Impact Wrestling: The Bitter History Between Johnny Impact and Brian Cage

LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 06: WWE Pro Wrestler John Hennigan (L) and wrestler Taya Valkyrie attend the premiere of "Sharknado 5: Global Swarming" at The Linq Hotel & Casino on August 6, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mindy Small/FilmMagic)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 06: WWE Pro Wrestler John Hennigan (L) and wrestler Taya Valkyrie attend the premiere of "Sharknado 5: Global Swarming" at The Linq Hotel & Casino on August 6, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mindy Small/FilmMagic) /

Impact Wrestling Rebellion is just over a week away, and we’re on a collision course for a bitter and personal match for the Impact World Championship. Things started professional and respectful between Johnny Impact and Brian Cage, but how did things get so personal?

Impact Wrestling Rebellion comes to us on April 28, and it’s got one of the more bitter World Championship matches that Impact has seen in recent memory. It’s a far cry from the way things began for Johnny Impact and Brian Cage, but looking back we can see exactly the path that led us to this moment.

On November 15, 2018, Brian Cage, the reigning X-Division Champion at the time, sacrificed his title for an opportunity at Johnny Impact’s gold by utilizing “Option C,” allowing him to give away the X-Division Title for a shot at the Impact World Champion. This declaration was a shocker as there was minimal buildup to the announcement and nobody was aware that this was even possible outside of Destination X.

Nonetheless, Cage would be competing for the flagship title belt at Impact Wrestling Homecoming against Johnny Impact. The two looked forward to their matchup, showing respect to each other and their abilities. Little did we know that this relationship would evolve into something much more personal following January 6th.

In a jam-packed Asylum, it was time for the main event of Homecoming. A clash between two beloved Impact Wrestling stars, Johnny Impact and Brian Cage. The match was hard-hitting and intense, with Impact retaining his title.

However, this win was greeted with controversy following interference courtesy of the champion’s friends from Survivor, which Johnny had just starred in. Cage would then be pinned by Johnny, even with his shoulders seemingly raised. This went unseen by the official, rewarding Johnny Impact with the victory only for Killer Kross to attack his wife, entering himself into this now hectic title picture.

Now angered by the attack on his wife, Johnny Impact aimed towards Killer Kross, leaving Brian Cage disgruntled at being neglected. Cage had a strong argument to receive an immediate rematch, which Johnny acknowledged, promising an opportunity in the near future.

The two aligned themselves to take out Killer Kross and his partner, Moose. This led to an eventual tag team match where Johnny would absolutely promise a one on one title match if they could take out Kross for good. Cage accepted this proposal, trusting Johnny’s word. In hindsight, that probably wasn’t his wisest choice.

The match saw the good guys in the driver seat until Johnny Impact tweaked his neck on an elbow attempt. Cage was then forced to proceed on his own, losing to Kross and Moose in a hard effort. Impact was now sidelined, but delivered on his promise for a singles title opportunity to Brian Cage.

The injured champ was then attacked by Killer Kross and dragged out to the ring, only to be rescued by Cage and Taya Valkyrie, Johnny’s wife. They took out the monster and embraced only for Taya to low blow Cage, and Johnny to kip up effortlessly, tossing the phony neck brace to the side.

He continued to beat down The Machine, even going as far as smashing a cinder block into his face. The ruthless power couple posed over Cage, as the Las Vegas crowd looked on in disgust.

After this attack, Cage was more vengeful than ever. He aligned himself with Taya’s new rival, Jordynne Grace. The two pairs clashed in a mixed tag team bout where Cage could finally get his hands on Johnny Turncoat. After multiple attempts at dodging The Machine, Johnny was caught in a Drill Claw until the referee, John E. Bravo, clipped the leg of Cage.

The Windsor crowd began throwing trash at the crooked official, who raised the arms of the despicable couple. This comes as no surprise to ones closely following along, as Bravo has been the referee for every match involving the two men, leading to the grand reveal.

With Impact Wrestling Rebellion right around the corner, the story now focuses on officiating. The main event is set with Brian Cage challenging Johnny Impact one more time for the strap, but will this match be called straight down the middle?

Next. Rob Van Dam Signs With Impact Wrestling. dark

Who can be the third man in the ring for such a heated feud surrounded by controversy? I don’t expect John E. Bravo to receive the call on April 28th, but all we can hope for is a referee that will wear the stripes and crown the rightful winner as we reach the climax between Johnny Impact and Brian Cage live on pay-per-view in Toronto.