Kushida def. Chris Bey
We found out last week that it will be Kushida and The Motor City Machine Guns vs. Bullet Club's Chris Bey, Ace Austin and KENTA at No Surrender, which I'm extremely excited for. This was just a small preview of what to expect in that match. More of Kushida in IMPACT is a great thing. Bey is excellent as well so this was a blast as expected. It didn't matter who won, but it makes sense to protect Kushida in singles matches so it means more whenever he loses.
Steve Maclin def. Rhino to Qualify for the Impact World Championship No. 1 Contender's Four-Way Match at No Surrender
I must have missed the part where Brian Myers and PCO's wins last week earned them entry into an Impact World Championship number one contender's four-way match at No Surrender. Also, I forgot these two had history from last year until the commentators brought it up. Although this wasn't anything special, it was a competent contest and that's all you can really ask for from Rhino at this stage of his career.
Barry Horowitz def. Johnny Swinger
Yes, you read that headline correctly. The story was that Swinger is attempting to rack up 50 straight wins in order to get a title shot (or something along those lines), so he and Zicky Dice turned to the only person with a worse record than Swinger, and that's Horowitz, probably the most famous pro wrestling jobber of all-time. Horowitz won with a distraction from The Demon, a familiar face from the WCW days who has appeared in IMPACT before. The match was whatever, but it was supposed to be silly and I didn't entirely hate it.
Heath def. Eddie Edwards to Qualify for the Impact World Championship No. 1 Contender's Four-Way Match at No Surrender
Once I realized what was at stake here and figured out that PCO qualified for the No Surrender four-way last week, I immediately assumed Edwards was winning so he and PCO could be in there together. Well, PCO cost him this win, so they'll have to hold off interacting in any sort of a match for now. Heath has gained enough credibility as a singles competitor in the last six months to where I'm actually okay with him fighting for a title shot (though he shouldn't win). This was a well-wrestled match.
Masha Slamovich def. Alisha
Honestly, Slamovich has lost quite a bit of her mystique over the last four months due to her back-to-back losses to Jordynne Grace. She became number one contender at Hard to Kill, but it's not like she did anything overly impressive before that or since then. James vs. Slamovich sells itself on paper, but I'm not sure if her squashing people like she did here is as effective as it once was. Either way, this was what it needed to be and Slamovich standing tall over James afterward helped.
Rich Swann def. Kenny King
King just headlined IMPACT! Wrestling a few weeks ago in his Pit Fight with Mike Bailey. I think it was a little too soon for him to be back in this spot if he was going to lose again, but he made the most of the opportunity and had a solid showing. They worked well together and had a good match, but this was all about giving Swann a main event win to make him feel like more of a threat (even though he doesn't) to the Impact World Championship at No Surrender.
I wasn't a fan of the last two editions of IMPACT! Wrestling, so I thought this was a significant step back toward the show's quality leading into and coming out of Hard to Kill. The night both started and ended with top-notch matches and two of the matches in the middle had stakes. The squashes were quick and painless. Most importantly, the No Surrender card appears to be complete and I'm looking forward to several matches (specifically the six-man tag team match).