Impact Wrestling Rebellion 2023: How to Watch on FITE
Everything was going so great. It was all going according to plan. Impact Wrestling was in the midst of an an incredible upswing, making international headlines as fans from all walks of life were united in the comeback story of the century - Impact had evolved into one of the hottest professional wrestling promotions on Planet Earth, a realm where not only new stars emerged but where internationally renowned stars from every promotion could battle against each other.
Then, the rains came.
Impact Wrestling Champion Josh Alexander suffered a torn triceps in Mexico, bringing an abrupt end to the greatest and longest World Championship reign in Impact history. Then, Knockouts World Champion Mickie James suffered cracked ribs, putting her own championship reign at risk. Impact's top champions had become the victims of their own work ethic and indeed, the very thing that brought Impact from the brink of disaster all the way back to the talk of the professional wrestling world - its heart.
Impact Wrestling's heart is the very core of what true Rebellion is. It's a scream out of the darkness, declaring one won't be denied. It's the blood and guts that have been spilled in a last ditch effort to win the day and stand victorious. It's the sneer that comes after spitting in the face of adversity, taking one more inch of land to plant your flag. It's the work ethic that forces one to stand back up when their legs are ready to give. It's the primal urge to stand defiant against the machines that grind away at your soul. It's that heart that makes Impact's stars fight the good fight, pushing themselves beyond the brink and unfortunately, that passion sometimes leads to injuries that change the trajectory of history forever.
This Sunday, live from Toronto, Impact Wrestling's Rebellion is one of those nights.
A NEW WORLD CHAMPION TO BE CROWNED
Josh Alexander was poised and prepared to defend the World title against KUSHIDA at Multiverse United. The winner would then take on Steve Maclin, a man who has already declared he would be the new Champion, in Toronto. Life had other plans and the chaos effect of Josh's injury now leads to a brand new dream match that perhaps no one realized they wanted until it was a reality.
This Sunday, New Japan Pro Wrestling's KUSHIDA steps into the ring for the biggest fight of his life as he battles Maclin. For KUSHIDA, this is a chance to erase any past misgivings or regret over previous American excursions and to erase any lingering doubts. A championship win here would rocket him into the upper echelon of all of professional wrestling, his stature now matching his insane work ethic inside a professional wrestling ring. If he can snatch the Hoverlock, KUSHIDA could score the biggest submission win of his life.
For Maclin though, the championship victory is all but certain in his mind. Laser-focused with all the hard-edged military might he brings to the ring, Maclin has always been almost completely obsessed with destruction of his opponents and the victories they bring. No doubt he has been primed and ready, locked and loaded for Josh Alexander and the moment where he ascends himself to the Impact Wrestling throne, but will KUSHIDA stepping into the championship fray throw off Maclin's game plan?
This will be a classic pro wrestling encounter with KUSHIDA's finesse and speed matched against Maclin's ground and pound grit. If Maclin can wear down KUSHIDA before he has an opportunity to pounce from the stratosphere with his aerial assault excellence, the championship may fall into the hands of one of the most dangerous men in Impact Wrestling. Will this Sunday see KUSHIDA's dream accomplished or Impact fall into a dark nightmare at the hands of Maclin? Only fans watching live on FITE will know for sure, in the moment, how far reaching the landscape of Impact Wrestling will have changed.
THE ULTIMATE X RETURNS
Perhaps the most celebrated match in Impact Wrestling history, a bout that changed the entire expectation and understanding of what a championship match could be and what talents could endure in the pursuit of ultimate victory, is indeed The Ultimate X. It is the calling card for Impact, perhaps the best example of its legacy and a whirlwind of insane emotions, physicality and brutality for competitors and fans alike.
This Sunday, The Ultimate X wires will be strung high above the ring in Toronto as the two best tag teams in the world face off to prove their dominance over each other and the entire realm of tag team excellence.
The Motor City Machine Guns, Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin, are rightfully celebrated as the greatest team in Impact history with Sabin himself now celebrating twenty years with the organization. Their synchronized tag team excellence and high flying exploits are the stuff of legend and as they continue their journey together in 2023, there's only one thing they wish to accomplish - regaining their World Tag Team Championship.
To do so, they'll have to criss-cross the Ultimate X wires and somehow surpass The Bullet Club's Chris Bey and Ace Austin, who from an athletic prowess perspective, may be the greatest tag team unit to emerge in recent years. Inspired by the X-Division greats of the past, including The Machine Guns and featuring a tag team spark that reminds one of The Midnight Express, Bey and Austin have been near-perfection since touring together for New Japan Pro Wrestling. Their efforts in the ring are only matched by their confidence and swagger since capturing the World Tag Team Championship - they have leveled up over the last year and aren't seeking to yield to anyone.
This Sunday, when two of the best tag teams in Impact collide live on FITE, all out chaos is promised at Rebellion as The Guns and The Club battle inside, outside and above the ring. Physicality will be pushed to the limit and careers will be pushed to the breaking point in a real-life cliffhanger of an encounter that promises danger, championship gold and perhaps, one of the most stunning Ultimate X matches in Impact history.
The blood-feud between Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer continues to explode and has now threatened to engulf all of Impact Wrestling. From the mid-1990s on, from Extreme Championship Wrestling to today, these two violent competitors are forged forever, fused to one another with blood, depravity and hatred. This Sunday live on FITE from Toronto at Impact Wrestling Rebellion, yet another chapter will be carved out of destruction as each hardcore warrior leads their own team into battle, seeking finality to a war that just continues to leave a path of destruction at every Impact event.
Bully Ray leads a team of Kenny King, The Good Hands - John Skyler and Jason Hotch and the Russian Dynamo known as Masha Slamovich as they seek to search and destroy Tommy Dreamer's alliance of Killer Kelly, Yuya Uemura, Frankie Kazarian and a final extreme warrior to be named, but the reality is there will be no true victor here.
These two men are trapped in a cage with each other for the rest of their lives. Like Bill Dundee vs. Jerry Lawler and Tommy Rich vs. Buzz Sawyer, the only way this blood feud will end is when one man is completely done with professional wrestling forever. Until then, the blood will continue to spill, the bones will continue to break and all who stand witness to this carnage are themselves endangered.
While Impact Wrestling seeks to end this battle between Tommy Dreamer and Bully Ray this Sunday, the reality is that their Hardcore War is just the latest escalation of their Extreme Evolution against the other and live on FITE, everyone watching Rebellion is guaranteed to see yet another chapter of hatred fused with insanity - a chapter that will only continue to define each of their careers.
THE KNOCKOUTS CHAMPIONSHIP
As previously noted, Mickie James has been forced out of action with broken ribs and this week on Impact Wrestling on AXS, she will have to choose whether to vacate her championship or enter into one of the most emotional matches of her life while still nursing injuries. There is nothing but potential heartbreak for someone who has inspired so many with her Last Rodeo journey all the way back to the top of Impact Wrestling's championship realm.
Should James yield the title, former Knockouts World Champion Jordynne Grace, who has never been so powerful and fearsome inside the ring as she has been in 2023 will battle The Virtuosa Deonna Purrazzo, someone who's success inside the squared circle was at a level never before seen that she was once voted the Best Wrestler of the Year for all of Impact competitors. Each of these competitors are bound by one truth: they each want to be the Knockouts World Champion again.
Should James return to the ring, she will be a champion who is also an underdog. Each of her challengers will know exactly what the weak link is in her game, physically and emotionally. Purrazzo has always made her bones on breaking down her opposition's body, strategizing her way to submission victories before utilizing the cradle piledriver. Grace, an explosive force inside the ring, could easily use her power to crash James' dreams down, pounding those ribs into dust.
But, Mickie James is still Mickie James. She has come back from the brink of losing her career to shock and awe fans across the world and should she step into the ring this Sunday live on FITE, there will be legions of fans seeking to cheer her on one more time, surging with electricity with support, an element that cannot be denied when it comes to talents fighting their way to victory.
Mickie James has several choices ahead of her, and none will be easy, but there's a reason she's the Knockouts World Champion. However, there are two competitors who wake up every day seeking the crown Mickie currently wears and they will each do everything in their power to make their return coronation a reality. This Sunday live on FITE, the Knockouts World Championship battle may indeed define the Rebellion within Impact Wrestling.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!
As if these main event clashes aren't enough to shatter expectations, The X-Division Championship will be on the line as Trey Miguel, Speedball Mike Bailey and Jonathan Gresham all bring their celebrated athleticism and work ethic to the ring as they battle each other in yet another chapter of what sets Impact's in-ring professional wrestling apart from the rest of the world. In an era where greatness is set every week, these men truly define and set the bar for everyone else in the world and if there's only championship that may be the most hotly contested in all of Impact right now, it's the X-Division.
The Knockouts World Tag Team Championships also on the line in a supernatural grudge match as the former champions, The Death Dollz, Rosemary and Jessika, seek revenge against The Coven after the destruction of Taya Valkyrie. Taylor Wilde and Kilynn King seek to destroy their enemies once for all while legitimizing their championship reign over all of the Knockouts.
Then, it's up to Impact Wrestling's Director of Authority himself, Santino Marella to try and quell the insanity of The Design as Marella returns to the ring to team with Dirty Dango and Impact Wrestling Digital Media Champion Joe Hendry against The Design. Deaner's band of mercenaries and miscreants believe they are carving a better Impact for themselves but in reality are toxifying the entire promotion. Can Marella and his alliance turn back the Design once and for all?
This Sunday in Toronto, the Revolution will indeed be televised as Impact Wrestling's Rebellion emanates live on FITE from Canada to your devices across the world!
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.