Ethan Carter III Challenged alberto El Patron
El Patron is a natural heel, but he has a done a pretty good job of rallying the crowd behind him so far as a face. I don't know how long it will last, but it makes sense to book him as a babyface from the get-go while fans still want to cheer him. Meanwhile, EC3 has come off like a heel these past two weeks, which isn't surprising since that was the direction he was headed in anyway before the new management entered the picture. This was a solid verbal exchange from them that effectively set up their encounter for later in the night.
Laredo Kid and Garza Jr def. Eli Drake and Tyrus
Drake and Tyrus seemingly broke up a while ago, revealed it was all a ruse, and now their partnership is on the rocks again? Why should anyone buy into the apparent split this time? At any rate, this was a nice little tag team match with the new duo of Kid and Garza having an impressive outing, and I'm glad they were able to receive more of a spotlight than Reno Scum did last week. They were completely overshadowed by the obnoxious commentary and thankfully that wasn't the case here.
Brandi Rhodes vs. Kayci Quinn Went to a No Contest; Knockouts Champion Rosemary Attacked Quinn
Cody might have been the biggest babyface in the building when he prevented the match from happening. Brandi is far from ready for singles action because the last time I saw her wrestle a few short months ago, she stunk up the joint. Cody's rivalry with Moose has been well done so far and all this hype up will make fans look forward to their eventual clash that much more. The on-air chemistry with Cody and his wife Brandi has also been entertaining with Cody as the heel and Brandi as the face. Additionally, Rosemary's attack on Quinn was a bit random, but at least it put heat on her as champion.
Alberto El Patron def. Ethan Carter III in an Impact Wrestling World heavyweight Championship No. 1 Contender's Match
This was a way better match than what we saw from El Patron and Lashley in last week's main event. They were given plenty of time, the crowd was engaged in the action, and they found instant in-ring chemistry with each other. EC3 tapped out for the first time here, so I was happy the commentators made it out to be a big deal, because it is. EC3 teasing using the chair was definitely heelish, but El Patron did something similar last week when he hit Lashley with the title belt, so what's the difference? It's obvious EC3 will be going heel sooner rather than later, and that intrigues me more than whatever is next for El Patron considering he has already technically beaten the company's two top stars in the span of two weeks.
X-Division Champion Trevor Lee def. Braxton Sutter, Andrew Everett and Suicide in a Four-Way Match
Sutter won a four-way match just last week, so why wouldn't this have been a one-on-one title shot for him? As I mentioned last week, putting these guys in multi-man matches isn't going to do them any favors in the long-run. Although this was a fun match, the only storyline that was furthered was with Allie and Laurel Van Ness. That said, I liked how it was a distraction from Van Ness that cost Sutter the match so he was protected in defeat. Considering Sienna never received much mic time while she was with Maria, I thought she fared well on the stick with her promo here. On a side note, I could not care less that the Suicide character is back because it never did anything for me years ago.
Bruce Prichard Announced a Tag Team Championship Tournament; Decay, Reno Scum, Laredo Kid & Garza JR, and LAX Brawled
Were Prichard's comments about how titles aren't "won or lost in outer space" really necessary? Yes, that is true, but you just know that was meant to be a shot at The Broken Hardyz. The company should have been smart enough to take the tag titles off them if they thought they was a chance they wouldn't re-sign, so that's on them. At any rate, holding a tournament to crown new champions sounds logical enough to me, and I appreciate that there's a lot of fresh blood in there. The crowd was excited to see LAX back and so was I. Granted, the group isn't the same without Hernandez, but they're a welcome addition to a depleted division, nevertheless.
Last week's "reboot" show was a disappointment in my opinion, largely due to how distracting the commentary team was. They weren't great on this episode, but they were tolerable, so I'll take it. This edition of Impact Wrestling was better on the whole as well with an above-average match from El Patron and EC3, the return of LAX and Suicide, the arrival of Kid and Garza, and a few other storylines being progressed. I enjoyed this episode and I hope they can keep it up going forward.