Impact Knockouts World Tag Team Champions The Death Dollz (Rosemary and Jessicka) def. Gisele Shaw and Deonna Purrazzo
Death Dollz aren't my cup of tea personally, but at least they're holding down the fort in the women's tag team division for now. Purrazzo and Shaw were given a title shot because Purrazzo never got her rematch after she and Chelsea Green lost the belts at Bound for Glory and Green left the company soon after. Shaw stepped in, and thankfully, this alliance was apparently one night only. This was a decent opener.
The Design Attacked Sami Callihan
As I've said before, I'm not into this feud whatsoever. I realize it's meant to keep Callihan busy as well as attempt to establish The Design, but Deaner leading a group of jobbers isn't exactly intimidating. Callihan came across like a moron here for offering to join them only to get laid out. Whether he was trying to outsmart them or not, it didn't work. I'm already ready for this rivalry to be over.
"Speedball" Mike Bailey def. Yuya Uemura
Uemura is basically in IMPACT to have quality matches and he's done a wonderful job of that so far against a number of opponents, even though he isn't featured consistently. Bailey is back to delivering top-notch matches on a regular basis and this was fun while it lasted. Kenny King popped up on the big screen afterward to taunt Bailey, so expect those two to face off at Hard to Kill. I'm glad Bailey has direction again following his loss of the Impact X-Division Championship at Bound for Glory.
Bully Ray, John Skyler and Jason Hotch Attacked Josh Alexander and Tommy Dreamer
Skyler and Hotch were scheduled to take on Johnny Swinger and Jason Hotch before Bully threatened to attack Skyler and Hotch, leading to Alexander making the save only for it to be revealed as a ruse. Dreamer was then laid out by Bully and Alexander was forced to watch while handcuffed to the rope. This angle was well done to put more heat on Bully (and we know he loves heat!) and further their feud heading into Hard to Kill.
Rich Swann vs. Steve Maclin Ended in a Double Count-Out
It was just announced today via Chris Van Vliet that Swann has re-signed with IMPACT, I believe for another two years. Props to him for getting what I'm sure was a sweet deal, but from a booking standpoint, what more is there for him to do that he hasn't already done? Feuding with someone like Maclin is a start, though. They worked well together and I love the story that Maclin took out his aggression on Swann because he hasn't gotten the Impact World Championship he believes he's owed.
Impact Knockouts World Champion Jordynne Grace and Mickie James def. Tasha Steelz and Savannah Evans
If James' team lost this match, would she have had to retire? That wasn't made clear, but I appreciate how James had to overcome Steelz ahead of Hard to Kill considering Steelz beat her for the Impact Knockouts World Championship earlier this year (and never avenged that loss). The crowd was shockingly dead for most of this match, and while it wasn't the most exciting affair, the ladies deserved better. In the crowd's defense, this likely took place at the end of a long taping. This was a solid main event.
Last week's episode had higher highs and will probably end up being more memorable, but I thought this was a slightly better effort on the whole. We were treated to some great wrestling in a few matches and the storyline progression was effective. Granted, not every angle is lighting the world on fire at the moment, but they're trying their best and the shows have mostly been good in the leadup to Hard to Kill. Next week's episode will be a "best of" show, so IMPACT will be back with fresh content the first week of 2023. Until then, happy holidays!