Date: March 5, 2022
Location: Paristown Hall, Louisville, Kentucky
Commentators: Tom Hannifan, Matthew Rehwoldt
This is the month’s Impact Plus special and the card is looking decent. There are a ton of title matches, capped off by Heath of all people getting the World Title shot. If that isn’t your thing, there are three Women’s Title matches, plus a hoss fight between Jonah and PCO. Let’s get to it.
Note that I was in attendance for the show, sitting in the balcony. That being said, I barely saw most of the show, as the balcony consists of a bunch of couches around the barricade and then some a handful of chairs behind it. I spent most of the show either in a chair or on my feet, trying to see a glimpse of the ring over the people around the barricade. It was probably the worst in-house experience I have ever had and I would absolutely not go back again. This will likely include the July return date that was announced during this show.
Pre-Show: Gisele Shaw vs. Lady Frost
Rematch from Shaw defeating Frost a few weeks back. Shaw goes for the arm to start but gets snapmared over for her efforts. A headscissors puts Shaw on the floor and Frost rolls along the apron to hurricanrana her down again. Back in and Shaw kicks her in the ribs, setting up a running elbow to the face.
Some forearms to the back of the head set up the corkscrew Vader Bomb to give Shaw two as the fans are behind Frost. Shaw gets knocked down in the corner, setting up a running Cannonball. Back up and Shaw grabs a hanging DDT for two, followed by a twisting suplex for the same. Frost gets in a knockdown of his own and goes up for a corkscrew moonsault and the pin at 6:01.
Rating: C. Frost is starting to grow on me but I’m surprised to see her pin Shaw. It seemed that Shaw was going to become a bigger deal around here but instead she lost on the pre-show to a non-pay per view. That being said, the division needs some fresh blood so maybe that is where Frost can come into play. Not a great match or anything, but you have to start somewhere.
Pre-Show: Matt Taven/Mike Bennett vs. Rich Swann/Willie Mack
Maria sits in on commentary. Swann starts fast with Bennett and dropkicks him into the corner, only to get caught in the wrong corner. That means some alternating shots from Taven and Bennett but Swann gets knocked over for the tag to Mack. Everything breaks down fast and it’s a Rock Bottom to drive Mack onto the apron. Swann is right there with a dive to take them out, followed by Mack being fine enough to hit a running flip dive of his own.
Back in and Taven catches Mack with a hanging DDT and the villains take over. A catapult sends Mack into Taven’s enziguri but he strikes his way to freedom. The hot tag brings in Swann to clean house, including the rolling splash for two on Taven. A flapjack into a bulldog gets the same with Bennett making the save but Taven runs Swann over. An exchange of kicks to the face lands Swann in the Proto Pack but Mack spears Taven. Swann sunset flips Bennett for the pin at 7:44.
Rating: C+. This picked things up a bit as Mack and Swann are always worth a look. At the same time, Bennett and Taven were one of the better Ring of Honor teams so there was some chemistry to be seen here. I’m still not sure where Honor No More is going, but losing here isn’t a bright sign for them tonight.
The opening video talks about what it means to sacrifice something. It often means to honor something, but in this world, nothing comes easy. The wrestlers will sacrifice their all for you, which shifts us to a focus on some of the matches.
X-Division Title: Trey Miguel vs. Jake Something
Something is challenging and easily wins a lockup to start. Miguel gets smart by striking away as fast as he can but the very springboardy wristdrag is blocked. Something’s clothesline takes Miguel down but he’s right back up with a dropkick. That doesn’t work for Something, who hits a heck of a sitout powerbomb (Miguel’s face on impact was great) for two before knocking a handspringing Miguel out of the air.
Miguel is back with some shots to the face but Something BLASTS HIM with a forearm. The running shoulder in the corner gets two on the champ, who is back with something like a snap Russian legsweep. A springboard spinning forearm puts Something down and Miguel nips back up. Some chops fire Something up though and a torture rack dropped down into a backbreaker gives him two. Miguel enziguris him to the floor though and a diving Canadian Destroyer gives us a pair of nasty thuds.
Thankfully they’re both fine and Something sends him hard into the corner, setting up a powerbomb. Something tries it again but this time Miguel reverses into a Meteora for two of his own. Miguel goes up but has to fight off Something, setting up the Cheeky Nandos kick. The 619 in the corner sets up a top rope Alberto Meteora to retain the title at 11:02.
Rating: B-. This is the kind of win that is going to help a champion like Miguel: being up against a bigger and stronger star and fighting from behind to eventually win. Miguel hung in there until he could get catch the big guy in something and it worked well. Good match here and the kind of match that is always going to work.
Here is what is coming on the rest of the show.
Tasha Steelz, with Savannah Evans, is ready to win the Knockouts Title from Mickie James and isn’t worried about Chelsea Green.
We recap Eddie Edwards vs. Rhino. Edwards turned on Team Impact at No Surrender to join Honor No More, which doesn’t have Rhino happy. Therefore, it is time for revenge.
Rhino vs. Eddie Edwards
The rest of Team Impact and Honor No More are all here too. Edwards misses a charge to start and gets knocked outside, where it’s time for a meeting with Honor No More. Back in and Eddie’s chops in the corner just annoy Rhino, who sends Eddie outside in front of Team Impact. Edwards dives back in, where Maria hands him Kenny the Kendo Stick.
That earns her an ejection so Rhino can punch away at Eddie’s head. Matt Taven trips him down from the floor though, which the referee somehow doesn’t notice. He also doesn’t notice Taven choking on the rope, allowing Eddie to take over in the corner. We hit the chinlock but Rhino is up before he even bothers getting down.
Rhino hits a running clothesline and a running shoulder in the corner but the fight breaks out on the floor. Vincent goes inside to hit a dive, followed by Rich Swann doing the same. Not to be outdone, Willie Mack goes up top for his own big dive, allowing Steve Maclin to run in and double arm DDT Edwards. He isn’t done though and kendo sticks Rhino down. That is enough to set up Edwards’ Boston Knee Party for the pin at 8:47.
Rating: C. There are a lot of things in wrestling you have to just get over, but there also comes a point where you can’t suspend your disbelief that far. That was the case here, as there was no reason to believe that the referee didn’t notice or care about something going on here. He didn’t notice the interference from either Honor No More or Maclin? Then fire him for being incompetent. The match itself was fine, but come on already.
We recap the IInfluence vs. the IInspiration for the Knockouts Tag Team Titles, which is really a battle over a personal photographer. That would be Kaleb With A K, who might be cheating on the IInfluence with the IInspiration.
The IInfluence tells Kaleb With A K to stay in the back and come out for pictures after they win the titles.
Knockouts Tag Team Titles: IInfluence vs. IInspiration
The IInspiration (Cassie Lee/Jessie McKay) are defending against Tenille Dashwood/Madison Rayne. The referee holds up the titles and looks ANGRY for some reason. Well that was different. McKay shoulders Dashwood down to start so it’s quickly off to Rayne, who gets taken into the wrong corner. Lee armdrags her down for one and they go to an exchange of ones before Lee grabs an armbar.
Everything breaks down and the champs are sent head to head, only to clear the ring without much trouble. Dashwood takes out Lee on the floor and McKay kicks Dashwood in the face but gets posted. Back in and Madison chokes McKay in the corner before tying her in the Tree of Woe. That means Dashwood can get a running start to pull her by the hair, setting up the Taste of Tenille for two.
Lee starts getting up as McKay kicks Dashwood away and the hot tag brings her in. A quick suplex gives Lee two as the fans are way behind the IInspiration. Dashwood fights out of a double suplex and the Spotlight Kick gets two on Lee. Cue Kaleb With A K as Lee kicks Dashwood down for two as the referee finally starts clearing the ring. That’s enough for Kaleb With A K to send Dashwood one of the belts to knock Lee out and win the titles at 10:23.
Rating: C. You knew Kaleb With A K would be getting involved somehow and the question was whose side he would take. Changing the titles makes sense as it lets them build towards the IInspiration taking them back later. It isn’t like there is any kind of a division for the titles, so changing them here at least lets things be freshened up a bit.
Rhino is mad but tells Heath to stay in the back because he has a World Title match tonight. Anthony Carelli (Santino Marella) comes in to give Heath a pep talk, because if there is someone you want advice from, it’s Santino freaking Marella.
Brian Myers is here for his special commentary table but here is W. Morrissey to interrupt. Security comes in so Myers tries a cheap shot, which doesn’t go well. Morrissey goes for Myers, who runs off, leaving a security guard to get powerbombed through the table.
Jonah vs. PCO
Monster fight and there are no seconds for a change. They slug it out to start with Jonah knocking him into the corner. PCO comes right back with a neckbreaker and they’re out on the floor and it’s time to slug it out again. Jonah hits a Russian legsweep on the ramp before heading back inside for the chops.
In this case they just wake PCO up though and he unloads with chop after chop of his own in the corner. With Jonah knocked to the floor, PCO hits his own bit flip dive, setting up the top rope flip dive onto the apron. PCO heads up top but Jonah is right there for a heck of a top rope superplex, with the mat not rally bumping that much. Back up and they slug it out with an exchange of German suplexes before PCO no sells a DDT.
A suplex makes PCO vibrate and sit up so Jonah goes up top, earning himself a super hurricanrana back down. The PCOsault gets two but Jonah is ticked off this time. They head back outside with Jonah sending him into the steps and then hitting a TERRIFYING Tombstone onto the steps. Fans: “CHECK HIS PULSE!” Jonah isn’t done though and powerbombs him off the steps and onto the floor. Back in and a Tsunami to the back of the head finishes PCO at 11:30.
Rating: B-. This style might not be for everyone, but my goodness they were beating the fire out of each other here with some big man offense. Jonah hung with PCO and then beat him with three huge moves in the end. Good hoss style fight, though I did cringe hard on the Tombstone and powerbomb at the end. They look very cool, but dang they’re hard to see at times.
Jay White is ready to show Alex Shelley what he has learned around the world.
Jay White vs. Alex Shelley
Former student vs. former teacher and it is nice to hear that Motor City Machine Guns theme again. They stare each other down to start and circle each other as the fans start the dueling chants. The lockup takes over a minute to start and they trade standing switches until White bails to the ropes. Shelley grabs the arm and cranks away, setting up a middle rope knee to the arm.
An apron knee to the head rocks White again but he gets his knees up to block a slingshot splash. White hits a backbreaker and drops Shelley throat first across the top rope to send him outside. A drop on the barricade sets up a running elbow to the face back inside as Shelley keeps getting rocked. The waistlock keeps Shelley down but he fights up and hits a running forearm to the face.
Back up and White grabs a DDT, setting up a twisting suplex for two. Shelley manages a quick Downward Spiral into the middle buckle for a needed breather but White goes to the eye to cut that off. Some hard chops put Shelley down again but he’s right back up with his own series of chops. A quick Sliced Bread gives Shelley two and a superkick keeps up the comeback.
The Motor City Stretch is countered and so is the Bladerunner, meaning Shelley can get the Motor City Stretch. White makes the rope though and they crash out to the floor, where Shelley is driven into the apron. Back in and Shelley grabs a Bladerunner to set up the Motor City Stretch but White is right back out with the Bladerunner for the pin at 18:48.
Rating: B. This is kind of a match that you can always use on a wrestling show as they didn’t have any kind of a gimmick. Instead it was two talented people getting in the ring and showcasing what they can do, which is a lot more than some wrestlers are capable of doing. It’s the best thing on the show by a wide margin, as White gets a nice win to further establish him around here.
White mocks Shelly after the match.
Violent By Design says their business arrangement with the Good Brothers is over and it’s time to get their Tag Team Titles back, which is all by design. It’s still an Eric Young stable so I can’t bring myself to care.
Ring of Honor Women’s Title: Deonna Purrazzo vs. Chelsea Green
Green is challenging in the Champ Champ Challenge. Feeling out process to start with Green’s headlock being countered into a headscissors. Back up and Green sends her outside for a suicide dive, only to get clotheslined down back inside. Purrazzo starts cranking on the arm but Green is back with a sunset flip to set off a pinfall reversal sequence. They hit stereo pump kicks to the face and that’s a double knockdown. Green is up first with a running dropkick but I’m Prettier is broken up.
Instead Green hits her lifting Downward Spiral for two, only to have Purrazzo pull her into the Fujiwara armbar. Green reverses into one of her own though, sending Purrazzo straight to the ropes. Purrazzo has had it and uses her legs to snap Green’s arm but then panics at Green screaming in pain. That doesn’t last long though as Green forearms her down, causing Purrazzo to grab the Fujiwara armbar for the tap to retain at 8:18.
Rating: C. Green continues to be someone who seems to have all kinds of potential but never really wins the big one. Losing to Purrazzo is hardly a crushing defeat, but at some point Green needs to win something. That being said, the sound of that wrist snapping is chilling live and it came across almost as bad on TV. That might be because it seemed to be a legitimate injury, at least according to Green after the show. Just in case you thought she couldn’t have more bad luck I guess.
Post match Purrazzo keeps the hold on but here is Mickie James to chase her off. Since this show is running a bit long, that sounds like a good enough way to start the next match.
Knockouts Title Match: Tasha Steelz vs. Mickie James
Steelz, with Savannah Evans, is challenging as Green is still being tended to on the floor. The distracted James gets jumped from behind to start but stomps Steelz down in the corner to take over. Steelz misses a boot and gets pulled into a Boston crab but Evans goes after the injured Green as she is being taken out.
James goes after Evans for the save, allowing Steelz to sent her into the steps to take over again. Back in and Steelz kicks her into the corner before kicking her in the corner again. A basement kick to the face gives Steelz two and we hit the camel clutch. Mickie fights up with a backpack Stunner to escape but Steelz catches her on top. That means a big crash out to the floor and they slap it out back inside.
Mickie’s Thesz press lets her hammer away and a neckbreaker gets two. The MickDT connects but Evans comes in for the distraction. Steelz grabs the Black Out for two more so Mickie comes out of the corner with a hurricanrana. Back up and Steelz tries Stratusfaction but gets shoved off, allowing Mickie to grab a flapjack. Evans has to be kicked away again though, allowing Steelz to counter a dive into a cutter for the pin and the title at 14:09.
Rating: C. I’m still not sure what Impact sees in Steelz but this was the veteran putting someone young/new over and that is exactly what needed to happen. Impact picked someone and is running with them so well done on making the right move. The match was good enough too and the cutter for the finish looked nice.
We recap the Good Brothers vs. Violent By Design. The two had worked together to fight the Bullet Club but then the Brothers joined the Club, meaning it’s time for the title match.
Tag Team Titles: Violent By Design vs. Good Brothers
The Brothers are defending and have Chris Bey with them, while Deaner is with Violent By Design. Anderson and Young start things off with Young getting armdragged down. It works so well that Anderson does it again but Young gets over for the tag to Doering. Naturally that means Gallows comes in because this company loves itself some monster showdowns.
Gallows wins a battle of shoulders and drives in elbows to Doering’s chest. The chinlock doesn’t last long for Gallows, as Doering is back up with a running shoulder. It’s back to Anderson to run Young over and a big running backsplash connects for Anderson. Doering comes in to clean house and Young’s top rope else gets two. Anderson fights up and hands it back to Gallows for a reverse full nelson slam (Pete Gas’ old Gas Mask, and I’m scared that I remember that).
Doering comes back in for an AA to Anderson, setting up Young’s Death Valley Driver for two. Everyone heads to the corner for a not great Tower of Doom, leaving Doering on his feet. Anderson is back up with a spinebuster to Doering, who pops up and hits a running clothesline. Young takes Gallows up the ramp for a piledriver on the stage, leaving Anderson to get caught in a powerbomb/neckbreaker combination for the pin and the titles at 11:32.
Rating: C. At least they finally took the titles off of the Good Brothers, but putting them back onto Violent By Design isn’t much better. This is one of those stories that isn’t exactly doing much for me and I’m almost worried about where it is going. Maybe this will be a bit of fresh air, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up given who is involved.
We recap Moose vs. Heath for the World Title. Moose is champion, Heath wants a title shot, somehow this is the best they can do for a main event.
Anthony Carelli joins commentary because we’re just that lucky.
Impact Wrestling World Title: Moose vs. Heath
Moose is defending and throws Heath into the corner to start but Heath slips out and hammers away. A toss sends Heath flying across the ring though and Moose runs him over again. There’s a boot choke in the corner and a kick to the face cuts off Heath’s comeback attempt. Heath’s shirt is ripped open for some chops but he scores with a sidekick to put Moose on the floor.
That’s fine with Moose, who kicks him in the face and gets in a posting as this continues to be one sided. Heath gets pulled against the post and a whip into the barricade makes it worse. Back in and Moose stomps on the hand before switching over to the foot. A bite of Moose’s hand just makes Moose angrier and he sends Heath into the apron over and over. Heath fights up and manages to knock Moose outside for a slingshot dive but the Wake Up Call only gets two. Moose plants him with a release Rock Bottom and the spear retains the title at 12:12.
Rating: D+. This was a squash, with Heath’s limited offense not feeling like any kind of a threat. The match felt like a joke coming in and then that’s exactly what we saw throughout. I’m not sure why this was supposed to be anything else and the match was just a matter of killing time before the only conceivable ending.
Post match Josh Alexander returns to take Moose out. Alexander grabs the mic and says the last time he was here, Scott D’Amore sent him home. Well now he’s back, with a long term contract, which includes the title shot against Moose at Rebellion. Alexander celebrates to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. It turns out that the show is better when you can actually see the thing. This was a rather busy show with three title changes and some good matches. The ending helped a lot as Moose had no real contenders for the title, making Alexander the perfect person to bring back. Overall, the show was a good one, but not something that felt like it was a must see event. Kind of how it felt like it would be coming in.
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