At Bound For Glory 2019, the announcement was made that a brand new pay-per-view would make its debut at the start of 2020 and it was going to be called ‘Hard To Kill’.

    Inspired by the company’s resiliency in surviving the scandals that plagued the promotion for much of the early to mid 2010s, Hard To Kill became the last of the big four pay-per-views to make up IMPACT/TNA’s wrestling calendar alongside the likes of Rebellion, Slammiversary and Bound For Glory with many IMPACT Plus Specials in between.

    Ironically for a show named after the company’s inability to die amid controversy, the inaugural Hard to Kill event was marred with problems with the main event of that show or at least one of the participants being at the centre of it all…Welcome to Distortion Media and here are 10 Interesting Facts about Hard To Kill 2020.

    10. ODB’S Involvement was Due to Real Life Tragedy

    In September of 2019, ODB posted on Instagram that her food truck associated with her business, “ODB’s Meat & Greet Food Truck Co.” was burnt down and left the former TNA Knockouts Champion heartbroken.

    With one of her major sources for income outside of professional wrestling gone ODB would get help in the form of her former employers, IMPACT Wrestling. During the IMPACT tapings in November the company held an ODB Appreciation Night which included in them donating the money they made from these tapings to a fundraising campaign which would help to get ODB a brand new truck while at the same time ODB would appear at the tapings where she would get in the ring with names like Taya Valkyrie, Jordynne Grace and Tenille Dashwood.

    At the time, the fundraiser goal was $50,000 but by early 2020 she would get up to $34,145 with fans also donating to the cause and even former TNA World Champion, Mick Foley helped out when he raised $9,500 for the campaign.

    The fundraising was a major success as ODB was able to raise enough money to get a brand new food truck to continue her business but the story doesn’t end here, see ODB defeated Taya in a non-title match during the November tapings and as such she was included into the Knockouts Championship match at Hard To Kill making it a three way between Taya, ODB and Jordynne.

    9. Rich Swann Was Taken Out Due To Injury

    By early 2020, Rich Swann had a lot of momentum following his performance in a number one contender six person gauntlet match on an episode of IMPACT where Swann managed to survive more than 20 minutes against Moose and Michael Elgin before a beaten and bloody Rich was eliminated by Brian Cage….Sadly for Rich his monumental and his career was put on halt after an horrific injury

    Two days before Hard To Kill, IMPACT was airing a sequel to one of it’s new (and now defuncted) Impact Plus specials called Bash at The Brewery with the main event seeing an eight person elimination match between Tessa Blanchard, Brian Cage, Willie Mack and Rich Swann against World Champion Sami Callihan, Jake and Dave Crist and Madman Fulton.

    At some point in the match a tag team maneuver from the Crist Brothers lead to Rich suffering a knee injury that took him out of the match; This injury drastically changed the card for the up-and-coming Hard To Kill event and could also explain why oVe continued on their losing streak until the group disband later that year.

    8. Ethan Page Was Suffering From Salmonella

    Swann’s injury forced the match between himself and Willie Mack versus Ethan Page and Josh Alexander for the IMPACT Tag Team Titles at Hard To Kill to become a two on one handicap match but while Rich taken out with an injury before the pay-per-view, Ethan Page was walking into the tag team title match with a illness.

    According to reports, Page was suffering from Salmonella before his match at Hard To Kill and he went to social media to report that he wasn’t feeling too good.

    Despite this, Page was determined to defend his titles and while his performance in this match was very limited (and understandably so) Page and Alexander were able to successfully retain their tag team titles and the match went on without a hitch which is good because there could have been a possibility that Ethan might of crapped himself on pay per view.

    7. Brian Cage’s Injuries

    The advertised bout between Brian Cage and Rob Van Dam didn’t necessarily live up to the expectations of many fans not because the match was terrible, but in actual fact the match didn’t even take place as Cage was attacked by one of RVD’s girlfriends who were sitting in the crowd which lead to Van Dam capitalizing on this attack with his signature Van Terminator into a steel chair right into Cage before being helped to the backstage area.

    So what exactly was the purpose of all of that? You might be asking…Well it soon came to light that Cage was suffering a bicep injury before the show and as such plans for this match had to change.

    To add more salt in the wound, Cage also suffered a busted lip from this angle and as a result of these injuries, Daga would go on to wrestle RVD in a decent enough match on the PPV with Van Dam coming out on top.

    6. Reports of Brian Cage To AEW

    IMPACT fans were certainly disappointed when the advertised bout between Cage and RVD never martialized due to injury, but that disappoint so turned to shock and in some cases anger when news broke that the former IMPACT World Champion had signed with the brand new promotion, All Elite Wrestling less than a few hours after the show concluded.

    Cage’s wife and then backstage interviewer for IMPACT, Melissa Santos called out the reports as ‘fake’ in order to lessen the outcry IMPACT fans had over Brian Cage straight up leaving, but the writing was one the wall as Cage wouldn’t be seen on IMPACT television following this event.

    Cage would debut and win the Casino Ladder Match and become number one contender for the AEW World Championship at that year’s Double or Nothing event in May with ECW legend and former TNA commentator, Tazz as his mouthpiece unfortunately for Cage he didn’t win the title and his run in AEW can best described as ‘uneventful’.

    5. Moose’s Multitude of Injuries

    I’m really starting to think that this pay per view might just be cursed as we have another string of bad luck affecting one the company’s top stars at this show

    At Hard To Kill, ‘The War Machine’ Rhino was set to take on Moose in a No Disqualification match which saw Moose come out with the victory but that wasn’t the only thing he walked away with from this match.

    According to Tommy Dreamer on Busted Open Radio, he confirmed that a lot of the wrestlers who took part in Hard To Kill have suffered injuries from Ethan Page to RVD to Madman Fulton.

    Moose was no different as he suffered a concussion as well as a ‘potential back injury’ after being back body dropped on the entrance ramp during his match; This resulted in him being sent straight to the hospital but like many of the other wrestlers on this show he would make a speedy recovery.

    4. Taya Teased a Future Title Match During the Hard to Kill 2020 Media Scrum

    While the idea of a media scrum post wrestling show is more associated with AEW and nowadays WWE, IMPACT hosted a few press conferences before and after Hard To Kill which saw wrestlers like Ace Austin, Eddie Edwards, The North, Sami Callihan and Rhino speak about their matches but it was Taya’s post match comments that are the most interesting.

    During the conference, Taya mentions how she’s one of the greatest knockouts of all time while also praising the work that has been shown by the ladies in the Knockout Division before she’s then asked about the whole Tessa Blanchard situation that came out hours ago on social media.

    Instead Taya negates the question but does mention that she feels that she should be the number one person to face Tessa if she does win the title as she sees herself as the best representative for the entire female division. 

    Just a few months after that conference, Taya would face Tessa in the main event for the IMPACT World Championship on the March 3rd 2020 edition of IMPACT.

    3. Tessa’s Post-Show Hard to Kill 2020 Speech

    To say that Tessa Blanchard was the most talked about wrestler in early 2020 would be a massive understatement as Tully Blanchard’s little girl would the subject of criticism over an issue that was brought up by former Knockouts Champion, Sienna/Allysin Kay on Twitter after Tessa posted a tweet about women should be out supporting each other.

    The story goes that an incident occurred in Japan in 2017 where Tessa and spat at indie wrestler, La Rosa Negra whilst using a racial slur; This tweet coupled with stories of bullying by other wrestlers like Chelsea Green and Gigi Dolin further ruined Blanchard’s reputation.

    The backlash was swift to say the least and it made the main event at Hard To Kill a PR nightmare for IMPACT with some wondering if IMPACT would still put the title on Tessa or change course and have Sami Callihan retain the gold.

    In the end, the company still went with Tessa becoming the new world champion and following her historic title win, the audience at home had only a few minutes to enjoy this moment before the show immediately went to credits however for those in attendance at the Bomb Factory in Dallas Texas they got the opportunity to hear the new champion speak after one of the most important matches in her career.

    During her speech Tessa is join by family members in the ring as she goes on to say:

    “Over the past eight months this has been my life, Sami and oVe have been the thorn in my side and tonight we did it. Nobody…nobody in this life is perfect, were all human; It doesn’t matter what you say about me, it doesn’t matter what you call me…I’ve got the strongest minds I’ve ever known so whenever you come for me, you come for all of these people and now I am…the standard bearer of Impact Wrestling and man or women, pound-for-pound I am now one of the best in the world and I am now your world champion.”

    A defiant speech no doubt, but this moment wouldn’t last long for the third generation star because…

    2. Cage, Elgin, Tessa etc. Departed the Company Soon After Hard to Kill 2020

    I’ve already discussed Cage’s unexpected depart from the company after being written off with injury, but it’s safe to say that he wasn’t the only star who appeared on this show that was on borrowed time in the promotion

    In the months that followed this event, Daga would not appear for another IMPACT PPV and he would ask for his release in October, RVD and his girlfriend Katie Forbes left in September and Trey Miguel would leave in November (along his mates Dez and Wentz) although he would return to the company in 2021.

    As for other names who vanished: Backstage interviewer, Gabby Loren would be gone as well as referee Kris Levin, Dave Crist and Michael Elgin would see their careers destroyed as part of the #Speaking Out Movement in the summer of 2020 and even Jake Crist wouldn’t lasted long as a result of his association with his brother and saw his contract run out in December.

    Finally the biggest departure of the whole lot was Tessa Blanchard as she would be gone by the summer with the reasons for her exit being made unclear although reports of her refusing to make promotional content for the Slammiversary PPV and refusing to return to the states due to her getting married and a global health crisis might have something to do with that… Speaking of which.

    1. Hard to Kill 2020 was The Last IMPACT PPV of the Pre-Pandemic Era

    Tessa’s world title victory and the allegations leveled against her dominated much of the wrestling discussion for most of early 2020, but that and the wrestling world as a whole would change when the Cornavirus or Covid-19 Pandemic came to the United States and the rest of the world.

    With crowds becoming nonexistent due to traveling and close contact restrictions and several wrestlers refusing to compete for health related reasons left the wrestling community in a state of uncertainty.

    While things would eventually go back to normal, Hard To Kill 2020 stands as the last IMPACT Wrestling pay-per-view to air in a pre-pandemic world and the last to have fans in attendance until Slammiversary 2021.

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