[Please note: a lot of this show was built around surprise debuts and returns of former champions. I’ve done my best not to spoil anything but I’m sorry if I missed one.]
Despite the ongoing interruptions to the world of professional wrestling, one thing remains constant: Impact Wrestling Slammiversary is guaranteed to be a good show. After months of teasing surprise returns and then the unexpected walking out of their top champion, at Slammiversary, four of Impact’s top talents will compete for that vacant title: Ace Austin, Eddie Edwards and Trey Miguel will fill three of those spots, with the fourth entrant a surprise to be revealed before the match. The fantastic Knockouts Division Champion, Jordynne Grace will face off against new rival Deonna Purrazzo, and Willie Mack defends his X Division Championship against Chris Bey. The Impact Tag Team Titles will also be defended, as the record breaking team of The North (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander) face off against the duo dubbed The World’s Most Dangerous Tag Team, rivals turned bitter friends, Sami Callihan & Ken Shamrock. All of this and much more at Impact Slammiversary, with all the action called by Josh Matthews and the returned Don Callis.
+ Ace Austin vs Trey vs Eddie Edwards vs ??? (Impact World Championship): well obviously this didn’t proceed as listed, but I liked the way it did go. Ace Austin is really good in his role, and Edward is such a good wrestler he can make anything work. Trey is the inexperienced one in this match, especially considering the surprise (or surprises?!) in store, but overall this was a really good match with a perfectly acceptable aftermath
+ Jordynne Grace (c) vs Deonna Purrazzo (Impact Knockouts Championship): I like Grace’s look and abilities, but I’m not entirely sold on Purrazzo just yet. Purrazzo did bust out a few big moves, and Graze had a few really, really good liking strikes to throw. This was not the best match on the show, but it was definitely one of the best
+ The North (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander) (c) vs Sami Callihan & Ken Shamrock (Impact Tag Team Championships): this was pretty good at first, but by the end Shamrock was completely out of breath. I am a huge Callihan fan, but it was Josh Alexander who was the standout star in this match, and the post-match promo proved that, too
+ Willie Mack (c) vs Chris Bey (Impact X-Division Championship): this was really good, and the first match of the show that felt like a real pay per view match
+ The Rascalz (Dez & Wentz) in an open challenge: the reveal of their challenger was really surprising, and this ended up being pretty good overall, with only a few sloppy bits
– #1 Contender Knockouts Gauntlet: to take absolutely nothing away from the athleticism of these women, holy cow this match was hot. So many of these Impact women have ‘sexy’ gimmicks, and when they got into the match together it basically devolved into softcore porn. A handful of these women are far better than than sort of treatment, and this could easily have been a four or five way elimination match instead between those women
– Moose (c) vs Tommy Dreamer (TNA World Championship): this was not good at all. Dreamer looks more like Terry Funk than ever, but he just doesn’t have that same aura about him
> the more things change, the more they stay the same, as every replay on this was broken, and clearly what the commentators saw on their screens was not what we were shown
Should you watch this event: I really liked Mack/Bey, and I was entirely on board with the tag team title match until Shamrock got gassed out. This was a good show, but certainly didn’t reach the heights there were clearly implying it would be with the buildup.