Here we are, it’s Hard To Kill time. As I’m writing those words, we are 4 days away from history. The Road to Hard To Kill has been easier to ride than usual just because we knew right from the beginning where we were going. Bound For Glory took place 2 months and a half ago. When they announced so quickly after BFG what the main event of Hard To Kill would be, Impact Wrestling raised the bar very high. We had the chance to watch some very good episodes, see the PPV build up very well. As the first PPV of the year, and the decade, also because of the way it was made, the stakes of Hard To Kill are very, very high.
So, here we are, this week is the final Impact before Bound For Glory. On the menu, from New York City, NY, Rosemary and Havok will square off once again. Moose will team up with RVD against Brian Cage and Rhino. Knockouts Champion Taya Valkyrie, Madison Rayne and Kiera Hogan will face off Jordynne Grace, ODB and Tenille Dashwood. Of course, I’ll review this episode, but I will use it as a platform to preview the PPV and give you my predictions, with this Nutcracking spirit you love so much. So no more words, let’s get ready for some action, but your French Nygma Steph way, of course…
The Nygma’s Chart of the Week
Many hype videos on Hard To Kill matches I chose not to relate here
- We started with a brawl between Eddie Edwards and Michael Elgin. Edwards got the mic and said they don’t have to wait for the PPV and hit a dive.
- Michael Elgin defeated Eddie Edwards.
- The Desi Hit Squad (Mahabali Shera, Raj Singh & Rohit Raju w/ Gama Singh) defeated TJP, Fallah Bahh & Daga.
- Willie Mack didn’t think he’ll be physically ready for the tag team title match due to being banged up. He didn’t want to hold Swann back. Rich told him to never sell himself short, or think he’s dragging him down. He still needed Mack this Sunday at Hard To Kill to become the new champions. They shook hands and Mack said they got this.
- oVe cut a promo. Jake said it will be special on Sunday for them, but Dave said he let them down for losing the tag team title shot. But Sami will lead Impact into the future and they will show why Ohio is the best when Sami retains. They were sick of hearing about Tessa, Fulton will beat Shamrock and will tear him apart and shatter his bones. He will break everything.
- Johnny Swinger spiked Joey Ryan’s water bottle with something but was caught by Tommy Dreamer. He threatened Swinger with a kendo stick and told him to drink it, which he reluctantly does.
- Father James Mitchell told Suzie to wait in a closet while he and Havok went to handle business. Despite this, she found her way to the announce table during the next match.
- Havok defeated Rosemary. Father James Mitchell was furious after Suzie.
- Tenille Dashwood, ODB & Jordynne Grace defeated Knockouts Champion Taya Valkyrie, Madison Rayne & Kiera Hogan. ODB pulled Jordynne Grace off the pin on Taya.
- Moose met with RVD as he made out with Katie. Moose brought up their history and his win over RVD, which RVD didn’t remember. He said they are good as we saw Swinger passed out on the couch. Joey Ryan and Petey Williams turned up, and Joey suggested to Petey that he draws on Swinger.
- Cage & Rhino defeated Moose & RVD.
The Nygma’s Nutcracker(s) and Awards of the Week
– Elgin vs Edwards, destined to be a modern classic?
When Elgin made his debut with Impact Wrestling, he told me he was looking forward to wrestling Eddie Edwards. Someone he considers as one of the best wrestlers in the world today (I couldn’t agree more). After nearly 20 minutes of a very good, fun, and hard-hitting match, you can easily understand not only they can steal the show but they can even not on PPV. If their match on Sunday is as good as this week’s one, Eddie and Big Mike will definitely tear the house down.
– The ones who are not on PPV but make the show
None of these 6 men will be a part of the PPV this Sunday. Does that mean they can’t offer a good match or they don’t have the potential to be on PPV? Definitely no. Mahabali Shera has literally and finally propelled The Desi Hit Squad on top. Fallah Bahh is a fan favourite, teaming up with TJP has given a new dimension to his character. Daga, even if he signed with the company, has a lot to show to the Impact Zone and I can’t wait to see that.
– Girls can be mean…
Suzie is lost. ODB and Jordynne Grace are not friends anymore. Madison and Kiera seem to have never been friends. Rosemary and Havok have had some unfinished business and they are not ready to solve their issues yet. The Knockouts Division may be in turmoil but isn’t it a good thing? We want women that fight, not bicker. We want wrestlers, not Divas. And we want a rock-solid Champion, what Taya Valkyrie has been for more than a year now.
Impact Wrestling Hard To Kill Preview, Stakes and Predictions
Hard To Kill is a strong name for a PPV. Since Bound For Glory, the company has chosen it to embody this state of mind they chose to make history again. Offering hardcore is one thing, intergender is another, allowing a woman to compete for the Impact World Championship is something totally different. It’s about making history.
When the rebuilding is over, when the team is stronger than ever, when your new TV partners have brought us back to the top, you have no other choice but to succeed, please the fans you have always had and the ones you made come back to you. You have to offer a great moment of wrestling. Like I said before, Impact Wrestling chose to announce right after Bound For Glory that Sami Callihan will face Tessa Blanchard in the main event. That was a strange move, but a gutsy move. How often over the last 2 years and a half have I complained that they were not building up their PPVs faster enough? This time, I was cut off.
Every Impact Wrestling PPV is a do-or-die one. Impact Wrestling has proved everybody wrong in 2019, mostly with Slammiversary. Let’s be honest, Hard To Kill card is meant to offer legendary moments. Some matches seem to get out of nowhere, are they made to close a chapter? We’ll see. Will history be made on Monday around 4 AM GMT? We’ll see. I will say what I’m used to saying, I genuinely want a PPV like Impact Wrestling can do, with good, great and awesome matches. What I absolutely don’t want is to tell you, tomorrow night, “I told you” or “I saw it coming”. Let’s scrutinize this card and see what may happen…
* Madman Fulton vs Ken Shamrock
What worths for this one will worth for the 2 next ones. Generations will collide in this match. I can’t obviously remember why this match was made, probably because Shamrock helped Tessa get out of Fulton’s hands a few weeks ago. The 6’8 giant of oVe is a lethal weapon in the Impact Zone. He has crushed more or less everyone he competed against. But what is his biggest strength is also his biggest witness, his temper. Fulton is hard to control, mostly after he watched The Little Mermaid. On the other side, Ken Shamrock has wrestled bigger, badder, and stronger than Fulton. His long and successful speaks for himself. Never forget the ankle lock is a destructive move, even more on a giant…
The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Ken Shamrock
* Moose vs Rhino
Same introduction for this match than the previous. Generations will collide in this match and I can’t obviously remember why this match was made. Moose is Mr. Impact Wrestling, even more, Mr. Impact Wrestling PPV. Moose is never better than during a PPV. If, as usual, Moose brings his A-game, like at every PPV, Rhino will have to bring even better to win this match. The Gore machine made his comeback at Slammiversary XVII when he saved Don Callis from a vicious attack from Michael Elgin. Out of everything he represents and all the companies he has worked with, Rhino is someone you have to learn from. Maybe Moose will learn how to be more humble with this match…
The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Moose
* RVD vs Brian Cage
Again, generations will collide in this match and I can’t obviously remember why this match was made. One thing is sure, THIS is NOT a dream match. If people want to believe it is, that’s fine but not for me. Since he came back, Van Dam has only shown the world he is not the man he used to be. The mindset is still there, but the body is not following it. I don’t want to be mean because I was a huge fan of RVD and I agree with him on the fact many wrestlers have found some inspiration in his repertoire. But Brian Cage is not every wrestler. He is his own man. I just wish Cage will help him snap out of his “new” state of mind.
The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Brian Cage
* Call Your Shot Trophy Match: Eddie Edwards vs Michael Elgin
I found out today it was a Trophy match but for me, it has always been! Since the day they announced they would face, I have thought it would be for the Trophy… This one for me is a dream match. Elgin and Edwards proved this week they have perfect chemistry in the ring that can make them steal the show. Elgin has been unsuccessful to become champion since he made his debut with the company. This trophy may be his golden ticket to finally succeed in. On the other hand, no one deserves to be World Champion more than Eddie Edwards. Him winning the Call You Shot Trophy was full of sense. Even if he was feuding at that time with Ace Austin, he didn’t cash in the Trophy for an X-Division title he already won twice. Which means this match is all about who is going to be the next contender for the Impact World Championship. Delightful…
The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Eddie Edwards
* X-Division Match: Ace Austin (c) vs Trey
If there’s one match Impact Wrestling can choose to make the Bash at The Brewery magic happen again, this match is the one (Austin is facing off Wentz at the iPPV). I have never been able to find some logic in Ace Austin as X-Division Champion. It was a nice bet to give him the belt, but he turned his defence into a parody, with the help of Reno Scum and the 3.69 spirit. Ace Austin wants to bang Trey’s Mum, a great way to drive a man nervous but not to give some credit to a Champion. There’s no doubt in my mind Ace Austin is a young and talented wrestler, he has just scratched the surface of what he is capable of. Maybe the X-Division could “get a little higher”…
The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Trey
* Impact Knockouts Championship Match: Taya Valkyrie (c) vs. Jordynne Grace vs. ODB
This match has been set in stone and for a while. Since Rosemary, Suzie and Havok have been busy by their side, Taya Valkyrie has only had one legit contender for the Championship. Jordynne Grace has proved week after week she was probably the wrestler that could end the longest-reigning Knockouts Champion. It is possible and it would be well-deserved until ODB entered the game. Impact Wrestling were extremely nice to help her with her food truck and make her come back for 2 nights. To the point of making her a Champion again? 100% no. If you’re a wrestling fan, you know why. After what we saw this week, ODB could become a reason for Jordynne to fail. Who knows in a Triple Threat match what can happen?
The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Jordynne Grace
* Impact World Tag Team Championship Match: The North (Josh Alexander & Ethan Page) vs. Rich Swann & Willie Mack
Since winning the Tag Team titles just before Slammiversary, The North have established themselves as strong Champions but also as dirty players. Rich Swann and Willie Mack have become very serious contenders since Bound For Glory. Their chemistry is undeniable, they are fan favourites, 2 talented high-flyers, but The North played terrible mind games with them. I love the fact Swann and Mack can be as good as singles competitors than as a team. That’s why they can make it happen at Hard To Kill. But you know how good I am when it comes to predicting…
The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Rich Swann & Willie Mack
* Impact World Championship Match: Sami Callihan (c) vs. Tessa Blanchard
Making history or cementing a legacy. Being the first-ever female World Champion of a national-televised wrestling promotion, or not. Way before Slammiversary, Sami and Tessa have made of each other’s lives a living hell. Callihan finally won the World Championship after long years of struggle and doubt. Maybe 5 seconds after he won, Tessa was already there, right in front of his face and his belt, to say it’s not over. I told in the second part of the Year-End Awards review I was in fear of this moment. Now, may we let history be made and we will talk about all of that later.
The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Nothing
To be eNYGMAtic…
I think I already told you so much I think there’s no need to tell you more. Don’t miss Hard To Kill review on Monday night. Impact Wrestling will tap some new episodes soon, from Mexico City, so who knows what’s going to happen next week? For sure, you saw, like me, that the Suzie/ Havok/ Rosemary/ Father James Mitchell storyline still has a lot to offer, Johnny Swinger will have some strange things drawn on his face and body, and The Desi Hit Squad is now on a destructive path, thanks to Shera.
I had the chance to talk to Daga earlier today. Come back on Friday to read what El Jefe has to say on X-Division, the wrestlers he would like to compete against or his favourite Hard To Kill matches. Also watch below The Cold Open to Hard To Kill, if you really need to get hyped…
Since Slammiversary, I have struggled with my own health to make sure you would not miss a thing on Impact Wrestling. Some weeks were harder than others. I have held on, thanks to your support and the company’s support. Every like or retweet, every word shared on @FrenchNygma is important to make me forget the pain and keep on.
On this very “Nygma Won’t Surrender” note, until Hard To Kill, until next week, never EVER forget to stay #eNYGMAtic…
All pics, videos, and screenshots courtesy of Impact Wrestling and AXS TV. Photomontage by @frenchnygma exclusively for @steelchairmag @vulturehoundmag.