Impact Grand Champion Matt Sydal def. Fallah Bahh
I'm so happy that the standard rules of the Impact Grand Championship matches have been abolished because they were an obstacle more often than not, but in all honestly, I hope it isn't long before the belt itself is done away with as well because it's unnecessary. At any rate, this was a nice little match. Both men are babyfaces, but they told a decent story with Sydal fighting from underneath and ultimately emerging victorious with his title in tow.
Lashley def. K.M.
This followed Lashley attacking American Top Team and their ally K.M. last week. K.M. has a lot of work to do as a performer, both in the ring and as a character, but he had a fine enough showing here against one of the company's top talents. I can't say I was exactly enthralled by this match, but K.M. held his own and Lashley received a momentum boost with the victory.
Kiera Hogan def. Impact Knockouts Champion Laurel Van Ness (Non-title)
Hogan (no relation to Hulk) is a fairly well known name on the independent scene, but I haven't seen any of her previous work. This was largely a squash match in favor of Van Ness (and not a very good one at that) until Allie distracted Van Ness and allowed Hogan to pick up the upset win. It's been reported for a while now that Van Ness left IMPACT after this set of tapings, so this loss was no surprise. At this point, it's more of a question of who she'll be dropping the strap to.
The Cult of Lee Attacked Impact Tag Team Champions LAX
The segment started off with oVe confronting LAX and the two teams essentially showing each other respect. I feared that their feud was not yet over after so many months, but Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley attacking LAX confirmed that will be the next tag team title feud. It was well done angle that set up that program, and the tag team division adding another tandem to the mix was long overdue.
Moose and Johnny Impact def. Alberto El Patron and Ethan Carter III
EC3 posted a funny tweet on Twitter earlier in the week saying he's basically Rick Rude right now in appearing on both IMPACT! and at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia. That might be the case for a few weeks until EC3 is written off IMPACT TV. Anyway, this was a real solid tag team match with great performances from everyone involved. Moose pinning El Patron was interesting, though, considering EC3 is the one on his way of the company.
Austin Ares def. Eli Drake to Win the Impact Global Championship
IMPACT! spoiled Aries' return on their website and social media pages when this was taped last month, but word had already gotten out, anyway. While it's cool to see Aries back in the organization and I thought Drake and Chris Adonis set up his return nicely with their segment mimicking This Is Your Life, putting the belt on Aries right away sends the wrong message and is "LOL TNA" booking. The guy has been gone for years, yet he wins the belt back on his first night? A chase would have been much better, not to mention it makes Drake looks weak. I'm a huge Aries fan and we'll see how this shakes out, but even the reaction to his return wasn't as monumental as it should have been. It felt lukewarm and fell flat.
IMPACT is once again undergoing a reboot, starting with the return of the four-sided ring and the Impact Global Championship slowly being phased out. Aries and a few others are being brought in, too, which will be needed with the departures of so many stars. This was hardly the most exciting new chapter for the company because nothing was must-see at all even if it was a newsworthy night, though the tag team match was enjoyable. Here's hoping the rest of the tapings can pick up the pace.