Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Impact Wrestling HARD TO KILL 2022

After that Backlash show from this past weekend, I needed a palette cleanser and I realized that I had this Impact Wrestling Hard To Kill PPV to watch after getting the replay a while back, so here we are. And for anyone wondering, they do indeed still call it a PPV and not a premium live event or whatever stupid vernacular they come up with these days.

And yes, I'm still using that Steven Seagal Hard To Kill banner for the show. I think that's going to be a running gag for whenever I do these Hard To Kill PPVs.

Anyway, this too place back in January and I had planned on giving the show a watch before other plans took place. However, with nothing else going on at the moment and to somewhat counteract the taste of revisiting an old rubbish TNA show, I should go back and watch the newest effort from Impact Wrestling, which is seeing somewhat better days.

A couple big changes from the last time I've watched an Impact Wrestling PPV; one being the inclusion of fans and a slightly different setting... I think I might've seen a show or two with a crowd; I don't recall... But the other big change is that Matt Striker is no longer doing commentary; instead, we now have Tom Hallifan - formerly Tom Phillips in WWE - doing play-by-play with D'Lo Brown. 

Tasha Steelz defeated Chelsea Green, Lady Frost, Jordynne Grace,. Alisha, and Rosemary in what is billed as the first-ever women's Ultimate X match. I'm actually shocked that the women never had an Ultimate X match before this because I figured that's a ball they would've jumped on years ago, but in any event, history is made here as a result and it's basically every Ultimate X match you've seen. A bunch of high flying high spots, a bunch of rope climbing, some fun bits, and eventually the end with Steelz grabbing the X for the win and a future title shot. Is it up to par with some of the best Ultimate X matches in TNA Impact history? Not really, but this was still a pretty fun opener and a good way to kick things off on a high note.

X-Division champion Trey Miguel defeated Steve Maclin in a tremendously fun match to retain the title.

Ring Of Honor World Champion Jonathan Gresham defeated Chris Sabin in a Pure Rules match to retin the title. For those unfamiliar with the concept of a "pure" wrestling match, basically each wrestler had three rope breaks, closed fists were illegal, and a 20-count outside. A perfectly fine wrestling match between two talented guys. I've not seen much ROH and so this is my first real exposure to Jonathan Gresham and I like this dude. Good looks, smooth as butter in the ring, hell of a wrestler. He's one I should keep close tabs on.

Josh Alexander defeated JONAH (the former Bronson Reed of NXT fame) in the classic little guy vs big guy and little guy overcoming injury to get the big win, JONAH also just debuted in Impact a short while and so while some might balk at the new guy taking the fall so soon, I don't think this hurts the guy one bit. And after holding the World title for a cup of coffee befotre losing to MOOSE, Josh needed a big win to recoup and he got it. Perfectly fine with how this played out.

Rhino/Heath/Eddie Edwards/Rich Swann/Willie Mack defeated Violent By Design/Good Brothers in a multi-man tag match with a weird format; two guys start and one from each team comes in at timed intervals; almost like a Wargames-style match without the cage. This got a little too crowded for my tastes and it eventually got to a point where it was difficult to keep track of what was going on. I only know the end result because I looked it up on Wikipedia and when you need to do that sort of thing to figure out what's going on, it's time to rethink this concept. Wild brawl, but hard to follow. No buys. Sorry.

Impact World Champion MOOSE defeated Matt Cardona and the former Big Cass now called W. Morrissey in a triple threat match to retain the title. This was a far better match that it had any business being and I was pleasantly surprised to see this be that.

Impact Knockouts Champion Mickie James defeated Deonna Purrazo in a Texas Death Match to retain the title. A Texas Death Match is a fancy name for Last Woman Standing, where the winner is the person who manages to knock their opponent out for ten seconds.

All in all, I thought Hard To Kill was a tremendous show and I will go so far to say that it's one of the best PPVs I've seen in recent years. That is tremendously high praise for Impact, as their shows had always been good, but never mind-blowing. This achieved the latter point. All the matches (save for the multi-man tag) were very good and the show moved along at a steady pace. I've enjoyed this one immensely and would give it a hearty recommendation

Kudos, Impact Wrestling. You did good here. Keep up the good work.

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