Kenny Omega-Rich Swann Main Event Jolts Impact's Hard to Kill

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Rich Swann_courtesy AEW_II

During the main event of Impact Wrestling’s Hard To Kill pay per view on Saturday night, the All Elite Wrestling Champion pinned the Impact Wrestling Champion.

Kenny Omega, who made his entrance to the ring wearing the AEW championship belt and a Bullet Club shirt, closed the show with a clean pin on Rich Swann, the reigning Impact champ. The inter-promotion match saw Omega team with Impact tag champs Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows, and they squared off against Swann, Moose and Chris Sabin. The end result was a 20-minute match that offered a fantastic display of pro wrestling.

The finishing sequence of the bout saw Swann take a Magic Killer from Gallows and Anderson, and he was then on the receiving end of Omega’s patented V-Trigger and One-Winged Angel finisher. That combination led to a clean victory, allowing viewers an opportunity to witness the rare sight of one promotion’s world champ pinning another.

“You never see a company’s champion in the ring, face to face, with another company’s world champion,” said Swann, who spoke with Sports Illustrated after the show. “I’m very proud of this show, and I think we gave people a taste of what Kenny Omega versus Rich Swann can be.”

The six-man tag capped off a very entertaining night of pro wrestling. Standout matches included the X Division Championship triple threat match featuring Manik, Chris Bey and Rohit Raju, which saw Manik retain the title, as well as an outstanding matchup that saw Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo defeat Taya Valkyrie. The show also included the surprise debut of Matt Cardona, who starred in WWE as Zack Ryder. The team of Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz overcame Havok and Nevaeh to win the Knockouts tag team titles.

“This show was the complete package,” said Swann. “TJP, Chris Bey and Rohit Raju all killed it. Tasha Steelz and Kiera Hogan were incredible, and they became the new Knockouts Tag Team Champions. We made history at Hard To Kill, and I’m very proud of this show.”

The main event was missing the presence of Alex Shelley, who comprises one-half of the Motor City Machine Guns, and, per Impact, was unable to travel to the show in Nashville “due to unavoidable circumstances.” Shelley could not be adequately replaced, as the Motor City Machine Guns are part of the fabric of Impact, but including Moose added a different element to the match. The former NFL player made the most of the opportunity, helping create magic through a combination of his presence and a number of outrageous spots, like his standing moonsault and top rope Spanish fly.

“Moose definitely proved that he’s a big star,” said Swann. “He showed why he should be known as one of the greatest today. And look at the accolades of everyone in that match. Chris Sabin has been wrestling for years but the man just hasn’t a lost step. It means so much to me that I got to share this moment with him. I know we took the loss, but we left everything in the ring.”

Swann was never viewed as a world title contender in WWE, but he continues to show new versatility and range as the face of Impact. There was an unpredictable vibe in the main event, and a different kind of excitement every time he shared the ring with Omega.

Swann getting pinned by Omega now sets up a one-on-one match between the two champions, potentially at Impact’s Rebellion pay per view in April.

“I’m salivating over that match,” said Swann. “What happens if we step in the ring, one on one, title for title? There are still a lot of unanswered questions. Who’s the better athlete, who’s the better showman? People want to see it, and I feel like we should give it to them.”

Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.