Pre-Show: Joe Hendry, Yuya Uemura and Heath def. Rocky Romero, Master Wato and Ryusuke Taguchi
Henry is the king of IMPACT's pre-shows at this points, even though he's no longer the Impact Digital Media Champion, because the crowds are consistently behind him and he plays his role really well. Uemura has benefited from being aligned with him and Heath was a good fit as their partner. This was a well-wrestled matchup with nice work from all involved. Romero continues to show up pretty much everywhere except WWE.
Pre-Show: Digital Media Champion Kenny King def. Yoshinobu Kanemaru
King hasn't been champion for very long and it would've been a mistake for him to drop the title to someone most IMPACT fans probably aren't familiar with. I didn't even know this match was happening ahead of the event as I don't recall there being any mention of it on IMPACT! Wrestling. Thus, there wasn't much uncertainty surrounding the outcome. This was a fine match that was wisely slotted on the pre-show.
Chris Sabin def. YOH, Frankie Kazarian, BUSHI, Kevin Knight, Rich Swann, MAO and El Desperado in a Jr. Heavyweight/X-Division Scramble Match
This featured the best of New Japan Pro-Wrestling's junior heavyweight division and IMPACT's X-Division, so unsurprisingly, it was a lot of fun albeit a bit chaotic at times. It was essentially an Ultimate X match without the Ultimate X stipulation, if that makes sense. There wasn't anything on the line, but Sabin winning makes sense as he prepares for his eventual rematch with Lio Rush for the Impact X-Division Championship. This was never boring, I'll say that much.
IMPACT (Moose and Eddie Edwards) def. TMDK (Shane Haste and NJPW World Television Champion Zack Sabre Jr.)
It's amazing how many different partners Moose has had throughout his run in IMPACT. Even just recently, he's been aligned with Brian Myers and teamed with Edwards here. It was weird seeing Edwards and Moose on the same side here given their checkered past, but it was logical in the sense that they've both been in IMPACT longer than anyone on the current roster (without leaving, that is). This was strong stuff as all four guys had quality chemistry together, though I was surprised to see Moose and Edwards win with TMDK being an actual team.
NJPW Strong Women's Champion Giulia def. Gisele Shaw, Deonna Purrazzo and Momo Kohgo in a Four-Way Match
I obviously don't follow New Japan regularly, but I know that Giulia took the title from Willow Nightingale a month or so ago, who beat Mercedes Mone for the belt before that. I've never seen Giulia in action prior to this, but she definitely has that "star" aura about her and is excellent in the ring to boot. I didn't know exactly what to expect from this four-way, but it ended up being a hell of an effort from all involved. Shaw in particular deserves props for showing she can hang with these three.
Sami Callihan def. DOUKI in a South Philly Street Fight
This had no stipulation until Callihan got on the mic before the bell to make this a South Philly Street Fight. Hardcore matches have been done to death in the ECW Arena, but this show was filled with regular matches that had no storyline support, so I had no issue with them switching it up here. DOUKI impressed against Jack Perry not too long ago in AEW and had another standout showing here. The crowd ate this up.
Catch 22 def. TMDK (Robbie Eagles and Kosei Fujita)
Catch 22 consist of TJP and Francesco Akira. The TMDK representatives losing here only reinforces what I said about Sabre and Haste losing to Moose and Edwards earlier, but I don't think a pair of loss on a random interpromotional event will do much damage to the faction. This exclusively featured NJPW talent, so I didn't have a vested interest personally, but this was decent enough.
Bullet Club (DEFY World Champion KENTA, ABC, IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champions Bullet Club War Dogs, NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Champions Alex Coughlin and Gabriel Kidd, and NEVER Openweight Champion David Finlay) def. The World (The DKC, PCO, Josh Alexander, Guerrillas of Destiny and El Phantasmo)
Good lord, Bullet Club have what feels like a million members at this point, and almost all of them have gold. I guess they still sell t-shirts because Bullet Club seemed to run out of juice after The Elite left almost five years ago. There's plenty of talented people in their ranks, but I simply do not see them as dominant of a threat as they once were. This had a nice pace but was all over the place. It was cool seeing Alexander back in the ring coming off his injury, though.
Impact X-Division Champion Lio Rush and Trey Miguel def. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi and "Speedball" Mike Bailey
This served as another showcase for the X-Division as well as Takahashi, who has owned NJPW's junior heavyweight scene for years now. This was terrific as expected. What was unexpected, however, was Rush pinning Takahashi, but it looks like that'll be leading somewhere based on Rush's post-match promo/challenge to Takahashi. Speaking of Rush, he's in his element at the moment as X-Division champ and the other three are always a treat to watch work as well.
Impact World Champion Alex Shelley def. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Even at this stage of his career, Tanahashi remains one of NJPW's biggest stars, so he was a great get for this show. It was also a big deal Shelley was able to beat him clean to retain the title. I can't imagine many people legitimately thought Tanahashi was winning, and it wasn't overly exciting as a result (not to mention that Tanahashi is a bit slower than he used to be), but this was a thumbs-up main event, nonetheless. I know these two have history, but I appreciated that history being explored on IMPACT! Wrestling coming into this event to make it more meaningful.
The biggest issue this show suffered from was a lack of build on IMPACT! Wrestling and the feeling that nothing really mattered other than the main event. It worked as a one-night gimmick over WrestleMania weekend (despite being overshadowed by everything else), but I don't think it was necessary to do a second one less than six months later, especially with Emergence coming up next weekend. AEW just did an interpromotional show with NJPW in June (Forbidden Door) and it had much more star power. Don't get me wrong, this was an entertaining event on its own, but it's not consequential viewing.