This was not just a pay per view it was a celebration of the 20th anniversary of Impact Wrestling (and TNA as it was previously known). There were some appearances by TNA and Impact wrestlers from previous eras, and some tributes by video from others, including Sting, Kurt Angle and AJ Styles. There was also a tribute to the original broadcast team of Mike Tenay and Don West.
X Division Title Match: Ace Austin (c) vs Kenny King vs Trey Miguel vs Speedball Mike Bailey vs Andrew Everett vs Alex Zayne
This was an Ultimate X match, where you had to climb up one of four scaffolds in each corner and make it across a tightrope to grab the belt and make it down in order to win. As expected it was a crazy spot fest, but the Ultimate X rules make a bit unique from similar types of matches. There were the prerequisite dives to the outside of the ring but there were also some crazy things like a five man Tower of Doom followed by a top rope Canadian Destroyer. To their credit they managed to at least follow up the crazy spots with people selling them and not hopping right back up 30 seconds later, and those spots don’t take you out of the match here like they would if guys were kicking out of pins right after them. You also have to take your hat off to the guys balancing themselves on the cables that reach across above the ring, some upside down, and still fighting each other while reaching for the belt. Bailey got the win to become new champion in a fun opener.
Knockouts Tag Team Title Match: The Influence (Madison Rayne and Tenille Dashwood) vs Taya Valkarie and Rosemary
This was fine; they didn’t get a lot of time here but they made use of the seven minutes they got about as well as you could expect. Good to see Taya back where she’ll be used better; WWE completely dropped the ball with her.
Monster’s Ball Match: Moose vs Sami Callahan
This was not for me. It was basically a late 90s style ECW match in all the ways that have not aged well. If that’s your deal then you’d probably dig this, but it’s not mine and I’m not a fan of either guy so I did not. The match went 16 minutes, which was about five or six minutes too long. Callahan won.
Impact Tag Team Title Match: The Briscoes vs The Good Brothers
This was better than I expected it would be. The Briscoes are one of the best teams of the past 10 years and can still go at a high level, and Gallows and Anderson put their working boots on tonight. Good match, won by the Good Brothers who regained the tag team titles in the process. After the match America’s Most Wanted, who were on the first ever TNA broadcast, came out to the ring to salute both teams and give a toast in the ring.
10 Man Tag Match: The Impact Originals (The Motor City Machine Guns, Nick Aldis, Frankie Kazarian and Davey RIchards) vs Honor No More (Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, Vinny, Eddie Edwards and PCO)
Honor No More, made up of mostly guys who came over from Ring of Honor, invaded Impact back in January and have been feuding with the Impact Originals since. Richards was a surprise partner replacing Rhyno who’d been sidelined after an attack by HNM. Christy Hemme, one of the original Knockouts, was the guest ring announcer for this one and Richards was introduced by for Impact owner Dixie Carter. The referee was Brian Hebner, which came into play later. The match was excellent, all 10 guys got a lot of stuff and there were lots of cool multiman spots throughout. The MCMG are great, one of the best teams of the last 15 years, and the OGK (Taven and Bennett) are really good in their own right.
The key stretch came at the end when Hebner was knocked out. Kenny King came in to help his HNM mates and got a few shots in before D Lo Brown – yes, that D Lo Brown – came in to help the Impact Originals. Brown, who was a member of the announce team before he was taken out by HNM, came in to hit a Sky High and frog splash to take out King. The chaos allowed the Originals to get the pin, with three counted by Earl Hebner, Brian’s dad, just hired that day (wink, wink) as a referee by Impact President Scott D’Amore. That spot was done in tribute to Dave Hebner, Earl’s twin brother, who’d just passed a few days ago. Great match here.
Impact Women’s Title Match: Tasha Steelz (c) vs Jordynn Grace vs Chelsea Green vs Deonna Purazzo vs Mia Yim
This was the first ever Queen of the Mountain match, patterned after the King of the Mountain match with all it’s convoluted rules. You start out with all six women in the ring. To win you have to climb a ladder with the belt and hang it up, instead of climbing it and grabbing it, but you first have to pin or tap out somebody to become eligible to climb the ladder. Falls counted anywhere, and when someone gets pinned or submits they have to go into the penalty box – a shark cage at ringside – for two minutes. Yeah, that’s a lot to remember. Also, former Impact Knockouts champion Mickie James was there as a special enforcer outside the ring to make sure everyone was on their best behavior.
As for the match itself, it was a good one. It had it’s share of crazy spots, and James got involved physically a few times with the women she had a personal beef with, Steelz and Green. James at one straight up stopped Green from climbing and laid her out. The first pinfall was kind of awkward as if something went wrong but from there it was smooth sailing. Mia is really good in these ladder matches, and it’s good to see her actually get to work again after her time being horribly misused on the main roster in WWE. The customary ladder and table spots came into play here, but there were set in up ways that made sense with what was going on.
Grace would win to become Knockouts Champion for the second time. Great match here. Between the first ever women’s Ultimate X match at Hard to Kill and this one, the Knockouts Division has made some great strides this year on the pay per view side and is right up there with the best the WWE has to offer on that side of things.
Impact World Title Match: Josh Alexander (c) vs Eric Young
This was a good, solid wrestling match. Both guys are really good and showed it here. Alexander pulled out a few callbacks to TNA stalwarts Christoher Daniels with a moonsault, Styles with a Styles Clash, and an Angle Slam ala Kurt Angle. At one point Young went outside the ring and unhooked the ring apron in one corner. Late in the match one of Young’s cronies threw powder in the referee’s face and blinded him, so that he couldn’t see Young tapping out to Alexander’s ankle lock. Then Young called back to TNA founder Jeff Jarrett by smashing Josh with a guitar! That’s when it got to be doing too much, though. Alexander kicked out of that and then out a piledriver on the exposed part of the ring floor. Alexander caught Young with a Samoa Joe-esque Uranage out of the corner, the followed with a C4 spike (a Pedigree delivered like a piledriver) for the win. This match went from a perfectly fine match that could have aired on television to a real attention getter with all the callbacks before going a bit too far at the end. All in all it was a very good match, though.
Once again, Impact delivers an excellent show! Of the seven matches on the main show the only real skip was the Monster’s Ball match, and for me that’s because I’m not here for ECW style matches in 2022. It was definitely worth the price and if you have Fite TV I recommend ordering it and watching it for yourself.