oVe def. Aerotar, Hijo del Vikingo and Laredo Kid
oVe is one of the most hated acts in all of IMPACT right now, so it made sense for them to take on three of Mexico's own ahead of Bound for Glory, where they'll be battling Pentagon Jr., Fenix and Brian Cage in six-man tag team action. I expected this to be a bit more chaotic than it was, but I enjoyed it, nevertheless. On a side note, it was cool to see Laredo Kid back after a lengthy absence from IMPACT! Wrestling and Aerostar is always entertaining. Hijo del Vikingo was an unfamiliar face to me, but he was impressive.
Eli Drake def. Trevor Lee
Drake has been squashing fools left and right as of late, and most of the people he's beaten have been nobodies. Thus, Lee was easily his most credible opponent to date and they had a nice little match. It probably should have been a bit more competitive considering Lee is a former Impact X-Division Champion, but it was decent while it lasted and resulted in another victory for Drake.
Kaitlyn def. KAvita Devi in a First-Round Match
In all honesty, this could have been way worse than it was. Devi had a really bad outing in the 2017 Mae Young Classic while Kaitlyn has largely been out of the ring for the past four and half years. However, Kaitlyn looked good here and Devi didn't embarrass herself, either. It was smart to keep this as short and as sweet as possible, in addition to allowing Kaitlyn to advance to the next round.
Toni Storm def. Jinny in a First-Round Match
Both women being cut from the same cloth in the NXT/UK women's division helped a lot along with how they've probably faced off on countless occasions in the past, so they had that history. Storm is an absolute star who deserves to go all the way this year, and I hope the rumors of her being signed to some sort of deal to WWE are true so that can become a reality. Storm had the crowd in the palm of her hand the entire time and Jimmy had a decent showing in defeat.
Lacey Evans and Aliyah def. Dakota Kai and Deonna Purrazzo
I'm still not a fan of Aliyah and I don't think she has much to offer, but I will say she held her own fairly well here. Evans is also a work in progress and is obviously in the process of being pushed as one of the division's top heels (probably being groomed for the spot Shayna Baszler currently has once she gets called up to the main roster). Kai and Purrazzo carried their opponents to a competent contest that served as a nice showcase for NXT's women's division.
Jaxson Ryker def. Humberto Carrillo
Personally, I never cared too much for Ryker during his run as Gunner in TNA, but I'm willing to give him a chance to impress me in NXT. It looks like the other two members of The Forgotten Sons will mainly be competing in the tag team ranks while Ryker will be on his own. This was a dominating performance from him and it was smart to keep this short and sweet. I wasn't blown away by any means, but I appreciated the intensity he showed and thought he made a solid first impression.
Fenix def. Aerostar
Fenix turning on Aerostar and Drago last week was what led to this match, and because they know each other so well, it was a ton of fun. Aerostar was the perfect person for Fenix to face as a newly-turned heel because he could have an entertaining encounter with him and also pick up the victory. Afterward, he continued to beat down on Aerostar in addition to taunting his girlfriend Melissa Santos (are they still technically together?) and Dragon Azteca Jr., which led us into our next match...
Marty "The Moth" Martinez def. Dragon Azteca Jr. to Win the Gift of the Gods Championship
Azteca was always scheduled to defend his title against Martinez on this show, and Antonio Cuero couldn't have cared less that he was injured, so the bout went on as planned. Azteca fought his hardest to battle back and retain his title but was ultimately unsuccessful. It was a good match with a solid story that resulted in a new champion being crowned. It wouldn't be the last time we would see Martinez on the show...
TJP def. Lince Dorado
While this was a fairly random match, it was very well-wrestled and featuring strong showings from both men. Dorado is an underrated competitor and isn't in singles action nearly as much as Kalisto and Gran Metalik, so I was glad he was given a chance to shine here. TJP, on the other hand, continues to have fun matches as a heel and I liked that he had to resort to underhanded tactics in order to beat Dorado.
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Cedric Alexander def. Drew Gulak
Alexander and Gulak had an enjoyable encounter at SummerSlam, but I knew they were capable of so much more. Thus, it was awesome that they were allowed to go all out here and have an absolute barn-burner of a bout. Gulak is so methodical with everything he does but isn't at all boring, whereas Alexander's babyface comebacks never cease to get fans behind him. With their hard work and stellar performances, they took a rather lifeless crowd and made them come alive for the fantastic final stretch of this. Alexander now moves on to WWE Super Show-Down in early October to defend his title against Buddy Murphy.
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