Chelsea Green, Tasha Steelz and Lady Front def. Impact Digital Media Champion Jordynne Grace, Rachael Ellering and Rosemary
All six of these women will be involved in the first-ever Ultimate X match at Hard to Kill. It virtually didn't matter, but Green picking up the win for her team could be indicator she's winning on Saturday. Speaking of Green, it was weird that she was out there like it was business as usual despite being on the receiving end of an accidental chair shot three weeks ago. She received more focus in this match than practically anyone else, but it was a solid showcase for the Knockouts division on the whole.
JONAH def. Jake Something
This was quite the warm-up for JONAH ahead of Hard to Kill where he'll take on Josh Alexander. Something is an impressive competitor and has a lot of untapped potential, but he's not doing anything of note at the moment and was a fine choice to further establish JONAH's dominance. I appreciated that it wasn't a complete squash and that Something scored some offense before eating defeat. Alexander attempted to get one over on JONAH afterward, but JONAH left him laying. I like how he's been booked so far and his match with Alexander could go either way (unless it goes to some sort of a non-finish).
Masha Slamovich def. Sandra Moore
Slamovich has been under contract to IMPACT since the October (right before Bound for Glory at the Knockouts Knockdown pay-per-view where she was offered a deal in the ring by Gail Kim), but this marked her official debut as a member of the roster. From the little I've seen of her since last year, she's very talented and I loved how this put her over as a force to be reckoned with. She literally won within a minute. I say this a lot, but she'll be an excellent addition to that Knockouts division.
Deonna Purrazzo def. Mercedes Martinez
This stemmed from Purrazzo attacking Martinez after Martinez unsuccessfully challenged Mickie James for the Impact Knockouts Championship back at Turning Point. Both women are heels, so although the crowd didn't really have an incentive to cheer for either woman, it was well worked as you'd expect with some hard-hitting offense from both women. The final few minutes were the best part. Purrazzo winning was never in doubt, but I'm happy this was as competitive as it was. We'll probably never get a chance to these two face off again now that Martinez has signed with AEW.
Ace Austin and Madman Fulton def. Hernandez and Johnny Swinger
Hernandez and Swinger don't really have a place on the roster other than being comedy characters, and with Swinger being featured less and less in recent months, the outcome of this contest was obvious from the get-go. Thankfully, this was basically a squash with Austin and Fulton winning quickly and decisively. Hopefully these two can find some direction coming out of Hard to Kill because they've been fairly directionless lately.
Impact World Tag Team Champion Karl Anderson def. Heath
The winner of this match would earn the advantage for their team in the Hardcore War match at Hard to Kill. At least there were stakes, but I have no idea why this got the main event spot over Purrazzo vs. Martinez. It was a standard singles affair that felt out of place in the main event spot. The only thing I can think of is that they wanted to go of the air with the post-match brawl. On the bright side, the Hardcore War eight-man tag team affair should be wild.
IMPACT is always put in a tough spot in early January every year because they take the holidays off and only have one edition of IMPACT! Wrestling before the pay-per-view that weekend. That said, this was a perfectly acceptable go-home show. I would've gone with Purrazzo vs. Martinez as the main event, but at least mostly everything served a purpose and built toward the pay-per-view, which has a lot of promise on paper. You didn't miss much if you didn't tune into this episode, but it accomplished what it needed to and the video packages were well done.
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