Slammiversary 2018

Slammiversary 2018
Date: July 22, 2018
Location: Rebel Entertainment Complex, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Don Callis

Believe it or not this actually looks like a great show. Impact Wrestling has been on a roll as of late with one very good show after another, but now they need to pay that off with a strong pay per view. It’s not impossible either as nothing on the card looks bad. Just please deliver for once. Let’s get to it.

The opening video features the amazing voiceover guy (Barry Scott) that does this show every year, talking about how great things have been around here in the last year. This show is treated like the biggest show of the year in a way and this voiceover helps a lot.

The arena looks really cool, even though the capacity doesn’t look very high. The architecture is good though with a high ceiling and there’s a ramp that comes down but meets the apron ala WCW’s old system.

Petey Williams vs. Johnny Impact vs. Taiji Ishimori vs. Fenix

Williams is replacing an injured Rich Swann. After a quick staredown, everyone is sent into the corner with Ishimori getting a very early advantage. Impact sends Williams to the floor for the big showdown with Ishimori. Both of them miss standing flips and that means a staredown. Fenix comes back in and bounces off the ropes for, of course, a staredown.

A series of bounces on the ropes send Impact to the floor so Petey comes back in with a flying headscissors. There’s O Canada to Fenix but Ishimori comes back in with a hurricanrana on Fenix and Williams making a save. Impact hits a big dive onto Fenix and Williams so Ishimori hits an even bigger one onto the other three. That gets a rare IMPACT WRESTLING chant, which doesn’t have a great cadence but it’s a nice idea.

Everyone comes back in with their series of springboards, capped off by Petey getting the Sharpshooter on Ishimori. Fenix is back in with a 619 on Impact before rolling through the ropes for a cutter. Ishimori knees Fenix in the corner and a Tombstone gets two. Impact uses the ramp to flip into the ring and it’s a circle of strikes for a four way knockdown. Ishimori hits the 450 on Impact but gets caught in the Canadian Destroyer. The springboard double knees drop Petey for two more but it’s Impact with a superkick and Starship Pain for the pin on Fenix at 12:27.

Rating: B. That’s how something like this should have gone as it was four guys going nuts and getting to showcase their talents. That’s how you want to open a show: fast, getting to the point, not putting the big match on first and just letting the fans have a good time. Impact will be a big player again soon, just for the presence that he brings to the matches.

King rants to the OGz about how much he hates Konnan. They’re ready for tonight and want the LAX name back.

We recap Tessa Blanchard vs. Allie. Tessa is here to show how great she is and doesn’t care who she runs over in the process. Allie doesn’t care for that so Tessa is ready to teach her a lesson.

Tessa Blanchard vs. Allie

Allie gets the hometown pop and is in a hybrid of her two gears. They talk a lot of trash to start and Allie kicks her down, followed by a basement crossbody. Tessa isn’t happy with this getting beaten up thing and forearms her down, only to have Allie come back with a spinning crossbody to the floor. A hot shot onto the barricade rocks Allie though and Tessa is getting the swagger going.

More forearms and right hands to the head have Allie in more trouble but she manages a hurricanrana to the floor. Tessa comes up limping a bit so Allie hits a Death Valley Driver on the floor to put them both down. They do the double slide back in and it’s time for the slow motion slugout.

Tessa gets the better of it again and chokes Allie down followed by a scary super hurricanrana to drop Allie on her head for two more. Allie avoids a top rope backsplash and the running Codebreaker sends Tessa outside. The Best Superkick Ever gives Allie a near fall of her own and frustration is setting in. Another Death Valley Driver is countered into the hammerlock DDT to give Tessa the pin at 10:58.

Rating: B-. Tessa is as good of a Charlotte clone as you can get and that’s not a bad place to be. The win is the right call and a suggestion that Madison Rayne actually picks up the title later on. It’s not like there’s anyone else to challenge for the title and Tessa has history with Madison already. Allie will be fine as she’s charismatic enough to make anything work. Shame about losing in her hometown, but it makes sense.

We recap Eddie Edwards vs. Tommy Dreamer. Edwards has gone insane thanks to Sami Callihan so Dreamer stepped in to reminisce about ECW and talk about his feud with Raven. Eddie accused Dreamer of sleeping with his wife (Dreamer’s “LOOK AT ME” defense was funny) and tonight it’s a hardcore match with blood promised.

Eddie Edwards vs. Tommy Dreamer

House of Hardcore rules. Dreamer isn’t going to wait and starts the brawl in a hurry. They fight to the floor with a water bottle going off Eddie’s head and the metal weapons being brought out. Dreamer trashcans him in the head and we get the ECW chants because this is somehow about the promotion that ended seventeen years ago. Eddie gets in a shot to the head and busts out the staple gun.

You don’t do that to Dreamer, who easily takes it away but can’t get in a shot either. Eddie tries a hardcore sunset flip and gets stapled, meaning it’s time to chant for another promotion again. Someone hands Dreamer an ECW Title for the shot to the head and we’ve got some blood. That just fires Eddie up even more and he hits Dreamer in the head a few times to take over. Back in and some kendo stick shots rock Dreamer again with Eddie declaring himself the new Innovator of Violence.

A stick shot to Edwards rocks him again and a super Death Valley Driver through a pair of chairs gets two because Dreamer isn’t allowed to win anything (as he shouldn’t). It’s time for a table, lighter fluid and a lighter (I’ll let you figure out the combination) but Eddie hits him low. The fans want fire but Eddie hits the Boston Knee Party to drive a chair into Dreamer’s head for the pin at 11:12 instead.

Rating: D+. I’m not a fan of the ECW stuff but they kept it short enough and Dreamer lost as everyone knew he would. Edwards has been a great psycho and if they can keep that up, there’s potential there. Just don’t turn him into a Dreamer tribute wrestler and we should be fine. That and if we can stop the ECW chants, but that ship sailed many years ago.

Post match Eddie starts sobbing and yells to Tommy (not in anger). Alisha Edwards comes out as Dreamer hands Eddie the kendo stick in a passing of the torch. That torch has probably been passed more often than an ECW check.  Alisha leaves on her own and Eddie holds the stick.

Matt Sydal is ready to use his mind and third eye to get past the Machine Brian Cage and all those muscles.

We recap the X-Division Title match, which is pretty much exactly what Sydal said. Cage is unstoppable so Sydal is trying to use his mind and spirit to beat him instead of the physical aspect.

X-Division Title: Matt Sydal vs. Brian Cage

Cage is challenging and tosses the champ around in a hurry. A standing moonsault gives Cage two as Callis says Hulk Hogan beat the Iron Sheik in 3-4 minutes. Not really but for a title change it was rather short. Sydal kicks at the knee and gets in a suplex as Cage has already lost a bunch of his explosiveness. Another kick to the knee brings Cage off the top and it’s back to the knee.

Sydal gets two off a standing shooting star but Cage is right back up and throwing Sydal around. The knee gives out though and Sydal kicks away, only to get turned inside out off a pumphandle slam. Sydal speeds things up with some more kicks and a snap modified Angle Slam rocks Cage again. The shooting star misses though and Cage blasts him with the discus clothesline for two.

Cage tries the Drill Claw but gets reversed into a snap hurricanrana and another near fall. Another Drill Claw is countered into a small package for a near fall I actually bought. The shooting star hits a raised boot (and the ropes on the way down, which thankfully didn’t lead to a much worse result) though and now the Drill Claw makes Cage champion at 9:48.

Rating: C+. Cage winning was the only result that made sense and it’s not like Sydal was doing much with the title anyway. I’m not a fan of the third eye stuff but they got the title off of him as they should have and that’s the best result. That being said, I have no idea how they get the title off of Cage outside of a triple threat or a climbing match but we can worry about that later on.

Austin Aries says he’s ready to perform at his best with the lights on bright because it’s one on one.

Madison Rayne is trying to make history by becoming a six time Knockouts Champion. She wants to hand the title to her daughter so her daughter can know Madison has made it. Su Yung is the latest evil crazy zombie bride (there are a million of them) and it’s time for her next big title defense, this time against non-scary/evil Madison.

Knockouts Title: Su Yung vs. Madison Rayne

Madison is challenging and continues the trend of starting fast. Yung gets knocked down but here come the undead bridesmaids. They’re dropped as well, allowing Madison to forearm Yung in the face for two. Yung neckbreakers her out of the corner though and ties Madison in the Tree of Woe for a running dropkick. The red mist hits a bridesmaid though and Madison has an opening. A ripcord cutter gets two on Yung, who is now wearing a bloody glove. The Rayne Drop gets two more but a quick Mandible Claw with the glove knocks Rayne out to retain the title at 6:58.

Rating: C. Madison looked rather good here but I’m not sure where they go with the title from here. Unless they do Tessa vs. Yung (which they won’t/shouldn’t), I have no idea who can challenge for the title. How nice is it to have a reason to believe they could pull it off though? That’s not something I’m used to around here but maybe it can work this time.

Post match Rayne is put in a coffin.

We recap the LAX civil war. Konnan was the manager of the original LAX (Homicide and Hernandez) and then eventually returned with Santana and Ortiz as the new version. The team had its ups and downs but Konnan was eventually attacked. This brought in King, who turned the team back around. Konnan returned and said King took him out, so Santana and Ortiz sided with Konnan against their new boss. King brought in Homicide and Hernandez as the OGz and we’re having a street fight. This is a remake of the Midnight Express feud from thirty years ago and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Tag Team Titles: OGz vs. LAX

Street fight and LAX is defending, though I thought this was non-title. LAX comes through the crowd and Konnan meets them on the ramp to say go to it. Hernandez shrugs off the beating but can’t hit the Border Toss to the floor. Instead Santana dropkicks Homicide off the apron and it’s some dives (with the camera missing one) to drop the OGz. A pair of tables are set up in the corner while Homicide puts up one on the floor against the barricade.

Hernandez starts cleaning house and Ortiz gets choked with a chain. The big dive over the top has Santana rocked as Hernandez flashes back to the SuperMex days. More metal shots to the head put Hernandez down and Homicide actually walks into a suplex. Yes that was in fact a wrestling move. The OGz take over again without much effort but Santana superkicks his way out of trouble.

Back in and Hernandez pulls Santana out of the air, followed by a heck of a sitout powerbomb for two. Ortiz is back up with the trashcan lids to the head and it’s ladder time. A flip dive into a Lionsault onto Hernandez onto the ladder has Hernandez down and the Street Sweeper gets two on Homicide. Santana hits a big flip dive to put Homicide through a table at ringside but they’re not done.

Back in and a running Death Valley Driver puts Homicide through a table. It works so well that Ortiz loads it up but Hernandez gives him a Border Toss through the other table. Santana is back up this time with a superkick as Konnan goes after King. Homicide loads up the Gringo Killer but stops to spit at Konnan. The distraction lets Konnan throw a bag of tacks to Santana, who THROWS THEM AT HOMICIDE for what could be a terrifying result. A slam and frog splash put Homicide away at 13:55.

Rating: B. This was exactly the kind of match it should have been, meaning it was barely wrestling and was instead the wild weapons brawl that showed off the violent hatred. You can almost guarantee a rematch and the OGz getting the titles at one point, as they certainly should. I liked the match a lot, though it didn’t hit the level I was hoping it would reach.

Post match King comes in and distracts Konnan so Hernandez can beat him down. King whips Konnan in the back and the titles are spray painted. Must be time for yet another set of new belts.

Sami Callihan doesn’t like being the underdog in the fans’ eyes. Tonight, Pentagon loses his mask.

We recap Callihan vs. Pentagon. Callihan and OVE started going after luchador masks because they’re a little nuts so Pentagon stood up for his friends and brother. Tonight it’s mask vs. hair in the big lucha de apuesta match.

Sami Callihan vs. Pentagon Jr.

After some yelling, they get to the kicking each other in the face. Pentagon scores with a Sling Blade for the first real offense and it’s time for the chops. Sami opens his vest and wants the best shot. The ensuing chop brings Callihan to his knees and a face that says how bad of an idea that was. He’s fine enough to take it outside for a water bottle to the head but they both chop the post.

Pentagon slaps him down as the announcers mention that this has relaxed rules. I know that’s expected and understood, but it’s nice to be officially told. Callihan posts out some spikes of all things and starts gouging at the head, drawing some much needed blood (just kind of necessary in a match like this). That’s fine with Pentagon, who knocks a spike back into Callihan’s head. With nothing else working, both guys grab a chair and beat the fire out of each other, earning a FIGHT FOREVER chant.

There is blood everywhere and Pentagon chairs him down again. The armbreaker is broken up so Pentagon chairs him down for the second time in a few seconds. Cue the Crists to take a shot each, allowing Callihan to throw some powder. Pentagon breaks the ref’s arm instead so there’s no one to count the Pentagon Driver.

The Cactus Driver onto a chair gets the same result for Callihan and he’s not sure what to do. Callihan loads up some chairs, which go nowhere as Pentagon hits the Fear Factor…for two? Well that was surprising. Ever defiant, Callihan spits in his face, which you just don’t do. Pentagon superkicks him down, breaks his arm and hits another Fear Factor for the pin at 17:58.

Rating: B-. This needed to be a few minutes shorter but it also needed to be a little away from the previous match as having two violent brawls in a row wasn’t the best idea. Pentagon winning was really the only call here given how big of a star he is on the indy scene at the moment so it’s hard to argue with the ending. Give Sami something to bring him back to earth and OVE can go insane again.

Post match OVE jumps Pentagon until Fenix makes the save. Sami has his head shaved and cries throughout.

Bound For Glory is October 14 in New York.

Impact Wrestling World Title: Austin Aries vs. Moose

Aries is defending and Curtis Granderson of the Toronto Blue Jays is holding the title. Feeling out process to start with Aries’ headlock getting shoved away with no trouble. Aries gets in a hard elbow to put Moose down so Moose nips up with no trouble. He sends Aries outside in a heap and the champ collapses on the floor.

Moose’s big dive sends him sailing over the barricade though and Aries is already trying for the countout. Back in and Aries gets one off a slingshot hilo but Moose shrugs off the shots to the chest. A headbutt has Aries sprawling into the corner and there are some rapid fire chops in the corner.

One heck of an elbow drops Moose but he’s fine enough to hit the discus lariat. The spear is countered into the Last Chancery (cool) and Moose takes a long time making the rope. Moose can barely move so Aries hits a Death Valley Driver on the apron, setting up the big suicide dive.

With nothing else working, Moose wins a slugout and throws him over the barricade. Another dive misses though and Aries gives him a brainbuster on the floor. Somehow that’s only good for nine so Aries grabs the belt. Granderson takes it back and Aries gets rolled up for two, only to have him grab the brainbuster to retain the title at 15:55.

Rating: B+. That’s the kind of main event they needed with Moose fighting as hard as he could but coming up short. It didn’t seem likely that he would actually win the title so seeing him get this close and make you believe he could pull it off was quite the accomplishment. Aries is going to lose the title in a big deal down the line and this was the kind of win that is going to make it seem that important.

Overall Rating: A-. Now that worked. They didn’t have the big blow away match but they had about six good to very good matches and that’s more than I would have ever guessed for them about six months ago. The company needed a great show tonight and they got about as close as you can get, so we’ll call this one a big time success. Now follow up on it and make this consistent and it can go somewhere.

Results

Johnny Impact b. Petey Williams, Taiji Ishimori and Fenix – Starship Pain to Williams

Tessa Blanchard b. Allie – Hammerlock DDT

Eddie Edwards b. Tommy Dreamer – Boston Knee Party into a chair

Brian Cage b. Matt Sydal – Drill Claw

Su Yung b. Madison Rayne – Mandible Claw

LAX b. OGz – Frog splash to Homicide

Pentagon Jr. b. Sami Callihan – Fear Factor

Austin Aries b. Moose – Brainbuster

Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and pick up the paperback edition of the NXT The Full Sail Years Volume III (also available as an e-book) from Amazon. Check out the information here:

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