Impact Wrestling Slammiversary 2018 Review
Sunday, July 22, 2018
Impact Wrestling Slammiversary was live from the Rebel Entertainment Complex in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Barn Burner's own Joseph Peisich was in attendance on media row. About 2,000 fans were in attendance.
The half hour preshow was video packages promoting the matches on the card.
The video package promoting the fatal four-way still had Johnny Impact promoting Rich Swann as one of his opponents. Swann suffered a bad concussion and was ruled out for tonight. Canada's own Petey Williams was announced as taking his place earlier in the day on social media.
The production value of the video packages was nicely done.
During Moose's video package, he promoted former Impact Wrestling stars Kurt Angle, Bobby Roode, Bobby Lashley, AJ Styles and Hulk Hogan.
Don Callis and Josh Mathews were on commentary.
The ring ropes were bright yellow, which was rather distracting on TV.
The hard cam angle is an overhead shot.
Josh Mathews mentioned that the event was sold out.
1) Petey Williams vs. Fenix vs. ‘The Bone Soldier’ Taiji Ishimori vs. Johnny Impact
The opening match was pretty fast paced and loaded with very choreographed looking high spots. It lacked a lot of ring psychology or storytelling. Johnny Impact pinned Fenix after a Starship Pain. Fenix's performance was pretty impressive.
Winner: Johnny Impact
2) Tessa Blanchard vs. Allie
This was an okay match. Tessa works a very physical style that could be compared to 'Japanese Strong Style'. Tessa pinned Allie after a hammerlock DDT.
Winner: Tessa Blanchard
3) Tommy Dreamer vs. Eddie Edwards in a House of Hardcore Rules match
This was a decent hardcore match, reminiscent of the original ECW. It was smartly booked not to go too long. Dreamer opened Edwards up with a staple gun and struck Edwards with a replica ECW Championship belt given to him by a fan in the audience. The crowd was pretty into this match. Edwards pinned Dreamer after a shining wizard with a steel chair.
Winner: Eddie Edwards
4) Matt Sydal vs. 'The Machine' Brian Cage for the X Division Championship
This was a pretty good match. They did a nice job of making Sydal look good in spite of the massive size difference. Cage pinned Sydal after a Drill Claw.
Winner and new X Division Champion: 'The Machine' Brian Cage
5) Su Yung vs. Madison Rayne for the Knockouts Championship
This was a relatively brief and fairly boring match. Rayne passed out after Yung applied a mandible claw. After the match, Yung placed Rayne into a coffin, surrounded by undead bridesmaids.
Winner and still Knockouts Champion: Su Yung
6) LAX (Ortiz & Santana) vs. The OGz (Homicide & Hernandez) in a 5150 Street Fight for the Tag Team Championships
This was arguably the best match of the night. It was presented as two teams that hate each other and badly wanted to hurt each other, not just perform high spots as part of a choreographed performance. It was a very physical match, and the crowd was really into it. Santana pinned Homicide after a frog splash. After the match, the OGz attacked K-Dog and spray painted the tag team championships with 'OG'.
Winner and still Tag Team Champions: LAX
7) Pentagon Jr. vs. Sami Callihan in a Mask vs. Hair match
This was a very violent, hardcore match. Tonight's show has overdone hardcore matches. At one point in the match, Callihan was slobbering like a bulldog as he pushed two metal spikes onto Pentagon Jr, which was a great visual. Pentagon Jr. busted Callihan open with the metal spikes and the two took turns hitting each other with steel chairs. Pentagon Jr. did the armbreaker spot on the referee, after he was blinded by Callihan. On commentary, Don Callis challenged any wrestling promotion if they could keep up with what Impact Wrestling is doing tonight. The match became so hardcore, that some of the kickouts towards the end killed any aura of believability in the moment. Pentagon Jr. pinned Callihan after a package piledriver.
After the match, Pentagon Jr. shaved Callihan's head. On commentary, Don Callis called it one of the best matches he has ever seen and the best card he has ever been a part of.
Winner: Pentagon Jr.
8) Austin Aries vs. Moose for the World Championship
Toronto Blue Jays star Curtis Granderson was announced out as the official title holder for the match.
The size difference between Aries and Moose is so significant that any presentation of Aries as anything other than an underdog fighting from underneath is not believable. Unfortunately, this match was presented as a back-and-forth affair, which missed the mark in my opinion. That aside, the ring work in the match itself was arguably the best of the night.
Aries was a part of 205 Live, where he was never champion and failed to make the main card of WrestleMania. In Impact Wrestling, he's the world champion and was in the main event of their biggest PPV of the year, which is an interesting point to make.
Both men had near falls and Granderson interfered at one point to take the championship away from Aries, who was going to hit Moose with it. Aries pinned Moose after a brainbuster.
Winner and still World Champion: Austin Aries
Final Thoughts: Overall, this was one of Impact Wrestling's better PPV's, although it never had me on the edge of my seat. The match quality was good, and the matches involved characters and stories. The hardcore gimmick was overdone, and I believe Moose should have dethroned Aries.