Opening video - Awesome, i've been seeing this stuff for a month or so, but just now, they revealed that the men in suits with bats were oVe after all. Fulton in a suit is something special.
Call Your Shot Gauntlet Match
Eddie Edwards vs Lester the Legend vs Adam Thornstowe vs Cousin Jake vs Cody Deaner vs Mabahali Shera vs Rohit Raju vs Raj Singh vs Havok vs Rosemary vs Johnny Swinger vs Kiera Hogan vs Swoggle vs Joey Ryan vs Madman Fulton vs Jordynne Grace vs Kylie Rae vs Tommy Dreamer vs Fallah Bahh vs Sabu - 5/10
Rules are over the top, with the final two going for Pinfalls and submissions too. Eddie Edwards is entering #1 for being the runner up in last Impact's Battle Royal. The winner -- Mahabali Shera, is entering #20. Winner of the Gauntlet gets a title shot to the championship of their choosing.
The match was a Gauntlet, it has ups and downs, it's mostly spots with down time in between, but they managed to time it out nicely to have people come out when the spots were done. Most newsworthy spots were Joey Ryan doing his Penis stuff. Fulton running wild and eliminating Rosemary and Havok. Swoggle hitting Superkicks. Kylie Rae's debut. Sabu being old. And Shera being a monster.
Final four were Bahh, Eddie, Fulton, and Shera. Bahh went out quickly. Fulton and Shera faced off, but Eddie got in between the action and eliminated Fulton, who dragged Eddie under the ropes and hit an ApronBomb. Back in the ring, Shera charged at Eddie, but Eddie dodged and nailed a desperation Boston Knee Party and pinned Shera to win the match. Not the best wrestling, but this was fun and we got a couple of good surprises.
Don Callis and Josh Matthews ran down the card and announced that Brian Cage has requested that the main event be a No Disqualification Match.
Knockout's Championship Match
Taya Valkyrie (C) w/John E. Bravo vs Tenille Dashwood - 6.5/10
Taya won with Road To Valhalla after some shenanigans with Bravo saving Taya from a pin when Tenille hit The Spotlight. Ok match, but it was the Tenille we've seen since her debut. I'm glad they kept the title with Taya to keep building her record breaking reign, and well, do we even know if Tenille is staying for good?
Rhino & RVD Promo - Ok, they said that they're winning the titles tonight.
Impact Tag Team Championship Match
The North (C) vs Rich Swann & Willie Mack vs Rob Van Dam & Rhino - 7.5/10
This match started kinda slow, it was mostly The North working with everyone, but as the time went on, it got really good, The North are just fucking good.
The big thing about this match was when RVD was going for the 5-Star Frog Splash, he was blocked, but on the other corner, Willie Mack mocked RVD and hit the 6-Star Frog Splash. RVD looked pissed, and in the payoff to a promo that RVD has been cutting for a while, RVD turned heel and attacked Rhino, Swann, and Mack. RVD left the ring and Swann was easy pickems for The North to kill and retain their titles.
Ace Austin Skit - Backstage, Ace Austin came in to the women’s locker room in a towel only, looking for Alisha Edwards. He said that next time she sees him, he’ll be X-Division Champion.
Michael Elgin vs Naomichi Marufuji - 8/10
This was really good, but it was like a fast-forward version of a Japanese match. They did the usual chain-wrestling into shoulder tackles into strikes stuff really really quick at the start. From there on, they had a strong style match, lots of chops, but not at the level of Marufuji in NOAH.
The crowd was completely behind the idea of Marufuji winning, so it was heard seeing Elgin get more and more offense, but even when Elgin pinned Marufuji with one of his overkill combos, the crowd just kinda respected Elgin now. There were some really great near falls in this match. My only wish is that this have had more time to pace the match better.
Side Note: Talking about timing and pacing, Rascalz vs AAA dudes was pulled from the show and will be shown on AXS tv this Tuesday instead, and it can only be due to time constraints.
X-Division Championship Ladder Match
Jake Crist (C) vs Ace Austin vs Tessa Blanchard vs Daga vs Acey Romero - 8.5/10
Tessa came out with a lucha style facemask, she went from Slammiversary gold to Bound For Glory platinum. Ace Austin botched his stick trick entrance. Acey Romero signed with Impact last night. For that matter, while Acey was being signed, Daga was winning Latin American titles in Mexico. Jake Crist dressed as Mordecai for some reason.
This was an X-Division ladder match, it had all those usual spots you get, but having Acey Romero and Tessa made it feel different from the rest. Arguably the most impressive spot was Acey Romero's table spot, he did the old from the top of the ladder to the table on the floor spot, but Acey is not exactly a dude that steps on the rope and falls gracefully, this dude hit hard, the momentum was so much that the ladder followed behind him. Go seek this spot's gif.
Climax saw Tessa go for the title, but Dave Crist ran down and tried to stop her. Tessa dove on Crist, but now Fulton came down and took Tessa down. Fulton took a table and while he set it up, Tessa climbed the ropes and went for Magnum, but Fulton blocked her. Tessa managed to turn it into a rana and sen him face first to the head. Tessa climbed and tossed Jake Crist into a table, but when Tessa had it, Ace Austin jumped into the ladder, stroke Tessa with his Gambit stick, and stole the championship. Fans were going crazy for Tessa winning and this finish was an eruption of heel heat. Awesome match.
Moose w/Frank Trigg vs Ken Shamrock - 4/10
This match had some of the best build up in the show, but between old man Shamrock being crazy out there and all the shenanigans, it really hurt the match. Within the first minutes of the match, Shamrock went for a dive and would have died if Moose wasn't a fucking superhero, Shamrock was going head first to the concrete floor, but Moose managed to catch him and divert enough to drop him nicely.
There was a lot of interference by Frank Trigg too, and it got to the point that he was barely hiding anymore. Finish saw Moose reverse the Ankle Lock, tossing Shamrock face first into an exposed turnbuckle, only to take the No Jackhammer Needed for the pin. If anything else, Shamrock's destruction derby made this worth watching.
Impact Presents 'Hard To Kill", their first pay-per-view of 2020.
Impact World Championship No DQs Match
"The Machine" Brian Cage (C) vs "The Draw" Sami Callihan - 7/10
Cage came out dressed as Weapon X, claws and all and went straight for Callihan, skipping introductions.
Callihan tried to strike Cage down, but Cage just beat him down. Callihan spat on Cage, who retaliated by biting him. This is heated, this is the only acceptable behavior Cage could show after Callihan piledrove Melissa Santos two weeks ago. The story here was pretty much that, you hurt Cage's wife, Cage is going to legit go out there and try to kill you.
This was an all out hardcore brawl. They piledrove each other on guardrails, they busted each other open, Cage straight up used the Wolverine claws to cut over Callihan's forehead. Broken tables, chairs, tacks, and at the end, Callihan hit the Cactus Special on tacks, which Cage kicked out at 1, went super saiyan, hit the Drill Claw and pinned Callihan. It's worth noting that oVe never came out to interfere, this was a straight up battle between two dudes that hate each other.
After the match, Melissa Santos came out to celebrate with Cage. This is the first time that Cage can properly celebrate being champion, since he’s been injured for most of his reign.
Good show overall. A lot of people really expected Tessa and Callihan to both win tonight and continue building their rivalry, but both of their matches tonight really delivered. I feels like Impact wants to allow Cage to have time to run as champ now that he’s healthier, and given that we’re going towards the winter break and the debut on AXS, it’s probably for the best to not play around with Callihan or Tessa as champions and risk them getting cold.