1/16 IMPACT WRESTLING HARD TO KILL PPV REPORT: Kenny Omega & Anderson & Gallows vs. Swann & Chris Sabin & Moose, Purrazzo vs. Valkyrie, Sami Calihan vs. Eddie Edwards, more

By Darrin Lilly, PWTorch contributor


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

IMPACT WRESTLING HARD TO KILL 2021 PPV REPORT
JANUARY 16, 2021
NASHVILLE, TENN. AT T SKYWAY STUDIOS
AIRED ON FITE TV
REPORT BY DARRIN LILLY, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Commentators: Matt Striker, D-Lo Brown

-Intro video

(1) ROSEMARY & CRAZZY STEVE vs. TENILLE DASHWOOD & KALEB WITH A K

Steve and Kaleb started it off and the action quickly spilled to the floor with Steve getting the better of it.  Kaleb tagged in Tenille to face off with Rosemary.  Light crowd noise was piped in, which was an improvement over the usual quiet arena in Impact’s pandemic era.  Tenille got the upper hand over Rosemary then tagged out to Kaleb.  Tenille and Kaleb tried to double team Rosemary, but Rosemary foiled it and made the tag to Steve.  Kaleb got the upper hand on Steve and tagged Tenille, who had Steve in an armlock.

Kaleb missed a moonsault off the top and Steve made the hot tag to Rosemary, who ran wild on Tenille.  Steve and Rosemary double chokeslammed Kaleb.  Rosemary speared Tenille, who rolled out.  Kaleb kicked Rosemary.  Tenille tried to use hairspray but the referee stopped it.  Steve sprayed Tenille with mist.  Rosemary sprayed Kaleb with mist, which Steve used to take advantage and DDT Kaleb off the ropes for a pin.

WINNER: Rosemary & Crazzy Steve in 9:00.

(D.L.’s Analysis: Fun match to start the show.  Lots of comedy but good action.  The crowd noise helps the show).

-Striker and D-Lo sat at ringside, plugged the Hard to Kill DVD and introduced the matches for tonight.

-Kenny Omega, Don Callis, and the Good Brothers were shown entering the building and bullying a security guard.

-Video package tracing the Eric Young/Cody Deaner situation.

(2) ERIC YOUNG & JOE DOERING & DEANER vs. TOMMY DREAMER & RHINO & COUSIN JAKE

Young’s team is now called “Violent by Design”.  All six wresters mixed it up in the ring at the start.  Jake and Deaner finally squared off one on one in the ring.  Jake got the early advantage and threw Deaner to the outside.  Doering and Rhino faced off in the ring.  A three-way split screen followed all the action for a bit.  All six wrestlers ended up fighting on the floor.  Striker and D-Lo talked up Doering’s accomplishments and reputation.

Back in the ring, Dreamer got the advantage with a flying cutter on Eric Young.  Jake and Deaner continued to fight on the outside.  Dreamer, Rhino, and Jake attacked Doering with chairs in the ring.  Doering made a comeback and bit Dreamer, then hit him with a crossbody block.  Young’s team stood in the ring and started taking over.  Deaner threw Cody through two chairs.  Jake dove over the top rope onto Young and Doering.

Doering suplexed Jake off the top rope right onto Dreamer.  Rhino attacked Doering with a kendo stick but got chokeslammed.  Doering broke the stick over his knee.  Dreamer poured thumbtacks on the mat.  Dreamer backdropped Young into the tacks.  Rhino gored Doering.  Deaner DDT’d Rhino.  Jake gave a Black Hole Slam to Deaner.  Young piledrove Jake for the win.

WINNERS: Eric Young & Joe Doering & Deaner in 10:00.

(D.L.’s Analysis: Good non-stop brawl.  They did a great job of setting up Doering as a monster.  The announcers did a good job of getting him and Dreamer over).

-Chris Sabin and Rich Swann were shown talking strategy in the dressing room.  Moose entered and Swann asked if Moose expected Swann could trust him.  Moose said he won a lot of football games with people he didn’t like, but he would die for them on the field.  Moose said he wouldn’t let an outsider come in and take over.  Moose said he would kick Omega/Good Brother’s ass all night long, like Swann had said last week.  Swann and Sabin sat with Moose and agreed.

-Video package showing Kiera & Tasha and Havoc & Nevaeh’s road to the tournament finals.

(3) KIERA HOGAN & TASHA STEELZ vs. HAVOC & NEVAEH—Impact Wrestling Knockouts Tag Team Title Tournament final

Brian Hebner returned as the referee for this match.  Havoc & Neveah had the advantage at the start.  Havoc ran wild on Kiera and Tasha, but she missed a legdrop, which turned the tide.  Kiera and Tasha tagged in and out to keep the advantage on Havoc.  Havoc tried to make a comeback, but she was cut off.  Havoc powered out of a sleeper from Tasha and eventually made the hot tag to Nevaeh.

Nevaeh took on Kiera and Tasha by herself.  Striker talked up Nevaeh’s Heartland Wrestling training from Les Thatcher.  Havoc used power moves to keep the advantage.  She missed a charge and got caught with a kick from Kiera.  Tasha kicked Havoc in the head and Kiera got a two count.  Tasha pulled Nevaeh’s leg and pulled her out of the ring.  Back in the ring, Tasha & Kiera double teamed Neveah.  Tasha landed her neckbreaker for the pin and the win.

WINNERS: Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz in 10:00 to win the tag team titles.

Gail Kim and Madison Rayne came out to present the belts to the winners.

(D.L.’s Analysis:  All action and a great way to end a really fun tournament.  Nice touch to have the legends come out to make this seem like a big deal).

-Taya met up with Rosemary and Crazzy Steve backstage.  Rosemary offered Steve’s help to Taya for tonight.  Taya accepted and said they would celebrate in Slam Town.  They walked off.  Acey Romero snuck into Taya’s dressing room after they left.

-Ace Austin came out with Madman Fulton.  He was holding his Super X Cup trophy.  He complained about not being on the show and called out Scott D’Amore.  Scott came out to the ramp.  He said he had an opponent for Ace that is always ready.  Matt Cardona walked out to the ring.

(4) MATT CARDONA vs. ACE AUSTIN

They brawled at the start and went to the floor.  Fulton interfered to turn the tide of the match.  Ace missed a flip off the rope and Matt landed a flapjack and a clothesline, then boots in the corner.  Fulton jumped in the ring and ran Matt’s head into the turnbuckle.

WINNER: Matt Cardona by DQ in 3:00

Matt got double teamed but made his own comeback and cleared the ring.

(D.L.’s Analysis: Cool surprise, but a lame finish.  It wasn’t made clear if this was a one-time appearance or if Cardona would be a regular).

-Video package showing the feud between Rohit Raju and Manik.

(5) MANIK (c) vs. CHRIS BEY vs. ROHI RAJU—Impact Wrestling X Division Title match

All three wrestlers squared off, exchanging offense and the advantage.  Striker talked up Bey’s background and training.  Rohit and Bey fought, but were joined by Manik.  Rohit knocked Bey off the apron to the floor.  Rohit got a two count on Manik.  All three traded the advantage before the action spilled to the outside.

Rohit got the best of Bey then threw Manik back in the ring.  Rohit went for the mask and pulled it off.  Manik revealed that his face was painted.  He DDT’d Rohit and tried to dive off the top, but Bey caught him with a great cutter.  Rohit broke up Bey’s pin attempt.  Manik rolled out, leaving Rohit and Manik to go at it in the ring.  Rohit had Bey tied up upside down in the corner, but Manik recovered and got in offense on both wrestlers.

With Bey down, Rohit got a series of kicks on Manik but couldn’t get the pin.  All three wrestlers were down.  Manik landed a spike DDT on Bey.  Bey kicked out of a crucifix bomb from Manik.  Rohit kicked Manik in the head and got a two count on Bey.  Rohit landed a double stomp to Bey then had Manik in a crossface submission.  Bey broke it up.  Rohit got an inside cradle for a two count on Bey.  Manik rolled up Rohit out of nowhere for a pin.

WINNER: Manik in 13:00.

(D.L.’s Analysis: Excellent X Division style match that was all-action).

-Eddie Edwards and Alisha talked backstage.  Alisha wanted to come out to the ring, but Eddie made her promise not to come out.  She promised she wouldn’t go out to the ring.

-Video package showing the feud between Deonna Purrazzo and Taya Valkyrie.

(6) DEONNA PURRAZZO (w/Kimber Lee & Susan) (c) vs. TAYA VALKYRIE (w/Rosemary & Crazzy Steve)—Impact Wrestling Knockouts Title match

They took it to the outside early.  Kimber Lee held Taya back, which started a brawl.  Susan was recording Steve on her phone.  Steve knocked the referee down.  The referee sent Steve, Rosemary, Susan, and Kimber Lee to the back.  The action resumed in the ring, with Taya chopping Deonna.  Deonna made a comeback with kicks, then she worked Taya’s arm.  Taya made a comeback but still sold her arm.

Deonna hit a Russian Leg Sweep and resumed working on the arm.  Deonna used kicks to take Taya down.  Deonna put Taya in a kneebar.  Taya made a comeback, including getting a spear for a two count.  She still sold her arm.  Deonna dropkicked Taya’s knee, but Taya came back with a back suplex.  Taya hit a curb stomp and a submission, but Deonna made the ropes.  They traded punches.  Deonna caught Taya in an armbar and eventually a double armbar, which made Taya submit.

WINNER: Deonna Purrazzo in 11:00.

(D.L.’s Analysis: Match of the night so far.  It’s a treat to see Deonna’s career path in the last year.  Taya was great as well.  Looking forward to Deonna’s next challenger and feud).

-Acey Romero and John E. Bravo were backstage.  Acey revealed that he found the Ring Rust cologne in the Knockouts locker room.

-Video package showing Ethan Page’s background with the Karate Man.

(7) ETHAN PAGE vs. KARATE MAN

Karate Man is Page’s alter ego.  This was a cinematic match.  It used special effects and editing to show them fighting each other in front of different backgrounds.  Karate Man ripped out Page’s heart to “win”.

WINNER: Karate Man in 3:00.

(D.L.’s Analysis:  This was better suited for the TV show or on the website.  It was intentionally cheesy and totally played for laughs.  Not my cup of tea.  At least it was short).

-Don Callis approached Moose backstage.  Callis kissed up to Moose and noted that Moose had another couple of years on his Impact contract.  He said that he and Moose needed to get on the same page and that he didn’t want to see things get out of hand.  He told Moose to “brother it up” tonight.  Moose said he always plays to win and after he wins tonight, he is going after the Impact title and maybe he will show up in AEW and take Callis’ “kid’s” title.  Moose walked off.  Callis yelled “we still have two years together!”, then muttered “shit” to himself.

-Video package showing the feud between Eddie Edwards and Sami Callihan.

(8) SAMI CALLIHAN vs. EDDIE EDWARDS

The ring had one side with a barbed wire cage wall and there were weapons and barbed wire on the other sides.  Both wrestlers were cautious at the start.  Sami was first to get thrown into the barbed wire.  Eddie wrapped barbed wire around Sami’s head, which drew blood.  Eddie tried to push Sami onto a barbed wire board but Sami managed to slide the board out of the ring.  Eddie dove out of the ring, but flew right into a barbed wire board.

Sami continued the attack on the floor.  Back in the ring, Sami stayed aggressive and on the attack.  Eddie was bleeding from the head.  Sami rolled barbed wire across Eddie’s head and hit him with a video game controller wrapped in barbed wire.  Eddie made a comeback with a backpack stunner.  They traded the advantage.  They landed punches at the same time and knocked each other down. Eddie had a bat wrapped in barbed wire and Sami had a kendo stick wrapped in barbed wire.  They traded the weapons then attacked each other.

Sami knocked Eddie throat-first onto barbed wire.  Sami piledrove Eddie through a board but only got a two count.  Eddie fired up.  Eddie landed a Boston Knee Party with a chair, but only got a one count.  Eddie slammed Sami onto a barbed wire chair for the pin and the victory.  Alisha came in the ring afterwards and tended to Eddie.

WINNER: Eddie Edwards in 20:00.

(D.L.’s Analysis: This was pretty brutal and gory.  A good match if you’re into this style).

-Video package showing the lead-up events to the main event.

(9) RICH SWANN & CHRIS SABIN & MOOSE vs. KENNY OMEGA & DOC GALLOWS & KARL ANDERSON (w/Don Callis)

Callis handled the (over-the-top) ring introductions for Omega.  Omega made his entrance wearing a Bullet Club t-shirt (the Halloween version).  Striker speculated that it probably made the Impact wrestlers angry that Omega had his own dressing room.  Sabin and Anderson locked up to start it off.  Sabin armdragged Anderson.  Sabin and Anderson traded moves until Moose and Gallows tagged in.  They traded punches.  Omega and Swann tagged in.

They locked up.  Swann was attacked from behind by the Good Brothers.  Omega choked Swann with his t-shirt, then tagged out to Anderson.  Swann got the advantage over Anderson then tagged in Sabin.  Team Impact triple teamed Anderson.  Moose landed an impressive standing moonsault.

The Good Brothers worked on Sabin.  Omega got a backbreaker on Sabin.  Anderson had Sabin in a headlock.  Sabin fought his way out, then Anderson and Sabin clotheslined each other.  Omega and Swann went at it.  Swann hit a Frankensteiner on Omega, who was on the top rope.  The match broke down and all six wrestlers fought.  Swann flipped onto Omega on the outside.  Sabin flipped onto Anderson.

Swann rolled Omega back in the ring.  Anderson tagged in and took over on Swann.  Gallows tagged in and slammed Swann.  Omega tagged in to continue the advantage.  He got a leg lariat on Swann, then tagged Gallows in.  They hit a triple splash on Swann.  Sabin broke up the pin.  Omega tagged back in and taunted Swann.  He pulled Swann back to his team’s corner.  Swann escaped with a kick to the head and tagged Moose.  Moose ran wild on Omega and the Good Brothers.  Moose dropkicked Gallows off the top rope.  Team Impact landed a triple kick to Omega.  Moose got a two count on Omega.

Omega and the Good Brothers took over on Sabin.  Omega got a two count on Sabin.  Omega power bombed Sabin for a two count.  Omega went for the V-trigger but was cut off by Moose.  Omega got a V-trigger on Swann.  Moose caught Omega with a tremendous Spanish Fly off the top.  Sabin slammed Omega, but Anderson broke up the pin.  Gallows got a shin kick on Sabin.  Sabin made a tag to Swann as Gallows tagged Omega.

They exchanged punches back and forth.  Omega got a suplex and piledriver on Swann, but the pin was broken up.  Omega and Swann fought on the top rope.  Omega put Moose on his shoulders, but Moose reversed it, and Swann hit a doomsday device on Omega.  Swann slugged Omega.  Omega got a V-trigger.  Swann fought back and went for his 450 splash, but only got a two count.  The Good Brothers hit the Magic Killer on Swann.  Omega covered but Moose broke up the pin.  Omega got a V-trigger on Moose then on Swann.  Omega got a one-winged angel on Swann for the pin.  Omega’s team celebrated up the ramp afterwards.

WINNERS: Kenny Omega & Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson in 20:00.

(D.L.’s Analysis: A great, action-packed match that lived up to the hype.  Everyone had their working shoes on and were at their best.  Omega was in for a good portion of the match.  I would have preferred to see an upset win from Team Impact, but I guess that wasn’t going to happen.  I was happy that we didn’t get the tired “Moose turns heel on his team” ending, so points for that.  I thought that Moose was the star of the match).

FINAL THOUGHTS:  This was a really good show that had a little bit of everything (X Division action, good technical wrestling, brawling, comedy, surprises, and star power).  I was cautious about Matt Striker as the lead announcer, but I have to give credit where it’s due: he was solid and added to the presentation.  I liked D-Lo as a color commentator.  The crowd noise worked as well.  The main event lived up to its billing.  It was still surreal to see Kenny Omega in an Impact ring.  The main event and the Knockouts match were the best matches of the night.

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