Johnny Impact def. Fenix, Taiji Ishimori and Petey Williams in a Four-Way Match
Unfortunately, Rich Swann was injured at an MLW taping earlier in the week and had to be pulled from the pay-per-view. It's unknown when he'll be back to in-ring competition. This was the absolute perfect match to kick off the night given there weren't any stories involved and instead it was all action. Granted, it lacked true psychology, but as a glorified spot-fest, it was incredibly entertaining and whipped the crowd into a frenzy. Each of the four competitors had their time to shine and Impact winning made the most sense since he is the biggest star of the bunch.
Tessa Blanchard def. Allie
Blanchard has been doing great work in IMPACT these past few months despite suffering a few notable losses here and there, and this was another quality performance from her. Meanwhile, I've been digging the change in attitude from Allie as she transitions from a timid underdog to a fierce badass. This was an excellent match from the ladies and Blanchard going over was the right call, especially considering she has since signed a long-term deal with the company.
Eddie Edwards def. Tommy Dreamer in a House of Hardcore Rules Match
I'm a fan of Dreamer's, but to be honest, there really is no reason for him to be wrestling on a major wrestling promotion's pay-per-view in 2018. That being said, the story between himself and Edwards has been strong enough lately that I didn't mind it too much and I appreciated the effort they put forth. Plus, the crowd was invested in everything they did, so at least that helped, along with how Edwards went over in decisive fashion and was seemingly endorsed by Dreamer afterward.
Brian Cage def. Matt Sydal to Win the Impact X-Division Championship
I loved the David vs. Goliath dynamic these two had, even though it felt weird that the heel Sydal was the underdog. Most of Cage's matches in IMPACT thus far have been total squashes, so I was pleasantly surprised this was more along the lines of an actual competitive contest. Sydal dropping the title to Cage was never in question, but it was cool he put up as much of a fight as he did and went down swinging. Will Cage cash in the X-Division title Option C-style on Austin Aries and vie for the Impact World Championship at Destination X?
Impact Knockouts Champion Su Yung def. Madison Rayne
Rayne had been built up nicely coming into this match and looked like a threat to the title on paper, but I'm not sure anyone truly believed she had a chance of capturing the championship. This came across as a fairly straightforward outing without anything special about it. If nothing else, Rayne did what she set out to do in returning to IMPACT in putting over the fresher face, Yung, and I'm curious whether she'll stick around past this point now that she failed to take the title.
Impact World Tag Team Champions LAX def. The OGz in a 5150 Street Fight
Holy hell, this was an outstanding war and everything it needed to be and so much more. This story has been a ton of fun to follow and their ultimate encounter on this show lived up to the lofty expectations in being brutal in the best way possible. We have seen so many Monster Ball matches over the years in IMPACT that have fallen flat because of the over-reliance on the weapons, and this was anything but. The OGz attacking LAX post-match indicated their feud is far from over.
Pentagon Jr. def. Sami Callihan in a Mask vs. Hair Match
Originally, I didn't know how it wise it was to position two matches that were basically the same one after another, but this wasn't overshadowed by the 5150 Street Fight in the slightest. I saw Pentagon and Callihan have a match against each other a little over a year ago at a Northeast Wrestling event I attended here in CT, so I knew how well they could work together and they did not disappoint. The overall energy and pace of this matchup was tremendous and the interference from oVe as well as the ref bump were my only nitpicks. This was some spectacular stuff.
Impact World Champion Austin Aries def. Moose
Aries and Moose had their work cut out for them coming into this contest due to the previous two bouts being so fantastic, but this managed to be equally enjoyable. Moose has come a long way since I watched his Ring of Honor debut on pay-per-view four years ago and he has turned into quite the competitor. Although the crowd was firmly behind him here and he had easily his most memorable performance to date, Aries retaining his title was an outcome I was content with. He has been firing on all cylinders as a heel during his latest stint in IMPACT, and as noted, I could certainly see him holding onto the gold until Cage contends for it via Option C (which Aries innovated back in 2012) in the near future.
It wouldn't be a stretch to say that this was undoubtedly the best all-around event IMPACT has delivered since Slammiversary six years ago. The company has really taken a turn for the better in 2018 by putting on consistently compelling programming and not falling victim to the same tired troupes TNA was known for. There were a handful of above-average matches on this show that are well worth checking out, but truth be told, the event should be seen in its entirety. Now is the time to get back into IMPACT and give it another chance because this pay-per-view proved they are on the right path.
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