Tessa Blanchard def. JAke Crist
Why is IMPACT so adamant about doing more intergender matches? As I've said before, I'm personally not a fan of it, but at least this was a bit of a fair fight since Crist is a lackey for Sami Callihan and has never been positioned as a real player in IMPACT. This was a fine match with Blanchard going over as she should have. I was hoping her feud with oVe would end after this and she could go back to chasing the Knockouts Championship, but Blanchard vs. Callihan has already been added to Slammiversary. Ugh. We'll see if it exceeds expectations.
Madman Fulton def. Eddie Edwards
If anyone can get me invested in a Madman Fulton match, Edwards is the guy. His flurry of offense was fun and his craziness always makes his matches interesting. Fulton maintained momentum with the win and Edwards was protected in defeat via Killer Kross' distraction on the big screen. I wasn't not sure what to think of Kross basically attempting to murder The Sandman, though. I expect that to receive a polarizing reaction from fans.
Moose def. Rob Van Dam
Moose will be facing Rob Van Dam at Slammiversary, so while I still have no desire to see Dreamer wrestle on IMPACT TV as regularly as he has been lately, this match made sense. Dreamer managed to hold his own but was largely still carried to a competent contest by Moose. It didn't overstay its welcome, either, which I appreciated. RVD then saved Dreamer from a post-match attack from Moose.
Impact Knockouts Champion Taya Valkyrie def. Su Yung by Disqualification
The heel vs. heel dynamic made it a bit difficult for the crowd to care about this, but it was clear by the end that it was designed to be more of an angle than a true match. It was well wrestled for what it was, but ultimately, Havok "inadvertently" cost Yung the title by attacking Valkyrie. When Rosemary came to Valkyrie's afterward, it was announced that there would be a four-way Monster's Ball matchup for the title at Slammiversary. I've ranted in the past about how I believe the Monster's Ball gimmick has been overdone in IMPACT, but this could be great.
TJP def. Austin ace
Ace boasted about his undefeated streak beforehand and issued an open challenge, only to get a returning TJP. It's been over three and a half years since we last saw Perkins in IMPACT and he's looking very motivated coming off his release from WWE back in February. The crowd was hot for his return and he'll be an excellent asset to the X-Division is that's what his role will be. This was an enjoyable encounter while it lasted and I'd be all for an eventual rematch/feud between the two.
X-Division Champion Rich Swann def. Johnny Impact and Michael Elgin in a Three-Way Match (Non-title)
These guys (along with Willie Mack) have consistently been involved in some of the best matches on IMPACT! Wrestling in recent months, so it was hardly a surprise that this was a terrific three-way. The pace never slowed down and they worked wonderfully together as always. Swann pinning the number one contender to his title was a bit of a weird move, but I guess he needed the win more. Either way, it was smart to keep Elgin out of that. Brian Cage finally returned afterward to lay out Elgin, so their match will happen as planned at Slammiversary after all.
The returns of TJP and Cage as well as the top-notch three-way main event made this a better edition of IMPACT! Wrestling than usual. The episodes are normally solid anyway, but this had some more life to it, probably it marked the beginning of a final set of tapings before Slammiversary. Speaking of which, we had more matches confirmed for the card, several storylines were progressed, and the in-ring action was decent on the whole.
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