Tonight at Impact Wrestling’s Slammiversary XVI, Impact World Champion Austin Aries defends his title in the main event against Moose after months of big talk to the former NFL player! Plus, Sami Callihan puts his hair on the line against Pentagon Jr, and his mask and the gang warfare goes to the streets in a 5150 Street Fight between Impact World Tag Team Champions LAX and their new splintered rivals The OGz. All that and more at Impact Wrestling’s 2018 edition of Slammiversary XVI!
Video package previews Slammiversary XVI.
We are LIVE from The Rebel Entertainment Complex in Toronto, Ontario. Josh Mathews and Don Callis have the call for tonight.
Four-Way Match: Petey Williams vs. Fenix vs. “The Bone Soldier” Taiji Ishimori vs. Johnny Impact
Fenix works Williams in the corner after dropping Ishimori and Impact. Impact with a springboard kick and left with Ishimori. Impact with a legsweep, but misses a corkscrew splash. Impact misses a standing moonsault and reset. Knee from Impact and he looks for a springboard, but springboard over Fenix and Fenix handsprings around the ring against Impact. Both men springboard on the ropes until Fenix hits a hurricanrana to send Impact out. Williams dropped by a superkick and worked in the corner by Fenix. Williams comes back with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and dropkick into the back on the second rope. Side Russian Legsweep for a nearfall by Williams. Williams with a superkick in the tree of woe on Fenix. Ishimori back in and he gets a nearfall broken by a springboard stomp from Fenix. Williams with a hurricanrana over the top outside on Impact and Fenix with a flip dive to take out both. Springboard moonsault from Ishimori puts everyone down outside. Fenix rolled inside, but Williams sideswipes Ishimori to hit a Codebreaker inside. Williams up top and Impact meets him, but Ishimori gets under for the Tower of Doom with a Samoan Drop up top. Fenix with a springboard dropkick to send Impact outside. Ishimori with tilt-a-whirl headscissors on Fenix. Williams tries a Canadian Destroyer on Ishimori, but has it blocked. Sharpshooter by Williams and Impact gets Williams with Moonlight Drive for a nearfall broken by Fenix.
Chop from Fenix on Impact and Fenix spikes Impact onto the second turnbuckle. Corner 619 and rolling cutter by Fenix gets a nearfall broken by Ishimori. Fenix and Ishimori in the ring and Ishimori dropkicks Fenix into the corner for double knees. Double-knee gutbuster from Ishimori gets a nearfall broken by Williams. Impact back to his feet and he springboards into the ring, but everyone gets taken out by superkicks to put all four down inside. Ishimori with a slam in the corner on Impact and he goes up top. 450 Splash lands for Ishimori leads to a finisher exchange and Impact with Starship Pain on Fenix.
Winner by pinfall: Johnny Impact
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Fun spotfest opener that the crowd was really hot for in a pretty vintage X Division-like multi-man match. Your mileage may vary on how good that is, but it is always a crowd-pleaser, especially in front of a hot crowd. Good way to kick off the show.
King gives The OGz a pep talk under a stairwell before the match and tells them to become kings.
Video package for Tessa Blanchard vs. Allie.
Tessa Blanchard vs. Allie
The two start talking trash and Blanchard pie-faces Allie. Allie with arm drags and she lands forearms and kicks. Crossbody from Allie for a nearfall. Blanchard drives Allie into the second rope, but misses an elbow and lands against the bottom rope. Allie runs into the rope and Blanchard with a slap and forearms. Leg drop on the apron misses for Blanchard and Allie with a crossbody out of the corner on the floor. Blanchard drops Allie on the barricade and Allie barely beats the count. Blanchard with ground and pound and she drops Allie on the second rope for a dropkick to the back of the head for a nearfall. Blanchard with a clothesline and Allie with a corner suplex. Blanchard with a back heel trip and a figure-four leglock variation before going back to ground and pound. Allie up with chops and a headscissors to send Blanchard to the floor. Blanchard favors her leg and looks for a superkick and hammerlock DDT. Allie turns it to an Allie Valley Driver on the floor and both get to the ring with a second to spare. Strikes exchanged in the middle of the ring and Allie with clotheslines. Dropkick into the second turnbuckle and a lungblower gets Allie a nearfall.
Allie misses Blanchard in the corner and Blanchard with a forearm. Allie wedged onto the second turnbuckle, but she forearms and kicks away. They fight up top and Blanchard with a top-rope hurricanrana for a nearfall. Blanchard goes up top and misses a senton. Allie with a Codebreaker, but Blanchard rolls out to the floor. Allie rolls her back in and they exchange nearfalls until Allie lands the Best Superkick Ever. Blanchard kicks out and Allie looks for the Allie Valley Driver. Blanchard falls out for the hammerlock DDT.
Winner by pinfall: Tessa Blanchard
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
They really gave both time to work and they overcame some early slowness to deliver one of the best Knockouts matches in the new era of Impact down the stretch.
Alicia Atout with Moose backstage and she asks about the match. Moose said this was the year that he would become champion and every play that he ran, mile he drove, and bone that he broke will pay off tonight. Moose says when his hand is raised, the nation will chant “Moose!”
Video package for Eddie Edwards vs. Tommy Dreamer.
House of Hardcore Match: Eddie Edwards vs. Tommy Dreamer
Dreamer and Edwards choke each other in the corners and fight outside. Edwards with chops against the barricade and Dreamer reverses for a suplex on the floor. Dreamer gets a trashcan out and puts Edwards inside. Edwards kicks him off the apron and Dreamer lands a trashcan shot as Edwards tries a dive. Neckbreaker on the second rope by Dreamer, but Edwards sends him into the post and Edwards brings out a staple gun. Dreamer blocks and tries the same, but Edwards blocks for a sunset flip. Dreamer gets balance and staples the forehead of Edwards. Edwards busted open and Dreamer gets a ECW title from the crowd to clock Edwards with. Edwards drops Dreamer as he gets on the apron and lands a suicide dive. Dreamer crotched on the barricade and Edwards gets a kendo stick after throwing chairs in the ring. Edwards takes the kendo stick to the knee and Dreamer with a cutter. Dreamer works the body of Edwards with the kendo stick. Edwards challenges Dreamer to hit him and Dreamer hits him across the face with it. Dreamer makes a chair bridge and Edwards crotches him up top with a shot to the knee with the kendo stick. Edwards yells at fans and tells Dreamer not to talk to his wife. Dreamer with a low blow and Spicolli Driver through the chairs for a nearfall. Dreamer brings a table in and covers the table in lighter fluid, but Edwards with a DDT and a Boston Knee Party on a chair against the head of Dreamer.
Winner by pinfall: Eddie Edwards
Rating: 2.75 out of 5 stars
It was shlocky, violent fun all the way through and that’s about all you can expect from a Dreamer match in 2018. They did it well.
Post-match, Edwards and Dreamer push each other away as they try to shake hands until Alisha Edwards comes out and tells Eddie to shake his hand. They shake hands and Dreamer hands Edwards the kendo stick.
Impact X Division Champion Matt Sydal says it is nice that everyone cares about his health tonight before Brian Cage, but Sydal says the strongest muscle is the third eye and tonight he will show Cage through direct experience why the title will stay with him.
Video package for Impact X Division Champion Matt Sydal vs. Brian Cage.
Impact X Division Championship: Matt Sydal (c) vs. “The Machine” Brian Cage
Sydal points at Cage’s third eye and Cage shoves him away. Cage tackles Sydal into the corner and lands a clothesline. Slam and standing moonsault from Cage gets a nearfall. Sydal rolls outside and comes out on the other side to chop block the knee of Cage in the corner. Chops from Sydal, but Cage strikes out. Sydal with a back bodydrop as he uses Cage’s momentum against him. Cage dumps Sydal out of the corner to the outside and runs him into the barricade. Cage with a slam on the apron. Sydal drops Cage in the corner inside for a dropkick. Double knee senton to the floor by Sydal. Sydal lands a knee back inside and works him down. Cage comes back with a military press and Sydal falls back over the ropes for a legscissors choke. Standing moonsault from Sydal gets a nearfall, but Cage holds onto him. Sydal fights up, but gets tossed around the ring.for a Cage nearfall. Sydal tries a hurricanrana and Cage blocks. Cage looks for one of his own and Sydal with a powerbomb nearfall. Cage comes back with an inside-out slam for a nearfall. Sydal falls out of a powerbomb for leg kicks and a head kick. Spinning slam on Cage gets a nearfall and Sydal up top. Sydal lands on his feet on a Shooting Star Press and Cage misses a discus clothesline, but catches him on the rebound for a nearfall. Drill Claw blocked for a snap hurricanrana nearfall by Sydal. Sydal back up top and a dive gets caught into a suplex from Cage. Sydal rolls through on a Drill Claw for a victory roll nearfall. Sydal up top for a Shooting Star Press, but his leg clips the top rope and Cage with a Drill Claw.
Winner by pinfall and NEW Impact X Division Champion: Brian Cage
Rating: 2.75 out of 5 stars
This one felt a little disconnected overall, especially with Sydal clipping the ropes on the finish when it looked like he was supposed to catch a boot from Cage, but still a good showing for both if a little underwhelming.
Alicia Atout backstage with Impact World Champion Austin Aries and Aries interrupts by being on the phone, but tells Atout to continue after he is done. Atout asks about the match and Aries says it is the biggest stage with the biggest spotlight that Moose has dreamed about his whole life. Aries says it is Moose’s dream and his reality. Aries says it will be one-on-one because he took care of DeAngelo WIlliams and he took care of Moose’s mom sitting ringside. Aries says all Moose’s preparation, dreams, and hard work will lead to this tonight and all Moose will have to do is ask himself what he will do for his third career choice.
Video package for Impact Knockouts Champion Su Yung and Madison Rayne.
Before the match, The Undead Bridesmaids bring Impact Knockouts Champion Su Yung to the ring in a coffin.
Impact Knockouts Championship: “The Undead Bride” Su Yung (c) (w/The Undead Bridesmaids) vs. Madison Rayne
Rayne meets Yung on the ramp and they exchange punches. Rayne throws Yung inside for a crossbody off the top. Rayne runs Yung into the corner and lands a Northern Lights Suplex for a nearfall. The Undead Bridesmaids move to the ring and onto the apron and Rayne knocks them off. Panic Switch attempt by Yung sees Rayne fall out for a head kick to send Yung out. Hurricanrana outside and a running forearm on a Bridesmaid outside by Rayne. Rayne drops Yung on the apron for a nearfall inside. Yung comes back with a neckbreaker and ground and pound. Yung puts Rayne in the tree of woe and kicks her back. Dropkick to the body from Yung gets a nearfall. A Bridesmaid gets to the apron and holds Rayne, but Rayne ducks away and Yung mists the Bridesmaid. Rayne with the comeback inside and a sliding clothesline for a nearfall. Yung drops Rayne and gets a glove out for a Mandible Claw. Rayne counters with a ripcord cutter for a nearfall. Rayne Drop gets another, but Yung with a Mandible Claw and Rayne passes out.
Winner by submission and STILL Impact Knockouts Champion: Su Yung
Rating: 1.75 out of 5 stars
Probably the only down moment of the night, but it wasn’t too bad. Rayne and Yung just didn’t seem to have that much chemistry and it sort of hurts the point if Yung is getting one over on the returning Knockouts legend. Still, just an okay match that didn’t click.
Post-match, Yung puts Rayne in the casket.
Konnan gives Impact World Tag Team Champions LAX a pep talk in their clubhouse before the 5150 Street Fight.
Video package for Impact World Tag Team Champions LAX and Konnan vs. The OGz and King.
5150 Street Fight: The OGz (w/King) vs. LAX (w/Konnan)
LAX storms the ring and send Homicide out, but Hernandez clotheslines both of them down. Border Toss blocked and LAX clothesline Hernandez out. Santana with a dropkick to knock Homicide off the apron and a flip dive on Hernandez. Ortiz takes out Homicide with a suicide dive. Tables put inside by LAX and they put weapons inside. Tables cornered and Hernandez with a trashcan lid. The OGz with the trashcan lids and Homicide chokes Ortizz with a chain. Hernandez with a suicide dive on LAX. Homicide throws a trashcan down on the head of Ortiz outside and Santana worked down by the OGz. King throws drain cleaner in the ring and Ortiz hits Hernandez with the trashcan outside as Homicide gets hit by a low blow inside. Overhead belly-to-belly suplex by Santana inside and Homicide rolls to the ramp. They fight to the ramp and Santana fights off the OGz. Back bodydrop from Hernandez launches Santana inside and LAX left inside with Hernandez. Doomsday Device blocked as Ortiz crotches Homicide. Hernandez with a powerbomb as Homicide chokes Ortiz out. Homicide shoulders the steel post and LAX goes to work with trashcan lids. Hernandez laid on the ladder and hit with a moonsault and leg drop combo. Hernandez caught a knee below the belt and LAX corners Homicide for a Street Sweeper. Hernandez pulls out the referee and throws Ortiz into the crowd on a suicide dive.
Hernandez with a pounce to Santana inside and Homicide with a cannonball through the ropes and through a table on Santana outside. Death Valley Driver through table on Homicide inside by Ortiz. Ortiz slaps him and goes for another, but Hernandez pulls him down. Border Toss through the table by Hernandez. Santana comes in with a superkick and corner cannonball. Homicide and Santana exchange strikes and Homicide with a back elbow. Konnan to the apron and Homicide looks for a Gringo Killer. Homicide spits in Konnan’s face and Konnan gets face-to-face while sneaking to throw a bag to Santana. Homicide gets thumbtacks thrown in his face and slammed on them. Frog splash from Santana.
Winners by pinfall: LAX
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
This was insane from start to finish and it really captured some of the old LAX feel, with great brawling and hardcore spots that really took the blood feud atmosphere up a notch. Match of the night and captured the best of the old TNA prime.
Post-match, King lays out LAX with a loaded sock and the OGz lay out Konnan. King tags the titles with spray paint for the OGz.
Video promo from the oVe camera by Sami Callihan and Callihan says no one is giving him a chance tonight. Callihan says Pentagon will get down on his knees in front of him when he takes off his mask.
Video package for Sami Callihan vs. Pentagon Jr.
Mask vs. Hair: Pentagon Jr. vs. Sami Callihan
Big boots from Callihan and superkicks from Penta to start and a sling blade from Penta. Penta chops Callihan on the protective vest and Callihan pulls it down to tell Penta to give him his best. Penta obliges and Callihan rolls out. Penta beats Callihan around ringside until Callihan thumbs the eyes. Callihan cracks a cup across the head of Penta and both miss chops on the ring post. Chop exchange and slaps from Penta win. Penta and Callihan fight on the apron, but Penta with a head kick to drop Callihan to the floor. Suicide dive from Penta met by a chair to the head from Callihan. Callihan vests back up and throws chairs into the ring. Callihan gets two metal spikes and he rips the mask of Penta open. Penta gives him the “Cero Miedo” and Callihan spikes him on the forehead. Callihan spikes the forehead and digs it in. Callihan spits and snarls and licks the blood of Penta. Callihan ties Penta to the top rope by his mask and gets his bat. Penta kicks away and gets away for a lungblower. Penta gets the spikes and hammers one into his forehead with another to bust Callihan open in return. Penta gets the bat and hammers the spike with it. Both have spikes and dig into each other’s foreheads with it and continue spiking each other until they get knocked down. Penta and Callihan seated in chairs and chopping and slapping each other. Chairs across the backs and they drop each other with the chairs.
Penta superkicks out of the corner and floats over for a lungblower nearfall. Penta calls for the cross armbreaker and he wants to break the arm. Penta plays to the fans and Callihan mule kicks him away. Callihan looks to piledrive Penta into the chairs, but he gets away. Penta with the chair to Callihan and he knocks the Crist Brothers off the apron. Callihan gets a powder out and throws it in the eyes of Penta. Penta gets a hold on the referee as he is blinded and breaks his arm. Penta wipes his eyes out and sees the referee. Penta Driver on Callihan gets nothing as the referee still in pain in the corner and Callihan kicks out to land a package piledriver on a chair. A referee gets to the ring, but Penta able to kick out. A chair bridge made by Callihan and Penta thumbs the eyes to land a package piledriver on the chairs. Package piledriver on the chairs only gets a nearfall on Callihan. Callihan tells Penta to come on and spits at him. Penta with superkicks and a Penta Driver.
Winner by pinfall: Pentagon Jr.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Just a brutal outing and a really great brawl between these two, who are probably some of the best violent wrestlers out there today.
Post-match, The Crist Brothers attack Pentagon and Sami Callihan escapes. Fenix walks him back outside and security surrounds the Crists as Penta cuts the hair off Callihan.
Video package for Impact World Champion Austin Aries vs. Moose.
Curtis Granderson comes out to hold the Impact World Championship.
Impact World Championship: Austin Aries (c) vs. Moose
Aries looks for leg kicks to start and a side headlock. Moose moves him off and Aries cartwheels past him on a clothesline attempt, sitting on the top rope to taunt him. Moose catches a leg kick and gets a side headlock. Moose catches Aries on a floatover and Aries with an arm drag. Aries headstands out of a legscissors and dropkicks Moose. Moose pops up and tells Aries it will be a long night for him and Aries slaps him. Moose chokebombs him into the turnbuckles and chops him. Moose with a running chop and Aries Flair Flops outside as Moose charges him. Moose whips Aries into the barricade and charges him, but crashes into the chairs in the crowd. Aries breaks the count and lands an axhandle smash. Roundhouse kicks to the chest by Aries and slingshot senton follows inside for a nearfall. Aries with forearms and Moose pumps up. Aries with chops and Moose pumps his fist and challenges him. Aries winds up and pokes the eye, but runs into a headbutt. Moose with rapid chops in the corner and corner dropkicks get a nearfall. Aries kicks out of the corner and lands a hurricanrana on the Go to Hell. Moose catches an Aries crossbody out of the corner for snake eyes and Go to Hell gets a nearfall. Game Breaker blocked for an Aries crucifix bomb and he tries a suicide dive, but Moose with an elbow that levels him.
Aries avoids a Game Breaker by Moose, but gets caught by a lariat and Moose looks for a Spear. Aries drops into a front headlock and Last Chancery. Moose crawls and gets to the bottom rope for the rope break. Both fight on the apron and Moose drops Aries with a headbutt, but a pump kick caught for a Death Valley Driver on the apron by Aries. Suicide dive from Aries lands and he gets Moose by the barricade, but Moose sweeps the leg and swings him in between the two fences. Pump kick from Moose lands outside. Aries pulls the referee in the way as Moose charges him and Moose gets the referee out of the way. Aries with a low blow and Moose counters for a brainbuster. Spear lands, but Aries gets his hand on the bottom rope. Aries rolls up the ramp and tries to escape. Moose catches up to him and throws Aries off the stage and into security in the crowd. Moose brings Aries back in and Aries snaps his head on the top rope. Big boot from Moose and he looks for a dive, but Aries sidesteps and Moose crashes onto the ramp. Rolling elbow and Aries sandwiches Moose against the ropes with a body block. Brainbuster on the floor lands, but Moose gets to the ring with a second left. Aries with a penalty kick to the head and he gets the world title. Curtis Granderson gets the title back and Moose with a schoolboy for a nearfall, but Aries with a penalty kick and Brainbuster.
Winner by pinfall and STILL Impact World Champion: Austin Aries
Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars
It was going to be hard for this to top the rest of the card, but it delivered and then some with Aries continuing his run as one of the top heels in the game. Moose delivered on his end as well with some great big man offense and demonstrating an ability to go beyond that with his bumping. Perfect closer.
Post-match, Aries grabs the belt from Granderson and tells him to get out of the ring. Aries celebrates as he leaves to close the show.
Overall: In contrast to what WWE has been churning out lately, Impact Wrestling made a statement here with what could be the best show of the year, at least in American wrestling. It felt like TNA at its best and really the pinnacle of what the new leadership in Impact has been building up to over the last year or so. A show you will not want to miss.
TOP PHOTO: Eddie Edwards by Mike Mastrandrea.