Johnny Swinger def. Mike Jackson
Swinger was advertised as facing a "young buck" named M. Jackson. The not-so-subtle joke was good for a chuckle, but it led to a match I couldn't have cared less about. Props to the grandpa, he looked decent and had the crowd behind him, but an extended squash with Swinger is not my definition of must-see programming. I have no desire to see Jackson brought back after this, but I'm sure he will be because management will think that he got over.
TJP & Fallah Bahh def. Reno Scum, The Rascalz, and XXXL in a Four-Way Tag Team Match
To give credit where it's due, IMPACT has done a commendable job of rebuilding their tag team division in recent months. I feel like we see a lot of these multi-team matches on the show, but at least they're always enjoyable. This had a nice pace and the action never slowed down. TJP and Bahh are a popular tandem, but I would've preferred to see The Rascalz win this since TJP and Bahh had their shot at the Impact World Tag Team Championship not too long ago and failed.
Hernandez def. Rohit Raju
Hernandez recently popped up on the TNA on AXS TV special and I assume he was supposed to be a part of the TNA: One Night Only event over WrestleMania weekend until it was canceled. I don't know if he would have been brought back full-time had everything gone according to plan, as this seemed pretty random if not. This was a short and sweet squash match with Hernandez winning in decisive fashion.
Impact X-Division Champion Ace Austin def. Trey (Non-Title)
These two previously collided for the X-Division title at Hard to Kill earlier this year. I don't believe their rivalry was ever properly blown off, but I guess that was what this was supposed to be. It was a well-wrestled match, but like at Hard to Kill, I felt like they were missing that extra something that would've taken it to the next level. The fact they were given only six minutes didn't help matters, but it did give Austin an additional momentum boost ahead of his upcoming title defense against Willie Mack.
Tenille Dashwood def. Taya Valkyrie
This was a rematch from last year's Bound for Glory. It's interesting to note that Dashwood has largely been off IMPACT TV since then, despite arriving in the promotion with a ton of fanfare. This was her grand return and it would have been odd for her to lose. However, Valkyrie has a Full Metal Mayhem match coming up with Jordynne Grace for the Impact Knockouts Championship at Rebellion, so she shouldn't have lost here, either. Valkyrie's post-match beatdown on Dashwood was probably supposed to make up for that, but Grace took way long to save Dashwood. The matchup itself was solid and went longer than I would've expected it to.
Ken Shamrock and Sami Callihan Signed the Contract for Their Match at Rebellion
I'd say Callihan's mic skills are stronger than Shamrock's, so it was smart for him to do the majority of the talking in this segment. I didn't buy into Callihan saying this was going to be the most important match of Shamrock's career, but I liked how he brought up how he changed Eddie Edwards' career by hitting him with a baseball bat and how he can do the same for Shamrock. The lights going out and Shamrock chasing the dudes with the ICU masks on won't be for everyone, but I personally didn't mind it and thought the whole angle was well done. They're set to main event the first night of Rebellion.
Footage was also shown from what we were told was a Gatar show where Michael Elgin beat Eddie Edwards for the Middle Eastern Championship with help from Brian Cage (?!). I assume that was always going to air since, after looking it up, the event happened back in late February. Nonetheless, I appreciated that the commentary was edited to reflect the Rebellion changes, as it will now air over the next two weeks as special editions of IMPACT! Wrestling. At least the build won't go to waste. Outside of the pointless opener, I'd chalk this up to being a quality show. I'm looking forward to seeing how Rebellion is handled in an empty arena starting next week.
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