Impact Wrestling
Rebellion 2022
April 23, 2022
Mid-Hudson Civic Center
Poughkeepsie, New York

Watch: FITE

Impact Wrestling returns to pay-per-view this coming Saturday (April 23) for Rebellion, headlined by Josh Alexander getting his long-awaited Impact Wrestling World Championship rematch against Moose.

Emanating live from the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, the event will be both the fourth under the Rebellion name and the first Impact PPV in New York since Bound for Glory 2018 and that infamous Johnny Impact/Austin Aries finish.

The PPV portion of the show is seven matches deep and features four title matches. The X-Division and Knockouts Tag Team belts will both be contested on Countdown to Rebellion, their YouTube-exclusive pre-show.

Countdown to Rebellion

Impact Knockouts Tag Team Championship
The Influence (Madison Rayne & Tenille Dashwood) (C) vs. The IInspiration (Cassie Lee & Jessie McKay)

These two teams have been going at it since the back end of 2021. The IInspiration were initially supposed to defend the titles at Hard to Kill but the match fell through when they got legitimately pulled for being COVID close contacts. One side missing the match then became a bit on Impact TV until they finally met at Sacrifice in March, when some attempted interference from Kaleb with a K resulted in Rayne and Dashwood winning the belts from the Aussie duo.

In many ways, the battle over Kaleb has been the best part of this feud of late but he’s gone now and as such we should get a fairly straight tag match. Regardless of outcome, it does seem to me that this whole program has run its course. Ultimately, The IInspiration are the more interesting act and given the continued absence of depth in the division, it makes more sense to belt them up again. Prediction: The IInspiration

X-Division Championship
Trey Miguel (C) vs. Ace Austin vs. Mike Bailey

I’m so irritated that they’ve relegated this match to the pre-show. As far as I’m concerned title matches shouldn’t be, especially with one like this where you had qualifying matches to get there on the weekly TV, have an established story with Ace and Mike and had a good angle to polish the build on the go-home show. Yes, it’ll be a nice little freebie to live on Youtube but with two title matches set for what’s normally a 30-minute broadcast, I can’t imagine this will get the time it really deserves.

Whatever we do get should be really good because all three participants are superb and should have the quality to overcome the limitations of the three-way format. Miguel’s title run has felt particularly flat compared to Josh Alexander’s, which was arguably always going to be the case, but the matches have always delivered. Austin is someone that I always consider quite underrated and then you’ve got Speedball Bailey, who showed throughout Mania Weekend what everyone has been missing for the last five years while he was stuck outside of the US.

In terms of the booking, I see two possible directions. One is where the two guys with an existing story together, Austin and Bailey, end up costing each other and the champ squeaks through that to retain. The other is where one of Austin and Bailey wins by pinning Miguel and then you have the logical next program between the guys with the pre-established story. I favor the latter and I think Impact will too. While they could go back to the well with Austin as a three-time champion and let Bailey get over while chasing, momentum seems to be on his side and belting him up is the right call. Prediction: Mike Bailey

Rebellion Main Show

Chris Sabin vs. Jay White vs. Steve Maclin

I do wonder whether this was originally on the slate for this show as the setup angle at the Multiverse of Matches show earlier in the month felt contrived. Shortly after Sabin handed White his first pinfall loss in Impact that night in a high-quality, notebook-worthy match, Maclin hit the ring and laid Sabin out. White got his shine back by low-blowing Maclin and standing tall to end the segment. There’s a little more story to it outside of that angle but it still feels an awkward fit.

That said, I’m looking forward to it and I expect it’ll be really good bell-to-bell. While a three-way could be an easy way to hide him taking a loss, it’s very hard to look past Jay White winning. Prediction: Jay White

Jonah vs. Tomohiro Ishii

First-time match alert!

I’ve got very high expectations for this. Ishii is one of my absolute faves and a man I’d trust to have a good match with a sheet of cardboard. Jonah’s mileage might vary for some people but I’ve always been a fan and I think he’s been very good in Impact, particularly in his more prominently featured matches.

All I’m looking for is a big brawl full of strikes on strikes, some daring athleticism from Jonah and lots of fighting spirit from the ‘Stone Pitbull’. Ishii may have gone over against Eddie Edwards at Multiverse of Matches but Jonah should win as he’s the Impact regular and seems poised for a title challenge of some kind after this show. Prediction: Jonah

Eddie Edwards vs. Jonathan Gresham

Like the previous contest, this is a non-title singles match that promises to deliver in a big way. Unlike Jonah/Ishii, this one has a proper backstory to it.

Gresham came to Impact in January, defending his ROH World title against Chris Sabin and Steve Maclin. The latter was initially blamed when Gresham got jumped backstage before it was revealed to be Edwards, who’d aligned with Gresham’s former ROH colleagues in the Honor No More faction. After disappearing for a little while to sell the beatdown, Gresham returned to confront Edwards a few weeks back and set up this date.

My gut feeling is that this will be one of the best matches of the night if they steer clear of too many shenanigans. Turning heel has opened up a new style of working for Edwards, who seems to have finally consigned the jeans and kendo stick Tommy Dreamer tribute act to the bin of history and is showing off more of his bell-to-bell capabilities. Gresham, meanwhile, is producing great matches left, right and center in what is so far a career year and I suspect his style will marry up brilliantly with Edwards’ newer tack.

Given that Gresham is the ROH champion and is now AEW contracted, he doesn’t lose here in my book. Edwards has more than enough cache to eat it and as I don’t suspect he’ll be in the Impact title mix until Slammiversary there’s time to build him up. Prediction: Jonathan Gresham

AAA Reina de Reinas Championship
Deonna Purrazzo (C) vs. Taya Valkyrie

Back in January, Purrazzo defeated Rok-C to become ROH Women’s World Champion and since that victory she’s been putting both that title and the AAA one on the line in what she’s dubbed the Champ Champ Challenge.

Currently 7-0 in the Challenge, her eighth challenger will be Taya, who made her return to Impact at the Multiverse of Matches after a little under 15 months away to announce that she’d attempt to become AAA Reina de Reinas Champion for the fourth time at Rebellion.

Taya can be quite hit and miss for me and when these two met at Hard to Kill last year, I’d more or less had my fill of her in Impact. I hope we get a different energy this time as if we do, this could be quite good. Regardless of her showing though, I suspect she wins – I remember Cubsfan saying that Taya was the obvious person to take the title off Deonna and this seems like the best moment to do it. Prediction: Taya Valkyrie

Eight Team Elimination Challenge for the Impact Wrestling World Tag Team Championships
Violent By Design (C) vs. The Good Brothers vs. Heath & Rhino vs. Rich Swann & Willie Mack vs Matt Taven & Mike Bennett vs. TBA x 3

This will be a gauntlet-style match whereby two teams will start in a one-fall match. Once one side is eliminated, another will hit the ring and a new match will begin. This process will repeat until the eighth and final team have entered, with the last winner being the tag team champions. There’s no champions advantage here, so Violent By Design could come in at any point.

Looking at a match like this, you initially get the whiff of a promotion trying to get as many people onto the show as possible. While that’s likely true, there’s also an array of stories between the teams already announced, many stemming from a recent lumberjack match between VBD and The Good Brothers. As such, it does, from a storytelling perspective, make sense.

While there are three teams still to be confirmed, to my mind, there’s one team that should be the obvious winners here and that’s Matt Taven and Mike Bennett. Honor No More seems like it’s losing steam as a faction having taken quite a few losses recently and they need something to give them credibility and there’s nothing like a couple of titles to do that. Additionally, the OGK are genuinely good team and there are plenty of fresh matches there for them with stories behind them; they’ve had run-ins with Swann & Mack and Heath & Rhino since their debut back in January, recent issues with The Good Brothers and the Bullet Club, and an obvious rematch for Violent By Design. Add to that the fact that Taven’s over with the Impact audience and it’s a no-brainer. Prediction: Taven & Bennett

Impact Knockouts Championship
Tasha Steelz (C) vs Rosemary

Rosemary won a 10-Knockout battle royal on a recent episode of Impact to secure her shot at the title on this show.

Impact has done quite a good job of tapping into promotional canon in the build, touching on Rosemary winning their only previous single meeting and it being Rosemary and Havok who ended Tasha and Kiera Hogan’s run with the Knockouts Tag titles last year.

That said, Tasha is still in the building phase of her title run and this screams placeholder defense. Rosemary was, in my view, one of the best female wrestlers in the world before she suffered a bad ACL injury in 2018. She’s not at that level now but she’s still a solid hand and should be a good foil for Steelz here. Prediction: Tasha Steelz

Impact World Championship
Moose (C) vs Josh Alexander

Here we are, the main event. The culmination of a detailed six-month redemption story for Josh Alexander.

Alexander beat Christian Cage to win the Impact World title at Bound for Glory last year, but his reign was the shortest in promotional history after Moose cashed in the title shot he’d won earlier in the night and pinned Alexander in the middle of the ring in front of his wife and son.

Since then, Josh has been put through the mill, repeatedly being told by Scott D’Amore to keep his emotions in check, running through a gauntlet of opponents and even ‘leaving’ the promotion before returning at Sacrifice to jump Moose and announce that the rematch had finally been signed for Rebellion.

They’ve ramped up the personal element of the feud in recent weeks, Moose turning up at Josh’s home and spearing his wife at an independent show. I can’t say it’s been all to my taste, particularly the latter incident given Moose’s background, but it’s added another layer to the match. They had a big brawl on the go-home show, culminating in Josh putting Moose through a table with a gnarly C4 spike but the crowd didn’t seem too invested. I sincerely hope the Poughkeepsie mob are more invested and this gets the hot crowd it deserves.

Both guys are at the top of their game right now bell-to-bell, so I have every confidence that this will be a brilliant match, but given that this is the obvious end point of Josh’s story arc, there’s only one winner here. Prediction: Josh Alexander