Petey Williams def. Trevor Lee, Jack Evans and Puma King in a Four-Way Match
There was nothing on the line in this match nor did it have any storyline significance (aside from Williams and Lee almost coming to blows in a recent backstage segment with Scarlett Bordeaux), but I enjoyed it for what it was, nonetheless. All four guys had solid showings and Puma King, despite never having seen him before, impressed me with his performance. Meanwhile, I became a big fan of Evans through his work in Lucha Underground and hope to see more of him in IMPACT in the future.
Maximo def. Grado
I figured we would get Murder Clown squashing Grado on this show one week after he beat Joe Hendry, but Grado randomly took on Maximo instead. The commentators informed us that Maximo is essentially Mexico's version of Grado, which seemed to make sense once the match started. It was complete comic relief, and although the crowd got a kick out of it, the bout did nothing for me, especially so close to Bound for Glory.
Rohit Raju def. Gursinder Singh
This is the match that nobody, and I mean nobody, asked for. Desi Hit Squad wasn't a hot tag team to begin with, so while I get what they were going for with both guys trying to prove themselves to Gama Singh, no one in the crowd cared and I can't blame them. Plus, with Bound for Glory on Sunday, did this matchup really serve much of a purpose? For what it's worth, Raju's win means he's staying with Desi Hit Squad and that Gursinder is headed back to India.
Impact World Champion Austin Aries, Moose and Killer Kross def. Johnny Impact, Eddie Edwards and Fallah Bahh
These guys were given a ton of time, but the match didn't really pick up until after the commercial break when things broke down into complete chaos. Normally, I'd say Bahh felt out place in a matchup like this, but he held his own and played his role well. That said, he should have been the one to take the pinfall loss, not Impact. It was strange for Impact to get pinned by Aries days before their Bound for Glory clash. Either way, it was smart to have the heels go over so they could maintain momentum.
Impact Knockouts Champion Tessa Blanchard def. Keyra (Non-title)
I have no clue who Keyra is, but she didn't exactly light the world on fire in her outing against Blanchard here. This didn't last long, mind you, but it wasn't pretty and featured a handful of rough spots. Thankfully, it was largely designed to showcase Blanchard and give her a dominant win ahead of Bound for Glory. Seeing as how her program with Taya Valkyrie came together at the last minute, it would have been nice if there was some sort of interaction between them on this show.
LAX and The OGz Went Face-to-Face
Even though this feud has mostly been furthered through vignettes and video packages over the last number of months, I liked the idea of going with a straight-up face-to-face with these stables before Bound for Glory and giving them the chance to hype up their upcoming encounter one final time. The mic work from Konnan and King was strong and I appreciated that show-closing brawl between the two teams offered a small taste of what to expect on Sunday without giving too much away.
On the whole, IMPACT has done a solid job of building toward Bound for Glory and getting viewers invested in several storylines. However, this was easily among the weakest editions of IMPACT! Wrestling in recent memory because it consisted of so much filler. The six-man tag team mach and the LAX and OGz summit were well done, but everything else had almost zero relation to the pay-per-view. Then again, I realize that the video packages were meant to be the real highlight of the show, but I wouldn't recommend sitting through the two hours just for those. All that aside, if Slammiversary back in July was any indication, Bound for Glory 2018 should be one of the best installments in years.
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