Wrestling Review: iMPACT Slammiversary (2019)

Live from Gilley’s in Dallas, Texas, Impact Wrestling presents it’s biggest show of the summer, Slammiversary. Headlined by the first ever inter-gender match in a major US promotion, the ‘Ohio Versus Everything’ leader Sami Callihan looks to ruin the Cinderella story of Tess Blanchard before it begins. Professional wrestling runs deeps in the veins of Blanchard, the daughter of the Four Horsemen’s Tully Blanchard, but will that be enough to overthrow the Callihan Death Machine when the lights are on brightest? The Impact World Championship will be defended in a big boy battle, as The Machine, Brian Cage and “Unbreakable” Mike Elgin slug it out, while the X-Division Championship is on the line when Johnny Impact challenges Rich Swann for the coveted prize. The tag team championships will be defended, two heated rivals will look to make each other bleed and four of Impact Wrestling’s top women will have a Monster’s Ball match for the Knockout Championship, along with much more.

+ Sami Callihan vs Tessa Blanchard: I had mixed feelings going into this, but I like Blanchard and I absolutely love The Callihan Death Machine (to my own detriment, sometimes). This was at times uncomfortable, but intentionally so, but it just made the match so much more engrossing. I think Impact took a huge gamble with this as the main event, but it has paid off, and made one wrestler one of the most hated, and another one of the biggest underdogs
+ Brian Cage (c) vs Michael Elgin (Impact World Championship): this was one of the best big boy fights I’ve seen in a long time. Different to, say, the NJPW strike-heavy style, these two muscled each other around like ragdolls at times, and it made for a really old-school, power vs power match up. I’m a bit indifferent to both of these guys, Cage and Elgin, but I was still entertained throughout the match, and the ending and aftermath made me want to see even more
+ Rich Swann (c) vs Johnny Impact (Impact X-Division Championship): holy smokes, this was fantastic. Both guys are such unbelievably good athletes, and everything they do just looks so good. Swann is a really good underdog champion, especially against someone like Johnny, who has travelled to so many major and indie promptions across the wrestling world. Both guys looked a milllion bucks coming out of this, and perhaps more importantly, it made the Championship look really, really good
+ Taya Valkyrie (c) vs Rosemary vs Su Yung vs Havok (Monster’s Ball Match for the Impact Knockouts Championship): as a straight four way, this would not have been particularly good, but the weapons involved and the different styles of the women made this pretty good. It wasn’t pretty, but Havok’s size and power, and the story between Rosemary and Su Yung added to this, with Taya playing the bitch-champion absolutely perfectly. In the end, I enjoyed this
+ Eddie Edwards vs Killer Kross (First Blood Match): I love the rarity of First Blood matches, and this was a fantastic addition. This was not a technical match, but the story going in made sense with the match, and the way this match ended was something I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. Killer Kross should be a much bigger star than he currently is
+ TJP vs Jake Crist vs Trey vs Willie Mack: this was a lot of fun, with each guy playing a role: TJP was the technician, Mack brought the power, Crist was the crazy dives guy, and Trey did the flips, with all four men hitting devastating strikes. I really enjoyed this

impact_slammiversary_2019_2
I love me some Sami Callihan. You don’t even know how excited I am for the inevitable Switchblade Conspiracy reunion with Moxley. This match was a gamble, but I think it worked.

MOOSE vs Rob Van Dam: RVD was everybody’s favourite back in the day, but this match showed why I had to clarify with ‘back in the day’; RVD looked one step behind, and unable to hit his signature moves especially against the much larger MOOSE. MOOSE is some sort of crazy super athlete, so he was able to do his best against the sloppier moments from RVD, but overall this was just not a good match
The North (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander) (c) vs LAX (Ortiz & Santana) (w/ Konnan) vs The Rascalz (Dez & Wentz) (Impact World Tag Team Championship): this was okay, but felt a bit rushed and had too many heavily choreographed multi-man moments. I’m a fan of Ethan Page, Dez(mond Xavier) and both of LAX, so I was certainly interested in the outcome, but a poorly timed injury (which has since proven to be fake) sucked the life out of the action before a flat ending

> there is a lot to be said for these shows that go for a solid 3-hour max run time, with everybody looking good. The timing on this show was simply perfect, and so much other major promotions (including the obvious, WWE) could learn a thing or two from this show
> truthfully, I don’t know if Impact is still using the ‘iMPACT’ font style. I might just stick with ‘Impact’ from now on, for everything

Should you watch this event: This was a really, really good show. With only two matches being sub-par, Impact Wrestling has once again proven that it deserves to be taken seriously. The main event of Callihan/Blanchard will be divisive, no matter who you wanted to win, but Cage/Elgin, Swann/Impact, Kross/Edwards and the opening four way were all really good, and well worth watching.

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