IMPACT Hard to Kill Report: Title vs. Career, Full Metal Mayhem, Frankie Kazarian signs, Santino Marella is D.O.A.

Photo Courtesy: IMPACT Wrestling

IMPACT Wrestling Hard to Kill

January 13th, 2023

By: John Siino

Center Stage in Atlanta, GA

Commentary: Tom Hannifan & Matthew Rehwoldt

Countdown to Hard to Kill

  • 6-Way X-Division Match: KUSHIDA def. Angels, Yuya Uemura, Mike Jackson, Delirious & Mike Bailey by submission at 7:36
  • Delirious replaced Bhupinder Gujjar.
  • Kenny King was involved in the finish, attacking Bailey.
  • This was followed by an Avalanche Hoverboard Lock from KUSHIDA to Angels causing the tap out.
  • IMPACT X-Division Championship: Trey Miguel (c) def. Black Taurus (w/ Crazzy Steve) by pinfall at 10:37, to retain
  • Miguel had the referee distracted by taking away a spray paint can, just to use another one, spraying it in Taurus’ face, followed by the Lighting Spiral for the pin.

In Memory of Don West

The show started with the entire IMPACT roster on the stage for a 10-bell salute as tonight’s show is in tribute to the memory of Don West. Lisa Marie Varon (Tara/Victoria) was among them as well.

IMPACT World Championship Full Metal Mayhem Match: Josh Alexander (c) vs. Bully Ray

Bully Ray went and hid during his entrance, just to attack Josh Alexander from behind during his. Before the bell rang, Ray used the title belt on Alexander, busting him up, and tossed a table into the ring. Ray tossed Alexander in and told the referee to ring the bell, which he did after Alexander told him he was ready to fight. Right away, Ray grabbed Alexander and power-bombed him through the table for a two-count. Ray continued attacking Alexander with the title belt before grabbing a cheese grater from under the ring. As he went to use it, Alexander took him down with a punch and used the grater on Ray instead, knocking him to the outside, where Ray showed he was busted open as well. Alexander used a trash can lid on Ray before tossing him back inside to use the grater some more on Ray’s forehead. Alexander spilled a bag of thumbtacks into the ring, but Ray tried to escape just for Alexander to chase after him and hit him with chair shots. Alexander set Ray on a table and climbed a ladder, but Ray got up and tipped the ladder over for Alexander to fall into the ring, on top of the thumbtacks. Ray tried to go for the Bully Bomb, but Alexander reversed out and hit a German Suplex. Alexander wrapped a chain around his knee, and hit a knee strike off the ropes for a two count, followed by putting on the ankle lock, with the chain wrapped around Ray’s neck. The Good Hands (Jason Hotch & John Skyler) ran out to break it up and assisted Ray in hitting a 3D to Alexander on the thumbtacks as Alexander kicked out at two. Hotch & Skyler tossed tables into the ring, and we see a shot of a thumbtack stuck in Alexander’s head. They zip-tie Alexander to the ropes, as Ray goes to use a trash can. Tommy Dreamer comes to the ring and takes out Hotch & Skyler before facing off with Ray. Ray teases hitting him with a trash can, but hands it to Dreamer who then teases using it on Alexander, just to use it on Ray instead. Ray gets down from a Death Valley Driver attempt, and spears Dreamer through a table that was set up in the corner. Ray yells at Alexander to get up and starts hitting him in the head with the trash can. Josh Alexander’s wife Jen makes her way into the ring from the crowd and stands in between Alexander and Ray, as Ray screams at her to beg so he doesn’t hit her. Ray then screams at her to give him her wedding ring and goes to hit Alexander, just for Jen to hit a low blow on Ray, followed by a Sliced Bread #2 on Ray. Jen tosses a chair to Ray, as Alexander uses another one to smack into him. Alexander sets Ray on top of a table and hits a splash from the top of the ladder, but Ray kicks out at two. Alexander follows that by putting on the ankle lock as Ray taps out.

Winner: Josh Alexander by submission at 17:00, to retain

The Gathering

Mickie James is backstage with Lisa Marie Varon and says there is a lot of pressure tonight with this being a sold-out show and her being in the main event now. Varon says James always delivers and her friends and family are here and no matter what happens, she’s proud of her. Raven walks in and says he doesn’t think this is the end, and just wanted to be a part of this. CM Punk didn’t show up for this Gathering reunion.

IMPACT World Tag Team Championship 4-Way Elimination Match: The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) (c) vs. The Major Players (Matt Cardona & Brian Myers) vs. BULLET CLUB (Ace Austin & Chris Bey) vs. Heath & Rhino

All four teams start brawling before the bell rings eventually, it’s Brian Myers and Rhino to start the match. Heath tags, but Myers stays in control stopping Heath from trying to tag out but Heath comes back and catches Myers off the ropes for a power slam. Rhino & Matt Cardona come in, as Rhino hits a belly-to-belly for a two count. Cardona rolls up and pins Rhino to eliminate him and Heath. Cardona follows with a neckbreaker on Chris Bey, for a two-count. Ace Austin and Alex Shelley tag in, as the Motor City Machine Guns hit dragon screws to Austin on the ropes in the corner. Shelley puts a figure four on Austin, but he’s able to grab the bottom rope to break it up. Chris Bey is able to fight off the Major Players, before flipping off Austin to hit the Art of Finesse on Myers, followed by the Fold, as Austin pins Myers to eliminate the Major Players. The MCMG hit a Magic Killer on Bey, but Austin breaks it up. Bey is able to escape the Cradle Shock and hits another Art of Finesse off of Austin, but the Major Players get involved again to stop them before Sabin takes out them all out with a suicide dive. The MCMG follows with the Dirt Bomb on Bey, as Sabin gets the pin for the win.

Winners: The Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) by pinfall at 13:13, to retain.

Frankie Kazarian is Back Home

As the Motor City Machine Guns were on the stage celebrating, Frankie Kazarian made his way to the ring. Kazarian says it’s great to be back in Atlanta, Georgia and he’s had a lot of things on his mind. Kazarian said in his ‘home’ he was surrounded by strangers, and it didn’t feel right. Recently he had a decision to make and signed a long-term contract with IMPACT Wrestling, insinuating that he has left AEW. He ends it by saying that he is back home.

IMPACT Digital Media Championship: Joe Hendry (c) vs. Moose

Joe Hendry tried to speak on the mic before the bell, but Moose knocked it out of his hand. Hendry hit a suplex on Moose, but he got back and tossed Hendry to the outside, but Hendry reversed him into a Vertical suplex position but walked halfway around the ring before dropping him. Very impressive. Moose stays in control in the ring, but Hendry powers up after getting smacked and tosses Moose to the outside of the ring from a Fireman’s position. Hendry comes back with a cutter for a two count, as we see Kynah Forney, John Abraham, Brian Finneran & Alge Crumpler, who played on the Atlanta Falcons with Moose, sitting in the crowd. They head to the top rope, where Moose hits a superplex but both men are laid out. They both power up and trade roll-up pin attempts, before Moose hits a big clothesline. Hendry comes right back with a pop-up powerbomb for a two-count. Moose reverses out of the Standing Ovation and hits two Uranages, for two counts. Moose goes to grab the Digital Media title belt, but the referee takes it from home. Moose uses that distraction to hit a low blow followed by the spear for the pin and the win at 11:09.

Santino Marella comes out with the same accent and gimmick as he had in WWE and announces himself as the Director of Authority for IMPACT and is in full comedy mode talking about how they had to cancel the elephants for his arrival. Marella says he saw how Moose cheated and didn’t like it, and for his first act as Director of Authority, he starts the match over. They go back and forth before Hendry hits the Standing Ovation for the pin and the win.

Winner: Joe Hendry by pinfall at 11:52, to retain

Pit Fight This Thursday

We go to Kenny King backstage where he says people don’t like Mike Bailey and they are starting to trust King instead. King says his students from his school won’t trust Bailey after King attacked them and hypes up the Pit Fight this Thursday on IMPACT Wrestling, which has no ropes and you can win by knockout or submission only.

IMPACT Knockouts Championship #1 Contenders Match: Deonna Purrazzo vs. Masha Slamovich vs. Taylor Wilde vs. Killer Kelly

Killer Kelly comes out dressed as Freddy Kruger on Friday the 13th, she must not have gotten her Jason Voorhees mask in time. Masha Slamovich goes and clotheslines Taylor Wilde out of the ring right away as Deonna Purrazo and Kelly go at it in the ring. Wilde comes in and takes out Kelly & Masha outside with a dive, followed by a top rope dive from Deonna, before Masha goes and hits a cannonball dive from the top rope. Back inside, Deonna hits a moonsault on Masha, but Kelly breaks up the count. Masha starts taking everybody out with roundhouse kicks before going after Kelly with more kicks. Deonna catches Wilde off the ropes and hits a powerbomb for a two-count. Kelly hits a Death Valley Driver on Wilde and puts on the Killer Clutch, but Deonna breaks it up and blocks a Killer Clutch herself to put on the Fujiwara armbar but Wilde is able to break it up. Kelly puts on the Killer Clutch on Deonna, as Wilde puts on a Crossface on Masha. Masha gets out and hits a Snow Plow to break up the other two, to pin Wilde for the win.

Winner: Masha Slamovich by pinfall at 8:35, to become #1 Contender

Falls Count Anywhere in Atlanta Match: Rich Swann vs. Steve Maclin

Raven joins commentary for this match (not in his Johnny Polo gimmick, unfortunately) as we cut to the back where Gia Miller was trying to get a word with Rich Swann, but Steve Maclin attacks him from behind, as the referee starts the match. Maclin starts tossing Swann into the dumpsters, but Swann dodges as Maclin goes into one. Maclin starts attacking Swann with a piece of wood and gets a two-count. Maclin tries to toss a sandbag, but Swann dodges it as they head closer to traffic where Swann hits a cutter for a two count. Thankfully they start heading back inside, but a car is trying to leave so they use the hood of it for a weapon. Maclin starts attacking Swann against a gate as Raven says he hopes they don’t go to his neighborhood as they would get shot. They finally head ringside, and brawl a bit more before taking it inside. Maclin starts talking trash to the crowd, but Swann comes back with a cutter off of the steel steps on the outside for a two-count. Swann starts using a cable cord to choke out Maclin before they head back inside the ring, not before Maclin tosses Swann back to the outside with a back body drop over the ropes for a two. They continue brawling before Swann hits a splash then a dive from the stage on Maclin, followed by a vicious-looking Liger Bomb from Maclin to Swann on the outside. Swann dodges a jump from Maclin off the apron and kicks him down. Maclin comes back and hits the KIA on the ramp, to pin Swann for the win.

Winner: Steve Maclin by pinfall at 11:40

Eddie Edwards vs. Jonathan Gresham

They show a video package speaking on their history with Eddie Edwards forming Honor No More to oppose Jonathan Gresham’s history in Ring of Honor. The match starts with Gresham, playing with Edwards by escaping from the outside to head back into the ring, toying with Edwards. Edwards starts showing a bit of frustration, as Gresham has the upper hand on him. Edwards seems to have the upper hand, just for Gresham to toss him to the outside and hit him with a dive before he starts high-fiving the crowd here in Atlanta. Edwards is able to take control in the ring and delivers chops to Gresham in the corner. Gresham fights back with leg sweeps and arm drags, sending Edwards to the corner. Gresham starts twisting Edwards’ fingers while going for pin attempts, but Edwards comes back with a power slam. Edwards stays in control, by choking Gresham on the ropes. They go into a slap exchange, but one is able to knock Gresham down to the mat. When he gets up, Gresham challenges Edwards to chop him which knocks him down yet again. They hold each other’s wrists while exchanging chops, before Gresham hits an Enziguri, and stomps on Edwards’ elbow, to roll him up for a two. Gresham hits a bulldog and a standing moonsault for another two. Edwards comes back with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. They head to the top rope, where Gresham applies a Sleeper Hold, but Edwards fights him off. Gresham hits a sit-out powerbomb, but Edwards kicks out again. Gresham ducks a Boston Knee Party, before they trade pin attempts. Edwards stops Gresham with a lariat and hits a Tiger Driver for a two count. Edwards follows with a Boston Knee Party for the pin.

Winner: Eddie Edwards by pinfall at 18:54

PCO is Alive

The lights go out as lightning shows on the tron. When the lights come back on PCO is in the ring with a shovel, as he spits sand out of his mouth (from being buried alive by Edwards). PCO takes Edwards out with the shovel and a chokeslam.

Rebellion in Toronto

They announce IMPACT Wrestling is returning to Toronto for Rebellion on Sunday, April 16th.

IMPACT Knockouts World Championship Title vs. Career Match: Jordynne Grace (c) vs. Mickie James

Mickie James has a very cool entrance embracing her heritage with Mattaponi drummers and dancers as Jordynne Grace has gear that says ‘Final Stop’ in James’ Last Rodeo as her career is on the line for this, if she doesn’t win the championship. We see James’ family in the crowd, as well as Tara (Lisa Marie Varon) and David LaGreca (James’ co-host on Busted Open Radio). The match starts with a slap exchange, but Grace hits a hard one knocking James down. Grace stays in control, hitting a double stomp for a two count. Grace continues by keeping James in the corner, but she’s able to dodge out of the way. They go to the top rope, where James hits a bulldog. They go back and forth before James is able to kick Grace down before James is able to leap off the ropes onto Grace on the outside, sending her back inside for a two count. Grace comes back with a superplex and the Juggernaut Jackhammer for a two count. James hits a hurricanrana to take control, heads to the top and hits a seated senton for a two. Grace comes back with a spinebuster for two, followed by a sitout powerbomb for another two. James is able to come back with a piledriver, for a very close two count. James hits the Mick Kick, but Grace stops the Mick DT, places James on the turnbuckle and tries a Muscle Buster. James gets out, and rolls up Grace a bunch of times for a two count, as Grace comes back with roll-ups of her own. Grace counters a Mick DT attempt with a backfist, goes for a Grace Driver, but James reverses and hits the Mick Kick and the Mick DT, but Grace is able to kick out at the last second. The crowd erupted for that one. Grace reverses a pin attempt and puts James in a sleeper hold, it looks like James tapped out, but the referee ignores it as James gets out, only to be put back into another one. James is able to escape, dodges Grace as she goes into the corner, hits the Tornado DDT and gets the pin for the win.

Winner: Mickie James by pinfall at 19:04, to become NEW IMPACT Knockouts World Champion

Tara enters the ring and celebrates with James, as they invite James’ family and friends into the ring, including her son. Should be noted her husband, Nick Aldis, was not included.

About John Siino 348 Articles
New York native and reporter at POST Wrestling. He is also Associate Producer and Social Media Director at upNXT, and the host of the 'Shot in the Dark' podcast.