Willie Mack def. Jake Crist, Trey and TJP in a Four-Way Match
This was randomly added to the event earlier in the day just to fill out the card and get these guys on these show. That isn't a complaint, though, as this was a very good and fun four-way to open the pay-per-view. Everyone had their time to shine and it was a nice showcase for the X-Division guys. I'm slightly surprised TJP didn't win simply because he returned recently and appeared to be on the verge of a push, but Mack wasn't a bad choice, either.
Impact World Tag Team Champions The North def. LAX and The Rascalz in a Three-Way Tag Team Match
The North winning the tag titles from LAX at an IMPACT show on Friday night caused this to be changed to a Triple Threat. This was still entertaining even with the inclusion of The North as they're a terrific tandem in their own right, but it could have used more time to really feel memorable. It's a shame because these are the only three quality teams IMPACT has right now, so I'd like to see them build up their tag division better going forward and give The North some strong challengers.
Eddie Edwards def. Killer Kross in a First Blood Match
First Blood matches are so rare in wrestling nowadays that they can be a treat when done right. It helped that the stipulation fit the feud and these two ended up beating the hell out of each other. This was exactly what I wanted from their match and they delivered. Kross definitely could have used the big win, but he's made it quite clear that he wants out of IMPACT, so I wasn't at all surprised by the result.
Moose def. Rob Van Dam in a No Disqualification Match
Maybe I missed something, but I don't remember this being announced as a No Disqualification match, and I wasn't until one of them brought a chair into the ring that I realized there were no rules. At any rate, I haven't been terribly impressed with RVD's latest stint in IMPACT, but I thought he held his own very well here while Moose had another standout performance. Needless to say, Moose winning was what needed to happen and it was encouraging to hear the commentators bring up how this will hopefully elevate Moose to world title contention.
Impact Knockouts Champion Taya Valkyrie def. Su yung, Havok and Rosemary in a Four-Way Monster's Ball MAtch
IMPACT ran the risk of tiring out the fans in attendance with yet another hardcore match (was I watching Slammiversary or Extreme Rules?), but the ladies put forth a hell of an effort and had a completely different matchup than anything else on the card. Of course, I've never been the biggest fan of the thumbtacks spot that is almost always done in these Monster's Ball matches, but Havok's piledriver to Yung onto the tacks from the top turnbuckle was brutal. Havok came within seconds of winning the title before Valkyrie stole the pinfall from her, so I assume that will be the next feud for the championship (even though both are currently heels).
Impact X-Division Champion Rich Swann def. Johnny Impact
It was refreshing to get a straightforward singles match between these two and I appreciated that the interference from Johnny Bravo at ringside was kept to a minimum. With the focus entirely on the exciting in-ring action and the simple story being told, this was the best thing on the entire show. They had tremendous chemistry and the pace never faltered. Swann retaining his title against a former world champion in clean fashion does a lot to cement him as a credible champion and make his piece of gold feel important.
Impact World Champion Brian Cage def. Michael Elgin
I was worried that this would be slow and plodding with Elgin on offense the entire time due to Cage coming off a serious neck injury, but Cage moved around like he never spent any time on the shelf. This was an awesome hoss fight filled with exceptional athleticism. The commentators drove home how Cage won with a wrestling move (a roll-up) by the skin of his teeth, and based off Elgin's post-match attack on Elgin, I'd reckon this feud isn't over yet. Elgin was then hit with a Spear by a "mystery man" who was obviously Rhino. I could have sworn his WWE contract expired on July 17th, but maybe they worked something out where he was able to get out of his deal sooner. Or maybe that's why his face was covered. Either way, the crowd popped big for his return.
Sami Callihan def. Tessa Blanchard
Not only was this match "history-making" as the commentators noted, it also had more buzz surrounding it than anything else on the show, so it made complete sense to have it be the main event. To their credit, Blanchard and Callihan have done an outstanding job of getting viewers invested in their storyline and getting mega heat on Callihan. I've said a million times how intergender wrestling isn't my thing personally, but I could buy into Blanchard as a threat to Callihan for a number of reasons and the crowd rallying behind her every step of the way made for an electric atmosphere. I really didn't have a problem with Callihan beating Blanchard because he needed the victory more, not to mention how Blanchard looked like a star in defeat. I loved this much more than I thought I would and I'd be open to more matches like this if they're executed as well as this was.
Say what you will about IMPACT not having any momentum these days (I know I sure do), but they never cease to knock it out of the park with their pay-per-views. Slammiversary 2018 was one of the best shows of theirs I've seen in years and this might have matched that. The last three matches were especially excellent and the crowd (no matter the size) was rowdy and lively all night long. No titles changed hands, yet all the right people went over and I was satisfied once it was over. Now if they can just land a better television deal...
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