A Slammiversary Celebration
‘Happy Birthday To You,
Happy Birthday To You,
I Stopped Watching You A While Ago
But Enjoyed This, That’s True’
It was 20 years ago that Impact started, so Slammiversary was going to be a bit of ‘ooh, it’s him, look, it’s her’ fun, but they managed to also make us say ‘this is just great’ too.
The Nostalgia Bit
Not denigrating this, it was done with warmth and sweetness, colour commentator Matt Rehwoldt seeming to tear up after a package about Mike Tenay and Don West – yes, they dipped into TNA too – this had gentleness, older moves being woven into matches and former grapplers with the 2 companies giving is Cameo-type hellos.
The one which has caused the most chat?
Hang on, we had Kurt Angle on Slammiversary screen, James Storm and Chris Harris, America’s Most Wanted, in person, but none of the other greeters were, you know, working for WWE.
That company doesn’t usually allow its ‘Superstars’ to mention other wrestling promotions, let alone appear in them, on their biggest PPV event of the year no less.
Did he sneak out to do it?
Did he tell them it was NXT?
Does this mean a thaw in relations?
This one will run and run. And it’s important because Slammiversary showed something important.
The Territories Are Back
Not as they used to be, not geographically of course, but smaller promotions are coming together to work together. One is the loneliest number, but together it is strong and AEW, NJPW, Impact and others can be almost WWE-sized.
And other promotions were all over Slammiversary, NJPW rubs, ROH wrestlers, NWA too; this is so important for wrestling to strengthen itself going forward.
But What About The Slammiversary 2Matches?
Oh, so many were stupendous. When you start with an Ultimate X match and can call on:
Trey Miguel. Andrew Everett (in for Jack Evans). Kenny King. ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey. Alex Zayne. Ace Austin.
How can it fail to please? It didn’t; here are some high points – I’ll only be picking out some of those, this piece would be 2,000 words long if I tried to include all of them.
So: Everett suplexing Trey Miguel on the apron then immediately corkscrewing on everyone else.
While Zayne had Miguel in position for a Powerbomb, Kenny King came off the top rope, seemingly unbeknownst, and hit a Neckbreaker in him.
Everyone except Trey involved in a Tower Of Doom, that’s 5 wrestlers, with Trey deciding to show us a Canadian Destroyer on Zayne. The ‘Holy sh*t’ chant was correct.
Mike Bailey won in the end, seemingly amazed, as were the crowd who were quiet except for a small ‘you deserve it’ chant.
Motor City Machine Guns?
Oh yes. And one more Original which we were all champing (not chomping) at the bit to know about.
Dixie Carter announced it, which was lovely to see, just stopping at the moment when it was becoming a ramble to announce?..
Great wrestler. Previous with Eddie Edwards, who was on the other team of Honor No More. But people might have been thinking of Sting perhaps. Many others. But not Richards, who can currently be seen on MLW programming. Shame, as he didn’t deserve that anticlimax.
This Slammiversary match was fabulous though; PCO, Vincent, Edwards, Taven and Bennett plus Maria Kanellis in an odd little outfit.
So…highlights. PCO missing a Cannonball off the top and landing neck first on the apron, then getting up as if nothing had happened.
Alex Shelley double sliced bread.
A Richards leg lock on both Edwards and Taven.
Kenny King making a 2nd appearance to mess things up, but Frog Splashed (with a little wobbling) by a raucsously welcomed D’Lo Brown.
Earl Hebner counting the pin for the Originals. Then dedicating it to his so recently passed brother.
A great match, needs to be seen, move after move with no pause – a mess, but a hot one.
How Do You Get To Be Queen Of The Mountain at Slammiversary? Well, either Jordynne Grace, Deonna Purrazzo, Chelsea Green, Mia Yim and Women’s Champ Tasha Steelz have to:
Pin someone to become eligible to put the belt back on a handle above a ladder.
Got it? Easy eh? Oh, and falls count anywhere plus when you’re pinned you spend 2 minutes in a penalty box.
They had to follow the brilliant Originals v Honor No More match and they managed to. Eventually.
Highlights; Steelz on the top, off a bent-over Grace, to deliver a cutter to Yim who was on the ladder.
A Yim Package Piledriver on the floor.
Purrazzo with an Armbar on Grace, then changing her mind when Steelz walked by and armbarrring her instead.
Green and Purazzo falling from the tip of a tipped high ladder through 2 tables which had been set up so much earlier, I’d forgotten about them. They landed with a clatter.
Steelz on top of the penalty box, leaping onto Green and driving her into the ladder.
And the feel of ‘about time too’ when Jordynne Grace clipped the belt to the hanger, then rather ridiculously unclipped it again to win.
What a great match. All made sense. Not just high spots. Classy.
Some Other Matches
Moose and Sami Callihan visited the Monster’s Ball, no entrées or dancing, just cookie sheets, thumb tacks and trashcan.
Moose spearing and going straight into a plastic trashcan, picking thumbtacks out of the seat of his white trousers, which were stained with Sami’s blood – these were great moments.
But Moose taking a hotdog and water from a fan, Moose not quite reaching the timekeeper’s table off the top and breaking it with his face, plus him being Powerbombed off the top onto an unturned trashcan which didn’t crumple. Ouch!
Sami won here, but the barbarity was what we wanted to see – this match certainly delivered.
The Main Event – it seemed a little ordinary after the last 2 matches, but it tried hard. The Heavyweight championship match, Alexander v Eric Young with his Violent By Design mates Deaner and Joe Boring, sorry, Doring, gave us some great old TNA/Impact moves including an Alexander Styles Clash, a Young Stoke right on the top of the champ’s head, an Olympic Slam to Boring through a table at ringside amd EY revealing the boards.
Yep, Josh tasted a Piledriver, EY tasted an Ankle Lock and Eurinagi; then succumbed to a C4 on the pine.
Great match, just a little overshadows by such an excellent Slammiversary.
Slammiversary Was Good Then?
Brilliant. And I haven’t even mentioned the Knockouts and Men’s Tag Matches. They were blooming good too, Taya Valkyrie is dripping in gold after winning and the Good Bros? Yeah, they won too…hmm…
Impact can be rightly proud of this Slammiversary. It delivered in all areas, action, matches, atmosphere, nostalgia and possibilities for the future.
One of best wrestling events of the year? Damn close.