Preview by Josh Nason
Impact Wrestling kicks off their Thursday night era on AXS TV with the in-ring TV debut of AEW World Champion Kenny Omega.
As has been the case in recent weeks on Dynamite, Omega will be in trios action, teaming with The Good Brothers to take on Impact World Champion Rich Swann, Willie Mack, and Eddie Edwards. Omega and Swann will battle in a title vs. title match later this month at Rebellion.
In another trios match, Jordynne Grace, Havok, and Rosemary will face Tenille Dashwood, Alisha, and Nevaeh in a preview of this Saturday's Knockouts title no. 1 contender's weapons match at Hardcore Justice. Havok and Nevaeh just broke up their team, adding intrigue to this one.
The show will also feature XXXL vs. Sami Callihan in a handicap match and Chris Sabin vs. Deaner while the BTI pre-show featured Jazz vs. Susan.
Our live coverage kicks off at 8 PM Eastern.
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Jazz defeated Susan (with Deonna Purrazzo) on BTI
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The opening video focused on James Storm’s 1000th match on Impact Wrestling last week where he defeated Eric Young. Also, last week’s brawl with Omega and the Good Brothers vs Swann, Mack and Edwards that set up tonight’s main event.
Rosemary (w/ Decay), Jordynne Grace and Havok defeated Tenille Dashwood (w/ Kaleb with a K), Nevaeh and Alisha
Five of these six women (plus Susan) will be wrestling in a weapons match at Hardcore Justice for the chance to challenge the winner of Jazz vs. Deonna Purrazzo at Rebellion. Last week, Nevaeh finally turned on her long time partner Havok after losing yet another match to Knockouts Tag Team Champions Fire ‘n Flava.
It started with a series of pair-ups. Grace was cut off from her corner for a couple of minutes by Dashwood only to escape the corner and tag in Rosemary for the hot tag, ending with her pinning Alisha with the red wedding. They’re building Rosemary as the strongest competitor going in and how she’ll benefit the most from using weapons.
At the end, Havok and Nevaeh did brawl with each other and both of them ended up going through the table outside the ring.
They told the story that Rosemary is a bit too excited about the weapons factor at Hardcore Justice and so she was too eager to use a table tonight. They also added some fire between Havok and Nevaeh after their break up. Additionally, Havok was also after Dashwood as the latter has been trying to break up Havok and Nevaeh for months.
-- Gia Miller interviewed Matt Cardona about Brian Myers rejecting his challenge for a match. Cardona said he didn't want to fight him either way. He wanted to wrestle all the other wrestlers so he could prove himself. He was happy that Scott D'Amore gave him Jake Something tonight, but he won't allow for Something to make a name by defeating Cardona.
- We got a new vignette for Taylor Wilde’s return.
- Backstage, Deonna Purrazzo was helping out Susan, who had been knocked out in the BTI match. The head injury seemed to be bringing some of Su Yung out.
Matt Cardona vs Jake Something ended in a no contest
Cardona had made a challenge to Myers for a match, but after Myers rejected the idea, D’Amore gave Cardona a match with Jake Something.
This was a short fun match with both men being babyfaces. The match was mostly back and forth action. Something had a short run controlling things before Cardona made a comeback. At one point, Cardona went for his signature radio silence, but Something countered into a power bomb position but he wasn’t able to hit it as Cardona shifted his weight and both men spilled to the floor. They made Something look like a total powerhouse.
The finish saw Myers come out and attack both men. He tried to injure Cardona’s eye before accepting his challenge for a match, which he wants at Rebellion.
-- Backstage, XXXL confronted Trey Miguel about their match tonight. He told them that he wasn’t tagging with Sami Callihan which XXXL turned around by saying Miguel was just making excuses to avoid getting in the ring with them.
-- We got a promo from Violent By Design. EY talked about how every war has important battles, but they’re not all important failures. He said he lost to James Storm, but it was Deaner who failed and had to make up for it tonight against Chris Sabin.
Sami Callihan and Trey Miguel defeated XXXL (Acey Romero & Larry D)
The story was that Callihan requested a tag match against XXXL with the idea that Miguel would join him and allow Callihan to guide him. Miguel rejected Callihan’s offer, giving us the impression that he’ll let Callihan die against both D and Romero. Miguel did show up though.
The match obviously worked on the lack of teamwork between Miguel and Callihan, Miguel didn’t want to do anything with Callihan and he wanted to wrestle XXXL by himself. Miguel had managed to hold his own against both men for a couple of minutes before they started stealing tags on each other. The tension between the two grew and grew but the teamwork did as well, ending with both men doing stereo dives and setting up Miguel for the submission win over Larry D.
After the match, Miguel didn’t want to celebrate with Callihan. I do hope this ends with a tag team run before they go for the imminent feud.
-- Over at Swingers’ Paradise, James Storm, Chris Harris and Chris Sabin were playing blackjack before Storm and Sabin had to leave to get ready for Sabin’s match with Deaner. Harris stayed at the table to try and win some beer money.
Chris Sabin (w/ James Storm) defeated Deaner
VDB sent out Deaner to wrestle for himself as he must prove to them and himself that he can get the job done. The story told by commentary was that EY was taking out his loss to Storm on Deaner.
This was a great, fast paced sprint. It started with a showcase of Sabin’s offense from locks to a La Magistral pin attempt which ended up forcing Deaner to cheap shot him and cut him off with strikes. Deaner focused on Sabin’s neck whereas Sabin made his comeback going for Deaner’s leg.
The finish saw Deaner go for a pin with his feet on the ropes, but was caught by Storm who told the referee. Deaner distracted himself with the referee, allowing Sabin to recover and get the win with cradle shock.
After the match, EY appeared on the screen and told Storm and Sabin that Deaner’s success and failure wasn’t about the match, but about distracting them so that he and Joe Doering could take out Chris Harris. After the video, Rhino gored Storm and Deaner took out Sabin, forcing them to watch the screen as EY finished Harris. This was a great angle.
-- Ace Austin and Fulton were approached by Josh Alexander, who told him that their match for Rebellion has been signed: Austin vs. TJP vs. Alexander for the X-Division title. TJP walked up only to be reminded that Austin pinned TJP last time. They were about to fight when Tommy Dreamer walked up and since he has booking powers for Hardcore Justice, he told them to find partners for a 3-way tag match.
-- Backstage, Dreamer confronted EY about what he had just done. Dreamer told EY wasn’t getting away with it, calling him out on his s**t, and since EY was talking a lot of trash, he challenged him to bring his boys to a 4-on-4 at Hardcore Justice. There you have it. As usual, Dreamer is the fourth man.
-- We got a great video package for Jazz talking about her career from training with JYD, joining ECW, joining WWE, and finally coming to Impact. She talked about failing to win the tag titles, but her focus was now on Deonna Purrazzo’s Knockouts title. She was so focused that she put her career on the line. Gia Miller interviewed Purrazzo afterward. Purrazzo had some passive aggressive comments about how without ODB and Jazz, there wouldn’t be a Knockouts division or even her. She said that by retiring Jazz, she’ll build a brighter future for the Knockouts, built on top of Jazz’s career. Miller tried to ask about Kimber Lee and Susan interfering in her matches, but Purrazzo shut her up saying that at Hardcore Justice, she’ll be there by herself to avoid distractions.
-- Dreamer told Myers that he is going left and right pissing people off. Dreamer told him that Jake Something asked for a match with him after he had interfered in his match. So, Dreamer was booking a hardcore blindfold match agaist Something at Hardcore Justice.
-- Brown and Striker ran down the updated card for Hardcore Justice including Shera vs Hernandez in a Chairly Legal match.
Impact World Champion Rich Swann, Eddie Edwards and Willie Mack defeated AEW World Champion Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers (w/ Don Callis)
Swann and Omega are weeks away from their historic title vs. title match at Rebellion. Last week, both these teams brawled in the locker room after Callis had been instigating Swann. Edwards has recently made it his mission to antagonize the Good Brothers for coming to Impact, disrespecting the roster, and siding with Omega. The story so far has been that Omega and Callis keep bringing up that Omega is living rent free in Swann’s head who can’t get it out of his head that he lost to the One Winged Angel and that at Rebellion, he’ll do it again.
Callis made Omega’s introduction.
The match started with the Impact team running wild as they quickly took the match to the floor where all three hit dives on their counterparts. Back in the ring, they all worked on Anderson with a series of double and triple team moves.
After having to rely on an eye rake, Anderson was finally able to cut off Edwards and take him to the AEW corner. Edwards made it out eventually only to tag in Mack who also got cut off after hitting his Samoan drop/moonsault combo on Omega. After a couple of minutes, Mack was also able to escape and tag in Swann. We had a short pair up between Swann and Omega before Edwards tagged in.
The last couple of minutes saw everyone come in to hit a big move. Swann tagged in once again and showed that he could get out of the OWA, but when he went for the 450 splash pin, Callis pulled him out of the ring to break up the count. Anderson tagged in, Edwards hit the BKP and Swann hit the phoenix splash for the win.
The commentary team put a lot of emphasis that Swann can escape the OWA and that Callis’ tricks may not be working on Swann after all. This was a really good match.
I hope that at the end of the story, we at least get one match between Edwards (the former GHC Champion) vs. Omega (the former IWGP Champion).