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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

IMPACT Wrestling Results: Winners, Grades, Highlights and Reaction from March 9

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    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    Four nights before Sacrifice, Impact Wrestling hit the AXS TV airwaves with a show headlined by the contract signing for Saturday’s world tag team title match between The Good Brothers and FinJuice.

    Fresh off interfering on behalf of AEW world champion Kenny Omega, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows sought to send David Finlay and Juice Robinson a message before they clash on Impact Plus. Did they succeed, or did the New Japan Pro-Wrestling stars get the best of the champs?

    What went down when X-Division standouts Ace Austin and Chris Bey battled in singles competition while “Cowboy” James Storm and Chris Sabin battled Rohit Raju and the imposing Shera?

    Find out now with this recap of the pivotal March 9 broadcast.

1 of 7

    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    This week’s Before The Impact exclusive match saw X-Division champion TJP battle the monstrous Madman Fulton, accompanied by “The Inevitable” Ace Austin.

    Fulton tried a sneak attack from the opening bell, but TJP dodged it, sent him to the floor and added a dive to frustrate the big man early. The champion stood tall heading into the break.

    After the commercial, TJP attempted a submission, but Fulton powered out. Every attempt by Madman to seize control of the match led to TJP grabbing a wrist or an ankle and trying for another submission. Fulton finally caught his smaller opponent and delivered Snake Eyes in the corner, following up with a big boot.

    Fulton controlled the match, but TJP slithered out of his vise-like grip and applied submissions. A tornado DDT earned the champion a near-fall. A corner dropkick followed as TJP built momentum. He applied the octopus, but Austin provided a distraction that forced the champion to break the hold.

    From there, Fulton caught TJP midflight and delivered a reverse powerbomb, but he could only keep his opponent down for two. TJP recovered and delivered the Mamba Splash to earn a relative upset victory.

    After the match, Austin attacked TJP, leaving the champion lying and sending a message ahead of their battle Saturday at Sacrifice.

    Result

    TJP defeated Fulton

    Grade

    C+

    Analysis

    At some point, Fulton really needs to win these matches. He loses more than he should for the unstoppable monster badass he is supposed to be, and beating TJP here would not have hurt the champion heading into Sacrifice.

    Especially if Austin was somehow factored into the finish.

    Outcome aside, this was a solid match with some really fun storytelling.

    Fulton was the purely smashmouth big man seeking to power his way to victory. TJP, though, repeatedly caught him and halted his momentum with his submission arsenal. It disrupted Fulton’s plan just enough for TJP to ultimately seize an opening and score a win.

    The post-match beatdown put the emphasis on TJP’s match with Austin on Saturday night, a contest with all the potential in the world to be a show-stealer on what is shaping up to be a jam-packed card.

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    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    Jazz and Jordynne Grace will challenge Fire ‘N Flava for the Knockouts Tag Team Championship at Sacrifice, but Jazz did battle Tasha Steelz in singles competition to kick off this week’s episode of Impact Wrestling.

    Grappling dominated the early moments of the match, neither woman earning a sustained advantage until Steelz dropped her opponent throat-first across the bottom rope.

    After several moments of dominance by Steelz, Jazz mounted a comeback, rocking her opponent with punishing clotheslines. She dodged a pump kick and downed Steelz with a sit-out slam. Grace brought Kiera Hogan off the apron, and Jazz applied the STF to score the hard-fought win.

    Result

    Jazz defeated Steelz

    Grade

    C+

    Analysis

    Steelz was able to shine here in singles competition, an opportunity she does not get very often. Against Jazz, she proved why she is one of the brightest young stars in the Impact Knockouts division.

    Speaking of the two-decade veteran Jazz, she kept up with her opponent throughout the match and reminded the audience why she is, was and always will be one of the most underrated stars in women’s wrestling history.

    A Hall of Fame-worthy competitor, she earned a win to build momentum for her and Grace ahead of a title opportunity Saturday night. The match was what it needed to be, and in that regard, it succeeded.

3 of 7

    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    The rivalry pitting Rohit Raju and Shera against Chris Sabin and “Cowboy” James Storm continued Tuesday in tag team action.

    Sabin lit up former X-Division champion Raju early and then tagged Storm in and allowed The Tennessee Cowboy to continue their team’s momentum. Storm allowed Raju to escape his grasp and tag Shera in, relishing in the opportunity to tee off on the big man.

    During the commercial timeout, the heels gained control and worked over Sabin. Coming out of it, they isolated the former world champion from his partner, cutting the ring off. Sabin wiggled free, created separation and tagged Storm in.

    Storm exploded into the match, quickening the pace and turning the tide back in the favor of the babyfaces. Sabin delivered a big tornado DDT, and Storm leveled Shera with a sling blade, but Raju rocked the veteran Cowboy with a knee strike.

    As Shera and Raju bickered in the middle of the ring, Sabin dropkicked Raju into his partner and then flattened the big man at ringside. Back inside, Storm delivered a backstabber to Raju, and Sabin finished with Cradle Shock for the impressive win.

    Result

    Sabin and Storm defeated Raju and Shera

    Grade

    B

    Analysis

    Between his X-Division Championship run, his recent string of stellar promos and his constantly evolving in-ring work, it is safe to say the wrestling world is sleeping on Raju. The Mocha Skinned Manimal has developed into one of the hidden gems of Impact Wrestling and a genuine breakout star of the last year.

    He was great here, keeping up with Sabin as if he had been dared by the veteran competitor to prove himself. He did and, on top of that, was very much the glue that held this one together.

    We know Sabin and Storm are great. All-timers in the realm of tag team wrestling, even. Raju, though, was excellent and worked extremely well with Shera to provide competent and believable opposition to the decorated tandem.

    The right team went over, especially as Impact continues to hint at dissension between Raju and his enraged partner, and they did so in a sneaky-good match.

4 of 7

    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    The Good Brothers and FinJuice gathered backstage to sign the contract for the Impact World Tag Team Championship.

    After Scott D’Amore left the room, the teams enjoyed a few shots, the champions clearly attempting to delay the inevitable signing of the document for Saturday’s clash.

    The top contenders, tired of being taken lightly, threw the whiskey in Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson’s faces, igniting a brawl that saw them get the best of the titleholders.

    Grade

    A

    Analysis

    There was not much to the most prominently advertised segment of the match, but it did accomplish exactly what it set out to.

    Tension heightened exponentially before the brawl ensued, and FinJuice proved to their opponents, the veterans who have spent the last month underestimating the former young boys, that they are capable of hanging punch-for-punch with Big LG and Machine Gun.

    Their match figures to be one of the most anticipated of the Sacrifice card, and with good reason.

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    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    Looking to build momentum for himself after bodyguard Madman Fulton’s loss to X-Division champion TJP on Before The Impact, Ace Austin battled Chris Bey in singles action.

    Grappling dominated the early moments of the match before Austin drove his shoulder into the midsection of The Ultimate Finesser and brought him over with a northern lights suplex. Bey answered with a baseball slide and wiped Austin out with a plancha.

    Austin answered with his own dive over the top rope, wiping Bey out on the floor. A pinpoint kick flattened his opponent and allowed The Inevitable to score a two-count. A springboard Swanton followed, but Bey kicked out again.

    Bey dodged the Fold and evaded a pump kick. He caught Austin with a back elbow and, after some back-and-forth, scaled the ropes. Austin rocked him with a spinning heel kick, though, and set up for a superplex. Bey fought out and threw fists with Austin before both men tumbled off the ropes and to the arena floor.

    Austin recovered after the break and delivered a top-rope twisting leg drop for a near-fall. Bey fought back and delivered a Vertebreaker for a great near-fall, enhanced by the disbelief in commentators Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown as Austin just barely shot his shoulder off the mat.

    Bey delivered a slingshot DDT and set up for the Art of the Finesse, but Austin rolled out of the ring. A distraction by Fulton on the floor allowed the Super X Cup winner to stun Bey with a big kick to the face and set up for the Fold.

    TJP appeared on the stage, taking a seat and providing a distraction. Austin launched himself across the ring with the Fold, but Bey countered into a cutter and followed with the Art of the Finesse for the win.

    Result

    Bey defeated Austin

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    Bey needed that win to remain in contention for the X-Division Championship, and he got it in a way that adds further heat to Saturday’s match between TJP and Austin.

    Austin and Bey displayed some hellish chemistry, to the point that one wonders what they would be capable of with 20 minutes on pay-per-view and no commercial interruption. The counter-wrestling and reversals that dominated the latter portion of the match were fantastic and really highlighted two of the pillars of the X Division.

    Perhaps this was the precursor for a feud between the two if, and hopefully when, Austin dethrones TJP at Sacrifice.

6 of 7

    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    Dismayed after ODB ripped her jacket sleeves off a week ago, Susan battled the top contender to the Knockouts Championship in singles competition. Champion “The Virtuosa” Deonna Purrazzo was not at ringside as Susan vowed to compete on her own.

    She likely regretted that quickly as ODB bowled her over. The whiskey-chugging badass of the women’s roster delivered a bronco buster and slammed the pantsuit-wearing heel to the mat ahead of the break.

    Back to the action, Susan delivered an ineffective low blow before falling prey to the Dirty Dozen. Susan dumped out ODB’s booze, infuriating the former KO champion and leading to her own demise via TKO.

    After the match, Purrazzo and Kimber Lee rushed the ring and attacked ODB. Jazz and Jordynne Grace made the save, only for Knockouts tag team champions Fire ‘N Flava to attack. The heels stood tall to close the segment and wrap up the hype for the two title bouts at Sacrifice.

    Result

    ODB defeated Susan

    Grade

    C

    Analysis

    The match itself was not particularly good, nor was it really meant to be. It was a vehicle to highlight ODB, and in that regard, it succeeded.

    What this segment really accomplished was emphasizing all of the excellent women’s wrestlers who will star Saturday night at Sacrifice. From Purrazzo and Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz to Grace, Jazz and ODB, Impact has a roster full of incredibly talented competitors whose contributions will elevate the overall quality of the live-event special.

    Whatever your opinions are of Impact as a whole, there is no denying its immensely talented and diverse Knockouts roster.

7 of 7

    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    TNA world champion Moose called out Scott D’Amore prior to the final commercial of the night, demanding to know what the Impact Wrestling Executive Vice President’s major announcement regarding the Sacrifice main event may be.

    D’Amore welcomed Impact world champion Rich Swann to the ring first and then revealed that his distaste for Moose calling himself a world champion because he picked the TNA title out of a prop locker has led him to make Saturday’s main event a title-for-title match.

    The winner of Swann vs. Moose will acquire both titles and, more importantly, will go on to Rebellion and battle AEW world champion Kenny Omega in the main event.

    The blockbuster announcement gave way to a tense staredown before the camera cut backstage, where Don Callis was on the phone with Omega. “Just like we planned,” he said ominously as the show came to a close.

    Grade

    A+

    Analysis

    With one segment, Impact Wrestling exponentially elevated the significance of its live-event main event.

    The company had already steadily built to Swann vs. Moose for months, and now, not only does the winner earn both champions but an enormous main event match with Omega also hangs overhead. The stakes are as high as they have ever been, increasing the pressure on both Swann and Moose to emerge victoriously.

    Omega has expressed a desire not to face Moose while having already pinned Swann in tag team action back at Hard to Kill. Might the AEW world champion make his presence felt Saturday night, handpicking his next opponent by interfering in the match?

    Or will he sit back, still recovering from his Revolution main event match against Jon Moxley, and watch as two of Impact’s elite do battle to determine the undisputed champion?

    Time will tell, but the showdown with Omega notwithstanding, Swann and Moose have worked hard to get to this point and absolutely deserve to have their long-awaited match mean as much as it does.

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