack we saw yesterday was another man. The stalling to begin the match was not necessary as Ace Austin had no crowd to expect a reply from. He then offered a handshake, tried to attack and Mack cut that off and Austin powdered. Back in, Mack fired back and Austin powdered again, Mack followed him out and delivered chops.
Back in, Austin countered the cannonball, hit a superkick. The Tree of Woe followed and Austin laid the boots to Mack. He choked him out and looked for a high cross but Mack countered into a Samoan drop. The standing moonsault and the ground and pound followed but Austin made the ropes. Austin countered back and delivered a kick. He choked out Mack, followed with a Trouble In Paradise and headed up top. He flew but Mack countered into a powerbomb. Mack followed with elbow strikes, they traded until Mack rocked him and followed with running corner strikes. The cannonball followed and the stunner was countered into a backflip and the Fold. Mack kicked out. Austin was pissed, but Mack countered the Fold into a hell of a popup cutter.
Mack headed up top and hit a Van Mackinator, coast to coast, on Austin. The frog splash missed, Austin cradled him with the ropes, the ref caught him and they argued. Austin went up top, Mack cut him off and Austin countered and crotched him. Mack countered into one of the best Stunner we have seen in years, 6 feet in the air, on the buckles and the six-star frog splash finished it.
Willie Mack seemed like he couldn’t believe he was the Champion and watching him say to Rich Swann it was their win was really something great. Excepted the stalling, the match was just excellent. Match of the night, without any shadow of a doubt.
- Meanwhile, backstage…
Rich Swann and Willie Mack were celebrating and thinking about targeting the Tag Team Championships when Johnny Swinger arrived. He said to Mack he is the Man and the Mack & Pack connection will live on. Mack replied they have never been a team. Swinger reminded him he promised the first shot to his “best friend.” Swann interrupted the “Swing King” and said that they want to celebrate. Swinger told them to come to celebrate with him. Swinger went that way when The Mack stated he and Swann would go the other way.
- Kiera Hogan vs Kylie Rae
Kyrie Rae swam on the ring like a little fish entering a big pond. In the video package that was aired just before, Tessa Blanchard, Eddie Edwards, Gail Kim were telling how excited they were for Kylie Rae signing with Impact. Not Kiera Hogan who just doesn’t give a damn and said Kylie has to go through her to become a member of the Knockouts Division. That was not enough to remove this big and sunny smile on the face of Kylie Rae who has been a very talented and fierce wrestler when it comes to fighting.
Hogan shoved Rae and tried to make her mad. Rae quickly took her down, locked on an STF but Hogan made the ropes. She flowed with arm drags, Hogan ran to the ropes. Hogan attacked with kicks, but countered back and followed with the running boot. Hogan countered the Kylie special and the draping leg drop and corner kicks followed.
Post break, Rae avoided the charge and followed with strikes until Hogan cut her off with the corner dropkick. Hogan grounded things. Rae tried to fire up but Hogan continued to control. Rae fired back, they traded and Rae hit the superkick, one from Hogan and they worked into a double down. They traded, Rae fired up and hit clotheslines and the Kylie special. Hogan fought off the STF, stunned her off the ropes and the superkick followed. Rae countered the purge into a suplex, followed with uppercuts and the cannonball. Hogan strangled Rae’s eyes, hit the grounded superkick and followed with ground and pound. She talked trash and Rae locked on the STF for the win.
Another good match that allowed us to find out the true face of Kylie Rae, the fighting one. After the big smile, Rae was nothing else but killing eyes. And a winning machine.
Josh Mathews announced the matches set for Rebellion Night Two: Suicide vs Trey vs Chris Bey vs Rohit Raju, Joseph Ryan vs Jake Deaner, Havok vs Rosemary in a Full Metal Mayhem Match, and The Fate of the Impact World Championship. Also, Moose will make an announcement.
- Unsanctioned Match: Sami Callihan vs Ken Shamrock
Everything is this match was about revenge. The revenge of a Legend whose celebration was wasted. The revenge of The Draw who lost a World Championship and decided he could overcome everything by becoming a master of screens. ICU, he told us. But has Sami Callihan seen everything of Shamrock? The unsanctioned stipulation was clearly giving an advantage to Callihan but there was something in Shamrock’s eyes as he made his way to the ring that was saying violence, revenge, hate. That’s exactly what we witnessed.
Sami attacked with a suicide dive during Ken’s entrance and followed with a suplex on the floor. He whipped Ken to the barricades, Ken fired up and followed with strikes and kicks. He whipped Sami to the barricades, laid in more strikes and kick slammed him to the barricades again. Ken went to the stage and ran off Callihan. They fought backstage, time for some cinematic orchestra. Sami blinded him with powder, followed with trashcan lid shots. Sami grabbed a chain, used it to punch Ken with and choked him out, claiming he’s the real world’s most dangerous man. Ken fired back with kicks, ground and pound and yelled a lot until oVe attacked. They kicked Shamrock, Sami gave the thumbs down and KOed Fulton with a bat, and then took out Jake & Dave. oVe was oVeR.
He came face to face with Ken, and they agreed to finish things outside. They took it to the parking lot, brawling by a production truck as Ken controlled until Sami nutcracked him and choked him out. Ken fought, escaped and locked on the ankle lock on Sami. Sami fought before fading. The referee waved it off.
I have a problem with the end of the match that continues to depict Callihan as a loser despite his new character. Then, it seems like the match was made for two things, remind Shamrock is a Legend and make oVe explode. The match was great in itself and the cinematic orchestra was fitting it like a glove. All of this open a lot of possibilities, the coming weeks should be really, really interesting. Fulton and the Crist Brothers will seek for revenge, Sami Callihan will continue his mind games behind his screens. When it comes to Shamrock, time will tell but his in-ring is far from over…
Rebellion Night One was a good PPV, even if the no-crowd situation was heartbreaking. I wish I could hear the crowd roar when Willie Mack defeated Ace Austin and Rich Swann appeared. Those moments are meant to be shared with a crowd. Wrestlers often associate their title win to the reaction of the crowd. The Mack was perfect, he earned this title win and proved why he was The One To Watch in 2020. Kylie Rae had her first-real match in the Impact Zone and was able to show more of her repertoire. The opening match was not the best of the night but I think no one could have expected Crazzy Steve to be the mysterious partner. Is he coming back? I don’t know but it would be very cool. The 3-team match came last-minute and was far too close from last week’s 4-team match to arouse interest. The surprise came from the winners because the current number one contenders were defeated tonight. We will see in the coming weeks if this win changes something for TJP and Fallah Bahh.
Shamrock and Callihan reminded the wrestling fans Impact Wrestling have been a pioneer in what I’m used to calling the cinematic orchestra. They have done it way before another company decided to explore the possibilities of a boneyard. The match was stunning, a violent brawl associated with betrayal and mercilessness. I’m not very fond of the end but the whole match opens the gates to new feuds and new character perspectives.
As you may have understood, there will not be a Knockouts, Tag Team and World Championships defences next week during this Night Two Josh Mathews never stopped reminding us about. Impact Wrestling chose not to force anyone to come to these tapings that will cover a few weeks. Saying it’s changing the game is true but it doesn’t mean the stakes have changed. The matches initially announced will take place in the near future, there’s no doubt about it. Then, with all the people involved in these tapings, some pretty cool things could happen in the next few weeks. And they will break the silence of a missing crowd by making so much noise that no one, nowhere, could ignore it.
Rebellion Night One Full Results:
- Tommy Dreamer, Rhino & Crazzy Steve defeated oVe (Madman Fulton, Dave & Jake Crist)
- The Rascalz (Dez & Wentz) defeated TJP & Fallah Bahh and XXXL (Acey Romero & Larry D)
- Willie Mack defeated Ace Austin to become the new Impact X-Division Champion
- Kylie Rae defeated Kiera Hogan
- Ken Shamrock defeated Sami Callihan via TKO
Rebellion Night Two Card:
- Suicide vs Trey vs Chris Bey vs Rohit Raju
- Joseph Ryan vs Jake Deaner
- Full Metal Mayhem Match: Havok vs Rosemary
- The Fate of the Impact World Championship
All pics, screenshots and videos courtesy of Impact Wrestling, AXS TV, Basil Mahmud, and Fite TV. Photocollage by @frenchnygma exclusively for @steelchairmag.