By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hard To Kill
Aired January 8, 2022 on pay-per-view and FITE.TV
Dallas, Texas at the Bomb Factory
Impact Wrestling Hard To Kill Pre-Show
The broadcast team of Tom Hannifan and D-Lo Brown checked in from ringside. They spoke about some of the main card matches and then went to the ring for the opening match…
1. Jake Something vs. Madman Fulton. The bell rang and Fulton immediately threw a big boot to the head of Something and knocked him to ringside. Fulton dominated the early action and performed a cross body block for a two count. Something rallied and performed a dive over the top rope onto Fulton on the floor.
Back inside the ring, Something hit a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall. Fulton rallied with a chokeslam and covered Something for a two count. Fulton chokeslammed Something again. The crowd called for a third. Fulton wanted to oblige, but Something fought it off and performed a Blackhole Slam and then got the three count…
Jake Something defeated Madman Fulton in 5:25.
Powell’s POV: A good big man match. Both guys are really athletic for their size and did a nice job of getting the show off to a good start.
A video package focused on Moose vs. W Morrissey vs. Matt Cardona for the Impact World Championship…
Gia Miller interviewed Matt Cardona and Chelsea Green. Chelsea spoke about her plan to win the Ultimate X match. She said she was ready. Cardona asked she was always ready. She said she is a Cardona now, and then Cardona had her show off her wedding ring. Cardona said people have asked where they are going on their honeymoon and he said they are at Hard To Kill for their honeymoon…
2. “Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Chris Bey vs. Ace Austin vs. Laredo Kid in a four-way. Bailey offered handshakes to each opponent. Kid accepted, Austin blew him off, and Bey tried to take a cheap shot. Bailey and Kid cleared the ring and then bowed to one another before having a brief singles exchange. Bey returned to the ring and Kid cleared him and Bailey to the floor. Kid set up for a dive, but Austin tripped him up. Kid went for a springboard flip move, but Austin dropkicked him.
A short time later, Kid and Bailey teamed up to perform stereo suicide dives onto Bey and Austin. Bailey tossed Bey back inside the ring and tried to follow, but Kid stopped him. Bailey and Kid pushed and shoved, allowing Bey to take them out with a dive. Austin caught Bey with a kick from the apron and then performed a Fosbury Flop over the top rope onto all three opponents on the floor.
Austin threw Kid back inside the ring, but Bailey kicked him from the floor. Bailey tried to go up top, but Kid ran over and performed a Spanish Fly that sent him and Bailey onto Bey and Austin on the floor, which drew a deserving “holy shit” chant. Bailey and Kid returned to the ring. Kid put Bailey down with a Michinoku Driver and followed up with a pair of corkscrew moonsaults. Kid led the crowd in chanting “uno mas” and set up for a third, but Austin returned and broke it up.
All four men ended up back inside the ring and Austin got the better of a series of strikes. Bey came back with a cutter on Austin and covered him. Kid performed a springboard dive. Bey moved, causing Kid to land on Austin. Bailey executed a kick on Austin in the corner and then followed up with a shooting star press from the top rope and landed with his knees on the back of Austin and then pinned him…
“Speedball” Mike Bailey defeated Chris Bey, Ace Austin, and Laredo Kid in 8:10 a four-way.
The broadcast team read through the main card lineup to close out the pre-show…
Powell’s POV: A fun match. Bailey’s martial arts style is definitely entertaining. Everyone had a chance to look good, but you kinda had to figure that Bailey was going to go over in his debut. Impact does a great job with their pre-shows. They wisely keep them to 30 minutes in length and fill the time with a lot of action.
Impact Wrestling Hard To Kill Pay-Per-View
A video package opened the show… The broadcast team remained Hannifan and Brown…
1. Chelsea Green vs. Jordynne Grace vs. Lady Frost vs. Rosemary vs. Alisha Edwards vs. Tasha Steelz in an Ultimate X match for a future shot at the Knockouts Championship. The broadcast touted that this was the first women’s Ultimate X match. All of the entrants came to the ring by themselves. Hannifan noted that Edwards was a late addition to the match, and Brown added that it was her birthday.
An X symbol served as the target for the winner to pull down from the cables hanging above the ring. Savannah Evans walked to ringside and helped Steelz, then Havok showed up and put Rosemary on her shoulders in the ring to help her go for the X symbol, but Green knocked her off with a missile dropkick. Brown said it was No DQ and actually encouraged the outside interference.
Green and Edwards performed stereo dives from the top rope onto other wrestlers on the floor. Edwards caught her foot in the ring skirting, but she seemed to be okay. Grace was the first wrestler to climb on the cables above the ring. Frost dove onto her back and Grace still didn’t lose her grip. Damn. Frost was knocked down and eventually Steelz pulled Grace down.
Green made a play for the X, but she lost her grip and fell onto Steelz. She immediately checked on Steelz. Edwards brought her “Kendra” kendo stick inside the ring and worked over her opponents. A “she’s hardcore” chant broke out. Edwards made a play for the X. Rosemary followed her up and speared her off the cables. Steelz got up and seemed to be okay despite Green landing on her. There was a spot with Grace and Steelz falling from the cables simultaneously and landing on their backsides that drew a “holy shit” chant.
Frost performed a dive from the top rope onto some of the other wrestlers on the floor. Grace, Steelz, and Green all climbed onto the cables. Grace fell to the mat. Steelz and Green pulled the X off. Steelz feel into the ring with it and won the match…
Tasha Steelz defeated Chelsea Green, Jordynne Grace, Alisha Edwards, Lady Frost, and Rosemary in an Ultimate X match to earn a future Knockouts Title match in roughly 9:00.
Powell’s POV: Really good effort from everyone involved. Green slipping and landing on Steelz was frightening, but Steelz seemed to be just fine. Steelz winning was a pleasant surprise because she’s spent most of her time teaming with Evans and Kiera Hogan before her. I’m all for Steelz doing more as a singles act while Evans serves as her enforcer.
A trailer aired from the movie Free Fall, which was the official sponsor of the show…
Hannifan and Brown spoke at ringside. Hannifan said he was thrilled to be there. In a nice touch, Hannifan mentioned the Impact play-by-play voices that came before him, specifically mentioning Mike Tenay, Jeremy Borash, Josh Matthews, and Matt Striker. Hannifan and Brown walked through the remaining pay-per-view lineup…
A pre-taped promo aired with Knockouts Champion Mickie James. She spoke about the possibility of being the Knockouts Champion and entering the WWE Royal Rumble match. She said she was focussed on her match with Deonna Purrazzo and said everything is bigger in Texas. She said the Rumble news was glorious, but it would be more glorious to walk out of Hard To Kill with her championship…
Gia Miller interviewed Deonna Purrazzo, who was accompanied by Matthew Rehwoldt. Purrazzo said James’ fifteen minutes of fame would end. She said this was the first pay-per-view she’s entered in Impact without the Knockouts Championship, but she said she would leave with it. Purrazzo hinted at Rehwoldt’s involvement in her match. Gail Kim showed up and said that Rehwoldt would be fired if he gets involved and Purrazzo would lose the match. Purrazzo threw a fit…
2. Trey Miguel vs. Steve Maclin for the X Division Championship. Hannifan mentioned the stipulation that Maclin would not be allowed to challenge for the X Division Title again while Trey Miguel is champion if he were to lose the match. Maclin came out first. Miguel made his entrance then Maclin dove onto him once he arrived at ringside. Hannifan pointed out that the match had not officially started. Miguel dropkicked Maclin down the ropes. Miguel also performed a nice tornado DDT from the ring to the floor.
Miguel threw Maclin inside the ring and then the referee called for the bell to start the match. Maclin eventually came back and performed a backbreaker. He also performed a nice uranage slam and covered Miguel for a two count. Maclin remained in offensive control for the next couple of minutes. Miguel rallied and went for a meteora, but Maclin stuffed it and left him hanging upside down over the top rope, then speared him.
Miguel rallied and eventually performed a meteora from the top rope onto Maclin, who was on the apron. The broadcast team noted that the back of Maclin’s head appeared to hit the ringside barricade. Miguel could have won via count-out, but the broadcast team said he wanted to win the right way. Miguel hit a top rope meteora and got a good near fall. Miguel acted shocked that he didn’t get the win. Miguel threw a series of strikes at Maclin and put him down with a brainbuster. Miguel went up top and performed another meteora and scored the clean pin. Hannifan noted that Miguel was the first person to pin Maclin in Impact…
Trey Miguel defeated Steve Maclin in 12:50 to retain the X Division Championship.
Powell’s POV: Another strong match. I’m surprised to see Maclin take the loss given the stipulation. I continue to be impressed by the way Maclin has reinvented himself in Impact and I might grumble about him losing the match if I wasn’t just as high on Miguel. This show is off to an excellent start.
Gia Miller interviewed Madison Rayne, Tenille Dashwood, and Kaleb about their Knockouts Title shot being cancelled (due to Jessie McKay and Cassie Lee being close contacts with someone who tested positive for COVID-19). Dashwood questioned why one of them couldn’t show up to defend the titles. She also made it seem like The IInspiration missed out on their chance to defend their titles against her and Rayne, who then said the match would take place at a later date…
Ian Riccaboni joined Hannifan and Brown on commentary for the original ROH Championship match. Riccaboni said twenty years of parallel history are converging with Impact and ROH. ROH ring announcer Bobby Cruise served as the ring announcer for the match and explained the Pure Rules while a graphic listed them on the screen…
3. Jonathan Gresham vs. Chris Sabin for the original ROH Championship belt. Riccaboni said Sabin would take over the schedule of Gresham’s planned title defenses if he wins the championship. Cruise delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor with a handshake before the opening bell. Brian Hebner was the referee. Riccaboni thanked Impact “for allowing the torch to stay lit” and said ROH intends to resume operations in April. The broadcast team also worked in a plug for Gresham’s Terminus promotion.
Five minutes into the match, Sabin caught Gresham with an innovative DDT for a near fall. Gresham used his first of three rope breaks a short time later (pins and submission count in the ropes once a wrestler has used all three rope breaks). Gresham came right back and continued his theme of targeting one of Sabin’s arms. Gresham performed a springboard moonsault and then dropped a knee on the bad arm. Gresham rolled Sabin into a pin and got a two count, then applied a crossface. Sabin had to use his first rope break.
Gresham caught Sabin in his Octopus hold in the middle of the ring. Sabin escaped the hold and performed a Cradle Shock and scored the pin. However, the referee immediately spotted Gresham’s foot under the bottom rope and declared that it was Gresham’s second rope break rather than a pinfall. The wrestlers traded chops, which got a rise out of the crowd. They continued to trade moves and Sabin caught Gresham with a high knee. After some back and forth pin attempts, Gresham ended up rolling up Sabin and bridged while scoring the clean pin.
Jonathan Gresham defeated Chris Sabin in 12:40 to retain the original ROH Championship belt in a Pure Rules match.
After the match, Gresham and Sabin adhered to the Code of Honor. Riccaboni thanked Impact on behalf of ROH again. Some fans chanted “Ring of Honor” while Gresham made his way to the back…
Powell’s POV: It was a real treat to see this original ROH Championship defended on an Impact pay-per-view. I could have done without the false finish, but this was really good. It was also a great touch for Impact to bring in Riccaboni to call the match. For those wondering why Impact didn’t hire Riccaboni to replace Matt Striker, I don’t believe he is contractually free from ROH yet. That’s not to say that Impact would have chosen him over Hannifan, but merely to point out that I don’t believe it was even a possible unless ROH was going to let Riccaboni out of his contract. Either way, it’s nice to see so many companies working together and I hope we get more of Gresham defending the title in Impact.
Tasha Steelz was interviewed by Gia Miller while Savannah Evans stood by. Steelz held the X symbol and spoke about challenging the winner of the Knockouts Championship match… A video package recapped the Josh Alexander and Jonah feud…
4. Josh Alexander vs. Jonah. There were dueling chants for the wrestlers. Early in the match, Jonah got his leg caught in the ropes and the referee had to free him. Alexander targeted the leg. Jonah ended up seated on the apron. Alexander ran the ropes and dove into Jonah to knock him to the floor. Alexander followed and ended up going for a suplex, but Jonah stuffed it. Jonah picked up Alexander and dropped him ribs first on the apron.
Hannifan noted that Jonah was favoring his left ankle from the rope spot. Back in the ring, Jonah pressed Alexander over his head and dropped him over the top rope in a corner of the ring. Jonah placed Alexander on his shoulders and then tossed him across the ring. Jonah covered Alexander for a two count.
A short time later, Alexander clotheslined Jonah off the apron, causing him to hit the barricade. The broadcast team said that all of Jonah’s weight came down on his ankle. The wrestlers fought into the first row of fans over the barricade. Security kept the fans away while Alexander knocked Jonah down, then returned to the ring and performed a top rope dive over the barricade and onto Jonah, which drew a rightful “holy shot” chant. Alexander returned to the ring and Jonah barely beat the referee’s count.
Alexander and Jonah ended up fighting on the ropes. Jonah got the better of it and superplexed Alexander. Once both men got to their feet, they traded chops and slaps. Alexander was getting the better of it when Jonah hit him with a shot to the stomach and then powerbombed him for a near fall. Jonah followed up by turning Alexander inside out with a clothesline and covering him for another near fall. Jonah held Alexander in place and hit him with a couple of headbutts. Jonah put Alexander down with a brainbuster and covered him for a two count. Brown pointed out that Alexander was bleeding from the headbutts.
Jonah went up top for his big splash finisher. Alexander jumped up and put Jonah in an ankle lock, which he broke once the referee’s count reached four. Jonah knocked Alexander off the ropes with a headbutt and went for a moonsault, but Alexander avoided it. Alexander suplexed Jonah and then powerbombed him for a good near fall. Alexander immediately applied the ankle lock. Jonah broke it with a kick. Alexander kicked Jonah repeatedly and then reapplied the ankle lock. Jonah teased tapping, and eventually did…
Josh Alexander defeated Jonah in 17:05.
Powell’s POV: Awesome match. The early ankle injury spot helped the match tell a story and protected Jonah, but it also made the outcome feel predictable given that Alexander uses the ankle lock as his submission finisher. But Alexander was the favorite to win anyway in my mind since Jonah has stated that he’s on a short-term deal with Impact. Jonah has already said that he wants to work with NJPW, but hopefully he can work for both companies because he’s a really nice addition to the Impact roster. Meanwhile, I assume that Alexander will move back into the Impact World Championship picture.
Backstage, Gia Miller interviewed Rich Swann, Willie Mack, Eddie Edwards, Rhino, and Heath. Edwards proclaimed that it was time for the Hardcore War. He said they are all willing to die in order to win the match. Edwards showed off Kenny the kendo stick (ugh) and spoke about bringing him to Dallas. Swann, Mack, and Rhino took turns talking. Rhino said he was going after Eric Young no matter how many people he had to go through. Rhino wrapped a chain around his fist and said he would make Young bleed… A video package set up the Hardcore War…
5. Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson, Eric Young, Joe Doering, and Deaner vs. Rich Swann, Willie Mack, Heath, Rhino, and Eddie Edwards in a Hardcore War. The rules were similar to a WarGames match (there’s no cage) in that two men start for three minutes, a new entrant arrives every 90 seconds, the match can’t end until all of the entrants are in the ring, and it must be won by pinfall or submission.
The first two entrants were Deaner and Rich Swann. Swann wedged a chair in a corner of the ring and tried to run Deaner into it, but Deaner blocked it. Deaner hit Swann with a trashcan. Swann came right back and kicked the trashcan at Deaner. Swann went for a 450 splash, but Deaner moved. Deaner set up a chair in the ring. Swann kicked him, but then Deaner performed a leg sweep that drove Swann’s face onto the seat of the chair.
The third entrant was Karl Anderson, who brought a golf club to the ring with him. Swann avoided it and superkicked Anderson, who was also wearing his Impact Tag Title belt for some reason. Swann got the golf club and swung it into Anderson’s balls. Swann leapt off the chair and put Deaner down with a cutter. Anderson removed his title belt and hit Swann with it. The heels worked over Swann for the remainder of their advantage period.
The fourth entrant was Willie Mack, who brought an axe handle to the ring with him and used it as a weapon. Mack slid a door board inside the ring and then he and Swann placed it over two chairs in the ring. Anderson stopped him from putting Deaner through it temporarily, but the babyfaces performed a botched version of 3D through the door board (Swann missed his part).
The fifth entrant was Doc Gallows, who didn’t bring a weapon to the ring. He quickly picked up a trashcan and used it as a weapon, then used the golf club. The heels dominated this section of the match.
The sixth entrant was Eddie Edwards, who brought his kendo stick with him and dominated the heel team.
The seventh entrant was Eric Young. He came out with trashcan lids and immediately hit Edwards with them at ringside. The heels once again dominated while they had the man advantage.
The eighth entrant was Heath, who brought a pipe to the ring and hit several heels with it. Mack went for a moonsault with a trashcan over his chest, but Deaner moved.
The ninth entrant was Joe Doering. The broadcast team hyped him up as the heel team’s home run hitter. Young used a chain on the head of Edwards, who bled.
The tenth and final entrant was Rhino, who brought his chain to the ring. Doering greeted him on the stage, but Rhino punched him with the chain around his fist. A brief “ECW” chant broke out. Rhino plowed through other heels and got to Young, who also ended up bleeding. The ten wrestlers faced off in the ring and brawled.
Edwards and Young ended up alone in the ring together. Edwards worked over Young with the kendo stick and then hit several other heels with it. Gallows bled heavily. Young grabbed another kendo stick and set it on fire, then slammed it over the back of Gallows, who sold it like he’d been shot. A “you sick f—” chant broke out.
Edwards set up for a move on Young on the apron, but Doering broke it up. Young piledrove Edwards from the apron through a table on the floor, which drew a “holy shit” chant. Swann performed a 450 splash from the apron onto Young on the floor.
Mack pulled out a board with barbwire on it, slid it inside the ring, and set it up in a corner of the ring. Doering caught Swann going for a dive and hoisted him onto his shoulders. Doering swung the legs of Swann into Mack, then drove Swann through the barbwire board. Swann screamed. Doering sold the barbwire despite not having a scratch on him and was clotheslined to ringside. Heath brought a Dallas Cowboys helmet into the ring and hit Anderson with it. Rhino gored Anderson, then Heath covered him and pinned him.
Rich Swann, Willie Mack, Heath, Rhino, and Eddie Edwards defeated Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson, Eric Young, Joe Doering, and Deaner in 23:25 in a Hardcore War.
After the match, Matt Taven and Mike Bennett attacked Heath and Rhino. Swann hit Taven below the belt. Vincent showed up and turned Swann inside out with a clothesline. PCO showed up and helped the ROH wrestlers while the broadcast team wondered if this was an invasion. Taven and Bennett put Mack down with a spike piledriver. Taven placed the head of Swann over the apron and then PCO went up top and performed a senton splash onto him.
Maria Kanellis appeared at ringside and joined the ROH wrestlers inside the ring. They all posed together while Brown asked what the hell was happening…
Backstage, Gia Miller asked Scott D’Amore about what just happened. He said he found out about it at the same time as everyone else. D’Amore said he was going to call Baltimore (ROH and Sinclair’s home) to find out what the hell was going on…
A video package set up the Impact World Championship match…
Powell’s POV: I knew that damn Ian Riccaboni couldn’t be trusted! This was all his doing! Okay, not really. I’m not a big fan of the garbage match style, but the live crowd enjoyed the Hardcore War. There’s definitely been something for everyone on this show. The ROH invasion was fun. Taven and Vincent had a blood feud not all that long ago, but that can be explained away. It will be interesting to see who else shows up from ROH’s past to take part in this. On a side note, I love that they are putting the Knockouts Title match on last. It felt like the bigger of the two title matches even before Mickie James was announced for the Royal Rumble.
Entrances for the main event took place. There was a tale of the tape that was presented by the movie that sponsored the show…
6. Moose vs. W. Morrissey vs. Matt Cardona in a Triple Threat for the Impact World Championship. Ring announcer Dave Penzer delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. The bell rang and Cardona went right after Moose, who was able to clear him to ringside. Morrissey blasted Moose with a big boot and covered him, but Cardona returned to break up the pin.
Cardona dove onto his opponents at ringside. A short time later, Moose powerbombed Cardona onto the apron, the Morrissey did the same to Moose. Cardona took control back inside the ring and hit his Reboot kicks on both opponents. There was a tower of doom spot that Moose performed on both opponents.
Moose ended up working over Cardona at ringside and then roughed him up next to the stage. Chelsea Green ran out and pleaded with Moose, who flipped her off. Green returned the bird and then dove onto Moose. Cardona fought Moose back to ringside. Morrissey dove from the ring onto both opponents. Hannifan acknowledged that there were some chants for Morrissey and he claimed that they drive Morrissey crazy (nice call).
Morrissey had Cardona down in the ring and played to the crowd for heat and smiled when he got it. Cardona came back with a Codebreaker that sent Morrissey to ringside. Moose returned to the ring and traded forearm shots with Carona. Moose eventually delivered a big boot to the head of Cardona. Moose ran up the ropes. Cardona followed and pushed him from the top rope through a table at ringside. Damn.
A fan tossed a prosthetic leg into the ring. Morrissey hit Cardona with it and raised it over his head for cheers, then tossed it aside. Cardona came right back and got a near fall. Morrissey chokeslammed Cardona and got a two count. Green was at ringside and cheered on her new husband. Cardona hit a leg lariat off the ropes and had the pin, but Moose pulled the referee out of the ring, making his first appearance since crashing through the table.
Moose and Cardona fought inside the ring. Cardona rolled Moose into a pin for a near fall. Moose went for a spear, but Cardona avoided it and Moose ended up spearing the referee. REF BUMP!!! Cardona hit Moose with his finisher. Morrissey returned and took out Moose, then powerbombed Moose and scored a visual pinfall while the referee was down at ringside. A second referee ran out and checked on the first referee.
Moose recovered and hit Morrissey with a chair several times. Cardona returned with a chair of his own and worked over Moose with it. Morrissey tried to return to the ring, but Cardona hit him with the chair. Moose kicked Cardona below the belt. Moose stood over Cardona. Green entered the ring and stopped him from swinging the chair. Moose grabbed her by the throat and shoved her into the corner. They repeated the chair swinging spot with Cardona, but this time he stopped short of hitting his wife.
A second referee counted a near fall for Cardona. Moose ended up powerbombing Cardona into the second referee and Green in the corner. Moose speared Cardona and the original referee returned to the ring and made the three count…
Moose defeated Matt Cardona and W Morrissey in a Triple Threat in 16:00 to retain the Impact World Championship.
Powell’s POV: It’s as if TNA/Impact founder Jeff Jarrett swore an oath in blood that somehow forces this company to have ref bumps in their men’s world championship matches regardless of who owns or books the company. Everyone worked hard, but the overbooking was a flashback to the worst of TNA’s main events.
A video package hyped the Rebellion pay-per-view for Saturday, April 23… A video package set up the main event… Entrances for the main event took place. Purrazzo brought her AAA Reina de Reinas Championship to the ring with her. James came out in cowgirl attire while the broadcast team spoke about her entering the Royal Rumble match. A tale of the tape was shown…
7. Mickie James vs. Deonna Purrazzo in a Texas Death Match for the Knockouts Championship. Penzer delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. He explained that the wrestlers had ten seconds to get to their feet after a pinfall. James started the match wearing chaps. Ugh. James picked up an early two count and taunted Purrazzo with a smile. Brown said the early pinfall attempts were more about playing mind games since anyone pinned wouldn’t be down for the ten count that follows.
ROH Women’s World Champion Rok-C was shown sitting in the front row with her title belt over her shoulder. Purrazzo flipped off James and rolled to ringside. She pulled a chair out from underneath the ring and threw it in the ring. James responded by tossing another chair in the ring. Rinse and repeat while referee Brian Hebner had to avoid several chairs that both women threw inside the ring. James was the first to actually use one of the chairs and slammed it over the back of Purrazzo at ringside. James pulled the golf club from the Hardcore War out from under the ring and hit Purrazzo with it.
Purrazzo ran James into the ring post and went on the offensive. Brown let viewers know that the pay-per-view was trending number seven (stop, it doesn’t sound impressive). The wrestlers fought to the stage where Purrazzo suplexed James. Purrazzo wheeled a production crate into James and then covered her for a three count. Hebner made his count and James got back to her feet at his nine count. James was bleeding from the forehead. Purrazzo attacked her with repeated punches.
Back at ringside, James drove Purrazzo’s back into the apron a few times. Purrazzo returned to the ring and picked up a chair, but James ducked it. James applied a single leg crab. Purrazzo grabbed the bottom rope. Hannifan was quick to say there are no rope breaks. James released the hold anyway and then dropkicked Purrazzo off the apron. James checked her forehead for blood, then finally removed the chaps. James hit Purrazzo with her knee lifts and the broadcast team pointed out that she was hitting her with her knee brace. James pulled a table out from underneath the ring and slid it inside.
Tacks were spread in the ring. Purrazzo kicked James, who took a bump onto the tacks. A “holy shit” chant broke out. Purrazzo grabbed the chaps of James and choked her with them (maybe she should have left them on after all). James tapped out while the broadcast team explained her strategy of saving herself. James used the apron to pull herself up and beat the count. Purrazzo dove from the apron onto James on the floor.
James pulled a guitar that had “Hardcore Country” written on it out from under the ring. Purrazzo hit James from behind before she could use it. Purrazzo rolled James inside the ring and hit her with a chair several times. Purrazzo wrapped James’ knee in the chair and then went to the top rope. James pulled the chair off and then slammed the chair onto the head of Purrazzo (unprotected, gross). Purrazzo bladed. James performed a Thesz Press from the apron and covered Purrazzo for a three count on the floor. Purrazzo beat the count with help from Matt Rehwoldt, who ran out and pulled her to her feet.
James went up top and dove onto Purrazzo and Rehwoldt. James and Purrazzo returned to the ring. James set up a table and placed Purrazzo on top of it. Purrazzo battled back and performed the Queen’s Gambit from the ropes through the table. Purrazzo covered James for a three count. James pulled herself up before the referee count count to ten. James blocked a chair strike and threw the chair to ringside. James picked up the guitar and tried to hit Purrazzo with it. Purrazzo grabbed James below the belt. James pushed her off. Rehwoldt ran in and took the guitar shot. James avoided a chair shot from Purrazzo, DDT’d her, and pinned her. James tossed a chair and the broken table on top of her and won the match…
Mickie James defeated Deonna Purrazzo in a Texas Death Match in 19:40 to retain the Knockouts Championship.
Powell’s POV: A rough match. They tried hard, but it was clunky at times and this should not have been held so close to the Hardcore War, which left me numb to a lot of the hardcore elements of the match. Rehwoldt’s character has to be fired for getting involved, right?
Overall, the top two title matches actually brought this show down a notch. I really enjoyed everything prior to the Hardcore War and felt this was well on its way to being one of Impact’s best pay-per-views. Unfortunately, those last three matches just weren’t for me. Still, the undercard and pre-show matches were good enough for this to get a passing grade from me. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below and be sure to vote for the best match.