Impact World Tag Team Champions and NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Champions The Motor City Machine Guns Confronted Bullet Club
IMPACT doesn't often open with a talking segment, much less with the Impact World Tag Team Champions, so I liked that the tag titles got some shine this week. This was a good exchange between the two teams to set up the night's main event. Ace Austin and Chris Bey ran down their history in Las Vegas and wanted to make more history by becoming champs. It was simple stuff, but it was well done.
"Speedball" Mike Bailey def. Shane Haste
WWE may remember Haste from his time in NXT as Shane Thorne, or his brief stint (which is better off forgotten) as Slapjack in RETRIBUTION a few years ago. He has since returned to New Japan Pro-Wrestlin to reform TMDK with Mikey Nicholls. They're now aligned with Zack Sabre Jr. after JONAH/Bronson Reed returned to WWE. They had a pretty competitive contest with Haste looking credible in defeat. Haste has always been very talented and I'm glad he's getting more chances to show that.
Kenny King def. Kevin Knight
Knight has been impressive in the few matches I've seen him have in IMPACT, but this match was King's to win. They had a well-wrestled matchup with King going over decisively in the end. King just lost his feud with Bailey, so while I appreciate him picking up a victory here, hopefully he can get some direction soon. I'm not sure who would make sense to pair him up with, unless he exacts revenge on Rich Swann for beating him a few weeks ago.
Gisele Shaw Confronted Impact Knockouts World Champion Mickie James
Shaw stepping up as James' next challenger is logical seeing as how she has some momentum having just defeated Deonna Purrazzo on the No Surrender pre-show. As James brought up, she already beat Shaw during her Last Rodeo tour in the fall, but Shaw claimed to be much more of a threat to James now than she was then. Shaw has certainly improved in her role and should have a solid showing next week when she gets her title shot, but there's virtually chance she wins it before James can face Jordynne Grace in a rematch from Hard to Kill.
PCO def. Impact X-Division Champion Trey Miguel by Disqualification (Non-Title)
This stemmed from PCO attacking Miguel at No Surrender. No, PCO was never going to get an Impact X-Division Championship opportunity if he won, and he shouldn't have. Miguel was merely a placeholder opponent for PCO before Eddie Edwards could come in and attack PCO (causing the contest to be thrown out). I was totally fine with the non-finish, and it was cool to see the X-Division champ facing someone outside of the X-Division for a change. The match was decent while it lasted and the post-match brawl accomplished what it needed to.
Bullet Club (Ace Austin and Chris Bey) def. NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Champions The Motor City Machine Guns to Win the Impact World Tag Team Championship (NJPW Strong Openweight Championship Was Not Defended)
This was the match I was hoping we'd get at some point after their recent interactions at Hard to Kill and No Surrender, and unsurprisingly, it was every bit as entertaining as you'd expect. They were given over 20 minutes, worked a frantic pace and kept the action exciting throughout. It was smart for Motor City Machine Guns to play the heel role since Austin and Bey were over with this crowd. Austin and Bey haven't won many (if any) important matches since joining forces, so I'm in total favor of the title change. The fact they won in clean fashion was a nice touch.
As the first edition of IMPACT! Wrestling coming out of the above-average No Surrender show, this was an easy thumbs-up show. I can't recommend the main event enough as it was a total blast and the title change was newsworthy. There weren't any major advancements in the Impact World Championship picture, but there didn't need to be. There was plenty of progression with other storylines throughout the night along with the usual quality wrestling, so it was a strong effort on the whole.