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Impact Hard to Kill preview: Tessa Blanchard could break barriers and make history

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Impact Wrestling’s first PPV of 2020 is here. Hard to Kill takes place tonight at 8 pm ET from Dallas, Texas. The card is fairly stacked with four title bouts, a trophy bout, and legends competing. The main feature is Tessa Blanchard’s intergender quest to take the top title from Sami Callihan and make history as the first woman to win the Impact World Championship.

World Championship: Sami Callihan vs Tessa Blanchard

This has been a long-standing feud awaiting the next installment. Sami Callihan won the World Championship against Cage in a cage match. Tessa Blanchard survived a six-wrestler gauntlet match to become top contender. She entered last and took out Cage to win. There is bad blood between the Callihan and Blanchard, and it even spilled into the streets of New York City with a brawl. My expectations are high, since they won Impact’s Match of the Year for 2019 for their fight at Slammiversary.

Oh yeah, there is also the story angle of Tessa vying to become the first woman to win the top title in a major promotion. Apologies to Sexy Star in Lucha Underground. LU is big in my heart, but I guess her title win doesn’t count as a big promotion. Former LU talent Callihan (aka Jeremiah Snake) can save Sexy Star’s place in history by preventing Tessa’s dream from coming to fruition. He plans to treat her as an equal and bash her f’ing skull.

Prediction: Tessa Blanchard brings home the bacon as new champ. For all the intergender hype, I struggled to envision a way for her to lose and keep paying viewers happy. That was until fellow women wrestlers exposed past behavioral issues. I still think Impact pulls the trigger with Tessa, but don’t be surprised if Sami retains or there is a cash-in of the Call Your Shot Trophy from either Eddie Edwards or Michael Elgin. If Impact goes full panic mode, then I say slide Taya in to conquer the universe.

Tag Team Championship: The North vs Rich Swann & Willie Mack

Rich Swann and Willie Mack earned the title shot by winning a tag team open. Ethan Page of The North has been planting seeds of doubt in Mack’s mind with visions of him being the weak link and holding Swann back from greatness. Swann boosted Mack’s confidence with a pep talk, but Mack is dealing with a leg injury sustained during the tag team open.

Prediction: The North retain. Mack is a big man with big moves, and I think his leg injury will resurface when it matters most.

X Division Championship: Ace Austin vs Trey Miguel

Trey Miguel won a six-man match to become #1 contender. Ace Austin has a lust for life with an eye on wives and mothers. Miguel’s mom has caught Austin’s attention. She will be in the crowd to cheer her boy on.

Prediction: Ace Austin retains. Creeping on Miguel’s mom is a trigger point. Austin can use that to his advantage to cloud Miguel’s focus.

Knockouts Championship: Taya vs Jordynne Grace vs ODB

Taya is the longest reigning Knockouts champion in history. Jordynne Grace is a powerhouse. ODB is a lunch lady, according to Taya. Actually, ODB had to make a return to wrestling when her food truck business burned down. There will be no friendly double-teaming on the champ. Grace and ODB have quickly grown to dislike each other.

Prediction: Taya. I’m a big fan of La Wera Loca. May her time as champion extend into 2021.

Cage vs RVD

This is billed as a dream match, but RVD views it as a dream match for Cage. RVD is tired of wrestlers stealing all his moves. Cage is tired of RVD making those claims and also making out with Katie Forbes.

Prediction: Cage. I want to say RVD, but Cage is a machine. This is my dark horse for show-stealer. RVD still has the skills to wow. Cage is always amazing. If the story allows for RVD to be motivated, then we should be in for a treat.

Call Your Shot Trophy: Eddie Edwards vs Michael Elgin

The man who holds the Call Your Shot Trophy can call his shot at a title match whenever he wants. It sounds similar to Money in the Bank. Edwards is currently the rightful owner of the trophy. Elgin became frustrated when his championship desires were thwarted, so he targeted Edwards as a shortcut back into the title picture.

Prediction: Michael Elgin. Elgin won a fantastic singles bout against Edwards on the go-home episode. Wrestling logic dictates that Edwards should be victorious. However, Elgin is too beefy for Edwards to handle. Big Mike will get the big win.

Moose vs Rhino

Spear vs Gore. Simple as that. I’m not all that interested in an actual match between these two, but I do like the spear vs gore idea. I say skip the match and do a Rochambeau challenge with spears until one man fails to stand.

Prediction: Moose. In an ironic twist, he’ll win without the aid of a spear.

Madman Fulton vs Ken Shamrock

These two crossed paths in the Callihan vs Blanchard feud. They want to hurt each other really bad.

Prediction: No contest/draw/double countout/whatever result has no formal winner. Fulton is a madman. Shamrock is a dangerous man. They will throw out the rules and fight on the floor to a double countout.

To get in the mood for tonight’s main event, check out Sami Callihan versus Tessa Blanchard at Unbreakable from August. Impact posted the match for free.

Hard to Kill blasts off tonight (Sunday, January 12) at 8pm ET. The show can be viewed on PPV and Fite TV.

What are your predictions for Hard to Kill? Which match will steal the show?

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