Reviews by Dave
Pay-per-view air date: July 18, 2020
Just finished the last great pay-per-view Rey Mysterio will see for a while, Slammiversary 2020. IMPACT Wrestling promised us a great show. They had a lot riding on this as the hype has been high for weeks and only building as we got closer. COVID, travel restrictions, sudden terminations, massive TV edits, none of it stopped them from putting on a high-quality show.
Josh Matthews called the show with Don Callis back in color. and Callis was on fire all night.
Show Opening: The Motor City Machine Guns defeated The Rascalz
The Rascalz–Dez and Wentz–came out to start the show with their Open Challenge, which was answer by former TNA World Tag Champions, the returning Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin–the Motor City Machine Guns. An excellent match where the young Rascalz put up a helluva match, playing on their youth and clear superior athletic ability. But the MCMG pulled out the win, stringing together a series of double team moves. I was hoping for a Rascalz win but the match was strong enough they didn’t look bad in a loss. I figured out why MCMG needed the win later.
Moose ( c) defeated Tommy Dreamer
TNA “Champion” Moose beat Tommy Dreamer in an Old School Rules match (just a no DQ joint). Tommy moves slower but he makes it up by taking some vicious beatings and he took one here. Moose looked not only like a star (check the standing moonsault by the big man) but a dominant and vicious heel.
Kylie Rae Wins the IMPACT Knockouts Gauntlet Match
Kylie Rae won a Knockouts Gauntlet Match to determine the number one contender to the KO title, pinning Taya Valkyrie. Kylie Rae and Taya Valkyrie were the final two. Not a match filled with tremendous wrestling but entertaining enough spectacle following the very serious beatdown the match. It featured the return of Katie Forbes, who got into the much anticipated (by some, admit it) twerk off with Kiera Hogan.
Heath Miller (or just Heath) Makes His Debut
As the announcers were talking up the show, Heath Miller (or just Heath) hit the ring and grabbed a mic that they never seemed to turn on. Miller cut a pretty good promo, his second in two TV showings. He is cut off by Rohit Raju, who was pissed this new guy thinks he can just come in and get title shots. Raju attacks him, but Miller gets the advantage with a nice running Russian leg sweep. Good introductory segment. Heath isn’t coming in to do comedy.
Chris Bey defeated Willie Mack (c) for the X Division Championship
In a great, great match, “The Ultimate Finesser” Chris Bey defeated Willie Mack (Willie Wack, my G?) for the X Division title in the first of the four title matches, without any help from Johnny Swinger (you still owe him an apology). Just great.
The North (c) defeated Sami Callihan and Ken Shamrock for the IMPACT World Tag Team Championships
The North–Ethan Page and Josh Alexander–successfully defended their world tag titles against Sami Callihan and Ken Shamrock. The story was how poor chemistry ultimately killed Callihan and Shamrock since they didn’t trust each other at all. The work was actually pretty solid throughout, but it seemed as if Ken missed some cues at times. Props to Ken for taking that dive knowing he was going to hit the floor. Boy, you too old for that shit! As the North celebrate their full calendar year as champs, they are confronted by the Machine Guns, and a title match between the two is announced for Tuesday. Great build for TV.
Deonna Purrazzo defeated Jordynne Grace (c) for the Knockouts Championship
Knockouts champion Jordynne Grace fell to “The Virtuosa” Deonna Purrazzo in a great match with some picture-perfect storytelling. Deonna, the technician, working the arm to set up her submission and Jordynne, the powerhouse, working the back to set up her slams. Purrazzo submits Grace with a nasty looking double armbar. Heels win clean in IMPACT.
Main Event: Eddie Edwards defeated Ace Austin and Trey Miguel and Rich Swann and Eric Young for the IMPACT World Championship
In the main event, the five-way elimination match turned four-way was turned back into a five-way when the mystery opponent to face Eddie Edwards, Ace Austin and Trey Miguel turned into two as Rich Swann made his surprise return from injury and “The World Class Maniac ” Eric Young (my favorite EY) returned from purgatory and had a great match to close the show. Elimination matches always work more sensibly than one fall multi-person matches. Best ref work in the world, sending Austin’s monster, Madman Fulton, to the back the first time he caught him interfering. Brilliant.
Great work by everyone with everyone having a role. Trey was eliminated first because he was laser-focused on Austin, his longtime rival. EY, with blood running down his face, looked like a world-class maniac and after being eliminated by Swann, lost his shit. That’s clearly the next big feud for both. Edwards wins the bout and title after a great sequence when both he and Austin kick out of each other’s finishes. Edwards goes to his BIG finish (an old All Japan booking thing), an inverted Tiger Flowsion suplex he calls the “Die Hard”. He’s attacked by Fulton as he celebrates. Fulton stops as the Good Brothers make their long-awaited appearance. They look like they weigh their options at one point but end up helping Edwards, taking out Fulton with the Magic Killer. They end, toasting the new champ.
But before the show goes black, that guy whos been watching the IMPACT reels about returnees…it was ECIII, the last big returnee for the show. Just an awesome show. IMPACT promised. IMPACT delivered.