IMPACT Wrestling continued from where they left off last year and had a strong showing in Hard To Kill to kickstart their 2023 pay-per-view calendar. The event saw several titles up for grabs, with Mickie James and Jordynne Grace competing in the main event for the IMPACT Knockouts World Championship.
Josh Alexander and Bully Ray battled each other for the IMPACT World Championship in an extremely personal rivalry. X Division Champion Trey Miguel and IMPACT World Tag Team Champions Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley were all tasked with defending their titles. So without further ado, let's check out the five talking points from IMPACT Wrestling Hard To Kill.
#5. Motor City Machine Guns and Trey Miguel defended their titles
After Frankie Kazarian vacated the X Division Championship to invoke Option C and earn a world title match, the new champion was determined through a tournament where Trey Miguel defeated Black Taurus in the finals.
The two superstars battled each other in a rematch at Hard To Kill. They put on an entertaining bout towards the end, of which Miguel used spray paint to blindside the challenger and connected with the Lightning Spiral to retain his title.
The Motor City Machine Guns defended their tag titles against Heath and Rhino, Bullet Club, and Major Players in a four-way elimination match. The match kicked off in chaotic fashion, with all eight men getting a piece of the action in an all-out-out brawl. Heath and Rhino were the first team to be eliminated, courtesy of a roll-up from Matt Cardona.
A miscommunication between Myers and Cardona allowed the Bullet Club to eliminate them with some innovative offense. Despite being eliminated, the Major Players weren't done and wreaked havoc before being fended off. Toward the end of the bout, the Motor City Machine Guns took out Chris Bey to retain their titles.
#4. Frankie Kazarian signed a new contract with IMPACT Wrestling
Five-time X Division Champion Frankie Kazarian returned to the IMPACT Zone and announced that he had signed a long-term contract with IMPACT Wrestling. While still under contract with All Elite Wrestling, Kazarian competed in a handful of matches at IMPACT Wrestling last year, even winning the X Division championship from Mike Bailey.
However, Kazarian's title reign lasted for less than a week as he relinquished the title to challenge Josh Alexander for the IMPACT World Championship, albeit in a losing effort. It'll be interesting to see if he makes his way into the world title picture anytime soon.
#3. WWE Legend Santino Marella appeared at IMPACT Wrestling Hard To Kill
Since arriving at IMPACT Wrestling, Joe Hendry has maintained an unbeaten run in the singles competition, but he faced his biggest challenge in the company yet as he defended his IMPACT Digital Media Championship against Moose.
Expectedly, Moose left no stone unturned in gaining an undue advantage with some underhanded tactics. He landed a low blow to the champion while the referee was distracted and followed it up with a spear to steal the title.
However, his success was short-lived as WWE legend Santino Marella made a surprise appearance as IMPACT Wrestling's new Director of Authority and ordered the referee to restart the match. Hendry capitalized on the opportunity to connect with the Standing Ovation to retain his title.
#2. Josh Alexander defended his title at IMPACT Wrestling Hard To Kill
Josh Alexander and Bully Ray have been at war with each other for months. The story kickstarted at last year's Bound For Glory, where Bully won the Call Your Shot Gauntlet to earn a world title opportunity. He manipulated Alexander and gained his trust, only to betray him later.
The feud between the two superstars got personal when Bully laid his hands on Alexander's wife. The animosity between the two was set to culminate in a Full Metal Mayhem match for the world title.
As expected, the match was as brutal as it gets. Both competitors laid out everything they had in the encounter. There was plenty of outside interference in the bout, but when it was all said and done, it was The Walking Weapon who had the last laugh as he made Bully Ray tap out to the Ankle Lock to retain his title.
#1. Mickie James puts it all on the line in a Title vs. Career match at IMPACT Wrestling Hard To Kill
In September last year, Mickie James declared her intentions to challenge for the IMPACT Knockouts World Championship in what was dubbed "The Last Rodeo." James ran through the roster to earn herself a title match against reigning champion Jordynne Grace.
Similar to last year's Hard To Kill pay-per-view, the main event of the night featured the Knockouts World Championship match. Grace and James put on a stellar main event, and it reached a point where neither of them could put the other away.
With her career on the line, James pulled out the stops and eventually managed to fight out of a sleeper hold to deliver the Tornado DDT and win the title in an epic conclusion to the pay-per-view.