So back in January, I did a series on 10 Interesting Facts About TNA Wrestling’s Hard To Kill pay-per-views and by all accounts they were pretty good and with the month of April just a few weeks away, it’s time to do some more interesting facts but this time on TNA’s other major PPV, Rebellion.

    One of the newest IMPACT (now TNA) pay-per-views that were introduced in 2019, Rebellion has gone on to have a short but impressive legacy when it comes to statistics and history making moments within the company. With Rebellion 2024 on the horizon let’s look back at the original TNA Rebellion event and see what intriguing stuff we can discover.

    Welcome to Distortion Media and here are 10 Interesting Facts About Rebellion 2019.

    10. The First Event Inside The Rebel Complex Since Slammiversary

    2018 was the comeback year for TNA Wrestling (then known as IMPACT Wrestling) as the wrestling world began to take notice of the promotion once more, but all the right reasons.

    After spending much of the early to mid 2010’s marred with departures, lawsuits and questionably decisions made both in storylines and behind-the-scene, 2018 was the beginning of new era for the company as seen by their two PPV’s in the early part of the year: the often overlooked and aptly titled ‘Redemption’ and the widely acclaimed ‘Slammiversary 16’.

    The latter event took place inside the Rebel Complex in Toronto, Ontario Canada which marked the first time TNA had an event inside that building and the show was a major success according fans and wrestling media outlets alike.

    Cut to almost a year later and the company would be back inside the complex for another major pay-per view, that being Rebellion. This means that Rebel Complex has been the location of two different IMPACT pay-per-views.

    Fun fact, the complex would also be the host for another Rebellion event…but more on that in a future article in this series.

    9. Petey’s First PPV Match in 10 Months

    Speaking of Slammiversary 2018, that show opened with the international four way match including a returning Johnny Impact, Bullet Club member, Taiji Ishimori as the Bone Soldier, Rey Fenix and former X Division Champion, Petey Williams who was filling in for Rich Swann who was original scheduled to compete but was out with injury.

    Show opening duties fell on ‘Little Petey Pump’ once again in 2019 when he and several other talents kicked off Rebellion in a six way match that roughly went a little over five minutes.

    Williams, who was a producer for the company in addition to wrestling every now and then would go on to compete or share the ring with the likes of Ace Austin, Josh Alexander, Jordynne Grace, Steve Maclin and wrestling’s resident math genius, Scott Steiner.

    Eventually the WWE came a calling and Williams would depart the company in November of 2021 with his last major performance seeing him take part in the opening Ultimate X match for the X Division Championship at that year’s Slammiversary.

    8. Rohit Nearly Got Fired

    The early 2020’s was a strange and difficult time in professional wrestling…and don’t worry will talk about that in the next article; But in the case of IMPACT Wrestling, there were a few wrestlers who managed to stand out during this time period and one of those names was Rohit Raju also known as Hakim Zane on the indies.

    Raju’s winning of the X Division championship in 2020 was not only the biggest win in his career in terms of mainstream wrestling but his subsequent character work and title reign are easily one of the best in recent memory.

    I bring all of this up because had things gone differently then everything I just mentioned would’ve never happened.

    In the lead up to Rohit’s intergender match with Scarlett Bordeaux, both wrestlers did the usually talking trash via Twitter (now X), but this time was different as Ed Nordholm who was the Chief Corporate Officer for IMPACT’s parent company, Anthem Sports and Entertainment got wind of this exchange and was close to having Rohit fired despite the exchange between both wrestlers being relatively tame.

    Thankfully, someone informed Nordholm about the whole angle and any ideas of giving Rohit his walking papers were shelved.

    7. Scarlett Bordeaux’s Only PPV Match

    After narrowly being shown the door for doing his job as a misogynistic heel, the match between Rohit and Scarlett went on without a hitch; While the match itself isn’t terrible, the poorly aged storyline going into the bout doesn’t help the fact it was widely different from everything else on the card.

    In the end, “The Smokeshow” beat Rohit to pick up the three count and went on to celebrate with her friend, Fallah Bahh after the match.

    Little did anyone realize at the time that this would be Scarlett’s only pay-per-view match as a contract wrestler for IMPACT as the former Ring Of Honor star would be granted her release with the promotion’s Twitter account announcing this on June 18th 2019.

    The circumstances surrounding her departure centers around her then boyfriend (now husband), Killer Kross (aka Karrion Kross in WWE) who allegedly had issues with the company. These range from the creative direction of his character, the amount of money he was making and the company asking him to do a blade job for his first blood match at Slammiversary while an on-site doctor wasn’t present in the building…again allegedly.

    Looking to stand by her man and presumably unhappy with her creative booking as well as, Scarlett was released but Kross would not as negotiations between him and IMPACT management continued on until the future NXT Champion was finally given his release from the promotion December 25th 2019.

    6. Until 2023…Gail’s Final Two Matches Took Place in Canada

    If you don’t include Steve Austin’s matches with The Rock and Kevin Owens at Wrestlemania or Sting’s final match at AEW Revolution this year, wrestling retirements and the matches that came before it usually don’t last long and there terrible as names like Ric Flair, Kurt Angle, Sting in WWE are prime examples of great wrestlers having their final match be an absolute dud.

    Outside of the Great One and The Icon, the only other wrestler in recent memory to have an awesome match be their final outing is Gail Kim; The former Knockouts Champion and TNA Hall of Famer, initially had her final match at Bound For Glory 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario Canada where she won the prestigious title for a record breaking seventh time before officially retiring on the following episode of IMPACT.

    Cut to two years later and Gail would come out of retirement to have the dream match many fans thought they would never see and that’s Gail Kim versus Tessa Blanchard one-on-one at Rebellion. The match overall was good and Gail proved she still got it as this bout and her BFG 2017 match both became her swan song from the ring and both took place in Canada.

    Gail would come of retirement again in 2023 when she took part in multiple women tag team match on IMPACT’s 1000th episode where she and her team emerged victorious…but if you put that to the side, then her two PPV matches between 2017 and ’19 both were her final matches and both took place in the Great White North.

    5. Johnny Became The 3rd Longest Reigning Champion in Company History

    In hindsight, it’s a good thing the world title rematch between Brian Cage and Johnny Impact (aka John Morrison aka Johnny Elite) for the IMPACT World Championship wasn’t the final match on the card considering the horrific injury that occurred midway through the bout.

    By the end of it, Impact lost to Cage ending his reign as champion for 196 days; What people don’t remember or failed to bring up was that Johnny’s time as champion made him only the 3rd longest reigning champion in company history surpassing the previous number three titleholder, Sting whose second run with the gold lasted 189 days.

    The two men who were ahead of Morrison were AJ Styles who held the record for the longest world title reign at 211 days until that was broken by fellow TNA legend, Bobby Roode held the the gold for total of 256 days which stood as the longest reign in company history.

    It wouldn’t be until early 2023 when that record was finally broken after more than decade by Josh Alexander around the time of that year’s Hard To Kill event and when Josh had to relinquish the title due to injury he became the longest reigning champion in the company at 335 days…also Alex Shelley became third longest reigning world champion at 218 days after losing the belt to Moose at Hard To Kill 2024.

    4. Brian Cage’s Injury

    Brian Cage’s victory over rival, Johnny Impact to win his first ever IMPACT World Championship should have been a night to remember..sadly what anyone remembers from this match isn’t the title win or the post match beatdown of a debuting Michael Elgin, but the injury that Cage sustained.

    During the match, both men were at the entrance ramp when Impact grabbed Cage and hit a spanish fly off the ramp to the floor; While the moment itself was stunning, it soon quickly became problematic as ‘The Machine’ Brian Cage had suffered a serious back injury landing on the floor.

    It becomes clear that Cage is in real hurt as his unable to fully deliver much of his signature offense on Johnny IMPACT, so a whole bunch of last minute run-ins and a ref bump where added into the mix before Cage hits his finisher to wrap things up.

    Following the match and aforementioned Elgin surprise attack, Cage was rushed to the hospital with the new world champion later mentioning in interviews that he’ll probably be out of action for 5-6 weeks, however Cage ended up getting sent to the hospital again following a match at Joey Ryan’s now defunct wrestling promotion which came just one day before his marriage to former Lucha Underground and IMPACT Wrestling personality, Melissa Santos.

    3. First Tag Title Change at Rebellion

    The main event of Rebellion 2019 saw the team of Rey Fenix and Pentagon Jr. aka The Lucha Bros defending their IMPACT World Tag Team Titles against Santana and Ortiz of LAX in a Full Metal Mayhem.

    Much like their previous bouts that occurred in 2019, both teams put on a tremendous performance with this match seeing the new version of LAX winning the IMPACT tag straps for a fourth time.

    As of the timing of this article, this victory by Santana and Ortiz marks the first and only time the tag team titles have ever changed hands on Rebellion.

    2. The Final Appearance for the Lucha Bros

    Santana and Ortiz winning back the tag titles wasn’t they only notable thing about the main event as it’s also known for Rey Fenix taking an under rotated spanish fly off the ladder onto a table set up on the at entrance ramp…seriously folks if you going to do a spanish fly then don’t do it anywhere near the entrance ramp.

    This also became the final match for the Lucha Bros as Fenix was taken off of T.V. following the botch spanish fly to recover from his injuries. Pentagon on the other hand would appear one more time on the May 3rd episode of IMPACT where he, Johnny Impact and Michael Elgin faced off in a three way number one contender’s match which saw Elgin emerged victorious.

    Pentagon and Fenix would resurface in the brand new promotion, All Elite Wrestling several months later where they still compete to this day.

    1. The PPV Buy Rate

    Looking back, IMPACT’s inaugural Rebellion pay-per-view was a solid event…after all there have been five of these shows in the years that followed with a sixth on the way.

    While it isn’t talked about too much nowadays with the highlights from the show involving wrestlers who are no longer with the company, it did alright business in terms of PPV buys.

    According to Dave Meltzer and a report on Fightful Select, the show had a buy rate of 2,200 which isn’t too bad for the company but those numbers were peanuts compared to other promotions like WWE and AEW who’s Money in the Bank and Double or Nothing event came a month after Rebellion and did a U.S. buy rate that ranged from 15,700-71,000.

    It’s also worth noting that about 30% of fans who ordered and watch Rebellion also Double or Nothing so there was some cross promotional appeal…perhaps that is one of a few reasons that led to AEW and IMPACT partnering up just a few years later.

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