Controversy Surrounding Tessa
This weekend some female wrestlers have come out against Tessa claiming everything from bullying to racism. Tessa denies these claims however, but will that change Impacts plans? Tessa is the current face of the company and Impact, has been very forgiving when it comes to a wrestlers past (see Elgin, Moose, Swann, Havoc) and has done a good job rehabilitating talented wrestlers while controversy surrounds them. I still see Tessa winning here among the noise, as it will likely blow over very soon.
IMPACT! Wrestling is presenting their first PPV of the year, Hard to Kill in what may become a turning point (no pun intended) for the company. This is their first opportunity to go on PPV with a full buildup on their new platform, AXS TV. The main event pits World Champ Sami Callihan vs Tessa Blanchard in the first inter-gender match for a world title in company history. The PPV and the Main Event has many questions leading up to what could be a make or break event for the company. Could Tessa become the first female IMPACT world champion? Will this landmark and historic match be enough to jump start a promotion that has lacked buzz since Bound For Glory? Will Inter-Gender wrestling be accepted by the casual audience? Either way, the build to the main event was fantastic 3 weeks ago, the last time they produced a new episode. That show closed with an all time great brawl that has captured over 4 million views on Facebook, but it seems like such a long time ago. They are really going to have to drum up interest on tonight’s go-home episode if they are going to see an uptick in PPV buys and ticket sales. The undercard looks very solid on paper, although there no real buzzworthy matches and while it lacks storyline intrigue, the talent will work their tails off to try and steal the show in every match.
IMPACT WORLD TITLE MATCH
Sami Callihan vs Tessa Blanchard
Prediction: Tessa finally wins in an all time classic
Michael Elgin vs Eddie Edwards
This match that is almost surely a bonafide 4+ star contender that is likely to resemble a Pro Wrestling NOAH classic. Edwards is putting up his “call your shot trophy” on the line here, so whoever wins is able to cash in the trophy for a title shot. I cant really see Elgin taking on Blanchard and honestly, it does not make sense for Eddie to lose this, nor should it be on the line but thats another story. But if Elgin wins, could he use it to parlay that in to a shot at the NOAH GHC title? The two companies are partners and i’d like to see them working together more, so that would be a very cool twist to add. But in the end I see Eddie winning and cashing it in at the April PPV (Lockdown?) for either the X division title or the World Title. Really depends on who is champion at the time.
X-Division Title Match
Ace Austin vs Trey Miguel
The X-Division title will be on the line as champ Ace Austin vs PWG standout Trey Miguel, and while the storyline does not really appeal to me, these two can flat out go and could be the sleeper match of the night. I don’t really see Austin losing here as he is just starting to get momentum with this new sleazy character.
Prediction: Ace Austin
IMPACT KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH
Taya vs Jordynne Grace vs ODB
The three-way Knockouts Title match of champ Taya vs Jordynne Grace vs ODB is another match that could be good to great. Taya’s work as a heel has been fantastic, everyone adores ODB, and Jordynne Grace is primed for the spotlight and to finally get a title run here.
Prediction: Jordynne Grace
IMPACT WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH
The North (Josh Alexander vs Ethan Page) vs Rich Swann and Willie Mack
The North vs Rich Swann & Willie Mack actually has a decent little story to it in that they are teasing a Mack heel turn which I think is a great idea. Mack’s character has lacked depth and Swann has been stale since his coming out party against Johnny Whatever the Fuck at Slammiversary in July. I dont even care that they just did a heel turn in the last tag title match (RVD turning on Rhino), Im ready for a Swann vs Mack feud.
Prediction: The North
The rest of the card is kind of just here honestly, which is OK because I think the top 4 will be great. RVD takes on Brian Cage, because I guess RVD is mad at Cage for using some of his moves. Again, not a very appealing story but if RVD is motivated and Cage really wants to get his shit in, this could be very good. Cage should win. Rhino vs Moose is definitely a match thats happening, and both guys work hard but there are no real stakes involved and I’m pretty sure they are fighting because Moose said something mean. Moose wins. Ken Shamrock vs Madman Fulton is a match that should be kept very short with Shamrock winning by submission in under 5 minutes.
All in all Hard to Kill is looking to be a very good show with some killer matches that will hopefully generate some buzz for the company. The fallout of the show could be interesting. Will there be any surprises? This card should set the tone for the coming year. If I were you I would definitely download the FITE app and check it out on there. Enjoy!!!!