I’ve been on a family vacation this week and yesterday spent most of the day on the road. We got back late and I didn’t get to watch this show til after 10. Typically that would spell doom for my ratings and my overall enjoyment of the show, but that wasn’t the case here. This show was so good, especially the main and co-main, that I had trouble sleeping after. Even the matches that were not supposed to be good were decent, fun and kept short.
Improvements: If you have been following me here or on social media, 3 of my biggest complaints about the shows have been crowd noise, the announcing, and overbooked finishes/interferences. Well, someone listened and you’re welcome. Adding the ambient crowd noise finally was a nice touch. Matt Stryker and D’Lo Brown was a breath of fresh air. They weren’t perfect and at times you could tell they need more time together, but I think they will be a great team going forward. Stryker really does need to lay off the insider wrestling terms a bit, I cringed when he spoke of Moose not using the “limp handshake” or screaming about his “markout moment” which oddly enough is the same reason he was fired from WWE. As far as inferences go, there was only a couple on the show and they were appropriate and well timed. Other than one match, they all had clean finishes. I’m taking full credit.
Overall this was a great show. The first hour of Impact PPVs can usually to be missed if you’re pressed for time. Nothing really must see. If you want good solid matches the X title and KO title were very solid. You want an exciting and dramatic bloodbath, check out the barbed wire massacre. If you want an epic trios match that had a big fight fee, go out of your way to watch the main event.
Gripes: Did we really need the Bravo stuff here? Do they really think it helps their show grow? Honestly don’t get. Total waste of time and talented people. Just put Bravo as XXXL’s manager already and drop this bullshit.
The Decay defeats Tenille and Kaleb With A K
Nice little opener. Some silliness but I thought it worked and it was fun seeing Decay reuniting. I giggled when Kaleb wanted Tenille to take a picture of him during his moonsault. Good, fun, short match. Steve got the pin over Kaleb.
Street Fight: Violent By Design defeat Dreamer, Jake, and Rhino
Another short and fun match. Typical Dreamer stuff with weapons and thumb tacks. I think the best moment of the match was the clear building of Joe Doering in to a monster by having him no sell multiple chair shots from all three opponents. Young pinned Jake with a pile driver to get the W.
Knockouts Tag Team Title Match Fire N Flava defeat Havok and Nevaeh
This match was just ok. Clunky at times and there were some communications issues between the teams. Havok had some great moments and looked like a monster. Fire n Flava is a good team and the best choice to be the tag champs. Cool moment after that match having Madison Rayne and Gail Kim present the titles.
Matt Cardona defeats Ace Austin by DQ
Ace Austin came out to the ring and proceeded to use my talking points and complaints from earlier in the week about how it sucks he wasn’t on the show. Then Matt Cardona came out for an impromptu match that was quite the surprise. Was not expecting the former Zach Ryder to show up and is was good to see him. Would have been pissed if he won and glad they did a DQ, as this whole segment was geared towards getting Austin on the show and to give the audience an unexpected surprise. Match lasted a couple minutes before a Fulton attacked Cardona.
X Division Title Match: Manik defeats Rohit Raju, and Chris Bey in a Three Way Dance
Business started to pick up with this match. Three really good talents and lots of good action and cool moves, near falls etc. This could have been better but two things bothered me. 1. The focus on whether not Manik was TJP. The announcers really tried to beat the story over our heads and were bickering the whole time. 2. Manik got a sneaky win with a roll up over Raju. Sometimes these finishes can work, especially when the baby face is an underdog. Just didn’t fit the match or the Manik character. He should have won over clean with his finish, or maybe he is turning heel. Who knows. Good match though.
Knockouts Title Match: Deonna Purazzo submits Taya Valkyrie
Deonna came out with Susan who is a Karen and Kimber Lee. Taya came out with the Decay. Cringey at first with the interferences but the ref kicked all the outsiders out. The match took a bit to get going but they had a really solid match. Really good technical wrestling and submissions.
Karate Man vs Ethan Page
Didn’t watch, this stuff isn’t for me. Apparently Ethan Page hated it though. Here’s what he said about it:
“I’m so embarrassed with how IMPACT! lazily edited that segment last night & forced it to be a joke. I felt the thought of the same guys fighting eachother was comedy enough & the more serious we took it the better the reaction would be. But cuz I left the company, they lied to my face & just did what they wanted the whole time. I’m sorry if any of my fans paid for that PPV & felt cheated”. H/t PWinsider. YIKES.
Barbed Wire Massacre: Eddie Edwards vs Sami Callihan
This was a beautifully violent masterpiece by two masters of the trade. I loved this match, and crazy hardcore matches aren’t really my thing. These guys added the one element typically missing from Indy death matches: storytelling. Many times I see death matches that happen just for the sake of it and it’s two out of shape guys just hitting each other with shit. That wasn’t this. They told a great story, built to every spot, and had an exciting and incredible finish. Up to this point this match started, this was just a solid PPV. This match was must see and helped justify the $40 price tag.
The Elite vs Moose, Swann, and Chris Sabin
The show jumped levels right here. When Kenny Omega came out you knew you were watching something special. We rarely get those moments in wrestling but this was one of them.
Moose came across like a major star here. He is shredded and hit many spectacular moves. He was a last minute addition, but I think having him in there was the right call. He didn’t take the pin and when him and Omega were together they gelled really well. They could make some magic in a main event singles match.
When Swann and Omega got together you just knew something big was happening. Omega sold for everyone, made all of them look like a million bucks and proved why he is one of the best in the world. so many great near falls and great moments it’s so hard to unpack. Can’t say enough good things about this match. Everyone looked great and the finish, with Omega pinning Swann with the one winged angel was great. If there were a live audience, no doubt it would be an easy five stars.