IMPACT Wrestling Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from March 2
The journey to Impact Wrestling's Sacrifice continued Tuesday night on AXS TV with a show headlined by Knockouts action between Jordynne Grace, Deonna Purrazzo and Kiera Hogan, as well as a blockbuster eight-man tag team match featuring New Japan Pro-Wrestling's FinJuice and Impact world tag team champions The Good Brothers teaming up.
Who built momentum ahead of the upcoming Impact Plus presentation, and what did the night's events have in store for the company as a whole?
Find out with this recap of the March 2 broadcast.
X-Division 3-Way: Black Taurus vs. Chris Bey vs. Ace Austin
A three-way to determine the No. 1 contender to the X-Division Championship kicked off this week's show as Ace Austin, Chris Bey and Black Taurus battled for the opportunity to challenge TJP.
Taurus overcame a concentrated effort by Bey and Austin early, showing off his power advantage. A double tope by Austin and Bey took their larger opponent to the arena floor, allowing them to grapple back inside.
As Bey attempted to springboard into the ring, Taurus pulled him to the floor. He added a slam to Austin on the floor and scored a quick near-fall back inside the squared circle. Taurus overpowered Austin, dominating The Inevitable.
That is, until Austin rocked Taurus with a missile dropkick.
All three competitors exchanged strikes until Austin and Bey deposited Taurus to the floor. From there, Madman Fulton tripped Bey up and Austin delivered the Fold for the win.
Austin defeated Bey and Taurus
The action was nonstop and featured some logical storytelling throughout.
Taurus was understandably presented as the unstoppable force, bowling over the opposition and rocking them with devastating headbutts. He looked like a star while Austin and Bey focused their efforts on dispatching him to increase their odds of victory.
Ultimately, that is exactly what happened.
Austin capitalized on his own big man, Fulton, to secure the win and earn a match against TJP, something that he probably should have had as a result of his victory in the Super X Cup tournament.
Tenille Dashwood vs. Havok
Havok went it alone, longtime partner Nevaeh nowhere to be found, as she battled Tenille Dashwood in singles competition. Kaleb With a K seconded Dashwood at ringside.
Dashwood thwarted the early fury of Havok and downed her heading into the break, seizing control of the contest.
Back from the commercial, she continued to work over her opponent, delivering the Taste of Tenille in the corner before stomping away at her and driving an elbow into the back of the head.
Havok reversed an Irish whip attempt and rocked Dashwood with a kick to the head. Kaleb interfered, slowing Havok's momentum, and Dashwood capitalized, delivering the Spotlight kick for the win.
After the match, Nevaeh attacked Kaleb, dropping him with a stepover DDT before checking on Havok. Dashwood, true to character, retrieved her phone and took selfies around the ringside area.
Dashwood defeated Havok
This was the sort of win Dashwood needed, a fairly dominant victory against a credible opponent.
Since returning to the company, she has had a less-than-stellar win-loss record, to the point that she felt like a glorified enhancement talent at times. She turned the momentum in her favor by way of this victory, even if it was all a setup to (seemingly) reunite Havok and Nevaeh.
Nevaeh showed great fire in coming to the aid of her tag team partner, and Kaleb bumped fantastically to put over her offense. To the extent, even, that a match pitting Havok and Nevaeh against Dashwood and Kaleb may not be a bad addition to the upcoming Sacrifice card.
8-Man Tag Team Match: Good Brothers and FinJuice vs. XXXL and Reno Scum
A video vignette featured Sami Callihan visiting Toledo, Ohio, and Trey Miguel's training center. He raised hell and brought violence down on those in his path, intensifying his rivalry with the former Rascal.
Elsewhere, Eric Young put Deaner through physical anguish at the hands of Joe Doering, punishment for his loss to Jake Something a week ago.
In a pretaped promo, Moose talked about how he was going to win the Impact Wrestling World Championship from Rich Swann at Sacrifice.
Back in the Impact Zone, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson made their entrance for an eight-man tag team match pitting them and New Japan Pro-Wrestling's David Finlay and Juice Robinson against Reno Scum and XXXL.
Bickering between FinJuice and The Good Brothers allowed Acey Romero to drop Finlay and work him over in the heel's corner. Finlay delivered a side suplex to Alex Thornstowe, creating separation and tagging Gallows into the match.
The Big LG exploded into the match and set Thornstowe up for Magic Killer. After some infighting and a close call, the Impact tag team champions put Thornstowe away with their finisher for the win.
A pretaped promo from Swann about his title defense against Moose aired after the contest.
FinJuice and The Good Brothers defeated Reno Scum and XXXL
This was a big disappointment, if only because we already know there is tension between FinJuice and The Good Brothers. Anyone who has paid a little attention to the show since No Surrender knows the two teams do not like or trust each other. We did not need a glorified squash match that threatens XXXL's credibility to hammer home the dislike between the tandems.
That no one really had any time to truly shine did not help.
What could have been a fun multi-man tag match was, instead, an exercise in the mundane that brings us no closer to a showdown between the current NJPW exports and the tag team champions.
As for the vignettes, Impact continues to impress with its ability to further storylines without overexposing stars in matches every week. WWE would be wise to learn from the format.
Eddie Edwards vs. Brian Myers (Matt Cardona as Guest Referee)
Backstage, The Good Brothers and FinJuice argued back and forth before Doc Gallows laid down the challenge for a match between the teams on March 13 at Sacrifice.
Back in the Impact Zone, Matt Cardona hit the ring to serve as referee for the match between friend-turned-foe Brian Myers and former world champion Eddie Edwards.
During the commercial, Myers wrested control of the match from Edwards, grounding him and applying a sleeper. Fighting out, the Boston native exploded out of the corner with a clothesline and added a Blue Thunder Bomb for two.
Edwards followed with the backpack stunner, but Cardona saw Myers' foot on the rope and stopped the count.
Later, Myers loaded up his elbow pad and delivered the Roster Cut clothesline, all right in front of his former best friend and referee. Cardona called for the bell and disqualification, leaving Myers dismayed.
Edwards defeated Myers via disqualification
This was less about Myers vs. Edwards and more about telling the story of Myers and Cardona's broken friendship.
Once lifelong friends and championship-winning partners, they are at a professional crossroads.
Cardona made a judgment card, letting both Myers and the whole world know that business will not be affected by their personal relationship outside the ropes.
It was a development that needed to happen and one that will only help strengthen what has the potential to be one of the most intriguing storylines in the company.
Jordynne Grace vs. Deonna Purrazzo
Originally slated to be a one-on-one bout between Jordynne Grace and Knockouts world champion Deonna Purrazzo, the match became a three-way when Kiera Hogan joined in.
Purrazzo and Hogan attempted to tee off on Grace, but Thicc Mama Pump fought back and knocked The Virtuosa from the squared circle, leaving her to battle Hogan. The former champion controlled that battle before Purrazzo reentered the fray.
Even then, Grace controlled.
That is, until Purrazzo drove her into the mat and applied an armbar. Grace fought out, but Hogan drove her into the mat. Hogan teed off on her opponent, but Grace answered with a backfist. Purrazzo again looked for the armbar, but Grace rolled out.
Grace rocked both women with back elbows, but Purrazzo delivered a suplex. Jordynne looked for the Grace Driver, but Purrazzo fought out. Grace answered with a double clothesline and stood tall, just in time for Susan, Kimber Lee, Tasha Steelz and Jazz to fight on the floor.
The action continued fast and furiously down the stretch until Purrazzo scored a roll-up on Grace for the win.
After the match, Grace chased Steelz up the ramp and brawled with her, taking exception to her involvement in the closing moments. As The Virtuosa stood tall, ODB hit the ring, leveling Purrazzo and standing tall to close out the show.
Purrazzo defeated Grace and Hogan
There are two major, ongoing women's feuds in Impact, and both were represented here as the company continues the build to Sacrifice.
Fire 'N Flava stuck it to prospective top contenders Grace and Jazz as Steelz cost Grace the win. Then, a week after laying ODB out backstage, Knockouts champion Purrazzo felt her wrath in what may serve as the setup for a championship clash at the live-event special.
This was a strong segment. A solid match and the post-match antics more than earned it its grade.
That Impact has a strong enough women's roster to present this match while spinning all involved into other storylines is impressive.