Pre-Show: Gail Kim Inducted Awesome Kong Into the Impact Hall of Fame
I'm so glad IMPACT decided to include this part of the actual pay-per-view this year. In the past, they've done it over Bound for Glory weekend but not at the event itself, whereas it was perfectly positioned on the pre-show here. Needless to say, Kong absolutely deserves the accolade for all she's done for women's wrestling over the last decade-plus. She and Kim both had really nice speeches and I'm thrilled she was honored considering her career never had a proper ending in the ring.
Pre-Show: Jordynne Grace def. John Skyler, Madison Rayne, Fallah Bahh, Chelsea Green and Crazzy Steve in a Six-Way Match to Become the First-Ever Impact Digital Media Champion
I appreciate IMPACT's attempt to be different by doing so much intergender wrestling, but it just isn't for me, personally. Obviously, it depends on the situation and who's involved, but Fallah Bahh taking offense from any of these women didn't feel believable (and yes, I realize he's a comedy character). I applaud the effort from all involved, but it felt like they tried to cram as much as possible into a five-minute period. Congrats to Grace on the moment and for making history.
The IInspiration def. Decay (Rosemary and Havok) to Win the Impact Knockouts Tag Team Championship
The woman who sings the entrance theme for The IInspiration appeared to be singing them down the to the ring, but I'm pretty sure she was lip-synching. Even if so, it was cool. I can't tell you one memorable match they had in WWE as they've always been better characters than wrestlers, but this was decent enough and all four women worked hard. The IInspiration have all the momentum at the moment now that they've been signed and were the right choices to win. They're a fantastic fit for IMPACT's Knockouts division, specifically in the tag team ranks.
Trey Miguel def. El Phantasmo and Steve Maclin in a Three-Way Match to Win the Impact X-Division Championship
The title was vacant coming into the contest because Josh Alexander willingly vacating it upon pursuing Option C last month. I knew this would be a barn burner given who was involved but was still blown away by the three-way they put together. This was an absolute blast and the crowd was white-hot for it. The X-Division has been killing it all year long and these guys kept that going. Miguel should have been champion a while ago, but I'm stoked it finally happened here. He's the perfect person to be leading this X-Division as its champion going forward.
Heath and Rhino def. Violent By Design (Deaner and Joe Doering)
This played out exactly as many of us expected it to, but there's nothing wrong with that whatsoever. In fact, it made for a fun moment when the Heath and Rhino reunion finally happened after almost a year. Heath was beaten down the entire time by Violent By Design, which brought out a fired-up Rhino at the end to tag in and win almost immediately. We never got that tag team run from Heath and Rhino in IMPACT last year, so I'm happy we're getting it now.
Moose Won the Call Your Shot Gauntlet Match
Rocky Romero, Melina, The Demon and Laredo Kid were among the surprise entrants. This was your basic Battle Royal for the most part, though we did get to see some interesting interactions playing off past and current rivalries and whatnot. The order of entrants was definitely rushed, but oh well. I don't think giving this more time would have made it better. It got more interesting down the stretch when it came down to the heavy hitters and I was pleasantly surprised Moose won. He's been phased down quite a bit since being bumped from the world title picture at the start of the summer and deserves to be back at the top of the card.
Impact World Tag Team Champions The Good Brothers def. Bullet Club (Chris Bey & Hikuelo) and FinJuice in a Three-Way Tag Team Match
Although I've been digging a lot of what's been going on in IMPACT this year, the tag team division is still a weak point for the company. This is the third time in the last year that we've gotten a multi-team match at a major pay-per-view for the Impact World Tag Team Championship, probably because IMPACT can't be bothered to create a compelling feud over the titles. The build to this bout in particular is as lazy as it gets, though FinJuice have had quality chemistry with Bullet Club as of late. Unfortunately, neither team had very good chemistry with Good Brothers, making this the most boring match on the whole card. Good Brothers retaining the titles, when it really should have been Bullet Club winning, made it even worse.
Mickie James def. Deonna Purrazzo to Win the Impact World Championship
These two spent a considerable amount of time brawling before the bell finally rang. It started out slow, but once they picked up the pace down the stretch, there was a lot more drama and suspense surrounding the nearfalls. All in all, I expected more from this match, it just didn't reach the level it should have considering the story they've told up to this point given how long Purrazzo was champion for. At the very least, it felt like a big moment when James won and I'm happy for her. The fact she never got one more run in WWE for the five years she was there is a crime, but better late than never, even if it's in a different company.
Josh Alexander def. Christian Cage to Win the Impact World Championship; Moose def. Josh Alexander to Win the Impact World Championship
Cage and Alexander are both fantastic at what they do, so while this was a top-notch main event, it felt like it lacked a certain something to take it to that level of being a classic main event. Maybe because they're both babyfaces and it was fairly obvious Alexander was winning? The crowd popped big for Alexander becoming champion and it was a memorable, emotional moment (somebody get Matt Striker a tissue), which is why I loved the twist ending with Moose cashing in his title shot to take the title from him. I totally forgot about the possibility of him resurfacing after the main event and it was very well booked. He's been ready for the main event spotlight for a long time and now Alexander can continue to chase, this time with a heel as champion. This was the ending the night needed in my opinion to really get people talking.
I don't know about anyone else that's on the east coast, but I was definitely getting tired by the end. I'm not a UFC or boxing fan, so I'm not used to watching pay-per-views until almost one in the morning. I'd say that's why the crowd got more fatigued as the night went on, but then I realized this emanated from Las Vegas, so they have no excuse. Otherwise, this was an entertaining event. It was very newsworthy with every championship changing hands except the tag titles and there was quality wrestling throughout the card. Braun Strowman (or any other major name, for that matter) was shocking and disappointing compared to what we got at Slammiversary, but IMPACT largely delivered when it mattered most and left fans with some stuff to look forward on their upcoming television tapings.