Hank Hill, one of TV’s wisest characters, had nothing good to say about Dallas, Texas, even going so far as to tell his wife Peggy “I don’t want you going to Dallas at all.” I rarely disagree with Hank Hill – but if Impact Wrestling can put great PPV shows like Slammiversary every time they go there, then they should never leave.
The match of the night – and there were many contenders for that honour – was an intergender match between the vile Sami Callihan and arguably the best female wrestler in any company, Tessa Blanchard. The match was historic in that it was the first intergender match to ever headline a PPV event. And what a great precedent it set.
The match started off aggressively, with Tessa hitting a series of flying dives to Sami on the floor. Sami caught her third attempt, though, and violently swung her hard, face-first into the ringside barrier, which he followed up with a Death Valley Driver on the floor and a Powerbomb onto the ring apron that had Tessa grimacing in pain. In the ring, Sami continued to punish her, but Tessa bought some time and distance with a huge flying cutter. Sami taunted her and dared her to attack, and she obliged with a series of forearms and a Samoan Drop. She hit a DDT and was looking for a follow-up Buzzsaw DDT, but Sami blocked it, powerbombed her again, and locked on an STF. Tessa managed to fight her way to the ropes to break the hold, but the pain she was feeling was palpable. Sami looked for an aerial attack, but Tessa blocked it and hit a flying DDT. Adrenaline rushing, she attacked Callihan in the corner like a berzerker, and when the ref tried to pull her back, she instinctively elbowed him. She went to check on him and apologize, and with their backs turned, neither of them saw Callihan grab his baseball bat and clock Tessa in the head with it. A second ref came in for the count, but the time it took him to get there allowed Tessa to recover enough to kick out. A frustrated Callihan kicked that referee, sending him to the floor. Callihan menaced Tessa with the bat, but she defiantly spat in his face, and then low-blowed him. She grabbed her own bat and corked him with it in the gut. She followed that up with Magnum,but he kicked out. She locked on a Crossface, but Callihan powered out and hit a Package Tombstone Piledriver – but Tessa kicked out! Undaunted, Callihan didn’t let up, grabbing her and hitting her with a Cactus Special for the pin. After the match, Sami grabbed both baseball bats and approached a downed Tessa. But instead of attacking her, in an apparent show of respect, he handed Tessa her bat and left the ring, leaving her alone in the ring to end the show.
While that match had lots of hard-hitting moments, it may have been rivalled on that front by the Impact World Championship match that saw Brian Cage defend against “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin.
This match was a veritable slobber-knocker, starting off with the two of them exchanging heavy, clubbing blows. Cage took to the air first, hitting a huge somersault dive to the floor, apparently to show Elgin that he had recovered from his recent back injury. But this only incensed Elgin, who immediately targeted said back, hitting a huge superplex and driving Cage into the ringside barrier and the ring apron. Elgin went for his own aerial assault in the form of a twisting senton splash off the top, but Cage moved. Cage used this opportunity to recover, dropping Elgin with a huge pumphandle suplex that nearly put Elgin down for good. But Elgin continued his assault, again concentrating on Cage’s back. Eventually, Cage fired up, and after an exchange of brutal kicks, Cage hit a huge Canadian Destroyer and an F-5 move, but Elgin shockingly kicked out, which sent the crowd into a frenzy. Cage went for a Drill Claw, but, finally his back gave out after all of the earlier punishment. Elgin took advantage, hitting a series of hard forearms, and was going to put Cage away with a Buckle Bomb, but Cage went over the top, and rolled up Elgin out of nowhere for the pin. After the match, a frustrated and bitter Elgin attacked Cage, cold-cocking him with the title. Don Callis confronted Elgin and tried to get him to head back to the locker room, but Elgin assaulted him. Elgin threw Callis in the ring and looked like he was going to destroy Callis. Suddenly, a powerful-looking wall of a man in a black mask hit the ring, and hit Elgin with a move that resembled a Spear, but some would call a GORE, GORE, GORE!!!
Slammiversary – full results
Match1: TJP vs. Trey (of the Rascalz) vs. Jake Crist vs. Willie Mack
This match was announced over social media earlier today as a last-minute addition to the show. There were a lot of really innovative spots throughout this one, reminiscent of early X-Division matches. There was a funny moment early when, after TJP and Trey dazzled with some slick, fast-based acrobatics, Willie slowed things down with a simple slap to the face to Trey. A cool spot saw TJP on the wrong end of a neckbreaker by Trey, but at the same time as he went down, he DDTd Mack, while also having Crist in an INdian Deathlock submission. Later, Willie hit a top rope stomp that, creatively, hit all three opponents at the same time. Crist hit a big Super Cutter on Trey, but immediately ate a Frog Splash from Willie and got pinned.
Winner: Willie Mack
Match Rating: 8/10
They showed a replay of The North winning the Impact Tag Team Championship from Friday night, thanks to a well-timed cheap shot with the title belt by Page while the referee’s back was turned. The North were then interviewed and said that nobody should have been surprised by their title win, or by them retaining the titles tonight.
Match 2: The Rascalz (Dez & Wentz) vs. LAX & (w/ Konnan) vs. The North (c) – Triple Threat match for the Impact World Tag Team Championship
The story of this one was The North using their power against the quickness of the other two teams. A great move saw Ethan Page break up a pinfall attempt that had both LAX members covering Josh Alexander by throwing Wentz off the top rope onto them. Later, they impressed when Alexander hit a moonsault while holding one of the Rascalz in a slam position, landing on him, which was immediately followed up by a Swanton by Page. At some point, Santana got injured and Konnan called for a medic – apparently, Santana’s leg was injured. After a neat double-team move, the Rascalz had Ortiz down for the count, but The North broke up the pin and stole the win, to retain their titles. After the match, the Rascalz accompanied LAX as the medics escorted Santana to the back.
Winners, and still Tag Team Champions: The North
Match Rating: 8/10
In a selfie video promo, Sami Callihan promised to destroy Tessa Blanchard in their history-making intergender PPV match.
Match 3: Killer Kross vs. Eddie Edwards – First Blood match
Kross came out with a dark priest outfit, complete with cult-style makeup, which was neat. This one was aggressive from the get-go, including a huge thrust-bomb by Kross onto the apron. Lots of teases of blood-inducing moves during this one, including Kross throwing a chair into Eddie’s face during a flying dive attempt. A gross-looking move saw Kross hit Eddie with a gutwrench suplex from the apron onto some chairs lying on the floor. Eddie hit Kross with a Boston Knee Party off the top, and then hit a Tiger Driver on the floor. Back in the ring, Eddie hit a couple of more Boston Knee Parties, and then wielded his Singapore cane in front of Kross. In a clever tribute, Eddie said,”I love you… I”m sorry”. But this wasn’t directed as his opponent, but rather the cane, which he broke over his knee. Then Eddie shoved one of the splintered ends into Kross’ mouth, resulting in Kross spewing a gusher of blood.
Winner: Eddie Edwards
Match Rating: 8/10
Backstage, Tessa Blanchard arrived but refused to be interviewed, and instead threw the reporter against a wall.
Elsewhere, Rob Van Dam Cheech-and-Chonged his way through an interview, the bottom line of which is that he’s going to beat Moose.
Match 4: Moose vs. Rob Van Dam
The action spilled outside early, leading to RVD hiting a running somersault bomb from the apron to the floor – unfortunately for him, it looks like Moose learned how to catch guys from the Miz, because RVD ended up hitting the floor really hard. In the ring, Moose used his powerful leg kicks to level RVD and took over for several minutes. A cocky Moose took too much time to trash-talk, and when he charged, RVD had recovered enough to send him over the top rope to the elevated entrance ramp. RVD was able to hit some of his patented offence, but the athletic Moose hit a standing dropkick that knocked RVD off the top rope. Moose looked to finish off RVD with his own Five-Star Frog Splash, but RVD moved and Moose crashed hard. RVD looked to end things, but Moose used the referee as a distraction and hit an illegal low blow. He tried to blast RVD with chair, but ate the Van Daminator instead. RVD then hit a leg sweep that dropped Moose onto the chair. RVD went for a Five-Star Frog Splash, but this time Moose moved, and RVD landed hard on the chair. This softened him up for a spear by Moose that put him down for the count.
Match Rating: 7/10
An announcement was made for Impact “Fallout” in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada on July 14. The show will feature unique, one-time-only tag team pairings.
Backstage, Knockouts Champion Taya dismissed interviewer Melissa Santos. She said that, despite the odds, as long as Rosemary keeps up her end of their bargain, she will retain her title. Father James Mitchell announced the Monsters Ball match, but sadly didn’t do the full ring announcing or join the commentary team – he’s always a welcome presence on the mic. Instead, he observed the match from ringside.
Match 5: Su Yung vs. Havok vs. Rosemary vs. Taya Valkyrie (c) – Monsters Ball match for the Knockouts Championship
This was a good, violent affair. Havok and Yung were a unified unit early on, but that didn’t help Yung avoid getting a series of staple gun shots to the head by Taya – a cool visual saw Taya staple an 8×10 photo of herself to Yung’s forehead. Rosemary, meanwhile, took the fight to Havok, using a cookie sheet to good effect. Yung chained herself and Rosemary together with dog collars, but before they could damage each other too much, Taya took them out with a ladder, and then sent Havok face-first to the ladder as well. A great Tower of Doom spot saw Rosemary and Yung sent hard to the ladder – ouch! Rosemary recovered quickly and emptied out a bagful of thumbtacks onto the mat. But it backfired on her, and Taya curbstomped her face-first into the tacks. Meanwhile, Yung and Havok started fighting, and in their conflict, James Mitchell inadvertently got misted. On the other side of the ring, Taya smashed Rosemary off the apron through a table. Havok hit Su with a Tombstone Piledriver off the top rope onto the tacks. But Taya threw a chair in Havok’s face to break up the pin, and scrambled on top of a downed Yung to score the pin and retain her title.
Winner, and still Knockouts Champion: Taya Valkyrie
Match Rating: 9/10
It was announced that Impact will be returning to St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario on July 19 and 20 for TV tapings.
Backstage. Johnny Impact, with his lackey Johnny Bravo, interrupted Rich Swann’s promo to bastardize Lionel Richie’s musical genius. Shame on them.
Match 6: Johnny Impact (w/ Johnny Bravo) vs. Rich Swann (c) – for the X-Division Championship
The story early was Swann outsmarting, outquicking, and outmanoeuvering Impact. But a distraction by Bravo helped Impact get an advantage. Much of this match saw the commentators talking about what a scumbag Johnny Bravo is, which was pretty entertaining. After being on the receiving end for a while, Swannhit a huge DDT out of nowhere, and then he dazzled with some crazy spinning dives and a huge elbow off the top. The advantage switched back and forth several times. The two of them duked it out and both fell off the top rope to the floor. Impact with a great move – a Spanish Fly off the top, then rolling that into a standing Spanish Fly on the mat – that earned him a close 2-fall. A fast criss-cross saw Swann hit Bravo with a huge somersault dive, but this let Impact recover enough to take him down when Swann got back in the ring, and nearly prone for a pin after Starship Pain. Swann kicked out of that, and then kicked into sixth gear. He hit a multi-strike combo, culminating in two Backflip Cutters and followed that up with a Phoenix Splash for the pin.
Winner, and still X-Division Champion: Rich Swann
Match Rating: 8/10
Backstage, Michael Elgin warned Brian Cage that he was going to pin Cage and take his title.
Match 7: “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs. “The Machine” Brian Cage (c) – for the Impact World Championship
Winner, and still Impact World Champion: Brian Cage
Match Rating: 9/10
A video aired for “Bound For Glory”, the company’s next PPV event, taking place on October 20.
Match 8: Sami Callihan vs. Tessa Blanchard
Winner: Sami Callihan
Match Rating: 10/10
Overall show rating: 9/10
Countdown to Slammiversary XVII
Bob Kapur? That boy ain’t right. Email him at [email protected].