Right here, right now. Hard To Kill was built around a crossover between two companies, with a supposed “dream match” for some. Then, meanwhile, in the Impact Zone, the show was going on. The roster was doing its job and built up the rest of the card the way they know. Because the show was meant to go on, with or without AEW coming to Impact Wrestling and a Bullet Club “rebirth.” We can say the card was respecting the recipe we love, intergender, hardcore, X-Division, Knockouts… Do you realize the Knockouts are involved in 3 of the 8 matches of the main card? This is Impact Wrestling, ladies and gentlemen.
The major question of this PPV was: where do we go with that? When feuds are coming to an end tonight, what’s next? Is the AEW-Impact Wrestling crossover meant to become something we will have to get used to?
Three Championships are on the line, a lot of questions marks are on the menu. Who are the survivors and the winners of that great night, from Nashville, in a no-crowd arena? How many “I told you” and “I saw it coming”?  It’s time to find out, but your French Enygma Steph way…

  • A few Live Countdown to Hard To Kill words

We saw Moose, Chris Sabin, and Rich Swann make their way into the building. Madison Rayne, Scott D’Amore, and Jon Burton were on tonight’s pre-show panel.

Backstage, Kenny Omega talked with Don Gallows and The Good Brothers about Moose entering tonight’s match. Omega wasn’t thrilled about the change. Callis said not to worry, he had the answer. Moose has two years left on his contract, he can either play ball, or the next two years won’t be so great for him. He’ll go talk with Moose and get things figured out.

The panel was covering the Barbed Wire Massacre between Sami Callihan and Eddie Edwards. Scott D’Amore asks Eddie Edwards to go out there and shut Callihan up. After a video package of the feud, Callihan interrupted the panel Callihan and told the fans to enjoy the violence and anarchy tonight. He said the entire wrestling world might be thinking about the main event, but fans will be talking about “The Draw” and the match after the show.

Brian Myers defeated Josh Alexander. Good match, Alexander got Myers trapped in the ankle lock but, once again, Myers showed his “professionalism” by pulling down Aleander’s headgear and blinding him. Myers unloaded a huge lariat for the win. The war is far from over between these two…

Madison Rayne then confirmed she’s retiring from Impact Wrestling.

  • Intergender Tag Team Match: Rosemary & Crazy Steve vs Tenille Dashwood & Kaleb with a K

The Decay coming back to Impact Wrestling is something we have all dreamed of since Crazzy Steve came back last year. Even if Abyss is now working somewhere else, Rosemary and Steve have proved to the world they could carry that torch of shadows and violence. Rosemary has even become one of the cornerstones of the company with her unique attitude and character. To see these two teams compete is like seeing two worlds colliding. Me, myself, and my social media against a make-up, dark, and “different” world. It’s been 4 years since Rosemary & Steve teamed together, it was good to see them back last Tuesday.

Steve got the early advantage, Rosemary tagged in and took a bit out of Kaleb’s arm. Steve took a bite too. Kaleb begged off, tagged in Tenille, who ate a side slam. Kaleb changed the momentum by pulling Rosemary’s hair, and Tenille attacked. No Kaleb to tag for Tenille but Rosemary made the tag. She hit a Modified Downward Spiral on Kaleb. Steve chased Tenille around, set up a big move from Kaleb. Tenille connected with a kick to the arm of Crazzy Steve, Kaleb followed with a Russian leg sweep. Kaleb and Tenille set up the selfie moonsault, Rosemary replied with an Exploder. Steve and Kaleb tagged in, Kaleb ate a double chokeslam when Rosemary hit a Spear on Tenille. Kaleb hit a superkick when Tenille was setting up the hairspray but was stopped by the referee. Steve’s Green Mist hit Tenille. Rosemary got some for Kaleb. The referee has lost complete control. Steve got the win with the tornado DDT. Hard to follow but entertaining…

  • Old School Rules Match: Violent by Design (Eric Young, Cody Deaner & Joe Doering) vs Tommy Dreamer, Rhino & Cousin Jake

Old-school rules, another way to say hardcore. So let’s get ready for all the usual toys, chairs, cookie sheets, kendo sticks, thumbtacks, etc. I was happy to call that stable the Church of EY but I will have to deal with Violent by Design, it certainly fits their mission statement but it’s less cool than Church of EY. When it comes to Tommy Dreamer, Rhino, and Cousin Jake, we talk about hearts and souls devoted to wrestling. It’s not a statement that defines them, but their names and legacies.

Jake sent EY over the top rope with a clothesline and met up with his cousin Cody. Jake got the upper hand, they went outside, Doering and Rhino fought in the ring while Dreamer and Young were fighting in the arena. EY NutCracked Dreamer on the guardrail. Deaner bit Dreamer’s head while EY and Jake faced off. EY connected with the Flair flip, then went off the top rope into a cookie sheet from Dreamer. Dreamer hit a cutter, brought some chairs, and faced Joe Doering. Rhino had a chair too. Jake had one too. Doering didn’t care, and he ended up taking chair shots from all of them. He ate them all and didn’t go down.

He hit a Bodypress to Dreamer. Cousin Jake was sent off the top rope into two chairs. He came back soon enough to dive onto Young and Doering on the outside. Then he got taken off the top onto Dreamer. Doering was not amused by Rhino’s kendo stick usage, took him out, and smashed the stick over his knee. Rhino rammed him into the ring post on the outside. Dreamer brought out the bag of thumbtacks. Eric Young joined him in the ring. Young ate a backdrop into the tacks. Doering took him out, Rhino hit a Gore on Doering. Young hit the piledriver on Jake for the win. Mild hardcore match who was mostly made to show the supremacy of Young’s faction.

Backstage, Rich Swann was not happy about Moose joining him and Chris Sabin in their locker room. Moose told 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. 

  • IMPACT Knockouts Tag Team Championship Match: Fire ‘N Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz) vs Havok & Nevaeh

I was definitely on the side of Havok and Nevaeh, like D’Lo and Striker, but I have to confess as the champions of cheating they are, I was expecting a win for Tasha and Kiera. Yesterday at Hard To Kill CELL-ebration, they were teasing three times was a charm as they already defeated Havok and Nevaeh not once but twice. Like Eric Young & co, they suddenly had a team name. Brian Hebner was back on Impact Wrestling as the referee of this match.

Havok and Nevaeh double-teamed Tasha early. Kiera tagged in and was double-teamed too. Havok overcame the two until she missed a leg drop. Kiera got the upper hand, hit a big move in the corner, and drew Nevaeh into the ring, and distracted the referee. Tasha was in now, trying to get a choke, Havok fought it off. Havok caught both of her opponents and delivered a fallaway slam. Nevaeh tagged in, Tower of Doom sequence with Havok powerbombing both Tasha and Kiera off the top rope to save Nevaeh. Havok got taken out with a neckbreaker, Nevaeh made the save. Tasha broke up a double team. Kiera connected with a fisherman buster on Havok for the win while Tasha was keeping Nevaeh outside. Madison Rayne and Gail Kim came out to award the Knockout Tag Team Championship belts to Kiera and Tasha. Could have been a way better match…

Backstage, 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. Sherlock Acey Romero sneaked into the Knockouts locker room after Taya and the Decay ran off, as Johnny Swinger advised him to.

  • Ace Austin had something to say…

Ace Austin and Madman Fulton made their way to the ring, Ace had the Super X Cup in hand. He didn’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 came out to put him over and said he won’t put him in that X Division match. He’s got a special opponent for him, who’s always ready…

Matt Cardona making his debut with Impact Wrestling on PPV was a great surprise. He connected with a neckbreaker on the outside. Madman Fulton ate a dropkick from Cardona so Austin could take advantage. Knees in the corner from Cardona, but Austin yanked him off the top rope. Austin hit the Rocker Dropper off the top rope but missed a spinning senton. Flapjack by Cardona, followed by a clothesline in the corner and a Re-boot. Fulton interfered for the DQ. These three will have a few things to say to each other in the coming weeks…

  • Three-Way Match for the X-Division Championship: Manik (c) vs Chris Bey vs Rohit Raju

I was suspecting something good from these three men. I was not wrong. Of course, Manik is TJP and we’re not going to talk about it again. Chris Bey kicked Manik and hit a senton on Raju. Raju connected with a big move on Manik. Big dropkick to Raju on the outside, Bey hit an elbow to Manik and knocked him outside. Bey went for a dive but got powerbombed on the apron by Raju. Raju ripped the mask of Manik. Under the hood, was TJP face painted. Bey hit a cutter on Manik off the top rope and then hit a double cutter.

Tombstone attempts, eventually Manik hit it on Bey, Raju hit a big move on Manik. Raju was sent outside, Manik connected with a spike DDT and a crucifix bomb. Frog splash from Manik on Bey, but Raju hit a knee. Raju went up top, Manik tried to meet him but got thrown off. Bey into the Tree of Woe, Raju with a double stomp on him. Raju locked ina Regal stretch on Manik, in the middle of the ring, Bey broke it up though. Raju hit a jumping knee kick, then a single-leg dropkick and a stomp into a crossface on Manik. Bey broke that up. Bey hit a big knee on Raju, Manik got the win with a rollup.

Like Matt Striker said, “call him Manik, call him TJP, but still call him Champion.”  But why unmasking Manik? Of course, we knew and that’s what cool that way. The match was excellent despite a strange end. Chris Bey did a great job and was not rewarded as I was expecting. It’s time to bring new contenders for the belt. Raju and Bey tried and tried, but TJP or Manik is the Champion, whether they want it or not.

Backstage, Eddie Edwards told Alisha that she has to promise him that she won’t go to the ring during his match against Sami Callihan. She promised she’ll stay out of it.

  • IMPACT Knockouts Championship Match: Deonna Purrazzo (c) w/ Kimber Lee & Susan vs Taya Valkyrie w/ Rosemary & Crazzy Steve

How many people were around that ring? Taya on the offence early on. Taya got thrown outside, there was a lot of stuff going on. Thankfully, the referee ejected everybody on the outside. Taya took control of the match. Deonna then landed a kick to the arm, then stomped down on her arm. Taya hit a clothesline. Deonna got hold of Taya’s arm, and cranked back on her knee, as well. Taya was able to fight out of it. Deonna connected with a kneebar, but Taya grabbed the bottom rope.

Taya finally landed some chops and hit a Spear, cover, two. Taya looked for The Road to Valhalla, but couldn’t quite get the champ up. Deonna connected with a Yoshi tonic. Taya connected with a curb stomp to Deonna, then a modified STF. Deonna got the ropes, both women threw shots in the middle of the ring. Deonna was able to get the Venus de Milo locked in, Taya flipped over Deonna now yanked back on both of Taya’s arms and she tapped out.

I won’t deny Deonna Purrazzo is a great wrestler and deserved the win but something didn’t work in this match. Taya Valkyrie is a fighter and one hell of. I barely saw this Wera Loca spirit in the match and her attitude and that’s not her. Whether she was injured and I could understand what happened but I’m afraid something is in the making and we may soon have to say goodbye to the Ice Queen… That would make me be extremely sad…

Backstage, Sherlock Acey Romero walked up to Johnny Bravo. Acey insisted 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 Karaté Man

Page and Karaté Man talked some trash. They threw punches, but the power of both men blocked it. Page landed the first blow, causing Karaté Man to bleed. Page then took a bunch of big kicks. Page landed a punch and thought he won, but Karaté Man got back up and landed a huge jumping kick. He said he’s died a thousand deaths and isn’t afraid of Page. Karaté Man landed a bicycle kick on Page (like from Mortal Kombat) and then ripped out Page’s heart. “Not so hard to kill!” Karaté Man laughed as he looked at the bloody heart. Karaté Man then walked off with the heart as the music plays in the background.

I’m not a video game lady so if it was Mortal Kombat inspired, I imagine it’s true. What to say? That fantastic moment of cinematic wrestling was funny and very well-done. Ethan Page wrote his own ending the most Ethan Page way. It was as great as it was sad because now we know his time on Impact Wrestling is over. His heart will make beat another place, other talents, another roster. Thank you, Ethan Page…

Backstage, Don Callis ran into Moose. Callis was so happy that Moose is in this main event and knew that Moose likes to look at the big picture. Moose is under contract for two years. Moose said he always played to win, and he will play to win tonight and go after what is rightfully his. Then he teased going after Kenny’s title, and Don wasn’t as happy.

  • Barbed Wire Massacre Match: Eddie Edwards vs Sami Callihan

I told you the ring was supposed to be replaced by barbed wire. No, the ring was surrounded with barbed wire in the ropes. Weapons were hung up in different areas, and one side of the ring has a steel cage wrapped in barbed wire. Can we call that a Barbed Wire Massacre after all?

Callihan got sent into the ropes, Edwards then grabbed some barbed wire and wrapped it around Callihan’s head. Edwards continued to control the match. Callihan finally gave Edwards a big boot, then put a barbed wire board up against the barricade. Callihan tried to suplex Edwards out to the board, Callihan went out to the floor, Edwards looked to fly, but Callihan swang the board into Edwards, catching him in midair. Callihan was already busted open at this point. Callihan put a piece of the board on Edwards’ back, then hit a Cactus elbow off the apron. Callihan launched the board at Edwards, who was also now busted open. Back in the ring, Edwards was sent crashing down on the ropes. Callihan brought out the barbed wire wrapped Nintendo 64© controller and smacked Edwards over the head with it. Edwards was able to fight back, got a barbed wire wrapped chair and cracked Callihan over the back with it, then landed a Blue Thunder Bomb on it.

The two now battled by the steel cage wall, jamming each other’s heads into it. Callihan hit a NutCracker, grabbed a piece of barbed wire, and wrapped his hand in it. He then clocked Edwards with it. Callihan got a kendo stick wrapped in barbed wire, Edwards had the same except it was a baseball bat. Edwards offered up a trade, Barbie vs Kenny, and Edwards got the first strike right in the midsection. Callihan went up to the second rope and took another shot. Edwards went up top, Callihan slipped under and shoved him into the chain that was strung on one side of the ring. Callihan brought in a big board with barbed wire. He set it up near the corner with some chairs. He went up to the second rope and hit a Cactus Special on Edwards through the board. Callihan looked to crack Edwards with the bat, but Edwards hit a NutCracker. Edwards nailed a Boston knee party into a barbed wire chair, sending Callihan down. Edwards brought Callihan to the corner and hit the Emerald Flowsion on a pile of barbed wire items for the win. After the match, Alisha Edwards came out to check on Edwards. The two left the ring together as Callihan was slow to get up from that final move.

It was sensational. I watched it with our dear Deathmatch editor and we were just blown away. Three years long, Eddie and Sami have hated each other so much to reach to that point, a bloody and vicious brawl. I voluntarily chose not to predict a winner because whatever happened, the fan would always be the winners of a Sami vs Eddie match. I fear it could be the end of their story, I wish not. Alchemy like this one is so unique and rare is this business…

The next PPV will be “Rebellion” on Saturday, April 24, 2021. Do you see the same Omega sign as me on the logo?

  • AEW World Champion Kenny Omega & IMPACT World Tag Team Champions The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows) w/ Don Callis vs IMPACT World Champion Rich Swann, Chris Sabin & TNA World Heavyweight Champion Moose

Would Moose betray Swann and Sabin? We all had this question in mind as the match was about to begin. Anderson and Sabin got things started, Anderson with a kick, blocked, Anderson strangled Sabin’s eyes. Back and forth action went into a stand-off. Gallows and Moose got in the ring and both ran into each other, but neither man went down. They traded shots, but neither went down. Moose wanted a piece of Omega, and he decided to tag in. Swann now came into the ring with a couple of collar-and-elbow tie-ups. Omega pointed to The Good Brothers, and they attacked Swann from behind while Omega gave Moose and Sabin a cheap shot. Omega then tagged in Anderson.

Things broke down a bit with everyone battling. Moose connected with a standing moonsault down on Anderson. Omega tagged in, hit a backbreaker, and tagged out. Anderson got back into the match, threw some more shots, and a side headlock takedown. Sabin back up hit double clotheslines. Swann and Omega tagged in, Omega unloaded some punches, charged in the corner, nobody home, kick to the face, then ate a kick and takes a standing hurricanrana. Moose was in the ring and tossed Gallows to the floor. Swann jumped on Sabin’s shoulders for an assisted swinging DDT. They hit another one on Anderson. Swann and Sabin connected with double kicks to Gallows. Swann replied with a senton down on Omega.

Back in the ring, Swann got launched into the corner by Anderson, then hit a powerslam. Gallows tagged in and hit another powerslam. He brought in Omega and went for a powerslam, Swann replied with some punches, Anderson hit a kick to the back. Omega hit the Kotaro Krusher. Triple splash by Omega and Good Brothers on Swann, who replied with a Pelé kick to Omega, he tagged in Moose, he dropped everyone. Headbutt to Gallows, jumping dropkick to Omega. Anderson on the second rope, but he got dropkicked to the floor. Triple kick in the corner on Omega. Moose hit a discus clothesline on Omega.

Sabin tagged in, all three guys attacked Omega in the corner. Omega dodged Sabin, who took a bunch of moves in the corner. Triple neckbreaker on Sabin. Omega put Sabin down. Sabin connected with a dropkick on Gallows but took a shot from Anderson. Anderson went for a gun, blocked, Anderson kicked. Omega landed the V-Trigger on Swann. Omega went to the top, Moose leaped up to the top and hits a Spanish fly off the top rope. Anderson and Gallows hit a single leg/cutter combo and a Magic killer on Sabin. Omega and Swann tagged in, they traded punches in the middle of the ring.

Omega ducked one and hit a snap dragon suplex and a Tiger driver. The Good Brothers dumped Sabin and Moose out to the floor. Omega moved Swann up to the top rope, looked for a suplex, but Swann blocked it and replied with a headbutt. Moose put Omega on his shoulders, Omega got away and shoved Moose into Swann. Omega went for the One-Winged on Moose, Moose put him on his shoulders, Swann connected with a big elbow to Omega, flipping him down to the mat. More strikes from Swann and Omega. Omega landed a V-Trigger, went for the One-Winged Angel that ended into a Poisonrana. Swann hit multiple kicks to Omega and a 450 splash. After a V-trigger on Moose, Omega hit another on Swann and the One-Winged Angel for the win.

And it ended like that… No brawl, no cheap shot. The match was long to find its pace but no one would have expected the magic would come from Moose. Not only he did true teamwork but what he delivered was incredible. As I said before, he is never better than in a PPV and he proved it again yesterday. We clearly saw Moose wants Omega’s belt like he wants Swann’s belt. After all, everybody wants to rule the world…

I can hear some of you saying, “what the hell is that title again?” Thank you very much. In fact, I’ve had this title in mind for a good two weeks. It’s the title of a song by one of my favourite bands, something completely unusual that, for me, was fitting this PPV like a glove. I couldn’t use the title to put the spotlight on a man. Impact Wrestling is a family, a team, and when you love it, you support it as a whole. So, yes, Hallucinating Elvis. A few minutes after the PPV was over, I listened to the song again and I understood I couldn’t have found more appropriate. There’s a lyric in this song that fits each and every match of this card.
Hard To Kill was 3 great hours of wrestling, no match was bad, but it didn’t have the spice of the usual Impact Wrestling PPV. There was something fantastic in the way all the matches, despite different, were matching so well. There was something special that kept all the roster together and allowed it to make something great. And there was Kenny Omega who allowed us to show a Moose like no other.
Thumbs up to Impact Wrestling for signing 3 women matches in a PPV (out of 9 matches in the card), that’s the way it has to be. Put them in a singles, team, or intergender bouts and they will always shine. Kudos to Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown who did well for their first PPV as the broadcast team. I wish I could hear more of D’Lo when Matt Striker did a good job describing the action. Thumbs down to the false arena sound, silence would have been way better.
Action wise, Hard To Kill was like a wacky race. Some matches deserved more time, some less. The stipulations were not fully used. No title change, Matt Cardona making his debut. Then, even it was not fully a Barbed Wire Massacre, this match was a bloody hell only Sami Callihan and Eddie Edwards could do. Does it mean their feud is over? The cinematic orchestra made some magic with Ethan Page and The Karaté Man, a short but insanely great moment. I sadly think it was his last appearance with the company, I hope I’m wrong, but if it was, he said goodbye his own way.
And there was Moose. During the afternoon, EC3 put on Twitter a series of messages about why he chose Moose. “Only Moose can stand for himself. ⁣⁣⁣Fight for himself.⁣⁣⁣ Become who he is supposed to be.” The wrestler we saw compete on PPV didn’t shine, he exploded in front of our eyes. The standing moonsault, the Spanish Fly from the top rope, we have never seen him doing that before. He set the tone for the match and brought it to a higher level. Then, there was Kenny Omega in the other team…
Yes, it was not a bad PPV, it was not a great one too and there’s a reason for that. What is next? Once again, there’s nothing to tell us where we are going. Some will say sometimes it’s good not to have to scratch your head to the bone and just enjoy the show. My problem is I’m not a fan of surprises. Mostly the bad ones… See you on Tuesday for IMPACT, we don’t know yet what is going to happen but I’ll be there, damn sure. ENYGMAtically yours…

*****

Hard To Kill Full Results:

  • Countdown to Hard To Kill Match: Brian Myers defeated Josh Alexander
  • Intergender Tag Team Match: Rosemary & Crazzy Steve defeated Tenille Dashwood & Kaleb with a K
  • Old-School Rules Match: Violent by Design (Eric Young, Cody Deaner & Joe Doering) defeated Tommy Dreamer, Cousin Jake & Rhino
  • Fire ‘N Flava (Tasha Steelz & Kiera Hogan) defeated Havok & Nevaeh to become the new IMPACT Knockouts Tag Team Champions
  • Matt Cardona defeated Ace Austin w/Madman Fulton via DQ
  • Manik defeated Chris Bey and Rohit Raju to retain the IMPACT X-Division Championship
  • Deonna Purrazzo defeated Taya Valkyrie to retain the IMPACT Knockouts Championship
  • The Karaté Man defeated Ethan Page by getting his heart out of his chest
  • Barbed Wire Massacre Match: Eddie Edwards defeated Sami Callihan
  • AEW World Champion Kenny Omega & IMPACT World Tag Team Champions The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows) w/ Don Callis defeated IMPACT World Champion Rich Swann, Chris Sabin & TNA World Heavyweight Champion Moose

All pics, screenshots, and videos courtesy of Impact Wrestling, AXS TV, Basil Mahmud, and Fite TV. All photocollage by @frenchnygma exclusively for @steelchairmag.