Willie Mack, Rich Swann and The Rascalz def. oVe, Ethan Page and Matt Sydal
Four of these guys will be a part of the Ultimate X match for the vacant Impact X-Division Championship this Sunday at Homecoming, so this served as a small preview of that. If this was any indication, that bout should be a blast. This was a very fun multi-man matchup that was perfectly paced and featured a ton of exciting action. Everyone shined at one point or another and it was a great way to ring in the new year for IMPACT. oVe laid out Mack afterward, all but confirming it will Sami Callihan vs. Mack one-on-one at Homecoming.
Tommy Dreamer and Raven Attacked Eli Drake
Drake wanting to do away with hardcore wrestling is a simple enough story, and I'm fine with him feuding with Abyss so long as he goes over in the end. That said, I have no interest in Dreamer getting further involved as well as Raven. Dreamer vs. Drake last month was mediocre at best, and Raven reeks of ECW. I'm beyond tired of the ECW revivals and reunions and would rather see the focus solely on Drake and other members of the current roster. This was a solid segment, but it did nothing to get me excited for Drake vs. Abyss on Sunday.
Fallah Bahh and KM def. Desi Hit Squad
I enjoy Bahh and KM as a comic relief tag team, but I still couldn't care less about Desi Hit Squad, no matter who makes up the faction. They aren't interesting in the slightest, and although they've had decent matches with Bahh and KM in the past, this was total throwaway and was sloppy and poorly wrestled at certain points. Besides, the focus was mainly on Scarlett Bordeaux sitting on the stage and Bahh and KM trying to impress her.
Allie def. Kiera Hogan
As I've noted before, I've been really digging Allie's transformation from a lovable babyface to a dark psychopath in recent months and she's been playing the role remarkably well. This was more of an angle than a true match, but it was well done with Allie winning in decisive fashion. I assumed Rosemary (who we haven't seen since Bound for Glory) would come to Hogan's aid afterward, but instead it was Jordynne Grace. Grace is an even better choice for right now considering this will move her away from Katarina and into something more meaningful.
Killer Kross def. Trevor Lee
Lee complained to IMPACT officials backstage about being treated terribly and that he deserved more championship opportunities, only to be placed in a match with Kross. Kross has been on a mission lately to convince Impact that he should be his bodyguard, but based off his post-match promo, he knows now that he's going to have to take matters into his own hands. He completely decimated Lee here and looked like a ruthless menace. It was also a nice way to write Lee out of storylines if this was indeed his final appearance for the company (his contract legitimately expired a few days ago).
The Lucha Brothers def. Impact World Champion Johnny Impact and Brian Cage
Impact and Cage will clash for the Impact World Championship at Homecoming, but whether they'd be able to coexist as partners before Homecoming was the question here. Ultimately, they fell short against Pentagon Jr. and Fenix, and not only that, Impact took the losing fall. It was the right outcome given The Lucha Brothers will be challenging for the Impact World Tag Team Championship on Sunday, but I was surprised it was a clean finish. The brawl that followed between Impact and Cage was a good cliffhanger heading into the pay-per-view and the rest of the roster coming out to break them up was a cool visual.
This was the first real show IMPACT has had in three weeks, and honestly, I forgot all about Homecoming until this aired. It's a shame because it has potential on paper and I thoroughly believe it will be an above-average event (similar to Bound for Glory and Slammiversary), but the build has been lackluster up to this point and this was an abysmal effort to sell viewers on the event. The tag team main event should have been must-see, but it was way too short to be what it could have been. The rest of the show, outside of the excellent opener, felt phoned-in, so hopefully the move to the new channel starting next week will lead to IMPACT doing more to keep fans engaged in the product in 2019.