Kenny King def. Chris Bey to Qualify for the Impact X-Division Championship Ultimate X Match at Slammiversary
These are two talented dudes and you can't go wrong with either one of them. They have very similar roles in their respective factions and they didn't disappoint in producing a top-notch opener. Both men are former Impact X-Division Champions as well, so it very well could have gone either way and I would have been content, regardless. This played off of what we got from Honor No More and Bullet Club at Under Siege and gave King a rare singles victory.
Impact Knockouts Tag Team Champions The Influence def. Alisha and Gisele Shaw
Shaw beat Madison Rayne at Under Siege, so I suppose that was what earned her and Alisha an opportunity to challenge for the tag titles. Shaw and Alisha are still a relatively new tandem, so unless this feud continues with more matches, I'm not sure why they didn't hold off on this for a later time. As I've said before, Shaw is still a work in progress and Alisha has never been the best in the ring, so this wound up being only decent and nothing more. With The IInspiration gone, The Influence will need teams to work with, so I get the feeling this won't be the last time we'll see these teams facing off.
Impact Knockouts World Champion Tasha Steelz and Savannah Evans Confronted Gail Kim Before Chaos Ensued
Kim's big announcement was that the first-ever Queen of the Mountain match will be held at Slammiversary for the Impact Knockouts World Championship featuring current champ Steelz, Chelsea Green, Deonna Purrazo, Jordynne Grace and Mia Yim. She said it's because they're all former champions, but what about Mickie James and Taya Valkyrie? I was never a fan of the King of the Mountain concept, but with Slammiversary being the 20-year anniversary of the promotion, I get it. This segment was solid in not only setting that up but also next week's six-woman tag team match with Steelz, Evans and Purrazzo taking on Grace, Yim and Valkyrie.
Impact World Champion Josh Alexander and Tomohiro Ishii def. Bullet Club (Jay White and El Phantasmo)
Alexander and Ishii had outstanding chemistry as opponents at Under Siege and they worked wonderfully together here as partners. White and Bey are a terrific team in their own right, so this was very entertaining. I don't know if Ishii will be sticking around in IMPACT now that he's unsuccessfully challenged for the Impact World Championship, but he had a hell of a run if this was it. This also made me want to see Alexander against White one-on-one at some point.
Eric Young Won a 20-Man Gauntlet for the Gold Match to Become the No. 1 Contender to the Impact World Championship at Slammiversary
The Motor City Machine Guns kicking things off against each other was an excellent touch given they've both been with IMPACT/TNA on and off for so long. The early goings of this were great and the cameo from Shark Boy got a good laugh out of me, though I didn't care much for the stuff with Bhupinder Gujjar, Shera and Raj Singh in the middle. It moved pretty slowly from that point forward before picking up again down the stretch. Several stars got to shine and I appreciated all the callbacks. The Matthew Rehwoldt swerve was what it was. Young and Sabin are two TNA originals, so the fact it came down to them in the end was very cool. I wasn't expecting Young to win the whole thing, but I don't have a problem with it. Sure, Alexander vs. Young on paper isn't a major attraction, especially for a show such as Slammiversary, but that pay-per-view will mark exactly 20 years of IMPACT and thus it's fitting to have Young headlining, especially with all of the awesome work he's done since returning two years ago.
I loved that we just wrapped up Under Siege (which is worth checking out, by the way) and already the build has begun for Slammiversary despite it not being for another five weeks. It's smart not to wait until the last minute to start putting that card together, especially with it being such a monumental occasion. The Gauntlet for the Gold had its moments and was obviously meaningful given what was at stake, and the rest of this episode was highly enjoyable as well. This is the most I've looked forward to watching IMPACT week-to-week in ages, if not ever in my 14 years of following the product.