No new champions were crowned on Impact Wrestling’s Hard to Kill pay-per-view on Saturday. But that doesn’t mean that things are staying the same. Indeed, an invasion by a contingent of Ring of Honor stars suggests that Impact has a lot of things going on. And could make 2022 a year like no other for the company.

One change is that the main event of the PPV wasn’t the match for the World Championship, but rather the Texas Death Match for the Knockouts Championship between Mickie James and challenger Deonna Purrazzo.

To win this one, a wrestler would need to incapacitate her opponent enough so that they couldn’t get up within a 10-count after being pinned or submitting. Falls counted anywhere, and there were no count-outs or disqualifications.

The women started off with some hard hits, both going for quick falls. Deonna actually got the Venus De Milo on Mickie early on, causing the champ to tap out, but of course Mickie was able to stand up so the match continued.

They both had the idea to throw chairs in the ring, but Mickie was the first to get to use one, smashing it over Deonna’s back on the floor. But Purrazzo was able to withstand the attack and she whipped Mickie into the ring post and beat her up for a bit, right in front of Ring of Honor Women’s Champion Rok-C, who was sitting in the front row.

The fight spilled up to the entrance ramp, where Deonna hit Mickie with a Suplex, and then rammed her with a road case, busting Mickie open. Mickie was pinned, but got up at the ref’s 9-count. After fighting back to the ring, Mickie got more aggressive, using her knee brace to good effect, to knee Deonna in the head repeatedly.

Mickie tried for more weapons, but Deonna literally turned the tables on her, smashing Mickie’s head into it. Next, Deonna poured a bag of thumbtacks into the ring and Pump Kicked Mickie who fell backwards into them – 0uch!


The two continued to use weapons on each other, earning pins and spilling their opponent’s blood, but both of them were to tenacious to stay down.

Actually, at one point, after Mickie hit a Thesz Press and pinned Deonna, it looked like Purrazzo was going to stay down. But Matthew Rehwoldt ran down to ringside and picked her up. Mickie had another Thesz Press with his name on it – this one from the top turnbuckle to the floor, taking him out of the equation temporarily

She then threw Deonna back in the ring and set a table up in the ring. She climbed to the top, but before she could hit an aerial attack, Deonna got up and put Mickie through the table with what was supposed to be a Queen’s Gambit, but ended up being more of a Powerbomb. Mickie was barely able to stand up to break the count, but she did and the action continued.

After thwarting a chair shot attempt, Mickie shoved Purrazzo down and was going to end things with an El Kabong guitar shot, but blasted Rehwoldt with it instead when he ran in to shield Purrazzo.

His sacrifice was wasted, though, as Mickie avoided a chair shot by Purrazzo and hit a MickDT. Despite not being the best-executed move, it was enough to daze Purrazzo, and Mickie ensured the win by dumping some chairs and the broken table onto Purrazzo, weighing her down and preventing her from getting up as the ref counted to ten.

This was a fun little brawl, with both women putting on a good performance, save for a couple of sloppy-looking moves. Mickie retaining probably wasn’t the most intuitive outcome, but with yesterday’s announcement that Mickie, as the Impact Knockouts Champion, will be participating in WWE’s Royal Rumble in a few weeks, one has to think that had something to do with the outcome.


Hard To Kill – Full Show Results

Countdown match 1: Mad Man Fulton vs. Jake Something

This was a good, old-fashioned hoss fight, with both guys hitting hard shots and exchanging power moves. At one point, Fulton took to the air, hitting a Cross Body Clothesline that got him a 2-count. But Jake eventually came back, hitting a nice Springboard Clothesline and then a Flying Dive to the floor when Fulton rolled out of the ring. After that, Jake hit a Sit-Out Powerbomb for a very close fall. He was going for a Low Clothesline, but Fulton caught him by the neck and hit a Chokeslam that cooled down Jake’s momentum. Fulton then hit a second Chokeslam, but when he tried to appease the crowd’s chant for a third, Jake escaped it. Jake then whipped Fulton to the ropes and hit a Black Hole Slam to get the pin.

This was a good opener, and was a strong performance by both. It was interesting to see Fulton get the Wardlow treatment from the fans – i.e. cheering him on, despite him being a heel that is aligned with someone really dislikeable (in Ace Austin). This may be a future storyline to look out for.

Winner: Jake Something

They showed a promo video for tonight’s main event, focused mainly on Moose.

Backstage, Gia Miller interviewed Chelsea Green and Matt Cardona. They said that tonight is their honeymoon and they will celebrate by winning their respective matches today. They have titles on their mind.

Countdown match 2: Ace Austin vs. Laredo Kid vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Chris Bey

Bailey tried to shake hands with his opponents, but only Laredo Kid would oblige. Bailey showed off his speedy kicks on Austin, and then Laredo impressed with some aerials – until he got caught with a gut kick by Austin when going for a flippy-doo move. Very quickly, this one became too quick to call, as they cranked up the speed to “classic X-Division” level.

At one point, Bey went for a huge flying move to the floor and actually sailed over the heads of his opponents, but hit them with just enough to take them down. Then Austin hit a big Fosbury Flop from the ring to the floor. That was followed up by a sweet Spanish Fly by Laredo off the top to the floor on top of everyone else. That looked great.

Austin hit Laredo with The Fold, but Bey broke up the pin. Then came a parade of finishing moves, including Bailey hitting a a Fold-type move on Austin, which he followed up with a Shooting Star Knee to the back of Austin’s head to get the pin in his debut match.

This was a good throwback to the X-Division matches of old. It’s great to see Bailey in Impact – and unlike other companies, they were smart to give him the impressive win in his debut.

Winner: “Speedball” Mike Bailey

Match 1: Chelsea Green vs. Alisha vs. Jordynne Grace vs. Tasha Steelz vs. Rosemary vs. Lady Frost – Knockouts Ultimate X match

The prize for retrieving the X is a future match for the Knockouts Championship.

This one started off hot with all six women jockeying for position. After about a minute, Savannah Evans came to the ring and tried to help Tasha by beating up some of the Knockouts on the floor. Havok ran into the ring and tried to boost Rosemary to the X for a quick win, but Chelsea hit Rosemary with a huge Missile Dropkick, knocking her off of Havok’s shoulders.

Alisha and Chelsea fought on the top turnbuckle, but then both of them simultaneously went flying to the floor, landing on the rest of the field.


Lady Frost then picked up the spare, hitting her own dive from the top to the floor.

Grace showed off her strength by hanging off one of the cables while Lady Frost hung onto her. Later, Alisha pulled out a Singapore cane and started smashing everyone with it, and then went for the ropes while they all recovered. She scaled the cables, but got caught blocked by Chelsea wielding the Singapore cane, and when Alisha hesitated, she was hit with a Flying Spear by Rosemary, and Alisha fell flat on her face.

Later, Steelz and Grace locked each other up on the cables and both of them fell as if giving each other a Sit-Out Sky High Bomb. Then Lady Frost hit another Moonsault, but this time off the top of the scaffolding, wiping out everyone – that was beautiful.

Green, Steelz, and Grace were on the cable. Grace fell hard, and Steelz and Green both went after the X. They unclipped it and each had a piece of it, but Steelz was able to hook it under her arm, and she fell to the mat while clutching it in her hand, thereby winning the match.

This was good, though the ending seemed to come a bit out of nowhere. Still, an impressive showing by the Knockouts, with some really good spots. Lady Frost, in particular, had some highlight reel moments that will be shown for years.

Winner: Tasha Steelz

Match rating: 7/10

A trailer aired for the movie The Free Fall, which is the sponsor of the PPV.

They showed a video promo from Mickie James, touting the announcement that she will be competing in the WWE Royal Rumble this year. But she’s not looking past her title defense tonight against Deonna Purrazzo in a Texas Death Match. That match will actually be the main event, not the World Championship match.

Backstage, Gia Miller interviewed Deonna Purrazzo, who was accompanied by Matthew Rehwoldt. Purrazzo is focused on winning back her championship, and suggested that Rehwoldt may be part of her plan. Gail Kim came in and reminded them that if Rehwoldt interferes in the match, he will be fired. Purrazzo was, to say the least, not pleased.


Match 2: Trey Miguel (c) vs. Steve Maclin – for the X-Division Championship

Maclin dove through the ropes to attack Trey as the champ was coming down the ramp. The camera angle on this was focused on Trey, so the image of Maclin diving on him from out of nowhere was pretty cool.

Trey fought back and he was able to hit Maclin with a Sliding DDT on the floor, and followed that up with a huge Somersault Dive that flattened Maclin and had Maclin land in the front row.


This only ticked off Maclin, who channeled his anger by heaving Miguel right into the ringside barrier.

Back in the ring, Maclin targeted Trey’s back and neck, hitting him with some brutal looking Backbreakers and other power moves, including a Cactus Jack elbow and a big BackSlam on the apron.

Trey tried to fight back, but Maclin caught him in a Meteora attempt, tied him up in the ropes, and rammed Trey with the Crosshair, spilling both of them to the floor. It took some time for Maclin to pick up Trey and roll him in the ring, and that time gave Miguel enough time to recover enough to kick out.

Maclin was going for his finisher, but Trey countered and dropped Maclin, following that up with a Scorpion Kick and a quick rollup attempt. Trey took the fight to the apron and he hit a big Meteora on Maclin from the apron to the floor. Maclin took a nasty bump, with his head smacking against the ringside barricade on the landing – ouch.

Miguel might have gotten the countout win, but that wasn’t good enough for him. He rolled Maclin back in the ring and hit another Meteora – but Maclin kicked out!

A defiant Maclin called Trey to keep brining the fight, and Trey obliged. He hit Maclin with another Meteora, and that was enough to hand Maclin his first ever pinfall loss in Impact.

This was really good. Maclin has been really impressive in Impact. He probably should have won it, but as he doesn’t really fit the X-Division, maybe it’s best he didn’t, because now he can go on to the world title hunt.

Winner, and still X-Division Champion: Trey Miguel

Match rating: 7/10

Backstage, Gia Miller interviewed The Influence, who were with Kaleb. They said they felt like The Iinspiration were ducking them and they should have showed up to defend the Knockouts Tag Team titles. Instead, the Influence revealed that the match would take place on January 27th.


Match 3: Jonathan Gresham (c) vs. Chris Sabin – for the Ring of Honor World Championship

ROH commentator Ian Riccobani joined Tom and D’Lo for commentary on this one, and Bobby Cruise handled the ring introductions. Cruise ran down the ROH rules, including each participant getting three rope breaks, the closed fists restrictions, and the 20-count.

Apparently, Sabin had earned this shot in 2018, so this match did have some backstory.

They started off with the Code of Honour handshake as the crowd chanted “ROH”. They started off with some neat technical wrestling. After a good feeling-out process, Gresham took over, tying up Sabin with various holds and locks, including a really tight Ankle Twist that had Sabin literally screaming in pain.

Sabin turned up the pace, though, and he caught Gresham under the chin with a Football Punt off the apron. In the ring, he hit a textbook Twisting Suplex DDT for a near-fall. Gresham was able to come back, as he rocked Sabin with a series of elbow strikes. He then locked on a submission hold that forced Sabin to use one of his rope breaks.

Gresham picked up the pace after that and locked on the Octopus in the centre of the ring, and then supplemented that with some big elbow strikes. But Sabin escaped and hit a Cradle Shock. Referee Brian Hebner counted the three, but afterwards, he noticed that Gresham’s foot was under the ropes, so he didn’t call for the bell, but instead the match continued and Gresham was charged with a rope break.

They exchanged chops in the middle of the ring and then things escalated in terms of ferocity and velocity. After a series of reversals and counters, Gresham rolled up Sabin with a high bridge cover and got the pin.

After the match, they paid each other respect and ended things with a Code of Honour handshake.

This was a really good wrestling match. Sabin really does seem to get younger as the years go by, and this match could have easily been a Sabin performance from 10 years ago. Gresham is great and hopefully ends up in one of the major companies at some point.

Winner, and still ROH World Champion: Jonathan Gresham

Match rating: 8/10

Backstage, Gia Miller interviewed Tasha Steelz, who was with Savannah Evans. Steelz trumpeted her Ultimate X win and said no matter if Deonna or Mickie won their title match tonight, they will lose the title to Tasha.

 Match 4: Josh Alexander vs. Jonah

Alexander was fired up for this one, and he went after Jonah aggressively, but whenever he would land a big shot, it would hurt his injured ribs. Jonah would exploit that whenever he could, and when Josh couldn’t lift Jonah for a Suplex, Jonah dropped Alexander rib-first on the apron. That put him in control, and he methodically worked over Alexander’s ribs, using all his power to punish Josh, including hitting Josh with a big Senton Splash and locking him in the Body Breaker Rack a few times.

After not being able to lift Jonah, Josh tried a different tactic, first going after Jonah’s legs, and then repeatedly hitting Lariats until he was able to send Jonah over the ropes and landing hard on his softened up leg. The two brawled in the stands, clearing out the first three rows. And then Josh blasted Jonah and stunned him, and then climbed up top and hit a High Cross Body from the top of the corner post, over the barricade, and right into the ringside seats. Wow!


Back in the ring, Josh tried to continue his assault, but got caught up top when going for a Moonsault. Jonah brought him down the hard way with a mighty Superplex. They both were down but escaped the 10-count, and then they had a slugfest in the middle of the ring.

Jonah went back to Alexander’s ribs, hitting him with a Powerbomb, and then turning him inside-out with a huge Clothesline – but Josh kicked out! Jonah then hit a series of headbutts and a Brain Buster – but Josh kicked out again! Jonah went up top, but Josh moved out of the way of a Moonsault and Jonah crashed hard. Josh hit a German Suplex and even got the big man up for a Powerbomb. But now it was Jonah who kicked out!

Alexander clamped on an Ankle Lock, but Jonah kicked his way out of it. Josh locked him in again, and Jonah had no choice but to tap out.

This was great. Just a full-on intense slobberknocker of a fight. Not sure that Jonah should have lost so soon in his Impact career, but if they were going to do it, at least it felt earned.

Winner: Josh Alexander

Match rating: 8/10

Backstage, Gia Miller interviewed Eddie Edwards, Heath, Rhino, Willie Mack, and Rich Swann. They were fired up for Hardcore War.


Match 5: Rhino, Heath, Willie Mack, Rich Swann, and Eddie Edwards vs. The Good Brothers (Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson) and Violent By Design (Eric Young, Deaner, and Joe Doering) – Hardcore War

The rules of Hardcore War are pretty much the same as WarGames, except that there is no cage, and once all members from both teams have entered, the win can be made by pinfall or submission.

The first two out for their teams were Deaner and Rich Swann and they brought with them a garbage can and a chair, respectively, as their choice of weapons. After some time, Deaner won the battle when Swann crashed hard on a 450-Splash attempt and then Deaner rammed his head into a chair. Karl Anderson was in next, brandishing a golf club. In some bad camera work, they focused on his entrance instead of showing what was going on between Swann and Deaner – because Rich was the one standing when Anderson entered, despite being knocked silly earlier. Swann crotched Karl with the golf club and then used the chair to hit a Step-Up Cutter on Deaner. But then ate a shot from Anderson’s Tag Team title belt and was laid out again. Until his partner Willie Mack came in with an ax handle and evened up the odds. Mack and Swann bridged a wooden door on some chairs and put Deaner through it with a 3-D, stealing a page from the Uso playbook (LOL).


Doc Gallows was in next and he had a chain. He flung the garbage chair at Swann and it hit his head and bounced off perfectly. More weapon-filled shenanigans ensued. And continued when Eddie Edwards came in with his Singapore cane. The front row of fans got blasted again when Eddie hit some flying dives that sent his opponents crashing into the barricades. He set up a table, but didn’t get a chance to do anything with it, since Eric Young entered the fray and smashed him with a couple of garbage can lids. Soon, the fight was taking place both inside and out of the ring, with VBD and the Good Brothers in control.
Heath came in next and threw powder in Anderson’s and Young’s eyes, and then walloped Gallows and Deaner with a lead pipe. Willie went for a garbage can assisted Moonsault, but Deaner moved and Mack went splat. Just in time for Joe Doering to make his entrance. He didn’t need a weapon, he just dominated all of the opposing team with his sheer power game. At some point, Eddie got busted open.

In fact, by the time Rhino came in last, most of them were busted open.

They lined up gang-fight style and everyone paired off and started punching each other. Eddie and Eric got into a garbage can lid duel, that Eddie won. He followed that up by cracking all of VBD in the head with a Singapore cane.

He grabbed another one, lit it on fire, and smashed Gallows with it in a spot that sounds better on paper than it actually looked. But he got caught celebrating, and Eric Young caught him and Piledrove Eddie off the apron and through a table that had been set up beside the ring.

Rich Swann hit a huge Phoenix Splash out of nowhere on someone (the camera missed exactly who) and then he and Mack propped up a barbed wire board in the corner. But it was Swann that got put through it by Doering.

Then came a series of weapon shots and finishers, which ended when Rhino hit Anderson with a GORE GORE GORE! and he and Heath both climbed on top of Anderson for the pin.

After the match, Matt Taven and Mike Bennett ran in and attacked Rhino and Heath from behind. Rich Swann tried to help his friends, but Vincent ran in and took him out. PCO then ran in and the ROH invaders took out all of the babyfaces, leaving them laying in pain. Happily, Maria joined the party, obviously as the mastermind of the invasion.

The match started off a bit routine, but things picked up and got to be pretty good once the blood started to flow and the violence picked up. But the real story coming out of this was the ROH invasion, which was an awesome surprise, and really significant.

Winners: Eddie Edwards, Rich Swann, Willie Mack, Heath, and Rhino

Match rating: 7/10

Backstage, Gia Miller tried to get comments from Impact Executive Vice-President Scott D’Amore about what just happened. D’Amore was visibly shaken and flustered by what had just happened and said he would have to call Baltimore to find out what the hell was going on.


Match 6: Matt Cardona vs. W. Morrissey vs. Moose (c) – Triple Threat match for the Impact World Championship

This one started off with all three duking it out, with Cardona really showing some fire. Until he got whipped hard into the ringside barrier, hilariously sending one fan’s drink into the air. Morrissey slowed things down by smashing his opponents into the side of the ring.

The action got back into the ring where Moose shone, hitting a Run-Up CrossBody on Cardona and a Go To Hell on Morrissey that would have ended things but for Cardona breaking up the fall. Cardona then hit both opponents with the ReBoot, but couldn’t put either one away.

They did a Tower of Doom spot, with Cardona taking the worst of it, so Moose turned his attention to him. Moose dragged him into the crowd by the entrance stage and was ready to Powerbomb Cardona on the floor. Chelsea Green ran out and after an exchange of vituperations, she flew off the stage and hit Moose with a High Cross Body in order to save her husband.

Morrissey took advantage of the opportunity and grabbed Cardona and threw him in the ring, bullying him with some hard shots, while Chelsea could only look on and try to encourage her husband to fight back. He did and hit a FaceBreaker, but Morrissey rolled out of the ring so Cardona couldn’t cover him. Moose then ran in and tried to capitalize with a sneak attack on Cardona, but when he scaled the top rope for another High Cross Body, Cardona shoved him off the rope, and Moose went flying and crashed through a table on the floor – that looked great.


In the meantime, a member of the crowd threw a prosthetic leg into the ring, and Morrissey used that to batter Cardona. Cardona used a leg of his own to hit Radio Silence, but Morrissey kicked out. Morrisey blocked an Unprettier attempt and then planted Cardona with a Chokeslam for a close 2-count.

Cardona fought back and actually hit a Top Rope Radio Silence on Morrissey, but just as the referee’s hand was going to hit the mat for the third time, Moose pulled the referee out of the ring. Moose and Cardona then went at it, exchanging near falls.

Moose ran for a Spear, but Cardona moved and Moose Speared the referee. Morrissey threw Cardona out of the ring and hit Moose with a Powerbomb, but the ref was still knocked out and wasn’t there to make the count.

A second ref ran out and he checked on the first one. As this went on, Morrissey went under the ring and grabbed some chairs. He stacked them up in the ring and tried to set up Moose for another Powerbomb, but Moose low-blowed him. Moose battered Morrissey with a chair, chopping him down. Cardona ran in and he smashed them both with chairs, until he was also low-blowed by Moose.

Moose was going to end Cardona with a chair when Chelsea came in and pulled the chair away. They teased Chelsea being hit with the chair first by Moose and then by Cardona, playing off of the way she got hit during the contract signing. But she avoided Moose’s swing, and Cardona stopped short on his.

But she still got squashed, when Moose Powerbombed Cardona into the corner, sending him into the referee who was in front of Chelsea who was trapped in the corner. That looked great.

Cardona got up and got Speared by Moose. The first referee crawled his way back into the ring and counted to three, meaning Moose’s reign continues.

This was a fun match. The ending, while overbooked, really had some moments where it looked like Cardona would win the match. Credit to Chelsea for her involvement – she gave and took some big moves like a champ. It would have been good to have Morrissey more involved in the closing sequence, as he seemed like a bit of an afterthought. He’s still more interesting as a contender than Cardona, so it would be compelling if he had a claim to a future title shot. Hopefully he isn’t cast adrift in this storyline.

Winner, and still World Champion: Moose

Match rating: 7/10


Match 7: Deonna Purrazzo vs. Mickie James (c) – Texas Death Match for the Knockouts Championship

Winner, and still Knockouts Champion: Mickie James

Match rating: 7/10



Impact Wrestling: Hard To Kill - January 8th, 2022

The Factory - Dallas, TX

For the most part, the show delivered match-wise from the bottom to the top of the card. The gimmick matches delivered on the promises, whether it was high spots, violence, or a combination thereof. And the traditional wrestling matches were very good too. The Ring of Honor involvement – from the excellent ROH World Title match to the stellar invasion – was a great way to utilize the Forbidden Door. If this show is representative of what Impact is going to deliver for the rest of the year, then this is the year to be watching Impact Wrestling.