Impact X-Division Champion Taiji Ishimori def. Dezmond Xavier
Although this was a glorified spotfest with little to no story, I thought it was the perfect match to kick off the night because it was so entertaining. From an in-ring standpoint, it was a great match, but it really would have benefited from a story of some sort, which the X-Division sorely lacks right now. Ishimori just won the title two weeks ago, so him successfully retaining was the right move. I was pleasantly surprised that Trevor Lee, who has been afterthought since dropping the strap to Ishimori, didn't interfere.
Kongo Kong def. Chandler Park
Chandler is no different than Joseph Park in that when they aren't their alter-egos (Ethan Page/Abyss), they're completely useless in the ring. That was evident during Chandler's in-ring debut two weeks ago, and thus it was not surprising in the slightest that this was a total squash match in favor of Kong. Based off what we saw afterward, I would assume this program will eventually lead to Park bringing back his Abyss persona to face Kong.
Impact Global Champion Eli Drake vs. JOhnny Impact vs. Alberto El Patron in a Three-Way Match Ended in a No Contest
This was apparently taped at a Border City Wrestling event. On the bright side, I was happy that this wasn't simply made up of highlights like Drake vs. El Patron was a few weeks back, but even if it was, there wouldn't have been many highlights to show because this was a complete mess. I have no doubt that these three could go out there and deliver a terrific three-way, but this didn't seem to flow whatsoever, and some of the spots were ridiculous (such as when they teamed up to take out the referees). A Six Sides of Steel rematch will be held next week to settle their score once and for all.
Rosemary def. KC Spinelli
Spinelli has looked good in each of her outings so far, but she has merely served as a stepping stone for the rest of the Knockouts roster. She had another solid performance here against Rosemary and it was a well-wrestled match, though it was obvious that it was designed to showcase Rosemary ahead of her next feud with Hania the Huntress. I'm not familiar with her at all, but hilariously enough, I read today that she was just fired from the company (this was taped months ago), so I'm not sure how much longer she'll be around for on TV. By the way, where is Taya Valkayrie? I know she couldn't compete in Canada, or something like that, but they have since returned to Orlando to tape shows and I haven't heard her name in a while.
LAX def. oVe and Sami Calalihan in Barbed Wire Massacre III
IMPACT made this out to be one of the biggest matches in recent history based off the advertising for it, but I honestly didn't find it to be as epic as the company made it out to be... like at all. Other than generating interest for the match, I have no idea why it was "banned" from Pop TV because there was no blood and it really wasn't all that violent except for some stuff near the end. It was a nice hardcore brawl, but many of us have seen way worse (in terms of gore), so it suffered from being over-hyped. I will say that it was a cool way to blow off the long-running rivalry and there were a handful of sweet spots, but it wasn't exactly as must-see as I imagined.
Barbed Wire Massacre III aired on the company's new Twitch channel instead of IMPACT! Wrestling, so you can see it there. A majority of this episode was dedicated to building that bout up, and given it failed to meet those lofty expectations, this was a below-average edition of IMPACT! Wrestling with a terrible layout. The rest of the show was fairly forgettable and mainly consisted of video packages. The opener was enjoyable, but that was about it. That said, next week's Genesis special has potential on paper between Moose vs. Lashley, the Drake vs. Impact vs. Patron three-way cage match for the Global title, Ethan Carter III vs. Matt Sydal for the Impact Grand Championship, and Laurel Van Ness vs. Allie for the Knockouts Championship.
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