Monday, July 23, 2018

Impact Wrestling Slammiversary XVI Recap

Impact Wrestling presented us with Slammiversary XVI from the Rebel Entertainment Complex in Toronto, Canada this evening. The card boasted eight matches with four titles contested. What has become one of the few staple pay per views that Impact presents each year far exceeded expectations and quickly made me forget (or care) that I gave Cox Cable $49.99.

Johnny Impact vs. Petey Williams vs. “Bone Soldier” Taiji Ishimori vs. Fenix
Winner: Johnny Impact

Slammiversary hit the ground running with four of the most exciting, high-flying competitors in professional wrestling today. The match was originally supposed to feature newly signed Rich Swann but unfortunately he sustained a concussion earlier in the week and was unable to compete. The Canadian crowd certainly did not object to his replacement, however, as the master of the Canadian Destroyer, Petey Williams was the first contestant introduced. This match also featured the Impact returns of Johnny Impact and Taiji Ishimori with the newly acquired moniker of the Bone Soldier after his inclusion as part of NJPW’s famed Bullet Club stable. This bout ended in a flurry as we were treated to a 450 splash from Ishimori, followed by a Canadian Destroyer by Williams, then a Fenix Springboard from Fenix, and finally Starship Pain from Johnny Impact for the win.

Tessa Blanchard vs. Allie
Winner: Tessa Blanchard

This was a late edition to the card and pleasantly surprised all who bore witness to it. Allie brought the fight to the daughter of the legendary Tully Blanchard but the Allie Valley Driver, Code Breaker, and Best Superkick Ever were not enough as Tessa hit the DDT for the win.

House of Hardcore Match
Tommy Dreamer vs. Eddie Edwards
Winner: Eddie Edwards

Sure Tommy Dreamer is 47-year- old but he came to put on a show this evening and made everyone remember why he’s known as the Innovator of Violence. On a side note, Dreamer also had a shirt that I’m going to need to find… It featured a cheese grater with blood and said “Make Wrestling Grate Again.”  This match certainly lived up to its hardcore branding as Tommy Dreamer wasted no time stealing a woman’s beer in the front row, taking a mouthful, and smashing Edwards in the face with it before he used a staple gun to bust open The Lone Wolf. The match eventually came to its conclusion as Dreamer, with his face propped against the back of a steel chair, was delivered a Boston Knee Party from Edwards who earned the victory.

X-Division Championship
Matt Sydal ( c ) vs. Brian Cage
Winner: Brian Cage

This bout, which I anticipated would be a squash match, was actually quite competitive to the point where it appeared Sydal was going to retain his title. In the final moments of the bout, Sydal scaled his way to the top turnbuckle to attempt the Shooting Star Press on a prone Brian Cage. On the way down, Sydal’s foot caught the rope and Cage got his boot up in Sydal’s face. Cage then quickly recovered and nailed Sydal with the Drill Claw to become the newly crowned X-Division Champ.

Knockouts Championship
Su Yung ( c ) vs. Madison Rayne
Winner: Su Yung

Madison Rayne overcame the distraction of the undead bridesmaids at ringside and dominated Su Yung with the Ripcord Cutter and the Raindrop only to succumb to Yung’s version of the Mandible Claw. After the match, Rayne was placed in a coffin and carried out of the arena in another disturbing display of showmanship by Su Yung.

Impact Wrestling Tag Team Championship 5150 Street Fight
LAX ( c ) vs. OGz
Winners: LAX

This match pitted the latest incarnation of the Latin American Xchange, comprised of Santana and Ortiz, with their manager Konnan against the original incarnation of LAX, Homicide and Hernandez, accompanied by King. This match came about after Konnan was “taken out” backstage at the Redemption pay per view by unknown assailants. Kingston, a former member of the short-lived DCC, reemerged shortly thereafter as “King” and took Ortiz and Santana under his guidance en route to the tag team championship. Once Konnan made his return and exposed King, Homicide and Hernandez returned with the classic backstory of being forgotten when LAX was reformed. This match certainly attempted to one-up the Dreamer/Edwards match as the ring quickly became littered with tables, trash cans, brooms, and hockey sticks. It appeared the OGz were on their way to a victory after Hernandez put Ortiz through a table via the Border Toss, but leave it to Konnan to get involved. Konnan distracted Homicide as he tossed a bag of tacks to Santana. Santana tossed a handful in the face of Homicide and body slammed him onto the rest.  Santana then went to the top turnbuckle and hit the Frogsplash to retain the titles. The victory didn’t last long as the OGz jumped LAX from behind and defaced the titles by tagging them with their moniker.

Mask vs. Hair Match
Pentagon Jr. vs. Sami Callihan
Winner: Pentagon Jr.

This match was the definition of pure, unadulterated violence. Shortly after Callihan introduced some chairs to the match, he escalated the situation and acquired some railroad spikes from under the ring. Callihan proceeded to pierce the forehead of Pentagon to the point where he bled through his mask but the tables were quickly turned as Callihan got greedy and went for a baseball bat providing Pentagon with the opening he needed. Pentagon then took possession of the spikes and drove one into the forehead of Sami until he wore a crimson mask. While WWE’s Extreme Rules was an entertaining pay-per-view last weekend, this match was what one would expect to have seen on a card with that branding. In the end, Pentagon Jr. “broke” Callihan’s arm and hit the Pentagon Driver for the pinfall victory. Callihan tried to escape with the assistance of OVE, but Pentagon’s brother Fenix put an end to that, and the rabid Toronto crowd was able to witness Callihan have his head shaved.

Impact Heavyweight Championship
Austin Aries ( c ) vs. Moose
Winner: Austin Aries

Moose finally earned his shot at the title after he successfully supplanted Eli Drake from the title picture on an earlier edition of Thursday Night Impact. Moose was certainly game for the match and put his strength and size advantage into full effect, however, Aries showed what a ring general he truly is as his technical prowess showed through in the long run. The Greatest Man That Ever Lived put his freakish strength on display as he finished off Moose with the Brainbuster for the pinfall victory to retain his title.

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