By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Slammiversary
Aired live June 19, 2022 on pay-per-view and FITE.TV
Nashville, Tennessee at the Nashville Fairgrounds
Impact Wrestling Slammiversary Pre-Show
The broadcast team was Tom Hannifan and Matt Rehwoldt…
1. Rich Swann vs. Brian Myers for the Digital Media Championship. Hannifan said this was the first time that Swann and Myers met in a singles match. Myers previously stole the title belt and brought it to the ring with him despite being the challenger. Myers picked up a near fall. He remained on the offensive and performed a nice DDT for another near fall.
Myers waited for Swann to get up and then ran into a kick. Swann threw another kick and then did a handspring into the ropes and dropped Myers with a cutter. Swann followed up with a second rope 450 splash and scored the pin. Swann danced afterward…
Rich Swann defeated Brian Myers in 7:10 to retain the Digital Media Championship.
Powell’s POV: A nice match. Swann and Myers could have filled a lot more time, but I’m fine with the match being kept short given that it was for the Digital Media Championship. The latest addition to Impact’s titles holds as much meaning to this viewer as the WWE 24/7 Championship.
The French broadcast team was introduced and spoke briefly before they turned things back over to Hannifan and Rehwoldt. Hannifan said the Ultimate X match would open the show. He acknowledged that Andrew Everett was replacing the injured Jack Evans. They ran through the rest of the lineup…
A video package spotlighted Josh Alexander vs. Eric Young for the Impact World Championship…
2. The Reverse Battle Royal. Most of the entrants came out and then Jim Mitchell and Slash received a separate entrance. The wrestlers started on the floor with the first goal of climbing inside the ring. The entrants included 72 year-old Mike Jackson, Shera, Slash, Johnny Swinger, Zicky Dice, Chris Bey, Raj Singh, Shark Boy, Steve Maclin, Chase Stevens, David Young, Bhupinder Gujjar, and others.
Once a certain number of wrestlers entered the ring, the wrestlers still on the floor were eliminated. It turned into a regular battle royal (or something). Bey and Maclin eliminated one another. Young and Swinger eliminated Gujjar.
The final four were Young, Swinger, Shera, and Shark Boy. Shera was eliminated quickly. Young and Swinger teamed up on Shark Boy. Swinger turned on Young and eliminated him, then eliminated Shark Boy. But wait, there’s more.
In order to win this match, Swinger had to bring Shark Boy back inside the ring and pin him. Shark Boy dropped Swinger with a Stunner and pinned him…
Shark Boy won the Reverse Battle Royal in 9:40.
The broadcast team gave a final push to the main card to close out the pre-show…
Powell’s POV: The rules of the match were every bit as ridiculous as I remembered them being. If nothing else, the match was on the pre-show and featured a few fun throwback appearances. It’s hard to imagine this pre-show inspiring many people who were on the fence to actually order the pay-per-view. By the way, I’m guessing that Jackson holds the record for oldest pro wrestler to wrestle at the new Nashville Fairgrounds venue, and the crazy thing is that he’ll hold it for less than two weeks with the same venue playing host to Ric Flair’s last match.
Impact Wrestling Slammiversary Pay-Per-View
The show opened with a video package looking back at the early TNA days with comments from Jeff Jarrett, the late Bob Ryder, and others about how people expected them to go out of business early on (I missed out on some of the video because FITE TV runs one ad at the start of their events)…
Tom Hannifan and Matt Rehwoldt checked in on commentary and touted it as the 20th anniversary of Impact Wrestling. Dave Penzer was the ring announcer…
1. Ace Austin vs. Alex Zayne vs. Kenny King vs. Andrew Everett vs. Mike Bailey vs. Trey Miguel in an Ultimate X match for the X Division Championship. Everett replacing Jack Evans due to injury was once again acknowledged by the broadcast team. There were some big spots and dives during the first few minutes. Miguel made a play for the belt that was hanging above the ring, but Zayne pulled him down.
Bailey jumped off the top rope and grabbed the cables above the ring, when did a flip and crashed onto three wrestlers below him, which drew a good pop from the crowd. The wrestlers executed a tower of doom spot with only Miguel avoiding it. Zayne climbed to the middle rope. Miguel hit Zayne with a Super Canadian Destroyer, which elicited some “holy shit” chants.
King, Miguel, Austin, and Bailey all made plays for the belt and met in the middle where they traded kicks. Bailey kicked King off the cables, and then Austin hit Miguel with a low blow that knocked him down. Everett joined Bailey and Austin in going for the belt. Everett ended up on top of the cables and tried to grab the belt, but Bailey performed a head-scissors move that sent Everett crashing to the mat.
Austin and Bailey continued to hang above the ring. Zayne tried to join them, but Austin kicked him away. Bailey kicked Austin down and removed the belt from the cables to win the match and the title…
Mike Bailey defeated Ace Austin, Kenny King, Andrew Everett, and Trey Miguel in an Ultimate X match in 9:50 to win the X Division Championship.
Powell’s POV: A good Ultimate X match that didn’t get enough time to be more than that.
The broadcast team spoke from ringside and said there were TNA and Impact legends in attendance. They also spoke about the late Bob Ryder while his graphic appeared on the screen. Hannifan said the show was dedicated to Ryder. They introduced the French broadcast team again.
Hannifan said Moose and Sami Callihan have been locked in rooms with no lights, food, or water for 24 hours. The wrestlers were shown in their rooms via night vision. The broadcast team ran though the remainder of the card…
Scott Hudson interviewed Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Nick Aldis, and Frankie Kazarian. Shelley ran through a list of tag teams who have worked in Impact. Kazarian insulted Honor No More. Aldis spoke about how their team may not make sense at first glance, but they all take pride in what they do and the reason they were able to thrive in pro wrestling is because of the opportunity they were given by Impact.
Hudson asked who the fifth member of their team would be. Aldis said there were a lot of applicants, but they all agreed when they saw their partner’s name on the list. Hudson said they were keeping it kayfabe…
A Sting video package aired. He spoke about going to TNA and shared some memories of his time there, including his time as Joker Sting. He said he may have had Hulk Hogan’s last real match. He mentioned Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe. Sting wished everyone on the show the best of luck and told them to tear it up…
2. Madison Rayne and Tenille Dashwood vs. Rosemary and Taya Valkyrie for the Knockouts Tag Titles. Valkyrie performed a nice modified blue thunder bomb on Rayne for an early near fall. Rosemary checked in and hit an exploder suplex on Rayne. Rosemary set up for a move and was taken out by Dashwood when she tried to charge Rayne.
Rosemary and Valkyrie came back with a double spear and went for a double pin, but the champions kicked out at two. Rayne and Dashwood rallied and put Rosemary down with a double face plant. Rosemary screamed. Rayne turned to run away from her and ran to Valkyrie, who hit her with a knee to the head. Rosemary followed up with her finisher on Rayne and then pinned her…
Rosemary and Taya Valkyrie defeated Madison Rayne and Tenille Dashwood in 7:20 to win the Knockouts Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: The match was fine. It felt like Impact rushed into this title change rather than tell more of a story with Rosemary and Valkyrie chasing Rayne and Dashwood. For that matter, I would have preferred to see Bailey chase Austin in a singles feud as opposed to having him win the title in a five-way Ultimate X match.
A Kurt Angle video aired with him thanking Impact fans… Moose and Callihan were shown in their rooms and then a video package on their feud aired… Moose and Callihan were let out of their rooms, which didn’t appear to have locks on them. They both acted light sensitive…
3. Moose vs. Sami Callihan in a Monster’s Ball. Moose made his entrance first, but Callihan hit him from behind. Once they were at ringside, the bell rang to start the match. Callihan hit Moose with cookie sheets and other objects. When Moose fought back, he took a hot dog and a drink from a fan at ringside to sell that he was deprived of food and water. Callihan was a bloody mess a few minutes in.
Moose threw a chair at Callihan’s head. Moose went for a spear, but Callihan held up a trashcan, which Moose went head-first into. With Moose in the trash can, Callihan hit it with a couple of chair shots. Callihan tipped Moose upside down in the can and then went to ringside and pulled out a door board covered in barbwire, which he set up in a corner of the ring.
Callihan tried to toss Moose onto the barbwire door board, but Moose fought back. Moose tried to run up the ropes and slipped. Eventually, Callihan shoved Moose off the ropes and through a table on the floor.
Callihan pulled out the obligatory thumbtacks and poured them inside the ring. Callihan sat on the second rope and signaled for a tornado DDT, but Moose grabbed him and slammed him onto the tacks with a sit-out powerbomb that led to a two count. Moose grabbed the legs of Callihan and moved him around while his back was on the tacks.
Callihan came right back with a Death Valley Driver that put Moose through the barbwire door board. Callihan covered Moose for a near fall. Callihan picked up two trashcan lids and threw one to Moose. They took turns hitting each other with the lids, then did some simultaneously and both men went down.
Callihan clotheslined Moose, who bumped onto the tacks. Callihan performed a piledriver for a near fall. Callihan gave the thumbs up/thumbs down pose and then Moose hit him with a low blow. Moose stood over Callihan in the corner. Callihan escaped and powerbombed Moose onto a trashcan that was turned upside down.
Callihan followed up with a piledriver and went for the pin, but Moose kicked out immediately, which drew Moose chants. Callihan pulled out a barbwire bat and hit Moose with it twice, then gave him another package piledriver and got the pin…
Sami Callihan defeated Moose in a Monster’s Ball in roughly 16:00.
Powell’s POV: A good garbage brawl. Both men worked hard and the crowd was into the match. It was good to see Callihan back in the ring following his long layoff from an ankle injury. Here’s hoping we’ll get more of the gritty Callihan and none of the teleporting hacker version of Callihan.
A video package set up the Impact Tag Title match…
4. Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe vs. Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson for the Impact Tag Titles. Hannifan wished viewers a happy Father’s Day and noted that Mark became a father again earlier this week.
The teams brawled in and around the ring to start. Mark performed his Cactus Jack elbow. He also leapt off a chair in the ring onto both opponents on the floor.
Later, the Briscoes hit an elevated neckbreaker on Anderson. Mark covered Anderson for a two count. Jay tagged in and went for a Jay Driller that Anderson avoided, only to have Jay blast him with a clothesline. The Briscoes st up for the Doomsday Device, but Anderson raked the eyes of Jay.
Gallows shoved Mark off the ropes into a Gun Stun from Anderson, which the damn camera person botched. The challengers hit Jay with the Magic Killer and then Gallows pinned him.
Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson defeated Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe in 10:00 to win the Impact Tag Titles.
Afterward, the teams met face to face and ended up jawing back and forth. “America’s Most Wanted” James Storm and Chris Harris made their entrance. Storm brought a six-pack of beer into the ring.
Storm said he and Harris were talking backstage and they said the two teams in the ring were just like them in that they were all about fighting and drinking. Storm said that since they were done fighting, he wanted to do some drinking. Everyone other than Harris grabbed a beer. Storm acknowledged Harris drinking water by saying everyone needs a designated driver.
Storm said there were critics when the company started who said it wouldn’t last a week or a month. He closed with his “Sorry about your damn luck” catchphrase for the doubters and the haters…
Powell’s POV: Well, I didn’t see that title change coming. It felt like Impact rushed into the Briscoes winning the titles in the first place and now they’ve dropped the belts back quickly. If they are in on a short-term deal, then that could explain the creative approach.
A video package aired on the broadcast team of Mike Tenay and Don West. The narrator thanked the duo and said their voices would echo forever in our hearts…
Rehwoldt said the path is paved by the people who came before you. Rehwoldt said they would be nowhere without the voices of Tenay and West. Hannifan spoke about West’s heath issues and plugged his Go Fund Me page…
A video package set up the ten-man tag match…
Scott D’Amore came out in his Team Canada gear with a Canadian flag. He joined the broadcast team and his mic didn’t work initially…
Christy Hemme served as the ring announcer. Earl Hebner was shown in the crowd. Hannifan issued condolences regarding the death of Earl’s twin brother David Hebner.
Honor No More came out first. The four advertised Impact Originals came out next. Dixie Carter made her entrance and stood on the stage. She thanked the fans and said it was surreal to be there twenty years after the company’s first night. She thanked the wrestlers and staff and said they wouldn’t be there without the fans. She wished everyone a “happy Slammiversary and here’s to twenty more years.” Carter said she was proud to announce the fifth member of the Impact Originals – Davey Richards…
Powell’s POV: It was nice to see Dixie Carter return after all these years. Given the circumstances, it was even nicer to see Earl Hebner, whose son Brian Hebner is the referee for this match. They are obviously attending with heavy hearts following the death of Dave Hebner on Friday.
5. “Impact Originals” Davey Richards, Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Frankie Kazarian, and Nick Aldis vs. “Honor No More” Eddie Edwards, Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, PCO, and Vincent (w/Maria Kanellis). The broadcast team acknowledged the history between Richards and Edwards. A couple minutes into the match, Richards tagged in while Edwards was in the ring. Edwards tagged out to avoid facing his former American Wolves partner.
Hannifan offered condolences to the Hebner family, as well as the family of Tim White, who died earlier today.
Eventually, Richards and Edwards ended up alone in the ring after everyone else ended up at ringside. Richards got the better of the initial exchange and performed a dragon screw leg whip over the ropes. Richards let out a howl and went for a double stomp that Edwards avoided.
Richards put Edwards in a leg submission hold. Taven tried to break it up, but Richards caught him in a submission hold. Shelley put Bennett in a submission hold, then Aldis put Vincent in his submission hold. PCO eventually broke up the Richards submissions.
Taven splashed Aldis, then Vincent hit Aldis with a Swanton. They tried to pin Aldis, but his teammates broke it up. PCO went for a moonsault on Aldis, who rolled out of the way. Sabin and Shelley hit PCO with simultaneous kicks. Aldis slammed PCO to the mat. Richards hit PCO with a top rope double stomp and covered him for a two count.
Sabin tagged in and hoisted up PCO. Kanellis distracted him. Traci Brooks took out Kanellis. Kazarian hit PCO with a Flux Capacitor. Sabin covered PCO, who kicked out. Kenny King ran in and attacked Sabin.
D-Lo Brown came out in an Aces & Eights vest and hit his Sky High move on King. Earl Hebner hopped the barricade. Brown went up top and frog splashed King before leaving the ring. Sabin and Shelley took turns superkicking PCO and then delivered a double superkick.
Sabin hoisted up PCO for his finisher. Taven and Bennett ran in and were superkicked by Shelley and Kazarian. Sabin hit PCO with Cradle Shock. Earl Hebner climbed onto the apron and removed his shirt to reveal a TNA referee shirt. Hebner entered the ring and counted the pin…
“Impact Originals” Davey Richards, Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Frankie Kazarian, and Nick Aldis defeated “Honor No More” Eddie Edwards, Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, PCO, and Vincent in 18:45.
After the match, Earl and Brian took moment to point to the sky in tribute of Dave Hebner…
Powell’s POV: This was all action with the tag team rules pretty much being tossed out. There wasn’t much mystery regarding the outcome of the match, as the TNA Originals had to win on the Slammiversary show. No complaints because that was clearly the right move. I don’t really think of TNA when I see Richards despite his past in the company, but it was a nice touch to have him working opposite Edwards. I hope there’s more of that to come. Most of the nostalgia clicked. I wonder if PCO taking the pin means he will be booted from Honor No More. I’m all for that, as the fans like him and he works as a babyface when he’s not teaming with them.
An AJ Styles video aired. He wished the company a happy anniversary and recalled teaming with Jerry Lynn and Low Ki to face The Flying Elvises on the first show in Huntsville, Alabama. He recalled his match with Samoa Joe and Christopher Daniels from 2005, which he said changed everything. He said it wasn’t about weight limits, it was about no limits in the X Division. Styles thanked the fans and questioned how Phenomenal he would be without Impact Wrestling. Styles thanked WWE for allowing him to do the video because they knew how much it meant to him…
Powell’s POV: You can’t have a proper TNA nostalgia show without AJ Styles. No one could have blamed Impact if they couldn’t get him, but it’s a really cool thing that they did. Jeff Jarrett is another obvious name, but I’m not holding my breath due to the falling out between him and Impact’s current ownership.
A video package set up the Queen of the Mountain match. Hannifan read through the crazy rules of the match and then the entrances for the match took place…
6. Tasha Steelz (w/Savannah Evans) vs. Deonna Purrazzo vs. Chelsea Green vs. Jordynne Grace vs. Mia Yim in a Queen of the Mountain match for the Knockouts Championship. Mickie James was the special enforcer.
There was a clunky pin spot due to the referee’s confusion, but it resulted in Evans being pinned by Green. Per the match rules, Green qualified for the right to hang the title belt above the ring, while Steelz had to serve two minutes in the penalty box. Evans was forced to serve the time with her.
Yim pinned Green, so Yim became eligible while Green had to serve two minutes in the penalty box. James tried to close the door on Green, who kicked it back at James. Another referee closed the door while James was down on the floor. Yim grabbed the title belt and tried to climb the ladder to hang the belt, but she was cut off by Purrazzo.
Steelz leapt from the top rope and pulled Yim off the ladder with a great cutter. Purrazzo made Steelz tap out, so Purrazzo became eligible while Steelz had to go serve another two minutes in the penalty box.
Yim performed a missile dropkick from the top of the penalty box onto Green inside the ring. Yim followed up by running up a ladder that was propped against the ropes and diving onto Grace and Purrazzo at ringside. Yim performed a piledriver on Grave and covered her for the three count on the floor. Yim qualified and James helped bring Grace to the penalty box to serve her two minutes.
Green made a play to hang the belt, but James pulled her down. James dropped Green with a kick. Rehwoldt said James was abusing her power. Yim climbed the ladder and was stopped by Purrazzo, who then powerbombed her onto another ladder in the ring. Ouch. Purrazzo and Steelz also took bumps on the ladder.
Green climbed the main ladder and then Purrazzo followed her up the other side. Yim pushed the ladder over, causing Green and Purrazzo to crash through two tables on the floor. Damn.
In the ring, Grace performed a German suplex into a bridge on Yim. Steelz hooked her legs. The referee ruled that Steelz and Grace were both eligible, and Yim had to serve two minutes in the penalty box. Steelz made a play to hang the belt, but Grace cut her off and performed a Muscle Buster and pinned her, forcing Steelz to go to the box. Grace climbed the ladder and hung the belt to win the match…
Jordynne Grace defeated Tasha Steelz, Mia Yim, Chelsea Green, and Deonna Purrazzo in a Queen of the Mountain match in 18:15 to win the Knockouts Championship.
Powell’s POV: Everyone involved worked really, really hard and they deserve a ton of credit. That said, please retire this asinine match once and for all. The title change didn’t do much for me. Once again, this wasn’t the culmination of a good feud, it just sort of happened. Again, though, hats off to the wrestlers for their hard work in that crazy match.
Gia Miller introduced the original TNA backstage interviewer Goldilocks, who asked Miller if she could handle an interview. Miller introduced Gail Kim, who was voted most impactful female wrestler by the fans. Kim expressed gratitude…
The broadcast team hyped Against All Odds for July 1 on Impact Plus. They also hyped the Bound For Glory pay-per-view for Saturday, October 8. A video package aired for the BFG event…
A video package set up the main event… Entrances for the main event took place. The broadcast team noted that Alexander’s gear paid tribute to Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, and Kurt Angle. Alexander’s wife and son were shown in the crowd. Dave Penzer delivered in-ring introductions for the title match…
Powell’s POV: It’s become pretty common in pro wrestling these days, but Impact really brought back the in-ring introductions for the title matches. Speaking of which, I may have missed it, but I hope someone mentioned Jeremy Borash’s contributions during this nostalgia show. He did a lot for the company both on-camera and behind the scenes before he ended up leaving for NXT.
7. Josh Alexander vs. Eric Young (w/Joe Doering, Deaner) for the Impact World Championship. Brian Hebner was the referee. Alexander went for a Best Moonsault Ever early in the match that Young kind of avoided. Young went for his own version and Alexander rolled out of the way.
Alexander did a Samoa Joe face wash with his boot a short time later, then ran the ropes and threw a Joe style boot at Young, who was on his back in the corner. Young came right back with a suplex for a two count.
Later, Alexander knocked Deaner off the apron and then hit Young with a top rope crossbody block for a two count. Young stuffed Alexander when he set up for his finisher, then put him down with the Stroke. The broadcast team acknowledged that it was Jeff Jarrett’s move.
Moments later, Young hit a Blackhole Slam in an Abyss tribute that led to a two count. Young eventually bounced back and hit another BME for a two count. Alexander followed up with a Styles Clash for another near fall.
Alexander quickly applied the Ankle Lock. Deaner threw yellow powder into the eyes of Hebner and he was blinded when Young tapped out. REF BUMP!!! (well, sorta)
Alexander took out Deaner and Doering, and then hit Young on the floor. Doering returned to the ring. Alexander stood on the apron and gave him an Angle Slam through a table on the floor.
Deaner entered the ring with the Violent By Design flag. Alexander reached under the ring and pulled out the Canadian flag hockey stick and then took care of Deaner with hit. Young slammed a guitar over the head of Alexander, who bled from the forehead. Young covered Alexander and Hebner counted the near fall.
Young pulled up the canvas and gave Alexander a piledriver on the exposed boards. Young covered Alexander, who kicked out at the last moment. Young set up for a piledriver from the ropes, but Alexander slipped out and hooked him in an Ankle Lock.
Young rolled out of the hold and kicked Alexander. Young charged Alexander, who gave him a uranage slam onto the exposed boards. Alexander hit his C4 Spike onto the boards and then covered Young for the win.
Josh Alexander defeated Eric Young in 18:50 to retain the Impact World Championship.
Alexander celebrated his win to close the show…
Powell’s POV: A fitting main event for the TNA nostalgia show with both men busting out moves of the company’s stars from the past. Alexander and Young clearly put a lot of thought into how they laid out the match and they came through with a really well worked and fun tribute match. It was missing the classic TNA swerve of a swerve after the ref bump, but I digress.
Overall, if you enjoy TNA nostalgia, then this was the show for you. It’s a milestone anniversary show and so I understand why they took this approach. Some of it worked really well, and some of it did nothing for me (mostly the silly gimmick matches returning). Putting aside the nostalgia, I was left disappointed by some of the title changes feeling like they happened out of nowhere when the company would have been better off telling real stories that led to those changes.
I will have more to say about that tonight in my Slammiversary audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below and by voting for the best match.