Kimber Lee def. Taya Valkyrie
Valkyrie is contending for the Impact Knockouts Championship at Hard to Kill on Saturday, so I figured this would be a quick and easy win for her, especially since Lee has basically been positioned as a stepping stone thus far in IMPACT. That's why I was surprised by the outcome, even though Deonna Purrazzo and Susan (Su Yung's new alter-ego) factored into the finish. The match itself was fine albeit forgettable.
Chris Bey and Rohit Raju def. Impact X-Division Champion Manik and Suicide
I mentioned this in my Genesis review, but I'm confused as to why Suicide and Manik are two different people, because it was actually revealed back in 2013 that Suicide was Manik with a different name and that TJP was Manik. All of that side, this was a well-wrestled and competitive contest. It also furthered the feud between Bey, Raju and Manik heading into their three-way for the X-Division Championship at Hard to Kill.
Deaner def. Tommy Dreamer by Disqualification
This heel turn is such a refreshing change of pace for Deaner, whose previous character did nothing for me. Cousin Jake impressed me in the Super X Cup on Genesis, so he may actually do well on his own depending on how he's booked. This should have been an easy win for Deaner so he could continue building momentum, but I guess IMPACT wanted to protect Dreamer before Saturday's six-man tag team match. At least the heels stood tall afterward.
Rosemary def. Tenille Dashwood
Considering these are two of the better women's wrestlers in IMPACT, this probably should have been better than it was. That isn't to say it was bad, but it was slightly underwhelming. It ended up being a backdrop for what happened at the end with Crazzy Steve thwarting Kaleb Konley's interference and aiding Rosemary to victory. I absolutely love the decision to reunite Rosemary and Steve as I was always a big fan of Decay. Too bad Abyss is in WWE and we won't get the full reunion.
Moose def. Matthew Palmer by Referee Stoppage
Palmer had a three-minute challenge against Moose last week and managed to survive the full three minutes without getting beaten. You had to know Moose was going to kill Palmer at some point and we only had to wait one week to see it. This was exactly what it needed to be and the referee stoppage finish was a nice touch. This was the perfect follow-up to what went down at the conclusion of Genesis with Moose looking like a badass against Willie Mack and securing himself a future shot at the Impact World Championship.
Impact World Champion Rich Swann def. Impact World Tag Team Champion Karl Anderson (Non-Title)
Although Anderson is mainly a tag team wrestler, I applaud IMPACT for doing an effective job of establishing him as credible in singles competition for the last month or two while Doc Gallows was out injured. That made him a threat to Swann here and it was an entertaining main event. Both of these guys have been heavily protected lately, but I'm glad they went with a clean finish because Anderson lost nothing in defeat and Swann should have won given he's the world champion. The show then ended with Swann and The Motor City Machine Guns brawling with Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers backstage. That Hard to Kill main event should be straight fire.
There was a ton of hype of Hard to Kill throughout the night and rightfully so. I don't know if it's one of IMPACT's biggest pay-per-views ever like Josh Mathews at one point claimed, but there is some buzz surrounding the show solely because of Omega's appearance in the main event. I have lofty expectations for that, so here's hoping it delivers. All in all, this was a very strong edition of IMPACT! Wrestling between the successful pay-per-view build, solid wrestling, and angle advancement. You can't ask for much more than that.