Right here, right now. Happy Day 12 of this year 2021. Here we are, it’s Hard To Kill time. As I’m writing those words, we are 2 days away from the biggest Impact Wrestling PPV of the year (sorry, this review comes a little late than usual). If you’re so Hard To Kill, you will be there on Saturday because everything Impact Wrestling is about is represented in this card. Hardcore, Knockouts, X-Division, partnerships, all those words that have been the essence of the company since its beginning nearly 19 years ago. Right here, right now, this week is the final IMPACT before Hard To Kill. Let the game begin.
On the menu, from Nashville, Tennessee, Rosemary will face off Tenille Dashwood when Taya Valkyrie will face off Kimber Lee. Cody Deaner will square off with Tommy Dreamer. TNA World Heavyweight Champion Moose will have his rematch against Matthew Palmer. Chris Bey and Rohit Raju will team up against X-Division Champion Manik and Suicide. IMPACT World Champion Rich Swann will face off one half of IMPACT World Tag Team Champions, with all their Hard To Kill partners banned from ringside. We’ll also hear from Kenny Omega and Don Callis. Of course, I’ll review this episode, but I will use it as a platform to preview the PPV and give you my predictions, with this Nutcracking spirit you love so much. So no more words, let’s get ready for some action, but your French Nygma Steph way, of course…

The Nygma’s Chart of the Week

Many hype videos on ‘Hard To Kill’ matches I chose not to relate here (you’ll find them on Twitter or at the end of this review). Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne were on commentary for the last time.

  • Kimber Lee w/ IMPACT Knockouts defeated Taya Valkyrie w/ Rosemary Champion Deonna Purrazzo. Susan and Deonna attacked Rosemary outside the ring, enough to distract Taya.
  • In the bus, Kenny Omega was pissed that someone drank the last beer and it was Doc. Callis said it’s time for serious business because Hard to Kill is around the corner and he stuck his neck out for this. Callis said they’ll be in Jacksonville for Dynamite tomorrow and told Anderson they need momentum heading into Hard to Kill. Gallows was banned from ringside and Callis could undo it, but he won’t because Anderson can handle Swann.

  • AEW’s paid advertisement.
  • Chris Bey & Rohit Raju defeated IMPACT X-Division Champion Manik & Suicide.
  • Backstage, Taya Valkyrie was unhappy with her loss. Rosemary said they didn’t expect the Susan ploy. They’ll be ready for Hard to Kill. Taya said she’ll be ready for Rosemary’s match but Rosemary told her to get ready for Hard to Kill because she’ll come up with something.

  • Cody Deaner w/ Joe Doering and Eric Young defeated Tommy Dreamer w/ Rhino and Cousin Jake via DQ when Cousin Jake attacked Cody. Rhino and Doering were banned from ringside during the match but came back for the after-match brawl. EY hit a piledriver on Dreamer.
  • In the Management’s office, EVP Scott D’Amore tried to host the contract signing between the two Knockouts tag teams. Kiera and Tasha proceeded to talk a lot of trash, talking about how they already beat the two twice. That lasted until Nevaeh and Havok had enough and grabbed the two by the throat. Havok said they’ll see what she has to say when they win the titles.

  • As Tasha and Kiera were leaving, Brian Myers came in and said he needs to get more opportunities. He beat Josh Alexander, and Alexander said it was a fluke. D’Amore said they should face off again to settle this. Myers said, “Okay, Team Canada” and said he smells collusion.
  • Rosemary defeated Tenille Dashwood w/ Kaleb with a K. Kaleb used some hairspray to blind Rosemary. Crazzy Steve came and chased Kaleb. Rosemary used the hairspray on Tenille for the win.
  • Backstage, Rich Swann cut a promo on Karl Anderson, saying it’s the Tuesday before the Saturday that he and the Guns whipped all over their asses. He said tonight though, it’s just the two of them because everyone’s banned from ringside. Mano a mano, knuckle to knuckle, nose to nose, man to man, they’ll see what’s up and Karl will get a taste that he can tell Gallows and Omega what to expect. Just remember, they rock it like that all night long.

  • TNA World Heavyweight Champion Moose defeated Matthew Palmer but in more than 3 minutes.
  • IMPACT World Champion Rich Swann defeated one-half of the IMPACT World Tag Team Champions, Karl Anderson. Kenny Omega and Doc Gallows, as well as the MCMG, were banned from ringside.
  • Backstage, Gallows and Omega attacked Shelley and Sabin. Swann and Anderson arrived and it turned into a massive brawl.

The Nygma’s Noticeable Fact(s) of the Week

– Making history…

History books are full of names of people who, one day, changed the fate of something. They were the first to do something, to reach something, to set a record, whatever it could be. The 2 teams of Knockouts who will face each other this Saturday are decided to make history and be the first to wear around their waists the beautiful belts that were unveiled. May the best team win…

– What’s next?

Usually, the Fallout episode is a moment when new feuds emerge, the ones that will be developed in the episodes after. This episode told us barely anything about that, excepted the possible resurrection of The Decay. There are two or three things you have to understand. Impact Wrestling taped all the episodes till Hard To Kill, the AEW/Kenny Omega thing was included in an already planned process. The next episodes will be taped after Hard To Kill so nothing, right now, allows anyone to say this will continue or not. Also because the episodes were taped, the company had to deal with the fact Ethan Page and Taya Valkyrie’s contracts were about to expire, which means we don’t know if they both will be there next week. All we know at this very moment is there will be a PPV on Saturday and a new episode next Tuesday. The continuation of the story remains to be written and taped. IF you’ll be there, I will be too.

Impact Wrestling’s Hard To Kill Preview, Stakes and Predictions

Hard To Kill is like a motto. These three words mean everything that Impact Wrestling have gone through the last three or four years. Some said the company was dead, it’s never been more alive and kicking. Some said the quality of the matches was mediocre, they probably have never watched the show for a good dozen years.
The main question that surrounds that PPV is a complex one. Is it the beginning of an era or the end of it? Impact Wrestling have signed some fabulous partnerships over the years, with Lucha Libre AAA in Mexico or Pro Wrestling NOAH in Japan. Kenny Omega, AEW World Champion, arrived like a wrecking ball and let think some kind of partnership could emerge between AEW and Impact Wrestling.
Some asked themselves (I was one of them) what AEW had to win from that partnership. Like Scott D’Amore said to another media recently, there’s, in fact, no answer to this question because things are following a plan. What all of this change is the fact that the World Championship won’t be defended in the main event (not the first time, I did some researches). Then, if you look at the rest of the card, it’s 100% Impact Wrestling. X-Division, Knockouts, a hardcore match, the fourth Barbed Wire Massacre, the rebirth of the Knockouts Tag Team belts. And that’s wonderful because no other company can mix that cocktail better than Impact Wrestling. So, shaken or stirred?
Like I’m used to saying, every Impact Wrestling PPV is a do-or-die one. The COVID could have prevented Impact Wrestling from signing talents, making them compete or doing less attractive shows. It didn’t happen. The card is displaying the array of talent the company has in its roster, melting different eras and repertoires. On Sunday around 4 AM GMT (clock saving), will we be in awe? We’ll see. I will say what I’m used to saying, I genuinely want a PPV like Impact Wrestling can do, with good, great and awesome matches. What I absolutely don’t want is to tell you, on Sunday night, “I told you” or “I saw it coming”. Let’s scrutinize this card and see what may happen (snowstorm in the North of France, the crystal ball is freezing)…

* Countdown to Hard To Kill Match: Brian Myers vs Josh Alexander

The match was announced like 2 hours ago and was more or less teased during the episode. Two visions of what professionalism can mean will compete in the ring. Myers won the first match on December 15 because The Karaté Man got involved in it. Will someone be involved again? Will it be a 2-0 or a 1-1?

The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Josh Alexander

Ethan Page vs The Karaté Man

If you watched Talk ‘N Shop A Mania II, the Good Brothers’ completely crazy PPV, you already met the Karaté Man before he even graced the Impact Zone. Ethan Page will face himself, what a strange thing to say or write, in what will probably be a funny piece of cinematic wrestling. Then, as I said before, will it be the last time we see Ethan Page in the Impact Zone?

The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… The Karaté Man

Tenille Dashwood & Kaleb with a K vs Rosemary & Crazzy Steve

Once again, that match was teased during the episode and announced at the end of it. The rebirth of The Decay is so cool, even if Abyss is not with the company anymore. Rosemary and Crazzy Steve are a part of the history of the company, you can’t deny it. When it comes to Tenille Dashwood and Kaleb with a K, it’s still something that needs to be proved. Tenille betrayed all her partners, excepted the man who is helping her having more pics on her different social media accounts. She hasn’t done a lot to be respected and she will probably be reminded about on PPV.

The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Rosemary and Steve

 

* Old-School Rules 6-Man Match: Joe Doering, Cody Deaner & Eric Young vs Tommy Dreamer, Cousin Jake & Rhino

The Church of EY is making me think of the Straight Edge Society, with this minor difference you don’t have to be a good person to enter it but a bad one. Young has been moulding both Joe Doering and Cody Deaner to become destructive forces in the ring. On the other side, Cousin Jake is decided to help Cody to find his way back to reality. He will be helped by Rhino and Tommy Dreamer, two men who have experienced change so many times in the past. The Old-School Rules stipulation means a lot of toys and we know who is the best when it comes to that.

The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Dreamer, Jake and Rhino

* Barbed Wire Massacre IV: Eddie Edwards vs Sami Callihan w/Ken Shamrock

There will be blood. For three years now, Sami Callihan and Eddie Edwards have been on permanent war. The chair accident that happened in January 2018 quite simply changed the lives of the two wrestlers. If it hasn’t been violent enough between them, Callihan and Edwards added the barbed wire to it. It’s only the fourth time in the history of the company this match will take place. Not only there will be toys, ladders, chairs, cookie sheets, whatever you want, but the ropes will be replaced by barbed wire. Sami Callihan experienced it 3 years ago when Eddie Edwards has never tasted it yet. It will be an insane match, one of those Sami and Eddie will remember forever because of the physical scars it involves. I hope it won’t be their last match but it will be, for sure, one of their best.

The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… the barbed wire and the fans

* IMPACT Knockouts Tag Team Championship Match: Havok & Nevaeh vs Tasha Steelz & Kiera Hogan

It was meant to happen, so many wonderful and talented ladies in the same company deserved more than one belt to fight for. I talked to you about the Knockouts Tag Team titles in June 2020, the company confirmed the tournament at Bound For Glory. These belts remind us of how TNA/Impact Wrestling has always been one step ahead when it comes to women’s wrestling. They have been able to do everything in the Impact Zone, even the most dangerous. The 2 teams that will compete for the titles have undeniable alchemy, even if Havok and Nevaeh have worked together way longer than Tasha and Kiera. Then, that doesn’t mean Tasha and Kiera couldn’t surprise us. Like I said earlier, history is ready to be made, whoever it involves.

The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Havok & Nevaeh

 

* IMPACT X-Division Championship 3-Way Match: Manik (c) vs Rohit Raju vs Chris Bey

The year 2020 has been one of the best the X-Division has had for a long time. With people like Ace Austin, Chris Bey, Rohit Raju, TJP, Dez, Wentz, Trey, Willie Mack, and I probably forget some, we had some unforgettable matches. And unforgettable Champions. All the names I quoted before are synonymous with talent, pure high-flying and innovative talent. Rohit Raju found his way to the top, where he belongs. Chris Bey finessed us all right from the start. And there’s TJP (the first who says I didn’t know… I chase him with one of Kenny Omega’s ladies’ brooms) who had to get out of his closet the attire of Manik to grab the gold. It will be an amazing match because the X-Division is fantastic.

The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Chris Bey excepted if Ace Austin cashes in his X-Cup opportunity

 

* IMPACT Knockouts Championship Match: Deonna Purrazzo (c) vs. Taya Valkyrie

‘The era of The Virtuosa’ or ‘The Era of La Wera Loca?’ Deonna Purrazzo succeeded in becoming a 2-time IMPACT Knockouts Champion but not to be the longest ever reigning, what Taya did. They say, to be the man, you have to beat the man. That’s exactly what Deonna Purrazzo has to do to establish her legacy with the company. But Taya Valkyrie is not the usual wrestler, she is a fearless fighter who has never been afraid of anything to win. The major problem in this match, for me, is all the people involved. Rosemary, Kimber Lee, Susan, maybe Su and why not Susie… That is not good and that could prevent them from a great match. Let them wrestle, please.

The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Deonna Purrazzo

 

* IMPACT World Champion Rich Swann & The Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) vs AEW World Champion Kenny Omega & IMPACT World Tag Team Champions The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows) w/ ‘The Invisible’ Hand Don Callis

What can I add? The return of the Bullet Club attacking some of IMPACT’s great talents. Because we don’t know what will happen next, I’m unable to find some interest in this match when so many of you are thinking it is the match of the century. Maybe I’m wrong but please, let me say I’m wrong after I saw the match. I will stick to my IMPACT guys and that will be my bottom line.

The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Rich Swann and the MCMG

To be eNYGMAtic…

It was exactly what you can expect from a Fallout episode, the tension increasing, feuds at their maximum, the company did an excellent job with this episode. I already told you so much I think there’s no need to tell you more. I hope I will see many of you at Hard To Kill CELL-ebration. Don’t miss Hard To Kill review on Sunday night. Impact Wrestling will tap some new episodes soon, still from Nashville. Next week, I have no clue what’s going to happen.
I talked to Havok and Nevaeh not so long ago, enjoy this interview. Come back tomorrow Friday as I talked to Chris Sabin yesterday night and he had a lot of things to share on the PPV and his career.
What could I add? Follow me on @FrenchNygma and react to the reviews and interviews. Every like, every word is gold. On this very “Nygma is like nWo, for life” note, until Hard To Kill, until next week, never EVER forget to stay #eNYGMAtic…

 

All pics, videos, and screenshots courtesy of Impact Wrestling and AXS TV. Photocollage by @frenchnygma exclusively for @steelchairmag.