United We Stand
Thursday, April 4
Rahway Recreation Center
Rahway, New Jersey
On Thursday, April 4, Impact Wrestling host their 2019 WrestleMania Weekend show, United We Stand, at the Rahway Recreation Centre in Rahway, New Jersey.
Impact’s event for this weekend was originally planned to be alongside House of Glory but plans changed, and this event was organised alongside MLW to ensure the two promotions could share talent. Impact will also be making use of their links with AAA, Lucha Underground (for as much as that is still a thing) and WrestlePro to put on what looks to be one of the weekend’s most interesting top-to-bottom cards.
Although the main show is available through FITE, there will be a pre-show on Twitch featuring Fallah Bahh & KM in what is being described as a ‘WrestlePro showcase’. Both guys are WrestlePro regulars and have recently been feuding over the WrestlePro tag titles, so expect that to be the featured match, potentially with the popular Impact tandem picking up the win.
There’s a lot of interesting first-time matches on this card but one that Impact fans will have seen before is between Sami Callihan and Jimmy Havoc. The two men squared off in a Barbed Wire Baseball Bat Deathmatch last year during Impact’s visit to the UK, with Callihan coming out on top. That clash was entertaining and this is likely to be the same, with both men squaring off in a Monster’s Ball match. As with much of the show it’s hard to tell how this will fit into Impact canon, but I would expect Callihan to defeat Havoc in a fun contest.
Cooperating with other promotions is a major part of WrestleMania weekend and that is no different on this show, with the Ultimate X match featuring talent from at least five different companies. The line-up at present is Impact Wrestling’s Jake Crist, MLW’s Kotto Brazil, Jack Evans from AAA, Dante Fox from Lucha Underground and WrestlePro’s Pat Buck. The sixth participant is yet to be announced and they’re likely to not be revealed until the night. With the amount of talent in New York that weekend it could feasibly be any one of a whole host of names, but someone I’d love to see is Jigsaw, a vastly underrated and underutilised talent.
In terms of the match, this should be a whole lot of fun. Dante Fox is a tremendous pro wrestler and a great flyer, as are Evans and Brazil. Crist proved at Homecoming in January that he’ll take big bumps in a match like this and Pat Buck is a great base. I’ve got no idea who’ll win but with an Impact X-Division title shot on the line for the winner, I’ll opt for either Jake Crist or the mystery entrant.
MLW talent are also involved in what should be an interesting tag team match between the Promociones Dorado tandem of Low Ki and Ricky Martinez and former Impact tag champs LAX. Slow and methodical Low Ki is the Low Ki we get more often than not at the moment and I’m probably the low man on his MLW work, but I think this match will likely be great as this is a big spot and LAX always kill it. I think back to their match with Shane Strickland and Willie Mack last year and I suspect this could be of a similar quality. LAX are likely to take the win, but look for Martinez to shine.
It’s important to recognise that not everything in wrestling is for you and that’s particularly true of the the intergender match between Tessa Blanchard and Joey Ryan. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big Blanchard fan and I quite like intergender wrestling but Joey Ryan is not my cup of tea. I respect the dude for making his money and having a gimmick and he’s all over WrestleMania weekend because of it, but I’ll probably skip this.
Impact World Champion Johnny Impact will be in action on this card in an eight-man tag team match. Marketed as Impact vs Lucha Underground, Impact will be joined by Brian Cage, Moose and Eddie Edwards in taking on the group of Daga, Drago, Aerostar and someone else. The name originally announced for this match was King Cuerno, but on the most recent Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it was noted that he would not be appearing due to his ongoing legal issues with Lucha Underground. That has not been confirmed as yet by Impact, but I expect him to be replaced in due course, probably by someone like Dragon Azteca.
If any match on this show is likely to bleed into canon, I expect it to be this one. Cage and Impact are headlining the next Impact PPV, Rebellion, at the end of April and this would be a good way to incorporate some footage of them being unable to co-exist, adding some heat to their match. With that in mind, the numbers would favour the Lucha Underground team and I expect Daga to take a starring role, as he’s someone I know Don Callis and Scott D’Amore like and want to use more going forward.
The rest of the card features Impact’s three other champions in action, with two defending their titles. X-Division ruler Rich Swann puts his belt on the line against Dragon Gate’s Yamato, in what is the Japanese wrestler’s first US appearance since September 2012. Yamato’s lengthy Dream Gate title run in 2016 and 2017 may have dampened a lot of people’s views on him but he’s still one of my favourite Dragon Gate talents and this match is my most anticipated on the card. These two have squared off three times before in singles competition, with Yamato winning all three bouts, so that will provide a nice little story to what should be another defence for Swann.
The Knockouts Title will also be on the line with Taya Valkyrie defending against Rosemary, Jordynne Grace and Katie Forbes. I can openly admit that I have never seen Forbes before so I don’t know what she brings to the table, but this should be a fun match. Taya has recently turned heel again in Impact so she’ll be looking to get herself over here and I expect she’ll end up pinning Forbes, perhaps stealing it from Grace, who she’s currently feuding over the title with. My biggest highlight is seeing Rosemary back in action, who I’m happy to admit is one of my favourite wrestlers.
That leaves us with the main event, the ‘Extreme Dream Match’ between current Impact World Tag Team Champions The Lucha Brothers and former Impact regulars Rob Van Dam and Sabu.
This will be Sabu’s first appearance in Impact since 2010, where he was last seen teaming with Van Dam in a losing effort against Beer Money. As for Van Dam, a former Impact World and X-Division Champion, it will be his first appearance since he dropped the X-Division title to Kenny King in early 2013. As a team, Van Dam and Sabu had two reigns with the ECW tag titles in 1998 and early 1999, spanning 244 days total, but this will be their first time teaming since WrestleMania Weekend four years ago, when they defeated the Hardy Boyz in a No DQ match.
I honestly have no expectations going into this. How can you? It’s hard to know what to expect from a team with a combined age of 102, but you can certainly guarantee that this is a unique match you won’t get anywhere else, which is what WrestleMania Weekend seems to be all about.
- Pre-Show: KM & Fallah Bahh in a WrestlePro showcase
- Monster’s Ball: Sami Callihan vs Jimmy Havoc
- LAX vs Low Ki and Ricky Martinez
- Tessa Blanchard vs Joey Ryan
- Impact vs LU: Brian Cage, Moose, Eddie Edwards & Johnny Impact vs Drago, Daga, Aerostar and King Cuerno (hmmm)
- Ultimate X: Jake Crist, Dante Fox, Pat Buck, Kotto Brazil, Jack Evans, ???
- X-Division Title: Rich Swann vs Yamato
- Knockouts Title: Taya Valkyrie vs Rosemary vs Jordynne Grace vs Katie Forbes
- The Lucha Brothers vs RVD and Sabu