Wrestling Review: iMPACT Slammiversary (2021)

[Please note: much like last year, 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 any.]

It is no holds barred in the main event of Impact Slammiversary, as the reigning champion, Kenny Omega, faces off against the unhinged Sami Callihan for the Impact World Championship. There will be no disqualifications when the “Death Machine” Sami Callihan finally gets his shot against Kenny Omega, so you can expect some unmitigated violence. The dominant Knockouts Champion, Deonna Purrazzo, will also be in action as she defends against an unknown opponent, while several personal grudges will also be settled. Kicking off the show, six of the best X-Divsion athletes will be in action when “The Walking Weapon” Josh Alexander defends his title in an Ultimate X Match against Trey Miguel, Ace Austin, Petey Williams, Rohit Raju and Chris Bey.

+ Kenny Omega (c) (w/ Don Callis) vs Sami Callihan (No Disqualification Match for the Impact World Championship): there was basically nothing these two could do that I was not going to be entirely excited for, and this didn’t disappoint. There was all the stuff and all the implements of destruction you might expect, and a few things you might not and it really ticked my boxes. I admit I’m biased, but this was fantastic and well worth the many year wait for me, and included one hell of a post-match segment – but see below for more on that
+ Deonna Purrazzo (c) vs TBA (Impact Knockouts Championship): Purrazzo’s opponent was easily the best surprise on the show, and it made the match something really, really good. Unfortunately this seemed to be a bit more tailored to the post-match shenanigans, but I still really enjoyed this match and I personally really enjoy what Purrazzo has been doing
+ Moose vs Chris Sabin: Moose is so god damn good at his job and Sabin is a beloved veteran for a reason. This was a fantastic big guy versus little guy match, though I can’t say I cared much for the finish
+ Eddie Edwards vs W. Morrissey: Morrissey in Impact has really been better than anyone could have expected. He plays this new psychopath really well, and when going against the incredibly beloved Edwards in an Impact ring, it made for a compelling hero versus villain fight
+ Brian Myers & Tenille Dashwood vs Matt Cardona & TBA: Cardona’s partner was no secret nor surprise, really, but it still made for a good moment. I’d argue this was meant as a cool down match following the X-Division insanity, but this still turned out better than you’d think, especially when everyone involved can actually wrestle
+ Josh Alexander (c) vs Trey Miguel vs Ace Austin vs Petey Williams vs Rohit Raju vs Chris Bey (Ultimate X Match for the X-Division Championship): there was some insane, crazy stuff in this match, as well as some hilarious physical comedy. It’s a shame the cameras missed so much of the good stuff, because it looked great on the replays. I am so happy that Josh Alexander is finally getting the recognition he deserves, but every person in this match was absolutely at their best

Violent By Design (Joe Doering, and/or Rhino) (c) (w/ Eric Young & Deaner) vs Rich Swann & Willie Mack vs Fallah Bahh & TBA vs The Good Brothers (Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson) (Impact World Tag Team Championships): Fallah Bahh’s partner was a surprise, but not a big needle mover I’d imagine, and frankly it soured me a bit on this whole match. I really like the team of Swann/Mack and Doering/Rhino but none of the other really do much for me
Fire ‘N Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz) (c) vs Decay (Havok & Rosemary) (Impact Knockouts Tag Team Championships): since this was banished to the pre-show, I wasn’t expecting much, but frankly I enjoyed this more than I thought. Still, not worth going out of your way to see

> Sami Callihan has been one of my absolute favourites for well over a decade now, and I have always wanted to see a match against Kenny Omega, so you best believe I wasn’t missing this show
> I assume the show was not meant to end when it did, because something big was right in the middle of happening when the screen cut to black. Oh TNA, the more you change the more you stay the same

Should you watch this event: This was a one match show for me going in, but the X-Division match over delivered to an impressive degree, and the the various other non titles matches were perfectly fine. Purrazzo and Callihan are two of my favourite in Impact these days, so this show ended up being really, really good. Seek out the Ultimate X, Women’s Title match and main event war.

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