Fenix def. Rich Swann
Holy hell, this was an exceptional opening match. We saw what Swann was made of in his in-ring debut for IMPACT last week (then again, we were already well aware from his WWE stint), but he and Fenix took it to another level here by going all out and setting the bar for the rest of the night. This was stellar stuff with the crowd going crazy for everything they did, especially down the stretch. I question Swann losing in his second match, but Fenix has to build momentum for Slammiversary as well, so I was fine with it. Plus, the post-match with Pentagon Jr. saving Fenix and Swann from oVe successfully set up a six-man tag team matchup for next week.
Killer Kross def. Fallah Bahh
Kross is the one who has been behind all of the attacks backstage in IMPACT in recent months and I'm happy he looks/fits the part. Far too often does this company cast their characters incorrectly and their angles fail miserably as a result, but Kross has potential based off the showing he had here. He won decisively as he should have, while Petey Williams stepping up to him afterward means Williams will be his first official feud.
Madison Rayne and Allie def. Impact Knockouts Champion Su Yung and Undead Bridesmaid
This was a pretty well-wrestled match with good work from all involved, including the "Undead Bridesmaid." Allie showed more aggression than usual, which made sense considering she still has bad blood with Yung. Additionally, I liked how Tessa Blanchard interfered and attempted to cost Rayne the victory only for Allie to swoop in and take Blanchard out of the question. Expect those two to clash at Slammiversary.
Katarina def. Rebel
Katarina has experience wrestling from her last stint in TNA as well as in WWE, but I'm not sure if she has been active in the years she's been of TV (I would assume so but I'm not certain). That said, this was a bad bout and neither woman seemed to know what they were doing. It was a waste of time more than anything and didn't need to happen. Katrina is better off as eye candy for Grado than she is as a member of the Knockouts division in my opinion.
Brian Cage def. Kongo Kong
For whatever reason, this gave me Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg vibes from WrestleMania 34 in that I had fairly low expectations for this encounter going in, but those expectations were easily exceeded. Not only did Cage shine, Kong busted out a few impressive maneuvers as well and this just had a great energy about it with nonstop action. It was exactly what it needed to be and undoubtedly the best Kong match I've ever seen in IMPACT. Cage rolls on to Slammiversary to get another crack at Matt Sydal's Impact X-Division Championship.
King, Homicide and Hernandez Attacked LAX
This entire angle with LAX has been excellently executed over the last number of weeks and the blow-off was worth it. As probably everyone predicted, King revealed that he put a hit out on Konnan and their back-and-forth on the mic was great because it felt intense. Then, King was backed up by the returning Homicide and Hernandez, which was a pleasant surprise because I never thought Hernandez would be back in IMPACT. This should be a fun faction war in the weeks ahead.
The build to Slammiversary has been very well done lately and the pay-per-view isn't for another few weeks, which I appreciate. This was a solid show on the whole with several segments worth checking out including the opener, the LAX stuff, and Cage vs. Kong. Everything else was fine as well with only the second women's match being below average. IMPACT delivers again with a nicely flowing two hour episode, also doing a decent job of advertising multiple matches for next week.
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