STRONG Openweight Tag Team Champions Aussie Open def. Bullet Club (Ace Austin and Chris Bey)
Aussie Open are obviously members of Will Ospreay's United Empire faction over in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, but I became familiar with them through their recent appearances on AEW TV and they're a super impressive duo. Bullet Club are very talented in their own right, but it's strange that it's felt like they've had no direction as of late. This was an enjoyable opener that gets Aussie Open one step closer to the Impact World Tag Team Championship.
Mickie James def. Raychell Rose
James declared last week that she'd retire the next match she loses before she can challenge for the Impact Knockouts World Championship. It was pretty obvious she wasn't losing to an unknown enhancement talent (though I believe she's appeared on AEW Dark or Elevation before), so this served as a simple squash win for James to get her going. It was short, sweet and exactly what it needed to be.
Yuya Uemura def. Kenny King
This marked Uemura's IMPACT debut. I don't know much about him other than that he's a standout in NJPW. I believe the first match I saw of his was on the pre-show for Ric Flair's Last Match, but it was too short of a match for me to get an idea of what he's capable of. This wasn't very long, either, but what we got was good. I'm curious where the stuff with King and Mia Yim will lead. Too bad Yim's husband Keith Lee can't come to her aid.
Impact Knockouts World Champion Chelsea Green def. Taya Valkyrie
Green and Valkyrie are both established and can clearly hold their own, so this was a competent contest. It wasn't anything great by any means, but it was solid enough and furthered the feud between their respective teams. I assumed we're headed toward a rematch for the Impact Knockouts World Championship, though it hasn't been announced for Victory Road as of now.
Impact Digital Media Champion Brain Myers def. Bhupinder Gujjar by Disqualification
This was a rematch from Emergence. This has been a fine feud, but it's been hard to get invested in Gujjar because he's been fairly bland as a character so far. This was another average outing from them and Gujjar looked like a moron for getting himself intentionally disqualified. We don't get Ladder matches often in IMPACT, so I don't know why they're wasting that stipulation of these two for this title in two weeks.
Eddie Edwards def. Heath
Heath has been targeting Honor No More members for a while, but there was no way he was getting past the number one contender to the Impact World Championship. I like that Heath has been booked in a way where it's easier to take him more seriously, but I do ultimately think we're headed for him and Rhino challenging Honor No More for the tag titles at Bound for Glory. The post-match promo exchange between Edwards and Josh Alexander and the beatdown from Honor No More were well done and effective in building up the Bound for Glory main event.
IMPACT! Wrestling is almost always a strong show, but I thought this was one of the weaker installments in recent memory. It started off on a hot note with that tag team match, but everything else that followed (although serving a purpose) was mediocre at best. The main event isn't really worth going out of your way to see, either. Thankfully, it wasn't a post-pay-per-view show and Victory Road isn't for another two weeks, so the timing was acceptable for it to be an off week.