The North def. The Deaners
I've noted before how I don't care much for The Deaners, but part of that might have been due to how they were put in a program with Desi Hit Squad, who I care even less about. That said, this was easily the best match I've seen from The Deaners yet. The North are quite good and have great chemistry together. This was an enjoyable opener with a solid layout and The Deaners looking credible in defeat.
Knockouts Champion Taya Valkyrie and Rosemary vs. Su Yung and Havok Ended in a Double Count-Out
Although Valkyrie and Rosemary have a checkered past, they were willing to put their differences aside here to take out two common enemies in Yung and Havok (in other words, don't consider this a face turn for Valkyrie). It was a decent match while it lasted before it broke down and ended in a double count-out. Chaos continued to ensue afterward, which served as a nice preview of what to expect at Slammiversary in the Monster's Ball four-way.
Sami Callihan def. Fallah Bahh; oVe Attacked Tessa Blanchard
Bahh has become a bigger player (figuratively, not literally) in IMPACT than I imagined him being in the last few months. Thus, while I never thought the outcome was in doubt here with Slammiversary next Sunday, Bahh still put up a hell of a fight before finally losing to Callihan. This was a well-wrestled match with a strong post-match angle. I'm honestly shocked Callihan and the rest of oVe went as hard on Blanchard as they did (even hitting her with a piledriver), but I've been into this story more than I thought I would be so far. We'll see how the Slammiversary match between Blanchad and Callihan plays out.
The Rascalz def. Impact World Tag Team Champions LAX and Laredo Kid
IMPACT fans might be familiar with Laredo Kid from the time he spent in IMPACT about two years ago. Interestingly enough, he'll be teaming with The Lucha Brothers to take on The Elite for another six-man tag team match at AEW Fyter Fest on Saturday, so the timing of this couldn't have been any better. This was every bit as exciting as expected and the frantic, non-stop pace was a ton of fun to follow. The Rascalz beating LAX was smart in establishing them as threats to the tag titles come Slammiversary.
IMpact World Champion Brian Cage and Michael Elgin Brawled
The story is that despite Cage's return to IMPACT TV last week, his "doctor" is claiming that he is not cleared for competition yet. Cage defied his orders and went out to the ring to cut a promo, anyway. That brought out Elgin, who viciously attacked Cage and put him through a table at ringside. Before Elgin could further assault commentator and IMPACT official Don Callis, Cage rose from the floor and brawled with Elgin to close out the show. This was an excellent angle that successfully got me hyped for their upcoming Impact World Championship clash.
IMPACT is almost always a consistently coherent show every Friday night, but this episode especially stood out to me as being above average. I really loved what they did with Cage and Elgin as well as the six-man tag team match. The stuff with the women, oVe and Blanchard, and even the opening tag team bout were all entertaining and effective as well. Throw in build for next week's go-home show and for Slammiversary and you have yourself one of the most well-rounded editions of IMPACT! Wrestling in a while.