The Lucha Brothers def. Rich Swann and The Mack
I knew this was going to be incredibly exciting as soon as I saw it advertised for this episode, and it turned out to be as crazy of a contest as I hoped it would be. The two teams worked amazingly well together, the frantic pace was perfect and they kept raising the bar higher and higher the longer the match lasted. I actually never wanted this thing to end, but I enjoyed every second of it. Afterward, LAX emerged and challenged The Lucha Brothers to an Impact World Tag Team Championship match at Homecoming on January 6. It was made official for the pay-per-view soon after.
Jordynne Grace def. Katarina
This was a rematch from Grace's IMPACT in-ring debut a few weeks ago. Katarina didn't know if Grace could beat her twice. Well, she got her answer. Katarina scored some offense, but this was all Grace for the most part and it should have been. I liked Don Callis comparing Grace to Rhyno because that is super accurate, at least in my opinion. She has plenty of potential and definitely brings something different to the table compared to the rest of the Knockouts division.
Taya Valkyrie def. Ray Lyn
Valkyrie vs. Tessa Blanchard for the Impact Knockouts Championship is set for Homecoming, so this was an opportunity to Valkyrie to continue building momentum and she did so successfully. Lyn showed more charisma and personality here than she did the last time I saw her in action, but she's meant to be a stepping stone for the other Knockouts and nothing more. As Blanchard was attacking Valkyrie post-match, Gail Kim made the save, which was interesting. She's been retired from the ring for the last year and has been working as an agent for IMPACT ever since, but this looks like her latest return. If the goal is for her to put over Blanchard in the end, then I have no problem with it.
The Rascalz def. Chris Bey and Mike Sydal
The Rascalz are the latest addition to the IMPACT tag team division, which was long overdue. They consist of Zachary Wentz and Dezmond Xavier, though I'm not sure who their manager is. Their flashy in-ring styles compliment each other well and they should be a terrific tag team if this match was any indication. They have a ton of innovative moves that I've never seen before and they impressed me immensely with their debut as a tandem here. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to seeing more of these guys going forward.
Eli Drake def. Tommy Dreamer in a No Disqualification Match
After Drake intentionally got himself counted out a few minutes into the match, it was restarted with no disqualifications. I'm sure that was done to mask Dreamer's limitations. I love the guy (he was the first wrestler I ever met over a decade ago), but there's only so much he's capable of at this stage of his career, so incorporating weapons into this was probably for the best. It was basically a brawl (and not a very exciting one at that), but the result what it needed to be. I was surprised Dreamer of all people was the first person to kick out of Drake's Gravy Train finishing maneuver, but I guess the point of that was for Drake to go to the "extreme" in order to put Dreamer away.
Following last week's forgettable Thanksgiving night effort, this was a refreshing return to the normal swing of things for IMPACT. All eyes are on Homecoming in a little over a month and I like how they're wasting no time in announcing several matches for the card and building them up through video packages. As for this edition of IMPACT! Wrestling, it peaked with the outstanding opener, though the pair of women's matches were effective, The Rascalz' debut was a treat, and Drake vs. Dreamer was fine for what it was. Thus, I was happy everything served a purpose.