TNA HARD TO KILL 2024 Hot Take by Mike Johnson
They said it could never happen.
They said it was gone forever.
They said it was dead.
They were wrong.
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, shining against the desolate dark night to illuminate it soars above, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling has returned. On Saturday January 13th, TNA will present Hard to Kill live on TrillerTV, live from Las Vegas, the perfect city for such a momentous occasion.
After one, Las Vegas is where one plays the odds to the max. One hardly has to touch down at Harry Reid International Airport to see they are equal distance from the seductive nature of the Vegas strip and the darkness hidden beneath the Neon lights. For every winner, for every story that stays in Vegas, there are a multitude of broken hearts and sad sack stories that form the foundation that the city's winners dance upon.
There is perhaps no other location in the world that defines the duality of man and woman, the Jekyll and Hyde of our true nature, than Las Vegas. With TNA stars set to step into battle and leave it all on the line to prove themselves worthy of the reborn legacy that has been set before them and the all or nothing nature of the evening, The Palms in Vegas is the stage for perhaps the most dramatic TNA pay-per-view event of all time. An entire cavalcade of fighters are seeking not just retribution, not just championships, not just the spotlight, but the chance to become the true benchmark of what it means to be a TNA Superstar in 2024.
From Jeff Jarrett to Awesome Kong to Samoa Joe to Christy Hemme to AJ Styles to Christopher Daniels to Kurt Angle to Gail Kim to Ken Shamrock and beyond, those names made their legend in TNA and in doing so, built the aura and allure of what Total Nonstop Action Wrestling was to the world at large. Now, an entire new generation of talents seek to prove it's about no limits, it's about greatness and it's about three letters, T-N-A, a promotion that indeed, has proven to be HARD TO KILL.
TNA Hard To Kill 2024 will feature the following colossal main events on Saturday January 13th!
TNA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Alex Shelley had a banner year as Impact Wrestling came to close, having captured his first-ever World Championship, defending it successfully against an incredible array of challengers from around the world, but at Hard To Kill, Shelley will face his hardest challenge to date. Indeed, if he intends to extend his incredible run into 2024 as the TNA World Champion, Shelley will have to take every ounce of pro wrestling acumen he has and utilize it to defeat Moose.
Moose, already a former TNA and Impact Wrestling World Champion, comes into Las Vegas following an insane workout regime that has seen him ascend his physical form to the next level while also mentally preparing like never before. Already a phenomenal athlete inside the squared circle, Moose steps into Hard To Kill in the zone and motivated like never before, because the victor of this World Championship match will be immortalized in the history books like no one before or since - as the first TNA World Champion of this era.
Moose comes into the bout with the Call my Shot Gauntlet guaranteeing him this title bout, but by announcing it several weeks ago, he may have tipped his hand too soon, allowing Shelley the time to properly prepare. Given that Shelley is Jedi Master level proficient in every technical professional wrestling strategy known to man, Moose's choice of when to call his shot may have actually allowed Shelley to find a weakness to attack inside the ring when the bell rings in Las Vegas!
Moose himself may have another advantage, though. The rigors of the World Championship defense schedule looks to have worn Shelley down with calf and leg injuries said to have been hampering him of late. If Moose can use his insanely powerful strength to brutalize Shelley's weaknesses early, this could result in a championship change faster than you can mutter "Mike Tyson Knockout."
The fate of the TNA World Championship will be decided in this classic bout with two stellar fighters who bring their own unique specialties into the ring. Only one man will emerge as the kingpin and centerpiece of Total Nonstop Action, live on TrillerTV.
KNOCKOUTS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
If one had to argue which women helped define the Knockouts division in 2023, there would be a lot of amazing athletes to debate over, but one would be hard-pressed to argue against Trinity and Jordynne Grace.
For Trinity, her journey to Impact Wrestling began with a fateful debut in Chicago, leading her to her first-ever Knockouts World Championship victory over Deonna Purrazzo, followed by incredible championship defenses against Sonny Kiss, Gisele Shaw, Alisha Edwards and more. While Trinity left countless opponents defeated with Starstruck, there was one woman who she didn't engage with inside the ring as an opponent, and that would be her Hard to Kill challenge Jordynne Grace.
While Trinity's debut in Impact Wrestling led to her career-fulfilling ascension, that title victory over Purrazzo at Slammiversary 2003 guaranteed one thing - that Jordynne Grace would never regain the title from Purrazzo. When Purazzo won that championship at Rebellion 2023 and then retained it in a rematch, Grace quietly disappeared into the night, seething and seeking to reform, rebuild, return. Four months later, Grace valiantly returned to the scene, but Trinity had taken the prize that Grace coveted.
With Grace now challenging Trinity, this Knockouts World Championship will be a battle of fan favorites for the ages, Grace is a powerhouse bruiser. Trinity is a smooth technician who brings a fast-paced flurry of aerial maneuvers that can leave any competitor's head spinning into defeat. This battle of two unique fighting styles leaves oddsmakers at, well, odds with who has the advantage but the reality may be this - she who strikes first with a major devastating maneuver may be the woman with her hand raised in victory.
One has to assume that Grace is the hungrier of the two competitors. She is not only seeking to be the Queen of TNA but hungers to wipe her slate clean to return to her former place on the Knockouts throne. Trinity has been the central figure in the Knockouts division for months and has defended that title proudly around the world, but could her work ethic actually work against her when faced with a Juggernaut like Grace?
The woman who will define the Knockouts division will be decided at Hard To Kill, but even she won't have a moment to rest as TNA's Knockouts will take to the skies the same night in order to the next Knockouts World Championship in the return of the Ultimate X match, where the winner will be Knockout who out-battles her opponents and makes it across the cables hung above the ring to capture the championship match!
INTERNATIONAL BATTLE FOR THE TNA X-DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
The X-Division was never about weight limits, it was always about NO LIMITS and in its best iterations, the greatest, most athletic, futuristic, daring professional wrestlers in the world fought for the championship, and in doing so, raised the bar for the entire combat sports industry. In that tradition, TNA Hard to Kill will see a true international incident unfold live on TrillerTV when reigning X-Division Champion Chris Sabin defends the championship against one of TNA's latest signings, Japanese superstar KUSHIDA and the Lucha Libre AAA Mega Champion, the world renowned Hijo del Vikingo!
When KUSHIDA returned to New Japan Pro Wrestling and TNA from the land of sports-entertainment past, he immediately stated that he wanted to face the greatest professional wrestlers in the world. If there's anyone who may know KUSHIDA in and out, it's his partners in Time Machine, including Sabin. Their intimate knowledge from teaming in the ring and training together on the road, breeds a most unique, intimate encounter between two competitors who are not only kindred spirits but also thrive for a challenge. At an event where the envelope will be pushed beyond the breaking point in order to garner the world's attention, Sabin and KUSHIDA are obviously poised for greatness.
That's not even putting the reigning AAA Mega Champion Hijo del Vikingo into the mix. Perhaps Mexico's most spectacular lucha star of the 21st century, Vikingo has defeated some of the best professional wrestlers in the world over the course of 2023, including AEW's Kenny Omega. Vikingo, one of the most imaginative aerial assault artists worldwide, may be the biggest threat to Sabin retaining the championship at Hard to Kill as he can attack from anywhere, at any height, from any environment in or around the ringside area.
Three very unique competitors with several common threads between them. They all proudly represent their home country. They all have boundless work ethic. They are all some of the hardest-fighting imaginative in-ring fighters of their time - and they all want to be X-Division Champion as TNA explodes back to life. TrillerTV fans will know which of them prove to be victorious on January 13th.
WHO IS THE NEW SIGNING?
TNA President Scott D'Amore has teased a major free agent would be coming to TNA at Hard to Kill and that the finishing touches on that deal were being completed. Who could this new competitor be and how will they shake up the balance of power within the promotion? What will be the ripple effects that are felt in the weeks and months to come? The initial surge of electricity will strike live from Las Vegas at Hard to Kill!
As if that isn't news enough, internationally renowned tag team specialists The Grizzled Young Veterans will make their official TNA debut at Hard to Kill, putting ABC, The Rascalz and the rest of the TNA tag team division officially on notice that a new chapter begins live on TrillerTV on Saturday January 13th!
TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION CONTINUES….
The Hard to Kill TNA cavalcade continues with a stellar tag team encounter as long-time TNA groundbreaking stalwarts Eric Young and Frankie Kazarian unite to face the might of newly minted team Brian Myers and Eddie Edwards, accompanied by Alisha Edwards. On a night where everyone is seeking to strike it rich in Las Vegas, the fans are guaranteed a phenomenal match between these four wrestling wizards.
Of course, one cannot utter the words HARD TO KILL without the French Frankenstein, the infamous PCO rising from the shadows seeking to take out another hapless competitor. When he marches in Vegas, PCO will step into battle with Dirty Dango. Can the combined might of Oleg Prudius and Alpha Bravo ensure victory for Dango or will he end up just another victim in an unmarked desert grave at the hands of one of the most insane wrestling competitors of the modern era?
They say all good things come in time and on Saturday January 13th, TNA returns to plant its flag in the battlefield of professional wrestling, warning all that stand against it that a new level of greatness is upon them and that the old rallying cry of TNA! TNA! TNA! will ring anew once more. TrillerTV is proud to bring the rebirth of TNA, Hard to Kill, to an audience across the globe and beyond, live from Las Vegas!
Mike Johnson is the lead reporter for PWInsider.com and has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He can be found on Twitter @MikePWInsider and MikeJohnsonWrites.com.