Impact Wrestling
Sacrifice 2021
March 13, 2021
Skyway Studios
Nashville, Tennessee

Watch: FITE

Impact Wrestling ran their third monthly special of 2021 this past weekend with Sacrifice 2021, headlined by Rich Swann and Moose battling for the unified Impact World title.

Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown were your commentary team from the Impact Zone Skyway Studios in Nashville.

Decay (Crazzy Steve & Black Taurus) w/ Rosemary def. Reno SCUM

I really don’t have a lot to say about this match, which is probably one of the worst admissions you can make as a reviewer. It was a fine TV match. Doing the miscommunication spot with Reno SCUM twice without any real payoff was a little odd but otherwise, the match served its purpose, Taurus hitting the twisting Brainbuster on Thornstowe for the win after Rosemary misted Luster on the outside. **1/4

Tenille Dashwood & Kaleb with a K def. Havok & Nevaeh

This was a fine, basic undercard filler tag match but the finish seemed very sudden and almost like it was being wrestled underwater. Havok and Nevaeh had just started their comeback when Kaleb distracted the referee, allowing Tenille to reverse Nevaeh’s honor roll into a pin of her own while everyone else sort of stood there. I’m really not sure what this result does for either team. **

Violent By Design (Deaner & Joe Doering) w/ Eric Young def. Chris Sabin & James Storm w/ Jake Something

Coming into this match, I was a little concerned about Joe Doering. He’s seen very little in-ring action since joining the promotion and when he has wrestled I’ve gotten strong Manabu Nakanishi vibes. Those vibes were still present here, even if the match ended up being quite fun and chaotic. You can see what the brain wants to do and occasionally the body will cooperate but a lot of the time it seems as though Doering is working in slow motion and you can almost hear the creaking of his bones.

Unsurprisingly, Deaner took the brunt of the action for his team before a ref bump led to things breaking down, Eric Young and Jake Something both getting involved. Rhino looked as though he’d saved Chris Sabin from a 3-on-1 beatdown when he hit the ring but it was a ruse, as he Gored Sabin and allowed Deaner to pin him, joining Violent By Design in the process. **3/4

Hold Harmless Match
Eddie Edwards def. Brian Myers

There was a very weird dichotomy between the commentary team and the in-ring action throughout this match. If you watched with the sound off you’d have seen a fairly basic hardcore match with some decent high spots. If you solely listened to Matt Striker without watching the action, you’d have thought these two were breaking new ground in a quasi battle to the death.

It was a little off-putting but the match itself was fine, even if it seemed to drag on a tickle too long. The Backpack Stunner off the apron through the table on the outside was probably the highlight before Edwards put a finish to the feud with a loaded Boston Knee Party for the win. ***

Impact Knockouts Tag Team Championships
Fire ‘N Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz) (C) def. Jordynne Grace & Jazz

The bar was reasonably low but this was decidedly the best Knockouts Tag Team title match since the division restarted last year. It was worked at a good clip, the hot tag from Jordynne Grace picked things up a gear, and the interactions she had with Kiera Hogan were a lot of fun. We didn’t get a Grace heel turn on the night but she did eat the pin in fairly decisive fashion, Hogan wriggling out of a Muscle Buster attempt, working some combo offense with Steelz and landing the Fisherman Buster in the middle of the ring. ***

X-Division Championship
Ace Austin w/Madman Fulton def. TJP (C)

I had a feeling that this could have been Match of the Night on paper and while it didn’t quite reach those heights, it was still an excellent contest that continued the trend of the X-Division being Impact’s workrate division in 2021.

From the off these two worked at a great clip and they told the story of both men being fairly arrogant and trying to one-up each other, whether that was in the early grappling exchanges or in the high-flying department. The kneebar teases from TJP were well done and made me genuinely think he might retain, which in turn made Ace’s finishing sequence – the short-range double stomp followed by The Fold – all the more effective. Austin is now a two-time X-Division champion and another match with Chris Bey looms large. Sign me up. ***3/4

Impact Knockouts Championship
Deonna Purrazzo (C) def. ODB

My rating on this is probably a little high but like with Joe Doering earlier in the night, I had reservations about ODB in a spot like this. While the match wasn’t anything to write home about, it exceeded my (admittedly low) expectations. Deonna, as she should, looked pretty dominant. She took some of ODB’s best shots but not all of her arsenal and ended up winning completely clean in the middle of the ring with the Venus de Milo. I genuinely don’t know what they do next with her as the division isn’t well worked out at the moment but this was a solid enough outing. **1/2

Impact Tag Team Championships
FinJuice def. The Good Brothers (C)

Well, I certainly didn’t see this result coming but I like it. I like it a lot.

The match itself wasn’t anything special but as the first in a series, it didn’t need to be. It needed to tell an effective story to continue the feud and it did exactly that. Throughout the match, The Good Brothers were presented as not taking the threat posed by FinJuice that seriously.

Even their relatively flat control period worked in the context of the wider story. They cut David Finlay off repeatedly before he got the hot tag to Juice Robinson and in the closing stages it did pick up, with both sides teasing big moves and getting close near falls. After throwing Gallows to the outside, FinJuice hit the Doomsday Device and pinned Anderson. The shocked look on the face of the Big LG completed the scene and got me firmly invested in the program after giving it a lukewarm reception before. ***1/4

Impact Unified World Championship
Rich Swann def. Moose

There was a very obvious story to tell in this match and both men nailed it, producing a thoroughly enjoyable main event match that hit all the right notes.

From the off, they hammered home the dynamic between Swann’s speed and Moose’s power, with the TNA Champion catching or blocking every high-risk maneuver Rich attempted in the early going. Throughout the match they only developed on that theme, Moose looking vicious and vindictive on offense and Swann effectively just trying to survive and looking for big counters when he could find them. Case in point, this insane spot…

Generally, Swann would land two or three strikes to drop Moose, only for the big man to respond with a big back body drop or strike of his own and completely level the playing field. It sold the two men’s strengths to perfection.

Moose once again delivered in a big spot but in the end, it was his eagerness that cost him. He repeatedly crashed into the corners, with Swann diving out of the way at the last moment. After hitting the chair he’d set up earlier, Moose tried to land another big slam on Swann, only for the champion to hit him with a roll-up to win the unified title. A very good 20 minutes of professional wrestling. ****

Final Thoughts

Although it took quite a while to get going, the championship matches made Sacrifice a good show. I remain more than a little perplexed about the Knockouts division and obvious contenders for both belts but the three other titles have a clear, strong direction moving forward. FinJuice winning was a surprise but a very good one, while Ace Austin and TJP continued the workrate buzz of the X-Division this year. The main event was also a home run, with Moose delivering once again in a big spot and Rich Swann coming through to set up the big match with Kenny Omega. Thumbs up from me.