1/12 Impact Wrestling Hard To Kill results: Moore’s live review of Sami Callihan vs. Tessa Blanchard for the Impact World Championship, The North vs. Rich Swann and Willie Mack for the Impact Tag Titles, Ace Austin vs. Trey for the X Division Championship, Rob Van Dam vs. Brian Cage

By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)

Impact Wrestling Hard To Kill
Aired live January 12, 2020 on pay-per-view and FITE.TV
Dallas, Texas at The Bomb Factory

Quick Pre-Show Notes: They aired an over 20 minute version of the Tessa Blanchard and Sami Callihan video package from this week’s Impact Wrestling Episode. The same footage was used, it was just uncut. They showed more babyface footage of Sami Callihan including some good promos from Jake and Dave Crist about meeting Sami for the first time in Ohio. They also spent time talking about Sami Callihan and Jon Moxley’s journey through the independents (They never mentioned Jon Moxley by name, but he was in all of the still shots and stock footage). The Tessa Blanchard portion featured more quotes from Magnum TA including Magnum talking about how Tessa has the opportunity to surpass Gail Kim’s influence in women’s wrestling with Tessa revolutionizing intergender wrestling…

John’s Thoughts: The uncut version of this video made Sami Callihan out to be the biggest babyface in the company. Interesting approach they’re taking with this Sami vs. Tessa feud.

[Main Show] The teaser clip that ended last week’s Impact Wrestling aired as a teaser opening for Hard to Kill. Josh Mathews and Don Callis were on commentary. Ken Shamrock and Madman Fulton made their respective entrances…

1. Ken Shamrock vs. Madman Fulton (w/Jake Crist). Callis said that Fulton may be a more well rounded MMA fighter than Shamrock due to Fulton actually having been a champion in other grappling arts like Greco Roman (this was what he used in his first WWE gimmick when he teamed with Angelo Dawkins as “Shoot Nation”). Shamrock started out playing footsies with Fulton, using Tae Kwon Do style roundhouses to keep Fulton at a distance. Fulton planted Shamrock with a modified catch Suplex. The match then turned into both men exchanging a plethora of submissions. Shamrock crotched Fulton on the top rope and gave him some lefts and rights.

Fulton caught Shamrock left hand and locked him in a rope fulcrum cross armbreaker for some damage. Shamrock executed a Suicide Dive but Fulton caught the flying Shmrock. Shamrock escaped and hit a ugly looking Gutwrench suplex on Fulton (Callis covered it well on commentary). Shamrock hit Fulton with knees and even knocked down Jake Crist to keep him at bay. Dave Crist appeared out of nowhere to distract Shamrock. The referee ejected the Crist Brothers.

The distraction allowed Fulton to hyperextend one of Shamrock’s arms. Fulton worked methodical offense on Shamrock. Fulton nosold Shamrock’s punches. Fulton went for End of Days, but Shamrock turned it into a Kimura. When Shamrock let go of the hold, Fulton sold that he had a dislocated shoulder. Callis said they need to stop the match. Fulton said not to stop the match and did Sami’s thumb’s up thing. Fulton went for a few rollups. Shamrock turned the rollups into a Rings of Saturn. Madman Fulton used his head to tap out.

Ken Shamrock defeated Madman Fulton via submission in 9:19. 

Josh Mathews and Don Callis checked in on commentary. Josh ran through the upcoming matches. It was a bit tough to hear the commentators for a while but they got it fixed (the headsets were off, so we were hearing the arena reverb). They showed Tessa Blanchard entering the arena from earlier today as well as the OVE quartet making their arrival to the arena. They showed Rich Swann wrestling at an Impact Plus show where Rich Swann was “injured” (maybe it’s legit? Probably not). Josh wondered how Willie Mack would fare if he had to wrestle by himself tonight…

A hype video aired to hype Ace Austin vs. Trey Miguel…

John’s Thoughts: The parts of the match where there was motion, I really liked. Shamrock is doing better than you would have expected at this age. The downsides of the match were the stalling moments which I guess has to happen when Shamrock works a longish match. This felt like a good MLW-style of match in that there was a good integration of Ken Shamrock’s martial arts. I liked the use of submission and even some kicks here. Fulton hasn’t been protected as a monster as much as you would expect, so it actually made sense to put Shamrock over. It presents Shamrock as a credible legend and he can pass that credibility to someone else whenever he needs to put over a young star.

Trey Miguel made his entrance acting more serious than usual. The camera, of course, focused on Trey Miguel’s mom…

John’s Thoughts: How hilarious would it be if Mama Miguel announced that she was pregnant with Ace Austin’s baby? Maybe that wouldn’t be the best storyline.

2. Ace Austin vs. Trey Miguel for the Impact X Division Championship. Trey started out the match with aggressive leg takedown and ground and pound. Callis noted that this aggression is a result of Austin going after Miguel’s mom. Austin sidestepped a dive attempt from Miguel to land some punches. Miguel caught Austin with a Tiger Feint and continued to dominate Austin for a bit. Austin tripped up and started working on Miguel for a sequence. Back in the ring, Miguel regained control with a few lariats. Austin used a lariat to send Trey over the top rope. Ace hit Trey with a flying Tiger Drop.

Trey and Ace traded aggressive slaps and chops. Ace hit Trey with a suplex and claimed he was losing hearing from the slap. Callis noted that hearing loss hurts a person’s equilibrium. Ace started beating up Trey in front of Trey’s mom. Trey and Ace traded Strong Style strikes in the center of the ring. Ace caught Trey with a kick and got a two count. Ace continued to sell his ear as hurting. Ace hit Trey with two consecutive side suplexes. Trey escaped a third and hit Ace with a few kick variations.

Ace regained control by dodging a double stomp and chop blocking Trey. Ace hit Trey with a few shortarm shoulder blocks. Ace hit Trey with Trouble in Paradise. Ace hit Trey with the Bang-a-rama (reverse Final Cut Suplex). Ace got a two count. Callis noted that Ace told him that people usually go to sleep after they take a Bang-a-rama from Ace. Ace worked on Trey’s fingers and got another two count. Trey escaped a full nelson with a CQC combo, ending with a shotgun dropkick to the back of Ace’s head.

Trey caught Ace with a cartwheel kick and a step up roundhouse. Ace dodged Trey’s meteora attempt. Trey then hit Ace with a Reverse Suplex which he smoothly transitioned into a Dragon Sleeper. Ace escaped and hit Trey with a forearm. Trey tripped up Ace when he went for the Fold. Trey hit Austin with a springboard basement Flatliner. Ace hit Trey with a Beautiful Disaster for a two count. Trey countered Ace and hit him with his Cheeky Nandos and Tiger Feint combo. Trey went for a finisher but was crotched by Ace Austin. Ace hit a nice delayed Frankensteiner on Trey. Ace Austin hit Trey with The Fold (Blockbuster) for the clean win.

Ace Austin defeated Trey Miguel via pinfall in 12:55 to retain the Impact X Division Championship. 

Trey walked to his mom and his mom checked on him a bit. Callis noted that Trey might have been distracted by his mom during the match. Trey left up the ramp. Ace Austin started to argue and maybe hit on Trey’s mom. This caused Trey to run back and attack Trey. The Rascalz, Reno Scum, and Referees came to break things up…

Gabby Loren interviewed ODB about her upcoming match. ODB thanked fans for their donations and said a new food truck is coming. The talked about how she’s happy with her latest wrestling run and how she’s going to become Knockouts Champion again. BAAAM!

A hype package aired to hype the Knockouts Championship triple threat…

John’s Thoughts: A really good match that you can argue should have opened the show (but I also understand Shamrock’s legend status also being an early show sell). I was surprised that it was more grounded and aggressive than these two usually work matches. I liked that and it made total sense given that Ace made it personal. Trey Miguel had one of his better singles showings in all the PPV he was given from his serious entrance, serious wrestling, and running back to the ring to attack Ace.

While Jordynne Grace was making her entrance they aired footage of an Impact Plus show earlier in the week where Grace pinned Taya Valkyrie in a non-title match…

3. Taya Valkyrie (w/John E Bravo) vs. Jordynne Grace vs. ODB for the Impact Knockouts Championship. ODB dominated the match early on. The crowd chanted “Food Truck”. Josh noted that you can buy ODB’s balls at the truck. Callis said “what?”. Josh clarified he was talking about meat balls. Taya reversed a Pile Driver with a backdrop on ODB. Grace caught Taya with a back elbow. Grace hit Taya with a shoulder block. Grace hit Taya with a Randy Orton like Power Slam. Grace hit Taya on the outside with a Suicide Dive.

ODB hit Grace with a Fallaway Slam on the ramp. Josh noted that ODB may have landed awkwardly on her head. Taya gave ODB a knee to the head. Taya worked on ODB for a stretch while the crowd tried to rally ODB with “Food Truck” chants. There was a small group of fans chanting “Wera Loca” in favor of Taya. Taya hit ODB with her signature running meteora. Taya continued to work on ODB. Grace got back involved and lifted up Taya which allowed ODB to hit Taya with a top rope bulldog. Grace clocked both women with fast haymakers.

Grace then hit Taya with two body slams. Grace hit Taya with a spinebuster for a two count. Grace went for a German Suplex pin that ODB broke up into a Half Crab on Taya. Grace broke that up with a sleeper on ODB. ODB ended up breaking up a pin attempt on Taya after she clocked Grace with a knee. ODB hit Grace with her signature turnbuckle slams. ODB escaped and tripped up ODB. Grace hit ODB with a top rope Senton for a two count, broken up by Taya. Josh noted the champion doesn’t need to be pinned to lose the title. Grace escaped a Road to Valhalla attempt.

ODB hit Taya with a awkward Samoan Drop. Grace hit both women with a Vader Bomb. ODB kicked out at two. Grace ended up hitting ODB with a Grace Driver. John E Bravo distracted the referee. Grace went to break the referee from John E. Taya then went to successfully steal Grace’s pin on ODB because John E pulled Grace away.

Taya Valkyrie defeated ODB and Jordynne Grace via pinfall in 11:37.

Gabby Loren interviewed RVD and Katie Forbes who were still making out. Forbes said she’ll interview RVD, which she did. Katie asked RVD what he was going to do after he won his match later. RVD hyped himself up and saw Daga walking backstage. RVD acted like Daga was an RVD fan looking for an autograph. Daga said “what you say?” in his usual quiet voice. RVD ignored Daga and Daga walked away. RVD said it was time to cut to the package. Forbes was about to go down on RVD’s package. RVD said to cut to the video package, not “that” package. They cut to the RVD vs. Brian Cage video package…

John’s Thoughts: A good women’s triple threat with the champion going over in a way she usually does. Aside from that there wasn’t much special. Well wrestled. Good to see ODB having a really good run in several wrestling companies these days following the really tough food truck situation.

Rob Van Dam made his entrance with new customized music (a huge upgrade over his crappy TNA theme). Katie rubbed her backside on RVD’s crotch area when they were on the ropes. Callis said that RVD might need to find a booth somewhere. Cage made his entrance. Cage was grabbed by “Katie Forbes’ Girlfriend” which allowed RVD to beat up Cage at ringside. Callis said RVD is lucky for having a Girlfriend’s Girlfriend. Unusual to Impact matches, the Referee didn’t instantly ring the bell until he could get the brawl to settle. Cage ended up dominating for a stretch after a kick.

Cage tried to hit RVD with a chair but he ate a Van Daminator. Katie held a chair next to Cage’s head for a Van Terminator. RVD ended up hitting Cage with the Van Terminator. RVD went for a cover, but the referee noted the bell didn’t ring. Cage was bleeding from the mouth. Suddenly, Daga ran out to get in between Cage and RVD. Daga pointed at RVD and told him to stop. Daga turned his back and the referee rang the bell.

John’s Thoughts: Uhm, what? I actually really liked the referee not calling the match before separating Cage and RVD. But then why did he call it a match when Daga just randomly shows up and gets attacked by RVD?

4. Rob Van Dam (w/Katie Forbes) vs. Daga. Callis noted this was a bit confusing because Daga probably didn’t expect this to be a match. Daga ended up hitting RVD with several kick variations. Daga hit RVD with a flip dive. RVD dodged a top rope dive from Daga and got a two count off of his signature leg scissors pin. Daga got a two count after a suplex. Katie grabbed Daga’s leg to allow RVD to hit Daga with a spinning heel kick. RVD hit Daga with a Five Star Frog Splash for the victory.

RVD defeated Daga via pinfall in 4:11. 

Katie Forbes’ girlfriend joined Katie and RVD in the ring for a dance party. They were all wearing matching gear. Katie gave her girlfriend a lapdance…

Gabby Loren went to the OVE Locker Room to try to interview Sami Callihan. Jake Crist told Gabby that Sami was fine and to “git”. Gabby wondered if Sami was in there (that was an odd question when you can clearly hear him). Jake said Sami is just fine. Gabby was awkwardly smiling through all of this (why aren’t they using Melissa Santos? She’s hosting their Twitch shows)…

John’s Thoughts: Weird bait and switch and stripper show (?). I understand not advertising RVD vs. Daga because Daga isn’t built up yet. Daga continues to be very dull and wooden despite being a very talented in-ring guy (as showcased in his out-match interactions and the backstage segment). To get a silver lining out of this, the finish protects Cage but it also puts “New” RVD over strong. This is a similar positive to Shamrock going over earlier in that it makes beating RVD mean more down the road. That and legends don’t always have to put everyone over.

Michael Elgin walked out carring Eddie’s Call Your Shot trophy that he stole on Impact. He also wore a glittered Aztec looking pre match robe. Eddie Edwards made his entrance now sporting a thick beard to go with his dreadlock mohawk…

5. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs. Eddie Edwards for the Call Your Shot Trophy. Eddie sent Elgin to ringside and hit him with a suicide dive. Elgin turned the tables and worked on Eddie a bit. Elgin exposed the concrete floor. Callis noted that Elgin doesn’t really break rules, he’s just obnoxious. Eddie escaped and went for another Suicide Dive, but Elgin swatted Eddie out of the air with a right hand. Elgin hit Eddie on the concrete with a draping Final Cut Suplex.

Elgin hit Eddie with a backbreaker combination for a two count. Elgin worked on Eddie with power moves. Eddie ended up ending Elgin’s momentum by suplexing Elgin from the inside of the ring to the outside of the ring (like a slinky). Scary, but they did plan it so it was safe enough (similar to what Kyle O’Reilly did at a Takeover last year). Eddie ran the ropes several times and hit Elgin with a Suicide Dive. Eddie hit Elgin with a backpack stunner for a two count. Josh noted that Eddie was selling the lower ribs. Elgin hit Eddie with a ripcord forearm. Elgin countered Eddie into a reverse choke bomb. Eddie came right back with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count.

Elgin caught a running Eddie and hit him with a side slam. Elgin no-sold a German from Eddie and hit Eddie with a few Northern Forearms. Elgin hit Eddie with a suplex for a two count. Eddie crumpled to the ground after eating an Elgin forearm. Eddie tried to show his fighting spirit with forearms, but Elgin kept crumpling him down with his stronger forearms. Eddie and Elgin then had their strong style exchange by trading rapid forearms. Eddie and Elgin no sold each other’s lariats. Eddie finally turned Elgin inside-out with a lariat.

Eddie hit Elgin with a Tiger Bomb for a two count. Eddie reversed Elgin with a huracanrana. Elgin came back with a kick and chop combination. On the top rope Elgin hit Eddie with a Super German Suplex for a great nearfall. Elgin hit Eddie with a Razor’s Edge Bomb for a two count. Eddie tripped up Elgin and went for a half Crab. Elgin used his boots to escape. Elgin used chops to block a Boston Knee Party. Elgin locked Eddie in a Crossface. Eddie got to the bottom rope for the break. Elgin argued to the referee because he thought Eddie tapped out instead of touch the rope.

Elgin got back to business by turning Eddie inside out with a lariat. Elgin hit Eddie with a buckle bomb. Eddie escaped the Elgin Bomb and rolled up Michael Elgin for the win.

Eddie Edwards defeated Michael Elgin via pinfall in 19:53 to retain his Call Your Shot Trophy.

John’s Thoughts: This is the best reactions Eddie Edwards has received in a long time. As I’ve said, and it’s all due to Eddie dropping the crazy act in favor of old school strong style Eddie. Good match by the end of it. Hopefully the powers that be (one being the color commentator) notices the failure of “Crazy” Eddie Edwards and just let the guy go out there and do what he does best, wrestle (not be cartoon character).

Rhino was cutting a promo backstage and it was your usual yelling Rhino promo. At the end he said that Moose should change the name of his finisher from “no jackhammer needed” to “no f–ks given” (what?). Gore Gore Gore…

They aired a Moose vs. Rhino video package…

Moose made his entrance wearing a robe that was Randy Savage themed as Don Callis pointed out.

6. Moose vs. Rhino in a No-DQ match. Moose hit Rhino with a Spear early on, but Rhino rolled outside to prevent the pinfall.  The two men had a brawl at ringside. They brought chairs and a table into play. Moose tried to power bomb Rhino into the table at ringside but Rhino escaped and tripped Moose off the apron. Rhino reversed a running Moose by power bombing Moose into the table at ringside. This prompted a “EC-Dub” chant. Rhino tossed chairs into the ring. A “F–k em up Rhino, F–k em up” chant started for a bit. Moose punched Rhino in the gut and attacked Rhino with a trash can lid that Rhino brought into play.

Moose hit Rhino with a running senton. Callis noted that Moose isn’t adept in using weapons. Moose hit Rhino with a Randy Savage elbow drop. A “Randy Savage” ensued. Moose did more Macho Man poses. Moose went for another savage elbow, but Rhino recovered and hit Moose several times in the shoulder with a chair. Rhino piled together a bunch of chairs. Rhino superplexed Moose onto chairs. Rhino got a two count. Moose used a boot to block Rhino’s gore into a table. Moose hit Rhino with a few hesitation dropkicks.

Moose yelled “F–k you Rhino”. Rhino hit Moose with a lariat. Rhino pulled a referee into him and used him as a human shield, sending Moose and the referee into the chair from Rhino’s Gore. REF BUMP. Another referee ran out and Rhino got a two count. Rhino threw up two middle fingers. Moose low blowed Rhino. Moose hit Rhino with the spear for the win.

Moose defeated Rhino via pinfall in about 13:00. 

John’s Thoughts: An odd match, but you can probably see this as a buffer match I guess? It wasn’t poorly wrestled, it was fine. There was just the weird ode to Randy Savage from Moose? Do we call Moose “Black Machismo” now? There was also a strange amount of uncensored F Bombs and vulgarity going around, almost cartoonish. While odd, it wasn’t harmful I guess. Oh, and I couldn’t get a match time down due to buffering issues at points. Also before I forget, this is a good crowd tonight. They’re providing good energy throughout the show.

Tessa Blanchard was shown sitting down and focusing backstage…

They aired a North vs. Mack and Swann video package…

Dr. Ariel wouldn’t allow Rich Swann to enter the match in the condition he’s in (an “injury” from an Impact Plus show earlier in the week). Swann kept protesting. Rich Swann said he’s looking out for Swann and Swann has to do what’s best for Swann right now and that’s to recover in the back. Mack said he’ll go out there to win the titles for Swann. Swann and Mack hugged…

Willie Mack made his entrance by himself and Callis noted that Mack has heart…

7. “The North” All Ego Ethan Page and Josh Alexander vs. Willie Mack for the Impact Tag Team Championships. Josh Mathews noted Hard To Kill was trending on Twitter. Josh noted that he respects Mack for showing heart when he would have been justified in postponing this match. Page started out the match with Mack. Page and Alexander tagged each other several times to mock Mack not being able to tag. The North used the five second advantage to put the boots to Mack. Mack took down both North guys. He hit Alexander with a swinging Body Slam. Mack hit Alexander in the back with a dropkick. Page blocked the apron to prevent Mack from hitting Alexander with a dive.

The North used tandem offense on Willie Mack. Mack landed a DDT on Page to get the advantage back. He hit both North members with running splashes. Mack hit Page with the imploding cannonball. Mack then hit Page with a Samoan Drop. Page pulled Alexander away from Mack’s moonsault. Mack pulled Alexander into Page to send Page away. Mack hit Alexander with a spinebuster. Page broke up the subsequent pin. After an exchange, Mack hit Alexander with an Exploder for a two count. Page tripped up Mack to prevent the Five Star Frog Splash. The North hit Mack with their Double Razor’s Edge and Double Neutralizer finisher.

Mack kicked out for the false finish. Mack fought away Alexander and Page in the corner. Alexander was on Page’s shoulders. Mack hit Alexander with a Super Super Canadian Destroyer (Two supers because it’s high) on Alexander. Mack hit Alexander with a Frog Splash. Page pulled the referee out of the ring and yelled at the referee to disqualify him to retain the title. The referee didn’t Mack hit Page in the ring with a Stone Cold Stunner. The North then trapped Mack in a wombo combo combination. The North hit Mack with their Burning Hammer into a Spinebuster for the victory.

The North defeated Willie Mack via pinfall in 10:37 to retain the Impact Tag Team Championships. 

Swann was shown watching the TV disappointed at the restult…

John’s Thoughts: A well wrestled handicap match with a proper result. They even made it logical at points for Willie Mack to pick up a win. These practical matches are very fun to watch. Alexander and Page looked very good in their tandem offense. Mack kicking out of their finisher the first time was a good false finish to show the heart of Mack. The fun part, this is a good loss for Mack to take because it adds to the very intriguing story of the North planting seeds of dissent in Mack. A good chapter in my favorite story in Impact Wrestling at the moment.

An ad aired for Impact’s Rebellion PPV in April…

They aired a video package for the Sami Callihan vs. Tessa Blanchard match…

Main Event entrances took place. Josh Mathews said Tessa is making history solely for competing in the men’s championship match. Josh said that Tessa can surpass Randy Orton as the best third generation wrestler. The unnamed ring announcer handled the formal in ring introduction for the Championship match…

John’s Thoughts: Nice touch. Impact usually doesn’t do these formal in ring introductions. I personally like them because it makes the world title seem more important.

8. Sami Callihan vs. Tessa Blanchard for the Impact World Championship. Sami gave Tessa a pump kick during the introductions and hit Tessa with his pile driver finisher for a two count. Tessa bit Sami and hit Sami with the Magnum for a two count. Josh noted that the first minute of the match contained both wrestler’s finishers. Sami and Tessa pie faced each other. Tessa hit Sami with a huracanrana. Sami got on the apron to block a tope. Tessa knocked Sami to the mat and then hit her Tope on Sami. Sami put Tessa in pile driver position and Tessa countered it into a huracanrana. Tessa hit Sami with a Senton at ringside.

Sami hit Tessa with a beer cup to the face. Sami suplexed Tessa’s knee into the barricade. Sami did his signature loogie spot in the ring. Sami slammed Tessa’s leg into the turnbuckle and rained punches on the buckle. Sami locked Tessa into a modified Indian Deathlock. Tessa got out of the move, but struggled to get to her feet. Sami gloated around the ring. Sami hit Tessa with a sitout Atomic Drop for a two count. Josh noted that attacking the knee would make Tessa’s Magnum less effective. Sami yelled “this is my f–king house bitch!”. Sami gave Tessa’s leg Banzai Drops on the ropes.

Tessa avoided one Banzai Drop to kick Sami to the outside. Sami no-sold Tessa’s chops. Callis noted the loogie hanging off Sami’s face. Tessa escaped a power bomb into a table. Tessa went for a cannonball but Sami caught Tessa. Sami power bombed Tessa into the table. Tessa beat the ten count at nine. Sami dropped more F bombs at some woman at ringside. He also called her a bitch. Sami put his chin out and dared Tessa to give him all she got. Sami and Tessa then had a strong style exchange on the apron. Sami ended that with thumbs to Tessa’s eyes. Tessa came back with her own thumbs to Sami’s eyes.

Tessa hit Sami with a Magnum on the apron. Tessa also hit the ground selling her knee injury. Sami and Tessa both beat the ten count. Sami argued that he beat the ten count. Josh noted that the referee’s call is correct. Sami flashed a sadistic smile while Tessa’s face showed fury. Sami went back to daring Tessa to punch him. Sami sold Tessa’s punch this time. Tessa asked Sami to return the favor, which Sami did with a knife edge. Tessa asked for another and Sami gave Tessa another, showing Tessa’s fighting spirit.

Sami hit Tessa with a creative fake punch into a low kick. Tessa hit Sami with a Samoan Drop off a shaky knee (nice sell). Tessa tripped Sami into the second turnbuckle. Tessa hit Sami with a draping Magnum for a two count. Josh noted that this is the Third Magnum in the match. Sami countered Tessa and hit her with the Get Out of Here (Butterfly Shoulderbreaker) for the two count. Sami hit Tessa with a German Suplex which Tessa no sold with fighting spirit. Tessa hit Sami with a Diamond Cutter for a two count.

Sami hit Tessa with a sitout power bomb. Before Tessa could kick out, he turned the move into a Stretch Muffler. Sami then locked Tessa in a deep half crab. Sami then locked Tessa in an STF before she could get to the bottom rope. Tessa almost got to the rope and Sami turned it into Joint Manipulation. Tessa got her foot to the rope and Callis noted that grabbing the hand caused Sami to lose control over Tessa’s foot. Sami grabbed the world title. The referee yanked the title away and brought it to ringside.

Sami put on knuckle dusters. Tessa blocked the power of the punch, with a low blow kick. Tessa went to the top rope and hit Sami with Magnum. Sami kicked out at three. Tessa floated over into the crossface. Josh yelled “tap out you son of a bitch”. Sami bit Tessa’s hand to escape the submission. Sami hit Tessa with the Cactus Special. Tessa kicked out of Sami’s finisher for a great nearfall. Sami went for his finish again. Tessa jackknife pinned Sami during his thumbs up thing. Sami kicked out at two. Sami and Tessa went back to the strong style in the center of the ring.

Sami hit Tessa with a pump kick. Tessa hit Sami with a running Canadian Destroyer. Tessa then hit Sami with a top rope Panama Sunrise. Tessa hit Sami with her Hammerlock DDT finisher for the victory.

Tessa Blanchard defeated Sami Callihan via pinfall 23:49 to become the new Impact World Champion. 

Tessa was showing emotion when presented with the title. Tessa got a good ovation from the crowd. Josh noted that Tessa “ignored the noise” and is the new Impact World Champion. The show ended 7 minutes off the top of the hour awkwardly…

John’s Thoughts: That really was an amazing matchup. It might have been the best intergender match I’ve seen, and I’ve reviewed intergender matches for four years with Dot Net via my Lucha Underground reviews (some which have included Sami Callihan there). Might, because I still see Chelsea Green vs. Pentagon Jr. as my favorite intergender match of all time (helped, because I saw it live). I didn’t expect Sami and Tessa to go this long in time, but the time was worth it and there was not a dull moment. Lots of Japanese strong style. Lots of finishers. The false finishes were compelling. I like the match ending on the Hammerlock DDT because we haven’t seen that move in a while and she only had to use it once to beat Sami. To be honest, I thought they were going to wait til Slammiversary to crown Tessa, but this was a fine enough match for the big moment.

Let me make this clear, I am aware of the social media conflict involving Tessa (and I’ve been hearing that stuff for years behind the scenes), but I’m not going to let that cause me to have different views in my match analysis. Moving past that, I liked this match and Tessa has made history as a World Champion for a major promotion (Some people, including Sexy Star, will argue that Sexy Star winning the LU title was a big moment, but Lucha Underground just wasn’t seen by as many people). Overall a very good PPV with the main event putting it over the top as a worthy buy.

 

 

 

 



Jason Powell and Jake Barnett co-host the Dot Net Weekly and Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast combo show and discuss Raw Underground and other WWE concepts, The Rock's group buying the XFL, the Marty Jannetty story, AEW Dynamite and NXT TV, and more...


Readers Comments (6)

  1. Would be shocked if they give Tessa the win after everything that happened this week.

    • Very, very sad turn of events. I’ve been looking forward to this for the last few weeks. Impact did a great job hyping this feud. It’s sad to see it tarnished by these circumstances.

    • Don’t worry, like everything else in this attention span challenged era, people will have forgotten all about it by next week. Don’t give people too much credit here.

  2. Impact has been doing those boxing-style intros for Main Events since they started in 2002.

  3. Once again, the best prove why they’re still the best. Every match was good-great, every match had meaning & a purpose, & legitimate, real,history was made in the main event. The original alternative, over 17 years going, & still the best wrestling in the country. Period.

    • The “best wrestling in the country” is a Canadian company? They’re not remotely close to MLW or NWA right now, and the main even was human trash in female form vs a garbage match bum.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.