By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Slammiversary
Aired live July 17, 2021 on pay-per-view and FITE.TV
Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios
Impact Wrestling Slammiversary Pre-Show
Forty-three minutes into the pre-show, they went to the studio where the broadcast team of Matt Striker and D-Lo Brown checked in from ringside…
1. Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz vs. Havok and Rosemary (w/Crazzy Steve, Black Taurus) for the Knockouts Tag Titles. David Penzer was the ring announcer. The ring ropes were yellow and the Ultimate X structure was set up. Striker said he saw one of the surprise wrestlers who would appear on the main show and could not believe who it was.
Rosemary was isolated by the champions for a good portion of the match before she finally made a hot tag. Havok kicked Steelz and then caught her going for a huracanrana, which she countered into a buckle bomb. Steelz dodged a charging Havok, who crashed into the corner.
The broadcast team noted that Hogan was legal after making a blind tag. Steelz performed a big dive from the top rope onto Rosemary and Steve on the floor. Hogan worked over Havok inside the ring. Hogan put Havok in a sleeper, but she no-sold it and countered into her tombstone piledriver and scored the pin…
Havok and Rosemary defeated Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz in 8:55 to win the Knockouts Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: The title match was a mild surprise if only because Hogan and Steelz regained the belts in May following a Jordynne Grace and Rachael Ellering reign that lasted less than a month. There are a few rows of fans on each side of the ring along with some fans on the hard camera side. The pre-show consisted of the match and was preceded by the This Is Slammiversary special.
The broadcast team ran through the pay-per-view lineup…
Impact Wrestling Slammiversary Main Card
A video package opened the show… Footage aired from earlier in the day of Kenny Omega and Sami Callihan making separate arrivals at the building… Matt Striker and D-Lo Brown were on commentary, and Dave Penzer was the ring announcer for the main card…
2. Josh Alexander vs. Petey Williams vs. Trey Miguel vs. Ace Austin vs. Chris Bey vs. Rohit Raju in an Ultimate X match for the X Division Championship. The broadcast team noted that Madman Fulton and Mahabali Shera were both banned from ringside for the match. Bey made an early unsuccessful play for the belt that was hanging above the ring on the red cables.
Bey performed a nice flip dive onto Alexander on the floor, then stood and waited for Williams to perform a huracanrana from the ring on him. Moments later, Raju shoved Austin off the ropes and he did a moonsault onto a pile of wrestlers on the floor. Raju put powder or chalk on his hands after slipping earlier, then hooked a rope over the capes and pulled himself up, but Williams returned to the ring and pulled him down.
Bey made a play for the belt, but Miguel climbed the cable behind him while Raju climbed to the top rope behind them. Miguel went for a huracanrana on Raju, who held on in the corner and then knocked Bay off the cables. Raju tried to use a rod with a hook on it to get the belt down, but it didn’t work. He got a chair and set it up in the middle of the ring and tried again, but Miguel hit him with a missile dropkick.
A short time later, Raju put Miguel in a Crossface while Williams simultaneously put him in a Sharpshooter. Miguel tapped, but it doesn’t count in an Ultimate X. There was a wild spot with Alexander hanging upside down from the cables while he put Bey in an ankle lock. Raju ended up knocking Alexander off the cables with a chair.
Austin climbed to the top rope and had Bey right behind him. Austin ended up hanging upside down on the cables, and then Bey leapt from the top rope and speared him, which drew “holy shit” chants from the crowd followed by a brief “this is awesome” chant.
Williams took out Raju and then Miguel with Canadian Destroyers. Williams made a play for the belt. Alexander put Bey on his shoulders and stood underneath Williams, who performed a Canadian Destroyer from the cables on Bey into the ring for another “holy shit” chant. Wow.
Raju made a play for the belt a short time later, but Miguel pulled him down and performed mutliple moves on him. Miguel went to the ropes where he was cut off by Alexander, who suplexed him off the top rope. Bey climbed the cables and then Alexander came from the opposite side. They both hung upside down and traded blows while also trying to take the belt down. They unhooked the belt. Austin dove and tried to grab the belt, but they pulled it up. Alexander knocked Bey off the cables and had possession of the belt to win the match.
Josh Alexander defeated Chris Bey, Rohit Raju, Petey Williams, Trey Miguel, and Ace Austin in 15:45 in an Ultimate X match to retain the X Division Championship.
Powell’s POV: Great effort from everyone involved. There were some contrived looking spots, but the athleticism and innovation was off the charts. It was strange that they spent a good portion of the build playing up the threat that the heels posed due to having Rohit Raju and Madman Fulton at ringside only for both men to be banned from ringside for the actual match, but I was never big on the idea of a bunch of outside interference anyway.
The broadcast team ran through the rest of the lineup…
Gia Miller interviewed Don Callis outside of Kenny Omega’s locker room. Callis said he was concerned that the main event carries a No DQ stipulation and Omega is facing a garbage wrestler in Sami Callihan. Callis said Callihan may be a dangerous man, but Omega is a god. Callis said Callihan will do his worst, but he can’t kick out of One Winged Angel. Callis said that would be the difference in the match…
A video package aired on the build to the mixed tag match…
3. Matt Cardona and Chelsea Green vs. Brian Myers (w/Sam Beale) and Tenille Dashwood (w/Kaleb) in a mixed tag match. Striker said Cardona and Dashwood were in a relationship years ago that fizzled out. Green was the mystry partner and she was in “Hot Mess” mode, but not full Laurel Van Ness mode. Striker pointed out the cast on Green’s left arm and said she was cleared by the Impact doctor. Green and Dashwood traded slaps to start the match.
Myers got the better of Cardona until he ran into a spear. Both men tagged out. Green got the better of Dashwood and had her pinned, but Myers pulled her off. Brown gushed about Impact trending number two in the world. A short time later, Dashwood went for a low blow on Cardona, but sold arm pain. Cardona revealed that he was wearing a protective cup, which he shoved in the face of Myers.
Green performed a Canadian Destroyer on Myers. Cardona performed a flip dive on Myers and Beale on the floor. Dashwood went for an Unprettier on Green, who escaped and low blowed her. Green followed up with an Unprettier and scored the pin…
Matt Cardona and Chelsea Green defeated Brian Myers and Tenille Dashwood in 6:05 in a mixed tag match.
Powell’s POV: A live crowd pleasing mixed tag match. Impact all but told viewers that Green would be teaming with Cardona on television this week, which isn’t a bad thing since they likely sold some extra pay-per-views by doing so.
A video package set up the W Morrissey vs. Eddie Edwards match…
4. W Morrissey vs. Eddie Edwards. Before the match, Striker said Morrissey has tried to injure everyone he’s been in the ring with. He said that if Morrissey tried that with Edwards, he’d have a line of wrestlers after him because Edwards is the heart and soul of the company. The crowd sang along with Edwards’ entrance theme prior to the match.
Edwards ducked Morrissey clotheslines and worked him over with chops to start. Morrissey cut off his offense with a fallaway slam. Striker plugged Impact returning to Skyway Studios from August 15-17 and said fans would be in the venue.
Later, Morrissey put his foot on Edwards chest, pulled him up by his arms, and then stomped him back to the mat. Morrissey brought up Edwards being the heart and soul of Impact and then hit him with shots to the chest. Morrissey set up for a suplex, but Edwards reversed it. The match went to ringside where Morrissey chokeslammed Edwards onto the edge of the apron.
Morrissey brought Edwards to the stage and set up for a powerbomb, but Edwards backdropped him. Edwards ran down the ramp and hit his Boston Knee Party finisher on Morrissey on the floor. Both men beat the referee’s count by returning to the ring. Morrissey went back on the offensive and set up for a move on the ropes, but Edwards headbutted him and then performed a sunset bomb.
Edwards performed a Blue Thunder Bomb on Morrissey for a near fall. Edwards set up for his finisher, but Morrissey pulled the referee in front of him. Morrissey ran the ropes and hit a big boot that led to a near fall. Morrissey set up for a powerbomb, but Edwards countered into a pin for a two count. Edwards hit the Boston Knee Party, which sent Morrissey to ringside.
Morrissey pulled a chain out of his boot and hit Edwards with it while the referee was shielded. Morrissey returned to the ring and powerbombed Edwards before pinning him…
W Morrissey defeated Eddie Edwards in 11:00.
Powell’s POV: A decent match with the right guy going over. Morrissey is off to a good start in Impact and there was no reason to derail his monster heel push. Plus, they did it in a way that protected Edwards and created the need for a rematch if they want to go there.
A pre-taped Moose promo aired. He spoke about facing Chris Sabin and said he would face the consequences… A video aired with someone destroying a “Long Live The Drama King” poster… Gia Miller interviewed a fan named Miguel, who won a super fan contest…
Madman Fulton and Mahabali Shera made their entrance to cut the fan interview short. Scott D’Amore’s entrance music (yes, really) played and he walked onto the stage. D’Amore played to the fans by saying he was happy to see them back in the Impact Zone. D’Amore assumed that Fulton and Shera were ready for action and then introduced their opponents…
5. Juice Robinson and David Finlay vs. Madman Fulton and Mahabali Shera. Striker said Robinson and Finlay represent New Japan Pro Wrestling, “but they are Impact.” Fulton and Shera bickered with one another during the opening minute. Robinson and Finlay went over moments later…
Juice Robinson and David Finlay beat Madman Fulton and Mahabali Shera in 1:15.
Powell’s POV: I’m more excited about Robinson and Finlay presumably taking part in the Impact tapings than I was about this quick throwaway match.
A video package set up the Moose and Chris Sabin match…
6. Moose vs. Chris Sabin. Brown called Sabin a future Hall of Famer. Moose was dominant during the opening minutes of the match. Moose sat Sabin on the apron and then hooked his arms on the ropes and hit him with loud chops twice. Moose teased doing it again and then flipped off the crowd. Sabin fought back, but Moose dropkicked him.
Sabin eventually came back and performed a tornado DDT for a near fall. Moose caught Sabin on the ropes and performed a fallaway moonsault slam, which drew “holy shot” chants. Sabin rolled to the floor to avoid being pinned. The broadcast team rightfully marveled over Moose being able to perform the move at his size. Moose rag dolled Sabin into the barricade multiple times. Back inside the ring, Sabin caught Moose in a pin for the upset win…
Chris Sabin defeated Moose in roughly 12:00.
Powell’s POV: A surprising outcome given that Moose has been positioned as a top heel and recently re-signed with the company. It’s nothing he can’t bounce back from, and it’s a good win for Sabin. I like the move because Sabin felt like a tag team wrestler who was killing time while waiting for one of his partners (Alex Shelley or James Storm) to return. This win should elevate Sabin as a singles wrestlers in the eyes of many viewers.
The broadcast team recapped the Knockouts Tag Title change from the pre-show… Rosemary, Havok, Crazzy Steve, and Black Taurus delivered a backstage promo… A video package set up the tag title match…
7. “Violent By Design” Rhino and Joe Doering (w/Eric Young, Deaner) vs. Rich Swann and Willie Mack vs. Fallah Bahh and No Way (Jose) vs. “The Good Brothers” Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson in a four-way match for the Impact Tag Titles. Before the match, Bahh came out and said Impact management asked him to find a replacement for TJP. “I said no, no, no way Jose. Jose had a conga line that included John E Bravo. Jose was listed as “No Way” on the video wall.
There was a showdown moment with Doering and Gallows that didn’t last long because the other wrestlers entered the ring and fought. A short time later, Doering blasted No Way with a big clotheslined and had him pinned, but Mack shoved Rhino onto the pin to break it up. Doering dumped Swann and Mack to ringside. Rhino tagged in and set up for a Gore, but Gallows distracted the referee while Anderson performed a cutter on Rhino. The Good Brothers hit the Magic Killer on Rhino and then Gallows pinned him…
“The Good Brothers” Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson defeated Rhino and Joe Doering, Rich Swann and Willie Mack, and Fallah Bahh and No Way in 10:10 to win the Impact Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: I vote for a No Way Jose vs. Matt Cardona match in a loser must reinvent himself match that ends in a double pin. Jose has charisma and got saddled with the bad conga line gimmick on the WWE main roster. I wouldn’t mind seeing him stick around Impact if he’s going to abandon the silliness and change his gimmick, but the conga line routine is a big turnoff for me. More than anything, this felt like a “get everybody on the show” match of the night. It wasn’t all bad or anything. The tag title change doesn’t do much for me because Gallows and Anderson have been glorified henchmen for Kenny Omega in two companies, but perhaps winning the titles will give them the boost that they need.
Kenny Omega and his various titles were shown inside his locker room, then a separate shot aired of Sami Callihan… A video package spotlighted Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo… Alesha Zappitella of Invicta was shown in the crowd…
8. Deonna Purrazzo vs. Thunder Rosa for the Knockouts Championship. Striker noted that Rosa is a former NWA Women’s Champion. The crowd popped big for Rosa as the mystery opponent. Rose performed a nice missile dropkick roughly five minutes into the match. Purrazzo came back a short time later with a Fujiwara Armbar, but Rosa countered into a rear naked choke.
Purrazzo flipped Rosa over and reapplied the armbar. Rosa escaped, but Purrazzo slammed her down and covered her for a two count. Rosa came back and got a two count of her own. Rosa went up top and was cut off with a palm strike. Purrazzo joined Rosa on the ropes, but Rosa pushed her off and performed a double stomp to the back, which led to a two count.
Purrazzo and Rosa traded strikes. Purrazzo knocked Rosa down with a kick. Rosa got up and returned the favor with a kick of her own, then set up for a Thunder Driver, but Purrazzo countered into a pin for a near fall. Purrazzo hit the Queen’s Gambit piledriver and scored the clean pin…
Deonna Purrazzo defeated Thunder Rosa in 10:30 to retain the Knockouts Championship.
After the match, Purrazzo took the mic. Before she could speak, Mickie James made her entrance to the “Hardcore Country” theme song. The fans chanted “welcome back.” James said it was good to be in front of live audience again.
Purrazzo said it’s her division. James said she wasn’t there to fight and ran through Purrazzo’s Impact credentials before adding that she has mad respect for her. James said she is producing the NWA Empowerrred pay-per-view and invited Purrazzo to appear at the event.
Purrazzo said every company wants her on their show. She said James claims to respect her, but she didn’t respect her enough to let her have her moment on the show. Purrazzo told James to get the hell out. James slapped her and ended up superkicking her…
Powell’s POV: A good match. Impact aggressively teased James as the mystery challenger, but zero complaints about Rosa being the surprise opponent. They heavily foreshadowed Chelsea Green and James’ appearances and No Way Jose isn’t going to generate much buzz, so it’s cool that they had at least one wrestler who felt like a true and meaningful surprise. Plus, it was nice to see James in Impact again. It’s interesting to hear NWA talk on the Impact show given that things got ugly between Anthem executives and NWA owner Billy Corgan at one time. Things have obviously improved given that Rosa is under contract to the NWA, and the plug for the Empowerrred show.
The broadcast team hyped Impact Homecoming for July 31. They also set up a video package that announced Bound For Glory for Saturday, October 23 in Las Vegas. The AEW, AAA, and NJPW logos were shown during the video… A video package set up the main event…
9. Kenny Omega (w/Don Callis) vs. Sami Callihan in a No DQ match for the Impact World Championship. Dave Penzer delivered in-ring introductions for the main event, and Brian Hebner was the referee. Callis handled the Omega introduction and got some easy heat by listing a number of people he’s better than, including Terry Funk.
Callihan attacked Omega from behind while his name was being announced by Callis. Callihan performed a piledriver and got a near fall. Callis sat in on commentary. Callihan introduced a chair, a trashcan, and a fork into the match. Callis vented about garbage wrestling. Omega went for a sunset flip, but Callihan stood his ground, pulled out a pizza cutter, and sliced Omega’s head with it.
Omega was a bloody mess. Brown asked Callis when the last time Omega was busted open to this degree. Callis said never. Callihan eventually performed a Death Valley Driver. Omega rolled to the floor. Callihan went for a suicide dive, but Omega hit him with a trashcan lid. Back in the ring, Omega worked over Callihan with a wet floor sign.
Omega used the trash can as a weapon and targeted one of Callihan’s ankles. Omega went for a cover, but Callihan immediately kicked out. Omega remained on the offensive and Callihan ended up bleeding heavily. Callis left the broadcast table briefly and taunted Callihan before returning. Omega used the fork to dig into Callihan’s forehead and then fish-hooked him with it.
Omega showed off the bloody fork to one of the cameras. At ringside, Omega ran Callihan into the barricade. He placed a table over Callihan and then double stomped it from the apron. Omega taunted the fans, who responded with a “you suck” chant. Callis said he liked it better without fans. Funny.
Omega set up a table at ringside and then set up Callihan on the apron, but Callihan blocked his suplex attempt. Calllihan bit Omega’s hand. Omega and Callihan traded strikes on the apron and then Omega brought him onto the table and set up for a piledriver, but Callihan grabbed his junk and then performed a piledriver that put Omega through the table, which drew a “holy shit” chant.
Callihan pulled a board and another trashcan out from underneath the ring. Callihan set the board in the corner and then slammed a trashcan over Omega’s head. Callihan ended up powerbombing Omega onto the board in the corner and covered him for a near fall. Callihan went to ringside and brought back a chair wrapped in barbed wire while fans chanted “f— em’ up, Sami.”
Omega ended up slamming Callihan onto the barbed wire chair and then slammed him onto it. Callihan superplexed Callihan onto a pile of debris in the ring and covered him for a near fall. Omega hit a V-Trigger and set up for his finisher, but Callihan slipped away and kicked him. Moments later, Callihan caught Omega on the ropes and performed a Tombstone piledriver onto a chair and covered him for a near fall.
A short time later, Omega threw salt at Callihan, who acted blinded while he grabbed the referee and gave him a piledriver. REF BUMP!!! Omega hit Callihan with the title belt and then performed a piledriver. The referee was down and couldn’t count. A second referee ran in and made the count, but Callihan kicked out. Omega punched the second referee. REF BUMP!!!
The Good Brothers walked onto the stage, but they were cut off by Eddie Edwards and Chris Sabin, who quickly fought them to the back. In the ring, Callihan performed another piledriver. The original referee made a slow count for a near fall. Callihan poured thumbtacks all over the ring. Callihan set up for a piledriver, but he was distracted by Callis. Omega threw tacks at the face of Callihan and then hit him with a V-Trigger knee. Omega knelt on the tacks and then hit Callihan with a V-Trigger. Omega covered Callihan for a near fall. Omega shoved tacks in Callihan’s mouth, hit another V-Trigger, followed up with a One Winged Angel onto the tacks, and scored the pin…
Kenny Omega defeated Sami Callihan in a No DQ match in roughly 27:45 to retain the Impact World Championship.
After the match, The Good Brothers came out and joined Callis in celebrating with Omega. They all made the too sweet hand gesture and then the lights went out. The Bullet Club logo appeared on the screen. “Switchblade” Jay White made his entrance with the Never Openweight Championship belt. White entered the ring. Callis and Omega threw up the too sweet sign. Before White could respond, the Impact graphic appeared on the screen to end the show…
Powell’s POV: A cool closing angle with the show presumably ending as it was planned with the goal of leaving viewers wondering what would happen between Omega and White. They saved the biggest surprise for last, though there will be more casual viewers who may lack familiarity with the NJPW product. White is great and it’s a hell of a get if Impact can use him on even a semi regular basis. Omega and Callihan worked really hard. I’m not big on garbage matches, but that’s clearly what this was billed as being with the No DQ stipulation and Callihan’s involvement.
Overall, this was a good show with the show closing angle, the last two matches, and Ultimate X being the highlights. Impact pulled back on building the show around the surprises as they got closer to the event, but they still delivered some, including the big White appearance at the end. I will be back with my same night audio review for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it and by voting for the best match below.
Join me for my live review of WWE Money in the Bank on Sunday.