Impact Rebellion 2022 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistApril 23, 2022

Impact Rebellion 2022 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

0 of 10

    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    The intensely personal feud between Josh Alexander and world champion Moose came to ahead Saturday night in the main event of Rebellion, the first major pay-per-view event of the year for Impact Wrestling.

    The match, six months in the making, headlined an extravaganza that also featured Taya Valkyrie's return to the company and subsequent challenge for the AAA Reina de Reinas Championship against Deonna Purrazzo, a massive eight-team elimination match for the Impact tag team titles and a colossal showdown between the massive Jonah and New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Tomohiro Ishii.

    Who emerged victoriously from the night's biggest matches, and how did those outcomes affect the immediate future of Impact Wrestling?

    Find out now with this recap of the April 23 extravaganza.

Match Card

1 of 10

    Main Card Lineup

    • Impact Wrestling World Championship Match: Josh Alexander vs. Moose (c)
    • AAA Reina de Reinas Championship Match: Taya Valkyrie vs. Deonna Purrazzo (c)
    • Triple Threat Match: Chris Sabin vs. "Switchblade" Jay White vs. Steve Cutler
    • Jonah vs. Tomohiro Ishii
    • Knockouts Championship Match: Rosemary vs. Tasha Steelz (c)
    • 8-Team Elimination Challenge for the Impact Tag Team Championship: Violent By Design (c) vs. Rich Swann and Willie Mack vs. The Good Brothers vs. Rhino and Heath vs. Honor No More (Mike Bennett and Matt Taven) vs. Mystery Team No. 1 vs. Mystery Team No. 2 vs. Mystery Team No. 3
    • Triple Threat Match for the X-Division Championship: Trey Miguel (c) vs. Ace Austin vs. "Speedball" Mike Bailey

           

    Pre-Show Lineup

    • Knockouts Tag Team Championship Match: The IInspiration vs. The Influence (c)
    • Chris Bey vs. Eddie Edwards

Eddie Edwards vs. Chris Bey

2 of 10

    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    Imagine having a card so stacked that Eddie Edwards vs. Chris Bey (replacing Ring of Honor world champion Jonathan Gresham) is booked to kick off the Countdown to Rebellion pre-show. That was the case at the top of the show as the former world champion and Honor No More leader battled Bullet Club's Ultimate Finesser.

    A highly competitive match at the top of the show saw Edwards play the heel role, controlling the pace and forcing Bey to fight his way back into the match. He did, leading to a hard-hitting, high-impact final stretch that saw the newest member of Bullet Club miss The Art of Finesse and fall prey to both the Tiger and Die Hard Drivers as Edwards secured the win.

    This was a fantastic tone-setter and a match that, even on short notice, probably should have been on the main card. Edwards picked up a big victory, not just for himself but also an Honor No More faction that sorely needed one.

    Whether that is a sign of things to come, with Matt Taven and Mike Bennett challenging for the tag titles later in the night, remains to be seen, but this was an excellent opener in which the right man went over.

              

    Grade

    B

         

    Top Moments

    • Edwards uncorked a wicked chop that stunned Bey and generated "oooos" from the fans in attendance.
    • Commentator Tom Hannifan put over the importance of the match in building momentum for the competitors' respective factions. 
    • Bey countered the Blue Thunder Bomb with a cutter in a cool spot.

Knockouts Tag Team Championship Match: The IInspiration vs. The Influence

3 of 10

    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    The first title match of the night saw The Influence's Madison Rayne and Tenille Dashwood defend the Knockouts Tag Team Championship against The IInspiration's Jessie McKay and Cassie Lee.

    A condensed, energetic match that never gave the fans a chance to lose interest, it saw The Influence dominate the action by cutting the ring off and working over Lee. A hot tag to McKay sparked the comeback.  A quality false finish that saw Lee score a heel kick and nearly win the match proved to be the last opportunity for new champions.

    Rayne and Dashwood retained the titles with The Collab on Lee, bringing a fun, solid women's tag match to a conclusion. Hopefully, this brings an end to this feud, because as much as The IInspiration would appear to be tailor-made for the Knockouts tag titles, these two teams have been intertwined for a while now, and it would be in the best interest of all involved to move onto something different.

          

    Grade

    C+

          

    Top Moments

    • Hannifan referred to Rayne as the single greatest tag team competitor in Knockouts history, reminding viewers of her many successful tandems.
    • McKay's hot tag was dynamic, explosive and energetic, something that had been missing from The IInspiration's work thus far in Impact.

Triple Threat Match: Chris Sabin vs. Steve Maclin vs. 'Switchblade' Jay White

4 of 10

    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    Take three talented wrestlers, give them the opportunity to open up the pay-per-view portion of the event and turn them loose. That is exactly what Impact Wrestling did with the Triple Threat match between Steve Maclin, "Switchblade" Jay White and Chris Sabin.

    The match, born of Maclin's predictable betrayal of Sabin and Sabin's upset win over White during WrestleMania weekend, wasted no time setting a frenetic pace. Maclin was his typically explosive self, Sabin brought his athleticism and experience to the table and White was the cerebral competitor of the three.

    At the end of the hotly contested match, it was Maclin who proved to be the most alert. As Sabin and White traded counters and reversals, giving way to the former executing Cradleshock, Maclin slid back into the ring and caught the former TNA world champion with a crucifix rollup for the win.

    This was a huge moment for Maclin, who scored a victory over one of the pillars of Impact Wrestling and an international star in White. You could see this building, with Maclin's role on television growing with every passing week. It culminated here with a win that should put him in contention for the Impact world title.

    White is protected from the loss, Sabin eats a pin he will easily recover from and Maclin nets a career-defining victory. Best of all, it came in a strong opener to a show with a stacked card.

         

    Grade

    B

         

    Top Moments

    • Tom Hannifan came through with a hell of a stat to put this match into perspective: Jay White has competed in three Triple Threat matches, and Maclin five. Sabin? 68. 
    • Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt discussed the rarity of a White loss, enhancing Sabin's victory over Switchblade back at the Multitude of Matches and, in the process, setting up a story for viewers to follow throughout the match.
    • Sabin and White perched on the ropes for a superplex, taking a second out of their own battle to punch Maclin down made for a great spot.

AAA Reina De Reinas Championship Match: Taya Valkyrie vs. Deonna Purrazzo

5 of 10

    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    Deonna Purrazzo defeated Taya Valkyrie the last time the two did battle in an Impact wrestling ring. With the very AAA Reina de Reinas Championship Valkyrie never officially lost on the line, the two rekindled their rivalry in the second match of the PPV telecast.

    Purrazzo has been built to such a degree through strong, decisive booking that beating her means something. A win over The Virtuosa instantly elevates the victor. Valkyrie is already a considerable star in Mexico and has a wealth of history in Impact, but even then, this felt like a big deal.

    Valkyrie survived Purrazzo's submission-based offense, escaped an attempted Queen's Gambit and put the champion away for the win. It was a hell of a homecoming for Valkyrie, and Matthew Rehwoldt sold the shock of the loss perfectly.

    When you have a star and you treat them like a star, matches, moments, wins and losses matter more, and this was an excellent example of that.

    The effort was there and both women looked good, but it did feel like the finish came from out of nowhere and thus lacked the punch that you would hope from a major title change like this one.

         

    Grade

    C+

         

    Top Moments

    • An alert Purrazzo sent Valkyrie into the ring post to halt her opponent's momentum and turn the tide in her favor.
    • Rehwoldt openly exclaimed "no!" when it looked like Purrazzo might lose the match, calling back his relationship with the heel.
    • Knockouts champion Tasha Steelz called out Valkyrie in a backstage promo, telling her, "you may have a title, but I have the title" foreshadowed a potential feud between the Boricua Badass and La Wera Loca.

Triple Threat Match for the X-Division Championship

6 of 10

    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    Three of the best athletes on the Impact roster battled for the X-Division Championship as "The Inevitable" Ace Austin and "Speedball" Mike Bailey challenged Trey Miguel in the night's second Triple Threat match.

    Gravity-defying action dominated the match as all three men took to the sky on more than one occasion in hopes of putting the opposition away and leaving Poughkeepsie with championship gold. 

    Austin did just that, resorting to underhanded tactics to break up a late pin, deposit Bailey to the floor and end Miguel's reign with The Fold.

    This was a hell of a match, the best of the night so far. We knew entering the match that Miguel and Austin had tremendous in-ring chemistry, but Bailey fit right in. The star of WrestleMania weekend thanks to some extraordinary professional wrestling matches, Speedball had the fans chanting his name midway through the bout as he continued his red-hot streak.

    Austin's win popped the crowd and the continuation of his feud with Bailey feels like the most logical direction for him moving forward, which begs the question: Where does that leave Miguel? Considering he was in the world title hunt in 2020, then re-signed with the company a year ago, perhaps a run higher on the card could be in the works? 

        

    Grade

    B+

         

    Top Moments

    • Hannifan with another excellent stat: Miguel is 5-0 in his last five Triple Threat matches, including the one in which he won the X-Division title.
    • Austin scouted his opponents, knew Miguel was looking for a double stomp to Bailey and caught him before driving him into Speedball.
    • Bailey braced off of Miguel's midsection and delivered a German suplex to Austin.
    • Miguel delivered the Meteora and appeared to have Bailey beaten when Austin pulled the referee toward the floor, breaking the count.
    • The pop for Austin was enormous and reflective of the Impact fans' respect for one of the company's young workhorses.

Jonah vs. Tomohiro Ishii

7 of 10

    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    There was no aerial artistry to be found in the night's next match, a physical battle between Jonah and New Japan Pro-Wrestling star Tomohiro Ishii. Toughness and one's ability to absorb punishment were tested in one of the most anticipated bouts of the evening.

    Ishii tossed Jonah across the ring with a German suplex. The Top Dog answered minutes later with a powerbomb that Ishii just barely kicked out of. Jonah delivered a spear and went for the Tsunami but crashed and burned. Ishii delivered a basement lariat and executed an awe-inspiring brainbsuter for the win.

    There was nothing pretty about this match. There were no dives, nor were there an infinite amount of suplexes. It was a hard-hitting, strike-heavy match that, ironically enough, turned when Jonah left his feet for the Tsunami and failed to land the move.

    There are some who will argue a win for Jonah would have meant more since he is consistently part of Impact Wrestling, but Ishii is a legend. Losing to him does not diminish one's credibility. If anything, hanging in there as long as he did, going blow-for-blow with The Stone Pitbull, only served to further build equity between him and the audience.

         

    Grade

    C+

         

    Top Moments

    • The mood changed to genuine excitement as the massive Top Dog came face-to-face with the Stone Pitbull.
    • Chants of "Ishii" poured from the stands as the New Japan star attempted a brainbuster on his opponent.
    • The match-ending brainbuster was incredible and brought the crowd to its feet.

Eight-Team Elimination Challenge for the Impact Tag Team Championships

8 of 10

    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    The rivalry between The Major Players' Matt Cardona and Brian Myers and the unlikely tandem of Jordynne Grace and W. Morrissey continued in the first fall of the Eight-Team Elimination Challenge for the Impact Tag Team Championship, with the heels scoring an upset via rollup on Grace. Morrissey got a measure of payback after the match, answering Chelsea Green's repeated slaps to the face with his BQE powerbomb through a table.

    The Good Brothers, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows, were out next and delivered the Magic Killer to send Myers and Cardona packing, then did the same to Zicky Dice to end his and Johnny Swinger's night. The former champs scored a much harder-fought victory over Rich Swann and Willie Mack to continue their streak.

    A streak that came to an end when Honor No More's Matt Taven and Mike Bennett attacked from behind and Maria Kanellis held Anderson's foot to set up the former's pinfall win. The heels shook off a post-match brawl with Anderson and Gallows, only to lose to Rhino and Heath, courtesy of a Gore from the ECW original.

    That set up what one can only hope is the feud-concluding battle between the Rhino and Heath and Violent By Design's Eric Young and Joe Doering. The champions, entering the match last, capitalized on Doering eliminating The Man-Beast from the equation to win on a piledriver from Young.

    The match was a beast to put together, with each finish having to be logical but also protect the talent involved to a certain degree. Impact succeeded on that front. What it failed on with this particular match was recognizing which teams were hottest and positioning them in a way to factor into the deciding fall.

    Heath and Rhino were not one such team. With no disrespect intended to them, they have not been the same since the former's Impact debut and, unfortunately, have struggled to regain momentum. Booking them as the final threat to VBD's reign was not the right call, and the crowd let them know it, falling off after being very vocal early on.

    Another issue? The continued losing by Honor No More. Everyone but Eddie Edwards is treated like glorified fodder, and that does them a great disservice. Why bring them in and even try to build interest in them if there are no real intentions of pushing them?

    Impact must right that ship before it sinks and cannot be salvaged.

         

    Grade

    C+

         

    Top Moments

    • Morrissey's powerbomb to Green was wicked and popped the crowd big time. One day, he is going to get his hands on Myers, and it will mean so much more because Impact did not give it away on night one.
    • The Good Brothers, themselves masters of cheating, really should have seen the sneak attack from Taven and Bennett coming.
    • Honor No More lost. Again. 
    • The crowd heat really died off when it became clear the final two teams would be Violent By Design and Rhino and Heath.

Knockouts Championship Match: Rosemary vs. Tasha Steelz

9 of 10

    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    This match had everything: interference, false finishes, babyfaces getting thrown out of the ringside area, green mist and the mocking of a WWE Hall of Famer.

    Tasha Steelz successfully retained her title in a hard-fought match that may not have been as strong as her matches with Mickie James but was still an above-average affair that showcased a future Impact Hall of Famer in Rosemary.

    The challenger was up for the task of competing against one of the best young wrestlers in the game and, thanks to the aforementioned mist that blinded Steelz's bodyguard Savannah Evans, nearly scored a massive upset. 

    In the end, the right wrestler went over in a solid match. Enough was made of the champion's ongoing rivalry with Mickie James to suggest that the feud may resume at some point in the near future and her use of the Stratusfaction bulldog hinted at it. Look for that to take up her time on the road to Slammiversary this June.

         

    Grade

    C+

         

    Top Moments

    • Havok let her emotions get the best of her as she grabbed hold of Steelz in front of the referee and was banished from ringside as a result, leaving Rosemary to go it alone without backup against the champ and her bodyguard, Savannah Evans. 
    • Steelz continued her disrespect of Mickie James by utilizing Stratusfaction, the trademark move of James' longtime rival, Trish Stratus.
    • Rosemary spewed the green mist to blind Evans and negate the numbers advantage.

Impact Wrestling World Championship Match: Josh Alexander vs. Moose

10 of 10

    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    Anytime a feud stretches six months, encompasses considerable television time and features a blow-off match around which an entire pay-per-view event is sold, the pressure to deliver is at an all-time high. With the eyes of the wrestling world on them, deliver is exactly what Josh Alexander and Moose did Saturday night.

    In a physical, hard-hitting, dramatic main event match, The Walking Weapon and The Wrestling God delivered one of the best of the year. The crowd in Poughkeepsie was red-hot throughout and their investment in the bout grew with every near-fall, high spot and exchange of blows.

    Alexander threw everything he had at Moose, including a Styles Clash from Impact legend AJ Styles, but could not keep his opponent down. Moose, too. Neither man was able to pin his opponent's shoulders to the mat until Alexander fired up, delivered the C-4 and paid off his journey back to the world title.

    This was Alexander's coronation, the moment the company had built to since last October's Bound For Glory pay-per-view. There were twists and turns, including an on-screen suspension that some thought would lead to Alexander signing with a different company, but in the end, the company, its top star and the fans all got what they wanted out of the story: a new champion, a new face of the company and the emotional conclusion to the show.

    A great match, an even better moment and an exciting way to push forward for one of the most consistent promotions in wrestling.

        

    Grade

    A+

         

    Top Moments

    • Alexander's son, dressed like his dad, accompanied the challenger to the squared circle.
    • Moose came face-to-face with his opponent's wife, infuriating the challenger and allowing the champ to take advantage with a big boot.
    • A pissed-off Alexander stomped Moose in the ropes, nearly getting himself disqualified as his emotions poured over for the second time in the match.
    • Alexander executed 10 consecutive German suplexes to his opponent, driving the air and, potentially, whatever fight was left out of the champion.
    • Moose fired up after an 11th suplex and tried for a springboard crossbody, but Alexander dodged it and applied the ankle lock.
    • Alexander kicking out of a uranage at one, throwing his headgear at the champion and turning him inside out was an extraordinary sequence that the crowd ate up.
    • The Walking Weapon dug deep into the Impact history books and delivered a Styles Clash to flatten Moose before transitioning into the ankle lock.
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