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Brace for IMPACT: Taya Valkyrie returns, Ace Austin re-signs; reviews of IMPACT and the Multiverse of Matches

Taya Valkyrie returns to IMPACT Wrestling

Taya Valkyrie returns to IMPACT Wrestling

Taya Valkyrie returns to IMPACT Wrestling

Taya Valkyrie made her long awaited return to IMPACT Wrestling at the Multiverse of Matches this past weekend. After Deonna Purazzo successfully defended her AAA Reina de Reinas title against Faby Apache, Taya returned and confronted her former rival. Taya then announced that she will be challenging Purazzo at Rebellion for the AAA title. Valkyrie is the longest reigning Knockouts champion of all time. She left IMPACT for WWE in January of 2021. Her final match in IMPACT was oddly enough against Purazzo at Hard to Kill 2021.  She was “arrested” for the attempted murder of John E. Bravo and sent to the “Stamford Supermax” penitentiary, aka WWE. She was released from NXT in November of last year and has been working mostly AAA and independents.

Ace Austin re-signs with IMPACT Wrestling

Ace Austin, one of the young pillars of IMPACT announced in an interview with Sportskeeda that he has re-signed with the company for multiple years. The 25-year old Austin has been a mainstay in the company since he debuted in 2019. He is a two time X-division champion and headlined multiple IMPACT plus specials, including last year’s Victory Road event where he challenged Christian Cage for the world title in one of the better IMPACT matches of the year.

“why did I sign with IMPACT in the first place? The answer is pretty much the same. It’s the place to be right now. it’s the best environment backstage that I’ve personally experienced. I experienced all the locker rooms in 2018. It’s the place that has been my home and has been such a launching point for me. I feel like there is some unfinished business. It wasn’t time to leave after three years. I accomplished a lot, but I didn’t accomplish everything that I said I would. That’s very important to me.

Now that Austin is locked in, 2022 needs to be the year they finally pull the trigger and make him a top guy. He has had several moments where it seemed they were ready to get behind him, but then he would fall short and work his way down the card. Austin could be the cornerstone of this company for years to come. Great signing by IMPACT.

IMPACT! on AXS TV review

This weeks episode was very average but was completely saved by the main event and several very good promos. There were several squashes, a disappointing Jonathan Gresham match, an abysmal battle royal and another way too long Ghujjar match. The episode focused very heavily on building the Multiverse of Matches show, but did not feature key players like Nick Aldis and The Briscoes cutting promos.

HITS:

  • Josh Alexander confronting D’Amore, destroying Fulton: The show opened up with a recap of Moose spearing Alexanders wife Jade, then cut to Alexander confronting D’Amore. Josh has really cranked up the intensity. Later in the show he squashed Madman Fulton and “broke” his ankle.
  • PCO and JONAH brawl: Some people were turned off by this due to its campiness and cheesy stock 80’s action movie theme music playing in the background, but I loved it. PCO and Jonah brawled from the parking lot in to some old construction area. JONAH put a slab of concrete on PCO’s belly and smashed it with a sledgehammer. PCO ended up getting the better of JONAH and buried him with asphalt.

  • Bullet Club and Motor City Machine Guns tear it down again: As expected, these two teams had another incredible match. The Guns are just so freaking great. Jay White and Bey work so well with them. Bullet Club got the victory and it will be interesting to see where everyone goes from here. The main event really saved the show, cause there is no way you can give this episode a thumbs down with that main event.

MISSES:

  • Jonathan Gresham vs. Kenny King: This was a miss because I expected so much better out of these two. Gresham had an awkward promo to start and then they went and had a very flat match.
  • Knockouts Battle Royal: The wrestling was very bad in this match. Tons of comedy as to be expected. Tasha Steelz saved it with her commentary; she’s great.

Multiverse of Matches review

The Multiverse of Matches held at Wrestlecon was mostly very good. There were three matches specifically that if they were held on any other weekend then the most stacked and oversaturated wrestling weekend of the year, the whole word would be buzzing about them. Multiverse did not need to be a pay-per-view and really should have been an IMPACT Plus event, especially considering they are asking the audience to shell out $40 for Rebellion in three weeks. If you have the time and an extra $20 lying around, it was a fun event to watch.

Hits:

  • Ultimate-X: Minor hit cause the action was great, but the finish was really anti-climactic. Blake Christian and Jordynne Grace really stood out in the match and were impressive. Miguel retained.
  • Alex Shelley vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey: Wow, what a match. Speedball won and this is worth going out of your way to see. They need to do this again this year, but with a storyline to get us emotionally invested.

  • Tomohiro Ishii beats Eddie Edwards: The finish of the match was surprising, as Ishii loses more big matches than he wins. Edwards was also seemingly being groomed to challenge for the title this year so he has been kept strong. I disagreed with the finish, but the match was excellent, very hard-hitting.

  • Chris Sabin upsetting Jay White:  This was the most surprising finish of the evening. Sabin got the pin on White after an awesome bout. This is another we need to see really soon.

  • The Briscoes vs. The Book Brothers: The match wasn’t too special, as the Briscoes laid it all on the line in a match of the year candidate with FTR earlier in the night. But it was still a good match. The match and show ended abruptly, with the Good Brothers getting the victory with help from Jay White. They immediately signed off. The Briscoes told the audience in attendance that they would be returning to IMPACT but that remains to be seen.

Misses:

  • Nick Aldis and Mickie James vs. Matt Cardona and Chelsea Green: This was a big disappointment. By no means did I expect this to be the match of the night, but going in to the show, this match had the most interesting story. The match was kept really short and the Aldis couple hit dual cloverleaf submissions and both the Cardona’s tapped out. Nothing much happened and it was very flat.
  • Deonna Purazzo vs. Faby Apache: Faby was the big surprise, which was a letdown for those who were expecting a big name. IMPACT shot themselves in the foot here. If they didn’t have a big name lined up, don’t do the surprise, just announce who the opponent is. Taya Valkyrie coming out after was a great surprise and moment, but the match itself was not that good.

Ratings:

The March 31 episode of IMPACT! on AXS TV averaged 149,000 viewers with a 0.04 demo, up from last weeks 100,000/0.02. Thats their highest rating since January 27 and their second most watched episode of the year. Considering all the other wrestling happening at the same time that’s a huge win for IMPACT.

New Japan on AXS TV averaged 56, 000 viewers with a 0.01 demo, down from last week’s 86,000.


IMPACT Ratings 2022

Date Total Viewership Demo Notes
Mar-31 149,000 0.04 Bullet Club vs Motor City Machine Guns 2
Mar-24 100,000 0.02 Mickie vs Tasha
Mar-17 68,000 0.02 Josh Alexander vs Matt Taven
Mar-10 94,000 0.03 Sacrifice fallout
Mar-3 131,000 0.04 Sacrifice Go-home; #133 on Showbuzz
Feb-25 111,000 0.03 No Surrender fallout; #141 on Showbuzz
Feb-17 109,000 0.03 Bullet Club vs VBD; #131 on Showbuzz
Feb-10 117,000 0.03 W. Morrissey vs Brian Myers; #145 on Showbuzz
Feb-3 114,000 0.02 Bullet Club vs IMPACT
Jan-27 182,000 0.05 #104 on Showbuzz; PCO vs Chris Sabin
Jan-20 126,000 0.03 Josh Alexander vs Charlie Haas; #147 on Showbuzz
Jan-13  111,000 0.03 Deonna Purazzo vs Rok-C. #144 on Showbuzz
Jan-6 104,000 0.02 Hard to Kill “go-home”

Brace for IMPACT, hosted by JD Oliva and myself, is part of the Fight Game Media Network free feed. You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts and Spotify as well as find it wherever you listen to podcasts.

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