The ten-man clash between Team Impact and the ROH invaders known as Honor No more seemed set for No Surrender on February 19. It was going to be Josh Alexander, Eddie Edwards, Chris Sabin, Rich Swann, and Rhino against Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, Vincent, PCO, and Kenny King. Impact threw a wrench into those plans by kicking Alexander off the team.
Alexander opened the Impact Wrestling show with a passionate promo about being proud to represent Team Impact. If there was one thing more important than the Impact World Championship, it would be the company itself. Without Impact, there might not be the Walking Weapon.
Alexander’s speech then turned into a diatribe about being passed over for the next title shot. Scott D’Amore harped on Alexander’s need to keep his emotions in check, but look at W. Morrissey. The 7-footer has been a savage wrecking ball out of the ring and was rewarded with a match against Moose for the Impact World Championship at No Surrender on February 19. Alexander was done waiting. He plans to initiate his rematch clause to challenge the winner.
Alexander was then interrupted by the debut of Big Kon (fka Konnor of the Ascension in NXT and WWE). An impromptu match took place with Alexander winning quickly via ankle lock. After the bell, Alexander cinched in the ankle lock again. Security personnel helped the referee break the hold. Alexander responded by shoving the man in the pinstripe shirt and beating up security. D’Amore made his way to the ring to intervene. Alexander shoved him as well down to the mat.
D’Amore composed himself to give a pep talk to Alexander. The boss told stories from the past about Alexander’s comeback from a neck injury, Alexander’s wedding, and signing Alexander to a contract. Alexander wasn’t buying the spiel. He wanted that chance to regain glory and take the world title back home to his son.
Alexander’s anger increased at D’Amore’s reluctance to help achieve that goal. If he isn’t given that title rematch, then he would consider becoming a free agent. D’Amore didn’t like that tone and kicked Alexander off Team Impact for the war against the ROH crew. The big cheese ordered Alexander to go home, which was basically an unofficial suspension. Alexander shot back, “I am home!” His love of Impact shined through, but D’Amore did not change his mind. Fans chanted, “Scott, you suck!”
With Alexander out of the match, an unlikely hero wanted to step in as the replacement. Steve Maclin approached D’Amore, but D’Amore decided to let the other team members pick their fifth. Maclin’s angle was a shared hatred for Honor No More after they attacked him last week.
Edwards, Sabin, Swann, and Rhino considered ROH world champ Jonathan Gresham to take the spot, since he is a man of honor and respect. Later in the show, Gresham was shown knocked out on the floor before Team Impact had a chance to speak with him.
Swann and Rhino still had a match on their minds as they were booked to compete against Taven and Bennett. Both groups were out in full force ringside. They were all ejected early as the referee tried to prevent a brawl from erupting.
The match progressed with Maria Kanellis cheating for the finish. She had been on commentary for the contest. When Rhino was ready for a Gore to win, Maria left the table to grab his foot. As Rhino looked down, Maria threw white powder in his face. Taven attacked the blinded beast to win via headlock driver.
Former ROH owner Cary Silkin was sitting ringside observing. He shook his head in disgust at Honor No More. When Taven grabbed him by the jacket, Maclin ran out for the save. Bennett rolled back into the ring to escape and ate a Gore from Rhino.
Backstage, ROH commentator Ian Riccaboni vouched for Maclin. Edwards, Sabin, Swann, and Rhino did not trust him, but they reluctantly agreed to add him on the team.
Just when I think Impact will zig, they zag. I did not see the removal of Alexander coming at all. It does bring up the question of possible negotiations behind the scenes. Alexander’s contract is close to expiring. It is no accident that he openly mentioned that and the possibility of free agency in the promo. Combine it with Brandi Rhodes’ recent namedrop of Alexander when she insulted his former tag partner, Ethan Page, in a promo on last week’s AEW Dynamite. Perhaps something is brewing. The Forbidden Door era of wrestling is a wild time.
How do you rate this week’s turn in the ROH invasion story for Impact?