Michael Elgin vs. Rhino Ended in a Double Count-Out
I didn't have high hopes for this feud when it started (especially since it seemed like a step down for Elgin), but it's been better than expected so far. This turned out to be a hell of an opener with both men having strong performances and the crowd being into the action. I'm normally not a big fan of double count-out finishes, but this keeps their program alive and their post-match brawl felt hot.
Impact World Tag Team Champions The North def. Reno Scum
I honestly forgot Reno Scum were with IMPACT earlier this year, but apparently, they were never under contract. Don Callis mentioned how this was their third time with the company and I'm stunned they keep getting brought back. They've never done anything for me personally, but The North are talented enough that they were able to make this a solid match. Reno Scum once again yet failed to impress yet The North were terrific as always and retained their titles in clean fashion.
Havok def. Alisha Edwards
Although this technically acted as a showcase for the dominant Havok, the focus was largely on Alisha and how Ace Austin came down to ringside to help her following her loss. Eddie Edwards tried to get his hands on Austin before Havok laid him out in the middle of the ring. The squash was fine for what it was and I thought this furthered the Alisha/Austin/Eddie story nicely.
Impact X-Division Champion Jake Crist def. Rich Swann
Crist has dyed his hair a platinum color to reflect his new nickname "The Golden Draw". Much like the last time they wrestled, Crist and Swann worked well together and put together a really nice match. I still don't see Crist being on the level of Swann (who has been protected for the better part of 2019), but performances and wins such as this one will help his cause. Crist cheated to beat Swann, so it will be interesting to see if the feud will continue or this was designed to put it to rest for the time being.
Willie Mack def. Trey
While I'm not sure what purpose this was supposed to serve, I can't complain about a quality contest. They were on opposite sides of the ring in last week's blockbuster six-man tag team match and once again delivered here, this time in one-on-one action. It was just a straightforward and fun wrestling match. Mack going over was the right result, but Trey made the most of his opportunity to shine on his own. On a side note, IMPACT was teasing a Mack heel turn at one point, but perhaps that was dropped once Killer Kross announced he was on his way out.
Sami Callihan def. Tommy Dreamer in a No Disqualification Match
I'm all for Callihan competing in main event matches on IMPACT! Wrestling as he prepares to contend for the Impact World Championship in the near future, but I don't think he benefits all that much from defeating Dreamer. I hate to sound like a broken record, but Dreamer really should not be wrestling as regularly as he has been for IMPACT over the past year. I realize hardcore matches are his specialty, but I didn't find this terribly entertaining not did I buy into any of Dreamer's nearfalls. If you dig this type of stuff and the ECW nostalgia, maybe this match is for you. If nothing else, at least the crowd cared.
I always enjoy these TV specials IMPACT does and the effort they put into this one was definitely noticeable. The main event wasn't my cup of tea, but everything else ranged from good to great and held my interest. The cool thing is that next week's episode should be notable as well with Rhino and Elgin facing off in a Falls Count Anywhere match and Taya Valkyrie defending the Impact Knockouts Championship days before she breaks the record for longest-reigning Knockouts Champion of all-time. Meanwhile, IMPACT has started to hype up the debut of Tenille Dashwood and return of Ken Shamrock for upcoming episodes, so there's plenty to look forward to in the weeks ahead in addition to Bound for Glory in October.
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