Slammiversary 2022

Slammiversary 2022
Date: June 19, 2022
Location: The Asylum, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Matthew Rehwoldt, Tom Hannifan

It’s the big twenty year celebration of Impact wrestling and the company is doing its best to flash back and move forward at the same time. The main event is Josh Alexander defending the World Title, but we also have a Queen of the Mountain match and Ultimate X to keep up the tradition. Let’s get to it.

Pre-Show: Digital Media Title: Rich Swann vs. Brian Myers

Swann is defending but Myers has the title belt. Myers shrugs off right hands to start so Swann snaps off a headscissors to send him outside. A drop onto the apron cuts Swann off though and we hit the chinlock back inside. With that not working, Myers grabs a chinlock to keep Swann down.

Swann fights up and strikes away for two but it’s too early for the Phoenix splash. Myers hits a spear (instead of the Roster Cut) for two, only for Swann to come back with a neckbreaker. An implant DDT gives Myers two more but Swann cuts him down with Lethal Injection. The 450 finishes Myers at 7:13.

Rating: C. This was a good bit more fun than I would have bet on with Myers hitting some nice stuff (that spear was quite impressive) before falling as he should have. Swann has fallen a very long way, but at least he is doing something and is valuable enough to be a champion. Now just find something more important for him and start using the talent that he has.

Reverse Battle Royal

Chris Bey, Steve Maclin, Zicky Dice, Johnny Swinger, Shark Boy, Raj Singh, Aiden Prince, Bhupinder Gujjar, David Young, Shera, Slash, Crazzy Steve, Mike Jackson, Nate Webb, Shogun, Chase Stevens

So there are ten people on the floor to start and the first eight to get inside have a regular battle royal, with the final two having a regular singles match for the win. I think. Even commentary isn’t too sure. Dice seems to get in and then get back out, followed by Bey, Swinger, Maclin and Young getting in. We more or less pause the match to watch Jackson (72 years old) go Old School on Shera while walking along the barricade. After 84 seconds (not exaggerating), Jackson drops down onto Shera’s arm, only to have Singh jump them and send Shera in anyway.

So the field of eight is Shera, Gujjar, Stevens, Bey, Shark Boy, Young, Maclin and Swinger. Shera tosses Stevens and it’s time for the brawling on the ropes. Maclin and Bey fight to the apron as we’re told the pay per view starts in less than five minutes. Bey hits the Art of Finesse on the apron to eliminate Maclin and himself. There go Shera and Gujjar so we’re down to Swinger, Young and Shark Boy.

The spinebuster plants Shark Boy but Swinger turns on Young and tosses him out, meaning it’s Shark Boy vs. Swinger in a regular singles match. Swinger throws him out and has to be told that’s not how it works. Worry not as Swinger stops to pose, allowing Shark Boy to hit the Chummer for the win at 9:44.

Rating: C. What else are you supposed to say about this? The match is more or less the Impact version of the gimmick battle royal and there is nothing wrong with that for a show like this one. I could have gone with a bit less of watching Jackson walking around the barricade, but Shark Boy winning the match is about as fun as it could have been. Nothing important, but it was fun enough while it lasted.

The opening video looks at the history of the company, which really does have some classic moments. I know the company has a bad reputation, but twenty years is a REALLY long time in the wrestling business and Impact deserves a lot of credit for sticking around. Now some of those stars are here (“In a place between yesterday and tomorrow.”) and it’s time for a celebration of the past and a step into the future.

X-Division Title: Trey Miguel vs. Ace Austin vs. Alex Zayne vs. Andrew Everett vs. Kenny King vs. Mike Bailey

Austin is defending and this is Ultimate X, with Everett taking the place of an injured Jack Evans. Tom: “This is the 47th Ultimate X match.” I don’t think that has the same zing that you think it does. It’s a big brawl to start with Bailey and Zayne clearing the ring so they can both go for failed climb attempts. With the two of them down, Miguel sends King outside and hits a big flip dive but has to cut Austin off.

Everett comes back in but Austin kicks Miguel and Everett down without much effort. Everything breaks down again and Everett German suplexes Miguel on the apron. The big dive drops the pile though and everyone is down on the floor. Back in and Zayne hits a running super hurricanrana on Everett, leaving us with Zayne vs. King. Bailey goes up but hits the Ultimate Weapon onto the pile instead of climbing, which doesn’t seem that bright.

A bunch of people go to the corner for a Tower Of Doom, with Miguel being smart enough to chill in the corner. Then he gives Zayne a super Canadian Destroyer, which doesn’t seem as bright as GOING FOR THE BELT. King, Austin, Miguel and Bailey all go up at the same time until Miguel and King are kicked down. Bailey and Austin hang on the top and slap away at each other but Everett goes above them, only to get headscissored down. Some kicks drop Austin as well and Bailey pulls himself up to win the title at 9:50.

Rating: C+. Ultimate X is one of those matches that sounds great on paper but it’s Impact’s version of the wacky ladder match: everyone does a bunch of stuff until someone shows enough intelligence to pull the belt down. Impact has been building towards Bailey winning for a long time now so this is about as good of an idea as they had. I’m not big on the guy, but at least it has been set up over the last few weeks.

Commentary pays tribute to Bob Ryder, who was a huge part of the development of Impact but passed away in 2020. This show is dedicated to him. That’s very nice.

We run down the rest of the card.

Scott Hudson (let the flashbacks begin) talks to the Motor City Machine Guns, Frankie Kazarian and Nick Aldis about their match with Honor No More tonight. First up though, the Guns are happy with being named the best team in the company’s history. Alex Shelley lists off some of the great teams over the years (and there are some impressive ones) but they are all ready to fight tonight. Aldis says the team doesn’t look the same but what matters is that they are here because they are serious about wrestling. They have a fifth man, but you’ll have to see who it is later. Hudson: “They’re keeping it kayfabe as always.”

We get a video from Sting, talking about what his time in Impact meant to him. He really was a big deal around here and it is nice to see him here. We even hear about his feud with Hulk Hogan, who I didn’t think you could talk about around here anymore.

Knockouts Tag Team Titles: Rosemary/Taya Valkyrie vs. Influence

The Influence is defending and hold their titles like babies. Valkyrie wrestles Rayne down to start and carries her into the corner, where Rosemary tags herself in. This doesn’t sit well with Valkyrie, even though that’s how you set up a tag most of the time. Dashwood comes in as well but gets taken into the corner for a kick to the head.

Back up and Dashwood gets in a shot on Rosemary to knock her into the corner so the champs can take over. The chinlock goes on, with Rosemary suplexing her way to freedom without much effort. Valkyrie comes in to strike away at both champs and something like a Blue Thunder Bomb gets two on Rayne. Everything breaks down and Rosemary’s spear is cut off.

That doesn’t seem to matter though as the champs are sent into each other, setting up stereo spears for stereo near falls. Rayne shoves Rosemary into Valkyrie though and a neckbreaker over the ropes drops Valkyrie. The Collab drops Rosemary but Valkyrie’s distraction lets Rosemary pop up. As Above So Below finishes Rayne for the pin and the titles at 7:19.

Rating: C. This could have been on any given edition of Impact and that isn’t a surprise. These titles still don’t mean much but at least it seems like teams are interested in winning them. Rosemary and Taya are kind of a thrown together team but they do have history so it could be worse. Not much of a match, though I can’t imagine that’s much of a surprise these days.

We get a video from Kurt Angle for thanking him for all of his time in Impact Wrestling. Simple and to the point here.

We recap Moose vs. Sami Callihan. Moose injured Callihan about ten months ago but Callihan is back and stalking Moose, setting up tonight’s Monster’s Ball match.

Sami Callihan vs. Moose

Monster’s Ball, meaning street fight, but with the gimmick that they have been locked away without food, water or light for 24 hours (as was the original idea of the match but it was dropped over the years). Sami jumps him during the entrance and they start fast with a slugout on the floor. A trashcan to the back drops Moose and it’s time for the cookie sheets to the head.

Moose gets in a trashcan lid shot of his own for a breather but gets smart enough to grab a water bottle and a hot dog from a fan. Sami is already busted open as Moose chokeslams him onto the apron. Moose does it again for a bonus as we’re told about this being the 54th Monster’s Ball match. Again: doesn’t sound so great. Sami gets put through a table and they get inside for the first time over four minutes into the match. Some shots to the ankle are blocked and Sami pelts a chair at Moose’s head.

The spear only sends Moose into the trashcan, which Sami stands up for a bonus. It’s time for the…barbed wire door (just go with it), allowing Moose to escape the trashcan. Moose goes up top, only to get shoved off and through a table at ringside. The thumbtacks are brought in but Sami’s tornado DDT is countered into a chokebomb into said tacks for two. Moose drags him through the tacks for a bonus but the spear is countered into a Death Valley Driver through the barbed wire door.

It’s time for a duel of the trashcan lids until both guys go down. Back up and it’s a regular slugout with Sami getting the better of things and hitting a Cactus Special for two. Another Cactus Special is cut off by a low blow and Moose sets up a trashcan. Moose goes up but gets powerbombed onto the (standing up) trashcan. Another Cactus Special gives Sami one so he grabs another one for the pin at 14:55.

Rating: B-. This is a good example of a match where if you’ve seen it once, you’ve seen it a dozen times. They hit all of the regular spots and Sami won to set him back on the right road after being gone for so long. I’m not sure what is next for Sami around here, but there are certainly a lot of people for him to beat him in one violent match like this after another.

We recap the Good Brothers vs. the Briscoes for the Tag Team Titles. The Briscoes won the titles but the Brothers said that it doesn’t matter until the Briscoes beat the. Throw in a trip to the Briscoes’ farm and it’s time for a title/grudge match.

Tag Team Titles: Good Brothers vs. Briscoes

The Briscoes are defending. It’s a brawl to start (shocking) with the Briscoes getting the better of things and double shouldering Anderson down. Some flip dives drop the Brothers again and Jay spinebusters Anderson on the stage. Mark gets back in and Jay tosses him a chair, which he uses for a running flip dive to take out the Brothers again. Back in and Mark hits Anderson with something like a Claymore but Anderson sends Jay into the chair in the corner to cut him off for a change.

The chinlock doesn’t last long on Jay as he fights up and superkicks his way to freedom. The hot tag brings in Mark to clean house with right hands and an enziguri as we hear about some great Impact teams of years past. An Iconoclasm gets two on Anderson but he’s right back with a spinebuster for two. The reverse 3D sets up the Magic Killer, with Jay making the save. Jay is sent into the post though and that means it is going to be awhile before he is ready for a tag.

Mark tries to fight his own way out of trouble but gets dropped with a single shot to the face. The Gun Stun is blocked and Jay comes back in (minus the tag) to help clean house. The Jay Driller and Doomsday Device are both broken up and a kick to the face drops Jay. Now the Magic Killer can connect to give the Brothers the pin and the titles at 10:06.

Rating: C+. This was surprisingly short as I was expecting something long and a bit epic. Instead, we got a pretty fast but hard hitting match without much of the Brothers being in control until the end. The Briscoes losing again is a bit surprising, but maybe they aren’t locked in as long as the Brothers at this point. I’m not thrilled with the Brothers winning, as they have dominated for far too long, but at least the Briscoes were able to breathe some fresh life into the division for awhile.

Post match respect is teased but here is America’s Most Wanted to interrupt. James Storm says tag team wrestling has always meant something around here and he is proud that this company has made it twenty years. After being told they wouldn’t last a week, a month or a year, sorry about your d*** luck. Beer is consumed.

We get a tribute to Mike Tenay and Don West. That’s rather awesome, though not so much with West battling lymphoma.

We recap Honor No More vs. the Impact originals. It’s the team that is all about respect and history vs. the team that doesn’t care in a story that pretty much writes itself.

Christy Hemme brings out Scott D’Amore (in Coach gear) for commentary.

Honor No More vs. Motor City Machine Guns/Frankie Kazarian/Nick Aldis/???

Maria is back with Honor No More (Eddie Edwards/Matt Taven/Mike Bennett/Vincent/PCO). Aldis is billed as a former NWA World Champion. True, but you would think his two Impact World Title reigns might carry a bit more weight here. There is a mystery partner and it’s….Dixie Carter? Ah never mind as she’s here for a speech (shocking I know) and also to introduce…Davey Richards. Not a name I would have bet on, or one I wanted to see for that matter, but he’s a name from the past.

It’s a brawl to start with the Guns beating up the Kingdom until we settle down to Aldis suplexing Bennett. Vincent and Kazarian come in to slug it out before we get the battle of the Wolves. Well maybe in a bit as Edwards hands it off to Taven instead, meaning it’s a parade of beatings. Everything breaks down and Honor No More takes turns getting beaten up in a bunch of corners. Shelley finally gets sent into the corner for a bunch of running shots, setting up Vincent’s running Downward Spiral for two.

Taven’s moonsault sets up Just The Top for two but PCO’s De-Animator misses. Shelley fights out of the corner, including a double Sliced Bread to Vincent and Edwards, which finally allows the hot tag off to Kazarian. House is cleaned again before it’s off to Aldis for a bunch of right hands. Everything breaks down again and it’s the Dream Sequence to Edwards, followed by a big dive to Bennett. Taven busts out the Flight Of The Conqueror to take out the pile, leaving Edwards vs. Richards again.

Richards gets the better of things and grabs the dragon screw legwhip in the ropes. The top rope double stomp misses but Richards is fine enough to grab a leglock on Edwards. Everyone in Honor No More outside of PCO gets caught in a hold so it’s PCO making the save. A Vader Bomb gets two on Sabin but the PCOsault misses Aldis. The Michinoku Driver puts PCO down and Richards adds the top rope double stomp for two.

Maria gets up on the apron for a distraction but Traci Brooks (Kazarian’s wife) pulls her off for a right hand. Kazarian saves Traci from PCO and it’s a top rope Flux Capacitor to plant PCO for two. Cue Kenny King to go after Kazarian but D’Lo Brown makes the save with a heck of a Sky High. There’s a Low Down to make it worse and the Guns strike away at PCO. The Kingdom gets dropped as well and there’s the Cradle Shock to PCO….with Earl Hebner coming over the barricade to count the pin at 18:46.

Rating: B-. This was the wild match that the show needed as a big celebration of the company’s history. That is something that you have to have on a show like this and it worked well enough. It helps that the match was good, but this was all about the history and tradition and that was a success.

AJ Styles talks about some of his favorite moments in TNA, including the Unbreakable three way with Samoa Joe and Christopher Daniels. Styles has been named the Most Impactful X-Division wrestler and male wrestler overall and he thanks WWE for letting him do this, because Impact is that important. You can’t have a show like this without hearing from Styles so this had to be here.

We recap Queen Of The Mountain and go over the still ridiculous rules. It’s a five way match with wrestlers having to score a pin to become eligible to hang the title. When someone is pinned, they go to a penalty box for two minutes. The first person to climb a ladder and hang the title (because it’s a reverse ladder match with pins and a penalty box) wins.

Knockouts Title: Jordynne Grace vs. Tasha Steelz vs. Mia Yim vs. Deonna Purrazzo vs. Chelsea Green

Steelz, with Savannah Evans, is defending in Queen Of The Mountain and Mickie James is guest enforcer. Steelz has Mickie themed gear describing herself as “The Greatest Who Beat The Greatest” for a nice touch. The bell rings and Steelz bails to the floor to grab a table with Evans. Yim takes both of them out with a dive and Green hits her own flip dive (thankfully not breaking her arm for a change).

Purrazzo adds her own dive and Green rolls Steelz up to become eligible and send her to the penalty box for two minutes. Mickie sends Evans into the box as well, leaving Grace and Yim to beat up Purrazzo. Steelz and Evans are out with Steelz getting to strike away. Evans gets back inside and is ejected by Mickie, leaving Steelz to kick green down. Yim makes the save and suplexes Green for the pin/eligibility/penalty box time.

Green isn’t happy and hits Mickie with the door as Purrazzo has to cut off Yim from hanging the title. With Yim going up anyway, Steelz comes off the top with a cutter to pull her back down. As Purrazzo armbars Steelz, Green is released and takes Grace down with a spear. Steelz taps so Purrazzo can be eligible but it’s time to go after Grace. A Backstabber sends her outside as Green sends Yim into the corner for two. Green holds up the title as Steelz is released from the box.

The ladder is laid up against the ropes and it’s Yim coming off the penalty box to dropkick Green into said ladder. Yim hits a big dive to take out a bunch of people, setting up a package piledriver on the floor to pin Grace (remember Yim was already eligible). Green headbutts Steelz down and goes up but James is back in to break it up in an act of rather unprofessional revenge.

Purrazzo powerbombs Yim onto a ladder and goes up at the same time as Green. As Grace is released, Yim shoves the ladder over to put both Green and Purrazzo through the table. Yim gets dropped and double pinned by Grace and Steelz, meaning everyone is eligible. Steelz goes up but Grace hits her with a MuscleBuster for the pin, allowing Grace to hang the title for the win at 18:24.

Rating: C+. What do you say about a match like this? It’s total insanity and the rules are such a mess that it is quite the chore to keep track of everything that is going on. Grace was the monster throughout the match and it makes sense to have her win, as she hasn’t been around the title in a long time. Granted Masha Slamovich seems to be waiting on whoever won the title, but Grace winning is nice to see.

Goldilocks, the original backstage interviewer, talks to the most Impactful Knockout of all time: Gail Kim (I was hoping for Roxie Laveaux), who is rather pleased with everything that has been going on.

We recap Eric Young challenging Josh Alexander for the World Title. Alexander wants to lead the promotion into the future while Young wants chaos. And the title.

Impact Wrestling World Title: Josh Alexander vs. Eric Young

Young, with the rest of Violent By Design, is challenging. Feeling out process to start with Alexander driving him into the corner to little avail. A slap off goes to Alexander but seems to wake Young up a bit. Young clotheslines him down but gets kicked away to give us another standoff. Alexander grabs a quick Regal Roll, only to miss a moonsault. Young misses one of his own and it’s another standoff, because they like those things a lot.

This time it’s Alexander taking him into the corner for the Samoa Joe facewash but Young grabs a quick Death Valley Driver. Deaner loads up a table at ringside as Alexander fights back, only to get knocked off the top. Young’s top rope elbow gets two and it’s time to rip up the ring mat. The delay lets Alexander hit a powerbomb into some kind of a Boston crab (again with the Samoa Joe).

The C4 Spike is broken up and Young hits a Stroke for two of his own. A Black Hole Slam gives Young another two as the fans are rather pleased. Alexander drops him and hits a Christopher Daniels Best Moonsault Ever, followed by a Styles Clash into the ankle lock. Young is in trouble so Deaner throws powder into the referee’s eyes, meaning Young’s tap doesn’t count.

Doering gets up on the apron so Alexander hits an Angle Slam to drive him through the table. Deaner whips out the flag but Alexander has Coach D’Amore’s Canadian flag hockey stick. The distraction lets Young but a guitar shot for two and it’s time to rip up even more of the ring. A piledriver on the exposed wood gives Young two more and Alexander has had it. The release Rock Bottom onto the wood sets up the C4 Spike onto the same wood to give Alexander the pin at 18:45.

Rating: C+. As gimmicky as this was, and it was REALLY gimmicky, I had a lot more fun doing the tribute to the big moves of Impact’s past than trying to do a bunch of stuff that wouldn’t have been as interesting. Young vs. Alexander is not a big time main event so giving it a bunch of other stuff to hide that fact is a good idea. It was getting fun trying to guess what big move would be next and I had a much better time than I would have had with these two in a straight match.

Overall Rating: B-. There was a hard balance to hold together on this show and they wound up doing a good enough job with the whole thing. Balancing a big celebration of the past while also being a big show focused on the present is harder than it seems and they made it work for the most part. Nothing was too bad, though it also never had that one big match or moment that made it feel special. Seeing AJ Styles appear was a surprise and brought up the most emotions, but that isn’t exactly a good thing as he hasn’t worked here in years. Overall, a good show, but only a necessary watch if you’re a diehard Impact/TNA fan.

Results
Mike Bailey won Ultimate X
Rosemary/Taya Valkyrie b. Influence – As Above So Below to Rayne
Sami Callihan b. Moose – Cactus Special
Good Brothers b. Briscoes – Magic Killer to Jay
Frankie Kazarian/Motor City Machine Guns/Davey Richards/Nick Aldis b. Honor No More – Cradle Shock to PCO
Jordynne Grace won Queen of the Mountain
Josh Alexander b. Eric Young – C4 Spike onto the exposed boards

 

 

 

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