Impact delivers with yet another solid PPV offering, well worth the purchase. While the first half is full of entertaining matches and stands up fine on its own, it's the excellent second half that packs a serious punch, with four consecutive hard-hitters that each could have headlined the show. One of the strongest Slammiversary offerings to date.
- 4-Way X-Division Showcase
- 3-Way Tag Team Title Match
- Killer Kross vs. Eddie Edwards
- RVD vs. Moose
- Fatal 4-Way Monster's Ball
- Rich Swann vs. Johnny Impact
- Brian Cage vs. Michael Elgin
- Sami Callihan vs. Tessa Blanchard
Impact Wrestling Slammiversary
July 7, 2019
— Josh Matthews and Don Callis are on commentary tonight. The build to this show has been really good over the past few months, especially picking up steam with the last 2-3 episodes. I’ve been watching historic Slammiversary all week, so I’m very much looking forward to this! Let’s get to it!
TJP vs. JAKE CRIST vs. WILLIE MACK vs. TREY MIGUEL
It’s our opening X-Division extravaganza! Lots of superkicks early on. TJP throws Trey Miguel across the ring into a tilt-a-whirl DDT on Jake Crist. Willie mauls them both with big bear paws. All four set up this crazy “domino effect” spot where Trey hit a neckbreaker on Jake, who hit a DDT on Willie Mack, who squashed TJP on the mat. Everyone dives to the outside driving Mack into the barricade a few times. Trey takes everyone out with a springboard shooting star press to the floor.
The insanity continues. Mack does a huge splash across the ring to break up a Romero Special, and hurls TJP halfway to the moon with a Pounce. Christ nearly kills Trey with a snapping powerslam into the bottom turnbuckle. Everyone goes back and forth with kicks and strikes. Trey hits a diving meteora, and the actions spills to the outside. The finish comes when Crist hits the All Seeing Eye on TJP from the top rope, goes for the cover, but Mack comes flying from out of nowhere with the Six Star Frog Splash, squashing both guys! It’s over!
Another good X-Division opener. There was no real rhyme or reason to it, but it was a whole lot of fun. I’d say Willie Mack was the most impressive throughout, but everyone looked really good. It actually got a decent amount of time for a random curtain-jerker, clocking in just under 10 minutes. If I had a complaint, and it’s a real minor one, I would have thrown Ace Austin in there just to get him on the card.
THE NORTH (ETHAN PAGE & JOSH ALEXANDER) (c) vs. THE RASCALZ (DEZMOND XAVIER & ZACHARY WENTZ) vs. LAX (SANTANA & ORTIZ) FOR THE IMPACT WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS
This wasn’t originally supposed to be a triple threat, but The North won the titles at an Impact Plus special the night before and got added to the match.
It’s all LAX starting off sending the North to the outside, and the Rascalz hit suicide dives for good measure. Santana flips of Dez’s back into a nasty-looking cutter on Wentz, who Alexander then traps in the ankle lock. Everyone tries to get him free but the Canadian hangs on, until three stereo superkicks finally take him out. LAX with a double facebuster combo on Alexander, but Page breaks up the pin by throwing one of the Rascalz into everybody else. After another wild brawl Alexander carries Dez to the top rope and flips into an incredible moonsault press slam all the way down to the floor. Just an unbelievable spot.
Konnan is down on the floor telling the referee that Santana is hurt. More officials come down and the wrestlers sort of sumble around each other, seemingly unsure of what to do right away. Alexander rolls up somebody for a quick nearfall to snap everybody out of it. The remaining five guys go into a wild series of nearfalls and pinning combinations. In the end The North stacked up somebody to win, but it was difficult to tell what was going on because Santana may be legitimately hurt on the floor.
This was really good up until the injury. I applaud them for finding their groove after awhile, and what had to be some really impressive, improvised spots. There’s not much else to say about it, unfortunately. Certainly not a bad match, but it didn’t live up to the expectations of some of the more insane tag team titles matches that LAX, the OGz, and the Lucha Brothers have been putting on for the last year or so at these PPVs.
KILLER KROSS vs. EDDIE EDWARDS IN A FIRST BLOOD MATCH
Eddie goes for a chair right away but gets slammed into the ground by the back of his head, repeatedly. He breaks free and tries for a suicide dive, but Kross blasts him in the face with a steel chair. The big man is just a monster, hoisting up Edwards and delivering a gutwrench suplex off the apron, crashing through a chair. Eddie did get in a few chair shots trying to keep from dying, but Kross just kicked him in the face and suplexed him into the bottom turnbuckle.
Kross then stands on his opponent’s neck and mocks him, asking “where’s your kendo stick” while it’s just inches away. The big man goes for a dive of his own but Eddie countered with a stiff kick to the face, and actually got hi up for a sit-down powerbomb on the floor. He lines up for the Boston Knee Party to put it away, and hits it. He lines up for it again, and again he hits it. Kross still isn’t bleeding so Eddie breaks his own kendo stick over his knee and shoved the jagged end down his opponent’s throat, until Kross coughs up a bunch of blood to end the match.
Let’s not pretend this is a technical masterpiece. This was just about two psychos beating the hell out of each other, and they very much accomplished that. I loved the intensity. First Blood is a unique gimmick in that I can’t remember the last time I actually saw one, and they took advantage by coming up with a great finish. I thought this one would get more violent actually, but Kross still come off looking like a total monster, and I can’t wait to see how this plays out on TV in the next few weeks.
ROB VAN DAM vs. MOOSE
RVD takes the big man down with quick kicks but Moose dodged Rolling Thunder and got taken out with a suicide dive instead. Moose punishes him with a big boot for hamming it up with fans, but runs right into a leap frog all the way to the ground. RVD followed with a senton off the apron, then delivered some shoulder strikes in the corner. Moose explodes with a shoulder tackle, and actually hits a springboard triangle dropkick nearly decapitating his opponent.
Moose slows things down for a bit with basic offense. More than a “bit” actually… RVD keeps trying to get free, but is tackled across the ring, dropped with a big boot, etc. every time he gets close. Eventually he comes back enough to hit a split-leg moonsault, goes up for the Frog Splash, but Moose kicks him in the face and hits a Super Go To Hell off the top rope. The big man mocks the “RVD” taunts but crashes and burns on a Frog Splash attempt of his own.
The referee ends up going down because Moose used him as a human shield. He went for a chair under the ring but Van Dam used it to hit the Van Terminator. A big high jumping kick through the chair! After a drop toehold into the chair RVD went up for the Frog Splash again, but Moose rolled out of the way and murdered the former WWE Champion with a monstrous spear. 1…2…3.
The first few minutes and the last few minutes were very good. Once they slowed the pace down it stayed there forever and they ended up overstaying their welcome in a 14-minute brawl. Shave off a solid 4-5 minutes and this would have been a much different, much better match. Once they found a second gear the physicality was great, there was just no reason for it to be one of the longer matches of the show.
TAYA (c) vs. HAVOK vs. ROSEMARY vs. SU YUNG IN A FATAL 4-WAY MONSTER’S BALL MATCH FOR THE KNOCKOUTS CHAMPIONSHIP
Lots of wild brawling early on. Rosemary puts Su Yung in the Tarantula, and Taya takes her head off with not one, but two running knee strikes in the ropes. Weapons come into play within the first minute and don’t go away. Rosemary takes everybody out with a trash can, but Yung came back with a springboard lariat. Taya uses a staple gun to staple a photo of herself to Su’s forehead three times! The crowd goes absolutely insane after that spot.
We have a throwback to the “Demon Collar” match as Rosemary secures herself to Yung after taking out the other two with a missile dropkick. The Undead Bride ends up throwing a chair into her face, but the champ came out of nowhere with a ladder to the back of her head. Taya puts a bunch of baking trays and other random toys on top of the ladder, then slammed Havok into it. The other three brawl to the top rope and it ends with a nasty superplex with everyone crashing through Havok and the ladder.
Thumbtacks! They get spread about the ring and Rosemary just narrowing avoids getting German suplexed into the tacks. Taya kicks her in the back of the head driving her face into the tacks, over and over again. Super gross. Yung put Havok in the Mandible Claw using her gross glove, while Taya and Rosemary crash through a table with a Side Effect off the apron. Havok ended up hitting a spinning Tombstone Piledriver through the tacks, had the match won, but Taya threw a chair into her face to steal the pinfall and retain the title.
Heck yeah. This was a total car wreck, in the best way possible. All four women worked their asses off and I don’t know if I could pinpoint one individual who did better than the rest. Taya came off like a desperate champion doing everything necessary to keep her title, even taking the cheap way out and stealing someone else’s pin. Come good callbacks to the other points of this long, winding and bizarre series of rivalries. The two best spots of the match were probably the Tower of Doom superplex through the ladder, or Rosemary’s face being slammed into thumbtacks over and over again.
RICH SWANN (c) vs. JOHNNY IMPACT FOR THE X-DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
Former referee John E. Bravo is at ringside, just generally being a dick. At one point he was massaging the challenger’s abs, for some reason. Swann got some early offense in, but Bravo used some leftover thumbtacks and demanded the referee pick them up and make the ring “safe”. Impact uses the distraction to take a cheap shot and do all sorts of illegal shenanigans. The next several minutes see constant interference from John E. Bag of Dicks keeping Impact in complete control of the action.
Swann eventually gets his boots up in the corner, blocks the Spanish Fly and hit a series of superkicks to rally back. The champion hits a Fosbury Flop to the outside, then rolls back into the ring and delivers a brilliant diving elbow drop – just a ton of elevation before crashing down. Impact hits a series of knee strikes and a modified Stormbreaker/Black Hole Slam combo that he calls the Johnny’s Edge, apparently. It’s a nasty looking move.
Impact ends up hitting a Super Spanish Fly from the top rope, but it’s still not enough. Swann rallies with a superkick, then another, before surprisingly launching himself through the ropes to take out Bravo! The crowd goes crazy for this, but Impact used the moment to hit a Disaster Kick. Starship Pain connects, but the champ kicks out at two-and-a-half. The two end up trading superkicks, Swann gets the better of it and must have hit 8 consecutive superkicks, then rebounds off the ropes with a Lethal Injection. He picks up Impact and comes off the ropes again with an Oscutter, goes back up top, and delivers a beautiful Phoenix Splash. 1…2…3.
Hell of a match. Coming in at just over 15 minutes it was the longest thing on the show by a hair, but never felt like it had overstayed its welcome. I actually wanted more when it was over. Swann is having a great title run as X-Division Champion, and a win over a former world champion goes a long way in continuing to establish him as one of Impact’s most important stars. The other thing that took away from the match, on a technical level, was the amount of interference from John E. Bravo. I know it all paid off when Swann took him out in the end, but it was a bit much for my tastes. The last minute or so in particular was tremendous.
BRIAN CAGE (c) vs. MICHAEL ELGIN FOR THE IMPACT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Elgin throws strikes right away but Cage isn’t playing around, screaming at him for more before laying in his own shots, followed by an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Big Mike tries to escape to the floor, but Cage gets himself all the way over with a tope con hillo, sending them both into the barricade! After a few minutes of total dominance from the champ, Elgin caught him in the ropes with a massive deadlift superplex, before ramming his spine into the apron, the barricade, the steel steps, etc.
The Machine rallies back with a big boot and an even bigger superkick. He’s channeling his inner 305 Live as he fires off with a headscissors takedown into the ropes, setting up for the biggest 619 of all time! He’s not done yet, hitting a Cheeky Nandos Kick in the corner and trying for an F5, but Elgin escapes and delivers a lariat to the back of the head, then one to the front, and gets him up for a gigantic powerbomb. Cage slowly got back up and hit a lariat of his own, then a Buckle Bomb of his own.
Elgin escapes the F5 for a second time and somehow jumped into a Canadian Destroyer! The crowd is going nuts, just as both hulking heavyweights find their next gear and Hulk up. The challenger hit a high-angle Crucifix Bomb, followed by a Buckle Bomb. Cage ran out of the corner with a lariat turning him inside out. He finally hits the F5 on the third attempt but it’s not enough. He tries for it again but Elgin blasted him with forearm shots over and over again, and hit another Buckle Bomb. It’s Elgin Bomb time, but Cage rolls him up with an inside cradle for the win out of nowhere.
This was the best thing on the show, and one of the best matches I’ve seen over the past few weeks. I’m a big Brian Cage fan, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him work quite this hard. This reminded me of the NEVER Openweight title matches in NJPW a few years back when every match was a brutal, knock-down, drag-out hoss fight with guys like Makabe, Ishii, Honma, Suzuki, etc. It started great, and just gradually got better as it went on. Some of the big spots and nearfalls were out of this world, and they both took so much abuse that nobody really “lost” in the end. Elgin immediately plants his flag in the Impact dirt as one of the best wrestlers in the company.
SAMI CALLIHAN vs. TESSA BLANCHARD
Tessa is all fired up and tackles Sami to the floor, before hitting back-to-back suicide dives to pump up the crowd for this main event. She goes for a third but Sami blasts her with an elbow strike, hits a backbreaker on the apron, then slams her into the barricade several times. Tessa tried to rally back but got turned inside out with a lariat to the back. The Callihan Death Machine drags her out to the ramp, just toying around at this point, flipping her the bird and calling her a “bitch”. Blanchard goes nuts on him with strikes and kicks, then drops him with the Magnum on the ramp!
Back in the ring Tessa actually got him up for the Death Valley Driver. She went for a Super Magnum but Sami dodged and rolled her up for a nearfall. He took her right back down with a shoulder tackle, a nasty-looking powerbomb, then hits a second even nastier powerbomb, before locking in an STF. After teasing the submission Tessa gets to the ropes and the ref goes down while the two brawl around the ring wildly.
Callihan used a baseball bat upside the head, then stood over her screaming “bleed!” Tessa punched her opponent in the balls, stole the bat and used it on him. She slowly climbed the ropes and this time delivered the Super Magnum, but it still wasn’t enough to win. She applied a crossface chickenwing and nearly got him to tap out, but Sami deadlifted her into a package piledriver. She kicked out at two-and-a-half and Sami just stood there with a sick look on his face, telling her to stay down. He picked her up and delivered the Cactus Driver, and finally it’s over.
While not quite as good as the Impact World title match, in my estimation, this was still really damn good. People will complain that Tessa should have won, but I think she actually came off better in defeat with Callihan, who has literally never shown respect to any of his opponents, putting her over after a legit, main event performance. Sami didn’t “go easy” on her and it resulted in some nasty, hard-hitting drama that had me on the edge of my seat. Tessa continued to prove she’s one of the best in the world, regardless of gender. The crowd was hot for it in spots too.
Impact delivers with yet another solid PPV offering, well worth the purchase. While the first half is full of entertaining matches and stands up fine on its own, it’s the excellent second half that packs a serious punch, with four consecutive hard-hitters that each could have headlined the show. One of the strongest Slammiversary offerings to date.