By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Join John Moore for his live review of the Impact Wrestling Hard To Kill pay-per-view as the show airs Sunday night. Dot Net Members will hear an exclusive audio review later that evening.
Impact Wrestling Hits
Sami Callihan and Tessa Blanchard video package: Excellent production work with two intertwined character profile pieces setting up the Hard To Kill pay-per-view main event. It’s interesting that Callihan continues to come off more likable. Callihan can garner as much heat as anyone in the business, but he’s shown a much more relatable side of his persona throughout the build to this match. Whatever momentum was lost due to Impact running “best of” style shows over the holiday weeks was more than regained. Hats off to the production team and the wrestlers for bringing their A game.
Michael Elgin vs. Eddie Edwards: I like the way Impact normally opens its show with a recap of previous shows or angles. That said, the cold open with Elgin and Edwards brawling was a good change of pace. The match that followed was very good and was a strong way to open the first (first-run) edition of Impact in the new year. I’d actually forgotten that Edwards won the “Call Your Shot” trophy, so putting that at stake in this match doesn’t do much for me, nor does it really help the prestige of the gimmick if they intend to make it an annual part of Bound For Glory.
Rich Swann and Willie Mack: The backstage conversation with Mack bringing up the idea of going separate ways to avoid holding Swann back was really well done. The North planted that seed in Mack’s head and this was a logical followup. Swann’s pep talk was perfect. He was calm and believable, and I hope we see more of this Swann going forward.
Jordynne Grace, ODB, and Tenille Dashwood vs. Taya Valkyrie, Madison Rayne, and Kiera Hogan: A decent match that showcased the pay-per-view’s three-way Knockouts Title match between Valkyrie, Grace, and ODB. The finish saw ODB pin Valkyrie. And while the broadcast team tried to make a fuss over it, the real focus was on Grace taking issue with ODB tossing her out of the ring and taking the pin. I suspect this was designed to set up friction between Grace and ODB because their issues will somehow lead to Valkyrie retaining on Sunday.
Mahabali Shera, Raj Singh, and Rohit Raju vs. Fallah Bahh, TJ Perkins, and Daga: A minor Hit for a solid six-man tag match with the Desi Hit Squad trio picking up a rare win. As is typically the case when the Desi trio wins, Shera scored the pin for the team.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Brian Cage and Rhino vs. Moose and Rob Van Dam: A soft Miss for a match that simply looked better on paper. The idea was to spotlight the Cage vs. Moose and Van Dam vs. Rhino pay-per-view matches by putting the wrestlers together in a tag match. It just felt like the match was always stuck in second gear (clap clap clap clap) and I can’t say that the tag match left me more excited about seeing either singles match on Sunday.