Pay-per-view air date: January 8, 2022
Impact Wrestling presented their Hard To Kill pay-per-view live from Dallas and they gave us an all-time great show. A company that generally produces A-/B+ pay-per-views outdid themselves from start to finish, making it a very fast and physical three hours.
The pre-show set the tone with a good, hard-hitting slugfest with Jake Something pinning Madman Fulton (the instructions must have been “Go out there and do Big Man Shit for 10 mins”). “Speedball” Mike Bailey making his anticipated Impact debut, winning a four-way match over AAA’s Laredo Kid, “The Ultimate Finesser” Chris Bey of the Bullet Club, and “The Inevitable” Ace Austin, pinning Austin with a double knee driver into his back in an exciting X Division showcase.
Fantastic cold open video featuring some of the talent who have suffered legit, serious injuries such as Eddie Edwards and Rosemary. It was dark and somber and one of the best they’ve done since the passing of legendary voiceover man, Barry Scott.
Tasha Steelz Wins First-Ever Knockouts Ultimate X Match
In a ringmaster outfit, with Marvel’s Captain Marvel color scheme, Tasha Steelz won the first-ever Knockouts Ultimate X match over Chelsea Green, Rosemary, Digital Media Champion Jordynne Grace, Alisha, and Lady Frost.
Each woman got to look good and showcase their own individual strengths. The finish saw Frost make the wrong decision and choose to dive onto Rosemary, Havok–who had come to help her Decay partner–and Savannah Evans–who had come out to help her partner, Steelz– instead of going for the X, leaving it wide open for Steelz, Grace, and Green to go for it, with Steelz out-scrapping Green for it. A typically fun Ultimate X match and a strong start for the show and the KO division. Classy move from new lead commentator Tom Hannifan and Impact to pay tribute to former TNA/Impact commentators.
Trey Miguel (c) defeated Steve Maclin
For the Impact X Division Championship
Steve Maclin came up short, challenging Trey Miguel for the X Division championship. It has to be the best-televised match of his career. Miguel is easily one of the best faces in the industry. This was a big win for him as the first man to pin Maclin in Impact and settling a heated feud that started on BTI this past summer. Did anyone think during Maclin’s WWE Forgotten Sons days he would be a great X Division contender?
In a good backstage interview with Madison Rayne, Tenille Dashwood, and Kaleb Witha K–The Influence–the rescheduled KO World tag title match against the champions, Jessica McKay and Cassie Lee, the IInspiration, will be on the January Ft Lauderdale show. Dashwood with the win with how the champs were unprofessional with two us for not showing up for work.
Jonathan Gresham (c) defeated Chris Sabin
Pure Rules match for the ROH World Championship
For the first time ever, the Ring of Honor World title was defended on an Impact broadcast. Champion Jonathan Gresham successfully defended the ROH World Championship against Chris Sabin under Pure rules. If you thought this was going to be good, you were still underselling it. A classic technical wrestling match. They did a great job of explaining Pure rules and reinforcing them throughout the match. Outstanding work by Hannifan and guest commentator Ian Riccaboni in giving great background that this wasn’t just a random match but a title match Sabin had been owed for years.
Josh Alexander defeated Jonah
Getting a measure of revenge on the man who laid him out twice, “The Walking Weapon” Josh Alexander forced JONAH to submit to the anklelock in a smash-mouth brawl. Great match that saw Alexander busted open (the first wrestler to get color but not the last) and JONAH showing how good a big man he really is. I could go for a rematch here.
Rhino, Heath, Swann, Mack, and Edwards defeated Violent By Design and The Good Brothers
For those of us that like old school, stiff brawling with blood and plunder, Hardcore War was for us. Completely different than all the great wrestling with the team of Rhino, HEATH, Rich Swann and Willie Mack and Eddie Edwards beat Violent By Design–Eric Young, Deaner, and Joe Doering–and world tag champs, the Good Brothers–Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson. Great back and forth brawl. The highlight might have been Edwards setting his kendo stick on fire and hitting Gallows in the back with it, eliciting a “You sick f–k!” chant.
With Rhino pinning Anderson with a Gore, he and HEATH look to be in line for a tag title shot. That had to take a backseat as the winning team was ambushed by The OGK–Matt Taven and Mike Bennett, late of ROH and the NWA–hit the ring and were followed up by Vincent, with who Taven had a hot feud within ROH and then PCO (a guy who should fit Impact extremely well, as if they needed more monsters). They were then joined in triumph by Maria Kanellis-Bennett. The business has been insane lately and this was just one more bit of crazy.
Moose (c) defeated Matt Cardona and W. Morrissey
For the Impact World Championship
In a three-way, no disqualification match, world champion Moose held off the challenges of Matt Cardona and W. Morrissey in a chaotic world title match that had a little bit of everything. Those three guys set a hard pace and never let up. Some great false finishes and a terrific callback to the angle of Cardona striking Green, who had come out to assist him, with a chair a few weeks ago. I was surprised it was Cardona who took the fall. It looks like the next challenge for Moose will be Morrissey, who was not pinned.
Main Event: Mickie James (c) defeated Deonna Purrazzo
Texas Deathmatch for the Impact Knockouts Championship
Main event participants Knockouts World champion Mickie James and AAA Reinas de Reinas “The Virtuosa” Deonna Purrazzo must have seen all this action and thought “We can do that.” and did it in a phenomenal Texas Deathmatch for the Knockouts World title. It wasn’t always clean and always looking overly rehearsed and that’s what I loved. Felt like a real fight and somehow ratcheted up the intensity of an already off-the-charts show.
Sitting ringside was Purrazzo’s opponent for Thursday (TV time) Rok-C, ROH Women’s champion. They didn’t just break out tables and chairs, Purrazzo had thumbtacks and James’ bump into them legit made me yell “G0tdamn!!” James won and will be in the WWE Royal Rumble as the KO World champion.
You could not ask for a better show. Great action where literally everyone shined. The closing out of long-time rivalries and the start of brand new stories. The standard has been set.
Thanks for reading! Tell us what you thought about the Impact Wrestling Hard to Kill 2022 in the comment section below or on our social media platforms. Use the hashtags #DDTDivas and #HardToKill
Reviews by Dave is the best wrestling review on the internet! It’s written by David Houston II, who writes about Impact Wrestling pay-per-view.
David E Houston II he’s attended small independent shows with less than 100 people and large stadium shows with over 20,000 fans and live worldwide pay-per-views.