As the old saying goes “Nostalgia is a Hell of a Drug” and if TNA (Yes, TNA) Hard To Kill 2024 is any indication, then the wrestling world was euphoric on this night.
The first major TNA Wrestling pay-per-view (aka Premium Live Event) since Bound For Glory 2016, Hard To Kill attempted to blend the past with the present while also delivering some solid action and incredible moments…Overall not a bad night for the company or pro wrestling in general.
Welcome to Distortion Media and here are 10 Interesting Facts About Hard To Kill 2024
10. AEW Ran Two Shows to ‘Compete’ with HTK
As their one-time partnership with All Elite Wrestling clearly shows, Tony Khan loves trolling IMPACT/TNA Wrestling.
Whether his degrading them on their show by way of the “Paid Ads” he and Tony Schiavone did at the time or his refusal to incorporate IMPACT stars not named the Good Brothers on AEW Programming, Khan’s treatment (or lack thereof) for IMPACT could arguably be seen as the start in which people began to turn off the AEW President.
The nadir of this could best be seen with AEW’s Battle of the Belts which is a series of TV Specials that the company airs every once in and while with the unofficial reason for its existence being to siphone off fans who would watch another wrestling event happening on the same day and the same time.
In January of 2024, the ninth edition of Battle of the Belts was announced to air on the 13th in Norfolk, Virginia with two of the big matches being the In-ring AEW debut of Deonna Purrazzo as well as Chris Jericho and Sami Guevara vs. Ricky Starks and Big Bill for the AEW Tag Team Titles.
That event plus the AEW Collision show that aired prior came on the same day and time as Hard To Kill, which wasn’t too coincidental when you look back at the history of B.O.B shows lining up the same dates as a few major IMPACT PPVs:
B.O.B 1/HTK 2022 both on January 8th
B.O.B. 5/ BFG 2022 both on October 7th
B.O.B. 7/ Slamm 2023 both on July 15th
B.O.B. 8/BFG 2023 both on October 21st
B.O.B. 9/HTK 2024 both on January 13th
Now sure you can argue that the hype surrounding Hard To Kill was going to overshadow anything that happened on Collision and Battle of the Belts (and it did), but again the timing of these events airing at the same time as Hard To Kill…Coincidence???…I say nope.
9. Some Wrestlers Endured Traveling Issue
While years of bad management in the first half of the 2010s didn’t stop TNA or its wrestler, Mother Nature and aeroplane travel in 2024 almost did. A few stars who were set to appear on the show experienced some trouble getting to the event.
From Missing flights to experiencing delays due to snowy conditions names like Matthew Rehwoldt and Trey Miguel had to deal with heading into the Premium Live Event, but thankfully they were able to make it.
The same could not be said for Trent Seven, sliver haired mustacho wrestler who had signed with the company at the Final Resolution event in December of 2023 and was scheduled to team up with Mike Bailey in a four-way match for the brand new TNA world-tag team titles.
Seven sadly couldn’t be able to make it in time, so he was replaced the day or two before with Laredo Kid with the two high flyers doing a servable job as a tag team.
8. Much of the Card was Built Up on Social Media
Following the announcement of TNA Wrestling making its return on the same date as its Hard To Kill event got fans interested to see how the company would capitalize on this momentum in the shows that followed…As it turns out they did what they almost always do in moments like this and that’s failing to capitalise.
Outside of two taped episodes that came right after BFG, the rest of the card year in 2022 saw IMPACT airing clip show after clip show and two special events in Turning Point and Final Resolution which had little to no build going into it.
So with that knowledge, it’s easy to see how some fans felt a bit lacklustre when it came to getting hyped for the PPV until the company decided to do something that was a great business decision…and that’s declaring matches and wrestlers for the show via their Twitter/X account.
Announcing matches like the second ever Knockouts Ultimate X match and the females involved at 1 PM Eastern Time, gave a sense of anticipation and intrigue into who would be involved. The company also did this in the final week when it came to unveiling the new championships to the respective champions with the belts garnering positive responses from both the fans and the general public.
7. The Largest Gate for TNA in 10 Years
Despite the event not being a sold-out show (which would’ve been a first in TNA’s history), Hard To Kill 2024 still did great business for the promotion with the number of fans being a prime example of this.
The show took place at the Palms Casino Resort in Paradise, Nevada the part of the building in which the show took place had a capacity of 2,071; TNA’s original plan was to get 1,180 fans in attendance, but as the final weeks and days came around things drastically changed with the number of seats needing to be expanded.
According to a post on WrestleTix’s X account, the numbers for this event appear to be 1,630 fans in attendance which is 450 more people than originally planned although some fans who were at the PLE claim the number to be around 1,700 fans which would be 520 more people than originally planned.
Many shows during the IMPACT Wrestling era from 2018-2023 were indeed sold out with the most notably being Slammiversary and Bound For Glory, however as reported by PWInsider, Hard To Kill 2024 did one of the largest gates for TNA since 2014… Not too shabby.
6. Dango Re-Signed Days Earlier
Confused looks were certainly given when one of the matches announced for Hard To Kill was PCO vs. Dirty Dango, considering neither made had a feud with the other going into the show.
This led some to speculate that the decision to have this match was made as a way to write off Dango from the company as his contract with TNA was expiring and no word was made on if he would stay.
Fast Forward to January 10th and reports began to emerge that the former Fandango in the WWE had indeed re-signed with TNA as the man himself made it clear during a recent appearance on the Paltrocast with Darren Paltrowitz.
Considering his doing the best character work of his entire career, it’s a good thing his sticking around in TNA.
5. Talks between Xia and TNA happened Months Earlier
Former Stardom and NXT UK star, Xia Brookside was just one of a handful of wrestlers making their TNA debut at this event alongside the Grizzled Young Veterans, Ash By Elegance (aka Dana Brooke), A.J. Francis (aka Top Dolla) and Nic Nemeth (aka Dolph Ziggler).
Brookside wrestled in the opening Knockouts Ultimate X match, but came up short; Many fans were hoping that the young 25-year-old would get signed to a TNA Wrestling contract which ended up happening with the company announcing Xia as one their newest signees not long after the Premium Live Event concluded.
As it turns out this was worked out much sooner than expected; According to reports both parties were in discussions going all the way back to November but decided to hold off on announcing or bringing Xia into the fold until the time the right.
4. Rosemary Made History
The last-minute Knockouts Tag Team Title match is remembered for the shock return of Rosemary and Havok aka the Decay who were wrestling their first match together as a team for some time.
Both ladies spent the majority of 2022 and 2023 as part of the Death Dollz which became a fun-loving rock-inspired version of the duo with Rosemary becoming Courtney Rush and Havok becoming Jessicka.
At Hard To Kill, Rosemary and Havok defeated the team of MK Ultra aka Masha Slamovich and Killer Kelly to become the new champions; While this win made Havok aka Jessicka a three-time Knockouts Tag Team Champion, Rosemary was a special case as she became the first ever knockout to win the tag team titles a record four times.
In addition to being the first four-time knockouts tag champion, Rosemary is also in the top five of wrestlers who’ve held the tag belts the most with her currently at 294 days before winning the straps at HTK. For those who are wondering, the other four ahead of ‘The Demon Assassin’ are Madison Rayne (with 372 days), Taylor Wilde (with 377 days) and the kayfabe couple of Eric Young and ODB (with 478 days).
3. Steve’s First Title Win in Eight Years
Turns out Rosemary wasn’t the only OG member from Decay to win gold on this night as Crazzy Steve did the same.
As one of three matches to occur on the Countdown to Hard To Kill preshow, Crazzy Steve defeated Tommy Dreamer in a No Disqualification to become the new Digital Media Champion.
This not only marked the first time Steve won a single title in his entire run with the company but it would also be the first time in almost a decade the crazed psycho clown won any title in the company.
You’d need to go back to May of 2016 when Steve won a championship as part of Decay when he and Abyss beat Beer Money to become the new TNA World Tag Team Champions.
Their only reign lasted 197 days before losing the belts to Matt and Jeff Hardy at that year’s Bound For Glory, and Steve would never win a championship again until eight years later.
2. The First Successful Feast or Fired World Title Cash-in Since 2016
The year 2016 strikes again as it was not only the last time Crazzy Steve won championship gold in the company but also marked the first time a feast or fired cash-in for the world title went well.
On March 15th 2016, Matt Hardy (going through his ICONIC phase) was looking to leave the IMPACT Zone with his TNA World Heavyweight Championship when Drew Galloway cashed in his Feast or Fired briefcase for the world title and in the process became the first Scottish born wrestler to become a world champion in company history.
Since the concept of Feast or Fired started back in 2007, Eight men have had the world title briefcase with six of them failing to win the big gold belt, Drew became the first to do so successfully and it wouldn’t be until 2024 when Moose became the second man to win the title via briefcase opportunity.
1. HTK’s First World Title Change in Years
Moose’s victory over Alex Shelley in the main event of Hard To Kill made the former NFL star a one-time TNA World Champion with his first “reign” not being officially recognised until he lost the belt to then IMPACT World Champion, Rich Swann in a winner takes all match in the main event of Sacrifice 2021.
What might be the most surprising thing is that Moose can claim to be the only person to retain and win the world title at Hard To Kill with him successfully retaining the gold in a three-way match at the 2022 iteration.
What is also surprising is that this marked the first time in four years that the World title changed hands at Hard To Kill with Tessa Blanchard being the previous person to do so at the 2020 event… considering how much Tessa has become a person non grata in professional wrestling, it’s kinda easy to forget.