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Brace for IMPACT: Jonathan Gresham to defend ROH Title at Hard to Kill + 2021 Awards

Jonathan Gresham vs Chris Sabin

Jonathan Gresham to defend the ROH title at Hard to Kill

Jonathan Gresham to defend ROH Title at Hard to Kill

IMPACT wrestling made the huge announcement that Ring of Honor world champion Jonathan Gresham will defend his newly won title against Chris Sabin at Hard to Kill. Gresham won the title at Final Battle by defeating AEW’s Jay Lethal after the title was vacated by former champion Bandido.

This is another sign that the two companies are willing to work together. ROH is going through a hiatus until April, 2022. Rok-C their women’s champion is expected to make her IMPACT debut soon after accepting a challenge from Deonna Purazzo. Should be noted that Rok-C recently attended a WWE try out.

IMPACT teased the announcement earlier in the day and over-delivered. Sabin is a perfect opponent for him and they will contend for match of the night. While some were disappointed with the main event of Hard to Kill, this match along with Josh Alexander vs JONAH, and the Knockouts Ultimate-X should turn this show in to a must see event.


News

  • IMPACT announced red their Road to Rebellion tour for the first quarter of 2022:
    • Hard to Kill They will be in Dallas, Tx at The Factory on January 8 followed by a TV taping the next night.
    • IMPACT on AXS TV! will emanate from the Charles Dodge Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fl on January 21 and 22.
    • No Surrender will be live on February 19 from Alario Center in New Orleans, LA with a TV taping the next night in the same venue.
    • Sacrifice will take place March 5th from Paristown Hall in Lousville, KY streaming on IMPACT Plus. There will be a TV taping the night night from the same venue.
    • IMPACT on AXS TV! returns to the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, PA March 18 and 19.
    • Rebellion comes to the Mid Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, NY on April 23.
    • Hard to Kill will be sponsored by the new movie from Gravitas Ventures “The Free Fall”. This would be the first crossover promotion with Anthem’s newly acquired movie distribution company. The movie stars Shawn Ashmore from the X-Men series. They have also partnered with Serious Pizza in Dallas, Tx for a local promotion of the event.

2021 Brace for IMPACT Awards

These awards were voted on by YOU the readers and listeners of Brace for IMPACT. I sent out polls on Twitter earlier in the week and the results have come back. Thanks to everyone who participated.

  • Male wrestler of the year: Josh Alexander

    This was a landslide based on the polling. Alexander had an amazing year in and out of the ring. Kenny Omega had an argument considering he headlined 3 out of 4 pay-per-views, broke records, and had some of the best matches the company had seen in years. But Josh’s rise to stardom was too much to deny. He had spectacular matches with TJP, Christian Cage, Taurus, Chris Sabin, Ace Austin, Jake Something and countless others. His 2021 will go down as one of the great in-ring years by a wrestler in company history.

  • Men’s match of the year: Josh Alexander vs. TJP Iron man match

  • Total no-brainer. This match remains the highest rated match on Cagematch.net in IMPACT history. This also won for X-Division match of the year.

  • Knockout of the year: Deonna Purazzo. 

    I probably didn’t need a poll for this one. Purazzo dominated the whole year. She also won the AAA Reina de Reinas championship, defended her title in the NWA, and appeared on ROH. She was an outstanding champion and the perfect representative for the company.

  • Knockouts match of the year: Deonna Purazzo vs. Masha Slamovich at Knockouts Knockdown 

    This match eek’d out a win over Purazzo vs. Mickie James from Bound for Glory. Masha Slamovich earned herself a contract with the company during this match.

  • Tag Team of the Year: Good Brothers 

    This was a down year for tag team wrestling. But the Good Brothers were the top attraction and held the titles for most of the year.

  • Tag team match of the year: Kenny Omega and the Good Brothers vs. Rich Swann, Chris Sabin, and Moose

    Kenny Omega’s IMPACT debut was a spectacular one, but this was really the coming out party for Moose. All six competitors gave it their all and its likely the best trios match in IMPACT history.

  • Most hated wrestler: Moose

Moose was by far the best heel in the company. The most evil act committed by him was ruining Josh Alexander’s title win at Bound for Glory and beating him in front of his family.

  • Best IMPACT pay-per-view: Bound for Glory

Much to my surprise, Bound for Glory won this category. I had it ranked fourth of four and voted for Slammiversary. But it remains the most talked about event of the year due to the closing angle with Moose cashing in his title shot to defeat Josh Alexander. Rebellion had a good argument too considering it was the most bought IMPACT show since Bound for Glory 2011.

  • Best IMPACT Plus special: Turning Point

IMPACT really stepped up their game in 2021 with IMPACT plus specials. This was a difficult one for me to choose. Turning Point may have benefitted from some recency bias but that’s ok. The event featured Moose defending his title against Eddie Edwards in a Full Metal Mayhem match.

  • Forbidden door wrestler of the year: Kenny Omega

Kenny Omega’s entry in to IMPACT wrestling set the wrestling world on fire. In fact, he is a big reason why I have an IMPACT podcast. His match at Rebellion against Rich Swann set pay-per-view records for the company. IMPACT ratings were at their peak with him in the company as they averaged 0.04 in the 18–49 demo, peaking at 0.06. Since he has left IMPACT has averaged 0.02. His title matches were all rated four stars or higher and are some of the highest rated IMPACT matches in Cagematch.net history.


Brace for IMPACT is now on Spotify and Apple Podcasts

Brace for IMPACT, hosted by JD Oliva and myself on the Fight Game Media Network, has been given its own feed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and all other podcast apps. The show had been exclusive to Fight Game Media Network Plus on Patreon since March. Our weekly free show will recap IMPACT! on AXS TV, and the uncut, uncensored, ad-free version will continue on Patreon where we not only review the weekly show, but we will recap all the IMPACT Plus specials, pay-per-views, break down all the news and headlines surrounding IMPACT, Q-and-As with the listeners, classic match and event reviews, plus much more.

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