Slammiversary 2019: Back To The Old (And That’s A Good Thing)
Date: July 7, 2019
Location: Gilley’s Dallas, Dallas, Texas
Commentators: Don Callis, Josh Matthews
The company is back on pay per view and for the first time in a long time, I’m excited for the show. The card has been very well built and under the right circumstances, we could be in for a heck of a show. Tonight it’s Brian Cage defending the World Title against Michael Elgin but the match that has received the best build is Rich Swann’s X-Division Title defense against Johnny Impact. Let’s get to it.
The opening video, featuring that incredible voiceover guy from years ago, shows us a look back at the history of the company, which might not be the best idea in the world. It switches over to the modern stuff and things are looking a bit better.
We hear part of the announcer hyping up the crowd because we need to get in one minor production gaffe.
TJP vs. Willie Mack vs. Trey Miguel vs. Jake Crist
This is one fall to a finish and billed as an “X-Division style” match. Mack gets a heck of a reaction and it’s a double superkick to put Jake down. TJP kicks Mack in the face and snaps off a headscissors. Mack and Crist are sent outside so Jake hits a bouncing wristdrag to send TJP flying. It’s Mack coming back in for the standing moonsault but Jake sends him outside and takes over on TJP in the corner.
TJP grabs an Indian deathlock on Crist and loads up a DDT on Mack but Miguel runs in with a neckbreaker on Crist to put everyone down. Miguel grabs a hold on TJP and Crist at the same time but Mack breaks it up due to the annoyingness of such a spot. A slingshot dropkick staggers Mack but TJP gets knocked to the floor, allowing Mack to hit a slingshot dive. Crist joins them but gets caught with a 619 to the ribs. Back in and TJP breaks up the Tower of Doom (What a twist!), going with a surfboard on Miguel instead.
Crist dives on top of TJP for two but Mack comes in with a top rope double stomp to Miguel to break everything up. Miguel kicks Mack in the back of the head, leaving Crist to kick Miguel in the front of the head. Jake’s Death Valley Driver gets two on Mack but TJP is right back with the kneebar to Crist. Miguel breaks that up with a top rope Meteora but gets caught with Crist’s super cutter. Mack drops the frog splash though and Crist is done at 10:02.
Rating: B-. This was always going to be either Mack or TJP getting the win and Mack pinning Crist is as good of an ending as you could have had. The fans love Mack and he can go in the ring so hopefully he gets a push somewhere out of this. TJP didn’t take the fall and while he needed the win more, he was kept looking strong here, as were the other three as well.
The announcers run down the card. They know we’ve already paid for the show right?
We look at the North winning the Tag Team Titles on Friday night at Bash at the Brewery.
The North says no one should be surprised that they won. Ethan page is rather fired up here.
Tag Team Titles: The North vs. LAX vs. Rascalz
The North is defending, it’s Dezmond Xavier/Zachary Wentz for the Rascalz here and this is one fall to a finish. LAX jumps the North to start and the Rascalz add stereo suicide dives. Back in and LAX take over on the Rascalz with Santana hitting a rolling cutter on Xavier. The North is back with an ankle lock to Wentz with Page running interference to cut off save attempt.
Wentz rolls Alexander into Page for the break and it’s LAX coming in for the save off a double facebuster. Page slams Wentz off the top to save Alexander in a cool spot and everyone but Page is down. Dezmond goes up top to get Page but Alexander is back up with a tabletop superplex. A Swanton from Page gets two and it’s LAX taking over on the champs.
Alexander breaks up the Street Sweeper by sending Santana off the top and medics are IMMEDIATELY down to check on Santana’s knee. The North’s double Neutralizer gets two on Ortiz but Xavier makes the save. The shoving moonsault hits Ortiz but Page powerbombs Wentz onto the cover for the save, allowing the North to steal the pin and retain at 7:18.
Rating: C+. I’m not sure how smart it was to have back to back wild matches like this but it was another entertaining one. Santana’s knee was the big part of the match though as Josh was demanding that someone get out here and check on Santana just a few seconds after he crashed so you know it’s bad. The North aren’t likely to hold the titles for very long but it’s a smart move to have some fresh blood in the division.
Santana has to be helped to the back and this is likely a bad one.
Sami Callihan promises to treat Tessa Blanchard like an equal tonight and everyone is going to talk about it. They’re headlining tonight because…..I’m really not sure why.
We recap Killer Kross vs. Eddie Edwards. Kross broke Eddie’s kendo stick (Kenny) and pushed him over the edge even further. Sandman gave Eddie a new stick and Eddie attacked Kross, drawing blood. Tonight it’s first blood as Eddie embraces his inner violence.
Killer Kross vs. Eddie Edwards
First blood and Kross has gray face paint on for a change. Eddie hits him with the stick on the ramp and they start in a hurry. The chops and headbutts have Kross in more trouble and it’s already time for a chair. Kross knocks it away in a hurry and hits a chokebomb onto the apron. They get back in with Eddie hitting some suplexes and knocking Kross right back to the floor.
The suicide dive is cut off by a chair to the head and Eddie is down again. A gutwrench suplex off the apron onto a chair has Eddie screaming in pain (fair enough) but he avoids some big chair shots. Eddie pelts the other chair at Kross’ head and they head back inside again with Eddie not being able to hit the Blue Thunder Bomb. Kross sends him hard into the corner and asks Eddie where his stick is (that’s getting a bit personal).
A belly to back superplex tot he ramp is broken up for obvious reasons and Eddie hits the Boston Knee Party off the top. Eddie grabs Kenny but gets caught in the Krossjacket Choke as they fall to the floor. That means a tiger driver to plant Kross and they’re both down. Back in and Eddie hits some running knees to the head but stops to break Kenny in half. The jagged edges are stabbed into Kross’ mouth to draw blood for the win at 11:32.
Rating: C-. I wasn’t feeling this one coming in and the match didn’t do much to change that. Some of the spots were cool but it was nothing that either of them hasn’t done better before. Eddie breaking Kenny was different, but it’s not exactly the most thrilling thing in the world. Kross felt like a dragon to be slayed and he’s been slayed before, so this didn’t have the impact that it could have.
Tessa Blanchard arrives and shoves the interviewer against the wall instead of answering a question.
Rob Van Dam says Moose is smart for wanting to fight him but tonight, there are consequences to his actions. Rob doesn’t like bullies and it’s time to show that he’s still Mr. Pay Per View.
We recap Moose vs. Rob Van Dam. Moose has promised to destroy the era of ECW so he beat up the ECW guys without breaking much of a sweat. Those guys added next to nothing to this and they would have been better off just setting up this match weeks ago instead.
Moose vs. Rob Van Dam
Moose, in his bright pink trunks and blue boots, takes Rob into the corner to start but gets kicked in the face to send him outside. That’s fine with Moose who tries the apron bomb but Rob reverses into a hurricanrana. The spinning kick to the back takes Moose down and it’s time to head back inside. This one works better for Moose as he chokes on the ropes and in the corner to slow things down a lot.
Rob gets sent hard into the corner twice in a row and it’s off to the chinlock. That’s broken up in a hurry and Rob backdrops him onto the ramp. Back in and the split legged moonsault gives Rob two and the fans declare that he still has it. He does, but it’s not quite as fast or explosive as it once was. Moose’s chokebomb gets two and it’s a DDT into a nipup.
Moose tries his own Five Star but Rob rolls away and grabs his own DDT. A quick referee distraction lets Moose hit a low blow but the referee takes a chair away. Moose takes it back and eats the Van Daminator for two as the referee is rather lenient about the chair. The Five Star lands on the chair though and it’s No Jackhammer Needed to give Moose the pin at 13:53.
Rating: D+. Moose was trying here but there is no hiding the fact that Rob is closing in on being a shell of his former self. The natural athleticism is still there but he’s 48 years old and has been wrestling for a VERY long time. He still has name value….and that’s about it. Moose winning was exactly the right call but Rob is getting harder and harder to watch out there.
Taya Valkyrie yells at Melissa Santos and handles the interview herself. She is above a Monster’s Ball match but she’ll retain the title anyway.
We recap the Monster’s Ball match. James Mitchell has brought in Havok to help deal with Rosemary and wants the title while he’s here. Rosemary has agreed to help Taya in exchange for a title shot and now it’s a four way title match.
Knockouts Title: Taya Valkyrie vs. Jessicka Havok vs. Rosemary vs. Su Yung
Anything goes, Taya is defending and it’s one fall to a finish. It’s a brawl to start (as it should be) with Rosemary grabbing the Upside Down on Yung. Everyone but Havok heads outside and it’s already time to bring in the weapons. A trashcan shot sends Havok outside and it’s Taya stapling Yung in the back. That’s followed by a poster being stapled to Yung’s face and a knee to the face.
Taya is tied in the Tree of Woe and Havok neckbreakers her over an open chair for a nasty crash. Rosemary busts out the collar and gets tied to Yung, who sends her into the corner. It’s time for the bloody glove but Taya breaks it up with a ladder shot. Havok is sent face first into the ladder and the fans want tables.
Something close to a Tower of Doom sends Yung and Rosemary onto the ladder but Rosemary is up with a spear to Taya. It’s time for the thumbtacks and Taya faceplants Rosemary into them for a scary landing. Mitchell gets misted and it’s a Side Effect to send Rosemary through a table at ringside. Back in and Havok hits a super Tombstone ONTO THE TACKS to Yung but Taya steals the pin to retain at 11:43.
Rating: C+. The violence was good here and thankfully the super Tombstone was the finish as that’s not the kind of thing you’re going to top. Taya retaining was a bit of a surprise as there was so much carnage and she managed to sneak in and retain. It was fun while it lasted and they were smart to keep things moving instead of letting the show die after taking so much time.
We recap the X-Division Title, with Rich Swann winning the title and holding onto it for the last few months. Johnny Impact won the #1 contendership by winning Ultimate X over Wrestlemania weekend and is finally getting his title shot. Swann has grown a lot in recent weeks and this could be great.
Swann is ready but Impact comes in to mock him a bit and promise to win the title. Impact and John E. Bravo leave so Swann can promise to knock them back to Slam Town.
X-Division Title: Rich Swann vs. Johnny Impact
Swann is defending and Impact has Bravo with him. The champ headlocks Johnny to the mat to start, sending Impact bailing out to the floor. Back in and an exchange of flips send Impact right back to the floor, where Bravo grabs some of the thumbtacks from the previous match. With those tossed onto the mat, Impact gets in a cheap shot to take over. It’s out to the floor for the third time, though they’re back inside in a hurry so Impact can kick him in the head.
The chinlock goes on for a bit before Swann is back up with a kick of his own. A rolling DDT plants Impact and two more kicks to the head set up a running Phoenix splash (yes a standing one) for two on the champ. Impact gets sent outside for a big flip dive, followed by a top rope elbow for another near fall back inside. Back up and Impact slides between his legs but a springboard forearm is knocked out of the air.
They both go up top and fight over a superplex until an exchange of right hands knock them both off. Back in and Impact hits a standing Spanish Fly for two and frustration is setting in. Bravo’s attempt at interference earns him a big flip dive and a YOU DESERVE IT chant. Swann comes back in and gets caught with Moonlight Drive into Starship Pain for two more. A series of strikes stun Impact and a Lethal Injection takes him down. The Phoenix splash retains the title at 15:03.
Rating: B+. I’m rather surprised to see Swann win here but I’m also rather happy as it’s the kind of win that could launch him up the card. More importantly, this feud and win made the X-Division Title feel that much more important because A, Impact, a main event star, wanted the title and B, Swann successfully fought him off. The company has talked about wanting to make the X-Division feel more important for years now and for once they’re FINALLY doing something about it. Very good match too.
Michael Elgin is sick of waiting and sees a machine that keeps breaking down. Elgin has sent Brian Cage to the hospital three times. That three is appropriate, because tonight it will be 1-2-3 and a new World Champion.
We recap Elgin vs. Cage. Elgin debuted at Rebellion and attacked Cage right after he won the World Title. Cage has been on the shelf but has come back for the big old hoss fight with revenge on the line along with the title.
Impact Wrestling World Title: Michael Elgin vs. Brian Cage
Cage is defending. They waste no time in trading shots to the face with Cage getting the better of it. Some shoulders in the corner have Elgin in more trouble and a German suplex out of the corner makes it even worse. Elgin heads to the floor so it’s a running flip dive with Cage landing on his feet. Back in and Elgin hits his own dragon suplex to set up a heck of a superplex for two.
Cage gets driven into the corner as well and they head outside again for a ram into the barricade. Back in and Elgin misses a moonsault, as the camera cuts from a very wide shot to a regular shot right in the middle of the impact. Cage nails a superkick into the 619 to rock Elgin. A pumphandle faceplant gets two and it’s a Cheeky Nandos kick into an electric chair faceplant. Elgin is right back with a powerbomb and the crucifix bomb (two of the three powerbombs) for his own near falls.
The buckle bomb connects but Cage comes out with a discus lariat. Elgin wins an exchange of strikes to the face and scores with a Canadian Destroyer of all things for two. Cage is right back up (of course) with a knee to the face into a powerbomb into the F5 for two of his own. The Drill Claw doesn’t work as Cage’s back gives out so Elgin buckle bombs him again. The Elgin Bomb is loaded up but Cage reverses into a cradle for the pin to retain at 15:11.
Rating: B. I’ve always liked the hoss battles that end with a sudden wrestling move like this one. These two beat the fire out of each other until Cage won with a rollup of all things, which is some psychology to end a big match. I liked this as much as I was expecting to and it was exactly what it needed to be.
Post match Elgin lays him out and poses with the title. Elgin goes after Don Callis, which still isn’t as important as they think it is. Cue a masked man to spear Elgin down for the save. Now, the masked man looked like Rhyno, was built like Rhyno, hit a spear like Rhyno and did Rhyno’s signature pose after, but I’m not sure if it was Rhyno or not.
Bound For Glory is in Chicago on October 20.
We recap Callihan vs. Blanchard. Callihan is a horrible person and Blanchard is standing up to him, mainly because there are no women who are a real threat to her. I’m not sure why this is the main event as it’s only kind of unique and the match has certainly not received the biggest build.
Sami Callihan vs. Tessa Blanchard
They both have their own baseball bats. They stare each other down for over a minute before Tessa fires off the forearms to the face. A headscissors puts Sami on the apron and a dropkick sends him to the floor. The suicide dive is countered into a powerbomb though and Sami swings her into the barricade for a thud that made me cringe. A Death Valley Driver on the floor should knock Tessa cold but Sami slams her down instead.
That’s good for an eight count with Sami not even looking at the ring. Back in and Tessa hits a running neckbreaker but Sami runs her over. Tessa rolls up the ramp but she escapes a powerbomb into the crowd. The jumping cutter drops Sami on the ramp and a tornado DDT gives Tessa two back inside.
Sami scores with Get Outta Here and a knee to the face, setting up an STF. Tessa grabs the rope for the break and escapes a super powerbomb, meaning it’s a running Codebreaker out of the corner. The referee gets shoved away though and Sami hits her in the face with the bat for two.
The replacement referee gets knocked down as well and Tessa gets in her own bat shot. Magnum gets two so Tessa switches into a Crossface in the middle of the ring (Callis: “BREAK HIS NECK!”). That’s reversed into a kneeling Tombstone to give Sami two, allowing Tessa to give him thumbs up, thumbs down. The Cactus Special finishes Tessa at 15:01.
Rating: C+. I’m not sure what to think of this one. Tessa didn’t look overwhelmed and her offense was believable against Sami, which was the most important thing. That being said, this wasn’t exactly as epic as the build would have had you believe and it felt weird seeing this in the main event. Tessa fighting men going forward is fine, though they’re going to have to do this carefully to make sure it doesn’t go too far into the unbelievable.
Post match Sami bangs both bats together and hands Tessa hers before leaving to end the show.
Overall Rating: B+. Yeah it was quite good and that’s what matters most. This felt like an important show and it came off like a show that they don’t get to do very often. I would have gone with the X-Division Title match headlining the show, but what they did went fine enough. Impact feels like it’s on a roll right now, but their history suggests that they can’t maintain it. I’ll take some good shows while I can though and this was one of the best they’ve done in a very long time.
Willie Mack b. TJP, Trey Miguel and Jake Crist – Frog splash to Crist
The North b. LAX and Rascalz – Push moonsault to Ortiz
Eddie Edwards b. Killer Kross – Broken kendo stick to the mouth
Moose b. Rob Van Dam – No Jackhammer Needed
Taya Valkyrie b. Rosemary, Su Yung and Jessicka Havok – Super Tombstone to Yung
Rich Swann b. Johnny Impact – Phoenix splash
Brian Cage b. Michael Elgin – Rollup
Sami Callihan b. Tessa Blanchard – Cactus Special
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