Wednesday, February 8, 2023

IMPACT Wrestling Hard To Kill 2023

Yes, we've used this banner three times before. And yes, if I watch next year's Hard To Kill PPV, I will be using it again. Now that we got that out of the way... yes, I got around to watching Impact's first 2023 PPV recently. It seemed like a bit of a tradition that we're doing here, so may as well continue it for all it's worth. I had heard some good things about the show and figured, "Why not?"

Impact World Champion Josh Alexander defeated Bully Ray - yes, it's 2023 and Bubba Ray Dudley is still getting World title shots in TNA - in a Full Metal Mayhem match, which is basically a TLC match with pinfalls and submissions... and sure enough, after some stuff involving another old guy in Tommy Dreamer, Josh submits Ray via ankle lock to retain the title. Is Kurt Angle complaining about that one? This was a thing that happened. It was an okay match for what it was, but it was Bully Ray challenging for the World title in 2023. I don't think there was any doubt that Josh was going to retain the title here. Nice to add a big name to your list of victims, but nothing to get excited about, either. Probably a good thing that this was the opener.

Impact Tag-Team Champions Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin) defeated Heath/Rhino, the Major Players (Brian Myers and Matt Cardonas), and Bullet Club in an elimination four-way to retain the title. Never too keen on four-ways nowadays, although the fact that this was elimination rules helped a bit. Guys get their stuff in, champs come out on top, perfectly acceptable tag team wrestling for the most part, not much else to add to that.

Then as the champs make their way out, out comes Frankie Kazarian, who brings everyone up to speed on what he's been doing (or not doing, as the case may be) lately and talks about making a decision to bet on himself. Long story short; Frankie has signed a long-term deal with Impact and I guess we'll see what happens from here. If AEW wasn't going to do anything with the guy, he may as well change the scenery and Kazarian has had some success in TNA in the past, so best of luck to him.

Moose defeated Digital Media champion Joe Hendry via low blow followed by spear to win the title... except not really because here comes the newest authority figure of TNA, SANTINO MARELLA... and yes, it's SANTINO MARELLA, complete with accent and some bad jokes. Anyway, he restarts the match and Hendry beats Moose to retain the title.

Masha Slamovich defeated Killer Kelly, Taylor Wilde, and Deonna Purrazzo in a four-way match by pinning Wilde to earn a future Knockouts title shot. This was a typical four-way match, nothing special.

Steve Maclin defeated Rich Swann in a falls count anywhere match... and who the fuck put Raven on commentary?! This was your WWF Attitude Era hardcore match where they'd fight outside the arena, run some traffic, hit each other with some shit, and then make it back to the arena where Maclin hits Swann with his move for the win. This amused me greatly, so kudos on that.

Eddie Edwards defeated Jonathan Gresham in a good match. Nice to see Gresham bounce back from the ROH thing where he was the smallest guy in the room and it looked awkward. Him and Edwards both put on a good showing here.

Mickie James defeated Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace in a Title-Versus-Career match to win the title in a pretty good match that told a good story, with Mickie having to overcome this monster of a woman to not only win the title, but also continue to have an active career as a wrestler. I've been following along as much as I can, so I wasn't completely in the dark, but this match did what it needed to do. Give Mickie odds to overcome, present Grace as the unstoppable champion, bring up some drama, and that's what they did. It was a good main event match with a happy ending that sees Mickie celebrating with her family... minus the hubby.

All in all, I thought this was a perfectly fine PPV. Went by fairly quickly, the matches were good to great, and the main event delivered the drama. Am I going to remember this show down the line? Probably not, but for what it was, Impact delivered an entertaining card of wrestling and that's all I could ever ask for.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep it real and keep it clean.