The history of Impact Wrestling has been a roller coaster beginning with the days of TNA until now. The hard to kill promotion never surrendered. Even through rebellions, Impact was bound for glory. The 20 year journey is coming together for Slammiversary on June 19.
Let’s break down the card with a preview and predictions.
Impact World Championship
The main event represents who will carry Impact into the next 20 years. Josh Alexander is set to defend the world title against Eric Young.
EY earned his shot by winning a Gauntlet for the Gold. The story is simple. Young wants the belt for personal glory, while Alexander wants to usher the legacy of Impact into the future.
X-factors will be Young’s stooges milling around. Joe Doering and Deaner will no doubt play a role at some point. Alexander needs to find a way to neutralize those threats.
Prediction: Josh Alexander retains. Impact has put a lot of time in creating Alexander as the face that runs the place. It is too soon in his journey to drop the belt here. Alexander has a lot of room to grow as champion to become an Impact legend.
Queen of the Mountain for the Knockouts Championship
In honor of the 20 year celebration, Impact brought back one of the signature match concepts in the King of the Mountain match. Gail Kim put together a field of former Knockouts champions to compete in the first-ever Queen of the Mountain match. Rules are like a reverse ladder match. The winner has to climb up and hang the belt high above the ring. To be eligible for victory, a wrestler must earn a pinfall or submission. That fallen wrestler enters a penalty box for a fixed amount of time.
Tasha Steelz enters with the Knockouts Championship around her waist.
Deonna Purrazzo, Chelsea Green, Jordynne Grace, and Mia Yim round out the competition. Keeping with the flavor of the 20 year celebration, Mickie James was invited to monitor the action as special guest enforcer.
Prediction: Chelsea Green wins the Knockouts Championship. Any of the five participants would be a worthy winner. I’m rolling with Green, because she seems to be plotting a sneaky gameplan. Green has approached Purrazzo for a partnership. We all know Green can’t be trusted when gold is up for grabs. I think she’ll use Purrazzo to set up an advantageous scenario for a backstabbing victory. Purrazzo is no dummy though. The Virtuosa won’t be tricked so easily. Green will have to be extra crafty.
Impact World Tag Team Championship
The Briscoes stand tall with Impact tag team gold. The Good Brothers talked their way into the match by claiming the Briscoes are fake champions. Their rationale was that the Briscoes have never beaten them in Impact. Until the Briscoes can accomplish that, Jay and Mark aren’t legit. The Good Brothers have bragging rights with a victory over the Briscoes at the Multiverse of Matches. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows received assistance from the Bullet Club en route to a cheap victory.
An x-factor could be the energy level of Mark Briscoe. Earlier this week, a baby was added to the Briscoe family tree.
We have a baby folk!!!
Murphy “Big Murph” Pugh came a month and a half early but he’s getting stronger every day!!
Appreciate the continued prayers and positivity pic.twitter.com/XC8487DIBC
— DEM BOYS (@jaybriscoe84) June 14, 2022
Prediction: Briscoes retain. Dem Boys and tag team action go together like peanut butter and jelly. They’ll find the right recipe to treat the Good Brothers like stale bread.
Ultimate X for the X-Division Championship
When Impact wants to throw a party, they bring back the Ultimate X match. The concept of victory for Ultimate X is similar to a ladder match, except there are cables above the ring forming an X instead of ladders. Climb the corner structures, shimmy the ropes, and retrieve the title. Sounds easy, but it is dangerous.
Ace Austin enters with the X-Division Championship against the field of Trey Miguel, Kenny King, “Speedball” Mike Bailey, Jack Evans, and Alex Zayne. The level of talent is off the charts. Expect sheer awesomeness.
Prediction: Ace Austin retains. Ace’s success winning the title positioned him to join the Bullet Club. Losing such an important match so soon would not be a good look.
Knockouts World Tag Team Championship
Tenille Dashwood & Madison Rayne are the current Knockouts tag titleholders. They’ve been picking on Rosemary lately, so Taya Valkyrie came to the rescue. Rosemary is right not trust Taya just yet. Taya did try to murder Rosemary’s virginal fiancé. However, the allure of gold soothes feelings.
A potential x-factor could be Havok. She hasn’t been seen since being demolished by Masha Slamovich. If Havok does return for this match, it is anyone’s guess what kind of mood she’ll be in. It could end up costing Rosemary a chance at victory.
Prediction: Rosemary and Taya Valkyrie as new fields. The belts would be nice, but I’m more interested in whatever can keep Rosemary and Taya together as they mend old wounds. Taya is all in on the return of Ragnarok. Rosemary needs encouragement. If that means they have to win the tag titles as reluctant allies, then so be it.
Sami Callihan is out for revenge after his ankle was broken by Moose. To achieve the ultimate payback, a Monster’s Ball match is just what the doctor ordered. The fighting part is basically a hardcore No DQ contest. The twist is that both combatants are locked into a room for 24 hours without food, water, and light. The idea is that they turn into monsters ready to rip each other apart.
Prediction: Moose prevails. Something tells me that Sami Callihan doesn’t care about winning. He is more interested in dishing out bread. Moose can use that to his advantage when the time comes to get out of dodge.
Honor No More vs. Impact Originals
Honor No More has been a threat to Impact ever since they arrived. Eddie Edwards leads the charge alongside Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, Vincent, and PCO on this evening. They aim to ruin the 20 year celebration.
A spunky squad of Impact Originals stand in the way. Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley, and Frankie Kazarian were given the task to fight for Impact’s honor. They were allowed to pick their final two partners as long as those men represented a love for Impact. Nick Aldis was revealed as one of the heroes.
The final Impact Originals member remains a mystery. AEW houses several prime players from TNA’s past, so there could be a chance that the Forbidden Door swings open once again. After this week’s TV episodes from AEW, a man I thought was a long-shot has emerged as a potential front-runner. I’ve been hoping for Samoa Joe this whole time, but he’s still out with an ‘injury’ in the AEW story world. For continuity’s sake, he may not be available. Christian Cage was another strong choice, but he turned heel on Jungle Boy. He may be too evil at the moment to defend Impact. One man that shot up the charts in a hurry is Sting. He made a surprise return in AEW and would definitely fit the bill as a TNA Hall of Famer. Other big names that crossed my mind are James Storm, Ken Shamrock, Jeff Jarrett, Abyss, and EC3.
For the x-factor, keep an eye on betrayal. Edwards was the last man to turn his back on Impact. His actions helped Honor No More earn contracts to stick within Impact. There haven’t been any strong hints in the buildup for this one. But if I had to choose someone to keep an eye on, it would be Shelley. He was going through a story of frustration losing to youngsters, then that was dropped cold for this feud. I have an inkling that he could be susceptible to Edwards in his ear.
Prediction: Impact Originals win. This show is all about celebrating the past 20 years of Impact. The feel-good ending is on tap for this match.
Impact Digital Media Championship (pre-show)
Rich Swann is the rightful champion, but the belt is in the hands of Brian Myers. Swann defeated Matt Cardona to win the Impact Digital Media Championship. Cardona stole the title on the way out of the venue. Cardona then suffered a bicep injury, so he handed the prize over to Myers.
Prediction: Brian Myers loses but keeps the belt. The longer Rich Swann doesn’t actually have the championship in his possession, the longer it gives this story legacy.
Reverse Battle Royal (pre-show)
To kick off the celebration, Impact is bringing back one of their wackiest creations. The Reverse Battle Royal rules dictate that the field starts outside the ring. Half the participants try to enter the ring to thin out the numbers, then it transitions to regular battle royal rules. I believe Shera and Johnny Swinger are the only official entrants so far. That leaves plenty of room for blasts from the past to make a surprise appearance.
Prediction: Without knowing the field, I’ll go out on a limb and select Lance Archer. He would be a fun monster to borrow from AEW with the intent on wrecking house. Archer was a two-time NWA tag champ in his previous run with TNA. For a safer choice, Steve Maclin is the pick. He has strong momentum without a match on the card.
Slammiversary begins at 8 pm ET on PPV and Fite TV. The free pre-show gets the party started at 7:30 pm ET on YouTube.
Share your predictions for Slammiversary.