Impact Wrestling
Homecoming 2021
July 31, 2021
Skyway Studios
Nashville, Tennessee 

Watch: FITE 

Impact Wrestling’s first-ever mixed tag-team tournament aired this weekend as part of Homecoming, their Impact Plus monthly special for July.

Deonna Purrazzo & Matt Rehwoldt def. Alisha & Hernandez (w/Johnny Swinger)

Deonna’s mystery partner for the mixed tag team Homecoming tournament was the debuting ‘Drama King’ Matt Rehwoldt, a man Matt Striker said didn’t need an aid in English…

Given Alisha and Hernandez’s positioning on the Impact totem pole, I thought this would be more or less a squash match but they got a fair bit in before Rehwoldt pinned Hernandez with a modified snap DDT. **1/2

Chelsea Green & Matt Cardona def. Jordynne Grace & Petey Williams

Taped during their recent stint in Nashville, Homecoming was the first monthly special held in front of fans in more than 16 months and those fans made all the difference throughout. The Steiner tribute act from Grace and Williams got a good reaction, as did the comedy spot that saw Grace able to scoop slam Cardona but Williams unable to. It’s the sort of thing that just hasn’t worked behind closed doors but here did and took the match to a slightly higher level.

We got no Canadian Destroyers here, so that’s an obvious boo, but we had a fun closing stretch that saw Green pick up the win with an Unprettier. ***

Post-match, Steve Maclin hit the ring and laid out Williams with a lifting inverted DDT as he continues his movement into the X-Division title picture. I do feel for Petey, he always seems an easy target for the new monster heels in Impact. Last time it was Killer Kross and now the former Steve Cutler.

Rachael Ellering & Tommy Dreamer def. Brian Myers & Missy Hyatt (w/Sam Beale)

This was Missy Hyatt’s first ‘match’ in just under 17 years. I say match, but she came out dressed in heels and jeans and had next to no involvement. Instead, it was a further advancement of the Myers/Beale hopeless young boy angle and a bit that popped the live crowd. As a match, there wasn’t much to this but it allowed Dreamer and Ellering to do their Road Warriors tribute and get the win with a Doomsday Device. **

Rosemary & Crazzy Steve def. Tasha Steelz & Fallah Bahh

We got a lot more comedy here and while it was overdone for my tastes, the crowd enjoyed it and it offered variety, which on a show like this is important. You’ve got seven mixed tag matches on the same show, and the risk of repetition is high, so having a change of pace and some shtick early on keeps it fresh and makes the latter stages matter more. Fallah Bahh was the star here, as he always is, but he also ate the pin, falling to Crazzy Steve’s twisting DDT. **1/4

Deaner (w/Eric Young, Rhino and Joe Doering) def. Willie Mack (w/Rich Swann)

I’m sure people will be frustrated to see Mack lose again on a big Impact show, feeling that he should be further up the card. I love the guy as much as the next man but him eating the loss here isn’t the end of the world – it wasn’t a clean finish and this programme between Swann & Mach and Violent By Design clearly isn’t done. Deaner was 1-5 in singles matches this year coming into this one, so probably needed the win more at this point. As such, you won’t hear any complaints from me.

A late addition to the show, the match itself was good, with both men working hard. We got a lot of big nearfalls before Mack hit the stunner. Rhino draped Deaner’s leg on the bottom rope to break the count, and that distraction allowed Eric Young to bash Mack with the flagpole and Deaner to hit the DDT for the win. ***

Deonna Purrazzo & Matt Rehwoldt def. Chelsea Green & Matt Cardona

I’m not sure I ever had any particularly strong feelings on Rehwoldt while he was in the WWE, but he’s got presence and he is a good talker. Impact obviously does see something, because he’s been given the big push out the gate on this show. As should have been the case, he got to show off a lot more of his character here, in what was a solid, back-and-forth tag team contest, than in the show opener. After Purrazzo and Green wiped each other out on the outside with high kicks, Rehwoldt secured his second successive pinfall of the night, planting Cardona with the snap DDT. ***

Rosemary & Crazzy Steve def. Rachael Ellering & Tommy Dreamer

The outcome here was a little surprising, to me at least, as the fantasy booking part of my brain suggested that Ellering should pin Rosemary as a means to set up a future Knockouts tag title match. What also continues to surprise me is the absolute love Impact fans have for the kooky, supernatural stuff with Decay. It’s not really for me but the crowd loved it, and strong reactions are always going to be a massive help. The match here was really solid, with a hot closing stretch taking this up to ***, Steve also getting his second win of the night after coming out on top in a roll-up sequence with Dreamer.

Impact X-Division Championship
Josh Alexander (C) def. Black Taurus (w/Havok)

Josh Alexander had another banger in the year 2021.

Imagine my shock.

Despite my reservations on Taurus as a plausible challenger, at least from a kayfabe perspective, this promised a lot on paper and absolutely delivered. Josh managed to weave in a lot of the stiff, physical style he’s used to great effect in AAW, while Taurus finally got to stretch his legs in a big-time singles match and show why he’s so highly rated. What took this up a notch for me was the constant chaining of offense together by both men, as it added drama to every action and ensured there was a brilliant flow throughout. Taurus gave as good as he got in a vicious striking exchange down the stretch but Alexander had too much, hitting him with the powerbomb backbreaker before transitioning into the double-arm piledriver for a fifth successful title defense. ****

Homecoming Tournament Final
Deonna Purrazzo & Matt Rehwoldt def. Rosemary & Crazzy Steve

I honestly think Matt Striker was born to commentate on Matt Rehwoldt. Striker’s penchant for long words and needlessly overextended metaphors matches perfectly with the melodrama of Impact’s newest artiste. To illustrate my point, Striker was lapping up a moment in the early stages that saw Rehwoldt offer his ear to Steve, saying “If Van Gogh cut his ear off, what do you think I’m willing to do?”

The action here was good and this transpired to be the best match of the tournament, which is probably the tag a final should always have. Unlike in their previous two matches, Rehwoldt went from pinner to provider, neck-snapping Rosemary from the outside, enabling Purrazzo to pin her after landing the Queen’s Gambit piledriver. ***1/4

Post-match, Gia Miller presented Rehwoldt and Purrazzo, the first-ever Homecoming King and Queen, with a tiara and crown respectively. It’ll be interesting to see if both are used down the line by both wrestlers.

Hardcore Match
Eddie Edwards def. W. Morrissey

Although Homecoming was built around the mixed tag tournament, having this as the main event was the right decision. It ended the show on a high note with a babyface victory in a plunder spotfest.

At least to my mind, the match itself was pitched right – Morrissey had a vulnerability to him, falling into the pre-match narrative that Edwards had his number, but he was always one move away from levelling the playing field, which played into the resiliency that’s driving his gimmick. Eddie hit a backdrop on the ramp, only for Morrissey to immediately respond with an uranage on the apron. After taking a kendo stick to the face, Morrissey booted Edwards off the top rope and through a table on the outside. Eddie raked Morrissey in the eyes, only for the big man to chokeslam Edwards onto an elevated ladder.

Throughout his Impact tenure, there has been something incredibly visceral about Morrissey’s whole presentation. You saw that in action here, Morrissey choking Edwards with a chain while screaming the word suffer, his whole face shaking with aggression.

The finish was decisive, Edwards clocking Morrissey around the head with the kendo stick, wrapping the chain Morrissey used to win their Slammiversary match around his knee and putting the big man down once and for all with a Boston Knee Party. This was Eddie’s sort of match and he worked hard to make it work ***1/2

Final Thoughts

Homecoming was an enjoyable watch, breezing by at a shade under three hours. While Impact’s recent TV product has all been about this sort of rebirth of the territories and the crossover with AEW and New Japan, this was about Impact’s own talent and they did a good job. Homecoming peaked high with the X-Division title match, while the main event between Eddie Edwards and W. Morrissey was a satisfying end to the show. The mixed tag tournament probably overdelivered on my expectations, with a good amount of comedy and variation in the opening round before things got a little more serious. Purrazzo and Rehwoldt were the right choice to win and it’ll be interesting to see how Rehwoldt is used by Impact moving forward. Thumbs up from me.