Impact Wrestling Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from April 14
The march to Rebellion on April 23 continued Thursday night on Impact Wrestling with an episode headlined by the latest physical battle between Jonah and PCO.
The culmination of that rivalry was just one match on a packed card that introduced fans to The Major Players, featured another Champ Champ Challenge from Deonna Purrazzo and an appearance from Ring of Honor world champion Jonathan Gresham.
What went down and how did it affect the road to Rebellion? Find out now with this recap of the April 14 broadcast.
W. Morrissey Promo
- "For the first time in my life, I can say that I am not alone and that is because of all of you. So thank you for continuing to show me support," Morrissey said.
- "If you don't listen to me, you're gonna end up half-dead on the floor of this arena again. Got it?" Myers warned his rival.
- The heels stood tall sporting "Major Players" T-shirts to reveal the name of their new faction and establish dominance early.
W. Morrissey kicked off the show by recalling the last time he was in the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, the withdrawal-related seizure that led to him being carried out on a stretcher and his climb back to health and sobriety.
The big man stood in the center of the former ECW Arena, with the fans raining down cheers of support and chants of his name before Brian Myers interrupted. But Chelsea Green and Digital Media champion Matt Cardona interrupted a certain ass-whooping and helped drive Morrissey through a table in a red-hot opening to the show.
In one segment, Impact established a top-tier babyface fans genuinely want to root for and introduced a trio of heels for him to compete against. Cardona has been as buzz-worthy as anyone recently, and the idea of him leading a trio that includes Myers and Green should benefit all three of them.
Deonna Purrazzo's Champ Champ Challenge
- The finish, with Purrazzo countering the lariat clothesline into her submission hold, was fantastic.
- Nightingale choosing to fight for the Ring of Honor title made sense and tipped a cap to her history with that promotion.
The latest edition of Deonna Purrazzo's Champ Champ Challenge saw her defend against Willow Nightingale, who opted to battle for the Ring of Honor Women's Championship.
A competitive match saw Nightingale prove why she is one of the hottest free agents in women's wrestling as she nearly upset one of the best in the world.
However, Purrazzo capitalized on a single opening, delivering a powerbomb out of the corner and countering a big clothesline into the Venus de Milo submission for the win.
The Virtuosa is a standard-bearer in professional wrestling, one of the best technicians in any company and an elite women's wrestler. If Impact does not have any other plans for her, there are far worse options than letting her have great matches every so often against top indie talent.
Nightingale is immensely talented and has plenty of charisma. There is a reason she has appeared on Impact, Ring of Honor and All Elite Wrestling TV in the same month. She is about to open some eyes on a big stage and performances like this underline why.
Rocky Romero vs. Jonathan Gresham
- "This is an encyclopedia of wrestling," Matthew Rehwoldt said on commentary, citing the variety of styles (strong style, technical, submission) utilized to that point.
- Rehwoldt also put over the frustration Eddie Edwards has felt with being underappreciated over the years, laying out the backstory for his recent actions and the foundation for his match with Gresham at Rebellion.
A bit technical with some strikes sprinkled in for good measure, Ring of Honor champion Jonathan Gresham and Rocky Romero delivered a competitive match that saw the former outlast the latter by outwrestling him.
Rolling him up, hooking his feet and preventing him from kicking out, Gresham bested a man whose roots are also in ROH.
This was a great showcase for Gresham, who Impact probably had hopes of signing to a contract before the news of Tony Khan's purchase of ROH. With his availability to the company in question, don't be surprised if his run of victories with Impact comes to an end at Rebellion against Eddie Edwards.
That match has the potential to be one of the best on the card and hopefully strengthen the credibility of Honor No More, which has struggled to score big wins consistently.
Josh Alexander vs. Moose Hype; Steve Maclin vs. Alex Shelley
- Backstage, Ace Austin attempted to talk "Speedball" Mike Bailey into working together against X-Division champion Trey Miguel at Rebellion.
- A closeup revealed a beet-red chest and back of Maclin, following his physical battle with Shelley.
- Shelley used the ringside area to his advantage, proving his situational awareness is impeccable.
- Commentator Tom Hannifan brought up Shelley's win as a message to Bullet Club, whose "Switchblade" Jay White will battle Chris Sabin and Maclin in a three-way dance at Rebellion, in an alert and quality soundbite.
A fantastic video package put over the six-month rivalry between Josh Alexander and Moose for the Impact World Championship.
The company is low-key great at producing these types of clips, which combine the entertainment element and a real-sports feel to create genuine excitement for upcoming matches.
Meanwhile, a surprisingly physical contest saw Alex Shelley capitalize on Steve Maclin's lack of focus on him and the match at hand to score the win with Shell Shocked.
There will be some who question the idea of Shelley going over when the attention should be on Maclin and developing him into a main event competitor, but the conflict is between Maclin and Sabin. By booking Maclin to lose the match for focusing too much on Sabin, it strengthens that feud and gives him an out.
Maclin will be fine, and Shelley picked up a big win for a company he was influential in for many years. And the Rebellion three-way adds some much-needed heat following its announcement earlier in the show.
Bullet Club Interrupted Honor No More
- "...we handed you your asses back in Japan in 2015," Doc Gallows said of Honor No More's Matt Taven and Mike Bennett.
- "You're the toys no one wants to play with anymore," Karl Anderson said of the Ring of Honor alumni.
- "Since we're in the mean streets of Philly...do you want to fight about it?" Chris Bey asked, setting up a showdown between the factions.
Honor No More's Eddie Edwards, Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, Kenny King, PCO and Vincent hit the ring alongside Maria Kanellis for a promo in which three of them reminded fans of their motivations for the faction's actions thus far in their Impact run.
Bullet Club interrupted and reasserted themselves as the better stable before a brawl erupted.
The segment was almost certainly designed to set up a multi-man tag match, which was announced for the Philadelphia tapings ahead of time. It should be a hot contest between guys the fans there have long-term connections with.
Unfortunately, it does not feel like a match Honor No More is likely to win.
They desperately need a big victory because they are hovering above "enhancement talent that gets TV time" status, which is is inexcusable for such a collection of talented competitors.
Jonah vs. PCO
- PCO kicked out at one and Jonah's facial expressions sold the shock of the moment.
- PCO's Reanimator from the top rope, which he missed before crashing onto the ring apron, was unsettling.
- Jonah's inability to keep his opponent down put over the seeming invincibility of the non-human member of Honor No More but also led to an impressive Tsunami that drove a chair into The French-Canadian Frankenstein's body.
Heavyweight battles between two bruisers will always be awesome and that was certainly the case as Jonah battled PCO.
The two settled their score in another brutal match that saw them throw everything they had at one another, culminating with Jonah capitalizing on a missed Reanimator and delivering the Tsunami for an impressive victory.
Yes, PCO probably should have won to help build Honor No More's credibility, but it was understandable why he didn't here. Jonah has a big Rebellion match against Tomohiro Ishii of New Japan Pro-Wrestling and needs to be protected to preserve the intrigue and excitement surrounding the bout.
PCO will always be over. Jonah is finally the unstoppable force he should have been as Bronson Reed in NXT before his untimely release in August 2021.