This was a fantastic go-home show and really put World Champion Sami Callihan and his challenger Tessa Blanchard over huge.
As we kick off the show, Michael Elgin and Eddie Edwards were in a huge brawl at ringside. Edwards rolled in the ring, grabbed a mic, and said he didn't want to wait for Hard to Kill and wanted to break his ass New York City-style.
Michael Elgin defeated Eddie Edwards
Don Callis talked about each man being successful in Japan with Elgin winning the IWGP IC Title from Kenny Omega while Edwards was the GHC Champion in NOAH.
Match highlights: Elgin hit a big lariat, but Edwards absorbed it and landed some chops before machine gun chopping him in the corner. Elgin clubbed him, but Edwards got in more chops. Elgin then chopped the hell out of him before Edwards turned the table with a corner lariat sequence. Edwards ate a German, but used Elgin's prone position for a basement Boston Knee Party to the back of the head.
Elgin wanted a powerplex, but Edwards sunset bombed him. Elgin tried to absorb it, but couldn't, so Edwards forearmed him only to eat a lariat and then a running lariat for 2.5. Elgin got half-crabbed, but turned it into a crossface before getting cradled for 2. Elgin then hit a buckle bomb into the Elgin bomb for the pin and win. This was fantastic. Even in a wrestling stacked week, this was a very good match.
Later, their PPV encounter at Hard to Kill had its stakes raised with Edwards' Call your Shot title shot trophy put on the line. Callis called it a dream match despite it literally just being on this show minutes prior.
-- The North's year of dominance was showcased as well as the tag title shot gauntlet featuring Rich Swann and Willie Mack winning and The North trying to rip them apart.
Desi Hit Squad defeated TJP, Fallah Bahh and Daga
The babyface team is the most random assortment of humans since Lifeblood in ROH.
Match highlights: Shera buckle bombed Raju into Daga in the corner for 2. Raj hit a sliding dropkick and a senton for 2. TJP came in in and hit a second rope bodyblock on Raj. Bahh hit a somersault senton leading to a one count for TJP. Daga hit a run-up armdrag/head scissor on Raj and Shera before flip diving on everyone. TJP opened the ropes and Bahh hit a suicide dive on everyone. Daga avoided a tilt-a-whirl with a nice backstabber for 2.
TJP sunsetflipped Shera for two before TJP got hit with a sky high for the pin by Shera who has definitely improved a bit from his last stint in Impact even though he has a lot of work to do.
-- Mack and Swann talked about their tag title match Sunday. Mack said he doesn't want to hold Swann back. Swann said that last year, the only person he could count on was Willie Mack and he relied on Mack to be the man he needed to be here and in life. Swann knows Mack is hurt, but needs him for Sunday in the best condition he can be in and they have to live up to the show's name and be hard to kill to get the titles. This was not only great, effective hype for the title match, but tremendous character building work that makes a team out to be actual friends and not just professional allies.
-- OVE cut a promo about how hard it is to kill them and how Sunday isn't about Tessa Blanchard, it's about Sami Callihan. Fulton says that he'll take the World's Most Dangerous Man and break everything.
-- Johnny Swinger spiked Joey Ryan's drink with somas before Tommy Dreamer told him to grow up and wanted him to take a drink of his "delayed-release medication".
-- Ace Austin vs. Trey is hyped up with Austin hitting on his mother and Trey threatening to break his neck. This was the reverse of the Mack and Swann stuff in that it built things up, but did so in a way that didn't feel authentic.
-- We then got a lot of build to the World title match Sunday. The Callihan vs. Brian Cage steel cage match was recapped to build up for the PPV as was Callihan vs. Blanchard from Slammiversary. Callihan blames Blanchard for taking his moment away from him. Blanchard talked about growing up in North Carolina and how her mother says she is as stubborn as her father. Her sister talked about how her kids love Blanchard. Tessa said she only saw one of Tully's matches live before Magnum TA talked about fighting with Tully in the famous I Quit match.
Callihan said that he did everything he could as a kid to eventually get to pro wrestling. His family loved wrestling and his brothers grew out of it, but he didn't. Both of his parents died when he was in his 20s and his family is now what pro wrestling has given him. He was on a tour of Germany when his mother died and his father said that he should stay there because she wouldn't want him to miss out on his dream. His father died when he was in WWE developmental, but his father said before that to stay there and not deal with him.
A recap of their NYC street brawl is show and she said that she knows what his goons are capable of, but they can't stop her at Hard to Kill. Callihan said that everyone's a sinner, but he's a saint and the savior of Impact Wrestling. Blanchard said that she'll make history not due to her gender, but because she ended the reign of the most vile champion in company history. He closes the segment by saying that he will bash her skull in.
-- Backstage, Jim Mitchell led Havok to the ring and told Susie to stay in the back. That was quite the radical shift in tone out of nowhere. Rosemary comes out and has "it" in spades.
Havok (w/Jim Mitchell) defeated Rosemary
Susie came down to ringside and Callis gave her a headset. Mitchell took her away from the announce table leading to Callis getting mad at him for spilling his drink. He then politely demanded that someone "smoke this fool". Havok tombstoned Rosemary to win in nothing much of a match, mainly a backdrop to an angle.
ODB, Tenille Dashwood and Jordynne Grace defeated Kiera Hogan, Madison Rayne and Knockouts Champion Taya Valkyrie
Rayne mocked Dashwood's "all about me" deal before Callis made up a ton of facts about Rayne including that she was a 73-time champion and she was the best there was, is, and ever will be.
Some match highlights: ODB tagged in as did Taya leading to ODB plowing her down with tackles while using the flask to charge up. We got a bronco buster to Rayne and Taya in the corner. ODB hit the Bam on Taya before Grace tagged in for a splash off the second rope and went for a pin. However, OBD threw Grace to the outside and stole the pin, enraging Grace.
-- RVD was making out with Katie Forbes. Moose told him they have had issues before at Slammiversary but RVD has no memory of that and doesn't even know what day of the week it is. Swinger is passed out on the couch behind them. Petey and Joey Ryan walked up and Joey wanted a sharpie so he can draw on his face.
Rhino and Brian Cage defeated RVD and Moose
Cage worked with Moose for a bit before tagging in Rhino. Rhino backdropped him and chatted with the crowd for a bit. He really gets the crowd into everything he does. Callis talked about Rhino learning a lot of tricks with experience, and getting a nice reaction without doing anything is one of them. Rhino clotheslined Moose over the top and talked to the crowd more before a commercial break.
RVD basement dropkicked Rhino before Moose tagged in and bit Rhino. Rhino hit a big belly to belly and each tagged out. Cage hit a big lariat and RVD took a weird bump for it. RVD kicked him down and teased a rolling thunder before Cage elbowed him instead.
Cage hit an F5 on RVD, but Moose tagged in and clubbed Cage to the floor. Moose and Rhino slugged it out before Cage tornado DDTd Moose. RVD hit a flying kick to Cage before Rhino gored RVD. Moose sidestepped a corner gore and missed the five star frog splash. Rhino hit a gore on Moose and Cage hit a discus lariat for the pin and win.
We closed out with a hype video running down Sunday's Hard To Kill card.