IMPACT Wrestling Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from March 30
For the 1,000th time, "Cowboy" James Storm made his way down the aisle for a match in Impact Wrestling, the most by any competitor in the 19-year history of the promotion.
Storm battled longtime foe Eric Young in the marquee bout of Tuesday's AXS TV broadcast, which also included the latest in TJP and Josh Alexander's feud with X-Division champion Ace Austin, as well as another appearance by reigning AEW world champion Kenny Omega.
What went down, who emerged victoriously from the night's in-ring action and was the Tennessee beer-drinker able to pick up the win in his landmark contest?
Find out now with this recap of the March 30 episode.
Before the Impact: Shera and Fallah Bahh vs. Hernandez and Rohit Raju
Rohit Raju and hired heavy Hernandez battled the former X-Division champion's ex-bodyguard Shera and Fallah Bahh in tag team action as part of this week's Before the Impact.
The babyfaces dominated heading into and coming out of the commercial break, but a shoulder tackle by Hernandez to Bahh turned the tide in the opposition's favor. The heels beat down the big man, cutting him off from his partner.
A double crossbody left both Bahh and Hernandez reeling, allowing the lovable babyface to tag Shera in and spark a babyface comeback. The Punjab native exploded into the match and took the fight to his opponents, driving Raju to the mat with a chokeslam.
The Mocha Skinned Manimal recovered and rocked Bahh with a knee. Hernandez dove over the top rope, wiping the heavyweight out. Shera looked for a dive, but Hernandez caught him with a chair. Raju added the Mumbai Drive-By for the pinfall victory.
Raju and Hernandez defeated Bahh and Shera
This was a perfectly acceptable tag team match that put over the new tandem of Raju and hired gun Hernandez and told a solid story throughout.
Raju attempted to keep away from Shera throughout the match, dropping Bahh and working him over. He clearly wanted nothing to do with his former associate. Then, when Bahh rocked Hernandez, the former X-Division champion had no choice but to enter the ring and come face-to-face with Shera.
The beating he deserved was put on the back burner as he was able to score a win under dubious circumstances, thanks to his new business associate.
The storytelling was a huge reason this achieved the grade it did, kicking Impact off with a solid in-ring encounter and giving way to more tag team action, this time on the Knockouts side of things.
Nevaeh and Havok vs. Fire N Flava
The newly reunited team of Nevaeh and Havok battled Knockouts tag team champions Fire N Flava in a non-title match to kick off this week's show. Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz defeated Havok and Nevaeh to win the titles back at Hard to Kill in January.
The aggressors early, Havok and Nevaeh worked over Hogan, but the champs sent Havok face-first into the turnbuckle to wrest control of the bout away. They double-teamed Havok, keeping her grounded and cutting her off from Nevaeh.
Nevaeh finally did tag in but ate a codebreaker from Steelz. Havok reentered the match and delivered a big sit-out powerbomb for two as Hogan broke up the pin. Hogan dumped Havok, and Nevaeh grounded her.
The action broke down and the champions picked up a hard-fought win, leading to another hint of dissension between Havok and Nevaeh. After several moments of Havok pleading her case, Nevaeh attacked her, dropping her with a spear and declaring her now-former tag team partner the weak link of the team.
Fire N Flava defeated Havok and Nevaeh
Longtime fans of women's wrestling know just how long Havok and Nevaeh have teamed. Dating back to their days in SHIMMER, they have been a staple of women's tag wrestling and have been pillars of this revamped Knockouts division. Their split has a ton of storytelling potential.
From the years spent on the road to the almost-familial relationship they forged, there is plenty to pull from. Nevaeh has been really good of late, and Havok still has a ton of potential to be a wrecking ball in the women's division as its unstoppable force.
Hopefully, the breakup provides them an opportunity to prove themselves as singles and the chance to work together in a heated feud, not to mention allowing the tag division to feature some new challengers to Fire N Flava's titles.
Larry D vs. Sami Callihan
A week after Sami Callihan rescued Trey Miguel from a beatdown at the hands of XXXL, The Draw battled Larry D in singles competition.
Larry D dominated the contest, controlling heading into the break and working over Callihan on the floor coming out of it. He used his size and strength advantage, pummeling the former world champion. Callihan cut him off with a clothesline, but Larry rocked him with one of his own. Callihan added open-hand slaps, but Larry D answered with a discus lariat.
A big splash by Larry D earned him a two-count.
Callihan fought his way back into the match and teased a piledriver on the ring apron. Larry D fought back, but The Draw dug his fingers in his opponent's eyes. The big man tried to shrug it off but fell prey to a draping piledriver, and Callihan picked up the hard-fought win.
After the match, Matt Striker questioned Miguel's character, asking why he did not make the save as Acey Romero attacked Callihan after the match. A grin and fake applause by Callihan hinted that the former Rascal had passed some sort of test.
Backstage, Callihan confronted Miguel and revealed there is only one man he wants to be on his tag team for a match with XXXL: Trey. Give it a week, he told Miguel, and tell him his answer.
Callihan defeated Larry D
Callihan and Larry D had a better match than they had any right to. It was a clubbing fight, and Larry D stole the show with his best performance in Impact to date. Callihan sold great, amplifying the big man's offense.
The idea that Callihan would want Miguel to be his partner suggests some sinister plan on his part, one that will likely end with The Draw escalating the budding rivalry.
A better-than-expected match, intriguing story development and the promise of a hell of a match between Miguel and Callihan before all is said and done helps the grade of this one.
Suicide vs. Brian Myers
Brian Myers battled Suicide on Tuesday night, looking to build momentum ahead of a proposed match with podcasting and tag team championship partner Matt Cardona at Rebellion.
A back-and-forth match concluded with Myers delivering the Roster Cut for the pinfall victory.
After the match, Myers addressed the challenge issued by Cardona, rejecting the offer and insisting his career does not revolve around that of his former partner.
Myers defeated Suicide
This was what it was: a showcase for Myers.
He was his typically solid self, earned a quality win over a former X-Division champion and dodged his budding rival like a good heel.
There was nothing more to the segment, nor did there have to be. It accomplished what it set out to and sets Myers up to deny Cardona each week until the inevitable showdown.
Josh Alexander and TJP vs. Ace Austin and Madman Fulton
Backstage, Don Callis and Kenny Omega arrived at Swinger's Palace to confront Johnny Swinger about the current action on the title unification match at Rebellion. After Swinger revealed it was a one-to-one bet, Omega and the Impact Executive Vice President bet $20,000 on the AEW world champion.
Josh Alexander came to the aid of TJP last week when the former X-Division champion found himself at the mercy of current titleholder Ace Austin and the massive Madman Fulton. Tuesday, he teamed with TJP to battle Austin and Fulton in a big tag team encounter.
The heels controlled the majority of the bout, working over TJP. The former champion tagged Alexander into the match, and The Walking Weapon wasted little time making his presence felt. Fulton bowled him over and tried to regain control for the heels, but TJP reentered the fray as the action broke down.
With Fulton outside of the ring, Alexander blocked an attempt at The Fold. He downed Austin in time for TJP to fly in from out of nowhere with a Mamba Splash. The babyfaces bickered over the cover, each wanting to build momentum and enter title contention, allowing Austin to score the pinfall over TJP.
Backstage, Don Callis approached Willie Mack and tried to get him to talk some sense into Rich Swann. Swann arrived on the scene and said he'd smack the glasses off the EVP's face if he weren't the boss. Callis teased getting physical until Omega attacked from out of nowhere. A brawl broke out with The Good Brothers getting involved. Eddie Edwards made the save and drove the heels off.
Austin and Fulton defeated Alexander and TJP
The tag team partners who may or may not coexist while feuding over championship gold is the most overused and uninteresting storyline in wrestling right now. It's overexposed and in most cases lazy.
Common sense says two singles stars jockeying for position in the same title hunt are not going to get along, no matter how much they hate their opponents.
That was the case here as Alexander and TJP failed to set aside their differences and Austin made them pay for it. Hopefully, this is the last time they try to team because it is a plot device that is neither interesting nor effective when every major wrestling promotion in the world currently employs it.
The worst part about the booking was that the match that accompanied it was actually a damn fun one that showcased just how entertaining the three-way program could be.
'Cowboy' James Storm vs. Eric Young
James Storm and Eric Young rekindled their 20-year rivalry in this week's main event, the 1,000th match in the former's legendary career. Violent By Design's Deaner, Joe Doering and Rhino accompanied the heel, while Chris Sabin, Jake Something and "Wildcat" Chris Harris accompanied the man of honor.
Young sought to spoil the momentous occasion, though, controlling the match heading into the commercial break. Back to the ring, he drove Storm's face into the ropes, punishing his rival. Storm fought back, dropping Young with a neckbreaker for a near-fall.
Back to their feet, Young rocked Storm with a superkick but could not put Storm away as frustration set in. Storm countered a right hand with a boot and delivered a backstabber.
Action broke down and Young tried to use his mask as a weapon. Harris provided the distraction that allowed Storm to blast EY with the Closing Time superkick for the win.
After the match, a victorious Storm looked into the camera and, once again, thanked the late Bob Ryder for taking a chance on him and Harris.
Storm defeated Young
Storm and Young could, and have, had this match a hundred times and deliver something entertaining, fun and energetic every time. Was it a step slower this time? Sure, but it was still a quality match from two veteran competitors whose contributions to Impact Wrestling are a huge reason the company is still around today.
A thousand matches for one company is an impressive feat for anyone, let alone a guy who was literally around from day one of a promotion's existence.
A tag team specialist whose larger-than-life persona and never-say-die attitude made him one of the cornerstones of Impact way back when the company was running fairgrounds in Nashville, he deserved this opportunity to headline against one of the few stars along for the ride most of the way through.
Speaking of tag teams, next week's main event will see AEW world champion Kenny Omega team with The Good Brothers to face Rich Swann, Eddie Edwards and Willie Mack.