Michael Elgin def. Eddie Edwards
Elgin and Edwards have been at odds for weeks, and although I wasn't high on them facing off in a full-length match less than a week before their scheduled match at Hard to Kill, this was still an excellent opener. Say what you will about Elgin, but the guy has delivered in almost every match I've seen him in over the last year in IMPACT and he's had especially great chemistry with Edwards. This was all action that raised the stakes of their rematch at Hard to Kill, which will feature Edwards' Call Your Shot trophy up for grabs.
Desi Hit Squad def. Daga, TJP and Fallah Bahh
Daga, TJP and Bahh had awesome chemistry as a trio. I don't usually care much for matches with Desi Hit Squad, but this was fun while it lasted, largely thanks to the babyfaces. Mahabali Shera doesn't make me a fan of Desi Hit Squad, but he does make them slightly more bearable. I guess Desi Hit Squad winning is supposed to give them credibility, but I don't care about them any more now than I did more. More of Daga, please.
Havok def. Rosemary
As a match, this was perfectly fine, but I was too distracted by Suzie's short stint on commentary to pay attention to the action. It's not like it would have been a barn burner anyway, as this was all about furthering the storyline with the three of them. I also realized while watching this match that Rosemary hasn't been the same since her injury two years ago. She was on the top of her game from 2016 to early 2018, but her matches don't have the same quality they once did.
ODB, Jordynne Grace and Tenille Dashwood def.Impact Knockouts Champion Taya Valkyrie, Madison Rayne and Kiera Hogan
Is it just me or does Valkyrie never win unless her title is on the line? That isn't to say she gets pinned a lot, but most of her non-title matches end in non-finishes or just aren't very good. ODB pinned her here as she'll be challenging for the Knockouts title along with Grace at Hard to Kill. It was a solid six-woman tag team match that, to me, further illustrated how Dashwood has failed to live up to expectations since signing with IMPACT. She was a total afterthought in this bout.
Brian Cage and Rhino def. Moose and Rob Van Dam
You could tell that this took place at the end of a set of tapings because of how quiet the crowd was, which is a shame because this was a quality main event. I liked how Moose acknowledged his history with Rob Van Dam from the summer and how him attempting to copy RVD cost him in the end. I hate that Moose had to get pinned, but I understand IMPACT probably wants to protect the newly turned RVD as much as possible. This was a nice way to lead into the pay-per-view on Sunday and further two feuds with one match.
IMPACT is in a tough spot because they've been off TV for three weeks yet had a pay-per-view to promote in five days. Despite that, I thought they did a commendable job of building excitement for the event, especially with that amazing video package highlighting the Tessa Blanchard vs. Sami Callihan feud. That was a fantastic piece of business and I encourage anyone to check it out who hasn't already. The hype for Hard to Kill was really well done and no time was wasted. Some of the stuff in the middle with Havok and Rosemary was whatever, but I thought the two hours on the whole were nicely paced and left me looking forward to Sunday night.
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