Preview: IMPACT Wrestling – Slammiversary (7/18/20)

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Slammiversary 2020
Photo: IMPACT Wrestling

This Saturday marks the 2020 edition of Slammiversary, the annual PPV that has become one of IMPACT’s flagship PPVs alongside October’s Bound For Glory. Originally starting in 2003 as the TNA Anniversary Show, in 2005 it was rebranded as Slammiversary, with this year being the 16th event to carry the Slammiversary name. This year’s edition arrives amidst some of the biggest buzz IMPACT has had in a long time, as vignettes playing for the past few months have hinted at the arrival of multiple free agents, including some from the exodus of released talents from WWE’s Black Wednesday this past April. With a new IMPACT World Heavyweight Champion to be crowned following the release of former World champion Tessa Blanchard, the buzz of new arrivals (including the heavily hinted reunion of Aces & Eights), it makes this year’s Slammiversary a must-see event, which airs live on FITE.tv at 8pm EST.

IMPACT Knockouts Championship, #1 Contenders Gauntlet Match: Rosemary vs. Nevaeh vs. Madison Rayne vs. Susie vs. Kiera Hogan vs. Taya Valkyrie vs. Tasha Steelz vs. Alisha Edwards vs. Kylie Rae vs. Kimber Lee vs. Jessicka Havok

Photo: IMPACT

One thing IMPACT should be praised for is the utilization of their Knockouts division. Aside from Alisha Edwards (who only just returned from COVID distancing), every other member of the division has been used in storylines, including the newer signees like Kylie Rae, NevaehKimber Lee, and Tasha Steelz. Every Knockout not in the title match later in the evening is competing on Saturday night in a Knockouts Gauntlet Match to determine the #1 Contender for the Knockouts Championship. In IMPACT, their standard gauntlet matches start as a Battle Royal in the ring, with the final two participants then entering into a pinfall/submission situation to declare the winner. Everyone has beef with everyone at this stage and there’s plenty of room for some chaos to occur until it quiets down, but there’s simply too much talent in the ring to have this being anything but exciting.

TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Moose (c) vs. Tommy Dreamer

Photo: IMPACT

Moose continues to declare himself the “true World Champion” in IMPACT Wrestling throughout former champion Tessa Blanchard’s avoidance of wrestling during the pandemic, resurrecting the former TNA World Heavyweight title and defending it on IMPACT television. On Saturday, he’s putting that title on the line (despite it not being recognized by IMPACT management) against longtime TNA/IMPACT veteran Tommy Dreamer, who has been competing for the company since 2010.

IMPACT World Tag Team Championship: The North (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander) vs. Sami Callihan & Ken Shamrock

Photo: IMPACT

The North has just shattered the record for the longest reign as IMPACT World Tag Team Champions in history, but in recent months have grown listless and jovial in their title defenses – during their initial quarantine in Canada during the pandemic, they chose virtual unknowns from the Canadian indies to defend their titles against. While they’ve since returned and defended them against the likes of The RascalzDezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz, they may have finally bitten off more than they can chew by drawing the ire of two men who had previously been feuding with each other in Sami Callihan and Ken Shamrock. Now Callihan and Shamrock have called a temporary truce in an effort to silence The North once and for all. Will The North retain or will we have new tag team champions – or will we the rumored arrival of two Good Brothers change the narrative completely?

IMPACT X-Division Championship: Willie Mack (c) vs. Chris Bey

slammiversary
Photo: IMPACT

On Saturday it will be three months since Willie Mack defeated Ace Austin at IMPACT Rebellion to win the X-Division Championship, and since then, Chris Bey has been a proverbial thorn in Willie’s side. Bey had his first shot back in May on IMPACT television, in a triple threat that also featured Austin, but week in and week out, Bey has continued to torment Mack, by assisting Johnny Swinger in his attempts at the title, to redirecting the focus back on “The Ultimate Finesser” and his own pursuits of holding IMPACT gold. Bey is no stranger to championships – he was a dominant presence on the West Coast winning top titles in Without A Cause (WAC), Future Stars of Wrestling (FSW), Maverick Pro, and Championship Wrestling From Hollywood – but a win over Mack will be the biggest championship win of his young but promising career. If both men are 100%, this could easily be match of the night.

IMPACT Knockouts Championship: Jordynne Grace (c) vs. Deonna Purrazzo

Photo: IMPACT

Deonna Purrazzo was arguably the most shocking arrival in IMPACT Wrestling this year and in just under two months, she’s already become one of the top Knockouts in the company. She made a statement early, squashing a returning Alisha Edwards in her IMPACT in-ring debut, and bulldogged her way into Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace‘s face and psyche. Two of the brightest young stars in the game, this should be another strong match on the card that also has match of the night potential.

IMPACT World Championship (Vacant): Ace Austin vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Trey Miguel vs. ???

slammiversary
Photo: IMPACT

One thing is guaranteed on Saturday night – IMPACT will crown a brand new IMPACT World Heavyweight Champion. Ace Austin won a tournament last month to become the #1 Contender to Tessa’s title, but the release of Blanchard complicated the situation. Eddie Edwards was originally scheduled for a World title match earlier this year against Tessa, before the pandemic canceled those plans. And The Rascalz’ Trey Miguel was slated for the finals of the #1 Contenders tournament before a mystery assailant took him out just moments before the match occurred. With Tessa out and the fourth contender, Michael Elgin, also removed from IMPACT, it left one spot open – which IMPACT has revealed will be one of the returning World Champions. Will the returning World Champion enter with a rekindled fury to reclaim the World title at Slammiversary?

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world.  We provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can watch IMPACT every Tuesday on AXS-TV at 8pm EST and see past episodes of IMPACT Wrestling on IMPACT+. IMPACT Slammiversary 2020 airs live on FITE.tv at 8pm EST.

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