Pre-Show: Rich Swann def. Jason Hotch, Kenny King, Yuya Uemura, "Speedball" Mike Bailey and Bhupinder Gujjar in a Six-Pack Challenge Match
This was a completely random match with nothing on the line, so while it didn't matter who won, it did serve as a nice showcase for the X-Division guys and you have to assume Swann could be next in line for a shot at the Impact X-Division Championship by virtue of his victory. Speaking of Swann, he feels totally directionless at the moment, so I'd be all for him getting back in the title mix soon. Hopefully Bailey can get back on track soon as well.
Pre-Show: NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Champions The Motor City Machine Guns def. Bullet Club (Ace Austin and Chris Bey) in an Impact World Tag Team Championship No. 1 Contender's Match (Non-Title)
It would have been impossible for these teams to have anything less than a top-notch match. My only nitpick is that it wasn't really built up at all in advance, hence why it was on the pre-show and not the main card. All four guys had stellar showings, the action was entertaining and the title shot at stake made the outcome matter. Austin and Bey needs more wins as a team, but they lost nothing in defeat here.
Bully Ray def. Moose in a Tables Match
Tables matches aren't my favorite, and it's not as if I've been blown away by any matches I've seen Bully have this year. Therefore, I didn't have high hopes for this. They had a perfectly passable outing, even though there wasn't anything overly interesting about it until the end. That midair cutter from Bully was admittedly awesome. Bully beating Moose isn't ideal, but it was logical considering Bully has an Impact World Championship opportunity in his back pocket.
Impact Knockouts World Tag Team Champion The Death Dollz (Taya Valkyrie and Jessicka) def. Tasha Steelz and Savannah Evans
Honestly, I've found Rosemary and Valkyrie significantly less interesting since Jessicka joined their act. The matches have suffered as well because Jessicka isn't great. Then again, most of the Impact Knockouts World Tag Team Championship have been mediocre, and that's coming from a proponent of the division in IMPACT. This wasn't terrible by any means, but it could have happened on any ordinary edition of IMPACT! Wrestling and it wouldn't have mattered.
Mickie James def. Taylor Wilde in a Career Threatening Match
It's pretty amazing to think that James and Wilde had never gone one-on-one before now, but I guess they hadn't been in the same place before now. They can still bring it in high-profile situations and they had thumbs-up encounter here, despite James' career never feeling like it was actually in jeopardy. In fact, Deonna Purrazzo might pose the biggest threat to James' career yet as part of the Last Rodeo, and I'm looking forward to that based on the two terrific matches they've had already.
Impact World Tag Team Champions Heath and Rhino def. The Major Players
Heath and Rhino peaked when they won the Impact World Tag Team Championship, much like they did when they won the SmackDown Tag Team Championship in WWE six years ago (has it really been that long?!). Thus, they come off as placeholder champions. A win over The Major Players gives them some credibility, though. This was a solid match and the ringside distraction from Motor City Machine Guns was what cost the heels the win.
Trey Miguel def. Black Taurus to Win the Vacant Impact X-Division Championship
This was the culmination of the Impact X-Division Championship Tournament that kicked off a few weeks ago. There wasn't much drama in this one because neither guy has had much going for them from a character standpoint recently, which is why I thought Miguel turning heel at the end was a pleasant surprise. It was a quality contest on the whole and a rematch could be coming considering Miguel cheated to win.
Impact Knockouts World Champion Jordynne Grace def. Masha Slamovich in a Last Knockout Standing Match
Grace and Slamovich had one of the best bouts at Bound for Glory last month and I was happy they had a chance to run it back on this show. This was the third Last Woman Standing match I've seen this month (the first being at WWE Crown Jewel and the second being on WWE NXT), but this may have been the strongest of them all. They have tremendous chemistry together and worked in enough wild spots to justify the stipulation. Grace winning decisively was slightly shocking, if only because Slamovich was undefeated prior to Bound for Glory and now I have no idea where she goes from here.
Impact World Champion Josh Alexander def. Frankie Kazarian
The buildup to this bout was standard stuff as they told the story of Kazarian never having held world title gold before. As expected, they killed it and had a wonderfully-wrestled main event. No, I didn't buy into the idea of Kazarian actually capturing the championship, but he gave it an outstanding effort and reminded everyone of how talented he truly is. Post-match, Bully Ray told Alexander he's cashing in his Call Your Shot title opportunity at Hard to Kill in January before attacking him from behind, cementing his heel turn in the process. It looks like everyone in the locker room was right about him after all.
A lot of the recent Impact Plus specials have felt fairly uneventful and haven't featured much I'd recommend going out of your way to see, but Over Drive wound up being a real treat. The top two matches delivered and the undercard (pre-show included) had plenty of above-average matches. Sadly, IMPACT doesn't run too many shows at the end of the year due to the holidays, so any momentum they gained from this event isn't bound to last long.