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Impact Wrestling: Hard to Kill
by Doc Allen
January 8, 2022
Live from The Factory in Deep Ellum, in Dallas, Texas. Our hosts are Tom Hannifan and D'Lo Brown.
Ultimate X Match:
Chelsea Green vs. Tasha Steelz vs. Lady Frost vs. Jordynne Grace vs. Alisha Edwards vs. Rosemary
In case you forgot, there's a big, red X hanging above the ring on cables, and the winner must climb up some fixtures and across the cables to retrieve the X. Fans give them a "this is awesome" chant before anything happens. Wild scramble to start. Grace works on emptying the ring, but Rosemary meets her for a brawl. Savannah Evans marches in to help Tasha. Havok comes in and lifts Rosemary on her shoulders, but Green stops her from winning with a missile dropkick. Alisha and Green climb pretty high, realize they can't get past each other, so they both go for stereo crossbodies to outside! Everyone stumbles up to catch Frost's somersault senton! Grace climbs halfway to the X, but Frost leaps onto her. Rosemary pulls Frost off, Tasha pulls Grace down. Green puts Grace onto Steelz for a makeshift sunset bomb. Green goes for the X but loses her grip. Alisha cleans house with kendo shots. Alisha shimmies towards the X but Rosemary takes her down with a flying spear! "This is awesome" chant. Tasha and Grace both go for the X and get wrapped up for a bad fall! Replay shows that Grace really hit a sitout powerbomb! Frost hits a moonsault from the structure to outside! Grace, Steelz, and Green all go for the X. Steelz knocks Grace down! Green unhooks the X, but Tasha takes it away and drops down to win at 9:16! Fun stunt show, very well laid out, and the crowd was with them, ***¼.
Winner: Tasha Steelz
Knockouts Champion Mickie James talks to the camera. It's no secret that she and Deonna Purrazzo don't like each other, so it's fitting that they'll meet in a Texas Death Match. Mickie's victory tonight will be more glorious than her Royal Rumble appearance.
Backstage interview with Deonna Purrazzo, who feels that Mickie is clinging to her for 15 minutes of fame. Deonna has Matthew Rehwoldt as her backup plan. Gail Kim knows where this is going and says that Matthew will be fired if he puts his hands on Mickie, and Deonna will automatically lose. Deonna throws a fitting tantrum.
Trey Miguel © vs. Steve Maclin
Maclin meets Miguel with a tope suicida. Miguel answers with a dropkick to send Maclin bouncing down the ramp. Miguel sprints into a stalling flying DDT! They hit the ring and Maclin blocks a moonsault, but Miguel reovers with a soaring senton over the ring post and lands in the front row! Maclin comes back by throwing Miguel into various ringside furniture. Back to the ring, Maclin hits a mean backbreaker. Maclin continues targeting the back with a big time uranage. Tiger Driver backbreaker by Maclin, and then a Cactus elbow drop to the spine! Maclin relentlessly attacks the back until Miguel hits a double stomp to the chest. Maclin blocks Meteora and hits a running shoulder block, and Miguel gets stuck in the ropes and hyperextends his legs! Miguel desperately counters with a piledriver variation, and then a swinging neckbreaker for 2. They battle on the apron until Trey hits Meteora to the floor and barricade! Miguel hits a second Meteora in the ring, but MACLIN KICKS OUT! Robust "This is awesome" chant. Brainbuster by Miguel, and then a third and final Meteora ends it at 12:57! Exciting match, although Maclin's back work ended up being a total nonfactor, ***¼.
Winner and still X-Division Champion: Trey Miguel
Backstage interview with Madison Rayne, Tenille Dashwood, and Kaleb with a K. They are upset that the IInspiration didn't show up for work (because COVID) so they can't have their Knockouts Tag Team Championship match. This is way different than the time Tenille didn't come to work, she had a good excuse (photo shoot), and at least one of them should have come. Kaleb has photoshopped pictures of Tenille and Madison with the titles, which cheers them.
Ian Riccaboni joins commentary for the ROH World Championship match.
ROH World Championship (Pure Rules):
Jonathan Gresham © vs. Chris Sabin
Amazingly, there's a backstory here that Sabin is owed a title shot because he took Jay Lethal to a draw in 2018. They shake hands and start with some good natured chain wrestling. Sabin puts Gresham on notice with a close backslide pin. Gresham snaps the arm with his feet. Gresham traps the arms and pulls the ankle around to a sickening angle. Sabin doesn't like the joint manipulation and scores a penalty kick. They aggressively jockey for position until Sabin blasts a DDT for 2. Fans chant "this is wrestling." Sabin follows with a spinning neckbreaker, but Gresham uses his first rope break. Gresham defensively uses a dragon screw leg sweep and uses a moonsault to attack the arm. Gresham locks a cross face and grabs the arm to force Sabin to burn a rope break. This allows Gresham to follow with the Octopus! Sabin escapes with a Cradle Shock, gets the pinfall, BUT WAIT, Gresham had a boot under the ropes! They stumble up, lock arms, and trade chops. The crowd's applause seemingly wills them to an even fiercer slapping sequence! They trade KO shots, trade finishers, and Gresham stacks Sabin into a pinning predicament to win at 12:40! Hot match, great use of the stips, and pretty historic when you stop to think about the history of ROH and TNA, ***¾.
Winner and still ROH World Champion: Jonathan Gresham
Backstage interview with Tasha Steelz (with Savannah Evans) who is now due a Knockouts Championship match. Tasha created history tonight and puts Mickie and Deonna on notice.
Jonah vs. Josh Alexander
Jonah is the wrestler formerly known as Bronsen Reed, who I completely missed in NXT. He was unceremoniously fired from WWE when Vince didn't like his main roster tryout match, so he's got a chip on his shoulder. Josh takes it to Jonah early with aggressive punching. Jonah absorbs a missile dropkick but misses a senton. Josh favors attacks to the ankle and splashes Jonah off the apron! Jonah answers by slamming Josh's ribs against the ring frame! Jonah continues attacking the midsection, hitting a press slam onto the buckles! Jonah throws Josh halfway across the ring and then applies a torture rack. Josh escapes and clubs away at the bad ankle, but Jonah uses the bad ribs to retake control. Josh loses his temper and kicks away at the ankle. The picture cuts out, but I gather that Josh hits a clothesline to outside. Josh coldcocks Jonah onto a front row seat and then hits a flying crossbody over the rails! Cue the "holy bleep" chant. Jonah answers with a big time superplex! They stumble up for a slapfest. Powerbomb by Jonah, and then a lariat for only 2. Brainbuster by Jonah, but Josh kicks out! Jonah climbs the ropes, but Josh sneaks up for an ankle lock! Jonah kicks him away but misses a moonsault! German suplex by Josh, and then a C4 powerbomb, but JONAH KICKS OUT! Josh reapplies the ankle lock, Jonah kicks him away, but Josh goes nuts with stomps and puts on the hold once again. Jonah taps at 17:01! Tremendous hoss fight for the ages, ****¼.
Winner: Josh Alexander
Backstage interview with Eddie Edwards, Rich Swann, Willie Mack, Rhino, and Heath, who are ready for a hardcore war against Violent by Design. They are willing to die to win, and perhaps a bunch of other things that you don't realistically expect to happen within the confines of wrestling.
Violent by Design (Eric Young, Joe Doering, and Deaner) and The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows) vs. Rich Swann, Eddie Edwards, Willie Mack, Rhino, and Heath
Two men start alone for 3 minutes, with someone new joining every 90 seconds. Once everyone is in, there can be a finish. Deaner and Swann have the honor of starting alone for 3 minutes. They miss weapon shots and Swann overwhelms with punches. Bulldog, vertical suplex, and Rolling Thunder by Swann. Deaner smashes a can but Swann answers with a spin kick. Swann misses a 450 splash, and Deaner drives him into a chair. Deaner waves the VBD flag and uses it for a leg sweep. Swann regains his footing just when Karl Anderson joins with a golf club in hand. Karl misses his swing and Swann takes it for a golf swing to his manhood. Swann hits a step up cutter, but Anderson stops him with a belt shot to the face. Willie Mack joins with an axe handle in hand. Mack and Swann put Deaner through a door with 3D! Doc Gallows is out next with a fistful of chains. The heels lay waste to Swann and Mack with various weapon shots. Eddie Edwards joins with a kendo stick, clears the ring for consecutive tope suicidas! Eric Young is out next and ambushes Edwards with trash lids. The babyfaces are brutalized until Heath arrives with a fistful of powder into the eyes of Anderson! Heath brings in a pipe and bats it off Deaner inside a can. The bad guys regain control even before Joe Doering arrives to give them a numbers advantage. Doering has no weapon, because he IS the weapon. Rhino is the final entrant and marches in with a chain as if he's got a hot tag. Rhino hunts down Eric Young for some revenge for trying to destroy his mind. Fans chant "Hardcore War" as the battle lines are drawn for a big time brawl! The ring clears out, leaving Young and Edwards to trade lid shots. Eddie hits Young with a kendo stick between the eyes. Young repays with a piledriver through a table! Swann hits a 450 off the apron onto Young! Wilie brings in a barbed wire board! Doering puts Swann through the wire with a DVD! Mack avenges Swann with chain shots, but Anderson cuts him off with a Stun Gun! Heath brings in a Cowboys helmet and Rhino GORES Karl, allowing Heath to pin him at 23:23. Really strong faux-Wargames match, thanks to great pacing and hard work, ***½.
Winners: Heath, Rhino, Willie Mack, Rich Swann, and Eddie Edwards
Heath and Rhino have no time to celebrate when they're ambushed by Matt Taven and Mike Bennett from ROH! Swann and Mack try to help, but VINCENT and PCO join the ambush! The fans LOVE this. The OGK hit Mack with a spike piledriver. They drape Swann to take PCO's somersault senton to the apron! Maria Kanellis comes out to survey the destruction. This is shaping up to be a really cool invasion angle.
Scott D'Amore is outraged and is heading out to call "Baltimore" for an explanation.
Impact World Championship:
Moose © vs. W. Morrissey vs. Matt Cardona
I'm as surprised as anyone that I spent money to buy a PPV headlined by Big Cass and that I was happy to do it. Cardona wants a piece of Moose, but Morrissey disrupts their brawl. Cardona catches them both with a somersault senton. Moose reverses Cardona's whip into the barricade. Moose powerbombs Cardona onto the apron, but then Morrissey does the same to Moose! Back to the ring, Moose hits a crazy springboard crossbody! Moose hits Morrissey with a top rope GO TO HELL, but Cardona breaks the cover with a low Radio Silence. Cardona hits a series of Broski Boots. Moose traps the others for a Tower of Doom powerbomb! Moose considers a powerbomb into the stage, so Chelsea Green runs out for an FU and diving crossbody onto Moose! They return to ringside and Morrissey greets them with a flying shoulder tackle! They brawl in the ring until Cardona shoves Moose off the top rope through a table! Morrissey grabs a prosthetic leg and smashes it over Cardona. Cardona comes back with Radio Silence on Morrissey for only 2. Morrissey chokeslams Cardona for 2. Morrissey is distracted by Green and Cardona hits a leaping Radio Silence for a good nearfall! Moose returns and accidentally spears the life out of the ref! Radio Silence on Moose, Morrissey disrupts with a big powerbomb on Moose, but there's no ref! Morrissey creates a pile of chairs, but Moose hits a low blow and chair shots to the back and head. Cardona ambushes Moose with a chair, but Moose low blows him too. Moose removes extra chairs, Chelsea confronts him. Chelsea nearly takes multiple chair shots, Cardona rolls up Moose, who powerbombs Cardona onto both the ref and Chelsea! Moose spears Cardona for a slow 3 count at 15:57! Moose looks lucky to get out alive. This was a lively, exciting, overachieving triple threat, ***©.
Winner and still Impact World Champion: Moose
Impact Knockouts Championship (Texas Death Match):
Mickie James © vs. Deonna Purrazzo
They aggressively lock up and hit the canvas, Mickie goes for a quick 2 count. They trade fierce forearm shots. Deonna hangs Mickie on the ropes and looks for the Venus De Milo. ROH Women's Champion Rok-C is spotted in the front row, looking very serious. Mickie escapes and mouths off, prompting an FU from Deonna. They fill the ring with chairs. Mickie clumsily stops Deonna from fetching a table and hits a chair shot. Mickie uses a leftover golf club, but Deonna reverses a whip into the post. Deonna hits a suplex on the stage and then rolls a production case into her face (busting her open). Deonna scores a pinfall on the stage but Mickie gets back up. Mickie sends Deonna into the ring frame and puts her in a half crab in the ring! Deonna escapes, so Mickie brings in a table. Deonna pops Mickie into the table and brings in THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of thumbtacks. Deonna slams Mickie onto the tacks and chokes with her chaps. Mickie beats a count and slips while countering with a slam against the rails. Mickie retrieves a decorative guitar, Deonna cuts her off and hits chair shots to her leg brace. Deonna sets up a Pillmanizer, but Mickie knocks her from the top rope with a chair. Mickie yells FU while hitting a Thesz Press off the apron for a pinfall. Matthew Rehwoldt helps Deonna break the count, so Mickie takes them down with a diving crossbody! Deonna hits a slippery Queen's Gambit through a table for a 3 count. Mickie beats the count and drops Deonna into the tacks. Mickie grabs the guitar, but Deonna grabs a handful of crotch. Mickie fends off Rehwoldt with the guitar and hits Deonna with a DDT for a pinfall. Mickie buries Deonna under the broken table and wins at 19:45. The very nature of Texas Death Matches makes it hard to maintain intensity, and this was no exception. They did manage to tell a compelling story, even if it didn't always look pretty, ***.
Winner and still Impact Knockouts Champion: Mickie James
Final Thoughts: With every match being *** or higher, I'd say that Impact knocked the ball out of the park with Hard to Kill. The ROH invasion could make for some great television, but I'm holding my breath. I'm walking away from this show feeling good about Impact as a promotion and I give this show a hearty recommendation.
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