Impact recap & reactions: Knockouts tag titles unveiled

Impact Wrestling (Jan. 12, 2021) featured the go-home to January 16’s Hard to Kill PPV. The Knockouts Tag Team Championship design was revealed, Rosemary found help from an old friend, and Rich Swann showed his winning spirit to overcome pain.

We’ll start with the unveiling of the Knockouts tag belts. Take a look at these doozies. The straps look clean and crisp.

Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz will compete against Havok & Nevaeh in the tournament finals at Hard to Kill for the honor of hoisting the prize in all its glory. The two teams had a mini scuffle after their contract signing. Hogan and Steelz were flapping gums, so Havok & Nevaeh silenced them with goozles around the throat.

Let’s run the rest of the show down from beginning to end.

Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne were on commentary. This was their final show together on commentary as Hard to Kill will usher in a new announce team.

Kimber Lee defeated Taya Valkyrie. Deonna Purrazzo and Rosemary were both ringside. Taya was in control, when Purrazzo assisted Lee in breaking a pin. Rosemary chased Purrazzo up the ramp. Susan (Susie/Su Yung) walked down to punch Rosemary right in the kisser. Lee used that distraction to roll-up Taya for the win.

Kenny Omega, Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, and Don Callis were chilling on their bus. Callis urged Anderson to get the team momentum with a singles win over Rich Swann in the main event.

Tony Khan followed with a paid commercial. He didn’t have a problem with the Good Brothers appearing on Dynamite. Khan encouraged them to come back again.

Sami Callihan and Eddie Edwards cut themselves to promote their Barbed Wire Massacre match at Hard to Kill.

Chris Bey & Rohit Raju defeated Manik & Suicide. Rohit tried to unmask Manik to prove he was TJP, but Suicide broke it up. That’s when Bey pounced for the Art of Finesse springboard cutter to win.

Taya was concerned about being in Rosemary’s corner for her match against Tenille Dashwood. Rosemary told Taya to instead focus on the Knockouts Championship match against Purrazzo at Hard to Kill. Rosemary had a plan to deal with Kaleb Konley.

Cody Deaner defeated Tommy Dreamer via DQ. Eric Young, Joe Doering, Rhino, and Cousin Jake were all ringside. Doering and Rhino were ejected after getting physically involved in the contest. The bad guys continued their tricks with a referee distraction so Young could attack Dreamer. On the floor, Cody slapped his cousin several times. Jake lost his cool and hit Cody. The referee called for the bell based on that action. After the match, all six men began brawling. The bad guys stood tall.

Brian Myers requested more opportunity from Scott D’Amore. Josh Alexander disputed his loss to Myers as a cheap DQ. D’Amore proposed they have a no DQ match.

Rosemary defeated Tenille Dashwood. Kaleb Konley was ringside to interfere.

That led to Crazzy Steve rising up from behind the ring to even the odds. Dashwood tried to use the distraction to spray hairspray in Rosemary’s eyes, but Rosemary saw it coming and flipped the script to spray Dashwood. A spear by Rosemary won the bout.

With Omega, Gallows, Sabin, and Shelley all banned from ringside, Swann is pleased to get his hands one-on-one with Anderson. He will whoop all over that ass.

Moose defeated Mathew Palmer. Moose pummeled the poor man as payback. Moose mounted Palmer and knocked him out with elbow blows.

Rich Swann defeated Karl Anderson. Anderson targeted the shoulder of his opponent. Despite the pain, Swann unloaded a flurry of strikes, a neckbreaker, and a heel kick. Anderson took charge again ready for the Stun Gun, but Swann countered with a roll-up for the 1, 2, 3.

After the match, Omega and Gallows ambushed Sabin and Shelley. Swann and Anderson joined in as a brawl was the final scene heading toward Hard to Kill.

This was an okay go-home show for Hard to Kill. Last week had more fire as the PPV card was filled out. That’s what sold me. This week felt a little bit like treading water in wait for the big event. It kept my interest but doesn’t have me peaking toward maximum anticipation.

Rich Swann continued to show his heart. He was in serious pain against a larger competitor, and yet he found a way to win. This plays two ways for future fights. First, it shows how difficult it will be for Kenny Omega to dethrone him if they fight for the Impact World Championship. Second, it puts Moose as a favorite against Swann to potentially create a great babyface underdog comeback in their eventual match. Moose is much more vicious than Karl Anderson. If Swann can find a way past Moose, then it will be an epic moment.

Having Taya lose was a curious call. Sure, there was a distraction, but I wouldn’t ever want a contender going in cold off defeat. There’s bound to be distractions at Hard to Kill as well, so Taya didn’t show her ability to overcome on this evening. Taya kicking ass would have made me much more interested in seeing her Knockouts title match against Deonna Purrazzo.

Crazzy Steve’s pop-up and Susan’s appearance were neat moments, but my favorite of the night was the celebratory grunt by Joe Doering after his clothesline to Rhino. The pose setup and deep noise makes me laugh every single time.

We’ll close with a cool note for action figure aficionados. The Good Brothers have been immortalized in plastic.

Share your thoughts on Impact Wrestling. Was it an effective go-home effort for Hard to Kill? What was your favorite match? Who stole the show?

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