They say that even the best well laid plans can go awry and in professional wrestling the can certainly happen especially when injuries are involved. The fifth annual Rebellion pay-per-view saw two high profiled matches being changed as well as the unexpected return of former TNA and NWA World Champion, Magnus aka Nick Aldis for the first time in almost a decades. With Rebellion 2023 taking place at the Rebel Complex in Tornoto Canada, IMPACT created some new stars at this event and gave the wrestling yet another solid night of wrestling… Welcome to Distortion Media and here are 10 Interesting Facts About Rebellion 2023.

    10. The Original World Title Plans

    At Hard To Kill, Josh Alexander (who was the longest reigning world champion at the time) retained the belt after beating Bully Ray in a Full Metal Mayhem match while the main event saw Mickie James become the new Knockouts World Champion after toppling Jordynne Grace in the main event.

    By the time of the company’s Sacrifice event, both James and Alexander were scheduled to fight with Mickie set to defend the title in a rematch against Grace and Josh set to team with Rich Swann and Frankie Kazarian against Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley and Kushida in a six man tag team main event match.

    Those plans changed when Steve Maclin took Josh’s place in the six man tag after Alexander vacated the world title after suffering a torn tricep (an injury which was kayfabe caused by Kushida) and Mickie suffering from a rib injury that led to the Knockouts title match being canceled although it’s unclear who would’ve won.

    This led to the company making a Knockouts number one contender’s match at Multiverse of Matches which was won by Deonna Purrazzo, and Steve Maclin (who was set to challenge Josh for the title) took on Kushida to crown a new world champion.

    9. Ace Austin’s Third Time Opening Rebellion

    By 2023, Ace Austin was already a multiple time X Division Champion who had feuds with the likes of Eddie Edwards, Chris Sabin, Trey Miguel and TJP; He was also the newest member of the Bullet Club and IMPACT decided to pair him and fellow IMPACT star/ Bullet Club member, Chris Bey as a tag team with the two becoming the ABC (or Ace/Bey/Club).

    After winning the tag titles from the Motor City Machine Guns a week after their No Surrender event, Ace and Bey were set to defend their titles against the Guns in an Ultimate X tag team title match to kick off the show.

    This means that Ace Austin for third time in his career was chosen to kick off Rebellion 2023 with the other two times occurring at 2019 and 2021…Really shows you how much faith the company had in the young wrestler.

    8. Sabin’s 0-3 Record

    In March of 2024, Chris Sabin and longtime tag team partner, Alex Shelley finished up their run in IMPACT/TNA following a set of tapings that took place in Phildeiphia Pennyslvania with Sabin and Shelley putting over Maclin and Nic Nemeth respectively in singles matches.

    This tidbit is important to bring up because it looks like Sabin wouldn’t be involved with the promotion’s upcoming Rebellion event in April; Which means the 10 time X Division Champion can say his never won a match at the PPV. While Alex Shelley has only had one appearance in the event’s history, Sabin has had three with all them seeing the former world champion eating a loss as he was on the losing end of the multi man tag match at Rebellion 2021, he lost the opening three way match in 2022 and he along with Shelley failed to beat the ABC in 2023.

    Meaning Detroit Michigan’s favorite tag team are a combined 0-4 at Rebellion…but they aren’t the only one.

    7. Callihan Has Never Won at Rebellion

    If Sami Callihan was to ever return to TNA and face off against someone at Rebellion then it’s safe to say that wrestler would come out on top as Callihan’s win/loss record at this yearly event shows. Since it’s inception,

    Sami has competed in all but one Rebellion PPV (Not counting the upcoming 2024 show) with ‘The Draw’ tasting defeat in all of his matches to wrestlers like Rich Swann, Ken Shamrock, Trey Miguel, and the team of Joe Hendry, Dirty Dango and Santino Marella.

    The only time, Callihan didn’t suffer defeat was at Rebellion 2022 but that was only due to the fact that he wasn’t booked for the show as he was out with injury for several months but return a few weeks later for 2022’s Under Siege event.

    6. The First Rebellion with No X Division Title Change in Five Years

    On a show that filled with matches that produced some star making performances, the three way elimination match for the X Division title is certainly one of them as ‘The Generational Wrestler’ Trey Miguel was set to defend his time against ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey and Johnathan Gresham, who were the Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat of TNA in 2023 as they were engaged in a feud that saw both men exchanging wins.

    Despite the numbers game going into the bout, Trey Miguel was able to escape still as the X Division Champion after putting on a excellent performance both as a chickenshit heel but from an in-ring standpoint alongside Bailey and Gresham.

    Miguel’s victory became the first time since Rich Swann at Rebellion 2019 where the person walking as X Division Champion emerged victorious following a successful title defense.

    5. Yuya Uemura’s Only PPV Match

    It’s safe to say that TNA of the 2020’s has handled their relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling far better than how they did in the 2010’s.

    Outside of the whole debacle that came from how TNA booked Okada the first time around, TNA has seen a host of NJPW wrestler appear on their brand with the wrestlers either going over and doing the job for the TNA stars.

    One rising star who was a part of New Japan was Yuya Uemura, who joined with TNA in 2022 as part of his learning excursion as a young lion in NJPW; Uemura would be used on and off on IMPACT TV whilst sharing the ring with stars like Delirious, Josh Alexander, Kenny King and Joe Hendry.

    At Rebellion 2023, Yuya had his first and only PPV appearance as part of the five-on-five Hardcore War match pitting Team Tommy Dreamer against Team Bully Ray. While he didn’t have any spots that really stood out compared the others in the match, he at least was on the winning before ending his U.S. excursion losing his final match to Alexander in late 2023.

    4. A Planned Kelly and Masha Match was Delayed

    The Hardcore match between Team Dreamer and Team Bully was perhaps one of the more surprising matches on the card as by the time we got Rebellion, fans were more than vocal about how much they didn’t want to see the aging ECW legends continuing to take up airtime on IMPACT.

    At first the idea of this match drove internet fans into a frenzy but by the time the match started and finished fans were more than pleased with the finals results; For more on this match be sure to check out my article on the Best IMPACT Wrestling Matches of 2023.

    By far the two MVP’s of the entire match was Killer Kelly and Masha Slamovich we proceeded to beat the hell of each other and the rest of their male counterparts through the 25 minute contest. Naturally, a match was announced via IMPACT’s Twitter/X Account regarding a match between both ladies during the tapings after Rebellion.

    That match would be put on hold as Kelly would mention via Twitter/X that she had a medical emergency regarding a cyst that burst and thus plans were delayed for the time being.

    It wouldn’t be until May 11th edition of IMPACT! when Masha and Kelly would collide with Slamovich picking up the winning under dubious circumstance with the rivalry would continue for the next several months right up to their first ever Knockouts Dog Collar match and eventual partnership as MK Ultra where they would defeat The Coven to become the new Knockouts Tag Team Champions at that year’s Slammiversary.

    3. No World Title Match in the Main Event

    The feeling going into Steve Maclin and Kushida’s match for the vacant IMPACT World Championship was palpable as both men pulled out all the stops to make their 16 minute first time ever match up feel special with the end result seeing the forgotten son in the WWE became a world champion for the first time in his career.

    In addition Maclin finally winning some championship gold, this match is also notably for being the first time in four years the IMPACT World Championship wasn’t the last match on the card for a Rebellion pay-per-view.

    The only other time this happened goes all the way back to the very first Rebellion even where Santana and Ortiz defeated the Lucha Brothers to become the Tag Team Champions while Brian Cage defeated Johnny Impact in the semi main event to win the title and suffered a nasty back injury along the way.

    2. The Only Time Grace vs. Purrazzo Main Evented a PPV

    Closing duties fell upon Jordynne Grace and Deonna Purrazzo whose on and off rivalry from 2020-23 was so great that it’s been held in the same regard by fan as Gail Kim and Awesome Kong’s feud for the Knockouts Title back in the day…you know that is some seriously great praise.

    The idea of Jordynne’s desire to become the Knockouts Champion again combined with the seeds of hinting at a potential heel turn by Grace and the fact she has never defeated Purrazzo since the latter’s return to IMPACT in 2020 made things all the more interesting especially when you realized this was their first one-on-one match in the company with fans in attendance.

    Another factoid that might not be known is that this bout between Grace and Purrazzo would be the only time they were in the main event of an IMPACT/TNA pay-per-view together…Something that neither Gail or Kong were able to do together during their legendary rivalry.

    1. A First Time Ever for the New Knockouts World Championship

    ‘The Virtusoa’ became a three time Knockouts World Champion by the end of the night making her and Steve Maclin the first wrestling couple since Johnny Impact and Taya Valkyrie to win the gold of their respective divisions. Deonna Purrazzo also made history at this event as it was the first time a new Knockouts Champion was crowned in the history of Rebellion.

    It’s important to remember that Purrazzo was crowned the new champion as opposed to the title changing hands…meaning the door is still open for the Knockouts World Championship to officially change hands at Rebellion for the very first time.

    Be sure to follow Distortion Media on X for updates, results and articles regarding wrestling, politics etc. and you can follow me on X @FullertonHakeem for more wrestling themed articles like this.