Pre-Show: Eddie Edwards def. Chris Bey
I was really looking forward to Edwards vs. Jonathan Gresham, so hopefully we'll still get it at some point. I know Gresham has had to miss several other matches in recent months for health-related reasons, so here's hoping he's okay. This didn't have much heat behind it due to there not being any bad blood between the two (not to mention both men are heels), but this was a fun match for the pre-show with Bey looking good in defeat.
Pre-Show: Impact Knockouts Tag Team Champions The Influence def. The IInspiration
Tenille Dashwood and Madison Rayne recently booted Kaleb with a K from their act, which was done to explain his actual departure from the company. This storyline has lost a lot of steam this year due to dragging on for too long and the build not being consistent for a few different reasons, but I applaud them for their effort here, nonetheless. It was a decent match for the most part that got better once they picked up the pace down the stretch.
Steve Maclin def. Chris Sabin and Jay White in a Three-Way Match
I love that this was what kicked off the event. There wasn't anything on the line, but there didn't need to be. Sabin beat White back at Multiverse of Matches and Maclin got involved in their issues afterward, so this made sense. All three guys are super talented and thus this was a very enjoyable, well-wrestled opener. Maclin in particular continues to put together a terrific body of work since signing with IMPACT and I appreciated that he went over here assuming this could be it for White's recent run in the promotion. The finish was also really well done.
Taya Valkyrie def. ROH Women's World Champion Deonna Purrazzo to Win the AAA Reina de Reinas Championship (ROH Women's World Championship Was Not Defended)
It's great to see Valkyrie back in IMPACT, if only temporarily. Her first run was super successful and it was fitting how she was the one to take the AAA title off Purrazzo after all this time given her own history with that belt. This probably could have been even better than it was with more time, but it was still a good bout between the two and it was nice that they got to wrestle in front of fans finally (their last encounter in IMPACT took place when there was still no one in attendance).
Ace Austin def. Trey Miguel and "Speedball" Mike Bailey in a Three-Way Match to Win the Impact X-Division Championship
I don't know if I would've done two three-ways on the same show, especially so close to each other. That said, this was different enough and had its own style and story, so I didn't mind too much. The action was exciting and kept the streak alive of excellent X-Division matches on pay-per-view. The commentators noted that Austin lost the X-Division title at the last two Rebellion shows, so it was cool that he was able to regain it at this year's installment. I'd like to see him get higher on the card eventually, but at least he finally has some direction.
Tomohiro Ishii def. JONAH
This felt like a match you'd see in New Japan Pro-Wrestling and that's meant as a compliment. JONAH has had a handful of these hoss fights since coming to IMPACT with the likes of PCO and Josh Alexander and this was an equally entertaining, hard-hitting affair. I question having JONAH lose to an outsider (I realize JONAH is an outsider as well but he's been a regular in IMPACT for months), but Ishii has been a great get for IMPACT lately and maybe it means they have bigger plans for him.
Impact World Tag Team Champions Violent By Design (Eric Young and Joe Doering) def. Heath & Rhino, Honor No More (Matt Taven and Mike Bennett), The Good Brothers, Rich Swann & Willie Mack, Johnny Swinger & Zicky Dice, The Major Players (Impact Digital Media Champion Matt Cardona and Brian Myers), and W. Morrissey & Jordynne Grace in an 8-Team Elimination Match
Putting eight teams in one match was a bit of a risk, but this had a strong layout and was fun to follow. The Major Players, Morrissey and Grace, and Swinger and Dice were the three mystery teams. It would have been cool if we got a real surprise team from outside of the company entering, but oh well. Major Players furthered their feud with Morrissey and Grace, Honor No More and Good Brothers screwed each other, and Heath and Rhino just barely came up short of winning. The story should be Heath and Rhino ultimately beating them for the belts, likely at Slammiversary.
Impact Knockouts World Champion Tasha Steelz def. Rosemary
As much as I like Rosemary, I never felt at any point that the title was in jeopardy of changing hands. Steelz has been doing well in her role as champ and needed an opponent to beat this month. On paper, this looked like a match that belonged on one of the monthly live specials and not on pay-per-view, but they ended up having a quality contest and worked well together. I didn't love the interference from Savannah Evans down the stretch, but I realize that was done to protect Rosemary in defeat and possibly plant the seeds for Steelz vs. Havok.
Josh Alexander def. Moose to Win the Impact World Championship
IMPACT did an exceptional job of building this bout up leading into this event, pretty much since the initial angle at Bound for Glory. There was fan criticism coming out of Bound for Glory regarding Alexander vs. Christian Cage not having an ideal dynamic due to it being babyface vs. babyface, but this was the exact opposite. The crowd was completely invested, there were plenty of suspenseful nearfalls, and they had fantastic chemistry. With Alexander having been in chase mode for so long, it was certainly a meaningful moment when he won the title in front of his family. That's a long-term story with a worthy payoff. This was spectacular stuff.
If there's any one thing IMPACT has proven over the last year, it's that they simply don't miss on pay-per-view and Rebellion was the latest example of that. This was an awesome show with eventful title changes, wonderful wrestling, a lively atmosphere in Poughkeepsie and logical outcomes. My only nitpick is that I wasn't able to attend. I don't know how many times I have to say this, but people really need to stop sleeping on IMPACT. I understand former fans not wanting to give them a chance after how mismanaged it was years ago, but they've really turned a corner in the last year or so and the product is the best it's been in forever.