15th Jan2020

‘Impact Wrestling: Hard To Kill’ PPV Review

by Nathan Favel

Welcome to this review of Impact Wrestling’s Hard To Kill, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and Steven Segal ain’t here. Millie’s America…up her ass! Steven, what are you…AHHHHHHHH!!!! My f—— arm! Shut up Millie! MAD TV was funny, damn it. We’ve got the big one here, with Tessa overcoming her racist behavior to be here. I hope that she got over that mean streak of hers, because she’s about to become one of the most important people in wrestling.

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Match #1: Ken Shamrock def. Madman Fulton w/ Dave & Jake Crist

The following is courtesy of impactwrestling.com:

Shamrock attempts to lock in the Cross Armbreaker in the early going but Fulton fights it off. Fulton uses his strength to begin wearing Shamrock down. Shamrock launches himself over the top rope but Fulton catches him in mid-air. They jockey for position on the outside with Shamrock getting the upper-hand as he slams Fulton to the ground. Jake attempts to attack Shamrock at ringside but he sees it coming and sends Jake crashing to the floor. Dave tries to get involved next and Shamrock makes him pay for it with a strong strike, knocking him off the apron. The referee ejects both Dave & Jake Crist from ringside. Fulton regains control off the distraction, targeting the lower bicep of Shamrock. Shamrock pops Fulton’s shoulder out of its socket. The referee and even Shamrock suggest that they stop the match. Fulton refuses but Shamrock quickly locks in a submission, forcing Fulton to verbally submit.

My Opinion: 2 out of 5 – Ken needs great technicians to work with, not big men who are still working on their skills. Ken needed to have Willie Mack tonight. Hell, maybe you just throw Ken into the Tag Title Match that is now missing Rich Swann to injury. In any case, this match just wasn’t enough for a guy who can still offer a lot (in certain circumstances).

Match #2: Ace Austin def. Trey – X-Division Championship Match

The following is courtesy of impactwrestling.com:

Trey’s mom, who Ace has taken a liking to, is spotted in the crowd. Trey goes on the attack right from the opening bell. They brawl around the ringside area as Trey takes control with a second rope Moonsault. Ace turns it around with a Space Flying Tiger Drop to the outside. Ace sends Trey crashing into the steel guardrail right in front of his mom. Ace connects with his signature Bang-O-Rama for a two count, followed by a paper-cut with the laminated playing card. Trey begins to build momentum with a series of kicks and springboard Flatliner. Trey is perched on the top but Ace dives into the ropes, causing Trey to lose his balance. Ace connects with The Fold to win the match and retain the X-Division Title.

My Opinion: 3.3 out of 5 – This was a good match that was a bit too tepid for my taste. The tone here was of a bad day in at the playground, rather than a prize fight. I liked the spots that they did, but the match was a free TV match that snuck onto PPV.

Match #3: Taya Valkyrie w/ John E Bravo def. ODB & Jordynne Grace – Knockouts Championship Match

The following is courtesy of impactwrestling.com:

ODB is attempting to Piledrive Jordynne when Taya dropkicks her off the apron to the floor. Jordynne dives through the ropes, crashing into Taya on the outside. ODB goes after Jordynne, hitting her with a Fallaway Slam on the steel ramp. Back in the ring, Taya connects with her signature running double knees on ODB. Jordynne lifts Taya high into the air and ODB slams to her to the mat with a bulldog off the second rope. Jordynne hits Taya with a thunderous Spinebuster for a two count. Jordynne launches herself off the top rope with a senton onto ODB but Taya breaks up the pin attempt. ODB almost puts Taya away with a Samoan Drop but Jordynne splashes both of them before the referee can count to three. Jordynne hits ODB with the Grace Driver. Bravo hooks the leg of Jordynne from ringside, allowing Taya to steal the pin and the win. Taya’s record-breaking Knockouts Title reign will continue.

My Opinion: 1.9 out of 5 – This was…I wish this had been a singles match. ODB tried, but she didn’t deliver enough to warrant being in this match. Actually, I wish they would have booked her in another match for this card. The champion won and that’s what should have happened, so there’s that.

Match #4: Brian Cage vs. Rob Van Dam w/ Katie Forbes (No Contest)

The following is courtesy of impactwrestling.com:

Katie Forbes’ girlfriend grabs hold of Cage from among the fans, allowing RVD to jump Cage from behind before the match begins. Katie slides a steel chair into the ring and RVD kicks it into the face of Cage. Katie holds the chair as RVD connects with a vicious Van Terminator from one corner of the ring to the other. Cage is bleeding from the mouth and the referee stops the match due to injury.

My Opinion: 0 out of 5 – The match never actually started. Damn it. What a waste. Apparently, Cage is leaving for AEW, but still.

Match #5: Rob Van Dam w/ Katie Forbes def. Daga

The following is courtesy of impactwrestling.com:

Daga takes control with a flurry of high-flying offense. Daga hits a Gutbuster, followed by a vertical suplex for a two count. RVD connects with the Five Star Frog Splash to put Daga away.

My Opinion: 2.5 out of 5 – This was far too little from a match that could have been a big thing. There’s plenty of potential here, but the match never reached that potential.

Match #6: Eddie Edwards def. Michael Elgin – Call Your Shot Trophy Match

The following is courtesy of impactwrestling.com:

Elgin delivers a massive forearm to Eddie, collapsing him outside the ring. Elgin removes a section of protective mats from ringside, exposing the concrete below. Eddie dives through the ropes but Elgin cuts him off with a forearm to the jaw in mid-air. Elgin hits a swinging neckbreaker on the exposed concrete. Eddie connects with a devastating suplex that sends both him and his opponent toppling over the top rope to the floor. Elgin goes for another dive and hits it successfully this time. Eddie almost puts Elgin away with the Blue Thunder Bomb. Both men exchange strong shots in the middle of the ring but neither will back down. Eddie finally takes Elgin off his feet with a huge clothesline, followed by a Tiger Bomb for a near fall. Elgin sends Eddie flying with a German suplex off the top rope. Eddie counters the Elgin Bomb and gets him in a pinning predicament to score the pin and keep possession of the Call Your Shot Trophy.

My Opinion: 4.1 out of 5 – These guys knocked the piss out of each other. This was a PPV match through and through. There better be more between these two. Eddie deserved to win the match and he did, so there you f—— go. I’m a happy clam…just don’t take the pearl…that’s mine!

Match #7: Moose def. Rhino – No Disqualification Match

The following is courtesy of impactwrestling.com:

Moose hits the No Jackhammer Needed Spear in the early going but Rhino immediately rolls outside the ring to avoid the pin. They brawl up the ramp to the stage where Moose clobbers Rhino with a steel chair. Moose charges but Rhino catches him with a backdrop on the steel ramp. Rhino sends Moose crashing through a table at ringside with a Pop-Up Powerbomb. Moose drops an elbow from the top rope for a two count. Rhino hits Moose with repeated steel chair shots. Rhino follows up with a Superplex, sending Moose into a pile of chairs. Rhino attempts to Gore Moose through a table but Moose pulls the referee in front of him as Rhino puts them both through. Another referee makes his way to ringside. Moose hits a low blow, followed by the No Jackhammer Needed Spear to win.

My Opinion: 3.2 out of 5 – Moose should have won and he did, all while clobbering Rhino like a stocky boy at the steak-house. This reminded me of those safari videos where the native guy b—— to the foreigner about how rhinos are nature’s idiots and then the rhino whoops his ass, but the native guy back-hands the s— outta the rhino until he knocks it out. That’s what this match is like.

Match #8: The North (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander) def Willie Mack – 2 on 1 Handicap Match for the World Tag Team Championships

The following is courtesy of impactwrestling.com:

Backstage, IMPACT Wrestling’s physician Dr. Ariel will not medically clear Rich Swann to compete or be in Willie’s corner tonight after he suffered an injury at Bash at the Brewery 2 last Friday. Willie will now face both members of The North in a handicap match. Page suckers Willie in, allowing Alexander to jump him from behind as Willie quickly falls victim to the numbers game. Willie begins to build momentum and hits both members of The North with running clotheslines. Willie hits Alexander with a Samoan Drop but when he goes for the standing Moonsault, Page pulls his partner to safety. The North connect with their signature finishing flurry but Willie somehow kicks out at two. Willie takes Alexander off Page’s shoulders with a super Canadian Destroyer. Willie almost wins the Tag Titles on his own when he hits Alexander with the Six Star Frog Splash but Page pulls the referee outside the ring. The North turn it around and put Willie away with double team offense to retain the Tag Team Championships.

My Opinion: 3.8 out of 5 – This was a really strong match that saved these guys from a calamity. With Swann gone due to injury, Mack taking over the match was the way to go (or you could put Daga in here). These guys went for it and had some big results, with the Canadian Destroyer being the high-point of the match. This was a fabulous handicap match that was a great way to make the best of a bad situation.

Match #9: (Main Event) Tessa Blanchard def. Sami Callihan – Impact World Championship Match

The following is courtesy of impactwrestling.com:

Callihan jumps Tessa at the opening bell and hits the Cactus Driver 97 for a near fall. Tessa comes right back with Magnum off the top but this time, Callihan kicks out at two. Tessa hits repeated dives through the bottom rope. Callihan catches her on the third attempt but Tessa reverses into a Hurricanrana on the floor. Tessa flies with a somersault Senton to the outside. Callihan gains control by wrapping Tessa’s leg around the steel ring post. Tessa rolls off the apron but Callihan catches her in mid-air and drives her through a table at ringside. Tessa connects with Magnum on the apron, sending both competitors to the outside. The referee starts his count and both barely make it in before the count of ten. Tessa hits a step-up Magnum in the corner for yet another near fall. Callihan connects with Get Outta Here for a very close near fall of his own. Tessa comes back with the cutter but it’s not enough to put Callihan away. Callihan attempts to use brass knuckles but Tessa avoids it and hits a low blow. Tessa connects with a fourth Magnum for two. Callihan hits another Cactus Driver 97 but Tessa will not stay down. Blanchard nails back to back Canadian Destroyers, followed by the Buzzsaw DDT to score the win. Tessa Blanchard has made history as the first woman to hold the IMPACT Wrestling World Championship.

My Opinion: 4.4 out of 5 – This was just what it should have been. The story worked and the wrestling was not too far behind it. As good as the action was, this match will be remembered for the moment in time in encapsulates. Sami did the job for Tessa and now she’s made for life. What Tessa does from here is up to her, but this great match has made her the World Champion, which is (with Sexy Star’s Lucha Underground Title run as an exception) the first big run for a woman as a World Champion in a semi-major league.

Final Verdict: 3.8/5

This was a show that leaned on the big matches to save its ass and it worked. The middle of this show was pretty lame, but the three big matches delivered with a few others doing well to boot. We’ve got a woman as the World Champion. There’s no going back now. Good for Tessa.

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