IMPACT REBELLION - Part 1: Ken Shamrock vs. Sami Callihan

Originally published at

IMPACT Wrestling: Rebellion Part 1

April 21st, 2020

Skyway Studios, Nashville, Tennessee

By: Davie Portman

Empty Arena

Commentary by: Josh Matthews and Madison Rayne

The show opens with the poem “All The Way” by Charles Bukowski being read over a video package featuring everyone expected to appear at this year’s Rebellion.

OVE vs Tommy Dreamer, Rhino and Crazy Steve

Tommy Dreamer and Jake Crist start the match with a little bit of comedy. Jake Crist rolls out of a Wrist Lock and then Dreamer does the same. Crist goes to his back and nips up and invites Dreamer to do the same…he can’t, so gets his teammates to help him up. Crazy Steve gets tagged in and they hit a Double Elbow Drop to Crist. Both teams take it in turns to tag in their partners and there is very little action. Later in the match Dreamer tries to pick up the pace by hitting a Back Body Drop to Jake Crist and taking out the rest of OVE on the apron. Dreamer gets poked in the eye but still manages to hit a Cutter. Fulton tries to interfere but Dreamer bites his hand. Jake Crist manages to get a series of kicks to the head in for a two count. Rhino and Dave Crist tag in and Rhino hits a Mini Gore in the corner followed by a Belly To Belly Suplex. He goes for the pin but the rest of OVE break it up. The referee now loses control as everyone is fighting in the ring. Fulton picks up Crazy Steve and dumps him to the outside onto Dreamer and Jake Crist. Rhino clotheslines Fulton out of the ring and hits the Gore to Dave Crist for the win.

Tommy Dreamer, Rhino and Crazy Steve defeat OVE in 13mins33secs

Davie’s Thoughts: Incredibly boring match with very little action. Tommy Dreamer seemed to be the only one in the match who tried to pick up the energy. I know there is no live crowd in attendance, but sitting at home I still expect the opening match to set the tone and get me hyped for the rest of the show. This did not do that at all.

The State of the Impact World Championship

Josh Matthews addresses the World Championship situation. He informs us that Tessa Blanchard is stuck at home in Mexico and for other reasons, Eddie Edwards has decided to stay at home. Michael Elgin, however, is in attendance.

Matthews then interviews Eddie Edwards over Facetime. Edwards says that it is one of the hardest decisions he has had to make but he had to do what is right for his family. He explains how tough a decision it was to make and promises that as soon as he is back in Impact Wrestling, he will be going for the World Championship.

Michael Elgin is interviewed by Gia Miller and he says that he has wrestled all over the world since the age of fourteen. He was the very best at ROH when they were at their peak and had the very first Ladder Match in NJPW for the Intercontinental Championship. He came to Impact Wrestling because the best people in the world (AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, and Chris Sabin) have held the Impact Championship and he wants to prove that he is the best of the best. He calls Tessa Blanchard afraid and accuses Edwards of making excuses and promises that at the end of Rebellion he will be walking out as Impact Champion regardless.

Davie’s Thoughts: Strong promos from both Edwards and Elgin. I respect that Edwards made the decision to do what was right for his family and I appreciate that Impact decided to address it rather than make up a story. Impact did not mention the pandemic however it’s easy to understand why Edwards is staying at home from his promo. Elgin accusing Blanchard and Edwards of being cowards during this time is a great heel move and I’m surprised I haven’t seen it happen more often. Bringing up his history with ROH and NJPW as well as previous Impact Champions brought legitimacy to his claim for the title. I assume that next week the title will be vacated and Elgin will be up against some new challenges.

The Rascalz vs XXXL vs TJP and Fallah Bahh

TJP and Des start the match and already the pace is so much quicker than the previous match. TJP mixes his Cruiserweight style with submission work beautifully applying an Octopus Stretch in the middle of the ring. We then move over to “Big Lads Wrestling” as Fallah Bahh takes on both members of XXXL one after the other. Acey Romero hits a Splash for a two. Larry D throws a few forearms before getting caught in a Belly To Belly Suplex and Samoan Drop from Bahh, TJP tags back in and misses a Swanton Bomb. The Rascalz both enter the match to take out XXXL. Dez hits a crazy backflip kick to Fallah Bah before getting Pounced out of the ring by Romero. Wentz hits two Superkicks followed by a top rope Cutter to Larry D. Dez jumps off the top rope with Spinal Tap and gets the pin.

The Rascalz win via Pinfall in 11mins43secs (plus commercial breaks)

After the match, there is a video message from The North who reveal that they are stuck in Canada as the borders are closed. They insult the USA and call Canada the greatest country on Earth and claim that they are going to be defending their Tag Team Titles in Canada while they can’t wrestle for Impact.

Davie’s Thoughts: I thought this was a pretty fun match. The Rascalz and TJP work well with each other and the three big men are super agile for their size. I believe this was originally promoted as a Number One Contenders match but obviously with The North being stuck in Canada, that changed. I feel The Rascalz were the right team to win and I fully expect them to be the first challengers for The North when everything goes “back to normal”.

Willie Mack and Rich Swann Interview

Rich Swann is at the studio with Willie Mack. Mack says that it means the world to him having Rich Swann in his corner as he goes for the X Division Championship. He goes on to say that he feels down because it was originally meant to be for the Tag Team Championships but Swann interrupts and says he needs to put that behind him now. He gives Mack a pep talk and says after he wins they will party “all night long”.

X Division Championship

Willie Mack vs Ace Austin

Willie Mack enters first showing off his “big match” attire and purple eyes…yes…purple eyes. Ace Austin starts the match by continuously biding his time by bailing to the outside. He finally comes into the ring and attempts a School Boy for a two count. Austin goes back to the outside but this time Mack follows him and hits some big Chops and Slaps. In the ring, Mack goes for a Senton in the corner but Austin moves and catches him with a Roundhouse Kick. Austin goes for a dive off the top rope but Mack catches him and hits a Samoan Drop, almost dropping him on his head. Mack follows with the Nip Up and Standing Shooting Star Press. Austin comes back with a knee to the head, attempts a top rope Hurricanrana but gets caught in a Sit-Out Powerbomb for a two count. Mack starts laying in some stiff Chops and Forearms, followed by a Pump Kick in the corner and this time hits the Senton. Austin gets caught with the Stunner but flips out of it and manages to hit The Fold for a two count. He goes for The Fold again but gets popped up high in the air and gets hit by a Cutter for a two. Mack climbs to the top to go for his Six Star Frog Splash but Austin rolls to the corner, so he hits Coast to Coast instead. Mack goes for his Frog Splash again but Austin rolls out of the way and goes for a dirty pin attempt with his feet on the ropes. Both start fighting on the top rope and Mack manages to hit the Stunner, flipping Austin to the mat. Mack follows up with the Six Star Frog Splash for the win.

Willie Mack defeats 13mins28secs via Pinfall (NEW X DIVISION CHAMPION)

After the match, Swann says that they should now go for the Tag Team Championships and Mack could be a double champion. Johnny Swinger joins them to congratulate Mack and says that he wants to go for the Tag Titles as well. Swinger reminds Mack that he promised him a title show but right now they should party. Swinger leaves to get the car and Mack and Swann ditch him by going the other way.

Davie’s Thoughts: Once this match got going I liked it. Both Ace Austin and Mack are pretty decent workers but both lack something for me. For Mack, I need him to showcase more charisma and personality. Austin has the character down but could improve on his look. The match had some cool spots (the Coast to Coast in particular) but other moments didn’t quite hit with me. Austin completely no selling the Stunner is a big “no” for me. I know wrestling has evolved and moved on but to completely no-sell one of the most iconic wrestling moves in history is a mistake. Unfortunately, the Stunner on the top rope looked pretty contrived and I don’t think was executed quite as well as they would have hoped. That being said, I did enjoy this match and am being hyper-critical here. Definitely the match of the night so far.

Kiera Hogan vs Kylie Rae

Kiera Hogan begins the match by talking trash to Kylie. They both start shoving each other and Rae goes for her STF submission early. Rae follows up with a series of Arm Drags. Kiera fights back and hits a Leg Drop across the back of the neck of Rae as she is draped over the second rope. After the commercial break, Rae has picked up the intensity and starts showing a more aggressive side to her offense. There is a Running Forearm exchange from the two followed by a Superkick exchange, which ends with them both hitting simultaneous Superkicks and falling to the mat. Kylie Rae fires back up with a series of Clotheslines followed by the “Kylie Special” for a two count. Hogan comes back with a Roundhouse Kick and gets a near fall herself. She then hits a Palm Strike to the nose of Rae, followed by a Superkick and a series of Forearms to the face. As Kylie is down, Kiera starts talking more trash but gets caught in the STF or the “Smile To The Finish” and taps out. Rae then apologizes to Kiera Hogan and celebrates her win.

Kylie Rae defeats Kiera Hogan via Submission in 9mins5secs (plus commercial breaks)

Davie’s Thoughts: This was my clear match of the night. The work rate in this match was so much higher than anything else on the show. Both women worked well with each other and played their characters perfectly. I look forward to seeing more from both of them in the future.

Unsanctioned Match

Ken Shamrock vs Sami Callihan

As Shamrock is making his entrance, Callihan dives on him to jump the bell. He hits a Vertical Suplex on the floor and throws Shamrock into the guardrail. Shamrock starts to fight back with a series of strikes and kicks. Shamrock now uses the guardrail himself as he throws Callihan through it. Shamrock then jumps off the stage to take out Callihan on the concrete floor. They then fight towards the back of the arena.

The match now changes into a “Cinematic Style” as dramatic music is added and it is shot differently. Ken Shamrock is trash-talking Callihan but gets hit with a fire extinguisher to the face. Callihan now uses a lot of weapons on Shamrock and says “World’s Most Dangerous Man? That’s my name now!” Callihan attempts to choke Shamrock with a steel chain as he is begging him to call him “World’s Most Dangerous Man”. Shamrock tackles Callihan and starts pounding down on him with strikes when OVE interferes. Madman Fulton smashes Shamrock across the back twice with a trash can. The four men stand around Shamrock and do the “Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down” pose but Callihan takes them all out with a Baseball Bat, turning his back on his former stablemates. Now it is back to one on one. Spaghetti Western-style music starts to play as they say “Let’s finish this”, “Outside”. They go to the parking lot and we see a POV shot from Sami Callihan’s perspective as Shamrock is sparring. Callihan comes back and slams Shamrocks’ head into a production truck and locks him in a Sleeper Hold. Shamrock runs back first into the truck to break the hold, hits a Judo Throw on Callihan and applies his signature Ankle Lock. Shamrock yells “Game Over” as Callihan passes out and the referee stops the match.

Ken Shamrock defeats Sami Callihan via Submission in 10mins47secs

Davie’s Thoughts: I wasn’t expecting much from this match but I quite enjoyed it. Shamrock is pretty limited as a wrestler in his later years but the cinematic style helps him. The match also didn’t outstay it’s welcome, clocking in at just over ten minutes. It was a fun brawl with a lot of cheesy lines but executed well. I do however disagree with the booking. I don’t see what there is to gain by having a 56-year-old Ken Shamrock, going over one of the top heels in the company. Where does he go from here?

Overall, the show got better as it went along. The opener was horrible but after that, the rest of the show was pretty fun but not outstanding. Kiera Hogan vs Kylie Rae was my match of the night as the style was more suited to my tastes and they worked well. I’m disappointed that we won’t be getting Blanchard vs Edwards vs Elgin next week as the feud has been built well but I completely understand and respect the decision made.

Six Sparring Shamrocks out of Ten!