After two weeks of Best Of recap shows, Impact Wrestling returned with a new show on Thursday night, just in time for the final hype before Saturday’s Hard to Kill pay-per-view event. With a couple of strong segments, and a few good matches, there was certainly enough there to highlight what’s to come this weekend, and still be entertaining as a standalone episode.

Match 1: Lady Frost, Chelsea Green, and Tasha Steelz (w/ Savannah Evans) vs. Jordynne Grace, Rachael Ellering and Rosemary (w/ Havok)

During Lady Frost’s entrance, they have a frosted window type graphic on the screen – has Impact ever done that kind of thing before?

All of these women will be competing in the first ever Knockouts Ultimate X match on Saturday night. There was a lengthy feeling-out process with both teams jockeying for position. Rosemary was able to get the edge over Steelz using her power advantage, and even took her to the Upside Down. But when the ref was distracted, a big illegal boot from Evans on the floor nearly knocked Rosemary’s head off, but her demon power allowed her a quick recovery, and the match continued.

The pace quickened after that, with Chesea Green hitting a flying dive onto everyone else on the floor. And then Lady Frost picked up the spare with a big Moonsault off the top.


Shortly after that, Chelsea Green hit Rachael with the Unprettier in the middle of the ring and go the pin.

This was fine, and thankfully they resisted doing the tired trope of a team not being able to get along during a match because they will be opponents at the PPV. Other than the two big moves at the end, not sure this was a strong teaser for Ultimate X, though. Those matches are all about the high spots, and this match was very much grounded and somewhat low-key. Hopefully they will crank it up a notch or two on Saturday

Winners: Lady Frost, Chelsea Green, and Tasha Steelz

A video aired hyping up the competitors in Saturday’s Triple Threat match for the World Championship: W. Morrissey, Matt Cardona, and the champion Moose.

Then, they showed a backstage Moose promo. He said that he’s done some evil and despicable things to get the title, and is prepared to do more to retain it.

A commercial ran for the return of NJPW on AXS-TV, the premiere of which will air next week immediately after Impact. Could the Forbidden Door be opening up? Stay tuned.

After that was a trailer for the movie The Free Fall, which is the sponsor for Hard to Kill. According to the IMDB plot summary, “After attempting to take her own life, a young woman must wrestle with an overbearing husband.” I guess the world “wrestle” makes it relevant to the PPV? Also, the lead actress was once in a movie called Superfly. I don’t know if he was an overbearing husband, but he was a pretty lousy boyfriend, am I right?


Match 2: Jonah vs. Jake Something

Jake surprisingly was the first to get the upper hand in this battle of powerhouses, sending Jonah to the mat after a big body collision. By the time they returned from the ad break, Jonah had taken over. But Jake came back and stunned Jonah with a big Thesz Press and then dropped him with a running dive to the floor. Jake was going for the killing blow, but Jonah flattened him with a huge Clothesline, and then cemented the win with a huge Flying Splash off the top.

After the match, Josh Alexander ran into the ring and he and Jonah exchanged shots. Alexander took Jonah down and tried to clamp on an Ankle Lock, but a bunch of security guards rushed the ring and separated them. Jonah broke free from the ones holding him back and he hit an Avalanche in the corner where the guards were holding Josh, squishing a bunch of guards into Josh and hurting Josh’s already-injured ribs. Jonah then exposed Josh’s injured ribs and dropped a huge Senton onto him, rammed him with a table a few times, and then Superfly Splashed Josh through the table, which looked great.


This was a good hard-hitting match, and the post-match angle was very well-done.

Winner: Josh Alexander

Matt Striker ran down the next couple of months of shows on Impact’s Road to Rebellion tour. Stops include TV tapings in Dallas next weekend and Fort Lauderdale on Jan 21/22. No Surrender takes place in New Orleans on Feb 19 with tapings the next day; Sacrifice is in Louisville on March 5 with tapings on the 6th; Philadelphia has tapings on March 18/19; and Rebellion takes place in April, with the location still to be named.

A hype video package aired for Saturday’s Knockouts Championship street fight between Deonna Purrazzo and champion Mickie James.


Match 3: Masha Slamovich vs. Sandra Moone

Sandra Moone could easily have been introduced under the name Enhancement Talent. This was a complete showcase for Masha, as she dominated Moone with hard shots and throws, and ending things with a brutally violent looking Northern Lights Bomb. All that was missing was the voiceover saying “Slamovich wins. Flawless victory.”


This was the perfect debut for Masha.

Winner: Masha Slamovich

Steve Maclin cut a video promo, saying that Gail Kim made the mistake of granting him a title shot against Trey Miguel for the X-Division Championship, when Scott D’Amore was trying to deny Maclin a shot at the gold despite having a perfect unbeaten streak. Kim overheard him say this, and she came up to Maclin and told him if he doesn’t beat Trey on Saturday, he’ll never get another shot at the title as long as Trey holds it.

Gia Miller did a sit-down interview with Chelsea Green and Matt Cardona. Chelsea said that she was fine from the accidental chair shot by Cardona from a couple of weeks ago. She was more concerned about how that mistake would weigh on Matt’s mind during his title shot. She said that Moose was to blame. Cardona said that he knows Moose was trying to get into his head. Chelsea said that Matt isn’t the underdog as some critics are saying. She ended by saying she’s comfortable that Matt will win the title at the PPV.


Match 4: Deonna Purrazzo (w/ Matthew Rehwoldt) vs. Mercedes Martinez

Mickie James joined Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown on commentary for this one. And a creepy-looking audience member immediately made a beeline to the seat behind her and ogled creepily until security shooed him away. If someone ends up stalking Mickie, hope the police are watching this episode.

Purrazzo attacked when Mercedes was still doing her entrance pose. With Mercedes stunned by this, Purrazzo was able to punish her with submission holds and less-technical boots to the head and body.

Mercedes fired up and made it a contest with some big Clotheslines, and then locked on an STF. Rehwoldt distracted Mercedes and the momentary lapse left Mercedes prone for an arm attack. Purrazzo took her down and worked over the arm, softening it up for one of her trademark submissions.

Mercedes powered up and blasted Purrazzo with some hard punches and forearms, and even hit Purrazzo with a Flying Knee, before Spearing Purrazzo on the apron, sending them both to the floor before a commercial break.

Returning from the ads, they were in the middle of the ring exchanging strikes. After winning that exchange, Mercedes hit Purrazzo with some powerful knees and a DDT for a near-fall. She hit a Running Low Knee and then a Samoan Driver. But as they hit the mat, Purrazzo grabbed Mercedes’ arm and clamped on the Venus De Milo, leaving Mercedes no choice but to verbally submit.

After the match, Mickie entered the ring and got into Purrazzo’s face. Purrazzo was going to take the bait, but Rehwoldt stopped her from doing anything lest she violate the No Contact clause and lose her title shot as a result.

This was really good. Purrazzo can have a good match with anybody, and having a strong opponent like Martinez really allows her to shine.

Winner: Deonna Purrazzo

The Iinspiration and their lacky Jai debuted their new talk show “All About II”, which was a direct rip-off of Tenille Dashwood’s All About Me show. The Influence weren’t amused and they crashed the show. The two teams argued while Jai and Kaleb tried to out-languish each other on the couch. This devolved into a loud cacophony of shrieking, until the Iinspiration and Jai left. The Influence signed off the show to end the segment.

Josh Alexander was in the back getting checked over by the medic after getting splashed through the table earlier.


Match 5: Mad Man Fulton and Ace Austin vs. Hernandez and Johnny Swinger

Fulton and Austin attacked before the bell and immediately went to town on Swinger, isolating him in their corner. After some time getting beaten up, Swinger was able to get the hot tag to Hernandez who took over. Hernandez heaved them both around and then smashed them both with coast-to-coast Clotheslines. But he eventually got caught and after a series of double-team moves by Austin and Fulton, he was pinned flat, while Swinger could only look on hopelessly.

After the match, Fulton and Austin pulled out some chairs, locked Hernandez’ arm in one and smashed the chair, in order to injure Hernandez’ arm. Swinger looked on in despair, and when he saw the chairs come out, decided to abandon Hernandez and head off for some finer ground.


This was a random match to have on a go-home show for the PPV. Neither team are on the show. So unless they are planning a yet-to-be-announced match, or unless this is somehow being used to write Hernandez off TV for some reason, this was weird.

Winners: Mad Man Fulton and Ace Austin

Backstage, Gia Miller interviewed W. Morrissey. He said that he came to Impact alone, with no friends, no fans, and no supporters. And although he teamed up with Moose momentarily, severing that alliance was the best thing for him. Because that meant he could focus on winning the championship for himself. And he’d do that alone.


Match 6: Karl Anderson (w/ Doc Gallows and Violent By Design) vs. Heath (w/ Rhino, Eddie Edwards, Rich Swann, and Willie Mack)

This match was to determine which team would have the advantage at Hardcore War this Saturday. For those not in the know, Hardcore War is basically a Streetfight with phased-in alternating entrances.

Within seconds, the two teams started brawling on the floor, causing official Brian Hebner to send everyone to the back.

They all cleared out from ringside during the commercial break, and when we returned, Heath had the upper hand. But when the match went to the floor, Anderson used some dirty tactics to take over, using the ringpost and ring barricade as weapons on Heath’s shoulder.

He continued to punish Heath’s shoulder in the ring, using submission locks and stomps. But Heath found his second gear and he mounted a comeback that surprised Anderson. Worried, the wily Anderson used the referee as a human shield, and when Heath hesitated, Anderson grabbed Heath’s arm and drove it hard into the mat. He then avoided a Heath running corner charge and when Heath rebounded, Anderson hit the Machine Gun Cutter to get the pin and earn his team the advantage on Saturday.

After the match, Doc Gallows came into the ring and they double-teamed Heath. Rhino ran in to even the odds, causing VBD to come in and cheap-shot Rhino and Heath with a garbage can. This brought out Edwards, Mack, and Swann with weapons of their own, and a lengthy Pier Six brawl ended the show.


This was a good match. Anderson on his own is much more compelling than he is with Gallows, and when he simply wrestles instead of trying to yuck it up with insider references and juvenile jokes, he’s much more palatable. The brawl at the end felt a bit rote, but was still a fun enough way to end the show. If there’s a criticism it’s that they may have been better-served by ending it with the competitors in the PPV main event. But after the chairshot spot a few weeks ago, it might have been harder for them to do something to rival that, so better to go the way they did than risk ending on an underwhelming note.

Winner: Karl Anderson

Join us on Saturday night for the full recap of the PPV.


Impact Wrestling - January 6th, 2022

Sam's Town - Las Vegas, NV

The women shone tonight match-wise, with Purrazzo and Martinez having the match of the night, and Masha making the absolute most of a 2-minute squash match. But a lot of the other stuff – the Jonah attack on Josh Alexander, and the Heath-Anderson match – were also very good. For the most part, the show hit the right notes on building for the PPV, which is what a go-home show should do.