Impact Wrestling Rebellion 2021 HOT TAKE
"There is only one Mona Lisa. There is only one Leaning Tower of Pisa, and there is only ONE World Heavyweight Champion!" - Kerry Von Erich, December 1988
Over the annals of time in professional wrestling, perhaps the only constant that has been carved in stone is that there has never been one constant. Depending on geography, politics and sometimes, sheer athletic skill, there have been a collection of star athletes who have been crowned World Heavyweight Champion - but there has never been one definitive champion.
Of course, it's been attempted. There was the legendary attempt to unify the NWA and WWWF World Championships but then-champions Lou Thesz and Bruno Sammartino never faced off in the ring. Bob Backlund and Harley Race attempted to unify those same titles without success. Rick Martel, then the AWA World Champion and then-NWA Kingpin Ric Flair also failed. The AWA's lone PPV broadcast, 1988's Superclash 3 saw Jerry Lawler unify the AWA and World Class Championship Wrestling titles, for a time, defeating Kerry Von Erich, but since then, attempts to being multiple promotions under one champion died on the vine despite best of attempts, until Impact Wrestling's Rebellion.
This weekend, the heart and soul of Impact Wrestling, Rich Swann will step into the squared circle, but this time, he's not just putting his own unified TNA and Impact Wrestling World titles on the line but indeed the pride and legacy of Impact Wrestling, a promotion that has fought to survive since its founding in 2002. On the other side of the ring, All Elite Wrestling World Champion Kenny Omega, who has been undefeated since his insurgence into Impact Wrestling began last year. With Omega holding a pinfall victory over Swann at Hard to Kill last year courtesy of Omega's vaunted One-Winged Angel finisher, Swann may be champion, but he's also considered the underdog.
For Rich Swann, this is nothing new. He's fought all sorts of adversity his entire life, from the loss of his parents to the roller coaster life that comes with being a professional wrestler to fighting back from what looked to be a career crippling broken ankle. Across multiple battlefields, Swann emerged from the trenches of depression and despair to use his athletic prowess and gritty determination to rebound and ascend to the heavenly plane that is Impact Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion.
So, it is ironic that a warrior commanding the One-Winged Angel could prove to be the person responsible to drag Swann down to hell. The flamboyant and theatrical Omega, flanked by The Good Brothers and Don Callis, gained control of AEW after defeating Jon Moxley for the AEW World title last year following a rise that included massive international exposure and headline bouts at the Tokyo Dome for New Japan Pro Wrestling and a victory in Mexico for the The AAA Mega Championship. Omega has positioned himself as the Thanos of professional wrestling, breaking all barriers in pursuit of as many championships as possible. Like Marvel's Mad-God seeking the Infinity Stones, Omega seeks to forge his own gauntlet, assembling these championships around his waist. If he can defeat Swann, he'll control four World titles at the same time, something that has been seemingly unthinkable in modern day professional wrestling.
"Being World's champion is what I set out in life to do. I'm one of the few people on earth that can say they completed, in every aspect, what they wanted to do with their life." - Harley Race
Omega has claimed Rich Swann is just a means to an end. Swann, however, remains Impact's more enduring star, the high-flying, hard fighting Champion who has ignored the odds and bucked the system to become the nucleus of Impact Wrestling. This is all he was fought for in life and now that he stands atop the mountain, he's come too far, on camera and behind the scenes to just be content with being an asterisk in the history books.
Kenny Omega, however, has finally emerged as the star die-hard fans expected him to be when All Elite Wrestling was forged. He has finally found his groove and his reason to be thanks to Don Callis' machinations. To continue to level up, he needs to win. For Swann to level up, he needs to shock those that assume the sand is running out of his hourglass.
This is a match that has been promised to have a definitive winner and one unified champion walking out of the ring - it's going to be one that is placed in the time capsule forever, no matter who emerges the victor in Nashville, TN. It's a match neither man and neither promotion can afford to lose and for the first time in decades, it may be a moment in time where one unified World champion reigns supreme over all - and with that victory, one stellar athlete will breathe rarified air that so few before them will have been able to experience - LIVE on FITE.
Not resting on the laurels of its historic main event, Impact Wrestling Rebellion will also feature:
Impact Wrestling X-Division Champion Ace Austin with Madman Fulton vs. Josh Alexander vs. TJPThe X-Division Championship has always been determined by the term "no limits." Whether it is pure, unbridled athleticism, awe-inspiring aerial combat or unquenching rage-filled brawling, the X-Division has been the symbol of all that is great within Impact Wrestling. At Rebellion, FITER fans will see the arrogant confidence of Ace Austin on full display as he attempts to thrive against wrestling machine Josh Alexander and internationally traveled veteran TJP, who literally radiates technical wrestling. With three pristine competitors in the prime of their career seeking to all prove their mettle and lay claim to being the X-Division Champion, their recent series of show-stealing matches on Impact Wrestling on AXS may see the entire bar raised for all of Impact Wrestling and beyond.
Impact Wrestling Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo vs. Tenille Dashwood with Kaleb with A KComing off her success at turning back the challenge of Jazz and retiring the former WWE and ECW star at Hardcore Justice, Deonna Purrazzo finds herself facing a most unique challenger in Tenilla Dashwood. The Australian challenger has become deeply entrenched in Impact over the last year as a strong personality but this event finds Dashwood having the chance to bring the spotlight back onto not just her looks or swagger, but what she brings when the bell rings. With a game Purrazzo having some of the best matches anywhere in the world currently, it will be on Dashwood to figure out how to solve the hardest riddle in Impact - how does one defeat the 2020 Wrestler of the year?
Impact Wrestling Knockouts Tag Team Champions Fire N' Flayva vs. Jordynne Grace & Jazz's hand-picked partnerAfter Tasha Steelz and Kiera Hogan disrespected Jazz's retirement ceremony on Impact on AXS, fans around the world saw Jazz have an unannounced final bout where she and Grace quickly dispatched the Knockouts Tag Team Champions. While that earned them a Rebellion Championship opportunity, Jazz remained true to her word as an athlete and indeed retired, promising Grace a farewell gift of a mystery partner. Now, the Knockouts Champions head into action against the powerhouse that is Jordynne Grace and an opponent they cannot prepare for. FITE viewers will learn who the mystery partner is at the same time as Steelz and Hogan, leaving everyone waiting to see what this all means for the Knockouts division.
Impact Wrestling Tag Team Champions FinJuice vs. The Good BrothersDoc Gallows and Karl Anderson had everything going their way since arriving at Slammiversary last year. From championships to their own programming to their own PPV specials, everything flowed to The Good Brothers, bringing them back to the forefront of the conversation when it came to the best tandems in the world of professional wrestling. Then, the rains came. When David Finlay and Juice Robinson landed in Impact Wrestling, The Good Brothers wrongfully assumed their past history with FinJuice in New Japan Pro Wrestling would continue - that the younger stars would acquiesce to the veterans. That was not the case, leaving to a Tag Team Championship bout where the unthinkable happened; new champions were crowned and before a rematch could be sanctioned, FinJuice were back touring for New Japan. All of this left Gallows and Anderson, normally brimming with confidence, overflowing with anger. Now that the rematch will finally take place, the normally joyous fraternity smiles that Gallows and Anderson carried have been replaced by angry scowls. If FinJuice intends to return to Japan with the Tag Team Championships again, they are going to have to enter Rebellion prepared to fight for their lives as The Good Brothers are willing to destroy them to regain their titles and bring the flow of good fortune back to them.
Violent by Design - Eric Young & Deaner & Joe Doering & Rhino vs. James Storm & Chris Sabin & Willie Mack & Eddie EdwardsEric Young's band of miscreants and thugs have run rampant over Impact Wrestling, righteously declaring they are ridding Impact of a disease that has infected the league all the way to its very soul. Some of Impact's most celebrated combatants have forged a union to eradicate Violent by Design. Some, like Storm and Sabin, seek to avenge the beating their brethren Chris Harris recently endured. Others seek revenge as they attempt to turn Young's horde back to insure the legacy of Impact remains unblemished for today and future generations of competitors. With such a combustible collection of fighters in one match, anything can and will happen.
Matt Cardona vs. Brian MyersBest friends never last forever in professional wrestling, but it appeared the legendary bromance between Matt Cardona and Brian Myers would be the exception to the rule. It wasn't. When Cardona arrived on the scene in Impact, his former tag team partner and friend dating back to their training days in Long Island's NYWC, Brian Myers was anything but happy to see him. Declaring that Impact was his promotion and that Cardona had followed him to live off his success, Myers made it clear it wasn't going to be long before the two clashed. After a number of sneak attacks and otherwise twisted interactions that have forever fractured their former alliance, Cardona and Myers square off to see who the better competitor is, revealing how far they will go to achieve ultimate victory and satisfaction over the other.
Last Man Standing: Sami Callihan vs. Trey MiguelSince Trey Miguel has returned to Impact Wrestling, Sami Callihas has questioned his heart and passion. Despite Callihan's slanderous claims that Miguel cannot stand alone, Trey has rebuffed his attempts to bring the former Rascalz member under Sami's thumb. Refusing to bow to anyone, Miguel continues to rise against all the turmoil and adversity that has threatened to oppress his singles success. This Last Man Standing match may indeed prove to be Trey's greatest victory as Callihan attempts to put him down for the count. If Miguel can survive, he'll have ascended to the next plane of success within Impact wrestling. However, if Callihan emerges victorious, the real question isn't what's next for Miguel but whether Callihan was telling the truth all along…
You can order Impact Wrestling Rebellion right now and witness history, live on FITE!
Mike Johnson is the lead reporter for PWInsider.com and has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He can be found on Twitter @MikePWInsider and MikeJohnsonWrites.com.