With the entire wrestling world having their eyes on social media looking for updates and fan cam videos from WWE’s house show in MSG, as rumors swirled all day that something BIG was going to happen. Many fans including I, were all thinking the same thing well it’s got to be Austin or Cody returning, that would be the only thing that would fit…of course we were all wrong and no one returned. While the untelevised WWE MSG show was probably the most watched untelevised wrestling show ever, Impact was holding their Sacrifice event.
Great show by the way in case you haven’t checked it out, particularly PCO/Jonah, Jay White/Alex Shelley and Deonna/Chelsea. Anyway, as Moose successfully defended the Impact World Championship, an old nemesis made his shocking return to Impact in Josh Alexander. The reason this return was so shocking is that weeks ago, Josh was written off of TV as he was “indefinitely suspended”. The real reason for this is the fact that Josh and Impact were having difficulty coming to an agreement on a new contract. As his Impact contract expired this created a domino effect for Josh as he no longer had a steady job in the US, that caused his work visa expired to enter the country from his home in Canada. This put Josh in a very tough spot as without a visa he couldn’t travel to the US for any wrestling company to perform and the US market being the most lucrative this made it very tough for Josh to make a living. As a result, with a family to support Josh returned to construction work, which was something he did before he started making a living in the wrestling business. Ironically the legendary Bruno Sammartino also made a living in the construction business when he was being blackballed in the states due to a dispute with Vince McMahon Sr.
Before leaving Impact in February, Josh was on quite a run, without a doubt the best run of his career and was in demand all over the independent circuit. When he was originally signed by Impact Wrestling in 2019, it was because Executive Vice President, Scott D’Amore saw something special in his fellow Canadian, Josh Alexander, that no one else saw. Josh had an amazing tag team run in Impact with fellow Canadian, Ethan Page as a part of The North. They were the longest reigning tag team champions at 380 days, but when Page decided to leave Impact and go to AEW, the question became what happens to Josh.
Josh defied all the doubters and went on a singles run in Impact that was absolutely incredible. The division that defined Impact during its early days was without question the X-Division. A division that was built on the backs of AJ Styles, Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley, Samoa Joe and Christopher Daniels just to name a few over the past 20 years. However, the division and Impact itself had seen better days at this point especially with the rise of AEW and so many botched opportunities in the company’s history that many fans turned their backs on the promotion. When AJ Styles left Impact in 2014, it was very much like the promotion lost its heart and soul and there have been a constant shift in talent over the years since that time, but the company was never really able to find that heart and soul performer. Eddie Edwards has arguably been the closest, but seeing what Josh Alexander was able to do with the X-Division reminded me so much of AJ Styles.
The X-Division Championship has always been the workhorse title of Impact and Josh lived up to that tradition and put on incredible performances as the unbeatable champion and fans and peers alike took notice during his 151-day reign as champion. With no more mountains to climb in the X-Division and Impact desperately needing someone to step up and bring the Impact World Championship home from AEW, Josh answered the call executing Option C, which allowed the reigning X-Division champion the ability to relinquish the title in order to get a world championship title shot. For months Impact was involved in a crossover partnership deal with AEW, that I previously wrote about that really didn’t help Impact at all. The Impact World Championship was around the waist of former Impact and current AEW star, Christian Cage. A fellow Canadian talent that Josh looked up to his entire career. that had mirror careers of tag team guys that weren’t looked at as singles stars and proved the doubters wrong.
At Bound for Glory, Josh’s gamble paid off and in an incredible match he beat his childhood idol and won the world championship and brought the title home where it belonged in Impact. However, that moment of joy would be very short lived as he celebrated in the ring with his wife and young son, an opportunist arose in Moose, who earlier that night won the Call Your Shot Gauntlet trophy and was cashing in now. With his wife and son still in the ring and Josh’s concern for them he was distracted, and Moose took full advantage of that in typical heel fashion. Moose hit his spear and stole the Impact World Championship from Josh as his family looked on in sheer horror.
Josh wanted a re-match for the world title over the next several months, but instead of getting his hands on Moose, everyone was coming to Impact and wanted a piece of Josh. See the reputation that Josh had built up as X-Division champion and the face of Impact Wrestling didn’t go unnoticed by the wrestling industry as challengers such as the legendary Minoru Suzuki, Charlie Haas, Big Kon, Rohit Raju and Vincent were all coming in and challenging Josh. No bigger challenger than former NXT star, Jonah, who was looking to make an impact in this business after his WWE release. At Hard to Kill, the two men went to absolute war with each other.
Josh wanted Moose and with his real-life contract situation playing out behind the scenes, Impact couldn’t put the title on him if he was going to leave. On TV, Scott D’Amore said Josh was not in the right frame of mind to challenge Moose but would get his shot when the time was right. Of course, as already discussed, Josh was written off TV and was talked about as a former Impact star on TV even during a promo by Moose. Many began speculating that he was leaving Impact and joining AEW. So, when Josh not only returned last night at Sacrifice and attacked Moose, but he also shocked the world even further by announcing that he was not only getting his re-match at Rebellion, but that he signed a new multi-year contract with Impact.
This rivalry between Moose and Josh has been exceptionally built and both men are doing their best work of their career. It is a good traditional wrestling story of face vs heel, and it has elements of realism, believability and is relatable to the audience, which makes it connect with them. Personally, I wanted to see Josh re-sign with Impact as I think that is the right place for him with both WWE and AEW already having rosters of talent that they don’t know what to do with at the moment. Impact needed Josh as he has been that anchor performer for them, and Josh will continue to thrive there.
I think this a great main event for Rebellion to built around, because it is a storyline that has been building for months and the fans want to see it. Arguably in my opinion, Impact has consistently been hitting on all cylinders and is producing some of the best wrestling on the planet right now, whether people want to admit that or not. So, I fully expect Rebellion to be a stacked card as all their 2022 Impact Plus shows and PPV has been so far this year. Moose vs Josh Alexander is a match that can deliver as Moose has really grown into the heel champion and Josh has the crowd behind him as the babyface that was wronged so I for one look forward to their build to Rebellion and the match itself.
Photo Credit – Impact Wrestling