Jake Hager def. Wardlow in an MMA Rules Cage Fight
I love Justin Roberts, but could AEW not get Bruce Buffer to be the ring announcer for this? Okay, that's just nitpicking, as I really liked pretty much everything about this. It didn't overstay its welcome, the presentation was well done, and Wardlow scored enough impressive offense before eating the obvious loss (considering Hager's near-flawless MMA record). I can see some not liking it as much, but maybe I'm biased because I'm an MMA fan. The post-match chaos kept the Inner Circle vs. Pinnacle rivalry alive, for better or for worse.
Grayson Waller def. Asher Hale
Waller just debuted on last week's 205 Live with a win over Sunil Singh (who was apparently legitimately injured, which is a shame). He continued his momentum with an even better showing this week against an equally talented Hale, who is also making waves on 205 Live at the moment. This was a super enjoyable outing from these two. I believe they're both babyfaces (or at least they've been coming across that way), so it was more about the spots than it was the storytelling, but I can't complain. Waller scored a second straight win while Hale looks to bounce back following his recent losses.
Universal Champion Roman Reigns Interrupted Rey Mysterio
Mysterio has been doing some of the best mic work of his career during his rushed rivalry with Reigns. That's why it's such a shame this storyline will be short-lived before they move in a different direction. This was a quality verbal exchange between the two that effectively built toward their Hell in a Cell match later in the night. If they were always going to do the match on SmackDown (and obviously plans changed in the last few days to move it from the pay-per-view to the Friday before), then the Hell in a Cell stipulation is vastly unnecessary. It always unnecessary considering they've been feuding for all of two weeks, but especially on SmackDown.
TJP def. Black Taurus
From a storyline standpoint, I'm not really sure why this match happened other than to set up TJP and Fallah Bahh vs. Decay for a future episode. That said, it was a quality opener. I was expecting a little more given that both guys are great, but what we got was good. The tag team division needs more teams, so TJP leaving the X-Division for the foreseeable future to reunite with Bahh makes sense. Moose came out afterward and laid out TJP and Bahh, which led to the return of Chris Sabin. They'll go one-on-one at Slammiversary. It makes sense since Moose previously put Sabin on the shelf, but Sabin isn't a main event player in IMPACT, so it doesn't feel Slammiversary worthy. Hey, I guess it's an improvement over Tommy Dreamer, who Moose faced at least year's installment.