Impact Wrestling Slammiversary XVIII
July 18th, 2020
The Rascalz Open Challenge
The Motor City Machine Guns vs. The Rascalz - 7/10
They're back! Wasn't expecting this, I didn't expect the Good Brothers to be in the opener, but I figured it be any of the other 4 or 5 teams that usually roam around Impact, or even the Rhino/Heath team.
I think a lot of people could had seen this as a generational dream match with some build up to it, but I can't exactly complain about this given the follow up that takes place later. This was a fast paced back and forward match, tons of reversals and counters, and tons of double team moves. Last minutes were all action, but it was MCMGs that hit the ASCS Rush for the win.
TNA World Heavyweight Title Old School Rules Match
Moose (c) vs. Tommy Dreamer - 4/10
Bad match, I've been saying for a while, weapon matches don't work without a crowd. Too much dead time setting up spots, stuff like tacks don't look as impressive without people cringing in the crowd, and add to that that Dreamer is completely out of shape and limited. Moose has to be the most misused wrestler in the last two years. I love his character, I like the stories, but it sucks that he keeps getting paired up with guys like Hernandez and Dreamer and Rhino and the such. Moose still won, so at least that was ok. All those 4 points are for Moose.
Johnny Swinger Interview - Gia Miller was waiting for Anderson and Gallows because she saw their car arrive, but it was Swinger, who went to the rental place, was told that this was for a Mr. Anderson, didn't see Ole Anderson around, and so took it. Swinger is amazing.
Impact Knockouts Title #1 Contendership Gauntlet Match
Madison Rayne vs. Nevaeh vs. Alisha Edwards vs. Havok vs. Rosemary vs. Susie vs. Taya Valkyrie vs. Kimber Lee vs. Katie Forbes vs. Kiera Hogan vs. Tasha Steelz vs. Kylie Rae - 4.5/10
This worked to get some stuff across, it made Rae the #1 Contender, it trigger the dissension between Taya and Rosemary, somewhat further the Hogan/Steelz vs Havok/Nevaeh feud, and kinda let us know that Kimber Lee, while not involved in any story, is still here and strong; but having said that, the wrestling was bad, a lot of these women are pretty good on one-on-one situations, yet in this chaotic situation, they don't have the space and time to really do stuff, and a lot of the stuff needs to be done with women like Forbes or Alisha that are just terrible.
Heath Miller Debut - Bad. He said he was planning to answer the Rascalz challenge, but didn't make it in time. He said that he wanted it on the main event, but Rohit Raju came out and told him to fuck off, he didn't deserve a shot. The fought and Heath took out Rohit with the Zig Zag. Heath looked HUGE.
Impact X-Division Title Match
Willie Mack (c) vs. Chris Bey - 7/10
This was IMO the match that most suffered of the loss of crowd, because it was really good wrestling, but it was so quiet too. What I did appreciate about that was that Chris Bey is the type of guy that was starting to do a lot of the super indies before the lockdown, he got into a lot of those shows were the wrestlers have a closer connection with the crowd and can do comments or jokes throughout the match because the fans can hear them, answer back, play around with it, so Bey did some audible comments throughout the match that at least, I found assuming.
The match was a power vs speed match, but with both men pretty much having a somewhat similar moveset since Mack does all the lucha stuff he was trained for. The big point here was that Mack kept trying to go for the 6-Star Frog Splash even when he had the match won with the Stunner, and Bey kept managing to dodge and let Mack crash and burn, and at the end, it leveled Mack down, and thanks to small referee distraction, he raked the eyes, hit the Final Finesse and won the title. Right man won.
Rhino and Heath Reunion - They reunite backstage, but D'Amore walks up, tells Heath that he doesn't have a contract here and can't be backstage, even as a guest, due to COVID-19. Rhino tells Heath to come back on Tuesday and they'll figure something out.
Impact World Tag Team Championships Match
The North (c) vs. Ken Shamrock & Sami Callihan - 6.5/10
Best way to put it was that this was a great North vs Callihan match, and then there was Shamrock. The North are the unsung heroes of tag teams in the world and they brought it, I think more people liked this match than me, and think because Page and Alexander were just great, and Callihan, for what it's worth, did his best against them, but it really felt like Shamrock didn't make it in time to the meeting where they put together the match.
Story was mostly that Callihan and Shamrock, since they're not particularly friends, they had some bad communication here and there, overcame it towards the middle, but at the end, they started having trouble, Callihan was thrown into Shamrock's Ankle Lock and broke it off, Shamrock didn't protect Callihan when he pinned Page, and at the end, Shamrock accidentally kicked Callihan, all of this could had gonna as planned, but to me, it felt like Shamrock was completely lost and started going by the motions, at this point The North hit the Monster Mash for the win.
Post-match - Page and Alexander cut a promo about being World Champions for over a year, how no one thought they could and they proved them wrong, how they had no competition left, and they were the best tag team in Impact history. Out came, The Motor City Machine Guns. They congratulated The North, but said they had an argument about being the best tag team in Impact history and that the office has given them a tag title match on Tuesday. MCMG vs The North! YES!
Rich Swann Interview - Gia Miller once again tried to interview the Good Brothers, but she found Rich Swann in crutches, telling us that when he's back, he's going after the world title. hint hint.
Impact Knockouts Championship Match
Jordynne Grace (c) vs. Deonna Purrazzo - 9/10
Match of the night personally, I loved how heated these women portrayed their characters in this feud. This was Power vs Technique. Grace started strong throwing around Purrazzo, but as soon as Deonna got a hold of the arm, she destroyed that arm, locks, bars, snaps, strikes, kicks, everything you can imagine other than tickling, she did it to Grace's arm.
Jordynne on the other hand (no pun intended), worked through the pain, started blocking, started countering, she managed to hit a desperation Grace Driver, but wasn't strong enough to hold the pin tightly, and as she kept chasing the Grace Driver again, Deonna blocked, countered into a Fujiwara Armbar, made it double, and verbally submitted Grace.
Vacant Impact World Championship Match
Eric Young vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Rich Swann vs. Trey Miguel vs. Ace Austin w/Madman Fulton - 8.5/10
Rich Swann came out as the surprise entrant, revealing that he has healed, so he didn't lie on his interview. Before the match would start, a 5th entrant came out, the 'World Class Maniac' Eric Young, playing a gimmick close to that thing he was doing in WWE.
This felt a bit WWE-ish, making impromptu changes to big matches on the spot, BUT I give them some benefit of the doubt, the original match was supposed to be a 5-way with Tessa and Elgin, and this being an elimination match, I get the impression that they had timed out the rest of the show, and they suddenly got the chance to do something with Swann and Young on a bigger stage, and went for it.
Anyway, as said, this was elimination rules. Early on, Fulton tried to get involved and the referee kicked him out, told Ace that either Fulton goes, or he gets DQd, so Ace told Fulton to go to the back. Trey Miguel and Ace kinda continued their feud, but Trey was the first man eliminated by Ace by Eric Young via piledriver. Young then went to eliminate Swann with the same Piledriver, but Swann reversed and eliminated Young. He went completely nuts and decimated Swann's newly rehabilitated knee, Pillmanizer, constant chair shots, and had to get taken to the back by security. Ace went for the weak prey, couldn't roll him down, but he kicked the leg off, hit The Fold and eliminated Swann.
Down to Ace and Eddie, they traded near falls, but at the end, Eddie hit the BKP and the Diehard Flowsion and in all NOAH glory, won the title for a second time.
This was ALL action and some good drama with Swann and Young. There was no down time to even remember there were no fans there, this is how a lot of empty arena wrestling should be.
Post-match - Fulton attacked Eddie, but the Good Brothers came out to interrupt. Ace and Fulton tried to get Anderson and Gallows to join them and take out Eddie, but they joined Eddie instead. Karl hit the Gunstun on Ace, Eddie took out Fulton, and the Magic Killer on Ace to finish off and celebrate.
After, we saw a 30 second teaser of ECIII, a pissed off ECIII coming back. Suddenly, I started thinking and I wasn't even sure if he was in WWE at all, like I know he was, but it kinda feels like he wasn't, like it was all a fever dream.
This was a pretty good show. It started rough with some matches, but it picked up nicely. Impact had promised former World Champions, WWE people, returns, debuts, and all, and it delivered. We anticipated Young, ECIII, and The Good Brothers, but Swann and the MCMG were a great surprise.
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