Preview by Josh Nason
Tonight's Impact Wrestling on AXS TV will be all about the build to Saturday's Hard To Kill pay-per-view, complete with an appearance by the AEW World Champion as he prepares for his first ever match in the company.
Kenny Omega and Impact VP Don Callis will be making an appearance on Tuesday to build up Saturday's six-man tag team main event featuring Omega and Impact Tag Team Champions The Good Brothers against Impact World Champion Rich Swann and the Motor City Machine Guns. Speaking of the main event, Swann will be in non-title action against Karl Anderson Tuesday.
In other action, Taya Valkyrie will prepare for her Knockouts title opportunity Saturday with a match against Deonna Purrazzo's friend Kimber Lee, Cody Deaner will face Tommy Dreamer in a preview of another six-man tag team match at Hard To Kill, and Tenille Dashwood will go one-on-one with Rosemary.
Live coverage kicks off at 8 PM Eastern.
Opening video recapped last week’s attack by Callihan and Shamrock on Eddie Edwards, a recap of the ongoing feud between Swann and the MCMGs vs Omega and the Good Brothers, who debuted for AEW last week, also shown here.
Kimber Lee (w/ Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo) defeated Taya Valkyrie (w/ Rosemary)
Valkyrie is challenging for the title in 4 days at Hard To Kill, before that though, she is taking on Purrazzo’s second -- Kimber Lee.
Match saw a dominant Valkyrie early in the match, right before she went for a dive and ran straight into a trap. Lee kept control, cutting off Taya when she tried to start a comeback. It wasn’t until Lee went for a swanton bomb that Taya countered with her knees up, that she managed to make a strong comeback.
At one point, Purrazzo tried interfering and distracting Taya, only for Rosemary to confront her. Suddenly, Susan came out and joined forces with Purrazzo attacking Rosemary. The distraction was enough for Lee to roll Taya from behind and get the upset win.
Weird that they would pin Taya right before the pay per view, but it was a good tease that Purrazzo has Susan with her going in to the match on Saturday.
- Kenny Omega, the Good Brothers, and Callis all talked about Hard To Kill in their bus. Callis said that they need momentum and so they need Anderson to be the real Machine Gun out there tonight against Rich Swann.
- We got our weekly AEW commercial with Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone. Khan had his usual shots at Impact about him allowing Omega to be there and paying the bills. Schiavone ran down the card for Wednesday’s Dynamite. They talked about Brian Cage being a former Impact World Champion, plus some trash on the Good Brothers.
- We got a video package for Edwads vs Callihan, where Sami Callihan cut a promo about going to war one last time in Impact’s most brutal match in their history -- Barbed Wire Massacre. Callihan said that he at least has had experience in this match before.
- Josh Matthews and Madison Rayne ran down the Hard To Kill card, as well as tonight’s matches.
Rohit Raju & Chris Bey defeated X-Division Champion Manik & Suicide
Rohit Raju and Chris Bey have a long history with TJP, who they believe to be under the Manik mask. Last week, in a plan to unmask him, they challenged TJP to tag with Manik for a tag match. Instead they’re getting Manik and Suicide in a match for some reason.
Match was full of double team moves and stereo spots. Bey and Raju kept trying to go after the mask of Manik, but instead, we got a lot of Manik and Suicide tricking them.
Once the referee got control of the match, Bey and Raju cut off Suicide for a while. Manik got the hot tag which only last about a minute before Suicide came back in. They went tornado tag for a couple of minutes, with Raju getting close to pinning Manik, but instead he kept wanting to unmask him, causing him the pin, but fortunately for him, Bey came in took out Suicide with the art of finnese and won the match. Good match, but booking made it seem like they forgot about last week.
Manik will defend the championship against both Bey and Raju on Saturday.
- Taya and Rosemary talked backstage about having to deal with Susan this Saturday.
Cody Deaner (w/ Eric Young & Joe Doering) defeated Tommy Dreamer (w/ Rhino & Cousin Jake) by DQ
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. Last week, Dreamer came to the aid of Rhino and Cousin Jake as they were getting beat up by the trio. These 6-man will meet on Hard To Kill in an old school rules match.
Doering got himself involved early on, so the referee kicked out Rhino and Doering to the back.
The match wasn’t particularly good. Dreamer got a lot of offense over Deaner, with the couple of exceptions that Doering and Young would distract Dreamer. Finish came quick when Deaner antagonized Cousin Jake until he was fed up and finally attacked his cousin for the DQ. This was more of an angle than a match.
After the match, Rhino and Doering returned, all men brawled, but it was Doering that ruled the ring. Deaner hit the Deaner DDT on Cousin Jake. Young hit a piledriver on Dreamer.
- We got a full recap of the Knockouts Tag Team Championship Tournament, going over all the matches leading to the finals where Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz take on Havok & Nevaeh for the returning titles.
Both teams signed the contracts for the match with D’Amore officiating over it. Hogan and Steelz talked a lot of trash until Havok and Nevaeh shut them up with a hand on their throats.
After they left, Brian Myers wanted to talk with D’Amore about getting an opportunity. He listed all the men he has defeated, but was interrupted by Josh Alexander. D’Amore proposed they have a pins and submissions match only between the two.
Rosemary defeated Tenille Dashwood (with Kaleb with a K)
Not a lot of history between them, we saw Dashwood approach Rosemary last week, giving her some backhanded support once Rosemary gets forgotten by Taya, who could potentially win the title again on Saturday. It helps for Dashwood’s case that Taya wasn’t out there to second Rosemary in this match.
Ok match. Rosemary was dominant and vicious early on, but after she tried to attack Kaleb and got hairspray in return, Dashwood gained control of the match. Dashwood beat up Rosemary, going after her neck. Rosemary made a comeback, she managed to block Dashwood’s spotlight kick.
At the end, Kaleb tried to interfere, but Crazzy Steve came out to run him away. Dashwood tried using the hairspray on Rosemary again, but was caught, and instead, Rosemary used the spray on Dashwood, speared her, and got the win.
Seems like Rosemary and Steve will join forces once again, which at this point could be setting up in case Taya indeed leaves Impact.
- We got a promo by Rich Swann. He addressed Karl Anderson, telling him that they’re days away from kicking his, Gallows’, and Omega’s behinds. He reminded Anderson that everyone is banned from ringside tonight. Good promo.
- We got a recap of the The North vs Good Brothers feud that led to the dissension between Ethan Page and Josh Alexander, which also unfortunately led to Ethan Page feuding with himself.
Moose defeated Matthew Palmer
Last week, Palmer answered Moose’s 3 minute challenge match and successfully survived thanks to the technicality that Willie Mack distracted Moose. He gets an actual match now. Moose got himself a Impact World title match at Genesis after Rich Swann offered it as long as Moose would stop beating up Mack in their I Quit Match.
This was a squash match if you’ve ever seen one. Moose even asked Palmer to attack him with dropkicks that Moose just pushed away. Palmer had a hope spot connecting Moose with a couple of jumping knees, but was quickly stopped with a series of book ends. Referee stopped the match after Moose knocked out Palmer with elbows and wouldn’t let go.
Moose just played with this kid, which was what should have happened last week if Mack hadn’t interfered. We are still awaiting a date for Moose’s title shot.
- We got a recap of the union of Don Callis and AEW’s Kenny Omega, his title win on Dynamite, and how it all trickled down into a feud between Impact World Champion Rich Swann & the Motor City Machine Guns versus Omega and the Good Brothers.
Impact World Champion Rich Swann defeated Karl Anderson in a non-title match
Four days before Kenny Omega and the Good Brothers face off with Rich Swann and the MCMGs, Swann and Anderson are going at it one-on-one in a non-title match, battling for momentum. Both men’s teams were shown watching the match on monitors, as everyone was banned from ringside.
Match saw Swann have the upper hand early on, using his speed advantage to overtake Anderson. It wasn’t long however, that Anderson cut off Swann and started working over Swann’s left arm and shoulder, throughout the match, he kept switching between submissions on the arm, or shoving Swann shoulder-first into the guardrail and corner posts.
Swann slowly but surely, made a comeback by catching Anderson with kicks and punches, countering every time Anderson would rush at him. While Swann was still weak, Anderson seemed to be getting back control of the match, but out of nowhere, Swann rolled up Anderson and got the quick pin for the win. Really good match.
After the match, Omega and Gallows attacked Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin in the locker room. Swann and Anderson joined in and all six men brawled in the room as the show ended.
- We got one final rundown of the Hard To Kill’s card, including the newly announced match of Rosemary & Crazzy Steve vs Tenille Dashwood & Kaleb with a K.
Final Thoughts --
This was a good show: somewhat uneventful, but as a go-home show, it touched on all the matches for Hard To Kill and built on them. In-ring wise, the main event was surely the best match of the night, but the rest were ok, too.