Preview by Josh Nason
Over a month after he made his debut on Impact Wrestling following his AEW World Championship victory, Kenny Omega will step into an Impact ring for the first time in the main event of Hard to Kill.
He will team with Impact Tag Team Champions and former Bullet Club teammates The Good Brothers to take on Impact World Champion Rich Swann, Moose and Chris Sabin in a six-man tag. Moose replaced Alex Shelley who was pulled from the card Friday because he couldn't make it to Nashville.
In general, the pay-per-view has a little something for everyone as there will be three title matches including new Knockouts Tag Team Champions being crowned, a barbed wire massacre, and a match where Ethan Page will face his alter ego, The Karate Man.
Our live coverage kicks off at 7 p.m. Eastern time as Josh Alexander faces Brian Myers on the pre-show with the main card kicking off at 8 p.m. Eastern.
Jon Burton, Madison Rayne, and Scott D'Amore are hosting the pre-show event.
We got a backstage segment with Kenny Omega, Don Callis, and the Good Brothers analyzing Moose's introduction to the main event. Callis hinted putting Moose's contract over his head, as a means to convince him to aid the Omega, Anderson, and Gallows team tonight.
We got a promo from Sami Callihan. He promised chaos and violence, and while everyone is talking about the main event right now, at the end, they'll be talking about Barbed Wire Masscre IV.
Brian Myers defeated Josh Alexander
After the dissension between The North, Josh Alexander has been trying to find himself. Myers has been rising in the ranks, but also can’t seem to get the opportunity he feels he has earned. A couple of weeks ago, Myers proposed that Alexander and him joined forces, but after Alexander rejected the idea, the two started a rivalry to show who is the better of the two. Myers has a win over Alexander, who is now trying to show that it was a fluke.
Match saw Myers control most of the match. Early in the match, Myers managed to throw Alexander off the top rope into the floor, and thus successfully cut him off. Alexander made a comeback by striking Myers off the ring and getting some time to recover. They traded a couple of near falls towards the end, including Myers pulling on Alexander’s tights. Myers would end up winning by pulling down Alexander’s headgear, blinding him, and delivering his lariat for the win. Good stuff from both men, they got a good amount of time.
Myers is now 2-0 against Alexander, so at this point a tag team between the two seems less likely.
Impact has added fake crowd noise to the broadcast. It’s taking me off since it has been months, but I’m hoping I’ll be accustomed to it by the end of the show.
Ace Austin and Madman Fulton joined the analysis table. He talked about his rise to the top in the last two years, and that 2021 will be no different, being the Super X Cup winner only two weeks in on the year. Austin said that he should be in tonight’s card, but isn’t.
Madison Rayne announced her retirement from wrestling.
Matt Striker & D'lo Brown are debuting as the new commentary team.
Opening video recapped the Omega & Good Brothers vs Swann & MCMGs feud, including replacing Alex Shelley with Moose and Swann's issues with it.
Decay (Rosemary & Crazzy Steve) defeated Tenille Dashwood & Kaleb with a K
Decay reunited on the last Impact episode before the pay per view, when Crazzy Steve came out to counter Kaleb while Rosemary and Dashwood wrestled. Dashwood and Kaleb had been messing with Rosemary about her being left behind now that Taya was focused on the title again.
Story of the match was that Kaleb was a doofus of a wrestler, but a cheating doofus that would cheat as a means for Dashwood to get the upper hand on Rosemary. It would be Dashwood and Kaleb’s overconfidence that would end up costing them the control they had over Rosemary, as they went for the whazzap headbutt that would give Rosemary the opening to counter and tag in Steve. Later on, when they managed to cut off Steve for a couple of minutes, he too got the time to counter them when Dashwood and Kaleb stopped to take selfies.
Finish Steve and Rosemary hit Dashwood and Kaleb with the green mist respectively, leading to Steve hitting the second rope DDT for the win. Ok match, Kaleb and Crazzy Steve had a good performance.
- Striker and Brown ran down tonight's card.
Violent By Design (Eric Young, Joe Doering, & Deaner) defeated Tommy Dreamer, Rhino, & Cousin Jake in an Old School Rules Match
Young and Doering have been roughing up people for weeks now, Rhino and the Deaners some of their victims. When it seemed like they could get the upper hand, Cody Deaner turned on his cousin and joined EY’s group. Dreamer joined the trio when he came to the aid of Rhino and Cousin Jake after a beating from EY’s group, and ended making the challenge for Hard To Kill.
Violent By Design are all wearing matching gear.
Early on, the match built to the Deaner vs Cousin Jake confrontation, and the Rhino vs Doering one. After some minutes brawling outside the ring, Doering confronted all three babyfaces, wielding chairs, and while he took some damage, Doering was able to bring down all babyfaces, building him as a monster. His match-long story was that no one could get him off his feet, not even with dives, it would take a Gore from Rhino to finally do it.
Towards the end, all men took turns at each other, starting with Dreamer dropping EY on thumbtacks, but after everyone had their turn, it would be Young that would drop Cousin Jake with a piledriver for the win. This was pretty good, Joe Doering is amazing.
During this match, they would occasionally cut to a tri-screen look, either showing three different angles of a spot, or just each of the pair ups in this match.
- We got a segment with Swann and Sabin meeting Moose. Swann told Moose that he didn't trust him, he said that it should be Willie Mack instead, but Moose had injured him. Moose explained that he hates them both, but when it comes to Impact, he bleeds Impact and he won't allow any outside to come in and disrespect them promotion. Moose was amazing, total babyface.
Fire & Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz) defeated Havok & Nevaeh in the Knockouts Tag Team Championship Tournament Finals
We’ve finally reached the finals of the tournament. Havok and Nevaeh defeated Dashwood & Alisha Edwards and the team of Jordynne Grace & Jazz on their path to the finals. On the other hand, Hogan & Steelz defeated the Sea Stars and the team of Rosemary and Taya Valkyrie to make it to the finals.
This was a power vs speed match. Havok and Nevaeh dominated early on, it wasn’t until Hogan and Steelz managed to double team Havok behind the referee’s back, that they managed to cut her off. It was a bit weird seeing Havok become the babyface in peril, but it helped that Hogan and Steelz are constantly moving, constant attacks, and quick tags, and at the end, it all made sense when she made her comeback and got the tag to Nevaeh. Finish would come a couple of minutes later when Hogan pinned Nevaeh while Steelz held off Havok outside the ring.
There was a spot that seemed to be a tower of doom spot, but instead, Havok turned it into a double powerbomb on both Hogan and Steelz.
The right team won, even in disadvantage, the tag team work between Hogan and Steelz was far superior. This is Hogan and Steelz’ first championships in the promotion.
Gail Kim and Madison Rayne, former tag champs, came out to crown the new champions.
Brian Hebner made his return to the promotion in this match.
- Backstage, Decay approached Taya about backing her in tonight’s match. Taya asked them to stay behind because she wanted to do this by herself.
- Ace Austin and Madman Fulton came out to cut a promo. Austin said that it was a waste of his time to only have him talking in the pre-show, so instead told D'Amore to add him to the X Division match tonight, as he was the rightful winner of the Super X Cup. D'Amore came out and gave him another match instead.
Matt Cardona defeated Ace Austin (with Madman Fulton) by DQ
Matt Cardona is making his Impact debut tonight.
This was a fast paced match, back and forward, but quite short. It all built to Cardona getting close to finishing up Austin before Fulton interfered and attacked Cardona for the DQ. After the match, Cardona cleared the ring.
X Division Champion Manik defeated Chris Bey and Rohit Raju to retain the title
TJP (Manik’s real identity), Bey, and Raju have been feuding for a couple of months for the X Division title, they’ve traded the title a couple of times before. The story comes down to TJP having to mask himself as Manik in order to challenge Raju and win the title, and now Bey and Raju, as they chase the title, are focused on trying to unmask him.
This was awesome. Commentary sold this perfectly, explaining that this was a brawler vs technician vs flyer match. Raju and Bey never pretended to be on the same side, they’ve worked together against TJP before, but have never been friends. The story of the match instead was Bey and Raju racing each other to get their hands on Manik, which led to some great 3 person spots. A great spot saw Manik go for a mamba splash on Raju, but get caught midair by a springboard cutter from Bey.
The match built to Raju finally unmasking Manik, but underneath the mask, was a face painted TJP, that commentary pretended not to recognize.
At the end, all three men traded near falls, constantly stealing them from each other. They had a throwback to how Raju once stole the title from both men. It would be Manik that would get the win with a snap pin on Raju after he had done the work on Bey.
- Backstage, Alisha Edwards pleaded to Eddie to let her be out there with him. Eddie forbade her, he had to do this alone and couldn't risk having her out there, knowing what Callihan and Shamrock are willing to do. Alisha promised she wouldn't go out there.
Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo (with Kimber Lee & Susan) defeated Taya Valkyrie (with Decay) to retain the title.
After Taya and Rosemary eliminated the team of Purrazzo and Lee from the Knockouts Tag Team Tournament, Purrazzo decided to go after Taya. Purrazzo is out to show that she is the greatest Knockouts Champion by defeating the longest reigning champion in the belt’s history. Taya is on her path to reclaiming such title.
The match, really early on, broke down into a brawl with Rosemary and Kimber Lee wrestling each other outside the ring, Crazzy Steve and Susan arguing, and so the referee sent everyone to the back, leaving only the wrestlers.
Once everything was under control in the ring, Purrazzo cut off Taya and started working on her left arm, as is her usual mode of operation. Yet, this time around, Purrazzo started targeting Taya’s leg too, she would lock in the arm, and pull the leg for a half Boston crab.
In return, Taya’s game was mostly based on striking and big slams or suplexes that could cut off Purrazzo’s offense. The damage was enough though, that when she went for an early road to Valhalla, her knee buckled, so she had to change her offense to submissions or moves like the curb stomp that wouldn’t require putting weight on her knee.
Finish would come soon after Taya’s comeback when Purrazzo hit a Mistica, brought down Taya with the Fujiwara armbar, and finally locked Venus de Milo for the verbal submission. Really good, but not long enough.
Taya cried in the ring after the match.
- We got a comedy skit with Acey Romero and John E. Bravo about the whole shooting thing that I thought had been forgotten. Romero discovered that Larry D had been framed by one of the Knockouts.
Karate Man defeated Ethan Page
The story behind this is that Page had a mental breakdown when he and Alexander couldn’t regain the tag team titles after losing them to the Good Brothers. Suddenly, we were introduced to Page’s alter ego, Karate Man, who he’ll now wrestle.
This was nothing, just Ethan Page doing a bunch of kicks and punches like 1992 Mortal Kombat, including Karate Man ripping Page's heart out. This was terrible, they broke up The North for this.
For anyone that has never been into cinematic matches or the Undead Realm, don’t watch this. This was Ethan Page figuring out how to use a green screen and double exposure. If anything else, this was the break that the Impact team needed to set up Barbed Wire Massacre.
- Don Callis met with Moose. Callis put Moose over and brought up his contract saying they have a big future together, but that it will be terrible if something happens with Omega tonight and they get sued and they can’t keep contractual obligations. Moose told Callis that no matter who he teams with, he plays to win. Once he is done with Omega, he’ll win Swann’s title, and maybe he’ll show up on AEW and take Omega’s title too. Total babyface!
Eddie Edwards defeated Sami Callihan in Barbed Wire Massacre IV
This feud goes back years and many violent battles. It all rekindled after Edwards backed up Swann after Callihan and Shamrock had made attempts to capture the World title, and thus Callihan once again went after Edwards, his wife, and the eye he once legit injured. This blood feud has reached a level of intensity that not many feuds in Impact history have reached, and that is the famed Barbed Wire Massacre, this being only the 4th installment of such stipulation.
Ring is surrounded by barbed wire, barbed wire weapons, one side of the ring has a cage wall wrapped in barbed wire, bringing me back to old CZW.
Story of the match was that Edwards was wrestling angry and hot headed, and that led him to wreckless risks that the calmer Callihan would take advantage of. Edwards was playing in Callihan’s sandbox, and if he wanted to win, had to either turn this into a wrestling match, or go down to Callihan’s level.
This got bloody really early, it was a couple of minutes that Edwards wrapped barbed wire around Callihan’s forehead to cut him up. Edwards was busted open a couple of minutes later when he went for a tope suicida and Callihan caught him with a barbed wire board that he crashed through.
The brawl continued with both men trading control, utilizing some of the weapons around the ring. Callihan used an N64 controller wrapped in barbed wired, while Edwards used a chair, also wrapped in barbed wire. At one point, both men tried to make this a Taipei Deathmatch, by wrapping their fists in barbed wire.
There was a cool spot where Edwards and Callihan had their hands on each other’s signature weapons, which they decided to trade before going at it. A small glimpse of respect between the two.
Towards the end, we got some big near falls, one where Callihan hit a piledriver from the second rope into a barbed wire board bed. We had a callback to the eye accident but wrapped in barbed wire, only for Edwards to block it with a low blow, hit the BKP and the Emerald Flowsion for the win. This was great, it was brutal and bloody.
After the match, Alisha came out to help Eddie to the back.
- Rebellion pay per view takes place on April 24th.
AEW World Champion Kenny Omega & the Impact Tag Team Champions The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows) (with Don Callis) defeated Impact World Champion Rich Swann, Self-Proclaimed TNA World Champion Moose, and Chris Sabin
This was originally supposed to be Swann and the Motor City Machine Guns, but at the last minute, Shelley announced that he would not be able to travel to Nashville for the match, and thus Impact offices have replaced him with Moose, who is the no. 1 contender to Swann’s World title.
The story here goes back to December when Kenny Omega won the AEW World title thanks to the aid of Impact’s EVP Don Callis. The next week, Omega made his first appearance as the champion on an Impact show, and immediately got to work, befriending his former Bullet Club mates, Anderson and Gallows, but also antagonized the Impact World Champion -- Rich Swann.
Moose looks like a million dollars tonight. Good Brothers and Omega came out with Bullet Club gear, they pointed to the logo on several occasions. Don Callis made Omega’s special introduction.
Match had an interesting layout. Both Sabin and Swann had babyface in peril runs, but in between each, the Impact team would have crazy babyface comebacks with all men running wild with dives and triple team moves.
Storyline wise, mostly everything was said before the match, but they made the point that in the Omega and Good Brothers team, only Omega was going for pins, like if the Good Brothers were doing the work for Omega; whereas for the Impact team, all men got near falls on Kenny Omega on different occasions.
It was until the end that the match came down to Swann and Omega. Swann had some great near falls hitting the 450, but at the end, it was Omega hitting the One Winged Angel on Swann for the win. Great match, 100% delivered, Moose was the MVP if you ask me.
The AEW World Champion just pinned the Impact World Champion.