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Impact Wrestling results, review, & video (July 26, 2018): Crazy Challenger

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Impact Wrestling returned last night (July 26) from the Rebel Complex in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. You can find the results at the live blog here.

Next challenger

Austin Aries opened the show, more as the standard bearer for the company than the heel champion.

He delivered a promo (still in his heel persona) putting over the company and their Slammiversary pay-per-view (PPV). Even when he was talking about himself, he was talking up the promotion. His claim that he’s the best champion there is, and taking a dig at the style of WWE, was as much about putting over Impact as it was putting over himself.

And that’s how it should be. Heel or face, the company’s champ should be its standard bearer. Aries cutting a promo as the champ putting over his promotion, even while remaining a heel, is part of his job description, and he did a good job of it.

While he was issuing a challenge to anyone from anywhere, someone took him up on that offer.

Eddie Edwards, with kendo stick in hand, slid into the ring and attacked Aries with his weapon.

Eddie makes sense to put in the main event picture. They’ve revamped his character from bland babyface to unhinged hardcore psycho, and it’s done wonders for him. Plus, he’s been winning more than he’s losing.

Now he may not have secured the title opportunity just yet. When it comes to the top title (as opposed to lesser titles) in Impact, you have to earn the shot. Don’t be surprised if Eddie has to win a match to get to face Aries. When it comes to the top title, that’s how it should be.

It’ll be a good feud when we eventually do get there. It’ll be interesting to see how the cocky Aries mixes up with the newly deranged Edwards.


Hot Shaming

Scarlett Bordeaux debuted tonight with an interview segment.

Her gimmick is pretty much that of a woman who knows she’s hot, and that’s all important to her. She spoke about all the advancement for women currently, in wrestling and otherwise, but then talked about not being “hot shamed.” She also tells Alicia Atout, who was interviewing her, that she wouldn’t understand about being hot shamed.

It’s an interesting gimmick that we will need some time to see if it is a hit or miss. She’s clearly a heel, and the crowd treated her as such, which is important. She can’t be out here talking about how being attractive is the most important thing and having the crowd cheering. A character that’s either clueless to what this women’s revolution is or actively chooses to resist it could be an intriguing gimmick right now.

Alicia didn’t do Scarlett any favors in her debut given she’s a very stiff interviewer. This segment required an interviewer with some personality who could utilize facial expressions to sell what we should all be thinking. While I don’t usually mention WWE often in the Impact column, someone like Renee Young (who is one of the best in that role in all wrestling right now), could have really enhanced the segment with her facial expression reactions while Alicia’s stiffness took away from it.


Rematch

The main event of the night was an X Division title rematch between Brian Cage and Matt Sydal.

The outcome was never really in question but the chemistry these two men have is undeniable. This match and their Slammiversary match were both great.

Brian Cage is going to hold onto that title for a long time and during that time, he’s going to have a ton of great matches. Cage is destined for the main event but before then, he could elevate the X division in a way it hasn’t in ages. If his opponents can step up like Sydal did against him, they can all come out looking better. And he is a legitimate talent standing on the top of that mountain.

Hopefully Sydal can recover from his loss quickly and find himself in another program soon because his recent character work has been fantastic (and his ring work has always been).


Johnny Gorgeous is Back

Johnny Impact defeated Trevor Lee this week.

This was a great match, with both men looking great. Johnny Impact is definitely a major player in Impact. It’s a shame that Trevor Lee isn’t. His role as of late has been as extremely talented enhancement wrestler. He’s too good for that.

After his victory, Johnny made it known that before he tries to win the world title, he has unfinished business with Kongo Kong. I’m glad they aren’t just dropping this feud. They probably could and get away with it because we all know that they needed to write him off. But it’s a loose end. And loose ends should be tied up eventually.

And we’ll get more Jimmy Jacobs bemoaning “Johnny Gorgeous” so that’ll be great.


Don’t Go It Alone

I usually don’t include backstage interviews, but I thought this was great.

Allie blames herself for what Su Yung did to Madison Rayne and states she’ll stop Su Yung even if she has to go it alone. Kiera Hogan interjects to tell Allie she won’t go it alone.

Allie is so good here. She’s no longer just bubbly Allie, and it’s been fantastic. Her emotion here is palpable. I believe she blames herself for everything Su Yung has done, maybe even harking back to when she didn’t heed Rosemary’s warning.

Kiera is strong here too. She didn’t say much, but Allie had set the table with her part very well that Kiera coming to her side was a good moment. They’ll be in action next week against Su Yung and her undead bridesmaid.


Keep Winning

Tessa Blanchard picked up a relatively quick win over Rebel. However, Rebel got a surprising amount of offense in early and looked pretty good here. Meanwhile, Blanchard is a star. You can feel her aggression when she’s delivering her offense.

After her win, she just left the ring and walked to the back, as if she was pissed she had to even waste her time with this match.


Hit Squad

The first match of the night was Taiji Ishomori picking up a victory over Petey Williams. (Interesting seeing the wrestler that represents another promotion picking up the win.)

After the match, the competitors showed their respect to each other but then get attacked by the Desi Hit Squad. Surely this will lead to another tag team match for the Hit Squad, who are slowly establishing themselves as a good heel team.


Pros of the Show:

  • Sydal and Cage have fantastic chemistry
  • Crazy Eddie is coming for the title

Cons of the Show:

  • Not a ton of new stories kicking off

Overall, this was a solid fallout show. There was nothing big kicked off storywise and a decent amount of exhibition matches. But those matches were overall good and we did learn our likely next challenger for Aries.

Grade: B

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