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  • Connor Ewens

Let's Review: Impact Wrestling Rebellion 2023

Following the competent but albeit disappointing cross-promotion show Multiverse United, Impact Wrestling presents us with their second PPV event of the year, Rebellion. Honestly, my interest was low heading into this show. I had been tuned out of Impact for some time and I was let down by their jointly-hosted event with New Japan. However, some reviews I read before watching this show had good things to say so I'm sure there's something to enjoy. The injuries that effected their Multiverse United event are still in play here, as both major world championships are vacant, meaning we're guaranteed 2 new world champions tonight.

Steve Maclin won a number 1 contenders match at No Surrender against Brian Myers, Heath & PCO. It was announced he and Josh Alexander would face off at this Rebellion show. Unfortunately, Josh Alexander would be forced to relinquish the title due to a tricep tear. Kushida was due to face Alexander at Multiverse United, so it was determined that he and Maclin would face off for the world championship tonight. Over in the Knockouts division, Mickie James wasn't able to defend her title at Sacrifice due to a rib injury. It was later confirmed that she would also have to vacate the title, in a great promo that may have teased her impending retirement. Jordynne Grace was due to he her opponent at Sacrifice, and the match was rescheduled for Rebellion before the title was vacated. Deonna Purrazzo won a multi-woman match at Multiverse United to earn a shot at the Knockouts Championship at Rebellion.

Elsewhere on the card we have some personal rivalries. Bully Ray threw away his longterm friendship with Tommy Dreamer as he continues to tear through anyone he pleases. Bully defeated Dreamer at Sacrifice in a Busted Open match (First blood match) even though he was the first to bleed, covering his face and busting Dreamer open while the referee was knocked down. The feud would be forced to settle things once and for all here at Rebellion in a Hardcore Wars match, a 5-on-5 Wargames-style match between Bully & Dreamer who would round up some teammates. Also, since January '22 a stable of former ROH stars called Honor No More have invaded and caused chaos in Impact. Eddie Edwards and PCO would butt heads within the faction as Edwards blames him for their failures. Later in the year, the stable disbanded as PCO finally snaps at his teammates. Edwards would attack and bury PCO in a desert, but 2 months later at Hard to Kill he would return. After months of rivalry the feud would finally be settled here in a Last Rites match (casket match). The Design was a stable FKA Violent by Design, ran by Eric Young. Late in '22 Cody Deaner would take over as leader and would attempt to bring in Sami Callihan into the fold. As part of the initiation, he demanded Callihan destroyed authority figures in his life, leading to an attack on newly appointed Director of Authority Santino Marella. Assuming it was Callihan, Marella puts himself alongside Joe Hendry & Dirty Dango to face the Design in a 4-on-3 handicap match.

We'll also see former Tag Champions the Motor City Machine Guns & former Knockouts Tag Champions Death Dolls get their title rematches against their respective opponents. Trey Miguel defends his X-Division strap in an elimination triple threat. Finally, we'll see former tag champions Heath & Rhino in action, always nice to see. Let's rally the troops and prepare for a rebellion. Let's review.

April 16th 2023- Impact Wrestling: Rebellion

-Commentary is presented by Tom Hannifan & Matt Rehwoldt

Pre-show: Heath & Rhino vs Champagne Singh & Shera

Can't believe Heath & Rhino still tag together. It's quite wholesome to be honest. They were just thrown together in WWE and they've formed a bond together. Shera was signed to WWE once, for about 7 months before being released. I'm unsure whether Heath just isn't allowed to use his surname or he's choosing to not use it.

Heath & Singh start. Singh puts money in his trunks but he takes it out and throws it. You could just wrestle still and keep the money Heath. You have kids. After a few strikes Heath tags in Rhino for some EC-DUB chants, a chant that will seemingly never die. Shera also tags in. These two exchange shoulderblocks until Rhino gains advantage. He sets up a gore but Singh trips him. Singh and Shera trade tags and wear down Rhino. Rhino powers out of a chinlock, hits a belly to belly suplex and gets a tag to Heath. He runs wild with flying clotheslines. He goes for a schoolboy on Singh but he rolls into one of his own, and picks up a win with Shera's help. Rhino hits a gore after the bell for a nice crowd reaction.

This was fine, about as basic of a match as you can find but a bit of a naff ending. This didn't interest me too much.

Champagne Singh & Shera win via pinfall (6:12)


Pre-show: The Coven (Taylor Wilde & KiLynn King) (c) vs The Death Dollz (Rosemary & JesSICKa)

King has been making a name for herself in AEW & NWA over the past couple of years. Wilde wrestled for a few years for WWE's developmental brands in the early 2000's before a brief run in TNA then retiring in 2011. She recently returned in 2021, setting up the Coven with King earlier this year. The Coven defeated the Death Dollz on TV for the gold in March. The Death Dollz are a sub-group of Decay, made up of Rosemary, JesSICKa & Taya Valkyrie. After their loss, Valkyrie was dragged into a coffin and hasn't been seen since, probably because she's currently working for AEW. Jessicka is engaged to Callihan in real life. How nice and gothic.

The powerhouses Jessicka & King start with forearms. King is knocked out but comes back in. Some nice Double Dollz offence. Rosemary tries to bite King's face. King gets some space with a jawbreaker and tags Wilde. The Coven corner Rosemary and dissect her with strikes, chops and suplexes. Quick tags between the Coven and Rosemary eats a headscissors, a boot and a codebreaker. Wilde unloads offence but Rosemary continues to survive, eventually hitting an exploder to get some space. Tag to Jessicka. She comes in hot with slams and a crossbody. Rosemary is back in to bite King's face. A big spear from Rosemary gets a 2. Wilde gets a blind tag to hit the Witch's Wrath to retain for her team.

Another decent match, always love to see Rosemary in action. KiLynn King has been impressive on AEW Dark so it's good to see her doing good things in Impact. A solid outing by all.

The Coven retain via pinfall (9:40)


-The pre-show is over, its time for the main show.

ABC (Chris Bey & Ace Austin) (c) vs Motor City Machine Guns in an Ultimate X match for the Impact World Tag Team Championships

For those unaware, an Ultimate X match is an Impact Wrestling original match type. The titles are suspended above the ring with ropes running to it from the corners of the ring, providing the competitors with a way to climb towards them and pull them down. The person to have both feet touch the mat whilst holding the titles are declared the winner. Austin & Bey are representing Bullet Club. The guns are looking to win back the gold they lost a month ago. The MCMG are experts at Ultimate X, Shelley with 4 wins in 8 matches and Sabin with an even more impressive 8 wins in 18 appearances.

They all wrestle for control and attempt to climb up to the ropes. Shelley tries to hold ABC in place while Sabin climbs but to no avail. ABC hits dives to the guns. Bey is knocked off the rope and hurts his leg so the guns begin to target the weak spot. Austin is knocked off and hurts his arm, another weak spot the guns are targeting. Sabin works the arm whilst Shelley uses a figure 4 to weaken Bey. Sabin gets clotheslined, Shelley clotheslines ABC. The guns continue to use submissions to try keep the champs down but it doesn't work. We have a few miscommunications from the guns giving ABC the advantage. Bey gets some nice offence in, including a moonsault to the outside on one good leg, good storytelling. Austin follows with a big, impressive dive to the guns outside. Both teams trade big moves. Dream sequence by the guns. Eventually all 4 are hanging around the title kicking each other until they all fall down. The 1&2 is hit on Sabin. Austin lifts Bey to the gold. Shelley is coming but he's too late as the gold is retrieved by ABC.

A good match, I think the Ultimate X stipulation is very hit and miss depending on who you have work the match. These a did a great job. There was a few moments of miscommunication between the MCMG so we'll see if that develops into anything.

ABC retain the championships (13:06)

-Intense promo from Steve Maclin where he buries Canada. The crowd react accordingly.

The Design (Deaner, Angels, Kon & Callihan) vs Dirty Dango, Joe Hendry & Santino Marella

Deaner reinvented himself from wholesome farmboy to I want to say cult leader? Angels was formerly '5' in AEW's Dark Order stable, but left to sign a permanent deal with Impact Wrestling and almost immediately joining the stable. Kon is only bloody Konnor from The Ascension! Glad to see him doing well, they were madly underused in WWE after their NXT success. Callihan had been feuding with The Design, before succumbing to their message and deciding to join the ranks, he's been going through a 7-step initiation and this match is the final step. Dirty Dango is indeed Johnny Curtis, FKA as Fandango. I always really liked him. I thought he was good in the ring and quite charismatic, especially as a part of Breezango. They billed this as Santino's first televised match in 9 years, which I guess is true if they're not counting his appearances for DDT which appeared on TV, GCW's Bloodsport which was on PPV, or participating in the Women's Royal Rumble as Santina Marella. The less we speak about that last one the better. Joe Hendry is still the Digital Media Champion, and of course he is still the best looking wrestler too. The fans reaffirm that they believe in Joe Hendry as well as the rest of his team. Santino's son is in the front row.

Dango & Angels start but the crowd want Santino so in he comes. Santino gets some good offence in but falls to Callihan and the numbers game. Santino hits a Saito Suplex and tags in Hendry. Hendry dishes out fallaway slams to everyone except Kon. Deaner is in with a suplex. Dango & Callihan tag in. Dango eats a lot of offence from the Design here, all taking turns to stomp mudholes and slam the sweat off of Dango. Dango backdrops Angels and manages a tag to Santino who runs wild. Everyone's in now hitting big moves on each other. Hendry hits Angels & Deaner simultaneously with fallaway slams, very nice. Callihan piledrives him. Dango hits a dive, then Angels. Deaner and Callihan have Santino alone, and prepare to bludgeon him with a baseball bat until SWERVE! Callihan wacks Deaner instead! Callihan takes a walk as Santino finishes Deaner off with the dreaded Cobra.

A solid contest and enjoyable for the most part. I felt like Angels & Kon had barely any opportunity to really shine much and the story was mainly about Callihan & Deaner but it didn't hurt the match too much. The faces all looked great, Santino still able to pull off the splits was nice to see.

Santino Marella, Dirty Dango & Joe Hendry win via pinfall (10:48)


Eddie Edwards vs PCO in a Last Rites match

This feud has been wacky. Burials in the desert, being run over by a car, I mean PCO being a frankenstein's monster character as wacky enough, but it's fun. We need more silly bollocks in wrestling. I don't watch Impact all that much so I'm more used to Edwards as a face than a heel. He seems pretty competent at doing both. PCO is a 36 year veteran, which is fucking mental, even more impressive that he's blind in one eye too. I hope I'm still doing moonsaults at 55.

You win by locking your opponent in a casket. I do miss the obscure match stipulations like casket matches or buried alive matches. They're rarely that good but they're often fun. PCO goes straight after Eddie with a cannonball and chops. Edwards gets control after a dive. They continue to trade strikes in the ring until PCO hits a DDT then a gut buster. PCO follows Eddie with a cannonball from the apron. PCO tries to stuff him in the casket but Eddie fights him off. Eddie hits him with a tiger driver. PCO's shoulder is dislocated, but he heard voices and he wacks it back into place, because wrestling. They fire more strikes back and forth. Buckle bomb by Eddie but PCO responds with a clothesline. Reverse DDT then a PCOsault! He goes for the casket again but Eddie rolls away. PCO has him ready for a chokeslam but Eddie goes low and knocks him down. Eddie now going for the casket finish, but PCO isn't finished. Eddie uses a kendo stick, a tiger driver then a Boston knee party. He puts PCO in the casket but as he closes it PCO sticks his hand through the gap! PCO throttles Eddie, here comes his wife Alisha with a shovel but PCO no-sells it, sends Eddie into her and chokeslams him into the casket and closes it.

This was fine, I didn't have Crazy high expectations but it was a fun brawl with an unexpected finish. I wonder if this will write off Edwards for a while. A serviceable match.

PCO wins via, er, casket? (13:49)


-The production team try their best to air an interview with Trey Miguel but there's no audio so they just cut it off and head to the next match. Unintentionally funny.

Trey Miguel (c) vs Jonathan Gresham vs Mike Bailey for the Impact X-Division Championship

Trey Miguel is around 150 days deep into his second run as X-Division champion. Across 2 reigns, he has the 5th longest combined reign as champion which is impressive. Trey has done some fantastic work as a solo performer since two thirds of the Rascals left Impact for WWE. Gresham had great success with ROH but requested his release shortly after the Tony Khan takeover. He's engaged to Jordynne Grace, how lovely. He and Mike Bailey have had a couple matches against each other, the most recent being a number 1 contender match for the X-Division title. Miguel got involved and attacked both guys, which set up this 3-way, which will be contested under elimination rules. I've enjoyed the stuff I've seen from Mike Bailey over Wrestlemania weekend so I'm looking forward to this one.

The suits from Anthem are at ringside for a reason. They seem to be enjoying the show. A lot of reversals and jockeying for control at the start. Miguel is hip tossed by the two, so he rolls out and watches. As Bailey & Gresham exchange, he's back in for a dive but they both dodge him. Miguel takes control with some strikes, focusing on Gresham and keeping Bailey on the outside. Trey dodges a dropkick from Bailey which lands on Gresham instead. Gresham and Bailey then focus on each other whilst knocking Trey out of the match. Gresham with a falcon arrow to Trey. Bailey with a reverse rana to Gresham. Lots of fast paced action. Gresham eats a lovely springboard cutter from Trey. Bailey locks Gresham in a figure four, Trey leaps onto Gresham with a meteora and pins him while he's in the submission. I really liked that. Gresham is eliminated (9:37). Trey gets Bailey in a figure four. They chop each other free. More strikes exchanged, Bailey gets the upper hand with a tornado kick. He misses the ultimate weapon and goes outside. Bailey hits double knees, but fails another ultimate weapon attempt. Trey rolls him up for the win.

Very good stuff. A smartly booked three-way where all 3 wrestlers shone brightly. I wish Trey won more convingly rather than just a quick roll up but hey ho. Best match on the card so far.

Trey Miguel retains via pinfall (13:55)

Team Bully (Bully Ray, Brian Myers, Kenny King, Masha Slamovich & Moose) vs Team Dreamer (Tommy Dreamer, Bhupinder Gujjar, Frankie Kazarian, Killer Kelly & Yuya Uemura) in a Hardcore War match

Similarly to Wargames, we start with two wrestlers and at each interval we have a wrestler from one team come out to join the match. Hardcore rules so no disqualification. You can't win the match until everyone is present in the match, you can win via pinfall or submission. It's a decent spin on a classic formula. I usually do a run down of all the people involved but, uh there's like 10 names here. I assume if you're reading this you're aware of most of these people. Bully Ray = Bubba Ray Dudley. Brian Myers = Curt Hawkins. Uemura is a young lion from New Japan on a US excursion. Kenny King was a successful wrestler in ROH before he left during the Tony Khan takeover. Masha is the GCW World Champion. Gujjar is a rookie who was trained by Dreamer as well as the Great Kahli. Kazarian is an AEW original as well as an Impact legend. Moose is Moose, a wrestling God. Moose. Moose. MOOSE. MOOSE. MOOSE. Sorry, I got lost there. Before the match, Dreamer cuts a really emotional promo about his mother recently falling ill, so this will be his last match for a little while. He cries and his team are visibly really saddened which really brings an emotional weight to this match.

Bully Ray's team won the advantage for this match, because the heels literally ALWAYS win the advantage. Moose and Kazarian start for their teams. Kaz has a trash can with him. Kaz controls with a springboard DDT and a slingshot leg drop. Moose takes the can and hits him with it. He puts it in the turnbuckle, so Kaz whips him into it. A table is set up on the outside. Myers is next, Moose is dropped into him. Myers sets up a second table adjacent to the first and helps Moose beat down Kaz. Next comes Gujjar. He evens the odds and brings a cheese grater. Ugh, EC-dub, I guess. Kenny King is next, coming out wearing a trashcan lid on his head looking like a homeless Raiden. Snap suplex by King to Gujjar. He sets a third table on the opposite side of the ring to the others. Kelly is next wielding a stapler. She staples Kennys forehead, then Myers. She then staples Moose, right in the cock! Ouchy. She then staples herself because she's mental. Masha next, another mentalist. She wields a chair. Myers and Kaz go for stereo powerbombs on the ladies but it doesn't go to plan. Masha dives on to everyone with a chair senton. Yuya is next and goes after Myers. Dreamer's team hold the ring and await Bully, but his team swarm them in a beatdown. Everyone is wiped out, Kelly is on her knees in front of Bully. Out comes Dreamer! Bully tries to use Kelly as a meat shield but she bites him. Dreamer wacks him with the kendo stick. We get a 8-man submission chain, which is broken up by Kelly and Masha hitting them with chairs. Moose accidentally spears Bully! Everyone has a finisher stored and takes turns firing off. Masha & Dreamer are left standing. She spits on him, so he piledrives her. Bully's allies the Good Hands are out to help but are wiped out. Kaz hits a springboard cutter to one of them through a table! Dreamer and Bully are left in the ring. Dreamer is on a table and Bully climbs a ladder. He shouts at the 4 referees and demands they hold the ladder for them (lol at u AEW for your stupid safety). They don't, so he gets down and scolds them. The referees attack Bully! Dreamer hits a Spicolli driver. He puts Bully on the table and climbs the ladder. The referees are more than happy to hold the ladder still. Big splash though Bully and a table for a babyface win.

This was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed this. It wasn't anything amazing but there was a solid story told throughout and they worked in the existing storylines between some of the wrestlers, as well as possibly setting up future ones like maybe Moose vs Bully Ray? Very enjoyable, very silly, very nice.

Team Dreamer win via pinfall (25:12)

-Before our Impact World Championship match, we have the returning Nick Aldis!! He's out to join commentary and he has signed with Impact! Big fan of that. I think Aldis is great, he had a phenomenal run for NWA which really reestablished the promotion. Its a shame it ended sourly. I was worried Aldis might get lost in the shuffle at both WWE & AEW when he's deserving of being in a main event slot. He'll definitely get that in Impact.

Steve Maclin vs KUSHIDA for the vacant Impact World Championship

Steve Maclin is FKA Steve Cutler when he worked for WWE. I felt bad for him and Wesley Blake. For years they tried to make something for themselves and finally as a part of the Forgotten Sons they had potential to have a decent run. However, Jaxson Ryker turned out to be, checks notes, a twat so the entire faction suffered for it. Luckily, there are always other options and he's in a big spot here tonight. Kushida is a legend who also had an unfortunate WWE run, looking to win his first World Championship.

Kushida brings a Canadian flag with him due to a lot of his time spent here during his excursion. Maclin would later throw it down and stamp on it. Risky, if a foreigner did that to an American flag I think fans would riot. Silly flag lovers. Kushida tries to control with submissions, looking for the hoverboard lock early on. Maclin gains control with the power game. Angle slam by Maclin. Kushida avoids a second one into a handspring elbow. Kushida hits a nice fisherman's suplex then a small package driver for a nearfall. Maclin spills near the ramp, Kushida dives but misses, following up with a Pele kick. Back in Maclin recovers with a German suplex. Maclin hits a buckle bomb into a tiger bomb. Bellissimo. They're both on top. Suplex from Maclin but Kushida transitions into an armbar! Maclin gets to the ropes. Maclin gets Kushida into a tree of woe and spears him. He hits a KIA but Kushida kicks out! Kushida keeps locking in the hoverboard lock but Maclin keeps escaping. Maclin manages to hit a second KIA to win.

What a great performance. A sharp, well paced match with a fantastic finish. Either guy felt like a viable winner. Nice to see Maclin get a good victory and win his first major championship.

Steve Maclin wins the championship via pinfall (18:28)

-Maclin demands the boss Scott D'Amore put the belt around his waist. Scott refuses so Maclin attacks. Aldis gets in and Maclin backs off. These two could have an amazing feud that just lasts all year if told properly.

Deonna Purrazzo vs Jordynne Grace for the vacant Impact Knockouts Championship

I think out of all of those who were unceremoniously released by WWE over the past few years, Deonna Purrazzo has had the best run proving that WWE isn't the be all and end all. She's dominated in Impact, ROH & also in AAA. Absolutely ridiculous WWE didn't see her potential. Purrazzo is married to Steve Maclin, so if she wins we'll have ourselves a husband and wife power couple in Impact. Jordynne Grace is a power lifter turned wrestler who has been a mainstay at Impact for the past few years, dominating the Knockouts division as well as the X-Division. She's one of my favourite stars in Impact.

The ladies shake hands before they start. They jostle for control, Deonna already looking to target the arm of Grace. Grace hits a powerful suplex but is selling the arm. Deonna with some arm drags and a kick. Standing moonsault for a nearfall. Grace kicks Purrazzo to the floor, following with a suicide dive then a jackhammer. Fuck Goldberg. Joorrrrrr-dynne. Jooooorrrr-dynne. Back inside, Grace hits a 20-second stalling suplex. They both look to target to arm, not a bad idea from Grace. It spills to the ramp. Deonna goes for Queens Gambit, but fails. Some reversals then Grace goes to the floor, Deonna moonsaults from the ramp down to her. In the ring, a lethal combo from Deonna into a Koji clutch! Smooth transition. Grace reverses, hitting a vertebreaker! Jordynne goes for a Grace driver but Deonna fights out. They exchange submission attempts before kicking each other in the head. They get up and fight again. Purrazzo looks for the finish with a Fujiwara armbar, then the Venus de Milo but Grace powers out! Grace driver!! 1-2-NO! What a nearfall. Grace goes for a sunset flip powerbomb, but Deonna reverses. Queens Gambit! 1-2-3!! She reclaims the gold! They shake hands and embrace to close the show.

That was bloody excellent. 2 of Impacts finest wrestlers, not just in the Knockouts division but on the entire roster. They brought their A-game here and brought the best out of each other. Both of these are stars in Impact but I do hope they both get an opportunity to tear up the Women's division in WWE because BOY imagine some of the matches? Especially Purrazzo. Imagine this. Deonna vs Bayley, Becky, Asuka, Shayna, Charlotte. Jordynne Grace vs Ripley, Belair, Alexa, Morgan, Piper. It would be insane. Brilliant match here, all the props to them.

Deonna Purrazzo wins the championship via pinfall (17:05)


Overall- 60%

This was a very good show. Miles better than I expected. Really well structured. The weaker and less interesting stuff started us off and the ante got upped and upped as the night continued. I didn't feel particularly disappointed by any of the matches. Very intriguing going forward with Purrazzo and Maclin as the world champions. Aldis is straight up a big contender for Maclin, and Mickie James is Aldis' wife and I imagine she'll want a title match if she is fit and healthy to return. The story is just ready to be told. I will say, Impact, sort your production out man. Multiverse United had production issues and we had the same here again. The faulty promo packages cannot always be prevented I get that. But the camerawork during the show was a bit bollocks at times. A few moments were missed due to poor camera work. If my only complaint is about the shows production, thats when you know this was a good watch. Strong recommendation.

MOTN: Deonna Purrazzo vs Jordynne Grace

That's all from me today, thanks for reading. Let me know what you think and if there's any upcoming shows I need to watch and review. I haven't got anything scheduled to watch and review until May now, New Japan's Wrestling Dontaku shortly followed by WWE Backlash. In the meantime I'll have some R'n'R content out, hopefully some other articles too. Until next time. See ya!


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