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Cook’s Impact Hard To Kill 2021 Review

January 16, 2021 | Posted by Steve Cook
Kenny Omega Good Brothers Image Credit: Impact Wrestling
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Cook’s Impact Hard To Kill 2021 Review  

Hey kids! Steve Cook here with ya for Impact Wrestling’s latest PPV offering. The company has proven Hard to Kill, and it feels like something tries to kill this show every year. In 2020, it was Tessa Blanchard being exposed as a by god bully. In 2021, it’s Alex Shelley not being able to make it to Nashville. Let’s see how this all goes!

– Opening talking about the wounds & scars of 2020 that still linger. Lines were crossed & paradigms were shattered. A champion from another world was welcomed. We get footage of Alex Shelley promising us he’ll be back, and the introduction of Moose into the main event. Rich Swann & Chris Sabin do accept the fist bump, so we’ll see how that goes.

– Matt Striker welcomes us to the Skyway Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. He is joined by D’Lo Brown, who he refers to as a valuable tool. I don’t think that’s how you want to refer to the man.

Intergender Tag Team Match: Decay (Rosemary & Crazzy Steve) vs. Tenille Dashwood & Kaleb with a K: D’Lo tells us it’s been 4 years since Rosemary & Steve teamed together. Steve starts with Kaleb. Gets the early advantage, Rosemary tags in and takes a bit out of Kaleb’s arm. Quick tag to Steve, who also takes a bite. I hope they’ve been tested. Rosemary with a tag and another bite. Kaleb teases a dive off the top, dives off the apron instead, Steve cuts that off. Kaleb begs off, tags in Tenille, who eats a side slam. Kaleb changes the momentum by pulling Rosemary’s hair, and Tenille goes on the offensive. We are hearing more crowd noise tonight than on previous Impact shows, which I’m not sure I like or dislike yet. Tenille with the noogie! Double underhook suplex, tag to Kaleb. WHASSUP? Not Kaleb, move gets reversed. Rosemary makes the tag. Steve all over Kaleb. Modified Downward Spiral gets 2, Tenille breaks it up, Steve chases her around, sets up a big move from Kaleb for a near-fall. Tenille with a kick to the arm of Crazzy Steve. Russian leg sweep by Kaleb. Kaleb & Tenille set up the selfie moonsault, which misses. Rosemary makes the tag and she’s going ape on Tenille. Exploder! Tagged Steve back in a little sooner than I would have thought. Kaleb tags in, eats a double chokeslam, Tenille breaks up the count. Spear by Rosemary. Superkick by Kaleb! Tenille setting up the hairspray, the ref cuts that off, Steve’s mist hits Tenille! Green mist by the way. Rosemary with some green mist for Tenille! Referee has lost complete control. Steve with the tornado DDT & the 3 count!

Winners: Decay
Match Rating: **1/4

– Gotta dig a match with multiple people spitting mist! Though, as Matt points out, this match indicates that the referees can be easily taken advantage of tonight.

– Matt & D’Lo run down the card.

– Video package detailing Eric Young, Joe Doering & Deaner’s recent destruction of people in their way.

Old School Rules: Violent By Design (Eric Young, Joe Doering & Deaner) vs. Tommy Dreamer, Cousin Jake & Rhino: New name & brand for Young’s group. It certainly fits their mission statement. It’s a Pier 6 brawl right away, but since it’s Old School Rules it’s ok. Jake sends EY over the top rope with a clothesline, and meets up with his cousin Cody. And Jake gets the upper hand! They go outside, and Doering & Rhino take the ring. Dreamer & Young fighting among the non-existent audience. EY crotches Dreamer on the guardrail. Deaner takes a bite out of Dreamer’s head while EY & Jake face off. EY with the Flair Flip, goes off the top rope into a cookie sheet from Dreamer! Dreamer with the cutter, rolls outside. Rolls back in with a chair, faces Joe Doering. Rhino has a chair too. Jake has one too. Doering doesn’t care, and he ends up taking chair shots from all of them. He eats them all, doesn’t go down. Bodypress to Dreamer! EY & Deaner are back up now, Joe held the fort long enough to keep them in the match. The evildoers dominate. Cousin Jake sent off the top rope into two stiff chairs. He comes back soon enough to dive onto Young & Doering on the outside. Then he gets taken off the top onto Dreamer. Doering is not amused by Rhino’s kendo stick usage, takes him out and smashes the stick over his knee. Then Rhino rams him into the ringpost on the outside. Dreamer brings out the bag of thumbtacks. Eric Young joins him in the ring. This won’t end well. Sure enough, Young takes the backdrop into the tacks! Doering takes him out, Rhino gores Doering, and we’re all trading finishers. Young piledrives Jake for the three count!

Winners: Violent By Design
Match Rating: **1/2

– To be honest, that tumbtack bump wasn’t as much as I sold it as. Still annoying for Eric, I’m sure!

– Rich Swann is not happy about Moose joining him & Chris Sabin in their locker room. Moose tells him about how he won a lot of football games with guys he didn’t like. He’s not going to let an outsider come in and disrespect the company. That’s what they’re going to do. What the heck is on that table?

– Recap of the Knockouts Tag Team Title Tournament

Knockouts Tag Team Tournament Finals: Fire & Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz) vs. Havok & Nevaeh: Brian Hebner is the referee for this one, making his Impact Wrestling comeback. I gotta give Kiera & Tasha the edge here since they now have a tag team name, and the announcers are putting Havok & Nevaeh over as the favorites. H & N double teaming Tasha early. Kiera tags in and she gets similar treatment. Havok tags in and she’s just overwhelming these two. Misses a legdrop though. Kiera gets the upper hand, tags in Tasha, some good strikes from Steelz get a two count. Kiera hits a big move in the corner, gets a near fall mostly because she drew Nevaeh into the ring and distracted the referee. Could have been three! Tasha in now, trying to get a choke, Havok fights it off. Havok catches both of her opponents and delivers a fallaway slam! She makes the tag to Nevaeh, and she’s going all ham. Striker making a Les Thatcher reference, which pops D’Lo. Nevaeh went to that HWA school! We get a Tower of Doom sequence with Havok powerbombing both Fire & Flava off the top rope to save Nevaeh. Havok gets taken out with a neckbreaker, Nevaeh makes the save. Tasha breaks up a double team. Kiera with a fiseherman buster on Havok to get the 3 count!

Winners: Fire & Flava
Match Rating: **

– Madison Rayne & Gail Kim come out to award the Knockout Tag Team Championship belts to Kiera & Sasha.

– Taya would prefer to beat Deonna Purrazzo with her own abilities without using the Decay. She still would like them to go to Slam Town after the match. Crazzy Steve needs to see it! Acey Romero sneaks into the Knockouts locker room after Taya & the Decay run off.

– Ace Austin & Madman Fulton make their way to the ring, Ace with Super X Cup in hand. He doesn’t appreciate being on the countdown panel to talk about a Josh Alexander match. Tonight, he will go through 3 other men to become X Division Champion. Scott D’Amore comes out to put him over, but won’t put him in that X Division match. He’s got a special opponent for him, who’s always ready! Oh shit!

Ace Austin (w/Madman Fulton) vs. Matt Cardona: Cardona with a neckbreaker on the outside! Madman Fulton eats a dropkick from Cardona so Austin can take advantage. Knees in the corner from Cardona, but Austin yanks him off the top rope. Rocker Dropper off the top gets two. Austin misses a spinning senton. Flapjack by Cardona. Clothesline in the corner, followed by a Re-boot. Fulton intervenes for the DQ.

Winner: Matt Cardona va DQ
Match Rating: N/A

– Leg lariat to Fulton! I feel like Cardona would be a good fit in here with Impact.

– Recap of recent X-Division hijinks.

X Division Championship 3-Way: Chris Bey vs, Rohit Raju vs. X Division Champion Manik: Manik might look and wrestle a lot like TJP, but there’s no proof that Manik & TJP are the same person. I’ve always had a hard time recapping these X Division matches, and this is more of the same. Chris Bey kicking Manik and sentoning Raju. Raju with a big move on Manik for two. Striker noting how we can all sympathize with masked wrestlers now. It’s a fair point! Manik using some TJP moves, Striker doesn’t think anybody else can do these moves, but you don’t know! Big dropkick to Raju on the outside, Bey hits an elbow to Manik & knocks him outside! Bey tries a dive, tries to avoid ducking people, still gets powerbombed on the apron by Raju. Raju going for the mask of Manik! He gets it, but there’s still a hood, and there’s some face paint! Tornado DDT! Bey hits a cutter on Manik off the top! Hits a double cutter! Manik kicks out! Bey & Raju in the ring. Manik breaks it up! Hits a big move on Raju, but Bey breaks up the pin attempt. Tombstone attempts, eventually Manik hits it on Bey, Raju hits a big move on Manik, tries to cover both men and gets 2 counts! Brandon Toll getting put over for his efforts in this match. We got three men back and forth, Raju tossed outside. Manik with a spike DDT, then a crucifix bomb gets two! Striker is convinced that this man is TJP. Frog splash, but Raju hits a knee and gets 2.78! Raju goes up top, Manik tries to meet him, gets thrown off. Bey thrown into the Tree of Woe, stomp into a crossface on Manik! Bey breaks that up. Small package by Raju gets two, Bey hits a big knee on Raju, Manik gets the rollup and that’s the match!

Winner: Manik
Match Rating: ***

– Eddie Edwards promises Alisha he has this tonight. We’ll see.

Knockouts Championship Match: Taya Valkyrie (w/The Decay) vs. Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo (w/Kimber Lee & Susan): Taya on the offense early on. I absolutely love Striker making a comparison with Deonna & Nick Bockwinkel. Taya gets thrown outside, there’s a lot of stuff going on. If I was the referee I would eject everybody on the outside. Once he gets elbowed down by Crazzy Steve, he agrees with me. All the ringside folks get ejected, and now we get a 1 on 1 match. Nothing wrong with that. Deonna targets the left arm of Taya. Working it over like she’s an Anderson. Taya fights back. Russian leg sweep by Deonna, working that left arm into a Tequila Sunrise! Shades of Konnan! Taya gets to the ropes. Deonnaa wrenches the knee into a kneebar. Taya finds the ropes. She fights back! Hits a curb stomp on Deonna! Locks in an STF! Deonna fights out. Deonna locks in the armbar, that doesn’t work, so Deonna locks in a double armbar! Taya taps!

Winner: Deonna Purrazzo
Match Rating: ***

– Can’t blame Taya for tapping out there. As Matt points not, no shame in losing to Deonna.

– Acey Romero walks up to Johnny Bravo. Acey insists that Larry D has been set up. He found something in the Knockouts locker room. We’ll see if that goes anywhere.

Ethan Page vs. The Karate Man: Oh, we’re going all cinematic with this. Ethan is stupid. They’re facing off! Ethan lands a punch. Karate Man lands some kicks. Ethan knocks Karate Man down with a punch. KM has died a thousand deaths but he will never perish! Bicycle kicks!!!!!!!!!!!! Karate Man yanks the heart out of Ethan Page! Not so hard to kill! FATALITY!

Winner: The Karate Man
Match Rating: *****

– Gotta give the man props for writing his own ending.

– Don Callis & Moose run into each other backstage. Callis puts the big guy over. He is so happy that Moose is in this main event, and knows that Moose likes to look at the big picture. Two-year contract! Moose is under contract for two years. Moose says he always played to win, and he will play to win tonight, and go after what is rightfully his. Then he teases going after Kenny’s title, and Don isn’t as happy.

Barbed Wire Massacre: Sami Callihan vs. Eddie Edwards: You know damn well these guys are completely insane and will do whatever. Gonna be sick. I will admit that as a fan of deathmatch wrestling I see these ropes here and there isn’t nearly enough barbed wire to make me sick. I saw BJ Whitmer & Necro Butcher in a no rope barbed wire march from the third row, so I’m probably more hardcore than you. Meanwhile, Eddie is trying to fit a crown of barbed wire on Sami’s head, so I’m sure they’re out here to impress us jaded souls. We got a board! Sami avoids that board. We got more boards! We’re teasing people flying into those boards! Eddie does when Sami ducks out of the way. Sami wrapping barbed wire around the man now. Throwing tables on the man. Completely agree with what Matt & D’Lo say here, you need to be able to work a barbed wire match in this day and age to be a champion. Mox & Kenny Omega have! Sami just working Eddie over here. There was a video game controller wrapped in barbed wire involved. Backpack Stunner from Eddie! Now he’s working Sami over, Blue Thunder bomb on the barbed wire chair gets 2! Eddie charges into the cage side of the ring. Sami works him over in the cage. They face off with barbed wire wrapped around their fists, and knock each other down. Sami has the barbedwire kendo stick, Eddie has the barbedwire baseball bat, and they actually trade weapons. Honor among thieves? Maybe, but Eddie gets the first blow. Sami ends up stungunning Eddie on one of the chains holding this thing up. Sami sets Eddie up on the top, piledrives him through the barbed wire board and that only gets 2! Sami with the barbed wire chair to the back. Eddie gets a low blow, hits a Boston Knee Party to the chair & Sami’s head for a 1 count! An FU! What else does Eddie have? He’s got an Emerald Flowsion onto the heap of barbed wire, the move his hero Misawa made famous! That gets 3!

Winner: Eddie Edwards
Match Rating: ***

– This is the match these guys wanted to have. God bless them for it.

– Impact Wrestling Rebellion is headed our way on April 24th.

6-Man Tag Team Match: TNA Wrestling Champion Moose, Chris Sabin & Impact Wrestling Champion Rich Swann vs. Impact Wrestling Tag Team Champions The Good Brothers (Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson) & AEW World Champion Kenny Omega (w/Don Callis): I love it when Roger Ruffen gets a name drop on these shows since he trained the Machine Gun. Callis gives his boy the intro he deserves. Kenny wearing the Bullet Club shirt, which will make Tama Tonga go insane. Brian Hebner is the seventh man in the ring for this one. Doc has Bullet Club on his gear, I think Machine Gun does as well. Matt says hello to the AEW announcers. He & D’Lo tip their hat to that company, but, well, you know. Sabin out-working Anderson early. Anderson tricks Sabin into a strike. Some good exchanges here. Karl tags Doc, Sabin tags Moose. The big boys going at it. Kenny & Rich tag in. Kenny distracts while the Good Bros attak Rich, which gives him the advantage. Karl tags in. Some good team work from the hodgepodge Impact team here. They’re getting it! Gallows pounds Sabin down in the corner. Kenny tags in, backbreaker on Sabin gets 2. Anderson working Sabin down with the chinlock. Double clothesline sets up a possible tag. Kenny & Rich tag in. Rich ranas Kenny onto Gallows! Assisted DDT! Anderson eating another DDT! Swann dive, Sabin dive! Kenny blocks Swann’s frog splash with the knees. Anderson gets him down in the corner. Striker name dropping Ibushi and I wish that would lead to something. Swann fighting back on Omega on a second, and we note here that Kenny is always hooking the leg. These Elite boys working over Rich Swann. Pele kick to Omrga, tag to Moose! He’s going ham on these boys! Some mockery! Discus clothesline to Kenny gets 2.5! Sabin kicks out of a nearfall from Kenny. Matt notes that Kenny is the only one trying to get the cover from that team. Pier Sixer now. C-4 off the top by Swann! Sabin with the CradleShock on Kenny, only 2! Doc Gallows kicks Sabin down. Tag to Karl. Double team move gets two. Going for the Magic Killer, doesn’t work, Kenny & Rich tag in! Snap Dragon, Jaydriller gets two! They go up top, Rich fighting the superplex off, Moose takes Kenny off, DOOMSDAY DEVICE GETS TWOI! Omega & Swann go at it, kicks send Kenny down, 450 from Rich gets 2! Swann misses the Phoenix Splash, Good Brothers hit the Magic Killer, it’s a 2 count thanks to Moose! Moose gets taken out by Gallows, once Omega hits One Winged Angel on Swann, it’s all over.

Winners: Kenny Omega & The Good Brothers
Match Rating: ***1/2

– At least Swann didn’t try to kick out like Laredo Kid & Rey Fenix tried to. Kid has more respect for the business.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Some pretty solid wrestling up & down the card. No real surprises in the results, but sometimes you don't need surprises. If Impact can get a Kenny vs. Rich title match out of the deal, that's the best thing they can hope for.

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Impact Hard to Kill, Steve Cook