Pre-Show: Bullet Club (Juice Robinson, Ace Austin and Chris Bey) def. Jason Hotch, Shogun and Jack Price
A lot has changed with Robinson since we last saw him on IMPACT programming teaming with David Finlay. He's since turned heel and joined Bullet Club. He'll also be facing Jon Moxley in an AEW World Championship Eliminator match this coming Wednesday on AEW Dynamite, so that's pretty cool. This simply served as a showcase for Bullet Club to remind viewers of their dominance and get them back on track.
Pre-Show: Killer Kelly vs. Tasha Steelz End in a No Contest
Kelly has been impressive since coming to IMPACT and this was easily her biggest test to date with Steelz being a former Impact Knockouts World Champion. They had a decent match, but I get the feeling they're capable of better. Kelley went nuts and choked Steelz with a steel chain before choking the referee with it as well. I assume she was disqualified, but since the bell never rang, I'll call it a no contest. Either way, this feud will continue.
Impact X-Division Champion "Speedball" Mike Bailey def. Delirious
I haven't seen Delirious in action at all since Ring of Honor closed its doors late last year. I never understood the appeal of the gimmick, but the guy is a good worker and this had to be the best match I've ever seen him have. Bailey has been killing it as X-Division champ this summer and Delirious pushed him to his limit. I didn't have any doubts Bailey would retain, but they worked well together and had an enjoyable opener, nonetheless.
The Motor City Machine Guns def. Honor No More (Vincent and PCO)
Motor City Machine Guns just became the number one contenders to the Impact World Tag Team Championship at Bound for Glory by beating Aussie Open on Thursday's IMPACT! Wrestling, so it would have been silly for them to lose here. It was a warm-up for Motor City Machine Guns and a well-wrestled one at that. Interestingly, tension has been teased with PCO in Honor No More as of late, but Vincent was the one who got pinned. Keep an eye on that.
Mickie James def. Gisele Shaw in a Career Threatening Match
Shaw is definitely making strides in the ring, which is encouraging to see. She can't face many better than James, who is the perfect person for her to be learning from. There was no reason to believe James would lose, but Shaw looked credible in defeat and it was a solid affair. We found out later in the show that James' next Career Threatening match at Bound for Glory will be against Mia Yim.
Frankie Kazarian def. Kenny King, Black Taurus, Trey Miguel, Yuya Uemura, Mia Yim, Alex Zayne and Laredo Kid in an Impact X-Division Championship No. 1 Contender's Triple Threat Revolver Match
IMPACT tends to go overboard with the intergender stuff quite a bit, but Yim felt like a feasible threat against most (if not all) of the people she shared the ring with here, so it didn't bother me in this case. She performed exceptionally well and scored back-to-back eliminations to start this off. As you'd expect given the talent involved, this was super fun and I liked the story they told with King and Yim. King winning would have made sense given his unfinished business with Bailey, but I'm not complaining about getting Bailey vs. Frankie Kazarian instead. That should be a blast.
Bobby Fish Attacked Raj Singh and Shera
It was reported earlier in the day that Fish apparently tried to get Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly to quit AEW so they could join him in WWE and both turned him down. I can't imagine Triple H will want Fish on his own (unless he were to reunite with Roderick Strong), leaving Fish to take his talents to IMPACT instead. Honestly, It's a pretty funny situation. I like the dude, but his promo here about being "controversial" (basically because he called out CM Punk several times) was dumb. I realize Singh and Shera aren't high on the IMPACT totem pole, but Fish saying he has no idea who they are doesn't do them any favors. I can Fish's IMPACT debut coming against Shera at Bound for Glory.
Honor No More (Eddie Edwards and Impact World Tag Team Champions Matt Taven and Mike Bennett) def. Impact World Champion Josh Alexander, Heath and Rich Swann
Honor No More's victories have been so inconsistent throughout their run together that they needed a win here to ensure they had momentum heading into Bound for Glory, so them going over here was the correct call. Better yet, Edwards pinned Alexander (who has rarely been defeated in the last year or so) to send the message that he could conceivably beat him for the title when they go one-on-one. This was a very entertaining six-man tag team match with a chaotic pace and top-notch action.
Impact Knockouts World Champion Jordynne Grace def. Max The Impaler (Non-Title)
This was a Pick Your Poison match with Masha Slamovich picking Max to be Grace's opponent on his occasion. Max has been making the rounds this last year between Ring of Honor, AEW and the NWA (where she's primarily wrestled lately), so it was cool to see her pop up in IMPACT. She was even accompanied to the ring by Father James Mitchell, who has been her manager in the NWA. This was a good, powerful battle that didn't overstay its welcome. Grace announced afterward that Slamovich will have to take on GCW's Allie Katch on Thursday's edition of IMPACT! Wrestling.
Steve Maclin def. Sami Callihan and Moose in a Three-Way Barbed Wire Massacre Match
Callihan paying tribute to Cactus Jack/Mick Foley with his attire was a nice touch. We've seen so many hardcore gimmick matches in IMPACT in recent months that I've grown numb to them at this point, but the crowd was into this and the three men gave it a hell of an effort with all of the innovative spots, I'll give them that. I'm hoping Maclin pinning Callihan puts a decisive end to this feud, but I'm left wondering if there's still more to come from these three (or maybe just from two of them) considering Bound for Glory is in two weeks and I don't know what they do otherwise.
I said this coming into Victory Road, but I didn't expect it to be very storyline significant or be must-see on the whole. It turns out I was right, but that isn't to say it wasn't a worthwhile event from an in-ring standpoint. Truth be told, I don't think this show needed to happen at all considering Bound for Glory is right around the corner (unless there's a certain number of Impact Plus specials they're obligated to do a year). That said, the three hours were well spent, but I'm more so looking forward to the projected lineup for Bound for Glory. IMPACT has delivered with all of their big shows this year and that should be no exception.