The internet was buzzing since last night after the show went off the air, and as of this writing, Impact and pro wrestling fans in general are talking about what transpired at the 20 year anniversary celebration of Impact Wrestling’s Slammiversary.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Impact Wrestling seriously knows how to put on a pro wrestling event. They’ve proven so as the year has progressed, with one epic event after another, and here, which I consider a culmination of greatness if you will, they finished 20 years of existence and kicked off another 20 with quite the bang.
In my writings, I’ve been pretty critical of WWE, especially the fact that they haven’t crowned a more deserving Universal Champion in like forever…instead relying on a man who doesn’t want to put in the work necessary of a champion, but with Impact, we are getting a lot of changes at the top and in every single division.
Now…spoiler alert: We didn’t crown a new world champion last night, but we sure kept it interesting for sure, as there were plenty of changes. (Besides, I think everyone wanted to see the world champion retain anyways, as did I, but more on that in just a bit.)
So without further ado, what say you we take a look at some of the main points from last night, shall we?
To start off the festivities, Countdown to Slammiversary showed us first the battle for the Digital Media Championship in which Rich Swann defeated Brian Myers.
Next up during the countdown, the reverse battle royal, which was confusing to some on the way in, but by the time the action unfolded, it was very entertaining, Shark Boy taking the win.
Also in that match were: Shogun, Aiden Prince, Nate Webb, Mike Jackson, Steve Maclin, Chase Stevens, Slash, Johnny Swinger, Zicky Dice, Chris Bey, David Young, Shera, Raj Singh, Bhupinder Gujjar and Crazzy Steve.
Throughout the show and at its start were well-produced packages showcasing many clips and memories from the past and how it blends into the future and of course the present of the company—a common theme in many long-lasting pro wrestling companies out there; I’m sure you’re all familiar with WWE’s opening video package we’re made to see every time we sit down to watch a WWE program.
But Impact proved that they can do it just as well. Who says WWE is the only company that can produce an epic and tear jerking montage? Not that I got teary-eyed or anything; I’m just saying, right?
Anyways…things started off with a bang once the festivities officially got under way with the very first match, the X-Division Championship. And it was Speedball Mike Bailey who defeated Kenny King, Andrew Everett, Alex Zayne, Ace Austin, and Trey Miguel, ultimately uncrowning Ace Austin.
AEW’s very own Sting recorded a special message for Impact Wrestling…
It was then time for the Knockouts Tag Team match and believe it or not, Rosemary & Taya Valkyrie defeated Knockouts World Tag Team Champions The Influence (Madison Rayne, Tenille Dashwood).
Yet another Impact Wrestling veteran and legend, Kurt Angle himself, sent a message in for the event, and a heartwarming one at that.
It was then time for the Monster’s Ball match between Moose and Sami Callihan and both men gave of themselves in ways that honestly calls to mind the heyday of Terry Funk, Mick Foley and Vader himself; a truly tremendous showing of courage and epic storytelling all in one was at hand. Sami took the victory after a very violent battle, as was expected.
And in yet another changing of the guard, The Good Brothers defeated the Impact World Tag Team Champions, The Briscoes, but the surprises didn’t stop there, as a massive return of epic proportions was in store for fans during the end of this match, as none other than James Storm and Chris Harris, who were back in the day known of course as America’s Most Wanted; they came to the ring and shared a beer with the men who’d just put on quite the tag match in the ring.
As the following tweets from Impact Wrestling themselves prove, a few other surprises were in store for the fans in attendance and watching along at home…a package for the legendary Mike Tenay and Don West was shown…Christy Hemme was guest announcer and Scott D’Amore came out in his old Team Canada gear and was a guest at the analyst’s desk for the following match: Honor No More consisting of Eddie Edwards, Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, Vincent and of course PCO against the Impact Originals consisting of Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley, Frankie Kazarian, Nick Aldis and…well, the surprise entrant was none other than Davey Richards, which was the perfect choice, the old tag partner of Eddie Edwards.
He was announced to the ring by none other than Dixie Carter, who also took the time to make a short but very meaningful speech in person.
The Impact Originals won the match, making fans very happy…the mass enemy of Impact Wrestling having just been defeated.
It was during this aforementioned match that D’Lo Brown had some action in the ring, Traci Brooks also, and finally senior referee, Earl Hebner made a return, taking off his civilian clothes only to show off his referee shirt…and he got to count the pin that ended it all for Honor No More this go around.
The next video package was from none other than AJ Styles. WWE did something right this time and they allowed AJ to send in a message, and a heartfelt one at that.
The following match was in my estimation, the absolute best of the night, and they were all epic matches, as I’ve stated already. But this one took the cake. Each and every single one of these women delivered. Every single frame of the match was perfectly paced, executed and it made for some spectacularly entertaining moments.
In the end it was Jordynne Grace who came out on top, but in the end, each and every single woman deserved flowers by the end of that brawl. Congratulations to them all. Bar none, and I’m going out on a limb here and I don’t care, but the Knockouts Division is the best women’s division out there right now, and they proved it last night in this match and the aforementioned Knockouts tag match from earlier in the night.
The main event was next and as I started out saying in this piece, the title did not change hands in the end, and Josh Alexander retained the Impact World Championship, defeating Eric Young, which in the end works out perfectly, because as Tom Hannifan said at the show’s end, Alexander is the future of Impact, so why not strap the rocket to his very capable shoulders?
Here’s to the next twenty, dear readers. Here’s to TNA; here’s to Impact Wrestling, and here’s to us…who never gave up on this little engine that could-and-did company.