April 23, 2022
Mid-Hudson Civic Center
Poughkeepsie, New York
Impact Wrestling held their second pay-per-view event of 2022 this past Saturday (April 23rd) at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepside, New York, with Moose defending the Impact World Championship against Josh Alexander in the main event.
The evening saw two matches air live on Youtube on the Countdown to Rebellion pre-show and seven on the pay-per-view card. Commentary came from the brilliant Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt.
Countdown to Rebellion
Eddie Edwards def. Chris Bey
Jonathan Gresham, Edwards’ original opponent, was announced as not being “medically cleared to compete” earlier in the day. In his place came Chris Bey.
There was something of a story between these two coming in given the budding issues between Edwards’ Honor No More faction and the Bullet Club, of which Bey is a member, and that seemed to frame the match as more than just a throwaway singles bout in the curtain-jerker position.
Turning heel continues to pay dividends for Edwards from an in-ring perspective as he was great here, while it was nice to see Bey get to show off his high-flying style as more of a babyface. Impact is trying to establish the Fisherman’s Driver as a new finisher for Edwards and it was that that got him the win after a little over nine minutes. ***1/4
Impact Knockouts World Tag Team Championship
The Influence (Madison Rayne and Tenille Dashwood) (C) def. The IInspiration (Cassie Lee and Jessie McKay)
The champions coming out first was a misnomer, although I’m glad commentary addressed it, but those Britney Spears tribute black catsuits from The IInspiration certainly were something…
In terms of the match, I’ll probably end as the high man but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It started strongly with The Influence attacking at the bell and they maintained a strong pace over the six-and-a-half minutes that they got to work with.
We got callbacks to their previous match with the attempted use of the title belts and the Spotlight Kick from Dashwood in the closing stretch before The Influence picked up a seemingly decisive victory with their Collaboration finisher. **3/4
Steve Maclin def. Chris Sabin & Jay White
While there were times that this very much leaned on three-way match tropes, it was very good on the whole and for the second straight Impact PPV, Steve Maclin came out looking like a made-man.
Talking of Maclin, who gets props from me for the face paint as I always respect a wrestler who makes an effort with their gear for a big match, we need to have a conversation about his suicide dives. For me, he’s right up there with Darby Allin as one of the best in the business because he fully commits to everyone and has that rare gift of making them look like they actually hurt.
The finishing sequence between Sabin and White was nice, playing off their previous meetings in Impact and New Japan with counter-hold after counter-hold. Sabin looked like he’d got one up on the Bullet Club leader again when he hit Cradle Shock, only for Maclin to slide in and pin Sabin with a crucifix. ***1/2
AAA Reina de Reinas Championship
Taya Valkyrie def. Deonna Purrazzo (C)
Taya Valkyrie is now a four-time AAA Reina de Reinas champion after ending Deonna Purrazzo’s reign at 252 days.
In my preview for this show, I called for Taya to bring more energy than when these two met last time and she absolutely did that. She seemed fired up from the opening bell and while we still got a lot of technical work and grappling, Taya drew a more physical match out of Purrazzo. All in all, a lot of fun from start to finish. ***1/4
X Division Championship
Ace Austin def. Trey Miguel (C) & Mike Bailey
By hook or by crook this got on the main show and I’m so glad that it did because it delivered as advertised.
I did have a concern going in that the two three-way matches would end up feeling a bit samey but those fears were immediately alleviated as these three men delivered a stellar 10-minute sprint that left them all looking tremendously strong.
Telling the story that they were all very evenly matched, this was packed full of high spots, intricate counters and a series of innovative three-way exchanges; my favourite being when Mike Bailey jumped onto Miguel’s knees in the corner to hit a German suplex on Austin.
That match narrative was cemented by the closing sequence that saw us get two false finishes, Bailey connecting with Ultimo Weapon on Austin before Miguel broke up the pin and Miguel landing the Meteora on Bailey only for Austin to yank referee Brian Hebner out of the ring. Both of those should set up the first two title defences for Austin, who became a three-time X-Division champion after hitting a beautiful-looking Fold on Miguel. ***3/4
Tomohiro Ishii def. Jonah
It’s weird because while the match these two produced was very much in the vein of what I normally like from my pro wrestling, it never really clicked for me.
When these two started off by exchanging forearms and chops in the middle of the ring, it seemed obvious that they were going for the epic style and the pacing of the match backed that up.
The story they established early on was that Jonah was the dominant force, with Ishii seemingly unable to use the biggest weapons in his usual arsenal against the much bigger man. Over the course of 14 minutes, Ishii battled back, gradually doing more damage and unlocking those big weapons, putting Jonah down with a German Suplex before ending his resistance with a big Brainbuster.
As I say, the work and story were good but I felt a little underwhelmed. ***1/4
Eight-Team Elimination Challenge for the Impact World Tag Team Championship
Violent By Design (Eric Young and Joe Doering w/Deaner) (C) def. Heath and Rhino, Matt Taven and Mike Bennett, The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows), Rich Swann and Willie Mack, Johnny Swinger and Zicky Dice, The Major Players (Matt Cardona and Brian Myers), and W. Morrissey and Jordynne Grace
I get what they were trying to do with this but it ultimately went far too long.
There were positives throughout as they managed to further previously existing issues, notably with the first match between W.Morrissey & Jordynne Grace and The Major Players trio when Morrissey put Chelsea Green through a table and when Taven and Bennett beat The Good Brothers thanks to a couple of distractions from the rest of Honor No More. We also, even if it was only fleeting, got a Johnny Swinger appearance on a pay-per-view in 2022 and that’s ultimately worth an extra quarter-star in my book.
In terms of the matches within the match, The Good Brothers against Rich Swann and Willie Mack got the most time and was the best of the bunch. Swann and Mack feel criminally under-pushed in my view but that’s a rant for another day.
Having the champions come in last seemed a bit of a kop out and made their defense seem less of an achievement as they were completely fresh against a team who would have had to work a minimum of one match. The final section with them against Heath and Rhino was fine, with the former pinned after a Young Piledriver. **3/4
Impact Knockouts World Championship
Tasha Steelz (w/Savannah Evans) (C) def. Rosemary (w/Havok)
The main consequence of the tag match going on for so long was that it seemed to suck the wind out of the crowd and that meant that they were pretty flat for the duration of this one. Rosemary had to try multiple times to fire them up and given that she’s typically a very hot act in front of the Impact audience, it seemed a little concerning.
The limited atmosphere was a shame really as the work here was, for the most part, really solid and they told a good story. There were a couple of iffy moments that bring my rating down, the first a botch on a Crucifix Bomb attempt and the second when Rosemary’s shoulder was clearly on Steelz’s leg for the entirety of the finishing pin, but it was a decent enough PPV defense for the champion. **3/4
Impact World Championship
Josh Alexander def. Moose (C)
Over the last six months, Impact has produced a genuine main event level title feud between Moose and Josh Alexander. To reach a natural conclusion, it demanded a PPV quality main event match. That’s exactly what we got as Moose produced a career-best performance and Alexander showed why it’s right to consider him one of the best wrestlers in the world.
When entering the big matches at the end of a personal/blood feud like this, reviewers like me typically praise a hot start and bemoan lockups and what commentators would describe as ‘a feeling out process’ – if you’ve told us for months that these two wrestlers hate each other, they should come out all guns blazing and not be trying to obtain technical superiority.
We got a slower start to this one but it made sense as it was the clear product of the mantra Scott D’Amore has repeated to Alexander throughout the feud: “Keep your emotions in check”. Alexander teased racing after Moose and winging big shots but instead focused on his match, grinding the champion down with wrestling holds and body shots. He was singularly focused and dialed in on one goal, beating his opponent. It was only when Moose jawed with Alexander’s family at ringside that the challenger’s frustrations boiled over.
Over the course of 23 minutes, these two produced a well-paced match, framed around a handful of big, emotional moments like Alexander ripping off his headguard as he fought back in a strike exchange or his mouthguard popping out when Moose threw him headfirst into an exposed turnbuckle, which built naturally to a satisfying conclusion.
The centerpiece of the match would prove to be Moose’s finisher, the Spear, which started this whole feud off back in October 2021. Alexander blocked the first one and turned it into a Styles Clash, which drew a huge reaction from the New York crowd (and me). He ate the second one but kicked out, becoming the first person in the promotion to do so. On the third, he threw up a big counter-knee that stunned Moose and left him wide open for Alexander to hit his second, and ultimately decisive, C4 Spike of the match. ****1/2
When Alexander won the title for the first time his wife and son joined him in the ring to celebrate. To bring it full circle they did the same here but this time there was no one waiting to pounce on ‘The Walking Weapon’.
If you didn’t know before, Josh Alexander is the ace of Impact Wrestling and he should reign as World Champion for a long, long time to come.
Impact Wrestling Rebellion 2022 was a good top-to-bottom show from Impact Wrestling. What it might have lacked to some in big, dramatic announcements, angles, returns or debuts, it made up for in being a well-booked showcase of professional wrestling capped off by an excellent main event that’ll definitely figure in my MOTY considerations come the end of the year. A firm thumbs up from me.