Preview by Josh Nason
The first Impact Wrestling of 2021 will feature AEW World Champion Kenny Omega, Don Callis, and Impact Tag Team Champions The Good Brothers nearly two weeks before they will headline Impact's Hard To Kill pay-per-view.
The three former Bullet Club members delivered a beatdown to Impact World Champion Rich Swann and the Motor City Machine Guns on the final 2020 regular edition of Impact, setting up their six-man tag match at Hard To Kill.
Tuesday's show will also feature Jordynne Grace and Jazz vs. Nevaeh and Havok in the last semifinal match of the Knockouts Tag Team Title tournament; Sami Callihan vs. Eddie Edwards in a battle of longtime rivals; Moose vs. Matthew Palmer in a last three minutes challenge match; Rhino and Cousin Jake vs. Eric Young and Joe Doering; and KC Navarro vs. Crazzy Steve vs. Blake Christian vs. Ace Austin in a preview of Saturday's Genesis Super X-Cup tournament on Impact Plus.
Opening video was a recap of AEW’s Kenny Omega’s involvement on Impact Wrestling, and how we came about the Hard to Kill main event between Omega and the Good Brothers vs Rich Swann and the Motor City Machine Guns.
Crazzy Steve defeated Ace Austin (with Madman Fulton), Blake Christian, and KC Navarro
These are four of the eight participants that will be wrestling at Genesis for the Super X Cup tournament. This is Ace Austin’s first match in about a month.
This match was a big showcase for Christian, from early on, he had a chance to show off versus Ace Austin. Even when Navarro seemed to be gaining momentum, Christian jumped in, took him out and once again got all eyes on him, at one point getting a big near fall on Austin with a Spanish fly and frog splash combo.
Towards the end of the match, we got a spot with all men taking turns to hit a dive, followed by everyone hitting some big moves, and at the end, Crazzy Steve pinned Navarro for the win.
Commentary sold this win as big momentum for Steve for the Super X Cup, but realistically, it seems prime for Ace Austin to win.
- Josh Matthews and Madison Rayne ran down the up to date card for Hard To Kill, as well as tonight’s card.
- We got the weekly commercial by Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone, once again taking shots about paying for Impact’s bills. They ran down the New Year’s Smash card. Khan took shots at Don Callis’ argument that he was the reason why AEW was created. Khan was in full promo mode tonight.
- Over at Omega’s bus, Omega, Anderson, Gallows, and Callis are all appraising the championships they hold. Callis said that we’re days away from Hard To Kill and they have to win it. Omega said that there is no combination in wrestling that could defeat them.
Cody Deaner & Joe Doering (with Eric Young) defeated Cousin Jake & Rhino
Cody Deaner has shaved his head as part of his new heel gimmick. He looks good. Deaner betrayed Cousin Jake at Final Resolution, when he joined EY’s stable.
This match served as the in-ring introduction of Doering, and the new heel gimmick of Deaner, so from the get go, they cut off Cousin Jake and worked over him for a while. Deaner was just overly vicious, with fast attacks, acting like a deranged man. Match finished when Deaner low blowed Jake after a distraction from EY, getting the pin afterwards.
There was the underlying story that Cousin Jake didn’t want to wrestle Cody and kept trying to talk sense into him, and thus, was easy to cut him off. Rhino however, kept forcing Jake to confront Deaner and finish him off.
After the match, EY was about to piledrive Cousin Jake when Tommy Dreamer ran down for the save, and between him and Rhino, ran off EY and company. Dreamer challenged them to a 3-on-3 old school rules at Hard To Kill.
- Gia Miller interviewed Matthew Palmer about his challenge with Moose tonight. He said that he wanted to get his foot in the door and while tearing up Moose’s shirt was an accident, he was gonna risk it all and face Moose instead of going home with shame.
- Back to this story, Acey Romero is investigating Johnny Swinger about Larry D being framed for Bravo’s shooting. Swinger pointed the finger at the Knockouts.
- Deonna Purrazzo and Kimber Lee came down to the ring. Purrazzo will be defending her championship at Hard To Kill against Taya Valkyrie. Here, she cut a promo on Valkyrie, asking what will be next once she locks in the Fujiwara armbar or hits the Cosa Nostra, does Valkyrie finally accept the reality that she’s done?
Valkyrie and Rosemary came out to confront them. Taya said that she’ll make it easy for Purrazzo to understand, she is the longest reigning Knockouts champion in history and while Purrazzo had an impressive 2020, she has never faced her.
Purrazzo said that Taya’s time has come and gone, Johnny Impact and Bravo are gone from her side, and the only thing she has to cling to is her record, the one that Purrazzo will break once she defeats her.
Taya said that Purrazzo is scared because she knows deep down that at Hard To Kill, she’ll humiliate her and end the era of the Virtuosa.
- Rohit Raju approached Chris Bey, he said that he forgives Bey from weasiling himself into the X Division title match at Final Resolution. Bey said that they won’t be even until he captures the X Division title, and so Raju offered to keep working together to unmask Manik so the title can be decided between them two.
They walked up to TJP, asking if he had seen Manik around. Raju said they wanted a tag match against TJP and Manik. TJP said that he and Manik don’t see eye to eye, but he’ll see what he can do. I’m actually surprised by how good and simple this plan is.
Havok and Nevaeh defeated Jordynne Grace & Jazz in a Knockouts Tag Team Championship Tournament Semifinal Match
This is the second semifinal of the Knockouts Tag Team Championship Tournament, the winners of this match advance to Hard To Kill to face off against Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz. Grace and Jazz defeated the team of Killer Kelly and Renee Michelle to advance, while Havok and Neveah defeated the team of Sea Stars.
This was a power vs power match, no matter the pair up, they went for strikes, tackles, and big moves. Match saw both teams trade control, at no point did it feel like it was one-sided. Early on, Havok and Nevaeh cut off Jazz for some minutes, followed by Grace and Jazz cutting off Nevaeh and working over her. At the end, the match broke down to tornado action, ending with Havok piledriving Jazz for the win, Grace had been laid out with a chokeslam a minute earlier.
Jazz looked fantastic, it’s rare to get to see her work as the smaller wrestler when paired up with Havok, but she worked it great.
It’ll be Havok & Nevaeh vs Hogan & Steelz at Hard To Kill. Surprised that Jazz lost at this point, I figured she’d at least make it to the finals, but by all means, she may not be available for the PPV.
- Miller interviewed Rich Swan, Alex Shelley, and Chris Sabin, who said that Impact was built on the backs of guys like the Machineguns and wrestlers like Swann, and they were not gonna allow Omega and company to just come in and think that they run the place.
Swann cut a promo on Omega telling him the title on his shoulder doesn’t say AEW, because this is Impact and he won’t allow any other champion to come in and run his mouth.
Shelley proposed they head over to the bus and kick some butt. Swann, Shelley, and Sabin called out Omega and the Good Brothers, but they were ready and jumped them from behind. They mocked them and stood tall at the end before going back to the bus.
- Backstage, Jazz looked for Grace, who apologized and said that she was frustrated for not being there for Jazz when she got pinned. Grace said that she was disappointed in herself for losing and for bringing back Jazz and having her postpone her retirement. Jazz said that it was all good and that she was happy to be able to mix it up with the young ones one last time.
Grace said that it would be an honor if she had another match in her, against her at Genesis. Jazz accepted.
- Somewhere else in the arena, Purrazzo and Lee asked James Mitchell if Su Yung was finally gone. Mitchell said that Su Yung was gone, but it was complicated, it wasn't Susie that was left. Out came a well dressed lady, who called herself Susan.
Matthew Palmer defeated Moose in a 3 minute challenge
A couple of weeks ago, during a pull apart between Moose and Willie Mack, one of the indie wrestlers, working as security, tore off Moose’s shirt, angering him, and provoking him to make a challenge to any of these indie geeks to last three minutes with him in the ring.
Palmer tried, but Moose dropped him with two book ends to cut him off, but instead of going for the pin, Moose kept stalking and mocking and striking Palmer. Moose hit a big powerbomb and prepared for the lights out, but Willie Mack came out to distract Moose so Palmer could win out of a technicality. Does Palmer really win if Moose never tried to pin him?
This is just gonna feed the Moose vs Willie Mack feud, and hopefully does something for Palmer in the promotion.
- Ethan Page was having therapy with Karate Man, talking about his career getting derailed after losing the titles. He blamed Impact and the roster, and then he got into an argument with Karate Man and challenged him to a fight at Hard to Kill. I agree, Karate Man is indeed a career derailment, how quickly did the best tag team of 2020 became a joke.
- Matthews and Rayne ran down the card for Genesis, including the Super X Cup, Jazz vs Jordynne Grace, Moose vs Willie Mack in an I Quit match.
Next week Impact’s will be main evented by Rich Swann vs Karl Anderson in a non-title match, kicking off Wrestle Week on AXS.
Sami Callihan vs Eddie Edwards ended in a no contest
The story between these two goes back years, but as of late, Callihan and Shamrock, who had been chasing Rich Swann, came upon Edwards again and re-injured Edwards’ eye, rekindling the feud between the two.
Before the match started, we saw both men already brawling down the ramp, using chairs and baseball bats on each other. They brawled around the ring with weapons for about 10 minutes, with zero objection by the referee, before the match officially started, and no more than 2 minutes in, the referee threw the match out because neither guy would follow the rules and kept pushing him around. The two kept brawling, hit some dives, and at the end, Edwards threaten to attack Callihan with the baseball bat, and so Callihan revealed that he had Alisha Edwards trapped and so Edwards run off to find her, but what he found was Ken Shamrock, who teamed up with Calllihan who once again, attacked him with the bat.
This was terrible, start to finish, the only thing that could save this feud at this point is the return of the American Wolves or something of the like. Edwards vs Callihan has been overdone.
Callihan’s right eye got busted open accidentally, but seemed well at the end.