Credit: Impact Wrestling
The announcement that Alex Shelley would not be able to compete in the main event of Hard to Kill as advertised forced Moose into competition, partnering with Chris Sabin and rival Impact world champion Rich Swann, to battle tag team champions The Good Brothers and AEW world champion Kenny Omega.
Don Callis handled the introduction for Omega.
Early wrestling from Sabin and Karl Anderson gave way to a hoss fight between Moose and Doc Gallows before the action broke down. In the midst of it all, Omega grabbed hold of Swann and tagged Anderson in. Sabin earned a quick near-fall off a standing moonsault by Moose but the heels beat him down in the corner again.
The action broke down once more and this time,the babyfaces rolled, Sabin and Swann delivering an assisted tornado DDT to Omega and diving over the ropes to wipe out the opposition. Gallows worked over Swann and Omega added a fameasser.
The Impact world champion tagged Moose into the match and the former St. Louis Ram bowled over the competition. With Sabin the legal man, the babyfaces again found themselves on the defensive as Omega dropped him with a sit-out powerbomb for two.
Sabin downed Omega and scored a red-hot near-fall. Anderson and Gallows flattened the former TNA and X-Division champion, though, and scored a two-count of their own.
Swann entered the match and exchanged blows with Omega. The AEW champion got the best of it, delivering a snapdragon suplex and underhook piledriver.
Moose hoisted Omega on his shoulders but The Cleaner slithered out and sent the big man into Swann, crotching him on the top rope. Swann and Moose, enemies, combined for a modified Doomsday Device that scored a two-count.
Swann delivered a 450 splash moments later for another dramatic near-fall as Omega reeled.
A missed Phoenix Splash gave way to The Good Brothers dropping Swann with the Magic Killer and Moose making the last-minute save. Omega sent Moose to the floor, delivered the V-Trigger and finished him with the One-Winged Angel for the win.
Omega and The Good Brothers defeated Swann, Sabin and Moose
This was very bit the action-packed main event you would have hoped for from a talent pool as deep as this one.
Moose shined bright here, the most electric performer in a match full of celebrated in-ring performers. He was motivated, fast and physical whether he threw fists with big Gallows or wrestled Omega. At a time when Impact is clearly positioning him to be the man to dethrone Swann, he absolutely performed up to the moment and looked like the biggest star in the company.
Which brings us to Swann.
Rich has been one of the best stories in wrestling, a workhorse for the company who overcame a career-threatening injury to win the world title in a months-long storyline that paid off at October’s Bound for Glory.
Throughout this particular storyline and well into this match, though, he was overshadowed and treated like a secondary afterthought to Kenny Omega. That he ate the pinfall when Chris Sabin easily could have lost the match and done no damage to his credibility only further enhances his questionable booking throughout this program.
As strong as the match was, it does raise the question as to why the whole ordeal was so one-sided from start to finish.
Omega and The Good Brothers beat down and got the best of the babyfaces countless times in the lead-in to Hard to Kill. Then they win the main event. What exactly did this do for Impact?
Sure, it raised its stature in the wrestling world for a few weeks but things leveled off rather quickly and outside of a one-time buyrate, it hardly seems to have any long-term benefit. Especially when Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone are on the show every week talking trash on Impact.
Assuming the goal was to book this one-off PPV match, in hopes of generating revenue, it likely worked. Whether it was worth sacrificing the credibility of Impact stars is an entirely different question.