Eddie Edwards Won a Call Your Shot Battle Shot to Earn a Future Shot at a Championship of His Choosing
The Call Your Shot Battle Royal was basically IMPACT's version of the WWE Royal Rumble match, complete with a title shot on the line. It got everyone on the card and offered a few surprises to boot including Joey Ryan (who has apparently re-signed with the promotion), Swoggle, Tommy Dreamer and Kylie Rae. If IMPACT doesn't land a deal with Rae, they will have messed up big time. The rest of this thing was pretty paint-by-numbers with the entrants and eliminations happening fairly quickly. Edwards throwing out Mahabali Shera to win it was slightly rushed, but it didn't bother me too much. Edwards was the biggest star involved, so it was the correct outcome.
Impact Knockouts Champion Taya Valkyrie def. Tenille Dashwood
As huge of a signing Dashwood was/is for IMPACT's Knockouts division, she hasn't been lighting the world on fire as a face since her debut. She's been made to look strong and has won every match I've seen her in up until this point, but something about her hasn't clicked yet. With that in mind, it was too soon for her to take the title off Valkyrie. The match itself was enjoyable, but it should be a big moment when Valkyrie inevitably loses the belt. It's smart to keep this feud alive for another few months so Dashwood winning means as much as possible.
The North def. Rich Swann & Willie Mack and Rhino & Rob Van Dam in a Three-Way Tag Team Match
I didn't have high hopes for this due to Rhino and RVD being involved, but they didn't drag it down at all. All three teams helped keep the pace consistent throughout and it was more entertaining than it probably had any right to be. Unless the seeds were planted ahead of this event and I just wasn't paying attention, RVD's heel turn came completely out of nowhere. That's not necessarily a bad thing as it freshens up his character a bit (I honestly can't remember the last time he worked as a heel in a major promotion), but the execution was weird. The North haven't been champions for terribly long, so I liked the decision to keep the straps on them.
Michael Elgin def. Marufuji
Marufuji has competed for IMPACT multiple times over the years, but apparently not enough for this crowd to be familiar with who he is. I don't blame them for being as quiet as they were for this contest early on, simply because it didn't the best build coming into the show. That said, they went out there and killed it against each other, getting the crowd invested in the action in the second half. I could have done without all the kick-outs down the stretch, but other than that, this was an awesome, hard-hitting, and highly physical affair. Elgin has really brought the goods in his matches since arriving in IMPACT.
Ace Austin def. Jake Crist, Tessa Blanchard, Daga and acey Romero in a Five-Way Ladder Match to Win the Impact X-Division Championship
Romero was added to this match over the weekend and also received an IMPACT contract. My only exposure to him prior to this pay-per-view was the Casino Battle Royale he participated in back at AEW Double or Nothing, but he impressed me here. Everyone else got to shine at one point or another as well and there were some insane spots sprinkled in. I'm glad they didn't bring back the Ultimate X concept for the umpteenth time but still managed to pull off a memorable multi-person matchup for the X-Division title. Interference from oVe protected Blanchard in defeat (she'll give them their comeuppance eventually I'm sure) and Austin becoming the new champion made sense given the push he's received recently. Furthermore, Edwards vs. Austin for the title would be the most logical direction to go in coming out of this.
Moose def. Ken Shamrock
If you asked me a few months ago if I had any desire to see Ken Shamrock wrestle in 2019, I probably would have said no, but to IMPACT's credit, they did a hell of a job of getting me and many others hyped for this match leading up to Bound for Glory. Plus, Shamrock is still in crazy good shape and held his own here. There were some embarrassingly bad moments, but that had to be expected. Otherwise, I thought they fared pretty well. It was way too overbooked for my liking and the finish felt flat, but Moose winning was obviously the right choice. Between this and his victory over RVD back at Slammiversary, I really hope he winds up in the main event scene again sooner rather than later.
Impact World Champion Brian Cage def. Sami Callihan in a No Disqualification Match
I loved how Cage and Callihan went right after each other before the bell even rang considering the story they've telling lately. Callihan is in his element in No Disqualification matches and he had another phenomenal performance here. Cage was also tremendous and I was thrilled that the war they had fit the feud perfectly. My only knock against it was that Callihan lost. He has more momentum than practically anyone in IMPACT at the moment (with the exception of Blanchard), and because he didn't capture the championship on this show, I fear he never will. Time will tell, but this definitely felt like a blow-off to me.
IMPACT has flown under the radar on Twitch for the better part of 2019, but at least their pay-per-views have largely been great. This wasn't their strongest effort on pay-per-view this year, but most of the matches met or exceeded my expectations and there wasn't a lot wrong with the booking, either. Despite all that, it didn't feel like their biggest show of the year for whatever reason. Maybe it was the underwhelming build or the lack of buzz the company has right now, but fingers crossed their upcoming AXS TV tapings will be hot enough to get people talking about IMPACT again.
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