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  • Connor Ewens

Let's Review: Impact Slammiversary 2023

We are in Ontario, Canada for Impact Wrestling's 19th ever Slammiversary show, celebrating 21 years of Impact Wrestling. This is arguably Impacts biggest show of the year. Bound for Glory is often regarded as Impact's flagship but I find that more often than not, Slammiversary feels like their biggest event of the year. Plenty of action and story to talk about so we'll get right into the thick of it. Let's celebrate 21 years of Impact/Global Force/TNA/NWA:TNA. Let's review.


July 15th 2023: Impact Wrestling's Slammiversary 2023


-Tom Hannifan & Matthew Rehwoldt are tonight's commentary team


(Pre-show) Gisele Shaw, Jai Vidal & Savannah Evans vs Jody Threat & Death Dollz (Courtney Rush & Jessicka)

It's a shame that the Rosemary era is over, for now at least. However, I imagine Courtney Rush will be taken a bit more seriously now that she isn't tied down with a, I want to say, a zombie gimmick? I mean, she's definitely kayfabe died before so she's definitely undead. I don't know much but from what I gathered, Jody Threat is feuding with Gisele Shaw. This was a safe tag match for the pre-show. Faces gain early advantage, heels use underhanded tactics to take and regain control, hot tag for the good gals to clean house and get a victory. Perfectly average


Jody Threat & the Death Dollz win via pinfall (5:36)

2/5


(Pre-show) Joe Hendry (c) vs Kenny King w/ Sheldon Dean for the Digital Media Championship

A dumb name for a title sure, but it has been elevated to a point that we forget that, thanks to the talent of Joe Hendry. He's the longest reigning champion at well over 200 days and he has been a crowd favourite with his great in-ring ability and even better mic skills. This feud is really silly, Hendry singing songs about Kenny's past experience as a male stripper. Embarrassed, Kenny King asked for this match. Only in Impact would we see a feud about being called a stripper. Kenny King is a great talent, former multiple time champion in ROH. This was another basic but well worked match, Kenny King using a the ropes to steal a pinfall victory and steal the championship. This match deserved a main show slot and more time but they did alright with what they got. Hopefully this is an opportunity for Hendry to ascend the card, he has all the ingredients to be a mega star and he just needs that backing from the company. I want to see him as a world champion in a couple years time.


Kenny King wins the title via pinfall (6:09)

2.5/5


-The main show begins with a promo package of past moments in Slammiversary history, including the famous Steiner math promo.


Jonathan Gresham vs Kevin Knight vs Mike Bailey vs KUSHIDA vs Alan Angels in Ultimate X

A classic Impact Wrestling match type. Pull down the big red X hovering above the ring to earn a title match against the X-Division championship. This match has plenty of exciting talents who are perfect for this type of match, plenty of opportunity for some cool spots. Before we start we have a surprise 6th man, it's Jake Something, making his return after leaving early last year. He's best known with his time as a Deaner where he was an entertaining redneck cousin. The Deaners were like a worse Briscoe's. He looks JACKED here, I didn't recognise him. This goes shorter than expected, and also felt quite tame for an Ultimate X match. We did get some fun spots, Alan Angels pulled out a mental rana on Knight. He jumped from the cables above and hit the rana to Knight in the top rope. Mental. We saw a selection of big dives from the structure, most notably Bailey hit a HYUUUGE moonsault down to all the guys on the outside. It came down to Bailey, Angels & KUSHIDA all hanging on the cables near the X. Kushida managed to hold on longest during the fight and he brought down the X to win. Good fun, although it felt like it stayed in third gear


KUSHIDA retrieved the X to win (11:11)

3.25/5


-We cut to A1 who is in the crowd, notably a former Team Canada member. That will come into play later. We get a decent Kenny King promo bigging up his previous victory.


The Coven (Taylor Wilde & KiLynn King) (c) vs Masha Slamovich & Killer Kelly for the Impact Knockout's Tag Team Championships

Impact have had some hard times but they've often been credited for handling the Knockouts division well. They've booked women better than pretty much every major wrestling organisation, definitely in the west. However, not even they are immune to the problems of the women's tag division. Whilst admittedly FAR better than WWE's division, they suffer the same problem of not having enough teams to actually have a consistent division. Masha & Kelly have beaten the tag champs in singles competition but this is their first time teaming together. Coincidentally, the Coven won the tag belts together on their first time teaming together. Will history repeat itself? Yes, yes it did. Masha is only 25 and has bucket loads of potential, the first ever woman to win the GCW World Championship. This was a good contest between 4 good talents. Slamovich pulled out a great nearfall taking the Witch's Wrath. The finish was missed by the cameraman, brilliant. The replay showed a Snow Plow finisher from Masha for the win. Competitive match that could have been even better with some more time. Finish came quite abruptly I thought. New champions here is probably the wise choice, now we have two teams in the women's tag division.


Masha Slamovich & Killer Kelly win the titles via pinfall (9:04)

3/5


Bully Ray & Deaner w/ Kon vs Scott D'Amore & Mystery Partner

Well there's a lot to unpack here. A lot of TV time has went into this one, which might upset some but I can't deny it's been rather compelling. A feud between Bully & Dreamer has transitioned into a feud between Bully and Impact President Scott D'Amore. These issues led to Bully and Steve Maclin putting D'Amore through a flaming table. Then, after some more back and forth Bully Ray puts in a complaint against D'Amore much leads to him taking a leave of absence as president, allowing him to attack Bully. It was then announced Bully and Maclin would face D'Amore & PCO. THEN, Bully & Maclin set PCO on fire, writing him out of the match. Steve Maclin unfortunately got injured so in subs Deaner. Quite the intense feud we have. Also, Darren McCarty (former Detroit Red Wings player) is the special enforcer. He and Bullg have had a clash in the past.


This is Scott D'Amore's first match in 4 years. His tag partner is revealed, its ERIC YOUNG!! That's crazy, he was written off Impact by Deaner time ago with a return to WWE lined up. Turns out, Young doesn't want to work with Vince McMahon in any capacity and privately requested his release in April. Scott & Eric reunite Team Canada, in Canada. It feels perfect. It was a pretty basic tag match, elevated by the intense rivalry and the returning Eric Young. The referee abandons the match after Bully being a, well, bully. So McCarty takes very officiating, making this very biased towards the faces. Team Canada have it won but Kon gets involved, so A1 hops over and wipes him out! They mock Bully Ray, hitting him with his own "Wassup Headbutt" as well as shouting "get the tables". Young puts Bully away with the elbow drop. This was silly and overbooked but I had a good time.


Team Canada win via pinfall (11:49)

3/5


Chris Sabin (c) vs Lio Rush for the X-Division Championship

Rush attacked Sabin before the bell, who is clutching at his neck and the doctors are worried. He demands to continue, eventually losing to Rush in under 2 minutes. Well, that was mega disappointing. If he was legit too injured to work the match then just don't run the match. If it was a fake injury story, I dunno how I feel about it. It made Rush look like a dick for sure, but they could have got to this point without the injury story, if it was indeed a story. Didn't like this.


Lio Rush wins the title via pinfall (1:20)

0.25/5


-Commentary big up how we've had new champions all night so far. Alex Shelley is interviewed asking if seeing his partner Sabin put down so quickly will affect him. He walks off.


ABC (Chris Bey & Ace Austin) (c) vs Subculture (Flash Morgan Webster & Mark Andrews) vs Moose & Brian Myers vs Rich Swann & Sami Callihan for the World Tag Team Championships

In fairness to the women's tag division, Impact's mens tag division isn't exactly brimming with teams either. I didn't realise Andrews & Webster were in Impact! They're great. There isn't much context to give here, just 4 talented teams duking it out for the gold. Bey & Austin have held on to the gold since February. A great, fast-paced match. Swann & Callihan demonstrated nice chemistry together, whilst Moose & Myers struggled to remain on the same page. When it comes down to ABC vs Subculture, that's when this match was at it's best. Late in the match, the Rascals (Trey Miguel & Zachary Wentz) come down and get into it with ABC, allowing Andrews to beat Myers with a shooting star press. Best match of the show so far. I didn't realise they got the Rascals back together, it feels weird without Wes Lee / Dez involved. Great to see Webster & Andrews win some gold, well deserved.


Subculture win via pinfall (10:36)

3.75/5


Frankie Kazarian w/ Traci Brooks vs Eddie Edwards w/Alisha Edwards

This has been a strange feud. They fought for the first time at Against All Odds, Kazarian won. With their beef seemingly squashed, Edwards teamed with Kaz to face Bully Ray & Steve Maclin in a losing effort. Eddie accidentally kicked Frankie near the end. Both men agreed they're better as opponents rather than allies, setting up a rematch on TV which Eddie won but with heavy interference from his wife. Frankie challenged for a rubber match here, this time bringing his own wife to even the odds. Traci last managed Frankie on screen almost 20 years ago. Not a very intense feud, but sometimes all you need is two reliable workers to tell a good story. Two legends of Impact going at it so you can expect it to be a good match, with both ladies helping their man gain the upperhand when they can. After a ref bump Alisha gets in with a Kendo, but Traci comes in and wipes her out. They near enough have a catfight. Kaz makes Eddie tap out but the referee is still down. He revives him, but Eddie nails Kaz with a Kendo stick and a Boston Knee Party to win. An enjoyable match that I think has real potential for a banger if it was given 5 or 10 more minutes. Another dusty win for Eddie Edwards which may continue this feud a bit longer. I don't mind that, I think they can have an excellent match under no DQ.


Eddie Edwards wins via pinfall (17:43)

3.25/5


Deonna Purrazzo (c) vs Trinity for the Impact Knockout's World Championship

Trinity debuted in Impact in May, and has been a solid addition to the roster and is very over with the crowd. This is a basic story of two great talents who respect each other and want to prove they're better than the other. Deonna is in her third reign as Knockout's champion, it hasn't been too exciting thus far but I imagine that's because it was an audible call when Mickie James got hurt. She's one of the best female wrestlers today. I enjoy Trinity and I think she's an excellent wrestler but she needs to ditch the Rear View finisher. For Christ sake, I can't take you as a serious threat when one of your most "devastating" moves is a jumping ass punch to the face. It's a fun move so you can pull it out as a signature move but it shouldn't be a finisher at all. This is a very good contest, starting slow and building the intensity to the end. Purrazzo nailed Trinity with a Queen's Gambit on the apron and it only got a two! Good nearfall there. Trinity reversed a second Queen's Gambit into a powerbomb, following up with the Star Struck submission. Deonna taps out! For the first time in Impact. This was very enjoyable. I can't help but feel like Trinity was rushed into winning the title, they had an opportunity to tell a pseudo-Hangman Page story which I think would have made for compelling TV for a while, having her chase and earn her first Impact world title. Still, she deserves the victory after her unfortunate WWE run. Trinity does need to continue to reinvent herself over time. Her BFF Mercedes Mone has went out and created a whole new aura for herself and her character, whereas Trinity is pretty much just still being Naomi but under her real name. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, but it'll get stale real quick.


Trinity wins the title via submission (14:25)

3.5/5


Alex Shelley (c) vs Nick Aldis for the Impact World Championship

Simple build here. Nick Aldis returned to Impact not long ago, won an '8-4-1' number one contender match to earn a world title opportunity. On that same night, Alex Shelley won his first World title defeating Steve Maclin. An 8-4-1 match is an 8-man tag where the winning team turns into a four way match with a solo winner. I actually like that concept, unusual for Impact to create new match types that aren't ridiculously contrived. Every single champion has lost tonight, we'll see if Shelley can Buck the trend. Aldis was only brought in on a short term contract, with rumours he is WWE bound in future, so I'm unsure of his chances of winning. This is an excellent match from these two veterans, Shelley tries to use his speed to his advantage however Aldis quickly grounds him and aggressively grinds away at him. Shelley targets the knee and goes for the figure four submission but Aldis does not tap. Aldis continues to dominate and use cheap shots to remain in control, so Shelley starts targeting the fingers. The finger snapping spot always makes me cringe. This match is a great back and forth, Aldis thinks he has it won with his big elbow drop but Shelley kicks out at 2.999. Aldis tries to use the championship to win but it backfires on him. Eventually, Shelley DDTs him on the belt, busting him open. The champ nails Aldis with the Shell Shocked to retain the title. A very good main event, I'm happy Shelley is continuing his reign on top. Nick Aldis is such a classic heel here, utilising any and all tactics to try and win.


Alex Shelley retains the title via pinfall (16:31)

3.75/5


-As Alex Shelley celebrates, out returns Josh Alexander!! He simply says "I'm back" and were done! Happy about this, Shelley way be champion now but his time may be short.


Overall- 59.4%

A good show, only one bad match and that was less than 2 minutes long. This was a short PPV though, a lot of the matches averaged around the 10 minute mark, only 2 matches exceeded 15 minutes and none went to 20 minutes. I think the lack of a classic match prevents this from being anything more than good, however it's consistent fun with very few low points.


MOTN- Alex Shelley vs Nick Aldis


Thanks for reading, my next show review won't be until NXT's Great American Bash show at the end of the month. I should have a new fantasy booking released next week. Until next time, see ya!

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