Impact Knockouts Champion Tessa Blanchard def. Ray Lyn (Non-title)
It can't be overstated how big of a star Blanchard is and why she's the perfect fit for the Impact Knockouts Champion right now. I like Taya Valkyrie and wouldn't be upset over her eventually taking the title from Blanchard (which is where this feud seems to be headed), but Blanchard shouldn't be dropping that belt to anyone any time soon. Their post-match verbal exchange was solid and the match itself simply existed to serve as a showcase for Blanchard.
Impact World Tag Team Champions LAX def. Fallah Bahh and KM (Non-title)
I wasn't originally sold on Bahh and KM as a tandem, but they've turned into quite the treat together and I enjoy them as comic relief in the undercard of the tag team division. As a result, I don't mind them taking the fight to stars who clearly have more credibility than them such as LAX. This was a fun little match while it lasted with LAX scoring yet another victory. They said to Konnan backstage afterward that they'd like to mix it up with The Lucha Brothers, which I have no doubt would be outstanding.
Tommy Dreamer Confronted Eli Drake
Drake is far and away one of the most skilled talkers in IMPACT, which is why it's all the more disappointing that he's not involved in something more substantial at the moment. Sure, I guess his "war against hardcore" is a storyline, but it feels like filler and retread material. On the bright side, he's making the most of it and I thought this was a strong segment. As tired as I am of seeing Dreamer on IMPACT TV (I love the guy but...come on), he brought the goods here. I can't say I'm looking forward to their inevitable outing, though.
Impact World Champion Johnny Impact def. Matt Sydal (Non-title)
I remember seeing these two going at it on an episode of WWE ECW almost a decade ago. It's crazy to think how much both Impact and Sydal have evolved since then as performers (at least in the personality department). As expected, this was a quality contest, and although it wasn't incredibly memorable, it was an enjoyable affair. The post-match angle with Killer Kross offering Impact his services was interesting, perhaps planting the seeds for a future alliance between them. More likely, however, it was designed to further their feud over the title.
Su Yung def. Heather Monroe
Similar to Ray Lyn, Monroe was another random enhancement talent I knew nothing about beforehand and was brought in to make Yung look ruthless and relentless. It was your typical squash match that allowed Yung to maintain momentum in addition to progressing the storyline with Kiera Hogan and Allie. Allie emerged afterward looking "possessed" and teasing a possible partnership with Yung. Will Rosemary return to side with Hogan?
Impact X-Division Champion Brian Cage def. Sami Callihan (Non-title)
I was interested to see how well Cage and Callihan would work together, and sure enough, they had chemistry almost instantly. I was happy that the other members of oVe were banned from ringside early on because I feared this wouldn't live up to its full potential as a result of their constant interference. Granted, they weren't given a ton of time, but it was an entertaining main event with Cage winning in clean fashion. Afterward, he announced that at the IMPACT Homecoming pay-per-view on January 6th, he was cashing in the X-Division title for a shot at the Impact World Championship a la Option C. I figured that was where him as X-Division Champion was headed, but it makes the X-Division title feel a bit like an afterthought, especially when he just left it laying in the ring. I'm curious who will win it next and when.
This fresh batch of television tapings emanating from Las Vegas should take us through the end of the year. The crowd was lively on this show, so hopefully that energy translates to future episodes as well. I liked Cage vs. Callihan and Impact vs. Sydal, while the two squash matches with the women were effective in establishing them as dominant. Plus, LAX vs. Bahh and KM was well-wrestled and the Drake and Dreamer segment was better than I thought it would be, so all in all, this was a real good edition of IMPACT! Wrestling.
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