Moose trampled five other competitors in the main event of Saturday night’s Hard to Kill show to become the number one contender to Impact World Champion Kenny Omega, who he will face on June 12 at Against All Odds. The main event match was a bit of a mixed bag with some good stuff, and some questionable booking decisions, which was pretty consistent with the overall show, which aired on the company’s Impact-Plus streaming service.
Match 1: Brian Myers vs. Black Taurus (w/ Rosemary and Crazzy Steve)
Taurus had Myers’ number early on, using his strength advantage and his general intimidationary skills to throw Myers off his game. Myers then got crafty and hit Crazzy Steve on the outside, and when Taurus checked on Steve, Myers clocked him to take control. He grounded Taurus and controlled the beast with lots of wear-down moves and pointed strikes. Eventually, Taurus was able to come back with an impressive scaling of the ropes into a Twisting High Cross Body. They exchanged with pinfall attempts, Taurus hitting a Flying Crucifix Bomb and a Spinning Shoulder-Breaker, and Myers with a Flatliner. In the end, Myers aimed a thumb right into Taurus’ eye (Bullseye! Get it?), and put Taurus down for the three with a big lariat.
This was a pretty standard match, perfectly serviceable but nothing to write home about. Not sure this was the best way to kick off the show, as Myers’ slow pace doesn’t lend itself to kicking off with an exciting start. But there you go.
Winner: Brian Myers
Match 2: Kimber Lee and Susan vs. Tenille Dashwood (w/ Kaleb) and Taylor Wilde
Despite the lack of friendship between Dashwood and Wilde, they worked pretty well together early on, taking down Purrazzo’s henchwomen. But Susan and Lee used some sneaky tactics to eventually get the edge.
Lee and Susan kept distracting the referee to try to get the edge. But in the end, that strategy backfired. As Lee had the ref tied up, he didn’t see Kaleb kick Susan in the head. Wilde didn’t see it either, which is good, because she undoubtedly wouldn’t have approved. All she saw was that Susan was dazed, and prone for a Bridging German Suplex which got Wilde the pinfall win. After the match, Wilde reluctantly posed for a selfie with a thrilled Dashwood.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) May 16, 2021
This was short, but fine. Wilde didn’t have a chance to do a lot in this one, but what she did was good, continuing her impressive run after her lengthy layoff. It’s probably time to do something else with Susan – this newest personality has worn out its welcome.
Winners: Tenille Dashwood and Taylor Wilde
A Sami Callihan hacker video aired. He knew that Don Callis considered him as a huge threat to Kenny Omega, and he said he would prove Callis right by winning the Six-Man Scramble match to become the number one contender to Omega’s World Championship.
Match 3: Ace Austin and Mad Man Fulton vs. XXXL vs. Petey Williams and TJP vs. Rohit Raju and Shera
The winners of this match will be number one contenders to the Tag Team Championship. All eight men had a skirmish at the bell to determine which two would eventually start. This one had a lot of interesting styles clashes here, given the power of some of the large guys and speed and technique of the smaller guys. Petey and TJP were effectively outnumbered three teams to one, and they took the brunt of the beatings in this match at the hands of the Desi Hit Squad and Fulton/Austin in particular. In the end, though, all the other teams showed no loyalty to each other, and they started fighting, including XXXL hitting the Karachi Krunch on Raju. In the end, Fulton and Austin isolated Larry D, and hit a nifty double-team move to get the pin.
This was good, and it was interesting to see the three heel teams go at it in the end, as that brought a different type of dynamic to the match.
Winners, and number one contenders for the Tag Team Championship: Ace Austin and Mad Man Fulton
Backstage, Gia Miller interviewed Fire N Flava, who said they were going to reclaim the Knockouts Tag Team Championship.
Match 4: W. Morrissey vs. Willie Mack
Willie surprised the big man by charging Morrissey right at the bell and taking the fight to him. But Mack knocked himself silly delivering a headbutt, and then a follow-up kick to the face by Morrissey sent Mack to the floor where he was pretty much a dead fish. Morrissey then manhandled him for a while on the floor, including running his back into the ringpost and choking him with the ring barrier. In the ring, Morrissey just toyed with Mack, putting the hurt on him for several minutes.
Mack finally found his second wind, and fired back, staggering Morrissey with a flying fist and then a top rope attack. But Morrissey caught Willie in a running attack and planted him with the East River Crossing. Instead of ending things, Morrissey decided to put the exclamation point on things with a running kick to the back of Willie’s head, that put him down for good. After the match, Morrissey continued to beat up Willie. He grabbed a chair but before he could act on his evil intentions, Rich Swann ran in to save his friend, and Morrissey bailed.
This one dragged quite a bit due to the extended beat-down on Willie in the middle. It was pretty much a squash match. Until Swann ran in for the save, Mack was getting the treatment normally reserved to write someone out of the company.
Winner: W. Morrissey
Match 5: Fire N Flava vs. Jordynne Grace and Rachael Ellering (c) – for the Knockouts Tag Team Championship
Fire N Flava jumped on the champs before the bell, but it didn’t really help them, as they were outmuscled handily.
Grace and Ellering dominated Hogan for a while, until some double-team chicanery by FNF turned the tide. They kept Ellering in their corner and took turns beating her up and trash-talking Grace who could only look on from the apron. Ellering finally got the hot tag to Grace who unleashed on FNF. The match broke down after that, with both teams exchanging potential killing blows. Hogan and Ellering duked it out on the floor while Steelz and Grace squared off in the ring. In the end, Steelz thwarted a Superplex attempt by Grace, threw her off the top, and hit the Frog Splash to pin Grace and reclaim championship gold.
This was good, with a surprisingly clean win for Fire N Flava. Fire N Flava are so entertaining as a team and their cockiness as two-time champions should lead to some entertaining promos. It’s curious they’d have Grace and Ellering lose so quickly, though, so possibly they are building them towards a feud?
Winners, and new Knockouts Tag Team Champions: Fire N Flava
XXXL entered Swinger’s Palace and started jaw-jacking with Swinger, who had Hernandez bounce them out of the place.
Match 6: El Phantasmo vs. Josh Alexander (c) – for the X-Division Championship
The story here was Alexander is the stronger and more technically capable of the two, getting into El Phantasmo’s head by outwrestling him and countering everything thrown at him. But other than a roundhouse kick to the face that surprised Alexander, El Phantasmo curiously tried to play Alexander’s game. But a couple of stomps onto Alexander’s ankle stopped his momentum, and allowed El Phantasmo to get in some of his own licks, including hitting Josh from various angles with his aerial assault. He further gained an edge when he ducked a chop attempt and Josh ended up cracking his hand hard against the ring post. El Phantasmo then worked over Alexander’s hand and arm, grabbing it to try his Top Rope Walk, but that backfired when Josh pulled him down onto his shoulders and dropped him hard. The match went back and forth after that, with both men exchanging hard-hitting power moves. It looked like the end when El Phantasmo hit a Tope Rope Hurancarana and then a Frog Splash for a 2.9 count, but Alexander kicked out. In the end, Alexander went back to his grappling game, winning a battle of counters and reversals, eventually locking on an Ankle Lock that force El Phantasmo to tap out.
This was excellent. If people don’t get how good Alexander is after watching this match, they never will. El Phantasmo shone here as well. Definitely worth seeking out this match.
Winner, and still X-Division Champion: Josh Alexander
Backstage, FinJuice and Eddie Edwards were confident that they would beat the Good Brothers and Kenny Omega.
Match 7: Havok vs. Deonna Purrazzo (c) (w/ Kimber Lee and Susan) – for the Knockouts Championship
Normally, the story of Deonna’s matches is her working over her opponent’s arm to set up her opponent for an Armbar or her Venus De Milo submission lock. And after she was able to overcome Havok’s power advantage – thanks to the help from her entourage on the outside – she went back to that game-plan. Havok showed some fight, though, using her other arm to batter Purrazzo whenever she could. And when she finally did ground Purrazzo with a big body block, she went for her own submission in the form of a Half Crab – but her weakened arm didn’t let her get the maximum effect out of it. And in the end, her arm was hurt too much, so when Purrazzo finally locked on the Fujiwara Armbar, Havok had no choice but to tap out.
This was good. Purrazzo has a very deliberate formula to her matches, and when it’s followed, it’s almost foolproof. This was no exception, and Purrazzo continues to be one of the company’s highlights.
Winner, and still Knockouts Champion: Deonna Purrazzo
Match 8: The Good Brothers and Kenny Omega (w/ Don Callis) vs. FinJuice and Eddie Edwards
Don Callis coming out to the dulcet tones of Pachobel’s Canon in D Major will never get old, nor will his ring introductions of Kenny Omega.
The match was even-steven in the early minutes, with everyone getting a chance to shine. FinJuice and the Good Brothers had some nice exchanges, as did Omega and Edwards. Eventually, Team Omega used some dirty tactics to take the edge, as a triple assault sent Juice Robinson crashing hard into the ringside barrier, softening him up.
He got beaten up for a while, until he was able to finally escape and tag in a fresh Finlay. Before he could do much, though, he also fell victim to cheatery, and took his lumps in the wrong corner. He got free and tagged in Eddie, and shortly thereafter the match broke out into a pier-6 brawl. In the middle of the action, Eddie hit Omega with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a close call. Later, Omega dropped Eddie with a Snapdragon Suplex, and then he and the Brothers triple-teamed Eddie for a bit. The Good Brothers looked to end Eddie with a Magic Killer, which prompted FinJuice to break it up. In the end, FinJuice out-maneuvered the Brothers, hitting a double-team move on Anderson, and then going after Omega and Gallows. This left Anderson prone to a Boston Knee Party by Edwards for the three.
This was pretty solid, but not necessarily spectacular. This one continued the story that FinJuice has the Good Brother’s number, but didn’t really advance things. Having Eddie get the pin was curious, since he’s not really in the running for Omega’s title, but one would think this high-profile win should put him there.
Winners: FinJuice and Eddie Edwards
Match 9: Chris Sabin vs. Chris Bey vs. Matt Cardona vs. Sami Callihan vs. Trey Miguel vs. Moose – Six-Man Scramble match
This one had a few different speeds throughout. At times, the ring would empty out, leaving only two people in there at a time. At others, there would be a quick parade of moves where one at a time, they’d get hit with a move and then roll out of the ring. And at other times, everyone would be involved, fighting inside or outside the ring, including a moment early on that saw a parade of moves on the floor, ending with Stereo Dives by Bey and Miguel onto the others.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) May 16, 2021
In a nice sequence, Moose Superplexed Trey, but as he landed, Bey hit Moose with a beautiful Frog Splash, only to have Sami Callihan break up the count with a chair to Bey’s back.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) May 16, 2021
Later, Cardona did some stuff in his usual Cardonish style.
Sami nearly finished off Sabin with a Cactus Special, but before he could hit it, Anderson and Gallows ran down to the ring and pulled him out of the ring and beat him up, presumably on the instructions of Don Callis. This allowed Moose to capitalize, and he hit a Spear on Sabin to snatch up the win.
This was a good match, and while the finish was the right one, the way they went about it was a bit underwhelming. Moose has been built up on TV as a devastating force recently, and he was shown to be a big physical threat to Omega when they met in the six-man tag match at Hard to Kill this past January. It would have been better to give him a dominant win, instead of looking like simply an opportunist. Having the Good Brothers / Callis fear Sami more than Moose just muddies those waters. They have some time to fix this, and hopefully they will with some interaction between Moose and Omega on TV over the next few weeks that build Moose up as a big threat.
Winner, and new number one contender for the Impact World Championship: Moose
Under Siege - May 15th, 2021
Skyway Studios - Nashville, TN
With the tremendous match between Josh Alexander and El Phantasmo, and two really good title matches in the Knockouts Division, it’s hard to be too critical of this show. While the main event was good, the focus on sideline stories took the spotlight away from Moose where it really should have shone. Other matches ranged from being okay to simply just being there.