IMPACT Wrestling Results: Winners, Grades and Highlights from January 12
Impact Wrestling hit the AXS TV airwaves Tuesday night for the penultimate stop on the road to Hard to Kill, Saturday night's pay-per-view extravaganza headlined by a massive Six-Man Tag Team match.
Two of the competitors involved in the marquee match saw action as Impact world champion Rich Swann battled Impact tag team champion Karl Anderson in singles competition. With AEW world champion Kenny Omega and Don Callis advertised to appear, it was only a matter of time before they let their presence be felt.
What happened when Omega and The Good Brothers confronted Swann and The Motor City Machine Guns ahead of Saturday's extravaganza? Find out with this recap of the January 12 episode.
Kimber Lee (with Deonna Purrazzo) vs. Taya Valkyrie (with Rosemary)
Taya Valkyrie challenges Deonna Purrazzo for the Knockouts Championship on Saturday at Hard to Kill. Tuesday night, La Wera Loca kicked off the show by battling The Virtuosa's associate, Kimber Lee.
The action started fast and furious, with Kimber Lee looking to get the jump on her opponent. The No. 1 contender fought back, took Lee down and fired off some hard rights about the face. Her onslaught stalled when Lee caught her with a big kick to the face, stunning her and turning the tide back in her favor.
Lee applied body scissors and did a full roll around the ring for a near-fall.
Valkyrie fought back, rocking Lee with a hard forearm to the face, but Lee downed her for another near-fall, preventing a full comeback. She delivered a sidewalk slam and scaled the ropes, coming off with a Swanton Bomb.
Valkyrie got the knees up, though, driving them into the lower back. La Wera Loca fought back, uncorking a series of clotheslines and a flurry of chops. A spear followed for two.
A momentary distraction at ringside by Purrazzo allowed Lee to deliver a German suplex, but Valkyrie recovered and continued to build momentum. She leveled Lee with a running double knee in the corner. Purrazzo put Lee's hand on the bottom rope, breaking up the pin.
At ringside, Rosemary attempted an assault on Purrazzo, but the artist formerly known as Susie and Su Yung, now simply "Susan," attacked The Demon Assassin.
Back in the ring, Valkyrie became distracted by the fight on the ramp, allowing Lee to score the pinfall victory.
Lee defeated Valkyrie
This was a surprisingly lengthy match between two veteran in-ring competitors. The action itself was solid and really showed off just how underrated an in-ring performer Kimber Lee is. Valkyrie, so close to a title opportunity, was appropriately intense and laid into her strikes to really give off the impression that she is willing to trade blows with the wrestling-centric Virtuosa on pay-per-view.
Of interest was the booking.
One would have expected Valkyrie to win here, but the emergence of Susan and the distraction that allowed Lee to pick up the win was a nice twist. If this were WWE, Valkyrie would most certainly be winning the title Saturday night, but it is not. Impact has, instead, introduced an X-factor who may be just as costly and worrisome to Purrazzo and Lee (who brought about her transformation) as anyone.
A solid way to kick off this week's show and create intrigue for Hard to Kill's Knockouts title bout.
Rohit Raju and Chris Bey vs. Manik and Suicide
In a preview of Saturday's Three-Way X-Division Championship match, top contenders Chris Bey and Rohit Raju teamed to face Suicide and champion Manik in tag team action.
Raju and Bey jumped their opponents to start, attacking the babyfaces before the bell in an attempt to gain the upper hand. The masked duo recovered, hid under the ring and attacked from behind with stereo dropkicks that sent the heels to the floor.
Stereo dives wiped out the heels heading into the break. After, Bey and Raju executed some clever counters en route to isolating Suicide and working him over in their corner. The masked enigma finally caught Raju with an overhead suplex into the corner and made the tag.
Manik exploded into the match and wiped out Raju. Suicide tagged back in and applied a submission to Bey. Manik reappeared and applied his own submission to Rohit. Neither of the heels tapped.
Raju attempted to unmask Manik, thus proving it is TJP under the hood. The distraction that caused allowed Bey to lay out Suicide and earn the win for the heels.
Bey and Raju defeated Suicide and Manik
This was a fun, energetic match that spotlighted the X-Division and solidified the story heading into Saturday's show.
Raju is absolutely convinced that Manik is TJP, and his obsession with proving it cost him an opportunity to win the match. Instead, Bey capitalized and earned the win, something that could very well play out Saturday night on pay-per-view.
This accomplished everything it had to, and the result was a nice showcase for some of the most talented competitors on the roster.
Deaner vs. Tommy Dreamer
Ahead of Saturday's Six-Man Tag Team Old School Rules match pitting Tommy Dreamer, Rhino and Cousin Jake against Eric Young, Joe Doering and Deaner, The Innovator of Violence and the newly reformed Deaner battled in tag team action.
Doering and Rhino were ejected from ringside early and Deaner capitalized on an opening to seize control of the bout, raking at the eyes of the future Hall of Famer.
Eventually, Jake had enough and swept the legs out from underneath Deaner. Young entered the ring and attacked Dreamer. Rhino returned to the ring and set up for a Gore on Deaner, only for Doering to come face-to-face with The Man Beast.
Doering obliterated Rhino with a clothesline, and the heels stood tall to close out the segment.
Deaner defeated Dreamer via disqualification
There was very little to this that we had not already seen heading into Hard to Kill.
We saw Deaner's transformation last week and the announcement of the match. A simple backstage segment or video package recapping how we got here would have been much more suitable than the relatively uneventful angle we got here.
We get it. Doering is big and powerful. Let's see how he performs up to the momentum Saturday night.
Tenille Dashwood vs. Rosemary
Tenille Dashwood and Rosemary did battle in a match with no implications for Saturday's pay-per-view.
Rosemary dominated the action until she took her eye off Dashwood and focused on Kaleb With a K at ringside. The social media manager temporarily blinded The Demon Assassin with hairspray, allowing his associate to take control of the bout.
Dashwood worked over Rosemary until a sling blade allowed the face-painted supernatural competitor to make a comeback. Another rake to the eyes, though, saw Dashwood down her opponent with an under-hook suplex. Rosemary dodged the Spotlight Kick and delivered a clothesline.
As Kaleb looked to interfere, Crazzy Steve appeared and pulled him off the apron. Amid the fracas, Rosemary sprayed Dashwood with the hairspray and put her away for the win.
Rosemary defeated Dashwood
This was a bit overbooked for a match that has little impact (pun intended) on the pay-per-view. The appearance of Steve seemingly sets up a potential Mixed Tag Team match, but even that feels beneath Dashwood, who has yet to realize her potential in the Knockouts division.
Rosemary is a great character and still brings some great intensity to her work. Dashwood is in her prime, though, and really should be winning these matches to advance her career in Impact. As it is, she appears wholly directionless on one of the most talented rosters in the industry.
Update: It was revealed later in the show that Rosemary will team with Steve to face Dashwood and Kaleb at Hard to Kill.
Moose vs. Matthew Palmer
A week after defeating Moose in a three-minute challenge, Matthew Palmer returned to the Impact Zone for another showdown with the TNA world champion. This time, it would be an untimed encounter.
Moose dominated the action, completely outclassing the young competitor. Palmer mounted a brief comeback, but Moose grounded him and battered him with a barrage of elbow strikes. The referee called for the bell and declared Moose the winner.
Moose defeated Palmer via referee stoppage
Saturday at Genesis, Moose was granted an Impact world title match against Rich Swann at a later date.
This represented him exorcising one of the final demons from his closet, that being Palmer's fluke win over him a week ago.
He looked like a dominant badass and someone poised to make a title run.
Exactly as he should.
Rich Swann vs. Karl Anderson
AEW world champion Kenny Omega will join Impact tag team champions Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows in a battle against Impact world champion Rich Swann and The Motor City Machine Guns on Saturday at Hard to Kill. In Tuesday's main event, Anderson battled Swann in singles competition.
Early back-and-forth gave way to Anderson taking control by targeting the arm of his opponent. He sent Swann into the steel post, his shoulder cracking against the metal heading into the break.
Anderson continued to target the limb of the world champion coming out of the break. Swann created separation and fired off with a right hand. Then another. Anderson answered. Swann delivered a rolling clothesline and executed some jabs, a backfist and an open-hand thrust.
The Machin Gun rocked Swann with a running boot for two. Swann recovered, shook off his arm injury and scored the win with a roll-up.
Backstage, Gallows and Omega attacked Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley until Swann and Anderson joined in on the fray. A brawl between the competitors ensued as the show went off the air.
Swann defeated Anderson
The match itself was solid, if unspectacular. It featured strong targeting of the left arm by Anderson and even better selling by Swann en route to the world champion scoring a resourceful victory.
The grade can be attributed to the backstage brawl between those involved in Saturday's main event that served as an excellent final build to what should be a wild, chaotic match. Impact has done a fantastic job of building tension, manifesting intensity and creating genuine dislike between the two teams.
It was highlighted here perfectly and really served as the first indication that the babyfaces are not going to be bullied and beaten down by the heels without a fight.
A great way to cap off the show.