By Jason Powell
Join me for live coverage of Impact Wrestling Slammiversary on Sunday night. Dot Net Members will hear my exclusive audio review of this episode of Impact later today and of Slammiversary on Sunday night.
Impact Wrestling Hits
Sonjay Dutt and Matt Sydal vs. Low Ki and Trevor Lee: A nice tag match to set up the X Division Championship match at the pay-per-view. They did a good job of keeping Dutt and Ki away from one another for most of the match with the obvious goal of saving it for Sunday. The finish with Lee taking the loss was sadly par for the course, as there’s still no indication that Impact creative recognizes him as a significant asset. That said, I am looking forward to the best of three falls match between Dutt and Ki at the pay-per-view. The X Division is in a better place these days, as the singles pay-per-view match is a big improvement over the usual multi-person spot fest.
Contract signing footage: More of a mixed bag than a Hit or a Miss. It was nice to see several top Slammiversary matches spotlighted without having full length contract signings for each match. However, the Lashley vs. Alberto El Patron main event signing should have been treated as special beyond just being the last of the contract signings. The eight-man tag match announcement that stemmed from the contract signing was fine until Bruce Prichard randomly added Kongo Kong and Mahabali Shera to the teams. They eventually got around to providing some decent hype for the Slammiversary main event via the Lashley and El Patron video packages, but they just never managed to create a must see feel for it even though they have the right players and the match quality should be strong.
Allie, Rosemary, and Braxton Sutter vs. Sienna, Laurel Van Ness, and KM: A solid showcase of the ongoing feud involving the six wrestlers and a teaser for Sunday’s women’s title unification match. The oddball pairing of Rosemary and Allie is entertaining even though I continue to hope that the long term plan is for the two of them to feud.
Final hype for Jeremy Borash and Joseph Park vs. Scott Steiner and Josh Mathews: As awful as the bickering broadcast team members bit has been on commentary, the build to this match has been highly entertaining. It’s not going to be a mat classic, but it has the potential to be a fun spectacle match and I’m looking forward to it more than anything on the Slammiversary card.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Lashley, EC3, Davey Richards, and Kongo Kong vs. Alberto El Patron, James Storm, Eddie Edwards, and Mahabali Shera: An odd match in that they featured the players from the top pay-per-view matches, yet there was really no attempt to make it special when the pay-per-view opponents ended up in the ring together. For instance, Storm oddly worked over Lashley, then tagged in El Patron, who just threw ten punches at Lashley in the corner and then tagged in Edwards, who did the same. The conclusion of the match with Shera making the heroic return was a nice moment for the Indian live crowd, but it did nothing to set up the pay-per-view. It was also ridiculous to see El Patron stand in the corner while Lashley worked over Shera as an illegal man in the match and when Lashley broke up a pin. Hell, El Patron even backed out of the corner to avoid tagging Shera, who was thrown into his corner by the heels at one point. The end result with El Patron pinning Kong was logical in giving El Patron momentum going into the pay-per-view main event, but none of this moved me on the various pay-per-view feuds that were supposed to be showcased.
Eli Drake and Christopher Adonis vs. The Mumbai Cats: A throwaway squash match win for Drake and Adonis heading into their match with Moose and DeAngelo Williams at Slammiversary. The Williams training video and promo were nicely done, as he came off as a respectful guy who is taking his role seriously. The tag match felt like filler and they would have been much better off putting the mic in the hands of Drake to let him put heat on himself heading into the pay-per-view.
Rockstar Spud vs. Swoggle: The match was fine for what it was with both guys trying hard to make it work. The problem wasn’t the match as much as it was the oddball build that made it hard to like Swoggle, who was apparently the babyface in all of this despite violently attacking Spud with a hammer. Perhaps Impact saw this match as a unique hook for the go-home show, but it seemed odd to dedicate this much time to a match that doesn’t play into anything that is advertised for Slammiversary.