By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Slammiversary 2019
Aired live on pay-per-view and on FITE.TV
Dallas, Texas at Gilley’s
A video package opened the show and the James Earl Jones wannabe guy spoke of the new era and how it will be a night remembered. A voice could be heard pumping up the crowd and encouraging them to cheer, then Josh Mathews welcomed viewers to the show. Mathews was joined by Don Callis on commentary…
1. TJP vs. Trey Miguel vs. Jake Crist vs. Willie Mack in a four-way. Mathews noted that the match was announced earlier in the day via Instagram. Callis said all four men started wrestling well before they turned 18 and had been in the business a long time. Mack performed a standing moonsault on TJP, but Crist broke up the pin a couple minutes into the match. Fas taunted Crist with “you suck” chants.
Miguel had a cool spot where he did a Matrix duck under a clothesline from Crist, then swung around using the ropes to kick him on the floor. Miguel followed up with a springboard dive onto all three opponents on the floor at 5:10.
A short time later, TJP performed a surfboard on Miguel. Crist snuck between the and covered TJP, but Mack performed a top rope double stomp onto Miguel to break it up in a really cool moment. In the end, Crist performed a top rope cutter on Miguel, then Mack hit a top rope frogsplash onto Crist and pinned him to win the match…
Willie Mack defeated Jake Crist, TJP, and Trey Miguel in a four-way in 10:00.
Powell’s POV: A very good spot-fest style X Division match to open the show. There were some really innovative moments and everyone involved had a good showing.
The broadcast team spoke at ringside and ran through the remainder of the pay-per-view lineup. They set up footage of “The North” Ethan Page and Josh Alexander defeating LAX to win the Impact Tag Titles at Friday’s Bash at the Brewery event. Page hit Santana with a belt from the floor, which led to Alexander pinning Santana…
Melissa Santos interviewed Page and Alexander backstage. Alexander took issue with her labeling their title win as a surprise and took the mic from her. Page said it wasn’t a surprise. He said they told everyone they were the best tag team and would become the tag champions. Page said Alexander would tell everyone how the match would start and end. Alexander told the fans that they are looking at the Impact Tag Champions. Page told Santos not to let that surprise her…
2. “The North” Ethan Page and Josh Alexander vs. “LAX” Santana and Ortiz (w/Konnan) vs. “The Rascalz” Dez and Wentz in a three-way for the Impact Wrestling Tag Titles. Mathews noted that Konnan was back and that’s good news for LAX because they’ve struggled without him. LAX performed a wild double team move on Dez that concluded with a backbreaker. Santana caught Dez with a stunner a short time later, but Wentz immediately superkicked Santana.
The North entered the ring. Alexander put Wentz in an ankle lock while Page tried to keep the opponents away. Dez eventually worked over both men. Page tossed Wentz from the ropes onto an LAX cover to break up a pin. At 4:15, Alexander performed a moonsault while holding onto and then landing on Wentz in a wild spot. Santana went up top. Alexander shoved him onto the stage, which is equal level to the ring. Santana came up holding one of his legs and cussing. Konnan told the broadcast team that Santana needed medical attention.
Dr. Ariel, who has been featured in television angles lately, checked on Santana at ringside. In the ring, Ortiz was left to fend for himself and both teams tried to exploit it. The North cleared Dez and Wentz, then hit their finisher on Ortiz for the win…
The North defeated LAX and The Rascalz in 7:20 to retain the Impact Wrestling Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: The match was fun while it lasted. It would have been nice to see more from these three teams on one of the company’s top pay-per-view events, but it helps explain why it was slotted early in the show. The Santana injury appeared to be a work to create the out for Ortiz losing the match. Here’s hoping that’s the case.
After the match, Konnan, Ortiz, Dez, and Wentz huddled around Santana, who didn’t want to be stretchered to the back. Ortiz and Dez helped Santana to the back…
A pre-taped Sami Callihan promo aired. He vented about the internet, but said it helped create all the buzz and now he and Tessa Blanchard will headline the pay-per-view. Callihan said it will be the first time than an intergender match will headline a pay-per-view in the United States. Callihan said it’s because he’s the draw…
A video package set up the first blood match…
3. Killer Kross vs. Eddie Edwards in a first blood match. Kross came out wearing mostly white face paint with his eyes, nose, and mouth covered in black paint and he had a black X on his forehead. Edwards brought his kendo stick to the ring and went right after Kross. The broadcast team played up the idea that even a chest being bloodied by chops could end the match. Mathews noted that the referee was wearing gloves. At 1:20, Kross picked up Edwards at ringside and slammed him back first onto the apron. There was a justifiable “holy shit” chant.
In the ring, Edwards performed a suplex on Kross, who no-sold it by standing right up. Edwards sent Kross to ringside and then went for a running dive. Kross threw a chair at the head of Edwards (it looked like Edwards at least tried to get his hands up). Kross performed a gut wrench suplex from the apron onto some chairs on the floor. Kross picked up a chair and swung it at Edwards, who avoided it twice. Edwards threw a chair at Kross. Callis pointed out that Kross put his hands up or the chair could have opened a cut. Kross tried to hide his face from the referee, but he was not cut.
At 5:30, Edwards performed a clunky blue thunder bomb and then worked over Kross with punches. Kross got back to his feet and booted Edwards’s face. Kross tossed Edwards into the corner, then taunted him by asking him where his stick was. Mathews noted that “Kenny” the kendo stick is the best friend of Edwards. Kross seated Edwards on the top rope facing away from the ring. Kross went up behind Edwards, who fought him and got down, then kicked Kross, who crotched himself on the top rope. Edwards went up top and knocked Kross off the ropes with a Boston Knee Party at 8:25.
Edwards went to ringside and found his kendo stick. Edwards tried to hit Kross, who ducked it and applied a submission hold. They tumbled to ringside. Kross reapplied the hold briefly, but Edwards escaped and performed a tiger driver on the mats at ringside. Back inside the ring, Edwards performed a Boston Knee Party. Edwards picked up the kendo stick and broke it over his knee. Edwards used the edge of one half of the kendo stick to jab it into the face of Kross, who bled to end the match. Kross had blood on his face and in his mouth afterward…
Eddie Edwards defeated Killer Kross in 11:30 in a first blood match.
Powell’s POV: It was nice to see a straight forward finish in a first blood match and hopefully this will put a wrap to the feud. The broadcast team played up whether Edwards had reached a point of no return. I’d say his character did that when he bit part of Kross’s face off in a recent backstage angle. Perhaps that’s why Kross wore the face paint? Either way, Kross continues to strike me as a major player whether it’s in Impact or elsewhere.
Rolando Melendez tried to interview Tessa Blanchard as she arrived. Blanchard slammed him against the wall and walked away…
Melissa Santos interviewed Rob Van Dam, who praised Moose for calling him out rather than schmoozing with the writers backstage (huh?). RVD said Moose is old school and that’s cool. He said Moose made the match happen and he probably has a great future if he gets past this situation. RVD said he intends to show Moose the consequences of his actions. RVD said he sees Moose as a bully and he has a certain place in his heart for bullies. RVD said he plans to live up to the monicker of Mr. Pay Per View… A video package set up RVD vs. Moose…
4. Rob Van Dam vs. Moose. Moose took a cheap shot at Van Dam to start the match. RVD came right back and went for Rolling Thunder, but Moose rolled to ringside. RVD regrouped and performed a flip dive over the top rope. Van Dam posed while the fans chanted his name, then turned into a boot to the face. Moose went for a powerbomb on the floor, but Dam countered into a huracanrana.
Moose had a long stretch of offense. RVD ended up backdropping Moose from the ring onto the stage. Back inside the ring, Van Dam performed a split-legged moonsault. Moose once again took advantage of RVD posing. Van Dam fought back and went to the second rope, but Moose dropkicked him. Moose executed his Go To Hell slam for a near fall at 9:20.
RVD and Moose traded punches and kicks in the ring. Moose caught Van Dam with a DDT. Moose went up top and went for a frogsplash, but Van Dam rolled out of the way to avoid his own finishing move. Van Dam performed a DDT for a two count. Moose pulled the referee in front of him to keep Van Dam away. Van Dam moved the referee and then Moose low blowed Van Dam.
Moose went to ringside and pulled a chair out from underneath the ring. The referee stopped Moose from using the chair until Moose shoved him away. Van Dam performed a Van Daminator kick and covered Moose, who put his foot on the bottom rope. Van Dam used a drop toehold onto the chair, then followed up with a frogsplash, but Moose moved and RVD crashed onto the chair. Moose speared Van Dam and pinned him…
Moose defeated Rob Van Dam in 13:50.
Powell’s POV: I love the decision to give Moose a win over Van Dam. RVD brings some star power for Impact, but it’s wise to use him to elevate others at key times. The match was decent, but the only thing truly memorable about it is that Moose went over.
A video package aired for the Fallout event that will be held on Sunday in Ontario. Mathews noted that it’s a tag team showcase and questioned what would happen when Sami Callihan and Tessa Blanchard are forced to team together…
Backstage, Santos tried to interview Taya Valkyrie, who ran her off by saying Santos has a wedding to plan and assuming her invitation was lost in the mail. Valkyrie cut a brief promo about keeping the Knockouts Title in the Monster’s Ball match… A video package set up the Knockouts Title match…
5. Taya Valkyrie vs. Jessicka Havok vs. Su Yung vs. Rosemary in a four-way Monster’s Ball match for the Knockouts Championship. James Mitchell stood in the ring hyped up the match beforehand by calling it the most dangerous match in pro wrestling. Mitchell remained at ringside for the match and handed a trashcan filled with weapons to his duo of Havok and Yung early on.
Valkyrie used a staple gun on the back of Yung a couple minutes into the match. She also stapled her own picture to the head of Yung. When it fell off, Valkyrie crumpled up the photo and shoved it in Yung’s mouth. Later, Yung reintroduced the demon collar and put it on Rosemary. A ladder was introduced. There was a crazy tower of doom spot with Valkyrie sending Yung and Rosemary from the ropes onto the ladder in the ring. Ouch.
At 8:30, Rosemary pulled out a bag of thumbtacks and poured them into the ring. Valkyrie performed a German suplex on Rosemary just in front of the tacks. Valkyrie pulled the arms of Rosemary back, then stomped her face first onto the tacks. Yung and Havok started bickering at one another while Mitchell tried to talk them down. Yung sprayed mist at Havok, who ducked and then Mitchell took the mist to the face.
Rosemary and Valkyrie fought on the apron in front of a table that was set up on the floor. Valkyrie ended up leaping off the apron and taking Rosemary with her, causing both women to crash through the table below. In the ring, Yung had Havok on the ropes and was setting up for a move, but Havok ended up tombstone piledriving Yung from the middle rope and onto the tacks. Valkyrie threw a chair at Havok (she got a hand up) and then stole the pin…
Taya Valkyrie defeated Su Yung, Jessicka Havok, and Rosemary in a Monster’s Ball in 11:45 to retain the Knockouts Championship.
Powell’s POV: This was a crazy hardcore match by any standards. There were the usual hardcore stunts and the women took some crazy bumps along the way. They all worked hard and the live crowd was into the match from start to finish.
An ad aired for Impact tapings on July 19-20 in Windsor, Ontario… A video package set up the X Division Title match…
Santos interviewed Rich Swann backstage. Swann said Impact is one of the greatest wrestlers in the company and got fired up about it being Slammiversary. Impact and John E Bravo crashed the set and said he was taking the title back home to Slam Town where he, Valkyrie, and Bravo would party all night long. Impact and Bravo sang Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” and left, then Swann closed it out by saying he would retain the title…
Powell’s POV: Non-wrestler John E Bravo was just beaten by Rich Swann and Willie Mack in a tag match on Friday’s television show, but he’s apparently just fine tonight?
6. Rich Swann vs. Johnny Impact (w/John E Bravo) for the X Division Championship. Bravo threw streamers at Impact during the entrances (funny). Callis said Bravo was a jabrone referee and is now living the lifestyle of the rich and famous. At 6:20, Swann DDT’d Impact, who came right back and set up for a Spanish Fly on the ropes, but Swann got away and tripped up Impact so that his head landed on the top turnbuckle. Moments later, Swann performed a corkscrew dive over the top rope onto Impact on the floor.
Swann rolled Impact back inside the ring and then hit a top rope elbow drop for a two count at 8:10. Impact came back with a knee to the head and Johnny’s Edge for a near fall of his own. Impact went for a springboard spear, but Swann caught him with an uppercut. Both men ended up fighting on the ropes and punches knocked them both to ringside simultaneously. Bravo helped Impact return to the ring, then Swann returned at the nine count.
At 12:05, Impact performed a Spanish Fly from the ropes, then stood up Swann and performed a standing Spanish Fly that led to another two count. Swann came right back with chops. Swann ran the ropes and Bravo tried to trip him. Swann ended up running the ropes and performing a flip dive onto Bravo at ringside. Back inside the ring, Impact caught Swann with a kick and then performed his Starship Pain finisher for another near fall. Impact acted shocked that the move didn’t put Swann away.
Impact threw a knee to the head of Swann, who came back with a series of strikes and a Lethal Injection. Swann stood up and performed a second Lethal Injection, then went up top and hit a Phoenix Splash and scored the clean pin…
Rich Swann defeated Johnny Impact in 14:55 to retain the X Division Championship.
Powell’s POV: A strong match that the broadcast team tried to play up as being worthy of either five stars or seven stars, and Mathews said if the match isn’t on year-end ballots for match of the year then you’re insane. It was a very good match with some impressive high spots and athleticism, though I wish there had been more in the way of psychology to go along with the big moves. On a side note, Swann continues to deliver in the ring, but I don’t feel like I know who he is. His character is usually upbeat and we know he’s friendly with Willie Mack and that he has a history with Sami Callihan, but I just don’t feel like I know what makes the character tick. Hopefully creative will address this soon.
Michael Elgin delivered a backstage promo. He said Brian Cage calls himself The Machine and yet he keeps breaking down. Elgin said he’s sent Cage to the hospital three times. Elgin said he will get the 1-2-3 and become the new world champion… A video package set up the Impact World Championship match…
7. Brian Cage vs. Michael Elgin for the Impact World Championship. Mathews said Cage was attacked by Elgin at Friday’s Bash at the Brewery event and spent the night in the hospital. The bell rang and both men went right at one another. Elgin connected with some early boots to the head, but Cage knocked him down with a shoulder block.
At 3:00, Elgin performed a superplex for an early near fall. Callis said he heard Cage crying out and then saw him grab his injured back. Mathews wondered if Impact officials were keeping an eye on the match due to Cage’s injury and whether there was a possibility they could stop it. Elgin continued to target the back and the broadcast team noted that the referee was asking Cage if he wanted to quit. Elgin took Cage to ringside and ran his back into the barricade, then picked him up and slammed him onto the ring apron.
At 5:20, Elgin went up top and performed a twisting senton, but Cage rolled away. Elgin came right back with a backbreaker. Cage stuffed a kick from Elgin and then caught him with a kick of his own. Cage performed a springboard tornado DDT and a 619. Cage performed a pump-handle slam that dropped Elgin face first and then covered him for a two count. Mathews started gushing over Impact’s relationship with the NFL Alumni and the hiring of D-Lo Brown, then said Cage “is giving you everything he has here tonight.”
Elgin impressively powered Cage up from the mat and powerbombed him. Cage came back with some strikes, but Elgin knocked him down with a clothesline. Elgin removed his elbow pad and did the terminator clap on his arm before clotheslining Cage again. Elgin delivered a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall. Mathews said Elgin can’t be the face of the franchise for Impact. Elgin made the throat slashing gesture and then performed a buckle bomb, but Cage fired out of the corner with a discus clothesline at 10:05.
Both men got to their feet at the same time and went for simultaneous clotheslines twice. Elgin threw some strikes and then they went back and forth with kicks. Elgin got the better of the sequence by throwing a kick to Cage’s head. Elgin went for his finisher, but Cage slipped away and performed a buckle bomb. Cage set up for his Drill Claw finisher, but Elgin countered into a sunset bomb for a good near fall. Cage came back with a knee to the head, a powerbomb, and then hit the Drill Claw for a great near fall at 13:00.
A “fight forever” chant broke out. Cage got to his feet first and made the throat slash gesture. Cage set up for his finisher, but his back went out. Elgin kicked the back of Cage and then threw a forearm at the back of his head. Elgin picked up Cage and jawed at him before throwing a spinning back fist. Elgin performed a buckle bomb and then set up for an Elgin Bomb, but Cage rolled him into a pin and got the three count.
Brian Cage defeated Michael Elgin in 14:10 to retain the Impact World Championship.
After the match, Elgin took the title belt and slammed it into Cage’s head. “Now we’re seeing who Michael Elgin is,” Callis said. Fans chanted “you suck” at Elgin, and Callis referred to him as a piece of garbage. Elgin approached Callis and pointed at the title belt and pointed to Cage and said “look at him.” Callis encouraged Elgin to go to the back. Elgin brought Callis into the ring and set up for an Elgin Bomb. A masked man entered the ring and Gored Elgin, then left the ring and hopped the barricade. Callis returned to the broadcast table. Callis asked what happened. Mathews recapped the masked man “spearing” Elgin and questioned what Callis knew of it. Callis barked that he was attacked and had no idea what happened…
Powell’s POV: A very good title match. They didn’t have as many flashy moves as the previous match and yet I enjoyed the Impact World Championship match more than the X Division Championship match. I liked the call of the broadcast team with Mathews openly rooting for Cage to be the face of the company over Elgin. The post match bit with Elgin once again going after Callis was a little strange since Callis plays the role of the heel color commentator, but perhaps they are going to play up his executive position. Either way, why cover Rhino’s face? Fans were chanting “Gore” immediately so it’s not like there’s a big mystery as far as the live crowd and viewers at home are concerned. Perhaps there’s more to this that will help that part make more sense at a later date?
Mathews set up a video package for Bound For Glory on October 20 in Chicago. Graphics questioned what you would be willing to do for all the glory… A video package set up the main event…
8. Tessa Blanchard vs. Sami Callihan. Madman Fulton came out with Callihan, but did not stick around. Blanchard brought her own baseball bat to the ring with her and set it under the ropes in her corner. The bell rang and the fans chanted loudly for “Tessa.” They followed up with a “Tessa’s gonna kill you” chant. Callihan did the thumbs up/thumbs down bit in Blanchard’s face. She responded with a hand gesture of her own and then they went at one another.
Blanchard sent Callihan to ringside and performed two suicide dives that didn’t knock Callihan off his feet. The fans chanted “one more time.” Blanchard listened to the fans (always a mistake) and this time Callihan caught her and ended up flinging her into the barricade twice, then performed a Death Valley Driver on the floor. Callihan followed up with a powerbomb on the apron at 3:30. Callihan stood on the ropes with his back to Blanchard while the referee counted, but Blanchard returned to the ring.
Back inside the ring, Blanchard performed a neckbreaker. Blanchard ran the ropes and Callihan put her down with a big boot. Callihan bodyslammed Blanchard and jawed at the fans. Callihan picked up Blanchard and tossed her through the ropes and onto the stage. Callihan went to the stage and told fans to move, then set up for a powerbomb off the stage. Blanchard fought free and caught him with a cutter on the ramp at 6:45.
Back inside the ring, Callihan stood and allowed Blanchard to hit him twice. “Is that all you got, bitch?” Callihan asked while flipping her off. Blanchard fired away and performed a Samoan drop. Blanchard went to the top rope and leapt over a charging Callihan and ended up DDT’ing him for a two count. Blanchard set up for her hammerlock DDT, but Callihan stuffed it and ended up double underhooking her and dropped her shoulder first onto his knee. Callihan powerbombed Blanchard and then applied an STF. Blanchard eventually reached the ropes to break the hold at 10:25.
Callihan set up for a top rope move on Blanchard, but she slipped away and pulled him from the ropes and drove him face first into the mat, then covered him for a near fall. Blanchard fired away at Callihan and accidentally hit the referee. REF BUMP!!! Callihan grabbed his baseball bat and jabbed it into Blanchard’s face. A second referee ran down and counted, but Blanchard kicked out. Callihan attacked the second referee. Callihan jawed at Blanchard, who low blowed him and spat in his face. Blanchard called him a “motherf—er” and then hit him with a bat. Blanchard performed a top rope Codebreaker for a near fall, then rolled him into a crossface. Callihan teased tapping, but powered out and then performed a piledriver and covered Blanchard, who kicked out aggressively and let out a war cry.
Callihan waited for Blanchard to get up and then she gave him his own thumbs up/thumbs down hand sign. Callihan grabbed her and piledrove her again and then pinned her to win the match.
Sami Callihan defeated Tessa Blanchard in 15:00.
Blanchard held her neck after the match. Callis said Callihan won the match, but he saw something he’d never seen and put over the effort of Blanchard. Mathews narrated highlights of the match. Callihan picked up both bats and shoved the referee aside. Callihan handed Blanchard her bat, which she accepted. Mathews said that was as good as a handshake from Callihan and added that they made history. Blanchard continued to hold her neck while Callihan went to the ramp and celebrated while Mathews closed the show…
Powell’s POV: A very good main event. Intergender wrestling isn’t for everyone and I haven’t been a big fan of it over the years, but they made this feel like a big deal throughout the show and the broadcast team did a nice job of putting over the effort of Blanchard and what a POS Callihan was throughout the match. I was actually surprised to see it end with a show of respect from Callihan, as I assumed they would want to come back to this at some point. And perhaps they will since I suppose all it takes is the right angle to get there. It’s just a shame that everything came together so quickly and they didn’t sell this as the main event on the weekly television show. Callihan just started attacking women’s wrestling one week and it lacked the big launch angle, and I think they waited until today to announce the match as the main event. Whether you like intergender wrestling or are turned off by it, I don’t think there’s any denying that they worked a strong match.
Overall, this was a very good pay-per-view. Impact continues to be at its best when they focus on the more traditional pro wrestling approach. They lose me when they veer into the Undead Realm, smoke circles, etc., but this was a good example of how entertaining their product is when they play it straight. I will have more to say in my members’ exclusive audio review coming up later tonight.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast With Jason Powell featuring a Dot Net Weekly combo show co-hosted by Jake Barnett with a discussion of WWE’s first week of television following the creative shakeup, MLW announcing its first pay-per-view event, and much more.
Actually, John E. Bravo is a wrestler, been doing it since 1998. He just shifted over to reffing.
Not in their storylines. As Callis put it, he’s a jabrone referee who is now living the lifestyle of the rich and famous.