Was Hard to Kill 2022 the best IMPACT event of all time?
While many wrestling fans were watching AEW’s Battle of the Belts, which turned out to be a glorified episode of Rampage, IMPACT Wrestling was putting on one of the greatest events in their 20 year history. The show kicked off with the first ever Knockouts Ultimate-X match, won by Tasha Steelz. The match was sloppy at times, but the risk taking, and ultra-creative finish made it an instant classic.
The next three traditional style matches are as good as any three-match span for a North American event that you will see. Trey Miguel defeated Steve Maclin to retain his X-Division title in what was a coming out party for Maclin. The former Steve Cutler proved that he is a top notch worker who may be a breakout star in 2022.
Jonathan Gresham and Chris Sabin then cranked it up to another level with their Pure Rules match for the Ring of Honor title. It was hard hitting, very technical, and featured an amazing closing sequence that saw Gresham get the victory. Then JONAH and Josh Alexander tore the house down in a strong style match that would hold up with the very best in Japan.
The Hardcore War was a fun plunder filled match that was capped off by a Ring of Honor invasion. Moose vs. Matt Cardona vs W. Morrissey was a WWE-TNA overbooked match, that if it were the main event would have been a huge let down. Finally Mickie James and Deonna Purazzo left it all on the line in a very good Texas Death match.
Was it the greatest event in TNA/IMPACT history? An argument can be made, because I have not seen this level of positivity surrounding IMPACT in a long time. Slammiversary 2018, Lockdown 2008, and Unbreakable 2005 come to mind and are in this league. My vote is for Hard to Kill 2022.
Ten Takeaways from Hard to Kill
With Hard to Kill in the books, here are my big takeaways from one of the great events in IMPACT history.
- IMPACT can always be capable of this: They should stay away from silly nonsense on these pay-per-view events and just let their talent go out there and tear it down.
- Steve Maclin and Tasha Steelz are breakout stars: Both had fantastic nights and will be two stars to watch in 2022.
- Tom Hannifan was a home run hire: He was beyond excellent. He actually made DLO a better commentator on one night. This must have been in the works for a long time because he was very knowledgeable. This announce team may be the best IMPACT duo since Mike Tenay and Don West.
- Mickie James and Deonna Purazzo being the main event was the right choice: If the original main event stayed in place, it would have ended with a whimper.
- Sign Jonathan Gresham: He is flat out incredible.
- Keep Ian Riccaboni and Bobby Cruise: Cruise could easily replace David Penzer. IMPACT is producing enough online content that they can keep Ian around too, he is great.
- The ROH invasion was awesome: I actually predicted that EC3’s “Narrative” crew would invade and I am so glad I was wrong. I’d put the tag titles on Matt Taven and Mike Bennett ASAP.
- Josh Alexander continues to shine: He is IMPACT’s Sting and he vanquished another monster. JONAH is also very impressive and I hop he sticks around. He proved his detractors in WWE wrong with his performance.
- Blood red means dollar green: It might sound barbaric, but I am all for IMPACT stepping up their edginess. Its working for AEW and GCW. Not only did we see lots of blood and violence, there was more colorful language. Keep it going.
- 2022 could be a big year for IMPACT: Coming off the heels of WWE announcing Mickie James for the Rumble and acknowledging them on Smackdown and Twitter, IMPACT capitalized perfectly. They have a big tour coming up, tons of free agency possibilities, an improved announce team, and tons of momentum.
- A former WWE star from the Ruthless Aggression era worked a match at the tapings on Sunday night. Unfortunately he was injured and had to be stretchered out. Reports are that he will be ok.
- ROH talent Ian Riccaboni, Bobby Cruise, Matt Taven, Mike and Maria, PCO, Vincent, Rok-C, and Jonathan Gresham all worked the tapings.
- IMPACT announced that they will return to Dallas on April 1 during Wrestlemania weekend. This will be a separate ticketed event as prt of WrestleCon.
Who’s ready for another show announcement? This is also ticketed separately and not part of the SuperFan ticket. Looking forward to partnering with Impact! pic.twitter.com/wahl3QAuBJ
— WrestleCon – Dallas 2022, LA 2023 (@wrestlecon) January 10, 2022
- PWInsider reported that Brandi Lauren and Kimber Lee were finished with the company, however both have disputed that. Lauren took to Twitter stating that she was on a per date deal and could be brought back any time.
- Moose wants to face Roman Reigns since the forbidden door to WWE is now open. Similarly, I would like to fly on a unicorn.
I Claim to be the Wrestling God. He claims to be The Head of the Table. With all this Forbidden Door talk….. what if 🤔….,, @WWERomanReigns
— MOOSE (@TheMooseNation) January 9, 2022
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.