Tessa Blanchard Interrupted Madison Rayne
I've been enjoying the comeback story they've been telling with Rayne and the attempt to build her back up as a championship challenger, and it's definitely worked. She's proven in the past that she's a skilled talker, so I liked her promo here as well as her verbal exchange with Blanchard that played off their recent issues and effectively set up their rematch for later on in the night.
Rich Swann def. Trevor Lee
It's cool Swann can still use his name outside of WWE and that they didn't try to stop him from using it. Despite the problems he's had outside of the ring over the past six months, he's still an incredible competitor, so having him face Lee in his debut was smart because they worked well together and had a fun opening match. Swann shined, but Lee deserves credit for selling his offense like a champ.
Desi Hit Squad def. Z & E
IMPACT announced the formation of the Desi Hit Squad months ago, yet their debut on this show came completely out of nowhere. By that I mean, where were the video packages telling viewers who they are and what they're all about? If nothing else, they made a solid impression in their first match as a team on IMPACT! Wrestling. While a work in progress, they certainly have potential to be players in a depleted tag team division.
Eddie Edwards Attacked Tommy Dreamer
This angle emanated from Dreamer's House of Hardcore promotion. I don't know what preceded it, because all we saw was Edwards laying a brutal beating on Dreamer and bloodying him up. Edwards came across like an unhinged lunatic and I love that it was his feud with Sami Callihan that caused him to go rogue and lose his mind. Edwards also basically told Moose to screw off afterward and I assume Edwards vs. Dreamer at Slammiversary is the direction they're headed in.
Impact X-Division Champion Matt Sydal def. Dezmond Xavier (Non-title)
As I've said time and time again, Sydal has been killing it lately as X-Division Champion and continues to contest quality outings week after week. However, this wasn't as amazing as it could have been considering the competitors involved. It was fun while it lasted, but it was obvious they were capable of so much more and could have had a better bout with more time. Here's hoping a rematch is in their future since Sydal had to cheat to win here. Meanwhile, Brian Cage is still has his sights set on the X-Division title based off what happened afterward.
Madison Rayne def. Tessa Blanchard
Their initial encounter at Under Pressure was great and this was equally entertaining thanks to their excellent chemistry. Blanchard has that presence about her where she stands out as a star every time she's out there, so it's weird she has now lost two big matches after only being in IMPACT for two months. Time will tell whether she's here for the long-term or not. Either way, Rayne winning was logical in order to allow her to build momentum ahead of her title shot at Slammiversary. Post-match, Su Yung attempted to get the jump on Rayne, only for Allie to return and make the save.
Slammiverary is quickly approaching and the card is coming together quite nicely. More matches were added to the event on this show, and although nothing must-see happened on this edition of IMPACT! Wrestling, the two hours were easy to digest and featured some good wrestling. The layout of these episodes has been really well done over the past month and the company should be commended for their ability to turn things around when they were at their worst.
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