Impact Wrestling Hard to Kill PPV Primer 1/16: Javier’s preview and predictions on Omega & Good Brothers vs. Team Swann, Edwards vs. Callihan, Purrazzo vs. Valkyrie, and more

BY JAVIER MACHADO, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

The second iteration of the Hard to Kill PPV will be taking place January 16, 2021 at Skyway Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. Of significant note, the headlining match stars AEW’s champion Kenny Omega with the Good Brothers, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson, in a tag team match against Impact’s champion Rich Swann, Chris Sabin, and Alex Shelly’s replacement, TNA “champion” Moose. Also notable is the debut of the new commentary team of Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown. While I question the decision to have both a Barbed Wire Massacre and an Old School Rules match on the same card and the lack of build some of the matches received, the novelty of having another company’s biggest star reunite with his old friends along with what should be several fun matches assuages some of my concerns. And there is always the possibility of additional surprises since you have AEW in the mix.


Rich Swann & Chris Sabin & Moose vs. Kenny Omega & Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson w/Don Callis

Story in a nutshell: Can Impact World Champion Rich Swann put aside his differences with TNA World Heavyweight “Champion” Moose (along with Chris Sabin) long enough to defeat invading AEW World Champion Kenny Omega and his partners the Impact Tag Team Champions the Good Brothers?

Don Callis brought AEW World Champion Kenny Omega to Impact to reunite with his former stablemates and current Impact Tag Team Champions, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson. Omega began throwing his weight around until Impact World Champion Rich Swann, joined by the Motor City Machine Guns, Chris Sabin and Alex Shelly, set out to voice their displeasure which obviously led to a donnybrook. Unfortunately, Alex Shelly won’t be able to make it to Hard to Kill so Moose was chosen as his replacement. Moose believes himself to be the true champion since he holds the (actually defunct) TNA Heavyweight Championship and is upset that Swann is treated as the true champion (which Swann is). To get at Swann, Moose has been brutalizing Swann’s best friend Willie Mack and Swann offered Moose a title shot to save his friend. Suffice to say, this is a very volatile situation.

Prediction: Moose being involved gives them an “out”. Moose turning on Swann and Sabin protect them from what should be a loss to Omega and the Good Brothers. The only way I can see Rich Swann’s team winning is if the Young Bucks get involved to settle the score with the Good Brothers. The Bucks back on Impact would be a Hell of a thing to see.


Manik (c) vs. Chris Bey vs. Rohit Raju – Impact X Division Championship match

Story in a nutshell: Chris Bey “finessed” his way into Rohit Raju’s title rematch against X Division Champion Manik, turning the rematch into a Triple Threat match.

When Chris Bey was X Division Champion, Rohit Raju manipulated events to insert himself into Chris Bey’s title defense against TJP and captured the title. Rohit defended the title, stipulating that anyone he successfully defended against could not challenge him again. After Rohit defeated TJP with shenanigans TJP was left without recourse until Scott D’Amore pointed out that “TJP” was the one barred from challenging for the title. So, TJP resurrected his “Manik” persona and captured the title from Rohit. Rohit demanded to get his rematch, but Chris Bey repaid Rohit’s previous deception and got himself a spot in the match.

Prediction: I don’t think Manik is sticking around for long, so Bey wins.


Deonna Purrazzo (c) vs. Taya Valkyrie – Impact Knockouts Championship match

Story in a nutshell: The longest reigning former Impact Knockouts Champion, Taya Valkyrie, challenges current champion Deonna Purrazzo.

Deonna Purrazzo and Taya Valkyrie first crossed paths during the tournament for the Impact Knockouts Tag Team Championship where Taya’s partner, Rosemary, pinned Deonna’s partner, Kimber Lee. Deonna then successfully defended the title against Rosemary at Final Resolution. The following week, Taya and Rosemary lost in the second round of the tournament when Deonna and Kimber interfered. Taya challenged Deonna for her title and Deonna agreed. At the same time, Deonna tried sidelining Su Yung, another wrestler gunning for her, by getting Father James Mitchell to try to lock Su Yung into her “Susie” persona. Instead, a third persona, “Susan” emerged. This led to Taya losing to Kimber when Deonna and “Susan” distracted her.

Prediction: Since I believe, sadly, that Taya is on her way out of Impact, she puts Deonna Purrazzo over. This is a prediction I hope I’m wrong on since I’ve loved Impact Taya.


Havok & Nevaeh vs. Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz – Impact Knockouts Tag Team Championship match

Story in a nutshell: It is the finals of the tournament for the vacant Impact Knockouts Tag Team Championship.

Nevaeh & Havok went through Tenille Dashwood & Alisha Edwards and Jordynne Grace & Jazz on their way to this match to crown new Impact Knockouts Tag Team Champions. Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz went through Team Sea Stars and Taya Valkyrie & Rosemary. The two teams are rekindling an old rivalry centered around pretty much the two teams not liking each other.

Prediction: I think this tournament was designed with Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz in mind, so they win.


Eddie Edwards vs. Sami Callihan – Barbed Wire Massacre match

Story in a nutshell: In a rivalry we are cursed relive forever, Sami Callihan and Eddie Edwards will attempt to kill each other with barbed wire.

“The baseball bat shot heard around the world” is the whole tagline for this feud. It started when an errant baseball bat strike by Sami Callihan (shoot) broke Eddie Edwards face. This led to an amped out blood feud that changed Edward’s character to be more of a brawler. Eventually they went their separate ways but have recently rekindled their hate for each other. Most recently, Ken Shamrock who has recently been teaming with Sami, kidnapped Eddie’s wife Alisha and used her as bait to draw Eddie into a trap that resulted in Eddie getting wrapped in barbed wire, hence the stipulation.

Prediction: With Shamrock on Sami’s side and with Rich Swann as champion… Sami wins. Word of warning, the match would not be for the squeamish.


Eric Young & Deaner & Joe Doering vs. Cousin Jake & Rhino & Tommy Dreamer – Old School Rules match

Story in a nutshell: Eric Young has assembled a group of killers to inflict their vision on Impact Wrestling and it is up to Tommy Dreamer, Rhino, and Cousin Jake to stop them.

Eric Young brought Joe Doering into Impact and the two have cut a swath of destruction throughout the roster, with the Deaners suffering the brunt of it. Cody, had enough and eventually joined his tormenters, repackaging himself and going by just plain “Deaner” now. Rhino was another victim of Young’s group, and Tommy Dreamer just tends to pop in whenever the “soul of Impact Wrestling” is on the line.

Prediction: Young’s group goes over.


The Karate Man vs. Ethan Page

Story in a nutshell: Seriously, your guess is as good as mine.

I really have no idea what is going on here. Ethan Page apparently has an alter ego in social media called “The Karate Man”. Ever since losing the tag team titles, Page has been acting more and more erratically leading to his alter ego manifesting and challenging him to a match. I can follow Father James Mitchell being resurrected and sealing away a supernatural being with three distinct personalities, but this story seems to be missing some key component like filled by social media that I don’t use. That more than enough time spent on what is a pre-recorded comedy match.

Prediction: Ethan Page “wins”, or will that be what we are led to believe?


Rosemary & Crazzy Steve vs. Tenille Dashwood & Kaleb with a K

Story in a nutshell: Tenille Dashwood made the mistake of crossing Rosemary for… unclear reasons.

Tenille Dashwood and Kaleb with a K approached Rosemary with, I guess it was and offer that was likely to get her more followers or something, but before she could make any pitch Rosemary rebuffed her. This led to a match between the two that saw Kaleb with a K get involved and Crazzy Steve coming out to counter him. Now we have an inter-gender match to sort things out.

Prediction: Since Rosemary stated that she and Crazzy Steve are going to go after the tag team titles, is seems like they are the sure bet to win.


Brian Meyers vs. Josh Alexander

Story in a nutshell: Josh Alexander tries to avenge his loss to Brian Myers.

A chance encounter between Josh Alexander and Brian Myers led to a match Josh lost when a spiraling Ethan Page got involved. Brian Meyers complained to Scott D’Amore about not being used enough despite defeating several wrestlers, Josh Alexander being one of the wrestlers mentioned. Josh took exception to this and D’Amore booked this match.

Prediction: With Ethan Page, Josh’s tag partner in the North, leaving Impact, Josh is most likely going solo so a win here can get him on the right path, so Josh wins.


CATCH-UP: 1/12 IMPACT WRESTLING TV REPORT: Final Hard to Kill hype, Swann vs. Anderson, Dashwood vs. Rosemary, Moose vs. Palmer, and more

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