Ace Austin and Madman Fulton Attacked Impact World Champion Christian Cage and Josh Alexander
Scott D'Amore was out in the ring to ensure Alexander vacated the Impact X-Division Championship as part of Option C, making Alexander vs. Cage official for Bound for Glory. I'm really looking forward to that one. D'Amore also announced there will be qualifying matches in the coming weeks so a new champ can be determined at the pay-per-view. This was a solid segment with good mic work from all involved to set up the night's main event between Austin and Alexander.
David Finlay def. Hikuleo
Hikuleo and Chris Bey beat FinJuice at Victory Road, but apparently their issues aren't over yet. I've seen Hikuelo in action a few times this year between this run in IMPACT and short-lived stint in AEW and he has potential. Combine that with Finlay being a natural and it was no surprise this was a quality contest. I wasn't thrilled with Hikuelo already eating a pinfall loss, but FinJuice needed some sort of a boost, especially since they were attacked afterward by the returning El Phantasmo.
Rohit Raju def. Chelsea Green
IMPACT does intergender wrestling on an almost weekly basis it seems like. They do it better than almost any other promotion and at least this wasn't too unbelievable because of the type of character Raju is and how he's a smaller guy. It was quite competitive, which was fine, but the biggest problem I had with this was that it saw the return of Raj Singh, who previously teamed with Raju in the Desi Hit Squad. That was one of my least favorite teams in recent years in IMPACT because of how dreadfully boring they were, so I have no interest in a reunion.
Rich Swann and Willie Mack def. Brian Myers and VSK
Swann challenged Myers and one of his "students" to a tag team match. Myers said they weren't ready (isn't Zicky Dice a former NWA Television Champion?), so he enlisted the help of VSK instead. I assume VSK trained at Myers' actual wrestling school. He's appeared for IMPACT a bunch this year as well as AEW, but there was no way he and Myers were winning this thing. It was a well-wrestled affair, but I'm not sure what purpose this was supposed to serve other than to kill time before Swann competes in the Call Your Shot Battle Royal at Bound for Glory. Doesn't that feel like a step down for the guy who won the Impact World Championship at last year's installment and held it for six months?
Scott D'Amore Made Impact Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo vs. Mickie James Official for Bound for Glory
It's been apparent since Slammiversary, but it's finally official: James will challenge Purrazzo for the Impact Knockouts Championship at Bound for Glory. That's easily the biggest women's match IMPACT has done in a few years and it should be great. The buildup has been excellently executed and there was some more strong mic work from them here as well. Purrazzo will hit the one-year mark as champ at the event, so it's entirely possible James will be the one to end it.
Josh Alexander def. Ace Austin
I loved how Alexander mentioned in the opening segment that it was Austin who he beat for the X-Division title earlier this year. They had terrific matches over the title at the time and this was another entertaining encounter from them. If they stick around, both of them are the future of this company. I was surprised we didn't get a non-finish to protect Austin in defeat, but I can't complain about Alexander scoring a clean win in the main event. Chaos ensued afterward until Christopher Daniels made a shocking return, which made for an awesome moment. He hasn't been around since the end of the SCU earlier this year and hasn't appeared in IMPACT since 2014. Sign me the hell up for Daniels vs. Austin at Bound for Glory if that's what this was supposed to set up.
This was quite the newsworthy show between the multiple returns, Alexander officially relinquishing the Impact X-Division Championship, and Purrazzo vs. James being set in stone for Bound for Glory. Speaking of which, that's shaping up to be a hell of an event based on the top three matches alone (Christian vs. Alexander, Purrazzo vs. James, and likely Austin vs. Daniels). I've been saying for over a year now that IMPACT has one of the most consistently enjoyable products going today and I hope they can keep killing it heading into Bound for Glory to prove that to people. This was a damn fun show.