Impact Wrestling No Surrender 2021: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights
While some celebrate a milestone birthday with cake and gifts, Dreamer did as he has done since the first day he laced up a pair of boots: He fought, this time in the main event and against Rich Swann for the company's world title.
The match, set up by an emotional show-opening video package that told the story of one of wrestling's most esteemed legends, headlined a jam-packed broadcast that vowed to write the latest chapters in ongoing feuds, wrap up others and continue the build to Impact's April 24 Rebellion pay-per-view.
Was The Innovator of Violence able to defy odds one more time, doing the unthinkable by defeating Swann and adding one more world title to his Hall of Fame resume? Or did Swann thwart the challenge of a man he considers a mentor en route to his long-awaited showdown with Moose?
Find out with this recap of Saturday's Impact Plus presentation.
Decay vs. XXXL and Tenille Dashwood
XXXL's Larry D and Acey Romero partnered with Tenille Dashwood in the opening contest of No Surrender, battling Decay's trio of Crazzy Steve, Rosemary and imposing newcomer Black Taurus.
After a hot start by the gothic trio of antiheroes, XXXL and Dashwood seized control by isolating Crazzy Steve. A tag to Taurus sparked a babyface comeback and led to action breaking down. Romero sent Dashwood, his own partner, over the top rope with a powerbomb, wiping the field of competitors out.
Rosemary responded with green mist to Romero, and Taurus powered Larry D down with a modified brainbuster for the win.
Decay defeated XXXL and Dashwood
This was a harmless opener that got everyone involved on the card, but ultimately, it was little more than a showcase for the Decay faction.
There was little in the way of storytelling to speak of, but Taurus showed off his power and certainly looked like the star of the bout.
Dashwood lost, again, continuing her disappointing run in Impact to this point, while Larry D and Romero were little more than oversized tackling dummies for the newcomer.
There was nothing wrong with it, but it was not a particularly memorable contest either.
Eddie Edwards and Matt Cardona vs. Brian Myers and Hernandez
Eddie Edwards and Matt Cardona formed an unlikely alliance in a battle against the latter's longtime friend and partner Brian Myers and his newfound muscle, Hernandez, to set up this tag team bout.
Myers manipulated things early, providing a distraction just in time for Hernandez to wipe Edwards out at ringside and seize control of the match, all behind the official's back. The heels worked over the former world champion, and in the process, Big Mex ripped off a turnbuckle pad in a moment that would prove significant later in the match.
Edwards attempted numerous times to tag Cardona into the match, but a cheap shot by Hernandez rendered the former Broski out of action on the floor. When Edwards finally did make the tag, Cardona exploded into the match like a ball of fire.
Edwards re-entered the match and sailed through the ropes, directly into the waiting arms of Hernandez, who flattened him at ringside. A second attempt by the persistent former world champion proved fruitful as he wiped Hernandez out. Back in the ring, Myers sent Cardona into the aforementioned exposed turnbuckle and finished him with a clothesline for the win.
Myers and Hernandez defeated Cardona and Edwards
And so the feud will continue.
This was an action-packed tag match with a solid heat segment. The story of Edwards repeatedly looking to tag but finding no one and having to fight from underneath a little more was true to his character and teased that maybe Cardona was screwing with him and would align with Myers.
That was not the case, and now the former WWE United States champion will be looking for revenge against Myers following the screwy finish. Whether Edwards remains involved is a mystery, but Hernandez figures to hang around The Most Professional Wrestler for the time being, a much-needed heater for a guy the company appears to have plans for.
Jake Something vs. Deaner
When Deaner gave into the motivational efforts of Eric Young and Joe Doering, his cousin Jake was left with two options: join him in Violent By Design or carve his own path. He chose option two, leading to a battle between blood as the newly minted Jake Something combatted Deaner in singles competition Saturday night.
After an early onslaught by Jake, the smaller Deaner cut him down, grounding his opponent and unleashing with fury. He wrapped Jake around the ring post, continuing his agony. Finally able to create some separation by way of a Jake Cutter, the babyface fought his way back into the match.
Jake teased a superplex to the floor, but Deaner escaped his clutches and delivered a sit-out powerbomb out of the corner for two. Jake recovered, launched himself over the top rope at Young and Doering, and proceeded to put Deaner away with a Black Hole Slam for the win.
After the match, the heels beat down Jake, concluding with a Doering powerbomb off the rope and through a table. Violent By Design stood tall to close the segment.
Jake Something defeated Deaner
Deaner spent such a long time as a babyface that he is still finding himself and his move set in this heel role. With a little more seasoning, this could have been even better than it was.
The action was solid, the effort was there and the result was a solid match that told the intended story. Jake being aware enough to wipe out Young and Doering was a nice touch, as was the post-match beatdown to return heat to the heels.
Jake is going to need backup at some point. It will be interesting to see who steps up. Both Rhino and Heath have unfinished business with Young and Doering...
Triple Threat Revolver Match
According to Impact Wrestling, the rules for the Triple Threat Revolver match state: "Three competitors start the match. When one is pinned or submitted, another will enter the fray. The Triple Threat matches will continue until there are no more entrants, in which the final pinfall or submission will earn the victor a shot at the X-Division Championship!"
Trey Miguel, Suicide and Blake Christian started the contest off. The masked vigilante of Impact Wrestling was the first eliminated, giving way to Chris Bey's entry into the match.
Christian delivered a standing Spanish Fly on the floor to Miguel, leaving the commentary team to question whether the former Rascal was injured. Back inside, Bey caught Christian with knees to the midsection and delivered the Vertebreaker to eliminate him.
Daivari was out next, the veteran competitor of the match with two decades of experience. The former WWE competitor was dominant in a small dose, but Miguel eliminated him by pinfall in short order, giving way to the arrival of "The Walking Weapon" Josh Alexander.
Bey withstood an onslaught from Alexander, rocking him with a big kick to the face. Alexander caught him, though, and flattened him. An ankle lock put an end to Bey's night and brought about Willie Mack's appearance.
Mack exploded across the ring, rocking Miguel with a clothesline and adding a cannonball to Alexander. He teed off on the competitors before joining Miguel on the ropes for an exchange of strikes. Alexander cut their battle off, and the action broke down.
Ultimately, Alexander and Miguel put Mack away with a double pin in time for Ace Austin to become the final combatant to enter the ring.
Austin capitalized on two exhausted competitors, dominating the action until Miguel delivered a springboard cutter on Alexander. He wiped the former tag team champion out on the floor, leaving Miguel and Austin to pair off in the ring.
Miguel rocked Austin with a superkick and then added a headscissors to Alexander on the floor. Moments later, Alexander recovered, hoisted both men on his shoulders and brought both down to the mat. Alexander delivered a backbreaker, wiped out Madman Fulton and finished Austin with a double under-hook piledriver for the win.
Alexander defeated Miguel, Austin, Bey, Suicide, Mack and Daivari to earn a shot at the X-Division Championship
Your enjoyment of the Triple Threat formula is ultimately going to decide how much you like or can even sit through a match of this type. While new and innovative is always welcome, some concepts are better left to one-offs. This might be one of them, if only because of the repetition of it.
With that said, the competitors made the most of their time and delivered some seriously fun wrestling. Things picked up considerably with the arrival of Alexander and continued with the entries of Mack and Austin. The chemistry between all involved was promising and set the X-Division up for some entertaining wars in the coming weeks and months.
Alexander winning was an interesting choice in that few would look at him and think "X-Division champion," but he brings a mat- and submission-based arsenal to that roster that really only TJP can match. Might a contest between them be on the horizon?
Texas Tornado No Disqualification Knockouts Tag Team Championship Match
Knockouts tag team champions Fire 'N Flava (Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz) reluctantly took to the squared circle Saturday for a No Disqualification Texas Tornado match against Havok and Nevaeh, their gold at stake. The desperate champions impressed early on, raking at the eyes of their opponents and throwing themselves into them.
Navaeh, her partner momentarily incapacitated, found herself on the receiving end of a two-on-one beatdown. Her resiliency kept her and her partner alive long enough for Havok to make the save. The champions, hellbent on proving they belonged in that role, continued to take the fight to the challengers.
Steelz caught Navaeh with a Codebreaker, only for Havok to send the champions crashing to the mat with a double suplex. A blind charge into the ring saw Havok crash into a steel chair. Moments later, Steelz delivered a cutter to Navaeh onto a parking sign for the successful title defense.
After the match, frustration reared its head as Navaeh walked out on Havok.
Fire 'N Flava defeated Havok and Navaeh to retain
This was a relatively low-key street fight, but it still worked. It never went over the top, instead staying relatively realistic while telling the story of resourceful champions doing whatever they needed to in order to retain their titles.
And when that didn’t work, a little luck in the form of Havok crashing into the chair certainly did.
The post-match frustrations expressed by Navaeh, who was left to fight on her own more than once in the match, is indicative of a breakup to come. If so, do not be surprised to see the underrated Navaeh effectively fill the role of the veteran babyface looking for that title she has long been denied.
As for Steelz and Hogan, they are stars and exactly the tag team around whom the Knockouts tag titles should be built.
X-Division Championship Match: TJP vs. Rohit Raju
The neverending rivalry between TJP and Rohit Raju wrote yet another chapter as the No. 1 contender attacked TJP before the bell, wiping him out at ringside. TJP wiped out the massive Mahabali Shera on the floor and then took the fight to Raju around the studio and back to the ringside area as referee Brian Hebner struggled to gain control.
Hebner finally called for the bell in time for TJP to catch Raju with a basement dropkick to the lower leg. He added a Tornado DDT attempt, but Raju countered into a Northern Lights suplex for two.
Raju worked over TJP with aggression and focus we had not seen out of The Mocha Skinned Manimal during his run with Impact. The champion fought back, rocked Raju with a Detonation Kick and scaled the ropes for the Mamba Splash.
Raju caught the flying champion in a triangle choke, but TJP countered into a submission. Raju countered that into a crossface. TJP finally escaped, delivered the aforementioned Mamba Splash and scored the win and successful title defense.
TJP defeated Raju to retain
TJP and Raju had wrestled each other entirely too many times leading into this match, potentially burning the audience out on the pairing. Instead, they had their best match to date, a dramatic display of hold and counter-hold and a wrestling match between two very competent in-ring performers.
The near-falls and teased submissions helped build drama while Alexander's win in the Triple Threat Revolver match left viewers thinking Impact would go with Raju for the win to set up a more traditional babyface vs. heel match.
As it is, TJP and Alexander will bring all sorts of mat brilliance to the X-Division, leading to what has the very real potential to be the best wrestling match the X-Division has seen in years.
Kudos to Raju and TJP for changing things up and keeping things fresh here and still managing to turn in their finest match to date.
Six-Woman Tag Team Match
Jordynne Grace, Jazz and ODB battled Knockouts champion Deonna Purrazzo, Kimber Lee and Susan in a six-woman tag team match, the latest chapter in a budding rivalry.
The babyfaces erupted with a flurry of offense early, but The Virutosa and Co. wore Grace down, cut her off from her partners and worked her over in an attempt to score the win.
A hot tag to ODB sparked a babyface comeback that was halted when Susan raked Jazz's eyes in a spot that led to The OG accidentally clocking Grace with a back elbow. Jazz recovered and applied the STF to Susan for the submission victory.
Grace, Jazz and ODB defeated Purrazzo, Lee and Susan
The amount of talent involved in this one was not indicative of the quality of the match.
A rushed tag team bout that accomplished nothing and did not even determine the next contender to Purrazzo's title, there was really no reason for this to be on the card.
That Jazz and Grace's mishap did not even factor into the closing moments of the match only created more questions about why this was even here.
A rare misfire from a great Knockouts division.
Impact Tag Team Championship Match
The Impact tag team titles were up for grabs in a Triple Threat match as The Good Brothers' Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows defended against "Cowboy" James Storm and Chris Sabin and All Elite Wrestling's Private Party, accompanied by Matt Hardy.
Sabin found himself the babyface in peril, worked over by the competition for the heart of the match. A tag to James Storm sparked a comeback but also led to a breakdown in the action.
Late, Hardy interfered on behalf of Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy, but even his Twist of Fate to Sabin was not enough to earn his guys the titles.
Ultimately, Anderson pinned a flattened Storm to retain, leaving Hardy and Private Party in considerable dismay, their dreams of absconding with the tag titles unfulfilled.
The Good Brothers defeated Private Party and Sabin and Storm
This was a strong effort from all three teams, a hint of the sort of tag division Impact is capable of. The veteran presences of Storm, Sabin and The Good Brothers held the match together while Private Party really had the opportunity to shine.
Quen and Kassidy rose to the occasion and very easily and believably could have won here, especially on the awesome false finish involving Hardy and the Twist of Fate.
Ultimately, Anderson and Gallows retained, but this was as much Private Party's story as it was theirs.
Given the vengeful look painting the face of Hardy in the immediate aftermath of the match, do not be surprised if he has Private Party back and ready to dethrone The Good Brothers somewhere down the line.
Impact World Championship Match: Rich Swann vs. Tommy Dreamer
Tommy Dreamer celebrated his 50th birthday Saturday night, challenging Rich Swann for the Impact World Championship in the main event of No Surrender. To once again realize his childhood dream and championship aspirations, he would have to overcome a dislocated pinkie finger suffered midway through the match.
Swann, proving he can and will target an opponent's weakness regardless of who it is, attempted to damage the digit on more than one occasion.
The double-tough Innovator of Violence endured the agony and came within seconds of winning the title, fighting through submission attempts to deliver the Dreamer Driver for a strong near-fall late.
Swann rocked him with a superkick, delivered a double kickback and delivered the Phoenix Splash for the win.
After the match, Moose interrupted a genuine moment of respect between champion and challenger, laying both men out and targeting the previously injured leg of Swann.
The prospective No. 1 contender stood tall to close out the show.
As the night's broadcast went off the air, a video highlighting the New Japan Pro-Wrestling team of David Finlay and Juice Robinson aired, a tease of sorts of their impending arrival in Impact.
Swann defeated Dreamer
First things first: Swann and Dreamer had the best match possible in the night's main event. It was an emotional battle between the veteran competitor, once again forced to overcome a hurdle, and a world champion who finally found his edge when he needed it most.
The simple storytelling centered around a dislocated finger was a nice touch and gave us the outcome we all knew we were getting.
Moose whupping up on Swann and Dreamer was a great bit of continuity following the closing moments of last week's Impact show and firmly cements him as the next man to challenge Swann.
The tease for Finlay and Robinson should have everyone excited. Not only are they a great team, but Robinson is also incredibly charismatic and should probably be main-eventing somewhere at this point.
A noteworthy end to a solid if unspectacular night of action that hit all the right notes.