Rhino def. Madman Fulton
Fulton has made strides in the last year, but he hasn't had the strongest showings lately. I wasn't fond of his match with Ken Shamrock at Rebellion and this was equally boring. Worse yet, he lost both bouts for no apparent reason. What happened to IMPACT trying to protect him at all costs? In the moment that absolutely nobody asked for, Sabu returned post-match to save Rhino from oVe. I can't believe IMPACT is still going back to these ECW reunions after all these years. Rhino is fine in small doses, but Sabu should not be competing regularly for a major wrestling promotion in 2020.
The Rascalz def. Desi Hit Squad
It's well documented that I'm no fan of Desi Hit Squad and don't care for their act at all, but they can have a competent match when in the ring with the right opponents. Sure enough, The Rascalz were able to get a decent matchup out of them here. I feared Desi Hit Squad's push would continue with another win here, but thankfully, that was not the case. The Rascalz have unsuccessfully challenged for the Impact World Tag Team Championship on multiple occasions over the last year and a half, so I'm curious what's next for them.
Impact Knockouts Champion Jorydnne Grace def. Lacey Ryan
Grace's open challenges for the Impact Knockouts Championship continue. Everyone who has stepped so far have been nobodies, and while they've been able to look competitive against Grace, I'm ready for Grace to get to some real competition. A match with Madison Rayne is inevitable, but at least these independent wrestlers are benefiting from the extra exposure in the meantime.
Impact X-Division Championship Ace Austin and Willie Mack def. Johnny Swinger and Glenn Gilbertti
This started off as a Handicap match with Mack having to overcome the odds against Swinger and Gilbertti. Needless to say, this was total throwaway. Mack did his best to make it bearable, but it lasted a lot longer than it needed to. Austin eventually came to Mack's aid and helped him win, so it looks like Austin vs. Mack will be the next program over the Impact X-Division Championship.
Eddie Edwards vs. Michael Elgin in Match #5 in the Best of 5 Series Ended in a Draw
The Call Your Trophy was going to be on the line regardless, but I liked how they raised the stakes by announcing that the winner would face Tessa Blanchard for the Impact World Championship at Rebellion. All of their matches in recent months have been great, but this benefited from being slotted as the main event and having that stipulation in place. I could have done without the ref bump, but I understood that they did it to set up that convoluted finish with both men beating each other. Edwards tapping at the exact second he was going to pin Elgin for a three count seemed silly to me, but it's wrestling, so oh well. It was never actually said that this ended in a draw because before the officials could come to a conclusion, Blanchard emerged and agreed to face both men at the pay-per-view. I assume she'll find a way to win by pinning Edwards after Elgin incapacitates him or something like that.
That finish to the main event was a bit flat because of how they've been building to it for so long, but at least we're getting what should be a great three-way for the Impact World Championship at Rebellion out of it. Edwards vs. Elgin was easily the best thing on the entire episode as everything else was solid yet unspectacular. Unfortunately, next week's show doesn't look any better on paper. The reveal of ICU should be interesting (even if it's incredibly predictable that it's been Sami Callihan from the start), but I can't say I'm invested in the Gut Check stuff or that I'm looking forward to The Deaners vs. Rob Van Dam and Joey Ryan. We'll see if it exceeds expectations.
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