Friday, February 7, 2020

IMPACT Wrestling's HARD TO KILL (January 2020 PPV)

WWE names one of their PPVs after an classic old song. Why not have a PPV named after a Steven Seagal movie?

And how apropos is Hard To Kill for a title of an Impact PPV, because it perfectly fits with the company's identity. No matter how many fuck-ups have occurred, the company continues to survive to see another decade. Yes, it has produced countless hours of horrendous television and PPVs. Yes, it has made some questionable decisions for the sake of cheap publicity that fizzled out quickly, but no matter how bad the mess-up, the former TNA somehow finds a way to survive another year and for that alone, it deserves a modicum of respect.

Which is why I'm doing a very quick write-up on this show.

Quick backstory: I went to a buddy's house a couple weekends ago with the intent of breaking my long-standing WWE moratorium by watching this year's Royal Rumble. Unfortunately, his Network service was out of whack and so we ended up watching the Impact PPV that he had on the DVR instead. And so once I got home, I wrote a quick write-up on the show with the intent for future posting.

And then I somehow deleted the file... and my brain died.

Fortunately, said buddy... who somehow manages to record this stuff to DVD-R for personal use... loaned me his copy of the show for the purposes of this write-up, and so I'm writing this a second time and with the show on hand.

Full disclosure: I have not watched Impact in a good long while. I've occasionally kept track of results here and there, but my familiarity with the product has been minimal save for a few choice faces. As such, it's entirely possible that my ignorance of the show may affect my thoughts on this show, which means I have to rely on video packages and the announcers to bring me up to speed on the angles and stuff. Regardless, some quick thoughts...

Ken Shamrock defeated a tall fellow named Mad Man Fulton via anklelock submission in the opening contest. I find it funny that in 2020, Ken Shamrock - a dude who looks ancient - would get the win over a younger fellow who has that sort of imposing stature that could be an asset in the future you could build on. At least the match was fine; nothing special. Ken could still go for the most part and this Fulton fellow is intriguing. I just felt the wrong guy won, but that's just me.

X-Division Champion Ace Austin defeated Trey Miguel to retain the title in a perfectly acceptable wrestling match. He then taunts some lady in the audience (presumably Trey's mother) and a brawl between the two occurs afterwards... fair enough.

Knockouts champion Taya Valkyrie defeated ODB and Jordynne Grace in a three-way with outside interference from some dude to retain the title... I wasn't into this one in the slightest, which was a shame because I've seen Grace a couple times and she's usually pretty good. Likewise for Taya... but this didn't click with me for some reason... probably because I figured the title change would come along at Impact and this was a thing that happened to fill PPV space.

A couple days later, Jordynne Grace would beat Taya for the title on Impact. Oops.

So Rob Van Dam comes out with an entourage and proceeds to beat up Brian Cage in a match that ends abruptly because Cage is hurt. Then some other dude comes out to fight RVD and then he gets beat up and pinned... I suppose one would have to watch impact for any of this to make sense, but I guess this was a thing that happened.

Eddie Edwards defeated Michael Elgin in a pretty good little fight between two intense fellows and probably the first really good match that I genuinely enjoyed.

Moose defeated Rhino in another pretty good brawl between two big guys.

Tag-Team champions The North defeated Willie Mack in a handicap match to retain the titles. Mack's partner (I forget who) was injured before the show and Mack decided to go it alone... which would've made for a great story of him winning the titles and having to either give them up or find another partner... but I guess they decided not to go that route.

And in the main event, Tessa Blanchard defeated World champion Sami Callahan to win the title and make history... I guess. Two things came to mind when this took place:

1 - At least this wasn't a good housekeeping match,

2 - I'm surprised this hasn't happened sooner in TNA, especially when Russo was writing the shows.

I mean, look, the match was okay... I guess. But it really didn't do much for me. And as far as Tessa winning the title... I don't mind it because I've seen enough intergender stuff that I'm rather ambivalent over it and I've seen Chyna as Intercontinental Champion or Madusa as Cruiserweight champion... but then there's the matter of "what now?"

All I will say on the matter is that I recall a 1999 interview Chyna did on an old talk show on TSN where someone asked if she was interested in challenging for the Women's title. Her response was no because "first of all, it would take me two seconds to get it." Two years later, Chyna would win the Women's Championship by defeating Ivory in a total farce of a match and then disappear from the public eye a few months later... make of that what you will.

So that was Impact Wrestling's HARD TO KILL PPV... and it was certainly a show. There were some bits I liked (the Eddie Edwards/Michael Elgin match is probably the highlight for me), there were some bits I didn't care for for one reason or another, and there were some bits that were just there. For what it's worth, it was a serviceable offering... but probably not one that will have me watching their show on a regular basis.

That having been said, I did catch an episode recently... but I'll save that for another time.

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